Tag Archives: friendship

Bartender! Pour me a shot of drama…

Every now and then, someone’s casual remark sets off a thought in your head. Well that happened to me recently. A colleague often casually accuses me of “loving drama” although I haven’t liked to be associated with the word for the longest time because of my myopic understanding of the word. But one evening, it triggered off a bout of introspection.

In my limited world view, I had put drama as a negative connotation. The dictionary defines it as an interesting or intense conflict of forces leading to interesting situations. Blame it on some childhood trauma and an unhealthy, emotional roller coaster ride of a teenage relationship, my aversion to drama and conflict had become overpowering. I had evolved into this person who had started to slowly slot “feeling” into drama, constantly over-rationalizing everything into logical conclusion. Read emotionally stunted.

I spent years watching couples fight, throw things at each other, stay up at night fighting, heard of a woman who burnt her cheating boyfriend’s crotch (he had it coming), abusive relationships – all the time rolling my eyes at the drama. I had become short sighted to not include the drama that brought a smile to someone’s face at the most random moment, the drama that kept two souls up at night sharing memories, dreams and laughter. I had missed the drama in the ecstatic joy felt in both giving and receiving a surprise from a loved one, I had missed the drama in the tears shed when you get separated from a loved one. I had missed the drama in feeling butterflies in my stomach. I had successfully locked myself away into a completely left brained existence. I had stopped feeling. And I had been stupid enough to take pride in that. How can you “over-think” “feeling”? Don’t ask me how but I did it and I applauded it not realizing how handicapped I was making myself.

A writer’s soul was the universe’s gift to me, the pure torture of detached attachment to everything and nothing. People have intrigued me always, what makes them, what breaks them, what makes them tick and what makes them want to rise again. I have fancied myself free-spirited, adventurous and fun-loving. But I would carefully drop the “dramatic” tag, even when I was. Avoidant much?

I had gone from hopeless romantic to the gloomy cynic under a façade of sardonic humor. But one can never defy one’s true nature. The universe makes sure of that. In retrospect, even at my most cynical moments, I have always attracted drama, in the friends I have made, the people I have wanted, the people who have wanted me. The bunch I truly call friends in my life are a passionate, spontaneous, adventurous, authentic and dramatic bunch – each in his or her own way. And I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world, quite a handful as they may be, they are magnificent. While I have hidden behind rational practicality for the longest time, when I look back I have been the happiest when I have done something spontaneous, made a “dramatic” gesture or such like because it made me feel something. I have been the truest to my real nature in those moments far and few as they may have been.

But of late, everyone has become a stickler about playing it cool and being chill in friendships and relationships or you are doing it wrong. In a day and age where the one who cares less is winning, who is doing the loving? Where is the real overwhelming passion that moves mountains? What follows is a soul less generation of degenerate debauchery, swiping on a screen, wanting to be held and touched by a stranger who they feel no connection to because hey who wants the drama of having someone who actually gives a f***out of fear of being hurt. And loneliness they can’t seem to shake off. But they will be too cool to admit it as well. I tried to play that game which grew old quickly. I got B-O-R-E-D.

And then it dawned on me. In a time, where we are all grasping at straws to maintain a semblance of sanity by withdrawing into fearful loneliness, projecting facades, pretending to fit in, it is revolutionary to be honest with the world and yourself, to be authentic enough to embrace one’s own demons is dramatic, genuine caring and effort without expectation from another is dramatic. Being real is dramatic. Being real is acceptance, an ability to balance the emotional with the rational, to feel. Finding genuine connection and investing in that no holds barred is dramatic.

I am done trying to fit in. I am done denying my true nature. I want the happiness I feel with spontaneity, adventure, the passion and the ecstasy and I don’t want mellow and boring. If it comes with a little hurt, hell one shouldn’t sell oneself short, survived so far didn’t I? As long as no one is getting literally get burnt or being emotionally manipulated, am with the drama. I am all for the drama, unapologetically. Because if one doesn’t allow oneself to get hurt, one won’t allow oneself to truly love and be truly loved in return as a friend, as a sister, a daughter and a lover.

It’s worth taking a chance for and all that drama. I never did fit in anyway. Also nothing feeds the writer’s soul like a dose of drama. That’s what the dramatic ones tell me anyway! 😉

Embrace the chaos. Embrace the authenticity. Embrace the madness. Embrace the Drama.

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Listicles and what nots

As I inch closer to my 28th birthday, a decade away from home, figuring out my way through this thing called life, I look back at the mistakes I have made, the awesome things I have achieved, the struggles that I have lived through and the realities I deal with every day. I may not be perfect but I am slowly making my peace with that. I have way too many people to thank, some old, some brand new, some who are not a part of my story anymore and some I hope never again will be.  My friends make fun of my love of listicles but hell I made my own!

  1. Honesty might be tough but honesty guarantees peace of mind
  2. Family is of two kinds – one you are born into and the other is the one you choose
  3. Family comes before work and everything else. If your people are not on your priority list, either they are the wrong people or you are doing something wrong.
  4. Confidence is innate and one’s issues need to be acknowledged and addressed to gain true confidence that no one can touch or break.
  5. It is rare to have parents who can treat you like an independent adult and it is a blessing to be able to share an honest friendship with them
  6. Work. Have a career. Have a hobby. Have a passion to pursue. Nothing defines you better and makes you happier than being productive and having a purpose.
  7. Find something you are good that you love and then name your price.
  8. It is a very thin line between ego and self-respect and it takes discipline to exercise the difference
  9. If you care about people you have to show them no matter hard it is. It might not come out the way you planned it to but it is not a bad deal. I am learning this. I hope to get there.
  10. You cannot claim to care about a person when you are only interested in what they can get you in return
  11. The world is full of broken, self-absorbed people. Everyone is hurting but some put up a facade of hurt for attention. The ones who have actual life experience will be the kindest ones trying to do it right and be kind
  12. A sense of gratitude for everything you have ups your chance at happiness
  13. I love people who can make me laugh. I love lame jokes. I love intelligent jokes. I dig sarcasm.
  14. I will always find it easier to write it down than to say things. But conversations are important. Especially the ones that keep you up through the night. They are the best kinds  🙂
  15. I am the party girl living it up on the dance floor, who knows the bartender by name, not giving a damn about anything but a good time. But I am also the girl who likes to sit in her corner with nothing but a book to read or struggling with writer pangs or overthinking about some boy I like or hating people in general. I like that about me.
  16. Genuine people and genuine connections are rare. If it is mutually shared they are totally worth the investment and the work. Anything less is a waste of time.
  17. Life surprises you every now and then. You surprise yourself too. I know I do. Just when I think I have myself all figured out and in a box, I go do something totally different
  18. On that note, boxes and labels- I am quickly losing my need for both. As long as I belong and am happy and appreciated, I am staying
  19. Unrequited love hurts like a motherf***er but hell makes the best inspiration for art, music and literature. The creative ones who can pour it out to create something beautiful of it are the luckiest. They might never feel that way though
  20. Forgiveness is liberating as is the truth. Start with yourself.
  21. Rational living with just the left brain is brilliant because you feel nothing and get shit done. It is terribly stunted and defective and unhealthy for the very same reasons
  22. I hate the hookup culture where everyone is scared to actually know another person. People are losing their depth and substance. Because superficial talk is easy and sex even more so. And it grows old so quickly
  23. I would rather be honest and speak my mind than stew in resentment just to be “cool”. It takes courage and that is kinda cool
  24. People who care about you will never make you feel like any less of a priority because they make time for you and reassure you that you matter when they can’t. Life gets crazy with work commitments, family commitments, social obligations, errands and workouts.. But priorities stick.
  25. When a person makes time for you appreciate it. When a person doesn’t make you feel of consequence, the person isn’t a person you need. Please note I said person. Nobody deserves to be treated as less than a priority
  26. The idea of conflict makes us nervous, the possibility of not being understood is worrisome and sometimes, we even convince ourselves that how we feel doesn’t actually matter. And I am trying to change that
  27. I might like drama after all. It’s scary but it’s like adrenaline. Raw and uninhibited is powerful, feisty and alive and crazy but it takes real courage. I need to embrace that. But I do know too much of it is bad.
  28. I have been irrationally rational. I have been rationally emotional. It is time I learned how to get that right. Let’s hope someone will be able to and willing to teach me how to work on things together
  29. There will be different kinds of love and I am learning that is a good thing
  30. If there is chemistry and connection – physical or mental or emotional. It deserves to be addressed.
  31. Sex is easy. Intimacy not so much. Both combined make things explosive. I want that. I want a man who likes and respects me and is able to treat me as a sexual being as well without a hiccup
  32. You might really like someone but sometimes it is not going to work, because you will be too much of something for them, they might be broken, they might not be ready, you are not what they need right now, they might decide they don’t need you. You will survive that and bounce back
  33. If you like food, we will be thick. If you can cook. Even more so. Foodies are the best people. Also if you love dogs.
  34. If you are smart and hot, great! But if you are funny, compassionate, considerate and generous and attracted to me and unafraid to say it and you keep your word, you are golden!
  35. Clarity of intention would make a lot of shrinks poorer.
  36. It surprises me when someone doesn’t want to be someone’s priority. When that scares them that they can’t return it. You only do accept the love you think you deserve. I have run away too. I know. But it is flattering
  37. If you feel unwanted or underappreciated, walk. But sometimes try to understand what it is you might be doing wrong
  38. I might not want the fairytale romance, the ball and chain yet but I want something real that tests my limits, makes me want to be uncomfortable, someone cares enough to call me out on my crap and have the willingness to go the mile for as long as it is with respect. And then I want to do all kinds of things with and for such a person for as long as it makes us happy
  39. Even the almost ones matter
  40. You can be a partner or a repairman to someone. You can’t be both
  41. I respect friendships. But I think the “friendzone” is a whole lot of shit.
  42. Sometimes you would rather be just friends with someone because you don’t trust yourself to not f*** it up and you can’t bear to not have them in your life. But then you are not friends anyway.
  43. I have always laughed cliches off till that became a cliche. Don’t write cliches off. They exist for a reason
  44. Children get it. Things are simple. Adults complicate everything. I hate that about growing old.
  45. Introspect. Like a personal performance review. Your goals. Your needs. Your wants. Your purpose. They change. Everything is fluid. Question everything. Even yourself every now and then
  46. Commit to being your best self. Find someone with the same goals. Be with someone who pushes you to be better and build something together
  47. You should never feel guilty about how you feel or for wanting more. You deserve it and if someone won’t give it you deserve another
  48. Life and people deserve celebration every now and then because giving and receiving surprises is the best thing! It is awesome to make someone happy!
  49. Karaoke is soul food. So is travel. Do both.
  50. Take charge of your happiness and responsibility of your actions, you will be fine. Happiness is a choice. Happiness is a practice.

A little wise. A little foolish. Forever a child. But slowly a woman. To more years. To being present. To letting go. And to taking it all in.

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Water under the bridge….

The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to burn and which to cross…

– David Russell

Very often in life there comes this point in life where one is faced with choices. Every day. Some easy, some that make you squirm, some welcome, others drastic and overwhelming, some earth shattering and others that are pleasant and necessary. And then there are these dichotomies that are not really a choice, because there is no question of one in such cases, because one already knows the answer even without having to contemplate. Because it’s not a choice, it is a question of the essence of one’s entity. I should know. I have made a few. Not necessarily easy ones. But life told me later they were most definitely the right ones. Not to say I didn’t commit a few blunders on the way and I am afraid I will continue to make some more before my body lays down to rest in my grave. But then I shall be burnt to ashes- and here I stop rambling and being macabre because that is most definitely another story and besides the point.

So yes, I wonder about choices. Especially in relationships or about them or is that the same thing? And when I say relationships, I beg you to think beyond the only type that pops up in our minds- the ‘romantic love’ types. There are others to talk about beyond that. Not too long ago, I made unconsciously or in stupor a precocious choice that put one of my most precious friendships on the line, of course not a planned oversight. However, cursed with a conscience, pretense wasn’t my resort. I had made a distinct choice between risking it all for honesty or having an untouched uncontaminated and hypocritical paradise filled with uninformed choices. What do you think I chose? I am proud to say that I chose the former instead of folding. And I harbor no regrets for it…. Consequences whatever they came thereafter.

Then there is the curse of hateful relatives which makes you wonder very often about your own lineage, something you can’t shake. One makes a choice between a hostile peace or a clean break which would bring little good. What does one choose? And then I watched a friend (or something more) suffer the pangs of a broken heart. And there arises the argument of the shelf life of a relationship of the romantic variety. Yes there it is, inevitably! When does know when and if it is the time to stop hoping that things will change? Why do these relationships end? How is it that one day someone you were so much in love with suddenly doesn’t fit in your scheme of things- the larger picture? The ambiguity of the larger picture often frustrates the average man. Only human. But then when does one know when it is the time to ‘let go’, whether to make a clean break or not. How does one know what should be salvaged and what ignored and forgotten?

In situations where equations shared were pleasant but circumstantial differences drift you apart, the bridges are harder to burn. Practicality often fails one in the face of this sort of an adversity. But more often than not a clean incision is what is called for and should be executed. In other paradigms, where the equation was not worth saving anyway, it’s swift and easy. And better best forgotten. However, the trouble as it always does comes from within and not the exterior. One can wear a million masks hiding away the vulnerable self-shelled and fortified or so one would like to think. But unfortunately one is lying only to oneself. Stoicism plays its part and a sense of humor to take everything with a pinch of salt helps but the repression of sentiment that needs to be dealt with somehow has the side effect of affecting all future interactions. An open and shut case of once bitten twice doubly shy in all circumstances. The effects may or may not be far reaching…

Coming back to bridges now,(I think I lost the plot somewhere in the middle like I do sometimes) I often think that it is not  about whether you cross a bridge or burn one, but being able to accept and to live with that choice.Predestination and free will-eternal argument. For life has taught me that the sooner we realise that only we hold the keys to our own happiness, the choices will come easy, we will forgive ourselves and others more easily, and be like steady water like the river that flows to inevitably meet the ocean in the end-steadfast and self-assured. Each one of us part of the grand design.

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Strange connections…

The tomb of Feroz Shah on a wintry Sunday afternoon

David Baker, retired Reader in History, St. Stephen’s College, Dad’s professor, Dad’s friend, friend of the family. David has been a constant fixture in the family for like ever since that I can remember. Dad’s old teacher friend, for a long time I hardly understood the connection. Deep friendships that go beyond age, colour, ethnicity amongst other things was an alien concept to me when I was introduced to this extension of the family, who I have finally completely warmed up to- idiosyncrasies et al.
Australian by birth, I often joke that he is more Indian than I am, which I can safely say is true. Well traveled around the expanse of the country and well versed with its history, David has lived here for over 4 decades. He came to the country to study and later stayed on to teach, and life as my father and then the rest of our family would know it was to change forever. For good.
As a child I was just about as curious and excited about his visits as a child can be- because he brought me presents! Like I tell Dad, I don’t think David really knows what to do with human beings below age 17. My childhood whizzed past as I suppose he watched me grow up. Then came the teenage years, where I was only minimally wayward, outspoken and begrudged the old man his controlling ways. I would never see the positive, only the controlling or rather interfering aspect as I saw it then. He watched me struggle through those years into young adulthood, figuring out and coming to terms about who I was.
Memory has a strange way of throwing out random glimpses right out of our subconscious. Between looking forward to his trips and hating and begrudging him his visits- from childhood to teenage, I had subconsciously also picked up memories of his habits- compulsive re-arranging of his toiletries, stationery etc, panicking before every trip, insistence on picking up something for each family member however small, sitting out in the sun on winter mornings attending to his correspondence, nodding off every now and then- fond memories.One thing that remains unchanged is the warmth in his hugs that have consistently been the same all through the years!
Coming to live in the same city as him during my graduation days, I used to find his visits extremely annoying and intrusive and uncool. However, as time passed, adulthood set in and with it several realities at various levels, I realised I had grown to feel an honest affection for the dear old man- who looks a very young 86 mind you! And yes gratitude…
With the return to the city, a job and the real world later, I had grown to appreciate David’s bond with Dad, what it meant and his association with the family through everything. His simplicity with all his annoying little idiosyncrasies was suddenly endearing, amusing and comforting. I realised I had grown to genuinely love his company and actually look forward to it. Suddenly it wasn’t uncool anymore. It was the ‘coolest’ thing actually. To finally have someone who I could talk to, who could and would willingly feed my love for History, who better than a historian himself. We had somehow worked out a system for monthly appointments, which he writes down somewhere and we meet to go visit a place of historical importance. We have seen the Humayun’s Tomb followed by a yummy lunch at Kareem’s. Of course I love our afternoons at the Indian International Center and our walks through the Lodhi Gardens. I look forward to these afternoons as I change my schedule around these appointments – exasperated as I maybe that he still insists on using his cellphone like a land line and is as punctual as clockwork.
Our last visit  to Hauz Khas Village was fruitful and a completely new experience for me as we went exploring the ruins of the architecture around the area. His enthusiasm contagious and his knowledge impressive, it was a wonderful afternoon where I explored the history of the village and ruins like I had never before. And on my way back home after a wonderful afternoon, I realized that somehow unknowingly, somewhere I had forged a deep friendship of my own that didn’t know boundaries of age, colour, ethnicity. David Baker- historian, guide, fellow explorer and friend and yes family…

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