When all but one likes you

I read so many articles and self help excerpts on how to tackle problems when they arise but what do you do when the only thing not right in your world is yourself? I am self aware, a quality I really wish I didn’t possess because being oblivious and pointing fingers at people is so much easier. I sometimes feel I’m programmed this way. Friends used to joke that I’d never be able to appreciate a good moment because I’m too busy making notes on how to deal with things when they eventually go sour. I hate sounding like a pessimist but more often than not a backup plan or two has helped me. Things haven’t gone very well on relying on others for me so I sometimes feel I need to make a plan all by myself and it’s gotten to a point that even when someone wants to help me in formulating a plan, I rather not have their input because people no matter how nice they are or seem to be usually fail you. You’d think a mom would protect you, a granddad wouldn’t blame you, a friend would be proud and not jealous of you,  but that’s not how it worked and for a long time I have learnt that if I want to get anything done or if I’m worrying about something, I’m in it on my own. It’s a bit contradictory because people drive me. Without them, I cannot be motivated enough to do anything. So I don’t really need them but I also do. You get it? I have a lot of good people around me. A good support system. You’d think it’d be enough and I should be grateful but they need me more than I need them. No wait, I phrased that wrong. I need them way more than I let it show but I have gotten so used to being the trouble shooter that now I feel by putting out everyone’s fires I don’t have any blankets to cover up my wreck and it’s burning me slowly but surely. I’m aware I sound like every other ungrateful 12 year old but this is what it is. How do you tell friends and family “I understand, but no. PAUSE FOR A BIT. Can we just focus on me for a bit?” without sounding like a complete ass? You can’t. I spend way too much time worrying about what people think of me and whether they like me enough that slowly down the lane I don’t think I like myself too much right now. I’m 25 years old. I have goals. I have plans and schedules. That I’m refusing to adhere to because somehow I am bigoted enough to think that nobody cares enough so why am I bothering? Which is so so foolish. I feel like I’m throwing away everything I really wanted because I want to act like a petulant child who doesn’t understand that homework is for ME. AND MYSELF ALONE. If mommy isn’t there to hold your hand to trace the letters, It’s your loss and yours only. It’s not anybody else’s. I have gotten so used to doing things to make people like me that I’m now confused how to go about things now that they are busy in their own lives despite knowing very well what I want because somehow I have reached a point where I rather impress a random person than impress myself which would make a lot more sense if you truly knew me, I’m not someone worth the time or effort to impress. I’m the friend that your parents would love because on paper I’m ideal and I might be the person you tell all your shameful secrets to as well not because you know I wouldn’t judge but also because you know deep down that if I did judge, It wouldn’t matter. When your opinion or judgment isn’t valued by yourself, You can’t really expect someone else to value yours. When you have grossly marked down a price on an item, No one is going to second guess the price. It’s not their job to do so. I need to stop playing the damsel in distress and take a marker and cross out the price I have put on myself and do myself justice. And believe me I’m more than capable of doing it on my own as well. Maybe not today or this week, it’s been a long exhausting day but surely soon…


Washing my dirty linen in public

My parents celebrated 32 years together this week and while it is a feat these days, It’s quite ordinary in an Indian household who have been taught to stay together no matter what happens. I love them. Both individually and together. My mother has been the rock of the house. She’s the first person you go to when things get out of hand. She’s loud, nosy and can be so callous sometimes. Feelings aren’t really encouraged. I learnt how to openly cry and not be too ashamed of it during my first relationship at the age of 25. And I’m considered to be the ‘snowflake’ of the family so you can imagine how well the rest of them convey emotions. My maternal granddad for lack of any word has always been a dick. He grew and was rewarded in a sexist society and so pushed those views as often and frequently as he could. My mother having never learnt to voice her views and opinions found the transition post marriage quite easy.  She had learnt the art of suppressing her desires and wishes so well that eventually she taught herself that family always comes first. And it worked out well for us. But the thing with hopes are, No matter how deep you try to bury it, you’ll never forget where you buried it and that can be tormenting. I wonder if my mother is truly happy. She’s a smart witty woman who could have been so much more had she chosen to do so or was ‘permitted’ to do so. But she probably didn’t even know she wanted to do so until it felt like it was too late. She’s in her mid 50’s and she spends most of her time whiling away in the kitchen doing things that made her content when she was in her 30’s but doesn’t anymore but does it merely out of her role of a dutiful wife,mother and a grandmother.  She was expected to slave for her husband. Then her children then their children.  She has not once voiced out her displeasure so maybe I’m just imagining things that aren’t there or maybe she’s never realized it’s not her ‘duty’ to go above and beyond every time for others and  it’s actually a favor. I sometimes wish I could have fought harder for her. But everyone fights for themselves. And as long as it’s comfortable for you, Why would you even want to change anything? She made me a feminist. My household is a happy household and a relatively normal one but when you dig deeper you can see the shades of subtle sexism that has colored lives. It’s not obvious since if you never were allowed to dream from the beginning, You don’t really know what you are missing out on. My mom’s identity is closely intertwined with her family but it’s obvious to anyone that she’s so so much more. I wish she knew that. I grew up with a lot of freedom. I was allowed to pursue my goals and dreams no matter how long it took. I wonder what she would have done had she had that opportunity. I wonder if she feels choked and suffocated but has simply learnt to adapt to the little oxygen she’s given so much so that we don’t see her organs twisting in agony and wilting internally. I wish she had asked for extra air, Air that she had full claim over and didn’t need permission to access it in the first place. But that’s the thing, Isn’t it? She’s never going to ask. And they are never going to offer. Years of teachings have forbidden her from even thinking of simply reaching out and grasping it.  It’s a story that’s over even before it really started.

When do you stop pushing?

Sounds like a fairly reasonable question , Right? Some would say at the first sign of resistance. Others especially midwives would argue NO. Push more. What if it gives way? Then there are others who’d say push till you find what you are looking for and then stop. A few would argue, Why stop there? If you hit a treasure there, How can you be certain there isn’t more along the path? But all this pushing and shoving is exhausting. Nobody ever says Well when you get tired – Stop. It’s okay to sometimes take the easy way out and stop and rest. Movies and novels glamourize a world of hard work that requires sweat and blood but at what cost? Shouldn’t it equally promote a way of life that requires you to maybe pause, stop moving about so much. If you are mentally exhausted and your arms are still pushing and pushing you won’t even have time to appreciate the path that you have cleared so far. It’s okay to pause a little and look back and enjoy the distance you have come so far. For someone who has always thought that staying stationary is equivalent to giving up, It’s a hard concept to grasp. I have to always be moving forward or I’ll rethink all the mistakes,all the small pebbles and question whether the path I cleared so far was worth the effort and time. The moment a rock that I can’t move at this particular time , but could possibly move in a couple months or years pops up, I easily forget all the joyous moments of breaking every small pebble, pushing every large rock and the delight of seeing the straight road and quickly wonder whether it’s better to just throw in the towel and leave. This rock is a bit sturdy and right now I don’t have the right tools to fight it with but I’ll be back maybe in days or months or worst case scenario years and come with the right tools and then continue pushing everything to pave the way. Meanwhile I’m just going to walk back and marvel at the distance I have come so far. 🙂

Sturdy house with a weak base

Why is it easier to risk something on your own than watching someone you love take risks? Failures worry me but the possibility of a loved one failing sickens me to a point where I cannot function and makes me want to do everything in my power to avoid that. I can already picture myself as the overprotective mother everyone laughs about, The one who will design a mini scratch-proof space suit like replica for her 5 year old when he/she tries to ride a cycle. It’s 4 am and the person responsible for all the butterflies in my tummy is now making the butterflies hit every organ to the point that I’m nauseated and filled with a sense of impending doom. I honestly, genuinely appreciate every mother, father,spouse,sibling,friend, ANYONE who loves someone who is at the front line of anything unpleasant. It goes without saying that the person doing the work are the true heroes but I don’t know how the ones supporting them manages to do so. “Covid warriors”, The healthcare workers have been nicknamed aptly but all i want to do is to take my warrior(a doctor), put him in a room, lock it, throw/ingest the key and then live happily (safely) ever after. I know as a medical graduate who is waiting for her license,I shouldnt be even thinking of the downs and the what-ifs. But it’s easier to do it for yourself than for someone who is a part of you I guess. Hug and squeeze everyone a little tighter and hold them a little longer, Even if you can’t control any outcomes in the next three months atleast in the next three seconds they are all safe and sound and with you.

I don’t want to be a weak ‘supporting system’ to someone who is capable of so much so I’m not going to just whine and worry(I’ll do those in a healthy amount because I’m a human being.) I’ll keep myself busy and wait to give my rib crushing hug after every battle is over and then will bandage up every visible scratch and slyly use it as restraints to assure my scared heart because I’m always going to be overdramatic like that.

I’m sending (and also will be receiving) all positive happy thoughts to get through this phase. I sincerely hope and pray that all our overdramatic worried selves be proved to be completely wrong in the upcoming months.

Air molds us


My parents never fight. Except for this one instance I vividly remember. I ran up to my sister scared asking her if they’d divorce and who she would choose to live with if that happens. My sister didn’t even look up from her MP4 player and told me, “Whoever takes you in. I’ll happily choose the other one.” To be fair, Teenagers are usually not known for their thriving emotional intelligence. So my parents never fight and you’d wrongly assume my conflict resolution skills would be top notch when in reality it’s non-existent. They never fought because my mother was very submissive in nature and preemptively never did anything that she felt would irritate or annoy him. As a 25 year old, Every time I have a minor conflict with a friend or in a relationship, I quickly jump to the conclusion that it’s over. And there’s no point trying to fix it because if we were so perfect then we’d not have any fights right? So I have lost so many friends along the way, The few that stuck have been tormented by me for prolonging small issues. I try harder now because I realize relationships are too valuable to be questioned over minor differences but as a child I lost a lot of good friends along the way. So I surrounded myself with a lot of yes-man type of personalities for a long time till I was called out.


My friend’s parents always fought. So he grew up realizing that minor tussles are just a part and parcel of life and that inevitably it doesn’t matter since they’d figure it out in the end. So it was never a ‘big deal’.  You can guess the issues we would have faced. A minor problem – my brain goes into an overdrive – while his is comfortably resting and telling him to take a nap and deal with it the next day — by then my brain would have exploded. This series of events were a disaster. I am learning. We are learning. It’s funny when you think of all the subtle non-lessons you picked up subconsciously from your family.  Things they didn’t intend you to ever learn from them.  If only I inherited my mom’s cooking and not her impatience but that’s not how it works. I’d like to think that some people are so influential in our lives that they don’t need hands, The air around them itself is capable of molding us into who we are. So watch your tongue, Take your hands off your crotch, Be good – Just don’t let all your toxic traits poison the air. You can never be sure who is in the vicinity.

Need vs Want

My 4 year old niece adores my mother. Social distancing for the past 1 month has been driving them both crazy upto the point that they sometimes spend time in different rooms of the same house to get away from each other for a few moments during the day but at lunchtime like clockwork she’d come running to my mom for being fed to her heart’s content. In return she’ll cuddle with my mom for a while and sometimes mumble sweet lines to return her favour.

It got me thinking – is it always one person that absolutely NEEDS the other more? Granted I shouldn’t be taking a relationship which involves wiping poo off someone’s butt for nothing in return as a template but still.

If yes, Then won’t they be paranoid about why their friend or partner or anybody – is still with them? They can try to reciprocate like the little cuddles my niece gives but to be honest my mom can manage without them. She does far more for seemingly so little. Is that fair? Should you be paranoid that you are the more “need-ier” one? Or worse what if you feel you have so much to give but the person you want to do that with is really self sufficient and really doesn’t require all or actually anything that you have to offer? Sometimes the other person may not necessarily need you but they definitely want you. It’s a truth that maybe your ego should eventually come to terms with. Or maybe it’s really simple. I make you happy. You make me happy. And that’s that. Maybe that’s the only commodity that should be weighed for a fair trade and nothing else atleast for now.

When is it the right time to throw in the towel?

I read and watch a lot of inspirational articles and videos and most if not all are centered around the theme of pushing yourself more be it relationships, exams or just life. I noticed they all lacked something. Nobody tells us when to step back and forfeit. Sometimes trying harder on something that’s way past it’s expiry isn’t fruitful for anybody and instead is time and energy consuming, Which if directed to some other place we might have gotten something out of it. So the big question I guess is when is it the right time to admit that you have failed?

In a relationship it’s sometimes very obvious but it’s not the obvious signs that’s confusing to us. It’s the rut. What happens when you are exhausted of trying but you know you have spent so much time and effort on this person that you will yourself to give it another shot which might prolong the relationship for a few good months followed by an excruciating end or maybe a happily ever after? And in both instances you’d think back to this rut and either curse yourself for giving it yet ANOTHER go or be proud of your decision to stick together. But how do we know? It’s such a gamble – which I have never been comfortable in indulging in. I like to know what’s what and when’s when and who is whom. Now there are a few souls out there scoffing at me , telling me to ‘LIVE LIFE’ or those Instagram quotes that tell me “Believe and you’ll see. Only time will tell. Abracadabra.” It sounds really good on paper but I’m a either give it my all or give it none kind of person. Which is exhausting if it’s not going to work at the end. Why would I want to waste time on a person or an exam that I feel like it’s way out of my scope when I could instead just – I don’t know not do it?

It’s a Monday evening and this blog has died a little because of my infrequent postings but it’s still a nice way to get some silence in my raging head. It’s out here so it has to be out of my head right? I’d like to think so. Because it’s a Monday evening like I said and this girl has so much on her plate than wonder if every single thing she’s doing right now is just leading to a huge disappointment. And when or if that happens, expect another rant because that’s what 20-something year olds like myself do? Putting all my eggs in one basket while riding a skateboard with no skills or a fixed destination in mind but already bracing myself for impact because what I don’t want to caught off guard while spectators later claim they saw it coming from a mile away and couldn’t understand why I didn’t.


I’m scared. I feel absolutely helpless. It deems fit that it’s world’s mental health day but it’s hardly a coincidence considering the duration of my best friend’s struggle. How do you convince someone that there’s so much to look forward to? How do you convince them to live happier as well longer? There are days I’m able to avert a couple of negative thoughts and maybe make him smile or laugh sometimes because of me but mostly at me. This sounds selfish but there are days it’s overwhelming. I catch myself mid thought and chide myself “If you feel exhausted by offering to share a ridiculously tiny amount of his weight occasionally, Imagine how he feels lugging it around everywhere, All the time.” 

He is so selfless that he tells me to not talk to him everyday as he feels that he’ll bring me down. I show faces and lightheartedly tease him “As if“, I say while feeling a pang of guilt within for wishing it wasn’t always this hard for the both of us. He has all the help offered to him, Shoulders to lean or even cry on,medications and seeming ‘everything’ but yet it might as well as be nothing.

Sometimes I feel he’s being ungrateful, ‘He has everything. He has all of us. Is he even trying? Shouldn’t it be enough? Shouldn’t we be enough?’ 

But that’s the tricky part of mental illness. It isn’t about you now, Is it? It’s a huge blow to the egos of those trying to help. But it’s never about us. This might seem obvious to you, I might even come across as conceited “Ugh, It’s obviously about the person who is suffering. Who does she think she is making it all about herself?”. I know. But when your best friend tells you semi-regularly that he doesn’t think he has anything to offer to the world and is wondering why he’s even here in the first place and then cribs about failed multiple attempts to rectify that mistake (according to him) after months,and maybe years of you doing your best, Your other friends,Therapists and his family doing all they can and making sure he gets the help he deserves and requires, You can’t help but feel choked and defeated yourself. You begin to wonder what’s your purpose? Are you making it worse for him?  Do you give him space when he wants to relax a bit? Do you cut the call when he says he wants to be alone? But what if you do leave him alone and then something horrible happens and then you’ll realize you could have prevented it all by just staying on the line, talking?  Or do you force him to talk to you and disrupt his peace and muddle up his already confused thoughts? What if you are having a bad day yourself and you say the wrong thing? Then, What? Are you sure your friendship is helping him or making it worse?


I can only try. I hope he does too.

Being “that girl”

I know I usually write about light topics but this news has been bothering me so much that I feel like I’m failing as a human being if I keep silent.

Recently a story broke out about the brutal murder and gang rape of a 8 year old child in Jammu(Indian administered part).

I’m not going into the details of it, The media is having a field day describing her 4 days of torture and I don’t know enough words to express how I’m sure people with hearts and a bit of a soul must be feeling. That being said, in the wake of this terrible tragedy the reactions of unfortunately a lot of people are disturbing to say the least.

This tragedy has been somehow transformed to a religious issue because the monsters who did this to her and the child belong to different religions. So now those(not all but quite a lot) who worship the same god/or are born into the same religion as those of the monsters are…supporting them. That’s right. You read it right. Read it again.

My grandfather has always been a sexist person with a mindset that could easily get him executed by the mildest of people but somehow over the years I have adapted to his remarks and they don’t bother me as much. I’m bringing this up because the comments people – educated people, mind you born in this decade are making about this gruesome incident are chilling even to me – a person who has developed tolerance for all unprovoked sexist nonsense.

Rape isn’t a new thing unfortunately in India. And while remarks like “Well. She shouldn’t have worn that.” “She was asking for it” “Boys will be boys” have always floated around, This game’s completely shifted from victim shaming to protecting and supporting the accused.

I’m so angry at everything. In a country where the number 1 priority in most households is to mould the daughter into perfect wife material to a stranger by teaching her how to sit, how to talk, how to cook, how to not talk back to your brother because well..he has a penis so he’s probably smarter, You’d think they’d actually care about the women after all the efforts they put in from the time she’s born. All these may seem archaic but the distressing reality is that all these views and practises still exist.

I among many were lucky enough to be raised by broad minded parents with nosy relatives playing minimal role in my upbringing. But when I hear childhood stories of friends they sound nothing short of a horror movie.

When I scroll through some of the comments made under posts highlighting women, I feel like stuffing a little inflated balloon down my pants to feel safer. These “thoughtful” remarks are sometimes made by people I interact with on a daily basis. I usually shy away from being so vocal about our differences in opinion since I didn’t want to be “that girl”.

There are many versions of “that girl” ofcourse :

“That girl” who wears short clothes.
“That girl” who laughs too loud when boys are around.
“That girl” who will definitely get burned one day taking in the amount of time she spends with boys.
“That girl” who doesn’t realise what a privilege it is that she’s allowed to choose the field she wants to study in and still complains about patriarchy.
“That girl” who drinks.

But you know what, I think it’s about time we all be “that girl”. Feminazi, bitches or whatever labels you give us won’t change the fact that your opinion about victims is a huge mistake just like what your dad did by relying on the pull out method.

I’m done tiptoeing.  They tell us that if we are open and bold about drinking, wearing short clothes and having opinions we invite attention and that in turn will bring a whole lot of trouble. If a fully clothed child can go through this only to have her own people turn their back against her by protecting those who tortured her because of completely misplaced religious sentiments, I assume it’s safe to say that I’m ashamed of what we have become. You should be too.

I’m sorry India but you failed us women-no..not just women but all human beings.

It’s sad that cows are more protected(for religious purposes ofcourse) than women here. It’s sad that women need to be “protected” at all. Beef eaters are supposedly treated worse than rapists in some parts. I strongly believe that religion was meant to bring people together. It’s a personal choice. It shouldn’t make you do things that makes others question your entire race’s existence.

Atheist, agnostic, religious, man, woman, gender fluid, CHILD, baby, infant…whatever be the case, We are human beings first and foremost. It’s heart breaking and pitiful that people have forgotten that.

That’s all.

It’s okay

I should be the last person on earth talking about body image and self-esteem. Several years back I wouldn’t cross the road until it was absolutely empty because I didn’t want the people in the car to “look” at me. YUP. So I’d just walk around in circles, confuse every good Samaritan who’d stop his/her vehicle permitting me to cross only to shake my head in this “Oh you silly Goose! I’m pretending to wait for an imaginary friend when secretly all I’m doing is waiting for the roads to be empty so that I can walk around and NO ONE CAN SEE ME. So go go. Just go ahead already.” Clearly I was naïve and it was an era before the Black mirror techno-paranoia.

I’m happy to say that just yesterday I took a tumble and managed to bang my knee on the pavement. Yes, I’m happy about it. Walk in my shoes and you’d know how slippery the pavement was but also that spending a good minute laughing and whining about the whole moment is actually something the old me should be extremely proud of. Some(like myself) might say I probably even deserve an award for that. Take the subtle hint. I’ll accept cash. Or card. Or anything really.

I couldn’t order at restaurants. I couldn’t do things that seemed so effortlessly easy to others. I was cloaked in insecurity. What if I made a fool of myself? What if they laugh? I’d keep the perfect change with me while waiting in the line because the prospect of searching for change while others waited behind me and probably judged me was unfathomable. I was so worried about what others felt. How others would interpret things that I don’t think I did anything for myself.

It didn’t help that I was/am a lanky 5’9 extremely skinny person to the point that it’s not desirable by anyone and you’d be hit with a maternal instinct to get some food in me if you saw me and I don’t remember a time when my face was absolutely clear. Oh. Also I had to wear glasses since I turned 4 years old and I always chose those big rainbow coloured ones. And my smile? No offense to the legend Heath but he needed to be mutilated to get that wide smile. Me? I don’t even have to try. Some days I feel like I can’t hear clearly when I smile because I’m sure my smile envelopes my little ears too along with my self-esteem. I’m not even going to talk about my breasts and butt. Since there isn’t any to talk about in the first place.

And I grew up with a sister who woke up model-perfect. Flawless skin. Round face, Beautiful smile. Just effortlessly pretty. I didn’t resent her though I just resented myself even more in the mirror because of that.

Then eventually I just stopped. I wish I had a deep meaningful experience that enlightened me. Or just sat under some magical tree which lifted the fog clouding my brain. But no. I think eventually little positive influences from my sister and so many friends helped. I realised wide as my smile may be I could make others smile and laugh. I was funny. I AM. OK? Just take my word for it. And the marks on my cheeks didn’t bother me much anymore in fact when someone asks me about them now I’m surprised for a moment because they have become invisible to my once critical eyes. I underwent a surgery for my eyes and no longer need glasses. I still fumble and search for them in the morning for around 10 minutes till I realise I don’t wear them anymore. Not to mention the amount of times I accidentally poke my eyes expecting a barrier and I’m 23 years old. Clearly the spectacles are the reason I havent managed to gorge out my eyes in my childhood.  Breasts still have the progress of Batman’s dialogue delivery but I have come to terms with them. Like they say in almost all the romcoms – “Sometimes somethings are worth waiting for”. Granted they probably were talking about the extremely attractive actor/actress but it’s relevant here too.

There are days of course when my hair won’t stay down or my smile seems weirder and I just want to scream and not go out at all but I think of the lanky shy kid who was once scared to cross the road and now is able to attract attention by roaring with laughter after falling hard on a flat surface and I think to myself – It’s okay. It might not be much but this lanky flat chested girl with a wide smile has come a long way and is here to stay. Not just stay but to make a lot of noise.

When was the last time you had to tell yourself “It’s okay”? I would love to hear your stories. 🙂