My birthday was on 14th November. Thank you to all those who wished me. Thank you to those who would have wished me if they knew! 😊
Every year I do write something around my birthday. That is the time of the year I reflect on the past year and having a birthday towards the end of the year makes perfect timing for an annual review and self appraisal!
So, here it is. A highly random, but hopefully enjoyable post! Starting with the lighter stuff.
How old are you?
I remember back when I was 27. I was new in an office which had a lot of interns. One of the girls was looking at some of my recent vacation pictures.
“Wow! You look so young!” She said with admiration.
“What do you mean!! I am young!” I wanted to say but refrained.
Another guy told me he was shocked to know that I was 27!!!
Age is always relative. These colleagues I am talking about were 22-23 and they thought with utmost sincerity that I was their age.
I have never hidden my age. I am usually quite happy with the fact that I don’t look older than my age and that is enough for me. I look younger (not that it matters). But I have seen so many conversations revolve around age. People love to hide their age. Even if it by a year, it gives them utmost joy and satisfaction.
People don’t mind being stupid. People don’t mind being ignorant. People don’t mind being unkind. But yeah, they do mind being called out for their age.
Festivities and my love for saree continues
I don’t know how it happened this year but I celebrated all festivals. Whether it was Ganpati Puja, or Durga Puja or Chatth Puja I participated more than I did in the past few years. I have worn a lot of sarees, not just in festivals but even for casual outings.
One of my friends saw my status in my saree and she loved it. She sent me links of few sarees which she wanted to purchase. I loved her recommendations. This friend of mine also wears sarees frequently. It got us into a conversation on sarees and how women have demeaned us for wearing sarees.
While some women are always generous with their compliments for other women (and I am grateful for such amazing women in my life), there are others who just cannot say anything nice to others. My friends and I made a list of the horrified reactions from (not all) women upon seeing us in sarees! From shaming us for being conservative to asking idiotic things like how do you make sure it doesn’t fall off I have heard all kinds of ridiculous things. I have a lot to say on this topic so will dedicate a separate post to it.
But I have to give credit to men on this one. They, on the other hand are always very appreciative of sarees and generous with their compliments.
Husn ke aashiq, husn ke dushman!!!
My aim for this year was to post on Instagram and I must say I tried. Facebook has become obsolete and the reach of Facebook Page posts is very low unless it is a sponsored post.
Instagram is not a good platform to post articles. You must post a picture and I face size issues with the screenshots I take of my articles. You also have to add bio links which I don’t know if anyone even reads. I learnt how to put links in stories but again it doesn’t help much as I need article links in posts.
Sometimes I try to add links or mention people and I bring the text down to make the alignment right until it goes further down, down , down and boom into the bin!! Then I have to redo the whole process.
Also, there are so many annoying reels on Insta on totally irrelevant topics. I tried to make one, tried to be all creative with songs but miserably failed at it so decided not to post it. Seemingly useless things also require a lot of effort, apparently! One of the dance classes I called to enquire also has “reel making classes” and it made me wonder where we are heading.
I have stopped carrying my phone when I go for my workout. That time is blissful without the temptation to look at social media.
Dil dhoonta hai phir wohi fursat ke raat din
What have you watched lately?
My disinterest in movies / shows amazes me. I quit so many shows. It is just too much of a commitment! Recently I went to watch a movie in a theatre after a long time and I was treating it as a restaurant. Kept ordering food and eating in courses. I guess that was the best part of the movie!
At least on OTT I can stop it or look at my mobile! My attitude reminds me of my Dadi’s words,
“Cinema mein man hi nahi lagta hai.”
When I do end up watching something rather completing something, whether it is a movie or a series I feel so……………………………………………….Normal!!
I just mentioned my Dadi (grandmother) casually (this is an achievement). She died on 1st February 2021. Last year, I could not mention her without having tears in my eyes or a lump in my throat. I used to dream about her a lot.
Sometime earlier this year, my mother said something about donating my Dadi’s old nighties. Dadi always wore a saree but as she grew older we used to make her wear a nightie for comfort. Few of her nighties were left at our place. When my mother said this, I got upset and I told her that the nightie will not take up any space and how can we even think of giving it away. That is all we have left of her! This was followed by a silent sob in the washroom.
My grandmother was close to 90 when she died. During the last few years of her life, I felt that it’s unfair to have a long life and suffer. People should die as long as their body is functioning.
However, when my grandmother actually died, I felt betrayed. Whenever I heard of someone in their 90s I felt a pinch of jealousy and hurt.
My grandmother did not get to be 90.
There are things that the human mind is not equipped to process. We don’t know how we would react in such situations unless it happens to us.
But somehow in the last few months, I mention my Dadi very often and always with a smile and a laugh, the way I did before she died. I talk about her a lot. And I manage to do that without feeling sad. Happy, rather.
I don’t know if it is because I have accepted that she has died or if I have chosen to forget that she died. Whatever it is, I am happy that I can talk about her with joy.
It is that time of the year
There are times of the year when I am particularly vulnerable and I make relationship mistakes. I had read somewhere that a lot of relationships start around Christmas and holidays because nobody wants to be alone on New Years. Around the end of the year people think the worst thing is to be alone, and they don’t want to start the new year on that note. Once the new year drama is over, people realize that the whole romance thing is overrated and that the worst thing in the world is not being alone. Around 14th February, people reach the conclusion that their “relationships” are about everything other than love and that is why the maximum breakups happen around Valentine’s day as people’s partners fall short of their romantic expectations.
For me, in addition to Christmas and New years , my birthday is also a time when I get vulnerable and make relationship mistakes. I mark myself safe against my birthday! Keeping fingers crossed for the days to come and hope no stupidity around the holidays and New years!
Who has healed you?
When I was a teenager I had very good skin. I never had pimples. My 20s also went by smoothly. But in the past year, I have been getting pimples and some of the marks take months to go away. I experimented with a lot of creams and face washes (all ayurvedic though).
I was religiously applying the creams at night. I tried a cream for few months. The progress was slow. One day I got frustrated and tried a new cream which claimed to show results faster. Few days into the new cream, I felt that it was far more effective. I was tempted to write a positive product review.
But then I thought, maybe the new cream is not that magical after all. It was the old cream which did most of the healing, as it had me on my worst, with a much harder task. The new cream got a much better, clearer skin to work on, with less visible spots.
Read that again.
Timing. Timing is everything. It is always easy to identify who has destroyed you. They leave marks on your body, mind and soul. But be careful about who you think is good for you. When you are in an unhealthy state of mind, try to heal on your own. Because with people who enter your life when you are that broken, you will never know who contributed to what extent and may overestimate their importance in your healing journey.
Your body should be your number one priority
You must have heard this before – “Take care of your body. It is the only place you live.”
I don’t want to mention the obvious things about eating and sleeping well and exercising . But this statement is beyond that. Listen to your body.
Your mind may play tricks on you. Your body doesn’t. It is raw.
Life does not go as you planned
Last year on my birthday, I was very hopeful. I was very happy. I was optimistic. I had thought it would be a “fresh start” for me. But here is the thing with life. It is NOT a fairy tale. There are no happy endings. And there are no “new beginnings”. You don’t get any. It is just what it is. A mess. You just have to use your same old, flawed self, with unfavourable circumstances, limited resources and past trauma and baggage. If you read a lot of self-help, and you want to think of yourself as a caterpillar who is undergoing destruction to transform into a butterfly, go ahead. But just remember, you may become a butterfly for a very limited time, and then again you have to go through the process of destruction! And this goes on as long as you are alive.
Hang in there!
There was a time this year, when I used to feel sad looking at my old vacations photos, thinking that maybe that was the best time of my life, my best photos and it will not come back. It took a while but since then I have been trying to create new memories by taking the smallest steps.
Not because life is better than it was before but because good or bad, life is now!
I also sometimes hate some of my pictures and then I remind myself, “Don’t like it? Get another face!” and this helps me accept myself and not obsess over anything. Don’t know who needed to hear this but yeah, we are all just okay the way we are.
So this is it. One thing I want to do before my next birthday is to complete a solo trip. As of now I am too scared that I will feel lonely or bored and will hate myself for embarking solo!!
So that is it for now! Thank you for reading!