The Next Big Question

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So you got married. What is the next big question in life?

‘What will you have in lunch/dinner?’

I feel this is the most persistent, annoying question ever out there in the universe that anyone can ask the other person. If you answer it today, it will still be there tomorrow. Ask in the morning, it will be again there in the evening.

Before marriage this was a worry of my mother but I used to get annoyed when she kept asking this every day. Now that I am married this bothers me all the more. Every free moment from the time I wake, I have to think about what am I going to put on the dinner table late in the evening. Menu should not repeat, there should be variety and at least 4 different dishes (Which is normal in Indian cuisines). So then there is not only to think about what to cook it is also about what goes well with what. If the vegetable doesn’t go with the curry, I have to change the menu. You think it’s only salt and vegetables that go into cooking. NO! It’s a hell lot of permutation and combinations also.

Every day the same thing. And if you live with other people you have to ask the same question to all what they want to have for the meal and taking everyone’s likes dislikes and then cook accordingly.

Such a small question still such an annoyance. What do you think?

 

What will you have for dinner today? Leave the answers in the comment.

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Simply, Its Not Simple Anymore!

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Wasn’t life much simple when there was just one kind of pink – PINK. To complicate things humans decided to introduce Salmon pink, Carnation pink, Magenta, Rose pink, and many more.

For humans it has slowly become more important to complicate things rather than keeping it simple. Now we have reached a stage where we either pay for services to make things simple or struggle with things that needs to be simple. A few weeks back, I gave an international competitive exam called IELTS. The format of the exam is such that candidates need to write with pencil on a paper. Seems simple, right? Contrary to our thoughts, people were finding it difficult to write with pencil. It is no more our habit to write on a paper. We are mostly connected to laptops or desktops. We type and not write. Due to our habit, I observed that people were erasing more and writing less. Their thoughts were running faster than their writing speed. A simple task of writing is now much complicated for us.

Such observations give me food for thought. I think wasn’t it much simpler when vacation meant going to our relatives place and spending time with our cousins. Now having a vacation means added pressure of going to exotic places just so you can tell people where you have been. Wasn’t it simpler when photos were to create memories and not for getting followers or likes on various social media platform. I feel it was much simpler when our time was divided in different segments like school, playtime homework and sleep. Now running here and there all the time answering emails all the time has complicated things much further and disturbed the social and personal life balance.

When I read articles or stories on Social media about the hidden meaning and biases Disney movies have when they show princesses only who are white, I feel lost of words. Because, when I was small and saw these Disney movies or even now, it was for entertainment and for food for imagination. I never gave another thought for the biasness or the hidden meanings or messages or whatever is blamed. Why to complicate things for which there is no necessity.

Human mind is working overtime to find things to complicate. Relax! Sit back and don’t over complicate things.

To the Men on Women’s Day Occasion

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To all the men out there, a shout out to you all on this Women’s day. We are celebrating Women’s Day today, but I want to thank you all guys who have tried making this day special for their SO, daughters, mothers etc etc. You get the point.

It is because of the Men of the society that we get so much importance in Women’s Day. Some are the good guys who make or at least try to make this day special for the females, but I feel bad for them that their Men’s day doesn’t get much importance or as celebrated as Women’s day. I feel they should also be celebrated for their sacrifices and their roles in any female’s life, be it a driver, ATM or a mechanic in the house. If we celebrate Female presence we should celebrate the Male presence as well. Now that’s what feminism means. Equal right despite the gender.

And then there are those males who had have and will be oppressing females just for the idea of patriarchy society they hold in their minds. If the world had not seen the history of overpowering males oppressing females or not letting them have their freedom, we wouldn’t have rebelled so badly and wear our hearts on our sleeves now! So I don’t feel that bad about the rose and the lunch and the gift card I got from office today on the occasion of Women’s Day.

While I don’t believe in designated days at all, still I personally want to thank you all for playing different roles in my life, for being the other half of the world.

Wrinkles on the Sheet

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A bed is the place where a person is just themselves. They cannot say lies there; they cannot make up things there. People dream there. They visualize their lives there. They relax there. It is a place where a person is just as god made them. No pretense, no stories, no false show.

Just as while, the way a person’s bed is after they wake up, the way the wrinkles in the sheets are says the story of what the state of mind the person was in. Every wrinkle resembles something about the person. Did the person have a good nights’ sleep or they had trouble in sleeping.

In my observation, my bed sheets have more wrinkles the day I am unsettled or troubled or just struggling to sleep. The days I am tired or in a good place personally, I have less wrinkles on my bed sheet. I like to have an unmade bed. Makes me have a connection to the place I rested. Making the bed in morning for me means removing all evidence of the night before. As if nobody slept in it. That is necessary if you sleep somewhere else or when you are a guest as other’s home. Your bed needs to have your traces. I love to read the story by my unmade bed.

Things that we ignore in daily life, small things give us signs or signals of the life we lead. We should not ignore them. We should open our eyes and start observing them. Maybe such subtle signs can save us and help us keep a check on our hectic lifestyle that we lead these days.

Go to sleep happy and get up happier!

 

The DIY Bride

 

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On the occasion of the marking of One-year down, I decided to write down my personal experience of the memory of the kind of Bride I was – The Do-It-Yourself Bride.

It is a well known fact that I love Weddings. I guess it’s the female hormones and I wouldn’t be the first girl saying this. And it’s not just that I love weddings, it is more like I LOVE WEDDINGS.

I was the irritating guest, who goes to weddings and automatically starts planning for her own. I mean it wasn’t deliberately done but it came from within. Seriously. I would do this, I would do that. Even before the groom was booked, I had already decided on the venue. The groom was decided 3 years later than the decision for venue was taken. It so happened that the venue later had to be compromised upon. It still did not dampen my mood for the wedding.

Like every girl I had been planning my wedding every since one of my cousin, first in our generation got married. And when I got the opportunity to throw the wedding of my life, nothing could hold me back.

Out came the fabric glue, Poster boards, Sharpies and all the craft stuff. It just started with making one project which then snow-balled and I ended up doing a lot of DIY projects. It might sound crazy but I took a lot on my plate than needed. I seriously don’t recommend doing it all just by yourself. I was doing some of the décor, personalize my bridal entry, Gifts for my bridesmaids. But I had a lot of time and enthusiasm , mostly a lot of time.

So for the Bridesmaids gifts, I decided to make a Dream catcher from scratch. I gave them away in small cute jute bags with a tag that said “Thank you for the support, You’re like the Bra to my Life”. It did the trick. My Bridesmaid had lots of laugh at the tag, made their day. I felt happy. It felt personal.

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For my décor, I picked on colors, designs, menus, everything right down to where the God’s Idol would be kept (A requirement in every Indian Wedding). I personally made Bangle decorations for the wedding venue. I also made the back decor for my mehendi function.

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The biggest DIY project that I did was personalize my bridal entry. So I did a lot of research and searched a lot of sites that promotes dream wedding. I loved the idea that my small cute nieces would hold a poster before I enter, reading, “Here, comes the bride” or something like that. But of the two nieces I have, one is shy to walk in front of people staring her and the other was too small to walk! I tweaked it and with the help of my cousin and her beautiful handwriting, I made a couple of posters which had a funny message for my groom. I got the feedback from the guests that they really enjoyed the bridal entry. Mission successful.

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The last one was done at the last moment. I had gone just 4 days before our wedding to pick my groom on the airport, which happened to be on the valentine’s day. My groom is really shy. So, I decided to embarrass him and I wanted to show all the people there on the airport how enthusiastic about my wedding. So I got a big poster reading, ‘Squishy, We are getting Married.’ Just when his flight landed I held the huge poster for everyone to read. Imagine something like this happening at 3 in the morning. It was super fun welcome for the groom.

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All in all, I tried to squeeze in as many personalized touches as I could do. I DIY’ed it all to make it more personal. I even designed my own dresses for different functions, and even though I bought a ready made wedding dress, I still added personal touch to it. Believe it or not I had the courage of sticking glue and shimmer to my wedding dress. Imagine it going wrong! But it did not 😊

A lot of things didn’t go as per plan, a lot did. But it was a typical big fat Indian wedding with lots of functions as I had two mehendi functions, one Bridal Shower, one sangeet, one Puja, One wedding! I can now happily say that I had the dream wedding!

“I Do, Well I think I Do…”

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“I Do”. Oh, no… I already did. What I mean is that I already did the “I Do” part 3 seasons back.

 

We had a big Indian wedding, just minus ‘the elephant’. The wedding was fun, the festivities were fun. Fast forward a couple months and I was sitting thinking about this age old institution of marriage in the modern era. So I decided to write about my experience and a take on this institution hoping to motivate or maybe de-motivate people for this process, whichever fits their perception.

For starters it might seem dumb of me but I believed you just had fun, earn and roam and shop and eat. And what about the housework, some might ask. Well, I sheepishly admit I thought that when you get tired of all the roaming, and eating and shopping, fairies and magical creatures came and cleaned the house and did all the chores for you. Wouldn’t it be nice? Big no! I was disappointed by that. You can’t see my expressions and so can’t judge how I have rolled my eyes at it. Turns out you make a mess in the marriage and you clean it up, be it your clothes or your home. I was like when I said ‘I do’, I didn’t mean the laundry.

How I survived this illusion till now? All thanks to my Mom and the heaven sent maid and the laundry man and the people who bring grocery up to your door and people who come up to your door and pick the garbage and you never have to lift a finger for these things. Spoilt brat you may assume!

I learnt the ‘you do all the work yourself’ part quickly and quiet expertly, but I can still compliant. I mean I wouldn’t mind the fairies starting to come in at night to surprise me by doing all the cleaning and cooking. We all can agree that this New Year’s wish isn’t ever coming true, until someone invents an affordable robot for housework.

 

Second comes, living with the opposite gender. I can now understand how other animals would feel about the only animal having opposable thumbs. I mean I know, have read and heard about the universal fact that: Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. But let me break it easier for you. This is strictly from my experience. Apart from the biological obvious difference between the genders, there are many more underrated differences between the X and Y chromosomes.

While I am more focused on when or where the next party will be, I’ll stress about who are to be invited, what shall be made, what to wear, is the laundry done, when will we do the grocery; The Mister is usually worried about the bills to be paid when and how. Females would complaint about why did their partner not notice that they clipped their hair in different direction today. Males would be like, “well you don’t appreciate that I picked my own glass today for the first time”. At the end of the day he would want some alone time because he’s been at the office with so many people and he is an introvert, while I want him to sit with me as I am an extrovert and have been home alone all day. The middle ground you ask… Well let him sit in the room and shout through the walls to communicate. He’ll come out soon enough to make me stop shouting. It’s damn hilarious if you may ask and works like a charm. I should not spill all my secrets though, lest he stops responding 😉

Marriage works best when you find the middle path that is okay for the both of you. For example, I love horror movies and paranormal Tele shows; the mister, well he can’t even watch the trailer without being spooked. Middle path, I hooked him up on forensic files and psycho serial murder shows and movies. I still get the action and he doesn’t get much spooked. He likes a tidied bed when he returns from office, for me it just reminds me of a hotel room. Home is where the mess is. I love an unmade bed. Middle path, I don’t make the bed, He makes it if he wants to sit in the bedroom. I wanted to go to Rockefeller tree, he didn’t want to step in the city. Middle path, we made a deal and slept through the day. Total win. Middle path was never my thing. I liked doing things my way. Now. We both love doing things my way. Don’t judge me come on. It’s just because my way is much more fun.

 

Third, you learn a lot in marriage. Learn to adapt, learn to hustle. Once, unfortunately I asked the mister to get flowers returning from office. I asked him to get flowers which were not roses and not red. He got white daffodils to put in front of a white wall. Now while as a programmer he wasn’t totally wrong, I learnt not to just assume that he would take into consideration that the walls are white so white flowers won’t work. I learnt to give specific, down to the T instructions to avoid such incidents as much as possible from happening in the future. There’s no guarantee though. The misters learn and adapt a lot as well. Whenever he comes in front of me he knows that by no fault of mine, I give him so much work to do that he gets annoyed. So before the day starts on a weekend, he gets up in the morning and shouts NNDNND – National No Do, No Nothing Day. A term that he invented for such situations and I am to be bound by the fact that I can’t assign any work to him. The smart ass that he is, he learnt that quickly much to my disappointment.

 

Getting married is trading the adoration of many for the sarcasm from one, it’s not what I said it’s something from Google. Nothing is truer than this. After being married for around just 11 months we started cracking couple jokes, taking digs at each other. I try not to imagine what a couple years down the line do to you.

 

So, all in all I did the I Do part and still have to get my head around it. Or just get a job.

Share your hustles with your SO, you can comment! And yes! anybody can comment.

She is My Business – 2

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Sometime last year I had dedicated an article – She is My Business (link shared below). It was dedicated to my mother. How I had developed a special bond in the later years of my life with her. I could never really value or appreciate her presence in my life like any annoyed rebellious teenager, only to realize later when I was about to get married how much I am going to miss her.

The sweet and sour relation between us has led us to be specially bonded with each other. I still remember how I used to call her name first thing after entering the home and get upset if she was not there. Despite the fact that I did not need her for any work but the fact that she was at my disposal and near me was enough to soothe me. If she was not at home, I would call her up and be upset why she’s not home when I returned from my adventures outside; and she would leave her appointments and come home as soon as she can make it. Such was our on-going quest for one another.

When I had written the first article, I was just engaged. So the time I then spent with my mother was really valuable. Now I am married. The absence of her or rather the not omnipresence of her in my life, took me on a trail of thoughts one day. I figured how much I am like her in essence. How my method of working is like her or my thoughts represent her or my choices and my aspirations are exact same as her. Her habits annoyed me and still do to this date, but now those habits are endearing to me when I visit her and steal precious moments with her gossiping and laughing about silly things.

Before marriage I stayed with my parents, it was just the three of us, our world! My father used to joke and tease me and my mother that ‘you two make a team and leave me out’. I loved my world there. I thought I was lazy and gave my mother a hard time to keep the house clean or even did things deliberately to annoy her. Never helped her with household chores either. Thought that’s just not in me and to be frank she was also worried how I would survive without her. But somehow all these years of seeing how my mother functions, I absorbed her qualities and without learning it I learnt it. Now I work at my home and see how deeply I resemble her. People often say that homemakers aren’t successful. But I would now say that my mother is extremely successful in my eyes. She has done everything she was supposed to do and not one shortcoming.

My parents have pampered me a lot all my life. They sacrificed a lot for me as well. I would get annoyed if my mother would not eat herself and serve us first so as to assess if enough food is made for second servings. I just did not understand why the sacrifice and how it comes naturally for her to give us larger portions. I understand it now that in spite of the best intentions of making proper quantity of food, if for some reason it is less I offer more to my family first and eat last night’s cooked food if necessary. It’s not a big deal now. They gave up a lot for us kids to be successful as per our definitions. Now even from my meager salary I love to pamper them and shower them with gifts. And in my every possible limit I try to give them whatever their heart desires. I now want them to have the best of their time as they gave us their time and energy all these years. They don’t express their desires and make do with what we can offer, but because the bond that I share with my mother and father I understand what they want. My father is satisfied with small nitty-gritties, utility items. Give him a multi-tool pocket kit and he’ll be happy.  My mother; she is whole another game altogether. She likes sarees (Indian traditional wear) and gold. She’s high-maintenance! But I love maintaining her. Till the time I was studying, I threw tantrums and would demand things to my desire. But ever since I started earning my first thought is to spend money on my parents and get them things they otherwise wouldn’t get for themselves. I was their baby and now I feel my mother is my baby.

I always thought I was a daddy’s girl, but no I am proudly a mama’s girl. And I know she has raised me to be a sensible modern and independent; insightful and delightful girl who can take care of herself. I can see the pride in her eyes when she sees me function today after my marriage. We both can see that I am the splitting image of my mother both in looks and in essence.

I am away from her, but she is not away from inside me!

 

She is my Business

To Be Called “SUMMER”

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I have been through quite some changes (drastic I might add) in the past few years. Getting engaged; being voluntarily unemployed; visiting another country; battling weight loss, bad dreams, negative thoughts; identity crisis; getting married; change of lifestyle; shifting to another country were just some of the changes I had to go through. Ya sure my life on Social media, what according to some people was ‘living the dream’. But in reality it is way different.

I am juggling a lot of balls in the air. One drop and it all goes in the drain. I would say I am not good at this job. I keep messing it all just because it is difficult to deal with the identity crisis. Right after I gave voluntary resignation from my job, I started having my problem of identity crisis. I felt of no importance. I feared I would be forgotten by the world. I feared I would be thrown out of the world of importance into nothingness. I feared people would stop hanging out with me because I got boring because I had nothing new or important to talk about.

But with all these fears, I instead stopped hanging out with people. Period. It was for various reasons, but majorly it was because I feared people would now find me boring. I made excuses, ignored calls, basically avoided everybody. And the people who clawed there way to stay in my life at that point irritated the hell out of me. I apologize for that and I am thankful to you all.

Fast forward; a couple months in the marriage and still unemployed. I have a complete new wardrobe, new address, new roommate. So the new problem was dealing with missing your own identity and on top of that i yearned for something from my old life. Not everything was supposed to change. From being the kid in the house I was now the caretaker of the house. From being okay to forgetting things now I had to take care that my husband does not forget things. From being lazy and crazy I had to….. no sorry, I am still lazy and crazy 😉 But to sum it all almost everything changed.

The yearning of my old life has increased manifold. I had to give up my scooter, my room, my job and my identity. I started to feel a bit blue and a lot gloomy. It was like suddenly going from being emotionally strong to being emotionally exhausting. I wanted the old life so bad or even a part of it would do. The feeling of my mother being near and available to all my beck and calls. To be able to ride my scooter once again. To get ready in the morning to go a place where you have a designation or title. The lanes, areas and places that I have known for over 26 years.

In the middle of all this, I got a message from a friend that read, “You know Summer, I hate you!” And all of a sudden I found myself crying. No, I did not cry for the reason you think it is. See, because we talk to each other this way and it is normal for us. Tears formed from a familiar person calling me with a familiar name. My name translates and means Summer season, warmth. It was when I had told the friend about this meaning of my name that he decided he would call me Summer. And him calling me this even after a really long time along with the familiarity of it all made me cry and in a mysterious way I found something from my old life.

A small thing, but enough to give me strength. Just food for thought, for all those who have felt that yearning for something lost; make sure you try to give others what they yearn for. It doesn’t have to be anything big.

Pinch of Salt

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So… turns out that I have the saddest people living around me. Okay, don’t be so quick to judge me. Read the entire thing at least.

All sulking or cribbing about their problems and always. And how when life gives you lemons it gives you the most rotten lemons so that you cannot even make lemonade out of it. I am included in this vast sad sea of sad people or else why would I attract or tolerate people who are sad.

I made this interesting revelation recently. It so turns out that whenever I keep those shitty sad quotes or lines about how life suck or specifically how I suck in general as my statuses on those instant gratification social media platform, I get a lot of reaction and not concerned ones at that. It is more like “Oh! Haha, So damn true.” Or “I know, I feel that too.” But never oh so what happened, or why so sad. More surprising, I almost never get a reaction when I post something happy. Happy doesn’t work anymore. We don’t get an audience for happy stories anymore. This world survives on sadness and darkness now.

Turns out that we all are so happy being sad that we have stopped looking for that eternal happiness. Sure we laugh on the outside or have the greatest trips ever but we derive the real satisfaction from the sad parts of life. We thrive to tell our stories. We seek out people when we are sad not to share and unburden but to gloat about the fact that my sadness is deeper than your sadness.

We are quick to criticize any effort or demotivate somebody at the word go but we are not that quick at appreciating others. Absence of something affects us more than the presence of that thing. The biggest example is that of the smallest and most negligible thing in our life: “Salt”. (Completely my perspective) A pinch of salt is the most understated ingredient of any dish. Its value is not with its presence but its value lies in its absence. Salt is the most underappreciated or unappreciated ingredient used for cooking.

We don’t do things that fill our souls anymore. We do things or go places not to be happy anymore but to run away from our sadness. There is a difference between both. Well what do I know; I am surrounded by the saddest bunch of people.

Don’t judge me, because I am judging myself the most right now! Maybe I am the saddest pea in the pod.

Patience Unlearned

Why in this fast paced world, people have learned to run fast but unlearned the patience to wait for anything?

Why have we all turned to become such impatient doers? We do something but can’t wait for the results. When did we stop being patient towards others and to ourselves? I still remember the quote said by Lord Krishna, mentioned in Bhagwad Gita that we were taught as children; “Karma karo, fal ki chinta mat karo”. Which roughly translates to, “Let not the fruit of action be your motive to action. Your business is with action alone and not with the fruit of action.” But in this date and time what I have observed is that people are not patient enough to wait for the outcomes. They first want to know the rewards and then accordingly put in efforts. The bigger the reward more the efforts put in. We want fast results and even faster processes to get those results.

By not getting desired rewards people fail to keep the patience to try again and commit suicide or do something regretful. Adding to this is the instant gratification that we get by our online social media accounts. “I have posted this photo 5 minutes back, why haven’t I got a single like yet?” It’s basically when you want it, and the problem is you want it now.

We as a society have lots of loop holes. But that’s how the society works. We have loop holes but we work hard to develop and evolve from those loop holes. Ironically, due to lesser patience now, we have learnt to do the wrongs and justify ourselves by saying that the society is not perfect and that it has its own loop holes.

In this obsession of fast rewards or instant gratification, we sometimes hurt others. And to top that we then don’t have the patience to let the hurt person heal. We, as human beings are intolerant towards mentally challenged people or people dealing with depression or unsuccessful people. We don’t like to associate ourselves with them. We see them as a hindrance to our leading normal lives or achieving desired results.

Loss of patience then has its own consequences. There is an increase in suicides, drug abuse, alcoholism, depression to name a few. Dark and twisted thoughts come in mind. We stray from the right path. In the process we tend to hurt numerous people and feel less remorse about it. Unlearning patience has encouraged the seven deadly sins: Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Gluttony, Pride, Lust and Envy. Thus making it a bad place to live in.

It took millions of years for man to evolve from monkeys. Why are we so desperate to go back being a monkey by not having patience? Lord Krishna said (loosely translated), “This is Kalyug. When the pot named earth will grow tired of the sins of the world, I will reincarnate and bring balance to earth again,” Well all I have to say is the earth is losing its patience, if you are coming then you have to come fast. Until then, humans will have to be patient towards themselves and towards others. Because a planet with no patience is not a good place to live in.