Monday, December 17, 2018

Things I loved about Mrs Maisel

I admit, I binged watched The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel in a week. For those who doesn’t know, it is an American drama based on the story of Miriam Maisel, a Jewish woman living at the upper westside of Manhattan. The drama takes you to the colourful period of 1958 and has been shot beautifully. I will not get into the details but one thing, that she changed her life and learned her worth when her husband left her for another woman.

I really liked the series and would urge all the wonderful women out there to watch it. I try to learn something from everything I watch and the three things I loved and learned about this series are:

1) Only looking beautiful and cooking will not make your marriage work:

Though the series is based in 1958, but nothing much has changed in terms of thinking of our women. From a very young age, woman still is made to believe that we must look beautiful for our man and the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. To be honest, I find it really appalling. Mrs Maisel, kept her best figure even after having two kids. She would measure all her body every day and keeps a journal to record it. She would work out and keep a track of calories to be fit and in shape. She would pretend to sleep and once her husband is off to sleep, she would put her curlers on, remove her fake eye lashes, put off her make-up and put on some beauty cream only to put it all back the next morning before her husband is awake. She would cook the best of meal and pat the male ego of her husband.

And Ladies, so much effort and her husband left her for his secretory.

I am not saying that looking good, taking care of yourself, cooking food for your family is wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong in it. But you must be very clear that you are doing this not only to keep the ‘Man’ happy. It is important that you keep your own identity while making your family happy. And remember, it is not always your responsibility to keep the family going. It is a journey where there are two drivers. Yourself and your partner. It’s ok to look like shit if you are not in a mood. It’s okay to share responsibilities with your partner. We as a woman really needs to start understanding that our existence doesn’t need anybody else’s approval and we should be happy in our own definition.

2) It’s never too late to be independent

One thing that is of utmost important for us is to be independent. And when I say independent, I mean in every aspect. In making our own decisions, doing what we love, taking care of your own expenses, wearing what we like…the list goes on. I cannot emphasis enough on how much confident and powerful you will feel when you start having your own income. You don’t have to be an MBA or an Engineer to work. Do anything you want, earn whatever you could but start from somewhere. It gives you immense freedom. Do not be dependent on your spouse or your parents. The moment you will start earning your own money, no matter how small, you will start valuing it. You will feel more empowered. And you will know your worth.

What started as a banter in a pub for Mrs Maisel became her obsession and her path to be seen as what she was best at. She learned her worth. She learned she is more than those kitchens and beauty salons. And she took whatever came to her way. She took all the lemons that life threw at her and what a lemonade she made from them!

Remember, people will always tell you otherwise. They will always expect you to be in a mould that they have come from. But you have to find your own path. You do not have to look for support from anyone except yourself. People often misjudge independence as arrogance. But these are the people who have never tasted a tequila of their own money 😊 Marriage should be gender independent. Make it work with your own rules and not with what society has to say.

3) Get out of your comfort zone

Till you were not married, your parents were doing everything for you. After your marriage, your spouse is making your life easy. Where is the challenge in this? What did you learn living a life like this? Did you manage to broaden your perspective? Did you learn what this world has to offer? Will you ever be able to tell a story of the things you did outside of your comfort zone? Mrs Maisel, who has always lived a lush plush life, stayed at filthy motels, spent her night in a car, travelled alone (without family) for the very first time and came out victorious. She got out of her comfort zone and learned so much that her previous life could never teach her.

Ladies, there is so much in this world to learn and explore. So many things to experience that will only make you grow and broaden your perspective towards life. Saying that ‘I never had to worry for anything because my parents and husband is taking care of everything’ is not something to be proud of. It only shows your weakness. Go out, learn new things, face the challenges that life has to throw and come out strong. You will never learn anything great in life if you are constantly living in your comfort zone. There is no struggle greater that getting out of that cocoon and there is no greater learning when you take things in your own hand.

I could go on with the list, but I will stop here. The whole point of writing this piece down is to understand how important it is to know your worth and not living by anyone else’s definition. Don’t hesitate to put that foot down and make a life of your own. Be fierce, Be independent and be humble.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

So much for the care...Hello December :)

August was the month I last wrote. Not technically as I have been writing bits and pieces here and there…just not posting them on a public platform. And I have been thinking that this was my biggest writers block, again not technically.

So I think, the reason I stopped or didn’t actually want to post anything on my blog is because I started caring too much. Caring about not hurting anyone with my words or caring that my so-called friends wouldn’t approve, or I may offend someone. And I cared too much. And my friends, what did I get in return? Yes, you guessed it right. I got offense and least of care from the same people. They said things and never cared how I might feel. They told me how I am not capable of doing things let alone appreciating anything I do. They judged and judged without any consideration and I kept getting hurt. But you know, sometimes, you have to draw the line yourself

So here I am today, in December of 2018, thinking how I have lost touch from my own self and cared too much for people who doesn’t deserve an ounce of my care. And I realized, I deserve better than these judgemental friends and relatives whose only highlight of the day is to be mean with others and making fun of them. And mind you, these are the people who themselves are not in a very happy state of mind. How I know? Their plastic smiles and the urge to show the world how better they are from others.

So my friends, in this cozy evening of December, I am planning to do whatever the hell I want to do and write anything and everything that crosses my mind. Well not everything of course :P But I am hoping to be more active in reading and writing, irrespective of the audience. I am hoping to talk more with my friends and travel more. I am hoping to develop new hobbies and more solo coffee dates. I am hoping to bring back the real and genuine people in my life and putting the fakes at their place.

And no, this is not a new year resolution. Take this as ‘jab jago tab savera’.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Melancholy- A lifetime affair.

I don’t remember for how long I have been feeling lost, for how long I feel that I am trapped in a life I never wanted to end with. Everyday my heart says I do not belong here. That I must leave. My mind asks, what is wrong. Well, nothing is wrong technically. But you know how melancholy plays its role, right? I feel I will never feel alright. I will never feel at home. I have been trying hard to fit it, but nothing soothes this hapless mind. And now, I am scared. I am scared that someday, I might leave this all behind. Breaking the hearts of people, I love. I care for. But today, even love feels like a distant word. Coz truly, I don’t seem to care.

I sometimes wonder, if I was born this way. What was the last time I felt ‘happy’ or satisfied. And honestly, I don’t remember. It has nothing to do with anything or anyone. It has everything to do with me. I sometimes dream of leaving the city, leaving the country and start afresh. But, for what? To feel incomplete again? Wat is home, I don’t remember anymore. Feeling overwhelmed with laughter and love, I can’t recall. I have always been in this phase, waiting for something to get over and anxious about the next phase. But eventually, nothing changes. Or, I never change. The feeling never changes neither does the hollowness.

And today, I am so scared of my own thoughts that I don’t even want to confront them. I don’t want to write. Coz I feel I know what I want and scared of it. And I fear what if I would give everything up for something that doesn’t even exist. Someone once told me that we should take life as it comes and should not worry much. I tried that and still I was never at peace.

What is the purpose, I wonder, of all this? What is the ultimate destination? For how long the suffering will linger on? Or is it a lifetime affair?

Monday, June 11, 2018

Talk before it's too late!

There has been talks about depression like never before. People are coming out of their safe zone and talking about the much taboo-ed subject ‘Mental illness’. Now, when I use the term mental illness, I very much intend to emphasize on the word ‘illness’. Our body gets ill, likewise our mind could get ill too.

Celebrity like Deepika padukone, Bobby deol, Honey singh talks about being depressed and coming out of it. However, people only talk about depression when they have won the fight against it. When their mind is healthy again. When the sickness is gone.

I wonder, what would happen, if some of them could not get out of the trap? Would they talk about it in public with this much persuasion? Would they encourage people to come out and seek help while they are on their way to recovery? Or Does it always end like Anthony Bourdain, Chester Bennington, Jiah Khan, Pratyusha Banerjee?

When you see people like above, ending their life, most of us wonder, what it could be that would have been missing in their life? They had it all. Fame, Money, a fulfilled life. But do we ever wonder, is this all that makes one happy? That makes one understand the meaning of life? Or the struggle is not being able to understand life at all? Do you still think happy people could not get depressed? Or if the person is partying every weekend, he or she is not depressed? Does it only take a partner, a good job, good clothes, good food to be happy? What about the inner dilemma that a person might be going through? What about the void he/she feels all the time while he is taking holidays or eating out every other night or wearing the best clothes and has world’s best family for that matter?

I wonder, what is it that goes into the mind of the person who comes to the point of ending his/her life? How suffocated and tired and defeated he/she must be feeling. And then, we as people tops it by never paying attention to the symptoms. By taking their action as just another tantrum or call for attention. There are numerous help lines and help centres to support the troubled mind, but who cares if the person who need it the most is even using it? Many of us who are depressed might hide it under our paintings or writing or alcohol or anything that would help them to get some sack out of it. But is that a solution? Is that all? Why don’t we ask people (and mean it) when we ask them how are they? Why don’t we, for a second, stop judging and try and understand what the other person might be going through? When will we, as a family or friend, start taking care of each other? There will always be people who are ready to ask for help. But there will also be people who would never let you know what they are going through, atleast not directly. That how insane they are going with the sleepless nights and the tired body and mind. How withdrawn they are from the things they once loved. How taking care of themselves is not on the list anymore. And why they cry for no good reason.

And imagine, one of the day when you finally get to know, the battle they have been fighting. And that day, it’s too late to help them, to hold them and tell them that it is ok. It is ok to feel this way and that you are there for them and that you understand them. That it is ok to not be ok at times.

But then, it will be too late. Help them while you could. Be with them when you could. And tell them they are not alone. That life could be tough but they have you by their side. Tell them and help them, before it’s too late.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Not feminist, but just another human being!

I was scrolling through my facebook feed when I chanced upon a video of Meghan Markle. In that video, she was talking about her incident when she was 11 year old with a dish washer advertisement by a famous FMCG company. She talks about how even as an 11 year old, she knew her place and her right to be equal to any other human being on this planet.

This got me thinking about my journey to be a person I am today. I am not a beautiful girl appearance wise who would make the heads turn around. Honestly, I never wanted to be one. I have not achieved anything larger than life and nor am I an overachiever. I am a mediocre who came from a humble middle class family, left home some seven years back, came to a new place and made her way towards life and became a strong independent women.

I seek great pride in calling myself that. Independent. And this has more do to with my family. My parents. When I was growing up, my parents never treated me like a ‘girl’. They never questioned my believes, my ideas of life, my urge to be equal to not only man but to any other human being. They never questioned my zeal for education and my interest in books. My mom never asked me to leave books behind and help her in the kitchen. I did help her whenever I could, but so did my brother. My brother would make tea for me and dad while I sit with my dad helping him in his accounts. My mother would wake up after my dad and he would make her bed tea. This is a kind of environment I grew up in.

My parents are not highly educated beings, but at a very early age, they taught me the meaning of taking my own decisions and facing the consequences. They taught me how important it is to have my views and opinion about things and life and not get carried away by anyone else’s’ opinions.

While all my cousins were getting married at the age of 22-23, they never asked me any question about me getting married. I changed school, I changed my stream, I left my hometown for better education and job, and they respected my every decision.

I feel amused when girls or women today talks proudly how their parents got them married at an early age so that they do not get involve with any boy. This means, for them, not getting her daughter involved with a guy is more important than her education. Their parents ask them not to wear short dresses, not to party, not to have any guy friends and that they can do whatever they want once they are married, with the permission of their husband. At the same time, their sons can have all the education, have as many girl friends as they want, drink their liver out and still be the ‘Raja beta’ of the house.

I think the issue of equality arises from our very home. We are the people in the society and we made it what it is today. In every household, you can see women tearing down each other instead of supporting each other. It’s women like them who raise dependent girls and ill-mannered sons.

Feminism was a word alien to me till few years back, when it became mainstream. But when I look back at my life and how my parents nurtured my believes, I feel they were not feminist. But, they never took me and my brother as girl and boy respectively. They treated us like human beings. And treated us both equals. Despite being a very tough childhood, my parents gave me what most of well off and educated parents can’t give to their kids today, the freedom of being who I am.

I wonder, how different this world would be, if we could teach our kids how important it is to treat everybody as equal. And we can teach them only if we follow the same rule. If you expect your wife/mother/daughter in law to be in kitchen and man belongs to the world outside, you can never teach your kids the importance of equality.

On the lighter note- ‘Women belong to the kitchen. Man belongs to the kitchen. Basically, everybody belongs to the kitchen because kitchen has food😊 ‘

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Where I belong?

We live in a troubled world. With all the terrorism and inflation and intolerance and corruption. People have so much of anger and hatred inside of them, that it has become so difficult for us to even smile at another person walking beside us. I see that every day. In metros or trains or even in the cars. Every eye looks tired and every face looks angry. People are running for something they cannot see or even know if that exist. This is mostly in the cities. Big cities.

I belong to a rather smaller city and whenever I get a chance to visit my city, I could feel the low pace of life there. Most of the people run their own small businesses. No offices to go to except for private banks and some small call centres. Off course the government offices as well. But whenever I visit my city, without even any effort, my mind feels so relaxed. Not because it is my hometown or something. It is. But today, I feel more of someone who belongs to Delhi rather anywhere else. These 7 years have made me a rat running in an unknown rat race.

There..People wake up early..have time for morning tea…go for a walk or just read newspaper. Pray. Get shower, get ready, have breakfast. Pack lunch. Talk to neighbours or people around.. and get to work. Now, this is what we all do. But the difference is, they are not doing it just for the sake of it. They drink tea but do not think about just gulping it down and running for another errand. They take time and enjoy everything they do. They smile at each other. Greet. Stop by to have a little chat, if required. Of course, they all have their own problems and things to worry about. But for those moments, they are happy and relaxed. They come back home on time. There is hardly any hour long traffic and people abusing each other at road. They come back..spend time with their family or friends, have dinner, watch TV and sleep. A good 8 hour long sleep, or even more.

No their life is not any easier. No Sir. But I feel atleast they are living their life. They might not have big malls to go to or Zara and Mango lined up in every other mall. But they have time and their money is not going to pubs and doctors to make them live. They are fine with their life. They are mediocre and they are happy with it. Unlike people in big cities where everyone is just a rat..waiting for the weekend to arrive to just gulp down the alcohol and spending grands to make them feel better for few hours.

Sometimes I wonder, how different my life would have been, had I done a regular graduation, got married to someone in a small city? How things could have been, had I been a little less ambitious. Settled for something which could have allowed me to stay there. In my city. Would I be a better person then? Or would I be wondering how different life could have been, had I been to a big city?

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

2017 and the year ahead

2017 was a bad year. So bad that I want to eliminate every thought of it from my memory. Alas, if only I could. It drained all my energy and my self-believe. I became a person I could not recognize. There was so much negative vibes around that I could do nothing but fight. And at some point of time, I gave up. I gave up coz all I thought was not to hurt people around me. I stopped thinking about myself, my well being, my mental status. It was tough not only personally, but professionally too. I was in a constant battle to prove myself. I never believed in gender discrimination in office environment because I never faced one, until last year. I had to prove myself at every step. I started hating my job and to be honest I was doing it just for the sake of money.

2017 made me a person I never wanted to be. Infact, I hated myself for being who I became. I became a victim of many diseases. Both mental and physical. It drained all my health and mental peace. Nothing gave me peace. Food, travel, holiday…nothing. I thought I could not fight anymore. I had no energy left with me. All the rules and principles that I followed all my life were mocking me for being such a person. I am not a person who give up easily. I am a fighter and a survivor. But I broke down. In front of anyone and everyone. I am not someone who look up to people to support me…emotionally, financially and physically. But that time, I was so vulnerable, that I thought I could do nothing and capable of nothing.

I thought I could not survive it. But I did. I did survive, fought and took myself out from that aura that was dragging me down. They say every incident changes you. Some makes you better and some bitter. I thought, this one year made me bitter, more that I could think of. And no matter how hard I hit myself for it, I know I am not responsible for what happened to me. When you get hit by the people you love….when they let you down and break your trust time and again…there is only anger that is going to come out of it.

This year…I want to work on myself. To stop caring about people and live for myself for once. To vent out the anger no matter how much hurt others would feel, coz I don’t want to be this person. I don’t want to fight with myself anymore. I want to do whatever I could to get myself back on track. Because this? This is not who I am. I am better and I deserve better and I will fight for it…till the end…till I will not become the person who I really am. This year, I hope, I could do justice to myself and give myself back the pride and love and care I lost last year!