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Showing posts with label Personal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Personal. Show all posts

Monday, 9 May 2022

#MondayBlogs - You are too sensitive!

May 09, 2022 0 Comments


Have you ever been told - ‘You are too sensitive’ by people you consider as friends and family? That you over-react to things and situations?

If your answer is yes, then this post is for you.

If you have said it to someone close to you, then this post is for you too!


I went into therapy after I separated from my husband to be able to manage my depression, hyper anxiety and panic attacks. And man, did that open a pandora’s box. I discovered that I am an empath. That is also when someone told me that it is not good to be an empath because empaths give too much of themselves to and for others. That I should seek therapy to learn how to ‘turn it off’. And seek did I… Not to learn to ‘turn it off’ but to understand it. 

Granted, why I am an empath doesn’t have a glamorous backstory to it. In fact it is downright sad. But what I now say is, Empathy is my super power, and no super hero ever had an origin story filled with rainbows and unicorns, neither is mine.

Being an empath means that I feel strongly and deeply. Not only that, I also absorb the energies around me, whether positive or negative, and often lock it in my body. At first, it was extremely difficult for me to understand what part of what I am feeling is my own and what part of it is something I am picking up from the people around. I struggle with that still, but I am trying to learn to control it, so that I do not have to feel overwhelmed and exhausted all the time.

It took me a lot of therapy to understand that being able to feel deeply and strongly is not a sign of weakness. My feelings and emotions are my own and nobody has the right to tell me what to feel or how to feel or how much to feel. 

In the past have been told that I am too sensitive and that I over-react far too many times. 

Sometimes from a well meaning friend who wished me well, but mostly from people trying to gaslight me (and succeeding) in order to avoid taking a look at their own actions. To the point where I started taking it as a personal character flaw and beat myself over it till I was exhausted. I started wondering if it would be so much better if I did not care at all.

That is, till I was was prescribed anti-depressants and I spent a week feeling nothing. 

When I am happy, I feel that strongly too. I laugh. I dance. I celebrate and I am loud. Nobody complains then or tell me that I am over reacting… because everyone loves to have a good time. Yet, when I feel sad or hurt or betrayed, I am told I am being too sensitive and over reacting because it is too much work to even consider that I am human, I have a heart, may be hurt and I have a right to feel however I feel.



Photo Credit: Brighter Places

If you are someone who has told people that they are too sensitive, take a moment and consider… why does it bother you that someone cares and feels?

Take a moment to stop and think what you are really doing by invalidating someone’s feelings.

I want you to think why do YOU feel the need to invalidate someone else’s feelings and what does it actually do for YOU?

Chances are that you are avoiding to take a look at you own behaviour or statements.
Chances are that the sensitive person in your life is absorbing your energies and putting it back up as a mirror to you.
Chances are that you are the one who doesn’t have the capacity to understand what you are putting the other person through.

Maybe, it is time for you to take a look inward rather than outward. 



For those of you who have been told these gaslighting statements, remember that empathy is not a bad thing. Being sensitive is not a problem that needs to be cured. We need more of it in the world - the feelings, the understanding and the want to help instead of stone cold indifference & destruction.

If someone says these things to you, look at it for what they are. BIG RED FLAGS. The person saying these things maybe saying these to make you doubt yourself so that their actions are not closely looked at. They may even be manipulating you unknowingly - but that is what it is in the bottomline - manipulation.

Being a sensitive person in today’s world is a blessing to the rest of the population. We understand exactly. We care. And we are human. 

So, next time someone tells you that you are too sensitive… own it ‘coz you feel and care when others don’t. That makes you a much better person. We could all do with more understanding and sensitivity!





Monday, 25 April 2022

#MondayBlogs :: Have you ever been a tourist in your own city?

April 25, 2022 2 Comments

 


I was born and raised (for most parts) in Kolkata. Yet, I did not know that Jorasanko Thakur Bari, the ancestral home of the Tagore family, was just an hour away from my home. I have never been to Kumartuli or to the Marble House Palace.

Yeah, we tend to take it easy, thinking we have all the time in the world to explore these places as they are so close to home. Do we though?

As someone who spent a good part of her life in Kurseong & Darjeeling for school & college… The hills are my second home. Yet, the first time I rode the Toy Train was in my final year of college when my group of friends made it a part of our day out. Joy rides on the Toy Train was what tourists do, not locals! Yet I had never been to Gangamaya Park or Rock Garden or Batasia Loop. I had never been to the Dali Monastery or Ghoom Monastery or Tinchuley Village. Till date I have not ridden the North Point Ropeway which a stones throw away from where I lived for 3 years during my college days.


Last year, when I came to Darjeeling, it was after 13 long years and it took a friend visiting from Siliguri for me to finally visit the Gangamaya Park and the Rock Garden. I was surprised how near it was and sad that I had not visited those places before. Since pandemic wasn’t over yet back then, I did not venture out of the town much.

This year though I have made it a point of going out on most Sundays and visit places that I haven’t been to and some places that I wanted to revisit. So far I have been to Lamahatta, Mangpoo, Mirik, Kurseong and finally made a trip to the Dali Monastery and Batasia Loop.

Each of the places I have visited, whether on my own or with someone, has surprised me and I kept asking myself, why the hell I hadn’t visited these places before. Limited finances of student life did come to mind, but we spend hundreds in a day to watch a movie and splurged on cold drinks and popcorns - amount of money that would have been sufficient to travel to these places in those days.

Beautiful eco park, serene little hilly village, and popular tourist traps - but they all had breathtaking views and a serenity that I love but miss in my city life. To take a day and be out in the nature was refreshing.


Now you may say, ‘but DD, I live in a metro/city and it’s all a concrete jungle, where do I find nature here?’

Well, I know I will try and visit the places I have lived an hour away from all my life but literally had no idea of their existence before when I go back to Kolkata. A museum, an author’s birth place, a zoo… whatever it is, I encourage you to go out and be a tourist in your own city. See the places you haven’t been to - unless you do you will not know what you are missing (or not missing). Try to see them from an outsider’s point of view. If nothing else, it will break the monotony of your routined lifestyle. The shopping malls, the movie theatres and the restaurants are not going anywhere. 

Try and be a tourist in your own city/town!




Monday, 21 February 2022

#MondayBlogs - Walk Away... #Gaslighting #Survivor

February 21, 2022 0 Comments

 



What does it feel like?

To be told that what you experienced moments earlier, never happened.
To be told that everything is only in your head.
To be told that you were being too emotional.
To be told that you were over-reacting.
To be told that you were the one forgetting things.
To be told that you were not good enough for anything.
To be told that you were too stupid to ever succeed.
To be told that you were a waste of space and a terrible drain on resources.
To be told that you couldn't take a joke after constant body shaming.
To be told that it wasn't their intention to hurt you while repeating the same thing for the 100th time.
To be told that it was your fault that you were hurting.

Everyday…
For months…
For years…
For close to a decade!

At first I fought. I took it up as challenge. I tried to prove them wrong. 
But how does one fight something that is being planted in their mind and doesn't actually exist? How does one win a challenge that shouldn't have been placed at all? How does one prove something that shouldn't need to be proven in the first place? 
And how long does one have to fight (alone) and keep proving things?

I am sure I knew the answer while growing up. But then I fell in love - Yes, Blindly! - and lost my way in the tornado that my life was. Constantly working. From the moment I woke up, till I crashed into my bed.

Working (from home) a job, handling a household and shouldering the responsibility and welfare of 6 other fully grown adults, day after day… Working up to 18 hours a day to deal with everything (and never less than 12 hours a day) to be able to take care of all the responsibilities that were suppose to shared by your life partner, (yet you find yourself handling them alone) - 7 days a week and 365 days a year is bound to have some effect on a human being. Everyone knows that, right? Apparently not everyone.

Cooking, cleaning, meetings, and promotional activities - constantly laced with comments and rebukes that aimed at reducing the family nurturer, the 'ghar ki Lakshmi' in to something less than a sentient being still happens in the 21st Century.

All that along with intermittent love-bombing!

You go into a shell - the survival mode. Always being prepared and trying to reduce any chances of triggering another round of 'how useless you are tirade'. You start to dim that spark, that is so eternally you, so that every one else is under the spotlight while you hide in the shadowed corner. You do not let the spotlight be ever on you - even though it is your story, your life! Shrinking into a ball, not taking up space and yet making it easier for people to kick around.

And should you dare to question it, i.e., if you still have some semblance of self left, and ask why - the society around you (some even in guise of friends) will gather to remind you that all you are good for is to keep your mouth shut, adjust and compromise. A 'failure of a being' has no right to ask questions. You only get to continue to try and prove your worth in exchange of being 'allowed' to breathe.


Would you consider stop breathing if that is the only way to end the hurt and pain?

Many do!

But there is another way… Stand up, break the invisible shackles and walk away! 

(read invisible shackles as: expectations forced on you by those close to you and the society; the constant self doubt drilled into you; the crippling fear you feel; the unshakeable belief that you cannot make it on your own; the anxiety of how could ever do anything right on your own; the mind blowing concept of what will people say… in short - whatever it is that is holding you back in a life that is slowly sucking your spirit out.) 


It is hard! The hardest thing you will probably do... When you finally have had enough, and realise that staying on will eventually kill you, much before your time; and when other people will reiterate that all you can do is stay and compromise. Try and remember, that there ARE people who will support you and help you... So, keep at it till you find someone who'll throw the life jacket when you are drowning. And then, swim... swim for the shore - your life!


And it starts getting better almost immediately.


Its been over a year since I walked out… And, now all I know is what it feels like…


To be told that you are strong.
To be told that you are a heck of a fighter to have survived.
To be told that you are worth more than ten of them.
To be told that you are loving and caring.
To be told that you have a right to take up space.
To be told that you deserve to have your needs met.
To be told that you are inspiring.
To be told that you have an amazing sense of humour.
To be told that you are a responsible person.
To be told that your are a logical and practical person.
To be told that you are loved.
To be told that you are seen.
To be told that you are cherished.
To be told that you are wanted and desired.



It is good for your body. It is good for your mind. AND, it is the most liberating thing for your spirit.





Wednesday, 6 October 2021

My Favourite Food Joints In Vizag - #MyFriendAlexa

October 06, 2021 32 Comments



I am a typical Bheto Bengali. Food and I go hand in hand. It’s mutual love, we both love each other. I love to cook and eat and the food loves to be eaten by me.

I left Kolkata in 2009. However, no matter where I am, I try to find food like Kolkata. Most of the places disappoint me; still, I am always able to find something tasty to eat.

I am here in Vizag for the last three years, and was able to find some food joints that I love.

Disclaimer:
I am in no way claiming these are the best places to eat or make the best food or the other places do not offer good food. All I want to say is they are my favourite.




Let’s start exploring...


The Chaiwala in front of SFS State Board Gate:

In Seethamadhara, if you come from the Tech Mahindra junction, you will find SFS State Board School on your left side. Just in front of the main gate, there is a small tea stall. I have no idea what is the name of the tea stall. It is run by a young couple. And what allam (ginger) tea they make. I am literally in love with the allam tea. You have a cup of it, and all your tiredness, worries are gone.

Kolkata Roll Centre:

In Dhaba Garden, there is a pantaloons showroom, just beside the showroom, there is a lane, and some food stalls are there. And there is Kolkata Roll Centre. In no way, it serves the authentic Kolkata rolls, but the noodles they make is really good. The chicken noodles they serve actually tastes like Kolkata roadside, thela wala (stall) noodles. It’s like a dash of Kolkata taste away from my love, Kolkata.

The Momowala in front of Bay View Hotel:

In front of Bay View Hotel in RK beach, you will find the best Momos in Vizag. The main cook is a Nepali guy, and hence, the momos are really good. They serve red chilli chutney with the momos, and it tastes like northeast India. Also, they serve really tasty chicken sweet corn soup.

Upland Bistro:

This restaurant serves the best continental in Vizag, hand down. This restaurant is run by an Telugu guy name Kalyan. I am a regular here. I have tried many dishes from the menu, and they are actually good. I have also tried many other continental restaurants here in Vizag, most of the time the food is actually, sorry for the word, shit. The fish and chip from this restaurant is my favourite.

Cafe Military:

Located on the Venkojipalem highway, they serve one of the best tiffin in Vizag. I simply love the Masala Dosa, the dosa is crispy, and the aloo masala is super tasty. I can literally eat it, every morning, if there is a possibility. It’s just my lazy husband refuses to take me there every morning.

Soda Paniwala:

The summer here in Vizag is really cruel. And the only way I survive the brutish sun is by drinking gallons of sweet soda pani. I have probably tried the all the Soda Pani stalls in Vizag. They all are life-saving, in the summertime. I even tried my best to impress them with my Telegu speaking skills for some extra, they mostly ignore me (my Telegu is a disaster). Still, hoping to befriend one for some extra soda pani, for free of course.

Samosa from Sea Pearl:

In Kolkata, you get the best samosas. I have tried samosas from various parts of South India, and they are not good. However, Sea Pearl restaurant on RK Beach serves one of the best samosas, in Vizag. The dough is perfectly kneaded with a hint of ajwain. The filling is heavenly, fried to perfection, served with sweet chutney. The combination is to die for.

The honourable motions are Idli from Mr And Mrs Idli, Biryani from Satyam restaurant & Raju's Kitchen, North Indian veg thali from Shree Shyam restaurant, veg cuisine from Santosh Dhaba, Bengali food from Hotel Nimantran Inn, and many, many more.


Happy Eating







I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

My Seasonal Lover - #MyFriendAlexa

September 22, 2021 52 Comments



My plane landed around 5 AM on an October morning in 2018. I am in a new city and I have to call it home for the next few years. I was happy to finally leave Hyderabad, but not sure what to expect from this new city.

I got my language and came out of the airport. I knew that nobody is coming to pick me up, still hoped to see a familiar face. Mr. Anirudh Gaurav said he can’t pick me up for some reason, I forgot the reason, however, remember I was mad.

A grey, gloomy and rainy city welcomed me with not much enthusiasm. I never disliked a rainy day like this.

I booked my Uber and patiently waited outside the airport. My Uber came and I started my journey into this new city. I more I entered the city, the more I hated it. I finally reached my destination, MVP Colony. Gaurav was there to receive me, but to my surprise, what welcomed me is the Devil’s Tree, in front of the hotel.

It was like Durga Puja welcoming me outside Kolkata. I was in love.

Gaurav left for work, and I began my hunt for a new home (rented house). I roamed every lane, every street of MVP colony. And every corner there was a Devil’s Tree waiting to tempt me with its smell. I was trying to get some flowers from the tree and some lady told me not to, as it is poisonous.

And in my mind, the smell of the flower is my poison. I don’t know how dangerous this is for asthma patients, but this is definitely harmful to me. It makes my desires run wild. No kidding it’s called the seductive Casanova of smells.

The smell would arrive every year, during Durga Puja (September end to October) stay till December to wish me on my birthday. I reached this new city in October and thank God it was October. Otherwise, how would I know Devil’s Tree will be waiting for me with open arms.

The smell takes me back to my teenage years. Someone would be waiting for me and I was ignorant enough to ignore him. The smell takes me to my first love, first heartbreak, and first tears of pain.

Yet, this smell is so toxic for me that I can’t simply imagine Durga Puja or winter without it.

Then the unavoidable happens, by the time winter is over, the smell leaves me like a seasonal lover. I am heartbroken and missing my love. I try my best not to embrace the last hint of the smell, as I know it will leave me high and dry.

Yet how can I not, long for it as long it’s there, it’s like the forbidden lover. He is toxic, poisonous, going to leave me to suffer for sure, yet so passionate with his love and desires.

It’s been three winters. The air, the streets, and the people feel much familiar to me now. I have made it a home, my Vizag.  

Yet in those lonely nights in my balcony, I long for my poison. I am madly in love with this toxic flower called Chatim Ful (in Bengali) and last but not least, a poisonous someone. It’s so difficult to reason with my feelings. What I know for sure is I want him. And he can't be mine, ever. A pain I endure with all my affection. 




I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.


Friday, 15 January 2021

#WOTY – Word of the Year 2021

January 15, 2021 0 Comments

 


I think this year is all about trying out new things for me. This year I made New Year Resolutions for the first time. And now I am going to try another new concept, something that has been around for a while, but I am going to try for the first time – Word of the Year!

I first came across this concept on One Word 365 quite some time back. One Word 365 is more than a new way to approach resolutions. Choose one word to focus on through the year. There are no specifics other than commitment to keep your focus and follow through on the word you choose for yourself.

My Word of the Year for 2021


After much consideration I have decided to choose the ‘Strength’ for myself in 2021.



Definition of Strength:

1. The quality or state of being physically strong.

2. The capacity of an object or substance to withstand great force or pressure.

3. A good or beneficial quality or attribute of a person or thing.


At first I considered Perseverance for 2021. But then realised that I have been persevering through the last few years and I need to do more than that this year. At 37, I am starting over. A new life without the old habits and influences. With the changes that I am looking to make in my life, things are not going to be easy. And, I will need Strength the most in moving forward. 

  • Strength to stay healthy.
  • Strength to move forward.
  • Strength to stick to my resolutions.
  • Strength to take care of my anxiety.

Do you have a WOTY for 2021?






Friday, 1 January 2021

Making 2021 Count!

January 01, 2021 0 Comments


Are you ready for 2021?

Every year I see people making New Year Resolutions and then joke about how the resolutions do not even last a day or a week or a month. And when people asked me, I usually responded with - read more books. In my mind though I always think, next year I hope I get to do this or that – they are always related to books or travel or learning new things.


But things have been difficult for me for the past few years, and without even realizing it, I had given up on a lot things I actually love and care for, including my physical and mental health. 2020 has been an eye opener for a lot of people and it has brought some good and some bad changes in my life. And the fact is, though we are all wishing for a better year in 2021, much of it is still up in the air – especially with the new strand of virus emerging in Europe.

Irrespective of it all, I am determined to make 2021 not only better, but also make it MY YEAR. So, I decided to make some resolutions for myself that I plan on sticking to. This post will go live on 1st January to serve as a reminder and also for you, my dear readers – if you are up for it, to hold me accountable!

1. Exercise:

My health had taken such a hit that around September this year that I could not sit up or walk around or do chores for more than 15 minutes at a time. I would end up feeling dizzy and throwing up. Headaches and body aches were constant companions. I have been in treatment and resting up since mid-October and as I write this post towards the end of December, I am on the last leg of the medical treatment but have not recovered completely yet. I have taken to exercising for 10-15 minutes for about 2/3 times a day and that is helping my recovery journey quite a bit. 
So, my first resolution is related to the most important things in my life – my health. I cannot be expected to go from zero to hundred in a day, but I am going to increase the time and intensity slowly. I will exercise 6 days a week through 2021.


2. Mental Health:

Not many people know this, but I was diagnosed with acute anxiety and depression a while back. I have had more panic attacks in the last 3 years than I care for. Needless to say, complete isolation in 2020 (and some other experiences) haven’t helped at all. So, Mental Health has to be a priority in 2021. Besides, physical and mental health work in tandem. As such, taking care of one and ignoring the other is not going to let me progress on either ends. I have a few ideas on how to work on it which include breathing exercises, affirmations, NLP and journaling. I also plan to involve a lot more music in my life and to push myself to go out and meet people.


3. Dance:

I used to love to dance and used to be quite good at it – if I may say so myself. I may not be a professional level dancer (though I could have been if I had the inclination) but I have always received distinction marks in the yearly evaluations when I used to take lessons. But more importantly, it made me really happy. I have taken lessons in Bharatanatyam and Fusion, but just the act of moving to music and rhythm really made me happy. It used to make me feel good about myself and I would often work through my frustrations through dancing. Over the years, I have had to give up my passion for it and now I can barely bob my head to music without cricking something. So yeah, I am going to get back into dancing even if I have to start as a beginner and move at a snail’s pace to get that feeling of freedom and happiness in my life.

Bonus: This should also help with my first two resolutions.


4. No Compromise:

I have lost count about how many times I have been told and expected to compromise, limit my expectations and give up the things I love by people who wouldn’t spare a single thought for me. And stupidly enough, I have done it. Over and over again. That is going to change. I am not saying that I will become an overall unyielding person. But if someone expects me to compromise, they need to meet me at the halfway mark. Else, no deal.


5. Make time for things I love:

For the last few years, my work has been the only thing that has been keeping me sane. As such I had become a complete workaholic who worked 365 days a year. I am not kidding you – if you have seen or heard of my vacations, I would come back to my hotel room and get to work at the end of the day. While I continued to study and learn other things, they were secondary, and I allotted them time only after I had finished work and chores. That is going to change too. I have already started informing my existing clients that I will be taking every Sunday off, and making sure to allot at least an hour a day for something other than work and chores. This is on top of the time I am going to put towards exercising and dance. I will put it towards whatever course I am doing or towards my Tarot learning journey.



That is about it! I wanted to add 2 more things to this list but decided to keep it to 5 resolutions. No use in making too many changes or resolutions and not being able to keep any of them. Maybe for 2022 I will have a longer list once I manage to stick to these in 2021.

What do you think? Would you want monthly or quarterly updates on my resolutions? I would love to know about your resolutions for the year and how do you plan to make it better than 2020?




Sunday, 14 June 2020

To "Meat" or "Not to Meat", the saga of a Bengali Brahmin

June 14, 2020 42 Comments
So! That happened! Never in her life did Andy think she would be called an asshole for being a non-vegetarian but there he was, the guy she lovingly called "The Tamilian", saying she is as much of an asshole as him, coz she wants to cook meat at home.

Andy was in a daze...


Growing up in a Bong household (Bengali for our traditionalist readers), it never occurred to her to give a second thought while wolfing down a plate of yummy fish curry or gorging on the next chicken roll served at the roadside stall.

In her life, so far she has interacted with people from various cultures and tried out a variety of cuisines based on religious and cultural significance - some more palatable to her than the others. Some liked her type of food, some chose not to. But lately, she is coming across a bunch of these religious bigots who has been raising a finger at her food habits - a very dangerous thing to do to a fish loving strong headed Bong chick!

For as long as her memory serves, Andy has always had fish. In fact, that was her staple diet while growing up. It didn't matter that she grew up a Brahmin. In a Bong family, your caste is determined the football team you follow (her house was strongly divided between Brazil and Argentina my friends - a sight to behold during world cups) rather than the food you ate. Yes they were Brahmins! Yet they revelled in the next serving of mutton biriyani as much as their Muslim brethren of Park Circus.

She first encountered this caste based food bigotry when her roommate's Grandma chastised her for eating meat in spite of being a Brahmin, a dialogue she chose not to engage with out of respect for her old age.

In the inside though, Andy was in turmoil.

What does being a Brahmin meant exactly and why does she need to prove her Brahminism to these other group of Brahmins from the rest of India? It almost seemed like the majority of the remaining Brahmins didn't eat meat and expected her to apologize for indulging in such delicacies.

However, like most of the Bongs Andy was lazy as fuck to have joined a heated conversation justifying her eating habits. Instead she treated herself to the next serving of chicken rezala and moved on with her life.

Fast forward 10 years, as she tried to get back into the world of dating, she kept on bumping into these "vegetarian" sect. Contrary to the popular belief that a non-vegetarian like gay people would forcibly try and convert all the vegetarians, she was finding all the vegetarians acting exactly like homophobes - literally looking down upon her food habits and trying to make her give up fish and meat.


One of the men she met had the audacity to ask, being a meat eater how can she call herself a Brahmin which prompted her to thoroughly research the various kinds of Brahmins in India, including the references of having beef in the original vedas which were replaced by practising "Sattik" or "no meat philosophy" down the line.

Inspite of not believing in cast and creed, Andy found herself learning about how sections of the Saraswat and Kanyakubja Brahmins settled in Kashmir, Konkan regions, western parts of India and sections of Bengal, Assam and Odisha. They have always retained their non-vegetarian diet - something that baffles the rest of the Pancha-Gauda (to the north of the Vindhya Mountain range) or Pancha-Dravida (to the south of Vindhya Mountain range) Brahmins.

While she was busy educating this new horde of vegetarian dates, in walks the Tamilian, with his complicated soiree of long lost words that hardly gets used in day to day life. Looming over her like the next big disaster, he was completely opposite to the kind of guy she usually falls for - anal retentive and rigid as fuck, something she discovered months later. His kindness and stoic nature made her blind towards his rigidity and she started finding his anal habits such has fixing the lining of her shoe while she was crying loudly in his shoulders, cute.

However, months of engaging conversation and care couldn't save her from this conversation that Andy was having now.

She was not allowed to cook meat in the same house as him. As she accused him of being a rigid asshole and not believing in "live and let live" policy, the Tamilian surprised her by calling her an asshole for insisting on being herself and wanting to cook meat at home - the very thought of which he found offensive.

There it was! The red flags that she was trying to overlook when he said that he has only ever stayed with other Tam Brams now suddenly became traffic stop lights and halted her in this unrealistic dream journey. Months of conversation was nothing to this guy just because of her food habit and it broke her.

She started reflecting on her eating habit, and started wondering why it's always the vegetarians who think they are better than the non-vegetarians, just because they don't consume animal protein? Were these practices followed in the era of cavemen where survival was the key? As she tried to drown her sorrow in her tear-soaked pillow, Andy realized how one man's rigidity can be perceived as another man's religious bias. She won't make a deal with the devil and give up her fish and meat or freedom of expression for ANYONE.

And no more trying to date vegetarians! Those snooty bastards seem to be the worst of the lot, thought Andy next day as she happily chomped into her crab roll, choosing herself over any rules and regulations.





Friday, 18 October 2019

#SheSaid : Etching Our Thoughts in Ink

October 18, 2019 0 Comments

Etching Our Thoughts in Ink


She was restless all day...

There was a growing need to grow out of her shell. It was almost like her current life was pressing on her as the old skin that she desperately needed to shed. 

She went ahead and cleansed her inbox from people that no longer served her a purpose and who she could no longer relate to. After all, all relationships are a form of transaction - you give some to get some.

However the restlessness kept on growing. Was she only born to take responsibility, pay bills and then to die? No! She was made for much more. 

As the night progressed, She felt this immense need to grow - grow out of this mess called life, to bloom and just love herself. 

Since time She can remember,  She has looked for love outside. In empty coffee cups, in unfinished messages that were never sent, in the inboxes of social media, in her call log...

Whenever she looked at herself in the mirror, she saw remnants of "What it could have been" and not "What it is." She was tired of looking.

She craved to feel whole - within herself. Collect all of her broken pieces and like Kintsukuroi (the centuries-old Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with gold), use love for herself to create a more beautiful and unique version of HER.

Till now she was waiting for someone to come into her life and complete her, to give her the love she craved, fulfill her with the love she deserves. But life has only offered her disappointments and lessons - not love and affection. It's almost like she is trying to step one foot forward while the other one is stuck in the murky waters of old memories and pain.

It was "Lokkhi Pujo" back home. Her mom said her dad got two lotus flowers for the puja, even though only one was needed. It was a sign! The flower lotus which occupies an unique position in art and mythology and is used as a key ingredient in Lakshmi Puja, can only grow in murky waters. 
She remembered one of the lines from one of her favorite books by Sylvia Plath -

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”


She is there for herself even if no one is. She is strong, She is fire, She is love - She could hear her battered old heart beating loudly. She was finally ready to fall in love with the most important person she will ever meet, HER!

As soon as She woke up next day, She rushed to the first tattoo parlour that would take her call and etched her thoughts in ink.


She is the one person who would be with her for life and She was finally ready to start a relationship with herself.




Friday, 4 October 2019

BDSM 2: A Guide to Breakup, Divorce, (fresh) Start and Memory

October 04, 2019 0 Comments
Remember our four mighty ladies? Like many of us, these four women has been navigating some pretty interesting shit in their lives. In the first part of the story we learnt how D was navigating her divorce and how S was trying to start fresh. Let us now visit a day in the life of B and M, both dealing with relationship changes. These stories are yours and mine:
100% true and lack any form of fabrication but has 100% exaggeration.


   

Breakup: Let us call her B!


It's 3 am in the watch, B was hysterical! As a dry sob escaped her cracked lips, B looked at the motivational quote she has pasted on her wall "She believed she could, so she did!"

In her dismay B wondered, do the writers of these quotes come up with them when they are high or having a glass of old monk and musing about life? Or do they also go through the birthing pain like the rest of us - of rejections and breakups?

As B's mind wandered, her eyes found the remnants of her breakup on the mirrors attached to her closet, that was hiding her unwashed pile of laundry. The concealer could no longer mask the dark circles under her eyes as a result of sleepless nights of self-blame. Three failed attempts at relationships this year, B has officially hit ROCK BOTTOM!

"How could you let this happen again?" - B's disheveled reflection on the mirror screamed at her. Shit, shit shit!

She picked up the pillow and screamed into it...Arghhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!! Why are there punishments for breaking bones, but no punishment for breaking hearts?

Even though cardiologists earn a bomb by fixing heart as an organ, it seems the "imaginary" heart is the cheapest organ in a person's body. Is it because it's imaginary - like the promises that were made to her? The pain that B was experiencing felt pretty real though!

B reaches out to her whatsapp group of friends and furiously types "Guess who is eating an entire jar of Nutella in her torn over-sized marvel t shirt sans pants, displaying her hairy legs, AGAIN?"
Concern poured in from all the 4 corners of the world. "What's wrong babe?" "Do we need to beat up someone?"

Her best friend Sam saw the text and without any fanfare, video called her and said "You get the next 1 hour to cry, cuss or commemorate, no judgement! I am here to listen. But I do have an ask at the end of the hour."

In a trembling voice, B narrated how love has failed her this year -
  • Whether it's the suave VP crying like a kid for his ex-wife in the second date (I mean really? You are out on a date with someone and you cry on your date's shoulder about your ex?), or, 
  • The Ferrari/Dick-car driver as she used to refer to him who refused to meet her when she said she was on her periods as he finds period, a normal bodily function, "dirty", or,
  • The guy from Matrimony with better nipples than hers 👀, who literally froze up because she asked him to inform her once he lands. 

B went on and on with general disdain towards love and how she always choose the wrong men in life, but she could feel herself slowing down after sometime.

Sam could sense this as well and said "Now about that favor, you need to break up. Break up with this negative side of yours, the one that finds you at fault for all the breakups. Treat that side as the rock-star you dated in your college days, kick him out. Come on, I am gonna stay on the line - BREAKUP!"

Emboldened by Sam's encouraging words, B looked at herself in the mirror, took a deep breath and addressed her disheveled reflection, "If you only make me cry, why should I be with you? Am I dating an onion? That's it, I am breaking up with you. It's their fault, not mine. I will no longer take the blame for these breakups just because I met some fuckboys."

As her disheveled reflection watched her in surprise, B kept the Nutella jar back in the shelf, wished her friends goodnight and switched on her favorite piece by Imagine Dragons, "Bad Liar" to DATE sleep instead - finally at peace with her last breakup.


For fun read: B in BDSM refers to bondage, a restrictive action where one partner is tied down and not able to express their full range of emotions via their actions.


(past relationship) Memories: Let us call her M!



As M tried to balance the overflowing cup of coffee on her way back to the corner table, her mobile beeped with the telltale noise of notification. Settling down her coffee beside the latest John Green novel, M checked her phone and was surprised to see a Facebook notification of one of her ex's celebrating their second anniversary.

When did Andy get married? When did he tame his craziness and actually decided to anchor in the predictable shores of a traditional home life, something he claimed he never would? Memories flooded back... Andy was this curly haired tornado who on one hand could produce the softest tunes dedicated to her in his acoustic guitar and on the other hand would chase her on bike, stopping her on the middle of the road portraying the ideal angry young Indian male lover as shown in cheap Bollywood depictions!

M absentmindedly sipped into the coffee and accidentally burned her tongue - TOO HOT! She felt the familiar feeling of restlessness creeping inside her chest.

A tattered jeans-clad purple-haired girl was checking out M for some time in the half-empty coffee shop. As M started hyperventilating, the strange girl walked up to her and asked "Hey, are you alright?"

M found herself staring into the transparent blue eyes of this strange beautiful woman and heard herself blurting out "No, I just came to know my ex has been married for 2 years, even when he told me he doesn't believe in marriage when we were dating. All the men I date seems to have moved onto someone better and here I am burning my tongue in a lonely afternoon."

The girl crinkled the corner of her eyes and gave M a warm smile. "You know, I was in a similar situation a month back. To escape bumping into my ex and his very pregnant wife, I changed cities and took up a new job - but nothing was helping. Then I tried this method with one of my counselors and it helped me make peace with the situation, do you wanna give it a try?"

M was quite taken aback by the turn her afternoon has taken but decided, it can't get worse right? After all she was opening herself up to new experiences. She heard herself saying "Ok, what do I need to do?" Her purple haired companion replied "Share one memory - good, bad, crazy or weird, about your relationships and then write in a chit "I accept you as you are and forgive you. I forgive you for me, not you."

Intrigued by this exercise M started sharing some of the memories of her past relationships with this strange friend:
  • Sameer was the wild one, M can never forget the make out session that she had with Sameer in that rainy night, bang in the middle of the road inside the mini-cooper with steamed windows. You rarely have such toe-curling kisses at 2 am in the night and M was lucky to experience one.
  • Joy's possessive ass has been giving her hell in the coffee shop for talking to the male server for so long, but his eyes welled up in joy when the server kept a cake in front of him that read "I will miss you for the next 4 months", a goodbye gift from her.
  • M was being conscious about her weight but Dan picked her up and made her lean back and lie down on him, relaxing in the easy chair on the balcony. She felt a sense of calm and belonging as she leaned back and closed her eyes, tilting her head to the side to feel his beating heart. 
  • Ash knew one of her deepest desires was to be picked up and getting kissed against the wall. As soon as M entered the room, Ash picked her up and passionately kissed her against the wall making her dream come true.
  • Andy knew she liked Beethoven's 5th symphony. Before leaving for the US, he gifted her a music box with those dancing figurines which played Beethoven's 5th symphony whenever M turned the keys.

All these memories made M smile. Sure there were some unpleasant endings but she was ready to move on. She hugged this beautiful stranger and started walking towards the corner building across the street, which she now calls home.


For fun read: M in BDSM means Masochism, a willingness or tendency to subject oneself to unpleasant or trying experiences.

*

Can some of you connect to some of these stories? If yes - do share similar snippets from your breakups or any stories from your past relationships that you have experienced. Would love to connect with you via your stories. Together let us weave a cloak of familiar stories for men and women who are unable to share theirs. On a cold and lonely night when they will be searching for heat, may our cloak of familiar stories give them the warmth they are looking for and help them realize:

You are not alone. We are the average (wo)man of this world and we stand tall and proud, even at 5.2.



Read BDSM Part 1





Wednesday, 11 September 2019

BDSM 1: A Guide to Breakup, Divorce, (fresh) Start and Memory

September 11, 2019 94 Comments
Let me tell you a story. There were once 4 women - each going through certain phases in their lives. These stories covers 4 such days in their lives. Many of you may be able to relate to these everyday incidents having lived through them yourselves. These stories are yours and mine:

100% true and lack any form of fabrication but has 100% exaggeration.

A guide to Breakup, Divorce, (fresh) Start and Misery


Divorce: Let us call her D!


D woke up with a start! Did she fall asleep again during the afternoon? Shit shit shit! The deliverable was due an hour back, what if she gets fired? Oh who cares! It's not like anyone stayed up beside her last night and hugged her when she was weeping and sniffling like an infant. Let them! Man O' man, she badly needs a coffee. Will her hotel have something strong and maybe, oh just maybe some chocolate cookies - D thinks as she twists her messy hair in a worn out black rubber band. Beside her email alert, her laptop shows a blank word document. D suddenly feels the urge to dump all that she was feeling. From her mind to the paper - she badly needed to unload - doesn't matter if the words no longer made sense - heck her life no longer made sense. She frantically starts typing......

Can I read this without cringing 10 years from now? Think, think, think! 10 years from now when you wake up in your house filled with a dog, maybe lots of books, a money plant and a bespectacled guy (maybe, a big maybe!), with a farrowed look on your face, reminiscing about the good ol' days and dig this up - will you regret reading this blast from the past? But then I am just following Dr. Phil's advice. Writing about your PTSD relieves you from your pain apparently! (bleh!)

We have now reached the juicy part of the story, WHAT THE HECK IS SHE WRITING ABOUT?

Well, I will tell you why. Because I got suddenly lost my exclusivity! My husband of 5 years suddenly stumbled upon some hot tamale (s) ( I know, there were multiple apparently) and found this plain ol' rice pretty tasteless! Come to think of it, Rice is the staple diet of 100% of South Asians so I wonder why someone would throw away something that is so stable and essential. Does rice bore everyone? Will you like biriyani/pilaf every day? Given a choice, it seems everyone would like biriyani/pilaf over rice. But then are we just consumers of human emotions like we consume food?

Think D, think! Damn that deadline on Materials Management! Suddenly her phone beeps, "You ok? Do you want to meet for a cuppa?" D takes a deep breath and writes "Yes please, the usual place?" Thank god for small wins in life like running into a kind soul in office kitchen counter and finding a friend for life.

10 years - come on D, all this will seem like a dream in 10 years time, she thinks as she tries to stuff her overweight body into her jeans.

For fun read: D in BDSM refers to dominance, the crux of a BDSM relationship. It's all about erotic power exchange, not one person having power over another.


 (fresh) Start: Let us call her S!


5-4-3-2-1 - S tried to get off from her bed. Her tired eyes protest against the effort. No! I don't need a fresh start! I want to curl up inside this stupid blanket and die! Her mind feebly tried to remind her of the great advice from Mel Robbins, LAUNCH YOURSELF LIKE A ROCKET!

Bloody hell! Who wants to get up at this god forsaken hour to go work out? Mel has someone to come back to - S is lonely and strives to be invisible. No, stop! S reminds herself - Remember! Start your day on a positive note. Shucks! She spoiled it again, didn't she - S thinks as she stumbles off from her bed and wearily makes her way to the boxing club.

S's muscles groan in protest as her trainer makes her run up and down the street. Huffing and puffing S thinks "Are all new starts this hard? Snakes can shed off their skin so easily but then caterpillars take ages to become beautiful butterflies." Her thoughts are interrupted with a bark from her trainer "What are you dreaming about, give me 20 push-ups". Ughh! She groans and starts her slow descent to pain. In a feeble attempt of motivation S tries the external validation route..."You will lose weight and look hotter to the guys in the gym!" But her brain was quick to jump in defense and reminds her "You are not even wearing your spectacles, can't even see if any guy is actually checking you out in the gym". Sighing S tells her screaming lungs "Oh! Just do it anyway!"

Come to think of it - hitting feels so good! Especially when S can land a punch on the tall guy in front of her. To all the naysayers in the world - she ain't done yet! S silently cheers for herself in her mind "Can you see???? I am still standing! None of you could destroy me fully. I am fire - I am a woman - I will reinvent myself every time you push me down..." S's string of thoughts breaks all of a sudden as she finds herself flat on her bottom with a look of pure horror in her face. Did she really slip in her own sweat while boxing in front of all these hyper-fueled muscular fit community of god bods? Man! Wish she could drown in her own sweat or shame! As her trainer extends his hand, S chuckles and pushes herself upright saying out loud, "I am still standing, ain't I".

"Man, a fresh start does feel good", S thinks as she continues with her boxing lesson.

For fun read: S in BDSM refers to Submission. It says, the true power lies with the submissive as he/she sets the actual boundaries in this exploration.


*

Can some of you connect to some of these stories? If yes - do share similar snippets from your divorce or any stories of fresh start that you have tried in your lives. Would love to connect with you via your stories. Together let us weave a cloak of familiar stories for men and women who are unable to share theirs. On a cold and lonely night when they will be searching for heat, may our cloak of familiar stories give them the warmth they are looking for and help them realize:

You are not alone. We are the average (wo)man of this world and we stand tall and proud, even at 5.2.


Wait for my next blog on how B and M dealt with a breakup and (old relationship) memories.




I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.


Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Why do I blog?

September 04, 2019 54 Comments
Well! For starters because my friend kicked my ass and made me a co-blogger in her blog 😜

At least that's what I thought! It's easy to make someone else responsible for your choices because then it's "their fault" in case of failure.

However, after opening the first word document, I couldn't stop... words came pouring out of me like corporate slaves leaving their workplace on a Friday evening.

Which made me ponder why am I adding "blogging" to the list of endless things that are already stressful in my life? It's not like I have a lot of hours in my day after slogging for 16 hours a day in the Silicon Valley. So what is driving me to open my laptop and type like a madwoman?

So WHY do I blog?

I have things to say! After I was born, I invested 1 year to learn how to frame complete sentences. I have been putting it to practice ever since and have not wasted a second of my day from implementing my "linguistic skills". Blogging provides an excellent medium to "talk through written words".

I like to connect with people - outside the framework of work and close friends. Just think of the butterfly effect. I like to believe (in my own dreamworld) that a couple of words written on this blog is going to create a ripple effect where a kindred spirit far far away is going to read my thoughts, while sipping afternoon tea/coffee, and decide to share their thoughts with me.

I had no better "fail safe method" to try and find the long lost creative corner inside me. Like many other corporate slaves, that creativity is long dried up and can only regurgitate crisp powerpoints and data driven excel frameworks. I crave to breathe in a world sans microsoft office and google suite, even if for a few moments...

I genuinely believe that I am the queen of mediocrity and boredom. I do not aim to achieve great things in life, rather strive to accept life as it is. And what better way to accept myself, my life, my experiences, my observations, my thoughts by sharing them with a group of complete strangers over the internet to get their feedback. Serves my need for external validation while allowing me to connect with the world.

MOST IMPORTANT REASON OF ALL: I am trying to heal myself and a part of the process is knowing yourself better. The more I try and articulate my thoughts, the better I know myself and can progress towards the path of healing.

What I hope to take away from the blog? Your thoughts/questions/criticism/stories and connection.


For the butterfly effect virgins

The term butterfly effect is closely associated with the work of Edward Lorenz. It is derived from the metaphorical example of the details of a tornado (the exact time of formation, the exact path taken) being influenced by minor perturbations such as the flapping of the wings of a distant butterfly several weeks earlier.  A very small change in initial conditions had created a significantly different outcome.





I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.





Sunday, 1 September 2019

Why Anicca?

September 01, 2019 40 Comments

Welcome to this little space on the blogosphere that I am going to call home from today!

Some of you may know me as DD from Bookish Indulgences Book Blog and for most of you I am a stranger. So, let me tell you a bit about myself before I tell you about this blog.



My name is Debdatta Dasgupta, which is quite a mouthful, I know! So, I usually go by DD. I have been blogging exclusively about books since 2012, so no longer a greenie here. Aside, from blogging (which I think is a full time engagement) I also work as a Digital Publicist for Books and as a Virtual Assistant to Authors. I am also studying Psychology at the moment. So, you can say that my life is all about reading, studying and promoting books. But believe it or not, I have other hobbies and interests too. I love food (am a Bong so it’s kinda in my DNA), I love to travel and I love to dabble in the Occult.

I have wanted to branch out and blog about my other interests, but I just did not have the confidence. I still do not, but I decided to throw caution to the wind and jump in anyway. I hope to be able to share my varied interests with you all and improve my language skills at the same time. And that is where I need YOUR help – feel free to unleash your inner grammar nazi every time you read one of MY posts.

Now on to the name of the blog – Anicca, stands for impermanence in Pali. It is one of the three basic characteristics of existence in Buddhism. I love the sound of the word as well as what it stands for. Unless and until one realizes the fact that everything in our lives are ‘impermanent’ and prepare ourselves for it, we can never improve upon our quality of life. But choosing Anicca as the name of my blog felt right since everything is prone to change – including my interests and my view of life.

I hope that this helps you get a glimpse of the person I am for now, and that we will get to know each other through posts and comments on this blog in the coming days.

Please do follow me on social media not only to get blog updates but to continue supporting and encouraging me as I take on this new journey. Also, I am feeling kind of lonely at all these accounts at the moment!





QOTD: Do you remember what your initial goal/purpose was when you started your blog?




I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.