Category Archives: The longings

It is our cross to bear!

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Posted in response to The Daily Post Challenge: The Road Less Traveled (Pinpoint a moment in your past where you had to make a big decision. Write about that other alternate life that could have unfolded.)

Imagine a life where you have everything

  • a job that, although is monotonous and sometimes mind-numbingly boring, pays you well
  • a newly budding relationship which is just so perfect that it baffles you
  • you live super close to your family

You are drowning in all the love and affection being showered on you. This is your first job and you are a strong independent woman, enjoying life, visiting places, enjoying long road-trips, eating at some of the best places in town. What could anybody possibly do to screw this up?

Anybody? No. You choose to screw this up. You decide to quit your job because it is not catering to your intellectual being. You come to a country ten thousands of miles away from your home and your loved ones. Everything begins to change. You have tons of friends but you are lonely. You miss your family, your boyfriend. Long distance relationship comes with its own set of problems and you start battling it out as a couple. On the one hand you get stronger because you faced so many issues, but you did not escape unscathed. There are scars that are reminders of what the issues were, wounds that still need to recover. This is accompanied by nights of tears and helplessness where you start reflecting on how you chose to exile yourself and distance everything that made you happy. Some cope with distance better than others, some move on and stop needing you as much as they did previously. You are shocked at this change – you are desperately trying to cling on to how things were previously but everything is naturally slipping out of your hands.

For the outside world, you have a very stable job, you will soon have an engineering degree from a reputed university, you are in a very happy relationship and you have a bright future ahead of you. On the inside, you know that your job has nothing to do with your degree and you might as well have never done Masters to begin with, you need to go through another 2 to 7 years of long distance and the future looks bleak without your family by your side.

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Now, think of this world.

You never left. You stayed at the mediocre job, grumbled about Mondays. But you were genuinely happy otherwise. You wouldn’t miss the wedding of your best friend of 20 years, you would be there to personally congratulate your college roommate after hearing news of her pregnancy and you would not be missing the engagement of your friend of 10 years.

Your family. You would personally see your baby sister grow into a beautiful woman who starts fending off guys on her own. You would stand by her side, watching her face hurdles as you had and come out stronger than before. You would help her sneak into the house when she came in late after drinking with her friends. You would meet her friends and her crushes. You would spend hours on the balcony, talking about love, life and everything in between. You would be there for your mum and dad. You would be their pillar of support, not only financially, but also emotionally. You would visit places, take tours, visit the home store and plan the home decor for that ideal house that you would soon have, while your sister rolls her eyes in exasperation. Your relationship with everyone would only grow stronger.

And your relationship with your boyfriend. Given how happy and compatible the two of you were, you would have bloomed into something much stronger and happier just because of the fact that the two of you were together. You would have countless date nights where you would stare into the impossible depths of each others eyes and realize how truly lucky you both were to have each other. You would go on fun double dates with friends, maybe workout or go for a swim together. Both your families would get ample time to get to know each other and see how great we are as a couple. You would be able to go on that coveted Europe trip a lot sooner than you expected. Two years since March 2014, would have transformed you two into stalwart supporters of each other’s dreams, two people whose fights were typically about who does the dishes and our opinions on religious leaders.

i-dont-want-a-perfect-life-i-want-a-happy-life-quote-1You would slowly stop complaining about your job, because you would eventually realize that by being in a software industry, you can easily switch from one company to the other and keep at it, till you retire. You start taking joy out of other things in life. You volunteer at a pet’s shelter or an old age home. You start teaching during the weekends. You write a lot more. Do a little bit of freelance work of your own. You see how much of happiness can be gained out of small things. One day, as you head back home from your best friend’s engagement, you start thinking about how foolish you once were, to head to the United States like the millions before you, to turn your dreams into reality. What was the old you thinking? All your dreams were always by your side waiting to be discovered.

This is bliss.

 

Learn to let it go

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Posted in response to the Daily Post’s Challenge : Shape Up or Ship Out

Dear control freak,

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I know how difficult it is for you. I know that you don’t understand what people mean when they say – “If you love something, set it free.” You constantly worry about the people you love, maybe a little too much. You are left angry and hurt when you see people making the same mistakes that you had warned them against. What you probably don’t understand is this – every time you try taking control of someone else’s life – a part of you is bruised badly. When a friend or a loved one comes to you with an issue that needs resolution, you normally go through these phases:

Phase 1

You: Suggest/question the sanity of the issue. Struggle between whether to tell your loved one your frank opinion on the subject. You ALWAYS tell them what you think.

Loved ones: Agree and promise to change or disagree and support their claim

What happens to you: You are constantly of the opinion that you know everything. This causes issues.

When your loved ones agree with you, you are happy and hopeful. You think that they saw reason to your arguments and decided to do what you said. Your ego receives the pat it deserves and you are left beaming (what you don’t know is that your loved one knows your weak points and said exactly what you wanted to hear to soothe your ego. They do nothing that they said they would and they will drag you into the next phase)

On the other hand, if your loved ones disagree, you are immediately angered. One thought runs through your mind – what kind of an idiot is he/she? Why can he/she not see what I am seeing? It is crystal clear. What is confusing them?

You ask these questions to the loved one and that only makes matters worse. No one likes a patronizing know-it-all.

Takeaway: By the end of the conversation, you love them less and they love you lesser.

Phase 2

You: They do nothing after Phase1. You are angry and you try verbally convincing them using logic and rationale.

Loved ones: They agree vehemently and do nothing or disagree passionately.

What happens to you: If they agree vehemently, you know very well that they will not be able to do whatever you suggested because there are a lot more complications to the story than you understand. This makes you angry because these people are asking for your opinion without telling you the whole story.

If they disagree passionately, you find yourself at the receiving end of a heated argument where the person is telling you that you are “stifling” them. This leaves you hurt and weepy because you had only their best intentions at heart but you were not able to express it right.

Takeaway: If people are hell bent on doing something, rationale and logical thinking is not going to help you make them see the right way.

Phase 3

You: Try taking control – pressurize them into doing what you think is good for them.

Loved ones: Rebel – no one likes to be told what to do.

What happens to you: You are left confused, hurt and very angry at how unfair everything is. You then step into  a downward spiral of self-pity and bursts of tears that were never meant to be.

Takeaway: A rift between you and the loved one.

The sooner you understand this the better it is. People do not like being told what to do. Irrespective of how close you are, people will ultimately do whatever they want to. It is all about free will. All you can do is “suggest” your side of things. This way you are letting them take all the shots. Worst case scenario, where a loved one takes a decision that backfires on them and they are in distress, you can do what you were always supposed to do – stand by their side and help them recover.

The more you let go, the more you are freeing yourself. Control your urge – stop thinking that people are stupid (even if they are!). Your boundary ends right after your express your opinion.

I want you to work on this because you desperately need this. I know that I can tell YOU what to do! You know why? Because we are one.

Love,

Me

 

Remove the safety net!

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Remove the safety net!

Let me begin and end the blog with the same question –

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Before we begin, I am sorry. I have had absolutely no time over the last week to write. I would fully blame myself for this – I was being unbelievably lazy and all I did was go to school, work out, come home to Netflix. The physical and mental exhaustion takes over you and you are left doing nothing when you are free. I found this interesting picture on Tumblr and couldn’t help but share it here! This is pretty much my life right now!

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Here I am, writing on Monday morning 20 minutes before my class. This is what college does to you!

Back to the blog – I am currently sharing an apartment with two other people. My previous roommates graduated and moved out and I am still getting used to the new ones. So yesterday, we finally started talking while cleaning the kitchen. I found out a lot about my new roommates and I must say, they are both very interesting people.

One of my roommates is an agri-business major – coming from a country that has a majority of engineers and doctors, her choice of profession intrigued me. That was when she told me that everyone in her family (all of them are Indians, mind you) chose the “non-engineering” path. Her sister is studying English literature and most of her cousins are in varied fields of arts. I was particularly interested in one cousin of hers who is an amazing painter and a model. She was showing me a lot of pictures of her and that had me evaluate my entire life (we all have such days!).

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At the age of 32, my roommate’s cousin is a self-made woman – she lives on her own in the beautiful city of Pondicherry – a city in India that is equivalent to New Orleans in the US (French colonies and all that). She has refused to get married till she finds “the one”. She attends a lot of art conferences all over the world and in short, lives life to the fullest. Her best friend is into pottery and that’s how she makes a livelihood.

Here’s a picture of Pondicherry – it is one of my favorite cities in India!

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When I hear or see the lives of people who chose the path less trodden, I suddenly feel bad about my choices. I do enjoy being an engineer, but this was a safe bet. Everything has always been about stability and having something to “fall back on”. There have always been Plan B’s and Plan C’s. I often wonder, if by being so careful about everything, have I lost out on the various opportunities to discover more about myself.

Anyways, after yesterday, I have decided to not let my mind be clouded by always playing safe. It will be difficult to get out of this groove that I have comfortably sat myself in, but I will be starting soon. I need to go out there and do things that scare me. We all do. Everyone who is too scared to move out of their comfort zone – take the leap. Get rid of the shackles. The world has so much to offer – you cannot see all of it if you are working behind a computer screen for 80 hours a week.

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Kudos to those women and men, who are sticking to their guns and living the life that many are afraid to even dream of.

Now, think back and tell me –

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Goodbye Alan Rickman

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Goodbye Alan Rickman

My eyes were only half open and I saw that my boyfriend was already up. I heard him say, “Samara, Alan Rickman passed away.” As opposed to jumping out of the bed, I thought to myself, “Wasn’t that Severus Snape?” and went back to sleep. When I woke up 20 minutes later, I read a text from my cousin informing me the same news. I think that was when everything started sinking in. I told all other Harry Potter friends of mine about this and that was when we started reminiscing about everything.

I started reading the books when I was about 8 or 9 years old. The movies were not made then and Rowling had written 4 books so far – the popularity of the books was still increasing slowly. Like all other kids my age, I hated Snape with all my heart. I day dreamed a lot about these characters – I used to think of myself as Hermione and a guy I had a crush on was Harry Potter!

I have always hated movies that were derived from books. But, when Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was out, I was annoyed that they did not name is Philosopher’s Stone, but I watched the movie anyway! I was bedazzled. The casting in the movie was spot-on. But I was particularly intrigued by Dumbledore and Snape. You can only imagine my despair when Richard Harris passed away. I was distraught when they casted Michael Gambon and it took me 2 more movies to finally get used to him. But Alan Rickman, and the ease with which he acted as Snape was amazing. It was so easy to loathe him when he said – “People will think you are…up to something!” in Sorcerer’s Stone.

I know Alan Rickman has acted in other movies and his true fans would rather prefer to remember him in those movies. But to me, he will always be the person who brought out a beloved character of mine alive on screen. I don’t think anyone else could have acted the good-day in a bad wrapper character with so much panache.

The world has lost an amazing actor and I have lost yet another favorite movie actor who linked me to my childhood. Nevertheless, the show must go on. I might wake up tomorrow with a slight hollow feeling, but I know that will pass. I wish you were here for many more years and I wish I could show a picture of you, all white-haired with a wrinkled face to my children and say – “that guy played the best Snape ever. ” Sadly, that is not going to happen and we will have to make do with whatever memories we had of you until today. To quote Alan Rickman/Professor Snape:

Well, it may have escaped your notice, but life isn’t fair.

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Rest in Peace Alan. You will be missed.