Bucket list for 2020

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I can’t enter the New Year without a to do list, so here it is:

  1. Read good books. Quality over quantity. Read 50 books I can rate 4+ out of 5 on Goodreads.
  2. Read authors of various nationalities. Get introduced to books by more authors.
  3. Try and write everyday – either in a journal or on this blog.
  4. Go on a trek this year
  5. Take a solo trip
  6. Explore all the great places in the Eastern part of the country. Make a monthly trip plan.
  7. Get back to the earlier fitness levels.
  8. Get to full form full range push ups
  9. Run 700 km this year without half marathons
  10. Run in 10 different and new cities/towns this year
  11. Bake a new recipe every month
  12. Avoid conflict with family as much as possible.
  13. Donate to a charity
  14. Stop shopping for clothes and shoes. Get to zero impulse shopping this year.
  15. Maintain a strict work life balance. Remind myself everyday that as much as I’d like it, the organization will not fall apart if I leave work on time.
  16. Take lesser bullshit from men this year. There is always scope for improvement on this front because men continue to be shitty.
  17. Avoid liqour, late nights, boring conversations and anything that takes me away from my hobbies and goals.
  18. Continue to de-clutter people from my life without guilt
  19. Network more. Network better. But with the right people.
  20. Get a dog. Top priority.

That’s it. Good night.

 

 


New year, new me. Same old bullshit

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If you are here to read about how much I have “learned” this year, then you are at the wrong blog. Not that blogs even exist now. The decade is ending, I should move on but am not ready yet. Unless you want to offer your technological expertise and help shift all the posts from the last 13 years to somewhere safe, am staying right here.

It was shitty year and I should talk about the positives or about the fact that things turned out ok. But life is about one shit replacing the last one. Only our memories are short so we forget. Not going to be this generous with 2019.

But tonight, am going to make my resolutions for 2020. It will be usual bullshit – run more, read more, workout more, write more, blah blah blah. Nothing new. Drop in if your NYE sucks.

Anyway, ciao. I would like to finish reading the last book of 2019 and get one goal ticked off.


Heroes don’t exist

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I like to figure people out. Those who seem like a puzzle holding onto their deepest, darkest secrets like it is the last piece of chocolate make me uncomfortable. When their words don’t match their actions and they aren’t consistent, I don’t trust them. No matter how genuine they may seem on the surface. However trustworthy.

But this post isn’t about them. It is about people I have known and liked for a very long time. But after years of seeing only the best about them, I can see the chinks in their armour and get a glimpse into their core. And it is not good. Hell, it is ugly. Worse, the stereotypes are bang on. What do I do now? It is so ugly it makes me want to cry. I want to shake them hard and scream “You too? Really?”

  • Put the peeled layers back and pretend like I saw nothing? That isn’t hard, you know

  • Cut myself off but pretend like everything is ok till it is convenient for me?

  • Avoid all situations which demand proximity? After all, it is a busy life and avoiding someone isn’t that hard.

It is sad when heroes and mentors fall from their pedestal. When adulthood means being let down one more time.


Not hating my body so much anymore

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This post is getting typed while am half asleep so please ignore any typos. I guess most of the posts are going to mention sleep since it is such an important part of life. Atleast the sleep at night. Am not a fan of daytime naps.

This was the only week I didn’t spend hating on my body in the entire year. I hate what I have done to it because of stress, lack of proper nutrition and workouts. It has been hard being consistent despite the lack of fast progress. The difference between earlier period and now is that, earlier I had zero expectations. I had no idea how far I could go or what kind of progress I could see. Any small change was good enough. But now there is a milestone and once I reach there, there will be more.

This post is about where am today. Today, am happy with what my body looks like. My hips look taut and round (thanks to lots and lots of squats), the shoulders are rounded, the double chin has reduced, clothes fit and look better, collar bones are visible. The only con is losing inches on my boobs but some of my favourite dresses fit better and my chest doesn’t feel suffocated. It has taken weeks of workouts, tracking macros, eating 2-4 eggs and whey protein, counting every calorie and planning each meal. Am looking forward to the next phase. But today feels good. Today am proud of where I am and can see the significant progress that has been made.

PS : This post has been written after bingeing on fried rice, momos and a piece of plum cake with hot chocolate. But tomorrow is a new day with the opportunity to start afresh.

Good night.


Guilty

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It is way past my bedtime and am sorely going to regret being up this late when the morning run will be skipped. But, the guilt of not writing anything for one more night would have weighed heavily on my mind.

The weeks prior to this one were hectic with work and socialising. I decided to put a hard stop to work this week every evening, no matter what. Not just because I wanted to hit the gym and eat home cooked dinner every night but because I set the culture for my team. Sure, am new in the role, enthusiastic and want to do 100 things in the shortest time possible. But that is unfair to the people around me. Unlike me, they have friends and families to go back to. My working late puts the pressure on the others to stay back late in office. Most of my responsibilities are dependent on other people and not done individually. As hard as it is to come to terms with, the organisation is not going to fall apart if I end work on time. But my life, hobbies, goals, dreams and relationships surely will.

It has been a good week when there was sufficient time to workout, eat home cooked meals, read and Netflix. The only thing left out was blogging/writing. I wish I could write everyday. No matter what. Just 15 mins. That is it. Why is it so hard? Why does the thought of putting words on paper or typing them out exhaust me? Isn’t writing supposed to be rejuvenating? Or is it about taking the first step and everything else will follow? Just open the journal and stare at it for 5 mins. Everyday. Or open the webpage everyday? Let me try that.

People think spending time on social media is a waste of time and takes you away from more productive things. Social media makes me feel less lonely. I don’t feel the urge to resort to drinking or binge eating or calling random on my phone book. I guess, to each his/her own.

Ciao.


Exhaustion…. Anxiety… Or… Something else

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Last week was quite bad. I was working late hours to strike off everything on my “to do” list and my meals weren’t planned. But the worst part was not being able to get a workout in. I carried my gym bag to work everyday. All that had to be done was climb a few steps to the next floor and workout. Simple. But it didn’t happen because of exhaustion. It took hours of lounging around to push myself out of bed in the mornings. I was sore and weak. Low energy is the scariest thing in my life. Because am usually a very high energy person. What the hell was happening? Was I stressed? Do I need to slow down? Is it anxiety?

The questions were answered today when I started menstruating. It has been more than 20 years of hitting puberty and yet, every month the signs of PMS are different. Some months, the signs are emotional rather than physical. Why can’t they just be predictable? Thanks universeĀ  for making it more difficult than it has to be.

I finished reading the book “She Said” by JodiĀ  Kantor and Megan Twohey. They are the journalists who investigated the charges of rape and sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein. They are credited with starting the “Me Too” movement. The book uncovers how a man with power, influence and money used it to harass women from all walks of life. Even actresses. The women kept shut because they were offered money for silence. If you can’t bring down the man on your own, there is no other option. The men around him brushed his behavior under the carpet. Men always, always band together and rarely step in.

There is so much I want to say about this issue but is there any point? Haven’t I raged and ranted enough?

Ciao.

 


Men explain things to me

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I was reading this book of essays by Rebecca Solnit when the news was filled with the latest Hyderabad gang rape. For once, I didn’t rant on social media. What is the point? It is exhausting. Year after year after year it is the same. The angrier we are, the less things seem to change. Many people would like to argue that rapes of Dalit or women from less privileged backgrounds don’t get half as much attention. I agree. But if a privileged women in a metro city running an errand at a decent hour, who called her sister and reached out for help can get raped and killed so easily; what hope is there for anyone else?

Rape is an extreme point of the problem. Rape isn’t the issue. Rape is the symptom of the problem. The problem is misogyny. The problem is patriarchy. And even the smallest form of patriarchy is part of the problem. And it is everywhere. Once you start identifying patriarchy, you can see it everywhere around you. And it is impossible to close your eyes to it. I fought with 2 brokers (mine and the owner’s) in Kolkata to remove Mrs in front of my name, write my name before KC’s on the rent agreement and replace “wife of” with “daughter of”. Why should his father’s name be on the agreement and not mine? I wish I could have fought to have my mother’s name included instead of father’s but that battle is a long way off. Every battle matters no matter how trivial it seems.

I thought I had read every thought on the topic of feminism. That nothing could surprise me but this book did.

  • The book talks about tracing the pattern of violence against women. Today, it is under categories- rape, marital rape, domestic violence, bride burning, dowry deaths etc etc. These are all part of the same problem. They are violence against women. More women have died due this compared to deaths in riots or The Holocaust. There are systems in place to prevent women from being treated like human beings. This isn’t a coincidence but by design.
  • The problem aren’t women. The problem are men. Our discourse continues to be about women as victims of violence instead of men who are violent. The problem isn’t the rape but the rapist. We need to start talking about men who rape instead of women who get raped. The % of women who are violent is far, far, far lower than the % of men of who are violent. Why aren’t we doing something about that? Why aren’t we inventing a vaccine or a drug to reduce the violent tendencies in men? Why isn’t there research to find out why men are so violent? Are they born violent or are they brought up to become violent?
  • Same sex partnerships have helped bring equality to heterosexual unions. This was a new of looking at homosexuality. Same sex marriages don’t have a gender imbalance. There is no power play due to gender. So, women in heterosexual relationships have realised that marriage can be between equals. It does not require sacrifice from someone due to their gender.

I don’t know about you but am tired of never leaving my balcony door open because am worried someone will climb 4 floors and try to rape me.

I am tired of being aware when I open my house door so nobody is lurking and tries to force their way in.

I am tired of requesting the househelp and cook to stick around till the male cleaner who washes the bathrooms leaves.

I am tired of being on my guard outside and inside my house at all times.

I am tired of knowing this isn’t going to change in my lifetime, atleast.

And I am tired of women who won’t use their privilege to fight against everything that is wrong with the world, in whatever way possible.

Posting the meme of “India’s daughter” amongst your chutiyaap IG stories isn’t raising your voice in solidarity for women. Ok? OK.