Blogging vs journaling

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There is a new resolution – no more discussing work after work hours. I tried it today. Everytime I wanted to tell KC what happened at work or how my day was, I distracted myself with something. Distraction isn’t hard right now. A job is just a means to earn money to fund a lifestyle and hobbies. Because we are a privileged lot. Sure, I give it my all during working hours but am not paid for thinking about work after hours. Invest in people but selling candies (or shampoos or other such useless things) can be taken seriously only upto a certain point. But here I go… talking about work again.

I tried journaling last night and it is so hard. Why do we document the dark and unhappy thoughts only? It just makes me morose. Who the hell wants to know what is festering underneath the scab? The only way to lead a happy life is by pretending to be happy. Denial is better therapy than digging deep. The more you scratch the wound, the longer it takes to heal. Leave it alone and viola, one fine day you realise it has disappeared. Maybe leaving a battle scar here and there.

Blogging, on the other hand, is tricky. There is an audience and you have to balance how much you want to reveal against how much you want to hide. You can never be completely honest. Does 100% honesty even exist? I guess it is a mask that we put on. Some parts of the face are visible and others hidden. But you will never get a complete picture. Every blogpost is a new mask which distorts the perception created by the previous one.

Blogging requires more skill than journaling. The question is where do I write and express better? In a journal where I have to confront myself or on a blog writing about trivial things in denial of the real issues?


Small town chutiyaap

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The new house help walked in today morning and within 30 mins wanted to know who is the woman at home I call “aunty”. “Whoa”, I thought, “does she read my blog?”

(Ha ha ha. Social media whore 24/7).

Before she jumped to the topic of my childlessness because are you even an Indian if you haven’t questioned a 30+ years old woman what’s inside or not inside her uterus; I gave her the same reply I give my colleagues “Let’s keep this strictly professional. You are here for a specific task, focus on that and don’t let other things distract you”.

I don’t blame her. The information will be peddled to her employers who are jobless and sitting at home judging other people’s lives.

Few months back when I was locked out of the house, I bumped into my neighbour. I was shocked. There were other people on the same floor? Except for the Japanese across from us (who I haven’t seen yet but know he is alive by his stash of beer bottles in the garbage), I assumed the entire floor was empty. The lady was VERY friendly (in my books, it is defined as ‘creepy’) and aware that I live in Mumbai while KC lives here. We share a common cook so she had gossiped about me. I wish my own friends and family were this interested in my life.

I have interacted with the cook for 15 days and she has never gossiped about anyone. All we talk about is food. Nothing more, nothing less. Which made me realise that maybe she isn’t the gossip but the neighbour is. You have to encourage such discussions for people to talk about random strangers.

In this country, you can live in a high end apartment building in a cosmopolitan area (Dwarkaites, do NOT laugh. Gurgaon is more cosmopolitan than Delhi, no doubt about it) but can’t escape the small town chutiyaap.


Recap of the week

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Highlights of last week:

  • Only ate home cooked food. Making up for all the meals I’ve eaten outside in the last 6 months. Which was, everyday, every meal.
  • 16 hrs IF. I love intermittent fasting. I have to worry about one meal less everyday.
  • Wrote everyday. Except last night. The hits on this blog this week have been the highest in the last year. Extra TLC for the blog to make up for neglecting it for months.
  • Worked out almost everyday. Skipped on days when I was sore and needed the sleep. Worked out twice on some days.
  • Stayed in touch with friends. But must make more time to call people.
  • De-cluttered and re-arranged the kitchen. The biggest task in the house. Whew!!!

Goals for week 2:

  • 16 hrs IF everyday
  • Eat eggs everyday
  • Workout morning and evening. Gearing up for 100 days of running so this is important
  • Write everyday. Maintain a journal (tough)
  • No junk food this week
  • Wake up at 6 am every morning
  • Call all friends, harass them till they pick up the phone 🙂
  • Try two new recipes – dessert and main course
  • Read 10-15 pages of the book everyday. Else, will have to bid goodbye to reading as a hobby.

In-laws are not parents

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Any normal, logical and practical person realises that it is not possible to adopt a new set of parents at 25+ years of age. But if this person is Indian, logic is replaced by high quotient of pretend emotionality.

Refusing to call your in laws “mom” and “dad” is met with shocked faces and gasps of horror. My logic is simple. I have one set of parents who are quite a handful and don’t need another set. Also, married men are treated like “sons in law” but married women are considered “daughters”. What this means is that Indian in-laws want someone to fit their idea of a “daughter”. They expect her to change her first name (a Sindhi wedding custom), her last name, dressing sense, food habits, lifestyle. Basically, everything about her.

(My in-laws expected me to live with them, change my last name, wear sarees, mangalsutra, quit non veg etc etc. To be fair, so did my parents. They refused to believe I was married since I didn’t change my last name. I had to courier them the marriage certificate. They thought I was in a live in relationship and lying. #truestory).

Please don’t be that asshole who goes “that didn’t happen to me so it doesn’t happen to anyone else”. If you were spared this torture, good for you. For the rest of us, it is a battle we fought and it took 10 years for MIL to stop trying to force puranpuli (ewwww) down my throat. My last resort to pressure tactics is puking. I have had the special power of puking at will since I was a kid and I used it frequently on my mother when she tried to force ayurveda churan on me. Works like magic.

There is no escape for women who go through the arranged marriage route. The whole process is designed in favour of men. Men who can’t find a women willing to fuck them have to ask mummy and daddy to be their pimp. These men only want women who will fit into their life conveniently. The objective is never to build a life together but instead for someone to be their whore, maid, cook, nanny, mother – all rolled into one. Actually, most Indian men expect that from their wives but atleast when you select your own partner you have the power to say “No”. But financial independence plays a big role in the power equation in a relationship.

(I’d rather be crude than a prude. And no, there is no in between).

But I digress. All I am trying to say is that I don’t call my in-laws “mom” and “dad”. Never have and never will. And I was clear with my parents that they shouldn’t have any such expectations from KC. We keep our families at a distance and their involvement in our life is minimal. Because good fences make good neighbours.


Writing everyday… blah

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I truly have nothing to write about today. What will writing everyday achieve? Not even a week into the resolution am already losing momentum.

Life is moving slowly. Too slowly. Strange because that hasn’t happened in a while. I can’t wait to fast forward to 6 months later and see how things have changed. Professionally and personally.

Maybe it is because of the lack of goals. I am not completely clear on the expectations at work. As for fitness, it will take another month to get somewhere. Starting from the basics sucks. Starting all over again sucks more.

Next few days will be a struggle. Goodbye, privacy. Goodbye, television. Hello, long working hours. Hello, late nights at the gym.

At the gym am focusing on functional movements. Anything that will make me move better. Instead of being static and lifting weights for each body part, am doing circuits of 5-7 workouts which are for the entire body. It is a more efficient way of working out. Less than an hour at the gym and the burn is immense. Animal flow and kettlebells are the new fad and am jumping onboard as soon as I can. Basically, as soon as I am fit enough.

I guess, writing makes me think for 15 minutes everyday and there is some merit in doing this.

 


Stuff I think about a lot but rarely bore people with. Except for today.

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The resolution to write everyday is getting tougher and tougher. What the hell am I supposed to write about on a normal weekday?

I assumed every person has a certain management style. Atleast that is what I remember reading during my B school days. But then again, I never took any of the course books seriously so my version is unreliable and probably inaccurate.

I realize now that management style has to adapt to the team you lead. It differs basis the work environment too. Example, it is easier to be flexible and give a certain amount of freedom and independence when your team has senior people who are good at their job. They thrive in such a work environment. You can rely on them to figure out how to complete assigned tasks and be completely hands off. You just have to keep them motivated and provide resources to make their job easier.

But when you have a team with fairly junior people and know their job much better than them, you may have to be authoritative. They will appreciate the hand holding and guidance. That is the hope.

A team which is struggling with execution will never be able to think strategy. Everyone has to climb the ladder one step at a time. Miss one step and the chances of toppling over increase.

For one minute I would like to stop thinking about work. But going by past experience I know that isn’t going to happen for another 6 months.

If am not work, am talking about it and when am not talking about it, am definitely thinking about it.

Help!!!


Paranormal activity

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So, remember this post about my 3-5 am insomnia? When I mentioned it to KC, he told me how that has been happening to him since he moved into the house. And last night his friend who is bunking with us this week also woke up at 4 am.

That was the topic of discussion at the lunch table with a colleague who believes in supernatural presences (also called ghosts in layman terms). According to her, the time till 3 am is unsafe but after that we are safe. She also asked me to be extra vigilant about strange sounds and any weird goings on.

Of course, whatever be the reason for our insomnia, am not moving out of this house. Now I understand all those horror movies like Paranormal Activity (only part 1 which made me shit my pants. The rest are quite blah) where the residents would rather brave the supernatural rather than move out of the flat. I have put in too much effort to set up this place to consider moving out because it may be haunted. We will have to learn to co-exist in peace.

By the way, incase you don’t see a post on social media tomorrow morning, please do check if am alive. Sure, this post, the blog and my social media accounts will go viral and there will be movies made about me but is that the price I want to pay for fame? Ok, maybe THIS is the price am willing to pay because fame in this lifetime seems impossible right now.

MIL is arriving tomorrow and if she starts wandering around the house at 3/4 am, we know it isn’t a coincidence. (Please follow me on Twitter for my series – MIL diaries. I promise to be funny, like always).

Maybe I should start googling exorcism from now itself. But all movies have this Christianity angle. What do non believers do? There is nothing remotely religious in the house for an exorcist to use. Ugh!!! I haven’t budgeted for additional expenses this month. I am certain KC will refuse to split these expenses because he has been comfortable and has no issues with any invisible beings. I am the one with the problem so the onus lies with me.

 

 


Things am grateful for today

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  • Having time in the mornings to read the newspaper. Haven’t done that in 2 years.
  • Loving my house so much, leaving it for work breaks my heart
  • A run in the rain. Though views of the Mumbai sea kept flashing in front of my eyes. Very unnerving
  • Home cooked meals for lunch and dinner
  • Mangoes
  • Working out in the morning and evening
  • Re runs of The Office on Amazon Prime. Mindy Kaling and B J Novak are my favourites
  • Knowing everything from ground up about my current job
  • Work life balance
  • Plants in the balcony. Had to fight for this but 100% worth it
  • Waking up to the view of the sky in the mornings
  • Diffusers and joss sticks
  • Driving 10 mins to get to work

S Durga

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This Malayalam movie was screened at MAMI last year and received lots of acclaim. I didn’t watch it because I knew it would get released in India sooner or later. I prefer to watch international movies I won’t have access to outside of MAMI.

The name created a huge controversy too and the director had to change “Sexy” to “S”.

Kabeer, a Malayalam speaking Mulsim, and Durga, a Hindi speaking North Indian, are eloping in the middle of the night somewhere in Kerala. They need to get to the railway station and decide to hitchhike. They are given a lift by two men in a Maruti Van who make them very uncomfortable. Everytime they manage to leave the car, the situation on the road is worse. The choice is between the unknown and the known devil. Who do they pick? Who would you pick?

I came out of the theatre with all happiness sucked out of me. I started the day on a high note and after the movie, can’t remember one good reason to be happy. If only there was violence in the movie. That would be a relief. Atleast I would know what the hell happened. But the director refuses to let the audience off the hook that easily. We are voyeurs and this is our punishment.

There is only one female in the movie and she knows instinctively when she is unsafe. Just like all of us do. We know when someone is staring at our boobs or undressing us in their heads. Durga knows it too but Kabeer doesn’t. Not till it is too late.

I was at the edge of my seat with my heart in my mouth. Last time that happened was at the screening of Trapped. I felt real fear and even taking an Uber back home after walking out of the theatre made me palpitate.

Sometimes what is said is scary. At other times, the fact that nothing is said explicitly is scarier. Because hearing it said would be a big relief. In this case, the audience is trapped in their own imagination going over and over and over what could have happened and what did happen but was not shown.

There were 10 of us in the audience and I went alone. Because I watch movies with like minded aficionados or alone or in my PJs at home. There is no middle path. The English subtitles were not placed properly but that was corrected when I complained to the staff. I sympathise with the old South Indian couple who walked in without reading what it was about. I am sure their Sunday was ruined.

May I please, please, please request you to support such brilliant cinema in India? If we don’t, we deserve the trash Bollywood throws at us. Go watch this one.

 


Delhi – now and always

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There is something about Delhi. From the moment I stepped into the city, life has changed.

I am not referring to the citizens or the culture. I prefer ground-to-earth Mumbaikers over the flamboyance of Delhites. Honestly, Delhites are annoying and only a source of good entertainment.

But the city is different. I feel at peace here. Not matter what am going through otherwise, Delhi always makes me feel better. Driving down the tree lined roads with spring in the air, everything seems ok. Everything is ok when am in Delhi. I hope it stays that way. I hope Delhi is the city which does not get ruined by the experiences of my life and I can always rely on it for a shoulder to lay my head down on, even for a few minutes.

Isn’t that what home is supposed to feel like.