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 universe¬† for making it more difficult than it has to be.

I finished reading the book “She Said” by Jodi¬† 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.


The MOST annoying things about me

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If you have the misfortune of spending long hours with me or worse, actually living with me, these are the most annoying things that could (and probably) drive you mad:

  • I am sensitive to the AC. To put it bluntly, I HATE the AC and am never comfortable with the vent overhead or pointing towards me. When I would travel to Mumbai from Gurgaon for work, I would book a hotel instead of staying over at a friend’s place after hanging out with her at her home because her AC was always on high and I couldn’t sleep. Every morning and evening when I step into the Uber, my first sentence is “Please reduce the AC”, and the cab driver’s answer is “Madam, AC is at the lowest temperature”. KC wonders why I take an Uber instead of the regular cab. In a restaurant, I always, always check where the AC is and pick a seat accordingly.
  • Hanger is a real emotion. Hanger = hunger+anger. When am hungry, I get angry. Eating meals on time is my basic, human, uncompromising requirement. Lunch at 1 pm. Dinner by 9 pm.
  • I’d rather wear shorts and stay warm in a blanket rather than cover up my legs. Except in the extreme Delhi winters. Milder winter days/nights call for shorts next to a heater.
  • Being in bed by 10 pm is a biological need beyond my control. I have to be the most boring person on weekend nights but well, it is what it is.
  • I will never be up for drinking, pub hopping, partying my life away. EVER. For anyone. It is akin to a dementor’s kiss for my soul.
  • I need alone time everyday. It could be reading or writing or just lazing around in bed. Nobody talk to me for 30-60 mins and we can stay friends.
  • Bath times are meditation time. Don’t nag me for being in the shower for 20 mins+.
  • I will always have an extra toothbrush, enough shower gel to last 10 humans for a whole year and a lip balm in every room. Don’t question my feminine aura.
  • 6/7 am is too early for a conversation. Let’s not talk till I have returned from my morning run.
  • My wardrobe, side of the bed and my stuff have a Lakshman rekha around it. Nobody gets to cross it. I don’t like sharing my space.
  • My phone is off limits and I respect another person’s privacy. Have never snooped into anyone’s phone and never will. Basic human right.
  • Morning run >>>> morning sex
  • I can eat the same meal every day for a whole month. Feed me dalia khichdi for lunch everyday and I won’t get bored.
  • I can’t stand loud music in the house. Splurge on the expensive headphones and use them. Bad music is irritating.
  • I hate entertaining people at home. A home is where I chill and not a place where am worried about other people’s comfort. Inviting people over is a cause for stress.

Is that enough stuff to sympathise with the person stuck with me in a house?

 


Ramblings – home, overthinking, ghosting, timing

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HOME

I was in Gurgaon yesterday and didn’t get nostalgic at all. In fact, I could barely remember what life was like last year there. It made me wonder which city I can consider home now.

Mumbai is comfortable like an ex I would rebound with. I know I will hate it afterwards but atleast it feels familiar. It is bad sex but atleast there are no unwelcome surprises.

Kolkata is too new to be home. It isn’t even a contender. This city is a short term adventure.

Gurgaon feels like a love I need to get away from because I was obsessed. Not feeling anything is a relief. I can move on and make space for a new love.

Birth city (Himmatnagar) is a painful reminder of everything I had to give up for the life I craved to live.

So, where is home exactly? Where do I nest? Where do I escape to recoup?

Is it a city?

Is it wherever we decide to anchor for a bit?

Is it wherever KC and our stuff is together?

OVERTHINKING 

People constantly ask me to stop “overthinking”. C’est La Vie. Whatever will be, will be.

I told Mann, “it is like I can see colour and everyone around is asking me to start seeing only black and white. How can I stop seeing what I can see? How do I close my eyes and senses to everything around me? Isn’t colour more fun than black and white?”

I’d rather be an overthinker than someone simple. Thankfully, there are enough “overthinkers” around to never let me feel out of place. This blog wouldn’t be half as interesting without it. Or would it? Do you want me to go back to posting my to-do lists? Would those get more hits than these ramblings about the same topics over and over again?

GHOSTING

I have ghosted many people in the last few months and some of it is coming to bite me back. Because going back to someone you have ghosted is very, very, very hard. It takes weeks and months of consistent effort and explanations to build back the trust and friendship. Lesson learned – be absolutely sure before ghosting someone. Even then, string them along till am sure I never want them around. Or just string them along and keep up a pretence. Who knows when someone is needed. Right? What if am up at 3 am and need someone to talk to? Ghosting the only 3 am friend is foolhardy. Everyone can be useful at the right time.

TIMING

Timing is everything. Right things at the wrong time mean nothing. If you don’t reciprocate my feelings, they will disappear. Because nothing lasts forever. Only things you work towards, last. When it ends, it is gone forever. There is no turning back. You could make many gestures but they will be futile. Every human has boundaries and limitations. And those are time bound.

Stuff I would like to spend time doing everyday

  • Reading. 10 pages everyday and then gradually increase it to 50 pages
  • Working out. On track
  • Writing. On the blog or in a journal.
  • Overthinking

That’s it. This week is filled with travel, work pressure, stress, long days and early mornings.

Good night.

Puts out the scented candle

Closes the balcony door

Turns off Spotify

Sets the alarm for 6 am wake up call

Double checks the locked door

 


No happy thoughts at 11 pm

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Few weeks back during a conversation with my coach, she said “Am sure the experiences of this year have made you stronger and you will now be able to deal better with a similar situation”.

My learning in life has been that every adversity makes you stronger but this year’s learning has been that some adversities break you and it is harder to build back the resilience and confidence.

Everyday I expect things to do terribly wrong and even when they are going right, am scared to appreciate them.

Why be optimistic in life and get disappointed when it is easier to be pessimistic and prepared for the worst?

The thought of living this whole life all over again is highly depressing. If I could do it again, I would choose not to.

Ciao. I am finally sleeping comfortably in Kolkata and do not want to break the routine by staying up late.


4 months progress

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It has been an exhausting day and am so completely drained that I walked out of the gym without working out. Now am unable to move my ass off the bed and have surrounded myself with essentials – water, phone charger, laptop charger, Bath and body works candle, Cleo (my cuddle buddy), lip balm and water (staying hydrated is important). I still have to take off my make up, put the uneaten dinner in the fridge and turn off all the lights.

To counteract the mood, let me list out all the positives of the last 3-4 months, as suggested by the gym coach and life coach.

4 months back the search for a training plan started. I was looking for an affordable plan which includes workout as well as nutrition. This is hard to find because most trainers are experts at only one or the other. After stalking many, many people on Instagram I found someone who is young, has a good IG presence, is affordable, provides both workout and nutrition help and is hot (mandatory requirement). Last year this time, I had hired a personal trainer, Mac, at Fitness First. I had known him for 3 years and his TRX workouts were amazing. He was always helpful and had given lots of free advice on workouts, nutrition and helped me with workout plans. What could possibly go wrong? For starters, the ME time in the gym became US time which wasn’t very appealing to me. I realised that the only moment in the day I spent focusing mentally and physically on myself was now time spent with another person. I missed listening to music at the gym. That was my first and last experience of hiring a personal trainer. Never again. Unless, the guy is absolutely hot, great to have a conversation with and I have a crush on; am not paying him and replacing ME time. The only thing that works for me is an online training plan I can follow at my convenience and pace.

Joining a new job, travelling and moving to a new city may seem like the worst time to start a new workout regime but for me it was the best. It ensured the damage was minimised.

4 months later, this is where I am:

  • Tracking daily calories and staying within the calories range most days of the week. I haven’t missed tracking for even one single day in the last 1 month. It took me 2 months to even start this and then in the 3rd month, any day when I consumed junk wouldn’t get entered.
  • Eating 100 gm+ of protein most days of the week. The challenge is when am travelling and don’t have time to consume whey. Because getting so much protein without whey is impossible right now.
  • Eating veggies on most days of the week. Target is to eat atleast 2 servings per day. Still a challenge but far better than before.
  • Following 16 hours IF on most days. Breakfast is now a luxury I indulge on the weekends.
  • Working out regularly. Even when am tired because of a 7 am flight, I get atleast a core workout done. It will only get more intense next month onwards.
  • Eating home cooked food when am not travelling and in Kolkata. Absolutely look forward to it.
  • No sugar days. This isn’t planned but there are many days when zero sugar is consumed because I eat 2 meals and 1 whey smoothie. *Chocolates do not count. I still have a piece of dark chocolate every night*
  • Keeping in touch with important people. People I think will be around for the next decade. Everyone else has been dropped.
  • Keeping in touch with (most of the) family.
  • There is a lot that needs to be done at work but am taking each day at a time instead of getting stressed. Sure, days like today are hard. The thought of the amount of work next month along with house shifting is giving me the jitters. All I want to do is plan a vacation but that seems like a dream right now.

Ok, am done. Can’t think of more ways that am awesome. Trust me, I started from nowhere and am one of the most consistent pupils in the training batch.