Of Love, Silence, and Separation…

I met her for the first time in November last year while we were on our way to attend a client meeting. It was one of those pleasantly sunny days in late November. It was windy, but it was bright and reasonably warm. Okay, let me give you some context. Continue reading “Of Love, Silence, and Separation…”

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Seeking Acceptance-Part III

“Why am I not getting likes on this damn picture?” How many times do we ask ourselves this question an hour after we’ve posted a picture on Facebook? There are many people out there who waste their time asking people to like their posts and pictures.

We live in a world which happens to be brimming with social media (Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Instagram). This list is very much never-ending. It is world wherein we compare ourselves with others. “Why on earth does he/she have this dress?” We always ask ourselves why we can’t look a certain way. The saddest part is: we keep comparing ourselves to people we don’t even know.

Have you ever seen anybody posting a picture of himself wherein he’s watching TV on a fine Sunday afternoon while sitting in a loose set of boxers? No, you haven’t. People click photographs when they look presentable. They’d post a picture while enjoying a vacation at a seaside resort in Goa. The location would be breathtaking, and so would be the dress worn by the person. So, to top it all, people try to paint a rosy picture. They won’t tell you how they look when they role out of their bed, early in the morning. The picture painted by them is very much incomplete and distorted.

Now comes status. People click photographs to showcase what they’ve got. From the shiny and glittery dresses to the latest smartphones and headsets, everything is snapped and posted on social media. Here, happiness is an important element. People post pictures which make them feel happy. All of us, as individuals feel happy when we post a good picture and get likes on it.

Now, the problem is: our happiness is short-lived. As soon as we find that our friend has posted a better picture, we begin feeling inferior. Let me be very clear, I am not trying to preach to anybody how to live his/her life, and neither am I pointing a finger at anybody. I firmly believe that all of us should be free to post whatever makes us feel happy, given it doesn’t hamper the integrity of those surrounding us. What needs to change is a person’s overall focus on life.

Social media, in all fairness, has become the indomitable force controlling our lives. Ours is a world where likes and shares. our lives have begun revolving around social media.  We need to take a moment out of our lives and think. “Were we really brought into the world for this very purpose?” The simplest answer would be a big “no”. To put things simply, in our attempt to find acceptance in life, we began comparing ourselves with others. As individuals, we always wish we could live others’ lives.  In our bid to earn likes and shares, we’re missing out on other beautiful things happening around us.

All I’d say is: ” We need to live in this moment”. Form relationships with real people, and not with godforsaken Facebook friends. Enjoy the present, and just forget about what people have to say.  I am sure all of us would have much better things to do in life than to compare our lives with others.

To conclude: Life is measured by the good deeds we do and the promises we keep, and not by the quality of our social media posts.

Redundancy in life may not always be meaningless…

Having survived 100 days without work, I can definitely say it’s really difficult for a workaholic like me to sit aimlessly at home doing nothing. I can tell you I crave for the contentment and exhaustion of a long and fulfilling day at work. I’ve been spending sleepless nights writing one application after the other, writing the same things over and over again. Continue reading “Redundancy in life may not always be meaningless…”

We tend to become vulnerable as we grow older

There was a time when even an introvert like me used to make a lot of friends. Not that I was the most extroverted person out there. I mean no one ever saw me dancing madly in the middle of a big, fat Punjabi wedding, but I, like most teenagers out there, enjoyed getting along with people. I remember meeting a lot of people and making a lot of friends while roaming around aimlessly. Almost every single day, I used to bump into countless known faces. What followed those encounters were incredibly lengthy conversations that just refused to end.

I remember having a big bunch of friends who used to order my favorite food without having to recall it. There were those who understood silence. And then, there were those who organized last minute birthday parties full of fun and frolic.

Being someone’s friend and being friendly with people are two entirely different concepts. You can be friendly with your colleagues, but your colleagues might not be your friends.

Continue reading “We tend to become vulnerable as we grow older”

You learn so much out of your own failures

“If you’re mentally unhealthy in the first place, it’ll definitely affect your body. The first thing you need to do is to accept it, and go through the difficult part thinking it’s a part of a much bigger scheme of things.” Continue reading “You learn so much out of your own failures”

Being an introvert doesn’t make you an egoistic, ‘bigda hua ladka’

If you’re an introvert, it means you don’t have many friends. If you’re an introvert, it means you’re too shy. If you are an introvert, it means you’re egoistic because you don’t talk. (well, that is what the society believes). Just keep these arguments aside for a moment. Being an introvert is actually a good thing (I’d like to believe that). Being an introvert means you don’t have weekends engulfed with unnecessary hullabaloo. At times, not having a plan is actually a good thing.

Continue reading “Being an introvert doesn’t make you an egoistic, ‘bigda hua ladka’”

Believe…

There are highs and there are lows, especially if you do something for the first time. For you to do something you haven’t done earlier, there needs to be a greater degree of self-confidence. There are times when things can go horribly wrong and you can’t do anything apart from  staring your way into oblivion. There have been times when things have slipped out of hand. Whenever such situations have arrived, I’ve just kept my head down and said  “Okay, I’ll find a way out”.

Remaining firm really helps you at times because confidence alone, is a fickle companion, perhaps the ficklest of them all. You need to have a need for recognition, constant reassurance and a never-ending hope that it won’t desert you. My relationship with it hasn’t been dissimilar.

Honestly, it’s a never-ending process. Initially, when a decline in confidence occurs, a lot of it is related to the stress and the so-called ‘negative energy’ that is created around you and the things you need to refrain yourself from being a part of. It’s a really natural thing that people like to criticize more than they like to support and admire.

It is not about taking a dig at someone, it’s more about stating a fact. Even while having leisurely conversations, people like to get involved in talking negative about someone really quickly. Talking about someone  very positively ends within 10 minutes. You don’t have anything to say after 10-12 minutes. Obviously, you can’t keep harping about a person for long, but you can certainly keep going on when you’re criticizing someone. Many consider it to be a great way of passing (rather killing) time:).

Well, I think as  youngsters, we tend to succumb to them. All of us want to do well, you want to make a name for yourself, but a blow to confidence at a young age is, at times, difficult to recover from. When things don’t happen, an individual can stoop down to a level of confidence which can be really devastating. Not many people realize how badly criticism can hit a person. It can ruin a person’s life if he/she fails to find a way out of it.

People have gone into depression, they can go into depression and it happens to be a really tricky state of affairs. I’ve gone through those times. What I’ve learnt from them is the fact that failures are nothing but an opportunity to learn. It’s never really about trying to prove anyone wrong or going too hard on myself for failing to perform. There are days when I perform way better than what is expected of me. There are days when I perform below par. All of these are nothing but a part of the learning curve. you just need to be patient and go through the grinding with a belief that grinding too, is a part of a bigger process called learning.

Acceptance holds the key here. You need to accept that this, also is a phase that’s bound to come. You need to deal with it. Sometimes, nervousness and press get the better of you, but that is how situations pan out. Things just don’t go the way you want them to go and that is how things are. Those are the times you need to hang in there and realize that failures are important for your own growth.

Mental strength is something that has always been very-very important. I would break it down 70-30 (Mental:physical). The mental side o things has got tougher because we happen to be doing 10 different things at the same time. Work’s a never-ending process. You have to keep performing, you just can’t sit there and wait for things to happen.

Once the hard yards in life are done, the going doesn’t get easier by an inch. There are mood swings at times, but you need to keep the energy going. Melancholy at times, ends up getting the better of you, but you just need to keep your head down and bear it. If you succeed, celebrate. If you fail, just learn from the experience.

 

Societal Taboos – Part I

I find it hard to understand why  LGBT people in India are invisibilised in corporate spaces. I’ve always seen the eunuchs and the trans-women struggling  to find an identity in the corporate spaces around the country. I’ve had casual chats with people and I’ve noticed glimpses of hesitation in their voices. They must have felt a bit uncomfortable when the discussion started.

At every turn, the sex in sexuality stands under immense danger of being silenced by our own discomfort. censorship too, has played its part in curtailing the exposure one should get when it comes to understanding sexuality and everything related to it. Throughout my life (Well, I’m just 22 years old :)).I’ve noticed disgust and discomfort regarding the whole idea of sex. Often this discomfort does not come out as plain and outspoken revulsion.  Rather, it becomes a banal dismissal of sex talks as something indecent and objectionable. Sometimes, even words aren’t enough to explain the disgust. The word ‘chee’ says it all.

Many of us end up categorizing people and ideologies dealing with sex and sexuality  as ‘anti-national’. Such claims of cultural,and sometimes national indecency amplify the compulsions to remain silent on just about everything related to sex, be it sexuality, LGBT issues or the so-called feeling of ‘desire’.

I remember reading a news article about the “Hug a Queer” rally organized by the LGBT  community at Marine Drive in Mumbai, I read somewhere that there were incidents where the public chided the event organizers.  A lot of people claim that the idea of sexuality is against our culture and our shastras and that it is something that needs to remained confined within the length and breadth of one’s bedroom.

Even the hugs and handshakes between a male and female are considered ‘offensive’ by many people. This entire misinterpretation of culture  and tradition are responsible for our for an alarmingly high rate of hesitation when it comes to talking about sexual health. It is this misinterpretation of sexuality which silences and suppresses newness, knowledge and awareness.

And that’s not all, I read in an article published in The Telegraph that an expert panel working for adolescent education was somewhat pressurized by the Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD) to omit the words sex and sexuality from the final document they had prepared.

People often refrain themselves from using the world ‘sex’ openly because of the fear that it might end up offending people and their beliefs. It is quiet disheartening and moreover, disappointing to see that even the use of the term ‘sex’ for the purpose of empowering people with knowledge is being labelled as something offensive and indecent.

The population of India is approx 1.25 billion. It is an assumption that every second, a child is born in India, which clearly means that someone, somewhere, in a supposedly remote town of a lesser known village or town must be having sex with his/her partner. The problem lies in the way the entire concept of sex and sexuality is being presented by the society.

Sexuality is something that is policed and relegated to the private sphere. The reason, I believe, behind viewing sex and sexuality in a largely negative light is the countless  negative messages around the idea of sex that we encounter in our daily life. Sex is something that has always been there in the society, but all the negative chatter surrounding sex, right from news channels reporting incidents of rape and sexual violence to news reports throwing light on infidelity, has made the issue ever-so gruesome and serious. It won’t be wrong to say that the entire idea surrounding sex and sexual health has been positioned negatively.

On a personal note, It won’t be wrong to say that sexual health is an integral cog in the wheel when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Talking about sex isn’t an act of indecency. It is a form of knowledge, a form of awareness which should not remain confined to the bedroom.

The need of the hour is to be a bit more open-minded when it comes to talking about sex. It’ll help people to nurture a healthy and tolerant attitude towards sex irrespective of their sexual orientation and/or beliefs.

 

Politics: A game of wordplay

It’s an age old fact that with one’s choice of words, one can win over the hearts and minds of people. Words are enough to deliver fatal blows and terrorize the masses. I believe those associated with history would be able to understand the point I’m trying to make. Adolf Hitler, the Fuehrer of Nazi Germany, mobilized the masses and sent the Germans to war. Continue reading “Politics: A game of wordplay”