"How is it that one section of the world can be so privileged that they complain about the authenticity of sushi they get and the other is so dismal that they can’t even grow food to eat? Is that the reason why I need to be here? Because then I’m part of the privileged few who get to walk on dirt-less roads and have water straight out of the tap? Or am I exercising privilege if I refuse this opportunity in favour of roads with potholes and doctor’s clinic that host roadside dogs?"Read More
"When dreams become real life, there is no scope for romanticizing uncertainty and possibilities because whatever happens next is completely in your hands. If you screw up, there is no one to blame except you. Subconsciously, I didn’t trust myself enough to follow through on my promises to myself."Read More
"On a 7-hour flight from Seattle to Newark, I was contemplating what it meant to be a first generation immigrant. Lydia Minatoya warned me about the identity crisis that slowly engulfs you without giving any notice. She was very clear that the only way to survive was to adapt but we have this terrible habit of holding on to the past. In an effort to cling to what we know, we let go of the beauty of a new culture. Can we be our past, present, and future at the same time?"Read More
“If I’m going to do this, I’m going to give it my all. Every waking second of it… I’m going to be here, in every moment. Breathing every breath with you as if this is the only moment that ever mattered. I’m going to wake up tomorrow to look back. And when I look back I want to confidently know that there’s nothing I would’ve done differently. It could be an assignment, or e-mail or a random conversation with my Uber driver. I’m going to be present.”Read More
"From ban on beef to national bullying of a random celebrity, when did the nation start having so much time to engage in inconsequential propaganda? What is this intolerance that they would have us believe exists in a country that is the opposite of intolerance?
What are all these religious constructs and divides that are driving people to make irrelevant statements and pick sides when the whole conversation is just smoke and mirrors?"Read More
"What is feminism? I have to question myself at times. Is it defending womankind unabashedly? Is it a tool to ensure that women have an upper hand because they are the “fairer sex”? Is it about drawing attention to inhuman injustice faced by women in a man’s world? Or is it about equality?"Read More
" Hey New York, make a place for me in your heart. It makes more sense for me to go elsewhere. I could always go back home and lead an equally exciting, if not more, life. Sometimes, I become weak. Especially when my mom calls me to tell me how much she misses me. But there’s something about you. "Read More
It’s happening. I’m going to be on the wrong side of the 20s in a matter of a few weeks. Unlike every other birthday, this is driving me insane ever since someone subtly mentioned that I’m pushing 30s now (You NEVER do that to a woman. Neverrrr!).
In the last two years, I’ve come closer to my dreams as much as I’ve gone away from a few others. Everything starts becoming clearer. Maybe, it’s the age or the experiences you go through. Maybe, it was the big jump of moving to another city. Maybe, it’s a bit of everything.
So much changes about you but does it really?
On the occasion of my 24th birthday, I’d jotted down an extensive list of life lessons that helped me make it this far. Read here.
Everything holds true, more so now than ever before.
Here’s an updated version for my 26th or as my friend calls it, 1st annual celebration of my 25th birthday.
(In no particular order)
Crush Your Ego
There is a big difference between self-esteem and ego. Identify that difference when you act on your impulsive reactions. Ego is destructive. Self-esteem is constructive. Opportunities are aplenty but don’t hold yourself back.
Everyone is Equal
So what if she is prettier than you and that’s what helps her get her work done? So what if he was born with a silver spoon and that’s why he is where he is today? Has anyone blamed you for being better at balancing a wine glass on your nose than the others? Has anyone questioned your ability to sniff out the crazies like a hound? Everyone is different. Respect each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
I’m not saying pass a dollar to every homeless person on the street. I’m not asking you to join non-profits that will save the world. No. That’s your decision.
But remember that you shall reap what you sow. Everyone is selfish. Including me. What is it that you are offering to the world that no one else can? How are you making someone’s life better? Why should I talk to you and not the neighbor standing next to you?
Follow Your Heart, But Don’t Be Ridiculous
Yes. That’s what we have been taught in the past 5 years.
“Follow your dreams. Connect the dots later.”
What stalwarts like Steve Jobs didn’t tell you is that you have to work your ass off to achieve your dreams and sometimes it will include doing really mundane not-so-glamourous tasks like making 600 copies or going through 50 reports to find one piece of information or working on a creative brief for panty liners.
Don’t stop dreaming but also don’t quit your job because you had to do something “beneath” you one day.
Your Words Matter
You could get away with saying that you don’t care about gender equality or state of farmers in Maharashtra when you’re younger. But it sounds way different now when you’re on the other side of your 20s.
Your opinions make a difference and you have the ability to push the needle to make real change happen.
READ. No seriously, ACTUAL READING.
You’re going to meet a lot of other smart and cognizant people when you put yourself out there. They can tell the difference between someone who’s read the title versus someone who’s read the book. Don’t EVER pretend to know something you don’t know. It’s okay to admit that you don’t know something.
Your Parents Were Right About Everything
You start realizing now that whatever your parents told you about life is actually true. Remember that time at dinner when your dad wouldn’t stop talking about the importance of waking up early or having dinner on time? Yeah. He was probably right.
Fine. You don’t have to admit it to them.
There Is No Later
You can’t afford to procrastinate anymore. Well you can, hypothetically. But that’s your loss. Because this is it!
Those random travel plans you made with your college buddies, that origami class you always wanted to take, that boy/girl you always wanted to know more, that dress you always wanted to try… do it. Time flies by faster all of a sudden.
Don’t Believe Everything You See
Everything that glitters is not gold. They’d taught this to us in primary school. We tend to forget that this is applicable to almost everything.
Even if Bill Gates comes to you one day and asks you to do something, question it. Why? Why is this going to work as opposed to something else? Don’t do things blindly because only cows do that. Are you a cow?
Pain Is Not An Excuse
Empathize, not sympathize. Stand tall; don’t look for a reason to fall. It’s easy to wallow in self-pity and not do what you're meant to be doing. But the only person you’re doing a great disservice to by being so is yourself.
It’s difficult but not impossible. You are your only person.
Everyone Has Their Own Journey
Everyday your Facebook Wall will constantly remind you how someone is getting engaged, is in a relationship, got a job, is getting married, is having babies, has become a grandparent, has baked cookies, is owning a bunny farm (okay, last one was pushing it and that would probably be me) etc.
It’s OKAY. Don’t “fall in love” with someone because you’re the only one in your friend circle who is not. Don’t start a family because it’s “time”. Your life is your own. Peer/parent pressure is what you make of it.
Also, Have A Cat.
Cause cats are amazeballs!
P.S: Quarter Life Crisis is a real thing.
"I want to get outside and drench in the rain, have a small talk with the rain gods while sleeping on the luscious green grass in Central Park. It should rain and rain until it feels like Bombay. It should rain until it feels like home again."Read More
"These borders don’t really exist. If I am a fish that decided to swim upstream instead of downstream, I can do that. There’s no physical force to stop me from doing that. The only real barrier is my will power to go against the grain. Do I want to float around within the same 1000 cubic meters of water for the rest of my life or do I want to explore a space 1000 miles away from me? It’s my decision."Read More
"In the attempt to avoid scrutiny of any kind, I lost my art. My music. A piece of my soul. Then, it all started changing a few years ago. I was sick of feeling helpless. Is it always because of my circumstances that I can’t get what I want?"Read More
“If they hate me or laugh at me, I don’t care. But never will I stop myself from meeting people who I want to meet and doing things I want to do because of the fear of that rejection or humiliation.”Read More
"The Reality of the Mars One mission is far from reaching fruition but the reality of these people aiming for the stars is a compelling tale that forces you to look in the mirror. While we on one hand are battling with struggles like finding a job, pleasing our bosses, keeping up with our diets and balancing friends and family; these people are answering questions much deeper than that."Read More
"I am a Nobody. I am not an Actor. I am not a Politician. I am not an Artist. I am no one significant in the broad landscape of humanity. I am just another person in a count of billions.
I haven’t studied political science or history. I am not an Economist or a Journalist. I am not the person who watches the News Hour every day or reads the newspaper on a daily basis. I am just another person trying to get through life by being the best that I can be."Read More
"This story is about how “Indian gay men’s wives are trapped in marriages”. But who said it’s only the wives who are trapped? One of the interviewees in the article explicitly states, "In our society, even if you have a great job, you are considered a failure if you are not married with kids"
Why is it necessary to be defined by such beliefs? Don’t we all know of unhappy loveless marriages where people just end up being together because they don’t want to upset societal harmony?"Read More
"I’m scared. My bones are shivering even as I type this. You think that this would never happen to anyone you know. You think that the world is a perfect, bright and happy place. But people just bury the ugly stories in order to keep this myth alive.
I have a story today which I need to tell the world because something needs to be done, my hands are tied and this is the only thing that I can do as a woman who wants to stand up for another woman."Read More
The big bad world out there is ugly and heartless, that’s absolutely true for most parts. But in the bitterness of our harsh realities we often forget how there are small pockets of happiness and pure-hearted goodness that are going to warm our hearts amidst this drought. We forget that much like us there are others who are suffering in their silence hiding behind the unbreakable shield of their smiles.
And maybe, they are distrustful of everything just as you are because it seems unfair. If we all get stuck in that cycle of distrust and loathing, can we blame anyone for the eerie sensation of hostility when we thrust ourselves into the open?"Read More
"It is a celebration of those who choose to exist and identify outside of the binary; who still get he’d and she’d differently throughout the day; who get called-out in bathrooms and eyed suspiciously at the airport; who have invented names for themselves as parents because “Mom” nor “Dad” feels quite right; and who will generally expect that stare from the gender police trying to figure out if they are “a boy or a girl”. It is an homage to the bull-daggers and female husbands before me, and to the young studs, gender queers, and bois who continue to bloom into the present."Read More
"Introversion is not an affliction. It’s not something one can choose to be. It is how you are. You don’t have a choice in the matter. What you do have a choice about is how you deal and cope with it to adjust with your external environment. Introverts are constantly being nudged and prodded by the world around to “cure” themselves. But much like, how homosexuality is not a disease that can be cured nor can introversion."Read More