Friday, September 18

Out and Not Proud

Hey fellows, been 4 months since my last post. The covid cases in Pune alone have crossed 2 lac, and the lockdown has been eased in the interest of the economy. Not sure which is a bigger evil, but the Modi government I helped bring to power sure has lost my confidence. 

Not that the citizens of this democratic country are worth praising... surely there are more important things now to do than gather for weddings that endanger public health or have witch hunt campaigns for Rhea in the name of justice for Sushant Singh Rajput... But I guess people are just bored now, and want some excitement in their lives. While bigger issues remain unresolved such as Indo-China concerns, whatever short-lived happiness comes our way, we reach out for it and lap it up.

In these dismal times, I'm grateful for a job that pays well and keeps me safe in the comfort of my home, my family is healthy and we have everything we could need or want. I know so many people who will remember 2020 as a horrible year due to losses, personal and financial, social and emotional. My heart goes out to them. I wish there was a solution in sight or scope. Soon, fingers crossed. Until then, hang in there. 

I've spent most of the last 5 months working and chilling. There were busy days training on overdrive mode, and slow evenings where I binge watched Netflix, Hotstar, Prime or Voot. Aarush chose to stay at his Granny's and that worked well for all of us, given that my husband is a loner who enjoys working long hours at night and keeping to himself during the day. 

I'm fed up, in more ways than one, and that can be hard to explain, given that I've got no "real" worry as such. Emotional strength and inner peace - can that be a goal for otherwise "successful" people?

Given the nature of my work and my life experiences, proving myself and being outspoken is part of my DNA. But I find myself wanting less and less to be around the people I know. Age must be getting to me, or perhaps I'm just among the wrong set of people. Am I depressed? I sometimes think I might be. I do think I'd have been happier and nicer around with more positive and fulfilled people to call family and friends. 

I've got wonderful parents, and their unconditional love and support has always been my blessing. But I've not had the happiest childhood. Bullied in school for being teacher's pet and academically gifted but an outcast in the Marathi clan of classmates, and ridiculed by relatives and colleagues for being not fair and therefore not lovely. Perhaps I'm to blame. I tried hard, too hard sometimes, because I was operating from the Adaptive Child ego state in Transactional Analysis. I still catch myself seeking people's approval, attention and appreciation. I should have ignored them, and lived my life on my terms. This need to be validated, to be the best, and to be noticed. Even when not required. When I should let petty issues pass and insignificant people win silly arguments. But still a struggle, though I'm getting there...

The one saving grace among this is my amazing child. An absolute delight to be around. He is far better than most of us, even at that tender age. I'm so proud of him. He saves me from Anhedonia and makes me look forward to the beautiful thing called Life.

Some days are happy, almost too good to be true. But the darkness is overwhelming on the others. Like I said, I should have nothing to complain about, right? I value my security and I sometimes pretend everything is fine, and I'm good at it too. But am I? Absolutely not. I find pleasure in helping others when I can, as much as I can. But can I be blind and justify lies, sorry. No can do.

This is my "coming out" story. 

Will you know it if you met me? No :-)

You'll hear about how much I like training, and how I'm enjoying Bulbull, How to Get Away with Murder, Friends, Schitts Creek and how I sneak in a few pages of Mahabharata and When Love Came Calling.

For all my authenticity, I wear a mask too... Coz there is no one who can save me from myself. No one who can take me into the light. I guess I could/should do it for myself. But easier to go under. Unfair and despicable, for sure...

Keep that mask on, and keep your spirits up. We'll get through this.



Tuesday, May 26

Heart to heart, in the age of social distancing

So, the COVID count in India is now over 1.50 lacs, and with the restrictions eased, it's definitely not coming down anytime soon. I hope all of you and your loved ones are staying safe and sane.

The hospitality and travel industry are ruined indefinitely, and inviestments have dipped, despite the relief package announced by the government. Quite sad to see NaMo not taking more effective measures, and absolutely appalling the way Nirmala Sitharaman is behaving. People dying and losing jobs seems to be nobody's concern, and that in itself is a huge cause for concern for humanity. I've heard people are struggling with mental issues right from isolation to depression and domestic violence. It's indeed a punishment for all our collective sins, and there's no going back to the old ways of living once this ends. We've got to figure out a better way to survive and thrive, as human beings, not just selfish and scheming machines, winning and hoarding at the cost of others' lives and dreams.

I see people seeking help on LinkedIn for jobs, and I myself have tried to support people as much as I possibly can in any way. Be it through charity or job referrals or just a conversation to coach, rejuvenate and motivate - the ways in which we can help each other and numerous. We should consider ourselves blessed to be able to assist somebody else, because this is certainly not the time to engage in anything competitive, destructive or negative.

Don't burn out, whether it is during your house chores, or while working from home for office. Take a break, do something you love and spend time with family. Count your blessings and do your bit towards those that are not as fortunate. As so many people have said, this is not a normal time, and tiny things can become daunting. Accept yourself and others with grace, we're each reacting to the situation differently and we're all justified in our experience and emotions. Life is hard, but we've got to do the best we can, and keep doing better every day. I see posts on Instagram and Facebook where moms are outdoing each other and others are just managing to stay alive and sane. I see some enterprising folks cooking like Michelin chefs and others burning meals. I watch people curse religions and politicians, and I see people engaging in random challenges and tags. Coping techniques vary, but being positive and sensitive should be the watch words.

There are days I feel grateful for all that I have, and I have a lot. But there are also days where I feel miserable like I've achieved nothing. I compare myself to others better or worse than me, and I am left with misery, either for myself or someone else. I know there are many people who feel negatively about me, and I see their response (or the lack of thereof) that reveals their hatred or jealousy or apathy towards me. I know I feel angry about certain things and some folks, but I try to be a better person each day. I fail but I try again. How about you?

Stay safe, all, and stay human!


Thursday, April 23

Unprecedented pandemic times

Hi everyone,

I've been away forever, or so it seems. I hope you and your loved ones are safe amidst all this Covid chaos. The numbers in India have crossed 21k and there is no solution or end in sight, which makes every day just a little bit more tough and unpredictable. Our agonies are a thousand times lesser than many others, if that brings any respite. While we worry about what delicacy to prepare from the stock of groceries at home, people fret about having nothing to eat. While we think about the next job offer or criticise boring meetings, folks are losing from their jobs. As we complain about being stuck at home and not being allowed to go out for recreation, people are either without a roof, or unable to return to their families. We miss our friends and want to enjoy our lives whereas so many of our country men are struggling to survive.

The situation is bleak, but I'm sure you can find something to be grateful for. I am counting the many ways God has blessed me, be it good health, a happy and healthy family, food to eat and water for our needs, a job that pays well and allows flexibility to work from home, flowers in my balcony garden, sunrise and the breeze, internet and sound sleep, being connected to family and friends, and the list goes on...

I find myself watching a lot more TV than usual, and by that I mean Netflix, Hotstar, Airtel Xstream, Amazon Prime, and Voot. Some series I recently watched and enjoyed were Panchayat, Asur, Glitch, Stranger Things. Skyfire and Marzi started off well but didn't do justice in the climax. Roadies has stopped midway, and my reading has ended unceremoniously too. Just can't bring myself to finish "In the Name of God" by Ravi Subramanian. This week, I promise...

I've been cooking a wide variety of things depending on my mood and laziness. Be it North Indian or Italian, snack and chat, dessert and savory items. Maggi has been a staple as has rice and junk, but I'm also staying true to my 10k step commitment so the guilt is at bay. The weighing scale does show greater figures than normal, but hey, nothing is normal right now.

As people post their struggles and talents, I also see folks crib about the government and spreading hate. Hats off to our community helpers who are serving others at the cost of their own lives. At this uncertain and ambiguous time, we can all do little apart from pray and be kind and help who we can, as much as we can. Hopefully god will listen and forgive us for our greed and sins. And hopefully, we won't go back to our evil common ways once things return to normal.

I did check the Tarot cards for this... May and June will be hard, but July onwards the situation will improve. Come August and we might have some semblance of our regular lives albeit with greater awareness of the consequences of our wickedness towards nature.

Stay safe, and take care.
Wish you hope and happiness!

Best wishes

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