The What’s up truth!

Hi. What’s up. How are you doing?

I too ask these questions to others and I get asked the same in return. The small talk we all hear every now and then. Why is it that we cover ourselves in the safe space of “ all is well” and “as usual” etc. How hard it is to reply that “not feeling good“, or “ in too much stress”, or “feeling depressed because of all the things going around”, “working on myself and my mood swings this week”. Why can’t we share our fears and failures without the fear of judgement. The answer maybe that we dread the questions that come afterwards. Or the pain and struggle to explain ourselves again and again.. it’s a deadlock. Unless we explain no one is able to understand as they are not some therapists either. I attribute some of these situations to the societal conditioning of disapproving people who voice their opinions honestly. Or live their lives truthful to themselves.

The pandemic has made it worse. Initially there was all sort of activities to make use of time as if that’s what we were born to do. Earlier there was accusations that we are wasting time and have to keep doing “productive work” all the time. And trapped inside the house too, people are expected to do some DIY, cooking or learn new skills. Does it mean animals plants and other living beings are worthless and that they don’t contribute to the world environment. Yes we may be intelligent than other living beings, but shouldn’t we use that intelligence to live better and not take stress or tension and undergoing anxiety treatments. Unless my therapist explained this to me, I think we all took this fact for granted. That we are worthful even if we don’t achieve anything. Even if we just live and do nothing. Maybe it’s time to explore the nothingness. Being okay with doing nothing. Or for not having a job, or a child or a relation, or good health or slim waist or money. It’s okay.

The second thing that follows is the blatant advice which we don’t need; it’s as if no one listens. At times merely allowing to share and take it as they mean i, is so hard. And when things go dont well, it’s mostly because they don’t know themselves, or maybe they know but not able to. And at that stage what can advice do. More of compassion and empathy is needed. We all want to be seen, heard, appreciated, loved etc. and if the first two happens the rest follows. The main advice I get is to go out and walk or do exercise. If I were able to do that why would I even be writing this here!

The problem comes when we start comparison. It’s difficult indeed to not think of comparing, though we may brush it off under the carpet when we are confronted about it. Like what are you lacking? Look at others who doesn’t have money or food or shelter. Look at the afghans women! How do you explain that I don’t want to be compared or that I have the right to feel low even if I am the luckiest person alive in this planet! The problem of letting others be as they want to be.!

The only good thing I hope to come out of this is that more and more people are getting frustrated of the pandemic and the lockdowns and are able to identify how the reality and depressing news is bringing us all down mentally. Just like traffic has come down, pollution has come down, families have come together and other positives that came out of last year, I hope “I’m not okay” would also be “normalised” as a positive outcome. A sigh of relief for the future generation if that happens and I wish I could soon be as transparent to others as I am with the kid. Children understand mood swings way better than adults! And what more, they are clever enough to approach or leave you alone as you want it!

So now honestly, how are you today?

Game of life or Snake and ladders

The shining sun outside doesn’t reflect the state of mind. The bright sunrays passing through the window is reaching out to me and I almost feel like getting up and catching the dust particles visible through the rays. I realise slowly, my mind is garbled enough not to feel anything. I get up to the mundane routine, and soon feels exhausted. After lunch I lie down for a nap. I slither about at times but the photograph remains the same. Messy bedsheets, curtains pulled wide apart and the messy me.

Life is a jigsaw puzzle

As days go by, I rise and shine some days, write the scribbling that I do, ponder over about it, the fundamentals of human truth as they say in the weekly motivating forwards I receive in email. I close them up and eagerly watch the butterflies and bees that hover around the mealy infected plants of my balcony garden. Do they think too? Do they have emotions? After a while, it pains to think. I close up the laptop and pour myself coffee, and munch on the loaded cream biscuits. It was meant for the kid, but its the inner kid in me that’s relishing them. 

She comes to me to play word games or mind games, and I deny at times, except for the snake and ladders game. That was easy to play. A game based on pure luck with no thinking involved. I wonder now, whether why the game is so popular. We need to free our mind maybe? To rely on “luck” or whatever it is. It’s interesting to see what comes up and put our hopes onto it, when the changes resulting from the same gambling can pull us down and we fight it down resisting. If its a ladder we climb easily, but we see snakes we desist. We cringe. We cry in fear. We runaway. We hide. Yet we slide down unwillingly. Some rise up and look forward to climb the next ladder. Some dont want to climb complaining about their knees. Or we topple the whole game board and we resign. We say we will play ludo instead.

All games are same, no? Or is it my crazy mind showing me unrealistic dreams. The day dreams seem so short after a while, as the sun falls down, and its my time again to sleep. Or wander into dreams.  

A moment of remembrance

cheerful mother and daughter with dog in autumnal park

I woke up before the morning alarm. With David out of town for work, its been Mia and me in the house with our new dog, Rosie. The timing couldn’t be more unfortunate. Last night Mia brought her new boyfriend and seeing them kissing got me panicked. Anger was something I always hid behind when I cannot face my fears. David says I am too strict with her for someone in high school. I know it’s true. 


As I woke up, I saw the photo next to me. I think I slept with the photo in my hand. A headshot of Rocky. Being the only child, he was my brother, childhood friend and everything. I wonder how it was easy for mom to bring another dog when Rocky passed away. Rosie is perfect for her, quiet and broody unlike my Rocky who was so cheerful and playful all the time. Justin understood my pain. He too had lost his cat but never got another one. The phone next to me rang. It was Justin.


I started whipping the batter in the kitchen. The house is too silent today. Did Mia wake up? I went over to her room and knocked on the door.
“Mia, are you awake? You will be late for your classes.” No response.

After few minutes, I move back to kitchen through the hallway. The walls are adorned with the family photos of her childhood. I see it all the time but today, I noticed Mia’s laugh again in one of them with our first dog, Rocky. His licks always made her giggle. That’s what she was doing yesterday too, albeit in a different way. After breakfast maybe I could have a chit chat before she go. 

Mia opened her room in a hurry and walked towards the door. 
“Hey where you going? I am making breakfast.”

“After what happened yesterday, I don’t feel like having anything today. I will rather have something from the canteen. In PEACE !”. Mia replied.

Then she stormed out of the door closing the door with a bang. I stood there in the midst of the house. Rosie kept barking.


We had not talked much for these last three months. Ever since I introduced her to Justin, mom is behaving so differently. 
“Did your mom say anything after I left?” Justin asked. 

“Not much. It’s been a long time we had a peaceful conversation.” 

“Maybe she doesn’t like us.”

 I sighed a deep sigh. As if to say “I don’t know what to say”.

“You hungry?”

“Yeah. Can we have peanut butter sandwiches. And maybe some smoothies?”“Your wish is my command, Princess Mia!”.

I smiled. Justin always try to make me smile.

Rocky loved peanut butter. As I relished my breakfast, I remembered making peanut butter cookies for him. A moment of remembrance.

Mia loved pancakes. As I had my breakfast in silence later, I remembered how she used to have them with extra syrup on top. A moment of remembrance.

Change cycle of 2020

2021 is a year of hope for many of us. I am forcing myself to accept the same, and glow in the gratitude of last few months. To see the positivity even when surrounded by negativity. To be grateful that we are still alive, without getting affected by the virus. To be grateful to have jobs, room above us and food in fingertips in form of delivery. To be grateful to have family around me 24/7. Yet, like many People showing invisible symptoms, I am at times suffocated. With the tormenting thoughts of these crazy developments happening in the world like that of vaccination, that of restrictions, that of the new normal with masks, and social distancing keyword, that of stocks, that of bitcoin, that of artificial intelligence, Tesla, and what not. I find a glimpse of how our grandparents or parents find it hard to adjust with new generation. The changes are always for better, but it’s equally hard for us to accept the changes. 

Over the years, I know I have changed my beliefs naturally or by choice. I can say from experience that change is not impossible at all, or accepting the changes is so easy if you are open minded enough. We all think the words like principles, beliefs, values etc are all hard wired and that they will never change till we die. That all happens in movies, and looks good as film quotes, but what we forget is the human adaptability to change. For instance, I never thought while growing up that I will be a stay at home ordinary housewife, especially while pursuing the engineering. I never thought I will be tasting non-veg and alcohol in future, when I was preaching my college mates to be on pure vegetarian diet. I never thought I would stick to one-child policy considering that we are raised with old school traditional beliefs that multiple kids are always better. I never thought I would be agnostic, when I was deeply immersed in Monday fasts, and praying religiously at temples and singing hymns with Amma. I never thought I could be a late sleeper and not an early riser as many of the old roommates thought. Yet here I am. 

What hasn’t changed is the inner most fears like insecurity, perfectionist problem, the disorders which are not recognised as symptoms to diagnose but eventually the result of inner child turmoil, As it’s so hard to work on ourselves and our ego. The external fears of the future, the death, the anxiety of the unknown, the fight and flight response of human beings on a wide range of issues like anxiety to that of real danger. The selfishness when it comes to survival. Maybe these are designed to not change ever so as to sustain our lives in this world. 

Ever get frustrated with these change cycles? Like do you wish to get out of the cycle and thrown out of it like a tangent. When we are not adapting to the sudden changes, we definitely feel like doing that, but in the blink of an eye, we are back circling life in a smooth transition in the new form. In the larger picture, we don’t value the emotions and feelings of day to day life, but when we are in the midst of it, hope is that thread we could hang in there until the changes become part of our life. 

Special birthday

Two months to finish off this year. The routine still continues without a change. Of isolation. Of the late sleeping and waking up and the occasional study for the kid. Without any ounce of seriousness. After all who needs more seriousness in this pandemic. It feel so strange and in an alien world to talk about this pandemic as if we have gone years behind and we are talking about war happening elsewhere.

The silence is still not perturbed whole day. Except for the excitement of the kid. As always. Every year. The only thing missing was the cake. I felt it absurd to fulfill the wishes of a kid by either ordering or making the effort to make one considering the circumstances. Not only about the “unprecedented “ situation but also because of the effects of death in the family and the roller coaster effect of it on me. The despair as this article talks about. That’s what been plaguing me for many days now.

There are positives that few people still remember the birthday. A few close wishes which is more than enough. When I hid the birthdate on Facebook this time, the road became very clear. Apart from the usual expected calls and messages no surprises and no awkward conversations. The online gaming still carried on.

That’s how the day went. As usual. Except for the new dress she made me to wear and the mini photo session we had as we could not lose the chance to appreciate the moment where in we dressed up after a long time! And except for the sweet snack made in the evening by her and her grandmother. With a usual birthday card and a makeshift necklace which we both can never use. And that’s how I celebrated my birthday this year! Without any special extravaganza. A special birthday indeed, ain’t it?

Conversations on Death

Every Indian is helping CBI solve the Sushant Singh Rajput death mystery. News channels are all over it. Covid has taken a back seat as the novelty of the virus and the deaths associated with it has worn off. I guess human beings have always loved solving mysteries which explains the innumerable tv shows and films on murders, crimes, horrors, thrillers and what not. In fact I struggle to find a few good movie for N and myself to watch. Not the childish ones but not yet adult shows. ( Recommendations always welcome!)

Scrolling through corona updates on Twitter, it did shock me to read about Sushant Singh! Not that I’m interested in how he died but the death itself! I was neither a fan of him or his work, but our connection started from his first work, the tv show Pavitra Rishta. I was newly married, recently shifted to Bangalore and jobless playing with TV remote whole day. I accidentally started following the tv show from the start as the female lead was also named “Archana”! Though I discontinued it when the Saas Bahu drama strengthened, I kept following the fresh duo (or Best Jodi as they say) and their journey from being on screen lovers to a real couple. As like any other fan girl, I was thrilled to know Ankita and Sushant were dating in real life! I couldn’t follow much on their dance reality shows due to timing mismatch, but was disheartened to know that they broke up after so many years! Also, “Kai Po Che” was one of the rare movies we saw in theatres, as mostly it was an adaptation of Chetan Bhagat book (as part of the CB book phase) and also because of Sushant!Continue reading →