Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A letter to me from me...

Dear Me,
I just read what Dagny had wrote to herself and she is the inspiration behind me writing this letter to me. Often times I have wondered what it would be like to go back in time and change things for myself for the better. The mature me says that life isn’t meant to be lived with regrets but the impish me wants to ensure that I emerge scar- free when I live all the years between age 15 to age 25.

What if we are living in a parallel universe? Over here my age is 25 but in the other one I might just be 13. I would, probably, be walking on a beach where I find this letter to myself in a bottle that has floated ashore. Oh the romantic in me is thrilled at this idea! But the sad truth is there is no sea where I stay so there isn’t any chance of me throwing this letter away to reach you in the past. The only bet I can take is imagine that I am 14 again and read this, hoping to derive some wisdom for the years to come ahead.

I want you to know Shailee that you are a super star! Modesty hasn’t really been one of your virtues but then you know and identify your potential as well. You have got to learn how to make full use of your potential! I know you have imbibed the mantra of competing only with yourself at a very early age. This mantra has brought solace to you at times when you need it the most. The world is changing rapidly where rat race has become a fashion trend. Competition is present at all levels and they expect you to be a part of it because you are, after all, the best they have! Thank God mom and dad support you for who you are. Thank God that they have always been extremely happy and content with your performance, academic or otherwise. I say this because in the future there would be many instances where you would be compared to other people. Some of them would be better off than you and the others not-so-better off. It would be at times like these that your mantra would come useful. You will learn to set a bench mark for yourself based on your past performance and not on the performance of someone else. All in all, it will give you an air of being unperturbed by others’ achievements or failures. I think it is completely worth it!

 Enough about you being a super star! It is also my duty and moral responsibility to warn you. You have been brought up in a very protected environment.  You are one of the lucky few whose childhood has been absolutely splendid and safe. You, still, don’t comprehend worldly matters as people of your age should. Your trusting nature and your innocence will go on to become your major strengths but only at the cost of losing many people and after falling many times in life. I don’t say that being gullible is a wrong thing. No! Don’t even think that way. But you have to be wary. There are going to be people who are going to use you for their own selfish needs. Think twice about who you want to allow to be a part of your innermost circle. Of course, you won’t pay heed to my advice right now but after being hurt in love/friendship a lot of times you will automatically start filtering people. I assure you, you will only get better with time, kind of like the best wine that you have ever tasted.  Also may I add that you will grow up to love wine?! (I do hope we are allowed to give hints like these to ensure that we looked forward to growing up!)

Another thing I want to bring to your attention is your complacency. Your lack of ambition bothers me at times. I know you adore your father and you have learnt not to be greedy and over-ambitious from him. You have seen the smile of contentment on his face when he comes back home from work. But my sweet little Shailee, you have to understand that Dad is content because he knows he has a set business. He has been in this profession for 25 years and so he doesn’t have to be powered with ambition and aggression at this stage in life because he has already become what he wanted to be. You, on the other hand, lack passion and ambition. Please ensure that you set a goal and a vision for your life. Your laziness in not doing so disturbs me and has given me many-a- sleepless nights.  You take “living life as it comes” very seriously. I am not implying that is a wrong thing to do but you will realize later that a little planning here and there would have been most useful.
I think I have given us enough of advice to last us this lifetime at the least. What I love about you is your desire to make people happy.  Right now you think that you can make everyone happy (Why wouldn’t you? Everyone around you is perfectly happy by you and because of you) but as you grow up you will realize that there are people who enjoy being unhappy. These people are the negative ones you have to be aware of.  They are out there to suck all the happiness out of you like the dementors do to Harry Potter (Don’t worry you will know who Harry Potter and dementors are in approximately 2 years’ time). Don’t let their negativity affect you deeply, though. Your positive attitude, you will realize, will be like sunshine in a lot of people’s lives. That will give you the strength to go on, which I am very sure you will, against all odds.
Always remember I love you for who you are today and forever. You are an amazing person and I am sure you will stay so always.

Lots of love,

P.S:  In the seriousness of the letter I forgot to warn you about some things that I want you to pay attention to.  Since no one has stopped me from dropping a few hints about your future I am taking the liberty to do so right now. I want you to follow these words extremely carefully:
1) Stay away from cigarettes. You know smoking kills, don’t you? You don’t want to make a habit out of that. Same goes with alcohol.

2) Make sure you eat right and stay healthy. 2 years from now you are going to bloat up like a balloon during your 10th standard exams. Avoid that
3) Also, for God’s sake don’t get that ugly bob cut on your hair when you are 16. It looked good on Kajol, it won’t look cool on you.

4) Now is the right time to learn how to play the guitar. At a later stage in life you would want to play it. But you won’t be very good mainly because you didn’t start practicing at a young age. (You know oldies take a lot of time to learn new things, right?)

Monday, January 23, 2012

A New Girl. A New City...

She landed at the Hyderabad airport with the excitement that only an enthusiastic amateur traveler can experience when landing at a new place. It was just another random metro city, but she soon realized that the language was something which was going to separate her from everybody else, always.
Call her good luck, but her first month in Hyderabad was full of friends, fun and frolic. It was surreal. And she thought to herself, this is too good to be true. So many friends so easily?! All she did was bask in the glory of her friends and have a good time.

Fast forward, one month. Now she sits silently in a corner of her office and writes this. Those momentary friends, made then, are now scattered all across the world. She doesn't have anyone she could speak to. Colleagues are 'artificial friends' i.e. people you know who smile at you and talk sweetly with you but bitch about you behind your back.
Outside friends are too busy with their lives and don't really care if you need someone or not.
All this comes as a blow for her. Mainly because, she is not used to being alone. She is used to being surrounded by friends and loved ones. But here something is definitely amiss.
She looks forward to waking up to a day when all this seems just like a bad dream...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The year of women empowerment or something like that...

She is everywhere. She is your mother, perhaps, your neighbour. She is your teacher at school or she is the one sitting next to you on the bus. She may be your vegetable vendor or she may be your role model- but the truth is, she is everywhere!
I am talking about an oppressed woman. She will not tell you what she is going through, but her eyes will. She will never verbally abuse her husband, but she gets abused all the time.
I have come across so many oppressed women in my life that my faith in the institution of marriage is, perhaps, on its way to total collapse.
These are the women of today. They work outside, are bread earners for their family but their so-called better halves don't care for their feelings at all. Their spouses enjoy sitting on the couch doing nothing all day long and abusing their wives making sure that their male ego is satisfied.
These are the women of today who run from one place to another to make ends meet. Who undergo total trauma just to make sure their children have better lives.
I salute these women. But a better part of me wants them to break free of this nonsense that their life has been reduced to. A better part of me wants them to stand up and take a firm stand. There is a feeling of helplessness that sets in as I write this and realize that help needs to come from within for these women. And all we can hope and pray for is for them to realize just how much powerful they truly are! And unless they don't realize it themselves, there is no breaking away from the shackles of this male-dominated institution called marriage...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rendezvous with self!

My idea of happiness:
Making others happy. I know its not possible all the time, but I love it when I am the reason because of someone else's smile.

Greatest fear:
Losing my parents. It is inevitable I know. But that will be the worst thing to happen to me.

Which historical figure do I identify with:
Mahatma Gandhi. What a man! I don't care what others say or feel, but no one has the guts in their ass like this guy did!

Which living person do I most admire:
Shahrukh Khan. Not for his acting skills. But for that awesome head on his shoulders! He is a genius

Trait I most deplore in myself:
I am moody. Very moody. Disgustingly moody :)

What is the trait you most deplore in others:
Lack of humility. I am allergic big time to egotists who cannot think about others.

Biggest extravagance:
Maximum portion of my salary goes into gas (traveling), reading, movies and food :)

Favorite journey:
Will be when I will be flying back from US to India forever :)
In short, going back to my motherland

Favorite painter:
Vincent Van Gogh

Most over rated virtue:
I agree with you. Patience

Dislike most about my appearance:
My eyes

Which living person I despise:
Politicians and con-men

Words I use the most:
All hindi, gujarati and english gaalis. Sorry can't write them here :)

Greatest regret:

When and where was I happiest:
14th october, 1991, Mumbai. When I was told that I have a baby sister now :)

Present state of mind:
Frustrated. Want to shout at one of the so-called 'egotist' in my life

How would you like to die:
In my sleep.

Favorite motto:
When the going gets tough, the tough get going

-Inspired by the blog write up on Shobhaa De's blog

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My sister...

When she was born my heart burst with a feeling completely unknown- jealousy. Yes, that is exactly what I felt. Now, I would have to share my father and my mother's undivided attention that was meant only for me. And here she was, an intruder in my perfectly perfect world.
For a long time after that, I would tease her that she is an adopted child. And that I am the only actual daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Shukla. She took it all in a lighter stride.
I never realized it then, but I do now- that what an amazing person my sister actually is. She is mature in ways that flabbergast me. She is impish in ways that make me smile and think about my childhood.
While growing up, I hated her. She would read my diaries, would tell mom things that weren't meant to be told, would talk to people that I hate, would be daddy's pet- and so on and so forth.
Little did I realize that this was just sheer love that was growing within my soul; just for her.
I still remember how she would eagerly wait for me to come from school, and as soon as she would see me she would drag her tiny little bottom across the floor just so that she could be held by her didi.
When she first started walking, I remember being on my knees at the other end of the room waiting with my arms wide open and she would come running into my arms and give me the world's best hug!
When we were both young and stupid, we would make a house underneath the dining table all fully furnished with pillows and teddy bears. All these and so many other wonderful moments that have made sisterhood so special.
Today the roles have reversed. I see her as someone who is wise beyond her years. I see her as someone I would seek advice from. I see her as someone who is closer to me than my closest friend. I see her as someone just like I would want my daughter to be...
I could write a book on what I feel for her. Or perhaps words would seem superfluous here. But one thing is true, that she has surpassed all of my expectations today and she is someone I am fiercely proud of.
I read what she writes and I realize that its my soul speaking back to me. I guess that is why there is so much of hype about blood relations. She is a part of me speaking to back to me, telling me exactly what I would feel. So what if she is a million miles away?
She is a still a part of the same branch that I am. She is still my own flesh and blood. After reading this she is going to just tell me that I am an overtly emotional fool, but I know that in the night when she is lying alone in our bedroom she will perhaps think about her crazy-emotional-drama queen- didi and I hope that she knows then that she will always be loved and cherished in a way that no other sister would ever have felt.
I promise you my sister, that I will always be there for you. No matter what. Every step that you take or every endeavor that you want to undertake, there always will be one hand ready to hold you in case you fall...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Egotists.. and we are surrounded by them!

Yes! The word is 'egotist'. This is the word I fell in love with, when I first read the much coveted 'Atlas Shrugged' by Ayn Rand. I don't agree with everything that that book has to say but I fell in love with this word.
And it is true! We are surrounded by them. Primarily men. People who haven't achieved much in life except working at a laundromat come up to me and explain why I am overconfident about the decisions that I make in my life. And I feel like telling them that it is, precisely, these risks that I will take that will make a better person out of me in the future. That was Egotist No.1

Now we have Egotist No. 2 who thinks that every mortal soul walking on this planet is an ant, that is to be crushed under his feet. Well except for him of course. Because he is the omnipotent, all knowing one!
Well let me tell you Mr. No.2 that you are as retarded as Sridevi was in the movie Sadma. And that having X number of graduate degrees and holding Y number of prominent positions on your resume doesn't necessarily make you a demi God! Knowledge comes with a lot of responsibility and should be accompanied by a lot of humility. If you are not humble enough to respect another person's being, any amount of grey matter in your head would stay just that GREY MATTER and nothing more!

Monday, February 7, 2011

If Only..

- I had never met him or fallen in love
- I had never lost out on all those friends
- I had stopped and smelled those roses more often
- I had never let myself down in front of me so many times
- I had studied harder..
- I had been more focused and fixated
- I had a PASSION