Posts Tagged ‘humans’

People do not change over night. You do not, you cannot, wake up one day and choose to be different than who you are. But you can change over time, gradually, sometimes so slowly, that you are a different person even before you realize it.

That realization comes later, from a word, a gesture or a thought. And it is quite profound when it comes.

I am a very open person. Whatever is happening in my life is known to multiple people at any given point in time. If they ever get together, they can weave a very detailed tapestry of my life.

It is here, on my blog, that I have been more reserved. People find it easier to speak out anonymously. I find it easier to share with people I know. No more. I made this blog so as to speak out. The only thing that has truly held me back is what I read somewhere – that once the words are out, they do not belong to the author, they belong to every reader and the interpretation is no longer what the author thought, but what the reader reads.

I have been depressed for nearly two years. It was a slide downhill ever since I got married. Discussing my marriage is not what I want to do today. But I learned a lot of things. I finally ‘grew up’. I lost the naivete and innocence I had had – without even realizing it. I was a shiny penny who thought the world only reflects yourself back to you. I learned that is not the case – and that I am a fool who trusts and loves too easily.

I am old school in all the wrong ways in a world which has moved forward. It sounds like so much self-justification but I am not listing my crimes or what was done to me. I have now felt real loneliness and I would never wish it on anyone. I have felt unrequited love and I hope no one has to go through this.

And I have changed. Today, I ranted on facebook:

To everyone wishing a #happywomensday and using said wishes to define women: a woman is a woman is a woman. Period. Its biology, not a mental state of being. Get over yourselves. I am a woman and I can celebrate that even if I am the worst excuse for a human being. Being a woman is not about being strong, managing family, having kids, having ANYTHING specific in fact, except ovaries (and not even that if you are trans). I will not celebrate getting out stronger when faced by problems, being the gentle and kind one. I refuse. Being a woman does not mean taking the high road. I am so so done with that.
Okay, rant over.

Because I am done. I changed. I am stronger, and it might be good in the long run – but I miss that innocence which I had. I miss my belief that the world was a genuinely good place – and that everyone has good intent, even if their actions do not match. I may have been a fool – but ignorance truly was bliss.

I have great friends. I have a very loving and supporting family. I have a doctor who listens to me. I have people who are willing to put everything aside and be there for me. I have that and now I know just how lucky I am to have it. I know that I was in situations where I could have been in real danger, except I was lucky that the people with me were decent human beings.

It is not about men vs. women. It is not about birth parents vs. in-laws. It is not even a husband vs. his wife. It is about nothing except fighting your own battles because no one else will do it for you. It is about growing up – because ignorance might be bliss, but at the end of the day, ignorance will only ensure that someone fools you.

I have grown up and it is today I am realizing that I have also grown a lot stronger. I knew the words, but now I finally believe: My happiness is my responsibility. My life is my responsibility. The world owes me nothing and it is up to me to make the best of the life I have been given.

I plan to keep growing, keep learning. I will not regain that naivete, but I will rebuild my belief that the world is a good place. I have changed and change is neither good or bad, it just is.

Stop!!

Posted: January 30, 2017 by Arushi in Thoughts
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What are we doing??

Can you not hear the screaming? The shouting, the wails? The voices going hoarse and yet not stopping?

History repeats itself, they say. But it is not history. It is us. We are making the same mistakes again.

There are so many of us, screaming, shouting, fighting, every way we can to make it stop! Stop!!! We cry, but so many others have turned deaf, mute and blind. They think this is the way. They have forgotten what history tells us. Maybe they have an alternate-history as well.

This is how it started. The pogroms, the segregation, the slights, the insults – veiled at first – but gaining momentum. It started with a few but it went on and and on and on… until it was no longer murder – until it became genocide.

How can we not see it coming? Once it starts, it does not just stop. You have to stop it. YOU have to MAKE it stop!

How did we forget our history so quickly? It has not even been a century since we let millions be murdered and swept it under the rug of genocide – because that word is still easier on the ears than the reality of the brutal, terrible deeds that were done in the name of the greater good.

For any who think it is not our problem, I say, not yet. But it will be.

The holocaust happened. It did.

War crimes still occur. Child soldiers still exist. Rapes are so common that I have no words. There is probably a mass grave being filled with rotting unclaimed bodies right now – no one left alive to even mourn.

This is happening.

Do not think we in our ‘sacred land’ will be safe. Do not forget. We have endured this too. Do not say we are natives while they are interlopers, we were interlopers once too.

First there was someone, then others came and pushed them down. They ruled, they crushed and centuries passed. We say we are of this earth – but we were interlopers. There was someone here before us. So we have no right to say it to others. When others came and conquered us – they did so with their might. We lost and they ruled. Why quibble about it now when more centuries have passed?

Now when we are a democracy – when we all rule – none of us is an interloper. Everyone we welcome, we gain something from. Giving home and hearth, welcoming someone who comes seeking aid – this is something embellished in EVERY ancient text, in EVERY religion.

It is now when we have to stand strong. Standing against a breeze is easy, but now the gale is coming and we have to stand up to it before it becomes a cyclone.

A cyclone does not pick and choose its victims, it brutalizes all in its path.

Love me

Posted: November 24, 2016 by Arushi in Thoughts
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What is it about love that we crave it with such fierceness? That all acts committed under its name elicit at least a second, more forgiving, glance. Why is a crime of passion different from a cold blooded one. Why do we want it, and why do we change so much because of it when no other force would have moved us?

Why do we love? The hormones, the chemicals… why have they not been ‘evolved’ out of our system yet? Why do they exist?

Who besides poets and writers has ever appreciated it? What good does it do? Love, or the romantic notion of love, does it even exist?

There is no true love. Then why do we still look for it?

Why do we feel incomplete without it?

Why do we want it?

And how do I live without it?

 

Picture Perfect

Posted: November 18, 2016 by Arushi in Thoughts
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All of us (anyone who is reading this, for sure) are leading a life on social media as well as ‘living our real life’. There are check-ins, reviews, photographs, quotes, status-updates, snapchats, instagram posts, tweets and many other ways in which we project our ‘real’ life onto our social media.

Our social media platforms are supposedly a mirror of our lives, the parts we want to share with friends and family, without actually sharing and the parts that we want to be public. Our opinions, our likes, our dislikes, our friends, the pictures of that party or feelings about that person, all out there in black and white for the audience selected by us to see. After all, this post is also a mirror of my thoughts at this moment about something. Would you like to know?

This mirroring of our lives is fake. I love social media. But. My friends only know what I choose to share. My family only sees what I choose for them to see. With one click I can restrict anyone and they would simply think me very reticent. Not only am I selecting the audience I am also tailoring the material, editing it.

We all lead such glamorous (comparatively) lives on facebook and instagram. We are always dressed up, always pretty (what else is the Beauty setting in cameras for) and always smiling. There is no inkling of what is behind that smile.

If I trust facebook, all my friends are happy, content, eating out at posh places, travelling, reading books, going out, getting married, having kids, dancing, drinking, loving and living the utopian human lives. But they are not. Not the ones I am actually in touch with. The ones I speak to in real life – have real lives apart from all of this. In fact, this is only a small part of their lives. They never mention how hard it was to smile for a particular picture in the comments, but they do tell me on the phone.

But what I see on facebook (because that is the only one I am really active on) is what I end up projecting onto it. A friend (an amazing friend) recently told me that she had thought I was happy, that everything was great, because of what she saw on facebook. Then we talked and now she knows how wrong everything is. She also knows better than to trust facebook now, especially when it comes to me. So she texts. She calls. She emails. She makes sure she knows what is going on.

How many of us would put in that much effort? I am not sure I would. For a while, yes. But for months she has supported me. Been my rock. Months.

It is not just this distortion. I feel like I must be doing something wrong. After all, I am the only one unhappy. Everyone else looks spectacular, fabulously happy and are having the time of their lives. Right?

Somedays I wonder if they are hiding their own share of problems. They probably are. There is no utopia. But on really bad days, I hope that this is all there is to them. That there are no problems. That at least someone out there is happy, is having the time of his/her life, is partying, travelling, reading, laughing, getting trashed, dancing madly, loving like a fool but not becoming one.

Hope.

 

 

Getting There

Posted: September 27, 2016 by Arushi in Thoughts
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I have talked about me multiple times on this blog. There is also a separate category for this – Thoughts. But I wonder if I have ever been bluntly honest. Usually I hide behind third person pronouns and rambling tags. It is so much harder to own up to my own mind than it is to pen my thoughts down.

I am halfway through Getting There by Manjula Padmanabhan. I think I got my courage and my inspiration to be so brutally honest from there.

I am not happy. I would say I am clinically depressed except I am not certain of the definition of clinically in this context. It just sounds more impersonal and more impressive than plain old depressed. I am having issues with my body image, with my sense of self. I am in a relationship – in a marriage – that has been rocky from before its inception. It is not that either of us is a bad person – but we are too different. In fact, somedays I feel we are as wrong for each other as it is possible to be. Somedays I love him more than life itself.

Our expectations, our ideologies, our attitudes towards gender roles – all of that is different. There is some deep level, where we have barely connected – except we did connect enough to still be together. I read a letter on a ‘psy-help’ website from a wife asking her husband – when will she be his first? As in, when, if ever, he will prioritize her – the way she has been prioritizing him from the moment they were engaged. She’s not sure he ever will. I am not sure he ever will, either. But then, I am not one of those who can keep on giving – asking for nothing in return. I am not that person. I do not think I could ever be.

To me, each relationship is a two-way street. So I gave up. That inner core of me which was happy – which loved him and just wanted his love, nothing else – has vanished somewhere.

Maybe I should try harder – maybe it is the ‘lot of women’ and someday my actions will make him understand what my words could never explain – but that is not who I am. So many people have tried to make me understand this. I do not. If you cannot put me first, I see no reason why I should do it – unless I still choose to. If you cannot love me how I love you, then you cannot complain when I change. What you cannot do for me or mine – you have no right to expect me to do for you or yours. If I do it – count your blessings – if I do not, then you better be fine with it.

I used to want the ‘whole package’ – husband, two kids – heck, I even wanted a white picket fence. Trying for that ‘perfect’ vision got me to understand that no matter how ‘perfect’ I try to be – I will never be good enough because I am just not wired that way and neither will anyone be able to meet my expectations from that pedestal. And being the person I am – I quit. It might have led to more rockiness in my relationships – but it did bring me closer to me. I studied closely what I wanted and what I had thought I wanted. That is one of the best things – for me – to come out of this whole thing. I no longer want kids. I do not even want a white picket fence – a house is so much harder to maintain – give me a spacious flat any day with a minimalistic decor. I now know I am happiest when I work – and I value my work over most other things in my life.

I have accepted that I am struggling with depression (and migraines – both existing in a symbiotic relationship) and no matter how much I want to blame others for it  – I too should have known not give anyone that kind of power over me. I know I will never make the same mistake again. There is no conclusion to this – because I am still here – still human in all my failings – with someone just as human who perhaps loves me too – otherwise why would he still be around?

In its unedited avatar – this post was too raw – one of the most honest things I have ever even thought of putting ‘out there’. Now it’s edited and still hitting that post button will be extremely hard for me. I am saying this here because where else would I say it?

Travel Diaries: Bengaluru

Posted: September 12, 2016 by Arushi in travel
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The first thing that struck me about Bengaluru was the air. The cool, fresh air, with literally no hint of pollution, especially compared to Delhi. I loved it. I cannot remember the last time I was in a car with the window down, but that is what I did here – much to my own surprise.

The city is a sprawling metropolis and it took me over an hour to reach my destination. Throughout, I kept the window open, relishing the wind.

To be honest, I didn’t really see much of the city. Of course, the fact that I went from the airport to Marathalli to Yeshwantpur Railway Station and finally to Malleswaram means that I did see the whole city. The roads anyway.

Everywhere, there is a certain beauty, a touch of green amidst all the concrete. Maybe it’s me. From Rajasthan, I have grown up to really love greenery whenever I have found it around me. I adore the bright plants that crop up after rains, even though I know they’ll die soon enough. But in Karnataka, they don’t die. There’s water. It rains very often, without being muggy – a miracle to Jaipur born and Gurgaon living me.

There were trees that had grass – at least I think it was grass – growing on their trunks, their branches – like the straggly beard Captain Jack Sparrow sports.  There was moisture in the air, there was humidity – but it was lacking that sweltering quality which I had learned to associate with dark clouds. I could not have been happier.

Of course, while the weather may have been spectacularly different – or maybe I was lucky to visit at an extremely opportune moment – from NCR, the traffic matched the National capital on its best/worst days. Remember the huge Gurgaon jam due to the rains? I spent 5 hours traversing around 4 km. Well, Bengaluru had its own version which was just as bad. Bengaluru is just HUGE. Perhaps I still haven’t let go of those notions of Jaipur and Saskatoon where you can go from one end of the city to the other in an hour.

Also, the road to the airport was amazingly green. Beautifully landscaped with so many flowers in bloom – I kept trying to click pictures – knowing that the speed of the cab was not exactly allowing for it. I think maybe this road had a lot to do with my great first impression of the city.

And then there is the airport itself. Planes land and planes take-off. What is there to rave about, right? Mostly that is true but I liked the bright colours in the stores and I loved the fact that there was free WiFi even though I did not avail the service.

But you know what the best thing was about Bengaluru? My friends. I LOVED spending time with them. Seeing them, getting hugs, enjoying conversations that could be had over the phone but were so much better in person. Every moment I spent in that city is precious because of the people I spent it with. From the midnight conversations to the skipped lunches, from the travelling to the shopping, every moment was breathtaking because they joined me. Because I had them with me and know I will always have them in my life, no matter how far in between these trips where we actually see each other.

I need to visit again. Soon.

Mr Right

Posted: August 23, 2016 by Arushi in Original Fiction, Thoughts
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This is not written by me, but by a friend, for, and to an extent of, me. Her blog is here, but this post is not.

It is better for the soul to remember the good, to acknowledge it, to believe in it and to relive it. To simply remember the good again and again and leave no place for the negative…

People are probably gonna ask me for the rest of my life “what was it about him?”.

Maybe one day I’ll come up with a better, more interesting answer, but the truth is I don’t know.

My parents wanted me to meet this guy and, out of respect for them – and because it never really crossed my mind that it would amount to anything – I agreed. After all, the worst that could happen was a short, awkward phone conversation.

They gave me his number and told me he was expecting me to call. I rolled my eyes as I dialed, wondering for how long they were going to keep trying.

He picked up after the third ring and for once, I couldn’t think of anything clever to say.

He asked me to give him five minutes of my time, so he could tell me a bit about himself, the kind of life we wanted and the sort of person he could see himself sharing his life with.

It took way more than five minutes, but I didn’t mind it at all. I could tell he was being honest and I found it incredibly disarming. And kinda sexy.

I couldn’t help but to be truthful as well, and ended up telling this stranger things very little people, if anyone at all, knew about me.

It took my phone beeping, to let me know the battery was dying, for us both to realize that five hours had passed since our first hello. I didn’t want to hang up.

The conversation had moved past the both of us and we had discussed our families, literature, politics, movies…

It was so very refreshing and I felt myself blush, thinking I could had forgotten everything and just kept on talking forever. But alas, we both needed to work in the morning and he promised we would talk again soon.

I decided I was going to marry him in the time it took me to say “goodnight”.

I took a deep breath and went to bed, wishing “soon” would come sooner.