Let us just stop putting People in Boxes!

 ” There’s a story behind every person. There’s a reason why they’re the way they are. They aren’t just like that because they want to. Something in the past created them, and sometimes it’s impossible to fix them”

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Follow your Dreams, they know the way

 

 Write about a real or imagined High school reunion. Did it / your classmates live up to your expectations?

Truth be told, none of us has lived to the expectations.

The top scorers, teacher’s pet, favourites of staff, all-rounders and extremely brilliant students can sometimes land up in boring, unrewarding jobs and be called ” losers”.

The “never attended a single class” and ” barely passed” are working as Leaders and Managers, running their own business and making everyone else proud.

I was the perfect ” nobody” in college. My professors would not even remember my name yet I am the only one in my entire batch of English Honours who ended up being a Writer!

My life has always been a roller coaster. I have an academic record of always landing in top 5 students of the class. None of it helped me crack my first interview.I failed in cracking one of the toughest competitive exams for 2 marks, I considered myself a failure after my second attempt, what I didn’t know was that my calling was to write books.

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I had lost faith in myself when they laughed at me, today is the day they follow my footsteps.

The ones who screamed to the world that I was good for nothing now swear in my name, tell the world proudly that – She is my friend and I always knew she would make something of herself one day.

There’s no stopping you when you believe in yourself.

I realised quite late in life that rat race, competitive exams and 9 to 5 jobs are not for me. I started working during my college vacations and continued for 5 years, jumping from one job to another, restless and eager, unsatisfied and disillusioned with the idea of working for someone else’s dream. I read somewhere –

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I’ve made my teachers, family and friends proud already for choosing a path less travelled and the journey has just begun 🙂

Corinne from Everyday Gyaan and yours truly give you writing prompts and all you have to do is choose any one of those prompts to blog about and link up every Friday. The link will be open until the Monday. After you link up, be sure to spread the love by visiting other bloggers who have linked up too.

Feel free to add our Friday Reflections badge to your post or sidebar! Follow us on Twitter @FridayReflect and join our Facebook Group. Share your post on social media with the hashtag #FridayReflections.

Prompts for this week:
1. What is something you are pessimistic about?
2. Write about a real or imagined High school reunion. Did it / your classmates live up to your expectations?
3. What do I do to break routine?
4. “Angels can fly because they take themselves so lightly”. – G K Chesterton. Use this quote in your post or as an inspiration for one.
5. Picture prompt (credit: Living my Imperfect Life)

Link up here

Where do we find Happiness?

Where do we find Happiness? 

I have asked this question repetitively for more than a decade until someone came and explained to me that it had always been with me.

Happiness is a state of mind. We can create it whenever we want it. Don’t believe me – try finding it elsewhere. The only problem is that we think happiness is non-integral part of ourselves, it’s always another that can make us happier.When I was a 5 years old, ice creams made me happy and when I was 16, it was my friends who became a synonym of happiness, later it became my family and happiness kept on moving from one place/person to another.

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Happiness is an inside affair. You cannot buy enough stuff to make you happy. There will always be a longing for something more. Some people find it in luxurious apartments, others in childhood homes, but the truth is that it’s within us. Everything that we are seeking outside is already within us. If you are not happy with what you already have, you’ll never be. What you have shall be taken away from you, if you are not grateful for it.

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There are thief of happiness, namely,

1- Blame

2- Guilt

3- Jealousy

4- Worry

5- Doubt

  Blame

It’s tempting to blame another for everything that goes wrong in our lives, all we got to do is sit back and bitch – it could be a family member, a friend, relative, circumstances, weather, government and if nothing fits at all, we all have God. Blaming is a natural human tendency. When something bad happens, the first thing we want to know is, “whose fault is it?” It is a means to discharge pain which makes us feel relieved but for a very short period.

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Blame Game is toxic behaviour, it is addictive to wash your hands off and let another deal with the consequences of your own karma ( only in your head).When we take responsibility for our own life, we take away power from other people, stop depending upon approvals of others and become better human being.

 

 Guilt

We all make mistakes. When we continually feel guilty for our mistakes, we started living in the past. You have to accept your mistakes and rise above them. If you are not making mistakes, there must be something terribly wrong with you.

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 Jealousy

It is a feeling that another is better than myself. It brings along emotions of low self-esteem, doubt, insecurity, fear and suspicion. Never compare yourself or your life with another. We are all unique in our own ways. People are always more screwed than we think they are, social media highlights the happy times alone, we cannot assume that people are happy just because they are always smiling in front of the camera.

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It is a sickening feeling to feel sad because someone else is happier.This emotion can ruin our lives and degrade us as human beings.

Worry

Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere. Worry is a complete waste of time. 99 % of the things that we worry about never happen.What’s meant to be, will be and there’s nothing much that you can do about it. Worrying is like trying to find solutions to the problems that do not exist at all. It is like carrying an umbrella hoping it would rain.

 Doubt

 I’ll never find the perfect partner

I would not ever get a job that I love

I will fail

All of it categorises as doubt. When we do not have faith in our own capabilities, we start doubting ourselves and everyone around us. Thoughts become things. When we constantly talk about failing, we do fail.10984276_10204207586290172_633131342070074203_n

 

 

 

Your Siblings are the only People who Truly Qualify as Partners for Life

Your parents raised you, your spouse lives with you, but your siblings are the ones who really shaped your personality.

They were our worst enemies when we were little but as we grow old, we realize that they are the only friends who have always stood beside us and will continue to love us despite what goes wrong. The older we get, the closer many of us grow to our siblings. In fact, in a survey of 2,000 adults in Britain, it was found that 25 was the golden age when “we finally start to feel real love for them after years of fighting, bickering and competing” for our parents’ attention. Sibling relationships influence how we deal with the society.

Researchers believe that single children are “not only less trusting, less trustworthy, and more pessimistic, but also less competitive, less conscientious, and more risk-averse.” When you have a positive relationship with your sibling, you’re less likely to have anxiety and depression, according to Professor Clare Stocker from the University of Denver.

Some of the “healthiest, happiest, and least lonely people” are the ones with good sibling relationships. If we look deeper, they were the first ones to notice our sadness and happiness; they saved us from our parent’s wrath, helped us complete school assignments, fought for us, cried for us, and laughed with us. Majorities of our “first-time experiences” were with our siblings, they saw us when we fell from the bicycle, they rejoiced when we came first in competitions and they cried when we failed.


In the formative 1995 book, Sibling Relationships across the Life Span, psychologist Victor Cicirelli says, “the older sibling gains in social skills in interacting with the younger” and “the younger sibling gains cognitively by imitating the older.” In this way, siblings are “agents of socialization.” The mild conflict between brothers and sisters teaches them how to interact with peers, coworkers, and friends for the rest of their lives.

While our parents always taught us how to be strong and face the world, they were the ones who knew how much we were hurting. They understood our dilemmas and worries more than our friends.

According to Laurie Kramer, a professor of applied family studies at the University  of Illinois, “While these conflicts can be a headache for parents, they can help kids make developmental strides in a ‘safe relationship’ and give good training for interacting with peers.” Since you are stuck with your sibling (at least for a while), you are stuck with arguing until there is a resolution, thus you learn how to better communicate. Your brother or sister might have actually made you a more compassionate, kinder person.

“From the time they are born, our brothers and sisters are our collaborators and co-conspirators, our role models and cautionary tales. They are our scolds, protectors, goads, tormentors, playmates, counselors, sources of envy, objects of pride. They teach us how to resolve conflicts and how to conduct friendships and when to walk away from them. Sisters teach brothers about the mysteries of girls; brothers teach sisters about the puzzle of boys. Our spouses arrive comparatively late in our lives; our parents eventually leave us. Our siblings are the only people we will ever know who truly qualify as partners for life,” says Jeffrey Kluger in The New Science of Siblings.

Results of a statistical analysis of nearly 400 families showed that, regardless of age-distance, having a sister protected adolescent against feeling lonely, unloved, guilty, self-conscious, and fearful.

Having a sibling means having a lifetime of emotional support, a friendship greater than a spouse and endless childhood memories that bring a smile on our faces. If one of the sibs is following a healthy lifestyle, it immediately becomes a way of living for another. Working together school assignments or play is much more effective than working solely. A single child faces enormous difficulty in making new friends, dealing with relatives, and speaking about their issues with parents. They learn to do everything independently but there is always an undying urge for a partner.

©Nikita Goel

The Wardrobe of a Woman and the dignity and grace of the entire clan .

Some people believe that dressing modestly is a part of respecting the boundaries of marriage. “You’re married? You do not look like it,” is a phrase women hear even after a decade of being married. Especially in India, women have to look different once they are married. Once you tie the knot, your wardrobe has to announce your marital status.

A woman has to be a sari-clad, wearing sindoor and mangal sutra, but men can roam around the house in shorts and tees all their lives. There is no obligation for men to ‘look married’ and ‘sanskari’. Men can go on living their lives, nothing much changes once they are married but women become ‘ghar ki izzat’ (honour of the family) the moment she steps inside a new home. A woman is treated as a walking, talking platform meant to display her husband’s wealth.

A woman is treated as a walking, talking platform meant to display her husband’s wealth. The imaginary ‘izzat’ of the house is let down and the family has to face severe embarrassment if a married woman is spotted wearing anything western. The wardrobe of a woman can have a drastic impact on dignity and grace of the entire clan.

Imagine the world where men have to wear traditional attires, talk softly, cook delicacies, and make babies. Do you think men would be able to carry on with the weight of the world on their shoulders?

In ancient India, Hindu men and women adorned themselves with exotic jewelry around their bodies. Hindu scriptures talk in detail about how men relished accessorising themselves. Over a period, men stopped being decorative pieces but women were forced to follow the ancient traditions to keep it alive. It becomes a ‘talk of the town’ if married women decide to wear something un-traditional, they say things like – your husband’s age multiplies if you wear sindoor on your forehead.

Indian women nowadays are financially independent working as CEOs of reputed organisations but nobody can escape the pressure of becoming a sanskari bahu. You could be a miser, destroying families over trivial issues but not wearing body-covering clothes is illegal.

We are teaching our daughters to be independent so that their in-laws can tame them.

A woman could be earning better than her husband could but she is graded for culinary skills, alone.

“Oh, she has not popped out a baby in five years. There must be something wrong with her.”

“She comes from a family where values were not impacted.”

“She is a disgrace to our family- look at those skinny jeans, who wears those after marriage!”

Sadly, women themselves are carrying forward the tradition of taming other women like cows and buffaloes.

Originally published under my weekly column – Relationship Rationale at Different Truths

2016

I have a writing ritual of dedicating a post for the year towards the year end.
December 31, 2015 – We welcomed New Year at Kemah Boardwalk witnessed fireworks on the beachside. It was freezing at midnight and people were screaming – Happy New Year, hugging strangers, singing, and dancing, drinking and merry making.
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If I could, I would celebrate every day. Birthdays, Anniversaries and New Years are mandatory celebrations for me. Nothing is going to change, it’s just a date but in the world, we live in, we desperately need reasons to be happy.
What happened in 2016:
  • ” January ” is our celebration month, our birthdays fall in the same week, we were celebrating with friends when the clock struck 12.

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  • We’ve been to Arkansas, Dallas, San Antonio, Boerne and New Orleans.
  • We went to India and were so occupied all the time that jet lag never left us. One of the cousins decided to get married on the day we got hitched. It was like ” reliving” our wedding on the 3rd anniversary.
  • I launched my Book -Purple Hues -2 when we visited New Delhi

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  • I started doing a DIY Blog – Zero Dollar Decor, successfully completing #100ChristmasDecorIdeasin30Days. My intention to start the blog was to share with the world what mattered to me. I wanted to start something that nobody else I know of is doing.
  • I got ” The Best Editor’ Award for Purple Hues Annual Series. The second series of Purple Hues made it to Boerne Book Festival in The U.S.A among 30 other books, It also grabs the honor of India’s First Anthology about Parent-Child Relationships.

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  •  I got real Lucky this year by winning a chance to meet Alia Bhatt for Dear Zindagi Contest. I wrote this Post which melted the hearts of judges and they picked me as a winner.

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  •  One more wish checked on my Bucket List – A Girls Trip Abroad. I visited Seattle with girlfriends.

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  • Nothing spectacular or groundbreaking happened this year but this year taught me a lot.

Lessons of 2016

  •  Expose yourself to as many people, places and circumstances as you can. Throw yourself into extremely awkward situations and see how you respond. I am not a ” people’s person”, I am just the opposite of that. I get uncomfortable and weird around new folks. I’ve met a lot of new people this year, some turned into friends, others foes and few prefer to ignore my calls and messages.
  • Draw a line. Do not let people get comfortable with disrespecting you.
  •  It is not okay to be happy and satisfied with your life. Quite contradictory to my own philosophy, I learned that you’ve to constantly chase life and evolve as better and better human being.
  • People are probably not happy with their life if they’re busy discussing yours. Do not steal away their joy.
  •  Your dreams should have a deadline. If you are waiting year after year, hoping one day you’ll have it all, you’re going nowhere.
  •  Walk away from people who are creating unnecessary drama in your life. People are great manipulators, do not let them make you feel guilty or sorry for yourself. I can count on fingers my real friends, everyone else is someone I know

25 Questions That Can Change Your Life

 

“The key to wisdom is knowing all the right questions.”–John Simone

Believe it or not, the kind of questions you ask speak volumes about your inner life. Your questions trigger its own answers.

Some people like to ask questions like, ” Why am I so unlucky,” “Why had I not understood this earlier,”,” Why does life keeps teaching me lessons,” and ” Why do all the wrong people in the Universe have to meet me ” these questions are backward looking and answers would be always unsatisfactory. However, when people ask questions like, ” What can I learn from this experience,”,” Why do I get upset by other people’s reactions and situations,”- they’re looking forward and searching for a better life.

Ask yourself the right questions, reflect upon what you do all day before you hit the bed, if you want a better life.

1- Are you Happy with your Life?

2-  Are you pursuing your Dream or working for someone else’s?

3- When was the last time you did some ” we shouldn’t be doing this ” stuff?

4-  What do you want from life – comfort or adventure?

5- Have you done anything lately worth remembering?

6- Are you making a single life better and happier with your existence?

7-How much money do you waste a month on worthless or meaningless things?

8- Who’s permission do you need to be yourself?

9-  Who or What is holding you back?

10-How long can you go on doing what you’re doing?

11-When will you stop using your excuses?

12-Why are you here?

13-How can you make the World better?

14- Do you always say what needs to be said?

15- What are you busy with today? Will this matter 1 year from now? 3 years? 5 years?

 

16- Do you love your job? If not, are you doing something about it?

17- Are you settling for less than what you are worth?… Why?

18-What are the times you are most inspired, most motivated, most charged up?

19-Who are the 5 people you spend the most time with? Are they worth your time?

20- Are you taking anything/anyone for granted that once meant everything to you?

21- How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

22- What is the one job/cause/activity that could get you out of bed happily for the rest of your life? Are you doing it now?

23- Have you forgiven yourself for past personal failures? Why or why not?

24- What is the price I am willing to pay for realizing my dream?

25- What would I do if it was my last day?

Ask yourself some of these questions when you feel stuck. What comes up just might surprise you!

Shouldn’t love be more than just that?

“You think you’ve seen her naked because she took her clothes off? Tell me about her dreams. Tell me what breaks her heart. What is she passionate about, and what makes her cry? Tell me about her childhood. Better yet, tell me one story about her that you’re not in. You’ve seen her skin, and you’ve touched her body. But you still know as much about her as a book you once found, but never got around to opening.” ~ Dominic Matthew Jackson

What is love to our generation? It is a partner with whom they can spend their weekends partying, post vacation pictures on Instagram with, take them to friends and family once in awhile without feeling embarrassed and pretend to be happy when together. We like the idea of love, but not love actually.

The kind of love we want is measured in life-sized teddy bears and bouquet of hundred roses. It’s incomplete without posting goofy pictures on social media and hashtagging #relationship goals, showing the world how your partner surprised you with material gifts and took you out to one of the fanciest restaurants in the cities. Shouldn’t love be more than just that?

Our generation wants to order love like food in a restaurant. We do not anymore believe in the golden words, “True love happens only once in a lifetime,” we can fall in and out of love as quickly as you can change channels on your television. We thrive on instant gratification and emotional connections are old school. We do not have the time to sulk on break ups, tinder is free.

It has become a chase. And once that ends, everything ends. Met someone new. Exchanged numbers. Late-night conversations. Ask out. Have sex. Lose interest and it repeats again. We are bombarded with options, who has the time to sit and cry for the loss. We believe in the ‘Let’s-end-this-before-it-gets-started.’

We are obsessed with perfection. We do not know how to handle flaws. “He is a great guy but he is fat,” “She has beautiful eyes but I do not like her dressing sense,” “He is everything that I ever wanted, only if he earned a little too.”

True love is sacrificing every ounce of yourself for someone else. It’s patient. It’s forgiving and understanding. It does not give up so soon. It can wait for a lifetime. As a generation, we are far too self-absorbed. We are too worried about ourselves to care for anyone else, and that is why we fail at bonding. To truly love someone means to put his or her needs before your own, and that seems to be too daunting of a task for our generation.

And if we walk inside deeper into their minds, they’re not wrong. This generation is broken inside, they have been used again and again. One wrong move and they’ll shatter and break into pieces. They’re too careful. They’re too protective and sheltered to let anyone come close enough ‘to see the devastation within’.  They do not ask for love anymore, because every time they asked for it, they were misled into darkness and pain.

We want convenience in our relationships. We also want our relationship to be verified by our  society. People do not anymore look for what life partners they’d like to spend the rest of their lives with, they want people who fit in society’s standards of ‘perfect partner’.  The Internet is flooded with articles like “How to know if a guy is into you” and “When to stop dating a wrong one.” Come on, Google cannot tell us if we are dating the right partner.

True love is a commitment for a lifetime. When you find your true love, there would never be a reason good enough for you to let them go. And that is exactly why we are terrified of finding true love.

“Unless it’s mad, passionate, extraordinary love, it’s a waste of your time. There are too many mediocre things in life. Love shouldn’t be one of them,” seems to be the popular mantra.

Orginally published at Different Truths under my weekly column – Relationship Rationale

How Often Do You Compliment Other People ?

There are two kinds of people in the world: givers and takers. The takers may eat better, but the givers sleep better.

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As anyone who ever gives gifts knows, it is often more fun to give than to receive. One of my favorite Authors, Anne Frank quoted- Nobody ever became poor by giving. It’s a deep psychology when we give something away to someone who needs it more, we uplift not them but ourselves. Our self-esteem and self-respect multiplies every time we do something for someone without expecting anything in return.
And one of the most priceless things you can give to another person is your Time. You’re giving them a slice of your life that would never come back.
Blessings are another way of giving people something they can never return. The more you give, the more you find. Its the only treasure which multiplies when given away. When you wish and pray for other’s happiness, you receive abundance of everything. It all comes back to you manifold in unexpected ways.
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What you can easily give away is a genuine compliment. When you see/hear and feel something that’s good, take a moment to appreciate it. Words are like magical powder or potion which can change lives. You are walking down the street and you hear a homeless singing a beautiful song, compliment them. You arrive at a party and one of your colleagues is dressed like a Diva, keep aside your ego and tell her how beautiful she looks.
People need to hear that they’re doing good. Do not assume that your compliment would mean nothing to them. Do not take for granted anything that is beautiful. There’s something good in everyone,shift your focus from complaints to compliments and your world would transform in front of you.
Be a source of happiness and positivity in the lives of others not a reason for their headache and heartbreaks. When you start appreciating and complimenting people, you would start feeling great about yourself. You’ll start looking for good in everything and become more grateful for things around you.
I , for instance, can not stop myself from appreciating things and people that I genuinely like. I can not hold myself back and seal my lips when I like what I see. I observe all the time, I notice little things like how people shake hands and smile when they’re photographed,how they react when they see a dog, how they hold the cup while they’re talking, how they roll their eyes in disgust when someone says something they do not like and a lot more things.
I give compliments more often . Sometimes, we are the only one to say good things to them.It’s also important to remember that some of the best compliments have nothing to do with a person’s appearance. Woman do not always want to hear that they’re beautiful and pretty and in good shape , they want to hear that they’re brave and fierce .
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When you genuinely compliment people, you might be telling them something they never believed was within them or something that would give them hope to carry on with lives.
I remember every compliment that helped me evolve as a better human being :
 Last week, we visited a friend for thanksgiving, she bid us adieu by telling me that the way I carry myself with so much ease , it’s hard to believe that there’s a fire inside.
In a world which is obsessed with criticism , be a ray of light in someone’s life.

 

For You- Bae

This Post has won the First Prize at Blogadda – Look HERE

 

Is it absolutely mandatory to have a Single BFF because I have more than one? It’s not like you’re being dishonest if you have two or three best friends at the same time. Isn’t it ?

The First Person who taught me the essence of friendship, the joy of sharing and the bliss of having someone who’s got your back,no matter what you do was my Mom. She is my BFF for Life. For more than 25 years now,I have been sharing everything that happens to me with her. I can not go a day without talking to her. I never have to explain myself for who I am becoming .She is the only one friend who has accepted me all my life with open arms,understood my pain without me ever having to say a word and nobody on Earth can love me the way she does.

She is my biggest Fan. She is always promoting and advertising me everywhere. She has been Proud for my tiniest victories and lifted me up when I was broken. I can only wish to be half as wonderful as her.

The second time, I found my BFF in a Man who could read my eyes. As if ,he can see through me, he sees in me what I never knew existed within me. I re-arranged our closet one day,prepared wonderful dinner,lighted up candles and welcomed him with a smile and he asked me, ” what’s bothering you”.

Kitna Kuch Jaanta Hoga Woh Shakhs Mere Bare Me, Mere Muskurane Par Bhi Jisne Puch Liya Ke Tum Udaas Q Ho..!!

He has bigger dreams for me than I have for myself. Besides, everything else, he is the best human of my life. I have never met a better person. He is my best fan and worst critic. He is one of those people who makes you feel at home, I have always felt protected and secured and at the same time free like never before with him. He is the wind beneath my wings.

These two friends always come first – Bae ( Before Anyone Else ) ❤

Besides them, I have my own little army , people who would do anything to see me smile and vice versa. Friendships have to be more than drinking and eating together, You should be able to call them at 4 in the morning and be sure they’ll cross the oceans to save you. I do not know how to befriend people who can be beneficial to me someday.

If I do not feel it, I’ll not let you stay for a single moment in my life. A Friend to me is someone who knows all my stories, who would kill if you ever said a word against me, who would never believe in rumors about me, who can go days without talking to me but when I need them, they’ll be there.My List for BFF is long and can not be contained in a single post.

am writing about Jug in my life for the #DearZindagi activity at BlogAdda“.