Break-free & Be!

The chains are heavy, the cage suffocating

I would know, I built them myself.

In my desire to please others,

to be perceived as worthy & caring,

I never realised, all this while,

little at a time, my wings were breaking.

My heart hurt, legs were shaking

Every second,

I found my energy draining, away.

Why? I ask

Why did I choose this for myself?

Why am I not who I am?

As they emerge, not one but many reasons

that have led me here, over not one, but many years

I tell myself, clear and aloud

I can do this, I can break-free 

and Break, I will

every stereotype, every label

and be, only me, the true me!

Not, who I am supposed to be!

Non-apologetic, guilt free

Just me, the true me!

Not afraid to be me!

Just me, the true me!

Love

R~

Don’t be stressed, you are blessed!

I’ve realised that the single-most effective way to keep the happiness quotient up in one’s life is Gratitude. Over the last few months, there were mornings where I found myself sinking, God knows under what; and in Rachel Green’s wise words – I felt like there was rock-bottom, 50 feet of crap and then me! I found myself lost in a jungle of soaring high trees with branches made of my goals and tasks that I had to do or was responsible for and however much I tried, I couldn’t reach those branches, whenever I did I fell right back into a deeper trench. I thought of myself as a sole struggling being.

Until one day, it occurred to me that I am not alone, I am so fortunate to not be alone. I am blessed with the world’s most loving & caring husband and a daughter who would forget her own interests to be kind to others. I have a good job and a chance every day to work with some wonderful colleagues, some of whom are my very good friends. I am regularly able to connect with my besties living all over the world. I have a supporting family back in India. I am totally not alone, I am in fact, the opposite of alone!

These days, it is very easy to get sucked into the cyclone of information – there truly is an information overload dumped on us every single day, but no one is managing expectations. There’s tonnes of pressure on every single one of us to be the most awesome human being there ever was – a good child to your parents, an even better parent to you children, an excellent employee, a motivating boss, a caring friend, an eco-friendly citizen and at the same time a flawless, good looking person – in short, the perfect human being, and obviously the non-existent kind!

Even while we sit in our homes during the current lockdown, there’s pressure on most of us, to keep working while we have a job so that we can put food on the table, and not just any food, healthy home-made food of course, oh and while we are saving time on commute, invest time to learn more skills to improve your ‘market value’ (to be able to keep your job, recession is upon us they say!), help the kids with homework and school because you do not want them to lag behind while other parent’s seem to working so hard with their kids to keep up with the curriculum. And while all of that is non-negotiable, keep exercising because everyone will make fun of you on becoming fat ‘by choice’ even when you had ‘loads of time’ at hand to keep fit. Oh, and this is a virus pandemic, keep your house, your infinite stuff and yourself germ-free 24 hours of the day!

If you were nodding your head on the ridiculousness of it all, trust me my friend you are not alone. These are totally unreasonable expectations, that have been imposed on us by none other than ourselves as a society. We need to stop doing that and get real here. Let’s all acknowledge that we are doing our best not only during these lockdown times but all the darn time. I have not met a single person who deliberately wants to fail at any of the roles they play in life. Take a moment to praise the momentous effort all of us put into being a good human being, and that we ARE a perfect version of who we are, in our own little way! I know not who I am but who I am supposed to be – is the root of all stress. Let it go! Instead, count your blessings!

Yes, counting your blessings every single morning helps you see the bigger picture. Gratitude elevates you, on a cloud made of your will-power with wings powered by your blessings and you soar higher and higher to not only touch the branches of those trees but make your own little tree-house up there, so you are no more lost in the jungle but enjoy a rather gorgeous bird’s eye view of this world every single time you open your eyes.

(Virtual) Hugs

R

What would yours be?

Someone asked me today, if I could have one superpower, what would it be? Its a fantastic question, isn’t it? Gets you thinking about what would you truly really want that you cannot have with your normal skillset & talent. Now, some greedy people may have an unrealistic answer to this question, but mine is pretty reasonable…read on and tell me what you think?

If I had one super power, it would be, to have a small tiny little remote control with one button, that does the following on my wish:

  • One click and the whole house goes silent for a few minutes – nada sound from the laundry, or the dish-washer, or the refrigerator, the doorbell wouldn’t go off, that Avenger movie my daughter is watching for the Nth time shuts, the phone wouldn’t utter a beep, the snoring would mute, those people on that yet again Skype meeting would go quiet. How cool would that be, our very own surround no-sound button!
  • Click & hold and the whole world goes into a blip – Now I am no Thanos but just saying it wouldn’t hurt to get rid of all the bad nasty mean people on the planet, people who treat earth like trash, people who treat fellow people like trash, people who treat animals like trash, the racists, the sexists, the bad-ists in general, should get going!!
  • Double click for all the master-chef creations to magically appear in my freezer, the house becomes sparkling clean, no, wait, why only my house, everyone’s house, the whole planet becomes rubbish-free and everyone has good food and drinking water.
  • Triple click and the morons hoarding up on toilet paper and kitchen towels get a big tight slap on their face
  • Nod my head to turn Monday mornings into Friday, evening to be precise!
  • A quick touch to reduce all the weight I’ll gain during this lockdown and ever after
  • Rotate the control in the air to create a window to go into different timezones, near loved ones, with no dreadful flights and immigration checks!!
  • I think that should do it. Told ya mine was pretty practical, eh!

Oh wait, it wouldn’t hurt to have this remote control in rose gold, and very importantly,  it should be able to fit in my chubby but tiny hands as for some reason not all women’s dresses come with pockets..aargh! (wait, I might as well add this to above functionality, Thou shall always make pockets for women’s dresses!). I am pretty darn clear as far as my system requirements are concerned, aren’t I?

Go ahead, tell me yours…

Love

R

C for … Pandemic!

The C*-word has penetrated our lives! What we first thought was only a new flu strain contained within the Republic of C*, has now made to the whole globe, effecting the rich and common alike. A few seemingly unconnected words have almost become synonyms – Lockdown, Pandemic, Sanitiser, Toilet Paper, Essential and Wash-Your-Damn-Hands –  I suspect I’ve heard these words more in the last 6 weeks than my own name or the word ‘sale’ .

Many of us are in lock down, in our respective homes, well, at least those lucky ones who have one and can stay home. Many things are different now. Never before would a couple have fought for who gets to put the bins outside, never before would grocery shopping been so glamorous and never before would have children helped as much with household chores! The cars sit in the garage, confused if they’ve been sold by the master to a dump-yard. The weather teases, seducing us to come and walk outside. But the police guarding your street is waiting to pounce.

There’s fear, there’s fun, there’s despair, there’s family time, there’s healthy home-made food, there’s more time to read or pick up that lost hobby, there’s frustration, there’s a lot of shit going on too!

We are very thankful to the medical community and will always be! They are definitely on the front line, standing tall courageously, for all of us.

May I suggest that we take a pause and thank our very own self too. Be kind to ourselves and our loved ones, as we survive and even thrive through these unprecedented difficult times! Lockdown doesn’t have to mean turning further away, lets use this time to come closer (virtually), to each other and most importantly to our own selves!

And yes, lets ensure this C word doesn’t turn into the D-word of draught! I know we are washing our hands religiously, we are washing more clothes, we are at home so perhaps washing our cars just out of boredom, gardening more, taking more showers/baths to keep ourselves clean or just because we can! Lets make sure we continue to use the water wisely, we only have as much! Our planet is reviving, they say. I’m glad, but we humans are notorious for breaking something else while fixing one! (You can tell I’ve been a software developer)

Lets be careful and pledge that when all this is over and we go about our ‘normal’ life, we only return to the good habits of our ‘normal’ and eliminate the ones that hurt us, our loved ones or our home, this planet.

Stay safe everyone, hugs to all

R

The year that was!

A very capable colleague at work suggested we all celebrate one achievement of ours from 2018 in our first team catch up this Jan. Well, that’s what a new year is for, isn’t it, reflecting upon the year that was!

The task was simple. We all had to think of one highlight from last year and talk everyone through it at work. Now how hard could that be? Turns out, very!!

Not because there was none, but because I had 365 highlights, okay fine, 200 highlights, or is it 180 days that we work….why do they pay us so much for not working half of the year……shhhhh!!

Back to the thought under process, work – wise, it was quite easy. Cause-and-effect comes naturally at work….higher duties + delivered commitments + organising awesome cultural events = Smashing IT (no pun intended)!Success!!

What became interesting was how this task got me thinking about what I achieved personally in 2018. The rest of the 180 days in the year were, afterall, personal.

Hmmm…

Funny how my brain shifts towards ‘what did not go well’ when I look at my personal life. Agreed its only human. But then again, the more I think about it, the more I understand that that is exactly how life works. It’s not a party and doesnt give you goodie bags all the time. Its a series of events, presenting you with challenges (opportunities, I say) one after the other, and depending on how you face them, you earn experience, strength and wisdom, as each goes by.

Of course, things dont go as planned sometimes, because you are not the one running the show, you are only a participant and sometimes, the Organiser likes to have a little fun by throwing some curve balls your way, and truly, thats what makes life fun!

Did I plan for hospitalisation, or to get my car hit, or to have some people around me who I cannot stand and the ones who are the light of my life away for too long…..Nah…Not at all. But when I look back I see not the negative events but only the positive lessons I learnt from each. Staying a night in a hospital taught me to be more careful of my health, showed me what could it get to if I dont take actions right now to bring my health back on track. Well, having my car hit taught me…err…what to do when that happens…and that sometimes bad things happen to you for no fault of yours and that is absolutely fine and that sometimes tiny bad things happen only because the Organiser tried to avoid a bigger bad thing. So be grateful for the life you have, and ultimately that is the biggest achievement of 2018 – I survived!! Living away from loved ones for long periods of time makes you self dependant and leaves you more and more in love.

Apologies 2018, if I have portrayed you all gloomy and sad. Of course, you weren’t all bad. You brought me quite a number of fortunate events as well…like (finally) my first ever trip to the U the S of the A. (Now, I know that I really wasnt missing anything). Be it the chance to celebrate Diwali with family back home or catching up on new gossip with my bestie half way across the world, over a glass of old wine or simply celebrating my tiny family’s little big achievements with a slice of cake (no wonder nothing fit me at the end of year party)..Oh and the many chances to sit in the audience and clap and whistle (dont tell her it was me) in applause for my lovely daughter’s performances…you sure did give me enough joy 2018!!

And with some perfectly framed memories and wise lessons learnt, 2018 came to a wrap and so has this first post of 2019.

Love

R