I think, therefore I write

Category: LIFE HAPPENS (Page 1 of 23)

Inexplicable

When it comes to social skills, I am kind of stuck in between an introvert and an extrovert. I would want to be a social person but I cannot be the kind who initiates a conversation or keeps it going for the most part – I would require the other person also to be equally talkative or sometimes, more talkative than me. This may be the reason for me not being able to keep in touch with my school and college friends. In addition to moving through the gears of time and life, the distance between me and my friends robbed me of my comfort zone and I let it slip away. I didn’t feel much of the pang because I got married to my childhood sweetheart – I had him, forever with me, to reminisce. So life just went on.

All this changed, oh so suddenly, when I stumbled upon a couple of my school friends Facebook profiles and messages. I wanted to talk to them but was skeptical if they would feel the same, after all these contact-less years. Nevertheless, I started talking to a couple of them and we started a Whatsapp group – all the while wondering if others will feel comfortable connecting after such a long time. How would everyone react? Will they be as involved and interested?

As for my tingling doubts about people’s reactions, boy, was I wrong! Everyone connected and pulled in more people seamlessly. We could get in touch with almost everyone in 2 days and our group flooded with messages. So much so that all of us were stuck to our mobiles through day and night. The emotions, excitement and joy was almost tangible even though we were only texting. For once, I believed technology and social media has done something useful, in creating as much joy and happiness in a bunch of people, especially during this hopeless time of a pandemic.

In less than a week, we planned and met virtually over a conference call with our families. We had just planned a trial run to see if we can find a suitable time for a real one. But again, almost everyone made it and the reactions on our faces said everything. Amidst talking over each other, talking at the same time, catching up on each other’s lives, managing to get our kids to talk and then be quiet, we enjoyed everything. We didn’t even know how the hour went by. There was so much to talk and so little time.

All of us remembered and reminisced about the joyful memories, our teachers, our daily school lives that we led as naive kids. To me, it felt like something that was frozen in time and memory had been thawed by friendship and brought back to life. Such was the feeling – it was truly inexplicable. It’s true what they say, meeting school friends after a long time and feeling nothing really has changed in the friendship is the best feeling. And especially childhood friends, there’s something about them that you cannot replace.

As the hour went by and our family lives pulled us back into each our lives, we bid adieu, with a promise to stay in touch and do this more often. I know we will, for every one of us had felt the pang of missing our friends. And now we know how great it could be, to stay in touch, to feel and connect with our younger selves. And I hope that I could keep this feeling that I fail to express even with writing, close to my heart, and treasure it for as long as possible.

Until later 🙂

The art of cooking

As I have mentioned too many times, I never enjoyed cooking. Up until the last couple months. It always bothered me, given that my mom is an excellent cook and has her roots deep in the art. She does not just cook the regular dishes but also has a lot of specialty dishes to adore her mantle. But surprisingly, when it came to teaching me the art, she never bothered to pressure me into it. She did attempt to pull me into the kitchen for a chore or two, like all mothers do, but she never forced me to learn cooking when I expressed no interest in her favorite chore.

So I spent my growing up years, blissfully eating all that she cooked and never bothered to think about the effort that went behind it. Then I got married. So when I had to run things in the kitchen, I stepped up and got a crash course from my mother to learn to cook the basic things. With Adit having a lot of food restrictions and not being able to eat a whole lot of varieties even if he wanted to, he had attained food nirvana. So my ability or inability to cook tasty food never mattered to him. However, my tongue was not so forgiving – growing up with mom’s cooking and being a foodie, I could never learn to like my cooking. I never thought too much about it and just settled thinking that I can’t cook.

Years went by and I was still the same. Didn’t cook too many things, just the basic ones and the taste was edible but never anything more than that. I would eat out a lot to compromise for my cravings. I actively started to believe that I cannot cook tasty food and that I don’t enjoy cooking and I told myself to be okay with that.

Then something happened. With the Covid pandemic afoot, I had to give up eating out. Plus, I was at home all the time and boredom started getting to me. As icing on the cake, Aditi is someone like me and enjoys a good, tasty meal. So there, I had my perfect opportunity and the perfect audience to set me up to try to cook better. And I am glad that I did. I started trying out a couple random recipes. When they came out surprisingly well, I was encouraged to try more. I started talking to my mom about my experiments and she was so excited that I was able to connect with her in this aspect. She kept sending simple yet tasty recipes my way and I kept trying without any inhibitions.

Over time, I realized I was cooking more dishes every day. The regular menu for Adit with our usual restrictions applied and then a dish that I cooked without any restrictions. But I was enjoying it. I was pleasantly surprised by the feeling and wanted to ride it as long as it lasted. So I started a digital cookbook just for myself and started jotting down recipes. I reached out to my mom and asked her to give me all the traditional recipes she has. Even if I had not tried them all out, I didn’t want them to get lost. I wanted to carry on the legacy and know how to cook them.

Getting the cookbook done was a humongous effort. Although, I had only used a note-taking application to categorize and write down the recipes, it was exhausting. Over the period of 2 months, I managed to get everything I wanted in the cookbook and I can add more as I try stuff out. It felt liberating to know that I can cook well when I have always felt otherwise. Like Adit said, I guess it was all in my mind. I never bothered to try further than it was required. I could have tried something for myself even if he wouldn’t eat it, but I didn’t because I never considered that possibility.

So here’s to an year which was so tough, boring, troublesome, and exhausting that it pushed me to discover something about myself. Here’s to seeing a bad year in a positive light. Hope it gets better from here.

Until later 🙂

STP levels during the pandemic

Craziness – Fluctuating between low and high, hitting all levels on the way
OCD – Dialing down to tolerant levels
Gratefulness – Wildly fluctuating between medium and very high
Optimism – All time low
Letting go – Slowly inching towards medium
Happiness – Satisfactory
Fear – Always present, brushed to the one corner
Focus – Out the window
Operational mode – Do the bare minimum to keep it going
Energy – Starts at about 60% in the morning and ends at -80% at bedtime. No time to recharge until 100%.

Until later 🙂

Reality check 2020

All I wished for the 2020 year was to go by fast as I wasn’t handling being a working mom to a vivacious toddler all that well. I don’t know about fast but the year sure did take quite a turn. Not just for me but for the entire world. I feel for what has happened and I know that I cannot control anything other than my actions and maybe influence my loved ones. So I am not here to write about how the corona virus situation is bad and how this lock down is the worst crisis I have ever seen in my life. It is, indeed, but I want to write about the reality check that this situation has given me.

While many in this world may not accept, before this lock down, my life revolved around running a household and working at a corporate job. My schedule was clockwork and I couldn’t spare one second extra for anything. I did not have time to chew my food before I swallowed, no time for myself, no time for entertainment. Or at least that’s how I felt. If my maid or babysitter fell sick one day, my world would be doomed. Or so I thought. In short, I thought that my world revolved only because I had house help and a babysitter who was fairly regular and good at her job.

Well, when the COVID-19 situation got worse, I told my maid and babysitter to take a few days off even before the lock down was announced by the government. In my mind, I was going crazy but I had to do it for my family. With a toddler and a diabetic husband, I was not taking any chances. However, I thought that a week’s time would resolve things enough to go back to normal. Then came the lock down announcement and the reality hit me as I scrolled through the numbers every day with growing paranoia.

As the whole country shut down, sparing essential services, and our companies asking us to work from home, I thought that I was going to take off as long as this situation prevailed. Fortunately, as life gave me lemons, it showed me a way to make lemonade too. With Adit stepping it up, household chores were manageable.

Aditi, my daughter, took me by surprise by not throwing a tantrum to go out and play. *Touch wood* She has been an angel when compared to what I imagined she would be, locked inside a house and her parents glued to their office laptops. She has taken an interest in learning to help in chores as much as her age allows. She tries to fold laundry, sorts the groceries into piles for me to stock away, puts away dried vessels. She also eats by herself and plays by herself for the most part. Yes, she is still a kid and throws a bit of tantrum now and then but nothing out of ordinary in this out of ordinary situation.

I have had to let go of a lot of things to make it work but it did teach me not to be so much of a control freak. When I think of people whose livelihood is affected, who cannot be with their families, who are struggling to survive, my problems are not even a dust speck’s worth. So here I am taking on life one day at a time, hoping the world will heal, hoping that people get through.

Stay safe, stay in, stay healthy!

Until later 🙂

Kick-start motivation

Life has been troublesome for a while and I have gotten tired of being down on motivation. I keep forgetting that life is a great leveler and here’s an attempt to kick some motivation into my mind.

Think about how naive you were 10 years ago and think about who you have become now. Proud of yourself, aren’t you?

Think of the personal yet practical dreams that you have had 7 years ago and see if they have come true. Most of them have, haven’t they?

Think of the single most important thing in your life, without which life would be almost impossible for you. You have it, don’t you?

Think of all the struggles you have had and if any one of them was meaningless. Every struggle has made you who you are now, hasn’t it?

Then there is no reason to be down. Pick yourself up, do something different, do something for yourself, do something for others and get going!

Until later 🙂

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