10

Seasonal insanity

Deck the hall with boughs of holly,
Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la!
Waiting for that kiss, oh golly,
Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la!
‘Tis the season to be jolly,
Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la!

What’s that you ask? That is just some more sugar rush from another piece of chocolate cake that some dude at work keeps bringing in. It really is that time of the year again, eh? My body has entered the hibernation mode, which is my polite way of saying that I have gained my 7-8 lbs and my cheeks are puffed up like the Pillsbury doughboy. Winter is upon us in the most California way that it can. It’s raining like cats and dogs outside, and we know this part of country needs it like yesterday!

I am just back from a beautiful Thanksgiving break in Mammoth lakes and I am dreaming of the snow, wine and the fireplace, while crunching up some analytical data. The couch at the AirBnB has a wonderful story to tell and the oven is still reeling under the impact of baking my mighty good lasagna. It was a nice, relaxing weekend but not so much for my feet, post a 5 mi hike. But I suppose the view at the end of it made it worth it. The evening post the hike, most definitely did.

The holiday season is here. I see a bunch of Facebook posts insisting that it should be called ‘Christmas’ and we must be wishing ‘Merry Christmas’ and nothing else. Who am I to argue? I will wish people whatever they want to be wished and move on while I get my order of Peppermint Latte in a cheery red and green cup. Christmas trees are springing up everywhere and people are sending invites for holiday potlucks and ice-rink parties. Major FOMO(Fear of missing out) has struck me, per usual, and I dont want to miss out on anything, but there doesn’t seem to be enough time anymore. I am here thinking, reminiscing of the beautiful moments I have had and even more amazing moments that I will be having. I definitely do feel full of gratitude and thankfulness. Will this season also make those relationships we lost, come back? Will we get everything we wanted? Is there something wonderfully new on the way? We never know but sure hope for the best.

This year running by feels like I am watching a contestant on Food Network’s Chopped who has a minute left and hasn’t even started plating yet! Ufff, the anxiety!

Anyways, will get through it all. But first, another spoon of this velvety mousse. Ummmm….

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14

Being a vegetarian sucks…

  1. You are always being told to simply order salad at a restaurant of everybody else’s choice. You hate salad. Specially when it costs $15.
  2. You are ridiculed and called a goat at every opportunity. So you decide that goat is simply G.O.A.T.(Greatest of all time).
  3. When one of your favorite vegetarian appetizers arrives with like, 8 pieces of Paneer, each of your friend goes for it, “Lemme just taste one!” and you get ONE friggin’ piece at the end. You know who you are! 😉
  4. People constantly tell you to eat whatever and “just take the meat off”. Right.
  5. Somehow people expect you to be healthy and with a beautifully high metabolism, but you so goddamn aren’t!
  6. People wave their finger at you to tell that you are a plant murderer. Not sure about plants, but I will murder you, Shib.
  7. You don’t want to kiss your boo after he chomps down on a bird, but you so want to kiss the hell out, and the eternal conflict destroys you. Sheesh.
  8. Office lunches turn into a battleground with meat eaters throwing questions at you while you just want to take a breather and finish your pizza.
  9. You wonder why do you still have a 2nd trimester-like belly after working out so much, while downing that glorious garlic bread and ricotta lasagna.
  10. You are too shy to say no to splitting the check when peeps got lobster risottos and you had plain pasta, with them eating most of your appetizer anyways! Sure you remember this, SP!

Hey, but my soul is still whole. 😉

 

4

Kavanaugh & bros

This is easily the most heated topic around all of us these days. Like Ms. Ford said in her testimony, she is simply standing in front of a train that will reach it’s destination anyways, and she is going to lay her life down and receive no justice. The destination being a lawmaker for many decades who sets laws and policies for the entire next generation.

This man, who has been accused of assaulting a then-teenage girl, is going to write laws about women. Most noticeable is his view of the Roe-Wade law. The GOP, meanwhile, reacts in the same usual way, with total refusal and denial, and if the accusations are indeed valid, then by downplaying the charges. This is a massive middle-finger to the women of America. The saddest part being that many conservative women voters are defending Kavanaugh, by suggesting that obviously all high school boys grope and do their cutesy lil assaulty things. Anything to get men to control women’s bodies.

Then we have the leader of the most powerful country, mocking Ms. Ford’s testimony in another pseudo-campaign trail and insinuating things against her. Whatever your political leaning be, you have to find this character assassination beneath the POTUS’s standards. But who cares, right?

I cannot help but draw a parallel between Hillary Clinton’s testimonies and debates where she HAD to keep a stoic stance and compose her emotions for the entire duration, and yet deal with the ‘women are too emotional’ label slapped on her. So have other countless women, vying for top jobs and managerial positions. And we have this man here, who was sniffling and reddening as every minute of his testimony progressed, accuse the opposition of this ‘sham’. Last I heard, a judge is supposed to be bi-partisan, right? While Ms. Ford patiently answered every question, Judge(?!) Kavanaugh spoke over senators, yelled, shut up to avoid answering questions and basically behaved like a giant baby being denied his favorite toy.

We have somehow, as a society, reached this point. The moral compass of this country is skewing as the days go along. There is little doubt that whatever was going to happen, will continue to happen, and he will go where he intended to go. Women may come, accuse, be annihilated, but the GOP will stand strong with their, ahem, men.

We shall see.

21

Birthday lessons

Be happy and be a little sad.

The sadness reminds you that you are a human being with feelings and emotions. It is a little darkness that makes you realize the importance of light in your life.

Value that light, that brightens up every nook and corner of your soul and makes every fiber of your body tingle. Hold on to that light that engulfs you in it’s warmth with the promise of ‘even better’.

Cherish the moments of the day that will weave themselves into your life. For these are the moments, that you will look back at when alone, while driving, having lunch, going to bed, and smile and giggle.

Give back that love, in any way that makes you happy and brings about a positive impact on other lives.

Spread out your birthday to a birthweek. And enjoy being a princess, with the best people around you.

Yesterday I turned a year older, and hopefully wiser.

Happy 31st to me!

2

Because you matter, today and everyday!

I don’t remember reading about Suicide Prevention Day in the years bygone, but today morning I read an article on the mental health epidemic and World Suicide Prevention Day and I couldn’t help but feel how important this day is and should be!

I thought about that one day, few years ago, where I had that horrible thought. The thought was powerful and felt very pleasant. I had the sense, the strength and the support system, to snap out of that dark whirl and I called my best friends to just talk it out. The same support system had helped me through a terrible situation during my college years. I started working on myself to come out of the sadness and the pain that I was feeling. Those few years were the second most horrible phase of my life, but eventually made me much stronger. I was lucky, that my issue was minuscule to deal with.

From what I found out, women of color are at a much higher risk of succumbing to mental stress, anxiety, and feelings of hopelessness where everything seems to work against you and it feels easier to slip into perennial darkness rather than stand up and fight. Social pressures, stigma, patriarchy are major underlying factors and the reason we even have this day to commemorate. Social media, the audio-visual world and freely available opinions and advice do no favor to people struggling. It is important to know that it’s okay! It is okay to struggle, to fail, to be anxious, to try again and again.

Not everyone has positive factors surrounding them to help with mental challenges and it is necessary to seek professional help. Don’t be afraid to ask. Counselors, therapists and doctors can do wonders for your happiness and health. Sometimes you need more than a listening ear, and a patient shoulder to cry on. If there is a bad situation involving crime around you, contact local agencies, NGOs and Non-Profits to help you out. There are many organizations helping Indians living Abroad as well and they have a team of legal and non-legal experts for every situation. From what I know, there are online counselors working hard to help anyone and everyone out for almost no charge.

For any help please, call these numbers. Please know that you have options, and you DO matter. Today, and everyday!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255  USA

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

http://www.suicide.org/hotlines/international/india-suicide-hotlines.html

http://maitri.org/

4

It’s PSL time!

Today morning seemed like every other morning when I got to work. That was until, I saw the newest Starbucks post. Pumpkin Spice Latte is back, bit*hes! The official start of the Fall season, per the calendar, may still be away, but the ‘real official’ Fall is here.

Fall is the season when we get back to the ‘basics’. We fling our hair back, flutter our pretty mascara coated eyelashes and take a sip of the ah-mazin’ Pee-Ass-Ell. Unless we leave a rusty taupe(appropriate fall color) lipstick mark on the steaming hot cup, the ritual isn’t complete. The moment the spicy cinnamon notes hit our brain cells, the basic girl transformation is complete.

Now is the time to take stock of all your jackets and cashmere that need to go into laundry. Ditch those shorts, and bring out your leggings. Check if all your tank tops have appropriate newness to them and can be layered under those fresh flannels. Move your long sleeves to the more accessible side of the closet. Keep track of all your scarves and match them to the sweaters. Bring out your Uggs(vegan, fake ones of course). After all, leggings and Uggs are like cheese and wine. One without the other does not constitute a proper Fall attire. You don’t want to flunk your ‘Basic Girl’ course at the first go.

Just make sure that you order PSLs the right way, ladies. Keep that sugar on the down low and go for soy and an extra pump of cinnamon, specially if the baristas look swamped. They actually enjoy difficult orders, no matter what their expressions say. To counter that caffeine kick, make sure you get your daily ‘om’ with Bikram Yoga in the evenings. And then, a decaf PSL.

After all, basic lives matter!

4

This is a reminder to…

….be kind to yourself.

Maybe it’s one of those days, where things don’t feel right. Maybe, it’s the blues. Maybe self-doubt decided to say ‘hey’ and proceeded to stick around. Perhaps that led to sadness providing you with some unsolicited companionship. Your faults and flaws could be exceptionally conspicuous at this moment. Something could be in your head, clouding your thoughts and better reasoning. Maybe, common sense has decided to take a hike.

But, remember, it’s OKAY!

Just, be kind to yourself.

20

Of the mirage called Social Media

I considered de-activating my Facebook today, along with Instagram. The problem is not my time spent on social media, but the posts being thrown at me. My ‘suggested pages’ are full of influencers who seem to be drowning in brand new shiny things and enticing followers with the same idea. It ain’t good enough if it ain’t new and shiny enough. But better sense prevailed once common sense hit me in the face again. I need my social media active for the dog rescue work, if nothing else. Also, for a little bit of my own vanity, you know, right? And how it affects me, should ideally be in my hands(easier said than done!)

As a person with wavering self-esteem and social anxiety, ‘influencers’ can stress me out easily. From innocently surfing their feeds with honest appreciation, I find myself going down the dark path of feeling like setting my closet on fire. If I don’t have anything new every single time, it should not be the end of the world. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the exponents of minimalist living coming up with some bestsellers, and if I follow them, it wouldn’t take me long to fall into the depressed state of ‘why I don’t have ANYTHING?!’ So basically, in either situation, minimalism or materialism, I don’t have anything, and I am the end loser.

In a similar vein, travelogues and travel posts are having the same effect on me, where my life feels simply not exciting enough. Imtiaz Ali has done no favors to the middle class youth by making movies that glorify giving up everything and making #wanderlust the in thing. ‘Not all those who wander are lost’ is so overused that J. R. R. Tolkien must be cringing, from the beyond! I don’t want to depress people by launching into a tirade about my overly practical head and the constant turbulence of responsibilities and duties, so I just shrug and let it go. Situations aren’t the same for everyone, and so aren’t priorities.

Should I be jealous of the person, who is always out and about and has a g-astronomically gorgeous feed of choicest cuisines and craft drinks? I feel like I am not living up the best days of my life if I am not exploring every nook and cranny of the town, when I see a stunning picture of a cocktail against a very instagrammable mosaic wall. I may be whiling away my weekdays on my couch watching crap TV when I should be spending dough on the best looking Buddha Bowl. On the other hand, I may actually be saving myself some cash and energy and could perhaps be actually happy, but that’s not the point.

It’s easy to assume that someone’s beautiful FB/Insta feed is actually their entire life. That all the pictures showcased and curated aren’t just a part, but the entirety of their existence. That gorgeous face shining through the filtered sunlight in the trendy lace dress, might be covering up some anxiety that I may have assumed to never exist. The beautiful blue sea in throwback picture may be a disguise for uncertainty in the future. There is a reason why everyone’s feed looks and feels happy, joyous and enviable. We never know what is going on behind someone’s perfect life. It could really be wonderful, or could be a mirage that we are running towards, cursing our own life in process. I need to keep reminding myself, that moments of life cannot be forcefully created and curated. Every picture, should have a memory and a story. The story could be totally personal that maybe puts a smile on your face, or makes you tear up with nostalgia. But it’s yours to keep.

After all, why should I let anyone else have the power to influence me into believing that my life sucks? I am more than enough for that. 😉

0

Signs that you are a Game of Thrones addict.

  1. You are constantly being told that you know nothing. Mostly, by your mom, though.
  2. You enjoy embellishing your life achievements a la your resume. Remember that proficiency in C++ coding, where you learnt that it is C Plus Plus and not C Add Add?
  3. With the embellishments, comes your job title. Chances are it is comprised of atleast 6 words. Hydraulic and Mechanical  Analysis Director of Product Development. And Mother of low NPSHR inducers.
  4. You prefer referencing yourself in third person. Or in no person. A girl has no name. Specially for you, you drunk creep.
  5. You are convinced that people at work are trying to steal your Iron Throne aka office chair.
  6. While playing Name-Place-Animal-Things, you get into a long drawn argument that Dragon should work for animal name starting with D.
  7. Weddings scare the death out of you. (Fine, marriage).
  8. You know that it is a fatal flaw not to run zigzag. In Dodgeball.
  9. As soon as the temperature drops to 70 F, you grab your jacket because ” Winter is coming”. #SoCalWeather
  10. A crow isn’t a crow for you anymore. It’s a raven.
  11. You spend your evenings trying out crazy braids from pinterest for that King’s Landing style and give up after realizing that you will always look like the beggar from Braavos.
  12. Your ‘Oh God’ has turned into ‘The Old Gods and New’.
  13. You are proficient at ‘sword dancing’ with your shampoo bottle.
  14. You are mad at George R R Martin for being so old and distracted. And at HBO for the crazy delays.
  15. Before FIFA 2018, you knew of Croatia only as King’s Landing.
2

As my heart speaks (Guest post by the Father)

Today marks Moony’s 3rd passing away anniversary. One day, we know you are coming back to us in some form to fill up the void that you left…. We shall wait.

A splash of my life...

My dad wrote this and sent it to me over the weekend. I have no words to explain how I feel when I read it. It is the most beautiful, heartfelt tribute I have ever seen.
*——————————–*

As my heart speaks.

20th July 2015. The fateful day on which our dearest Moony left us. He left behind an empty life for us. Didn’t you realize that dear Moony? On that day I lost part of my life, an important part of my body. He was integral part of my life. How could he leave me?

15 years. That was the time he was with me all the time showering selfless love. That sometimes made me feel ashamed as we all do the things with some return in mind. But not he. For him it was only giving. Giving affection, love and pleasure. He drove away my stress, my worries. He…

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