This is beautiful. At first, I thought this may be one of those stories you hear of women not paid by dues by society. Not this one. This infills your heart with a quiet sort of joy that is so common in life. Do read.
Loving somebody is like purchasing a bond — you lend your heart instead of money; you take on risk of losing your heart/money, and you regularly receive interest payments of hurt. If you hold it till maturity, you get hurt in instalments. If you exit the bond before, you get hurt in lump sum, although the risk of losing your heart reduces. The key is to cut your losses…
My friend Tejas Harad asked me to write recently about how the consumption of media and pop culture in general has affected our perception of love and attitude towards concepts like dating and courtship.
Here’s what I wrote.
As a kid, I remember having a long list of wants in my life; things that would make me happy. I also remember feeling dejected and disappointed if I didn’t get it/them. However, I was not one to wallow in disappointment. I moved on — quite easily.
Today, I realise happiness lies in things I already have. Yes, I am never short of wants. But, I am happy and content with my situation in life.
I recently took the 100-day challenge. At the start, I wondered if I would finish it. Slowly, it became a habit. Today, when I re-read the posts, the comments and the conversations — not just mine, but others too — I feel blessed.
If Death took me tonight, I would say what Vito Corleone said with this last breath — “Life is beautiful”.
Anyway, I have painstakingly collated the posts and I want to share it to the world. I have nothing to hide. I don’t mean to be in your face and gloat. I simply want to share and shine like a beacon.
Also, apologies for the unedited content.
Here we go:
Day 1 Happiness is… your bestfriend’s mom calling her up and praising you.
Day 2 Happiness is … hearing a loud, exuberant “excellent” from your editor after reading your article.
Day 3 Happiness is… a heart-to-heart conversation after a long time.
Day 4 Happiness is.. your blog post getting 20 likes..
Day 5 Happiness is.. A cup of filter kaappiii after a week-and-a-half!
Day 6 Happiness is.. your train crossing serene waters lapping onto shores covered with mangroves early in the foggy morning, with a cloud-covered red-hued sun overseeing nature’s bounty.
Day 7 Happiness is… a mini reunion at home after nearly two weeks with a cup of hot filter kaapi.
Day 8 Happiness is.. A cool workplace and even cooler colleagues/bosses, where you can take a half hour break to go to the nearby Starbucks for a cuppa.
Day 9 Happiness is.. waking up to a genuine compliment about your writing, followed by another compliment when you enter your office premises. Nothing like a good start to the day and work.
Day 10 Happiness is… a new exciting story in your head that keeps you up until two in the night and even the next day, and more importantly, getting positive feedback on the idea.
Day 11 Happiness is… getting a permission easily for something you really really wanted, when you were all prepared to beg if not convince.
Day 12 Happiness is.. dancing away to glory without shoes.
Day 13 Happiness… sometimes does not require a reason Even a productive day can add to the overall sense of satisfaction.
Day 14 Happiness is.. a very good day at work despite a debilitating headache.
Day 15 Happiness is… A much needed afternoon nap..
Day 16 Happiness is.. after a long conversation with a Rickshaw driver you have known for years, you discover that broad-mindedness is not limited to those who are educated.
Day 17 Happiness is.. waking up to a significant reduction in your seemingly perpetual headache… oh and blueberry muffin! YUM!
Day 18 Happiness is … a good news after a worrying wait
Day 19 Happiness is.. Having a great day — being woken up by one of your fav people, but managing to sleep again, followed by awesome salsa class where you are complimented for dancing well, and then chilling with friends in the evening.
Day 20 Happiness is.. a heart-to-heart with two of your friends across borders and towns after what seems like ages.
Day 21 Happiness is.. a heartfelt confession and a sweet response…
Day 22 Happiness is… a good mood on a beautiful morning, which is contagious enough to improve others’ moods
Day 23 Happiness is… Not always easy. It is a state of mind. Sometimes it is finding solace even in hard situations. Solace from the support system that friends and family can be. Solace from the chance given by fate to spend some quality times before bidding adieu. Solace that the end is not full of regrets, but one that leaves at least a little scope for closure. Happiness… sometimes needs courage and grit.
Day 24 Happiness is.. Sleeping blissfully!
Day 25 Happiness is… Leisurely watch people hurry around you, while you lounge in your seat with a burger to munch on. Weekend bliss!
Day 26 Happiness is.. Often in the small things — finishing your quota of sleep, a yummy cup of strong tea, sitting idle and staring at the sky, cold weather, friends showing they care (even if it was about your hair), and the knowledge that you will be dancing in a while.
Day 27 Happiness is.. not having to go home on time… and giggling like mad over the absurd direction a conversation had taken with your friend.
Day 28 Happiness is.. waking up with a big smile (albeit late)
Day 29 Happiness is.. sincere appreciation and the excitement of travel planning..
Day 30 Happiness is… shooting an arrow in the dark, and then discovering it struck gold.
Day 31 Happiness is… A day spent by yourself, with yourself, for yourself. Who says solitude is only lonely, sometimes it is rejuvenating, and much needed for the soul. Happiness is… Being one with yourself in silence.
Day 32 Happiness is.. spending time with the ones you love and cherish.
Day 33 Happiness is… the lack of Monday blues after a well-rested weekend. Oh.. and also the news that your cousin has bought you two sexy tops #girlpleasure Happiness is (also)… Reliving your childhood by watching your favourite cartoon movie — The Lion King.
Day 34 Happiness is.. Doing what you love and loving what you do.. Happiness is also.. Reading some of your old works and feeling awestruck that it was written by the same person reading it… Happiness lies in you. Addition: Happiness is also listening to your friends sing and perform. Venkat Iyer Archanaa Jayaraman
Day 35 Happiness is.. getting reader’s mails..
Day 36 Happiness is.. a day-long romantic date with your bed and an extra long shower, headaches notwithstanding.
Day 37 Happiness is.. working from home while the TV plays 90s Govinda’s dance tracks like “Goriya churana mera jiya” and “Hero No. 1” that you used to dance to as a child. What thumkas and beats!
Day 38 Happiness is.. gossiping with your parents after they return from a fortnight-long holiday. Also… the weekend!
Day 39 Happiness is.. Doing the thumkas and jhatkas in front of the tv spewing cheesy club numbers. #partyallnightandmorning
Day 40 Happiness is.. picking up a book to read after what seems like ages, and reading while travelling.
Day 41 Happiness is.. A good day. Sharing a few laughs and great camaraderie with your boss.. A great poetry session, where you meet people old and new.. Also, a good meeting, which gives hope that things will turn out well to help you achieve your dreams..
Day 42 Happiness is… a good deed. It is also excited planning for an upcoming trip.
Day 43 Happiness is.. Warm companionship in the train amongst strangers during peak hours!
Day 44 Happiness is.. simple, pure, unadulterated joy. It is a marine drive tour early in the morning. It is getting what you want. It is also in some simple words that people unconsciously shower you with. It is in singing like a tape-recorder during lunch. It is in a lot of things Ah, the small joys of life!
Day 45 Happiness is.. Alternatively curling up, stretching and being eagle-spread on a bed the whole day with a book that enchants your imagination. Weekend wonders!
Day 46 Happiness is.. a sexy bike ride!
Day 47 Happiness is.. Satisfying your bloodlust on the screen through 300! “This is spartaaaa” <insert air-kick>
Day 48 Happiness is.. when you have one more page filled up on your passport
Day 49 Happiness is.. Mind-blowing pasta!
Day 50 Happiness is.. A surprise pizza order.
Day 51 Happiness is.. When strangers play a prank to ease your tension, or bless you in a foreign tongue, or better yet, find you when you are lost and tired. Life is beautiful!
Day 52 Happiness is… Bobbing up and down on a boat sailing on pristine blue-green waters while staring at jelly fishes floating all around.. It is also soaking in a new culture..
Day 53 Happiness is trekking to a cave high up on a hill amidst strong wind, occasional droplets of rain and sand..
Day 54 Happiness is.. Making new friends from the other part of the world..
Day 55 Happiness is.. Admiring the beauty of mother earth’s mountains and blue green sea from over 100 feet in the sky, that too in total silence and with the only company of the wind blowing in your ear. #Paragliding
Day 56 Happiness is.. Being embraced by the bluest sky amidst a line of snow-glad or green mountains, all the while listening to songs by Eric Clapton, Mohd Rafi, ACDC, John Mayer, Guns n Roses, etc and slowly letting go of the hurts and wounds of the past. Shedding old skin and scabs. Happiness is getting lost in travel and finding yourself in the least unlikely of places.
Day 57 Happiness is a near perfect day.
Day 58 Happiness is.. A road trip on unknown lanes and landscapes, a private yacht ride, swimming for the first time in the middle of a huge sea and most importantly, cutting a surprise cake for your (Indian) star birthday. Happiness is when you couldn’t wipe the smile off your face the whole day.
Day 59 Happiness is.. Knowing you have a bunch of ppl who are like a family away from home.
Day 60 Today, my skin is sun burnt, my lips are chapped, my hair is in shambles, I am two shades darker, muscles all over my body hurt, and I possibly need one whole day’s sleep to rejuvenate. But, I am happy. Happy that I am going back home with a wealth of experience, a bunch of new friends and a heart full of gratitude for being blessed to have a wonderful life. Happiness is… Travel, humanity, nature. Happiness is life!
Day 61 Happiness is.. Sharing a hearty laugh after trading funny stories…
Day 62 Happiness is giving gifts and more importantly, seeing that they are warmly received and loved.
Day 63 Happiness is the simple joy of hanging out and laughing with friends.. Especially after a long time!
Day 64 Happiness is.. Sharing and day dreaming, while wearing a big smile on your face..
Day 65 Happiness is.. hitting the bed directly after reaching home from work.
Day 66 Happiness is.. the weekend! It is studying while listening to music on sexad Bose headphones!! It is also the build-up of anticipation for a dance night after oh-so-long!
Day 67 Happiness is.. sleeping for half a day. The pleasures of a weekend! It is also being happy for your brother and his friends’ TV debut. Sudarshan Varadarajan and Velmurugan Sekar
Day 68 Happiness is.. Sugarcane juice and a nice walk in the balmy weather. (Repeat: Day 68) Happiness is a new desktop computer at home!
Day 69 Happiness is… a surprise blood donation at work! Edit: Happiness is also eating Franki and not spilling it (FINALLY) on your white white dress! Mini-jig
Day 70 Happiness is.. Amazing breakfast in the morning, and an equally awesome bike ride in the evening followed by sexad cutting!
Day 71 Happiness is.. this video! Can’t stop gushing about those adorable babies.. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/03/baby-animals-take-first-steps-walking-video_n_5085520.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular
Day 72 Happiness is.. Shopping after ages.. It is also the knowledge that you will (finally) finish one CFA subject tomorrow. Fingers crossed
Day 73 Happiness is.. Dancing!
Day 74 Happiness is.. finishing a subject!
Day 75 Happiness is.. a premature birthday gift!!!
Day 76 Happiness is.. Getting exactly what you need even before you realise it.. It is also spending some quiet me-time with yourself..
Day 77 Happiness is a good deed — yours as well as your friend’s.
Day 78 Happiness is.. A birthday celebration and gifts!!! Thank you Rajas Kelkar, Namika Giddi Dhruti Shukla Veerpal Zala Amit Kaushal Dipakk Srivastava
Day 79 Happiness is… celebrating the joy of life and birth on your birthday with friends, colleagues and loved ones who make your day oh-so-special. It is being kidnapped (after you have given your permission :P) and blindfolded and taken on a hour-long bike ride at 1 in the night to be given another amazing surprise! Oh and all the lovely gifts! Time to count blessings
Day 80 Happiness is a quiet Sunday.
Day 81 Happiness is.. A day well spent.
Day 82 Happiness is.. A sumptuous Vishu feast.. Yum!
Day 83 Happiness is.. Eating six idlis for breakfast, lots of dog videos in the day and dressing up for a sangeet in the evening.
Day 84 Happiness is.. A surprise birthday gift!
Day 85 Happiness is.. enjoying simple daal chawal.. that you made
Day 86 Happiness is.. Finishing another subject..
Day 87 Happiness is.. getting published.. again even though it is just a tiny inconsequential piece. It is also a looong nice heart-to-heart with your friend.. Happiness is overlooking the tiny things and feeling happy about the overall goodness of life
Day 88 Happiness is.. The new Santacruz-Chembur link road. No traffic in Sion! It can actually feel Mumbai’s roads heave a little sigh of relief.
Day 89 Happiness is.. an awesome chat over a glass of cutting!
Day 90 Happiness is.. listening to music while working. It is also being reassured about the warmth in an old friendship
Day 91 Happiness is… singing in the office.. to this Youtube mix!
Day 92 Happiness is.. laughing crazily with your friends on old jokes…
Day 93 Happiness is… starting the preparations for a dance performance! excited
Day 94 Happiness is.. Being happy for your friend and riding the high..
Day 95 Happiness is… A nice afternoon nap!
Day 96 Happiness is.. Fun moments in the office.
Day 97 Happiness is… Meeting your dear friend after ages and laughing at nothing like old times.. Happiness is an amazing day
Day 98 Happiness is… Picking up the guitar after ages and strumming for yourself.. Happiness is also a Friday evening in your own company.
Day 99 Happiness is.. watching Dr House again.
Day 100 Happiness is… the sheer joy of penning down your thoughts. It is also dancing a new form — something you have wanted your whole life! What a way to end the 100-day happy saga (May 4)
May 6: Happiness is.. Gorging on amazing food the whole day! Rajma, tindli, pasta, pizza, mangoes, daal and what not!
May 7: Happiness is.. Feeling satisfied with yourself at the end of the day!
May 12: Happiness is.. reading your #happydays posts and reliving the beautiful memories. #happydays #everyday
This is beautiful!
Do you remember that scene from the soap ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’, (*cringing*) when the protagonist – Tulsi – found out about her husband’s affair, and then ran into a park wailing and howling? No?
Well, the part I am referring to, and is important for this post, is when a foreign lady finds Tulsi crying and offers sympathy. She enquires as to reason behind Tulsi’s tears.
At that time, I remember feeling embarrassed for Tulsi that a stranger is consoling her. I was a kid back then.
Today, I realise the humanity in that action. Having been through such episodes (no, no cheating husbands here, though) where strangers have offered comfort in whatever way possible to a crying me (not shamed to admit that I cry), it seems like a poignant action.
The first time, I remember being startled and, to be frank, suspicious about…
View original post 191 more words
I remember, as a kid, lines were the easiest to draw. Simply take a scale, measure the length required and draw.
Even then, many children got it wrong. I assumed that, caught up in drawing the line, they removed the pressure on the scale, which then moved in tandem.
At that time, I wondered, how could you mess up something as simple as drawing line?
Flash-forward to ‘reality’ as an adult. Lines are everywhere; and most usually, screwed up.
Imagine, each life is a hollow, transparent sphere. It’s a world in itself. These spheres intersect with each other.
The degree of intersection shows close the relationship is or how much effect you have on that life.
Now, every sphere has two other spheres inside — one stands for your private life at the core of your being, while the other (slightly bigger one) represents your personal life.
All these are separated, figuratively, by a single thin line — a boundary. This line helps keep unwanted elements out. It also jails you in.
Often, this line blurrs. Sometimes, it repels. Sometimes, it hardens. Many times, it weakens with time; you start letting people in.
Like the boundaries of most countries are a war-zone, these lines in your life are too. They are quite unstable.
Take a relationship between two people; there’s always a line separating their individual wants and needs. Often, this line is forgot, allowing you to fulfil the other’s wants. You compromise. Or is it a sacrifice?
Where’s the line that separates a compromise from becoming a sacrifice? When is it asking for space and when is it self-centered-ness?
These lines, in your personal relationships, are invisible and grossly misplaced. Finding where it lies, and where it should rightly lie, is one of adulthood’s biggest challenges.
And even once you have found it, it redrawn anew, enforcing it is a real test of wills. This struggle is ongoing — within yourself, your friendships, your love life, and all other relationships.
Reminds me of something my professor had once said:
“Freedom is never absolute. It is a constant power struggle, where two people determine whose freedom and needs are more important.”