Schools, Make Adulting Easier.

Adulting is difficult.

Adulting is difficult.

Let us face the truth, adulting is difficult on all of us. No matter which school you attend, where we graduate from and high degree we hold. There are multiple facets of adulting that are mostly learnt the hard way, if ever that is. 

Our primary education creates a foundation of knowledge and skills for us to survive this world while appreciating its foundation, diversity and evolution. It  prepares us for the big big world that we are to survive and navigate s we step into it. 

I just wish they’d give us some skills that also prepares us for very real things which mostly are the basis to most make or break situations in our lives ahead of schooling.

Here’s some skills I wish I was armoured with before stepping out into this world of adulting:

  • How To Apply For A Job
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Drawing Boundaries
  • Domestic Life Skills
  • Mental Life Skills
  • Identifying Anxiety and Burnouts
  • Asking For What I Need
  • Savings & Finance Management
  • Filing Taxes

What do you think about it?

Sorry, Cannot Be Sorry About This

“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself–and especially to feel, or not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at any moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to–letting a person be what he really is.”

-Jim Morrison

Over the years there have been things I’ve been sorry about. Things that had nothing to do with be. Actually these are things, in retrospect, that have massaged the other person’s ego and deflated my sense of self quite effectively.

So here goes a list of things that I’m developing a thick skin about. A “Sorry, Cannot Be Sorry About This” attitude; which frankly is well deserved by both the parties involved.

  1. TAKING TIME
    Sorry, Cannot be Sorry About This!
    I cannot be sorry for taking time. Time to heal, time to recuperate, time to process my emotions or just the time to move on from something that punctured my heart.
  2. STANDING UP
    Standing up for myself, for something that I believe, for something that matters to me, for something that is my basic fundamental right, for someone who needs it.
    Sorry, Cannot Be Sorry About This.
  3. NOT RECIPROCATING YOUR FEELINGS
    Sorry, I’m not supposed to mirror your feelings. Sorry, cannot be sorry about this either.
    I am going to be respectful of your feelings and emotions about me and/ or everything else, but I don’t need to reciprocate them. So there is no point feeling guilty for being respectfully uninvolved or available.
  4. TAKING A BREAK
    Every time people, places and situations get overwhelming or just plain exhausting, I am going to take a break. Be it friendships, romantic relationships, family bonds, work relationships- my sanity is an eminent factor in determining the health of my relationships.
    And Sorry Cannot Be Sorry About This!
  5. NOT BEING THERE
    Occasionally, not picking up calls, reverting to texts and emails is acceptable.
    Sorry, Cannot Be Sorry About This. Sometimes I just do not have the energy, mindset or the attitude for it. Either way, I am not letting anyone down.

Men, Emotions & Stereotypes

Boys don’t always have to be boys when they each carry the potential of becoming a Gentleman

If I was ever on a debate team, I’d be worried for being picked on a topic like this. It is woke and all but also an overused one.

Decades ago, there was a crazy guy who was obsessed with his dog.
He tried to teach the dog some humanistic behaviour. The most popular one being scheduling its meal times. While he couldn’t teach the dog to read the clock, he did manage to teach it something else. He taught the dog to salivate at his instruction. He taught the dog to expect food when a bell was rung.
He made it a habit to ring a bell and then serve the dog its food. Soon, as soon as the bell was rung, the dog knew it was time to be fed and food sure was served.
This association of a stimuli to another to generate a desired response is called Classical Conditioning.
And then this experiment and theory of Classical Conditioning began to be used on humans and has been widely studied by students of Behavioural Studies.

Wonder what that has to do with our topic at hand?
Here’s the thing…
If you look at how boys are raised across most cultures you’ll realise there is a lot of Classical Conditioning that happens without even realising it.
What are some of the most common things, statements and behavioural traits that are associated with boys and men?

“Be a man.”
“Boys don’t cry.”
“Talk like a man.”
“Boys are strong and dependable.”
“Men are bread winners.”
“Take charge.”
“Man up.”
“BOYS WILL BE BOYS.”

I mean, hello!
The list can go on and on and on. What’s funny is , half the statements and comments don’t make any sense all by themselves. They are make sense based on the environmental cues and generations of learned behaviour that are available to absorb around us.
And worse, there is alway a hint of competition that is applied (not so subtly too). It is expected that boys and men are going to be worldly people who are strong- physically and financially, fierce, protective, controlling, blah, blah, blah.

The role assigned to boys and men-by parents, educators and society at large is self-contradicting. A brother that protects his sister/s, but is macho enough to keep his girl/ woman in check. Be the monkey of the house unafraid to jump off cliffs and bruise his knees, but don’t cry like a girl- because pain is only for the other sex. Everyone’s wellbeing is his responsibility, while his is only address to the extent of physical wellness and job security.

Be it the movies that we watch and idealise, and the male role models that are present in our homes they all have one thing in common. Masculinity!
Masculinity that is grossly portrayed through some character traits that seem to define a man- successful, well built (preferably larger in comparison to the women in and around his life), egocentric, hot headed, decision maker, always a rock solid heart (even if of gold), money maker.

It is seldom, if ever, that we see them as emotional being who have dreams and continue to wander. The word petite is always negatively attributed. And being calm, patient and vocal is almost unheard of. A tear rolling down a man’s face is either a sign of an earth shattering event or just him being a sissy. A man taking a break to realign his peace and priorities is a man on his menstural week (PMS, remember?).

Then there is the nagging about their turn out:
‘men are emotionless’, ‘they don’t understand things’, ‘they don’t know how to communicate’, ‘men can be so insensitive sometimes’,’he is such a workaholic’, ‘he is always angry’, ‘he is unreliable’

But if he is all the right things and more, there is eternal fear of:
‘he is such a mamma’s boy’, ‘he is henpecked’, ‘he doesn’t have what it takes to be xyz’, ‘he is probably gay’*, ‘he’s got his marbles in a twist’, ‘why are you such a pussy?’

While the last decade has been all about women’s rights and feminism, I find it a bit half empty- half full approach towards humanity.
I wish we were talking about uniform and same standards to raise men and women of tomorrow. It should be all about raising humans and responsible citizens.

There are some things which, when it comes to boys and men, saddens me. It makes me think of patriarchy and longing for male child as such a lie. I believe that if I love something or someone then I’d wish for it/them to be the best version of themselves. And if there is such a rave for male off-springs, then why do parents families and the society work together to make them the most dependent and volatile versions of themselves?

As caregivers, mentors, partners and members of the society, we should work towards making each one an independent unit, who when put into the larger jig-saw of the world population should be pieces that help in making the larger picture a reality by supporting the pieces around them rather than pushing their weight on their surrounding pieces just because they do a handful things.

  1. Cooking Is A Life Skill
    With no bearing to gender, every human needs food to survive. So why isn’t it taught to girls and boys, women and men equally? It is a basic survival necessity. To treat as a gender based chore in a household is like asking the boys and men to starve if not taken care of by a woman. It is truly unfair to the men.
  2. Tidying Your Surroundings
    To live in neat, organised and hygienic environment is a matter of health and well-being. So, the habit of cleaning up behind themselves is a bare necessity, no matter the gender. It also is a show of discipline and respect in an individual.
  3. Emotional Intelligence
    It is the awareness of ones own emotions and the ability to understand and control them, as well as being aware of others’ emotions and the ability to influence them. In simpler terms, it is about being in touch with oneself.
    This is a skill set that everyone should have. So no more “boys don’t cry” because that is denying them to feel their emotions and also telling them that their emotions don’t matter. And hence, emotionally frustrated men being romanticised as angry brooding men- the ones all of us like to read about but not to live with.
  4. A Home Has No Gender
    Do you think your home is a he or she? Or is your home just it?
    If your home has no gender then why do home chores come with gender assignees? All home chores are equal responsibility of all home members. Let it not be a place to show power and dominance. Make it a co-working space where co-existing is a happy journey.
  5. Patience Is A Virtue
    Patience is a virtue irrespective of any basis of differentiation or discriminations. Let’s show this virtue in our lives towards our loved ones, colleagues, the person on the street and cabbie. Don’t let patience become a burden in the form of ‘adjustment’ and ‘compromise’ on one set of the society, when it actually has the potential to create a safe haven, a space of joy and harmony if inculcated in each one of us.

Why do we always live in a box? While compartmentalisation and being organised is good, these concepts were not created to limit our growth and potential.

If you are a parent and reading this, please give your children the space to be independent. And like all good things, this takes learning and practice.
If you are a care-giver or mentor and reading this, tell your pupil that everybody has a masculine and feminine side and that’s okay. All tasks and goals that exist around us are gender neutral.
If you are a young adult and reading this, know that you are a whole person. You don’t have to grow into a dependent person who needs someone else (loosely a better half) to create completeness in your life. Paying bill and doing the dishes- that’s all on you, and not his and her tasks respectively.
If you are just a reader browsing through, share it with anyone and everyone who you think needs to hear this.

*”he is probably gay”* is not a representation of how and what I think or an indication of someone’s sexual orientation. It is just an example of what is loosely said by. and large in the society ever so often.

Casual Sexism & Me

” You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”

The popular proverb-
” You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”,
holds true for me.
I’m only beginning to realise how I’ve been oblivious to my surroundings.

I’ve usually prided myself in being a sensitive person who doesn’t mind calling out people who make insensitive comments, jokes and generalisations. I’ve worked hard to not be the source of exposure, for stereotypes and discrimination, to the people around me. And just as you would know, it has earned me multiple inaccurate judgements which I continue to carry. “She’s so uptight”, “Learn to take a joke at face value”, “Don’t be so overly sensitive”, “Such a joy-kill”, “Stop over analysing every word” and on and on and on.
It continues to feel hurtful being ghosted or ignored by the people close to me for no wrong doing on my part, but that’s life I guess.

Having have said this, in the recent time I was shown the mirror. And boy, was it harsh!
Contrary to my understanding of self, there is one person I realise I’ve failed. I’ve failed because I’ve run along with age old discrimination when it comes to this set of people in my life.
As a daughter I’ve been ignorant and supported sexism in my home, in ways I only now understand through my own experiences.

Casual Sexism is women eating after men at home
Women getting interrupted while speaking, told to lower their voice and watch their tone.
Not making space for us on the couch or at a table.
Us gravitating towards housework at all times.
It’s the little things too.

There is one thing to have gender roles and another to have relationship roles. I’m not sure if it is the right term, but by relationship roles I mean the roles imposed on a person based on the relationship status in the complex equation. To make it simpler, as a daughter I have different roles as compared to as a daughter-in-law. It is like a sub-categorisation of gender roles- a deeper pit.

It was through an instagram reel, where two successful celebrities were being interviewed and they shared how as a woman their family doesn’t mind interrupting and/or disturbing them in the workspace while their male counterparts were available at the same time.*
For a moment I was disappointed by their families and almost a second later I was ashamed. I was ashamed of perpetrating the same- and no I’m not being harsh on myself.

Every so often, I’ve assumed that my mother was always available for what I want without checking with what’s on her mind, while I’ve always enquired with my father if he wished to help me on his day off. Only today, when my mood, willingness or need isn’t acknowledged before assumptions are lathered upon, do I feel frustrated. It’s more like tasting the same medicine, and I understand it is taxing physically mentally and emotionally.

This isn’t me venting. This is me working on my block one aspect at a time, as I promised myself.
This isn’t me venting. This is me sharing what I feel and what I’ve understood, so we can help one another and realise that we are not alone.
This isn’t me venting. This is me putting myself out there and hoping that it helps someone learn from my mistakes and not having to learn it the hard way.

Casual sexism is real. It is so real that we do not even realise that we are the victims and perpetrators of it, all the same.

I’m currently being more aware of my assumptions and generalisations with others and trying to be more patient with the ones making the same mistake that I’ve made all these years. Everyone has a different learning curve and the best I can do is start a conversation to kick start the process. Because like I said at the beginning
” You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”

Working On My Block

Being a homemaker is tough.
And it’s tougher on my writing as I’ve created multiple blocks for myself.

Hello there!
How have you been?

No, like how have you really been?
How are you dealing with the big and the little things that are happening around you?
How are your comfortable relationships faring and have you made peace or progress with the strained ones?
And most importantly, how is your relationship with yourself at the moment?

Yeah.. I just asked you all a lot of questions. Questions that I wish we all ask our near and dear ones, every once in a while, only because we too would love to have an audience when answering the same.

In the last six months I’ve had a nagging feeling about being a part of a routine. Not that routines are bad, but I felt I was inside a box with an array of tasks that kept me occupied in a methodical manner.
I miss having new experiences and exposure through people and their experiences!

Being a homemaker is tough.

Hence, finding my current working tough only made thinking tougher and writing even more so. In retrospect, I’ve been having new experiences and learning new things. But thanks to the over glorification of being a working woman, I consciously marginalised myself. This marginalisation of my experiences and learnings created a block for me. A confidence block, that I didn’t have anything new to offer- same old same old. An identity block, that no one wants to hear a bored housewife’s rant. A mental block, that I was wasting my passion and years of education.

That’s three blocks. Three times the self-inflicted pressure to do better. And three times the frustration.
And oddly but not surprisingly enough, all the three blocks led to one. A Writer’s Block.

the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing

Dictionary definition of Writer’s Block

I’ve been struggling with dealing with my block in my own. Sometimes by bing self deprecating and sometimes by being in denial. It’s simple, isn’t it?
Okay, no kidding, it was a vicious circle of the two. Not Healthy.

To my fortune and luck, I’ve been blessed with some of the best audience who seem to believe in my skills and ability more than I do sometimes. And thank you, each one of you, for being there for me. I’ve had some of you come up to me make me realise something very important.

And that important thing is Perspective. Perspective is everything. And I seemed to have forgotten it. In my block, I forgot that even though I was going through something that is common with a lot of other people, I still have a perspective.
Whether working or stay-at-home, we all have a lot of things in common. We are all still juggling things, tasks and most importantly relationships. And I still do have a perspective that i can write about.

While my block isn’t un-blocked. But I have definitely found a new approach of dealing with it. Let’s hope it helps me make a progress and hope that along the way we create a space to help one another going through the same.

Until then, hold tight and keep that love in your heart alive.

Essential Summer Saviours

The soaring temperature has had me flipping day and night to a point my husband wishes I had an assistant with whom he could check on my mood before approaching me, true story!

Hello there!
I’ve taken my sweet time to get back to this space and I’m glad to be back tapping at my keyboard and letting my thoughts flow. I hope you’ve looked forward to reading me just as much, if not more, as I have waited to write to you.

The world has been heating up over the years and India seems to be lapping up heat wave upon heat wave. The soaring temperature has had me flipping day and night to a point my husband wishes I had an assistant with whom he could check on my mood before approaching me, true story!

On the not-so-contrary, I wish I could walk around with a personal air conditioner in my pocket which ducted across y body and over my scalp so I could get away from the feeling of being bathed in sweat all the time. Or maybe, only if, the heat took away some fat from me instead of just sucking the energy and water out of me. I mean, right, why not?!

So…. So to get away from this ever prevailing and presiding attitude of annoyance I tried and tested things to create an Essential Summer Survivors list!

DISCLAIMER 
(using teleprompter voice while reading this)
All items, tricks and things are a creation to serve my needs (need for survival). Anything that helps you too is a welcome mention in the comments and anything that stands against your systems is also welcome in the comments. But remember to keep it a mutually supportive system because remember its summer and its already hard for most of us.

Here’s comes my Essential Summer Survivor kit includes

  • HYDRATE
    As often as we hear it and no matter how well we know it, hydrating is the most important ingredient for surviving summers and the heat. Making sure that I consume a good 3 litres of water is usually a task as using an app for it every time isn’t exactly my thing. So I just got myself a nice glass bottle and keep it on myself all the time. Even when I move from one room to another its always at hand.*
  • CURD & YOGURT
    This is a key element to me summer saviours list. Due to my stomachs sensitivity to curd, I usually prefer it in diluted form. At the end of my breakfast and lunch I consume a glass of freshly made butter milk, salted or sweet depending on what I prefer at the time. It also helps settle down the spices consumer hence saving me the acid reflux on days when I consume something very spicy and is great for digestions as well.
    Note: It’s a great practice to follow year round.
  • WHEN LIFE THROWS LEMONS
    It’s true, but I collect them all for the summers. An essential summer survival item is lemonade or lemon soda/ virgin mojito is I’m feeling fancy.
    But a glass of freshly made lemonade is as close to heaven as I’ve gotten in the summers.
  • FRUITS & SALADS
    Since all fruits and most vegetable are packed with water along with other essentials, I find it a great way to snack and hydrate at the same time. As a snack between meals or just for a light meal, I find a bowl of a whole fruit or vegetable salad with a basic vinaigrette dressing really handy. Also, I’m more of a whole fruit person more than a juice person since I find the fibre and chewing really satisfying.
  • ALL THINGS COLD
    As tempting as it is to consume something loaded with ice or super chilled, I am not used to it and quickly end up with a soar throat to runny nose. So I try to have things that are at room temperature or slightly cooler instead of heat to hot food and beverages. Like instead of a hot Americano I prefer it with cold water or just water that stayed in an earthen pot or matka instead of directly from the
  • EYE HYDRANTS
    I experience burning eyes or dry eyes quite frequently doing the summers when compared to the rest of the year. So I prefer keeping eye hydrating drops handy (nothing specific, just off the counter stuff).
  • BATH WATER TRICK
    As the temperature rises I prefer a drop in my bathing water. It could be absolutely psychological, I don’t know, but I feel that If I take a cold water bath my body temperature for some time is lowered helping my feel better. On the contrary, I feel that a hot water bath will just up the body temperature even more and refuse me any respite from feeling warm and sweaty.
    Especially a cold bath before bed is a blessing like no other.
    *Try adding a slice of lemon to your water bucket, it leaves you feeling fresh and lemony (do not use the lemon water on your hair)
  • ICING ON THE FACE
    Picked up from one of the late 90s or early 00s advertisement of a summer drink, I began to ice my face at home and fell in love with it almost instantly. I just pop a couple cubes in a bowl and send in front of the mirror for a dew minutes; just gently applying the ice all over my face and neck.
  • COLOURS & FABRICS
    A large part of being comfortable during the day also includes what we choose to wear. I stick to comfort fitted clothes in lighter and neutral tones. Just breezy outfits that help me breath better, linens and cottons are my go to choices.
  • SUNBLOCK
    There is not a single day in the year that I start my day without applying a nice neat layer of sunblock on my face neck and arms. A routine as simple as this can take you a long way. Immaterial of gender and age, it should be a must on every one’s routine. But of course, I do not apply it in the early morning hours when the sun is not so harsh as some exposure to the sun is also essential.

This pretty much sums up everything I try to do as an Essential Summer Saviour for myself and the ones around me. What do you think?
Do you also have little things that you swear by during this weather, if yes, then do share! 

*Glass Water Containers that I personally love currently:

21 Century Or What?

What is the need and meaning of certain traditions that Im expected to follow?

There is a dilemma that I’ve been working on for quite a few months now.

The constant struggle between wanting to fit in and yet be true to myself is always a push and pull, 21st century or not.

To think about it, it is more difficult today than ever before, despite the acceptance and awareness available regarding being oneself, self love and embracing oneself.

But the conditioning that I’ve had growing up, watching my mother and grandmother and every other woman that I’ve come across. Every woman whom I’ve seen embrace this phase of their lives.

Then there is this whole generation, my generation specifically, that seems to be such a contrast. It’s almost comical if you think of it, no?
Women of my generation seem to be on the divided and resting on the two corners of this conundrum, with very few falling in the middle to justify the normal probability curve.

21st century or not?

The stereotypical view of an Indian woman is that of someone whose entry is heard through the jingle of her bangles and chiming of her anklet way before she comes into view. The stereotypical view of an Indian woman is someone who draws majority attention to her round red bindi more than the rest of her. The stereotypical view of an Indian woman is someone gracefully draped in five meters of saree. The stereotypical view of an Indian woman is someone with lush curves and voluminous long hair. The stereotypical view of an Indian woman is someone that silently stands next to her partner

Things are changing though, aren’t they?
Now women don’t necessarily align with all the above standards. We wear shorter hair, pants and just a watch and we are independent that wish to define ourselves than be defined by someone or something.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not in favour of one thing over the other. There are no sides. It’s not black or white, it is mostly grey- hence, the dilemma.

So what did I do? I turned towards the pool of resources available to me to find some answers. And what I found blew my mind. Completely.

All the Indian rituals that an Indian woman is expected to carry out are not just patriarchal, some have beautiful logic and science behind them. Let me share some of them with you-

BINDI
Also know as the red dot, this bindi is applied between the two brows or the mid-brow region. Among the seven chakras/energy centres in our body, the sixth energy centre lied right there. This is the seat of nerve plexus as well which directly impact the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus.
Also, putting this dot/ bindi makes us press this point which helps in improving concentration, relieving anxiety and stress and heal headaches and sinus by stimulating this energy centre.

SINDOOR
This is the red powder used by married woman, lining this central hair partition- commonly applied starting from forehead unto pituitary gland (the seat of emotions and thoughts). Traditionally Sindoor is made by mixing turmeric, lime and mercury; a combination that is helpful in controlling blood pressure and activating the sexual drive.
The application of Sindoor is started on being married and curbed when one is a widow.

TOE RINGS
This piece of ornament is worn on the second toe.
It is known to press a particular vein that runs from the toe to the uterus and then to the heart- meaning it helps strengthen the uterus by improving blood flow to it ergo regularising mensural cycles.

BANGLES
The wearing of tight and heavy bangles helps press veins that lead to the reproductive organs and are knows to help in easy conception. So it is not so bad if I plan to start a family, right?

EAR & NOSE PIERCINGS
These piercings are becoming wildly common across the globe now, but mostly as a fashion statement. In India, a girl gets the left side of her nose pierced using a precious metal like gold or silver. This point is know to be an energy centre that connects to the uterus and helps manage the pain of childbirth.
With regard to ear piercings, as a woman it helps regulates our mensural cycles and as humans it regulates blood flow throughout the body.

ANKLETS
This piece of jewellery is usually worn on both the feet, traditionally. Precious metals like gold and silver are used in making anklets as these are good conductors, enabling a lot of good energy/ions enter our body. Anklets are also used to relieve or reduce leg pain alone with stimulation of veins which result in better blood flow to our limbs.

8 Things No One Told Me About Being Married

Don’t ever stop dating your wife and don’t ever stop flirting with your husband.

“A successful marriage
requires falling in love many times,
always with the same person.”

As I started to close in on my mid-twentites, I knew marriage was right around the corner. It was a definitive; just a matter of when, where and to whom. Not having have found a partner myself, it was certain that my family would find me a match, fortunately the decision would be mine.

I was, however, mentally prepared for it. Like I said, it was only a matter of when, where and to whom I’d me marrying. But I knew that it was going to happen and had made peace with my early adolescent spirit that had a skewed sense of feminism wrapped in a fairytale bubble (you can only imagine how messed up and confusing that can be) .

Right up until I got married and moved into my husband’s home with his family that was now becoming mine, I didn’t realise that all my education and exposure had not managed to protected me from having preconceived notions about what it means to be a married woman and a daughter-in-law… imagine my surprise!

Through household chatter, experiences of my family members, media and popular tales I had sub-consciously gathered and consolidated data on what it means to be a married woman. I had created a mood board of sorts which was painted by putting woman and their struggles on a pedestal and normalising the negativity that came with it. I knew I was suddenly going to be an adult with responsibilities and unspoken/ declared duties and expectations. I knew for myself that being a married woman there would be a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law angle, the Bermuda triangle between the mother son and myself, etcetera.

After being married for almost two years and starting a new journey along side with the on going pandemic here are the things I’ve come to experience and realise that I wish someone had told me but no one told me about being a married woman.

1. It begins at the end of “Happily Ever After”
..”Yes, I do”…. “Yes, I do”… And they lived happily ever after!
It is after this that a marriage truly begins. I do not know what I’ll feel in retrospect after having have lived my life, but I now know that the meaning is to make the most of it, the best of it and hope you can look back and say that “.. and then we lived happily ever after”. Marriage is like playing with lego, you imagine, aspire, create and hope you’ve gotten it right.

2. It helps you discover yourself
There is so much I’ve realised that I never knew about myself. There are times that I surprise myself. It could be about things that you are protective of and things that you are accommodating about. It could be your new found level of patience and ability to persevere. It could be about how accommodating you truly can be and the strength to stand up for yourself in ways you never thought you could. And sometimes it’s about finding out that being vulnerable and feeling safe at the same time is a possibility. I’ve had moments where I broke down for no reason at all and still knew that I’m loved and there was no judgement being thrown at me.

3. Finding your new family
The thing that sticks out to me the most is that my birth family is the family that I was born into, it has loved me since before I was born, I’ve had years to build my relationships there and create my own space. And I’ll always have a home in their hearts- which goes without saying.
But coming to my marital home- at first it felt like a house with people who occupy it. It is after all these months that I’ve realised that these are relationships that I have to nourish and build for them to mean anything in my life; because otherwise they will just remain my husband’s family.

4. I have two mothers
Here I speak for myself and I know I’ve lucked out. Marriage gave me two mothers- my birth mother will always be the one who got me into this world and taught me everything I know about life thus far. But it is my Mother-In-Law who held my hand when I stepped into a new territory and helped find my comfort zone. She is the one teaching me things going forward.
She helps me understand my partner better which in turn helps me nurture our partnership better as a wife. She asks for my opinion and shares how things have been done thus far- what better, right?

“Marriage is not a noun;
it’s a verb.
It isn’t something you get.
It’s something you do.
It’s the way you love your partner every day.”
– Barbara De Angelis

5. Marriage changes you
Many of our friends and cousins have complained that we’ve changed as individuals but I don’t say this as a bad thing.
We have both made upgrades to our behaviours and patterns in order to support each other better and stay in sync. from being two singles, we’ve gone onto becoming Mr. & Mrs- that entails changes in order to survive and grow as a unit.

6. It makes everything more serious
That’s true, suddenly the intensity of everything is heightened. Conversations about future, plans for the weekend or just as argument- everything is more serious than it has ever been before. It could also be because you know this is it- this person in front of you is it and you both want to get it right and do not want to just settle for average.

7. THERE ARE NO HIGHWAYS ANYMORE
The attitude of “it is may way or the highway” doesn’t apply anymore. I’ve realised that it is rarely about being right, but mostly about finding the best option available. I’ve found myself actively avoiding quick fixes and wanting to talk it over with partner to find a long term solution to issues.
I once read it somewhere that marriage is like weight. It is not like once you’ve achieved your ideal weight you can go about living your life, similarly once you’ve sorted something in your marriage that is not it. It has to become a lifestyle, where you constantly and proactively keep working on it.

8. IT IS THE NEXT LEVEL OF TEAM WORK
Marriage doesn’t just take work, it is hard AF.
It is an amalgamation of too many factors at once with no manual and one fits all solutions. A happy marriage is a symbiotic relationship where not only do we support one another but also become the foundation to our children and an assurance to all the others intimately connected to us.

“A husband and wife
may disagree on many things
but they must absolutely agree on this:
to never, ever give up.”

Tigers

From their stripes to their paws, they are worth being fascinated by and gaping at. They are elegance and power wrapped into one.

Do you know how a Tiger is raised?

On my recent trip to a Tiger Reserve and National Park, I had the opportunity to learn more about this beautiful creation of God. From their stripes to their paws, they are worth being fascinated by and gaping at. A tiger marks his territory and regularly patrols it and protects it from competitors. Each of these territories has three to four tigresses marking their own territories within. A tigress litters three to four times in her lifetime and each litter gives her anywhere from one to four cubs, usually. For the first three years of their lives these litters are under the protection of their mother who feeds them, nourishes them and educates them. She teaches them how to hunt and camouflage for safety, she teaches them to identify opportunity and strategise. If she identifies that there is a weakling amongst her litter, she terminates it for the safety of the others. It sounds rather heartless, but Darwin did say that the world functions on a ‘survival of the fittest’ model. And jeopardising the lives of the strong in order to continue supporting the weak is not something that favours life in a jungle.

Anyway, once the cubs are old and taught enough she releases them from her care and shelter. They are expected to work as individual units that moment forward. They are to explore the jungle, find a territory they’d like to call their own, challenge the one who calls the territory home at that moment and then the winner takes it all. A face off of this nature is purely based on strength; relationships being no bar. It is fairly common for a daughter to challenge her mother and a son his father, one among sisters and amidst brothers.

And hence the cycle continues…

In the wake of all this new information I realised that what a Tigress really does is that she season them for the best and the worst to come. She is accepting of the limitations of her children and doesn’t coddle her kids, instead pushes them to be better. She needs them to be better each day because she knows that her strength and glory will do nothing for their survival. While she is the legacy of someone, her litter is her legacy.

This made me think of gratification, the thin line between being pampered and spoilt, the difference between being comfortable and being unequipped. Just the mere realisation of this thought has had me viewing people, situations and stories in a very different light. I mean, I’ve begun to perceive the experiences I’ve had so far in a different light as well. It made me take a step back and analyse my stance on certain actions my parents took for me during my rebel years.. were they being strict or were they making sure that I had the qualities and skills to survive once I was out of their shelter.

What do you think?