Curved Balls

Every year is new and different. But this one has been a landmark.

Have you ever woken up and felt like it was a good… no great day?
The sun is shining just the right amount. Your eyes open just a moment before your alarm was supposed to go off. You feel no ounces of laziness but just energy coursing through your body. You feel invincible on such days. Like you skin is flawless, you have a good hair day and that little smile refuses to leave your lips, come what may!

At the cost of sounding dramatic and eccentric at the same time, here’s what I want to share!

I woke up one morning in the rosiest of moods with the realisation that The Hazy Whisperer is soon turning TWO!
There had been no specific prompters. No peeking at the calendar (Yes, I’ve marked the date when it began). And no conversations about my course of action for it. But just a realisation…. guess the sub-conscious does have its own mysterious ways of playing with me.
What was next?!
Like an involuntary reaction to this thought, my mind just started rolling back and counting all the things that the last year comprises of. As if almost by instinct I was sure of one thing- I have a lot to be grateful for!

This year began with me meeting that one person I’m to spend the rest of my life with. Even since the journey has been of exploring, learning, understanding and pushing myself!
There were additions to Safarnama- a trip with the Girl Gang and a memoir to my time in Manali. A lot of stuff that I read was shared because it moved me some way or the other.
THW tried Collaborations. While being informative the idea behind it was to also empower, and we did that by Celebrating Women!
(PS do let me know if you’d like me to consider more of these through the comments below)

The year did see me slacking on the writing end. But I had my plate full. I was changing from going for shows alone to blushing in someone’s presence and re-imagining my life next to an actual human. I do apologise for the inconsistency I’ve shown, but want to thank each one of you for still sticking around. We have grown, statistically too!

1,500+

Viewers

30+

Countries

25+

Posts

I was honestly quite disheartened when I actually began to type this one, but once I saw the stats for the year that has just gone by I knew I am lucky and thankful!

Through the past year I realised how much Baba means to me and also how his love for story telling isn’t just about stories. It is his way of sharing little anecdotes from life and lessons with me. Baba, you are my guiding force.

I also shared some of the skin remedies that I swear by and was over-whelmed with the kind of response you guys showed me. And just FYI, those remedies are something I went with when prepping my skin for the D-Day as well! SO do not take them lightly. They are amazing!!

This year I’ve found myself noticing the little details about the ones around me. In the Indian system, getting married means re-rooting yourself. This change can sometimes feel as drastic as having to sometimes explore oneself all over again and understand what you stand for and what your priorities are.
In a scenario not as extreme, I am fortunate to have found a mother who is more than willing to make me feel at home by even trying to fuse the systems of my old home with the new one. A husband who makes it his mission to make me feel happy and comfortable. I’ve found a family that constantly tries to know what makes me happy. Thank you!

Early in my married life I experienced a Long Distance due to the lockdown in lieu of this Pandemic. After struggling with it and receiving a lot of ideas and inputs did I share quick tricks to make it a little less sufferable. I hoped to help anyone and everyone who needed it. The times are tough on everyone in their own unique way!

With all the changes and growing that have come my way this year, the one post that remains closest to my heart and took great strength to write was Of Myself, To Myself. I have never let my guard down the way I did then. I felt vulnerable and yet the senses of being liberated was all-consuming. Thank you for the support and love you have garnered over me!

… and here we are, a year after coming a full circle.

THW turns
2!

Today is a big milestone for The Hazy Whisperer- we are celebrating two years of living, growing and loving. This year has been about the little big things that have come and gone; ergo the title 😉

Manali Memoir

“TRAVEL MAKES ONE MODEST, YOU SEE WHAT A TINY PLACE YOU OCCUPY IN THE WORLD.” ~ GUSTAVE FLAUBERT

Summer 2018,
… it had been a year since I’d moved back in with my family after spending two years away for a Masters programme. While I’d grown up in that house and lived with everyone for almost two and a half decades, but these two years seemed to have helped me grow in more ways than one.
So, behaving like a typical early adult- lacking patience and full of fire coupled with self assurance; I booked my seat on a week long get away that promised an absolute disconnect from the society and its hum-drum. With two friends accompanying me and about ten strangers to be befriended, I packed my rucksack for a taste of the mountains during the scorching heat.

Disclaimer: I’m not about to share the itinerary, but I plan to take you through what those seven days continue mean to me.

What started with an over night bus journey of dead silence and quiet observation of one another was about to turn into a week that I will continue to remember with great fondness for more reason than one. Stationed at a pit-stop the next morning to stretch our stiff muscles, freshen up and meet our local organisers… the first day began. I do not have a chronological memory of each day but a lot of small stories and some large eventual impacts on myself (of which I was unaware back then) that come rushing to my mind at this point.
So a chilly shower followed by an ice-breaking breakfast session accompanied by some of the most joyful dogs, did we get to know about the first place we were to hike to and stay camped for two nights…. oh wait, I promised no Itinerary! In which case, let’s keep it crisp, we had three different places where we stayed over the week, each of which is kept so pure and un-touched that one has to fall in love with them.

The more I got to know about the Mountaineerz – the company involved in organising this getaway, the more assured I felt that this is exactly what I needed. A couple from the metropolitans who packed their bags and started calling the mountains their home. They promise only what they can provide- an experience that encompasses the quiet and the wild, the divine, the exotic and the spiritual.
Imagine sitting in a clearing, amidst mountains. The sky wearing the darkest of blues and little lights scattered up above. A large ball of light helping you see your surroundings. No boundaries, no walls. Just the background music of water flowing and soothing you just the way a lullaby from your mother does. A blaring flame as if marking the epicentre of your group- keeping us together and keeping us warm. Then new but now familiar voices breaking into songs in different languages and all of them failing to feel strange.
Or… or just imagine being unloaded from your cars and after a hot-cuppa-in-the-cold-hills sort of tea, being asked to hop onto an open top light utility vehicle to make an up-hill journey into a quiet, almost self-sufficient and progressive village. A village I’v found difficulty in locating through google maps. Living in the home of the then Sarpanch, whose father-in-law had also served the community in the past. Jumping into cold water pools formed by the rivers in the mountain ranges and drying ourselves under the sun while just lying in abandoned meadows. Taking a walk around this simple and hardworking village with the Sarpanch’s husband, who seemed more than happy and proud being the home maker. Advocating women’s education and equal rights for them, he had me in absolute awe.
Waking up pre-dawn and wandering the village to find the right spot to immerse ourselves in the experience of watching the sun hop out from between the mountains, just like the drawings we all made as kids. Freshening up each morning using ice cold water. Re-filling our water supplies from the river and fetching wild ferns and mushrooms for our next meal, and learning to find the right kind of wood for our bonfire ritual. Learning about the traditions of the land while savouring the home cooked ‘siddu‘ and trout.

It was this trip and a friends I made and the time that I spent with myself that I’ll always be grateful for, when thinking about my writing and the beginning of blogging. One morning while I sat by myself on a plank at a certain height, just taking in the beauty around me that I felt the urge to write my thoughts down. In that quietness my mind was dropping deafening beats and a few scribbled words proved to be the only medium of noise cancellation. A few brief sentences down, I knew this was about to be a few pages. And a constant nagging by the newly acquainted co-traveller, our organiser and my now valued friend, had me convinced to let him in on the pages. The next thing I know he fed me the idea of making writing a regular process and soon creating the page.
It is funny to think that I had been so unsure and intimidated by this confidence that I told him that I’m going to give this project just six months of time and then quit. And today, it helps me get in touch with myself and sometimes even acknowledge my own thoughts.


By no means is this a promotional post, just me reminiscing in the memories of one of the best getaway I’ve ever had. It wouldn’t have been possible without the team that made it happen, hence the acknowledgement of Mountaineerz and Wandermile. Thank you for giving me a memory of a lifetime.
Let me introduce you to a popular Himachali folk song that I heard during the trip: Himachali Song that has stuck with me. Hope you enjoy it too!

Long Distance Lockdown

Surviving a long distance as a newly wed by experimenting with some ideas.
cute-to-weird-to-awkward-to-crazy-to-plain stupid
That’s us!

Hello folks!
I’ve been meaning to use this time of lockdown to my benefit.
To a large extent I’ve been doing things that I otherwise do not get the chance to.
But with writing, let’s just say it’s a different ball game. I have at least five new ideas each day, but my ability to actually work on it and produce anything of quality is directly dependent on my mental state. And to speak honestly, my mental state is that of someone who is quite lost.


You ask why?
For starters, I was visiting my mum’s house when the lockdown was imposed by our Government.
What’s so bad about living in my family house?
Nothing! Absolutely nothing.
Then?
Well, I got married last November, which is like four months ago.
And what was supposed to be a two week visit has turned into an indefinite stay; an indefinite long distance.
Like, Really?!
Umm, yeah! We were just getting to know each other.
Didn’t you know him before you agreed to marry him?
It is an arranged marriage. Of course I now care for him dearly. Also, no matter how well you know someone, I think, you only fully learn about a person when you live with them.

This has pretty much been the conversation that I’ve had in my head, and also the 100 and one things that I try to explain to myself about how its a global crisis and I cannot be so selfish.
That we live in the 21st century where technology works beautifully to reduce the physical distances, etc etc etc…

Hence the “Long Distance Lockdown”


After a lot of nights of: ‘I Hate This’, ‘I Miss You’, ‘Why Us?’, we have managed to come up with some simple yet effective ways to not feel so distant and also help get to know each other.
Someone once said that ‘the best way to get to know someone is to be around them during unfavourable situations’, to something like that 😉

So get ready to rad some of the things that we’ve been experimenting with; ranging from cute-to-weird-to-awkward-to-crazy-to-plain stupid on somedays. No matter how these sound, they’ve worked pretty well so far!

Movie Dates!
Living in the times of Netlix Party, Video Calls and Screen Sharing watching a move together is just a matter of creativity and willingness. We select a movie and watch it (without intermission) in the comfort of our bedroom with snacks.
And we also continue to talk during the movie the way we would if we were in the cinemas.

Candle Light Dinners
Pick a time and day
Set up your dinner along with good wifi
Create the ambience that you wish for- candles, music, fragrance
Dress up
Click the video call button!
One can never be too old for a dinner date and its the best way to make them and yourself feel special. It takes effort but why not?

Online Games
There is a plethora of options available today. Our favourites have been Scrabble Go and Ludo King, currently. (because I don’t know how to play anything else) 😛
There is of course, COD PubG and the likes of it too!

Sudoku Competition
It is exciting to be competitive but in a fun way!
So we share the sudoku that with each other and then start solving it at the same time and maintain score. It is actually fun teasing each other over speed and accuracy 😉

100 Questions
The web provides plenty of these lists. We picked questions that we liked from different platforms (two hours used) and then keep going back to them with 10 questions at a time and continue to be surprised by one another.
These range from childhood to teenage, from emotional to spiritual, from aspirations to dreams, from future plans to goals, from personal experiences to deeper darker secrets.
If you are doing this then you surely are in for a whirlwind.
Some like to get you started: here, here, here, here,

Origami
It’s a fun paper folding art. And what better than being creative and learning something new with your partner?
Make flowers for one another or fly swans and butterflies or just make hearts.

We never miss saying the things that we did everyday.
It is the simple Good Morning and Have a Great Day
How was lunch?
What plans for the day?
How was your day?
…. they are simple and can sound silly but they just make us feel a little more in touch.

Surprise Letters
We leave emails for one another at random times.
They are like little appreciation, gratitude and love notes.
These always put a smile on my face and make my day!

Planning Our Next Vacay/ Getaway
We talk about where all each one of us has already travel do and the places we want to visit soon.
The places that he/I wish to revisit, but the time with one another.
We look up and talk about the things and activities we want to do at specific places and the food we want to try together.

Learn To Cook
Depending on cravings and availability of ration, we find recipes to help each other.
Or just learn to cook something that your partner really likes?

TALK
Somedays there is no activity planned and nor is there any inkling to come up with one. On such days, we just talk. We talk about our day, we talk about the first five things each one of us wants to do individual and together as soon as the lockdown is lifted. We plan our agenda list based on priority and probability for the time when the lockdown is lifted.

Co-ordinated Workouts
We have been meaning to do this and will do it soon enough.
Pick a workout routine online and start it at the same time and doit together over a video call. It sounds quite satisfying to us (but we are just lazy).

Self Care
From full body stretches to face masks and a self mani-pedi evening while you chitchat with one another is also great way to pamper yourself and spend time together.
Everyone deserves it!


The times are hard.
The world is going through a crisis and the best way to do our bit is to Stay Home, Stay Safe.
It is mentally stressful and emotionally draining to be in times like these and it is okay if you just do not feel unto anything on somedays. If you just want to stay in bed and are not excited about anything on certain days. Being over-whelmed is alright.
But it is our personal responsibility to not let ourselves get stuck in the cycle where there are no good days.
Please do little things for yourself and your loved ones. Make the most of your time together. And if apart, try to find ways to spend time together, virtually!

If you have other suggestions and ideas that you think could help us, please do share!
And for the ones staying apart, start making your lists and create some quality time with your loved ones in this pandemic!

Of Myself, To Myself

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a large fortune must be in want of a wife”, said Austen.
And I always wondered what happens to her family after?

Half a year ago, or you could just say two seasons ago, I knew I was to soon shift cities, change my last name, create a new place, make new relations, understand and define boundaries for myself…. re-invent myself.
It is like taking the last quarter of a century’s work and treating it like base work and starting to understand oneself all over again in an absolutely new setting, surrounded by a new mindset, with new house rules and newer house mates and a fresh new perspective of self.

Let’s fast track a bit… and its been a three weeks!
Three weeks of being a wife, a daughter-in-law, a sister-in-law. Mostly, three weeks of being the ‘new one’ with all things new!

In all this newness, there isn’t a single day that has gone by where I haven’t thought of all the oldness.
Every morning. when I touch the feet of my new grandparents, I miss the morning green tea over news paper and some crisp sunlight with the ones back home.
When my new mother cooks something, it doesn’t even take my mind a second to rush back to the cooking of my mother’s hands.
When my new father says something to me, I can’t help but smile at how I have spent a majority part of conversations with baba in discussions and debates.
When I’m setting tasks to do on a specific day and settling in, I know I couldn’t have done it without drawing inferences from the lives of my brother and his wife (who I think of as my older sister).
When they sit and share stories and incidents from their own lives, I can’t help but miss our all nighters where all the cousins sat with junk and gossip, embarrassing one another with childhood stories and the shit storm we brewed as a bunch of hooligans.
As I meet the extended family here, I want to call my aunts and uncles- ones I have back home, and tell them that I’m more blessed than most because of them. I’ve had the luxury of being co-parented by so many. Love by all. Taught by all. Grown up amongst all.
When I see him bump into a friend on the street, I can’t help but wonder when I’ll next spend time with mine; my friends that have been family in more ways than I can fathom.
The times we sat on the swing discussing boys, friends, studies, sibling hatred, out collective dislike for specific vegetables and love for the most random things. Being each other’s fashion guides, trending lingo assistants, discussing dreams and how we’d blow the large bucks that the realisation of that dream would bring us. Our baseless fears and even worse coping mechanisms. Obsessing over coffee and cheese, ice creams and cakes. Reviewing new food joints, sharing music, talking of treks and all the places we’d visit and the causes we will volunteer for and the books we’ve read and the new workout plan that we’ve procrastinated over.

…WAIT…
Before I sound like I’m already venting and am a damsel in distress, let me give you some insight…

At 5 am, with sleep deprived eyes, under the weight of bridal ensemble, in front of at least three dozen pairs of glassy eyes, I had taken leave from all of them- with a twinkle in my eyes and laughter pouring out of my lips. Excited about the new and yet to be experienced, sure of the support from both ends and the unconditional love all around.
I agree, I haven’t felt the kind of warmth I experienced that morning ever before. With me as the point of everyone’s focus and all that intensity making me feel floaty.

Was I in denial? Should I have cried at the end of my single life?
I think not.
I wasn’t pressured into anything, there was a choice and chose this.
I have only grown fonder of the person whom I’m to spend the rest of my life with.
I treat the house as my own and not that of my in-laws.
My birth family will be 800kms away, but someone once said ‘distance makes the hearts grow fonder’… so what’s there to be sad about?
I’m not insensitive. I think of them more number of times than I’ll ever be able to admit. They are the reason behind who I am today.

I’m married. I miss my birth family. I wish to spend more Saturday evenings with my friends. I want those friendly banters with all my brothers and sisters.
I’ll have only so much of it.
I’m grateful. I love both my families. I have more brothers and sisters now. I’m living in and exploring an absolutely new city and its culture. I have more than I need.


According to Atharva Veda, marriage is detachment from my father’s clan because I’m to begin mine; It is my re-birth.


TO make my shift a little more comfortable Zoomin gave me the bst gift ever!

It’s A Start

Just then we knew, we had miles to go and yet in that silence we were already getting better at understanding each other a little better- one laughter at a time.

Toes curling to hold onto the sand, taking support- placing one foot in front of the other. Breeze gently whistling through my ears, humidity causing perspiration in my strands. 
The sweet noise of dragonflies closing their business day and probably hustling back to their families. Fleets of big and small fishing boats racing against the setting sun from a day long adventure on the sea. The sight of a decaying tortoise, laying on its back at its final resting place- fishermen said that it had been washed ashore in this state the day before, maybe the century old limbs had given way, we’ll never really know. Crows scavenging to their hearts content. Little crabs running around while being camouflaged by the sands, avoiding being trampled by foreign feet. Roaring waves meeting the shore and parting like a lover kissing goodbye.
The comfort of a setting sun, the warmth of a loving arm, the music of a carefree laughter. What more could I have asked for? Briefly closing my eyes, I sent a quick prayer, paying gratitude for everything that I had in that moment. A simple evening of no frills, the sanguinity of a blazing but soothing sun, a new and promising life, a companion.
Taking unsure and short steps towards the waves and watching it pull the land from under us. Holding onto each other for support and giggling like little kids at our smarts in the moment. Letting our funny bones being poked, tickled and worked. 
Just then we knew, we had miles to go and yet in that silence we were already getting better at understanding each other a little better- one laughter at a time.

The Girl Gang

I got me a girl gang that stands as strong as blood

In the last decade of my extensive exposure to the internet and peeks into people’s personal lives that they’ve chosen to make public, I’ve always fancied the concept of a girl gang.
For a student who switched schools every few years, I didn’t see me having a group that knew one another from our own diapers to the time we were changing diapers. A group that knew each others secrets from the start, got their first racer bras together, had their nails painted and went from genre to genre marking our growth.

But Now…
Now that I’m preparing to change my last name, leave the town I’ve always called home for another, to having two sets of parents – one that got me into this world and another that got him into this world, from sharing my room with no one to creating a co-habiting space with another.
Now when I’m preparing to dawn a new skin and grow into it.
From being the younger sibling, the notorious one with a loud (almost wild) laughter, the whim thrower and the one always taken care of… a few weeks from now and I’m walking into being the eldest, expected to be responsible for more than myself, a benchmark setter of sorts, the one holding the baton of two families at once and creating a balance.
(I know I’m not the first one to go through this transformation and will not be the last)

But Now…
Now when I had to pick my gang and put us all together for a weekend, I knew I was blessed for having have met them at different points in my life. Over a weekend I had the luxury and good fortune of getting me a school friend, a friend from under-grad, a friend that came into my life as a gift from my brother and a friend who saw me through my masters (solo living away from home).
A bit nervous about this mixer, the weekend couldn’t have been better. While at the beginning I was the only common point for all of them from different phases of my life, they all walked away with new friends. And I walked away with a group that will remember my childhood dreams, my grad school ambitions and my crazed spirit- never letting me lose sight of who I am, who I can be.

I got me a girl gang, finally!
I got me a girl gang that has seen my drama.
I got me a girl gang that has done some really crazy things with me and for me.
I got me a girl gang that looks after me.
I got me a girl gang that taught me how to look out for each other.
I got me a girl gang that lets me vent so I can be my best version in the world.
I got me a girl gang that knows my story and doesn’t judge my dark spots.
I got me a girl gang that laughs, cries and dances with me.
I got me a girl gang that is just a call away, no matter how long it has been.
I got me a girl gang that appreciates my smarts but calls my bluff as it is.
I got me a girl gang that stands as strong as blood.

Here’s to my bunch and all your bunches that get you roaring!!

THEY, THE TEACHERS!

They are the world!

When the entire world celebrates teachers, I’ve decide to acknowledge and thank my constant teachers.
They don’t bare the title, they play the role. They are unrecognised, they are essential. There are no specific subjects and specialisations but they have all contributed in one way or another.

They taught me that age does not always decide the role.
They taught me that respect cannot be demanded- one has to earn it (age and relationship no bar).
They showed me that just because someone thinks differently than you, doesn’t always mean that either one of you is wrong.
They have respected my space when I wanted to stay alone without confusing me for a lonely person and forced their company upon me when they sensed my loneliness… the difference between being alone and being lonely makes a world of a difference.
They showed me that self worth must not come from grades, qualifications, pay cheques, material possessions, but from within.
They made me realise that forgiving is not easy but it isn’t impossible either.
They have shown me that learning has no age.
They taught me that sometimes proving to be the smartest in the room is the dumbest thing to do as you could be hurting someone with your ignorance of them.
They showed me that being sensitive is a strength and not a weakness, only if you believe it.
They taught me that being caring and understanding of others is a talent in itself and takes practice to become instinctive.
They taught me that it requires strength to say Yes or No, it requires smarts to choose between them and it takes courage to live up to the decision.
They made me realise that nature and our surroundings are our best teachers, only if we’re paying attention and filtering the noise actively.
They taught me that in a fix between two people of different age groups, there are no hard and fast rules regarding who initiates a solution. It is always the one with intent that goes first.
They showed me that the world doesn’t revolve around me and it is better that way.
They taught me that no problem is unique to only me, someone somewhere has been and is going through it with me.
They taught me that the physical distance has no capacity to put distance between two hearts. They will continue to stay connected irrespective of the time zones, with effort and trust.
They taught me that diversity is just that- diverse. Not everything is good or bad, worth or worthless.
They showed me that most priceless things are qualitative and cannot be en-cashed.
They taught me that food feeds your stomach, money feeds your ego and Travel feeds your soul- and we need ALL of them. 

On a daily basis I don’t show gratitude to their contribution as I’m busy in my quest to conquer everything else. 
They are the wheels to my chariot, often un-noticed but the essence of my functioning. They usually come in as small blessings when I am least expecting them and leave with no charade, with no claim for applause.

Who are they, you wonder?

Even I don’t know for sure. 
They are my family members. They are my friends. They are strangers on a street. They are my colleagues. They are the house help. They are bystanders.
They are the world!

The Circus Elephant

The show stopper for me always remained the elephants. The ginormous and magnificent beings that have ears and noses larger than all and suspiciously tiny eyes.

As a 90s kid, a large part of my summer vacations was making a day out of a trip to the local circus. We’d spend days planning the day; making a group, convincing parents, thinking of the potluck, prepping for the post show games in the garden and actually picking a date- most of which was done by the mothers while we just nagged around.
As trivial as it sounds right now it meant a great deal then. The drive to the venue was filled with incessant chatter among cousins and friends, trying to recall the events of the previous year’s circus, making creative assumptions about everything we wished to see in the current year’s performance and how much fun the immediate future was about to be. There was a large part of this conversation which revolved around the food our mothers had packed, the sandwiches and juices, the jams and candies… no one wanted to talk about the fruits of course.

The sight of a familiar, larger-than-life, multi-coloured, striped tent would automatically have us gushing. Our caps and hats in place and shoe laces tightened, we were like bulls waiting to charge, waiting to find a seat and waiting for the show to begin. Visiting the zoo was one of the compulsory trips on our annual curriculum, but a circus always held a different charm. The animals were the same, but here they were let loose instead of being inside cages and yet they were sources of entertainment rather than being intimidating; funny, isn’t it?
Year after year, the routines remained the same. The monkeys cycled, the gymnasts were on acrobats, the dogs carried baskets of flowers and sometimes fruits, the lions roared, the bikers rode in horizontal circles defying gravity, the masters made the lions act like tamed dogs, the magician pulled out vibrant ribbons, white pigeons and rabbits from their hats.

The show stopper for me always remained the elephants. The ginormous and magnificent beings that have ears and noses larger than all and suspiciously tiny eyes. Unaware of the order of the food web or placement of herbivores in it, to me they were the most powerful of them all. The reason they had all my attention was because despite their size they played the role of a juggler with hats and colourful balls. They stood on two legs over an inverted bucket. They made me laugh and tickled my ribs like the clowns around them.
Why was someone who is strong enough to uproot trees with a whisk of its trunk alone, being so cordial?

The answer of course came much later. Years after I had stopped going to circuses. Years after the use of animals at circuses was declared as cruelty against animals. It came in a lecture when the professor was teaching the concepts of Conditioning, Learned Helplessness and Parenting.

A baby elephant is left in shackles and nailed to the ground for majority of its free time. Every time it tries to break free, it is punished with severe pain around its ankles. With years of trial and error resulting in pain and failure, it learns a lesson for life!
Fast forward many years ahead, as a full blown adult sized elephant with the ability to crush anything and everything on its way, it remains humble. It is humbled by an experience of its childhood. It has the potential yet it undermine itself. Tied down to a spot with just a feeble rope and anchored to the ground using a disproportionately small piece of wood, it never tries to make a run for its freedom and allows itself to be commanded at the helm of a midget stick being pointed at it.

Many of our actions have consequences large enough to change the fate of a person and their self image.
When you compare between siblings or friends, you are always inflating someones self efficacy while deflating the other though the short term agenda was to motivate. When you tell your child that they are not yet prepared, you could be leaving a long term impression about them not being good enough. When you tell your spouse to be more like your parent, you are telling them that they do not compare or provide as well as you have been provided for. When you tell a hurt boy to not cry like a girl, you are forcing the thought process that girls are weak and among girls that boys are stronger. When you ask someone to work on their size, complexion and tan with the intention of helping them work on their appearance, you could be instilling an inferiority complex through discrimination.

There is an old hindi proverb “हाथी के दांत खाने के और दिखाने के और” which loosely translates to “elephants have different teeth to eat and different to show”.
It is the same with our words. They intend something but could have a very different effect.

Coming A Full Circle

On completing a year!

We have all learnt that a circle by definition is a closed two dimensional figure with has no edges and no starting and ending point. But the circle that I’m about to talk about has a well defined starting point. This circle is my journey from the point when I rode high on an impulse of starting a blog with no theme or planning in mind to today when that night and the conversation that led to it are always going to remain a story I love to re-tell.

In the summer of 2018 I took a trip to Manali. This trip started with fifteen strangers huddled together for some camping and hiking and a week later we were all friends with stories and thoughts exchanged. While I was busy being lost in myself and absorbing my surroundings, there was someone who was taking notice of my repeated moments of rush to scribble something on my notepad.
Fast forward two months, and I see a link in my inbox with a message saying you should apply for a certain creative writing retreat. Thus began a late evening soiree of youtube videos on creating a blog to digging up old notebooks and scanning the last pages for a half decent piece of writing.

With 52 weeks and 52 posts behind me, I know I have some more clarity than I did that evening. But I’m still as clueless as when I had started. But between the beginning and now, a lot has appeared, disappeared, grown and changed. While the words “I would like to be the first one to receive a signed copy of your book someday” seemed like a good motivation with not a single freckle of reality, but today I do imagine a book in the future.

Speaking of travel, perspectives, mental health, simple living and just simple pleasures… I have also found a more constructive and grounding way of thinking for myself. On some of my blue days, it’s this platform that has made me realise that I’m not the only one. Talking about little insecurities on such a large platform is difficult, but the acceptance and responses have made me realise that I’m starting a conversation that’s much needed.

A principle that I’ve stuck to since day one is that I’m going to keep my truth honest and naked. So, in order to write about being responsible towards the environment and nature I made sure that I was switching to more sustainable habits such as bamboo toothbrush, metal straws, reusable water bottles and menstural cups. Talking about health only happened after I had personally quit sugar and observing intermittent fasting and found cost effective ways to support the habit.

Of course, there have been weeks when I have just disappeared with no word. But the love that some of you have shown by just dropping a message and asking if I was doing fine got me back onto it. Life has been quite a wave of change in this period; from being someone who was travelling once a month to being engaged- I like how @thehazywhisperer remains a constant that I’m proud to call my passion child, that I’m nurturing and growing all by myself.
Somedays it has been my venting space and some other times it is my reason to try something new. Somedays I’m drawing satisfaction from the fact that my words have brought support and a smile on someone’s face and some other times I have spend hours scratching my head and putting my education to use by spreading the word on a larger scale.

So, I’m just trying to find the right words to say thank you to each and every element that has gotten me here. I’ve started conversations and become a more attentive listener because I’m always wondering what new thing can I learn and which alternate perspective can I bring forward and share with you guys!


A humble gift request on turning 1: Please do take a minute to share what you think about my work so far & do you feel a connect and if yes then how. Your feedback is the fuel to my engine of things, do be generous 😉
Write back through comments,
via email (thehazywhisperer@gmail.com)
or on instagram (@thehazywhisperer)

CONTENTMENT

Its a collection of small pockets of time that we manage to steal for ourselves

The Thesaurus and Oxford dictionary use synonyms like happiness and fulfilment to describe it.
According to Urban Dictionary, it is “The state of mind you reach when you look at your life in all its imperfection, and say good enough”.


The first shower of the season came as a shock rather than a surprise.
Being stranded in a place for 90 minutes more than required.
A dearth of connectivity from current location to the closest metro station.
Someone burning a hole in my shirt. An overly bumpy ride to my station.
A cranky kid blaring.
An air-tight compartment packed with staleness burning my breath.
Dirt and other particles staining my bag.
A phone that’s waiting to die on me.
A walk through a smoky, crammed road.
Splatters of muck making me dirty waist deep.
A soiled pair of shoes and frizzed up crown of hair.
Being recognised by an acquaintance who decides to park aside for a little tête-à-tête.
Welcomed home by a guest whose arrival I had forgotten all about.

I walked into the house this evening looking like seven kinds of hell. All the above things had happened on the same evening, within a period of 45 minutes. But there is one more thing that had happened. It wasn’t an event. It was just an underlying feeling that I had through all these events. A Satisfaction of sorts!
Let me take you through the details of these 45 minutes for better understanding…

So after a brief day of work I decided to take a walk through the mall. A browse through the windows and half an hour later I was ready to leave but the climate had other plans and had me stranded for 90 extra minutes. But the drop in temperature was a welcome relief. Once the down pour mellowed down to comfortable drizzles I took to getting wet in search for a rickshaw to take me to the closest station.
Before I knew it there were sparks flying and there was a hole in my shirt. On following the direction of their origin I found a street vendor fanning at coal and roasting corn; such a delight!
Taking shelter under his make shift tarpaulin tent, I shared some corn with the local kids who were more than willing to share their summer expedition tales in exchange for some warm snacks. After a good laugh, Lakshmi (one of the street children) offered to ask her uncle to drop me at the station. His rickshaw was rickety and the cushions pokey, but it was a blessing to find a ride.
Onto the first stretch of my metro, there was ample room and breathing space. Once I switched lanes and hung up on an ongoing call upon seeing the rush, I had to fight my way onto it. Pushed against the wall, two women squeezing me for some extra square feet from either sides and a baby bawling its eyes out and making the already stuffed space grow smaller. The mother earned multiple angered looks as she struggled to shoulder her baby into comfort until someone took notice to the fact that the clothing of the mother wasn’t conducive to the young skin. To distract myself and be of use I offered to hold the infant and we gibberish-ed our way through.
Getting off on my stop and onto the roads, completing the last stretch to reach my destination, I was greeted by a biker speeding over a puddle of water, leaving me amazed at the way he swerved through the crowd. It was a relief to know that my laptop was safe but I knew my pants were soaking wet- can you imagine my comfort at the end of a hot day (imagine me winking while I say this).
The next 400 meters were spend jumping in almost every puddle that I could find and watch people judge me for being immature and crazy… only I knew how good I was feeling and couldn’t care much. Things sure got a bit awkward when a familiar face popped out of a car and asked me to get in. Hopped in and got a ride, left behind a thanks and lots of slush to remember me by. Entered home with a bounce to my step, a nest hair on my head and a song on my lips only for Mumma to show me her signature glare that has the capacity to send me places.
‘Hello!’, came a flying hug with a dejected smile from our guest who had realised all too late the sorry state of my appearance.
Maybe it was the look of contentment on my face that had distracted them from my physical reality…