Moments of Gratitude

As I am writing this, I am lying down in our bed, tucked inside the white blanket feeling blessed and cozy at a quintessential vacay place. Feeling cozy because I can hear the faint sound of the waves lashing the shore and the occasional chirping of the birds through those pretty white blinds of our room. This is so delightful and comforting as it is not an everyday thing. Feeling blessed at the same time because of the beautiful memories from 2018 comes flashing through my mind as it is coming to an end. 2018 has been a wonderful journey. I travelled a lot, got to see many beautiful places, had some teeny weeny adventures, kept running back to India often(I guess some part of me kept assuming that I would move back soon, though now I have finally come to terms with the changes in life pattern), had my family come over to spend time with me and it was heart warming to let them have a glimpse of my life here. Such memories I would cherish forever.

Some learnings that I had is to live life as it comes and to learn from all that it brings for me. There is something serene about being happy with little things that are usually less noticed. Shortly, I have learnt to live in the moment with life throwing surprises anytime. And when surprise packets come as a blissful little moment as now, you can do nothing but smile to say “Thank you !”. Praying hard for such amazing years ahead. Probably another day while in a tough situation or in a mess, I am sure I will come back to this and remember the comforting blanket, the beautiful person next to me holding hands (I know he means to say this is forever), the chirping of the birds, the calmness in my heart and the genuine smile on my face.

P.S. I wrote this on the hotel room’s notepad and later posted here as I thought, why not.

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Festival of Lights

Though I am always content and find love and happiness wherever life takes me, some major missing is happening today from waking up to the sound of the 10000 walas, atom bombs, bijli vedis(it’s pin drop silent here, not even a horn sound). Though we don’t celebrate Deepavali as such (being a malayali living in Chennai), we never leave out the opportunity to buy new clothes. It is a fun routine in my house few days before Deepavali, when the advertisements come up stating the festive discount on clothes and accessories, mom and myself on our cute little scooty dashing through the horning streets on our Deepavali shopping mission from those shops in T.nagar and it’s my dad’s duty to bring in lot of crackers. After the dressing up game done right and some photos clicked, our neighbors would drop in to give us their home made delicious sweets and snacks. Some of my mom’s really close friends would give us their aromatic mouth watering mutton gravy and the spicy chicken varuval. After relishing the sumptuous lunch, the rest of the day is spent sitting in front of the TV watching the latest movies missed on theatres and munching in all those snacks, bursting the crackers with my neighbor friends. And the very important ritual of driving the scooty in the midst of crackers to meet some area friends. The night is spent on our terrace watching those beautiful rockets reaching up and spreading all over against the background of the dark sky like colorful wings.

Damnit ! I am missing it terribly today.

This is the glimpse that all I got for my Deepavali from yesterday night. It’s a beautiful sight on every other day from my balcony but not today. Sigh!

Some of my Complicated Relationships…

Well, If you think this is about relationships with hoomans, I got you. Sorry friend, not yet. You can back off now. It’s a short post, so you can try being here for a while .

My best friend suggested this app called “Wattpad” few years ago. Many of you would already be aware of it. Anyways not here to promote it as such, just sorting out my relationship with these apps which consumes almost half of my day. Ahh yes these are the relationships I am going to talk about. If you are still there, thanks! So, Wattpad and I grew closer than I imagined as I prefer reading paperbacks, turning those fresh creaky pages or the smell of the second hand books bought from the pavement shops near my old workplace. Though I sometimes do read on Kindle/ Google Books, it never had influenced me. Probably because only very few books are free of cost. And I despised the idea of spending money for reading on a screen. Somehow the bond with wattpad grew demanding as it has umpteen number of compelling short stories and similar literary stuffs(all for free), that I used to sleep around 3 or 4 am. Apparently, waking up at noon (revealing it here as I am pretty sure my mom/mom-in-law are not going to see this ). Figured out that it doesn’t work out for good, I left Wattpad with a heavy heart by uninstalling it. I regret my poor decisions on being partial with my apps as I never broke up with Musically/Tiktok which I was equally or rather more addicted to(Urghh). Nevertheless, I redid my sleep routines.

Thereby my relationship with the social media apps intensified. However not with the one I had broken up, some time ago (Facebook– and I am happy that I did). This time though with the super uber cool ones(Instagram and Snapchat). And it grew stronger. Strange I could easily move on after each break up. This became an addiction or probably I would like to put it as “drifted away” from any physical activities (embarrassed to use “addiction” but, that must be the truth). I am a sloth animal on a lazy Sunday, but then, it became an everyday fact, almost like the pandas, eat sleep and scroll. What a life! (use sarcastic tone). Ohh How I wish I could break up with Instagram.

But on the bright side, Wattpad and I have got back together again. yaayy…!! Installed it again lately. Trying to track my usage as well. Let’s see how the tracking goes. So, If you have a little bit of time maybe while traveling to work etc, this app is so good with tons of short stories, philosophies, travelogues and a lot of great poetry collections.

That’s about my relationships(with apps until something exciting comes up!). Thanks for staying till here.

P.S. Take care of your eyes.

My Usual Rantings….

I wonder why people are so interested in what you do or how you are(looks matter! not your well being though). If you update a status or post something on social media,they come to a conclusion that you are jobless but still they keep looking for your posts (shhhh! Stalkers around). & if you are too busy to do all that,then you become anti social, not updated with the trend, oldie goldie and so on. Either way you are being judged all the time. Usually I ignore such small minded people as they disturb my peace of mind. But not today. How long do women decide to ignore body shaming and judgmental jerks? I guess I might feel better if I write it out. There are a few who come up with unsolicited comments(verbally) something or the other, either on your appearance or about what you do with your life. Excuse me? There is no mandated guidelines that one has to pass a comment about the other’s appearance or their way of living. I believe a Hello/ Hi/ Longtime no see, are easy enough to start up a normal and worthwhile conversation. “The first prerequisite to civilization is an ability to make a polite conversation”. On top of that, the silly comments appear to be a final judgement tossed on your face amidst a pool of people. I mean, who are you to judge me? Are you informed of how I am inside my home? I am a complete different person there. I am just like any other normal girl doing the usual household chores which precisely includes cooking, mopping, laundry etc. And of course I manage my time efficiently, so I get my own slot for reading, tapping my creativity(if any) and other activities that I do. I don’t understand ,why I even have to explain this. Just because I am modernized, liberal and stuff, doesn’t mean you can judge me and I would not bother. The more I try to keep calm and ignore such morons, the more they pull out the devil inside me. I always become grumpy about all this as I am pretty grossed out handling them, but yeah I remind myself that they are here to test your patience and make you understand how much a better person you are.  Apparently you can choose from whom you can have some valuable conversation. ( I am not being judgmental here, I realize the worth of my precious time spent in talking). Here you go, to the haters or whatever they are called, I live the way I want and I have not given you the privilege to talk about me except if you have given birth to me. Go get a life. LIVE AND LET LIVE BRUH!

Mom

Hello! Today is a special day, because it is my beautiful, amazing, wonderful mother’s birthday. Saying that my mom is my best friend is a severe understatement. I don’t know what is better than a best friend, but that’s what she is.

The meaning of selflessness can be exemplified by all the “MOMs”. They transform themselves effortlessly from an independent woman to a strong mother who holds the family together with her selfless care and love. But my mom is a bit more than all these. (clichéd?? Ok ,don’t care)She is selfless not only when it comes to family members but also with the people around her. I guess she never bothered to think about herself at any point I could remember. This at times annoys me as some people take obvious advantage of her naiveness. When people hurt her by their absurd words/actions, She wouldn’t react. Though later she would regret that she couldn’t reply anything. And again she would say that it was better she remained quiet. That’s how she is. And that is why I ended up loving myself more than anything or anyone else and we clash often on that,as she thinks I am rude. Maybe I am. But doesn’t matter. Born with 8 siblings, education meant only till 10th grade for her. But she definitely is wiser than many of the so called “educated” people in the society. Early marriage and early parenting gave her no option but choose what life threw at her. She says she was bad at parenting me in the beginning stages as she wasn’t matured enough and hated that she ended up living a plain life. That might have been the last time she thought about herself. But I am sure I am the luckiest having born from her. When some genuine people talk so good of her, I would stand there like a proud mother of hers’. She would just brush it off. Her patience and tolerance with some annoying people is immeasurable. I can never stand if anyone takes advantage or hurt her even by a small word,whoever that maybe, I would turn their world upside down. I feel that is how I can protect her from some blockheads. And that’s why Sophocles probably meant :

Children are the anchors that hold a mother to life.

Through both good days and bad, she radiates positivity wherever she goes, and I think that anyone can take a page out of her book.

Self Love

Experienced an epiphany while listening to some conversations in the family. Family members are the best chapters in our life book.

We all are prone to different kind of expectations from people around us. Be it happiness, success at work, or at a tight spot. And of course we expect our friends and family members to call us and appreciate or check on our well being etc etc. Obviously we are accustomed to the rules of our mind and world. But when we introspect ourselves,do we really do the same? I am definitely bad at it. It’s just because we do not have the time at that moment, or we forget as we are held up in our own phases of life. Even if we do, it’s always better not to expect people to do the same and get disappointed. Something that I have learnt from other’s mistakes. We can have great life lessons when we just observe people and listen to what they say and the words they use. This made my life easier to deal with certain people,who can only be negative or keep complaining about anything and everything. Coming back to ‘Expectations’ , It may not be because they ignore us,but chances are that they might be busy in their own life. They might be having a bad break.

Talk to yourself and appreciate how good you are or tell to yourself that this difficult situation is temporary and something good is soon going to happen. Imagine, the person in the mirror said good things about you. Sounds crazy. But yes. You need to (not want) do this to yourself,trust me you will feel great in this regular process. I have put up some positive notes on my mirror, a small glimpse on those notes in the morning or any time for that matter, puts up a smile on my face,like I am talking to myself through the mirror. It’s like a gratitude for being nice to yourself. This period of my life, I realized meeting new people and making new friends is not going to work and that’s when I got the time to understand myself better. When I am alone (usually the afternoons), I started realizing that I think about unnecessary stuffs that are not important at all in my life. That’s when I started to control my mind, on what I wanted to think and feed them with good thoughts that brings positive vibe for the rest of the day. Started thinking the best qualities of others(probably whom I am not comfortable with) rather than “how can she/he say that?” and many such silly thoughts. I started to give time for myself. Do things that keeps you happy. Listen to songs, be it pop or blues that will put you in a buoyant mood. Reading habit is something we should develop. It not only keeps us occupied but also we gain literary knowledge.

If you are pragmatic, then you are living in the real world without expectations and self love will flow down easily into your soul. Maturity is when realizing that it is only you who can make yourself feel great at the end of the day and it is okay if your loved ones or friends are unable to reach you as they might be stuck in their own ‘phases’ of life.

A Journey to ‘Return’ 

The one trip I would never forget. Excited on having explored a beautiful historical city, Melacca also listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site (our previous weekend getaway) and right in the bus on our way back home, we booked our tickets to Tioman Islands. We promised ourselves that we would explore Malaysia until our VISAs get expired. The trip was during the Christmas’17 holidays. Thrilled about the first trip on our bucket list, we never bothered to make sure of the weather conditions. Okay, now you know what the blog is about.
And the day arrived. We took the Rapid train to the bus station and boarded the bus on time (because we had terribly missed in the last trip). It was a 5 hours journey. Our bus boarded around 11.30 pm. It was a pleasant journey except for the air conditioning was too cold. As I can never fall asleep in the bus, I was just hovering my head looking at others. I could see people adjusting the air conditioner’s switches above their head. A satisfaction that it was not just me.

We reached Mersing town around 5 am, where we had to take a ferry to the island. The ferry runs only once a day. The scheduled time for our trip was 11.30 am. Realized that we had to kill 6 hours at the town’s bus stop and the bus station had a heavy pungent smell. To be precise, a smell which I had known for years. The ‘koovam‘ smell (for non Chennaiites, please Google). It wasn’t easy to just stay there for the rest of the hours. So we decided to walk to the main street and rest in a hotel as there is no Uber or cab facilities in the town. Walked around the town for about 20 – 30 minutes in search of a hotel room. Walked out of 3 hotels being full for the weekend and the receptionists gave us strange faces as we were asking for just 3-4 hours. Ignored them as if we didn’t understand what their ‘faces‘ meant and roamed around for some more time, finally booked a lodge for half a day. The receptionist was so warm and said he would book in his name. I still wonder why?? Feeling happy for no reason, took our luggage to the room. The room or I would say the bed, as there was only space for the bed and a small space for the washroom. We didn’t mind as it was clean and smelled better. Had a quick good nap. Around 10.00am walked back to the ferry station. The officials wanted us to print the tickets from their own counters and collected some MYR for the sea maintenance. Now that was expensive than the ferry rates. While waiting for the ferry, it started to drizzle, we shared a romantic look at each other. I could see other tourists too eagerly waiting with their surf boards at the station. All of us were longingly looking at our ferry, which was waiting beautifully drenched in the rain at the jetty.

Then came the BIG announcement that the ferry has been canceled and probably for the following week due to heavy storms in the sea. Took a while for us to digest this. The rain, then seemed to irritate us. Looked more messy and no more romantic. Disaster alert for the town alarmed us even more. We wanted to blame each other for not having researched about the weather conditions. As we did not have time, decided to have a fight over that after getting back home. Immediately after the announcement was made, the ‘sea maintenance’ counter shut down their shop. Wait What? How about the refund? None were responding. The major issue stuck in a small town again in a foreign country, is the language barrier. Well, we let it go and walked back to the bus station as we had to return back home before situation get worse. Rain was then heavier. More irritation. The only good thing that happened was the hotel room and the ferry company emailed us stating that the refund is initiated and would be done in 2 days. Relieved. The return journey ticket was also preponed by the bus department for the same day at 12.30 noon. So we waited at the bus station(yeah!got used with the smell). Met a few tourists from our country, who had traveled in the same bus on our arrival. They invited over for a brunch as they had packed some aloo parathas, puri and green chutney for their trip. Though the parathas were hard to bite, it was divine then. Moreover, we did not have our breakfast as we did not want to miss the ferry. Sigh! Packed our things back and boarded the bus. The journey which was only 5 hours, the return took more than 7 hours due to heavy traffic. Felt like forever to reach thanks to the driver who took almost 5 breaks in between for tea. The husband man bought some banana fritters imagining that it would taste like ‘pazham pori‘ as we get in our ‘thattukada‘ (street food shops in Kerala). Again, another disappointment.

Finally around 7.30 pm reached back Kuala Lumpur, and booked a cab back home. Whew!The following day on the headlines was that Mersing town being flooded due to rain and storm. This reminded of our 2015 December Chennai floods and the condition of our home and the streets, gave us a chill. Oh yes! we are still planning to go back to Tioman Islands. This time after a deep research and make it a “complete journey and ‘return‘ after visiting the island.”

Farewell 2017

I am not a regular writer, as the year coming to an end, can’t help but look back how there were so many changes and decisions made, so why not jot it down what I went through. Last year this time, with an uncertain mind I landed on a new Place with lot of questions circling around my head, the first being “How am I going to adjust myself in an alien land?”. I tried my best to be cheerful with the new change. As I always had a fear for negative vibes, there seemed to be negativity all around me. Many were always there to put me down and even from people whom I never expected. Or maybe sometimes, we expect too much from people whom we think are close to us.

Why aren’t you still recruited??” was the most asked question while talking over phone to relatives back in my country. Is that so easy to get a job in a foreign country, moreover a ‘localized’ nation and holding a dependent VISA? I was a bit apprehensive, though I believed it wouldn’t be a difficult task being an ex-banker from a reputed Bank, made me feel that way. But that was not the case. I consider myself a positive person, but the journey made me question myself “is there something wrong with my profile? Did I make a mistake in choosing the right career? Am I not eligible enough to get hired in a foreign nation? ” further leading me into a depressed state. I closed myself from everywhere possible, all social media. Avoided myself from other human beings as I felt they were going to pull me even more down. This became easier for me. Felt so much better just being to myself. However, moving out of one’s comfort zone is not that easy. I knew what I should be doing.

Dance – it was. Something which I always had a pride in saying that I can dance. Because one can certainly find their soul and loose at the same time. It’s magical and sets you free. It was the ego holding me back, how can dance be a career or just dancing earn money? But letting go of all that, made me enjoy the process more than the result. Better days started coming up. There were few, like angels who always appreciated and encouraged me to do what I love to. Found myself comfortable talking to these beautiful souls who were genuinely interested and constantly kept in touch with me to check if I was doing good. A huge virtual hug and heartfelt thanks to all those who had given me the love and support which I needed the most during this year. And of course my partner’s support and strength constantly throughout the time, like waking up early on a weekend, the only off day from his work, to drop me by my dance class which was around 40 minutes drive from our home, If not for him, I would have been completely alienated. As I move forward, I want to remind myself to be grateful for what I have and be more accepting life as it is.

Here is to more practice, less nonsense and a happier 2018.