Value Yourself. Indulge in Yourself. Be Happy

So I read this somewhere and it pretty much made sense to me. “If you do not value yourself, then don’t expect anyone else to calculate it for you.” 

Over the last two and half years, I have come to realise that sometimes we end up forgetting who we are, what we want and where we would like to be in our life, especially when we are in a relationship. But the flip side of the exact thing is that when you have lived with someone you will learn innumerable things about life, reactions, emotions and most importantly co-existing.

My experiences have taught me several things. I have learnt not to overreact in situations when they are not in my control. I have learnt that there is this certain ‘right of the other person’ and a space in their life that you cannot invade no matter how hard you try. It will only leave you with bitter fights, arguments and lack of your own space in the entire deal. I also learnt how when you are two people together, you may still have your own life. Everything does not necessarily need to be ‘OURS’ or everything does not necessarily need to be done ‘TOGETHER’. You can find beauty is staying away certain evenings. I have learnt that you need to divide your time and your heart and invest in innumerable things that matter to you and other people you love. That does not necessarily mean that you love the other person any lesser or that you do not have any interest in them anymore.

But, the biggest lesson I ever learnt from my past was, “NEVER EVER FEEL LIKE YOU DESERVE LESS“. What I learnt was that ‘INDULGE in YOURSELF‘ and do not at any point feel ashamed about it. That is the biggest lesson we can learn from men. They are constantly indulging in themselves. They treat themselves like kings, they love what they do and they follow their passion. They do not shy away from making themselves a priority and they enjoy every bit of it. This leads them to be happier and in turn, they spread this happiness around. I rarely find male friends whining or cribbing about little issues. They love themselves and they are so damn right about it. They love others better because they are happy people.

It is important to love yourself. It cannot get clearer than this. People come and go. Some stay back for a lifetime. Some don’t. Better people come along and love you more than what you ever expected. But through it all, YOU are one person who will stay with YOU. You better love YOURSELF darling, because if you are not, then you are not going to be loved back and you are going to have a sad heart.

Hopefully, I am going to carry this lesson with me for a lifetime. Sometimes people around me might think I am selfish. Sometimes they may think I am disconnected. But really it is not about being selfish. We were not meant to be connected and unhappy. We are meant to connect to other loved ones and be happy. We make connections, get into relationships to be happy. And the more we are ourselves, the happier we will be.


Ephemeral, just like soft bubbles


Have you ever noticed how everything is suddenly so short lived around us? How come we don’t spend hours sitting at a coffee shop with friends, endless conversations and innumerable cups of hot cappuccino, pearls of laughter, leg- pulling and reminiscing old memories. When did these short gaps of talking end up being mere comparisons of who achieved what and who traveled where? Savings are no longer discussed openly. How come it was easier to talk to your friends when you were broke and had no money? A time when savings never existed and when debit and credit were mere words.


How come we don’t have long dinners that bring families together? The short, formal, sit-downs – do they satisfy people? I am sure they want those long evenings, with families meeting, drinking in abundance and laughing over childhood stories. Sagas covering decades of life – lived, experienced and innumerable incidents that have now met with blurred vision, old soft skin. Wrinkles laced with years of stories, tales of love, people and sorrow. What makes it so difficult to invest emotionally today? How come family events are now divided, making you simply, just another guest? 


When did work goals become so abrupt? When did deadlines that lasted weeks in the past end up being measured in hours? How come we don’t have those long leisurely weekends? Where did all the free time go away? When did it become so difficult to balance it all out?


How can we expect our emotions to sustain when we don’t invest enough time doing things that matter or spend time with people we love? Our emotions are equally short-lived, like waves, violent, loud and deep and still just like waves, short, subtle and dead when it reaches the shore. Extreme isn’t it?


I always feel that we will be a lonely generation. Some people merely call me cynical. Some blame it on
my past. Some never respond. Some of us realize it; some of us don’t bother to think about it because we are busy. We are looking for our goals, our aim, the perfect partner, the truth, the purpose. Some of us find it. Some of us just live with what life throws at us. Short lived love, short lived jobs, short lived purpose.



We are nothing but ephemeral. Like soft bubbles. Here, and then gone away.


Chicken marinated in basil and love!

She was choosing the chicken pieces from the chicken and basil tomato salad bowl quietly at a slow pace. Every little thing she served herself was then served in another plate, in either the same or more quantity. Her partner and she were occupying the smallest and the quietest corner table they could have found at the spacious buffet restaurant at Marriot. The place was bubbling with energy, people sharing conversations over food, children running around the dessert servings, waiters serving portions of mixed Indian breads.


As my friends and myself carried on with our conversations, gorging on food and desserts, laughing over silliness of random people, I would, catch a glimpse of her every now and then. It would surprise me that she would spend so much energy in serving two portions every single time from each laid table.  Her face had a calmness that is difficult to explain. She had small brown eyes and every single time she looked up, she would smile back instantly. It was like she was answering all my questions.  I was at that point just unable to read them. Her grey hair was witness to all these years of experiences she had gathered.


I was curious about her and her partner. Each time I tried looking in the direction of her table, I only saw the face of a man, smiling at her warmly. They were enjoying a nice, personal dinner on Saturday night. It warmed me that people their age, had decided to come in, have a nice dinner on a Saturday night rather than sit and watch television at home over a meal of porridge cooked by the wife. I did wonder several times as to why the man wouldn’t serve himself. And in between my conversations with my friends, and of course tons of activity around food, I did try and take a peek at him, but for some reason my vision of him was obstructed by the soup and salad bar.


We continued having dinner and stuffed ourselves with a million types of desserts and fruits and decided it was time to head home. My friends wanted to have a smoke outside and so we were standing in the smoking zone, observing people, a favourite activity Indians have inherited in their genes. We love observing people, we are also unfortunately pretty loud about our opinions of them in social settings. We gave in to our genes and continued talking about people, their cars, their behavior and such. Then as we waited for the car, we saw an auto-rickshaw in the hotel drive-through.

The auto-rickshaw had come  to pick up the brown-eyed lady and her husband. They had finished their evening meal and supposedly were now heading home. It took the old man a while before he could get into the rickshaw. Moving your entire body-weight from a wheel chair to an auto-rickshaw is going to be a tedious task. I found my answer. I was humbled by them. By their sheer will to survive, to come to a dinner on Saturday night and not choose the easy option of sitting at home because of his inability to move around comfortably.


Each of us, we fall in love easily. Unfortunately, we fall out of it even more easily. I asked myself a million times since I saw them there. What could have motivated them to go through that evening but sheer love and the want to enjoy an evening together. Just by themselves. She was committed to serve him every single thing and make sure he enjoyed his meal. He was committed to taking the pain of coming to a hotel, that is not handicap- friendly, unfortunately. (of course this topic deserves another note)


That is what I wish for each one of us. Pure dedication and commitment in our relationships. For me this was an enlightening experience to go through it all, to witness mere strangers change my life and realize that if the world were falling apart right now, each one of us should have someone looking out for them, no matter what.

Happy Mothers Day!


In you I see myself. Clearly just as if I stand in front of the mirror. To hope that I am as beautiful as you are.

Thanks to the umbilical cord, I am of course a part of you. You are a part of me. Always within me. Even on days you are not around in person. In the last twenty eight years of partying, I have realised that life is all about transitions. Transitions that go from play group to nursery, horrific mathematics to table manners, from barbie dolls to Danielle Steel,from heart-break to healing, and from having a mother who loves you crazily to the best friend you cannot imagine yourself without.

I remember waking you up in the middle of the nights as a child, only to cry and tell you my legs hurt. And promptly you would wake up and talk to me about growing pains. All the nights you spent taking care of me made me realise how symbiotic life is.

The first time I was unreasonably punished in school, I expected you to fight with the authorities. “Life is not always just and people are not always fair”, is all you had to say. You expected me to understand that and now I think I do. I remember coming to you before History exams, howling that I dont recall any answers. You would look and me, simply smile and say, “Nevermind, write what you remember and come back home. We can then go out for lunch”. You fought with the school authorities to take me for a holiday when they rejected my leave during school year. You threw emphasis on the fact that exposure and traveling with teach me more lessons than just sitting in class.

Instances when I did not succeed were simply okay with you. You still made me feel I had a reason to be proud of myself. And you said success was nothing but failure turned inside out and it will only make me stronger. You wiped my tears, always, and taught me the best survival strategies. Restrictions and impositions never found a way, and of course my life is simpler because of your life experiences.

It is the most beautiful experience on earth and I want you to know how grateful I am. To grow up in your shadow and to understand that no matter how many hurdles I have to fight through, life will be smoother with you on my side.