Aloha.. after a long time!

It is easy to say the “I’m busy; I have a baby” line. Having a baby gives you a convenient excuse to not write; it almost justifies your laziness. Every free moment is spent scrolling through whatsapp and Facebook, and I’ve newly joined the Instagram bandwagon to boot.

So taking the effort to blog or read a book seems like a really tough job! Nowadays, I am so “busy” (read aimless time-wasting, apart from the baby of course), that I have to mark my passions like reading and writing as to-do activities in my To-do list.

But then I came across a new mom who had blogged barely 15 days after the little one’s arrival. It was then that I realised just how much I had missed – I had missed writing through some of the most precious moments of my life; pregnancy and the little one’s birth. I have photographs of course. But for me, they will never invoke beautiful memories the way writing does.

So now that I’ve written enough about not writing, and iterated the importance of writing in my life, I am going to start blogging regularly without further ado. You’re going to be hearing a lot about the bub (henceforth referred to as Baby V), and a lot of other seemingly pointless things that fill my head.

Toodles, and see you very soon! 🙂

A spring clean-up

It is time to clean up my life – I’m going on a severe decluttering spree – right from my journals at work, to the dusty shelves at home that have accumulated with many bits of infinitely useless things over the years. It is the time to clean it all up, in anticipation of a big arrival in a few months, which will require, and haughtily occupy all this space and more!

There is nothing I like better than spring cleaning! It gives that breath of fresh air to your whole life, and parallelly evokes a freshness in your thought, and a new perspective on things. Of course, I did feel terrible giving away bags and bags of books, but well – I need the space, and the library needs them more than I do.

I felt terrible having to give away perfectly good clothes too – but one ought to be rational! When we’ve consistently been putting on 9 kilograms over 3 months, we ought to realise that some clothes are simply never going to fit us again. And the iron akka’s daughter was going on vacation to her native village, to spend the summer there. She had a look of pure joy in her face when I gave her the clothes, that is unparalleled by anything else I’ve seen so far.

There is a lot more cleaning to do – I’ve only just started. The very thought puts a spring in my step! 🙂

Toodles,

Writer on the rocks

New beginnings!

It has been 5 months since I last wrote here, and my life has turned topsy-turvy in the meantime. Topsy-turvy in a good way, rest assured! Sometimes… well, most times, when life hands you something that you weren’t exactly planning or expecting at that point, it takes you a while to regain your balance, to come back to normal.

Well, there is no coming back to normal; in retrospect, you just find a new sense of balance – a new normal. And it has taken me all this while to find my new normal; what’s more, I know that in a few very short months, I’ll be going through this exact phase all over again! (hint: expect a hiatus from the blog then too). However, post that hiatus, you can expect a ton of posts here, as I will have a ton of new experiences to write about! 🙂

The one thing I did learn in such times, is to never lose yourself amidst the chaos. This realisation has dawned on me, upon suddenly realising that I have read exactly one book since the beginning of the year, and blogged zero posts.  Amidst my progressively busy life,  with new experiences almost every day,  I have also taken a resolution to steadfastly stick to the old! Always try your best to be and do what is closest to your heart, and you will survive practically anything. 🙂

Toodles,

Writer on the rocks

 

It is that time again…

That time when  I am suddenly seized with a bout of reflection on how pathetically I am living my life. Bouts that come when I suddenly get enough time to actually reflect on my life. Bouts that come when I suddenly come across shared quotes on Facebook that talk about how you should live life to the fullest, and do what makes you happy.

Bouts that make me realise that I am not doing exactly that!

Yes, I am lazy like that.I somehow miraculously have time to check the Facebook newsfeed every day (and nowadays, I even manage to scroll through, and endlessly “heart” posts on Twitter), but I whine and whine inanely about not having time to blog, or pursue my passion for writing, like this mundane post.

Ah! I feel much better already; venting out in a public space is sometimes all you need. Okay, so I am going to stop now, and start doing something worthwhile, like revamping my life!

Toodles,

Writer on the rocks

 

Giving back..

Every single day, the first thing that I do when I wake up is.. thank God for everything that he has blessed me with! There is a saying that the more you thank life, the more life gives you to be thankful for. However, of late, I’ve realised that life is not just about getting things and being thankful for them; the best way to be really thankful for all your blessings is to give back!

If you haven’t already watched this video, I recommend you do so here:

It is a wonderful, eye-opening, life-changing video that shows a man who feeds thousands of birds everyday. When I started watching the video, I scoffed a little. “What’s the big deal?” – I asked. In all brahmin households, we feed the crows first before we have our meal. And by feed, I mean keep a handful of cooked rice (sometimes with a little til and curd). Squirrels in the neighbourhood assemble at our balcony at 12 noon, and get ready to nibble on whatever is left by the crows.

The catch is, we don’t do it because we want to feed the crows or squirrels; we do it because our scriptures dictate us to do so, along with a bunch of rules. We do it because we are afraid of the Gods’ wrath. We do it when we think we’re pure (physically, of course!) This unfortunately means that if I was in a hurry this morning and prepared the rice before I took my bath, my neighbourhood crows and squirrels will go hungry today!

However, by the time the above video ended, there were tears streaming down my eyes. The video impresses you by the sheer effort the man puts in to feeding the birds, twice a day. The difference is that, here the goal is to simply not let the birds go hungry! It is an absolutely selfless act of random kindness, but one that makes a huge difference. I also heard about a girl (who is younger than me, by the way); she takes a day out each month to plant trees! In comparison, it made me feel really small when I realised that I was freeing up some time and money to look at HD TVs, so that I can decide which one to buy for my house! 😦

awiz-charity-kids

Another event that made an impact on me recently is a shoe and slipper drive organised by my employer, Elsevier. It is a deceptively simple, but brilliant idea! All we have to do is donate our shoes and slippers (even ones that require a little fixing-upping), for the benefit of the needy. As someone who owns at least 6 pairs of slippers currently, but wears only two of them regularly, this struck a huge chord with me.

I kid you not; I have a pair of sneakers (that I have worn exactly once), a pair of 3-inch Gladiators (that I wore once, and promptly decided that I’ll never wear high-heels again in my life) and a couple of other perfectly good pairs of shoes (I’m not a shoe-wearing person, you see). What I do wear, are two specific pairs of slippers – one for traditional clothes, and one for jeans and T-shirts. End of story. 😐

But why did I need so many pairs in the first place? God has indeed blessed me with a lot of things, especially financially. But as the famous saying goes, when we improve financially, we shouldn’t be improving our standard of living; but we should be improving our standard of giving. I’ve decided that I’ll indeed donate all my shoes/slippers, and retain only the two pairs that I actually wear.

These are just small examples; there is so much more that we can do, if we really look at the physical and financial capabilities we have to give back. I try too; I place a huge bowl of water in my balcony for the birds and squirrels everyday; I donate a sum to the CRY foundation every month. They make me feel good. At the end of the day, I feel happy that I’m donating; a corner of my mind nurses the hope that my next life will be much better than this birth (not that this life is bad at all; far from it, actually).

But I think we all need to wake up to the fact that we can, and should give back a lot more. My family donates an amount monthly to an old couple who don’t have kids, or a source of income. But I took up CRY – because that is the cause I truly believe in. All children, of all genders have a right to education and to have a decent life. Because when infertility is on the rise and so many couples go through rigorous treatments and spend lakhs to beget a child, there is also a huge community of abandoned children, and children who don’t have basic rights and facilities.

When it comes to giving back to the society, nothing is enough! We can all do much more physically, financially, and simply by contributing our time and effort. Now I would like to ask you –

What is the cause that you most identify with?

If you didn’t believe that you will be rewarded for it in an afterlife, would you still give back?

Something to ponder on..

Toodles,

Writer on the rocks.

Assertive is the way to be!

Earlier this week, I got the opportunity to attend a 2-day session on Assertiveness (and before I write about the topic, I’m going to take a moment to thank my employer – Elsevier, for giving me this opportunity and focusing on the wholesome growth of employees, rather than just looking at us as low-level employees who are paid to do their tasks).

The session was like a breath of fresh air! We had a wonderful trainer (who looked like, and reminded me a lot of Dumbledore) who facilitated the session. Being assertive involves a lot of things that we already know, but seldom practise. The various examples of aggressiveness, assertiveness, passivity, and passive-aggressiveness made me realise how we all tend to adopt different approaches in different situations, and towards different people. While it may not be actually possible to be assertive in all situations, there is always a better way to be 90% of the time.

Assertiveness

While I usually describe myself as assertive, advising anybody who would listen on how to respect themselves and not let people walk all over them, I realised that subconsciously, I have been passive myself for most of my life, and then rage internally about the unfairness of life, and the aggressiveness of people! 😐 But now I’m so glad that I’m no longer that person.

The session involved a variety of activities that helped us let go of our crippling beliefs, increase our self-esteem and thereby improve our self-respect and confidence. The higher our self-esteem, the more assertive we tend to be. We actually wrote love letters to our future selves (and I can’t wait for the day I will receive mine!) 😀 We also talked to the group about one moment in our lives that we are proudest of, wrote positive comments for everyone else who attended the session, and in turn, got some wonderful comments ourselves. We also learnt some wonderful techniques to use for being assertive.

My favourite part of the entire session was an activity where we wrote down one belief that limited us the most, and then burnt it. Cleansing, some would say; I call it life-changing! Unbeknownst to ourselves, some of our limiting beliefs actually define us and the way we perceive and interact with the world. This session gave me the power to recognise that belief and let go of it. Even as I write this post without any inhibitions of what the readers would think of it, I realise that I am a changed person. I am able to see that my thoughts have changed, my focus has changed, my reservations have declined. In the past 3 days, I have already done at least two things that I never would have done before.

It was also a wonderful batch that took part in the session, and an amazing wave of optimism and an unquenchable thirst for life flowed through all of us towards its close. We are now truly empowered! 🙂

Toodles,

Writer on the rocks.

Life Update!

So it’s been a while since I wrote anything here.. no matter how much you resolve to prioritize, life somehow always gets in the way. But in a way, I’m also glad that I’m keeping busy, because too much free time doesn’t do anyone any good. It is just that well.. blogging shouldn’t be reserved for free time!

I’m getting there.. I’m getting there.. after a brief hiatus in reading books, I fell 2 books behind my schedule for this year. But now I’ve somehow powered through and closed the gap by one book; so it is not going to be long before I close the gap on blogging too! 🙂

So I had a wonderful May – at the time, it felt chaotic, but now that I look back, I see that I had in fact, made slow and steady progress on a lot of things. And my best friend/soul mate got engaged, plus I took a quiet, small anniversary vacation to Pondicherry with the husband which totally recharged me!

A lot of people scoffed at me when I said I’m going to Pondy, but surprisingly, I had a wonderful time. It is a small sleepy town with cobbled streets, where all you have to do is go in circles to reach anywhere you want. Although I’ve been to Pondy before, I had barely covered the beach and temples. This time gave me the opportunity to discover many more places; we took a long romantic walk in Auroville in wonderful weather, promptly landed in MG Beach to watch the sunrise every day, generally lazed around and had an amazing time! 🙂

Sadly, the passage of time isn’t as sharp in my memory as I would like it to be. No major landmarks to mark me crossing over from the early 20s to the late 20s. Even more surprisingly, this side of the 20s looks much the same as the other side, except a vague feeling in my mind that time is passing, and I need to get more out to life, do more things that I’m passionate about. Which you can also clearly see that I’m not actually implementing, by the fact that my blog frequently goes into coma, only to be briefly and lightly awakened by me once a month.

Anyway, let’s hope this year is better than the last one, and I am not still at square zero of “getting more out of life” by the time my next birthday rolls around.

Toodles,

Writer on the rocks.