Would You Choose Passion Over Stability?

I keep hearing the story of an older family friend.

He must be in his 80’s now. He has never been married. As per the legend, he used to be a handsome man in his youth. Romantic. Desirable. Rumour has it that he looked just like like Rajesh Khanna.

He wanted a “love marriage.” Whenever any “ladki walas” came home for a rishta, he would pretend to limp. Or something else.  He was filmy. He was very clear that he would not compromise on his partner.

Years went by. The perfect one never came along. There were some rumours of an alleged brief fling with another lady who also never married.  He remained single.

He is currently in an old age home. His siblings’ children do visit him. His story has been passed on to my generation by parents as an example of what happens when you are too dreamy! You end up alone!

“You marry while you can!” is what elders tell us. Or even older cousins who married someone without falling in love. I do not want to make this post about arranged marriage vs love marriage. I have written enough about it.

Would you marry someone who are not even attracted to, or have a connection with because he can provide you a stable life?

Or would you marry someone with whom you have a spark yet you are unsure of stability in the future?

What if you don’t even have the second option yet. Would you wait? Or would you go ahead with a secured life?

We have not seen the future. Someone who seems stable today may not be so in the future. So what are you left with then?

And if you marry for “love”, then well if the love doesn’t last?

Can chemistry be developed over time?

But should it be so forced? Isn’t it easier when you already have it?

Elders love to say “You should marry someone who likes you. Not someone who you like.” I think only Indian elders say this!! Is it too much to ask that BOTH should like each other?

I remember talking to a friend of mine who is older than me. She is also a practising counselor. One of the girls was complaining that she was being pressurized for an arranged marriage. But she did not find the guys her parents were seeing for her interesting. But the guy she was seeing was not interested in marrying her. My counselor friend said to her, “You are looking for a man who can be a friend, plus you should have chemistry, plus commitment, all in one person!”

“Well, isn’t that what a relationship is supposed to be?” I immediately jumped to her rescue.

Ideally yes. But it may not happen. You have to pick what matters most to you.”

The answer is never so simple. People who have been married will tell you what matters. Or even what is missing.

Just a thought. A random one.

Source

 

 

 

 

 

Aziz Ansari Case And Consent in Dates

Who is Aziz Ansari?

For those of you who don’t know Aziz Ansari is an Indian-American actor, comedian and filmmaker. He has won Emmys and a Golden Globe Award recently. A very successful man. A celebrity.

Feminism and #Metoo movement

We all know about the Metoo movement which was long awaited. Women have spoken up about sexual assault and rape all over the world. Most of these perpetrators have been men in power, having a direct influence on them.

What happened?

A woman named Grace (not her real name) went on a date with Ansari. They went back to his apartment. He wanted to have sex. She did not. She gave a detailed account of what happened that night to a website called babe.net. She alleged that he violated her. You could read the whole story here. The story has received mixed responses. Some believe that she did everything unwillingly. But she did it. He did not force her. Others believe that seeing her discomfort, he should have stopped. You have to read the story to understand what happened. I do not want to paste extracts here as the content is very explicit.

Consent in dates

So much has been said about it already. On every website. I have read articles in the past couple of days on the topic, commented on pages, participated in online discussions that have turned into arguments. I saw a disturbing trend. Women gave an account of situations in which the man did not technically “force” them with physical violence, but nonetheless their meek no was ignored. Their lack of interest was ignored. Their discomfort, reluctance was ignored. They felt pressurized. They did things they were not comfortable with.

It reminds of a statement made by Tisca Chopra (which was criticized).

Unless somebody says ‘no’, and the kind of ‘no’ you say, and the manner in which you say it should convey that it is completely unacceptable to even ask this question,”. A tentative ‘no’, a polite ‘no’, a ‘no’ that means ‘maybe’ and worst of a ‘no’ that means ‘yes.. just push me more and I will relent’..?

Please note that in this article, I am not talking about women getting molested on the streets, or in parties or by completer strangers. I am talking about consent in the context of being with someone on a date.

I read an article where a woman said that she was living with a male friend of hers for a weekend. She was about 22-23. He wanted to have sex. He was a friend for hers. She trusted him. She knew him. She knew he would never force anything. He would never resort to violence. But she got tired of refusing him. It was exhausting. She also added that she could not leave his house because it was freezing cold outside and that she was too young (23?) to book a hotel on her own! So, they ended up doing “something”. Something she hated.

Pressure

No matter how long you have known the guy (or not known the guy) there will be that date where you  may “do it”. His place. Your place. Trip. Hotel. Friend’s place.

Men are expected to make the first move. That is the social conditioning. Ideally,  it makes a lot of sense to talk about these things in advance. But does it happen that way? Some men are far more sensitive than others. They will understand your cues. They will be patient. Gentle. Your comfort, enjoyment , interest may be their priority. Others may not be so intuitive. Or maybe they don’t even care about your interest. They just want to get laid anyway.  On the extreme of the spectrum are rapists. Who exert physical force and hurt you. Their intention is to hurt you. I am not talking about them. I am talking about men who will not hurt you with physical force. But they still want to do it. And you don’t.  This may involve  begging. Or convincing. Or making a lousy attempt at turning you on.

What do you do?

Now, imagine you are with a man in his place and it is late at night. He is trying to make a move. You are not interested. But at the same time, you feel like you do not have an option to leave. You feel that if you take a cab at this time, you will again jeopardize your safety. Might as well stay with this testosterone driven boy! You may not even be sure if you like what is going on. Maybe you like some of it. But not all. You may be confused yourself. You may also not be very swift in reacting. It would be great if the man went at the same pace as you. But it may not happen. Most of the times.

The “used girls”

I remember another girl who was younger than me by few years. She asked me if it is okay to lose her virginity before marriage. She said she loved her boyfriend. But at the same time, she wanted to remain a virgin until marriage. I had told her it is her choice. I really do not wish to make such decisions for others!

She met me after few days. She said she that was afraid of getting pregnant. So, they did “other stuff”. She did not like it. She regretted it. But it was consensual.

They broke up after few months. She got very depressed. She bombarded him with text messages saying how he “used” her.

I know another woman who had an abortion few months into her relationship. Two years later they were on the verge of breaking up. She told her near and dear ones about what was their “secret” so far. She accused him of ruining her life. The guy ended up marrying her.

I had asked this woman why they had not been safe in the first place. She had said that she wanted to be safe. He didn’t.  In her own words, “He was very good-looking. She is average. She did not want to lose him.”

I hate the term “He used me!” I think women degrade themselves by using such a term. Are you a pair of shoes that you will get “used?”

Feminism

Grace gave a graphic, detailed account of whatever happened that night. Her identity is being protected. Ansari was humiliated. If any man would give such details of any sexual experience with a woman? We would call him misogynist. Sick.

I read the article 3-4 times. Could he have behaved differently? Of course!! Was it unpleasant? Of course!! Bad date! Bad foreplay! But is it an assault?  Is this the right way to speak up about it – giving details of intimacy on the internet? She  had texted him letting him know how rough he had been. He had apologized.

We need to talk to men. We need to make them more sensitive. We need to tell them they are not entitled to sex.  In any situation.  We also need to talk about affirmative consent.

But we also need to talk to women.

I want to say this loud and clear to women. You do not OWE sex to anyone. You don’t have to feel presurized that you have got yourself in this situation. Now there is no way out. You are not having sex for your neighborhood aunty who will judge you and say, “Haww! Why else did you go to a man’s house alone ! Obviously you put yourself at risk.” You are having sex for yourself. Not liking it enough, hating it, feeling uncomfortable are very good reasons to not do it any further. It is okay to change your mind at any point.

Sexual choices have a very important role in the empowerment of women. Sexual experiences can be good, bad, unpleasant, great. Sometimes they make you feel good. Sometimes okay. Sometimes awkward. Sometimes you regret.

If you start making out and you don’t like it, please stop. Ask him to stop. If he still doesn’t stop, leave. If you are afraid of losing him, and you do it to “keep him”  then accept it. Take up responsibility for your choice. Please do not play a victim later!

One of the core principles of feminism is equality. It also means that women are intelligent human beings with a functioning brain who can make choices for themselves. We do not need to be told what to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To The Geet Without Aditya Kashyap And the Queen Without The International Vacation – Part IV

This is my fourth article in the series. The first one was very general. The second article was on divorce.  The third article was about getting over a relationship that never quite existed (to the other person). This article is about moving on. No nothing drastic happens here. I will never preach something that is not doable! She will not find Aditya Kashyap or go on an international vacation. Moving on to me is not a decision. Just like falling in love is not a choice. It is a feeling.

____________________________________________

Move on!

He has moved on! You should too!

It has been seven months!

Geet had heard this so many times. It was embarrassing. She thought of herself as a strong woman. People around her thought she was strong too.  Anshuman had made her weak. Desperate. Desperate to have him back.

Time is the best healer, they say. How is this true? It is not just the moment he left that is painful, but every day and moment after that. When he is not there. At least the day he had left, she had hope. Hope that they would meet again. She had imagined conversations. Things she would say to him. Things he would say back. They would bump into each other somewhere. This is what happens in movies, right? People always came back. Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.

Something else would happen. It could not possibly be the end.

But it was. It was over. It had been seven months. She had not seen him. He never called. He never texted. She never bumped in to him. His going away seemed so permanent now.  It was not just the loss that hurt, but the experience of watching him leave. The memory of him saying that he did not want to be with her anymore.

Geet would look at other couples at restaurants. A guy with his arm around his girlfriend. Anshuman always did that. Whenever they would enter or leave a restaurant he would put his arm around her. He wanted everyone to know she was his.  She used to wear pretty, sexy dresses while she was with him. But the moment they would leave to reach the car parking, he would say, ‘Wear your jacket’. ‘It is called shrug, not jacket!’ She would tell him. ‘Put on your shawl’. ‘It is called stole!’ She would say. ‘You are against women’s freedom!’ She would say. ‘You feminists, have no common sense also, this is the road not the pub!’ He would say. But it was a lie. She loved how protective he was of her.

Now there was no one to hold her. No one to  hug her. No one to bring a smile to her face. She would stare blankly at those couples. Was she ever like them? It seemed like a past life in which she and Anshuman were together.Every morning, she woke up with the feeling. The same feeling. The awareness that Anshuman was not there. Where was Anshuman?

Geet was trying her best to distract herself.  Every Saturday she would leave for Starbucks. Morning to evening she would sit there with her laptop. She could not bear to be with herself at home. Evenings she would spend with her friends. Geet was a pretty girl. She got attention from men. It felt good. She felt like she had options. I can find another man easily, she would tell herself. She did go out with a few. The dates were okay. She tried to smile. Have a good conversation. But on her way back home, she would cry.  This happened all the time. She would go out, meet people, but the moment she was alone with her thoughts she would cry her heart out. She had stopped taking care of herself. She had stopped going to the parlour. When was the last time she got her eye brows done? When was the last time she went to gym?

She met one of her friends for dinner. She was telling her friend how every night she tortured herself with the thoughts of her last few days with Anshuman. She kept replaying those events again. Blaming herself. She should have said something else. She should have done something else. He would have still been here…

You need to love yourself, Geet. Be kind to yourself. Every night instead of thinking about Anshuman think about yourself. Just say these words to yourself, – I am such a kind human being. I am beautiful inside out. I am intelligent. I deserve the best things in the world.”

“That’s crazy! Who says that! I don’t even believe that!”

“Just try it! Instead of thinking about your times with Anshuman, or what could have happened”

Geet went to bed that night. Invariably her mind drifted to Anshuman.

“I am beautiful and kind. I deserve the best.” She forcefully said to herself. She continued to do this for another three days. It did not help. Anshuman was still the first thought of the morning and the last thought at night.

A week later, Geet went to watch a play. She had asked her friends to join but none of them were available. So, she went alone. The play was a lot of fun. She laughed. She enjoyed.  After the play, she met the actors back stage. She told them she wanted to write an article on their journey. They were happy to be interviewed. They were all getting together for a party. They asked her to join. She did not know anyone. Should she go? She was so modestly dressed! They were all looking so glamourous! She decided to go.

She spent the next two hours with them. They talked. Geet was a very reserved person. Socializing was a lot of effort for her. But someone she gelled well with them. They all seemed impressed with her, and genuinely liked her company. They would be performing in Mumbai next month. They asked her to come. She said she had work, but she might. They exchanged numbers and said goodbye.

That day, as Geet was in the cab back home, something happened. She was smiling. She was thinking about how she spoke to these new people who belonged to a completely different profession. She was so confident. She was charming. She looked at her pictures. She was looking good. Her kohled eyes, her curly hair resting on her shoulders. She felt beautiful again.  She felt confident again. She felt charming again. It was the feeling of falling in love. Where someone seems so wonderful. So unbelievably amazing. So very perfect. Magnify their qualities. Ignore their flaws. The feeling of being lucky to have found them… Except that there was no man. It was Geet feeling lucky to be herself.

You are so kind and amazing. You deserve the best things in life. The thought came to her mind. This time naturally. Without any effort.

Something changed that day. Geet did not want to cry anymore. She wanted to be happy. She wanted to be happy in the present. Not in some distant memory. Not in some uncertain future. But today.

Anshuman was not gone completely. He used to come back in her thoughts every now and then. But he did not make her cry anymore. He was not the first thing on her mind when she woke up. He was not the last thing on her mind when she went to sleep.

Whenever he would come up in her thoughts, she accepted that she had not forgotten him.

But she chooses herself over him. Anshuman was important to her. But her life is much more. She is so much more. He was just a character in her story. Yes, it was the end. Of a chapter. Not her story.

She is the story.

From DDLJ To Piku: The Hindustani Ladki Ki Izzat Has Come A Long Way

From DDLJ To Piku: The Hindustani Ladki Ki Izzat Has Come A Long Way

Please click on the above link to read the full article on Women’s Web.

Qarib Qarib Single – Refreshing and realistic

The name of the movie is Qarib Qarib Singlle. I thought it was Qarib Qarib Single Single. I enjoyed the movie in the first half thoroughly. Few good laughs. In the second half, I felt the movie lost its plot. Nonetheless, it was better than most Bollywood movies.

Yogi and Jaya meet through a dating website. Jaya is a 35-year-old widow. Yogi must be older. What is the romantic life like for a single woman in her mid-30’s in India? What is dating like through these mediums?

In a pro- nepotism industry where most love stories revolve around good-looking college students who magically fall in love over a series of songs shot across foreign locations, a realistic romantic plot revolving average people, in mid-30’s is a breath of fresh air. I will overlook all other parts of the movie which I could not relate to (like how come Yogi was rich!)

Here is what worked for me:

  • Jaya’s single life

The casting song captures Jaya’s lonely, uneventful, painfully boring life brilliantly. The highlights of her day are her skype chats with her brother. Doing well in her career, confident at work and hesitant about relationships. She spends time outside of work babysitting her friends’ kid, cats and paying for their shopping too. Her friends seem to be taking advantage of her.

I remember an episode of Sex and the city if which one of Carrie’s married friend with kids had shamed her for buying very expensive shoes. Her friend told her that she has a very lavish lifestyle, something which was a luxury for her – a woman with a family. Carrie counted how much money she has spent on her and her family so far – Wedding gifts, children’s birthday gifts etc. Story of all financially comfortable, single women. Little (big) things we buy for our friends and their kids are always measured against our “lack of real responsibilities” in life. I had written an article on this but never published it. I do not wish to get boycotted by all my married friends! 🙂

  • No efforts towards relationships

Jaya seems to have accepted her single status. She does not seem to be doing anything about meeting people until one of her friends reminds her that she might “regain her virginity”. This phase also comes in the lives of single women. Where they give up on men completely!

  • Dating sites

Jaya is hesitant to put her picture on the site. The moment her profile becomes active, she starts receiving all kinds on creepy messages.  It reinforces her belief that probably she should not have done anything! Something that has probably happened to all of us!

  • First meeting between Yogi and Jaya

Yogi looks extremely objectionable the first time Jaya sees him. It reminds me of the movie, ‘Life in a metro’, in which Konkana’ s character meets Irrfan’s character for the first time. She rejects him because he stares at her chest (something he later tries to justify to her)! In both these movies, Irrfan Khan looked weird to the women, and the audience the first time. However, as the story progresses the women saw the better side of him. Does that happen in real life too? Someone who we meet through a dating / matrimonial site is given second chances? What would happen if instead of being judgmental we would give them a chance?

  • The ex- factor

Both Yogi and Jaya seem hung on their exes. However, they don’t realize this about themselves, as much as they realize about each other. This for me is the number one biggest turn-off in a man!! A deal breaker!

  • Ex-lover turns into Mamaji

Yogi lives under the misconception that his exes are destroyed because of the break-up! He meets one of his exes, who is now happily married with her family. She introduces him to his children as “mamaji”. Yogi explains this happens in small-towns.

I know this is true. Non-lovers were put into “rakhi brother” categories, before the “friend-zone” was invented!

  • Good acting and zero songs!

Irrfan is perfect. We know that already. But I had never seen Parvathi before. She was very good too. Reminded me of another actress, Madhu from Roja. Nice to see a character of a hindi film heroine who was just being herself. Not young, not wearing skimpy clothes and not dancing to vulgar lyrics, not even in a dream sequence. This itself is an achievement!

Go for it! Better than most movies we spend our money on.

Image source

 

 

Thirty Years of Me!

On my 28th birthday, I had posted this article. I had even created a separate category on my blog called ‘Birthday Memoirs’ based on one article! Last year I got lazy and shared the same article again. But today, I have turned 30. How can I not write about it!

Give me some sunshine. Give me some rain. Give me another chance. I wanna grow up once again.

Last week, I was on a whatsapp video call with my cousin and her six-year-old daughter.

Cousin: What’s the plan for the birthday?

Me: No plans. I am turning 30!

Kid excited: Mausi’s 30th birthday is coming up?

Me: Shh! Don’t say 30 out loud! It is a secret between you and me.  Don’t tell anyone!

Kid with a thumbs up: Okay Mausi. Secret. Done. I will tell everyone you turned 39!

Me: Hey! What kind of a secret is that! The secret should be beneficial to me!

Kid confused and disappointed. She had given her best shot at faking.

Cousin: You should reduce Mausi’s age. 39 is worse than 30!

Kid was still confused. She did not understand why turning 30 was bad. Why was turning 39 even worse? It did not make any sense to her.

Past few months I have been upset about turning 30. Should have talked to the kid sooner. She would have made me realize it really does not matter!

Last year this time

Aaj kal paon zameen par nahin padate mere, Bolo dekhaa hai kabhi, tumne mujhe udate huye

I was pretty happy. I had a new job. New friends. An international family vacation.  In the beginning of 2017, I won an award for blogging. Life seemed to be going well.  And I was pretty optimistic that by this time, this year I would have un-singled myself!

Oh dear men!

No! Not all men! Just talking about the men I met this year. Instead of becoming partners for me, most ended up becoming case studies for my articles. One became the sole inspiration behind my series, ‘To the Geet without Aditya Kashyap, and the Queen without the international vacation’.  I think this year I have written more about relationships that any other topic.

I had met a gentleman through an arranged marriage set-up. He was good-looking, soft-spoken and well-dressed. It was during the phase when I was certain I should get married. He lived with his parents. He was very clear he would continue living with his parents after marriage too. He said that I will be “allowed” to do whatever l liked. As long as I respect his parents and take care of them.

Few years back, such a statement would have sounded harmless to me. But I have become smart. Or rather experiences have taught me better.  I imagined my life of marital bliss with him.

Wake up before everyone else –

Pehli Kiran Jab Se Uge, Bhabhi Meri Tab Se Jage. Sabka Pura dhyan Dhare Woh, Shaam Dhale Tak Kaam Kare

Feed three adults.

Seek their permission to go to my parents’ place. Actually anywhere.

Be fully covered since the moment I leave my bedroom.

Forget about watching Mindhunter. Or Game of thrones. Or anything. 

Not being able to put my legs on the center table stand while watching TV. Ever.

Weekends will be spent grocery shopping. Identifying sales from Big Bazaar. And watching Indian Idol for fun.

Is it worth it? I asked myself. Don’t answer the question. Most of India is doing this. So I am pretty sure it is worth it.  It just made me realize that in case it never happens for me, or happens much later in life, it is okay. I am not missing out on a lot!

My current life

I made a lot of friends this year. From Shaadi.com to tinder, from Jeevansathi.Com to Trulymadly, from meetups to events in the city– I was everywhere! I Did meet some nice and interesting people through these mediums who I would not have met otherwise.

Weekends I get up at 12. Have lunch and head out. Evenings are usually spent in some nice restaurant / pub.

Come on, come on, turn the radio on. It’s Saturday and I won’t be long. Gotta paint my nails, put my high heels on. It’s Saturday and I won’t be long

Come back at night. No wonder, a lot of women in their 30’s and 40’s prefer not to get married unless they meet someone awesome. A lot of single women I know and I myself spend a lot of time and money on ourselves. Hair spas. Hair smoothening. Sexy dresses. Fun events. Nobody to answer to.

What was good this year

Writing has been going well. My articles on Womensweb, as well as on my blog did really well. More people have been writing to me. Feels good.

My sister and niece visited twice this year. Niece is a lot of fun to be with. She is also one of the most affectionate and loving children I know. Till the time that she was here, I would look forward to coming back from office. She would give me company for everything – Whether it is staying up late at night, or going to gym. She makes me believe in all the good things in the world. She also makes me believe in marriage and family.

People and their ways!

Kuch to log kaheinge, logon ka kaam hai kehna

I have spent most of my life overthinking and overanalyzing. This year also, like any other year I have been hurt by some people’s words and behaviour. Today is a good day to let go of all the bitterness. Let me focus on better things. I have noticed that I may not like what some people say, yet I am grateful that these people have managed to stay in my life. Even if they say some stupid things, at least they call, text or show up.  Better than the ones who are not in touch. I guess this is the first sign of ageing! Gratefulness!

The single factor

Single Rehne De Mane Single Rehne De, Happy Hoon Main Happy Happy Rehne De!

The other day, I went out with four of my girlfriends.  We are all in the age group 29-42. All single women. We started talking about boyfriends and our broken relationships. One girl decided to ask what each one of us may be looking for in a partner. One girl said she wants someone who is a poet or an artist. Shayar type. Another one said she would prefer someone who is earning very well, in a stable job because she wants to be a homemaker.

I don’t know if it was the Vodka but all of this just made me laugh. I told the first girl, if she likes poetry or art, why doesn’t she do it herself?  I asked the second girl, who should be paying for her expenses then?

I am not laughing at them. I have no right to, as someone who spent the entire year trying to unsingle. I am laughing at all of us. At the expectation that someone will come, and make our lives better. The emotionally unavailable boyfriend who does not want to commit, the undekha anjana shayar, or the decent gentleman who promises a stable life, provided his parents are taken care of. Single, wise, older women still waiting for a man!

Do Patte Patjhad Ke Pedon Se Utre The, Pedon Ki Shaakhon Se Utre The, Phir Utne Mausam Guzre Vo Patte Do bechaare, Phir Ugne Ki Chaahat Mein Vo Sehraon Se Guzre

I guess it is badly ingrained in our minds that relationship will make us happy. I have had enough with this expectation. And the efforts directed towards achieving it. The next year will be all about me. About all the things that I have wanted to do. Here are some:

Teaching kids

When I was in the United States, I used to volunteer to teach children at summer school. I was quite young myself – about 16. There was a kid (fourth grader) in one of my classes, who was Hispanic. He struggled with English. I struggled with him.  But he was hard-working. I tried my best to help him improve. He responded.

On the last day, his father had come to pick him up. The kid had got a rose for me, as a thank you. Except that he felt too shy at the time of handing it over. So, he gave the rose to his father to give it to me. The father was sooooo cute!! He thanked me for helping his son. The awkward, short, scrawny, braces wearing teenager inside me could not stop blushing.

I also taught Kindergarten another summer. Those kids were too young to learn anything. But they were very cute and innocent. Teaching was a very rewarding experience. Not because of the cute Hispanic man. But because I really enjoyed myself. Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be a teacher.

I don’t know how I will achieve this with my full-time job and writing. But let me for now put it in my to-do list for this year.

Taare zameen par…

Lasik surgery

I don’t know how many times I have gone to the doctor, got an eye-check-up, weighed pros and cons (there is hardly a con), nodded when the doctor has asked me to come back for a final consultation, and then chickened out and never returned. People who have got laser surgery have told me it has made their lives much easier. I think I should too. At least I would become less averse to travelling, and water sports. Maybe I should stop watching youtube videos on the surgery, because they just scare me. If any of you have got it done, please do let me know how it feels like.

The book

I think about it every night and day, Spread my wings and fly away. I believe I can soar, I see me running through that open door

I hope the book that I have been working on gets to see the light of the day. I also realized I have posted very few guest blogs this year. Please do keep sending me story ideas.

GMAT and MBA

This is the most farfetched idea. But it is still there. Maths had always been a nightmare for me. I used to dream that I have failed in Maths even long after I had finished school. Then came chartered accountancy and the nightmares became real. I used to have a recurring dream that I have failed the CA exams till years after I had qualified. But those dreams had stopped. Until recently.  I dreamt that I  failed in Biology. I have never been a Science student. I attribute that dream to my struggle with Maths with the GMAT book I bought this month. My sub-conscious brain probably could not process failing GMAT yet and substituted it with biology.

I met a friend from the US who is doing MBA from Singapore. I had met her though blogging. I confessed to her that I am not really interested in GMAT or MBA. I just want to get out of here. She said that it is a common reason for a lot of girls from the Indian sub-continent!

But I think two factors would not let it happen for me. 1. I love India way too much. 2. I am horrible at Maths.

So there. I better end it now before this post becomes an autobiography.

Maula tera maali, O hariyaali jungle waali,
Tu de har gaali pe taali, Uski kadam kadam rakhwaali

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But Why Do You Even Want To Get Married?

Received an email from a woman who is single and has been searching for a guy for a long time. She has a full-time job, good friends and a good life. That does not change the fact that she is looking for someone for marriage. She is in her early 40s. She also wants to have kids. She is a happy person. But when she tells people she wants to get married, they start saying so many annoying things.

The first question is ‘But why do you even want to get married!’

I can relate perfectly. How many of you are single? When you tell people, you want to “un” single, do they judge you? It is not like you are saying that you are desperate or unhappy or incomplete. You just wish you had someone. Many people who say these things are actually married themselves.

Here is a short list of some of the things people say to single people who are looking. Feel free to add to the comments.

  1. No one can complete you!
  • When did I say I was incomplete?
  1. Be in love with yourself first!
  • Main meri favourite hoon….?
  1. You will find him once you stop looking!
  • Does he know I am looking for him, and therefore hiding? Shh…he might hear us and hide back!
  1. When you are happy you attract people…
  • Been happy… attracted people.. Now what?
  1. If you feel lonely alone, you will feel lonely in a relationship too.
  • What does this even mean? Did they think so much before getting into a relationship?
  1. Your spouse could die. And you could not have a child. So, marriage does not guarantee that you would not die alone.
  • Wow…what optimism!

I guess when people mean it is better to be single than married, they mean to say it is better than being in a bad relationship. I agree. If you see your friends desperate and unhappy in a bad relationship just for the fear of being alone, please go ahead and help them see reality.

But if they seem to be happy and doing well, yet searching then it is a normal thing to do! They do not need to justify anything! Isn’t it natural (for some people) to want love, romance, marriage. kids?

I am a feminist. I do not believe that marriage is the ultimate goal of life. It is a personal choice. It is okay to be single.  It is also okay to wish for one.  It does not mean that someone is weak. Single people do know relationships do not work sometimes and that marriage requires a lot of work.

Let us be a little kind to our divorced friends, and the ones who are older yet single. Let us not decide that it is better for them to be alone! Let us not tell them that marriage is this reward they will get once they have attained the above checklist! It is a well-meaning thing to say but it does not help them!

 

 

 

To The Geet Without Aditya Kashyap And the Queen Without The International Vacation – Part III

This is my third article in the series. The first one was very general. At that time, I did not know that the series would get popular and I will be asked to continue with it. The second article was on divorce.  This article is about getting over a relationship that never quite existed (to the other person).

Times have changed. Relationships are no longer well defined. People have also become more willing to explore without any commitment (not judging).  When exactly does a relationship starts?

When one person says I love you and the other one reciprocates?

Texting all day and talking through the night?

The moment a physical involvement begins?

I have had friends who have got to know a man through a matrimonial website, talked over the phone, met maybe a couple of times and got emotionally attached. One fine day, the person just leaves and they have no idea what they did wrong. In dating terms it is called “ghosting”. (I don’t think there is any term for it in Indian arranged marriage set-ups. I have written more on dating in this article).

Then there are women who get into a fling or a short-term relationship.  Except that they did not know that it would be short term. They were probably looking for something serious. They just realized after getting dumped the other person was not serious.

The women in the above scenarios feel heart-broken and depressed. The man may not feel anything because he never made a commitment in the first place. Was it really a relationship? Who gets to decide that? But does it really matter? The fact is someone got hurt. When you feel hurt and sad, nothing else matters much.

Such non-relationships should be easy to get over, right? But trust me they are not. There are some unique aspects to it that are painful. If you tell someone about it, here is what you are told:

It was not even a relationship! Doesn’t count! Get over it!

How could you be so stupid to fall for it in the first place!

While you are already dealing with the loss of not having someone with you anymore (no matter how brief it was), you also have to deal with your feelings being invalidated, by the guy himself, and probably those around you.

At least when a person gets divorced, or breaks up from a long-term declared relationship, they get some empathy. You get none! You feel a certain sense of shame for being so non-existent. Your friends secretly think you are weak and stupid. The best they can say is ‘forget him, not worth it.’ You did not gain any long-term benefits of a relationship, yet you got a very real sense of pain and loss? Not fair!

Somehow Bollywood has always romanticized unrequited love.

Ek tarfa pyar ki taqat hi kuch aur hoti hai … auron ke rishton ki tarah yeh do logon mein nahi bat’ti … sirf mera haq hai ispe” – Dialogue from Aye dil hai mushkil. There was a beautiful song in the movie, also the title track which was all about being in love with someone who does not reciprocate. There are millions of other examples.

Yesterday, I watched a video of Matthew Hussey that made me smile. A lot of us try to hold on to the idea of someone, after they have left. Something to fill the void.

But think about this. There is someone of the opposite gender who you may find interesting. But they seem too hung up on someone from their past. Would you want to date them? Even if you try you will feel frustrated.  Do you really want to become that person?

There is nothing attractive about “unrequited love”! Human beings have the ability to adapt! You become unattractive the moment you show that you have no ability to move on and you are stuck in the past! Even if you meet any decent potential partners, they would not prefer to have anything long term with you.

You don’t have to be ashamed of anything. You tried. It did not work. People who try eventually succeed. If you are looking for a serious relationship, you will probably find it. You are closer to finding it that most people, as you are trying for it.

I remember a girl who kept saying that a guy she met once who had shown a lot of interest in her, and suddenly disappeared was “perfect” for her. She mourned for him for a long time. She said she would never find anyone that great again.  It is natural to feel this way when one day someone dreamy walks into a life only to leave making us realise that the dream was not real.  But here is the thing. Someone who is right for us is someone who wants to be with us, not someone who fits the checklist. He is a great guy, and he spent some great time with me does not equal to he wants to be with forever. Harsh, but true.

Being sad and bitter will only make your personality less appealing. Less appealing to someone who may actually want to be with you. 

“You must make a decision that you are going to move on. It wont happen automatically. You will have to rise up and say, ‘I don’t care how hard this is, I don’t care how disappointed I am, I’m not going to let this get the best of me. I’m moving on with my life.” 
― Joel OsteenYour Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential

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Sometimes The Best Closure Is……. Complete The Sentence

I was 12 when I had the term “closure” for the first time.

At that time, I was living in the United States. A 17-year-old woman had gone missing after her morning jog.  She was a high school student, ready to apply for colleges with her whole life ahead of her. There was an extensive search initiated to find her. Everybody was praying for her safe return.  After some 15-20 days, her decomposed body was found in some forest, with her throat slit.  The murderer was already caught, and he was the one who has led to the body.

The news reporter broke the news with a solemn face. She added,

“We hope that this has given some closure to the family.”

I hated the term. How could knowing that their daughter was dead, killed brutally, and finding her body bring anything positive? The reporter was trying to say was that were in trauma for the past weeks by not knowing what happened to their daughter. Now at least, they knew…

At least. Another term I despise…

As I grew up, I came to know that the term closure was used in the context of relationships very often. My next encounter with it was in an episode of Friends. Rachel falls in love with Ross but only after he is with Julie. Rachel is now at a restaurant on a date with a new guy but all she can think about is Ross.

Michael: Look, I’ve been through a divorce, trust me you’re gonna be fine. You just can’t see it now because you haven’t had any closure.

Rachel: Yeah! Closure. That’s what it is, that’s what I need. God, you’re brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that? How do I get that?

Michael: Well, you know, there’s no one way really, it’s just, you know, whatever it takes so that you can finally say to him, “I’m over you.”

Rachel: Closure, that’s what it is. Closure.

She then borrows a phone from a reluctant man and dials Ross.

Rachel: [on phone] Ross, hi, it’s Rachel. I’m just calling to say that um, everything’s fine and I’m really happy for you and your cat who, by the way, I think you should name Michael: And, you know, ya see there I’m thinking of names so obviously, I am over you. I am over you and that, my friend, is what they call closure. [hangs up and tosses phone in the ice bucket]

By the end of the episode, Ross realizes he is still in love with Rachel, and they end up kissing.

Bollywood loves closure too. Lovers almost always come back. They apologize. They repent. They want to be taken back. The heroine either takes them back and they live happily ever after or she find another guy who is so much better! Pyaar to hona hi tha, Queen,  to name a few.

The best example I can think of is Jab we met (I loved the move like everyone else). I have blogged about it before in To The Geet Without Aditya Kashyap and The Queen Without the International Vacation. Geet calls up Anshuman, and showers him with abuses. He hangs up, looking traumatized. He also realizes his mistakes and comes back to Geet. Meanwhile, Geet falls in love with Aditya Kashyap. She gets to reject Anshuman, make him feel like an idiot and then marry Aditya Kashyap. What a wonderful closure!!

But real life is so messy. If someone actually says the things they want to say in an attempt for closure, they will get to hear an earful, and end up feeling worse. It could be a chain that needs to be closed for our sanity. Maybe we reach out but get no response. Maybe we decide not to call in an attempt to savor what is left of our already damaged self-respect. I don’t think we get that many closures in relationships, (unless we are a fictional Bollywood character). Quoting from my own article:

What about women who don’t necessarily find another man like Geet? What about the ones who don’t get to travel like Queen but continue their routine life feeling worthless after getting dumped? Living each day with a spout of misery with the most cherished moments of their lives becoming mere memories  and evoking mixed feelings? How do they ‘get over’ someone?

Maybe closure is overrated. It is still as absurd as when I had heard it for the first time in my life. When someone is gone, they are gone. There are no ifs, buts, what ifs, how, why. There are no answers. At least not answers that we will get from another person.

The harsh truth is there may be NO closure. We have to somehow make ourselves understand. I did research to find the best thought to complete the sentence – Sometimes he best closure is…

But I did not like anything I read. So here is my list. Please feel free to add to it.

Sometimes the best closure is knowing that I tried.

Sometimes the best closure is knowing that there is nothing else I could do.

Sometimes the best closure is accepting that I may be hurting, but I am not broken.

Sometimes the best closure is knowing that I have survived the biggest pain I have ever known.

Sometimes the best closure is closing the door to the negativity within me, and I alone have the power to do it.

Adding a good one sent to me by a friend, after reading the article:

You have to accept that some chapters in our lives have to close without closure. There’s no point in losing yourself by trying to fix what’s meant to be broken. – www.stevemaraboli.com

And finally the one from ‘He’s just not that into you’ , the dating Bible for women (along with Mathhew Hussey’s videos)! It is not on closure, but it is on happy endings. Isn’t that what we are all looking for?

And maybe a happy ending doesn’t include a guy… maybe its you, on your own, picking up the pieces and starting over, freeing yourself up for something better in the future. Maybe the happy ending is…just moving on. Or maybe the happy ending is this… knowing after all the unreturned phone calls, broken hearts, through all the blunders and misread signals, through all the pain and embarrassment you never gave up.” 

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The (Really) Short Guide For A Single Woman Dating Again For A Long Term Relationship In India

Are you a single woman in India and considering dating again for a long term, meaningful relationship? Here are some things you should know.

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The (Really) Short Guide For A Single Woman Dating Again For A Long Term Relationship In India