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Recently, I got a call from a family member, she’s nearing 85, can barely walk, but has the sharpest memory of anyone I know. This is how the conversation went:

Her: Pooja? 

Me: Hi ! How are you?

Her: Good, just the usual. Pooja, I wanted to ask you something.

Me: Ya, ask what happened?

Her: Do you want to get married?

Me: Hahaha

Her: *super serious* Stop laughing. I want you to answer this question because I know this boy who would be a great match for you!

Me: Erm….I am really not

*cuts me off*

Her: He’s working in London, he’s actually from ‘X’ city. He’s tall – He is 6 feet 2 inches so you both will look so good together!! He’s even the same colour as you!! You’ll make a lovely couple.

Me: Hahaha! Same colour?! Are you serious!? I am really not interested in getting married, I want to focus on my job.

–silence–

She: Okay. Well, think about it, he’s a very good guy and this is the age you should get married or all the good ones will disappear. So tell me, is it a yes or a no.

Me: I’ll let you know when I am ready to get married. But it’s a no.

Her: Give the phone to your mom.

Okay, so this is how arranged marriages work. 😛 This conversation really made me realise how archaic this whole thing was. I am sure the boy is lovely but that doesn’t mean I get married to him! Based on what? His height and skin tone?! How can you spend the rest of your life with someone based on these superficial things? I guess I was just shocked at how unoriginal and nonchalant she was with trying to convince me about a decision that would change my whole life.

I have nothing against arranged marriages, but maybe more with the idea of getting married. Marriage is a scary thing, from what I’ve seen and have been told, it isn’t all that it is made out to be. Honestly, I don’t get the urgency and unnecessary pressure with the whole your-biological-clock-is-ticking-so-you-must-get-married thing; it just does not make any sense to me. Especially, when they are so many children in this world who desperately need a loving family, why add to the problem? I know more unhappy than happily married couples. Maybe I am just surrounded by unhappy couples, but, why take the risk ? 😛

I am sure one day I will get married, and have my happy little family, with 2 cats, 1 puppy, 2 kids and my best friend/husband. But, only when I am ready, not because someone else (/society) says I should.

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Best friends turned enemies

Every conversation was now an argument

As both grew older, the age difference seemed to creep in

Each had their own ways to cope with a situation

She would lash out, while the other would tap out

So much left to do, so many places to see

Yet, her world only revolved around her

They both wanted the same thing

To have their happy days again, in the city they called home

“When you become a mother, you will understand”, she would say

Conveniently, the daughter had made up her “not-to-do list”.

 

 

 

Life’s a beach…

“Close your eyes, I have a surprise for you!!”

Okay

In 10 years, he had never given her a gift because he believed love is not materialistic, it just is. He didn’t believe in surprises either, only because he never liked them himself. Everything had to be planned out, analytical and therefore never spontaneous. She knew how his mind worked, a bit too well.
So a surprise, whatever it may be, felt like she had been waiting for this for way too long.
Palms facing the sky, mind racing with possibilities and praying that it wasn’t that one thing.
A salty breeze ruffled her hair and sent a shiver down her spine.
“Open”, he said – after what seemed like an eterntity
House keys dangling in his hands, she smiled and hugged him tight,

Living in sin, it is!!

He knew her far too well and decided to keep the ring in his pocket, for another 10.

Unconsciously Conscious

On days like these, life has got me wondering, how much of it is pure coincidence and how much of it is my doing? I am not talking about the decisions we consciously take, but more about the subconscious ones. I am a big believer in speaking things into existence because it has (almost) always worked! But then life will throw you in a dark place, surely you didn’t ask for this, so why is this happening to you? Is this life’s messed up way of teaching you a lesson, you should have learnt ages ago? Or is it because you subconsciously choose to ignore all the red flags and life finally gave in?

On the flipside, things have happened that got me wondering, why me? Why have I been blessed with this awesome life- one that I got by doing absolutely nothing? Sometimes things happen that are way beyond our understanding, and that is okay too. Not everything warrants an explanation.  Some mysteries will remain just that, but as an adult, I hope that my life is shaped by my hopes and dreams, rather than my fears. Bad things happen to good people all the time, just like good things happen to bad people. It all depends on how you deal with what life throws at you, but just remember life is short. So, be kind, laugh lots, surround yourself with people that support you and love you for who you are and most importantly be grateful, always.

 

~ P xo

Clueless

Eyes fixated on his laptop

Never acknowledged her presence

Every time she tried

Her words fell on deaf ears

Silent tears, as she cried 

Promised herself

This can’t go on, another year

But now that she’s gone

He’s wondering where he went wrong

Just another, classic 

workaholic


Monsoon Moods

You come and go, as you please

When you’re here, I’m anxious about your desertion

And when you leave, I’m wondering when you’ll be back to defy this notion

I only wish for some consistency, away from all the responsibility

Moods like the Moon – I guess even Earth and water aren’t compatible in the monsoon

What’s in a name?

There are many religious ceremonies I don’t understand, maybe my problem is with religion and everything that comes along with it. I am yet to find someone who can explain the significance behind most of these rituals, other than it’s just something we have to do.
The baarsaa (naamkaran in Hindi), or naming ceremony, is a weird one. I don’t understand why you have to put a newborn through the rigmarole of rituals which just end up stressing the baby out. Instead, like with every major life event these days, just put the name up on Facebook!

Recently I had gone to one, where the baby miraculously slept through it all. So after passing the poor soul over and under the baby cot a couple of times, (reason still unknown to me and yes I googled it and no it didn’t solve the mystery!) – the proud parents revealed the name. It was a pretty unique name, one that I had never heard of at least. It took me a couple of tries to even pronounce it properly. I wasn’t the only one struggling, though, because one of my cousins turned to me and said, we need to think of a nickname asap !! :/

Having one of the most common, if not the most common Indian names myself, teachers still seemed to screw it up. Although Abu Dhabi has its fair share of Indians, going to an international school did not help in the correct pronunciation of a fairly simple two-syllable name. Here are just some of the ways my pious name has been butchered.

Booja – Result of going to school in the middle east where the letter P does not exist in the Arabic language. I’ve been called this mainly by my supervisors and to be fair to them, English wasn’t their first language.
Poojhaa – I’ve been called this by my French teachers and by teachers from Lebanon, who thought they were French.
Pooya – I’ve only been called this once, by a substitute teacher, but I’ll never forget it. When he called out my name, as he went through the class list, I didn’t even respond. He was so off that someone else said ‘present’. After reaching the end of the list, I raised my hand thinking he had skipped my name, so he asked me to spell it out. That’s when he apologized and said he was Spanish and hence, the confusion with the letter 🙂

I can only imagine the struggle my nephew is going to go through if he ever does leave India. But I hope he wears his name like a badge of honour, correcting everyone that mispronounces it; unlike his aunt, who just let it slide, and wrote a blog post about it instead 😉

~ P xo

Happiness Project

How is it August already ?!?!

Deadlines that seemed ages away, are just around the corner. The big 2-5 is only 6 months away and I can feel my quarter-life-crisis slowly creeping up on me.
As of late, I’ve been slacking in the whole positive vibes = positive life philosophy and my mind is cluttered with random negative thoughts that have no business being there. Instead of stressing about life and its known unknowns, I’ve decided to take one day at a time and try to make them my happiest via The Happiness Project!

The Happiness Project is a book by Gretchen Rubin, in which she makes no crazy claims about leaving your job and going backpacking across the country to find inner peace and joy (however amazing that may sound, we are living in an extremely capitalist society and we all need the moolah). Instead she talks about the small and simple yet concrete things you can do in your busy life that will actually make you happier.

Happiness is an extremely subjective concept and hence the happiness project is entirely what you make of it. No two projects will be the same and that’s the best part because it’ll be true to you!

Some questions to ask yourself before you begin your pursuit of happiness:

  • What makes you feel good? What gives you joy, energy, fun?
  • What makes you feel bad? What brings you anger, guilt, boredom, dread?
  • What makes you feel right? What values do you want your life to reflect?
  • How can you build an atmosphere of growth – where you learn, explore, build, teach, help?

Some of my resolutions this month will include:

  • Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night
  • Sing in the morning (This actually works ! You start your day with a spring in your step)
  • Make my bed / Keep my room tidy (According to Rubin Outer order gives inner calm)
  • Make more of an effort to keep in touch with family and friends who are not in Mumbai
  • Move around for at least 15 minutes everyday
  • Play with Shiro in the morning and after work
  • Spend quality time with my parents 
  • Be grateful (I have a mantra that I say every night before bed but lately, as soon as my head hits my pillow, I’m out. So instead I’m going to say this during my commute!) 

You can keep track of these in whatever creative way you want (I’m keeping it old school and making a resolution chart in my journal). Some of them are obvious and some not so much (ref: Making my bed. I don’t see the point but I’m going to try it out anyways. At least my mom will be happy 😉 ) Your list of can be extensive or just have 2 resolutions -as long as you’re able to account for them.

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What do I want from life anyways ? A: I want to be happy. Was I happy ? Can I be happier ?

The happiness is project isn’t only limited to people who are sad/unhappy/feeling low/etc. but for anyone who wants to get happier! I hope this gives you some ideas, and most importantly inspiration to begin your own project! Slip ups are normal, but don’t stop keeping track of them (this way you know which parts of your life need some extra lovin’). Be a little compassionate towards yourself, and know that at least you’re trying your best!

I’m actually excited to revisit this post in a month to see how it goes 🙂

~ P xo

P.S. Shout out to Shreya for inspiring me to start my happiness project 🙂 She has an awesome blog and I urge you to to find out more about the happiness project on there !

P.P.S. If you’re lazy like me or have no time to read the book (also me) – you can YouTube Gretchen Rubin and find lots of her videos online!

The Commute

Since the monsoon has begun, I rarely find myself taking the train to/from work. It takes me the same amount of time going from my house to work by rickshaw, as does it does if I take the train. Going by rickshaw means I save some time and lots of energy – not so much money :/ but Hey! at least I have an hour or two , depending on traffic, to zone out and think about life and things. On the train I’m constantly worried whether or not my foot will get stepped on or if I’ll get left behind in the madness that is getting on/off the train during peak hours. When I first moved here I hated the traffic, “I would much rather take the train – it’s so much quicker (and cheaper)!”, I would say to anyone willing to listen…

What spurred me to write this post was an argument between two rickshaw walas…over me! The thing about rickshaw walas is that, I don’t really remember their faces, but can recognize the inside of their rickshaw’s in an instant. So when both began to bicker, and the rickshaw wala was like I take her to work every day, I was like waaahhh ?!? – until I realized that, yes, of course I’ve sat in this rickshaw before…many times. Maybe not everyday but enough number of times to remember the back of his head and the inside of his rickshaw.

I’ve been taking rickshaws almost every day now and many of the rickshaw walas actually recognize me! It always creeps me out a little that they actually remember me out of all the people who sit in their rickshaw on a daily basis, but I guess it’s a blessing in disguise since I do know first hand how pricey they can be (Another reason I stopped going by train is since the monsoon has started, the rickshaw walas refuse to take me from the train station to my home. It’s about a 40 min walk but in the icky rain, after a long day at work that’s the last thing I need. And it’s the same situation once I leave work to the train station I usually end up walking 20 minutes or so to the station. It’s great exercise but not in the rains. My biggest (irrational/rational) fear is getting some sort of foot infection because of the dirty water that you inevitably come in contact with).

As my buddy (aka rickshaw wala) and I are almost at my destination, I’ve just realized I haven’t even told him where I want to go 😮 I guess, what matters is I got to write this blog post in peace, knowing I would reach safe and sound, but most importantly in the shortest amount of time (since I’ve already told him all the shortcuts, the past few times) ! 😀

~P xo

P.S. Commuting by Mumbai locals deserves a separate post all together. It will be up as soon as the skies clear and Mumbai is nice and dry again 🙂

Shiro’s Story

As I was about to leave his foster home, he put his little paw on my hand, and that just made me fall even harder in love with him. It was decided – he was the one. ❤

So as we wait at the vet’s for his last and final vaccination (for a while atleast), I’m writing this, thinking about how happy he makes me 🙂

Adoption is not an easy process, human or otherwise. And I am actually glad that adopting him was not easy because at every road block my decision of adopting him got even more definitive.

While most 20somethings my age are getting engaged/married, here I am jumping the gun and adopting a sweet little baby (albeit of a different species).

I can’t even begin to express the joy he gives me, filling my heart with warm fuzzies! When I describe him to my friends, they’re shocked at how much energy he’s got – “usually cats just want to eat and sleep!”, which he does do his fair share of, but he is far from lazy. So, before we got him, I would be exhausted by the time I got home from work. I would just eat , sleep and on good days catch up on some t.v. shows but now everything has changed! No matter how exhausted I am, his energy somehow seems to give me energy. I actually want to leave work (and I love my job!) just so I can come home and play with him. 

It’s a nice feeling to have a fourlegged friend waiting for your return – purring to his heart’s content at your arrival. The only other time he purrs that much is when he knows it’s his meal time! 😀

 

Things I know now:

 

Yes, you’re going to get ridiculously maternal and everything he does (including scratching your mom’s favourite centre table, that has mother-of-pearl engravings) you’re going to find extremely adorable. You’re going to spend hours on Amazon and various online petshops trying to find the best deal on kitten food/litter/toys. He’ll be spoilt rotten with only the highest quality of food (better than the junk you eat), and lots of love (you might even find yourself ignoring your loved ones because he is now your number 1). You’re weekly trips to the mall to get a new clothes (because is having enough kurtis even a thing ?!) will replaced cuddling with your new kitten. 

 

I would not change any of this for the world and feel lucky that my kitten picked me as his furrever human 💖

~P xo
P.S.: If you are thinking of getting a kitten or cat or puppy or dog – adopt don’t shop. So many loving animals are waiting to be homed and they’ll love you just the same! If you’re in Mumbai – check out World For All