Realisation of an Empath

For all the years of my existence, I always struggled with an identity crisis. In spite of being a reasonably good person as I considered myself, I was unable to have any concrete and satisfying relationships and I always wondered why? To add to the confusion, at the early age of 10 years I was able to have mental conversations with spiritual beings! I got used to being ridiculed by my own friends, and yet there was a firm affirmation inside me that I’m definitely not stupid or hallucinating.

At the age of thirteen I had my first real conversation about this with my mum and that’s when it all began. I was introduced to the world of spirituality by my mom and her numerous spiritual gurus. I was trained in occlumency by Rao uncle even before I read the harry potter books since it was essential to guard my mind from spiritual beings at puberty. I found these phenomenons extremely hilarious and would imagine hypothetical antennas on my head which I could turn on/ off just like a radio, nevertheless I grasped it.

Reading the book “the autobiography of a yogi” by Parahamsa Yogananda at 15 was a revelation! Being able to link spirituality to science gratified my logical mind to a great extent. Yet there was hardly an improvement regarding my relationships. My career took a hit as well since I was always distracted owing to various reasons! I would have bouts of depression and anxiety for no apparent reasons.

By the age of 24, I was considering clinical help, but I kept reading more on the lines of spiritual reasonings. In March 2015, I finally stumbled upon an article which explained the phenomenon of being an Empath -http://themindunleashed.org/2013/10/30-traits-of-empath.html

I had finally found another piece of the puzzle, OMG I’m an empath also!! Everything started making sense to me. Why I hated crowded areas, loud music, or completely avoided certain people or was attracted to some others etc… My failure in relationships wasn’t because of my behaviour, it was because I reacted to feelings of persons rather than what was being said to me! Since then I have learnt so much and I’m still progressing towards having healthier relationships. I learnt to appreciate the effort of people saying something inspite of feeling otherwise! I learnt to set boundaries around me! More importantly I learnt to keep silent!! And the learning still continues!!

On a lighter note for those who meet me – your secrets are safe!! Hehe..

Silence

I cared and you cared,

I cared a lot and you did too,

then the distance grew,

I still cared but never expressed,

You expressed and cared,

till you found someone else,

so I withdrew with despair,

and yet I was held responsible,

I still care,

but not enough to cover that distance,

and forever shall there be silence….

Confessing my love and moving on…

Some people spend their entire life in one house and others like me just keep moving from houses, cities and countries without ever feeling satisfied. It is not the nomad or hippie culture, just the hunger to move to perceived greener pastures.

I had visited pune a few times during our annual India trips and was far from being a fan of this city. The only reason I chose to move to this city after my 12th was because my father guaranteed giving me a bike and a car if I moved here mainly because people hardly use the local transporation (which seventeen year old would refuse this offer???). So I thought that I would have to bear with this city for just a few years and get out as soon as possible…

And that took a good 7 years time… Never did I ever think that it would be so hard leaving this place… My hubby to be had a good laugh seeing me pouring buckets and I have to confess that I’m indeed in love with this city… The city known for its attitude… A popular tag line used for people coming to this city “keep your attitude to yourself cause we have ours” hehe… Don’t mistake this for any egotistical attitude, people here just do things at their own leisure time and come what may no one will ever alter their schedule for you.. Especially shopkeepers, plumbers, electricians and the like… Shops seldom open before 9am, then a compulsory break from 1pm to 4pm so that the owners can have a good afternoon nap and shops shut at 9pm… Over the time you just get used to this laid back life… There is an Indian saying that ” work done in haste is the devil’s work” and people here truly live life by this…

My mom calls this the foodie town, not because you get the best food here, in fact the worst chaat food ever but absolutely no one cooks in the house on weekends and the whole city is out at various restaurants. Don’t be surprised to be on the waiting list of famous hotels even on a Monday night… And the most famous meal for socialising is Sunday morning breakfast!!! Seemed extremely odd to me in the beginning as to why would anyone give up their precious sleep but then it’s just the lifestyle here and you get to see 60 plus people catching up with their friends of 20 years having the same old items… For some reason such views mesmerise me more than any historical monument ( Ah yes, I have never gone inside shaniwar wada!!!!)

The biggest advantage of this city is that you can travel from one end of the city to the other in maximum one hour and there are several routes to reach one place that even google maps gives you so many route options… Hehe… But then travellers are at the mercy of the fleecing rickshaw drivers…. Prime reason why pune is not only an IT hub but also home to numerous automobile manufacturers….

The weather here is kickass!!! Apart from the 4 summer months, you can thoroughly enjoy every weather here!! And almost all nights here are pleasant with chilly winters by which I don’t mean snowfall but cold enough for people to show off their fancy winter wear!!!! The numerous day trips to lonavala, mahabaleshwar, lavasa etc which are maximum 1-3 hours away… the romantic rains and walking through the clouds at sinhagad fort… the unforgettable night drives to tiger point where you get assorted pakodas, maggi noodles, tea coffee at even 3am!!!! These might sound dangerous but then you bump policemen everywhere and might I add that they are extremely friendly… One night Kartik and I had gone to report a rash drunk driver, not only did the officer inform all the checkpoints but even invited us to join them for dinner cause they were having a very modest birthday party of a colleague… Such memories do stay with you for life….

Here you make so many unimportant yet decent acquaintances, that the shopkeeper from whom I buy my glasses recognised my mom’s sister because of the mere resemblance.. Beat that!!! I have met equal number of temporary people here who indeed came in my life for a reason and left when the purpose was achieved and that too without any drama…

And last but not the least, I have made some friends for life and found my life partner here… Pune has completely spoilt me and I guess once a person has lived here it is very difficult to adjust to any place else…Leaving this city with loads of memories and wish to come back soon….

The Elders

One of the first ever lessons we as toddlers learn is to respect the elders and especially if you belong to the southern part of India then the respect thing reaches a whole new level. It would be a sin if you disrespect an elder even if they are your elder brother/ sister and what happens next is exactly how Russel Peter’s father says “Somebody’s gonna get hurt real bad”. I remember my mom telling this one story time and over again that when she was young and her father would call her or her sister… they would run and be in front of him even before he completed saying their names…And I would go like seriously???

Obviously now I know that Elders may be elder to you by age but that doesn’t make them right… after all crimes are committed mostly by elders only… but coming to this conclusion took up a lot of time… One of the first instances I remember was when I was in 8th grade in a boarding school…. One day a teacher lined up a bunch of girls and just pulled me in them. She gave each one of us a slap and when I opened my mouth to tell her that I haven’t done anything wrong, she thought I was laughing and slapped me two times more on each cheek… Wow… big blow for someone who never did anything wrong!!! 5 slaps for reaching the line late because I was having a tough time tying my shoe lace.. a problem I still have…lol..

As I grow up my dilemma just become even more worse….During my first year at work, I had a tough time trying to prove that I was right cause not answering back to any elder was embedded way too deep inside me and at the end I would only get hurt… My immediate boss once took me out for a walk and said I know it is difficult but learn to curt and assertive else these people are just going to take you for a ride…. By the third year I learnt well and today I am capable of making a grown man cry but I chose not to so many times….I am emotional but not submissive…

Today it was so difficult for me to be curt with my maid… And just me speaking like that was enough indication to my maid that I was pissed off and the job was done well…. One of the biggest crimes I might have done is show my middle finger to the car behind with my mom sitting next to me because he was honking continuously in the hope that I would break the signal and later I realised it was a middle aged man…Well but road rage is just another scene cause one day even one of the most innocent souls like my mom managed to say the word bastard to another driver and I went in a state of shock that my mom actually knew an abuse…. hahahaha

This is why the worst sin anyone can do to me is insult my family especially my 2 sets of parents…I would give the person just one chance to explain himself if he is important else he will be one of the last persons I ever talk to…..

So then why can’t parents just teach us to respect elders but at the same time tell us that they may not be right and sometimes you have to take your own judgement call…

You are UGLY!!!!!

So imagine you were born with a big mole on your forehead…all your life people have made fun of your big mole…. Not a day goes by without people noticing it… They have various things to say to you… Some will sympathise saying can’t you do something about it…. Some might pass a comment like you can’t imagine her/ him to think normally with that mole on her/ his head and everyone around you bursts out laughing…. For a comment like this there is no comeback… Cause they back it up by saying just kidding, no hard feelings… You can’t even abuse because abusing is just a sign of accepting defeat in an argument and you are too old to throw a fit… So what do you do? Give a weak smile and that’s about it… End of story… Your day is ruined… At night you try pulling it out but instead you bruise yourself and wake up with a red face… You try convincing your parents to surgically remove it but they say.. Sweetheart try noticing the more beautiful things in life and not a mole…whereas as all you feel is that the first thing people notice about you is your mole and rarely few of them get past that to know who you really are… And the horror of meeting new people is just unimaginable… Shopping is another nightmare because all you think is what should I wear that people will notice how good I look apart from that evil mole on my head.. So your self confidence is usually rock bottom and how much can your loved ones save you or defend you.

Have I made you feel bad enough or maybe I should remind you the days when you get a new pimple or a tan and you are desperately trying to get rid of it…. So then tell me why do most people think they were born with the birth right to make fun of people who are overweight or have some physical defect… Isn’t it just another type of racism too?

I am overweight but not obese and I have faced such harsh comments all my life and I continue to but getting older does make you wise and gives you the strength to be happy still… Being good at studies was just the bonus point I have and I used it to get an amazing education that now there are a few people who refrain from making fun of me but it doesn’t stop there….

One of the recent incidents was such that I was friends with a couple and am not anymore for obvious reasons… The guy would constantly make jokes on my body… He had the audacity to tell me that only your boyfriend will accept you the way you are … And you know what I never told him anything.. Not even that he was overweight too or that he had such a big butt that the whole world made fun of it and people in office thought he was gay… I kept quiet not only cause I considered him as a friend but I wouldn’t ever give someone the grief I go through everyday… And when I tried telling his girlfriend my grief… She said to me… You are just incapable of taking jokes on you and because of this you will never have any friends in your life… In reality he has been cheating on her for more than 5 years and she has no clue till date!!!! Guess who is the joke really on???

For a very long time I was brooding over losing this friendship but then I learnt a very important lesson… You do not need people in your life who are constantly trying to demean you… Trust me…they mean no good..only you are getting hurt all the time… I read a very good article last month which was on 15 types of toxic people you should not take with you in 2015… Indeed I am in a much better place with a whole big gang of friends whom I love to the moon and back…

So just a thought… If you are incapable of having a conversation without mentioning the weight, looks or caste of a person.. Then consider yourself as just a literate person and not educated…

Be toxic free…from inside and outside!!!

A Candid Take on Arranged Marriages in India

Getting into the 25 years age group.. there is a lot of talk on weddings and marriages. On my father’s side of the family nearly 90% marriages are love marriages so it was expected out of me to find a suitable guy for myself to whom i can’t marry without their consent so the entire arranged marriage setting drama was avoided since I am already engaged (blushing**)

Recently I heard that a very pretty looking nerd who never even bought a pair of earrings without her mom’s consent got engaged (so arranged marriage was obvious). When I saw the girl’s fiance, tall, dark, above average looks and most importantly a gym goer (which seems to be high on a girls expectation list), I wondered why such a guy couldn’t find a girl for himself. Then due to turn of events, he actually had the audacity to say this to her that “God alone knows how many abortions you might have had”. How dare he??? No wonder his ex girlfriend left him but the pity is that they are still getting married…

Its a well known fact that girls love their parents way more than a guy loves his, so opting for a love marriage is way more difficult for a girl than a guy. So why do guys living in Urban India opt for arranged marriages???

1. Because they can’t get a girl for themselves (Ironically some men can’t even speak to girls but they will give Action Jackson a complex on the first night of their wedding)

2. Because they are mumma’s boys (Read: extremely dominating mothers)

3. Because they are into their family business (No say anyways)

4. Because they aren’t financially independent (Which father will give his daughter’s hand to a guy financially dependent and no family backing)

5. Because they are settled abroad (Basically tried all types of girls but shaadi only to a desi girl, else who will cook Indian food for them??)

6. Because they belong to a repressed society where they think that if a girl has opted for an arranged marriage that means she is untouched (I wonder which world they live in cause I remember even 10 years back when my sister stayed in a hostel during college days, some girls there from small towns went to extremes to have fun saying “Baaki saari zindagi toh ghunghat mein bitani hain” (translation: have to spent the rest of my life under a veil)

Very rarely is it that some seriously good guys get into arranged marriages. I recently attended such a wedding where my fiance’s friend got married to his father’s late friend’s daughter. It was so cute!! The girl was extremely shy not because she was uncomfortable but because she was so overwhelmed with the attention she received. Another such example is that my ex boss got into an arranged marriage with the same girl he was in a relationship for 6 years and his father in law still has no clue after 4 years of marriage… Can you beat that??? hehe…

Yet after all this there are so many mothers of sons complaining that even in an arranged marriage, girls are so demanding and it is impossible to find a suitable girl for their sons which they entirely blame on the girls. Not even once do they look at how their son is. And more importantly why shouldn’t a girl have demands, she has given up the option of falling in love for that!! For God sake the sex ratio in India is 940:1000. She can get which ever guy she wants but still why does a girl opt for an arranged marriage?

1. Respect and love for conservative parents (Obviously who will get into the struggle of convincing parents?)

2. Guaranteed settled life after marriage (Hardly any financial sacrifices… after all why did they quote the expected salary of the guy??)

3. In case of divorce, the onus lies on the parents and not her

4. Any problem in the marriage will become a family discussion (Why break your own head to work things out??)

5. Respect from husbands and their family (They will never know about the hidden skeletons in the closet)

Well by the above i don’t mean to say that all girls are opportunists and all guys are losers but then opting for arranged marriages will continue to baffle me!!! Obviously the success of a marriage does not depend on whether it is arranged or love but then love is equally important in a marriage!!!

For God sake, Nigeria is free from Ebola!!!! – A must read for every Indian staying in Africa and in India

In October, 2014 the World Health Organisation declared Nigeria as Ebola free… but I guess our government does not believe them…

Just 3 days ago the Indian Government issued a new requirement that anyone travelling from the Ebola affected countries are supposed to carry a No-Ebola Certificate while entering India. So my mom had duly acquired the certificate from a doctor but i guess that wasn’t sufficient. So here is how the torture started… my mum boarded Etihad Airways from Lagos via Abu Dhabi to India yesterday… no issues at the Nigerian airport… on Arrival at Abu Dhabi, while screening her ticket the machine started beeping very loudly and immediately my mum was asked to step aside from everyone for questioning and this is when the discrimination started. Her passport was taken away and she was told to sit separately from everyone. This was done to everyone from Nigeria going to India. Their seats were also changed and they were made to sit in the extreme end of the flight. Everyone on the flight referred to them as “Ebola Suspects” ( but behaved more like “Terrorist Suspects”, not funny at all). The flight attendants wore gloves and masks while coming near them which was even restricted. They were served bare minimum different food before the rest of the passengers (not even the meal plans they had paid for). My mom who is diabetic and a high blood pressure patient was denied water and other beverages on several occasions on such a long journey… A separate disposal bag was used to clear the plates and glasses… in fact they were not even cleared for a while… Time and again they asked to stay away from everyone else to the extent that even a separate bus was deployed for the 10 of them from the aircraft to the airport on arrival in India.

In India, they were asked to step aside for medical examination. In this case I am all on for such procedures by the government since by identification of the virus at the root cause itself will help stop the virus from spreading in India but here is where the irony starts. They were made to wait for an hour after the plan landed and finally upon reaching the dispensary they get to know that the Doctor on call is asleep and the airport authorities were told not to wake him up. So in the end these people were not tested at all and were cleared through the immigration.. What the hell???? What was the point in the entire torture when the government wasn’t going to examine them at all???

I completely believe in our Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his reforms but then there should be some amount of check on whether the government authorities are compliant with these rules and regulations!!! I hope by writing this blog, my message is conveyed to the people travelling to India so that they know what they are in for and plus I am definitely going to try and get the authorities aware!!! Such kind of Ignorance is going to affect not only the persons travelling but also puts fellow Indian residents at risk!!! Just imagine if someone actually with the virus goes undetected……..