Good thing you cry

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I often find myself in awe of people who can face harsh situations without shedding a drop of tear. The max some people do is, take a deep breath, quiver the lips, resist crying and move on. They can take anything on their face; insult, anger, hurtfulness, and not a drop of tear. I really admire such people and I feel they are far stronger than I can ever be. They have complete control over their emotions and nothing can let them down.

I am an emotional freak. I can cry almost about anything. I get totally overwhelmed by a touching good deed, and that need not be done for me. I can also cry over a hurtful thing. I am emotional and criminally so. I have learned to accept that thing about me as a part of my nature. Yes, I cry a lot. Heck I cry looking at commercials of emotional nature. I think ‘Power of Dad’ by Oral-B that I saw recently was the latest one that made me teary eyed. So, we have established the fact that I can cry at the drop of a hat.

Honestly, I like that I can cry so easily.

Many a times, when I have not had people around to talk about somethings, I have reached my innermost self and talked to it while crying. I have calmed myself down and pull myself up after a good crying session. I have become very close to, and aware of my emotions by doing so. Sometimes, I wonder how people who don’t cry often handle such situations.

Well, I am comfortable with my crying habit but people around me might not be. Some people immediately try to stop you from crying. Tell you jokes or say that what’s done is done, no need to cry etc., I feel there is a need to cry whenever you feel like it. Crying in front of people or alone is your choice and convenience. Trying to stop crying has never helped me. But for the sake of people who are putting in efforts to make you feel better you can at least just hold back your tears.

Does that mean you should be ashamed of it? Does that mean you are troubling people by your crying? Does that mean you are not strong? I do not have answers to these but crying certainly helps me. Tears are my best friend in sad times like books are my best friends in leisure. I have cried on birthday surprises, unexpected gifts, small little whatsapp pings lately and of course, on sad little big things. To be who I am and being deeply touched by things around me is but human. How I react to it is my choice and nature. If you feel like crying reading this blog (or laughing at my justifications) go ahead. You are too but a human.

Rape ke liye phaansi dena galat hai – Mulayam Singh Yadav

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I was shocked. I am never speechless but I was stunned by this derogatory statement made by Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Election campaigns are in full swing. There are politicians targeting women’s vote bank by promising them to provide better security. And among all this Mulayam Singh Yadav takes us all by storm. He said that he does not support the death sentence for rape convicts. He stated, “Rape ke liye phaansi dena galat hai. Ladkon se galti ho jaati hai, hum satta mein aaye to kanoon mein badlav karenge.” That means, “Boys err. You do not have have to give them death sentence. If I come to power, I will change this”

Is he on drugs? What is he trying to prove? What vote bank is he targeting? Rapists are in plenty and I hope they are not more than the women in this country. He has definitely lost that vote bank for him and his party.

I think one should make him experience what kind of heinous crime rape is. These politicians won’t know what they are talking until then.

Love Marriage vs Arranged Marriage – Indian Women’s Dilemma

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This tug of war has been in India for ages. Thanks to Bollywood movies of 80s and 90s there has been some change in people’s mindset. The typical story of a girl and a boy falling in love and parents’ refusal due to age old hostility between two families or the economical background or just because it is a love marriage. Bollywood movies have made Indians more acceptable of marriage outside caste as well.

Yet, today every girl who is of ‘marriageable age’ has this question. Love marriage or Arranged marriage?

I am a working woman in her mid 20s and I have a bunch of single lady friends about the same age currently pondering upon the same thing. Some who already are in love know what they want but they fear to tell their parents about it. Some are really hassled thinking what would be a good choice. There is no real data here. It is about human emotions, feelings and willing to compromise and adjust with their partners. So what do women really choose? And on what basis? Also, there is this pressure when people say “When are going to get married?” It doesn’t leave you with enough time to think. You are managing your life in a city and there is constant buzz in your house about when is this girl going to settle. The thing is, women don’t really have a choice sometimes.

How much ever you want to avoid the marriage topic it will come back. And every time with added frustration. Worse is a situation where, ‘When are you getting married?” actually means, “Do you want a love marriage or arranged?” How does one decide? Love just happens, no? You don’t decide to fall in love. And if you do want a love marriage, you have someone in mind, they think you are just too young to decide who want to spend the rest of your life with. What happened to democracy? Hehehe.. That’s too much. But girls will agree with me.

Let’s see some facts- Although you do not fall in love based on data let us see some figures around arranged marriage that UNICEF had published some time ago.

Global divorce rate for arranged  marriage – 6%

Divorce rate in India – 1.1%

Am I trying to say that arranged marriage works? Am I trying to say that a match found for you by your parents can’t be wrong? Not really. But I am also not saying that all arranged marriages are forced. A lot of them are just meant to be. They find love after marriage or maybe in between their engagement and marriage. I am also not saying that love marriages don’t work. Two people who have decided to love each other, support each other can live happily together without any hassles.

The Big Question! The question still remains. Love or Arranged? Have anyone of you been able to answer this with conviction? Let me try and attempt to justify my choice here. I would prefer an arranged marriage. Why not? As an Indian woman, I have grown up with values and discipline that puts this thing in our psyche that if you are falling in love, you are breaking the rules. Culturally, I would not be accepted if I choose a path that is not meant to take. Does that mean I will blindly walk on the path I am pushed on? No.

Today, even in arranged marriages, women have a right to say no. All that the parents are expecting is that we see guys whose background they have already checked. For nothing but security. I do not have to marry the first guy who walks in with a party hat. You can have a balance of both, emotional needs and security. Indian women today have a choice of refusing the prospects on any grounds. So boys, beware!

I know a couple of friends who are rejecting guys for things like he doesn’t have a car, he is not settled in US, he is too tall, too short, too fair, too dark etc etc.  and god knows what all. It might sound bizarre. No one is perfect right? But since women these days are so qualified that they can’t compromise on somethings.

All I am trying to say here is. You can marry the first or hundred and first person you meet. Your parents are and will be worried about you. They might expect a lot of things from you as a grown up but you are their child, for life. If they are letting you choose from whatever prospect list they have, why not give it a try? You might just fall in love with someone there. As for people already in love, girls I am with you too! After all, the choice is ours.

Summer is here! Tips to beat the heat.

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vibhanayak:

Reblogging: Just because it makes sense to read now!

Originally posted on Matter of Opinion:

Summer is finally here. It is time to take out your Scarf, cap and sunscreen. Seems summers in Mumbai have started a bit too early and heat is already getting onto me. Although, I am not the cautious kinds, I find a desperate need to follow some tips to keep myself away from heat. No matter where you live in Mumbai, the energy crunch will affect you all summer. The most important thing is to do is to listen to your body.

Here are a few tips to stay hydrated and cool.

1)    Rest Periodically: If your work demands you to travel then take sufficient rest under the tree-shade or at any such cooler places. This will keep you relaxed and hydrated. Once you feel alright and recharged, you may carry on.

2)    Change Your Wardrobe: It is important that you dress in the light coloured clothes in…

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Overcoming self-destructive beliefs

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Recently, I mentioned to someone that I have a bunch of friends who call me only when they need me. I am fine with that but I would appreciate if they are there for me when I need them. Anyway, constant calls from friends due to depression, stress, anger or disappointment has led me to believe that everyone has these thoughts. Some overcome it easily because of the strength of their character, their nature or their efforts.

Some, unfortunately, need to be calmed down by someone. There are a few common thoughts I have observed that I feel are self destructive. I am not a psychologist so I do not have solutions. I am listing them so that it might just help you take that first step; realisation. If you are having these thoughts and do not have someone to calm you down then read ahead. Just see if you have these following self-destructive beliefs -

1) I simply can’t do it – Not my piece of cake, it is so difficult, I don’t know enough to get it right, I simply can’t do it. Do you have these thoughts often? Also, do you say this about others? He/she can do it better or he/she is lucky.

I was a very active kid in school but I did not used to excel in everything I used to do. I sucked at sports, I failed my scholarship, I was really bad at public speaking and very average in studies but I do not know anyone who remembers that about me. All they remember is how I used to participate in every activity, whether I can do it or can’t do. Optimism can lead you to try anything. I was 4 ft tall, might have weighed 45 kgs or so, and I have tried high jump! Did I fail? Big time! Who cares now though? One simply can’t do everything. And everybody has this thought. You are not alone. But can you overcome it? Sure. Just give it a try. That’s all you need to do.

2) I am not good enough – Who decides this? How much is really enough to do something? I can make good enough tea. My mother can make brilliant tea. My friend can make just- about- drinkable tea.

You have some thoughts, I have some ideas. We all have dreams. Something always holds us back. Our disbelief in ourselves. I am not good enough. Believe me it is never enough. Everything has a scope for improvement. You might feel you are not contributing enough at your workplace, at home, towards your friends etc., I still feel my writing is not good enough. And I am 70 blogs up!

Nothing is easy. We all learn to be good with practice and consistent effort. It is okay to feel you are not good enough YET. Remember the last word. Yet. That means you will get there. Keep doing it again and again. You will get there.

3) What will others think? - What if people laugh at my ideas? What if people judge me by my blog? What if people think I am pervert just because I read thriller erotica?

Do you fear the worst while doing something new? We give a lot of importance to what others think. We, humans are very lenient with ourselves. If we concentrate on what we think about our failure than what others think about it, it will be less disappointing. Don’t you forgive yourself easier than you forgive others?

The only way to overcome this is to stop thinking what people will say. Go with your gut feeling. You might still fail but you will overcome the shock of failure faster if you block out others.  Remember, everybody fails some time or the other. You just need to handle it better by going easy on yourself and concentrating what you want to do next.

4) I am all alone – Do you get this feeling that everyone is against you? Do you hate popular people? Is everyone always good to some people? You are clearly not one of them, now are you?

What makes this feeling worse is that people expect you to be happy, cheerful and chatty all the time. Our society also pushes us to be a social person. We feel that if we do not have friends to talk to we are alone in this world. I feel left out a lot of times. I do not have a huge bunch of good friends even though I am kind of popular.

A change in my mindset has helped me overcome this. I have taken up hobbies and have learned to entertain myself. And we also feel that only other people can make you feel not-alone. Pets, hobbies, books, music could also make you feel occupied and happy. I started reading books only at the age of 22 yrs. Why? Because I was feeling alone. I have coped up quite well.

Everybody feels alone sometime but we need to find a way out. Find what suits you. Try to identify your true friends. Don’t find any? No one can be your better friend than yourself.

I know it is not easy. But who is in rush anyway? We take so much of effort to become comfortable with others. Why don’t we try to become comfortable with ourselves? I am not asking anyone to become non-social. And my ideas are not a guide to become more acceptable. Just saying, that fall in love with yourself. People will love you eventually.

Why I love Calvin and Hobbes?

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I love Calvin and Hobbes . I think it has remained one of the most adorable comic strips of our time. The six year old notorious kid talking to a stuffed Tiger, Hobbes, is just cute. He doesn’t just discuss the things around him; the six year old often talks about the meaning of life. His adventures and mischievousness was of stuff of legend. The creator, Bill Watterson, created over 3000 strips and then refused to sell the license. Mr. Watterson, I know where Calvin and Hobbes get their ideas from.

Bill was clearly a great observer. I used to look for the comic strip pages on Sundays initially for that 3-4 block strip. Then newspapers made it a daily listing on one of the lifestyle supplements. Today I go to gocomics.com to read Calvin and Hobbes. For 30 secs you are in a happy place. Bill had this ability to get into deeper meanings of life yet expressing it in a light-hearted way through Calvin and more mature way through Hobbes. Calvin had this amazing view of this world that only he can think of. Unending world of Utopia that is like magic!

I have heard there’s going to be a movie or is it in already? But the magic this comic strip used to create has bonded a whole generation. We have learned about life, happiness, sorrow, importance of friendship and most of all, the power of our imagination.

There are more reasons for liking the comic strip than discovering the meaning of life. Here’s a few-

The tree house club-

The conversations Calvin and Hobbes used to have in the tree house has had me laughing out loud. The way Hobbes was a ladies’ tiger and how Calvin used to gross out by the girls is unforgettable. Hobbes being a stuffed tiger, that is an alter ego of Calvin himself, is so suave at times. Yet they used to end up arguing and fighting over issues.

Calvin Imagination -

He would sit on a plank and imagine it to be a plane. He would throw mud and imagine it to be snow. His idea of imagining the stuffed toy as a real tiger is so cool. There have been strips where he has imagined his mother or himself to be a dinosaur. He was a super-hero at times. And my favourite was changing-into-some-other-animal-machine. I cannot imagine how someone can imagine like this. Still adore it.

The Expressions -

Do you remember the ”blech!” face when he gets served something healthy at the dinner table? Do you remember Hobbes’s mile-wide grin when he gets a kiss from Susie? All those expressions just did not need any dialogues.

I can say it is still my favourite strip followed by Garfield. I wish our next generation get to see more strips like this and keep inspiring more kids.

My very first fish curry

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vibhanayak:

My other side of life that I will live more often now. Cooking. My first fish curry. Hope you guys like it.

Originally posted on There is a Mad Cow in my Kitchen!:

I visited a fish market today after 20 years. I remember I had gone to one when we used to stay in Lalbag. I might have been 4 yrs old. I have a very vague memory of the place. All I remember is the fish stink.

Anyway, I accompanied my father today to the fish market. I am sort of ashamed to say that I did behave like a 4 yr old kid. I was just curious to know what fish is called what and was really excited to have guessed a few of them right myself. We selected some fresh and local fishes called ‘Thapi’ and ‘Lepi’. Nobody might have heard about it but what the heck, I have never made fish curry in my life either.

I have had non-vegetarian food all my life but never felt like cooking it. I was a little scared and skeptical thinking what if…

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