And Just Like That..

… It’s been a year. One whole year of LoudThoughtsVoicedOut… I still can’t believe it.

The first time I ever read a blog, I was 16. I was fascinated with the concept. The fact that people read what some stranger would write was so interesting to me. I didn’t want to start one then. Because “Seriously Poornima, let’s get realistic. Who’s going to read what you write? NOBODY ! That’s who. Don’t embarrass yourself like this. It’s pointless. Go read something.” And that side of my brain won the argument.

When I was in school, there was this particular friend who encouraged me. Kept telling me that I should write for a living. That  writing is my calling. I’d like to thank her first for believing in the words I wrote when I didn’t think they mattered at all.

I gave in at 18. I started a blog. But what would I write about? My everyday life? Hmm. Let me think – I woke up. I ate breakfast. I hung out with friends. Dad and I talked about universities in Singapore. I ate again. I slept. – If that doesn’t make for an interesting blog, I don’t know what will. I don’t even remember what that blog’s name was.

A friend of mine writes blogs and I could relate to them so much. I enjoyed reading them and I always thought if I ever tried again, I want to write about something that people could relate to. The kind of things that would make the readers go “Oh yeah. I know that feeling.”

Last year, my best friend from university came to visit me. We went out for a ‘fun night out’. My idea of fun was never a party or a club and it became undeniably clear the night of November 8, 2013. So I just sat there and observed the difference between the crowd that had fun and the crowd that got wasted and used. It sparked a thought in me that I couldn’t push away.

It was 6 in the morning when I got home and even after a long nap, my head was stuck with how ridiculous the world of clubbing had gotten. How fun was no longer fun. The peer pressure to drink more. I still cannot get over it.

One thing I’ve learnt to do over the past few years is that when my mind refuses to shut up, I write about it. I didn’t have a journal. I just wrote on anything I found and it could get trashed and I didn’t care. I just needed an outlet, that was all. But this experience was different. That night – the most gorgeous view of my city, the best of friends and yet, instead of enjoying that, people were drowning themselves in alcohol. This deserved more than a scrappy paper. There surely had to be someone, somewhere that felt the same way.

Ladies and Gentleman, the most incredible blog of the season – Clubbing – A sober choice? Or a social need? I thought it would go off the roof. Everyone would love it and I was going to be blogging sensation. I had one visitor and one view.  Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day. But, I got excited and though it was supposed to be an anonymous blog, I had my closest friends read it.

I will be honest here – when I started this blog, I told myself, “If you do this for one year, and you have 10 followers at the end of the year, you’ve achieved something.” Today, there’s more than 400 of you reading what I write, giving me such positive comments and feedback and I can’t thank you enough.

I’ve said this over and over again – I was miserable when I started doing this. But this blog and the comments you all write has gotten me through so much. Like yesterday, when all I could do was cry, someone commented something nice and I smiled. So many of you have shared your struggles with me and you have given me hope, courage and wisdom. I mean, I’ve even learnt new words. Thank you.

This blog has gotten the man that said “You will not pick writing as a career” to say “There’s ways to make a writing career work.” (Totally you, Dad)

So, Thank you, Thank you and Thank you so so so much.

These are some of my favorite posts over the past year :

Fear | What are you afraid of?


Homosexuality – Love in its purest form : Illegal

Way Too Much Sex, Everywhere !

The Woman I Admire The Most | A Dedication

“I’m Not A Girl Anymore..”

Trust In Time

I am going to kick off my second year with a post I’ve been working on for months now. So until next week.. 🙂


It’s One Of Those Weeks

I’ve tried and tried for the past three days and I’m just having one of the longest writer’s blocks I’ve had in years. I’ve written a first sentence twenty times and I can’t get my thoughts to flow. So this post you’re about to read is called “Unanswered questions of the curious mind”. A long time ago, I wrote this post on the Notes section on Facebook.

Difficult times give you the need to believe in something and I am no longer an atheist (not very spiritual either) but this is a pretty good look into my teenage version’s brain. So, here goes :

Unanswered Questions of the Curious Mind – January 1, 2011

I was at the temple with my dad this evening. Considering how it’s New year and there are very few temples around this area, it was extremely crowded. I being the person who doesn’t pray was looking around. If there were approximately 100 people, I saw 70 of them with eyes closed, praying like there was no tomorrow. I thought, does God answer every single prayer? That was when I remembered, someone told me, We are all God’s puppets. If God is making us do the things we do, then why do we put ourselves in a situation where we need such desperate help from the unknown power?

I remember the times when my mother told me, Pray to God before you go for your exams. How does that help? He helps me in writing my exam better? If God was going to help me, why did I have to study? Why not play more?

I saw in front of a church,’ God answers all prayers.’ If he does, why the war widows? Why not let a happy family be a happy family? Why the infinite amounts of orphans? I could swear, most of their parents died during a happy period.

Why the number of families who commit suicide?

I’ve heard stories that said “Lord Shiva is the God of death.” Really? So how come Yamadharma exists?

I tell my sister a story, and the tenth person who hears it, hears a completely different one. We’re the hundredth generation. What makes everybody think the story is true?

They just found the place Krishna lived in, underwater. Where is he now? Heavens? How did he go there?

Who told us about heavens and hell?

Psychiatrists can prove through hypnotism that people see a light when they die, that they see souls and a soul master who can predict the future. Is that God? Which God is he?

5th grade History text book says, Man came from monkeys. Were Adam and Eve monkeys?

Who were early men? God had kids. God had clothes. So Adam and Eve came into existence before God?

In that case, Who put them here? If you tell me that the story of Adam and Eve is just a fantasy, how can you believe that the story of God isn’t ?!

Who has seen God? Who saw the way they dressed?

Ramayana was written by Valmiki said my comic book.

How about the other stories? Who wrote them? Who saw them? Which of them is still alive to prove it?

I saw David Blaine’s magic on tv yesterday. He survived doing the kind of magic, most people would die doing. Is he God? Does he have supernatural powers? How?

A confused soul I may be. But if one person can answer every one of my questions with proof, I’ll believe that God existed.

Yet again, this was written a long time ago and I don’t really agree with all of it right now, but I find it interesting that I would have given something like this so much thought because over the years, I’ve developed a very “don’t know, don’t care” attitude towards these questions.

Anyway, I’m going to find a way to fix my writer’s block. Until then, have a good week ahead of you 😀

To The Man I’ll Marry

When I was a teenager, I wanted that crazy love that makes your heart beat faster. When your brain stops working and in a room filled with people, you have eyes for that one person and only him. The cheesy kind with love letters and framed pictures. A love story that beats all odds.

I’m 22 now. I’m sitting in my room, staring out the window every other minute as I type this and I’m feeling rather confused. There are two kinds of people in my life today – The helplessly single & The hopelessly in love. I feel lost amongst them both. I feel lost in general. Maybe I know you now. But I can’t wait to meet you. To smile at you and know in my heart ‘This is it. I’m done looking.’ But there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to meet you right away. My life is too still and directionless that I’m afraid I’ll lose you when it begins to move again.

But then there’s this little voice in my head. The one that wishes we never meet. Abnormal for a fairytale believer but..

People teach you things in life. They teach you how to cook, clean, pay bills, do taxes. People teach you simple, unimportant things in life. But when you ask someone to teach you how to make a marriage work, nothing makes sense. Because that’s what I want. A marriage. Not a big, fat wedding. But a happy and healthy marriage. Something I’ve never seen before.

I grew up around dysfunctional families and broken marriages. Even the happiest of couples get bored with each other and there is not a day in my life when I’m not terrified we’ll end up like them.

I still remember the time when marriage was simply a concept I could day dream about. Today, everything feels realistic. Two years from now, I won’t have a choice if I prayed for it and I hope that’s not how I end up meeting you. I wouldn’t like you, wouldn’t love you enough because you will become the walking reminder that my parents won the unspoken battle I’ve been fighting with them for years, thanks to you.

I will warn you now, I’m not going to be the picture perfect wife. If I’m promising you otherwise, I’m lying to try and impress you. I’m lazy. I like sleeping in, hate cooking, have zero patience for anyone and anything, get lost in my own thoughts, cry in my sleep and get restless after mid-day naps. I complain about the smallest of things and I truly believe that I am always, always right. Any rule I come up with doesn’t apply for me. I talk in circles, nonstop. I sing out loud in a flat voice and speak in an Italian accent to my dog. I crack lame jokes. But I’m also unbelievably sensitive. Hurting me is very easy because when I care, I really care like a kid in kindergarten because I had to grow up too fast and I enjoy being a child when I can.

I don’t know what I’ve told you and what I’m not supposed to tell you. I don’t know if you’ve told me everything about yourself and the truth is, I don’t want to know everything. I don’t want to know about your hot, psycho ex-girlfriend or your drunken mistakes or the girl who broke your heart in high school. But I don’t want to miss out on stories about university and your childhood. I’ll smile when you tell me you miss them and I’ll hold your hand as you frown because you’re not PeterPan.

If I haven’t told you this, I’m trying not to freak you out – I’ve imagined our lives for a long time. I’ve imagined the normality of it. When I see an old couple in love, I’ve imagined us turning into them one day. I don’t know what we’re going to do about kids. I try not to think of that. But I’m sure when we get there, you’ll be the better parent. Please don’t hate me for that.

When they grow up, let’s be those parents our kids are super embarrassed of. The ones that never fall out of love. Let’s always have a smile for each other. The thought of you will always make me blush. Even if I live to be 100.

When you’re talking to my dad, don’t make fake promises. Don’t tell him you’ll never make me cry, you will. Don’t tell him you’ll treat me like a princess, it’s literally impossible. Don’t tell him we’ll never fight, we really will. Like crazy people. So when he asks you to take care of me, promise him this – Promise him that when the going gets tough, you’ll stand by me. Promise him that when I cry, you’ll be there with a box of tissues laughing at my horrible crying-face. Promise him you’ll never say no for an ice-cream run in the middle of the night just because. Promise him that we won’t have a prenup because what kind of a person gets into a marriage with even a sliver of doubt that it might end someday? And promise me this – No matter what happens, good or bad, we’ll figure it out.. together.

Because if you’re reading this, I promise, I’m going to give this my best and try to keep you happy. If you’re reading this, I swear, I’ll always remember that there’s two people with hopes and dreams, not just me. If you’re reading this, I’ve spent hours trying to find this post for you because I want you to know. And if you’re reading this, I’m not going to run out on our wedding because..

When you’re reading this, I am hopelessly in love with you.

A Chance To Dream

Last Monday, my father and I had a conversation about people struggling to chase their dreams. ‘Opportunities are created, not handed.’ But exactly how true is that statement if some of us don’t even get a shot at creating an opportunity?

On Tuesday, I went to see a movie with my friend. I’ll admit – I cry at movies. But surprisingly, I didn’t cry during this movie, I cried an hour after I reached home. The movie was called Jeeva. The story of a boy who dares to dream; the typical parent that says he can’t do it and a society that thrashes him for trying. As it was a movie, there were way too many nice people but that isn’t the case for everyone.

I am privileged to have parents that sent me to school. I am privileged to have parents that don’t depend on my earnings to put food on the plate. I am blessed to have parents that said “Ok. You can chase your dream. If you fall, know I’ll pick you up and push you forward again.” So many would kill for this life..

“Mahendra Singh Dhoni” – MSD – Captain of the Indian Cricket Team. I say his name with pride because I love him as a player. But there is a kid in my city, about 11-12 years old. When you ask him to say that name he will say it the way we say our deity’s name. With respect, energy and power. Because the man that is nothing but a cricket player in my eyes is that little kid’s idol. MSD is everything that kid aspires to be. MSD is the reason that kid wakes up at 5a.m and rushes to the beach with a bat in his hand to play the game he hopes to one day play for a living. MSD is the man that kid hopes to one day be.

And I don’t want to be the one to tell him that the dream he dares to dream of every night, the passion he feels when he lifts that bat, the joy he feels when playing – it’s not going to last forever. Because there will come a day in his life when he will stand in front of his parents and say – “I don’t want to get a job. I want to be a cricketer. This is my dream.” and his “practical” and “logical” parents will tell him “That is the most ridiculous thing we have ever heard !”
“But I want to be like MS Dhoni !”
“You’re not MS Dhoni. You go get a job and make a living for yourself. Be practical.”
“This is what makes me happy.”
“Happiness. You think if I’d chosen to be ‘happy’ you would have had the opportunity to stand here and argue with me? Go to those placement interviews. Get a job.”

His parents are not wrong. Every parent across the world struggles to raise a kid. To put them through school and university. To get their feet on the ground and have them move forward. It is never easy to watch your child make a career choice that might end in utter disaster. But that is the problem.

I meet a lot of people. When they tell me what they do for a living, I always ask – Is this what you want to be doing? The answer is always yes. So I ask again, “But if you could turn back time, you’re 19. You can pick any career you want to. Nobody depends on you. Is this what you would want to be doing?” I watch that person squirm and ask to talk about something else or tell me “It’s irrelevant to be talking about now.” But why does the next person not have the right to chase his dream?

Parents are taught to ‘let go’ of their kids after a certain age. ‘They can take care of themselves now. It’s ok to let go.’ I have watched my parents struggle with the concept. To them I will always be their little girl. But they took the chance.

I am not the next JK Rowling. I am not writing the next New York Times bestseller. But I know. I know the joy of sitting in a class and studying exactly what I wanted to. I know the joy of being able to excel in it because I loved it so much. I know the pain, the sleepless nights, the non-stop tears and the broken heart when I had to make the decision to drop out and give up on something I loved. And today, I know the peacefulness I feel deep inside me every time I sit in front of this computer and begin to type. I know the joy and the emotions in me when I write the title to this post because it may not be a publishing house, but I at least have a platform to do what I love.

One of my favorite quotes in life – “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” I’m fully aware that people might be suicidal when their dreams crash. Not everyone is strong inside. And I don’t have an answer when someone asks me “What if I let him/her do what they want and find them used and dead?” But I want you to take one second to think to yourself, “What if they came out with flying colors?” Precautionary behavior is never wrong, but telling them they can never make it, is.

That kid’s parents are not wrong. But they’re not right. He is not MSD. He will never be. But you know what they failed to think of? Yes he might fail, miserably. Or ten years later there will be a writer sitting on her bed in tears as she writes..

There is this kid in my city, about 11-12 years old. When you ask him to say the name, he will say it with respect, energy and power because.. that man, that man whose parents let him chase his dreams, that man is everything this kid aspires to be..

“Every child has a dream and every dream deserves a chance”

Rumor Has It..

Those three words – they make a man, they break a man. They change lives forever. They bring people together, they tear couples apart. They make criminals out of common men. Those three words – Hollywood thrives on it. High school students crave for it. Adults are all ears about it. Because haven’t you heard?

“You’re nobody until you’re talked about”

The celebrities are fighting for a new law that states paparazzi cannot take pictures of their children. They’ve got it wrong. The paparazzi wouldn’t be there if some idiot on 5th avenue on his way to work didn’t look at a magazine that says “Ben Affleck’s family goes walking” and immediately fishes out $2 so he can read about it. In a way, doesn’t that feel creepy – that you would pay $2 of your hard-earned money to read about a family walking around the block? That you crave to look at pictures of them and read about their everyday activities?

When the media builds someone, they ensure that this person has always got the spotlight. When it vanishes, that person will do anything to bring that attention back. As a result of all this, we young adults have half-naked TV Awards, full naked music videos and the reigning queen’s photoshopped thigh gap. When someone posts a photo of themselves with another celebrity in a  sexy manner, they spark rumors. “Is she dating him?” “Are they together?” And just like that, they’ve made news again.

Imagine you’re a kid in high school and nobody knows you, nobody talks to you but everybody knows her. There’s two ways to change that. Start a rumor about you so it would put you on the map. Start a rumor about her so it would take her off of it. Where does that kid learn this trick from?

The parent that sits at home and gossips about one friend to another. “Did you hear she got a nose job?” Why do you care if she did?

I moved to a new house a few years ago. Every time I walked into that house, people knew. Every time I walked out, they knew. They knew the people that came to visit. They knew what we were doing. Even weirder when the landlord, who lived five miles away, turned up exactly five minutes after we got there because someone had called her. When I moved out of there, I informed her that her “contacts” could be sued for stalking and invasion of privacy. She smiled and said “People just talk. It’s gossip and rumors. Ignore it.” But why should I?

This is something that has bothered me for a long time now and I’m just going to put this out there in the universe for someone to answer – Why is it so difficult for one human being to not care what the next one does? Whether on a bus or a train, when walking on the streets, when living in the same block, when picking up a gossip magazine – why? If you have a lot of time on your hands, join a class. If you don’t have the money, teach one. Go walk around your city, pick up a new habit. Why does one feel the need to read about another person – rumor or real – and then comment on it and spread it around?

Because this is the truth – if you’re not hearing something from the source, you can be very sure it’s either false or exaggerated. If I told someone that we found a 2ft long snake in my apartment building, the third person that hears it will hear – “Did you know? There was a 5ft long snake in her apartment and apparently it was hissing at everyone. It almost attacked a security guard. They couldn’t even control it. I heard it was such a fuss. Such a pity. Such a nice building, yet no safety.” All I ever said was “There was a 2ft long snake in my apartment building.”

With so many different types of social media, the world is shrinking. And as more people allow strangers a sneak-peak into their worlds and into their minds through pictures, messages and blogs, it is very difficult to know where the line of privacy is drawn. But anything you say will turn into a bigger story five people down and that fifth version is what we call “A Rumor” ..

It is fake, it is made up and yet, so unbelievably juicy. It is an individual’s responsibility to check with the source before spreading it around. If the source is unreachable, then maybe it’s time to put a stop to that story.

There are, of course, times when the source is lying to look cool. These are the times when you have to trust your own judgement. These are the times when you have to decide if you want to be the person that has the juiciest story or the one that does the right thing.

When we say we heard a rumor, it feels like such a petty thing. But I assure you, it’s not. I’m pretty sure 7 out of 10 rumors ruin lives. They change the person and not always for good. Any rumor about me would make me close up and go completely anti-social. Some rumors put people through mental trauma. Regular people like you and me have committed suicide because of rumors. So think twice before you click on that website to read about her new boob job. Think twice before you pick up that phone and talk about that secret you heard. Think twice before you make up a story to look cool. Always remember, if they’re gossiping to you, they’re gossiping about you.

And oh ! I can’t believe I almost forgot to tell you. I just heard that rumor has it

What Does The Label Read ?

Remember walking into a store and looking around when you find the perfect pair of shoes? You pick it up, turn it around and read the label. You put it back down because it’s way too expensive. You mentally think it needs to be cheaper but that does not mean you suddenly think the shoes are ugly. They’re still perfect but just not what you would choose for yourself. So you walk away. You don’t stand there and scream. You don’t rally outside the store. You don’t hold placards and demand a law against the price. You definitely don’t send the store owner hate mails and death threats.

There was this couple. They met in high school. Shared an apartment in college. A few years after graduation, they got engaged. The guy got diagnosed with cancer shortly after. They stuck together through it and after he’d won the battle, they got married. They couldn’t have a kid, so they adopted one. Their love story has inspired many in their town. It was the kind of love we dream of. The kind we read of. The big, fancy, whole-hearted love that makes your heart melt. But that love came with a label – Gay.

He was perfect. I was at a point in my life where I didn’t really want to be caught in a relationship. So was he. We were compatible and he could have very well been The One. But every time we talked I wanted him to say the word. I kept thinking ‘What will the world say about me if he didn’t give me that title? Won’t they judge me?’ I ruined what could have been an incredible thing by waiting for a label – Girlfriend.

He hit her everyday. He abused her. Physically. Mentally. She was in pain all day, everyday. But she tried to make it work. She believed she can change him. For years she put up with trauma while hoping that her life will get better. One fine day, she couldn’t take it anymore. She made the decision to leave. She wanted a brand new start. But people looked down on her. Guys thought twice before dating her. They didn’t know her story. They just knew the label – Divorcee.

He knew who he was. He’s known it since the day he was born. His parents had difficulty accepting him. He struggled as he grew up. He tried to get society to accept him for who he was. A society that looked at his body and not his mind. A society that was confused because he didn’t look the part he was playing. So they tried to convince him. To change him. When they couldn’t, they simply gave him a label – Transgender.

Ugly. Pretty. Hindu. Muslim. American. Indian. Fat. Thin. Well-dressed. Shabby.

We are surrounded by labels. We label every person we see on the street. We label our friends, our relatives. Some of us have said to ourselves, “I don’t care for the label. I just want to be.” But peer pressure changes that. Social standards gives us the need to be labelled.

I knew a girl who captioned her wedding picture – “I’m a wife !” Ok.. So what ?! Did you love him any less yesterday? Do you now plan to wear sweatpants for the rest of your life?

I get it when someone says “We’re married !” It is a beautiful thing. I do believe a relationship changes after marriage. It is somehow more special in an unexplainable way. But it bothers me when the first thing someone wants to flaunt about it is the label.

If you’ve been around for a while, you know that I very strongly believe “Love is love.” Have you seen certain people at a wedding – they cry when they hear the vows? When the rings are exchanged? When the promises are made? Have you seen the exact same person stand out on the street and chant “Say no to homo” ? So what were the tears of joy at the wedding for? The bride’s dress? The groom’s tux? The flower girl’s hair? If it was at the sight of true love, then why does it have to change with the label?

Every war has two sides. Both sides with children and elderly. But we don’t see that. We don’t think “That child is just like any other child.” We just go with the label. What if we stopped doing that? What if we took that label away?

When you disagree with the label you see at the store, you walk away. Why can’t you do that with people? So he’s fat. She’s black. They’re gay. Why does that change the way you look at that person? And if we are so desperate to put a label for every person we see on the street, here’s the easiest one – Human Being. Everyone deserves to be treated the same way. Every love deserves a chance. Every darkness deserves a dawn. And if you still feel an undying need to judge someone and label them, I advise you to start with the person in the mirror.

So go on. Go stare at the mirror. Look deep into their eyes. Feel their emotions. Understand their love. Remember their path. And while you’re at it, tell me – What does the label read ?

Every Birthday A New Beginning ?

The only thing worse than a New Year’s resolution is a Birthday resolution.

We have all faced the Moment of Truth – The ‘What am I doing with my life’ moment – when you compare where you wanted to be with where you are and then make a whole bunch of resolutions for the year ahead that you know deep inside your heart you will not follow.

“You’re a year older now. You have to be more responsible.” Every time I hear that, I feel the need to reply “I’m only a day older than I was yesterday. No hurry here.” But nobody ever thinks of it in quite that manner. It’s always a year older.

I had goals. A list of things to do before I turned 21. I’m 22 now and I’ve done close to nothing on that list. That does not mean I’ve failed. It simply means my priorities have changed. It means that I’ve learnt to differentiate between my wants and my needs; my desires and my dreams.

Someone called me on my birthday and asked, “So, what have you done with 22 years?” To her I said, “Nothing.” But then I asked myself that question – What have I done in 22 years?

We all have answers to such questions. Simple ones. There are people that have become internet sensations. There are the musicians with Grammy nominations. The ones that almost cured cancer. So what have I done?

The most important thing to realize when you ask yourself this question is that you don’t have to win a Grammy to prove a point. For some of us, getting through the day is a form of success. The first five years of my life, I learnt to behave like a human – it is an achievement when you realize the world is now called a concrete jungle. I’m not an animal. I’m human and I behave like one.

The second five years of my life, I understood the dynamics and working of a dysfunctional family. The third five years of my life I made mistakes that arose from being a rebellious teenager. The next five I spent making amends and fixing the relationships I’d damaged during the previous five. And now..

The fifth five – 20 to 25 – I am figuring out who I am. I am learning to accept myself no matter what the world says. I may not be an internet sensation, I may not be the next Beyonce and I sure as hell ain’t curing cancer. I’m not going to find my knight in shining armor and you will not see my name on T.I.M.E’s 100 most inspiring list. But I have achieved something in 22 years that many people I know live a lifetime not knowing – I get to wake up in the morning, look at myself in the mirror and smile.

Do you remember the days when our teachers used to give us a deadline for homework? Kids are supposed to love everything in life. But I don’t remember the last time a kid loved a deadline. What makes you think it changes when you grow up? How can you set a deadline for your life and expect to follow it when you can’t remember the last time you wanted to?

Most of us have the privilege of not knowing when we die just so we don’t live hating life. So why do we insist on doing this to ourselves year after year?

You will always be older than you were. But you will never be younger than you are. So maybe it’s time to stop making lists. And just live.

My birthday is not a new beginning. My lists no longer exist. I refuse to force myself to grow up and mature into a world that calls itself a concrete jungle. So instead of setting a deadline, let me make a confession :

I am a 22-year-old adult that likes scribbling on walls, hates chocolates, enjoys dressing up, loves Barbie dolls, has exactly 11 best friends and is the laziest person I know. My achievement is my ability to put up with all the crap the world gives me because they do not understand how someone can be happy being who they are and not give into what the society believes a 22-year-old should be like. My success is not defined by the awards in my room. It is defined by the people that love me for who I am. So it’s sappy and cheesy. But given the choice, I would pick The Notebook over Jurassic Park any day !

The Coincidental 22

Do you believe in fate? Do you believe that everything around us happens for a reason and nothing is random? Do you believe in a predestined future? Or would you rather believe in coincidence?

Tomorrow, the 22nd of September, marks my 22nd birthday. “22 on 22” has been yet another reason for excitement this year. I have noticed this pattern before and this year has been no different. Everything in my life happens on a 22.

I was born on 22. My first day of pre-school was on 22. My first day of high school in the US was on September 22. My first day at university was August 22. There are so many significant days in my life that are all 22. Does it even come as a surprise that my recent song addiction is Taylor Swift’s 22?!

It’s funny how some things in our lives are too detailed to be coincidental but too irrelevant to be destiny. So many significant moments began on the 22nd. But not all of them ended well. I did enjoy pre-school and kindergarten, but I grew up to hate school. My experience as a high school student in the US was so bad (partly my fault) and I never would revisit it again. I never completed university even though I loved every part of it. So is this a sign that I should steer clear of anything that has to do with 22?

But then again, I was born on a 22.

When I decided that this year my birthday will be low-key and family only, my friend decided to bunk work and spend the day with me because he thought some thing had to be out of the ordinary that day. Why? What makes me so special? Why should the day I was born be out of the ordinary?

I answered that question in a playful way by saying “Oh you know, I blessed this Earth with my incredible presence on that day. So it ought to be celebrated !” You can imagine my father’s face fill with sarcasm right about now. But my grandmother went ahead and said, “You’re right. You are an incredible presence and you have given me such incredible moments in my life. Your birthday must be made special.”

Ever wonder why out of all the people in the world – the uptight neighbor, the lonely rich kid, the regretful juvenile, the girl on 16 and pregnant, Miley Cyrus – you were born into this particular family, in this city, with the friends you have around you? You have changed their lives whether you acknowledge it or not. Was it predestined? Were they meant to tread a different path but some power of the Universe chose to mix them with you? Or was it just a random pick? A drifted coincidence that nobody thinks twice about?

Coincidence by Wikipedia – A coincidence (often stated as a mere coincidence) is a collection of two or more events or conditions, closely related by time, space, form, or other associations which appear unlikely to bear a relationship as either cause to effect or effects of a shared cause, within the observer’s or observers’ understanding of what cause can produce what effects.

So it is a coincidence that everything in my life is connected to 22? That MY LIFE began on a 22?

Have you ever met someone and thought to yourself ‘we were meant to meet at that exact time so you could be here at this point in my life’ ? Not necessarily a lover. Was it predestined that you met them when you did or was it a mere coincidence that you happened to just bump into each other on that day or click on the other’s profile on a social networking site randomly?

Tomorrow marks the beginning of an entire year of 22. Last year, I couldn’t have written about this. I didn’t have a blog, a platform to express my thoughts on the 22’s of my life. Is it a coincidence that I have it now? At 22?

When we think about it, there are so many simple moments – the day we meet our best friend, our first trip alone, the restaurant you go to, the family you were born into, the love of your life – there is always the question – destiny? Or coincidence?

Was it because you were meant to meet these people? Was it because you were at the right place at the right time? Or was it simply a predestined coincidence?

Death, The Inevitable End

9/11 was this past week. I don’t live in that country anymore and I was quite young to understand what was happening when it did. But since then I’ve heard many different versions of what went down on that tragic day. I only took one thing from the dozens of stories I heard – innocent people died for the personal gain of someone else. I don’t care who the person behind it was. It only matters how many family members were made to suffer because of it.


I believe there are two kinds of death. The one that comes naturally and the ones that arrives when disaster strikes. But when someone dies, the world doesn’t differentiate it like that. How many times have you heard someone say, ‘Good riddance. She/he was such a horrible human being” ? Death in the human mind is always differentiated in two ways – the kind hearted person’s oh-so-soon passing; the ill hearted person’s long overdue riddance.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before – Death plays a huge part in my mind. For a fairytale believer, death is probably a more commonly occurring thought process than love because love doesn’t happen to everyone. Some people live their entire lives not knowing what it feels like to be loved unconditionally and passionately. But even to them, death is inevitable. It cannot be pushed away. It cannot be erased. This quote is simply a hint at just how much the world tries to make it go away :

“The walls of hospitals have heard more prayers than the walls of churches.”

But it is the undeniable truth. And I’m not as afraid as I should be. For it is the only thing in life that is certain. It has to come some day and I will accept it when it does.

Yet everyday, I wake up in fear of who around me is still safe from it. When the phone rings, my heart skips a beat and I have to check in on everyone to know my family is where it’s supposed to be. Here. With me.

A friend of mine passed away a few months ago. This past week he’s been on my mind constantly. I see someone with a mohawk and think “Oh look ! He’s here !” And then I remind myself, “That cannot be him. He’s dead.” He was a nice guy. Quite young too. His mother was orphaned for he was the last family she had left. I hate to imagine how many mothers were orphaned on 9/11. How many kids were orphaned. Engagements broken, weddings stopped, successful marriages turned single parents.

Then again, just how many of those people were thought of as “Good riddance” ?!

“We understand death for the first time when he puts his hand upon one whom we love.”

– Mad. De Stael

It’s so easy to talk about it from a distance. It’s so easy to dissect the process. It’s so easy to say, “Life has to go on..” And it is definitely easy to say “Good riddance.” But the ones that lose the person they love – disastrous or natural, sickness or an accident – to them, Death is but a ghost that continues to live in them and haunt them everyday for as long as they live. It doesn’t matter if the dead was innocent, arrogant, ruthless or stupid, the ones that get to live never really get to live.

Ever wonder why Disney movies always have parents that die early in the story or are already dead? Especially the mother?

Disney Princess

Walt Disney’s mother died in a fire accident in the house he bought for her. It’s suggested that it may be why the Disney movies don’t have a significant mother character in them.

How many days would he have spent thinking to himself “Wish it had been me” ? You and I may think of 9/11 once a year, but to those families that lost someone they loved, every single day they have lived since the life altering disaster is 9/11. How many times do you think they would have thought to themselves, “Should have been me” ?

I say this now and I will say this always. I will always rather it be me than anyone I hold dear to my heart.

There’s no moral to this post. There’s no inspiring message. Just a passing thought from me to you – Death has to come and it will. To you, to me and to every living being on this planet. It comes to the good guys and the bad. Wouldn’t it be easier if we didn’t all kill each other and just spent whatever little time we have on this beautiful planet laughing away and spreading love?

In memory of every lost loved one. ❤

(Images courtesy : Google)

Great Expectations : The Body Issue

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I was going through Freshly Pressed when I came across a blog about fashion for fat women. Or rather, the lack of it. I’ll admit I’m no size zero. I never want to be either. But I cannot begin to explain the number of times I’ve heard someone say to me, “Lose the weight. It’s unhealthy;  you’ll look pretty if you do.”

recently sat down with someone who has been cajoling me to lose weight for years and I explained to her, “I understand you have a problem with my body and even though it makes no sense, I accept that you’re not very happy with it. But here’s the thing – I’m ok being me. I do NOT feel the need to lose weight. This is who I am, I can accept it and maybe it’s time for you to do so too.”

She didn’t understand what the heck I was saying. Because – How can someone be ok with being fat?! With not being a size 0-5? I mean, that’s just unhealthy and awkward and not nice to look at.

Now, I can agree that being FAT is unhealthy. I emphasize that word because it is not a disgrace to use it. But being skinny isn’t exactly a celebration. Size zero used to be what is now a size 4. Or maybe even a 6. The concept of thin is no longer thin but just bones. There was a time when the model walking the ramp looked absolutely stunning. Now they all look sick. So why is the world not looking at it the other way around? Instead of pointing at heavier women and asking them to lose weight, why not tell the skinny models to gain a few pounds? Ask them to stop giving young girls an unrealistic vision of beauty? Why does the cover girl have a photoshopped thigh gap? Why do we still pay to read about her?

I want you to imagine the first day of high school as a fat kid. Someone who’s used to being who she is. Someone who loves herself. Walks into the world where other girls her age start dating and wearing make-up. She walks into the exact same store her classmates shop from, but she can’t find anything in her size that doesn’t look like something her mother would wear. So she has to wear a baggy sweater and weird looking pants and hang her head when her best friend ditches her out of embarrassment. She gets bullied, pushed into lockers, mocked behind her back – I assure you these are the kids that end up with eating disorders or mental issues that make them want to hurt themselves. The confident girl that held her head high, at the end of four years, walks with her shoulders slouched, hiding her face in shame. A shame we as a society allowed to be thrust upon her. Because someone somewhere did not realize that a size ten girl would love to be just as fashionable as a size 1 girl.

The little things matter no matter what size we are. A therapist once asked me, “If there is a job interview with two eligible finalists, do you think they would pick the fat one or the skinny one? You have to lose weight, sweetheart.” That ‘sweetheart’ made no sense because I’d just lost all hope of a bright future.

There are ways to handle situations. Calling someone fat does not make them want to become thin. It makes them want to vanish. You’re worried about their health? Talk to them about eating healthy – not losing weight. Never make someone feel ugly – always remember everyone’s concept of beauty is different. For all you know, that person might just be the nicest one you’ll ever meet.

This is not a social issue or a health topic. This is about someone’s emotions. During 4th grade, my friend and I bought similar outfits. We wore it to school on the same day. A kid I didn’t even know walked up to me and said, “It looks better on her. She’s thin. You should wear something that doesn’t make you look so ugly.” I will never forget that moment in my life. I felt hurt, upset and disappointed with myself. Today, I love and accept who I am. I know that the rude comment the kid passed didn’t speak of my flaws. It spoke of his and how he was raised to be mannerless and disrespectful. But that little girl who wore her favorite blue dress to school will never forget the day a stranger called her ugly.

From fancy clothes to seats on buses and the world of dating, a fat person is always an outcast. Mocking them, bringing them down and telling them they’re ugly is not the way to show you care. Do we even have to talk about the number of people that turn to medication and have complications because of social and peer pressure?! Talk to them, learn how they feel. If they honestly feel comfortable with who they are, let them be.

And to the person on the receiving end,

Never let someone bully you for who you are or how you look. While I will advise you to eat healthy, I will also assure you, that size zero girl on the cover of a fashion magazine? That’s half sick and half photoshop. It’s a camouflage created by an industry that is filled with hypocrites and head weighted arrogant designers that do not believe a size 15 can pull of a halter – low dip – neckline just as well as the skinny one, if not better. Never give into someone else’s great expectation. Love yourself.

“Because if you don’t, then who will, sweetie?”

– Marilyn Monroe