(6/6) The Parents

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It’s a bright and sunny day. A car comes to a screeching halt outside their apartment. They look out to see what the fuss is about. They watch me get out. Head to toe in brands I once only dreamed of owning. But now I have the money. I am the Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi after all. I can afford the little things that bring me joy. Their anger fades knowing I’m okay. My father is still a little upset but he’ll come around. That’s how parents are, aren’t they?! They’re happy I got what I wanted because they know if I’d waited for them to give it to me, the timing wouldn’t have worked out the way it did. It was right to run away from them when I did…

I can’t tell you the number of times I laid on that bed I shared with my mom and my sister, dreaming about this over and over again. You see, I lack what my mother has in abundance – Patience – and what my father always tells me to keep within – Hope. So my solution was a world where I ran away. I’m old enough. I can do this. They’ll know it was the right thing to do. We children can be really stupid sometimes, you know?

My parents had an arranged marriage. They did what they were expected to do as human beings that live in my society. They created a home. Dad earned. Mom cooked. They had two daughters. Their life was pretty much every other life there ever was. Except, my dad didn’t work 9 to 5. He owned his dream company. “I was fascinated that I could talk to a machine and it would respond.” So he made it respond in different manners to keep users like you and me safe from the evils on the internet. Mom created a home for us to live in. She got us ready for school. Made us our favourite lunch on Sunday. Ensured we stayed away from junk food (I didn’t).

A lot happened in their lives before they got married and a lot happened after. Their personal problems turned my family dysfunctional and I grew up with an inability to trust and anxiety that hurt. I blamed them, of course. When I rebelled, when I made bad choices, when my life took a turn for the worst – I waited with the words, “This is all your fault.”

We don’t really yell at our Dad in this house like we yell at our Mom. There’s the fear of hurting him. So it was my relationship with my mother that became too complicated as I grew up. I wasn’t surprised.

I’ve always been the closest to him. Daddy’s little girl. He fed into my fantasies of expensive things like an American education, branded things, big houses. They owed me that much. They ruined my life by making me so complicated. It’s the least they can do. I mentioned how kids are stupid, right?!

So I got the American education. For six months. Six months in a world where I had to do for myself what my mother does for us everyday of her life and I came running back into her arms. The distance I’d created at 15 vanished the moment I knew I was home and she would be with me. But I was still angry.

Parents often forget the effect a fight or an argument between themselves can have on their children. You think we don’t hear you screaming shit in the middle of the night? We do. And then you go pretend everything’s fine in the morning and maybe it is, but we can’t tell the difference. And so we begin wondering and fearing. Your ten day split may be a speed bump in your marriage. To us, it’s ten days where a parent chose to live away from us. I wasn’t enough to make him stay. I wasn’t important enough to stop and second guess his decision to leave. He left.

You may forget the drama. But we don’t. I’ll never stop wondering if I’m going to wake up and be dumped. Because when a parent can leave, so can a stranger you met at work. I never stop second guessing my decisions. My insecurity began when I was 8-years-old. Today, it’s something I’ve accepted because I’ve lost the war against it.

I saw friends with functional families have so much hope and I didn’t. I didn’t know how to care. I don’t know how to turn on emotions. I also don’t know how to turn them off.

And it has created so much chaos. When I thought I’d lost everything I loved, I yelled at my father. I screamed. I spewed hateful words. It didn’t hit me that – I wasn’t the only one who lost something. So had he. And if he could fix it, if he thought there was a way he could give my dream back to me, he would have.

Today, when I’m writing this, I remember my father mention how he woke up one morning with tears because he’d dreamt a Tsunami where he couldn’t save me. The tears my mother cried when she thought she hadn’t given us enough time. But that depressed girl didn’t remember this version of them. She didn’t remember two parents who had given up so much to keep their two girls safe. I didn’t pause to think. I didn’t know how to. And I repeated to myself, It’s all your fault.

I’ve graduated now. I’m going after everything I’ve ever dreamt about, for the second time. He’s given me my dream again. But I can never take back the words I said. I can apologize but I can’t change the hurt it caused. Someone told me recently, “You have to let go off of the guilt. Children act without thought sometimes. Your parents know.” But I can’t.

Because, back in an apartment with a view I’d missed so much, I remembered a conversation from 6 years ago. With a man I’d loved. He wanted to know why I kept repeating, “Promise you won’t leave me?” And so I explained. He did, too.

“So your parents made a mistake. They had a fight. Adults fight. They were trying to figure out life like you will, too. Parents don’t have to know everything. They’re not superhuman. You have to forgive them for whatever you think their fault was. You can’t blame your entire life on them. Your choices were, as you always say, a choice. You made them. You can stop making them. Look at them, Poornima, and see them for what they are – human beings”

And I cried. Like a baby. Because after 23 years of life, I’d understood what an asshole I’d been. Why do we always look at our parents as some sort of hero? Why do we never truly see how they’re just like you and me?

I’ll say it today – My parents aren’t the greatest of parents. They don’t always know how to express their love. They’ve made plenty of mistakes. But they’re some of the nicest human beings I’ve ever known. They gave up so much to ensure we had food on our plates and a comfortable lifestyle. When they struggled, we still lived like princesses. When they were out there fighting one battle after another, we complained like spoilt children.

No. They’re not the greatest. But I wouldn’t wish for anyone else. Because for everything I’ve done, no two people will continue to love me with as much intensity as they do. No parent will still sit me down and ask me what I want so they can ensure I have it the way they do.

And someday, I’ll muster the courage to go stand in front of them and truly apologize for all that I’ve put them through since I was a teenager. But today, I’ll stick to my Thank You.

Thank You for never giving up on me. Thank You for allowing me to choose, even if you didn’t always approve. Thank You for working so hard to give me everything I ever wanted. I know these two words will never be enough, but…

THANK YOU.

Never running away from you,

Me.

When I Gave Up.. It Rained Glitter!

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Can you believe I have six versions of this blog post? Because there are just no words to describe my 2016 to you. It’s been a year of throwing my hands in the air with both frustration and excitement.

I started this year with something that was emotionally important to me.

I began focusing more on what I was doing. This life that had been forced upon me didn’t seem so bad anymore. I made friends I cared about. I met people who seemed out of my world. I identified ways that would make me better at work. I still wished I could have had the life I’d wanted. But I no longer felt like a failure.  So I gave up hope.

My new work and my plan B didn’t give me enough mental energy to blog though. My writing style began to change. I neither had the time nor the ability to write. I considered pulling down my blog. I thought it’s time to give up writing.

The idea only grew stronger with every draft I couldn’t finish, with every thought I couldn’t put into words. I remember that night. I was sitting by the window, staring at my computer. I didn’t want to hit Publish. The article was so cheesy, so romantic and so girly. It seemed like the worst thing I had ever written. Maybe I need to edit it a little, I thought to myself. Maybe I should just delete this article and this blog and admit I can no longer write! After an hour of arguing with myself, I finally published “To The Girl In Her Mid-20’s.”

You know what they say about taking chances? Letting that article stay was the best chance I ever took because “It went viral” is an understatement of what happened to me that week. It wasn’t the platforms that shared it, it wasn’t the BuzzFeed feature. It was that email. The one that gave me goosebumps because I had done this to someone’s life. This…

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That blog wasn’t representative of what I normally write. But it reminded me why I do. The emails, messages, comments and love that poured in were each a reminder of why I started this blog. And I know for a fact that I’ll never forget again.

It was almost the happiest week of my life. Almost.

I was at work, just another day of life, when my phone rang. I knew what was coming. But sometimes, it’s better to not let your heart believe until it happens. And so the moment it came, I broke. With joy I’d never known before. One that made me run to the closest room and sob like a child. Because, so many people in this world continue to live life without one shot at chasing their dreams and I’d just gotten my second.

The moment my dad said, “It’s done. You’re going back.”

I could live to be 100 and never forget how grateful I’d felt in that moment. Grateful for the opportunity. Grateful for another chance. Grateful for a father that never gave up. Because I did. And if he had too, I wouldn’t have the ability to now tell you – After having to quit university half way, struggling through depression, battling suicidal thoughts, watching everyone I’d grown up with graduate, trying to be okay when my sister got closer to her degree – I AM BACK AT UNIVERSITY, FINISHING WHAT I BEGAN.

I am crying when I write this because nothing I ever say will do justice to the feeling that rises within me when I think about it. And I’ll say it a thousand times over – It wouldn’t have been possible without my father. And if we didn’t live in a very dysfunctional family, I’d probably hug him ‘thank you’ everyday of my life.

My classmates, unlike my last ones during degree year, are not rude. They are very nice people. We have fun. We all like cute cat pictures. And besides when criticising my apparently unreadable handwriting (jokes), there is never a dull moment.  But going back and absorbing so much information after a long break is quite difficult. I’m no longer a straight A student. But that’s okay. I know I’ll get there.

And to think, I’d given up on everything that had come back to me, better and happier.

I’ve gotten to know who I am this past year. I’ve had the ability to choose and I’ve made choices that were both logical and also, at times, emotional. Some of the choices were right and some weren’t quite. And I know the consequences of it all will come back to me next year. When every choice I make will define everything my future will be. Work, location, love. But I feel good about it. Because I’m waking up on the 1st day of 2017, exactly as who I am. No hiding, no pretending. Just me. With a smile on my face.

And I’m hoping it’s on yours too…

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The Monsters Behind Masks

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If you’re reading this, it means I’ve used every last ounce of the courage I possess to press Publish..

Maybe it’s because I’m finally old enough to see it. Maybe it’s because, for the first time, I’m retracing my entire life. Recollecting the moments that forever changed who I am.

I saw a movie yesterday. The girl looked at the guy and said, “I was 7 when someone asked me if I wanted to be with my mom or my dad.” It shouldn’t have mattered to me. I shouldn’t have cried. But I couldn’t help myself. Because I was 8.

When I tell someone how insecure I’ve become as a person because of the way I was shoved in the middle of a struggle to save a marriage, they think I’m being too sensitive. I almost tell them they’re seeing it wrong. They’re looking at the 22-year-old analyzing that moment. But I wasn’t 22 when it happened ! I was a child ! But I never say it. I smile small and turn away so they can’t see I’m hiding tears.

There are moments in a relationship when I look at the guy and wonder what would happen if he could see inside my head. If he could see the way I see life. If he could read my thoughts. Would he run? Would he choose to never come back? Would he think I’m crazy?

There are moments when I wish someone could understand it. There are moments when I don’t understand why anyone should.

They say it’s amazing when you finally figure yourself out. When you learn what makes you, you. But what happens when the person you are is someone that’s holding on to all her darkest fears? With bruises turned permanent scars? With the need to be loved but never having the ability to believe it?

What happens when every little thing about you comes from a place you never want to go back to? When you realize your entire life changed because of the one moment you had no control over? When there is a constant battle between the guilt for allowing yourself to be drawn into a mess while arguing that you didn’t know what else to do?!

Do you stand up for the child you were or hate yourself for not knowing better?

As I think through all the relationships I’ve had, I’m beginning to decode patterns and it’s like a nightmare playing on repeat as I realize I’ve done the same thing over and over again, wrecking every chance I had at a happy ending. Every time I was so close to it, I let it stop me. I let myself be pulled back. The fear that I don’t understand. The fear that stopped me from ever moving forward, turning this tunnel into a never ending hole of doom.

I wonder what would happen if I could look at them and tell them how it feels like a lost childhood. How in the process of letting them have what they have right now, I drowned. How they’ve made me terrified of commitment. How I run when I feel too much while still craving it because I believe in leaving before I’m left. And how I’ll never stop believing that people leave.

And how, in that moment, when everything I wanted was right there, I couldn’t nod my head yes. I couldn’t walk into the light. I paused. I struggled. I lost.

But maybe that’s just the way life is, isn’t it? Each with a struggle of their own. Not many win. Most of us lose our battles. We give in to whatever it is that consumes us. We let it win. We learn to live with that loss. We learn to put on a mask and hide behind the person the world would like to see. The one that’ll blend in. The one that won’t draw questions.

Someone asked me recently if there was a reason behind the playfulness he sees in me. He felt like the light reaching out. An opportunity to walk out of the dark. All I had to do was trust him with the truth. And I wanted to tell him. This is my mask. This is the way I relive my childhood while still running away from it. This is the person I became when I sat on a couch at my aunt’s house, grinning broadly while crying inside. This is me blending in.

So I smiled at him and said, “No. I’m just a little immature. Nothing else.”

Those Little Eyes

In a world where everyone’s asking you what you’ve achieved, what you’ve done with your life, it feels so easy to lose track of what’s important. When everything around you costs money. When you wake up one day and realize your bills are sky high and your bank account’s buried under the ground, it’s normal to feel the need to lock yourself up at work. When your partner’s fighting with you, when that silly little thing they do becomes the last thing you need that day and you end up screaming your head off and storming out, it’s almost impossible to want to go back home.

But I want you to. I want you to walk around the streets, take as many deep breaths as you need and go back inside that home. Because you know what your struggles are. You know why you’re angry, why you’re upset. But there’s a pair of little eyes watching from a half closed door that doesn’t. And it’s your duty to ensure they never do.

My mother often says, “A child should know the suffering of a parent or they’ll never understand how much we go through just to keep a roof over their head and food on their plate, day after day.”

I know so many people that agree with her, but I don’t.

My theory is as simple as this – If you, as an adult, cannot fix this, there is no way that your child can. And if you, as an adult, cannot handle the emotional turmoil that comes with this problem, what makes you think your child can?

“But they have to understand that we cannot afford everything they want.”

And here’s the thing. Have you seen a shopaholic? The girl in the big city with a flashy card that buys everything she will ever want? She always looks like she has the perfect life. Shopping all the time. Must feel fantastic to be able to afford all that. Here’s the perspective you don’t see. When we have an entire week off, besides resting, we try to spend some time with our family and friends. The people we love. If we had all the money in the world, we’d be taking them on a vacation.

When your child is looking for anything and everything money can buy, I want you to stop and look at something bigger than that tantrum. That shopaholic may be filling an emotional void with materialistic things and your child is no different. The kid in the park playing with his parents isn’t giggling because they bought him a park. He doesn’t understand real-estate value. He understands the hand holding and the push on a swing.

Sometimes, the best birthday present you can ever give to your child is, “I’m going to spend the entire day with you. What do you say we go on a hike and grab some ice cream on the way home?” It’s an inexpensive plan. But it’s the most precious thing in the world because you’re giving them something money will never buy – your time.

You have a million things to deal with in your life. And though we all wish it to be different, there is a very high possibility that when the time comes your child will go through them as well. So don’t rush them into it. If they can’t fix it, they don’t have to know.

Because your child loves you. They were born loving you. When you tell them your problem, they want to fix it for you. When they know they can’t, it turns them into a mess. Always remember, your child is a mirror. They reflect what they see in you. Don’t you want to raise a happy and loving child?

I’m 22 now. I went to university, I have friends, I have a life of my own. There is nothing I wouldn’t give to spend a day watching TV with my mom, laughing and gossiping about nothing. Or go sit at the beach with my dad and talk about old stories and philosophical nothings. We may grow up and take on the world. We may live this whole, busy life that consumes us every minute of the day. But the moment we look at you, we go back to being that same little kid, with our nose stuck to the window, waiting for you to come home.

You may fight with them. Life may come between you more times than one. But those little eyes watching through a half closed door, all they ever want is for you to turn and say “I love you.”

So go pick up that phone and say it.

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”

A Reason for Responsibility

This has been a trying week to say the least. I’m not going to bore you with details but to put it in simple words, every outfit I’ve worn in the past seven days stinks of hospitals and Critical Care Units. I have come to the realization that within every family dynamic there is one brave human that thinks with logic when the others succumb to emotions. It isn’t always the oldest or the strongest. It can be the grandfather, the mother, the daughter, anyone really. In my family, fortunately/unfortunately, it is me.

I say unfortunately because the older I get, the bigger the problems get and it is very difficult to put on a brave face when my emotions are begging to be let out. I say fortunately because when I do cry, I’d like to be left alone without someone constantly nagging me, telling me everything will be ok and this way, I get to go home, shut my door and cry peacefully.

We have all been told at some point “Take some responsibility.” So many of us have sat through hours of story-telling where our parents or grandparents explain how ‘when they were our age’ they used to do so much and the kids these days ‘are always beeping on that thing’. While some smart people understand the reason behind those words the very first time it is said, people like me have to go through certain bad experiences to realize it.

Type the words “parents growing old” on Google images and you will see this quote in 8 of 10 pictures :

“Love and appreciate your parents. We are so busy growing up that we often forget, they are also growing old.”

The reason a parent asks you to be responsible or to do things around the house is not because they want you to learn to do your chores or because they want to make sure you’re doing something. It’s simply because their ability to do everything is slow fading away. What they really need is your help and they don’t want to put it in those words. When a parent asks for help, we tend to get a little worried about why they cannot do something and they want to avoid that. Because what they understand that we don’t is that – Life, it is a circle. What your mother or father did for you as a child is exactly what they end up needing eventually. They try to put it off for as long as they can and let you lead a normal life.

I never saw it that way. I always believed my mother was trying to train me so she can get me married. That she was simply trying to get me off of my computer. She hates that I’m always on the internet.  My father wants me to do some work or the other. He never lets me do what I want. Always at his beck and call. Oh, they just cannot let me sit down for just a few minutes ! – All they were doing is asking for help but never putting it in quite those words. The inability to accept what was once a piece of cake was now starting to become very difficult. The feeling of not wanting to say it out loud.

Though they do this for our well-being and for our emotions, a lot of bad tags along with it. Either we never learn the reason for us to be responsible or it comes and lands on us like a ton of bricks. We suddenly realize that they’re old. They can no longer drive all night, eat what they want and have fun like they used to. The time spent laughing away and lifting you on their shoulders is now time spent eating tablets and struggling to do simple tasks around the house.

I know it is not an easy realization but the sooner we understand this, the better it is. The last thing we want to be doing is to sit around years from now and wish that maybe we’d noticed sooner. Maybe we’d helped more. Maybe we’d fought less. Maybe we’d laughed more. Maybe we’d told them how much we love them. Maybe they could still be here..

To every parent, everywhere.

With gratefulness and love.

 

 

21 Life Lessons I’ve Learnt in 21 Years

Life has a million things to teach you, everyday. But only some of those lessons make a huge impact on you. These are 21 life lessons I learnt in the past 21 years of my life.

1 – Respect Your Family – They might not be the best set of people out there but they picked up your shit and the least you can do is put up with theirs.

 

2 – Do Not Believe Your Math Teacher – Even if you end up working in Wall Street, you only use simple math. Not :

2xy+345x*375y/234xy=xy*2 -> Prove.

3 – YOLO – Doesn’t particularly mean get drunk, get a tramp stamp and wake up with a stranger. It means make the best of today. A modern “swag” way of saying Carpe Diem !

4 – Enjoy What The World Has To Offer To You – The thing is, your future generation might not have these experiences and it will make for incredible stories someday.

 

5 – Is She The Meanest Teacher You’ve Ever Known? Say Thank You ! – She has given you a whole new list of stories to laugh about in all your class re-unions for the next fifty years to come.

 

6 – The Grass Is Always Greener On The Other Side – That boy/girl in the next class is always hotter or cuter than the ones in yours. The possibility is, it works vice versa. Your classmates are probably the cutest people the kids in their class have seen !

 

7 – Responsibility Doesn’t Come By Yelling Or Screaming At A Person – When someone keeps losing their stuff or doesn’t help around the house, yelling doesn’t help. Every person needs their time to grow up and become responsible. For some people (coughs *me* coughs) it just takes 21 years.

 

8 – College Is Not A Field Trip – They make it sound like “Oh you’re going to college? You’re going to have so much fun !” NO. Not even a little. Not at all. Sure, you laugh and you joke around but ultimately the definition of college is – brain frying. Nothing will ever beat your school days ! EVER !

 

9 – There Is A Big Difference Between Your First Crush And Your First Love – Just because he gives you butterflies does NOT necessarily mean you’re in love with him. So yes, you’ll get over him when you find someone that gives you an extra butterfly.

 

10 – Your First Break Up And Your First Heartbreak – Yes, you’ve broken up. You’re upset. But you’re not heart broken. There’s a BIG DIFFERENCE ! You’ll learn that when you ACTUALLY get heartbroken. So yes, you’ll get over him when you find someone that gives you an extra butterfly.

 

11 – Being Independent Is A Human Right ! – Until you have to touch your own stinky laundry and cook your own crappy food. I’d rather live at home and let Mom and Dad do that until they’ve had enough of me and decide to kick me out.

 

12 – Yes, That Boy Who Just Asked You Out Is Very Very Cute – But don’t say yes. You’ve known him for less than ten minutes. He could be a drug addict or maybe even a supplier. Especially, if you’re in a foreign country. Please don’t take your chances.

 

13 – Don’t Travel Half Way Across The World For A Boy – It might be the worst mistake you ever make. The cherry on top of the cake? Your family will use that story to get people to laugh at every gathering for the rest of your life !

 

14 – All That Glitters Ain’t Gold – Just because he’s Italian and his accent melts your heart doesn’t mean he will too. He could be the one who shows you what heartbreak feels like.

 

15 – The Quotes On Tumblr, Weheartit, Pinterest, Facebook And Instagram Are Not Meant For You – When Steve Jobs said “The people who believe they can change the world are the ones who do,” he didn’t mean you. He meant himself. So let’s not get over excited about it for the next ten minutes. Ok?

 

16 – Don’t Judge People By Their Looks – The prettiest model is the bitchiest human being and the ugliest girl on the block is the nicest woman you’ll ever meet. And maybe, the person you thought was a total loser probably could’ve helped you in more ways than you know.

 

17 – Enjoy Sibling Rivalry – At some point, you’ll go your separate ways. When you see each other again, you’ll just want to hug and talk. So yes, sibling rivalry has an expiry date. Enjoy it while it lasts.

 

18 – Younger Siblings Are Annoying All Over The World – They’re the most vicious, annoying, tattle-tale, I’m-going-to-borrow-your-stuff-and-lose-it kind of human beings on the planet. But if they went on vacation for a month, you’re going to miss them more than Nemo missed the ocean.

 

19 – Read Books – It sounds like an advise but there’s something about losing yourself in a world you don’t know and yet not feeling scared. No, I’m not talking about the time you walked into a dangerous neighborhood with new-found courage because you were too high to fathom the reality of it all.

 

20 – Listen To Your Dad When He Talks – It might be boring, but somewhere in the middle of all those stories, there are life lessons. And useful things that can save your life should you get into an icky situation.

 

21 – I want you to listen to this carefully..

Never Be Afraid To Say Sorry – There are certain relationships that are worth keeping and if a ‘Sorry’ is going to save it, then don’t be afraid and egoistic. But if they’re the kind of person that’s going to keep hurting you and is so totally not worth it, please, save yourself some dignity. Fold all your fingers. Now pop out the middle one and keep walking. Don’t look back.

 

One life lesson I believe needs to be told –

A BEST FRIEND – One day, you will find that person who understands you, accepts you and is willing to put up with your crazy behavior. The one who’ll hit your head when she finds you falling for the wrong boy. The one who’ll take care of your emotions more than you will. The one who’ll laugh with you and cry with you. The one with whom you probably will have more “moments” than you can ever have with your husband or wife. When you find that person, don’t let them go..

I will forever consider myself lucky for I have two such people in my life..

 

🙂

 

 

Generation Gap

“Today, 2 year olds can unlock an iPhone, open and close their favorite apps all by themselves. When I was that age, I was eating dirt.” – This was my friend’s status message on Facebook recently. What an honest statement. 

When I was a kid, playing meant hop-scotch, dumb-charades, hide and go seek. Reading a story always meant lending a book from a local library. Summer vacation meant sleepovers – which automatically meant BOARD GAMES !! “Stupid” was a bad word, Tom & Jerry was entertainment, Ice cream felt like heaven and candy was the best thing ever ! 

Translating that into a modern day kid’s world – playing means Temple Run or Candy Crush or Angry Birds. Reading a story means getting a Kindle or just buying an e-book. Summer vacation sleepovers are pretty useless as every person is lost in their own world of technology. A third grader knows the f-word, apps on their parents’ tablet is entertainment and the latest smart phone is the best thing ever !

What happened? How did we go from “I can’t wait to go outdoors!” to “I can’t wait to get home!” ? When my dad got me my first mobile phone – a very very basic one – in 8th grade, my mum was convinced it was a big mistake as it was going to help me elope with some boy. Today, I rarely see a 8-year-old without a smart phone. 

When I was young, when I missed my cousin, I’d go visit him/her. Today, the kid just video conferences. 

 But why?! Why is the kid on the train so engrossed in that game on his tablet instead of looking around and noticing his environment. At the different people around him. Asking random naive questions that only kids can manage to ask?!

 It upsets me that someday in the future, a child will not know what it’s like to hold a printed book in their hand. The smell of it. Losing yourself in that world without having to worry about its battery draining out. That a child will never experience slipping and falling when trying to hop around on one foot. Guessing things that have absolutely no connection to what the person is acting out in a game of dumb-charades. Triumph of dragging all the money and cards to yourself when you win a game of Monopoly.  Giggling for no reason after lights-out during a sleepover. The pretend sword fights with your brothers. The forts you make in your bedroom. Those secret hiding spots in your town, around your house, around your school. Those hidden treasures buried behind the bush of your childhood home that you promise to someday return and find.

 This kid, that looked to be about 11, while waiting at my Dentist’s, walked up to me with his dad’s smartphone and asked me if I know how to play a game on his phone. I said I didn’t and that I’d never even heard of it. He smirked at me and said, “You old people miss out on so much.” I was offended. But then I later realized, he’s wrong. He couldn’t be more wrong. 

 Technology – that’s all you’re going to be using as an adult. Especially by the time the current and future generations grow up and start working. But there are certain things you can only do as a child. Certain acts where instead of calling you stupid, people smile at your innocence. Like believing that you’re going to be a fireman. Or trying to catch fireflies in a bottle and making wishes. Looking out the window of your parents’ car and freaking out about the moon chasing you. Today, I can honestly say, I had the best childhood I could’ve asked for. A childhood where having to put away my toys was the worst thing I could imagine. Especially, when playing with LEGO’s and I was asked to demolish my creation and put it in a box. That broke my heart every time.  A childhood where everything was an adventure. A childhood when fighting usually involved the window seat in the car, my turn on the swing or “I want more ice-cream!!” A childhood that has so many stories that I now sit and talk and laugh about with my family. A childhood that the future generation is missing out on..

 

“Wait Till You’re 21 !”

This is what my father said to me when I was 13.. You want to smoke? Get a tattoo? Get laid? Go to a movie alone with a boy? Get married? Pick a life partner? Wait till you’re 21 ! I didn’t understand it. I knew my mind wouldn’t change. I knew who I was and I swore I will always be that person.

But I waited. Not for all those things, but for most of it, I did. Out of respect for my father’s words. Out of curiosity to see what would change. Also, because I never got the chance to try certain things until I turned 21.

When I was 15, my parents said, “Don’t do anything that you can’t take back.” I thought my decisions were well thought of at that point in time and didn’t really think I’d ever want to take them back.

When I was 17, my classmate eloped with a man ten years older than her. My parents talked about how wrong it was. Back then, the only bad thing I thought wrong in that entire ordeal was “eloping.” I thought she could have asked her parents’ permission to get married instead of running away.

When I was 18, my boyfriend told me, “Your friends might do a gazillion different things. But do note, they’re all older than you. So wait. Wait another year or two. See how you feel about things then. Your mind will change, my love. I promise.” He was a psychiatrist, so I decided to believe him.

Now, I’m 21. Last night, I sat with my father and had a long conversation where I, very very regretfully had to admit, he had been right. I am glad I took his advise and waited.

I’m not the person I was at 15. At 15, I thought I knew it all. But even now, I’m only learning about myself.

Now I know, the fact that my classmate “eloped” wasn’t what was wrong. The fact that she got married at 17 was. There are things you only learn about yourself and the world with time. With life experiences comes maturity. A guy once told my dad that astrologically it’s better to get me married before I turn 19. I was so excited ! I couldn’t wait. When 19 happened, I asked my dad if I could get married and he said “Wait. Wait till you’re 21. If you want to get married at 21, come ask me and I’ll give you permission.” I don’t know why, but I didn’t rebel. I believed if he insisted so much, he must have a point. My curiosity took over my excitement. Two years will go by pretty fast and in no time, I’ll be married, I thought to myself.

On my 21st birthday, my dad asked me if I wanted to get married. I freaked out. I had a life, a goal, an ambition ! I wanted to make something out of myself before I could settle down. How do I share a life I don’t have, with someone? I still live with my parents. I have no job. My career is yet to begin. When the guy requests me to tell him about myself, I wonder “Who am I?” It’s the most difficult question in a resume even. But above all, I was immature. I still am. I am not ready to make a choice I can’t take back. (I do not believe in divorce.)

At 17, she wasn’t ready to get married. Her brain wasn’t done growing. Her life hadn’t really begun for her to be able to share it with someone. She didn’t know that. She didn’t have the maturity to know that.

All that was fancy at 18, I now don’t like. I don’t judge my friends for living their lives the way they did. But I’m not them. I don’t want to do what they did.

It’s funny when you think about it. In certain ways, you’re exactly who you were as a teenager. In some ways, you couldn’t be more different.

I still want a tattoo but not now. I know it’s ok to smoke. But not in public because the society I live in will blame my parents for not raising their daughter right and that’s not ok. I know to be careful about who I’m taking with me to a movie theatre. I know who not to trust. I know I’m not ready to get married because I’m not ready to share my life. I’m not ready to make a plan and settle down. There’s so much of this world that I want to see, learn and understand. I am young and I need to make the best of it.

I also know, I’m glad I listened to my parents. I’m glad I waited till 21 !

Like the saying goes “Today is the oldest you’ve ever been and the youngest you’ll ever be..!” So don’t rush to grow up. It’ll always be there waiting for you..