Sunday, November 18, 2007

Double Cheese Burger or Diet Coke?

People who are single wish they were double (no pun intended) and that they had someone to live their life with.
People who are double wish that they had the freedom and independence that they lost when they chose not to be single anymore.
People who are stuck, neither single nor double, are frustrated with sitting on the fence.

And the people in each category think that the people in the other category are the luckiest.

The single woman feels that she would rather be unhappy with someone next to her rather than be unhappy alone.

The married woman feels that she wished she had never married this man/family or married at all.

The "committed" woman anxiously awaits the day that she will be married but at the same time struggles to keep her relationship going.

So which situation is the best? In my opinion, they all are either the best or the worst, depending on how you view it. As children, some loved school and some didn't. Some loved chocolates and some did not. Some loved playing indoors and some did not. As adults, some love movies and some don't. Some love cooking and some don't. Likewise, some love to be independent and some don't. That does not make one better than the other. However, relationships and marriages are bonds that are difficult to break. Not only are they legally and morally binding but also emotionally intense. So if you are unhappy about your relationship status, do not compare. We never know what's going on in other people's lives. What situation seems the best for you may be the worst for them and vice versa. All that we can do when unhappy is to try our best to change the situation. And if you cannot, so be it. Exasperation will worsen your situation. So stay put and wait for fate to make its turn!

Thanks, and be patient. What is meant to be will happen!

Monday, November 12, 2007

A lost chance!

We are only human, living in a society with other social animals. Often in conflict, often in disharmony, often in disagreements with these others. And more than often, our pride overcomes humility and shame and we hesitate to make amends despite the fact that this will only make our lives more positive.

Yet, much to our chagrin, time does indeed throw us some opportunities that may force us to forget what has happened, and head back to normalcy. These incidents would include meeting the other social animals unexpectedly such as in a shopping mall, cafeteria, or even a stairway. Then one has two choices: either to turn one's face away and not acknowledge anyone's presence or two flash a fake smile out of politeness.

And then, time sometimes throws us other chances that may encourage us to let bygones be bygones and start afresh. Such examples would be that of birthdays, weddings, festivals and similar positive events. Let's take Diwali for example; the festival of lights, the victory of good over evil, the perfect occasion to get rid of one's negativity and embrace positive energy. And yet, we let these chances slip by. We choose to adorn in lavish outfits and pretend like the festivities amuse us. And yet, inwardly, there is nothing new about us. We hold the same grudges, present the same superficial demeanor, and let the grudges grow.

Some of us celebrated Diwali in a way that was not celebration at all. We let a chance go..A chance to make our world a better place!

Thanks, and happy diwali...we still have a chance!

Saturday, November 10, 2007 step away from loved ones!

On the auspicious day of my "New Year", I decide to write this blog on how diwali is NOT about eating sweets, buying new clothes, lighting diyas, creating rangolis, going to the temple, and watching fireworks. Its NOT about whose laddoo is better, whose saree is the prettiest, whose lights are the brightest, who invited who to the temple, who spent the most on fireworks. Its NOT about exchanging smiles, shaking hands, monotonous "happy diwali" messages, and fancy e-cards.

Diwali is about the victory of good over evil, or so they say. And yet, there are many children today who do not even know the significance of this festival. Not their fault! There predecessors have turned it into a huge festival of some sort which brings a glow to the heart for all the wrong, materialistic reasons.

Today, I have lit my apartment up with Christmas lights, made a make-shift rangoli with the colorful lentils from my modest kitchen, and am in the process of making sweets. And yet there is a feeling of emptiness. Strangers walks past the apartment and say "WOW!", the rangoli is ignored, and the sweets will be shared amongst friends and acquaintances long deprived of feasts. Where are the people that we love? In pursuit of materialistic pleasures and high ambitions, we leave loved ones behind. We walk ahead only to pause momentarily, to suppress our feelings of doubt, and continue walking. Along the way, we meet several pedestrians, some in the same pursuit, some stuck, and some walking back.

Diwali...the festival of lights...and yet just another day, another beginning of a new year, more time and distance from loved ones left behind, and the desperate hope of one day celebrating the same diwali that I did 20 years ago!

PS: Dedicated to all the Indian immigrants who left their families behind.

Thanks, and Happy Diwali!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Soulmates for life....NOT!

*Note: The events in this blog are true but the names are fictitious so that the non-soulmates are not offended for not having included them as on for more clarification.

Amisha invited me over to her house to play for a whole day. She shared her lunch with me everyday. And she lent me her textbook when I forgot to bring it to school. She was my soulmate in the 1st grade before I changed schools. I met her only once after that...when I was about 13 years old and we barely talked to each other then.

Anjana called me everyday to chitchat over the phone. She invited me over for lunch during the summer break. She wrote me letters for a year when she moved to another city. She was my soulmate in the 4th grade. I have met her several times after that. But I do not even know the names of her children today.

Shilpa knew about the first crush I had. I was the only one who was invited to her sister's birthday party. I slept over at her house for one night during navratri. And then we both ended up liking the same guy. She was no longer my soulmate. We picked new ones.

Manisha's mother called me their second daughter. I practically lived there two days a week during the summer. We wrote letters to each other everyday when she went to her grandmother's house for vacations for a month. And then we switched streams. She went into the arts and I chose the sciences. She was my soulmate in the 10th grade.

Ashima did not have a phone at home. We both yearned to meet each other everyday in college because that was the only time we could talk, gossip, confide, and bitch. We often stayed back for hours after classes so that no one would interfere in our "private conversations". The other 4 members of our group were jealous. But we could care less. We were soulmates for 3 whole years until we went to different cities for our Master's degree.

Samrat was a friend that I could call any time of the day and always know that he would be available. I have cried about the same issues over and over again without him flinching even one bit at any given moment. We never proclaimed each other as "best friends" but we still knew that we were soulmates. Yes, we were. Until Samrat moved back to India. Now we speak to each other about 4 times a year.

Today, I have met another soulmate, a best friend. Another angel that God has sent over to help me through a phase of my life. What his purpose is is being revealed gradually, as it always does. As children, best friends were our lifelines. Everything surrounded around friends. At any given point, it seems like our best friend is the best thing that happened to us. That we finally found our soulmate!! Until an event occurs, our so-called soulmate's purpose in our life is fulfilled and he or she leaves only to give way to another soulmate standing in line.

Soulmates for life?? Maybe through wedlock. Through friendship? Maybe in movies, novels, rare occasions. Are you reading this and saying, "HAH! Not me! My friends will be my friends forever!". Will not challenge you. Only urge you to read this blog again ten years from now. You will know what I am talking about today.

Thanks, and dont regret a lost friendship. It was something that began and ended for a reason. More friends (or should I say soulmates to make you feel special?) await you.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Bitter Sweet Doses

Have you met someone who is genuinely content and happy with their lives or present state of mind? I am sure you have. I have met several of them and wish to meet more. As I write this blog, a picture of my friend comes to mind. She is one who I have never heard complaining, whining, crying, or getting angry. She is content with what she has. She does not have any expectations from anyone and so when something marvelous occurs in her life, she is elated. And if something marvelous did not occur, or worse still, if she encounters a disaster, she takes it in her stride for she has no other scenario to compare it with. And most importantly, I have NEVER heard her put anyone down. In her viewpoint, everyone is great, some with a few more bad qualities, some with a few less but nevertheless, everyone is worth respecting no matter how they behave.

And then I have another friend who is extremely critical of what others do; constantly looking for flaws in her life, jealous of others' successes, intolerant of others' being imperfect, easy to flare up when things seem out of control, and someone who people like to avoid for fear that they are being analyzed and ripped apart in her mind. Any guesses why she chooses to be this personality when she is clearly not like by others? Heard the phrase, "misery loves company"? She is unhappy with her life and has low self-esteem. What better way to make oneself feel elated and superior to others than to put them down?

When people make baseless accusations, criticize you for a reason you cannot fathom, and create bitter chaos, it is easy for you to retaliate in self-defense. After all who likes to be called ugly, selfish, stupid, worthless and so on without any clear explanations? But also pay attention to how lonely these poor souls are, how isolated they feel when they perceive others around them to be having more fun than themselves, and how bad they feel about themselves. Maybe retaliation will keep them from criticizing you but their low self-respect will force them into putting more victims down for a sense of deluded power.

I believe my former friend is so happy with her life, that she never feels the need to eye someone else's greener grass, while the latter feels insecure about her grapes being sour. These are the bitter sweet chocolates that we will get to eat all our lives. Some dark bites sweetened by the sugary aftertaste. When the extra dark chocolates seem to create a bitter taste in your mouth that makes you nauseous, go ahead and ignore the dark chocolate, and find some sugar for yourself!

Thanks, and try and be content. Will make others around you feel the same too!