Friday, December 25, 2015


A click, a tap, at best a double tap! That’s all it takes to “like” someone else – their picture, their thoughts, their activities, their moments. So easy. Just click, tap, liked!!
Ever tried that for yourself? Okay now, I don’t mean upload a pic and like it yourself. That is kind of weird I’ll admit. But on a deeper level, ever tried liking yourself – easy, quick and done types?

I’ll bet at least 4 out of 5 people reading this can list out 4 to 5 things that they believe isn’t right about them. Things that need improvement, correction or complete change. It’s normal, healthy even, to want to improve, to grow, to update and upgrade. But ever so often we take the scope for improvement into another zone – one of dislike and hate. Is it because we believe we aren’t good enough? Or maybe we have very high standards for ourselves? It’s so easy for us to find flaws in ourselves – oh a few inches less around my waist, if only! I wish I could dance like her! If only I had the money to travel and be free like that guy! Look at her skin, her eyes, her hair… we keep looking, comparing and end up with a whole load of hate for ourselves. Somewhere along the way, we totally forget that someone else too is looking at us and saying these things. YES! If someone looks perfect to us – with the perfect body, looks, job, home, family, financial status and more, remember you are that “someone” to someone! You know what I mean?!

To paraphrase what a friend once said to me – If we are taking the brickbats seriously and to heart, then why aren’t we accepting and celebrating the bouquets that come our way. It made me think. It’s human to focus on one wrong thing even if there are five things going right. But then again, it’s not like we don’t have control over our thoughts right?! We remember the time someone said the shoes didn’t match the dress,  but we forget the time someone told us how wonderful we are, or how gorgeous or how awesome something about us was! That’s convenient and so unfair. It’s harder now than ever to not compare, but let’s be fair to ourselves and cut ourselves some slack!

We have to remind ourselves that we’re unique, special and have a lot going right!! Well, yes others have too, but really it is about us and our individual journey! We define our own parameters for success, happiness and fulfillment.The grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s greener on the side we choose to water, nurture and love! So how about we direct some of that love and appreciation inwards!!

Go ahead and click on your positives, tap into that energy that defines you and double tap and pat yourself on the back for who you are! The person you are, the things you do, the way you treat other people, the way you look, talk, walk.. everything! Loving yourself should be that easy – click, tap, loved!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Objects in mirror are closer than they appear

If you’ve ever been in a car or on a bike, owned one, rented one, seen one and most importantly noticed one, you know where to find those words! On the rear-view mirror or side-view mirror of course!! It’s that mirror, which helps you gauge which direction it’s ok to move towards, which one is safe and which isn’t, whether you’d hurt someone or yourself if you moved that way. It’s like a guide, like a navigator who has your best interest in mind, provided you look at it and acknowledge its presence.

No, this isn’t a note on how to use the mirror for safer driving! It is more of a note to self. To look at the “object in the mirror” that is “closer” than it “appears”. It’s about acknowledging and embracing the person you see in the mirror every single day, at least a couple of times, if not more! How many times have we stopped to look ourselves in the eye? Sounds dramatic, I know, perhaps clichéd even, but it is powerful. I remember looking at myself in the mirror when I’d lock myself in the bathroom to cry about anything from a broken nail to a broken heart, from a bad hair day to a bad day and I’d stare straight into my eyes. It was almost instantly calming and comforting. Like I was talking to myself, and so I decided that I’d look myself in the eye in happier and normal times too. It is an empowering and fabulous feeling when you acknowledge yourself. Instead of awaiting validation and acceptance from external sources, giving myself all that and more was liberating.

Truth is, we don’t acknowledge or reach out to that guide, that navigator, supporter and nurturer we all carry within us. If only we all tapped into that enormous pool of love, support and strength within, we would realize how powerful we really are. If you’ve ever been asked the question, “do you love yourself?” you would have perhaps wondered what exactly loving yourself means. I have heard people say “yea, maybe” “umm..i don’t really hate myself, so I guess yea I love myself” and the confident “yes I do.” The first time I was asked this question, I wasn’t sure what the honest answer to that was. I wondered what it meant and how I’d answer it in the most sincere way! It’s easier (I don’t mean easy or doable, just comparatively) to say I love another person, a place, a thing or anything else. But one self, how do you gauge that. To know that there is a “you” within you, could be a start and slowly but surely, you are all you’ll need – for love, for guidance, for company, strength and support. Everyone and everything else will be a bonus! Oh how beautiful life is!!

It’s all about perspective! Go on! Look in the mirror! What you see IS indeed closer than it appears! 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Nirbhaya! #SpeakUp

“Finger on your lips,” in class
 “Silence please,” in the library
“shhh….” Says a cute baby in the poster at the doctor’s clinic
“Don’t talk when 2 adults are talking,” “चुप रहो ,” “keep quiet”

These are both, memories and scars from our childhood. It’s no surprise then that staying silent is the order, instruction, advice we continue to give ourselves. Question being, about what do we stay silent and for how long? Nirbhaya’s story answers that for you and for me.

Abuse isn’t new to us, neither are we to it. It has always happened. But we now hear about it, report it, read it and think about it a little more than we did earlier. It’s like everything else. Like corruption or like cancer. It always existed, but today, we do something more about it. We create awareness and rally for our right to vote for a just candidate. We research, study and develop new medicines to contain, to fight, to face cancer. Then why is Abuse any different? Why aren't we coming forth and talking about it, sharing our stories and building a foundation so strong, that 5 years from now, this piece of writing will sound like history.

"Nirbhaya", the play reiterates one big point for me, as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, woman, human – Communication. That staying silent is no more an option. Whether you’re a victim, a witness or just someone who heard about something, we’re all equally responsible for breaking the silence. The onus is now on us!

If parents spoke to their children openly about ‘good touch’ and ‘bad touch’ and assured them that no matter what, amma, appa/mamma, papa/mom,dad would be there for them – with all their love and support. That coming to them with a problem, a complaint or tears would not be met with anger and punishment or much worse, blame. Respect and fear, must never overlap. That grey area, of fearing a discussion with the parent, is all it takes for us to lose ourselves and carry the shame and pain within through our lives.

If only women knew that the courage to speak up against domestic violence and abuse at the hands of their husband and husband’s family, lies within them. If only she was told, that to stand up for herself, for her rights and safety was of importance not just to her but to her parents and the society. And if only the parents and society reciprocated that faith, we wouldn't have wives dying a death in more ways than one, every single day.

If the heart bled every time we experienced something like this, we’d all be walking around with stained chests. Lets trade silence for speaking up, suffering for healing. Talk about our scars from yesterday to save someone’s today. Let us pick speaking-up over silence, healing over suffering, acceptance and action over ignorance. Let’s care more for an image that our soul deserves than one that the so-called society demands.

To every boy and girl who has seen, heard, experienced abuse, to every man and woman who still carries that hurting child within, to every parent who fears the worst, but won’t speak about it, to every single person who knows that “these things happen,” here’s my plea – Be silent no more! Be scared no more! Be where you've been, no more. Come forth and speak up. Take it seriously enough to “do” something for the child, woman, man who suffers at the hands of another child, woman, man. You are not alone. Reach out to the fearless you! Reach out to a better world!Stay "निर्भय"!