Home away from home

5th August was the day, I was leaving my favorite city to tail my dreams and start a new chapter of my life. I remember not shedding a single tear because I knew this was going to be my outlet for freedom. I wanted to live on my own, be independent, decorate my room according to my taste, travel, smoke without any fear and owe no explanation to anybody for my behavior. I was excited. The first few days were exhausting, I had to clean the whole apartment, buy stuff for my “new house” and the most dreadful thing – plan my finances. In my initial days, I spent money recklessly. I traveled around, went on a shopping spree, dined at expensive restaurants and what not. And one fine day, I realized that my credit bill was four digits and in this new found “freedom” I had spent money more than I should have. I had to take up an on-campus job to pay my bills but even money wasn’t enough. That is when it struck me – Independence was not about roaming around freely in the night or eating butter chicken for breakfast. It was paying electricity bills, buying groceries, buying things that are within the budget. It’s already March and I am yet to file my taxes and I don’t even know how much money has been deducted from my salary for all these things. If this was not enough, you have pressure to get a job, score well in your exams, manage your relationship and your social life. At times, I just felt like going home to my mom and sleeping on her lap. I don’t think this feeling is ever going to go away now. It’s all part of growing up and finally taking control of your life. That is when I realized that every day you are going to have some struggle going on but your friends are the ones who are going to make this journey memorable. I am lucky to have one best friend a bus ride away and other one a phone call away. I don’t think I would have survived without my therapists and if not them I had my wine!!!
There was a time where I panicked over which coffee filter to buy. Walmart has so many options and I felt completely lost in the shelves. There have been so many instances where I have picked up the phone to ask something so trivial like which movie should I watch today? Or what do I wear? And not once have I heard my friends say SERIOUSLY, you called up for this? I always got honest opinions about everything. From weighing the pros and cons of dating a guy to talking about Trump and Obama, we have done everything. These 2 guys are my everything.
I think wherever I settle, as long as these two are with me I will be able to withstand any tornado coming my way. Isn’t that what home is? A place where you feel safe, your getaway from the world, the place that gives you peace. It doesn’t matter if I am 40, crying about my children or whining about the economy, as long as I have my friends to talk to, I still have my home!

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What a girl wants

I had a picture for myself where I get up in the morning in my big shot apartment in New York, go for a jog, get dressed in the best clothes, carry branded bags and walk out like a boss. I dreamed of going to the best office in the city with everyone hustling around you and managing my work like a professional. (If you have seen this movie ‘Devil wears Prada’ you will get an idea what I am talking about) This was my dream.

But have you ever wondered if everything you have aspired or dreamed about will be enough to make you happy?

For example, getting the best job in the market or marrying the love of your life or achieving those bucket list items you made when you were a kid. We move from one thing to another. Keep running and  keep jumping. I was watching this Ranbir- Deepika movie Tamasha where these two idiots decide to hide their identity and discover this new city as complete strangers where they get a clean slate, no expectations, no judgements, no strings. Is that what we long for? Running away from the reality and pretending to be someone we are not?

Let me give you a background of my story and the reason why I feel this way.

I am an average student. I scored very less in my 12 but I was lucky enough to get a seat in a good engineering college. I promised my parents I will work hard and make them proud but I got a KT (failed one paper) in my second trimester but what hit me was I was the only person in my class to get a KT. That was the first time my parents actually asked me if I was really wanted to go ahead with engineering and I had no answer because like majority, I was clueless about my future. I wanted to make something out of my life but I didn’t know what to do. So, I thought let me give this a try, I worked my ass off in the next trimester and topped in one of the subjects and managed to secure a rank in the top 5 (I am kinda smart :P) and gradually took interest in my field. I was not a coder or technical person but I knew I could talk my way out of viva or project presentations. Our placement season started and I again ended up jobless (because my technical skills were not good). I had hit rock bottom thinking I have just been a big failure, disappointing my parents and myself but I never stopped trying. I used to go for interviews alone, apply everyday and I was working on all my weak areas. FINALLY I GOT A JOB!! It was the shittiest job I had ever done and was nothing compared to the life I wanted but I did it anyway. I used to cry in the train on my way to work thinking I have lost in life and everyday I would say to myself that I am going to quit today. This thing went on for four months until I got an interview call from one of the Big 4s and within a week I was asked to join. So my work had nothing to do with the developer/tester/implementor part but to monitor their process and find the loopholes in them. I loved my job and I had got my dream. I was travelling to a new city every week, I was wearing skirts and formals and heels and everything. I was happy. I had a very good social circle to interact and my life was like my dream (except for the New York part) but after two years I couldn’t bear it. Now again I started crying and whining about my job and everyone around me started to think that this girl can never be happy with what she has. It’s true!

I am a career oriented girl. I knew I had to get a job, work my ass off and spend only when I know I am going to save something (Thanks to my parents) and I am tough like that. But I  I can’t see myself settled with one dream or one position. After two years, I was bored and I wanted to explore something else. I had the best job, colleagues and good money but that wasn’t enough for me and I don’t think any of us should feel settled in their life. I believe that we can’t predict if things are going to work out according to our plan. The hot-shot job made me happy but it didn’t keep me happy after a point of time.

We all grow out of the comfort zone but not all of us are bold or strong to take a step back and understand what’s going wrong.

I am not saying I am a daredevil but I don’t want to escape from reality like Ranbir in Tamasha because I am frustrated but I want to let go of things that don’t make me happy. If you are not happy about something change it, replace it, thrash it but don’t get comfortable with it. If that something is not making you get out of your bed everyday then your time is too precious to waste.

So I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again. Make it count.

P.S.- I have quit my job and I am shifting to Boston for my Masters in August.

Keep Moving! 🙂

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding Chandler

Since childhood I have been a big believer of terms like “happily ever after“, “forever together“. With time I realized that things change, our definitions change and we grow out of the set standards. I have experienced love and hatred in all my relationships but one thing I have learnt is to never give up on love.

Whenever I watch the starting seasons of FRIENDS, I admire the kind of love Monica and Richard had for each other. After their breakup she was miserable. She couldn’t eat, sleep or work. With parents continuously judging her every action and a successful brother who kept getting married every season, she had lost hope and ended up sleeping with her best friend. Little did she know that this impulsive decision would lead her to find something that was always there in her life – her soulmate. Chandler gave all of us major relationship goals. He took care of Monica, handled her tantrums, managed her bossy nature and loved her unconditionally. They both matured with each other and turned their partners weakness into their strengths.

But the thing that I keep wondering is if its possible to fall in love more than once? Remember the time when (in the proposal episode) Monica had an option to choose between Chandler (her best friend who she never thought she would end up with) and Richard (her first love). What do you do then?

Being from a typical Indian family my parents expect me to get married at the age of 27 and start a family by 29. But what if I don’t find my Chandler by then? Should I settle for arranged marriage and try to find love and happiness in that? Or should I break the stereotype and wait for my true love? Honestly speaking, I dont know what I am going to do. I am not a feminist or the adarsh bharti naari, I am just a simple girl who is scared about what is going to happen.

I have friends who have found their perfect love in arranged marriages and I also have people who have married their college sweethearts but one thing I have realized is that we all are going to find our special someone. Someday. I am not going to cry and feel as if my life has ended after a breakup or just give in to the social pressure. Even if I have never been in a relationship  I am not going to think that I am commitment phobic. Sometimes we find happiness in the most unlikely place. Some people search on Tinder and some at social gatherings. We should not let other people’s judgement and thoughts cloud our decisions. If you want a guy to buy you a drink in a bar, send him signals, smile at him or maybe just go and talk to him. Make it happen. Don’t be scared about what your friends or his friends are going to think about and even if he rejects, BIG DEAL! you at least wont live with a regret. I want to take chances in life, fall in love with as many people I want, I want to learn from every relationship. I want to be brave and believe that there is enough happy for everyone. I know it’s easier said than done but we all need to be fearless when it comes to love. Don’t save up love like you’re trying to retire on it, give it away like you’re made of it.

Keep Looking! 🙂

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Kar Gayi Chul!!!

So most of the Indian crowd knows this song and how Alia Bhatt gives us the perfect step for a stoner dance but not many know the meaning of ‘kar gayi chul’. The keeda to make it big is what every 20 something is thinking about.

Lately everyone around me is only talking about ‘Startups’, even my watchman talks about starting his own security agency. These days if you don’t have a unique idea or you dont have “plans of starting your own business” you are considered as an outsider. Almost all my friends want to be young entrepreneurs, make a hit business and earn big bucks but are we following the crowd by doing this?

I asked myself this question when I came across this guy from my workplace who is content with what he has, what he earns and what he wants. He is independent, about to get married and has a good job with a great pay but because everyone around him keeps talking about starting their own business even he wants to do something of his own. Maybe he always wanted to do this or maybe he got influenced by all the office talks but when I asked him why he wants to start his own thing? He gave me a bullshit answer “Kitne time naukri karu and yeh managers ka sunu”. (Why I am saying its bullshit, because he has a chilled manager, best rating in the team and he enjoys working). I knew it was peer pressure that is driving him to think in this direction. He just wants to fit in. Sometimes it’s not just the kids and teens who stumble because of the “hot trend” even adults fall for it.

Leading your own way and coming out of the bubble, following the trend of starting your own business like your peers and colleagues is not a bad thing but doing something because your best friend or your idol is doing it is not a healthy way to live. Its okay if you like working for someone, staying in the service sector and working 9 to 5. ITS OKAY. As long as you are happy with what you are doing, it’s completely okay.

A chocolate can be a treat for a beggar and a mere snack for you. Everyone has a different way of perceiving things in life. Not everything has to be done according to the trend that’s being followed.

All I want to say is have faith in yourself and don’t get carried away with someone else’s thoughts and dreams.

P.S. – Even I aspire to be an entrepreneur some day in the food or health sector. I don’t have an idea yet but I know that I am the kind of person who likes to be their own boss. So till then I am going to work as a corporate slave and gain experience, knowledge and build on my dreams but I have made a promise to myself that the day I get my inspiration to do something on my own, I am going to take that leap of faith and discover my potential.

Keep Dreaming! 🙂

uttam and art