Because You Left!

Baby, come-a back-a, come a-back, come-a back
To the lips a wanna kiss you!
Baby, come-a back-a, come a-back, come-a back
To the heart that learned to miss you!
You never shoulda gone away,
You never shoulda gone away.

– ‘Baby Come-A Back-A’ by The Chordettes.

Have any of you seen Marvelous Mrs. Maisel?

The girl can talk and cause a road rash.

I wanna be like her.
I AM like her!
Only, in my life, there’s no half-wit secretary to steal my dumbass husband away.
My Joel, or Benjamin, or whoever is too busy wiling away aimlessly on tinder, cribbing about smart sexy funny girls being non-existential while swiping on half-wits with big tits himself.

Too much trash talk? Yeah, I’m gonna detour from the classy for a little bit.

My life completely fell apart today… When my prince charming told me he wasn’t interested in seeing me anymore.

Am I angry? Hell yes! Am I sad? of course (a little bit). But most of all, I’m hell confused!

As I re-watch Mrs. Maisel and type away angrily in my pajamas, I remember each date I’ve been through. The good, the bad and the ugly. Some boys were charming, some seemed a little sleazy, but most of them looked like they had NO IDEA what they were doing. The men I’ve met seemed to have this innate drive to chase me till I’m interested or spin the cobwebs of my brain manipulatively, hoping that I’d fall for them. If only was that dumb, maybe I’d be happier! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The issue with me, of course, is that I don’t understand today’s dating culture. Not that I understand any other age’s dating culture. In what seemed like biblical times, people used to trade cattle and land and property for support and survival through relationships. Love was a transaction. An act of convenience and financial security. I’m sure it’s still the same for a lot of people. But today’s day and age of dating is absolutely absurd. All the chummy rom-com movies have filled every young adult’s mind with a distorted version of what relationships are supposed to be. ‘Happiness is not a gem tucked under a mountain somewhere, left for you to find’, I’d told a friend once, wisely. I don’t know if he still remembers it, but I certainly seemed to have forgotten my own musings. What frustrates me most though, is that after the chase is over and their ego is validated, their interest in me seems to simmer down significantly.

I have heard all kinds of excuses such as ‘you’re too much’, ‘If only I wasn’t still hung up on my ex’, ‘If only I didn’t have a girlfriend’ (I obviously didn’t have any idea about the last one until I was told so). I’ve even heard ridiculous stuff like ‘You’re charming and amazing, but I think you’re too good for me!’. What?! Just. What?? If I’m so pretty and funny and smart and sexy and everything extraordinary under the sun, then what is the fucking problem? Is that intimidating? Does it put pressure of high standards on the other person? Is it too good to be true? But clearly, I exist. I’m not a unicorn now, am I? When two strangers meet, people seem to think that they’re supposed to magically click while cupid sticks them with heart-shaped arrows and sings love songs. But nobody thinks about what this seemingly perfect precious person is going through every time they’re turned down.

Rejection may not be my fault, but it brings out in me a deep-rooted feeling of being unloved and unaccepted. I’ve always felt like the loving and adorable person I am. I truly have. But due to certain environments, I did not receive the love and affection I deserved. And that left me feeling quite hurt and alone. It sucks to feel like the one who is more expressive in a relationship. It sucks to be so passionate and empathetic and loving, that you want to be nurturing towards everyone you love in your life. And it sucks to not receive that nurturing back. Love is not easy… I understand! But does it have to be so damn hard?!

So when prince charming told me he wasn’t interested anymore, I went into a spiral of anguish and rage. Why? I did EVERYTHING right!
I looked pretty on the date.
I cracked jokes that were funny.
We talked about intimate things that were close and personal.
I empathized with his hardships while he empathized with mine.
Not to mention, he made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!
I liked him. And I SHOWED him I liked him!
There were scriptwriters from rom-com movies gushing over the adorableness of our first date. And yet, he left…

So, I demand to know! Where would silly men like these find a spectacular girl like me?

Mum’s The Problem.

All of us know the impact our parents have on us. More often than not, their needs become our needs, their insecurities become our insecurities and their baggage becomes our baggage. In this whirlwind of emotions, it is easy to forget that parents themselves have learned these behaviors and are empathic human beings who may be willing to unlearn it for the sake of their children.

kidsaregifts

Recently I have met a Professor of Psychotherapy, a Consultant Psychiatrist and a GP – all parents of children lost to mental illnesses. Here’s what one mum says:

“Whenever I have seen a therapist, they have gone straight to my childhood, my up-bringing, my parents and their parents. All my behaviours and feelings seem to be explained and understood based on their behaviours, however ‘normal’, for their times. I am encouraged to think of all the ways in which they could have directly or indirectly damaged me.

By that principle, all of my child’s behaviours and feelings should be explained and understood based on the behaviours of his parents. Half of them is me. I agree. I must be part of the problem. My profession is perceived as a bigger problem. ‘High achieving Asian’ parents are assumed to put a lot of pressure on their children. So much so, the…

View original post 123 more words

Hotel Mumbai

I did not plan on writing this post. I’m not going to edit it. I’m not going to design it. I’m going to write because I need to- I’d hate myself if I didn’t. This is not a movie review. I do not write movie reviews. Please don’t read the post if you haven’t seen the movie as it may have spoilers. I’m writing this post because I need to get it out of my system. I’m mourning and I feel a wave of word vomit I can not control.

Almost ten years ago on the remorseful fay of 26/11 Mumbai was subject to a brutal terrorist attack that took a jab at all of our hearts in a way that still hurts. As the survivors and loved ones of the demised mourne and heal from their losses, it still feels like yesterday, what happened a decade ago. Watching the attacks reported live on television was one of the most horrific things I had experienced. Have spent a large part of my childhood in Mumbai, I remembered the busy city for its life and vibrance. Watching it subject to such assault was a painful experience. I exhale slowly as I remember it. My parents spent a large part of their life in Mumbai. We moved out when I was in middle school but still have close friends and family there that we visit yearly. I remember wondering when the CST station was bombed if my creche aunty was there. I was relieved to know that she wasn’t. My childhood friend – Nikita Dabale, who I’ve known my entire life- from the time we learned to walk and ran around in pampers, still lived in Mumbai for years after. Although Santacruz was not targetted, at the time the blasts were happening, nobody knew where the next target was going to be. I was so relieved to know that she was fine. People called their friends and family for assurance.

The movie Hotel Mumbai did a stunning job of showcasing the traumatically gripping events that occurred in the bombings. They concentrated on the three out of twelve coordinated shootings that happened across Mumbai which showed a series of interlinked events. They started with the CST bombing, onto Leopold Cafe and then Taj.

The scene where people rush from the station and cafe into Taj, beating at its doors and begging for entry was the start of a scared shudder. The hotel staff heroically let the people in to protect them and as the shootings proceed the staff tried to call all the guests to warn them to stay in their rooms. I thought this was a very important part to show how devoted the staff felt towards their guests. Since Taj is one of the most exorbitant hotels in India, a vast majority of guests were larger than life public figures, businessmen and international clients.

As the day proceeded, the terrorists moved from floor to floor, luring out guests and brutally mutilating them in the name of vengeance as the staff tried to sneak as many people out as they could. The scene where Anupam Kher, a famous Bollywood actor who plays head chef of the hotel in the movie, collects his staff and informs them of the security concerns, extending them the empathy of staying to help the guests or leave if they wanted instead was a very dignified way of showing compassion and vulnerability in the face of danger. The painful story of the Indian-American family who gets 

separated because of the painful events also got the audience teary-eyed. Armand Douglas Hammer, an American actor who played a lead role alongside British-Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi in this Indian-American pair stole hearts with his piercing blue eyes and passionate valor towards protecting his family. In the entire movie, he and his wife try to work their way out of the hotel with their friend who does her best to protect their baby boy Cameron. The scene where he gets shot right in front of Nazanin while she is screaming traumatically only to look at the shooter in the eye and recite prayers over his lifeless body was the most intense scene in the movie.

This scene with Nazanin and her husband’s shooter was particularly important because: Throughout the movie, they show the terrorist attack being planned by a group which sought vengeance in the name of religion. At this point when the shooter comes face to face with Nazanin, who is Indian and also Muslim, he is conflicted about whether he should shoot her not. In his fight for his religion, the terrorist does not find it in his conscience to shoot her as it would feel like a sin.mumbai-attack-story_647_030616044923 But his mentor, the lead terrorist who has brainwashed the entire troop to believe that this attack has an ulterior holy motive, tries to coax him into shooting her because she is an abomination. In this moral conflict, the terrorist decides to listen to his inner conscience and leaves her alive; showing that he is only human. Another powerful scene when one of the terrorists calls his father in the midst of the bombing attacks to tell his family that he loves them and hopes that they have received the money the ‘lead terrorist’ has promised them shows that at the end of the day, they were the very flawed and misguided boys they were shown to be; They were brainwashed into going to unspeakable lengths for their religion and to provide for their families.

The courage exhibited by the hotel staff that stayed back to help the guests spoke volumes about the bravery and dedication these people had. Both central characters Anupam Kher and Dev Patel played a crucial role in helping the hostages out of the hotel. Anupam Kher is the head chef of the hotel and ensured safe refuge for the guests in the secret harbor. He sported nerves of steel in the face of mass hysteria and panic and consistently strived to keep the guests safe and protected from the attackers.1547091072-csfed He did so by taking them to a secret chamber and keeping their location hidden. Dev Patel, on the other hand, played a crucial role in supporting Anupam Kher by being his steady right hand through the crisis. He put his neck on the line to save injured victims and guide stranded hostages to the safe haven of the chambers. His devotion to the safety of the guests helped pacify the hostages and contain the panic. The sentiment with which he was ready to put his life on the line for his country and people really spoke volumes to the songs of Sikh valor we have heard about. It takes pure passion and patriotism to perform a feat so heroic.

As the movie went on through the second half I found myself covering my face to stop my self from gasping at the apathy within the shootings. I dug my nails into the back of my neck as I felt my self overwhelm and panic at the turn of events so that I don’t let out a terrified scream. As the climax comes around where they gather the hostages into one room I find my self slowing praying ‘Allah rehem’ (Lord have mercy) under my breath (which is odd because I’m agnostic and I’m not Muslim). I broke down sobbing into my friend’s mother’s arms as the hostages were shot down one by one and couldn’t contain myself from the trauma of the events that occurred until the credits rolled in.

My Trip To Atlanta

“You should come visit” -NJ
Me -“I’d love to but I’m so stressed right now. Plus I’m traveling to India!”

“You should totally come visit” -NJ (after a few weeks)
Me -“Uh, I don’t know.. I have end sems and I’m traveling to my parents for vacation :/”

“Dude! You need to come visit” – NJ (after a few more weeks)
Me -“Hm… I could I guess. I have a week of vacation in March for spring break.
NJ – “What?! Get your ridiculous self down here then! That’s it!
Me – “Okay!”

That is literally the amount of planning I  did for this trip. And as you know, the lesser you plan the better it gets!

I have been in a crazy phase of impromptu trips over the past year, but honestly, this was the one I enjoyed most.

Atlanta is a gorgeous city in Georgia state. It is very serene and beautify and has a very peppy vibe. Between the quaint bistros, colorful galleries and vibrant parks, I was completely sold for the place.

 

Atlanta downtown, of course, has skyscrapers and is buzzing with activity. But the area that NJ lives in, called Smyrna, is a very laid back suburban area with comfy looking townhouses and a lot of greenery. It really is for nature enthusiastic professionals because of the balance it strikes between providing the benefits of being near a city and the relaxation of a laid back town. They also have art projects going on around the city. Tiny Doors ATL is an Atlanta-based art project bringing big wonder to tiny spaces. Tiny Doors ATL literally installs 7-inch tall doors in strategic places throughout the city. Each door is designed to look and feel like the surrounding neighborhood’s architecture and community spirit. Like the neighborhoods, no two doors are exactly the same! Collecting pictures of the Tiny Doors is an activity that most tourists do. Atlanta has a large and vibrant art scene that I thought was really cool!

One of the most interesting experiences that I had on this trip was going to the Hippie Sabotage Concert. I had never conscientiously put in an effort to listen to electronic dance music before. And because that’s practically what NJ listens to all day along with a wide array of other music that I don’t understand, I was pretty nervous about going to this concert. hippieBut once we entered, the ambiance was fabulous! They had an amazingly comfortable interior with a large and jazzy dance floor next to the bar. The stage was huge and well lit. Their light coordination with the music was mind-blowing. They also had two floors of seatings and a popsicle vending store, which was fabulous. That was more than enough to get NJ psyched about the concert. Never seen a person so excited like a puppy dog :’) Although, I hadn’t listened to a lot of their music, I heard a few songs before the concert to get myself familiar. I also kept googling up the lyrics with NJ’s help for any of the songs that I didn’t know. I was sorted! It was a loud night of lights, music and incoherent screaming- and I loved all of it! NJ was so glad that the night was a hit and I was super happy that I had a very exciting introduction to EDM music. The Hippie Sabotage may not be a well-known band, but they did a good job of keeping the audience entertained. I thought they were “Dope!” 😀

Next, we went to this galleria called Little Five Points which was the most colorful and peppy galleria I’d ever seen. They had everything. EVERYTHING. From themed resto-bars to quaint bookshops, art boutiques and exclusive clothes stores, they had it all! I bought some amazingly adorable decorators for my room along with badges and piercings. It was wonderful. 

 

I walked around the stores for a bit and did my rummaging around for good-vibe-things. We had dragged along NJ’s roommate Nicole and her fond boyfriend Wess for our shopping rage as well. We walked, chatted and they introduced me to an emo themed restaurant called The Vortex. The food was as impressive as the name was. With their large burgers and delicious beer they had us swooning at the table. Again, lots of laughter and games over food – this gorgeous gang of unicorns kinda made my day.😊

Apart from shopping and partying, we also did all the cozy things I enjoy most. NJ had recently gotten into watercolor art and would get snug with her roommate to paint every other day. img_2134So, we snuggled up in the living room and decided what we’d like to color. After much fretting and reservation, I finally agreed to paint a picture that I saw on Pinterest and liked. For more on my struggles with painting art, please read my last blog post, Pretty As A Picture. To my surprise, I came up with a really pretty and close replica of what I wanted to paint! It was super fun and relaxing. We played the latest season of Queer Eye on the side, got some delicious food and gossiped 😀 Another favorite activity of mine was spending time with Lucy. Lucy is a friends dog that NJ babysits whenever they go out. She’s the most enthusiastic dog I have ever met. She’s very young, loving and adorable and it was her morning routine to wake me up by trying to lick my face off. Honestly, I didn’t mind 🙂 WhatsApp Image 2019-03-16 at 7.35.37 PMI would hear Nicole, greet lucy every morning with lots of love! Like a mother reunited with her pup after an endless night of separation, gushing over her fondly. Lucy definitely pumped up the happiness quotient of the house by a couple of shots. That’s her on the right. She likes to pose and is very photogenic! Such a diva ❤️ I also loved the long drives that NJ and I took. The city is so beautiful and green that driving around it at stopping for food at drinks at my every whims and fancy was pretty magical. It’s that kind of a place where travel gets you high. In a short span of three days, we tried all of Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, American and Indian cuisines. It was fabulous. My taste buds haven’t stopped thanking NJ yet. 😍 On colder nights, I’d cozy up on NJ’s barcalounger with my laptop and food, creating content for what I’d write next. Sometimes Lucy would join me and we’d take a nap. It was NJ’s mission to stop at every fantastic food place and make me dance at every club we went to. Worked out well for me I guess! Walking along the art walkway into the sunset eating popsicles and talking about things that matter what my favorite part. I don’t know what perfect means but I’m pretty sure this was hella close to it :’)

Thanks, NJ, for dragging me away from my rut and giving me the vacation I deserved ❤️

Stay beautiful, bruh.

WhatsApp Image 2019-03-17 at 6.45.17 PM