No Regrets

Long time back, when I was in school, I was addicted to those Agatha Christie novels. I used to read them like crazy and I believe I must have read all of them.

One of my favorite of her books is “After the Funeral”; A mystery of revolving around the murder of Mr. Richard Abernethie and his sister Cora.

I don’t really remember all the character now but I remember at one point this guy asks his sister, “Don’t you have any regrets?”, and she calmly replies, “It’s a waste of time, having regrets”.

This dialogue has been stuck in my head ever since. I read numerous other novels after this one but no other dialogue ever appealed me as this one did.

Regret. Those sad disappointing feelings that sometimes feel like they are piercing your heart.

So many times in life we fail to do something which ultimately makes us regret that moment for years to come.

Logic, society, common sense, manners, fear and god knows what all has stopped us from doing what we always wanted to do.

I’m sure all of us can count the incidents in our life we regret. Things we didn’t say, and decisions we didn’t make.

I don’t know about everybody else, but I’ve had my fair share of things that I for a long time regretted. A long list of things I wanted to do and feelings I wanted to express.

There was a point in my life when my list of regrets was longer than my list of things that made me happy. And each of those was regrets were like a wakeup call for me.

I remember somebody telling me, that one day your whole life would flash before your eyes. Make it worth a watch.

I didn’t want my life to be a bundle of regrets, so I decided to just let everything go and do what my heart wanted.

Over time I’ve committed massive blunders, made horrible mistakes and made a complete utter fool of myself in front of strangers.

But I also know that in spite of all this, I made some absolutely fabulous friends, found my passion in life and did what my I wanted to do rather than what everybody else expected me to do.

And today, years after I made that decision, I stand here happy and content. I’ve realized that after all these years, I really don’t give a damn if somebody thought my choices were wrong, or if somebody did not liked the way I dressed or if somebody absolutely hated the way I talked and considered me a blubbering idiot.

Everybody around you will always keep telling you what to do and what not to do. I’ve had my parents and friends and neighbors and random people I just met tell me what I should do in life.

But at the end of everything, and with all due respect to each one of them, I made choices that I felt were correct for me. Even if they were wrong I knew that these were the choices I made and hence I’m the only one responsible for anything that ever happens to me.

All that matters today is that I did what I wanted to and that deep down inside me I know that I’m very happy.

Every single regret that we have in life is because of a simple fact, that we were not able to stand up for our happiness. It takes guts to do what you want to do and when you know everybody else is against it. But somehow I’ve seen that it is easier to go against ever body and do what your heart tells you to do than to regret it years later.

Take risks in life. Either you’ll get what you wanted or you would gain an experience which would be more valuable than anything else in this world.

Fall in love with some body and tell them about your feelings. If they do love you back then spread that happiness everywhere. And if they don’t love you back then fall headlong into a tub of chocolate chip ice cream and emerge back stronger.

Love what you do. And if you can’t love it, then ditch that stupid job and do what you love.

Dress the way you like. If you like what you’re wearing then just don’t give a damn to what others think.

Try new places to eat. Who know what food heaven you might end up finding.

If you really want to buy those funky looking shoes then go running toward those neon pink pumps. They might be super duper expensive but it’s OK to be broke once in a while.

Listen to what your heart says. Do everything you like to do. It’s your life. Do what you want to do with it.

Because someday, when you are 80 and are looking back at your life, you should feel like you’ve utilized every god freaking day and have lived your life to the fullest.

At the end, when the curtain are about to fall,you should have no regrets.

The Crazy Bucket List

10 things you want to do before you die.

Well to be frank there are 395,678,342,659 things I want to do before I die. And most of them involve something extremely crazy. Going to Paris with the love of my life, scuba diving at the great barrier reef in Australia, Stuffing my face with the best of New York’s street food, going to the Oktoberfest in Germany are just some of the normal things I would do.  And I know I would do that. No matter what, these things will be marked as done on my list.

But the not so normal things I want to do are listed below. I want to do more than just these 10, but I figured I’d rather not make it official that I’m crazy but putting them out in public. :D

Now, all these idea’s are not necessarily a fruit of my overactive imagination. I’v stolen some of them from other people.

 

1. Get into a cab and yell “Follow that car!”- We have seen this scene innumerable times in movies. And I’m hell bent on doing this someday.

 

2. Go to a stranger’s wedding and yell “Don’t marry her. I still love you” and the run away as fast as I can. I would love to stay back and look at the expression of ever person there but I’m pretty sure the wedding party would get me admitted at a mental hospital.

 

3. Walk up to a stranger, hand him a briefcase and whisper “You know what to do.” I would get some friend of mine to sit somewhere close by and record the reaction of that person.

 

4. Text “I hid the body” to a random number.

 

5. Go to Sydney and ask random people to help me locate ’42, Wallaby Way, Sydney‘. This address has been stuck in my head ever since I saw ‘Finding Nemo’.

 

6. Every time somebody asks me to do something, ask them if they need fries with that.- I have no idea why I want to do this but I’m sure a couple of times would be enough to drive everybody around me crazy.

 

7. Buy a parrot and teach him to say “Help! I’v been turned into a parrot!”. Oh! the joy of looking at people’s reactions.

 

8. Step into a crowded elevator and say with a perfectly straight face, “I’m sure you all are wondering why I’v gathered you all here today.” And when people start giving me weird expressions, act as if I’m shocked out of my wits and run out screaming.

 

9. Run to a stranger and look at them in horror. Then tell them with great urgency, “They found out about you. You need to leave the country as soon as possible.”

 

10. When I get a sales call, politely answer the phone and  In the middle of the conversation start asking them repeatedly if they believe in ghosts.

That Feeling Called Love

She dabbed some more concealer on the scar. She was good with makeup. Nobody could tell that beneath this layer of expensive makeup were marks that had shattered her. These scars would fade away with time. But the pain that they bought would take a lifetime to leave her heart.

A sprinkle of her favorite perfume and she was ready.

She looked at herself in the long mirror. Dark blue kurta with an embroidered neckline. White churidar and dupatta. Silver bangles jingling at her wrists. She completed the look with her favorite antique jhumka’s that belonged to her grandmother.

She smiled at her reflection. She knew Indian wear suited her. And today after a long time, she had made an effort to look good.

Grabbing her purse, she went down to her car, instructing her driver to take her to this fancy new restaurant where she was to meet him today.

Sitting back, she couldn’t help but remember that day. No matter how much she tried to wipe off every trace of those memories, her mind always went back there. To that day.

They had met through common friends. Both young and in love. He was the perfect guy to her. Moody sometimes, she always thought that was a personality trait. That was just how he was.

He always checked her phone. Going through every text message and the day’s call history. Every message was questioned and every call detail asked.

This was his daily routine. He checked her phone, went through her mails, and never allowed her to meet anybody else. Forget about guys, even her girlfriends were scrutinized by him.

She believed she was madly in love with him and would have died happily for him. And he almost killed her.

Emotional blackmail was an everyday routine. He brainwashed her to an extent that every friend and family seemed like an enemy.

She loved him with all his heart and believed that he was the one for her.

They could have had a fairytale life according to her, if only he was not this possessive. She got scared when he screamed at her. He broke her phone twice in fits of anger.

She would ball up in a corner and cry herself to sleep, praying all the time that he would calm down.

“He loves me, he loves me, he loves me….”.

She would keep saying that to herself whenever he apologized to her after hours of screaming and abusing her.  And when he apologized, he became the angel she had fallen in love with. He showered her with kisses and gifts and seemed like he was genuinely sorry for what he did.

She would forgive him every single time.

Initially it happened once or twice. But soon, the screaming and abusing became an everyday matter. She walked around the house like a zombie. Scared to even breathe. Worrying all the time to not do something that would upset him.

Work was solace for her. A tiny voice inside her always told her that his behavior was wrong but she never found the courage to talk to him about it. This was just how he was. Maybe she was not able to show him how much she loved him.

She spent endless days and nights trying to figure out how to make him understand that she loved him and never wanted him to be angry.

But everything failed. Day after day the verbal abuses and the taunts continued. And with time they seemed to increase. It was like he had a spilt personality. Sometimes he showered her with so much love that she felt overwhelmed. But when he was angry, there was nothing she could do but just keep her head down and let him vent out his fury.

She had signed up for a new project. It meant a new team and more challenging work. She was shifted to a new branch office and was pleasantly surprised when she heard someone greet her in a voice that was vaguely familiar. She turned around and saw her best friend from high school. Tanmay. They had lost contact when they went to different colleges.

Today, after 6 years, he still looked the same. The same infectious smile, same tousled hair, and the same cheerful nature.

And it took him just one look to realize that something was not right with her.

She didn’t smile that freely anymore and rarely talked. This girl was the fun factor of any party. And now it seemed like that spark had died somewhere.

It took almost two weeks for him to have an actual conversation with her. It seemed like she avoided anyone who tried to be friendly with her. She worked hard. Concentrating on every detail of the project. But she rarely mingled with anybody.

Getting her number was an even tougher task. But never gave up on her. He kept trying until finally she started coming out of her shell. She started talking. Not like she used to, but at least she talked.

From coffee breaks to lunch to a text message once in a while.  Slowly she started smiling more often and talked more.

She enjoyed his company. He was always happy, and cheerful. She realized how much she had missed him. She liked working with him and felt good when he noticed how she had taken care of every small detail of this project.

The workload had increased way too much and the deadline for the project was soon approaching. That day, she got late at work and by the time she finished, it was way too late to find a cab back home. She called him up but he didn’t answer. That was enough to tell her that he was furious. She had missed a few of his calls a couple of hours back. She would have to explain to him that she was in a meeting.

One of her colleague offered to drop her home. She knew he would be furious, by this but them she had no other choice. She wanted him to pick her up but he was not answering his phone.

She saw standing on the porch. She felt her heart sink at the very sight of him. He smiled at her colleague and thanked him for dropping her home. But she could tell that he was way beyond angry.

When the car pulled out of their driveway, he grabbed her arm and dragged her inside the house and slapped her so hard, she felt blood in her mouth.

She fell on the floor and before she could react, he picked up a flower vase and aimed it at her face. It smashed against her head. And all she remembered was seeing blood.

That knock was probably what was required to bring her back to her senses.

She did not deserve this. This abusing and screaming. This was not love. This was freak control. She was just a punching bag for him.

He kicked her hard in the ribs and left her squirming in pain.

When he went upstairs, she tried to stand up, only to fall back again for the pain seemed to intensify with every movement.  She dragged herself toward her phone and with every scrap of courage that was left in her, called the police.

They found her 42 minutes later, bleeding and crying. She was curled up in a fetal position. 42 minutes. Every second of these 42 minutes had felt like a lifetime to her. They went upstairs and dragged him down. He hurled abuses at her and promised to come back and kill her.

The police dragging him away was probably the best balm for her wounds. She had suffered enough. She let out a sigh and went to the hospital in the ambulance that was waiting for her. She could finally breathe again.

She was jerked back to reality as the car stopped outside the restaurant. She gathered her wits and stepped out of the car.

It had been 8 months since that day. It was time to move on.

As she walked inside, she was ushered to the table where Tanmay was waiting for her. The look he gave when he saw her gave her butterflies in the stomach. She saw him give her a long appreciative look. And when their eyes met, the depth in his eyes made her realize, that this was what love really felt like.

The Wait

You can read the first three parts of this series here:

Love At First Site

The Fine Line Between Love And Infactuation

A Balm For The Aching Heart

 

Rashi and I were lazing on her deck. A pitcher of lemonade by our side, we sat there admiring the beauty of the rain that cleansed the tress and made everything look so serene.

We both dozed off for a good half hour only to be woken by the sound of thunder.

I get up and stretch myself. Rashi has dozed off again but sleep eludes me now. I go inside to get some food from the pantry. All this nature admiring has made me hungry.

I grab two bags of chips and start walking back towards the deck when I hear a familiar voice. A voice that gives me goose bumps.

It’s him. I hear his voice.

“You’ve lost it girl”, my brain tells me. How can he be here? He’s supposed to be in London.

I start walking again when I hear Rashi’s brother Siddharth’s voice. I’m standing outside his room. “So when are you planning to come to Delhi?” He asks.

“Next week. I’ll be there for a month. I need a much deserved vacation. I’ve been working nonstop and they gave me just 5 days off for your wedding.  So now I’m going to just relax and not do anything but eat and sleep.”

I peep into Siddharth’s room and see that he’s having a video chat. And I see Vivek’s face on the Ipad screen.

Oh! My! God!

Does this mean Vivek is coming to India?

“Awesome. We could barely hang out together during the wedding madness. Just mail me all your flight details. I’ll pick you up from the airport.” I hear Siddharth reply.

My heart somersaults inside my chest and I try not to scream out of joy.

He’s coming! He’s actually coming to India. I can finally look at him in person. Swoon over his voice and fall in love with those eyes.

I obviously don’t know if I would be able to meet him or not but I assure my heart that if he’s here for a month, I’ll surely meet him some way.

I’m so happy I barely know what to think.

“Did you find gold in that bag of chips?” I hear Rashi’s voice call out to me.

“What?” I ask still dazed with all this joy.

“Then why the hell are you flashing such huge smiles?”

That is when I realize I’ve walked all the way to the deck without even realizing where I’m going.

“Pull yourself together girl. You’re acting like a nutcase.” My brain chides me.

I shake my head at her and give her those chips. I’m far too excited to be hungry now. She digs right into them.

He’s just a few days away.

And for me, these few days are going to feel like a lifetime.

 

Terribly Tiny Tales

Of late I’ve been obsessed with these ‘Terribly Tine Tales’. They are tweet sized stories written by some fantastic writers. Sometimes I feel like some of these were inspired directly from my life! I’l post more of these later. But as of now these are my top  favorites.   I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

You can find more about them here

 

 

 


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Embracing My Flaws

Get flawless skin with just one swipe of the miracle foundation. It reduces the appearance of pores and blemishes and makes you look up to 5 years younger.”

I’m sure all of you have at some time or the other heard these lines on the TV or radio. Or maybe read them in some fashion magazine with the close up photograph of a model or actress’s face whose skin looks so smooth that you could ski down her cheeks!

Flawless skin.  Which woman does not want that? Glowing, flawless skin and a complexion so fair that other women envy you.

And in this age of cosmetics and make up, it really isn’t a tough job to get that perfect skin, sultry lips and magnetic eyes.

All you need to do is rush to your nearest mall and get a handful of cosmetics. Then come back home and go through the endless make up tutorials on YouTube that would teach you how to get that flawless look with all these cosmetics. And then go color your face as if it was a blank canvas.

I’ve seen women with layers of make up, who look so flawless that I sometimes wonder if their skin has ever been exposed to natural light and air without a barrier of foundation and powder!

And the best thing I’ve seen online is the makeup tutorial for “A no makeup natural look”. This woman used a bunch of foundations and concealers and what not to make her face look like she had flawless skin without any make up!!

I might sound old school but I would rather eat healthy and treat my skin with natural stuff like turmeric and sandalwood so that it naturally looks healthy and bright rather than slather on some foundation and powder and look “Fake Flawless”.

This is also because I have a very sensitive skin that tends to react to anything I use on it. I can barely find a decent moisturizer that won’t give me rashes.

But recently with the help of my friends who are into makeup and stuff, I’ve found some make up brands that don’t break my skin. So after spending nearly 2 decades of my life without any make up, I’ve found stuff which has a little less harsh chemicals.

Yes, I’m really happy with my finds and I have learned how to use all this makeup, but something inside me just does not allow me to get into this routine of slathering my face every day with all this stuff.  Sometimes for special occasions yes, but not every day.

Because all this make up and looking pretty is just on the exterior.  Every day when you come home and remove all these layers, you see the real you in the mirror. The dark circles, the blemishes, the scars. I know it would break my heart to see myself going from fab to drab.

And what if people get so used to looking at me with make up on that someday when they see me without even a scrap of makeup on my face, they fail to recognize me!!

This is not the fruit of my wild imagination. I’ve seen women who without make up almost look like they’re unwell. And that’s because I was so used to seeing them with so much mascara and eyeliner and foundations and what not, that without any make up, the perfect image kind of shattered.

Isn’t it more practical and healthy that instead of hiding beneath all these layers, we confront our imperfections and embrace them? And then try to internally correct them through a healthier lifestyle?

I go to work every day with just a sun screen on my face. Though for me it was because I could never use any make up, I found out that I’m far more confident with a bare face than most other girls my age. I don’t need some cosmetics to help me look and feel beautiful.

My sensitive skin turned out to be the biggest blessing in disguise for me. Because I’ve realized that I’d rather be bare faced and look weird than depend on some cosmetics to take me towards temporary perfection.

The only important thing is that you love yourself. If you fall in love with your flaws, you realize that these flaws, are big part of your personality. Physically as well and emotionally. And once you embrace your imperfections, you’ll see how beautiful you are.