Live in the moment.

Live in the moment.


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December is usually a month of reflections. Looking back to the year that was; pondering what went wrong and what we learned from it all. December is also a month for planning for the new year that will soon make an entry; making resolutions; charting the route to be taken to achieve goals and fulfil every wish to make the next year a happy one.

For me, personally, it’s a month of reflections; remembering in detail all that went wrong; all that changed me completely as a person; and all that I will not be doing in the new year. Yes, not doing, as in planning for the new year, making personal and career goals, resolving to do or undo certain things.

All that happened this year taught me one thing, which has now become my motto:

LIVE IN THE MOMENT.

I had plans galore last year, which all crumbled to dust this year and left me broken hearted. Broken hearted and wise. It taught me to live life in the moment–the present. And, that all that we plan need not come to fruition.

I will share with you something that strengthened my belief in living in the moment. Nothing serious, but something really minuscule, and yet, significant.

Yesterday, we–hubby and I–completed 21 years of married life. Family and friends showered us with anniversary wishes; some asked what plans I had for the day; how had we decided on celebrating? And, my only reply was that I had not made a single plan. At the risk of sounding unromantic, it’s just another day, and now it’s 21 long years! But, on a serious note, I don’t make plans because anything could happen and ruin those plans and leave me with a heartache and a bad mood.

And, you know what happened in the evening? Hubby’s car broke down, so it had to be towed to the service centre where it will stay for a few days; hubby wasn’t hungry as he had had a late lunch, and also, he had some work to tend to. So, that left me all alone on my wedding anniversary.

Did I feel bad? Nope. Did I wallow in self-pity? No way! Instead, I went and treated myself to my favourite pani puri at a nearby chaat centre, fed biscuits to my 12 canine friends, who were delighted to meet me, came back home happy and satiated, completed a pending article and then enjoyed a dinner with my feathered babies. And, to be frank, it felt awesome!

Being alone on my wedding anniversary did not dampen my spirits a bit, and that’s because I have conditioned myself to enjoy my own company–in short, be emotionally independent. Does that sound a tad snobbish? I hope not.

So, to sum it up, I was glad I hadn’t made any plans and enjoyed the moment, as it came.

And, that is going to be my goal for the future. To live in the moment; to live life as it comes and to learn from all that it brings for me.

Do you remember Katrina Kaif’s dialogue in the very famous movie, ‘ZIndagi na milegi dobara’? When asked what plans she had for her future, she said she hadn’t decided upon anything, instead wished for Life to surprise her at every turn; looked forward to new adventures and meeting new people and making new friends.

Isn’t that the perfect way to live? The ideal way to live?

Let Life bring for you what She has decided for you. You are sure to learn from the tough times and enjoy the beautiful ones. Like I have been doing since some time now.

I learned from all that went wrong.

Met new people–blogger friends whom I had met in the virtual world only–and loved every moment I spent with them.

Basked in the surprise Life brought my way by getting my entry shortlisted from amongst 1600 plus nominations for the Orange Flower Awards.

And, gained a new insight into how She functions! She, as in Life.

So, it is with this newfound knowledge that I wish to step into the new year..in fact, why just the new year, but every moment that comes my way! That’s sure to take a truckload off of the stress that one usually tends to carry on one’s shoulders–anxious about the future–isn’t it?

The future will be what it is destined to be. Why worry, plan, look forward to the moment that hasn’t come yet? Why not live this moment to its fullest, doing our bestest and letting go the fear of the morrow?

What do you think?

Taking your leave with this quote from a really beautiful book my friend, Sanch, gifted me – ‘The art of racing in the rain’. And, it is something that the dog in the story wonders:

“People are always worried about what’s happening next. They often find it difficult to stand still, to occupy the now without worrying about the future. People are not generally satisfied with what they have; they are very concerned with what they are going to have.”

Points to ponder, eh?

Smile, shine and take care…

Love,

SHILPA…

P.S.

What do you think about my logo? Made it yesterday…thanks to Canva!

And, the new look of my blog? 🙂

SHILPA…

Will you step out of your comfort zone?

Will you step out of your comfort zone?

Last month, a dear cousin flew down to India. We have been really close right since our childhood. So, as we caught up over the phone and swapped notes, she asked me how life was. When I told her my daily schedule, she got into the ‘sensible cousin mode’ and gave me a much-needed pep talk.

She knows what an introvert I am, who loves her own company, enjoys staying cooped up in her home and seldom approaches people for a conversation. So, she came up with a brilliant plan to revamp my lifestyle and add a pop of colour to it.

She advised me thus:

Get out of your house on the weekends. Visit a cafe and become a regular at the place. Carry a book, if you feel awkward, initially. Then, mingle with the other patrons, get friendly with the staff, have a few laughs and then come back home, feeling thrilled and upbeat!

My darling cousin has a reason. She feels if I do this one thing, then the anxiety and the gloom that looms large like an apparition and frightens the hell out of me, won’t bother me, ever again. The socialising will act as the best panacea as well as a stress buster!

Since some time now, I have been in the state of mind where I wish to go out, meet and socialise, but the mere thought of actually meeting people and conversing with them gives me the jitters! I am in such a dilemma that I’d rather stay put where I am–at home. I am too self-conscious and, at times, suffer from a low self-esteem. There, I admit it.

Chatting with strangers is not something I can imagine doing. It’s a different matter, altogether, meeting my blogger friends, even if for the first time. We all know our stories, where we come from, our likes, dislikes, pet peeves and passion, so even if we were to meet for the very first time, we would just be picking up from where we left in the virtual world, where we meet oftener.

Indulging in small talk with complete strangers is not my thing! What do I talk about? The weather? Fashion? Kids? Work? What???

So, when I asked my cousin what do I talk about with strangers, she giggled and told me to just talk whatever comes to my mind, but not get into anything serious–like talking about LIFE, for instance. She advised me to, “Keep it simple, silly!” and learn to chill.

Yes, CHILLIN’ is what I am supposed to be doin’ to bring about some vibrancy into my dull and boring life.

That reminds me, dull and boring is what an old friend thinks I am, which, as a matter of fact, is the fact. So, to get rid of this dullness, I need to get out of my comfort zone, which is my home, and learn to mingle.

Phew!

Oh, and, I also need to change my wardrobe, try out something that adds an element of zing to my life and watch myself bloom, all over again! Her words, again.

Now, introverts reading this post will, definitely, wonder how the hell am I going to attempt to do all of the above. I, too, wonder how I will manage it all. I mean, I am 45, and all my life I have been this wallflower who would rather stay on the periphery and watch all the fun than approach strangers and converse with them. Mingle with them.

Ahem…I feel like telling my darling sis, “I don’t mingle, lady..I prefer to stay single!” Hehe..Bad joke, I know, but that’s how I like it.

Oh, how am I supposed to do it, dear cousin? Pray, tell me!!

“Sweetie, you just need to step out of your comfort zone!” is what will be her witty retort!

Wish me luck, people! Will keep you posted!

Tell me, dear reader, have you ever tried stepping out of your comfort zone? Or, are you contemplating doing something like what I have been asked to do? If you have ventured out of your comfort zone, how has the experience been? Do share with me your story; it will be an inspiration for me!

Love,

SHILPA…

 

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If I were to leave this world tomorrow…

If I were to leave this world tomorrow…

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My friend, Vinodini Iyer shared a post today about what she would do if she were to discover that today was the last day of her life. It got me thinking along the same lines. Of course, I know that some day will be my last day on this planet, and knowing how uncertain Life can be, it might just be tomorrow! Well, you never know, do you?

So, even though I have thought about what I would do if I were to discover that Life would be ending on a particular day, I haven’t put it down in as many words, yet. The thoughts have been saved and the plan’s all ready, up there, in my mind, but reading Vinodini’s post inspired me to put those thoughts down on my blog, not for any other reason than to remind myself every day that Life is nearing its end , so, lady, you need to change a few things about yourself and learn to chill…a bit!

So, here goes, my to-do list for the day I bid adieu:

  1. The very first thing I would do is call up my parents. God, just thinking about how they would react on reading this post gives me a fair idea of how they would react if…So, let me reword it: I would call up my family–every person of the entire family– and have a heart to heart chat with them all. Joke with my gang of cousins and share a few dirty jokes one last time so that I leave with a big smile on my face, and theirs, too.
  2. Next, I would call the few friends who matter to me, a lot. It will be one of those emotionally draining experiences, but it’s what I would want to do. We hardly get the time to talk to each other everyday as much as we would like to. And, they are well aware of it, but I still need to tell them how much I love them, how much they mean to me.
  3. There are a few things that I cherish–my jewellery, sarees, books,art supplies–and I have already decided what goes to whom. So, during those heart to heart chats I have with them, I will let them know about their little inheritance!😜 (My girls are going to kick me if they read this post, really!).
  4. My winged babies–Cookie, Bholu, Chikki–will be moved to their aunt’s home or my mom’s home. These are the two places where they will receive the most love and the best care.
  5. I wonder who will take care of hubby! (Oh, God! I really don’t want to go tomorrow! How will that guy survive alone?).
  6. I will remind hubby and sis-in-law about donating my organs so someone can live a better life. I have told them about it on multiple occasions, but this time they will have to take me seriously!
  7. My blog baby, Metanoia, will have one last post, to thank all those who visit here regularly and leave behind a piece of their heart.
  8. And, yes, for the last time, I would like to spend some happy moments with my stray furry friends–I so look forward to meeting them every day! They remind me of my Chikoo–the guy I will be meeting soon!

These are just some of the things I would want to do before I cross over. Although, I do wonder if the time I have left would be enough to fulfil these last wishes!

That’s the reason behind penning this post, you see? To be grateful for all that I have been blessed with and to remind myself, again, that Life is so very uncertain. And, the few, uncertain moments we have left, are best spent doing something worthwhile. That nothing here lasts forever and that love is all that really matters.

Have you ever thought what you would want to do if it was your last day today?

Love,

SHILPA…

I am taking my Alexa Rank to the next level with Blogchatter.

Social media and our imperfect lives.

Social media and our imperfect lives.

Have you ever scrolled through Instagram or Facebook and gazed wistfully at the exquisite images people share, and wished secretly those were yours, that, that was your Life, your story? Come on, you can tell me. I won’t judge you, I promise.  I, too, have felt that way, to be frank. Yes, I did!  I am human.

Thankfully, though, those were fleeting moments and I returned to my world, my Life, and sent a “Thank you” heavenwards for whatever I had received–good, bad, ugly. For it may have been the ‘good’ that filled my life with joy, but it was the ‘ugly’ that taught me precious lessons, helped me grow as a person and realise the true meaning of Life!

So, yes, all of us do wish–knowingly or unknowingly, at some time or the other, when Life is full of shit–that our Life was like the others’–picture perfect.  But, when we do so, hardly ever do we dwell on the fact that Life is never picture perfect. Life, as in Real Life, is not what we see in those pictures people share. It is the ‘filters’ in our phones that make it perfect, for the world to gawk at and covet.

Real life is something that most of us seldom share with the world. Real life is just different; it’s all about stuff going wrong, family feuds, marriages collapsing, illnesses, loss of a job, misbehaved kids and utter chaos. Real Life is  bad hair days with grumpy moods and tearful eyes, all behind closed doors.

Real life is burnt food, spoilt drawings, poor writing, evil thoughts and ugly brawls with loved ones. Something almost none of us share about on social media, or in our blogs. That won’t get us any Likes, will it? On the contrary, that will expose the ugly underbelly of the world we live in, so it’s best kept secret!

Couple months back, I shared a post on hubby’s bi polar episode on my blog. The outpouring of love and respect I received for having shared such personal matter in public made me wish I hadn’t shared it, at all! That was really not what I wanted. People wondered how I could share such details of my life so “boldly”. They gushed about how “brave” I was to write about a dear one’s illness for the world to read about.

The thought that came to my mind as I read all the comments was, I shared the story because that was Life! There are so many others battling the illness and living in despair over all that goes wrong, but with no one to talk to, or lend a shoulder to cry on. I know, because, once upon a time, I used to be that person, hiding the facts of my life from friends and family, and at the same time craving to hear a story similar to mine, craving to feel less left-out.

I feel, it is only because we fear sharing our truth with the world, that the images we see on the screen and the stories we hear of others leave us wincing, discontented with what we have been dealt with. Don’t you think?

Each one of us on this planet has been handed a Life that is way different than the others, but at the same time, a lot similar than we care to know. Each one of us is sailing in the same leaky, shaky boat that threatens to capsize and sink to the bottom if we were to lose control even for a second. But, rarely do we admit the condition of our boat to the others.

Do you know what that results in? A deep and haunting fear that our Life is imperfect, full of shit, while those others out there, have been gifted the best kind of lives, ever. The kind of depression that gives rise to, can be tough to push out of our system, leaving us disturbed and tortured.

Why not put an end to it all? Why not accept that, yes, our Life is not what you see in these pictures on the social media, neither are our stories the “happy stories” we talk about. Why not also share some of the imperfect moments of our life with the world? No, not to gain sympathy, or applause for having handled it all with elan, but so that someone out there suffering from misery at seeing all the so-called “happiness” around, would feel less miserable.

So that there would be lesser sad souls around cursing their fates and wishing for better ones. So that there would be lesser discontentment and more understanding within people’s hearts. And, so that there would be more of love and care and less of hatred and disgust.

We all are a little broken from within. Let’s show our scars, too, once in a while. it will only make us more human, don’t you think?

What do you think? Can you share your imperfect moments with the world so that someone out there felt less lonely?

Do share your thoughts with me. Feel free!

Love,

SHILPA…

 

CAN WE SHARE OUR IMPERFECTIONS ON SOCIAL MEDIA?

 

5 posts on relationships. July’18.

5 posts on relationships. July’18.

 

This month, I came across some really awesome posts–forgive the “awesome”, it’s really so un-writer-ly! But, yes, these posts just clicked with me from the word go! Considering we have a million bloggers around us, and that we read a lot of very well articulated posts, there are some that just resonate with us, isn’t it? Some that have us nodding along in agreement with every word; some that bring a lump to our throat and some that leave us rolling with laughter.

The posts I read were on varied themes, but I decided to choose 5 that revolved around relationships and were reflective in nature. And, they came in all hues. One is hilarious, and one transported me back to when my MIL was around. One is about my favourite creature and their guardian angels,  and one about parenting. Oh, and one about siblings–something I am sure most of us have reflected over at some point in our lives.

Beginning with the very first one, and my favourite, was this post by my friend, Balaka Basu. Her take on marriages, her ideas about this so-called institution and what it actually stands for. Do read it. I laughed till my tummy hurt!

Oh, by the way, Balaka is also a published author of a collection of short stories, ‘Golden Rainbow’. I still have to read it, but I am sure it must be one enthralling read. You will know if you read her posts for the A to Z 2018 blogging challenge!

There’s nothing romantic about marriage

Ramya Abhinand is another dear friend whose blog I love visiting. Her book reviews have taught me a lot as have the real-life snippets she shares on her blog. She comes across as a really simple, easy going and down-to-earth soul.

This post by Ramya brought back memories from the time my mom-in-law was around. The kind of ideas society has for widows can be heartbreaking for those poor souls. Nary a thought goes out to them as they are expected to follow the norms and learn to walk alone  on the remaining journey of their lives. And, to have to bow down to the rules set by the society…my heart goes out to them.

Jasmine flowers for south Indian Mom

I came across, ‘The BiPolar Writer Blog‘, on WordPress some time back. James Edgar Skye writes about his battle with the mood disorder–something that I can relate to in a way because of hubby’s similar situation.

This particular post resonated with me because, often times, during my youth, I would get compared to my cousins, most of whom had chosen the engineering and the medical stream. I being an Arts student would often get ridiculed–a matter that disturbs me to this day.

Comparing siblings or children on the basis of their academic choices or professions leads to a lot of hurt feelings–a fact that most adults are quite unaware of. The self-esteem gets injured, because, frankly, we all crave for those few words of praise for our work from our family, isn’t it? And, when we don’t see that coming, and find ourselves being compared, instead, to the others “fairing better” in Life, it can sure lead to a lot of heartache.

Compared to my siblings

Shilpa Garg is the twin I never had. The number of similarities we share is mind-boggling! I haven’t met her in the real world, but I am sure we will get along like a house on fire when we do!

This post by Shilpa, where she shares this heartwarming story about a couple who have done not many will even think of doing, is a post for the ‘We are the world blogfest’, where bloggers share stories of real-life heroes from the world over in order to spread some positivity in a world that can be so full of darkness.

Do read this post. It’s a favourite because it is about my favourite animal.

They came, adopted and stayed for the strays.

Nabanita Dhar blogs about parenting and feminism. I love the forthrightness with which she packs a punch through her feminist posts. And, running parallel to that no-nonsense attitude is the warmth that exudes through her posts on parenting.

This post by her on yelling not being the right thing to do struck a chord. There are times I yell at my nephew, which leaves him wondering what the fuss is all about! But, then, I make up for it with a hug and promise myself not to repeat it, only to yell some day, after all!

Why moms yell.

So, these are the 5 posts I loved reading the most! I hope you enjoy reading them, too. Do let me know if you do!

 

Love,

SHILPA…

 

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