The Big Bad Wolf!

Let me start off by telling you that all fights in a relationship boil down to two very universal things: Trust & Respect; or rather, the lack thereof.  It is never just about an unreplied text or a third person or even a misunderstanding. If we were to examine the origin of an argument, you will surely find that, at the root of it all is someone who doesn’t extend those rights to their partner, which in reality should be a-given in a relationship.

Now, at most times the fights are small and immature and hence, can be ignored or forgiven or adjusted to. However, there are certain red flags which must be taken notice of and acted on right away.

Allow me to tell you how a relationship without trust and respect pans out. There are certain people, toxic people, who thrive on the pain and sufferings of others; who like to inflict their very own brand of torment and torture; who enjoy the agony of their partners. Yes! These are whom we call narcissists and sadists. They are essentially bullies who can be defeated only when stood up to. So as I was saying, being in a relationship where your partner doesn’t trust and respect you can be extremely tormenting. It starts out by small, seemingly innocent requests like “Call me when you reach home” or “Can I have your account password. You can have mine as well!”. Then it gradually turns more into demands than requests like “I don’t like your friend, could you not entertain him so much” or “Hang out with me more often please” or “Don’t wear short clothes!”. At the end it becomes straight-out accusations like “You don’t consider me as a priority at all. I know where I stand in your life” and “I know who you talk to at nights when you tell me that you’ve slept off”.  At the beginning they seem doable and you give in because you think “Hey! Why not? He is just a bit protective!” or “He just wants to spend more time with me”. However, before you even realize it you are cutting people out of your life, ignoring most since meeting your partner should be your priority and texting him about your location and surrounding every minute of the day. I mean, it’s more scrutiny than what you would go through had you been a convicted drug dealer at an airport. It isn’t anymore just “Could you”s or “Please don’t”s. It becomes “You can never talk to him” and “Send me a photo of where you are” or even confronting your friends and acquaintances about their relationship with you. They continually demand proofs and get angry when you don’t give into their ridiculous demands. They get angry and they turn the tables on you anytime things aren’t the way they want them to be. You suddenly face a lot of accusations and suspicions on your behavior. These accusations blow out into immature arguments which seem like they can be forgiven. At first they disguise it as care and protectiveness for you since they love you show much. Then it turns into something more ugly: the concept of ownership; that they have certain rights over you since and I quote “You are mine!”. Yes, this is how it starts out and progresses.

Their entire lives revolve around you and they expect the same in return. They isolate you, one person at a time. Their need is your need for them. Heard of the Stockholm syndrome? That could be used to describe how a person feels when they are confronted by accusations and their character doubted by the one person who should stand by them against the world. Rather than leaving, you set out trying to prove yourself and your faithfulness to someone who is never going to believe you, not because there is some lacking on your part, but because that’s simply who they are as a person (untrusting and suspicious). You start questioning your own worth and start believing that they are the best that you could ever get, that in fact, you are really lucky to have them in your life. You form a sense of dependency on them. You become a captive for their approval and happiness. You lower your self-respect to keep your partner happy. You start thinking “Anything to avoid these fights!” and that it’s just a text or just one person. But let me tell you something, it never stops at cutting out one person or leaving a few texts. The demands go on increasing till they ask everything of you; till they leave you a mere shadow of who you used to be.

“The hostages experience a powerful, primitive positive feeling towards their captor. They are in denial that this is the person who put them in that situation. In their mind, they think this is the person who is going to let them live.”

… and here’s the worst of it all: Everyone and anyone can fall a victim to this kind of relationship. It doesn’t matter how strong or level-headed you might be. In fact, I have a theory that strong and practical people fall for this more often than others since they have a natural instinct to provide, save and nurture. See, these kinds of relationships mostly always start out by your partner needing some kind of saving. They play it out by showing that they have been burnt by the world and hence they can’t trust and they make you feel like if you try hard enough, you could save them. Then, once you are in the middle of it all, there seems no likely escape. You stay and keep drowning and every time you try to leave, they claim that they cannot live without you and you get pulled right back by one anchor “Love”. However, boys and girls, please beware that it isn’t love. Love doesn’t accuse and doubt, love doesn’t lie and get angry and love doesn’t play games. No! Love Trusts and most important of all Love Respects. I say “respect”, because to me trust has always inseparably been bound by respect. The two are mutually dependent. There can never be respect where there is no trust. There can never be honour among thieves (of trust). Then, you hit rock bottom where you accept your fate with this person. You start starving for the tiny bits of affection and hope they throw your way. It’s always on-cloud-no.9-happy one day and i-don’t-want-to-be-with-you sad the next.

Then, one day they do something because of which you are jerked back into consciousness and you realize that this time you cannot forgive them; that you’ve had enough and now you need to leave. And though, what they did hurt you beyond comprehension, it is the best thing that could have happened to you, since it made you see the reality of the situation. It takes everything in you to break away and if you are lucky you find people along the way who help you see your self-worth and you will forever be grateful to them.

In retrospect, it does teach you a lot of things about yourself as well. It teaches you to be a little more stingy with your forgiveness and shows you how to recognize the big bad wolf in disguise. Like the fairy-tale, hopefully, even after being swallowed by the wolf you could come out alive at the end.

Yes! Like I said in the beginning, it all comes down to trust and respect and if there isn’t any, let me give you a word of advice: Run like the sky is falling!

About the Making of Us…

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Yes! Everyone has something to teach you. Each person we ever encounter has some kind of impact on us. I firmly believe, that we are a sum of the people we come across in life. Like a sponge, we absorb qualities, habits, lessons or even just memories from each meeting that goes into the ‘making of us’.

Of course, now there are some, who have a lasting impact on us. They mold you for the better or worse. Some build you up and some break you down. Some just observe you and you realize that even that affected you in someway (I don’t know! Maybe it just made you more aware of your actions). Even the ones who criticize and judge you teach you to not pay attention to the haters. They make you bullet-proof.

Your colleagues affect your work; your friends and family lead your personal life; your seniors and role-models inspire you to do better; the less fortunate than us incite empathy; a stranger on a bus also makes you wonder. A smile from an acquaintance, an unexpected letter from an old friend, an interesting conversation with someone all have the capability to lead us on different paths, yet it all comes together as one glorious life, well-lived.

“In your life, you meet people. Some you never think about again. Some, you wonder what happened to them. There are some that you wonder if they ever think about you. And then there are some you wish you never had to think about again. But you do.” – C.S. Lewis

My point being, that how we turn out to be is a consequence of every single thing that has happened and the choices that we made in light of them. And they make you the person you are today: strong, real, imperfect, flawed, quirky, weird, beautiful, worn-down but not defeated, like a flower after the storm – torn yet fresh and full of beauty!

Now, you consciously change for some, while for others it just happens (and these are the people worth keeping around!). Someone who never forces you to change but inspires you to do so.

As the famous line from Spider-Man goes:

“The great thing about MJ is, when you look in her eyes and she’s looking back in yours… everything… feels… not quite normal. Because you feel stronger and weaker at the same time. You feel excited and at the same time, terrified. The truth is… you don’t know what you feel except you know what kind of man you want to be”.

This impact does not end with real people either. Even the characters in the books we read and the movies we watch become a part of us. They help us along by either instigating our thoughts or just giving a much-needed escape.

And finally, that maybe, when the velvet ropes come down, in life, in our final walk, maybe everyone; real or fictional will be there, bidding us farewell and luck for the journey to follow.

… for in the end…

There are certain people that’ll inhibit a small, quiet space inside your heart despite any circumstances. They left a piece of themselves when your souls collided upon impact. And there they’ll always remain. – Victoria Erickson.

Viva la Vida…

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“The world is too big to stay in one place and life is too short to do just one thing.” So when the urge do something new comes a-knocking, don’t fight it, instead, go with the flow and let it sweep you into a whole new world.

Little do we know what the future holds out for us. However, we all have things, things we want to do before we, well, to use the technical term, “kick the bucket”. 😛

So here’s my bucket list:

(Warning: Being a fellow wanderer, most of my list will comprise of travel and sightseeing! Some of which I have already done.)

  1. Starting with a common one; to see the Northern Lights. Aurora Borealis!
  2. To witness the great wildebeest migration in the grassland of Serengeti and Maasai Mara.
  3. To go bungee jumping.
  4. To go sky diving.
  5. To trek through the Himalayas as often as possible.
  6. To go wine tasting in Paris.
  7. To sleep under the stars on a mountain cliff.
  8. To take time and go back-packing through Europe.
  9. To go deep sea diving.
  10. To visit the Great Pyramids at Giza. (Done)
  11. To visit and relax in one of those Geo Thermal Springs
  12. To play with Pandas (and own one if that’s even allowed. Though that probably requires a permit or something :P)
  13. To go on a boat ride through the Amazon rain forest.
  14. To swim with Dolphins, Sea Lions and Seals.
  15. Have a deep meaningful conversation with a stranger.
  16. Go camping with friends.
  17. Kiss someone in the rain.
  18. Go to a Masquerade ball.
  19. Attend a carnival in Brazil.
  20. Live in another country for a short period.
  21. Take a cruise on the River Nile. (Check)
  22. Visit the United Nations. (Check)
  23. Visit NASA
  24. Go camping at the Grand Canyon and Death Valley
  25. Go camping at Yosemite National Park and Yellow Stone National Park
  26. Fall in love with a complete stranger.
  27. Go on a blind date.
  28. Volunteer for a good cause for a short duration in another city or country.
  29. To spend the night in a castle/palace. 
  30. To float and read a book in the dead sea.
  31. Go on the Snow Leopard Trek in Leh or a chance to see the Phantom of the Mountains in the wild.
  32. Volunteer or work in a zoo with all kinds of animals.
  33. Trek on the Zanskar River in Leh in the freezing winters of Leh, also known as the coveted Chadar Trek. (Done. Wil describe the experience in detail in a separate blog entry. For now I’ll just use one word: Surreal)
  34. To learn self defense. (Simply because it’s badass.. :P)
  35. To go para-gliding. (Check. Gliding over the Himalayan Mountains is a different experience altogether)

…. The list goes on. Will keep adding things as and when I come across things I really wanna do. I have an insane calling to be where I’m not. For, “It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves – in finding themselves.” I follow the same line of thought. To do things I haven’t before, to take the road not traveled by, to be free in my adventures, to me, is to find where I really belong.

“To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the most pleasant sensations in the world. You are surrounded by adventure.”

For someone famous once said, there is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.

So, till then, I hope you, “Leave the road, take the trails.”

 

The Invincible Summer….

“One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don’t come home at night”.  – Margaret Mead

In times of desperation and deceit, the smallest act of honesty and love goes a long way. To be wanted, to be missed, to be needed is an emotion we all carry; sometimes we wear it on our sleeves, sometimes it’s concealed deep within. But, if you are human, the desire to be cared for is as innate as breathing; it defies logic.

And when you are left alone, you realize the worth of that need within you. You miss the texts asking if you are home; or whether you are asleep, warm and cosy, just to know.

So, she would sit by the fire, day dreaming of all the times he had made her smile and feel safe. Yes, she was broken and hurting, but she was also glad that it happened. She was brave and strong and broken all at once. But that too, was okay.  Because of all the things their love could have been, unrequited wasn’t one of them. Sometimes, it’s the pain that makes us feel alive.

.. because as they say,

“In the depths of winter, I finally learned, there lay, within me, an invincible summer”

So, here’s to the never-ending summer within us and to that indomitable human spirit that just wants to keep on living.

“Here’s to the hearts that ache. Here’s to the mess that we make.” 

– La La Land.

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Sometimes… :)

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Sometimes I wonder what you are doing;

Are you looking up at the same stars I am seeing?

Sometimes I wonder are you by yourself;

Or are you laughing and smiling with someone else?

Sometimes I wonder how you might be feeling;

Are you happy and in love or lonely and healing?

Sometimes I wonder if you still think about me;

Do you dream about us or a distant memory it rather be?

Sometimes I wonder what the future would have been;

Cute talks, holidays and love, who could have seen?

Sometimes I wonder where we lost it;

All the heartaches and pains, was it all worth to begin with?

Sometimes I wonder how we got here;

Trying so hard to smile through the tears.

Sometimes I wonder if any of it was true;

… tell me, are you wondering the same thing too?

New Horizons – The Mountains…

What are men to rocks and mountains? – Jane Austin, Pride and Prejudice

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Snow clad, rocky or covered in trees and grass, the mountains and I have a special connection. Standing on a cliff, over-looking the valley, watching the clouds slowly gaze over snowy peaks; the Himalayas has a charm that will creep into your soul and make you his forever. It is hauntingly beautiful and serenading and everything that is new and beautiful and bright and yet it has been standing there, tall and strong since the beginning of time! To me; it gives me courage and the hope to face new horizons…

“And if these mountains had eyes, they would wake to find two strangers in their fences, standing in admiration as a breathing red pours its tinge upon earth’s shore. These mountains, which have seen untold sunrises, long to thunder praise but stand reverent, silent so that man’s weak praise should be given God’s attention.”
― Donald Miller, Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road

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It personifies hope and things that are clean and fresh…! Here’s to the New Horizons!

It is always the same with mountains. Once you have lived with them for any length of time, you belong to them. There is no escape. – Ruskin Bond

via Photo Challenge: New Horizon

#Photo Challenge

Routine..

Come noon, I get a little rest after the rush of the morning matters and mentionings are over. Everyday, around this time, a hush falls over the place which is almost surreal. Don’t get me wrong, at any given point during court hours, there will be at least one lawyer, running from one Courtroom to the other, with his case coming up faster than a tornado approaches. I meant that, things settle in a bit at this time. As I sit here, in my chair, watching the people around either work or chat with their comrades; the thought that stuck with me was the humdrum routine of it all. It was a feeling of déjà vu; going through the same charade day after day; a feeling that it all had happened before, and then I realised that it hadn’t. That, the scene didn’t change, day after day. That, it was all different, yet somehow, the same. That, when I come back tomorrow, it will be the same, with subtle differences.

Yes, some people may find comfort in the known and regular. But the more I thought, the more I realised that I wasn’t one of them. I think, the reason I chose to be a lawyer, was because of the irregularity of it all. No two cases are alike. It forces me to think and face a different situation everyday. I thanked my lucky stars that I had law to give me adventure in the routine regression of the profession.

.. to save me from becoming faded.

The Sounds of Silence..

Silence; it speaks a whole other language in itself, don’t you think? To me, it actually speaks louder than words themselves do.

I think it is very easy to talk to people. But someone, someone with whom you can be silent and yet feel at home, now that is a rare thing to receive.

“People talking without speaking, People hearing without listening.”

.. “Fools” said I,
“You do not know, silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words like silent raindrops fell,
And echoed
In the wells of silence

Unlike, Simon and Garfunkel’s famous song, silence doesn’t always mean ignorance or the inability to communicate. In fact, it is one of the most effective ways of conversation. It isn’t empty, but it is full of answers. The sound of silence is very powerful. It can break you down the same as it can build you up. Silence forces you to meet your true self. And only those who can face themselves when the music plays, can thrive in solitude. It is a weapon and when wielded effectively, has the power to change the world…

.. for…

In silence, I rediscover who I am. – J. Francis

Fix you…

They say that the truth will set you free.

The truth, however is potent. And when you are not prepared for it, it can burn deep into your soul. But within that hurt, it also gives you the power to heal yourself. Never before has the future been so clear to her. He was not in it and being afraid was not an option that she gave herself. So she did what she does best, she smiled and locked away all the pain she was feeling after having her heart broken. She told herself that she is whole by herself and she never needed a man to complete her in the past, and she doesn’t need one now. So she deleted the messages and she deleted the photos and tore up the picture.

She has her sights set on the future, which now, after a long time, holds the promise of happiness and not the dread of messed up situations or complex choices. She smiled after a long time. 

… Because she knows now, that you don’t go back to the thing that broke you. No! You fix yourself! 🙂

The People who Stole Feminism..

“She bested all the boys in her class”; “The pride of out shining boys was visible on her face”; “She was better at her work than the men she worked with”.

These phrases never sat right with me. Yes, I’m a girl. Yes, I’m intelligent and smart. Yes, I’m good at my job. But shouldn’t it be “She bested all the students in her class”, that “The pride of out shining other people was visible on her face”; or simply that “She was better at her work than the lawyers she worked with”.

I’m a feminist, hands down! I demand equal status and rights to all women. But, it6dcc8c12625d60103a34f9cd18ddc4c9 saddens me to say that true meaning of the word ‘feminist’ has gotten lost somewhere in midst of fury and misunderstanding. To me, feminism has always been about being given equal rights as the men out there posses; to be respected and considered as an equal; to not let my gender be a disadvantage (or an advantage). It means social, political and economic equality of both the sexes. It is not about putting men down, but about raising the downtrodden women up.

However, today, I think, feminism has too frequently been equated with ‘guy-hatred’. As a result of which, something beautiful and important has been dragged through the dirt and mud. Come on girls, it’s not that women are better than men; it isn’t girls vs boys; in fact, it isn’t about men at all. It is about not being compared with men every step of the way. It is about humanism and the basic human decency being awarded to everyone alike. It is about walking together, shoulder to shoulder, in a gender neural society where anyone’s gender (male or female) should not afford to them, any kind of leverage or power. It is about equality, not entitlements or supremacy. When I say I’m a feminist, people automatically assume that I hate man-kind, when in fact that is not the case at all. I do not want the male gender to bow down to us and treat us like goddesses or queens and just like that, I do not want men to treat women as though they are inferior to them.

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“A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.”
― Gloria Steinem

For instance, no one would ever say “He bested all the girls in his class.” They would never compare a male lawyer to a female lawyer in order to praise him. That is what I do not think is fair. I DO NOT WANT TO BE COMPARED WITH THE OPPOSITE GENDER EVEN IF IT IS IN THE FORM OF A PRAISE. Those people I think, are the real thieves of feminism. They are the sneaky ones. They are in fact anti-feminists. They disguise themselves in the garb of being women-oriented and praise women by saying things like ‘she really out-shone the guys’; but what they are really doing is using men as a bench-mark for excellence; which is not true. I mean, why do women need to compete with men in the same field, rather than competing with all the people (men and women, alike). There are just as many competent women out there as there are men. So out-smarting the male gender in particular should never be taken as a compliment; because those people are actually putting men on a higher pedestal than women; like it is something to be achieved.

“What’s the worst possible thing you can call a woman? Don’t hold back, now.
You’re probably thinking of words like slut, whore, bitch, cunt (I told you not to hold back!), skank.
Okay, now, what are the worst things you can call a guy? Fag, girl, bitch, pussy. I’ve even heard the term “mangina.”
Notice anything? The worst thing you can call a girl is a girl. The worst thing you can call a guy is a girl. Being a woman is the ultimate insult. Now tell me that’s not royally fucked up.”
― Jessica Valenti, Full Frontal Feminism

I compete with men and women; alike. I do not want to be given a job just because I’m a woman and I do not want a job to be taken away from me just because I’m a woman. I do not want ‘just because I’m a woman’ to be an excuse or an asset.

I’m not a man and I’m not a woman. I’m a student, a person and a lawyer. We need to make the phrase “She is better than boys” extinct. And that, to me, is true feminism.