STOP Chasing Confidence

I have always been an under-confident girl in my childhood. In some ways, I still am. The “Stop Being Shy ” and ‘Be Confident’ advice from my parents, friends and teachers didn’t help me one bit. I have always been an introvert, feel drained while talking to people and always feel recharged when alone.

I think we need to stop chasing self confidence. Of course it’s nice to be a bold and confident woman who is life of every party, but what if you ain’t cut for it?

Let’s stop being critical and become compassionate. The pressure to be above average, if not something unique, is daunting. We need to be kind to others and ourselves too.

Don’t let anyone bully you. Don’t give others a chance to decide for you. And most importantly, Do not let anyone treat you like shit or demean you.

Do things which make you happy. If you like reading novels, read them. If you are fond of swimming , then do it. Do things which make you happy. And most importantly respect yourself. Atleast for me, Self respect and self compassion holds more importance.

Ode to Soldiers

This year India celebrated its 70th Republic day, but unfortunately, we also witnessed Pulwama attack. I pen down this prose with immense pride and love for my country and countrymen

Here's an ode to all martyrs and servicemen. Jai Hind !!

Facing adversities, soldiers risk their life, 
Remember,they too could have stayed back and enjoyed with family and wife.
Family, holidays and pursuits of pleasure sacrificed in a trice, 
Nation is in safe hands but at what price.
Cats have nine lives, A soldier has only one, 
Beyond the call of duty, that’s sacrificed even.
Sometimes he gets a mention depending upon the occasion, Pardon the pun, the deed is done.
The bugle has played the last post, the deed is done,
A mother has lost her brave son.
All those in places mighty and high, once in a while, why can’t you think it could have been ‘I’?
A soldier has done what he must,Let not his sacrifice go to dust
Nation is safe at a price,
Let’s honour the supreme sacrifice.

Father’s Surname – Sexist ?

“What’s in a name ? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet ” – William Shakespeare

I agree but why should children automatically end up with their father’s surname?

Most of us have our father’s name, surname or caste attached to our name. And if you are a married woman, you have most probably adopted your husband’s surname after dropping your daddy’s name, (Though you do have a choice to retain it).

This whole concept of paternal surnames reek of sexism and patriarchy. My point is, why a man’s name ? Why not your mother’s name? (Though I bet her surname must also be her daddy’s name before marraige! Oh the irony!)

Now there are several innocent reasons or explanations to this Paternal-naming system – It’s easier to remember the family tree or Your poor daddy couldn’t give birth to you, atleast let him give his name and so on…..

Do not get carried away because the harsh truth is we still belong to a society where a woman’s identity is based on her father or husband’s family and status quo. She may be a doctor, lawyer or teacher, but people would still prefer addressing her as Mrs. XYZ .

In olden times, women were treated as third class citizens and were considered commodities that belonged to their husband. Haven’t the times changed now? Why are we still following this stupid outdated patriarchal naming tradition ?

Mommies give birth, carry their babies for nine months in their womb, and do majority of parenting. So isn’t it just better and fair for babies to end up with mommy’s name? Think .

Here’s few lines by “Everything But The Girl” –
You must give your child a name some time
Well you mean his and what’s wrong with mine?
Yeah, what’s wrong with mine?
I’m okay and I don’t need his name, thank you
Mine fits me nicely, mine will do
Yeah, mine will do

What is the Secret to HAPPINESS?

Are you happy? You might be thinking what a silly question but Believe me, Happiness is often underrated. Now close your eyes and think; What will make me happy? Does your happiness depend upon external factors like high salaried job, vast social circle, diamond solitaire or designer dresses ? If yes, then I do agree that it may give you a false sense of ‘feel-good’ factor but does it contribute to long term happiness ?

I believe, the secret to happiness is, to accept the simple fact that it’s not possible to be happy all the time. Surprised ? Let me elaborate. See, there will be days when you may feel sad, anxious or simply indifferent. You may have lost your loved one, you may have flunked all subjects in your college, your husband might be cheating on you, or any other adversity might be plaguing you.

It is natural to feel disappointed or sorry for yourself when things don’t go your way. But DO NOT let Self pity take over your Self-Compassion. Do not get stuck in self victimization. That’s when hope dies. Stop blaming circumstances. It’s NOT X, Y, or Z’s fault that your life is screwed. Stop whining.

It is your job to create a happy life for yourself ,and for that, you need to Believe in yourself. Tell yourself that you have handled and overcome every hurdle from your past gracefully and you will be able to do it in future too. More than the circumstances or situations, it’s your negative thoughts which cause you unhappiness.

A happy life does NOT mean having all “happy moments”. How you deal with negative emotions and conquer it, defines your happiness. Life is not a race. You are not competing with anyone. When your mind is at peace, your Inner contentment is happiness.

What I consider happiness may differ from how you define it, as happiness is subjective. Have anything to add?

An ode to a ‘NOBODY”- Why am perfectly fine being Mediocre

“Don’t settle for AVERAGE. You were made for greatness ” – Victoria Osteen

“All I knew is that I never wanted to be average” – Michael Jordan

Don’t these quotes look absolutely wonderful on paper? Being ‘Average’ is abhorred and detested. But is ‘Mediocre’ or being ‘Average’ really the worst thing in life ?

I am an average girl, nothing special , A NOBODY and am perfectly fine with it. Shocked? Since our childhood, we are psychologically conditioned to prove that we are the best, be it getting good grades in school, doing well in sports, getting admission into the best college, being a social butterfly and making lots of friends, and a seven figure salary. If every human being turns into someone extraordinary, then No one will remain ‘Extraordinary’! Not everyone can be Michael Jordan, Einstein, Sachin Tendulkar or The Prime Minister.

People are afraid to accept that they are ordinary and average just like others, nothing extraordinary. Yes, You all are average. Not only the amount of effort and hardwork you put, but also how you deal with failure is what makes you better than others. Let me give an example, If I decide to lose 10 Kgs in one month , it may not happen and I will end up feeling disheartened. So set up REALISTIC GOALS and then work towards it. What matters is not how to avoid failing but rather learning how to GET UP AFTER YOU FALL.

When we set up incredibly high standards for ourself, we may feel like failure when we don’t meet our own expectation. Our inner voice shames us. Now this can be dangerous. Let me explain this through a simple example- An Onion. The ‘true self’ at the centre is protected by outer layers. Let’s call these outer layers – ‘False Self’. As a defence mechanism, our brain may create a false ideal self to protect our true self. Just imagine how painful it would be for the person to face himself and the world when this “False self ” shatters. It may also lead to anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.

Don’t let your grandiose delusions trap you. There are innumerable success stories all around us but nobody talks about their failures. Thomas Edison failed 1000 times, but many of us don’t know that because he was successful the 1001th time.

Am I saying do not dream big ; No! It’s good to set high goals but DO NOT GIVE UP WHEN YOU SLIP. Even if you work hard, its not possible to attain everything you want. Life doesn’t work that way. Getting good grades, job, high salary etc can be part of your life but Don’t make it your life.

You were not born for being the next President or Mother Teresa. You were simply born because your parents had sex without protection. So don’t beat yourself up when life doesn’t go the way you want. Love yourself and learn from every mistake you make because even making mistakes mean you are trying.

Do NOT let fear of failure or being judged stop you from experimenting or doing things you want to. Do NOT feel afraid to voice your opinion or to take risks. I ventured into blogging accidentally a month back, after I discovered my love for writing. I had left my job at IBM few months back, and cut off with most of my friends after my face got ravaged with acne. I used to stay couped up in my room, scared to face people and resorted to writing. I can proudly say Producer-Writer Vinta Nanda followed me on Twitter after a #MeToo article I had written went viral.

Success is not final and failure is not fatal, so do not get disheartened when things don’t go your way. It’s okay to be average. Yes! I am “Mediocre” , a “Nobody” and am perfectly fine with it.