Love thyself to no “degree”!

I was talking to a friend yesterday and he plans to do an MBA soon. Needless to say, our discussions revolved around the three letter word. He was patiently explaining the process to me about dates and applications and SOP and essays and interviews and the entire hoola hoop that comes with doing an MBA abroad.

So an application for an MBA abroad gives you three opportunities to apply – Round 1, 2 and 3. I had a wholly of questions. And we started discussing his essays, and how honest to God his answers will be in the first round of application. It was all about honesty and being practical, and how he will say it the way it is. Which is great, but what if he doesn’t get through the first time around? Pat came the answer – then I’ll compromise!

And it suddenly struck us how similar a relationship and an MBA application could be! First time around you are yourself, and honest. You hope that the other person would get it. That they would appreciate you for who you are and love you. But you slowly realize that that might not work. And you start changing, a little in the beginning, and then maybe a lot – after a while you might not even recognize yourself. And you do all this, because the person or in this case the degree is very important to you. This is where my discussion with my friend ended. We both laughed at how ridiculous but true this comparison was.

But as I write this post, I realize actually how ridiculous a relationship like that would be. I’m sure this is true of many relationships. But I disagree wholeheartedly. For me, a successful relationship would be one where you are accepted and not changed. The truth in a relationship is when its cherished because of you and not because of who you should be. The future is less important and the present is cared for. Because the stifling, choking sensation that comes with someone trying to change you chokes your relationship too. At the end of a lifetime its but a dull lifeless vacuum because the two people who are a part of it, are not there themselves – they have turned into someone else.

I’ve learnt it the hard way. Its important to love yourself so much that your partner loves you back. Its important to speak your mind against a change that is not acceptable to you. Because you are pretty awesome just the way you are! And you better believe it!


French Vanilla vs. Belgian Chocolate

When I started writing this post, I wanted to call this Vanilla vs. Chocolate but then I thought that those are almost unheard of today. Even the plainest of them wants to be exotic so French Vanilla and Belgian Chocolate it is!

There was a time long ago that decisions were taken keeping in mind things like stability, security, practicality etc. Vanilla was preferred – because it was Sweet. Nice. Standard. Safe. Because it was liked by default and it did not challenge your taste buds enough to say – I want more!

And then came the options – it started with Chocochip which was inspired to give you a nutty taste that left you wanting some more. Which later became dark chocolate, which turned in to Belgian Chocolate – exquisite, decadent, sinful, rich, luscious and orgasmic! It leaves behind an after taste which is damn near unforgettable,  and keeps you craving for more of where that came from – unfailingly!

Needless to say at this point that I’m not talking about ice cream here. Our choices in men are similar. French Vanilla will never disappoint you because its safe. It will give you everything that you want, will never fail to make you happy. But are we willing to live our lives in the net of safety and or do we want to feel the thrill of adventure that leaves a shiver up our spine? Because if its ecstasy that you crave, there’s more to life than just French Vanilla!

26 and Single?

That combination rattled a close friend of mine enough to start an email thread titled “I don’t have a subject line for this…”

The email actually went like this-

25 and single… acceptable .. actually quite cool!

butttt… 26 and single… ummmmmmm ????????

How is it that a simple number can get us usually-sensible-women to lose our minds in a jiffy? If you think about it, it’s just a number right? You jump another year, blow candles on another birthday cake. But it’s not that simple, is it?

You also start to think about your age every time you are asked for your DOB on a feedback form at a restaurant, or at the doctor’s or when you see your friend getting married on Facebook or even better, having a baby on Facebook!

Are we so conditioned to society that our brains switch off as soon as we reach the 26 mark? How can we suddenly disregard everything that we’ve earned in the last 25 years – respect, love, money, career, friends, experience to feel that the only thing that matters anymore is that we do not have a husband on our arm?!

And what do we need him for really? Companionship – There are friends galore for that! Money – You are probably earning truckloads already! Boredom – Ever heard of Bungee Jumping? Sex – I could give you that one, but there are ways to work around that as well.

To me, the simple answer is simple – Love. Marriage is a celebration of love. Or have we forgotten that, in this race to tie the knot, do the deed, get hitched before we turn that dreaded number of 26?

Why are we so afraid to accept that we haven’t found love yet? That we deserve love – a love that will keep us happy and smiling for the rest of our lives? A love that will make us feel beautiful and sexy and exciting even when we are grey and wrinkly and wearing adult diapers? And in the meanwhile, why have we stopped celebrating our freedom, and the fact that we are sexier, lovelier, more sinful, exciting, experienced in the ways of the world?

Always remember – good things come to those who wait, because we only deserve the best.

Miserably Addicted

Addiction is easy.

And it’s not limited to drugs or alcohol or cigarettes, as most of us see it.

Addiction can be love, happiness, even misery. Especially misery. How many times have we been hurt or dumped unceremoniously and cried buckets over it? And instead of wanting to feel better, we like to wallow in the misery? Without even realizing it, we love how sadness surrounds us because misery is an envelope of self-pity that lets us elevate ourselves to a pedestal where we achieve a God like status where we are above the world as we see it, and especially above the ones who hurt us.

It’s a bitter truth to swallow but it’s true. And it only takes a moment to realize that we have let ourselves become miserable. That in the misery, we are hurting ourselves more.

It’s not easy because self-pity is addictive. But addiction is an intoxicating mistake. And mistakes have one advantage – they can always be mended.

Butterflies in the stomach

Love is a matter of the heart but there is always a point in our lives when we look for a logical explanation to this feeling. Because innocence and the age of 16 is far behind us where we could trust everything that came our way, where love seemed easy, and inevitable, and forever and ever was not just a fairy tale, butterflies in the stomach was a tell-tale sign that brought with it a smile and a leap in our step.

And then there is the skepticism that comes with age, where doubt seeps through everything, decisions seem life changing and are; and you wish you were 16 again.

Because at 16, the world was at your feet. All you had to think about was your next party, or that next date, or the cute guy next door and how you will get him to notice you, and now at 25 you wonder…

You wonder if that Prince Charming even exists, and when he comes along, you wonder more. You wonder if he is the one. If what he has to offer is enough, or if you want more and what that more is. So how sure is too sure? How do you know what “it” is? Are those butterflies in the stomach enough or are we looking for more?

We are spoilt for choices today. We find interesting people in our lives at every bend, and they find us. And they will always be there, but do we ever stop to think, in this flurry of conversation and people who come and go, about what is it that really makes us tick?

Maybe we should listen to the butterflies more.

Dear Arranged Marriages

My family is on a mission these days.

To find me a suitable boy. Marriage is the only thing on everyone’s mind. Everytime I talk to my mum or meet my grandparents, or meet that diamond studded aunty at a party who is just looking for gossip, or even the old uncles at work twiddling their thumbs over chai. The inevitable question always pops up- When are you getting married?

Why is it that as soon as we touch 25 (and I’m not even there yet so help me God) we stop being a person and become an advertisement- fair,24,homely,religious,loves to keep house and is willing to give up her life for the next eligible bachelor that comes along?

No matter how this sounds, I am not against marriages. Infact I’m totally sold out on the idea of love and happily ever after. I have been, since the day I read Cinderella. What I am against is how we are being sold on the marriage market – 24-5’1-very fair-loves to cook- 5x kgs. You can’t expect me to announce my weight on the internet dude!

Why can’t the description go something like this? Young, successful 24 year old who loves laughing and talking loudly, experiments with cheese and wine in the kitchen, reads avidly, can be compassionate and bitchy when it suits her, and wants a guy who will love and understand her unconditionally.

But the earlier description is what finds its way up on matrimonial sites and profiles which are furiously circulated amongst relatives. So I have a question today…

Dear Arranged Marriages,

Why are you so scared of the truth?

Please change your ways or we will continue to hate you.

– Disgruntled Me