Reality Check

We all live in a myth that we all are the directors of our own life. The truth is, we are not. Life happens and we just adjust to the changes and keep moving. We come across many inspirational quotes about life every day, but how many of us actually understand them and follow through?

In the past two years, since the pandemic, many of us have had a harsh wake-up call and forced us to change our priorities, our way of living or thinking, our approach towards life in general. The more time passes, the more I realise that life is to be lived one day at a time. Sometimes, even thinking about the next 24 hours is too much, that time; live every moment. I have even perceived that happiness and fulfilment is in the little moments.

We are currently biting off more than what we can chew to embrace the new reality post Corona virus. For some, the worry, the sorrow, and the sadness associated with the death of their loved ones or feeling of isolation will last too long. For others, the impact this virus and isolation left on the mental health will linger even after all this is over. And for a few others, the realization of the importance of family turned out to be a blessing.

While there are a lot of motivational quotes, awareness and help available on the internet, there are many misguiding and wrongly provocative materials and articles also easily available. Unfortunately, many people feel that’s the reality and fall prey to it and regret later.

The virtual reality is starting to feel like real life. On a daily basis, on many social media sites I come across quotes like “you have to thrive, not survive”, “be the leader of your life”, “if you are not something, then you are nothing”, “hustle now, rest later”, “disappear for some years, and enjoy later”, “date only to marry”, “be a gangsta”, “the relationship broke because you deserve better”, “don’t give chance to others, be independent and spoil yourself”, etc.

I am not saying all the above quotes are completely wrong, but the meaning extracted from them by people these days is wrong.

Let’s get to reality:

  • You don’t always have to keep thriving; these days if you survived your day, you did a good job.
  • Our future is unpredictable. We all seen it in the past two years. Life happens, change is the only constant. Only control your thoughts, don’t try to control your life.
  • Others perspective of success is not necessarily your perspective of success. Same applies for having fun. Do what is suitable, convenient and comfortable for you.
  • Taking rest, having days off is extremely essential in today’s times. Don’t fall sick or drain yourself out in hustling all the time or showing the world how much you work.
  • Take accountability of your own bullshit. Sometimes, the relationship breaks because both the partners are not on the same page, or you were the toxic one, or your partner’s needs changed and opted out. Besides cheating and abuse, there is free will, and you and your partner are allowed to change your mind. No one owes you anything, and neither is your partner a bad person that you keep saying you deserve better.
  • You have no need to disappear to earn money and then enjoy or rest later. You can do everything simultaneously. Having fun, taking breaks, going on a vacation, or going out with friends and family, and most importantly, keeping in touch with your loved ones is very important for healthy living. You never know which moments become only memories or when you will see the person for the last time in your life. Make beautiful memories along with earning money.
  • Sometimes it is essential to ask for help. Everyone has the capacity to be independent, but asking for help is required sometimes.
  • No work is big or small. A man can choose a career in cooking and a woman can choose to be a carpenter. Do what you like, do what gives you peace.
  • Accept that you will die one day. Embrace it and don’t live life as per what internet tells you or shows you, or what you see others doing on their stories. Don’t compare and don’t judge a book by its cover. More than half of pictures and stories posted on the internet are fake.
  • Failure is necessary to grow. Failure and success are not opposites. They both are part of the whole.
  • Problems may be inevitable, but so is our approach towards it. If you can change anything, change it, if you cannot, leave it. It’s ok to quit sometimes.
  • Your energy is finite. Please use it wisely. Don’t let the artificial internet world be an energy vampire. Trust me. Majority of the stuff you see is bogus or fake.
  • Allow yourself to simply enjoy an experience with your partner. Be present. Not every person you date will be “the one”. If it’s meant to be, you will marry that person. Or else leave in dignity.

Waste time this year; go for long, rambling walks. Write poems or try a new recipe just because. Pray, paint, laugh at yourself or simply watch something on the TV. Take your dog to the beach or just sit by the shore and enjoy the winds and coffee. Our world is obsessed with being productivity all the time. We feel guilty of wasting our time even for an instance. But the reality is, our “unproductive” hours are the most soul-shaping parts of our lives. SLOW DOWN!

2021 in Retrospect

2021 was an incredibly hard year for many, including me, but I am hopeful that 2022 will be better.

This time last year I was enthusiast about the year 2021 as the entire world was suffering from Corona Virus, and was looking forward to hear the news that the pandemic is over. Who knew that 2021 turned out to be worse, and would shake up our lives? We seen the virus being less dangerous at times, but most of the times, it was still spreading fast. In India, we had a very unfortunate 2nd wave of Covid. Way too many people were critical and lost their lives, including a member of my family.

Gosh, who would have thought that we would face something like this? My heart goes out to those who lost their loved ones or suffered from crisis financially and emotionally. It feels so surreal, yet, here we are, at the end of another year that many would just write-off and forget, including me.

As this year started, I was faced with an unexpected health issue which required an emergency surgery. As the year progressed, Junior had a surgery to get his tumour removed. Then we faced the deadly 2nd wave of Corona Virus, where a family member lost his life. As we were just recovering from the loss, my parents tested positive for Covid, in which my father’s health rapidly declined. During the same time, Junior too fell critically ill. The E. Coli bacteria had made a comeback and Junior had started urinating blood and throwing up.

In all this mess, I had to take care of myself and would get myself tested for Covid every week as I had to step out of the house for Junior’s treatment. My anxiety has broken all barriers this year. Besides stressing about the outcome and thinking about the worse case scenarios, I had developed a lot of physical symptoms which I have mentioned in my older post.

Well, it doesn’t end here. As my father and Junior were recovering, my mobile got stolen. When I asked the Universe “can this year get any worse?” I wasn’t challenging it………ha ha ha ha! But right before the year is about to end, I was robbed.

With the daily barrage of bad news from around the world and in my personal space, the only thing I knew was to keep myself busy and out of my head, if I was to maintain my sanity. Which to my surprise, I successfully did by finally overcoming my anxiety. All these unfortunate events gave me some time to self reflect and the first thing that came into my mind was “I cannot live like this and be a slave of my own mind and thoughts.”

This was the best thing that happened this year. I am not saying I have cured my anxiety, but now I very well know how to control it and not drown in it like I did all these years. I am still working on myself and learning about myself every day. By God’s grace, everyone is in good health now and fortunately, the year is ending on a good note.

In my endeavour to stay positive, I started to appreciate and find joy in small, everyday things. That’s the first thing you can do to start living a mentally healthy life.

I always thought that I had made a lot of positive changes in my life after my separation from my ex husband. But this year made me realise that I was not even half way there. The biggest change that I had to make was in my head, and I am proud to say that I came full circle. The hapless events were a blessing in disguise for me.

What this year really taught me was 1) focusing on the positive, no matter how small, 2) acceptance, which helped me in handling conflicts and uninvited events with a better prospective, 3) health is wealth, mentally and physically active life is the need of the hour, and 4) having a hobby, which can turn into a side income, as well as keep you busy in doing something you love.

So, in retrospect to 2021, it was an opportunity for me to take a step back, reflect and make some positive changes. Who knows what 2022 has in store for all of us? All I can wish for a better year and look forward to it in enthusiasm.

Here’s wishing you all a Very Happy, Healthy and A Successful New Year! Please stay Safe and Positive!

Redesigning Life after Lockdown

It’s a restart for many of us, or let me say – majority of us. For some a mental restart, for some a physical restart, and for some both. However, this pandemic gave a lot of us a new perspective to life and an opportunity to start again.

Life is not the same for many of us. What we once took for granted; have now become our priority. Many bonds between people have been destroyed and many became stronger than before. A big change is noticed in many of our lives. Good or bad, the pandemic played it course and left a huge impact on us for many years to come. 

The Corona Virus claimed many live, and tackling loneliness among those left behind has made it worse, with some people more affected than others. More and more people worry something will happen to them and no one will notice. Those who have lost members of their family or close ones; feel the least able to cope with the after effects.

Besides Corona Virus, many are dying of heart attacks. Staying at home from the past 18 months, going out only for essential work, businesses closed, no socializing or physical contact like before and the fear of contracting the virus has left many people anxious about their present and future, which has lead to a sedentary life and increase in stress levels.

I am not immune to any of the above. The only difference is, I am living with a dog and that has helped me to stay positive most of the times and live an active life even in the lockdown. But my mental health too had gone for a toss. Some days I felt like I wouldn’t survive financially, and some days I would feel like life was not worth living after all. However, Junior being around at all times helped me not slip into depression and actually redesign my life, sort my priorities and be prepared for anything in the future.

My biggest realization in the lockdown was that life is beautiful and meaningful only with your loved ones and family around. There were times when I used to get irritated if my mother or father would call me often. But today, I value those calls. Sometimes I would get tired giving Junior continues attention. But now, there is nothing more important than spending as much time as I can with him. I have also realized that saved money is the actual treasure and wealth. YOLO (you only live once) is only a concept. The pandemic also taught me not to blindly run behind money, but balance life by paying attention to your health and also spending time with family.

Time and again, the quote “grass is not green on the other side” have been proved to be right. This hit me once again when I was talking to one of my cousins who live in a different so called modern and advanced country than mine; and she said “many countries claim to be advanced and modern than the other, and then in the first place, how did the virus enter their country? And if it did, then how come they took so long to mellow down the virus? And also, how lakhs of people died in their country? So stay where you are and value your country. The grass is not green on the other side.”

We have once again realized the importance of the basics like washing hands, covering our mouths, valuing relationships, exercising, eating healthy, and most importantly – being nice to one and other. Mental health is as important as physical health. And since the pandemic has increased the number of people getting depression and anxiety, not just in adults, but even in child, it is very important to redesign our lives and adopt more flexible and broad minded thinking. My vet told me, there has been a massive increase in the number of people and families adopting or buying cats and dogs during the lockdown. In a way, it is good as far as people consider them as family and do not abandon them once the countries open up.

It is very easy to change your life when there are restrictions. But what will happen once the lockdowns are lifted and life gets back to normal? This is where the actual challenge comes. Will we be consistent and disciplined? Will we stick to our redesigned life? Will we maintain our new behaviour and stick to the new routine?

Collectively, we can and we should use this pandemic as a rude wake-up call for all of us and help bring about a positive change in our habits and lives, and create and new and better normal.

What’s in my plate?

Parathas, Chole, Cucumber Raita and Sevaiyan. I missed the chopped onions though 😜
Typical Gujarati Lunch – Theplas, Aloo ki sukhi Bhaji, Pickle and Curd.
Rice Flour Roti, Bhintu, Salad and Dal
I am the happiest when I am right next to you 💞 When I paint 🎨
We had a busy week as Junior’s pre surgery preparations have started. He has a stye and cataract which is going to be surgically removed by the end of this month.
After his check-up, he slept like a baby 🥰

Codependency

Legitimately, there are so many new words I heard and learnt in the past 4 years that it is unbelievable how our generation and the younger generation has complicated, wasted and made the beautiful term “LOVE” meaningless. Besides ghosting, gaslighting, narcissist, talking stage, etc., codependency is just another word that I learnt.

Now what is codependency? In simple words, it means where a person is needy, or dependent upon another person. Basically, clingy. In a relationship, one person is so addicted to the other, that their life doesn’t function normally without the presence of the other person. In a crux, it is actually an unhealthy relationship.

But here, I mainly want to talk about codependent dogs. Yes, I learnt this word after interacting with a Vet. And to understand it better, I read through some articles on the internet and realized this has become very common these days in a relationship.

I had recently gone to the Vet as we are in the process of changing Junior’s medicated food to normal food. He relatively had less patients that day and was free to talk to me. He shared some not so surprising facts with me about the 2 major issues dogs faced in the lockdown – anxiety and obesity.

Obesity was because of the restrictions during the lockdown and the fear of coming in contact with the virus if humans walked their dogs in public. So most of the dog parents over fed their dogs with treats and crumbs to keep them entertained or not to disturb them when they were on a work call or in short, when they were working from home.

The other problem was, anxiety that the dogs faced was because outdoor activities were limited, socializing was a strict no and every walk was atleast 6 feet away from any kind of interaction with other dogs and humans. Because of the pandemic, the humans stayed home 24/7, which means, it was a party for the dogs. For them, there is nothing better than being with their humans’ day and night for months together. Unfortunately, this in due course resulted to codependency. The dogs became completely reliant on their humans for every minute of their day.

You probably would think, “how cute, my dog follows me everywhere. Aww, he/she loves me so much.” But in reality, your dog has forgotten to grasp the concept of having space, and their dependency could be making them a nervous wreck. They have now become so afraid when you leave the house or are not there at home that they become ecstatic when you come home. Their tails are wagging frantically, they start jumping on you and sometimes, even the house is a mess.

For most of us this is a normal behavior, irrespective of the pandemic. But the difference is, now it has become difficult for the dog to be on their own after we have spent months with them and started suffering from anxiety.

So, how do you know the difference between cuteness and codependency? Here are some signs to check in your dog:

  • Barking more than normal
  • Jumping a lot
  • Howling
  • Peeing on the floor
  • Destroying things at home
  • Following you from room to room
  • Nipping on people who gets close to them
  • Over possessive about their humans
  • Head bobbing
  • Become a little aggressive
  • Eats only after you feed them

These are some signs to look for. If you can relate to some or all of the above, then your dog is completely dependent on you and may develop anxiety if not corrected soon.

When I had relocated to a new apartment, Junior faced codependency for a few days as the place was new. But since I knew it was a temporary phase till he got adjusted, I just let him be. But codependency can turn into a permanent problem for the dogs with the little lives that they have.

Allow me to share some suggestions/tips to help your dog and you through it. But first, let me once again bring light to the fact that their clinginess may look cute, but being responsible dog parents, we have to help them be mentally independent just like how we would for human kids. Here are some tips when they behave to gummy:

  • Pet them less
  • Ignore them when they are wanting too much attention
  • Make sure they sleep or have plenty of things to do when you leave home
  • Be strict on their sleeping time
  • Slowly and steadily start taking them to dog parks and socialize with other dogs (now that the lockdowns have eased all over the world)
  • Even when you are home, send them to their favourite space as time out. Basically, less dog-parent interaction
  • Burn their energy
  • Stimulate their mind with mental games

Let me inform you, sometimes, the way one partner is dependent on the other partner, even humans can be dependent on their dogs. Like some humans cannot sleep without their dog by their side, or some call the day care 10 times to know how their dog is doing, many won’t go on holidays or dates without their dogs, and even if they do, their only topic to talk about is their dog! Either way, codependency is not healthy. For the betterment of everyone living under one roof and the dog, start being honest with yourself. Learn to have a life of your own and also help your dog become healthy mentally.

Flashback of the year 2020!

Last day of 2020, and coincidentally on a Thursday, my blog day! It would only be appropriate for me to use this opportunity to summarize everything that happened in the past 365 days. Sipping on my tea and calmly thinking about this entire year, all I can say is while the year has been a roller coaster ride; it was probably not all that bad mentally.

I started the year with a bang; ended 2019 and began 2020 with friends at a small hill station. Took Junior to a Doggie event where he enjoyed to the fullest. Devoted a lot of time to this blog. Started trying various form of painting and exploring my skills. Sowed the seeds to my new business. While the new venture was kick starting, my partner and me also got into a parallel business which we had not really envisioned. And then, I even changed my hairstyle. Closely, all this I did in the months of January, February, and March, before the lockdown. Bizarre isn’t it? Since December 2019 I kept reading and hearing about the Corona Virus in Wuhan and eventually how Italy and Iran went into lockdown and people would sing from their windows, etc. But never even for the slightest second I thought that India too will go under complete lockdown.

Honestly, I believe no one around the world would have thought that this virus would turn into an outlandish Pandemic. Ever since the lockdown, there were many things that happened which awakened my inner strengths and weaknesses. Let me start by the major turnaround moment, and that was Junior’s deteriorating health. He fell ill in April and continued degrading till September when we finally were able to diagnose what was really wrong with him; needless to be mentioned I had almost lost him. Due to the lockdown and the fear of contracting the virus, we had limited movement, living alone and I was clouded with only negative thoughts. That was the time when I realized Junior was just not my strength, but biggest weakness also. My old fear (Casper’s death) creeped in and I was paranoid beyond belief. But Thank God, since September, Junior’s health took a U Turn and is improving every passing day. He is still not completely fine, as Pancreatitis takes about 3 to 6 months, and, a change of lifestyle to cure, but we are getting there.

Then later in 2020, after years of tears, fears and a long long wait, I finally got divorced. This was another major event that happened in my life this year. The initial few days felt empty, but later, I was rejuvenated.

I also changed my house, which I had been adjourning for the longest time. I was still contemplating whether or not to move, but I finally did and was the best decision this year. After relocating, I grasped the fact that I was living in my comfort zone, and, compromising a lot on my standard of living. The new house opened up my perspective on what I deserved which I had denied for a pretty long time.

The other thing that I did was, I exited many WhatsApp groups. Sounds small and irrelevant, but when you are living alone and cannot get out of the house, the major source of staying in touch with everyone is phone calls and WhatsApp. But I had quit for a few months; the major reason being fake news that were circulated nonstop. The unnecessary panic was not worth and I occupied myself in other indoor activities, specially entertaining Junior to keep him healthy and active, which in turn also kept my mind busy and body healthy.

It’s funny when in bad times; Facebook and Instagram prompts memories of the things you did on a date a year ago or some years ago. Because of this, each and every festival and birthdays also we celebrated on Zoom calls. My friends and cousins often spoke about what we did last year because of the social media prompts. But we also came to a conclusion, that when all this is over, we will all meet up, laugh and remember that how Zoom call was important in 2020. The best part was, Junior was present in every Zoom call and family and friends also used the doggy filter to not make him feel left out – : )

Work from home, cook for yourself, exercise at home, do home remedies to increase your immunity, social distancing, wash your hands, sanitize your house, etc. started as a temporary phase but ended up being the new normal which I still follow inspite of COVID19 cases reducing and the country has opened up.

Therewithal, I realized I was much happier alone and all the forced conversations, friendships and relationships ended. Some I terminated, some others did. This year put an end to all the halfhearted connections. Everyone who was faking, their masks fell off. And I have been the most grateful for all the people who left. It gets lonely sometimes, but being alone is much better than being friends, family or lover with someone who only used you when they were bored. I believe this happened because people spent most of their days indoors this year with their immediate families. Either they realized their closed one’s importance and mended the broken relations, or they realized they were not meant to be together and parted ways. Also, the savings were exhausting and businesses tanking, there was frustration. Because of all the personal issues, the other bonds faded. And those which were weak, crumbled down. In a way, it made me realize who was actually down for me and who was not. This lockdown turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

This year, many lost their loved ones, a lot of people lost their lives, some became bankrupt, jobless and homeless, some sewed up their relationships, others lead up to divorce or break up. Me too, disorientated from a lot of connections, lost a loved one, sinking business, a lot of frustration and panic attacks. But here I am, finally overcoming all the obstacles and setbacks one by one, sitting comfortably on my couch in my new house, with Junior by my side. All the setbacks were hurtful, but also prepared me for a comeback. Each time, stronger, braver and wiser. Everything happens for a reason and now I am positively hoping and wishing for a better 2021 for me and everyone else.

Wishing all of you a very Happy New Year, All The Best and Never Give Up. It gets better!

Breakfast in Goa 😜

This is what my breakfast in Goa looks like 😀
Yes, I ate all 😉
Waffles 😋
Dinner in Goa – Sushi
I made Pop Tarts at home
Spinach Pesto Cottage Cheese Pizza. Super delicious and healthy.
Line and wash. When I paint 🎨
My sleeping partner ❤️
Can you see his twisty turvy teef 🤣
Just a friendly reminder, he is the most sleepy baby always.

Stay PAW-sitive!

It is said “The greatest Sacrifice is when you sacrifice your own happiness for the sake of someone else” – but does that someone else have to be a human? And is living a life for someone else’s happiness necessarily be termed as a “Sacrifice”?

 I am always talking about how much of a difference dogs make into our lives and how dogs have changed our lives for the better. But today, I want to talk about giving credit to us “dog parents or pet parents” about everything that we have done for our dogs. We are often neglected in appreciation and today I want to appreciate every dog parent for all their efforts, hard work, and, sacrifices they have made to give their dogs a better life.

Being a dog mom myself, I know it has never been easy. But our dedication makes it look so effortless, that often people forget the time and energy we have put into raising our dogs to be healthy and loving. Bringing a dog home means a responsibility for another 15 years. Few realize this responsibility and it is imperative to commend all of those who didn’t bring dogs as a Christmas gift and next Christmas the same dog is in the shelter. Or returned the dog for lame reasons like relocating or having a baby or allergy or getting married.

I had read about an article where a woman suddenly suffered from allergies. Upon examination, the doctor informed her that it was because of her dog and to get cured, she had to get rid of the dog. The lady turned around and told her husband, “it’s time to get rid of the doctor and find a new one. The dog is not going anywhere.” Similarly, I used to follow an Instagram account of an Asian woman and her dog. The dog suddenly fell ill and passed away young. She had got an autopsy done and the results shocked her. She discovered that the dog was misdiagnosed and was treated for an illness he never had. She was restless for days. In a tragic turn, she committed suicide. She left a suicide note saying she failed her dog’s trust and she was responsible for his death, so she is going to him. Tragic! I had cried for days after her husband had posted all this on her Instagram account.

There are so many other compromises and sacrifices we do for our dogs, though we do it out of love and soon it becomes our lifestyle. Things as little as not eating chocolates in front of our dogs just because it is harmful for them and they would be tempted to eat. After having a late night out, we still wake up early in the morning to walk our dogs. We cancel plans just because they collide with our dog’s meal or walk time. We don’t go out of town often for a holiday because it is not convenient to take our dogs along all the time. We have stopped calling some people home because they do not like dogs or are scared of dogs, even though they were our best friends or close relatives.

Me personally, when my time was bad, and, I had little to no money, I used to skip my meals to save money to feed Casper and Junior. Even though I had liked a guy so much, I never dated him because my dogs were not welcome. Even today, I am happy to be single but refuse to marry someone who will not accept my dog.

Whether we are sick or absolutely fine, whether we have a day off or working, whatever the circumstance may be, we dog parents never have a break. Because there is no holiday from being a parent. We stay up all night if our dogs are unwell. We have more pictures of our dogs than our selfies. We celebrate their birthdays like a human child. We buy them new toys. We feed them the best dog food. We work extra hours to earn that extra money to give the best lives for our dogs. The list is endless. And you know what, it’s all worth it.

Someone had told me that a dog should live as per our schedule and life, but I live my life as per my dog’s schedule. While that comment agitated me to another level; I soon calmed down as I realized they don’t see life from our perspective. To them he is just a dog; to us he is our child. Not everyone gets the privilege to be a dog parent and they consider them as just another animal. When I was mourning Casper’s death and landed into depression, someone had even told me that he was just a dog. I wish people would be sensitive and understand the years we have put in for our dog’s wellness; and that they are not just dogs, but our babies.

So today, thank you all and a lot of appreciation and respect to all the dog and pet parents who go through silent struggles that no one sees. Cheers to everyone that kept going and made ends meet even in this dreadful COVID19 times for their dogs. I can’t thank you enough for just not treating your pets with love but also the stray dogs with respect and helping them. Greatly appreciate all of you who wouldn’t mind losing everything but the dog. Our dogs give us unconditional love and loyalty and thank you to all you guys for keeping their trust intact.

Fun, Romantic, Silly – Date Ideas During Pandemic!

If the world was easier, would you still want to be with your person? This pandemic has not just affected the businesses and overall health of people, but has led to a lot of breakups too (including mine). But there are some who continued loving their partners no matter what. And there are some who even realized the value of their partners after staying apart due to lockdowns.

Regardless the reason, being in love and being loved is the best feeling in world. Now that the lockdowns have eased, but the fear of Coronavirus is still there, people are reluctant to step out just yet.

So here I am, sharing some fun indoor date ideas to rekindle the mystique once again:

  • Breakfast in bed:

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And it can be the most romantic too! I can bet over this as I have had firsthand experience. Impress your partner with an unexpected breakfast in bed. Whether you are serving just some hot tea/coffee with toast or cereals or have cooked an exotic breakfast spread, either way, your partner will relish the unexpected room service! The element of surprise is always fun, so attempt to wake up before your partner making the least noise as possible unless you are using appliances like the blender. If your partner wakes up, tell him/her to go back to sleep as you have a surprise. There is bound to be an immediate adrenaline rush hearing that and it will only add up to the excitement. You eat with your eyes first, so make the breakfast presentation in bed extra appetizing. Breakfast dates have been so undervalued but seeing those happy eyes first thing in the morning in your comfort zone is the best feeling.

  • Challenge in the kitchen:

Challenge your partner to a cook-off with random pantry ingredients. Oh my, this is going to turn out to be a laughter riot with romance. Pick a day, and, ask your partner to cook a dish from the ingredients available in the kitchen while you cook another one. Do not let each other know what you’ll are cooking and then…BOOM! You have 2 dishes with a lot of laughs and sweet fights for the same appliance or ingredients; some mess, and, a lot of kinky touching each other.

  • Spa at home:

Relax your partner with an at-home spa day. A scented candle, face packs, essential oils, steamy music, and, you are on cloud 9. This will even open doors for communication. Communicate openly, and, be open for communication. This is an unprecedented time in our lifetimes and it will create a series of emotions. Being able to talk about emotions and needs is the key to getting through these though times, and, it can happen smoothly when you are relaxed.

  • Dress up and role play:

This can be as romantic as possible to get it on. Wear your best lingerie or a party dress or tuxedo or just boxers. This itself will get you started. Have some drinks, and, role play to totally spice up your night. Let all your imaginations and fantasies come to life!

  • Workout together:

Whether it is yoga or weight lifting or just normal exercises, plan a day to do it together.                Choose exercises that couples can do with little kisses here and there. Couples that workout together, stay together. Hold hands, help each other in counts, reward your partner if he/she completes a fixed number of squats or pushups, etc. This surely turns out to be a hot and steamy workout session 😉

  • Test your singing skills:

A karaoke night singing your lungs out, wrong lyrics, bad voice and lots of fun. You do not have to be a fantastic singer, all you have to do is build the atmosphere and sing duets with your partner. Dance a little while singing, sing solo, have a great selection of songs, dim the lights, make videos of it and upload for fun, try a song of the opposite sex, etc. All in all, a creative and unique date night.

There are many other indoor date ideas like playing board games, floor picnic, dinner date, etc. But the above ones are sure shot to bring in a lot of laughter and reawaken the romance. Always remember, romance is not about the quantity of time you spend with each other, it is about the quality. But never suffocate each other by being around at all times. Give each other space, and, have your own life too.

As for me, I have never got bored living alone, and, I continue to have my own life even after being in a relationship. I have Junior and 50% of my day revolves around him. The other 50%, I work, paint, cook, read and exercise. At the moment, I am content with life and happy how it is going. In the near future, when I have a partner, I am surely going to try all the above date ideas. But I will modify them a little to involve Junior in it. One important tip, if you have dog, do leave him alone in a room or some place in the house for 2-3 hours. Because once we all start with our routine after the Novel Corona Virus, dogs will get separation anxiety if we leave the house. And for sure, you get those 2-3 hours to continue with your romantic date ideas as well!

What has the pandemic done to us!

Anxiety, depression and suicide are the only things I hear these days apart from someone testing positive from the novel Corona Virus COVID-19. I will be wrong if I say I am now immune to anxiety; though I do not get depressed at all. But anxiety definitely takes a toll on me sometimes. It is said, if a person is living in the past, they suffer from depression. And if a person wants all the answers to the future, they are living in anxiety. And there are some, who suffer from both, which sometimes become fatal and leads to suicide.

In India, in the past few months, we came across a lot of celebrity suicides, which is heartbreaking. And I can say, it was the highest during this lockdown and testing times. We feel, they have name, fame, money, luxury, etc., then why do they have to commit suicide. Some of them even happily married or in happy relationships. But still they decided to end their lives. Well, we will never know the answers as none left behind any suicide note. But one thing I can say, and specially to people who always feel that the grass is greener on the other side, that money or fame or luxury or even being with the perfect life partner is not the only way to live. So what has this pandemic done to us? It has taught us these very important crucial life lessons.

It has taught us that savings is the most important thing in life. It has taught us that not only can we survive with just the bare minimum, but also live happily. It has taught us the importance of essential items. When the lockdowns were announced worldwide, no one rushed to buy a new car or a new dress or an expensive purse. But everyone dashed to buy groceries, medicines, and, even toilet paper. This pandemic has also thrown light on the importance of having our family around us safe and healthy. This pandemic edified us to do small small work on our own like fixing the light bulb or cleaning the clogged drain for which we used to be dependent on other people. It has created many bakers and chefs who had never even made a cup of tea in their entire life. It has coached many to start living a healthy lifestyle and I am the biggest example for this. I was a junk food eater and would barely drink water throughout the day. Now, out of fear though, I have started cooking healthy meals, taking my multivitamins, drinking adequate water and many other healthy things which I will share with you’ll below in detail.

Mumma drew eyebrows on me because she was bored, and now she is laughing like a mad woman – Junior

To one side the good things this pandemic has taught, it has also tested many relationships. Never in my life I had heard about so many divorces or breakups before. All the relationships that were built on shaky foundations collapsed. This shows that most of the relationships were only materialistic, either physical or monetary, and when it was time to show true love, many failed. And there were some, who were so bored and tried to reach out to their ex….ha ha ha! Since the only mode of communication during lockdown is video calls or phone calls, just like a long distance relationship, after an argument, you never know if you are going to speak to your partner ever again or no. And as the favorite thing or I can say, the most fashionable thing what people are doing is “ghosting”. Many couples are also restoring to breakups over zoom calls. Or to not sound bad or irresponsible, slowly and steadily one person starts getting distant giving excuses about increased responsibility at home or work tension due to lockdown or any other excuse and eventually disappears leaving the other person with many unanswered questions and a brutally broken heart left to heal on its own.  And the next you know, they are dating someone else which turns your life upside down. SAD!

We must understand, these are testing times. Instead of behaving like jerks and idiots, one should take a few days to figure things out instead of just breaking up. You can navigate tough waters without having to disentangle from a relationship. Take a few weeks to figure things out. It’s important to note that at such a time, our ‘shadow selves’ can also come out. We all have a ‘shadow self’, which could be impacted by past baggage, traumatic memories, and things we are not aware of. In other times, we are distracted by work, but when we are by ourselves, we may not know how to deal with past emotional pain. Don’t take impulsive decisions. Unless, one has been cheating behind the scenes or as I said before that an ex sent a text out of no where and the old feelings came rushing back in, then there is no solution to it and the strained one should move on with dignity and self-respect. And use this lockdown to better yourself and rise from the ashes stronger. Trust me, breakup during lockdown will look like a challenge, but soon, you will start loving your me-time. And you will have one less person to worry about….ha ha ha ha ha!

Apart from breakups, savings are drying up and there is less to zero income which is the biggest concern right now. Many of us are struggling to cope with this and the only solution is when the country entirely opens up and the number of Corona Virus Positive cases drastically reduce. Also, all of us are desperately awaiting the vaccine for same.

Mumma should be reminded that I am not a girl – Junior

I am trying my best to stay healthy and keep my immunity on top notch. Taking all precautions like face mask, sanitizer, social distancing, etc. Rest I leave it in God’s hands. Let me share with you’ll the home therapy I am doing for good health and immunity.

  • I take nasal steam 2-3 times a day
  • I drink a cup of Kadha a day. Kadha in India is an age old Ayurveda drink used for cold, flu, immunity and overall health. Add crushed peppercorns, ginger, cloves, cinnamon stick, green cardamom, turmeric, tulsi leaves, mint leaves and lemon juice to water and bring it to boil till the water turns to half quantity. Strain and add a little honey and drink warm.
  • On waking up, I have a warm glass of water with a pinch of salt, turmeric powder and lemon juice on empty stomach.
  • Later I have a glass of warm turmeric milk
  • I take multivitamin and Vitamin C tablets

All the above I have apart from regular lunch and dinner. Please note, for some these above home remedies or therapy may create a lot of heat in the body to handle and build acidity. So do only what suit your body. As you all know, I live alone and again even in this crisis, my baby Junior has kept me rational and level headed. Thank God that animals cannot contract the Corona Virus and they are safe. I thank Casper and Junior every day of my life. And I thank God for creating such beautiful and loyal creatures and giving me the opportunity to wake up every morning to the face that loves me the most. My heart would be emptier and life would be less with my dogs.

I see an Angel every morning when I open my eyes. And that Angel is Junior ❤️