Bullies

I had taken a break last week from uploading a post. The reason for that was, I was fueled with anger. Today, in this post; I am writing everything from the heart and experience.

My country India is going through a tough time right now. We all are scared not just about the Corona Virus, but about our survival as well. Every single day we hear and read about deaths. All this has increased a lot of anxiety in majority of us. We are already living in fear, but there are some who add up to the stress.

Last week, some Anonymous had left a nasty comment on my page which said, “I am a self-obsessed, male attention seeking, ugly whore, who’s own marriage is wrecked and now is wrecking others marriages.” I am not too sure if this comment was left by someone known or some anonymous who actually took the effort to read my posts and then leave a nasty comment like this. Besides this, someone else left a comment on my dog Junior that in such bad times, I have kept a dog and spending money on him instead of donating.

Let me start by saying, yes I am divorced and there were a lot of factors which lead to my divorce. How does that mean I am a self-obsessed, male attention seeking, ugly whore? And by just being divorced, does that mean I am going to break others marriages? Even Bill Gates got divorced. Does that mean his wife is now going to break others marriages! What I don’t understand is, if you have so much guts to leave a disgusting comment like this, then why “Anonymous”, show your face and leave your name. I will be more than happy to clear your misunderstanding.

Regarding my dog, he is with me since 9 years, and I may not eat but see to it he has been fed rather than donating to people who can’t even follow basic protocols of wearing a mask on the nose and putting others life in danger. I do my piece of social work and I do not need anyone’s validation.

Fake WhatsApp messages, daily propaganda of news channels, irresponsible citizens, lack of support from the Government, etc. and then, there are internet bullies who are spineless, no work to do, no guts, but just leave assholic comments because they don’t have to face the person.

But this isn’t new. I know of someone, who would be so possessive about her boyfriend, that eventually her relationships turn toxic and she would end up being single all the time. She would always blame other women if her relationship turned sour. Something like, “she was his ex and now she is trying to get him”, or “I will not let my boyfriend meet this girl because she is divorced and want others husbands/boyfriends”. However, all her relationships failed because she was insecure within herself. And that insecurity she would display on others making even her friendships toxic. Constantly playing a victim card, not working on yourself, and always blaming others makes you a toxic person and a bully.

I have always been bold and open about my personal life. I try to spread as much positivity and encouragement as I can through my experience. In such tough times, if you can’t be good to yourself and other people, then atleast keep your mouth shut and don’t be a spineless bully.

Stress, depression and anxiety are already silent killers. I am a strong person and I can hit back. But many have committed suicide because of bullies. When the mindset is already in fear because of the pandemic, why create more chaos. When a marriage is breaking, why blame only the other woman? Your husband opened that space for the other woman. If he was true to the wife or happy in the marriage, he wouldn’t have opened that personal space. Correct your husband first. Or I must say, as I have mentioned before also, sometimes we too are toxic, for which our partners seek love outside. Being divorced doesn’t mean I am lonely, desperate and available. No one wants a divorce, but sometimes it is inevitable.

Let’s all be humble and fight this together. If you can’t be good, don’t be bad either. Keep quiet and mind your own business. Regarding dogs, we all pet parents are capable of doing anything for our pets to keep them healthy and safe. We all do our set of humanity gestures. Just because we do not post it, doesn’t mean we are not helping others. If you are frustrated with your own life, I have said before, seek professional help if nothing is helping you.

I can take criticism well, atleast show your identity. I have a fighting spirit and I am getting stronger every passing day, again through experience. I request all those who think about committing suicide because of bullies, that never for even a second think of giving up your life. You are strong, you are enough, you are wanted. These bullies display their insecurities, they need help. Not you. If I can do it, so can you.

My Maid – My New Inspiration

As we are in the middle of the second wave of Corona virus in India, which is much more intense, contagious, and dangerous than the first one, we are living in constant fear for our lives, as well as our livelihood. After a year of this virus, we have still not contained it, in fact it has got worse. Savings have been exhausted, no income because of imposed lockdown and the fear of falling sick.

In all this chaos, one thing I have seen constant is – my maid’s smile. I always wonder that I come from a relatively good financial background, yet I am so worried about surviving this pandemic, then how much trouble will the poor people be facing, especially laborer’s, maids and servants. So how does my maid manage to smile always?

One day, I sat her down and started taking about her history and present and in whatever way I could help her. I was shocked listening to her story. And more shocked when she denied any extra help from me besides not laying her off from work.

She narrated me her story, and it goes like this. When she was young, around 7-8 years old, she lost her mother. Her mother was murdered by some of their own community people for reasons not known to my maid. Her father was an alcoholic and she was the only child. She never shared a cordial relationship with her father. As she grew old, she finally found love in a man and wanted to marry him. Somehow, one of her relative got the information of her affair, and instead of knowing her background and helping her, that relative contacted her father with a marriage proposal of another man.

That relative convinced her father that the other man is very good and he should get my maid married to him right away. My maid was forced to marry the other man, and once again, she lost the love that she deserved. Later, her father passed away due to over drinking. Soon, she had a son and her happiness had no limits. But it didn’t last long. She had been noticing that all the money that she earned from working at others houses was vanishing. She had no idea at all where the money was going. As some more time passed, she made a dreadful discovery. Her husband had another family in another city, and all her money was going to that family through her husband without her knowledge.

She was devastated. Her child was young. She had no father figure or any elders that she could turn up to for advice. She took the matter in her hands and left her husband. She decided to live in dignity as a single mother rather than being with her cheating husband and sharing him. She worked hard and built a good foundation for her son. She saved so much money, that after some years, she finally bought her own house.

As her son grew older, she thought that finally he too will stand on his own feet and bring some income in the house. But one day, her son bought an expensive mobile from her card without her knowledge. My maid, being the dignified woman that she is, sold her jewellery to pay up the EMIs of the card and warned her son to never do it again. Somehow, seeing her selling her jewellery, it opened her son’s eyes. He apologized to her and found a job. And with his salary, he bought his mother some new jewellery.

Today, he is happily married, has a good job and also recently had a son. My maid is more than happy and content.

I asked her, how are you dealing with the pandemic then? And she said, “I work in two houses (me and my office) and the other source of income is my son’s, which is enough for the four of us to live happily and comfortably.” She also added that her wants are less, so she doesn’t require any other monetary benefits or help. As always, she wants to work and earn her money. Not to be looked upon in pity.

Wow! This hit home. Sometimes, you get inspiration from the most unexpected person. Also, the old saying of “Never judge a book by its cover” stands true here. She is always smiling and laughing. I would have never guessed what she has been through since childhood. I would have never guessed that only for once she found love, and that too was taken away from her because of some dirty family politics.

This is called true strength. She raised her child as a single mother. She brought him back to his senses when he went off track. She lost her mother at a very early age. Her father was good for nothing. She never got to marry the love of her life. And her husband cheated her and robbed her earnings for the other woman. But my maid, overcame all her problems, because she was determined. Because she was true to herself. Because she chose her self-respect and dignity.

Isn’t this such an inspiration! I was blown away after hearing all this. I know there are tough times going on. And my priority is to survive at the moment for myself and Junior. But after listening to my maid, I want to thrive and nothing less. If she could overcome so many problems, then even I can and you can too.

Weekly fun

A colourful picture gallery of what Junior and me did in the last week.

I made Khichdi with Gatte ki Sabzi. A combination of Gujarati and Marwadi Cuisine. Extremely healthy and delicious.
Cooker Bread Rolls with Potato and Mayonnaise stuffing.
Painted this for my brother his birthday which was on the 28th.
Junior was super sleepy but still wanted to admire Mumma 😍
Mumma was annoying, but Junior still posed 😆
My Mom made tasty Brownie/Cake for my brother’s birthday.

Dreams and Tears

Appreciate what you have, before it turns into what you had. We all have heard this before. But we still do not implement this in our lives. We keep on abusing the zeal given to us, until it is too late to realise what we had was way too precious to us, and is there no more. When you take things for granted, the things you are granted get taken.

I had always dreamt to marry a guy who would love me, encourage me, protect me, stand by me, etc. And I was even fairly lucky enough to find that person. But somewhere, I believe, I took my oomph life for granted. And somewhere, even my husband acted with decorum. We would have our differences, but that’s a part of any marriage or relationship. But what I personally didn’t realise was, we had some faults which instead of addressing to each other and talking to each other like matured adults, we would fight and scream on top of our voices. Eventually, get tired of fighting and then forget the topic without bringing a solution. All this resulted in separation, and eventually breaking the marriage.

Life was reasonably beautiful back then; but immature us just took each other for granted. It clearly takes 2 hands to clap, and while I do not know if my husband ever realised his mistakes, but by the time I realised mine, it was too late. I couldn’t do anything but watch him go to someone else. Maybe the love was still there, but sometimes the situation becomes so unbearable, that even the silence starts haunting you. You have become so tired of holding on to a marriage or relationship, hoping in the dead air for things to not only turn around but also become as exciting as before; only to realize that one day the bubble bursts, and you just have to let go. And even though you love your partner, deep within you know you are no more in love with them!

Taylor Swift has said “It’s hard to fight when the fight isn’t fair.” The same holds true for life also. Just when I realised my mistakes and started improvising on them, I came across guys who showed me an altogether new meaning of taking things for granted. At the beginning of the relationship, they show you rainbows, and once they are confident that you are completely theirs, they start showing you thunderstorms. Once they know you are madly in love with them, they assume you won’t leave. And you are constantly hoping, rather illusive that they will change. You even signal it out to them that the changed behaviour is unbearable and you may leave. So for a short amount of time they change completely and become all loving and caring, but go back to being ignorant in no time. With time, the hurt is so bad that it loses its meaning. You start becoming distant and stop caring. You stop satisfying their ego to give them a taste of their own medicine. But by doing this, I learnt one thing; recklessness is almost a man’s revenge on his woman. He feels he is not valued so he will risk destroying himself to deprive her altogether. The best revenge is, TO MOVE ON. If they cared, they would have showed you. There are no ifs and buts to this. Actions always speak louder than words. We keep lying to ourselves in the name of love by giving excuses to unacceptable behaviour.

Love is said to be a journey, not a destination. If you commit, you promise to love that person even when it is difficult to talk to them. The one man that I met didn’t even think once before playing with my emotions and broke me so bad, that I stopped feeling anything. He used me to forget someone and forgot me like I was just some object when she came back in his life. And the other man that I met became so reckless that I started to feel that only I was in a relationship. He fed me breadcrumbs and expected me behave like he was the whole treat. What was common in both these men? They were so good and loving in the first few months, committed, sweet talkers, promised to be with you in the good and the bad, seemed matured and actually looked genuine. But once they gained your confidence, suddenly all the promises were broken, the once matured men became someone who seemingly “didn’t know” what they wanted. If I addressed their changed behaviour, I was labelled to be sulking and nagging. ‘I Love You’ was just another statement used to trap you and then eventually to abandon you for an ex or next. While I was clearly naive and rather stupid to trust words; a more severe effect of this is that even though I still believe in love, I cannot trust a soul now. Many of us these days feel, “I will get anyone. There are a lot of fishes in the sea.” They sabotage and destroy the person they are with to search for something better outside. When they realise the grass wasn’t greener on the other side, or, when karma hits them back with the same thing of how they treated their partner, they come running back realising they had the best; obviously it is too late then. It’s said, “Women fall in love in the man’s presence and men fall in love in the woman’s absence.” Many men probably know this, but what they don’t know is women take longer to leave, but once they leave, they never come back!

Rumi, the 13th century poet had said, “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself” With all these happenings in my life, I have only learnt. Learnt to be patient, learnt the value of the present moment than getting anxious about the future, and, learnt to trust actions and not just words. I also learnt to never beg anyone to stay in my life; for where you are not celebrated and respected, leave. The moment after being let go, when we can finally let it go, is the moment when love once again has hope. And I want to keep falling in love even if I have already hit the ground. To young hearts; keep beating, keep breaking and keep falling in love. But never take anyone or any moment for granted. Because what you have today, tomorrow it just might not be there. And that will hit you like a bullet in the heart. By the time you realise what you have lost, it will be gone forever. If you love something, love it completely, cherish it, say it, but most importantly – show it. Life is finite and fragile, and just because something is there one day, it might not be the next. Never take anyone or anything granted. I had read an article about a man’s last words on his death bed. He said, “Wish I had paid more attention to the relationships I had in my life.” Value them when they are still there other than adjusting to their absence in the future. My intention is not to gain any sympathy, but only to help people to not repeat the mistakes I have made.

Having said that, there are times that I too feel guilty of not spending enough time with Casper and he was gone too soon. So this lockdown has given me an opportunity to take a break from the grind and spend a lot of time with Junior, take care of his health and wellbeing, laugh at his funny sleeping positions, talk to him random stuff and see him tilting his head, hug him tight where he tries his best to free himself and love him a lot more. My dogs have been the biggest blessings in my life. Having such short lives, they still fill yours with so much meaning, faithfulness and loyalty. And under no circumstances, I would take even a single moment with Junior for granted. For this time, will never come again – Spend your time with those who love you unconditionally, not with those who only love you under certain conditions!

You are a whole lot of lovely!

It takes a strong person to remain single in a world that is accustomed to settling with anything just to say they have someone. Several women, at times, force themselves into romance, only because they are apprehensive of being single forever. The end result is usually misery, as in the process they start making compromises, and invariable end up losing their identity. The truth is, a woman who is unapologetically herself, comfortable in her perfect imperfection, doesn’t play the victim, never afraid to be on her own, vibrant and goal-oriented is so much more attractive, than a woman who waits around for a man to validate her existence!

Being in my late 30’s, its natural for my family and friends to be concerned about me being single – to the extent few consider it to be a taboo! I am accustomed to be at the receiving end of various advices; “your biological clock is ticking” / “life cannot be spent alone” / “right now you will still get a guy, later it will be too late”, and, as ridiculous as some of these reasons are; believe me the list is endless. While it is extremely easy to advice, what people, who I know only mean good, fail to understand is as we age, it gets more and more difficult for us to find the ‘right one’. It’s not the age which does that, for age is just a number. What happens is with age we mature, we learn to understand what truly makes us happy, and we are less susceptible to just settle for someone who really doesn’t understand or care for us.  With the booming trend of social media, it is not difficult to find someone. But the question is; how genuine are they? And even if they are genuine, how compatible are we?

Personally, I have never been the one who would do a random hook-up, or anything even remotely similar to it. With age, and of course my past experiences, I have become so scared to get my heart broken again that I fortified myself with a wall of scepticism.  It has become extremely difficult for me to immediately trust someone. It’s not that that I do not want to date or eventually get married, but I do not want to be the only one falling in love. I want to be loved equally as well, and I strongly believe this isn’t much to ask! The problem is you will come across people who will express their love, but it is fairly impossible to immediately judge who actually loves you, and who is pretending to do so. Most men I have spoken to, choose to conveniently assume I am available and desperate immediately upon learning that I am separated and live alone. To be brutally honest, I have learnt that only 3 types of men approach me, and this is the harsh reality of today’s world:

  1. Type 1: The married ones, who generally just are looking for a little extra spice
  2. Type 2: The confused souls who say they care, but honestly only want a physical relationship with pretty much No Strings Attached
  3. Type 3: The truly genuine ones who end up being some of the best friends I have made. But believe me, these are the rarest of the rare ones and extremely hard to find

After Casper crossed the rainbow bridge, my husband told me that very same day that he wanted to rework the marriage. I was content, but it was only an eyewash. Apparently, my husband had approached the divorce lawyer the very same evening. I was shocked, deceived, and realized it was better to end this legally once and for all. It made no sense to keep watering a dead plant, and more than a dead relation it was the trust which was totally shattered.  I gathered myself together post getting off the depression medicines, and got back on routine and finally became open to dating. But it wasn’t easy at all. The dating scenarios had completely changed. There were so many new words and actions that I had never experienced in the past or even heard of, like ghosting, gas lighting, rebounding, etc. Unfortunately, I experienced all these the hard way when I finally had prepared myself to give love another chance. I had met a guy in my worst phase and told him everything about my past and he shared his. In spite of him being a dog lover, I thought he would understand of what I went through when Caspu passed. We never really dated but had become pretty close, and I had started thinking about him a lot more than I had planned to. Just 20 days after meeting him, I was ghosted. Yes, that’s when I learnt this word. And after some months I realised I would have just been a rebound to him. His ex came back in his life and he forgot me just at the drop of a hat like I was just someone to divert his mind off a break up he had recently had when we met. Ironically, that’s when I learnt the second trending word “rebound”. It was so hard for me to believe that when you share your personal life with someone and they promise to hold your hand through thick and thin, but end up being the same person they claim to never have been. I was extremely heartbroken. But once again, my baby, my dog, my Junior came to my rescue and never let me sink in. I realized I was actually stronger than before. I chose to give a piece of my mind to that guy, blocked him and never looked back. The following year, as I continued with my work and actually experimented with social media, I came across a lot of people. And as mentioned before, some became my very good friends, and other; I realised their intentions way too early and didn’t even bother entertaining them.

Life went on, and without me even realising, I kept getting mentally stronger, and being alone with Junior had just become the best way to live. I was so much happier, and, so was Junior. We enjoyed our time playing and dancing for no reason. If nothing, then I would take Junior out for a drive. Some of the best moments of my life are spent alone with Junior, and definitely, they are precious. Apart from that, my cousins and friends also made sure that I was not left alone. I started travelling, having so many girls’ trips, also my Mom and me travelled overseas just for shopping, family trips; all in all – life was beautiful!  

Then, a friend of mine introduced me to a guy. As they say, you meet the most unexpected person at the most unexpected time. It was a long distance relationship. But this time, I didn’t give my heart away immediately. I took my time and being long distance, after months, we met in person. It is amazing how different a person can be over phones and in person. After a while, I started to sense that we were not for each other.  I began to curse myself for a very brief period that none of my relationships are working out, and, probably, I am the toxic one, or I have some problem in me. Self-doubt can be a troubling and persuasive voice that holds you back. My thoughts literally made me beg this guy to stay with me, which he did too, but his behaviour towards me changed dramatically. He took me for granted thinking that I begged him to stay, so I will never leave him. He chose to call or text me at his convenience only, not reply to my texts for days, not tell me about his whereabouts and literally made me an object of convenience. I hoped and thought he would change for good but things only got worse. Finally, I opened my eyes, kept my heart aside, and called it off.

You have what it takes, don’t ever doubt yourself. Whenever you feel weak, remember the things that made you strong. Whenever you start to doubt yourself, remember those who believe in you. And remember this, when you start to doubt yourself, the real world will eat you alive. Victor E. Frankl (Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor,) has said, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Once again, living alone, failed relationships, a lot of baggage, a fur baby who is no more; but here I am. Still cheerful and hopeful. I still believe in love. I have not given up on meeting the right one for me. Even in this world of divorces and breakups and hook ups, I believe somewhere the one meant for me will find me in the right time. Remember this, it is better to wait long than to marry wrong. Learn to be whole all by yourself. Be kind enough to let someone in, but wise enough to even let them go. Not everyone who enters your life is meant to stay. And it is ok! Learn from it, and move on.

Till then, Junior and I are living it playfully in this lockdown. He is a kitchen king (hahahaha). He is always in the kitchen when I am cooking keeping his hopes high that anytime some food might fall on the floor from the platform and he will eat it. Regarding his skin infection, he is doing absolutely great. The Saffron Oil did wonders and he is off antibiotics now. Apart from this, a very good friend of mine had to put his senior dog down due to complications from old age. It caused overwhelming distress to him to take this call and implement his decision, but that was the right thing to do. Seeing him like this is very upsetting. No matter how much time we get with our fur babies, it is never enough. Whether they lived for 5 years or 10 years or 15 years with us, their passing always takes away a part of us with them. It is never easy!