*** Insecurity is a disease ***


Recently on my trip to home city, I saw a pet shop where there was this beautiful kitten, sadly a famished one staring blankly at the glass that had fish gleefully swimming from one end to the other. My husband said one word – Cruelty! and, heaved a sigh!

I agreed.

However, as sad it was to watch the kitten see its favourite food not only alive and kicking, but smirking and swimming pretty bravely on its face, I was also amused. For, after some time, the kitten turned its face away stoically.

I wonder how the kitten would have reacted had the fish landed between its paws. Would it jump up with exhilaration and, do a Frabjous Day? Or, will it just look away and, feel dead as the dead fish?

Who knows?

But then, if Life has taught me anything about itself, it is this in plain and in, no uncertain terms that,

“Nothing is yours truly if you try to possess it by force or, by command. What you wish for also has to embrace you with the same love and comfort.”

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And, that brings me to the context of insecurity. Go by definition, it is the opposite of security. How funny, no?

Break the word Insecurity and it is, “In security!”

Well, I wouldn’t question my favourite language’s quirkiness but yes, the word in the real world is surely supposed to be questioned and, how!

Having been a person who prefers walls first and bridges later, it has been a tiring struggle to ward off humans with the tendency to jump over the walls. It is not easy to explain to the world that boundaries are important. When I see people using their insecurities as a macabre tool to armtwist into doing their bidding, it makes me very very sad.

Sad because I see clearly how that kind of insecurity fueled dominance is meted through authority and position of power to extract good words, apologies and obedience is, on the contrary unhealthy by mind.

Insecurities drive people crazy. A slight deviation in action and, they are convinced that the world is out to get them!

Just like a grizzly bear that ought to get intimidated by just anything..

Talking of which, people with insecurities are the worst form of oppressors who use every trick in the book to create an image wherein they appear to have suffered much, an excuse for their sad behavior!

BULLSHIT!

THERE IS NO EXCUSE IN THE WORLD WHEREIN YOU HAVE TO BE CRUEL AND RUDE TO PEOPLE FOR NO DAMN REASON!

The oppressors do not even realize the damage they do on a daily basis to values, ethics and minds with their feudal mindsets. Say, you do a 100 good deeds and, on 101th, you back off because you are drained, you instantly are labelled an oppressor by the oppressor!

Usually THEY often suffer from a severe inferiority complex that stems from their inability to accept that there is still much to learn, much to let go and, much to accept with grace and, a pinch of salt.

Sadly, this breed is on rise currently.

As much as I hope my quota of meeting such breed is almost full, I do dread meeting them again. God help us!

Toxic people are real. And, insecurity is a disease, a mental one. God help them too.

Hope the wheels of time turn for good.

And, for all those insecure humans out there,

“You are just a small part of someone’s life outside your family, not the whole. People have better things to discuss and talk about. Not everything has to be about you!”

*** The Neutral Gear ****


Impulses are red buttons. You see the red colour. You know that red colour more often, signifies danger. And yet, you press them with 99 percent apprehension and 1 percent thrill!

Animals on the other hand do not side with red buttons – the impulses. They are instinct driven. They take the risk, a calculated one at that and, proceed with a 100 percent confidence. Like, a cat defending her kittens from a snake or, a tigress pulling her playful cub with caution from croc infested banks.

But, human beings are wired different. They more often fall prey to impulses than instincts. And surprisingly, humans weren’t impulse driven from the beginning. As children, they are more like animals. They have their own calculations on risks and probabilities. Like, I remember my son Arjun demanding snacks only from a select few at the age of three. And, he would simply refuse anything from any other person who he does not include in his circle of trust! Get the drift?

However, as adults the game changes. Adults are more often driven by emotions. Hurt comes first. Reasoning often is the guest that arrived after the ‘Baraat’ left. It is as though there is this particular gear that adulting phase rides on. In this gear, rules must be followed whether or not they make sense. It is a phase wherein we all join the race against time with no idea about where the road ought to take us to.

Coming to think of it, what is life’s agenda?

Earning money is a necessity. But, how much is always a catch. And while, the earning process, a necessity takes away a major part of our life, there are a million wishes, small wishes that silently die within. It could be as little as stopping the car and, noticing the Sun hide behind the clouds even as your meeting ought to begin within the next 5 mins. It could be as miniscule as taking a deep breath while your mistakes are being pointed out to you in public, with you knowing that this too shall pass. Or, it could be the familiar aroma of Maggi that a small food truck is making in the evening hours and, it makes you think….what was the Maggi man thinking when he envisioned taking Nestle’s profit bearer to new heights, while the laptop is constantly reminding you of someone pinging you from the other hemisphere about whether you have prepared the reports or not!

Oh yes, so many thoughts crowd the mind in those moments.

And, among those tricky thoughts, REGRET emerges the biggest chink!

Regret of how life could have been different if only one took the chance.

Regret of having missed the many small moments of joy in the pursuit of luxuries, loyal to none!

Regret of NOT having watered the passions of art within you…

Regret is worse than impulse. It stays and corrodes the mind while, impulse seeks more of it. Regret clubbed with impulses basically make you a hamster on the hedonic treadmill! The chase to arrive at the point of perfection, an elusive illusion sucks the energy out, leaving the mind drained and disillusioned!

But, there is one thing in it for sure, to take away.

LIFE breezes by, with no pauses.
TIME has always preferred flying to running.
STEREOTYPES thrive on crushed dreams and, unquestioned rules.

And, a life force needs massive courage to break through stereotypes, befriend Time with its Alice like charm and, take pauses even as Life continues to drive on. No harm in putting your slogging vehicle of life into neutral gear and think about where you are headed to.

Because, moments of clarity often come in the most inopportune times and, once the Eureka moment has arrived, then you probably have Time and Life on your side.

Stereotypes ought to die someday. That day is definitely NOT today.

But, Today could very well be the beginning of the end.

End of stereotypes.
End of regrets.
End of everything that you must unlearn.

#NarayaniInPonderLust

*** Moments to remember ***


#NarayaniInPonderLust

#JoysOfTeaching

It has been two weeks since I resumed my role as an instructor for Spoken English. With a batch of 23 enthusiastic women, here I am, falling in love with the language just like the first time when my fingers held Agatha Christe’sBy the pricking of my thumbs”

The reason I relate this experience with the ecstatic feeling I swam in, relishing my first ever novel is, the probability of what lies unknown shall remain unknown until we flip the page!

Life is one amazing riddle where you can take the assistance of every astrologer, Neumerologist, palmist and whosoever can solve the riddle! And yet, there will be a facet of it noone knows about.

The entire journey for me spanning from last year was something like that. I took the opportunity to teach on an impulse just to get away from a humdrum existence. And, the experience was a revelation, every bit.

This year however, the opportunity knocked before I could think about it. And yet again, I took it on a whim.

Somehow, the feeling of reading that first novel at the age of 9 flowed into me yet again as, I looked forward to a Monday of 8th July where I would be meeting with 23 women – women who felt it was meaningful to set aside two hours in a day to invest in learning the nuances of Spoken English.

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So, How have the two weeks passed by?

Well, I would say – it is just the beginning and, I hope to take it to the finish line with grace.

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That said, I do have an amazing time with my students. Unlike last year, this year, I have students from almost every region of India. And, it is kind of amazing to know them, their hometowns, their cultures and traditions, their hobbies and interests and, what not! But, all of them have one thing in common – they took a decision to enroll in my class with an aim to take away something productive from what I feed their headspaces with.

Like every new class begins with some ice breaking session, so did mine! And, it amazed me to know them through their life lens. Some had not opened up on the first day. Some opened up way too easily. And, some opened up slowly in the coming days. It was in those moments of listening to their perspectives, I knew why I enjoyed taking these classes.

I am drawn towards people who speak with no inhibitions. I love listening to women who have a thousand wishes in their hearts and, are somehow just getting through the day in their mundane routine with no complaints whatsoever. I am intellectually tingled when I see women who have just completed their 12th, are motivated to learn what eludes them.

Trust me, if you pay attention to the world outside the laptop and smart phone, the world ain’t bad. It is rather beautiful. And, my class of 23 make me see that beauty each day.

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So, while we are currently battling the ‘grammar’ tide and, making sure we are all aboard safe on the yacht of English, there were these few instances where the teacher and the students collaborated to learn something new. So, while I was teaching about the usage of ‘articles’, One of the students suddenly asked me a question I did not have an answer for then.

Her query was, “why do we use the article ‘an’ before words like honest, honest and honour?”

Could I answer? Nope.

I did remember of having cleared the same doubt that the son asked a couple of years back. Only I did not remember what I had answered..🙈🙈

So, while I was dismissing the class, I told my students –a good question! And, we both will work on it. You get the answer first, you share it with the class and with me and, I get the answer first, I share it!😁”

Apparently, they did try getting the answer. However, the usage of phonetics in English is like getting into a maze. No two sounds will sync when you assume they will! It was here I pitched in with what I comprehended.

It so happens that the ‘h’ in words mentioned is silent leaving the vowel O take the ‘sound’ lead. (If anyone can throw more light here on the topic, you are welcome to do so.)

And then, there was a second question that popped up on the next day from another student.

“In Hindi, we often say khana jhoota ho gaya. How do you say the same in English?”

And, I thought how little I knew the language I thought I knew. Despite having used the synonyms umpteen times, the word eluded me. Again, I told my class – “let’s take it as a home work and, come up with an answer tomorrow.”

The next day, we all forgot the doubt and, it was yesterday (2 days after the doubt was thrown to the wind), one of my students walked up to me and said, “ma’am, is the word contamination ok to infer the Hindi phrase of Jhoota karna?”

I was touched.

And, the deluge of synonyms flooded my head all of a sudden.

My mum used to say this all the time when I was a kid… about how a teacher is also a student in progress. I guess, this was that moment for me.

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So, as I sit and type away the words that are churning within, I ponder over the facades I carry with me. I usually take care when I have to speak. I am conscious about what I have to speak most of the time. With time, I have begun to trust patience more than impulses.

However, the two hours I spend as a teacher with these students, I am in my most comfortable self. No facades. No masks. No inhibitions whatsoever.

As I say this, I hope I make them feel the same way too. Perhaps, it is that bridge of comfort that makes the entire classroom experience unique.

These women are from different backgrounds. They have so much to share. They have stories to tell. They want to be heard. They need to be heard. And, every time I hear them speak from their heart, with something they relate to, their eyes twinkle.

Like I mentioned about predictions about future when I began this post, I have to admit I am NOT drawn towards the concept of Predictions. I am rather drawn towards the journey itself.

Essentially, even if one percent of this batch goes ahead and pursues their dreams, I will have one reason to believe that I did something right.

That said, this is just the beginning. And, beginnings are always tough. Let’s hope, ‘The English Yacht’ sails through with success.

Blessed be 😊

Deceptions run deeper than Mariana Trench!


The movie Page 3 had a deep impact on my psyche in my adulting phase. I watched it a gazillion times NOT to know how pretentious the celeb world is..BUT how vulnerable a person with no guile is.

So, there was this dialogue from the movie – Page 3 towards the end. A director, as shown in the movie, once tried to take advantage of an upcoming actress in the first half, is seen indulging in a flirtatious banter (a compromise to state) with the same ‘damsel in distress’ who is now reciprocating the lecher’s gestures! At this point, the director tells the protagonist Madhvi Sharma – “In this field, there are no permanent friends and no permanent enemies!”

The character of Madhvi Sharma affected me very deeply. Still does. And perhaps, I have still not evolved unlike her and, hence feel the pinch when I witness deceptions even if they don’t pertain to me. It is actually crushing to see someone wear the mask of deception with agendas. And, such deceptions affect introverts all the more, specially when introverts are way too careful with their social interactions.

And that makes me wonder why people deceive, in the first place? Is it the fear of being stripped off the sheep’s fleece to let out a wolf? Now, that becomes too obvious, right? Or, is it the delicious thrill in hiding the inner self while deluding the world into believing a different outcome of the masquerade? Deceptions are perhaps the convoluted inventions of human mind to add some devilry to the chaos that exists otherwise.

However, deceptions run far deeper than that. Sometimes, deeper than Mariana Trench! For, it is not just the fear of being exposed as the beautiful face with agendas, it is also the fear of those agendas going unfinished!

So, when I recall the role of Madhvi Sharma from the movie Page 3, I now know why I relate with that character quite intensely. Because I am sure I would have lost my job as a journalist, had I become one. For the uninitiated, I desperately wanted to be one at one time. Her experience of betrayals from all those whose back she had in their tough times, pretty much resonated with some of the experiences in my early phases of life. However, that Madhvi Sharma within me hasn’t changed even as Konkana Sen Sharma has moved on in life. I still view betrayals to be gut wrenching and soul tearing! They are deeper than physical wounds. They hurl themselves as boulders at you and, sit heavy on your chest making it difficult to breathe. They come in the Trojan of Sweet words and comforting shoulders and, fool you into believing that life could be that flawless until one tiny block at the bottom of the trust named ‘Jenga’ falls off, tumbling everything down along!

However, deceptions also come with subtlety.

Like say, an acquaintance suddenly appearing out of no where, messages you and showers you with praises about how you write and express and suddenly, ask you to review a book they are writing FOR FREE! Or, a friend who calls after a decade to simply deceive you into thinking that she probably missed the old school and college days and hence called from abroad only to know how you are until she asks you to pitch in some content for her business. Or, it could be a senior who wants to project her image using your good work!

Sweet words!!!!! Oh how sweet can they be?

Sweetness that eats away the soul the way a termite eats away wood.

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A decade of cocktail experiences and, here I am….blogging away about the maelstrom of intense emotions in my head through the entire timeline. Sometimes, I am asked why I write what I write. It is as though, there must be some agenda. Apparently, I never thought that much ever perhaps….but I do make up for the loss of foresight in feeling every moment too intensely (a quality that has often caused me more harm but has also been the vortex of the flowing thoughts from my head space)

After all, words set me free. They release the boulder of pain caused by heavy feelings and, cast them away in the space! I emerge better, healthier and saner. The clarity returns and, I work out in the head how to deal with situations better.

On most days, I feel a misfit with no mask for my emotions. Sometimes, silence helps. However, silence is often mistaken as subservience. Again, a tricky situation to wriggle out from!

By the way, has it ever occurred to you how painful it is to sit and listen to people masking their ugliness in front of the world while you have already had a peek into it and, in some cases, a mighty dip in it?

That is exactly what hurt Madhvi Sharma the most! The misery of being the one bare soul among thousands of masked ones! She wanted to set things right only to realize that the world is already a step ahead of her in sabotaging her plans!

Dear Madhvi Sharma, I will set things right someday. In some way.

One day, Some day.

Until then, Deceptions shall run deep. Deeper than Mariana Trench!

Song for the moment

***** Zero Error Syndrome *****


I was once told, “Work always turns out the best under pressure.” I second it.

Because, ‘no pressure’ often leads to complacency and, a lax in attitude, not for everyone, but for a majority. And looking closely, it actually works. The margin for error calculated is low. Exactly why deadlines are there to remind that Time is of the essence and, punctuality comes first, leaving perfection behind in the second place.

Well, that is exactly where I will stop. Punctuality side stepping perfection is precisely where I will agree to disagree with what I began my opening lines with. Don’t remember? Read the first line.

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So, when I started my stint as a content writer, I was introduced to an ocean of material and, a typhoon of words! All my confidence of being able to write took a beating when I took about a week to write my first article – Lyme Disease Rash! (YES, THAT WAS THE FIRST ARTICLE I WROTE AFTER JOINING) and, it took me a week to understand why it was horrendously difficult to write short and crisp and, ridiculously effortless to write long long nonsense!

The first lesson I learned there was,

1. There is a deadline.

2. And, then, there is perfection.

3. And, striking the balance between the two is every content writer’s nightmare.

We had to write minimum three articles per day. And it is here, I noticed that while deadlines were matched a hundred percent, the perfection always fell short by a credible percentage.

For me, ever since I have never ever been satisfied with the outcome of my thoughts on my word pad. It is like that annoying feeling in the back of my head that screams “God! This could have been way better!” It is that feeling after writing the dreaded board exam when you suddenly remember, “Hell! I could have answered that alternatively too!”

There have been nights when I would be awake writing a 400 word article on cloud computing, trying to pitch in as much as possible from the seamless web of information I am provided with. It used to be crazy. Because, There would always be some point, albeit minor that missed the eye but, will surely catch the hawk of a client ! Even after getting the blessings of client, my brain was somehow rewired to believe that, “Damn! This could have been better! Just needed a day more!”

On certain days, the regret of not having given that 110 percent was greater than all those sleepless nights, days of utter neglect towards family and, many missed moments of being able to watch mesmerising sunrises and sunsets! Sad. To me, that is sad indeed. And, I perhaps was a very very sad person then. Sadly.

It was at that time, my father noticing my agitation towards certain things not working in a certain manner I wanted, advised me, “You, my daughter are falling into the trap of Zero Error Syndrome. It seems good initially but, let me pass on something that Life taught me. Zero Error Syndrome is a termite. It will eat you up. Don’t let it play your mind. You can strive for the best. And, you must! But, there is always a fair 10 percent chance that things may not work the way you want them to. And, the ability to accept that there is a force above us that also has its hidden agendas, will help you understand why perfection is an illusion. Sometimes, it is a huge palace of illusions!”

Over the past one year, the lesson has been made crystal clear to me. Maybe, because I have been subjected to situations and idiosyncracies of people where Life taught me to be in control even as nothing was in control. My health issues were another story altogether. Our family doctor back in Bharuch took a look at me and, said bluntly, “You need to relax. And, you need to breathe. It is perfectly ok to not being able to get the outcome you desire only because you gave a 100 percent and, Murphy dropped inunivited. Because Life is not perfect either. And, perhaps the reason, the only reason why it is beautiful too!”

Did the pep talk help? I would say, with some medications. But, it did.

And, surprisingly when I found myself tolerating murder of creative freedom and, somehow sailing along with a team, totally disillusioned with the leadership, I found my tolerance. Ironically, I found my tolerance where I least expected to find. It was as though I found it when I was on the verge of unleashing beast within and, suddenly the beast calmed down by itself. A faint whisper was there – For people and seasons, both change for better, for worse. 😉 And, timings are always a surprise!

So, where did that tolerance come from? Tolerance, a word I have hated since childhood. I have wondered given all those heated arguments I had with my father then, every time he advised me, “How did I tolerate situations and people from last year? How?”

But then, I am my father’s daughter. And, I put on my TamBrahm hat and figured that out! IT took me a year of circus I never wanted to be a part of, to understand that even in a circus, there is always a margin for error, an error that can never be predicted or, controlled.

And then, we are humans at the end of the day. They say, even a human symmetry is skewed. The left side and the right side of our body are not exactly symmetrical.

That explains why Zero Error Syndrome can cause so much of pain? Because even though one can always attempt to bite more than one can chew. Sadly, digestion is a totally different story!😁

P.S : I have nothing against perfectionists. Perfection is an important goal to achieve. But what worth would it be if one has to bleed and worse, cut others for it?

Something to ponder over.

People are not assets. People are just people.


There is a hair line difference between being good and, being ambitious at being good. The difference is so subtle that its presence is perhaps as good as null on the surface. However, the gravity sets in once the line is crossed over. And, then there is no looking back.

So, there is always this carrot and stick method in corporate that set many memes and trolls in motion when people having succumbed to the carrot just wanted to vent the frustration through trolling their bosses. Dilbert series was the best as it trolled bosses as the demons with two horns and, a lashing tail. However, that is what happens when you allow the same carrot and stick method to usurp you each time. Apparently, our brains are wired in a way that we believe that we have to continue chasing the elusive carrot because someday, we will take a bite of the fleshy juicy carrot, even if it is in the afterlife! See, if you knew how brains were washed, rinsed and dried and then, soaked in a new detergent solution of “oh! You are so good! What will we do without you?”, you would have now understood where I am getting at, with this!

The statement I cringe over again and again is when people say the unspeakable, “Oh! HE/SHE is an asset! ASSET TO THE ORGANIZATION! Totally! You just can’t let him/her go!” Trust me, I have very good control over my gag reflexes but, there are times the person saying this is oblivious to the fact that he or she might someday get splashed with ‘you know what!’ 😖😖😖😖😖

So, each time I hear someone say that to me, I constantly remind myself, “girl! Take a deep breath. You are a human. You are NOT an asset! You are a human! and, a human that is most susceptible to making mistakes.. now… Repeat with me….” and the dramatic soliloquy continues…

Compliments are neutral feelers and, sometimes do more damage than constructive criticism. And, if you keep your ears and eyes open with a tight leash on tongue, it won’t take you a second to figure out if the compliment is genuinely hinted at your growth or, is laced with ‘khada chamach’ kind of sweetness to actually attack your focus. And that is when, the statement “you are an asset!” hits you like a punch. Because you know now why beasts of burden are called ‘beasts of BURDEN’!

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So when a human is equated with being an asset, it rarely strikes the world of the damage that has been done to the human brain through the Trojan of compliments. For the ones hungry for compliments and success alone, the malware of hidden bugs filled with never ending lists of formalities and obligations are planted effortlessly. And when the time comes, the bugs germinate and rewire the brain to believe that somewhere the idea of being shown the carrot itself was a novelty and that, should the carrot be denied, it is fate accompli.

Convenient right?

Each one of us gets good leaders or, feudal lords depending on our own karma. Yes, I call the latter, ‘FEUDAL LORDS’.

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So, when you are led by a good mentor, you not only feel human, you also work towards being humane, humane towards every life around
you. You learn many things in the most effectual manner. You learn to question freely, knowing that your questions are enjoyed with an open mind. You also learn that compliments are not given away freely. But, timely encouragements are. And, the best lesson you learn about life, is the perks of being innately good to people. Respect is earned with almost no effort. And, even a mutual disagreement or, a difference of opinion does not cause rift, but opens new channels of perspective.

Because, a good leader does NOT treat his team member as an asset. HE treats him or her as a plant that needs space, creative freedom and, a lot of trust to bloom. HE treats him or her as the protege that will one day ascend the same or a higher ladder of success. He wishes him or her good !

And then, when you get ‘Feudal Lords’ as your leaders/mentors, there are essentially two things to accept –
1. One, this too shall pass, albeit like a kidneystone.
2. This phase will either brainwash you into developing a feudalistic mindset or, will make you more bullet proof than before towards gut feeding tapeworms disguised as people.

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The only issue with the having the latter as mentors is, the disillusionment of being treated as an asset and, NOT as a human that lives and breathes. And the more such ‘compliments’ come, it is important to have the pep talk with self every now and then – ‘You are NOT an asset. You are a human. And, you have every right to decide how your talent needs growth. Let it NOT become a channel that feeds the greed and ego of your employer. Let it be something that feeds your self esteem and passion that makes you an authority in oneself to know how it must be put to use.”

Because,

Assets are despensible. Humans are NOT!

Period.