There’s no creative side to me.

A story teller

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5 path-breaking Life-hacks for every 20-something

 

There’s nothing like being 20-something and not-so-surprisingly, you’ll never be in this decade ever again. I mean that’s how the wheel of time works, goes on and never comes back, yeah? Anyhow, so if you’re 20-something and sweating a little too much over life, let me tell you, it’s pretty cool. Now, I can always go into statistics and billionaire stories to affirm how people who work the most in the first half of this decade are the ones to earn the most but then that’s something already talked about more than it should be.

Although, what is yet unexplored is mostly the facets of the being of these 20-somethings!

With all that confusion, delusion and dilemma about relationships, education and lifestyle, we sure can use some life-hacks and use them as our game changers.

So here is a list of 5 path-breaking life hacks for every 20-something that I have compiled after great research and with some help from my almost psychic powers. (Okay, I might be kidding about the psychic powers.)

Whatever be it though, let’s just talk about these life-hacks now.

  1. Accept. Acceptance is basically the key to anything and everything in the world. Especially to some worldly realities that you are expected to cope with at this point in your life. Like the aging issues, the nothing lasts forever clause and basically everything as it will go away. You sure should try your best to maintain, but sweating over it is as futile as trying to be an immortal. So accept life. Don’t compromise but be flexible.
  2. Expect less. As much as expecting less from yourself will not get you what you deserve if you base your expectations on those around you the opposite of the same is most likely to happen. I am not telling you to have a bland, excitement-less life; all I am asking for is that you should be independent enough to be the center of your own universe.
  3. Don’t try to be ‘your old self’. There’s a delusional concept that makes us want to be what we used to be before a person or a certain something happened. It is a hoax. If you end up becoming your old self, you will again make yourself vulnerable to what eventually happened with you. Life is all about growing up and out of experiences. And there’s actually a lot of fun in doing that.
  4. Work hard, Party Harder. If I could get a penny for each time I have heard this, I would have been a billionaire by now. Seriously! But then it sure is as vital as presented in the popular culture. You don’t get this decade full of energy. So work hard enough to earn enough to suffice all your self-pampering needs. And no that doesn’t mean ignore your family and get on crack but um, you know what I mean, right?
  5. Don’t believe just about any blog that tells you what to do with your life. Yes I said it, mostly ‘cause your life and my life are not identical. We have different experiences backing up our opinion and outlook towards life. The key to life, however, still stays in just doing whatever makes you happy.

 

Have a wonderful, happy life!

For the love of Dilli

 

Delhi is the city full of colors, lights and delights. There’s absolutely nothing in the city that will fail to mesmerize you irrespective of whether you see it for the first time or the 100-th time. It is one of the few cities in the world to adorn so many drastic variations in their true senses.

Dil in Hindi refers to the Heart so Dilli, another name of Delhi, automatically becomes of the ones with a heart. And well, why not, slightly tilted towards the left, this city does have all the characteristics of that of a heart. It channelizes so many good and bad things at a single place in all of its chambers and yet unties them. Even metaphorically, being the capital city of the country, it does serve as the heart with all those debates, planning and executions taking place here.

From the slums in Seemapuri to the super posh South ex and the heritage lanes of Chandni Chowk to the mesmerizing developed high-rises from Trans-Yamuna, there’s no facet of life you can possibly miss out here on. And this is certainly not where it ends, there are, of course, hundreds of people migrating to the national capital region every day; in search of work, education or just something yet unknown to even them.

If Paris is the city of lights and Mumbai is the city of dreams, Delhi is the city of Development, be it of the nation or every individual who lives or migrates to the city with aspirations of growth. Delhi is the city of pace, opportunities, the dynamism.

From the refugee colonies, to the kuchha-pakka houses and what not, Delhi has been a city which has been broken and reassembled with each passing decade. This hundred year old city is the epitome of what we call a legacy. It has been passed on through generations and yet is simply untethered, keeping its true brilliance and essence intact, and yet developing in many-folds.

There’s nothing that essentially divides the city, you will find all kind of people everywhere. Yet there is something that divides the city in each galli, nukkad and kona (lane and corner) which does coincide again at every chauraha (crossroads).

This city can also be righteously addressed as the crossroads for all of the country. Even statistically, it is only here that people from so many ethnicities, states and backgrounds co-exist. Dilli even has special colonies dedicated to people have settled over-time in these areas, like the Punjabi bagh, C.R. Park, Bihari Colony and so on. And there is nothing that makes or breaks a Delhight, there’s just something in the air that makes you fall in love with it so forgetfully.

The thirst for growth and the hunger for development might surely be reason of why you are here, but the city with heart does melt your heart enough to stay back forever.

And well, if the city wasn’t generous enough to you, something I can vouch upon are the memories that you certainly take away from here, that make you richer with each visit.

For the love of Dilli is not so strong without nothing to look back upon!

The Dilemma and Depression of a Fiction Reader

Does it ever happen to you?

A fictional character that becomes too important to let go even after you’re long-done with the book? That handicap of character attachment to the extent of ownership, love and sometimes even worship? And that automatic comparisons with real people around you?

O.K. more than all this! Do you ever get into a debate with yourself on which fictional character from different novels do you love more? Whom do you wish to see as your life-partner maybe and maybe judge them and predict their reactions in situations you face?

Do you too just simply detest being a reader of fiction sometimes?

It all started when I was probably 11. My mother took me to a neighborhood big book store cum library. I looked around and stumbled upon my first fiction book without any assistance.

By then, I had already unraveled the world of reading through various means. I had a considerably good command over both my languages (English & Hindi). I was a Prem-Chand fan. I had read some big poems of Beckett and Blake from my mother’s collection and this certain big read called The Old man and the Sea too. These were, of course, other than the Panchtantras, Jataka Tales, Akbar-Birbal Tales, Mahabharata and Ramayana, which I had started when I was 6.

Reading was such an important part of my being by the time I was 12 that I even started working around creating my own library.

The point of telling all this here is simply that I have always loved reading. I have cherished each moment of it. I am one of those rather less people who prefer a book over just about anything. I don’t watch many pathetically made Movies and T.V. series adapted from books just to stay loyal to my books. I used to get into fights with my parents for spending so much time and money on novels. I used to stay up late even before my important exams just to read some more.

I am a fanatic in my own self. I do in-depth character researches to understand a character more and some more maybe. And all of this doesn’t end here, ‘cause when I was done with it all, I read some more.

A fellow reader would understand.

But what is so scornful and deceitful about this particular section fiction is that you just can’t get over it. And heavens forbid if it’s anything to do with tragedy, it will stay there. Forever. Always. (Yup! HP reference)

Ranging from Disney to Starks to even Christian Grey of the 50 Shades, everyone is just so much inside my head that I can’t hear my own voice above them. I end up having elaborate debates and discussions about my own liking and stance over these people who don’t even exist! And I wish it would’ve ended there, but hey! It does not! I have fights with my boyfriend, my parents and just about everyone I talk to regarding whom should I love more. The fascinating part being, they hardly say anything in the whole said ‘fight’.

All of this is followed by impeccable and inescapable depression which lasts for days, weeks and sometimes months! And if that character has died, well, I am so done. I wish, living beings made such an impact on me.

Why O’ fiction, Why!

There comes a certain point where my reader-mother tells me to quit reading. But again, I can simply not.

That particular inability to ‘move on’.

That paralytic bloody feeling!

Does it ever happen to you?

Written in the stars

All our lives we long for freedom; starve for one chance, one moment to prove ourselves. That one moment to “show” what we are, don’t we? But how many times in life do we give up before trying too hard? How many times we misjudge an opportunity for another false-call and give up? Enough times, I guess, enough to condition ourselves in a way that we start believing those decisions to be the correct ones. Enough to live a life of someone we never thought we would be and be comfortable being someone we dreaded being a while ago. Enough to be the same just like everyone else.

Somewhere in our middle-school we were taught about the life-cycle of a butterfly. How a little, meek caterpillar changes to a mighty and beautiful butterfly one day & how in the process that little creature shells itself up and then breaks it off to come out even stronger. Didn’t we for once wonder what if he hadn’t made it out, and what if he wasn’t even supposed to? What if it was just someone who refused to accept its death, revolted against the principles of nature and the nature budged got pleased seeing the might of creature, and made it mightier and much more beautiful than before.

Looking back at it today, I feel, somewhere in our middle school, when we were also breaking out of our shells and the inner conflict started, we didn’t know what we had to be, but we wanted to ‘be’. Our parents and teachers were probably that shell protecting us, holding us. Why else would they disapprove of just ‘bout everything we had to do then? Yet we fought, we pushed against the walls and rediscovered a new-self. So why, when that chance finally we came, in its full form to us, we gave up on it? Did we not really want it as badly as we thought we did? Or ‘cause now that it comes easy, the charm is lost? Well, yes you can convince yourself with those arguments, but deep down all of us know it is only ‘cause we get scared, tired of pushing, extending, breaking free, the pressure exerted hurts us equally, exhausts us to the extent where we stop trying anymore and let things just ‘be’. We don’t care of what we want or wanted to ‘be’ anymore, rather just dread the breaking and the pain it causes in the effort. We become afraid of the process, so much that the standard beliefs of the society and the parents and teachers we once stood against, seem ‘not-so-bad-after-all’ to us. We get scared of what people might think, disappointing others become a greater issue, even though in the process to do otherwise, we disappoint ourselves infinitely many times.

But is that ‘enough’? Is that what you think your life should be like? Just ‘enough’, nothing less, but nothing more, just ‘same’!

Would you rather not be the outcast? ‘The Vigilante’; the one who would stand up against all odds, the one who would push through that shell, no matter how hard it is, break through it and not only survive, but live through it. Wouldn’t you be the best version of you? Rethink? Innovate? Be your own fire? Make hope rather than dwelling on hope? Write your name in those galaxies instead of living what was written in ‘em stars? Stay grounded and still look up to the sky, where you belong? And ‘try’ because you want to know what you’re worth!

Wouldn’t you?

Angad

A lavish house in West Delhi, year 2012, a prosperous family of nine, kids, men and women chatting and doing home chores, still an eerie silence lingering, baba, siting by the side of his king size bed, a little more tired for even his old age, his woman by his side, in remorse.

A relatively lavish house in Rawalpindi, year 1947, a prosperous family of eight, an old man and his lady, the man’s ailing mother, their two sons and daughters in-law. One out of which was now shouting, screaming her lungs out as the women of the family stayed in the room with her, except the ailing old mother who is still on the manji. Outside, a stress filled angan with worried men strolling around as the only grandchild, Angad, sat on bebe’s manji.

“Don’t worry; it is going to be perfectly fine.” A heavy voice told baba, as a hand caressed his shoulder. “It’s not as if she is shot!”

But she was, almost.

Angad’s Beeji had almost dodged a bullet while coming back from the market. She had nothing to do with those on going riots, she was innocent, but the bullet brushed just past her shoulder and that’s why she was shouting, the pain just wouldn’t go. Beeji was anyway a frail lady, she had clumsy pace and an aging face. She had not intended to go out today, but there was no water and all the men in the house were out.

The thought of that warm bullet cutting through her flesh and her hand would’ve stuffed her shawl inside her mouth immediately to muffle her loud cry. She would’ve bled with her pace fastening, in a hope to reach home alive. The mere thought of the whole scene ran electric jolts down Angad’s spine.

Had it been another day, Angad would’ve been shouting by now, screaming and ailing like his heart was, but he was scared, he was afraid to express his pain. He feared if he’d shout he might lose his mother, she won’t be able to hold herself together for long if she would hear him falling apart.

Baba’s fears were irrational too. He had seen her mother die in pain and anguish several years ago, but it certainly didn’t mean his wife too would go away that way, isn’t it!

She was a cancer patient, had been fighting the ailment for five long years now, the doctors had almost given up, but he hadn’t. A rational man would help her be at peace as much as he could and try and accept what is inevitable, but baba never was a rational man. He had never loved anyone like his wife, she was the closest to the place his mother held for him. He was not at all good at handling losses. Little loss in business would push him into distress instantly, and here it was his wife’s life at stake.

Baba had always pictured himself dying next to his wife in the same bed, not like this, when she is ailing there in pain and he can’t do anything about just sit there and curse just about everything that he can think of. The heavy voice trying to console baba is his brother in-law, he’s being a good support, trying to console baba, he knew how blessed his sister was to have found a man who loved her so deeply. “Don’t worry she will not die right away, there’s still time.” He said and squeezed baba’s shoulder in empathy. Baba’s wife was his only sister and the one like a god-mother to him actually; she had done so much for him without ever thinking twice.

So was Angad’s mother. The most giving and sacrificing woman he had known. There was something so beautiful about her that Angad could never really understand. He was just transfixed by it; no it wasn’t the way Freud proposed, but a way, only Angad could explain. His mother was quite literally a god to him, never less than a deity, he worshiped her, madly. Today she wasn’t fine, she was not the same chirpy yet shy woman he knew, she was screaming in anguish and pain and everyone’s face gave the expression of hopelessness.

Similar expressions were what ticking off baba’s temper too. He wanted no sympathies; none of them. All of those sad eyes were agitating him, more because he could do nothing now but just wait and watch his beloved die.

For over ten weeks now, baba wouldn’t talk to anyone, just sit on the bedside quietly and sometimes out of nowhere, just curse and swear. He no longer cared whether the children were around or the daughter-in laws or some visitors. Some claimed to understand his misery and others would just frown at his blasphemy, but baba didn’t care.

He was losing himself and all of his will to live and yet he was angry.

Angad’s mother must’ve understood her boy’s heart ache; however, that suddenly she decided to come back. “It’s a miracle, nothing less” beeji said thanking the lords. Angad just hugged his beeji and cried for what seemed like an eternity, without any voices. Her wound was now dressed and covered and the men of the house announced that they had to leave right away; no more lives will be risked.

Angad’s father had already made arrangements in Amritsar for them. He was a rich man with contacts and that was the reason he wasn’t home for a while when all that happened.

Through the riots and the killings Angad’s family did make it to Amritsar, but beeji didn’t make it.

A week later when they finally reached Amritsar, and took shelter at Angad’s father’s friend’s place mother was already not keeping well. She saw a major swelling on her arm. The nation was in distress and the medical facilities during the time of partition were non-existent and no one was to be trusted looking at all the killings. Bebe suggested waiting for a while and then taking her to the doctor. Beeji smiled and agreed. A week more and the swelling started puss and bleed, beeji’s eyes started to drop and her nose would occasionally bleed too. The scenario outside had gone from bad to worse. Father stood there, looking at beeji shouting in anguish yet again, he did nothing, could do nothing. Beeji died a painful death because of the infection that bullet had caused and everyone saw her dying and could do absolutely nothing.

Baba was feeling more or less the same right now. He was losing his wife and he was doing nothing but watching her die.

She just slept now, almost passed out, would at times blabber a thing or two which no one would be able to understand. Sometimes, baba would hold her hand and tell her that the pain will go away with tears in his eyes, the other times he would talk about old times to her and tell her how much he loves her. But baba’s wife was already past all of that. She could neither understand nor respond to anything.

She was dying.

Just like Angad’s mother did, in pain and anguish.

Poor health care facilities, distress and riots were the reason another boy had lost his mother. Partition and migration had destroyed yet another home. Angad lost himself with his mother that day. He always stayed aloof from the world and developed many psychological problems within himself. More when the step-mother tried to change his life. He would’ve never smiled again had he not fallen in love some years later. She was the second woman that touched Angad’s soul.

Baba would sleep every night in the fear of waking up to a corpse the next day, he stopped taking his medicines to avoid sleep too but everyone started complaining. Eventually they all made him take them again and one day his nightmare was the reality.

Baba’s wife passed away. The disease finally released her of all the pain. She was no longer suffering the insufferable. She was gone to never return.

Baba felt cheated and betrayed. Just like Angad did; broken.

He was so angry with his wife that he didn’t even attend her funeral, just sat in his room looking out of the window. He sat there for several hours every day since, eventually everyone stopped visiting him or trying to talk to him too. One day, Baba too gave up. Maybe if he hadn’t lost his mother so suddenly, maybe if his family would’ve been more responsible, maybe if he would’ve been a little less stubborn things would’ve passed, maybe.

He got up, walked to the balcony beyond that and tried to climb the railing.

“ANGAD!”

His wife’s brother shouted behind him, but it was too late.