Monday, 16 October 2017

Are you Ready for Love?

Moving to a new city is always exciting- new job, new life, new people- New You! I firmly believe that we as people, are constantly trying to reinvent ourselves from time to time in our own eyes- fixing our flaws, bettering our dressing sense, adopting a more positive outlook towards life and just becoming better versions of our own selves. Hence this new version of me, in this new city, had a lot to look forward to- new places, new stories, new home and of course, new men!

After spending 20 days in a hotel room, with a very basic routine of going to work, coming back, watching a sappy movie, texting my friends, talking to the parents and sleeping- I finally went out one night for a party one of my friends invited me to. And there I met this guy- tall, big smile, twinkling eyes, and a lot of flirtatious glancing from across the room!




As he walked towards me to make conversation, I wondered why was he attracted to me in a room full of pretty girls! Maybe it was the black dress? Or the 'she's new here' vibe? Or was it me laughing too much from having downed three glasses of wine already? We were already conversing before I had a chance to figure out the answer to this ongoing confusion in my head!

As I sipped on my fourth glass of wine, he became more charming, his travel tales became more interesting, and I was surprised to know how similar our family backgrounds and lifestyles were. He asked me if I wanted to go out for a walk and I was game, obviously! But the moment we stepped out, his smile started to remind me of how much I missed Mr. Right's smile. And from there on, I lost track of our conversation, as all I could think about was Mr. Right, his smile, his laughter, his talks, his stories, his face, his touch, his scent- Him! It was in that moment, I realised how perfect Party Guy was- but it didn't matter, because he was not 'him'.



With my mind obviously not being in the present situation, I wasn't surprised when I twisted my ankle and was just about to fall when Party Guy saved me- and there was a moment- he leaned in and I turned away. I apologized to him, told him I was in love with someone else, and ran away without looking back- obviously at a lousy speed, considering my twisted ankle.



I surprised myself that night! Was I really in love? Or was it the wine exaggerating?  Sober, I would admit to having feelings for Mr. Right, but I wouldn't just call it love. Not Yet. Why? I didn't think I was at that point in my life where I could afford to fall in love. That night, trying to sleep, I craved Mr. Right's company- I missed him; so much. And I thought to myself about not being ready for love. But that's the funny thing about life, it happens, whether or not we're ready!

Ironic, isn't it? I'm the kind of person who always has a plan and sticks to it, so as to be able to control the outcome. But this took me off guard; and I wondered what was I going to do about it? Was there anything I could do about it? Would I ever be able to tell Mr. Right? How would he react? Would he want to stop seeing me considering he's made it amply clear that he doesn't have and will never have any feelings for me? Haunted by all these questions, i decided to term it 'Infatuation'- I refused to accept it as love. Consider it my escape mechanism, while I'm fully aware that the reality doesn't change even if I decide to escape it. But I'm still hoping it will! Why? Because I'm not ready for love! And sometimes, if you pretend for long enough, you start to believe it.

But what I'd like you to take from here is not how I choose to escape life while it happens; but to understand that we're never ready in life- for anything. For better or for worse, your plans won't always work out, and sooner than later you'd know why they didn't. And I'm hoping I'd know the reason of mine not working out too! Till then, this is how I'm gonna deal- and while I do that, no more party guys! Because how could I deal with all that with Mr. Right constantly on my mind?


Saturday, 7 October 2017

Parting ways, Letting go, Moving on!

If I haven't already emphasized on it enough, deciding to move to another city wasn't easy. What was even more difficult? Bidding goodbye!- not just to my family, but my friends too! Like I've mentioned time and again, I'm blessed to have the most amazing friends. And when Zareen and Aryan decided to put together a farewell just a couple of days before I left, I knew I'd have to deal with saying 'goodbye'!

Dressing up that night, a million thoughts raced through my mind! Shrugging aside the endless thoughts, I slipped into my new black skirt, put on my heels, and was ready to go!- "I will not cry"- I had made up my mind.

We were all having the best time- Endless chit chat, lots of selfies, and a few round of drinks down- just when everyone was about to wind up- Zareen suggested we go for an after party to another place. All us girls, at least, were totally on board with the idea- wanting to dance the night away. And I thought keeping the tears at bay, should be rewarded with some dancing.



As I was walking towards the car, I saw Zareen coaxing Kabir to tag along for the after party. I overheard their conversation, and it turned out Zareen had invited over Mr. E as well, amongst other people, as a surprise, and that's why she was convincing Kabir and his girlfriend to tag along for the after party so that they could meet him too. I decided to join the conversation, spoiling Zareen's surprise and requested Kabir to stay. I told him, in more than a few words, about how much I'd like him to come along and meet Mr. E. But Kabir turned my requests down in the most blunt way possible and right there, I broke into tears! What was funnier was that Kabir seemed unperturbed.



While Zareen and Aryan consoled me, we moved on to the after party, where Dhruv and his sister decided to accompany us, much to my surprise! And then of course, the girls are always by my side! Mr. E showed up; I acted surprised- more for his sake (he came all the way!)- and that's how I wrapped up one of the best nights the year has seen!

Next morning, wrapping my head around all that went down last night, I decided to text Kabir, telling him this isn't what I expected out of him. Turns out, he wanted to put the blame on me, for one of my friends mentioning about one of the flings Kabir brought along to a party last year! I have never been more surprised! That's when I made up my mind about this being over- me and Kabir! I decided to call it quits- to part ways, let go and move on! Not because I valued his friendship any less; but because I refused to be treated this way.



Over the past 6-7 years of being friends with Kabir, I've almost always observed how I'm sidelined whenever he has a new love interest- which should not be the case, since I'm just another friend- a time consuming, attention seeking friend!- but just a friend! It was anyway getting hard on me when Kabir constantly gave me excuses for not being able to catch up over the past few months but could make time for 2 movies and 4 dinners a week with his new girlfriend. Hypocrisy is intolerable!

And I wanted to shout and tell Kabir- "If you do have flings, that you get to parties and introduce to people- they will be mentioned and talked about sooner or later! If you decide not to tell your partner about your flings, it's your issue- and me or my friends refuse to take responsibility for slipping their name in a conversation completely unintentionally."

The incident on my farewell was the nail in the coffin. So here's an advice for all of you out there- stay loyal to your friends! I'm a firm believer of the saying- "Boyfriends come and go, BFFs last forever!". And here's conveying my future Mr. Right- "Please stay loyal to your friends, because if you can't stay loyal to those who've stuck with you through thick and thin, how'll you ever stay loyal to me?"

And that's how I'm closing Kabir's chapter. Do I still feel blessed to have the most amazing friends? Yes- my inner circle is all those people who showed up for the after party! Here's hoping I find some amazing friends in the new city too!

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Life Lessons from Mr. E

Sitting at my favorite cafe with a bunch of my closest friends, as the smoke from the shisha escaped my lips- my mind drifted away from the ongoing conversation and I thought to myself how much will i miss all my Delhi people if I decide to move to Bangalore for a new job opportunity that had presented itself! I couldn't help but wonder if it would be the right thing to do; if it would be a wise decision to make- considering all that's there at stake! I wasn't just bewildered but I was also torn between the heart and the mind; between present and the future! And nothing seemed to help.

Next morning, crying in the shower, contemplating whether or not to make the move to another city, and having my general chit-chat with the almighty- I had a moment of epiphany. I realized I had nothing to cry about! Things were finally looking up- I had found a job that I was certain I'd like, Mr. Right did seem interested in me, my parents were going a little easier on the 'Shaadi' shenanigans, and I had lost enough weight to fit into a jeans two sizes smaller! Why was I even crying?



I was scared, of never being able to see my friends again, of not being able to sleep in my mom's lap, of never being able to cook in my own kitchen again, of not being able to shop at my favorite places in my city, of not being able to watch another horror movie with Mr. E! And that's when Mr. E's words struck me!



Long long back, when I was passing my days watching 'Gilmore Girls' on Netflix while at work; Mr. E suggested I quit my job if I didn't feel like continuing it. When I told him how the idea of spending the rest of my life with just one particular person scared me, as I'm pretty commitment phobic, he said it doesn't have to be this way! His advice- 'If you don't like it somewhere, Move! You're not a Tree!' Now, you may argue about this piece of advice coming from Jim Rohn and not Mr. E, but well that's where it came to me from.

And suddenly, as his words echoed in my mind, I had supreme clarity on making the decision. I felt so secure, knowing that if I didn't like it in Bangalore, I could wrap up my stuff and come back- to my mom, to my friends, to my city, to him! Knowing and understanding that I reserve the right to change my decisions without being worried about being labelled as fickle minded- gave me immense relief and helped me become more confident about my decision. Suddenly I didn't have anything to be scared about!



Mr. E had also once told me- 'Failure is acceptable, Regret is not' ! And in all honesty, I didn't want to regret not taking up the job I so wanted to, just because I was scared I'd miss people. The truth is, I'd probably miss them- yes! But will it be worth it to stay for a bunch of people who I think would forget me if I'm gone? No.



Yes, they do say 'Out of sight is out of mind!'. But I like to believe the age old saying of 'Distance making the heart grow fonder'. I guess it's a chance I'd have to take. And maybe this distance will actually show me who deserves to be a part of my life's journey!

So here I am, taking a chance, moving to another city, even though my heart's in Delhi. What am I taking with me? the most amazing memories, and all these life lessons Mr. E has taught me! And just before I left, he taught me another one that has kept my tears at bay for a bit. He said- 'Nothing is permanent, not even the distances' and I'm certain I'll see him again, I'll see my friends again, I'll be sleeping in mom's laps again, and of course baking in my kitchen again! Until then, Bangalore is home.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Musings of an 'Unsettled' Heart

When you belong to a typical Punjabi family- family get togethers and functions become a norm. Another thing that becomes a norm? This question- "Why don't you settle down now?"

Ever wondered why they refer to getting married as 'settling down'? Because you got to settle. You got to compromise. You got to make peace with living the ordinary life. For some of us, who are lucky, getting married may not exactly translate to 'settling'. But for the rest of us, it does!



Very recently, one of my cousins, who has just turned 25, decided to start 'bride hunting'; much to my shock and dismay. But well, his life- I thought to myself! However, my relatives and family had a different take on it altogether. "He's 25 and already thinking of settling down. Look at you." exclaimed one of my aunts. "You should get married now; else when'll you have kids" said another one.

The entire situation put so much mental pressure on me that I started to contemplate if I was the one 'wrong' here. I wondered if this is the so called 'ideal' age to 'settle' and I was just being a rebel- because clearly my relatives did have me labelled as the 'black sheep'. By the twist of fate, surprisingly, around the same time, I met a guy who seemed a lot into me. Let's call him Mr. Maggi Noodles! Why? Because he literally fell in love with me within 2 minutes of knowing me!

So, Mr. Maggi was caring, gave me a lot of attention, made me his priority and also 'claimed' to be in love with me. As a Capricorn, I have my own set of trust issues, so I always thought there has to be a catch. From my parent's perspective though, he was the perfect son-in-law material- pretty well settled financially, extremely religious and influential. Even though I had no feelings for Maggi, I decided to take things forward, because of the fear of missing the bus! And of course, Mr. Right didn't seem like he was coming around, so I decided to 'settle' for Mr. Right Now.



Now, just to give you a little perspective, in my entire 'short term' dating history- never have I ever been interested to go out with someone on a second date (Still surprised about the number of dates with Mr. E!). But with Maggi, I decided to go on a second date. Did I like him enough for a second date? No. He was pompous, arrogant, rude, seemingly selfish and spoke excessively about 'the power of money'. But i still gave him a second chance, a second date. Why? Because I was willing to settle.



Some days later, however, when I came to my senses, and shrug off the idea of 'settling'- I decided to say goodbye to Mr. Maggi, who as it turned out was never in love with me to begin with, but wanted to get into my pants. After blocking him across social media, I wondered what the fuck had gotten into me- that I was willing to settle for someone who I was certain I would never like or love. Maybe I was giving up way too much, too soon. Maybe I was willing to 'settle' when my heart was 'unsettled'.

In all honesty, what Mr. 25 year old Cousin does with his life is his decision; and what I do with mine, is mine- solely. Yes I want to get married, but I do not wish to 'settle'. The quest for Mr. Right, can be exhausting and daunting, but my heart isn't willing to settle- just not yet! So I'm giving myself, one last chance, one last guy- one that I'm certain is Mr. Right, even though he says he isn't! But who knows what the future holds. We can only keep the hope alive!



So here's to all of you out there, with an 'unsettled' heart like mine- don't settle for someone who doesn't make you laugh. Don't settle for someone whose principals and values you don't agree with. Don't settle for someone who you don't want to come home to, every single night!

If you do however, have to settle, settle for those small little imperfections in your Mr. Right (when you do find him), that make him who he is. Soon, those will be the imperfections you fall for! My 'supposed' Mr. Right? I'm already halfway in love with him to even take notice of any imperfection! He's impeccable!




Monday, 28 August 2017

Finding Mr. Right

The truth of the matter is, that you wouldn't know what real fun is unless you've been bar-hopping around town with the girls. Gulping down LIITs one after another, exchanging flirtatious glances with that charming guy across the bar, and dancing to songs you can hum along- all while wearing your cute LBD and having your girl gang by your side- is a high like no other!



I've been truly blessed with some wonderful girl friends! And girls night out is more like a holy ritual- one that constitutes endless chit chat, checking out men, and talking about Mr. Right! This time around, the talks about Mr. Right began, thanks to my cheekiness.

Dancing on peppy Bollywood numbers, it wasn't long before the cute guy on the table close by caught my attention. We exchanged a few glances before he got up and started dancing closer to me. Suddenly feeling butterflies in my stomach, I couldn't help but notice his smile as he tried to come closer, all while keeping his dance moves on! It was fun to say the least. However, in all honesty, I don't know what I was expecting from this impromptu rendezvous; and I was kind of surprised when Mr. Cuteness walked over and asked me for my number. What surprised me more though; was that I refused to give it to him.



Now, now, now! This has never happened before. I've literally exchanged numbers with guys at restaurants and bars before; sometimes even in the washroom queues; other times even with drunk girls who I end up befriending. So this 'No' came as quite a shocker- to me, and the girls.

On the way back, when all us girls were in the car- Alia decided to break the silence by asking the unavoidable- "Why didn't you give the Red Shirt guy your number?" she exclaimed! My answer was pretty clear and straightforward. Having recently met someone who I really like, and who I honestly believe to be Mr. Right; I don't want to flirt around with men and just want to focus all my energies and efforts on the one I really do like.

This sparked the debate about how to spot Mr. Right. How do you know someone is Mr. Right? How do you know you've found him?

As per Alia, who is currently in  a committed relationship, yet has set an year-end deadline for getting married keeping 3 very well thought options in mind- Mr. Right is someone who loves you, and prioritizes you. Dia, who's always running into fuckboys, defines Mr. Right as someone who doesn't look at her as a sexual object and genuinely cares for her and likes her. Anjali, who is bitten by the 'Bollywood Bug'- just like our very own Mr. E; expects violins and guitars to magically appear in the scene when Mr. Right walks into her life. And she definitely expects butterflies in her stomach.

As per me? I told the girls that anyone can give you butterflies in your stomach. But Mr. Right is someone with whom you feel at peace with. Mr. Right is someone who you can be yourself with; someone who lets you be, and doesn't try to change you as a person. When you hug him, and you feel at home in his arms- that's when you know he's Mr. Right.



I do agree with the girls to some extent though- Mr. Right has to essentially love you back, though he can have priorities of his own, just like you do. And he has to genuinely care for you, though I'd prefer him sexually objectifying me too. Violins and Guitars? As Eric Segal rightly puts it- True love comes quietly, without banners or flashing lights. If you hear bells, get your ears checked.” 

So excuse me while I go mull over if my 'supposed' Mr. Right thinks I'm right for him. Meanwhile, let me know what are your thoughts? Have you found your Mr. Right yet? How do you think you'll spot him?



Monday, 14 August 2017

Men and their Sexpectations

Story Credits- My dear friend Natashaa

Everything else aside, if there's one term, all of us millennials need to be aware of right about now, it's this- "Sexpectation"

As per Urban Dictionary, it is "The state of anticipating or expecting sexual intercourse from a social encounter, be it a date, a party, or a booty call. It describes a period of optimistic waiting that is just shy of a sure thing."

Funny, isn't it? How men always ask you to keep your expectations at bay and make it seem like absolute blasphemy even when you expect them to text you back; yet have no problems with sexpectations on their part! How ironic! 



Let me give you a slight example here. Let's go back to Mr. A, Mr. B, Mr. C and Mr. D from the 'First Date Shenanigans' piece. 

Not too long ago, Mr. A fell for me. I told him I wasn't interested but he insisted on being friends. In a matter of a couple of days only, he grew extremely fond and protective of me. Later that week, thinking it was harmless, I agreed, when he insisted on tagging along with me and my friends for a short vacay. Turns out, this new 'friend' of mine, had 'sexpectations' and was extremely disappointed when he found out that I didn't want to sleep with him, to the extent that he tried to force himself and asserted  "not everything will happen as per your liking" Surprised? I was too! 

Another classic case; Mr. B, who i went out with just once, that too ages ago- hasn't given up on his 'sexpectations' till now! I wonder why! I have already told him multiple times that I'm not interested in him and that my heart is set on someone else.I'm never going to magically wake up wanting him. But somehow, Mr. B doesn't stop trying. He still thinks someday he'll have me. Even as I write this, he's texting me, asking me to give it a try! How men love the chase!

Talking of Mr. D- he was really nice, in the sense that we never really got beyond his boring book reviews and courtroom drama to actually discuss his 'sexpectations'! I've been lucky in that case because I not only despised him, but, considering the man hated furniture, I'm sure I wouldn't have been able to live up to his 'sexpectations' anyway!




The truth is, and this is just my opinion, half of the men with sexpectations, these days can't handle rejection. In all honesty, even some women can't. But if today a guy tells me he's not interested in me, and I should move on, in all likelihood I would move on and not want to stay 'friends' with him. Men, on the other hand, think it's a great idea to try to be friends with someone who doesn't want to be romantically involved and/or sleep with them because that gives them an opportunity to chase her until she changes her mind. They think that being around and available will make the woman sleep with them. So they're usually like-

"Oh you have a broken heart?- Sleep with me"
"Oh did your cat die?- Sleep with me"
"Oh, you fought with your friends?- I'm here, sleep with me"
"Fling before the ring? - Sleep with me"

And then they act surprised if the woman doesn't want to sleep with them.

The other half, have this sense of entitlement. And don't get me wrong, but i guess it stems from the way they've been brought up- gotten every toy they asked for as a child so now they need every woman they lay eyes on! Sadly, it doesn't work that way! As a man, you're not 'entitled' to sleep with any woman you pick, unless she says she wants to!



So dear men, stop having these 'sexpectations' if you have to force them down our throats. If sex is all you want, be upfront about it. If we want it too, we will say it and it'll be a win-win. If not, let it go. Deal with rejection. Deal with the fact that there's a woman out there who doesn't want to sleep with you. Don't try to constantly change her opinion about sleeping with you. She's a woman, not a conquest or a mission that you're trying to accomplish.



I'm lucky to have escaped from Mr. A! But it's time, we as women, realize that we can't trust every 'sexpecting' person wanting to be friends. It's time, we stick to the friends we already have and stop trying to make friends out of those men we don't like back, as a charity case! That's what I'm going to do! I'm going to cut all ties with Mr. B starting right now. And that's how, finally, Mr. A, B, C and D's tales come to a wrap! Who knows, you'll probably be hearing about Mr. E next! Or Mr. Right! Or maybe they'll be the same guy.. Or two vastly different guys.. Life is full of surprises.. And so am I!



Sunday, 13 August 2017

Romance, Love, Dating, Sex- the whole shebang!

Very recently, with some help from a mystery man (let's call him Mr. E), I discovered my love for pairing wine with ice cream and there has been no looking back ever since. This weekend, weight gain concerns aside, I decided to spend the night with Zareen indulging in girl talk and my new found love for the wine-ice cream combo! Like any other girls night, it was a typical session of boy bashing, fuckboy tales, talks about cute guys and the men who have our hearts. Of course, diets, yoga, dance classes, recipes, travel plans, other girls, were discussed too; but the focus remained on men and their moves.




Talking of Zareen- she had gotten casually involved with this guy called Vicky recently, whom she had met through a popular dating app only a month or two back. It was going nice for them- No strings, low expectations, and lots of fun! In all honesty, freshly having dealt with a heartbreak, that's what Zareen wanted anyway. However, it's never so simple, is it? 

As days passed, Vicky began to involve Zareen in parts of his life. He made her meet his friends. He started sending her mushy texts. And basically, in more than a few words, told her about how this was more than just sex. Now I get it- he was probably just confused; or perhaps he wasn't giving much thought to what he was saying because he wanted things to continue the way they were going. Zareen on the other hand, picked up all his very obvious signs, and started to think if he thought more of her. Already nursing a broken heart, this girl started to sew pieces together, just because she thought Vicky genuinely liked her and wanted to be with her. What did Vicky do? Fed her assumptions and and expectations just so that the sex doesn't stop!



I looked around and understood, how common this was. What do men do to continue sleeping with women they don't probably even like? They feed lies to them- lies women want to hear.

"You're the one I love"
"I see a future with you"
"It isn't just about the sex"
"You're important to me"
"I can wait for you all my life"
"You're the one I want to get married to"

Do I even need to mention how wrong that is?



So here's my advice to all the MEN out there-

1. Don't lead someone on. Make your expectations clear in the very beginning. If sex is all you want, be upfront. If the woman wants the same, win-win. If not, part ways.

2. Don't lie or sugarcoat your words. Never confuse 'I want to fuck you' with 'I like/love you'. If getting into her pants is what you're looking forward to, don't say ' I can't wait to make love to you'. No matter how similar that stuff sounds in your brain, it's vastly different. There's a difference in being polite, and in making someone believe like you want to be with them- forever.

3. Be a man, leave her be. If you're not interested in someone, tell them clearly. Don't say 'let's see where this goes'! Tell them it's going no where.

4. Don't introduce her to your friends, family, colleagues etc, or involve her in any decision making about your life, if you only think of her as a 'booty call'. That qualifies as misleading.

5. Lastly, do not, i repeat, absolutely do not make a girl fall for you, unless you have an intent to catch her. Love is not a joke. Heartbreaks are real. Women are people with real feelings, and usually, sex is more emotionally involving for us, than it is for men. So if sex is all you want, don't make it seem like you like her or love her.



And my advice to WOMEN?

Don't fall for the lies. Learn to read through the lies. And when you do meet someone nice, genuine and someone who is really into you- still be cautious. Because you know what sleeping with that guy is going to do to your heart and mind!

And remember, the only reason why you should do it with someone, is because you want to. And it's completely possible and sane to want to do it with someone you have no emotional connect with. It's also fine to want to do it with someone who you feel for, even though they may not be in the same headspace as you. Just don't go out giving pity fucks. It's a choice you make, a conscious one, make sure you don't regret it.