Monday, 25 December 2017

2017- The year in men!

Now now now, before you judge me, you should know I'm just another girl with an ongoing quest for Mr. Right and an incorrigible heart that refuses to give up. 2017- my quest and hunt reached another level- as I encountered a different man every month- yet as fate would have it, the quest is still on, and Mr. Right is still out of sight.

January, I met Mr. Cute Smile- who said I'm too caring for his taste! Needless to say, that didn't last.

February, even without having met him, I developed this liking for Mr. E. Not my usual type, but he seemed like he was more than just some boxes on my checklist, so I made up my mind to leave everything else and pursue him.

March, I met Mr. Self Absorbed, who could only talk about himself. I also met Mr. All Rounder who had all the talents but still bored me to death.

April 2017, an arranged marriage proposal came my way. This time, I thought he was Mr. Right- until he asked if we could have a trial run to see how compatible we are sexually before we decide to get married. Men and their sexpectations- ugh!

Then came May, and brought along Mr. Maggi Noodles, who fell in love with me in 2 minutes. Surprisingly, he hadn't ever heard about the term 'consent'- probably he was living under a huge rock.

June brought along the most handsome foreigner that I had ever laid eyes on. Younger than me, but with the most chiseled cheek bones- he had 3 amazing qualities- good-looks, good-looks and good-looks. But when he knocked on my door- being the pseudo prude that I am, I turned down a hook-up opportunity.

July, aah, well, just when I had decided to make it a now or never thing in the pursuit of Mr. E, he finally decided to come out of hiding and meet me.

With August, came in Party guy, who with his charm and cute looks, definitely grabbed my attention. If my focus hadn't been on Mr. E- maybe party guy would've gotten a chance to be Mr. Right. Also, since I had to move to Bangalore, I told him to hold his horses as starting something new wouldn't have made any sense.

September was the month when I met Mr. Perfect- he was the epitome of how I'd like Mr. Right to be. There was chemistry, attraction, and a lot of flirting- yet I had to pass because even though he was perfect, he wasn't Mr. E.

October brought in another version of Mr. E- one that I was unaware even existed- almost too good to be true. From a guy who didn't respond to texts for days- he became this guy who would text me before I'd even open my eyes. He exuded appreciation, care, concern and love- and I thought here is Mr. Right- I should definitely stop looking- but fate had some other plans, as October's effects didn't last till November.

Sweet November- unlike the movie, my November wasn't so sweet- there was lot of emotional turmoil and confusion! But November brought back Mr. Perfect from from September, who seems like he doesn't want to give up on trying here. He even invited me to his party, and wanted to introduce me to his friends as the woman he wants. If and only if, I wanted him too. But well never say never!

December has essentially been about 2 men- with me meeting Mr. Dreamy on the flight and Party Guy making a comeback from August! Spoilt for choice December- as I'd like to put it!

All in all, it has been a pretty interesting year- but did I find Mr. Right? No! Did I come close to finding Mr. Right? Yes! Would I like to relive a month? October- definitely. Would I like to erase a month? May without a doubt. So here's hoping next year there's less men to talk about- In fact let's hope I get to talk about only 1 of them- Mr. Right. And may next year be more blissful and happier than October 2017. What was your favourite month in the past year?

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Happiness and Mr. Dreamy

Just like everyone else, I too had a feeling that I'll meet the love of my life on a plane- where luck would have seated us side by side. Maybe we would strike a conversation, fall in love in typical meet-cute fashion, and then meet each other's families once we get off, get married, have cute little babies with cute little names and then live happily ever after!

Every single time though, I'd be disappointed to be seated next to an old lady, or a new mother with a crying infant, or a middle aged man with gastric issues. Next to a handsome man? Never. But this time, on my way to Delhi, as I boarded my early morning flight, I had no hopes or thoughts about being seated next to a hot guy- yet there he was!

"Excuse me, Is this bag yours?"- he asked, picking up my bag from his seat. For a minute there, I got lost in his dreamy eyes, and though I could hear his completely erotic voice- I couldn't get a response out of my already parted lips. "Yes! I'm sorry"- I muttered after getting back to reality. As he handed over my bag to me, and I got to touch his soft yet strong hands- I knew the next 3 hours were going to be oh-so-amazing.

Once the flight took off, I started thinking about how to start a conversation with Mr. Dreamy. Before I could make up my mind on a conversation starter, he asked me if I stayed in Delhi or Bangalore. And if you know me, you'd know I never answer in sentences- I answer in paragraphs and so I began! We discussed both the cities. I got to know he was essentially a Delhi guy and was in Bangalore for work. I told him about my situation too, and his next question put me in a fix.

"Where are you the happiest?- Delhi or Bangalore?"- He asked. I took a minute to think; because Delhi had family, friends and an amazing social life; while Bangalore had the job that I love and of course, a pleasant weather. But in all honesty, and this is what I told Mr. Dreamy too- I'm the happiest when I'm at 35000ft above sea level. Yes, I'm the happiest on flights. With no connect to the outside world; and the excitement of going to a new place, or the comfort of getting back to the familiar- is what makes me the happiest.

Travel has always been my thing. I have such a love for exploring places, meeting new people, getting to know about different cultures, buying the local stuff there- it's true, I'm the happiest when I'm on a plane, mid air. When I turned the tables on Mr. Dreamy however, and asked him the same question, he gladly gave me my favorite and most used bollywood cliche - "Tumhaari khushi mein hi meri khushi hai"!

Could he be any more 'Bollywood'? Of Course i gave him my number when he asked.

The highlight of the flight was not Mr. Dreamy however- because I don't think we are so in love that the cute babies seem a possibility. Are we getting there? Maybe. But what was major about the flight incident was that I learnt where my true happiness lies- and it's in travelling. So here's hoping I can make 2018 the year of travel. And while I pursue that, if I can find someone like Mr. Dreamy, who makes me go like Rachel on friends, and actually "Get off the plane"- that'd be nice too!

What does your happiness lie in?

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Of Strong Independent Women

There's one thing you should know about me (actually 3 things)! I categorise the people I go out with into 3 Groups-

  • Group 1- People I'm not very comfortable around- I drink wine- there's something about sipping it slowly, looking like the classy girl I am- that has made people fall in love with me in the past. (This is when I don't speak anything non-sensical)
  • Group 2- These are the people I'm comfortable around, so LIITs are what I order. If they don't serve it with straws, I get disappointed because then I gotta put in some effort into lifting the glass. (This is where I can decipher the shit I'm saying, but I say it nonetheless)
  • Group 3- The set of people who I love and adore and have an unbreakable bond with- I mix everything without a care. I also try other's drinks, or sometimes finish them up too! (Who cares what I'm saying or doing?)

Now, neither am I an alcoholic, nor is my tolerance towards alcohol very high. However, when it was date night with Mr. E, I decided to be courageous enough to order LIITs and officially put him in Group 2! What was next? 2 LIITs down, and endless hours of useless conversations and overeating which he decided to be party to- I decided I'm the strong independent woman who needs no man to hold her hand and help her down the dark alley of stairs. Result? I fell and hurt my ass!

Luckily for me, he decided to help me out and firmly held my hand while my drunk-hurt ass decided to sashay down the staircase. Now before you go aww, this is not about how nice Mr. E was that night. This is not even about how the drunk me hurt my ass because of a whim. And it's definitely not about what happened later in the story. This is about what being a "strong independent woman who needs no man" truly means.

Being strong- I associate it with being emotionally stable, knowing how to handle your emotions and yourself, and not just in front of people, but in front of the mirror itself. It doesn't have much to do with your physical strength, yet has a lot to do with being self aware and knowing your shortcomings and constantly working on the same. It's about being secure in your own skin. It's about knowing that you can survive anything and everything. Am I strong woman? Yes, very much- yet I'm still working on my shortcomings- trying to keep anxiety, paranoia and skepticism at bay- knowing that no matter what the storm brings if it comes, I can, and I will survive it.

Being Independent- Well, what is being independent if not self-sufficient? It has everything to do with knowing that you don't need anyone at all- man or woman- friends or enemies- to get by in life; realising that you are the creator of your own destiny. The thing about being independent is that it's like an addiction- enjoying your own company, having a life of your own, and living with the freedom of doing what you like, as you like, when you like! Am I independent? Hell yeah!

Not needing a man?- Always remember, you never need a man. You always want him. If you need him- you're not a strong independent woman. And this was my biggest realisation that night- I wanted him. 

Being a strong independent woman doesn't mean you have to be 'Ms Know It All' or 'Ms On my Own' and be a feminist of sorts. It can mean that you're an emotionally strong woman who is happy and content in her life but loves her man and his opinions and support nonetheless, even though she can survive without him. For instance, every time I need an opinion on a dress, I hit up Mr. E- but that's because I value his opinion, not because I trust mine any less. And trust me when I say this, there's immense strength and confidence in being a strong independent woman, who wants a man, yet doesn't need him as a matter of survival.

But every now and then, although, all us strong independent women, want to be reminded of the love and care and attention that we deserve; not because we need it but because it's a nice feeling to be loved, cared for, and appreciated. Sometimes, we would like to be kissed on the forehead (because let's face it, those are the best), or we'd like our men to hold our hand while crossing the street, or just tell us how beautiful our strength looks on us. So here's putting out feelers for Mr. E- and hoping for all the women out there, to be strong and independent- yet never hurting their ass in the process. And having said that, love your man, take the hand that he's giving you to hold- but love yourself more, and remember that when someone is being nice to you, it's not because they doubt your strength or independence.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Could I be wrong about Mr. Right?

As I stood on the rooftop of a popular bar in the city, with brooding eyes and endless thoughts about how currently things were going with Mr. Right- I couldn't help but think what the catch was! Finding myself stuck in a sort of 'too good to be true' situation yet again, I began to wonder if history was repeating itself. Was it possible? Could I be wrong about Mr. Right being Mr. Right? Or was it just my overthinking brain that was reflecting too much on the past yet too little on the present?

Contemplating sharing my concerns with Mr. Right, I wondered if I even had a leg to stand on when bringing up these so called 'concerns'- or were they just fragments of my brain working overtime to accentuate the effects of the past- just looking to fuck things up with Mr. Right?

Talking of the past, however, my 'too good to be true' situation was pretty typical of sorts. Girl meets Guy. Guy sweeps her off her feet- talks about the future and can't stop showering her with compliments. Girl falls for the Guy. Guy thinks of her as a won conquest- gives excuses about being busy at work hoping the Girl would be smart enough to get the hint- doesn't really have balls to man up and say he's done. Girl finally gets it. Slaps him. Gets over it. Moves on.

Did it hurt? Very much. Does it still hurt? No. But once bitten, twice shy. They say, the first rule of any relationship is to never let them change you. I concur. But what if it wasn't them, but the relationship that changed you? Those couple of months with 'Mr. Too Good to be true' not only made me a more cynical person, but also made me doubt even the sincerest of efforts made by Mr. Right. I started to look for motive behind each and every move Mr. Right made.

For instance, when he brought me presents!- I should have been happy because he's probably the first guy to do that for me- instead, I was doubtful. "Did he get the same ones for his other girlfriends? Is he trying to lure me into sleeping with him? Is it just the stuff that someone else gifted him and he just doesn't like it enough so wants to pass it on?"- Endless thoughts clouded my mind, yet I hugged him and thanked him because I honestly loved it all- but it was just hard to believe.

As time passed, I started to rubbish my disbelief and thought to myself if it was actually possible that he liked me? Sure, i could ask him directly, but Mr. Right isn't one to express feelings or give direct answers- so one's gotta let his actions do the talking. Yet as days passed, Mr. Right started to get extremely busy with work and that took me back to the past within no time.

Don't get me wrong- I'm all for people having their own space and I'm pro 'work first'. And anyone who knows me and my equation with Mr. Right, knows that I have an unrealistic level of faith in him so I know he won't lie or wrong me. But in that moment, all I could think of, was that one guy who used work as an excuse to bail on me. And as anxiety and PMS got the best of me one night, I decided to ask Mr. Right if he was done with me. He was probably surprised about my sudden outburst and didn't know what hit him.

How he responded to that isn't really important because like I said, he never gives direct answers. But what's important to note here is, that I put across my feelings and told him my past was the reason for my paranoia and anxiety. And I'd want you to know, that like me- you, Mr. Right and everyone else out there has a past too. And the fact of the matter remains, that no matter how hard we try, it will continue to haunt us. We all come with a baggage of our own. We all need someone to help us with that baggage. But no one can help you with your baggage unless you tell them it exists. Maybe Mr. Right will help me with mine. Maybe I'll stop being so cynical and trust his actions more. Maybe I'll understand that he's not that guy from my past. Maybe he's that guy who's genuinely into me and there's no 'motive' behind his efforts- like there's no 'motive' behind mine. Maybe with time, and a little bit of more reassurance I'd know about what baggage he brings, and I know I'd want to help him deal with his.

Until then, I'm going to keep my anxiety at bay. And I'm going to remember, just like I'd want you to remember- no two people are the same; just because some guy in your past was a douchebag, doesn't mean the one in your present is too. People who are cheated on in the past can get loyal partners. People who've been mistreated in the past, can find someone who thinks the world of them. And people like me, who've always been on the giving side of efforts, can find someone who puts in efforts for them- without an ulterior motive. So here's hoping Mr. Right isn't scared away by my 'baggage' and can help me unload it. And here's hoping all of us are 'baggage-free' super soon- because you can't get rid of the past but you can do away with the baggage! All you need is a little bit of help!

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Labels, Titles and Desires of the Heart!

Talking to a colleague about one of his married friends, I realised there are people out there who cheat without guilt. Somehow, I had previously been oblivious to the concept- so this shocked me.
That night, talking to a close friend Priya over the phone, I asked for her opinion too. She wasn't as surprised as I was. Maybe it was the difference in our way of thinking- or the fact that she's been cheated on one too many times to be shocked by it anymore. But all this made me wonder, if commitment in today's date even meant anything? Or had it completely lost it's value? Or was it just me who laid so much importance on loyalty, while for others, it was just overrated?

Talking of Priya- she had entirely given up on the idea of commitment or labels. So she started out in a 'friends with benefits' arrangement with her childhood pal Ashish. Ashish who had very recently broken up, made no bones about the fact that this was exactly what he wanted. As time passed, Priya found herself wanting to talk to him about 'defining the relationship'!

What was she hoping the outcome would be? - She was maybe expecting him to tell her he liked her more than he let on, or it wasn't just about the physical aspect, or that their relationship actually meant something to him. What happened instead?- He decided to ignore the talk, conveniently.

Maybe it was because to him, what was between them, meant nothing. Or maybe he was commitment phobic, or hated the idea of labels! Or perhaps it was because Priya didn't directly ask him anything by putting her feelings forward and instead just vaguely mentioned if he was still in the same state of mind as when they started out.

But that night, talking to her, I tried to understand why was she looking to label her relationship. As per Priya, she was unsure about their status, and if or not she could see other people- and if Ashish would be okay with that. She wanted to be on the same page as him. I began to wonder if this was only Priya's problem or were me and all my other friends plagued too?

Why are labels and tags so important? What's all the talk about 'Defining The Relationship'? To me, personally, I would want to define mine so I'm able to introduce my man to the most important people in my life without him getting creeped out! And of course, when you're so into someone, you want to tell the whole wide world who they are! And why not! Also, being on the same page, relationship wise is important. But more importantly, don't our hearts determine our relationship statuses and loyalty levels rather than tags and labels?

If you start out with an intent to define your relationship just so you can assess whether or not you can see other people- isn't that intent wrong in the first place? And even though being on the same page is important; isn't it wrong to expect to know the other person's feelings before you express your own? Why can't we decide what we feel, independent of what the other person feels for us? Why are we so scared to put ourselves in that vulnerable spot?

My advise to Priya and to everyone out there who's in a nameless relationship of sorts would just be this- don't stress too much on labels and tags- let your heart decide that for you. Yes exclusivity is important and so is being on the same page, so that of course you don't stay loyal to the guy who got married in 2015. But then again, define your relationship for the right reasons; not because you're just curious what the other person thinks! Don't be scared to put your feelings out there- that's the only way to love a person known to mankind.

Another piece of important advice? Don't mince your words when it comes to having the talk. Men, and even women, are not mind readers or magical creatures who would understand what you mean without you saying it. Dropping hints is so 2007- we are not teenagers anymore and straight talk is the norm of the day!

Also, remember that even some married people cheat on their spouses and people in committed relationships also sometimes stray and end up cheating on their partners. Labels and Tags don't determine a happy committed relationship where no one cheats- it's all in the heart! I know I'm loyal to someone who I don't have a defined relationship with. Why? Because that's how I feel in my heart; and because luckily he didn't get married in 2015! Loyalty is a state of mind, and a decision taken by the heart- don't confuse it with relationship statuses!

Rise above the labels, and tags- but at the same time don't be fooled by a man wanting to have 'boyfriend' rights and privileges while not being man enough to acknowledge your presence in his life.

And anyway, till you find 'the one'- isn't defining any relationship just a little futile? Till then, just pay attention to feelings, and give the labels a rest!

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Grocery Shopping Saga

Life in the new city had more or less settled in. I finally stopped whining about not being able to make friends- by bonding with two fun colleagues, and making peace with alone time. Moving into the new house was 'challenging' to say the least- but the idea of setting up a household and staying by myself had appealed to me for quite a while now- so I had jumped right into this- with a lot of excitement.

Two days into the new house, I started to question myself. Why? Because the new house was smaller than my room back in my city! "Let's call it 'cosy' and make peace with it"- I thought to myself. Then came the weekend- and I decided to pay a visit to the supermarket to set up my house and kick things off! After loading up my cart with spices, utensils, buckets, baskets and all sorts of consumables; I picked up the most important thing- a bottle of wine!

After 5 hours of hopping around the supermarket, hunting for deals and discounts and stocking up on all the stuff that I convinced myself I needed, I finally proceeded to the billing counter. After seeing the billing amount, let's just say I was thankful for that bottle of wine I purchased!

Now, as fellow humans, you'd understand, that we only have two hands roughly comprising of 10 fingers, give or take. So obviously I needed a hand with my bags, which, were 6 in number- aside of the buckets and baskets. A really generous and helpful man decided to get creative while helping me and fit some bags into the buckets! I thanked him with a smile and he left while I stood there waiting for my cab which was 19 minutes away ( yes, that's Bangalore for you!). And just when I was hoping for the day to end without tiring me anymore, it started to rain cats and dogs (that's Bangalore too!). I moved my ass, and my stuff back to the covered area of the supermarket and luckily, 30 minutes later, the cab arrived.

There was no one in sight who I could ask for help with my stuff, so i decided to ask the driver- who was a doll and helped fit all my stuff in the boot of his car- barring the wine bottle of course- which I needed for the long way back home. After about an hour, I finally reached my new home- which is on the first floor. It was still raining and the cab guy, irritated by the rain, and the traffic- wasn't much of a doll anymore and dumped me and my stuff right outside our building in the rain- can't even blame him.

Let's just say, grocery shopping that night, cost me 1/5th of my monthly salary, 4 broken fingernails, a torn dress, few scratches on my arms and a major muscle pull in the leg that ensured I stayed home all day Sunday. What was worse? I had to organise and store all my purchases myself too.- The struggles of living alone no one warned me about!

As I went to bed that night, partly in tears, I wondered how nice it would be to have a boyfriend in the city- at least for the sake of shopping. Or at least a strong, manly friend, who can just lift the bags and take the burden off my delicate hands. So when one of my friends suggested I meet her friend Manan who stays in the city- I obviously said Yes!

But that's the thing with meeting new men- they remind you of the one you really really want, yet isn't here- and that makes living alone in the city even harder. But that's the stuff no one talks about- No one tells you that not many people will help you if you're a single girl in the city. No one tells you that it is difficult to be by yourself and have perfectly manicured hands. No one tells you that the loneliness sometimes might take a toll on you. No one tells you that you gotta manage it all on your own and still have a smile on your face. No one tells you how much you will miss people back home. And sure as hell, no one tells you that you'll meet men like Manan who'd want you to sleep with them in exchange for being friends.

So for all of you out there, who are staying alone, or multitasking- managing yourself, work and a household- all by yourself- kudos to you. You're doing something so amazing, so brave, and so bold- that I'm proud of you, as proud I am of myself. A little suggestion- stay strong, stay positive, keep that bottle of wine closer, and men like Manan- as far as possible. Life gets easier as it passes by- especially if you have someone who's willing to voluntarily go grocery shopping with you- men like these are hard to find; but hey, I found one who suggested it himself. Mr. E probably doesn't know what he's getting into- maybe he will find out 'sooner'!

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.