Blending , Friending , Mending….

“Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.” – E. Gilbert

 

photo (1)When I re-started blogging and built my blog page in late February this year , one visitor lady wrote to me – ” I come to your blog so many times in a day ,only to read the header quote.”

 

I was just a few posts old then. But I thought of a day when I could finally reveal why I put that quote.Today is that day ,maybe, thanks to Daily post.

Why do people blog? – They have opinions to share , photographs to talk about , books to promote , certain things to advertise , wisdom to inspire , urge to be inspired. There are also a few people who are introvert and they feel peace when they write.

I am an extrovert person – outgoing but have a heart that feels too! I can talk to almost anyone about almost anything if that makes sense. I read a lot too. So I know what I talk when I talk.

My dad always felt that I should be in PR ( Public Relations) and join the Government. Many people even called me *PR* since it was a short form of my nickname ( If you have read the world famous fiction “The Namesake” By Ms Lahiri then you should know I come from that sub-culture in which everyone has a nick name.) and my social skills. Long story short- I never worked in PR. I am very passionate about talking and knowledge both.

Let me point out what I can talk :
1. I can talk to any Indian /Non-Indian aunty about laundry , recipe and kitchen organization. I am a very good laundry person , shoe polisher ,cook.

2. I can talk to any Indian uncle about regional ,national, international politics..NONSTOP.

3. I can talk about literature [without having any degree on that] with any literature-geek.

4. I can talk about technology [ It’s been more than a decade old friendship with technology, computers and software !Ask me anything. But please not on this blog. This is technology-free zone for me. ] with my class-mates , co-workers, friends.

5. I can talk about arts and crafts , DIY projects with art loving people.

6. I can talk about photography [ about moments , places ,lenses , shutter speeds and technology] with photography loving souls.

7. I can talk about business ,money , management with Harvard Business Review, Economist,Business Insider reading folks. Well, it comes in my most favorite subject list.

8. I can talk about fashion with fashion -freaks. I have done Masters in Retail Therapy!

9. I can talk to my [ or friends’] parents easily. I am pretty easy going and well listener.

10. I can talk about movies [ Bollywood and Hollywood] , TV shows , actors etc with the people who just live by those things. Someday when I will have enough time , I will sit down with my husband and write about all movies we have watched together. I am sure that list will be a never-ending one.

What I don’t [Can’t say Can’t] talk :

 

1. When a few lady friends who are like me , in late twenties or early thirties , keep criticizing their respective husbands, in-laws almost during all coffee breaks , visits. Their only goal in life – TALKING; while I guess a divorce , a new chapter opening , seeing a therapist , talking face to face with problem-makers at home , staying positive are better options. I stay silent during all these meetings because staying silent is the best possible way to ignore things you hate.

2. When my guy-friends feel insecure seeing a successful female co-worker and ask ” Why is she not married? ” or ” Does she have a baby?” . As if women are born to get married or get pregnant . I even have guy- friends who think women should stay at home and cook forever! Before I forget I should mention that I interact with highly educated people in real life.

3. When people talk about caste-ism , religions proclaiming – “Ours is the best.”. No religion is better than the other. Every religion focuses on human character building .

4. When educated people behave like cavemen. I know plenty of them.

5. When I interact with extremely shallow people. I am good with shallow people too. But when they are extreme , I feel like running away faster than I imagined ever. Call me “escapist”, I am okay!

6. Negative talks and negative people. I don’t think – Frequent *F* words glorify anyone’s life or vocabulary. It does not even show any inner strength or reflect any hidden ugliness or beauty! I am not good with slang , F words . When people use them pretty frequently – I try to focus on the subject while ignoring the words or leave that topic and the story teller. I don’t want to judge too!

20

This was the story until Dec’ 2012. [Since 10 is greater than 6 , I think I still can call myself talkative and outgoing.

I also talk things that’s from common interest when I talk. For example , I never talk about poetry with poetry-haters! ;)]

And then new year happened.I recovered from my year long health issue.

One day, I realized even though my phone contact list showed thousand names , there was a big difference between the quantity and quality.

 

 

One day , I called up one of my best friends and told her about my next career plan. And all she had to say – “You are enjoying life just because your in-laws are not like the ones I have.”and then she went on talking about her problems and life, without ever asking about my recovery , my health issue, job status and how I kept my dreams alive. Friendship is a two way process, right! I knew all her problems from all her calls. I came to know that day that she did not have any clue how I was, even though I was sharing enough about my health, at every call.

It became pretty common.

Guys kept on reminding me of a future in which I have to plan for babies ; I have to take a break or breaks to raise kids.

Girls kept on sharing how miserable their lives became, after having babies and in-laws.

Of course , both made me nauseous.

One fine day, I felt pretty “lonely” for the first time in my life. Yes , 10 pointer extrovert people feel lonely too! It was the day when two of my closest friends forgot certain success and achievement part of my past and talked pretty regular things – things regular men talk about regular women! Things that make them superior just because they are men .

My parents are feminists. I am not. I have seen worse and better parts of people from any gender. I have seen women trashing women ; I have seen men discussing weird stuffs about other men. I have known gossip loving men who think only women gossip and shop. I have seen hypocrites who talk big things on Facebook and twitter and treat people terribly in real life.

But , I never had any self-obsessed, chauvinistic male friend until then.

My academic records , performance at work always prove – I am a human being, a woman who is a human being too. I detest it when people judge me by my looks , high heels , glasses while ignoring better things I achieved through hard work at schools and work.

I had to filter out many friends. The self obsessed ones. The jealous ones. The shallow ones.The chauvinist ones. The “my life is worse than yours” ones. The “because I am pregnant, you should be too” ones. The judgmental ones. The mental ones.

Suddenly , there came a time when I had things to talk but had no “passionate about knowledge” kind of friends anymore . I mean I had people to talk to. But our interest and topics changed!

5“Love yourself. Be your best friend , first.” – My husband told me , during our tea time conversation in February.

It was the start of a journey ( and a blog) with love . A journey of self discovery. A journey where I found that nature is deeper than human emotions. A journey where I plan to sharpen my skills and hobbies. A journey where my focus is only on finding inspiration, through interactions , reading , writing and photography. A journey where I plan to convert my extrovert-ness to blogging. A journey where I heal and accept myself the way I am. A journey which showed how world is connected and many of us are similar….pretty similar, even though we are born and brought up in different locations, culture.

 

 

 

 

I should actually thank my husband for this – this new friendship that I built with myself. And I should thank Elizabeth Gilbert for writing many inspiring lines about self-worth . I am still “Work in Progress” though – busy in blending , friend-ing and mending.

22 thoughts on “Blending , Friending , Mending….

  1. Why I didn’t get notification of this post? Very well written honest post. I can relate to almost everything you have written. I think most of the men are self-obsessed, chauvinistic male .some may not show but inside they are. loved this post.

    1. WordPress bug , maybe, Indira. I do not see any post of yours on my WordPress Reader ,some days, and then I go to your blog address and find everything.

      Thank you, Indira, for your words. I face gender bias every now and then; even after being very competent to tackle life independently. Hope, at least in next generation, things change a bit.:) I am so glad that you loved it.:)

  2. Your husband truly sounds like a very wise man Archita and besides yourself, he will always be the best and closest you can have to a friend. We are blessed with such treasures in our life. I do relate with a lot of what you have written and some days it’s fun learning from the wisdom that the universe wants to teach us and other days are not so much fun, but we do survive and come out stronger in the end. Great post and share hon. Thanks! 😀 *hugs*

    1. You are so right. He is the best friend for life. 🙂 We are blessed and lucky to have pretty best people in our lives. I agree with you about the learning part. How true ! 🙂 Thanks a lot for the visit and reading , Sonel. 😀 *Hugs *

  3. This is a beautiful post Archita. I can relate to many of the things you’ve written about. I absolutely love what your husband said to you about loving yourself and being your best friend first, he is so very right. 🙂

    1. I know . Every woman can relate to these things . It’s just that I really do not like those moments when someone just pop out and say – “That’s because you are a girl.” I mean , really? Are we still living in caves? 🙂

      My husband reads my blogs everyday and he thinks I’m promoting his wisdom too much, these days. Ha ha. Thank you so much for the readership and comment. I really appreciate it.:)

  4. TheDos and Not Do//well, ur a great person at converso and diplomatic at the same time..Nice to know that and in a way, it’s god not to argue with fools. Cheerio:)

    1. Hey Vishal, Thank you for stopping by. 🙂
      Those are not the do’s and not do’s ..who am I to preach? Those are what I do talk and what I don’t…:D world can carry on and do wat it wants to do..:D ha ha..

      Yes, you are right. It’s never good to argue with the fools. But I , many times , think of myself as that *fool* as I stay quiet to ignore words people send to girls..:D
      Happy Weekend. And so nice to read some good words about me from you. 🙂 Actually, I was brutally honest at this article and you know what happens when writers are honest! 😀

      1. Again, i couldn’t agree more with you and we all have our D’s and D Nots..To each its own and it’s like saying the same on morality..lol, each person has its own codes of moral conduct. So many times, I’ve been that fool on ignoring words and I do stand guilty. You should be honest and doesn’t matter if people take it in the right spirit or not. For a honest writer, Truth may harm but never kills:)
        I will mail you the poem during the weekend:) Thanks for giving me dis lil bit of importance.
        Cheers N Happy Weekend
        Vishal

  5. Hello there Archita, this is a very beautiful post. I must admit that the header quote is what I read every time I visit your blog and I mean read, really read and ponder about how my relationship with myself feels. I think your husband gave you a very valuable piece of advice and you made the best out of it. Keep writing, keep photographing, and keep sharing. There is people in the world who want to share, too, and we just have to focus on them instead of on those who waste their time and ours with keeping busy with negative stuff so they don’t have to take full responsibility of their lives and fortunes. All the best wishes from trashbus!

    1. Hii , Thank you for your valuable words. I am so happy to see you here today. 🙂
      Yes, I love that header quote a lot. I think I took a few best lines away from that book, it’s one of them . 🙂

      I never thought so deeply about having a friendship with myself ; in a busy life , other than work all I did was caring for others without judging at all. And then I realized the wrong part, the gray shades and I realized loving myself is not a bad idea. It does not look selfish too. 🙂 I am still there for my friends whenever they need me . 🙂 I am a very independent person , have been like this always. So, i guess people never understood I needed help too , during a short term sickness. 😀 But now, all is over. And thanks to all these , I guess, I am awaken .:)

      There is people in the world who want to share, too, and we just have to focus on them instead of on those who waste their time and ours with keeping busy with negative stuff so they don’t have to take full responsibility of their lives and fortunes.” – I am noting down your golden words. And you are so right. I found actually *needy* people and helped them. I always do. Sometimes though, I look bad and feel bad for myself. 🙂

      Thank you for wishes and inspiration. Felt so nice after reading them. 🙂 Take care:)

  6. And today I was talking to ‘someone’ about the world being short of amazing talkers 😉
    I might as well should copy the whole post ( except the husband part of course 😛 ), and it would all be true!

    I think I do have a thing or two to say on every single point you talked about here. But that would become another blogpost in the comment section 🙂

    Would be fun to bug you every now and then 😉

    PS- 10 pointer is what I think it is? Lord ! I got 6 F grades in my graduation years 😀

    1. *Bug* hmm? – I wont behave like Sr. AB. :D..I will be pretty good to you. 😀 And hey, I guess even that same question should be asked to SRK too , NO?:D

      You cant copy this whole post..There is a part about pregnancy! 😀 Guys don’t get pregnant unless they are sea-horses !!!!:D I have a friend who is pretty proud of that fact.:D..

      6 F and see, you are not even hiding that. 😀 Let me tell you, nothing matters. During the career journey, only persistence matters the most! 😀

      1. Haha… I guess I got a bit too engrossed in the post and overlooked the pregnancy bit 🙂 So you are like one of those CSE people who throw in random bit of trivia here and there? 😉

        Sr.AB is safe, for the moment. And so is SRK, who needs a better jab if you ask me. Did you watch the trailer of Chennai Express already? An assault on the senses!

        Why would anyone hide F grades 🙂 When you talk about your achievements of that sort, people lower their inhibitions and are more comfortable talking to you. On the other hand, quoting my JEE rank or GRE or CAT score scares them off 😉

        You know… when people told me this ( that grades do not matter ) in college, I took that a bit too seriously ! It is only because of seniors like you, that I messed it all up 😀
        I guess what we learn outside classrooms is far more important than what is taught inside it. At least, that is what my jobs have taught me… Plus, if you take academics seriously, you only limit yourself. What do you think?

        You already have my attention. Because you are married, and have a baby. I mean it is something I don’t know much about and would be fun to learn from you… 🙂

  7. A lovely candid post! I truly cannot understand the male chauvinists present in the society. During a chat with a co-worker recently, I heard that her FIL says that women should be independent (expecting her to work) and on the other hand expects her to be home by 7 and do the household chores (coz she’s a woman!). This is just one case. I have come across many people like this.

    As for friends, the true ones will always care and stay around. I used to feel bad that a lot of friends have changed from how they used to be back in school/college. But the fact is things change and we have to change accordingly. We just have to accept that (which is not very easy to do though). 🙂

    1. Ha ha..I always wondered who gave men the right to decide what women should be..:D I mean..aren’t educated women smart enogh to decide what they want?..If a woman wants to focus on family, cooking and child raising..Its perfectly okay too as long as she’s happy with her choices.:)

      Yup, I have seen many cases too. I was pretty young for a job position and extremely competent ..I cleared all rounds of interviews and then was asked if I had any marriage plans.. LOL..I did not even join there!

      People change..but it’s hard to go with the self-obsessed and jealous ones. You know we all can do what we want to do. No one can stop us as long as we are right. I think jealousy does not solve anything, self-improvement does.I faced jealousy a lot. And issue is I took years to understand that it was jealousy …And male-ego..Hmm..I can write many posts about them. But maybe, I won’t. Because I have many good and inspiring male co-workers , friends and an awesome dad and husband too. 😀 Thank you Arch for stopping by.Always happy to hear from you.
      😀

      1. I have seen jealousy amongst family members, but not friends. Well there are many kinds of people!

        No stopping by, will be a regular here! 🙂

  8. Thank you for writing so honestly about yourself – I loved reading this post, I empathise with so much of what you say, I too, have a huge interest in the world and am quite opinionated these days!
    I know what it is like when you suddenly wake up one day and see you are worth ‘more than that.’ I changed my life radically a long, long time ago. It was hard, but it has been worth it. I do not count my friends in hundreds, as they do on facebook, but I count those I do have as brothers and sisters of my heart. Quality not quantity 🙂 You [and/or your husband] take beautiful photos, your heart is open and it is a pleasure to read your blog!

    1. Everyone is worth “more than that”. It’s just that we need a wake up call , maybe.:)

      You are one wonderful person and I am sure you have many real people as your friends, brothers and sisters. I have very few left , but again, I focus on quality now.And I am happy that I have time to focus on real things and people now. 😀

      I do not know why people think of women in certain way ; why they judge appearance , gender and not the work. When I was in school , things were different , world was better and more gender-neutral. But as I grow older , I find no change in the mind set. It’s hard when a woman photographer gets less support just because she is a woman. Or , people think about baby plan , pregnancy before giving a promotion to a woman.Things like that, here and there.

      But I hope things will change soon and our next generation will see a better world. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a beautiful and heart-felt comment.Also , I am very happy that you enjoy the photographs I post. 🙂

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