Sunday, 13 December 2015

Humari Adhuri Kahani

As she clicked one selfie after another, to get the right picture, Sudha realized that the smile that she had bravely plastered in front of the camera was not reaching her eyes. Her eyes still looked sad and forlorn. The lipstick and the jewelry added a bit of color, but her eyes betrayed her sadness.

Last week, she had stood stoically in the courtroom, with her soon to be ex- husband standing next her. As the clerk shuffled the divorce papers, there was a pit in her stomach and her heart was beating erratically. Sudha's hands were numb and the conversation between them was stilted. 

Sudha's gaze moved to the bindi on her forehead as she looked in the cellphone and it took her back to her wedding day. Arun and Sudha had met in Bangalore through common friends. Though they did not know each other earlier, the chance introduction turned into friendship and both were drawn to each other. Their friendship turned to attraction and both soon realized that they were in love. 

Arun was older of two brothers and Sudha was an only child. Arun had lost his father when he was a child and so his maturity is what Sudha found very attractive. She found in him a self made man who could not only give her strength, but also serenity and calmness. Sudha was outgoing and bubbly with a list of friends a mile long. Their friends said that they made a great couple and Sudha believed that with all her heart.

Just like any other newly married couple, they learned what it meant to be married. Financially too they struggled in the beginning, as they had married young and had no savings of their own.The years rolled by and life settled to a routine.

Sudha remembered her wedding day as if it had happened yesterday. Even though 15 years had passed, it was clearly etched in her memory. The rituals, the mangalsutra and the kumkum that decorated her forehead was all so exciting and scary at the same time. She even remembered the way Arun looked that day.
Image courtesy:

Now, that same dot on the forehead was a reminder of what could not be. It reminded Sudha of their failed relationship, the heartache, the pain and the anger. The loss of love and respect, the betrayal of broken vows and the loneliness that the separation had brought along. 

The whole journey from being married to separated and then divorced was just a year and a half long. It felt like a bad dream to Sudha and many times she thought that she will wake up and have a good laugh with Arun about her bizarre dream. On some days, while having dinner alone, Sudha remembered the days when Arun traveled frequently for work. Even when she was separated, she had kept the phone next to her, expecting a call from Arun to say good night, with a promise to talk the next morning.

The breakup of the marriage was a shock for Sudha, as she had believed that their marital issues could be worked around with help and counselling. The determination and the ferocity with which Arun decided to sever the marital ties, without trying to work on the issues was something she had never expected. Friends and family who had known both of them for nearly two decades were equally take aback. They all questioned Arun's faithfulness and hinted at him being involved with someone else, which lead to him taking such a decision. Their strained relationship came to head during a time when Sudha underwent hysterectomy and was still recuperating from the surgery. The life partner whom she had expected to hold her hand in the toughest situation of her life decided to leave her adrift, to gather the shattered pieces of her life all on her own. Family ties got severed, friends she knew for years together stopped communicating with her, and Sudha was left to grapple with the reality of the changed situation. Her family stood by her through the ups and downs, as tried to come to terms with her broken marriage. Many friends became closer and she gained a new understanding of love and friendships.

The speed with which their 17 year old relationship ended, catapulted Sudha into the unknown territory of being on her own, starting a new life and being financially independent. She learnt that life was fragile and people will come into her life to teach her something about the world and its ways. She took all the things life brought to her in a positive light, new friendships, new connections and new experiences, but she still ached for closure.

The answers that she needed, the unspoken words she wanted to say to Arun and the truth that evaded her of why something they built together was wiped off because of his decision. The story of Arun and Sudha will remain incomplete.... and she knows that life is a mystery and that some of her questions will never get answered. Their incomplete story haunts her but has pushed her to move forward, to start building relationships, to start believing in love and to dream again.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

85 thoughts of a Fat girl when out for a run

Fat girl and running seems to be an oxymoron and there is a possibility that people might read the title of the post again, thinking that I made a typing mistake

A fat person and running seems a combination which is difficult for most people to comprehend. Many look at me with disbelief when I tell them that I have started to run. Some have even passed snide remarks asking me if I even knew what running was and whether new potholes have appeared on the roads where I run.

Well, I being me.. left the haters gaping, when I started participating in marathons and running 5K distances. That was the best retort I could give them.

I started training late last year and have written about it in this post. Now, every time I lace up those shoes, a thrill goes through me and I am waiting for my shoes to eat up the kilometers. I don't run to lose weight, I run for fun and what fun I am having. 

Every runner will know that a myriad of thoughts go through their minds while running long distances. I have my fair share of weird thoughts sometimes bordering on the bizarre. Here's what I think, not decidedly in any particular order.

  1. Good morning..Yayy I am running.. Happy happy.. Joy joy
  2. One step at a time.. Breathe in breathe out.. It's as simple as it looks
  3. Why didn't I start doing this when I was younger?. Duh!!
  4. Hey what's that line from Ice Age.. Oh got it
  5. "My hooves are burning, baby! They are burning! Look at this. I got to tip-toe! I got to tip-toe!"
  6. Whatcha looking at mister.. Never seen a fat girl run? 
  7. Now you've seen it.. You can close your mouth now.
  8. Yeah.. You women.. Stop scanning me from head to toe.. Come and run with me.
  9. Coming through.. Make way people.. 
  10. Stop walking like it's a park.
  11. Dang!  Stepped in poo.. Hope it's just dog poo and not something else.. 
  12. Every where I go the stink will follow.
  13. Is it warm?.. I am feeling hott..Maybe I should just stop, 
  14. Cmon! don't be a sissy, just keep moving those legs.
  15. Whoa! Hot guy..
  16. Hope I don't look as if I am having a stroke..
  17. Yippee another going to smile...definitely smile..
  18. He didn't..I must look like a complete moron.
  19. Hey there are cute..wish I could stop and pet you..
  20. Aww I miss my dog
  21. Hurrah! I see another female gonna wave..and you deserve my brightest smile. 
  22. Yeah! baby..move those legs
  23. Some women really don't know what bra to wear..
  24. Sheesh..are they supposed to look like that?
  25. Need to stop eating sweets..really need to..I will..I have to
  26. I can't breathe..I can't breathe..
  27. I need to lie right now
  28. must be kidding..just feels like 5...
  29. You need to stop f*****g with me..
  30. Why do roads have these climbs? Why? Why? 
  31. Why can't they make them smooth and straight..
  32. Well I am over that climb..this feels easy..just keep breathing..just keep breathing..
  33. Un-clench those shoulders..don't want a shoulder pain..this feels better
  34. Halfway just half remains..this is easy peasy.
  35. I know..your car has a horn..No need to blast it so loudly, 
  36. You in that my dust.
  37. I am sweating like a pig..what a weird phrase? 
  38. Do pigs really sweat? 
  39. Should I Google that when I go home?
  40. Sweat is will glow..let it flow..
  41. Why do sports companies make clothes so small? 
  42. I can never find my's depressing..
  43. Hot guy is back...well do I care..I am on a roll here..
  44. Need to work on those arms..I have that sexy dress to fit into
  45. I hope my maid  will come today..not in a mood to do the dishes.
  46. Why did I ever start running?
  47. I feel I have been running for an eternity..I think I should just give up..
  48. My bum must be jiggling...
  49. That happens after eating too much pizza while watching reruns of "Friends".
  50. Hey look a new restaurant..I need to check it out..
  51. I deserve it..I am working out so hard.
  52. My running group keeps posting so many's inspiring but I also feel a wee bit jealous
  53. Why people keep staring at me when I run?
  54. Do I look weird?
  55. Do I care what they think? 
  56. Hell no...tomorrow I will wear my shortest shorts and run..take that.
  57. Why do people think running is fun?
  58. Why did you think it was fun?
  59. You dumb fell for that
  60. Why do other runner's make it look so easy?
  61. I think my lungs are gonna explode...
  62. I am going to die right here. 
  63. Who will take my body? 
  64. Will it hurt?
  65. I am losing it..
  66. Shoo morbid thoughts..away you go
  67. Need to think of something positive
  68. FOOD
  69. Should I eat a healthy breakfast or...
  70. I think I will check out that restaurant
  71. Why not?
  72. After all I didn't die..need to "live in the moment".
  73. I think I should have been done by now.
  74. Runkeeper woman..why did you stop talking?
  75. oh! I have another Kilometer to go..
  76. Not too tough are in rhythm.
  77. Go baby go..
  78. Hey look that runner waved at me..
  79. I am waving back.
  80. Runner's are cool people.
  81. That makes me cool too..yippee!!
  82. I think I can run a 5K's hardly any distance
  83. Maybe I should just sign up for a run or two..
  84. I am definitely doing that.
  85. I love Running.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Nothing Lasts Forever

I know, I am posting on my blog infrequently these days and my blog readership has plummeted to an all time low. In the past, this would have affected me, but now, I write only when I feel I have something concrete to say or share. I now write to feel fulfilled and express myself and not to increase readership. This perceptible shift in focus has given me the flexibility to write what I want and when I want it.

The year is already half over and though not much has changed outwardly in my life, a major change has happened under the surface. I have written about the changes happening in my life, in my previous posts. Today, as I look at the year that has gone by, I realize that I have grown as a person in leaps and bounds, having learnt from some of the toughest challenges life has thrown at me.

The past month has been especially rewarding since I have now understood the actual meaning of "letting go". In the truest sense, I have let go. I have gone past the hurt, disappointment and anger. I have learnt to forgive. I have forgiven people from my past life for behaving the way they did. I have learnt how to forgive myself for not being stronger and for the mistakes I did. I realized that by forgiving others and myself, I am free to be the person I am supposed be.

This brings me to the title of the post, "Nothing lasts forever". Most people will look at this sentence and feel a sense of sadness for joyful moments that do not last forever. For others like me, it fills them with hope and courage of good things to come, now that the storm has passed. Just like happy moments, bad situations and difficulties do not last forever.

If each one of us looks back, we will realize that good times and bad times are like a wave that come crashing to the shore, but also recede till another comes crashing back. Both these times leave an impact on us and teach us valuable lessons. The bad times especially so.

For me, when I was in the eye of the storm, I was running blindly with my hands outstretched, trying to grasp at bits of happiness. Things around me were murky and I was scared, as I had completely lost my bearings. Instead of trying to struggle through it, I decided to live in the moment and let the wave pass over me. I stopped struggling and tuned into myself and let sadness, grief, anger just pass through me. I acknowledged and accepted these feelings and stopped fighting them. This was a completely new experience and I got tossed around pretty badly. As the storm cleared, I came out of it with a new understanding about myself and what I needed to do. Even though the tail end of the storm still lingers on, I see slivers of sunshine and it gives me hope of good things to come. Some days, I still falter and hopelessness washes over me, but I pick myself up much quickly and look for the silver lining.

I believe, life is an endless cycle of happy and sad moments. If you look closely, you will realize that these are opportunities for us to learn something about ourselves and others. These are opportunities to let go of what is not meant to be and grow wiser. These are opportunities to forgive people who have crossed our paths and caused us pain and to forget that hurt. It is the right time to nurture ourselves, to evolve and walk on the path that feels right for us. It is a golden opportunity to become centered and remind ourselves of what we actually want and what makes us truly happy.  The happy moments let us be childlike and free from negative emotions. These moments bring us closer to our loved ones and motivate us to spread the joy around.

Without these cycles, imagine how boring life would be. There would be no struggles, no disappointments and so no good times too. Life would be just a series of events that don't leave any impact on us.

Next time you are caught in a storm, remember, this too shall pass and you will come out of it stronger than ever. When you are in a happy moment, don't be fearful of it ending, but accept it with open arms and live each moment to make happy memories which will help you come out of your next storm.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Waiting to Exhale

These days, my posts are all about the past and looking back, like my last post, Is goodbye just another word? The past few years have been one of change. Good or bad? I don't know that, only time will tell, but yes, things have changed, and my world has altered beyond recognition. The change has happened at break-neck speed and it has left me running hard, literally and figuratively, trying to keep up with the change.

This change threw up surprises and challenges  my way and made me a different person. Now, I welcome new experiences with open arms, as it gives me the opportunity to rediscover myself and my own strengths and vulnerabilities. I am learning to own every moment of this new adventure and experiencing the highs and lows of this new journey.

After an extremely stressful one year, on the personal front, I delved into a 3-day break with close friends and escaped to a place called Tarkarli. A place where the ocean and river unite, where the choppy blue waters are teeming with corals, fish and dolphins and where I could find a piece of myself that I had lost.

Now, I find it ironical, when I hear the words "art imitates life", cause for me, the reverse has come true. The experience of diving in the ocean, and going down 30 feet to touch the corals and fish was a divine and spiritual experience. The complete silence, the serene waters and the feeling of being alive were so intense that it took my breath away. For me, it was a moving experience, which reiterated the fact that life is short, you have to make it count. The thousand tonnes of water pressing down, the vastness of the sea and not knowing how to swim did not scare me. I just knew I had to do it, it was as if an unseen force was pushing me to test myself and have this life changing experience. I now understand what Hrithik Roshan experienced in the movie "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara" after he experiences diving in the ocean.

The thrill of water sports such as snorkeling and parasailing were an added bonus, to let go and learn to be 'in the moment'. Flying high on the ocean, tied to a speedboat was adrenaline pumping. The holiday made me realise that I was waiting to exhale, exhale out the disappointments, the unfairness of life and the helplessness that I had felt for the past few years. These three days gave me a chance to know myself again and what I can overcome. I learnt that  "Life always offers you a second chance and that is called Tomorrow".

Pighlay neelam sa behta hua yeh samaan
Neeli neeli si khamoshiyaan
Na kahin hai zameen
Na kahin aasmaan
Sarsaraati huyi tehniyaan, pattiyaan
Keh rahi hain ki bas ek tum ho yahaan
Sirf main hoon meri saansein hain aur meri dhadkanein
Aisi gehraiyaan
Aisi tanhaiyaan
Aur main sirf main
Apne honay pe mujhko yaqeen aa gaya
The moment flows by like molten sapphire
Deep Blue silences
No Earth below
No Sky above
The rustling branches and leaves
Saying that only you are here
Only me
My breath
My heartbeat
Such Depth like this
Such Loneliness like this
And me only me
I now believe, I exist
(Translation courtesy:

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Is goodbye just another word?

A few days back, I was listening to one of Lobo's song, "Goodbye is just another word", and it got me thinking about whether that is true. Is goodbye just another word?

Goodbye means till we meet again. When I was younger, saying goodbye to someone did not put a thought in my mind. Life was fresh, full of promises and my eyes were focussed on the future. Now, I am looking back more than ever..some would call it midlife..or taking stock. Whatever it is, I am looking at the past and have dissected it to shreds, turned it upside down, inside out and have pondered deeply about the choices I have made in life. I keep thinking of the relationships that were made and torn down, the people who came into my life, people who decided to leave and people who have stayed with me for nearly three decades.

I have come to realize one thing, these days, for me, it has become harder to say goodbye. Like fleeting shadows, people have been passing through life, old friends, colleagues and family members. At this point in time, old foundations have crumbled, leaving the dust and grit in my eyes. The dust has not even settled and it is time for me to say goodbye to many.

When people come in your life, they come as a breath of fresh air, pumping life-changing moments in your mundane everyday existence. They bring with them their bit of sunshine and unique perspectives that color your thoughts. Some people leave your life and they take some lessons from you and others leave you with a hard learned lesson that changes you to the core, so much so that you can't even recognize your own self. Some say it is a part of the healing process while I believe that the experience touches you at a different level and makes you question yourself more than ever. You end up distancing yourself from the way you have been with them, and try your best to find who you are now.

As people say goodbye, more often than not they just drift away and become strangers. Most times it is not intentional, life just happens and they get caught up in its intricacies. The connections you form, they take with them a piece of your heart, of shared dreams and experiences and leave you with a slice of their own world. The impression they leave on you, influences your mind and many a times, there is a gradual shift in the thought process especially, when the bonds have been meaningful.

Over the years, any relationship goes through its own ebbs and flows. It brings people closer or people break and drift away from you. Sometimes, you come across the same people later in life. Meeting them is somewhat like a half-remembered song or of a familiar perfume whose bottle has changed.

I keep hearing about how change is good and how it is the only permanent thing in life. As Kathleen Kelly from the movie You've got mail says: "People are always telling you that change is a good thing. But all they're really saying is that something you didn't want to happen at all... has happened."

Saying goodbye to people with whom you shared a strong bond, is life changing. Try as you might, these changes are hard and it is hard to come to terms with them. You struggle and you try to live each day believing that this change is good for you. You learn to survive every day and move forward. Goodbye then doesn't remain just another word anymore, it becomes a process of letting go. 

Sunday, 22 February 2015

A journey to find the real Me

Today, as I walked out of the cinema, after watching the movie "Wild", I had no sense of time or space. It was as if my mind was in a haze, and I didn't know where I was going. I even crashed into a few traffic cones driving out of the movie hall. People came and helped to untangle my bike, but it still did not drive me out of the fog.

My eyes were drenched and my heart was heavy as if it was made of lead. I sobbed all the way home, unheeded to the traffic around me. I sobbed my guts out and it felt good, it felt cathartic. We all cry, some loudly and some in the corner of their minds.

Grief, I believe, can manifest itself in many different ways. For Cheryl, the actress in the movie, it manifested in taking drugs and sleeping with men, a series of self-destructive behaviour, trying to cope with her mother's death. My tears were so much for Cheryl, as they were for myself. I could identify with her journey of walking a 1000 miles through the harsh wilderness, to find herself, and return to the person she was before.

As I saw Cheryl, take the first steps of her life changing journey, I thought of my own journey, of seeking to find the person I was, before my journey to find the real me, before I got lost in the wilderness called life.

I also remembered something, a friend had shared some days back, about  how all of us are trying to seek value and how in that process we sometimes undermine ourselves, just because we seek love, friendship and being liked by people. We want people to like us and so we forget who we are and what we want from our own lives.

In this fast paced world, when all of us are constantly connected, a tiny island called solitude and being alone helps us to face the real us. In solitude, we are metaphorically naked, with our souls layed bare and the harsh light shining on our good, bad and messed up minds. Solitude makes us confront our demons, as there is no place to run and hide. Even if we do run, there comes a point in time when you have to stop and just deal with the situation.

I have been through the phase many times over in the past one year. My grief manifested in different ways, not all of it was good. I battled negative thoughts and emotions and even drowned in self-pity. I questioned the fairness of life and the question all of us have asked at least once in our lives, Why Me?

Though I never got any answers, what I got back from the extended periods of being alone is that loneliness is a state of mind. Even in a crowded room, one can feel utterly alone. You need to embrace this alone time and own it. In this alone time lies solitude and in solitude you can listen to your heart and mind. The background noise is completely shut off.

What Cheryl felt in the movie, I have felt the same in my own house, inside four closed walls. What she discovered in the wilderness, I have seen glimpses of the same realization closeted inside my house, away from people.

These days, the solitude does not bother me so much. Rather, I crave it and embrace it most times. This journey from chaos to solitude is a long one, as long as a 1000 mile trek, but every step of that journey shines a new light and uncovers a new part that is me. This journey, is bringing me closer to the person I am, and I want to be.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

A fresh page - A fresh start

There is a sense of realization that life has come a full circle, as I sweep the cobwebs and clean the dust that has gathered on this space. My last post was nearly 10 months back and this period has been one of rediscovery and shedding off my old self.

The last year has been one of rebirth, rejuvenation, testing my endurance and understanding my own strength. Last year, at this time, I had completed my 40th birthday and was lying on the hospital bed, groggy from the anaesthesia and medicines pumped in my body, during my hysterectomy. It was one of the scariest, as well as a very hopeful period of my life. Scary, cause I was worried about the outcome and full of hope because of the promise of a pain-free future. After 7 years of struggling with pain, it was a testing time to know how life will unfold.

I have not been writing much in the past year, not that I did not want to, it was just a decision I took to  rest and recover and find a new direction in life. The period of hibernation has lead to a lot of insights and ponderings about who I am, what I want and where I want to go from here. I had kept my life on hold for a long time. As I slowly gathered strength, both physical and emotional, I realized what life is for normal people.

Having been in a fog of pain, the pain-free existence made me realize that even small things bring me joy. A brisk walk, a bike ride and staying up late to catch up with friends did not put fear in my heart.
Making travel plans on the spur of the moment and traveling in a bus was exhilarating. Small things which are of no consequence to others, were like a dream come true for me.

My morning walks made me so excited that my feet had a mind of their own and very soon I took to jogging. It was a slow progress considering all the inactivity of previous years. Running became a passion for me. It broke all the shackles in my mind and set me free. As my feet pounded on the asphalt and I heard my breaths coming through my nose, I finally felt alive. I felt alive, as I had never felt.

Today, it is the first anniversary of my surgery, and I as I write this post, I feel a sense of elation and satisfaction to see how far I have come, from that day in the hospital.

These days when I run, I leave all my worries and tensions in the dust that my feet kick up. I switch on my favourite music, I put on my headband and I just run. I run to free myself, I run to find myself and I run because I can. Running is now the music in my ears, the open road and a life full of possibilities.

Featured Post

Life's Lessons

I have been missing from this space for nearly a year and a half, but hey! what to do, I was out living my life and learning valuable les...