#PrayForFrance

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Pray4franc

Woke up this morning to horrific news from France.  My deepest condolences and prayers to the victims and their loved ones.

The most precious, valuable thing apart from the 4 elements on this blue planet are humans. The world we know wouldn’t exist if there were no humans.  No matter which religion or cult we are following,  they all teach us the value of a human life. None of them support killing people.

It’s just 14th of July and according to  Wikipedia there were already  more than 80 terror attacks reported (list of Terror attacks).  I am asking myself why this cruelty? What are those organizations/ individuals trying to achieve?  Definitely not peace and freedom. With this horrific, terrifying inhuman approach they just put their fellow human beings of same religious conviction, nationality, race, profession in jeopardy.

After listening to the news and reading few articles I felt, totally disturbed and my eyes were filled with tears. There was a certain anger building up inside me because I felt so powerless and helpless . The entire day I was thinking about how can I / we prevent terror attacks?  Oh well , I know  you are rolling your eyes now and thinking, how can she stop something  which the greatest minds of our time couldn’t do.  I am not an economist nor a politician or a religious leader and most probably my IQ is below average. But I think, if we could wipe out revenge,  jealousy and greed from us there won’t be any terror attacks like this.  Furthermore I strongly believe it has to start within each and every one of  us. Find happiness in what you have and don’t be jealous about things which you don’t have. Be fare in everything you do!  Then apply the same logic in your family – between parents and kids;  then on your extended family members, friends etc.  If everyone is satisfied then there is no need for fight.

So don’t hesitate and let’s try to make the world a better place; You and I, we are the ones who can make this change!

Like I mentioned before, it’s just a humble thought which came up in my mind.

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Easier Said Than Done

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I just learnt the hard way that it is difficult to follow a plan. Around last June there were a few weddings i had to attend and until this Feb i was fairly consistent in my diet and workout plan. I could feel the results of my efforts and had energy to work on my blogs,  be socially active and had even planned a vacation. Everything was going perfect.  Spring arrived in march and i knew hay fever season will start soon, for sunny days had arrived.

One day out of the blue, I felt an itching sensation behind my left ear. I went to the pharmacy and they gave a cream. Next day, somewhere around noon I looked into the mirror, because the entire area from the back of my ear to the shoulder was itching. After work I went again to the pharmacy and this time they gave me stronger medication. Next morning I had rashes all around my upper body, and it was spreading. I thought,  I was having a serious skin disease. Fear of infecting others, had driven me to maintain safe distance.

Even though I  was terrified to death, I decided not to call my mom or my best friends mom. In my weird mind it felt like i was going to die. So I only  informed my brother and then went to the hospital. While I was sitting at the waiting room, I got more scared. I didn’t know whom to text or talk to and for the  first time ever I felt lonely. I could have asked my aunt to come with me or my neighbour. I could have phoned my  best friend or my mom. Or instead of just leaving a WhatsApp voice message, I could have called my brother,  but since I was certain I was going to die, I didn’t want  to worry my loved ones unnecessarily in advance.  After one hour of  waiting, the doctor came. He looked at me and started to  laugh.  With tears in my eyes and a frightened voice I asked him: “Why are you laughing at me? I am dying here.”  Only then he realised how scared I was and he said : “oh no dear; you are suffering from hay fever. It’s just an allergy.” He prescribed antihistamine and some other strong medications.

On my way back home, I felt like an  idiot for getting scared. From that day onwards everything went wrong. Due to my allergy I had breathing problems, so I couldn’t even jog for 10 minutes. Most of the time I was too tired and in less than 5 weeks I gained more than 12 kgs. Now my allergy is a bit under control but the gained kgs are still there. Since my lunges are not fully recovered, I shouldn’t do my EMS training. Instead of that, I should go for a walk or do 30 min on my elliptical trainer. I stare at my elliptical trainer every day and all I am thinking is: “Why should I do it? Each time if I am that close to my goal, something happens; and then I have to start again from scratch – it feels like being in a never ending loop.”

Clearly I am/was  struggling to find the motivation. I feel so exhausted  and have zero energy,  the fire in me is blown out,  and obviously I am kinda hiding from my social activities because I feel, I am unfit. I know I have to do something very soon.

Today I went through some of my old blogs and then realised, I am a hypocrite. I was asking my readers to take the responsibility for their actions and motivating them, while at the same time I was not following it.  Finding someone or something to blame is always the easier path.  Yes,  it is true that my weight gain was partially due to the medicine but also I was guilty of having delicious meals.  I guess as soon as I had an excuse to eat more I used the medication as an excuse to justify it. As I was not able to work out due to breathing problems and being weighed down with weariness, I gained weight. Since I felt like a rolling stone,  my unconscious mind made a decision not to meet with other people. I was embarrassed and considering the fact that I was not following what i was preaching. I felt ashamed and could not be bothered to blog so decided not to blog. Now the puzzle is solved.

So I am starting from zero again. Target for this week is  to publish one blog, cut out refined sugar and do 30 min of cardio.

What about you my dear reader, have you faced similar situations like this? How did you bounce back?

Transgender – Painful Prejudices

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Yesterday I watched one of my favourite dance reality shows on YouTube. I was shocked and surprised at the same time when I got to know that it was the first time ever a transgender was allowed to participate on a reality show, which is telecasted on a national television. Considering the given history, I thought India would be one of the transgender friendly countries in the world. Listening to Jazz’s story made me really sad.

The fact is:   On 15 April 2014, in National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India, the Supreme Court of India ruled that transgender people should be treated as a third category of gender and as a socially and economically “backward” class entitled to proportional access and representation in education and jobs.

I think it is difficult to imagine what it must feel like to be transgender if you are not. Imagine what it must feel like to debate every day to use the men’s restroom or the women’s.

We all are born with sexual characteristic of either a male or a female. The term transgender focuses on individuals whose gender identity conflicts with biological sex assignment. Most who are transgender know they are different from others from an early age. There are different studies explaining the cause of being transgender. The fact is we will need a much larger body of research to reach conclusions about where gender identity lives in human.

I think at this point, it is very important to mention that gender and sexual preference are entirely two separate things. Sexual identification is who we to be intimate with while gender identification is who we see ourselves.

I am not intending to write a scientific blog about transgender with my limited knowledge. On the contrary I want to encourage you to wipe out your prejudices. Keep in mind that this condition might be caused by hormonal imbalance. It is definitely not their fault! Support them on their journey! Be nice and human next time when you meet a transgender.

Hats off to Mazhavil Manorama for taking the first step towards breaking the taboo and hopefully many will follow you.

Jazz, never give up! No matter if you are going to win 1st prize or not. Consider yourself as a winner because through Mazhavil Manoramas D4Dance Season 3 the world is listening to you. Don’t pay attention to the Naysayers and ignore the negativity. Don’t be shy and don’t hide! Go Girl, Go Girl! Rock the floor, don’t forget Feet Must be pointed 🙂 .

I am fully aware of the fact that I don’t have neither a huge follower base nor a celebrity status. But If at least one among the few readers would change his/her mind and treat a transgender as a “normal” human being, then I would consider my blog, a worthy effort. Like Pearle, the anchor of the show said, we may be born with different skin colour, on different places as men or women. But we all are one and all of us are God’s creation.

There is no one “right” way to live a life. And no one should have to spend a life hiding who they are!!

XoXo

Darling, you make my day!

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Oh my love!
You make me happy and alive.
You are always there for me, in good times and in bad.
You have got me addicted.
Your fragrance brings out the energy in me.

On a cold rainy afternoon, I wrap my arms around you,
your warmth soak into me.
Snow brings you even closer
I cant survive a day without you
Coffee Coffee!

I Love You Forever!

Doorway to your heart

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When was the last time you looked into someone’s eyes? Or let someone gaze into yours? Since few days this question is haunting me. I don’t remember when it happened to me the last time! What about you my dear reader? When was the last time you experienced the emotional cocktail made of excitement, butterflies in stomach, nervousness and the spark you will feel when you look into your loved ones eyes or the person you would love to love look into your eyes?

You will find a lot of scientific studies online, where they explain the importance the eyes in combination with physical attraction, seduction and romantic love… And yes as usual within seconds my browser history was filled with articles about this particular theme. So if we are sitting on the same boat, then I think I know the cause of the problem. After spending days thinking about it, I came up with 3 possible reasons.

  1. You are living with your life partner and you take everything for granted. You might say there are other important things to do than looking into eyes. Beside it’s something for silly people. So you are purposely avoiding it.

  2. You are “too busy” and blabber A LOT. What I mean by this is, you will always engage yourself in some personal projects like weight loss, redo your garden, refurnish your place or you are a workaholic. So basically you don’t have time to go out and meet people and when you are with your friends you simply keep blabbering so that there is no silent moment. Practically everyone around you is in the FRIEND zone. In other words unconsciously you have a defensive shield around you, stopping yourself exploring new possibilities

  3. You are scared. Letting someone that close to you means apart from the facial hair, impure greasy skin, thin lines/wrinkles, and that his person can see behind your retina. You are literally letting a person into your life, in other words you are not used to being vulnerable, comfortable and used to being alone.

I myself belong to the category 2 and 3. I hardly go out and meet new people. And when I meet people I talk a lot and most of the time I never notice any signs of interest. I am also very scared and I don’t want to put myself in a position where someone could hurt me.

Audrey Hepburn, a famous actress once said: “The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the door way to her heart, the place where love resides.” If that is true and eyes are indeed the doorway to the place where love resides, don’t be shy. Go ahead. Stare deeply into those eyes belonging to the other person and relight the flame of love.

Challenge the norms

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What do you want to be when you grow up? Do you remember the first time you heard this question? I don’t. But most probably I said Mickey Mouse or some other cartoon figure with magic powers.

From my young school days, I had a desire to be a doctor. I think deep down inside me, I believed that doctors have some magical power to heal people. I was even considering  to pursue  with the med school two, three years ago. After doing the math -> years of med school + residency + specialize, I realized that it’s too late, by the time I become a heart surgeon, I might be facing retirement 😉 Becoming a doctor was just one of few dreams. Almost all the Indian kids growing up abroad want to become a doctor, lawyer or an engineer. And guess what, I am an engineer. Apart from becoming a doctor, I wanted to become a successful writer, adopt a child, build an orphanage in Kerala, do my Arangetram etc.

As kids our dreams are comparable to a bird with a lot of colourful feathers. We are not aware of the risks and certainly not thinking about the negative impacts, which might follow. Children are full of positivity. As we grow old like a bird loses its feathers, our dreams wither away. Dreams are indeed very strange, my dear friend! 

So what happened to that curious child? I was a talkative child; I used to ask so many questions and was telling stories all the time. Recently I saw an old video of mine and I couldn’t recognize myself. That 7 year old girl was full of energy and blabbering nonstop. As children we want to be so many things and the sky is our limit. An innocent 7-year-old explaining about her dream of becoming a doctor, catching thieves or becoming a fire fighter, certainly is a good party entertainer. Everyone listening to this kid is amused and will encourage her. Time passes by, in your early teens try to talk about your dreams, most probably you will face the first “NOs” and discouraging statements like:

 “You shouldn’t compare yourself with that person, You are not good at it .… Your primary focus should be achieve higher scores! …….Don’t ask stupid questions! ….Listen to us, we know what’s better for you! Don’t waste your time!”

In our early 20s most of us are usually finishing school/college, finding the first part/ full time job. If you mention about your dream now, then they will laugh at you and say:

”Oh common… don’t be silly… you are not a child anymore…don’t be a dreamer….Do you really think you can pull it off?.. think about your future…you don’t have much time to waste… get a job and get married!”

While growing up we probably hear a lot of NOs and undergo diplomatic brainwashes. The reason for this is because our friends and family are protective of us and they don’t want us to fail or get hurt.  All these Don’ts  and NOs creates a huge wall of fear inside us. This ugly, huge, dreaded wall is standing between us and our dreams. Instead of breaking down this imaginary wall, we project a fake dream on it. A dream which is approved by the society where we live. A dream that makes others happy and where you should be also happy because it’s what everyone else does. The average dream where you don’t get hurt. School -> Graduation-> Complete a professional course -> Job -> Marriage -> Kids -> Say no to your  Kids ->  A NEVER ending loop

From our mid 20s onwards it should be us, who decides if the imaginary wall should disappear or not. This wall is a projection of our insecurities and fear. Most of the time we are not aware of this and we subconsciously follow after a fake path. Until and unless some event  wakes you up. In my case it was Hanspeter, my former  boss. I used to work for a small international startup company. Back then we were like around 25 employees. Now it’s one of the world’s leading BPM venture companies. One day during our coffee break, I told him that I am going through some personal issues. That’s where he gave me the best advice someone ever gave to me:” Petsy, don’t be too nice all the time and do not say yes to everything. The world belongs to those who always ask questions.” As usual I didn’t understand the deeper meaning of what he said. It took me a while to digest but slowly I understood. In a polite way he was telling me to stand up and challenge; to get out of my comfort zone; to spread my wings and fly! That’s when I started to dream again, where I got my confidence back and started questioning. It was not easy, it’s a scary thought because you are on your own. You can’t blame anyone else anymore. Very soon I realized when you try doing things differently or follow a not so familiar/ common path, you scare and challenge the people around you. So forget about the Naysayers! Follow your dream!  You may fall quite often on your path. Each time when you fail, think about the bouncing doll you had, when you were a child. No matter how often, forcefully you hit on it, it always bounced back and smiled back at you. All the obstacles and failures will bring you closer to your dream.

We can’t undo the decisions we made or were forced on us in the past. BUT you can totally change what you are going to do while or after reading this blog. You CAN decide to fulfill your dream as of today, as of now, like this very second. If you follow your dream, you might have to say No, get out of your comfort zone and sometimes even detach yourself from the emotional dramas going on around you.

Common guys, be brave! Don’t neglect your dreams/ goals. Let’s pursue a life of fulfillment, and happiness. It took me a while to understand the importance of having a dream and to be truly myself.

Can I read your mind and say what you are thinking now? You are asking yourself what is this crazy girl dreaming of?  Oh well my dear reader, stay tuned, one day I will definitely share it here.  

And now STOP reading this blog;  Write down your dreams/goals; Save it on your device or pin it somewhere. Draft a plan and start your journey!

Xoxo

Let’s try to make the world a better place

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14th February, a day dedicated to express love, companionship and passion for our loved once. There are different forms of love. The love we share with our parents, Kids, friends, life partner and of course between lovers. There is no religion or nationality attached to this wonderful day. A pure celebration of Love.

Even though it’s a day for everyone, it’s more celebrated among couples. So all the pretty ladies out there, how did you feel when u wore that awesome sexy outfit you bought the other day? Did you find the right red lipstick? Finding the accurate red shade is devastating. And… Hey… you, Handsome what did you do? Did you buy nice red roses and chocolates? I assume you planned a nice romantic day for your Love from morning to night. Dinner at a nice romantic restaurant which plays nice background music, not too over powering just like a soft silk shawl carried in the breeze. Most probably you had a light Mediterranean meal with a smooth, balanced, velvetly red wine. I know it may sound cheesy and cliché; ultimately I am exceptionally girly and a hardcore lover of romantic movies 😉1in3women

In one way or other we all spent some quality time with our loved once. Unfortunately there is another group of people who might never be able to have this special moment. Who might never be able to express their emotions and try to hide their entire life. I am talking about victims of sexual assault and rape. I recently read an article in the telegraph about an Indian teenage rape victim, who was allegedly sexually assaulted a second time while in hospital receiving treatment for the original attack.

Headlines about sexual abuse and rape aren’t a rarity anymore. Few of the incidents catch more public attention and go viral but the majority remains untold and is hidden far away from the public. Blaming victim’s is another common behavior in our society. As soon as we talk about an incident the first few statements will be like:

“Victim was not appropriately dressed!”

”Something like this will never happen to someone from a good family!”

“Victim must have provoked them!”

Victims are silenced by a process that heaps shame, fear and guilt on them. The demoralizing experience is not alien to victims in India, who choose to speak out against sexual attacks.

Sexual violence is not only taking place in India. Since I am an Indian my focus is automatically set to “on what’s happening in India.” According to WHO recent global prevalence figures indicate that about 1 in 3 (35%) of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.

Being a victim of any kind of crime can be frightening and upsetting. However, rape and sexual assault are particularly distressing crimes for the victim and the effects can last for a long time.

Let’s take action to help those instead of pointing fingers at them. Donate whatever you can to a nonprofit organization of your trust. Each and every penny counts. My personal choice is this project, which is started by Smita Sharma. She has started a Kickstarter page, where she is raising funds for two groups, including one based in London, which work in the community educating people to make people aware about sexual violence. There are many other nonprofit organizations worldwide, which helps victims to build a life after. Donating money is not the only way to help. If you know anyone from your circle, then be there for that person. Accompany the victim in their daily activities and highlight to them various institution where they can avail professional help. If needed raise your voice for them and protect them.

So don’t hesitate and let’s try to make the world a better place; You and I, we are the ones who can make this change!