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International Ask A Stupid Question Day!!

What do we celebrate on September 28?

Ask a Stupid Question Day!

The day was created by educators in the 1980s to encourage students to ask more questions in class. Thus, we have the (rather stupid, in my opinion) catchphrase: “There are no stupid questions.”

Nevertheless, today is the day to ask whatever you want to know, no matter how many people might laugh at you.

I’m not really sure who came up with International Ask a Stupid Question Day – perhaps, someone who keeps asking silly questions and wanted a day in the year when they are totally within their rights to ask one? 🙂

Anyway, let’s entertain this idea – head to my email, ask as many stupid questions as you like or you can simply put them in the comment section from your own blog – I promise to answer as many as I can!

Toodles

Xoxo

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Of Friends, Foes and Redemption In Relationships

Its been more than 2 months since I last wrote. The past few months have been quite eventful and have inspired me to pen this down, my first ever attempt at trying to unravel relationships.

In the hierarchy of relationships, friendships are often placed at the bottom.Romantic partners, parents ,children- all these come first. But nonetheless friendships are unique relationships, because unlike the rest of them, we choose to enter into them voluntarily. Up until recently, friends for me, were people I could laugh and talk to, who know the worst of me and still love me, people whom I can trust. All this sounds warm and fuzzy but none of this can actually equate to what true friendship entails. It is time we begin to learn the important distinction between a friend and acquaintance. I’m not sure why or for whom this post fits in, but I do know that my hand can’t ever handle the frantic pace of the thoughts that jumble together in my mind. Writing this is a way of closure for all things bombarding my mind and one more step towards adulthood.

Every person has built a certain image of you, that makes them comfortable with who you are. Once you outgrow that image and become more than they were comfortable with, it makes them confused, unsettled , jealous, because now either they themselves have to grow and become more,or they”ll want you to shrink back and fit their expectations. That is where the frictions begin. I now know she was never a “friend” to begin with because real friends do not harbour resentments or allow their jealousy to overpower them to make irrational decisions. Real friends want to see you succeed in life and love. In the end, a friend’s betrayal is the ultimate worse pain to endure. But moving on from that, a part of growing and maturing includes understanding what true friendship includes, and the most important aspect of it is the Act Of Vulnerability and Intimacy that no one really talks or thinks about.

Intimacy is not who you let touch you. It is who you text in the middle of the night about your dreams and fears. It is giving someone attention when 10 other people are asking for it. When we think about vulnerability, we only tend to associate it with sharing our insecurities, anxiety, and stories of shame. In reality, one of the most undervalued and underpracticed acts of vulnerability is supporting each others success in this world. It is being willing to shine in front of our friends by sharing what is going on well, why are we proud of ourselves this week, what we do like about ourselves. It takes courage to shine in front of our friends and to encourage them to shine in front of us, because more often than not their shining may trigger our own feelings of envy and insecurity. In times like these, it is important to remember that each person is going to get only as much as he deserves and sharing our woes and bruises can only take us so far-its when we start to admit where we think we are amazing to the people who claim to love us, only then can we fully own that shine to a world full of strangers and doubters.As Harry Potter said, there are some things you just cannot share without ending up liking each other and spreading meaningful bonds.

Another aspect of this sacred bond no one really thinks about is the importance of fostering several different friends. That we don’t have to be exclusive to feel special. That the term “best friend” didn’t refer to a number, but to how well we treated each other. And that more important than someone choosing me, is my own sense of choosing myself. That kind of security allows us to have other BFFs without feeling jealous knowing our other friendships don’t make what we share any less valuable.

Lastly I would say never let your fear of unequal give-and-take ruin what could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship. We justify our wait and see approach by reminding ourselves that we sent the last text or initiated the most recent plans, and we conclude we are always the one doing the inviting. We fear putting ourselves out there all the time, unsure if its wanted. The truth however is that there are so many people out their who have so much to offer a friendship- but initiating and scheduling may not be their forte.That might not necessarily mean they don’t love us or want to be with us.Being in a give-and-take relationship doesn’t mean we have to give in the same ways. Let yourself free and be grateful for the small things and moments.

Tell your friends you love them.Stop and say hello. Or just send a text to say you’re thinking about them. Don’t ever let it go unsaid how much someone means to you.”

Signing off

xoxo

 

ON BEING SELFISH

Is it ok to be selfish sometimes? When you google the word selfish, it is defined as “lacking consideration for others; concerned with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.” We have grown up learning that it is a bad thing to be selfish, that it is definitely not the most admirable trait in a person. But recent events in my life made me introspect as to what exactly being selfish entails. This word has negative connotations, but in reality,  its not always a bad thing to look out for the best. If you are like me, you probably have the helping gene. You may often find yourselves giving rides or freebies to people you barely know, rides that take you out of your way. Or you may find yourself skipping lunch to be a sounding board for absolutely everything that goes wrong in someone’s life. When my original birthday plans fell through and my friends asked how else would  I like to celebrate it, my stock answer was “what would you all enjoy?” I struggle to cope with selfish people or selfishness in general. The concept of being totally selfless is just that- a concept. Its not even a reasonable expectation when you really think about it. The word can be so quickly redefined that you no longer cringe when you consider it.

I have realized recently that it is ok to be selfish occasionally. I’ve let go of the guilt of saying no to people (which gets much easier to do when you realise how huge the benefits are). We live in a society where we are always expected to say “yes” and pack our schedules so full we have absolutely no wiggle room to be spontaneous. I have known myself well enough to know that I would rather be unhappy in a situation than make others unhappy. I dread when someone is upset or mad at me. But eventually you reach a point in life when you realize that you simply cannot please everyone. And it is even more impossible to take care of others when you do not have the energy to take care of yourselves. I am in no way downplaying the importance of being there for our friends and family when things are going badly for them. Just don’t let people get in the way of you hitting your goals. Because they are important and so is your health. Sure, life happens. Your mum is sick and needs you to take care of the house, your friend has been through a horrible fight and needs you by her side, but in the midst of all this hustle, it is imperative that we take time out for ourselves. If we are not going to take care of our own health then who else is? And the realization, that for the sake of your own sanity and health, it is absolutely alright to be selfish, can do wonders to your life.

Be kind, but don’t be a doormat. Be agreeable, but don’t be afraid to speak your mind.  Celebrate your successes, whether you have accomplished a goal or done a task well, take time out to be proud of yourself. Accept help from others, you cannot simply run the world on your own. And most important of all,  stay fit and healthy.

What have you done to be selfish recently? Share your thoughts.

Signing off

xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE DUKE AND I-A BOOK REVIEW

After days of sifting through YouTube videos and lists on Most popular novels to read, I finally stumbled upon a new genre I have never set my eyes on. The Duke and I is a historical romance and I cannot even describe how much I loved it! It was a roller coaster of emotions for me going through this wonderful fiction novel written by Julia Quinn.I have officially initiated myself into the JQ readership!

“ Can there be any greater challenge to London’s Ambitious Mamas than an unmarried duke?
–       Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers, April 1813

This book introduces the Bridgerton clan in a familiar, yet beloved fake betrothal plot.Daphne Bridgerton is one of the numerous wealthy siblings, all unmarried, but Violet, their mother is keen to rectify that situation.Daphne is a decent heroine who knows what she wants and Simon (The Duke ) is pretty damaged (dark daddy issues with a stuttering problem) , but still quite swoon worthy. Plus, I always love the heir as he is usually haughty and impossibly Darcy-ish (I am a big Jane Austen fan), though there were parts in the novel where he frustrated me to no end!!

Daphne is exasperated with the numerous boys of the society who have nothing but the greatest respect for her but no romantic inclination. She perceives that if Simon, a rakish but respected Duke, pretends he is interested in her then other men will follow suit. Simon agrees to the ruse because ambitious mothers are chucking their daughters at him like so many rotten tomatoes and he intends to never marry or have children. What happens beyond, I won’t be so crass to give away!

I loved the character development of each and every character such that the secondary characters were so much fun.Julia includes a large cast of characters but they all served a significant purpose. The gossip column of Lady Whistledown was a great way to impart expository information on Daphne and her extremely large family, with her being fourth in line of 3 elder brothers. I especially adore Violet Bridgerton, their mother. All in all, this novel did not make me weep or tear up and I would have liked certain things to end up differently, but nonetheless, it was a pleasant experience. Do give it a read! I have already started with the next one in the series i.e The Viscount Who Loved Me.

Signing off

Xoxosnapchat-1585919477

TIME FOR A BRAIN DUMP?

You know that feeling you get when you have so much to say and do,but you’re not really sure how to say it or what to do?

Well that’s me right now; a whole bunch of non-coherent thoughts and ideas that need some sense made of them. It’s almost 12 at night and as I prepare to finally put my brain to rest,I just can’t. If you could watch my brain for 10 min, you would probably be freaked out. Seriously. In there, it probably looks like an Internet browser with Gmail, Pinterest, WordPress, Facebook and Quickbooks tabs open. You jump from one to the other to check which one is loading faster and an hour later you’ve done nothing. Zip. Zilch.nada.

And so I am decreeing it officially, brain dump time!!

Brain dump #1
To start with, I have a few great blog ideas, but they are all half concocted in my mind right now, waiting to be fully percolated before I can give birth to them. They keep fading in and out and that has been highly annoying.

Brain dump #2
The past 3 months have been quite hectic especially the last month with me studying for my finals.Phew.Thank God it’s over.With the end of 2016 approaching fast, I can’t help but think about what I need to do in the future. Whether I want to continue to study here or start preparing for USMLE abroad. Though I am 99% percent sure of my decision, there is still that lingering doubt that pops up every time I try to sleep. Decisions, decisions.

Brain dump #3
I have always thought of living an extraordinary life filled with travel and people and crazy adventures, rather than the low-key, under-the-radar, stay-at-home kind of life, being stuck in a place with a domineering husband and rotten routines. But there are also times when I feel that you don’t need a big,popping, larger-than-life adventure to have an extraordinary life. There have been these tiny, almost invisible little decisions that have surprisingly made quite a difference.
The decision to let go of a grudge, drink more water, go on a walk,watch my favourite shows or sit my butt in a chair everyday, writing a few hundred words no one may ever read. It is all very confusing indeed.

Brain dump #4
I feel I am an introvert with extroverted thoughts.This has been frustrating me to no end. Since I joined college, I have been trying really hard to get out of my shell and I have to some extent. I am no more that awkward under-confident 15 year old who couldn’t speak one proper sentence in front of strangers, especially boys.
However, there are still so many things I want to do, conferences I want to attend, ideas I want to portray and changes I want to bring in the society around me. I just wish I was more assertive and confident* Sigh*

Brain dump #5
I need to start working on a research paper I have to present at a conference in February. Then there is a test coming up in Jan, not to forget the practicals I still need to appear for this month. On top of that, I have a strong urge to start drawing again. Only if I was a tad less lazy!

Brain dump #6
Lastly I have exhausted my reading list and am running out of ideas for more. So if any of you have any bright ideas on some good novels I can read, please do share. Also, I have been debating whether to start watching Stranger Things or complete all seasons of Orange Is The New Black (quite late, I know).
Here endeth the dump!

As David Allen proposed in his book, the best way to dump or declutter your brain is to get it out of your head and capture it somewhere, either on a notepad,as a diary entry or on an app. Just make a to-do list of everything that’s on your mind, including the minute details and honestly criticise and evaluate each item ticking them off whenever you start feeling overwhelmed by everything that’s on your agenda. I am positive it will bring you back to your comfortable space.

I would love to know about your brain dump times.

Signing off
xoxo

 

THE THING THAT GETS YOUR GOAT…

I am a super tolerant person by nature and pride myself on my ability to be patient while interacting with people most of the times. The thing is, a lot of stuff bothers me. Too much stuff to be honest. But what I have learned over the years is that it is not a good idea to voice my opinions about things and people too much .If I am mad about something ,I would just sulk internally rather than bothering people .I absolutely hate confrontations! Lame, I know but that is how it is. So this blog post is pretty much going to be me pouring out my heart to all you lovely readers .I came up with a list of 10 things that  really get my knickers in a knot. In case you ever meet me, here is what you need to know.

  1. Phone systems that start off by saying Press one to do this and two to do that. Wish there was a number that said Press 8 to go to our competitors who actually do care about you.
  2. Any conversation that starts with “I don’t mean to be offensive but..”

 

  1. When my friends keep pestering me to go out and/or get a boyfriend. Like seriously dude, let me be. I love my books and my bed!

 

  1. When someone tells me to act and speak in a more ladylike manner. I will act however I want – I don’t care if it is unladylike.

 

  1. When my friends are like, “You are so quiet, please say something”. I’m quiet, I don’t want to say anything. Please leave me alone.

 

  1. When someone is really bad at grammar. I know I am being mean here, but who cares. It is just annoying.

 

  1. When someone mumbles something, then annoyedly says “Forget it!” when people naturally don’t hear .Like please will you not start a topic if you are going to leave me hanging and curious.

 

  1. When parents start judging the characters in a movie or book before it has even started .Please mom, just watch it through first.

 

  1. A woman’s place is in the home.”Don’t even get me started on this one. A woman’s place is wherever she chooses to be. If that place is in the home, great. If it isn’t, that’s great too. It’s her choice, not yours.

 

  1. I don’t like Harry Potter.” TAKE IT BACK. You clearly either don’t have a soul or you’re lying to intentionally piss me off. Either way, you’re on my shit list.

 

What are your pet peeves? I would love to know.

 

 

Toodles

 

Signing off

 

xoxo

My Anti-Bucket List

I am sure each one of you out there have made a bucket list at some point of your lives about the things you want to do before you are 40 or before you die.You may want to visit some fancy country, go skydiving, have that notebook moment-the list is endless.I have my own bucket list chalked out too but that is something which is very private for me and will remain forever in the deep recesses of my mind.BUT there are certain things I NEVER plan to do in my entire lifetime. That Bieber song teaches us to “Never say never” but some things are just a big no-no for me.So I am going to create an anti-bucket list i.e a list of things I never plan to do.

My Anti-Bucket List

  • I will never do hard drugs– I am pretty positive most of you have that on your anti list and I hope you do. I have never thought of doing drugs even for the sake of experimentation.As a medical student and knowing what these can do to my body,I intend to stay miles away from them.So the window for me to experiment with drugs is way closed.
  • I will never read an E.L James novel(again)-50 shades was one hell of an experience for me.Till date I haven’t understood the craze for her books.The idea of contracture bonding never appealed to me.Apart from that, her writing style is amateur and quite repetitive.
  • I will never wear socks with sandals– What about this is attractive or even remotely okay? Its the biggest fashion faux pas and I swear to never do it( Even though I am not a fashion freak or enthusiast)
  • I will never kill anyone– That is pretty obvious,isn’t it?
  • I will never get a permanent tattoo– I am the sort of person to get bored of things easily, so the idea of getting a permanent image on my skin scares me.What if I don’t like it after 5 min or 5 weeks or even months? Nah, I would pass.
  • I will never own a fancy car- I am just not interested in cars enough to spend huge chunks of money on them. Instead I would prefer to save up for going on a world tour. So no Ferrari or Lamborghinis in the plan.I would prefer creating memories than things.
  • I will never eat an insect on purpose– Certain insects are considered to be edible food and eaten in many parts of the world. Native Americans and those in Africa roast beetles over coal and eat them as popcorn. I absolutely cannot think of trying that.
  • I am never going to be one of those persons who just don’t have time to read-I give permission to disown me if I ever say that. I absolutely love to read.

 Don’t get me wrong, I am happy for you to get tattoos or enjoy reading erotica, but please don’t make me do them with you.My list is quite short because I am crazy and adventurous and there are very few things I wouldn’t do. (Cliff jumping tops my bucket list…)

I would be glad to know whats on your anti-bucket list! Kindly share.

Signing off

xoxo

OH CRAP! MUM IS ON FACEBOOK!

 

Congratulations! Your mother just sent you a friend request on facebook. Your life is officially over!

A few months ago, an item in my Facebook news feed sent a weird feeling through my system: my kid sister had just become Facebook friends with someone I knew very well: our mother.And not to stop at that, she now has our nosey aunt, his ratty husband and our endless relatives on her facebook. She probably stared at the friend requests for 2 whole days before grudgingly accepting, not knowing fully well what hell would follow.

Yes, our mother is on facebook.Fortunately, I am no longer a teenager who is ashamed of the world to know who my mother is (remember when you used to ask your mother to drop you off few blocks down?).I adore and admire my mother and think she is the strongest, smartest and prettiest woman I have the privilege of knowing.Maybe because of the fact that I am now out of high school , I don’t mind being friends with her on facebook. But lets be frank guys, each one of us at some point of our life have been annoyed by our parents being on our facebook or other social media.In this post I am going to comment on the various ways our parents have tried to dominate our lives even more through facebook.

Let me begin with the most infuriating category of mothers- The Alarmists!! How many times have you seen a post that says something like this ““WARNING!!!!!!!! FACEBOOK CAN STEAL YOUR PICTURES IF YOU DON’T POST THIS LEGAL COPYRIGHT!” or seen memes or headlines telling your mum how paedophiles can get to their kids through facebook accounts or other chatting and social media platforms. Nope, sorry mum. Complete lies.Please stop getting all paranoid over nothing!

Moving on, let us talk about the mothers who post way too many pictures of their kids day in and day out. I like to call them The Humblebraggers !.Didn’t call them braggers because its social media and a large part of the deal is to brag. But these are the special types who have an obnoxiously subtle way of bragging about things. I understand that parenting is a challenging job and you want to share everything starting from the first step your child took to the art competition he recently won, but who are you kidding. No one gives a horse about what your kid did or achieve.Thats not how facebook parenting rolls.The other mothers watching your post are probably just too obsessed with their own kids to appreciate what yours did.Stop already!!

I have always felt that the thin line between family and friends is often blurred as far as my relationship with my mother is concerned.However, even the most closest of parent-child relationships can hit a stumbling block where ‘facebook’ is involved.She might be your best friend, but that doesn’t mean you want her to overanalyse your tagged pictures or your ‘slightly’ flirtatious wall posts or comments. Mothers have the tendency to make even the simplest of interactions an emotionally loaded experience.That starts to feel pretty weighty once they have access to your online self 24 hours a day.

I am glad my mum is so tech savvy and a part of my social media. Sometimes, you get the kick in the face that reminds you that your parents, in fact, are human beings with lives of their own. All  my mother wanted was to connect with old friends and keep up with her daughters. And yet the 19-year-old in me wanted to keep her from doing so.However, over the years I have realized, one large aspect of feeling like an independent adult is having the ability to control how much we let people in.When a mother makes that friend request, there is an implicit feeling that the control is slipping from our hand, that our bubble of autonomy is being poked, that the ways we have chosen to be different in some aspects from  them , make our own mistakes and thus blaze our own path, are now being opened to lots of scrutiny and judgement.

In all seriousness, a little tip before I sign off (I am sure most of you already did that: PRIVACY CONTROLS.

I would love to hear about any embarrassing facebook stories you guys want to share.

Toodles

Signing off

xoxo

Knowing Myths and Legends

 It is rightly said by Jean Cocteau, “And history becomes legend and legend becomes history…”

Fiction is written with reality and reality is written with fiction. We can write fiction because there is reality and we can write reality because there is fiction; everything we consider today to be myth and legend, our ancestors believed to be history and everything in our history includes myths and legends. Mind baffling, isn’t it? Not that much. Since a long time I have been fascinated and intrigued by the legends surrounding us and intend to introspect and ascertain the truth behind these legends, often mistook as myths.

In our suddenly realized glory of all our modern-day “advancements” we somehow fail to ask ourselves the question “Who designated myths and legends as unreality?” But I ask myself this often because who the hell decided that he was spectacular enough to stand up and say to our ancestors “You were all stupid and disillusioned and imagining things” and then why did we all decide to believe this person? There are many realities not just one. There is a truth that goes far beyond what we are told today to believe in. And we find that truth when we are brave enough to break away from our conservative, orthodox chains and what keeps everybody else feeling comfortable. Your reality is what you believe in. And nobody should be able to tell you to believe otherwise. Before going any further, let me clarify some things or should I say terminology..

History is a factfile of past events relating to ancient people, their culture, tradition, customs and the various sociopolitical aspects happening from times immemorial.Whereas, legends are primarily based on myths, i.e., half truth and half lie in order to mystify the historical truth. Human nature has certain weaknesses and the most dangerous one is that the superstitious people of olden times were more or less raconteurs and took great interest and joy in mystifying past figures of historical importance. These figures may be their army generals, emperors, kings or spiritual people like prophets and apostles. Gradually, simple people forming the masses would make it their forte to mention the legendary figures with great awe and fascination.Thus there is a difference between what was our history and what are legends!Personally, I believe legends and myths are largely made of truth.

As said by James Christensen, “Does progress mean that we dissolve our ancient myths? If we forget our legends, I fear that we shall close an important door to the imagination?”.

For those of you as amazed by the aura surrounding the Ancient Egyptians as me, I would like to share with you some of the most common myths and misconceptions surrounding Ancient Egypt, which as a matter of fact have been proven to be true and illuminate new areas of their advanced culture.

The ‘curse’ that blighted those who opened the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun was a triumph of media hype and public susceptibility. The myth is that a curse laid by Tutankhamun killed sponsor Lord Carnarvon and other members of the expedition. However later it was proved that he died of an insect bite that became infectious. In his 1939 obituary, the Times points out that Carter, despite being fairly sickly himself, lived long enough to be “the best refutation of the curse.” The curse is a prime example of people’s impulse to believe an exciting story instead of the facts.(P.S: for going into the deeper recesses of king Tut’s gold laden tomb, check out “The Sphinx” by Robin Cook.I bet y’all would be amazed)

Many believe that we have found out everything we can about Ancient Egypt, and that Egyptology is a dead and buried subject. This is simply incorrect. Fascinating discoveries are still being made daily about Ancient Egypt, shedding new light on their civilization. For instance, a “solar boat” is currently being extracted from the Great Pyramid. It is presumed that this solar boat would allow the dead Pharaohs to assist sun-god Ra in his eternal battle with Apep, demon of darkness.

Moving on, there are legends involving ghosts and spirits, and the most popular amongst them is that of the ‘Pontianak’. This is a female demon who entices men by her beauty and then kills them. Unlike Dracula, she derives nothing from killing but some unexplained pleasure. She is said to move only in rural areas. Film-makers capitalized on this legend by producing a series of horror thrillers such as ‘Dracula’ that came out in 1972. The films seem to have distorted the story, thus exaggerating the original legend.

The point about most legends is that they are an inflated, distorted account of incidents that are probably factual. Last week I heard about a highly ridiculous legend from one of my friends while we were studying for our forensic exam. As you all must have heard, many years ago, cases of thefts and molestation of women were being reported increasingly, and the offender was reported to be a very dark man, almost nude and gleaming with oil. He could probably have been an ordinary burglar.. oiled to evade capture. Or he could have assumed this unusual appearance to terrify his victims into subjection. Or he could have tried to convey the impression that supernatural forces were at work.Whatever maybe the reason, the point was that following a few incidents, news spread about a strange being ‘the oily man’.Gradually over the years it became a legend and it was even said that he could appear and disappear at will.

Mermaids have occupied our imagination for thousands of years, originating in ancient Assyria with the legend of goddess Atargatis, whose worship spread to Greece and Rome. In history, mermaids have been connected with hazardous events in European, African and Asian culture, including floods, storms, shipwrecks and drownings. In folklore, mermaids were often associated with bad luck and misfortune. They lured errant sailors off course and even onto rocky shoals, much like their cousins, the sirens  — beautiful, alluring half-bird, half-women who dwelled near rocky cliffs and sung to passing sailors. The sirens would enchant men to steer their ships toward the singing — and the dangerous rocks that were sure to sink them. As a medical student, I would like to make you aware about a condition in humans called ‘Sirenomelia’ or the mermaid syndrome.It is a rare and fatal congenital malformation characterized by fusion of the lower limbs. The condition results in what looks like a single limb, resembling a fish tail, leading some to question whether ancient cases of the condition may have influenced legends of the past. The list of such legends that have been mindlessly shaken off as myths is so long that it would be impossible to cover them in one blog post.

I would love to hear some of the stories you have been told while camping around the fire when you were kids.I am always open to comments and constructive criticism. Please forgive me if I went too long with this craziness( although I am sure some of you must have thought about these too). If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook.

Toodles!

Signing off

xoxo