April 10, 2014

Re-blog: For 20-somethings everywhere!

when i was thirteen, i couldn’t wait to be eighteen.  i thought i’d know it all by then- have all the answers and that prized freedom. and when i was sixteen, i planned to be married by age twenty-three with two kids. i’ll always smile to myself when i think about how time changes things. and when i turned twenty four i made a list of as many goals as i had in years. by my 25th birthday, i’d accomplished them all.
and a funny thing happens about the time you turn twenty.five. people start asking about marriage and kids and houses. and you begin to worry about savings, retirement, and health insurance.  you start spending your money on plates.pots.new tires. short term sacrifices for long term gains, right? and sometimes you start to compare your 25 years with everyone else’s. you wonder if you’re on the right track because it’s different from all the people you’re surrounded by. you start going to your friends’ weddings and buying baby gifts for second birthdays.  and suddenly you realize you’re at the exact age that seemed so far away just five years ago.

i’ve always liked including myself in the 20.something. category.  growing up, but not quite grown up. you’re an adult, but still recognize that you’re part kid. i’ve enjoyed the navigating of adulthood and all of my new first time experiences. a new job. my first ‘grown-up’ paycheck. growth. being old enough to rent a car. but it seems like the older i’ve gotten, the more aware i’ve become of my short-lived stay in the ‘twenties’ and the pressure to fit the mold of all of the rest of the twentyfivers.
i’ve started to think about how easy it is to become controlled by our age. and the expectation of what your age signifies to everyone else. how old you should be by the time you graduate.buy your first house. get married. have kids. start your retirement. suddenly it seems like there are all these benchmarks to meet, even when they don’t match the goals you are trying to reach.
forget molds.
because as easy it is to forget, you’re free to do what you want with your life. the problem is, that can be quite the responsibility, to live your life the way you want to, rather than they way you are expected to. especially if that means taking a big jump. and especially when that jump may feel like a free fall.  maybe quit your first job and go back to school if that feels right. get married or don’t. maybe you drop out of school or chop off your hair. maybe you change your mind. end  a relationship that no longer serves you. become a different person.maybe you move away or move back home. or maybe you’re scared to do these things because it’s uncomfortable and unexpected. maybe it’s because you don’t know if everything would fall into place or you’re scared what that would mean if it did.
and when you’re in your twenties, i hope you buy a plane ticket to paris. i hope you get lost wandering all of the streets. i hope you travel the world and read lots of new books.  i hope you have interesting conversations over warm cups of tea.  i hope you drink out of mason jars while dancing barefoot in the grass. i hope you have a water fight in central park. set goals and change them. quit your day job. i hope you don’t do any of these things or that you do them all.write a book. change your mind. start new friendships and let go of the ones that you need to. say goodbye to all of the things that have kept you stagnant and vow to keep moving forward.
i hope your fifties mean going back to school or starting yoga. i hope your forties include falling in love with someone new- a friend, child, or partner.  i hope you stay up all night laughing with your friends. and when you’re thirty, learn something new. i hope your life is one of wisdom and youth, adventure and old age- no matter what year it was that you were born.
but what i really mean to say is that I hope you aren’t held back because of a number. and that you don’t rush into things because it feels like time is slipping by. i hope you do what’s right for you.   hold on. slow down. and breathe in. your age is your age. but more importantly, your life is your life. don’t change your journey so that it matches someone elses. we need to walk different paths so the whole world can be explored. revel in the differences. and enjoy where you are.
here. right here.

December 22, 2013

I Just Had To: My Metal Journey

At the age of 23, why did I opt to get braces? It all goes back a photo-shoot in Beijing and my struggle to smile right, right in front of the camera. The director insisted on a bigger smile, I had always had issues with my teeth but it was at this moment that I promised myself I would get braces and set things straight, quite literally. With the much uninvited wisdom teeth, my teeth went even more haywire and well by the time I got back in India, I had pretty much set my mind to get braces.

Here is a series of entries taken in the span of ten months. 

Entry: 21st march 2013

I got braces on the upper set of teeth on 22nd February and since, at the time, I was working in a school, I was more than conscious of my image in front of the students and the teachers, not to mention in front of my friends, extended family or boyfriend but above all –myself. I have had at most 2 crooked teeth since I was a child and the dramatic entry of two of my wisdom teeth last year (2012) definitely ruined the alignment of my teeth, so much on the upper set of my teeth that it was hard just to talk/smile. Believe it or not, if you haven’t ever had crooked teeth, you can’t imagine how important it is for a person, or how conscious it can make one, even while just plain old social interaction.
One month in and one extra visit to the dentist about an gum infection- around one of the wisdom tooth which hurt like hell for a couple days: due to not taking your brush and literally shoving it behind your mouth so it cleans out every tooth; the pointy braces and a lot of wax usage, and feeble teeth that eating becomes a struggle. More than one tooth sensitive which can be due to the use of hydroxyl peroxide mouthwash. Up-side: I can finally see a slight change in the front two upper teeth and I am ecstatic! I can’t wait for these to come off!
I went to see my dentist some twenty odd days ago and he tightened the one tooth that needs to be bought down. And this time IT HURT a lot. Why? Because keeping that ‘pulled’ tooth aligned is my front tooth and all the pressure was on it. One night and one day. Took two painkillers.

Entry: 30th April

I have a dentist appointment in a couple days and I won’t lie I’m a bit scared, the one tooth that’s been pushed back needs to be pulled front and I reckon there is a good chance that the dentist might just do the honors in this appointment.

Entry: 24th May

And I am giving up! Got braces on my lower set of teeth too. Officially a metal mouth. It’s chaos in there.

Entry: 28th May

My dentist has now installed a wire in the lower set. Day 0- The painkiller helped keep numb but I still could not bring myself to eat dinner. No chewing, please. Day 1- Ouch. I am avoiding taking a painkiller and its slightly difficult talking even. I am also to travel to China soon, so I asked my dentist if another dentist could tighten my teeth while I’m away. He does not amuse him at all. He would rather keep it passive for two months than to let another doctor touch it. Oh boy.

Entry: 31st may

Too much metal scratching my skin. Damn them extra wires. Can’t even sleep at night, so annoying!

Entry: 8th July

Panic! No, no pain but I will be heading to Beijing soon and I need to find a new dentist! Skeptical about that! Also the next dentist appointment falls on my period date. Damn. ALSO the tooth between the canine and the front tooth is stubborn and not interested to come forward although the dentist did literally pull it forward last time :/ I guess similar treatments to follow. Beautiful life.

Entry: 16th July

Finally!! My teeth on the upper set are now hooked to the same wire. But I have a heavy (more like painful) price to pay. Should’ve taken a painkiller the second day too. Anyway very close to straight teeth bro! So happy.

Entry: 6th August

All my teeth, fixed straight, without any extra wires. I’m all set to travel. I've asked the doc a dozen times if I can get them taken off in November when I’m back and.. Let’s just say, we’ll see how my teeth set.

Entry: 16th September

It’s been a long time I made an entry! I just wanted to fill in about my teeth: they’re straight! Side note: I do avoid colas and coffee and sweets, they seem to irritate my teeth. But pizzas and burgers and sandwiches are on! (My dentist would kill me if he read this) Next entry: after my appointment with my doctor when I’m back in India. Super excited! Completing 8 months of braces this month. (My doc originally agreed to ten months, let’s see if I can push my luck to 9 :D)

Entry: 24th November

I got the impressions for the retainer of my lower set done; going to get them fit next week. Shortly the same procedure will follow for the upper set. Can't to see what my teeth look like without braces!!!!!!

Entry: 5th December
Lower set done, tomorrow is the big day I'm officially going to be off braces. Too excited :) 

Entry: 6th December

October 24, 2013

"This is it, this is us."

My heart was racing, I could feel it’s every beat. After the couple months we had, tension had found home in my body. As I put the phone down, I couldn't believe what Raman had just told me. It was over. The war between the families was at its peak and sadly its effects were catching up to us, and our wedding. I don’t know about other countries but an Indian wedding can be so unnerving and I was subconsciously prepared for this feud ever since I got to know my family, ever since I started dreaming of my wedding. After my mom passed away, my dad financially supported us but we never could build the kind of relationship I dreamt of. I consider him a rigid man, suspicious and sometimes even illogical. Nothing could have been taken easy; everything would turn into an issue. My soon to be in-laws proved nothing easy either.

People don’t give enough emphasis to the importance of skills required to deal with people, especially when those people don’t approve of a Love marriage. Raman’s brief call wasn't even close to the comfort I longed for at this point. He wanted to meet. And my heart couldn't keep up with the piece of news he had just conveyed. I wanted to see him as soon as I could. I rushed to my room, looking for my keys. This day! Really?! I couldn't believe my luck! I searched for over half hour, rushing through every cabinet, every drawer of my room. In one of the last drawers my eyes caught a glimpse of the corny yet priceless platinum heart-shaped pendant on the necklace Raman had gotten me for our 5-year anniversary. All the fights, all the arguments, all of the work we put in ourselves and each other to get us to this stage in our lives was… so heavy, and nonetheless I felt like everything had happened in my life exactly the way it did to bring me to this moment, to bring me to him. This pendent was more than a piece of jewelry, more than an accessory... It was our whole journey. 

Driving to our favorite coffee place, I couldn't think, I was blank! I could not contain my curiosity anymore, so much that I was starting to imagine the worst scenario. My head was either flooded with a thousand thoughts at once or none at all. I just had to see him right at this very moment. 

I got out of my car, there he was, the Love of my life holding a small box in his hands. Oh my god, I thought to myself. Have I ever wanted anything more than this moment? He flipped the box open, and there it was.
After years of getting to know me, Raman didn't forget my love for Platinum. My very own Platinum ring, signifying my importance in his life, signifying us as a couple. I can never forget the words which followed “Babe, this is it, this is us.” My eyes filled with tears, I could not believe how lucky I was to have found myself this amazing man.Truly, my Platinum Day of Love

October 18, 2013

Total Happiness!

What does anyone want in life? Happiness. But what is happiness?

Here are the following few top moments in life that scream happiness. Do share your moments of happiness in the comment section below.

1. Coming Back Home

A country, a city, this could be any place you think you belong. It’s great to finally feel like you belong somewhere. Some people spend their whole life searching for a place to call home. Studying or working in a foreign country can be a refreshing experience but there’s nothing like coming back to your home country, your home, to your streets.

2. Growing Old With Someone You Love

It is The Dream to finally meet someone that you decide to spend the rest of your life with. This can even be a group of people, close friends from school, college or just the people you happen to meet along on this journey called life.

3. The Unconditional Love From Your Pets

You are their whole world! They’re waiting for you to get home, they wait for you sit in front of the couch only so they could sit beside your feet, near you, curl up on you. People with pets have an unsaid connection and its one with its foundation based on rare unconditional Love.

4. Make Your Family Proud

Nothing like standing up proud and even more, being a reason your family stands proud because of you. Making your name in the world is one of the greatest satisfactions one can experience in life.

5. Shopping With Your Own Money

Also nothing like shopping with your own hard earned cash. Nobody to stop you, nothing for you to feel guilty about. You want to buy 10 pairs of shoes? You go right ahead. I did.

6. Making Memories

I cannot emphasize enough on this point. Living life with no regrets comes from making conscious choices. In turn you build yourself a life, attracting only the things you love and want around. Which comes down to making memories. I can even include traveling the world here; I've always felt it is that one thing we must do as much as we can. After all it’s only life and so much out there to see.

 [All images from Flickr]

October 7, 2013

Guest Blog: Yes, It's Me Again, Love.

What is the best thing about being in a relationship?

The reason why I ask this is because most days, people - and this constitutes both single and committed people - complain and whine and bother with little day-to-day problems or adjustments to a new person in their lives. Don't get me wrong- everybody who's ever been in love, or even been attracted to someone new, knows just how good that new feeling is. You've got someone new to tell your stories too, and you become interested in that special someone's life as well. So, yes, that feeling is truly amazing.

The first reason being the most basic- human beings are not meant to be alone. We are social creatures. 
Another closely connected reason would be- That everyone has a story to tell. 
Everyone is the lead actor of their own life, and not everyone wants to hear about yours. Except your 'special someone'. I never underestimate the power of sharing, and for some people its not that easy to share. But when you have that one person you can text or call, whether rain or shine, it just gives more meaning to life. In my country there's a saying- 'happiness is multiplied, and sadness is divided, when you share with others.' (Yes that's a maths pun)
When you truly fall in love with someone, you fall in love with yourself.
However, most days, its about why you showed up at 5:30 if we were suppose to meet at 5, why you read my text (thanks a lot Whatsapp BBM and all other new technology) and didn't reply almost immediately, or who's calling you at this hour. Of course at the time, these issues seem frustrating and annoying and for some people, like me, make you doubt why you're with this person to begin with. I think the root cause of such frustration is that if you're willing to adjust with someone, why can't they. (I think every individual secretly thinks that they've done more for the relationship. Shh!)

So why do we knowingly enter relationships, knowing that the initial fuzzy feeling is bound to eventually get lost in the frustration and long ass arguments of who should have called first. Well, I have a few theories about that.

This is not limited to your 'special someone'. I think everyone, at any given moment, is missing someone or the other. It can be parents, siblings, best friends, long lost cousins, grandparents, exes (this usually comes in your intoxicated state).. the list is very long. Its just human nature, and boy does it SUCK.

There are many other reasons as to what is the best part about being in a relationship. It could be emotional support, physical satisfaction, psychological well-being or all of the above.
For me, the best part about being in a relationship is Being In Love.

Love, again, is different for different people. But I believe the true-st form of love is when it makes YOU a better person. Its not about 'is he thinking about me right now' or 'does she really love me'  (well, not always). Its about being more happy, comfortable, and at peace with YOURSELF. Even if you're having a bad hair day or you woke up on the wrong side of bed. 
Obviously, no one is at all times satisfied with everything about them. Some people are prone to more self-doubt than others. But I think the healthiest relationships are those in which if you momentarily fall out of love with yourself, there's always your 'special someone' to remind you why you are their SPECIAL someone. 
And that's just something everyone deserves.

Oh and if you were looking for a solution to those little day-to-day problems that every two people on this planet have, take a moment to remember that they are just that. Little. And sometimes you have to see that your 'special someone' is not fighting with you, they're fighting for you. 
And I believe that that's worth holding on to.


September 28, 2013

Love.. Love.. Love.Love.Love.

Love. Oh and the hype surrounding it.

The one topic on which endless books, series, movies and articles are based on. But nonetheless, there seems to be no end to Love. It sure does start off early in life but never really dims out. It was here yesterday, it’s here today, and I have a strong feeling it’s going to be here tomorrow.

After years of watching people fall in love, my fair share of failed relationships, I speak from experience when I say: You can be with a person for a few months, years and even decades but I reckon Love is always as fragile as it can be.

Our first crush in school, our first love and that one true love. All of which could be one person or all different. In school, we’re so into the idea of love, of a girlfriend/ boyfriend. While most of us act like we know what Love mean, some of us still run away from it. After years of this comes the big moment in your life that you don’t even realize it’s happened yet you have. It’s the moment you meet the one person who defines in the simplest way what Love actually means and how it feels to Love. Love in it's true self. It feels surreal.

A relationship with anyone, leave alone with your lover, is a constant push and pull. Some harder to maintain than others. This one, with the lover, isn’t anywhere easy. We all have lines drawn, we are all so different. How does a person smoothly sync with another?

A constant battle, but with simple rules; Love is fragile. And it always will be.

The only way you can be certain that yours is that one relationship that will work out is if both of you are willing to work on it endlessly. And this is the commitment people sing about. Dedication to that one person so special - you are willing to share your life with. 

Watch out for "Love in Beijing" coming soon on http://prachipreaches.blogspot.in

September 7, 2013

Guest Blog: Life As We Know It

They say that whatever happens, happens for a reason and we might not see it right now but later we’ll understand why. I was a big believer of this or maybe I still am. If things don’t have to work out then why do we feel so right about it? Life can be confusing yet so simple.

Some nights I would play all my life experiences in my head and think to myself if I could have done it any differently, would I be happy today? Or is it supposed to go this way?

Have met so many different kind of people in my life, some made a difference, some were just there. Some taught that one should live their life their own way, life is too short right? Then why not make the most of it. Why not live each day as it’s our very last on this earth. What if tomorrow we die and leave filled with regrets. But then what about the society will they let us live our lives or will they make it hard for us to survive in this neighborhood. It’s funny how people who question us are the ones doing their own thing not caring about the world. Then why is it that they won’t give up the opportunity of telling us what to do, how to live?

Some people taught me it’s good to be practical with things after all we do live in a practical world right, doesn’t work if you’re breaking all the rules of life.  People will like you if you like yourself, what’s the point of telling everyone you are a good person if you yourself don’t believe it. 

A simple motto of life – SMILE. Things aren’t always going to go your way, maybe not immediately, maybe with time they will. Always be happy with what you have. There are many who don’t even have that. Live life as it comes. Make the most of it. Smile and make the people you love smile with you. Life is too short. Why waste time in thinking what life would be like if things were different. It might be wonderful if it’s different. Well reality check it’s not!

I have learned a lot of things over the years about love, we know its love when we can’t wait to see the other person and just sit with him/her and talk. When we would smile so much that our jaw hurts. When the only thing we’ll need is for the person to kiss our forehead and know everything will be alright. When the only thing he/she wants in life is the person to be next to them. I still believe there is one for everybody. It’s just about patience.

So let’s live each day as it comes and try to find something positive in ourselves and in things around us every day. Let us smile, hope, laugh and celebrate life.

Good day!

- Riya Sundaran

August 6, 2013

Last Minute Entry

Here I am. And here is tomorrow. Leaving tomorrow night for Beijing. I have been religiously going to the bank for roughly a month now and yet again, tomorrow will be another bank day. Yes. More last minute crap to deal with. Bua and my cousin Ila are still here. As if there wasn't enough going on in KD 16. I am sitting at the dentist office, my feet drenched from muddy water. Came here straight from the CA's office, and guess what I'm going there again tomorrow. Read another email from the cray that are dad's emails. My relationship is going down the drain. Life is not really a friend right now, more of a bully. All I'm hoping for is the right direction. I don't want to waste another minute doing what I'm not suppose to. I want to feel connected to the world. I want to feel acceptance and appreciated.

July 27, 2013

The Few Things People Will Remember You For

What you see and feel are the two most important specifications in ultimately coming to a conclusion about having an opinion of someone. And by that I mean, like it or not, appearance is vital. Everyone endorses themselves. 
Even from the very beginning, for example, from the moment you are born- you are categorized to whom, which side you resemble, you parent’s friends will compliment on your looks almost every time they see you, to the very first day of school where you will most definitely be judged and again, categorized as a fat/skinny/cute/pretty/not-so-pretty kid. I’m not even going to include how important looks are to most, if not all, adolescents in high school and how you create an image for yourself along the years covering college, post college and I’m just going to go ahead and insert the rest of your natural born life here<>.

What comes along your appearance is your personality (which is a crazy broad term). This also includes how honest of a person you are. A majority of people undermine this quality and its significance but it happens to be one that distinguishes you from a worthy person from a person nobody really wants to care about or should even bother to care about. Life is nothing but a bunch of circumstances and a bunch of choices you make. 
Whether you like it or not, in your last years of life you will think back to all the situations, where you had the choice to take the high road or for some selfish/low reason choose to lie. These entire scenarios sort of sum up the kind of person you are, what choices you made in the heat of the moment.
And honesty isn't the only quality that I’m going to advertise. The significance of morals is almost non-existent; to the extent a huge majority of the young generation don’t even count having morals. Many qualities come under the same category like kindness and generosity. 

Are we giving enough space to these qualities in our lives?

Here’s where I feel a bit of frustration. I am all for striving for goals and being ambitious but WHAT IS UP with people being seduced by the other person’s experience? I mean it’s almost as if I’m just sitting here waiting for someone to tell me a story and the next thing you know, I WANT/I JUST HAVE to do the same thing. It’s like my dream now. I just don’t understand why people can’t have their personal wants of certain experiences and why they would crave to have the others. I find this whole scenario quite ugly. I have never been the kind of person to be jealous or suddenly want to have something the other person does. 

My question is: Is it really that hard to be content? Or are we just making it look like that?

I think being content is not a bad thing. Who says you need to give up on striving for more? That’s not what content means to me. It means I’m happy with what I have right now and I’m doing great, I feel great and I’m looking forward to better, always.

There is this quote somewhere about being selfish in your 20s and I don’t entirely agree with it. I think people need to find a balance between being selfish and giving throughout their lives. At any given point a person should be able to do things that make them feel good about themselves. But this doesn't mean disregard to other things.

It won’t hurt to see people a little more content, a little more honest, or even a little more original. Makes you wonder, what’s next for the future generation.

July 18, 2013

Love Interpretation: Time Capsule

It’s the Age Old Question: What is Love
So here it is, a little Blog Project, consisting of a bunch of definitions I collected from my friends via Facebook. These definitions will be inscribed in this blog for TEN whole years after which I will ask these same people what Love means to them, AGAIN, only to discover how much of their previous and current understanding of Love differs over time. 

Here’s to Love, and how its significance changes in our lives from time to time.

  • Date Today  : 18th July 2013
  • Next Update : July 2023

Erzs├ębet Szab├│
Love for me is when u can't wait to see the other one. Think about that person a lot, or if you're already together and something happens, that person is the first one who comes into mind. And if we are not together I wish that person to be happy even with someone else.

LOVE:Your significant other is an extension of you and you of him. Love is nothing but threads that unite us as one,and we are the needles that control those threads. The reason relationships don't work is when those needles don't sew together....

Riya Sundaran
Love is a two way street.

Risha Tyagi
Love is dependence, attraction, a way to entertain time. Part of life.

Richa Kharbanda
Love- in one word is an ehsaas, though undesirable but yet many thesis are written on it. Its the completeness with oneself without a desire to achieve or hurt. Its a pleasurable sacrifice without selfishness if it is true love; context applied for all relationships in the world.

Ankit Supertramp
I don't know what it means. It probably doesn't exist. If it does exist, a lot of us (especially people younger than 25) haven't felt it. That's mostly hormones. Our need for another person isn't different from how animals feel about their respective mates. A lot of it is reproductive instinct. If it does, it's not going to be like a film or a "classic" romantic story. But a lot more practical and in so many ways much more magical.

Sharan Ahluwalia
Love is god, Only exists for people who believe in it. Some claim to see it while some dismiss it. And some are angry with it. I on the other hand, have turned into an atheist , over the years. My beliefs turned into ousted ideology, that is love.

Raie Mahapatra
I can explain it in 2 ways  
1. You and Me
2. Powerless yet Powerful

Zuki Juno Tobgye
Love is when you use your own sleeve to wipe your loved ones nose.

Reva Ryanna Mahapatra
Love is when you look into that person's eyes and fall in love all over again and wanting to wake up like that for 556 years and love is undefinable.

Mahi Gurjral Chopra
Love has no boundaries and is infinite +1

Kshitij Kokas ‏
Love is being able to talk without inhibitions and listen without judging. And its a two-way thing.

Sugana Banerjee
Fact is I don't understand love and I have no intentions of understanding it either. To me, Love just is. Either you love or you don't. And one doesn't need a reason to love someone either. Love should be effortless. If someone needs a reason to love, respect or care or someone is pushing/pining for love...then is that 'love' to begin with? There are many a thing about love, that perplexes me. For instance, I don't understand how one can love someone today and move on to the 'next' tomorrow? or where does 'dependency' ends and love begins? or how does one fall out of love in split of a second? Truth be told, as I grow older, my faith in love glows dimmer. But when I look around and see my parents or some of my friends, who were fortunate enough to love and be loved, there's still a part of me that would 'love' to believe in love.