Yoga for the body & Soul

Sounds pretty amazing doesn’t it? Like this post is going to be full of nourishing thoughts and meditative practices. From the chanting of om to pranayam to downward dogs and suryanamaskars – isn’t it absolutely joyous?

Except chanting om makes me realise just how out of sync I am with the rest of the class. Downward dogs end up with me clutching my shoulder which doesn’t quite extend, and suryanamaskars are the cardio that will be the end of us all.

Ok wait, let’s start again. I actually do like yoga. I’m just not very good at it.

I’ve had a long term love-hate relationship with exercise. I actually do enjoy gymming – and it was pretty helpful initially to lose the baby fat and get a little stronger. But then in college I hurt my knee. And later on my way to work I promptly fell on my ass and broke it, literally. So exercise came to a full stop. I gained weight with happiness. I lost weight to the point of looking the hottest I ever have (thanks to the borderline depression I was struggling with). And eventually gained it all again (and some more). And while I was so busy struggling with the needle on the weighing machine, I completely forgot about simple things like fitness. And this thing called strength, which my body no longer recognises. And while you can get away with that throughout your 20s, the moment you hit 30 your body literally looks at you with resignation and says, “I think it’s time to learn the consequences, baby.”

Yeah, karma sucks.

It’s like the 30s are the multitude of all the hangovers you avoided in your 20s, all mushed together into this one giant big ball of weird shit that can happen to your body and suddenly dumped right on your head, only a little worse. And so you realise, it’s time to take your body seriously.

2019 I struggled with the gym – which even though I went to regularly my body refused to respond to. I also dabbled in trying every permutation-combination of other things my body was protesting against (read: alcohol). I ran against the weighing scale needle. All to no avail.

So 2020 is the year of detox. Forced detox, to be truthful, but I’m just so tired of trying to get my body to listen to me, I figured it’s time I start listening to my body.

So while I struggle with my locked shoulder in my lopsided downward dog, I talk sweetly to my shoulder and say, don’t worry, you’ll get there, take your time.

Or I try hanging upside down and promptly fall sick the next day.

Yeah, baby steps, I’ll get this detox right.


I was raised to be a phattu.

Urban Dictionary defines phattu as someone who is easily frightened. They also go ahead to say it’s someone who has miniscule or no balls, but apart from being supposedly offensive that’s also completely riling up the feminist in me. So I’m just going to let that one go.

Also, my original title for this piece was ‘Indians are raised to be phattus’, but frankly I was scared I’d get blacklisted for saying anything against the citizens of my country (like that doesn’t happen all the time here). Also, if being a millennial teaches you anything, it’s to not generalise things, right?

Right. So coming back to me. (Duh, my blog). Now, I was raised in a family with highly logical people. Logical to the extent, that every situation of our lives is first analysed in our heads, every worst case scenario thought of, and only then do we make our decision. Optimists? Pffttt. Of course not. This makes us realists at best, pessimists more often than not. Mostly with good reason – we’ve been through enough shit that now we all have our shit radars up – all the damned time. I mean, of course you can go ahead and quote The Secret to me about how positive thinking will get positive things to you, but really, when you end up with jaundice on your wedding (ask my sis), or chicken pox in Europe (yours truly), you tend to start overthinking things quite naturally. In fact, I’m almost convinced that if we trace our lineage back a few generations, we might find Mr. Murphy was my great grand uncle or something. (Murphy’s law? Really? You have no clue what I’m talking about? How young are you?!)

Ever since I remember, I’ve been warned about things around me. The food, the environment, the people. In some ways this is perfectly fine, I mean I’ve spent most of my life in Delhi, with extreme weather conditions and extreme human behaviour. If you aren’t careful, well, our family doesn’t like to depend on our luck you know. It’s how you survive.

Except this sticks to you your entire life. I can’t have a pani-puri today without saying a little prayer that I don’t end up sick after it. My Uber ride details are ALWAYS shared. I’m constantly in touch if I’m out at night. I drink enough water to fill a water tank on most days. When I hang upside down in yoga, I’m calculating all the ways in which things can go wrong. I also still run back to my room after switching off lights in the house, because, you know, we’ve all seen too many horror movies, and you always see a ghost when it’s dark.

And then recently I told my parents about a bit of a solo trip I’ve planned. And of course there are concerns. And yes, I’ve gone through my teenage phase of rebelling against what my parents want – but I’m telling you guys, it sticks to your bones, and the older you get, the more it starts mattering what your parents think. I almost miss my teenage years when I wouldn’t have thought twice because it’s something I believe in. So now I’m sitting with a sinking fear inside me. Because, you know, the world out there is a big bad place, and I’m about to travel alone in it.

So what if the whole world does it, including more than enough women I know (my closest friend does it so often that I shouldn’t even be thinking twice about it). So what if I’ve spent my life in Delhi & Mumbai – which don’t exactly have the best crime statistics. So what if I’ve actually lived alone for quite some bit of my life. Guys, now I’m scared.

But, everything is booked, so, worst case, you’ll find me cowering in my hostel in a foreign country, too scared to go out.

But then I’ll probably remember the movie Hostel.

Yup, I’m doomed.

P.S. I was generalising this to Indians from a recent discussion I had with my cousins in New York. About how everyone around them would take off for a weekend to ‘get away from it all’ to a nondescript tiny farmhouse in the middle of absolutely nowhere. But to all of us, it just sounded like the starting plot of every Ram Gopal Verma film ever. But then again, maybe it’s just a family thing, you know?

You know you’re in your 30s when…

If there’s one advantage of being in your 30s, I’d say it’s the fact that you finally run out of fucks to give to a lot of things in life. I mean you’ve already spent your 20s trying to figure out how you look, making sure you have the latest stilettos, dancing into the night in those said stilettos even though they completely make your feet feel like they’re about to die and fall off and…you get the drift.

30s on the other hand come with years of tried and tested things, and simply, not giving a damn. I mean, there are real life issues to deal with now. But that’s another post for another time.

But here are some things that have definitely changed in the last few years of my life:

  1. I no longer pretend to like music. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike music. I’m just…indifferent to it. Like if we were attacked by aliens tomorrow which caused music to disappear from this world, I probably won’t even notice. But this piece of information is met with such wide open mouths and many more not so innocent reactions – What! How can you not like music?! How do you even live?! Well…quite peacefully. And without the added pressure of keeping up with the latest releases, thank you very much.
  2. I no longer pretend to like people. Life’s just too short. I mean, you’d never catch me dead saying YOLO and all, but it definitely takes too much effort to be around people that don’t make you feel like your best self. It just isn’t worth it.
  3. I try not to bother being conscious about not making conversation. Some of this flows from point no. 2. But mostly it’s just because of the introvert that I am. I’m not bad at one-on-one conversations, but put me in the middle of a big group of people, most of whom know each other better than they know me – and well, I clam up. And I really don’t mind it. If I can’t really be myself, then I prefer just not…being. And while this point is still something I’m struggling with (They must think I’m so boring… Why am I not talking… Should I say this? Do they think I’m a weirdo for just being here and not contributing to the conversation?), I feel like I’m closer to just accepting things, and being okay with it. I’m an introvert. Go deal with it.
  4. Flat shoes and comfortable clothes. Yup. Enough said.
  5. I don’t need to be high to be cool. Or to speak my mind. Or dance. Or hit on that boy (the last point might be an issue with my husband, but you know, I mean if I had to hit on a boy…). So this realisation was thrust on me even when I didn’t ask for it. With my body suddenly rejecting alcohol and anything else. So I’m learning this the hard way. And then realising, what was I even thinking?! It’s okay to enjoy an evening without that impending hangover.
  6. You realise it’s okay to spend your entire weekend in bed, and just smile when a 20-something asks you – so what did you do this weekend? Nothing, absolutely nothing. And it was bliss, kid.
  7. I no longer do things that I don’t want to. Except when it’s a family thing. Because Indian families…well that’s a completely different ball game. I’m not sure I’ll be free of some of those traditions or obligations anytime during this lifetime. And they definitely don’t give a fuck if you’re in 30s. Trust me, I know.

On the other hand, it’s Monday morning, and that’s one thing that hasn’t gotten any better with the 30s. 40s, maybe?

Hello Again – Blogging World!

For someone who technically started blogging more than fifteen years ago, it’s almost comical how overwhelming this is now. It really, really shouldn’t be. There was a time when my friends had told me I didn’t have the gift of gab, but the curse of gab, given how much I could talk non-stop. And that actually gave rise to my first blog to begin with.

It was a beautiful feeling, blogging you know. It suddenly gave me a platform to just vomit out everything I was thinking and feeling, no filters involved. And I wrote, a lot.

Of course life moved on, full of break-ups and setbacks, but if anything, it gave me even more fodder for my blogs. I’d like to believe I was funny, or at least confident of my writing if nothing else. And then, suddenly one day, I had the desire to leave it all behind, the tiny number of followers (100+ was a lot to me at the time), and start a new blog altogether, sappy lovey headline et all. Even though I left it in between, I tried, I really did (please believe me?) to come back to it every now and then. But now just the title of it embarrasses me. And that’s where all the trouble really started, I think.

Not sure how it started, maybe when I suddenly surrounded myself with popular writers rather than regular people, but suddenly I started caring what people thought of me. Now this might not sound like a big deal to you, but anyone who knows me knows just how little I’ve usually cared about other peoples’ opinions of me – even when it’s landed me in a lot of trouble. So this, this sudden caring, is new. And not something I’ve still gotten used to. Because you see, caring comes with a lot of heavy baggage that at best weighs you down and at worst, drowns you brutally.

What I wrote started to become tuned to Instagram – the character limits, the mode, the image of yourself you want your followers to see. The type of writing was suddenly full of thoughts of would this be considered good enough? What would they think of me at work? Will I ever seriously be considered a writer, or will I always just be a wannabe, never really good enough. Is my poetry strong enough? Does it impact people? Will I get followers from this piece?

Ugh. When did I become about followers?

When did my selfishness turn into so much self-consciousness?

So what I ended up being faced with was months of the worst writers block in my history of writers blocks. It’s still going on. And not the best time, given that I’m in the middle of re-writing my novel (but that’s another long story for another long post some time).

But that said, I figured something had to be done. I had to somehow manage to go back to my old self, irrespective of what this world thinks is trending at the moment.

Yes, I know nobody really clicks on links anymore, and blogs are a dying medium.

Yes, I know I don’t have swipe-ups on my IG.

Yes, I know that I’ll probably be the only one to ever read this.

But you see, I’m kinda counting on that this time. Because I just want to write, and not give a shit about what you think of it, or of me.

I just want to spend time, and find myself again.

So, here goes.