Nostalgia: Fruit Beer, Keventers, and Good Ol’ New Year Celebrations

I had a decent childhood. I was bullied by some people, I bullied some people; I did good at studies, I didn’t go through any major heart breaks; I made friends, I lost friends. Years just went by. No drama happened. But sometimes, I feel, may be, I have forgotten few things of the past – of kindergarten, of teenage, of school. But, I don’t regret my poor memory as what remains with me is a warm feeling that ‘all that ended well must have gone well too’! However, certain incidents in 2018 brought back some childhood nostalgia. If you are wondering what, here is the list: visit to an ophthalmologist, too many party invitations for 2019 in advance, the sight of a teenager enjoying fruit beer, and a bottle of Keventers milkshake at a friend’s place.

So, while sitting in an eye hospital for over 5 hours and with dilated vision, I got reminded of how my grandfather had accompanied me for my first ever visit to an ophthalmologist and how excited I was after he prescribed glasses for my barely myopic eyes. Well,  for the uninitiated, I was a nerd — so, you shouldn’t be surprised at my reaction. But a decade and a half later, I saw an ophthalmologist again to see if I can get the glasses off my face. Somehow, I feel this whole journey of un-nerding (I can’t get a better word for my feelings) is crucial for my adult-ing process and with this, a part of my childhood would be gone forever.


The second item in my list leaves me nostalgic and craving for solitude AF! So, even before 2019 officially rings in, I  have invitations for new year parties! As a teenager, my standard response to any such invitation I received was, “My parents won’t allow me to attend the party!” My poor parents, most of the times, didn’t even know I was invited to these parties.  But you know, this response works beautifully when you are a teenager. People pity you, you are not asked too many questions, and sometimes you even get a piece of the cake from the party (saved for you) the next day. I used this excuse almost till it’s expiry date — yes, till the day I got married. I considered using  “My husband won’t allow…!” excuse a few times, but then, I know, if I really use it, I will be out-casted from my circle in no time. But then the INTJ within me still prefers sitting in pajamas and watching the Bollywood award nights on television over partying with real people on the new year eve. You see, watching award nights on television allows me to sip soda, not speak a single word for rest of the night, and still (virtually) be in the company of coolest people from B-Town! But 2018 has taught me, declining invitations as an adult comes with a lot of baggage and unwanted social commentary. And the very feeling leaves me nauseous, nervous, and nostalgic AF!  I want to un-adult at the very thought! Arrghhh!

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The last two things: Fruit Beer and Keventers Milkshake are feelings (not things) that I will never shake off to pretend I am an adult. 2018 was the year when these two came back to me in unexpected moments. The other day, in Ahmedabad, I saw a girl sipping fruit beer as if it was the coolest stuff to do ever. Looking at her, I went back in time. And I did something that is very uncharacteristic of me. I walked up to the girl and said, “Trust me it’s better than the real one”. While she looked at me in amazement, I knew I have killed the Cool-berg versus Budweiser debate in my head forever. AND I KNOW, I am saying this at the cost of sounding super uncool.


And now coming to Keventers Milkshake: I don’t know how many of you remember the softies/milkshakes from Keventers near Janpath in Delhi. It used to be the coolest after-shopping experience for me as a teenager. While a lot has changed in life in the meanwhile, the feel of Keventers remains the same.


Exactly like how I am an officially an adult, but something inside me still remains unchanged: the feel of childhood in the absence of the memories! Ahan!


Don’t be an Angrez copy cat ya!

Oh! Let me begin with a disclaimer. I’ll try to not make this post a feminist rant. But the catch is, I know nothing better. As I can’t kick the shit out of the misogynist folks around me, I write the shit out of them. Accept that after all I am a flawed human, very much as you are. Writers are not necessarily good human beings as most of you assume. Most writers live with their own demons — in my case, my demon is my hatred for copy-cat misogynist wanna-be Angrez folks. You know the ones who don’t know the difference between a duchess and a countess, but would love to have English breakfast too often too much! Yeah, you gotcha — that kinds.


I mean, the desi daal-chawal kind that I am, c’mon, I don’t know too much about British royalty. Though I am neck deep into a lifestyle that’s a cheap replica of the royalty, I prefer remaining a ‘commoner’. It appeals more to my middle-class, hardworking mentality, I guess. But, somehow, from the little I know and the little-st I can comprehend about the British royal family, I love Princess Margaret and Diana, the Princess of Wales, more than the Princess Royal, Anne, and may be even the queen. The rebel streak in Princess Di, which kicked the memsahib out of the royal culture, makes me like her a little more than Queen, Margaret, Anne, Catherine, and Meghan — all combined. You know, Princess Di was as much a lady in a pair of jeans as she was in a beautiful evening gown. While it might come as an utter surprise to many copy-cat misogynist wanna-be Angrez folks around me, Princess Di never draped a saree in her life – yet she was termed as one of the finest ladies the British royalty has ever seen. So, fact-check, “Saree – Chiffon, Cotton, or Silk – is just a garment, not a cover for your uncouthness”.

Anyway, let’s leave the British royalty aside for a while. Many of you know that I make a living out of writing some technical mumbo-jumbo. 8 years into writing the mumbo-jumbo, I have learned (or learnt) little bit of Angrezi (ah! unfortunately, not the UK one). So, now with this little learning, I am a little too sensitive about how I am addressed in this language. For example, if you are not my boss and you tell me you NEED some information from me, trust me, I am going to turn a deaf ear to your COMMAND until you REQUEST. But the copy-cat misogynist wanna-be Angrez folks living in a pseudo monarchy often forget the humble mannerism that British brought along with their language. They ORDER too often and too much. Though the inspiration I draw from Princess Di encourages me to blow the lid off their half-baked stupidity (yeah, even that’s bloody half baked), I resort to sarcasm because who the hell wants to mud-sling with pigs!


The other thing that irks me today and too often is the class superiority. When someone says — “People beneath me, thy welfare i shalt doth”, I want to shake them up and say, “Vraiment madame? Do a favor to your life first. First learneth a few things f’r thyself!” But then, I am too busy learning for myself. You see, life is short and there is too little time to multi-task, anyway! Taking care of the well-being of others is a little too down on my priority list for this lifetime.

But as most rant must conclude, here is how I wrap it — “Liveth and alloweth leaveth, prithee”! While in modern English, it might translate to “Live and Let Live”, I intend the urban slang version of it, which would roughly translate to, “You wipe your shit, I’ll wipe mine. Thank You.”

How The ‘Superwoman Syndrome’ Is Making Millennial Working Women Suffer

I really don’t know when I first realized that it is not really normal to be restless about not being able to finish some 24 tasks from my 24-hours checklist. One thing I’m sure about is that this is certainly not an inherited condition.

I remember my parents to be two successful professionals who were simply mom and dad at home. Mom did cook. She actively participated in our education, and she also went to work. I don’t know whether she was aiming to be a perfect mother, a perfect wife, or a perfect teacher, or if she let go of a few of her dreams and aspirations to be able to manage regular things better. I don’t remember anymore if she missed any of my Parents-Teachers Meet (PTM) or skipped any of my school’s annual functions. I don’t remember her making up for the missed meetings or functions either, by buying me expensive gifts or giving into my illogical teenage demands.

So, yeah, this ‘superwoman syndrome’ is my own creation – certainly not passed on in heredity.

The superwoman syndrome

You might think, this ‘superwoman syndrome’ is a result of my huge career-related ambitions. But nah! I am not very ambitious professionally. I love my work, but I have deliberately not been a part of the cut-throat corporate politics that possibly could have landed me in a better designation than I am in, currently. Also, trust me, while many women around me won’t admit – the ‘superwoman syndrome’ is an issue all working millennial women are coping with at varying degrees, obviously. So, yeah, what brought us all here? Let’s get to that in some time.

You see, this syndrome manifests in different ways for different women, but for the sake of generalising it, let me give you a few simple, generic, almost-applicable-to-all examples.

The ‘perfect wife’ to be…

I was sitting at an informal ladies’ gathering, a bunch of women married to officers at different levels of seniority (you may think of it a family gathering of people from different age groups), when a woman in her 40s, a senior officer’s wife, passed a flying remark about how women shouldn’t bother their husbands with domestic stress.

She went on and on about how the poor husbands slog in office the entire day, and wish to see their wives all decked up and fresh when they come back home tired. And I immediately thought of how, very often, I travel back home after a 6-hours gruelling journey and a whole day’s work & meetings in a different city, my hair tied in a messy bun and my heart in a state to explode verbally at even the slightest amount of chaos at home. My poor husband, I thought – you see, women like me are not even close to becoming those perfect wives who always have a smile on their face. Sadly, I have not really seen any such woman around me, but according to madame-senior-officer-wife, being perfect is (hypothetically) possible!

…and the ‘imperfect wife’ in me

Not going too far from domestic responsibilities again, I don’t remember packing a ‘dabba’ for my husband even once in 3-years of my marriage. I am not a great cook. Both of us have very different tastes when it comes to food. So, I mostly don’t bother cooking at home.

But then, I have heard a few women going on and on about how they have kept their husband in control and interested in them by serving them 3-course meal of their choice every day.  In control? Interested? I wonder if I missed out some home science lectures at college.

Ah, the joys of motherhood!

Then, the third and the most irritating one is the lecture on reproduction, fertility, and joys of motherhood. Trust me, I love kids. I also don’t have anything against motherhood. What I absolutely hate is, when other women poke their nose into my ovaries to sniff whether I am on pills or I am infertile. The very simple fact that sometimes biological and career clocks are not in sync, and some women like me make a choice to either push motherhood to a later time or forever is very difficult for self-proclaimed perfect women to comprehend.

Ah, and it doesn’t stop here, woman who have popped out kids but have to leave them at home when on business tours, are reprimanded too. How can one leave their kid for business! How often do they ask the men the same question?

At work, thankfully, gender discrimination is almost non-existent, at least where I work. Men and women have the same set of responsibilities. Then, why do millennial men not suffer from ‘superman syndrome’?

I relooked at my 24 tasks from my 24-hours checklist again to see where probably I am slacking. They are so many wishful tasks in my list, I wondered. While I rebuffed the idea of being able to cook, reproduce immediately, keep the laundry bag at home always empty, and have a smile pasted on my face permanently – somewhere these thoughts from fellow women made me feel I am not doing enough.

Time and again, the image of this superwoman with 6 hands cooking, cleaning, writing an email at the same time wakes me up from my dreams. You know, how in school, boys and girls were inspired to become all-rounders? Very much like that! Somehow, men defined the bro-code to be non-judgmental about another man’s capability of nurturing their home, but we, women, couldn’t unlearn the idea of becoming Mrs-be-it-all! While, none of us can practically be able to do it all, without some trade-offs, but we all wish that we could!

Dear Swara, let’s keep army out of this liberal-fanatic debate!

Dear Swara,

I have always considered myself to be a liberal. As a journalism student, it was natural for me to have an inclination toward freedom of speech and expression. Growing up, for a long, long time, I identified myself with what people call ‘left-wingers’ or ‘leftists’. And I am not (and was never) ashamed of being categorized as a ‘liberal’. I still see no issues with homosexuality, premarital sex, student leaders criticizing the current government, inter-faith/inter-religion marriages, challenging popular social ideologies, and people not agreeing with my point of view. But today morning, when I came across the following tweet from you, I was surprised for a second.


Of course, this tweet from someone who I considered a part of my ‘liberal’ fraternity didn’t go well with me. Nah! Not because I am an army wife. I have vociferously criticized some of the outdated traditions in army and have received flak for it. I can list hundreds of reasons as to why I would love to live a life in close proximity to the civilians who I identify with much more than the fellow army families. But, when a celebrity like you addresses an army officer as an ‘asshole with a big caste pride’, I would stand up against this statement with all my might. Madame, first of all, caste and religion are the last thing people in army identify with. Not even once, I have come across any army men or their families discussing caste and religion or showing any kind of hostility towards fellow families with different religious faith than theirs. Even the places for offering prayers inside the cantonment are known as ‘Sarv-Dharm Sthal’ (A place for people from all faiths). So, sorry, even if I don’t know Major Gogoi personally, I can state this with confidence that the last thing he is, is a ‘man with big caste pride’.

Now, coming to the context in which you made the statement. It’s based on the statement that Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev made during an interview with Kangana Ranaut. I had seen this interview a few days before I came across your tweet. Therefore, I very strongly feel that you are picking up on a few selected words from the interview – completely out of context – to suit your narrative. And in doing so, you are challenging your very own faith in liberalism. Are not liberals supposed to be open to listening to a point of view different from theirs? If Sadhguru finds liberals to be fanatic (I don’t think he meant this, though) — take it on the face value, take it like a criticism, and be civil in your approach towards countering the statement. Isn’t this what liberals are supposed to do? Correct me if I am wrong, but I think liberals often accuse fanatics to be disrespectful about an opinion different that theirs and resort to extreme measures verbally or physically to prove that their point right. How, then, Swara are you different from a fanatic (you might not be a religious fanatic, but a fanatic of different kind)?

Now, don’t think, I am against this debate about liberalism and fanaticism. I am completely in for it. I am happy that Sadhguru made a statement and you have a point of view against it. But watch your language, Swara! As an Indian citizen, you have all the rights to criticize the ideologies in the country that you find regressive, outdated, or anti-national, but I don’t think you are qualified to comment on how army deals with operational issues in counter insurgency areas. Do you know what happened in that moment when Major Gogoi decided to take this action? If not, how do you so confidently state that he is an ‘asshole’ and his actions were motivated by his religious/casteist ideologies?

I wouldn’t force to you to respect anyone, not even a man in uniform, guarding our borders if you don’t want to. But to pull the army into this debate of liberalism and fanaticism is completely uncalled for. Also, if you represent the modern liberal brigade and you think calling an army officer ‘asshole’ with ‘caste pride’ is the new definition of being liberal, I would rather be a fanatic!

Thank You!

A liberal-turned-fanatic

5 Things The World Needs To Know About Introverts

As an introvert, I can cite multiple occasions from my life when I was misunderstood. I have heard people call me cold, arrogant, weird, and what not. I initially tried to rebuff all this thinking most people, I know, are not considerate towards introverts.

However, now that I am growing older and wiser, I can see introversion is not an easy thing to read, especially for people who have grown up around extroverts. It’s also difficult for an introvert, especially for a child or a teenager, to comprehend why they are so easily misunderstood. Introverted teenagers start becoming more and more recluse as they feel they don’t really belong to most of the social circles around them.

Introverts, however, are anything but cold, arrogant, misfit, or weird. Only if people understand a few things about introverts and don’t over-analyze their quietness for something else, it will make awkward social situations a little bit easier for introverts to handle.

Introverts don’t hate people

Introverts don’t hate human beings. They are simply a little more selective about people who they want to hang out with. They mostly like people who take friendships slow and don’t invade into their personal space too often or too early in the relationship. Introverts treat their solitary time with sanctity. For them, their private time is meant for exploring newer ideas, newer facts, and recharging themselves for upcoming social interactions. If you are one of those over-enthusiastic people who love hanging out in a big group without any fixed agenda, introverts would maintain a deliberate distance from you. It’s not because they hate you, it’s simply because they really dread being forced to attend one of these gatherings.

Introverts are not good at small talks

Introverts don’t understand the mechanism behind ‘small talks’. They find such conversations extremely boring and taxing. Also, if you are not one of those people in their inner circle, introverts would weigh every single word they utter in front of you. This is the reason why people find introverts either uninterested in the ongoing social conversations or quiet to the extent of boring. Introverts, however, can be extremely talkative and fun if they are in the company of people they love. They love talking about life, love, stars, science, and philosophy in general. Introverts are intrigued by conversations that involve something deeper and meaningful for them.

Introverts mean what they say

Introverts are extremely choosy with their words. They will not speak a sentence until they find the right words to expresses what they mean to say with the right level of intensity or vigor. Most of the introverts find it easier to communicate via text messages than over phone calls because text messages give them the time to think through the words they choose. Introverts also treat their promises with utmost sanctity. Therefore, they, sometimes, come across as people who are commitment phobic.

Introverts love and hate with the same intensity

Introverts take a lot of time to fall in love. It’s very difficult for an introvert to allow anyone to be in their personal space and influence their feelings. It’s only when they trust someone as much as they trust themselves that they commit to being in a romantic relationship with that person. Hatred is an equally intense feeling for an introvert. Introverts treat breach of trust no lesser than a crime. So, once someone betrays their trust, introverts develop an intense disliking and hatred for that person. In general, as introverts are very observant people, they easily spot liars and stay away from them.

Introverts overthink, always!

Introverts overthink about practically everything in life. They think about every single word uttered in a conversation they had, or they are about to have. They sometimes even prepare themselves to have an unpleasant conversation when their brain signals them that something might go wrong. They analyze their intuitions on their self-created logic checklist to decipher the chances of their intuitions turning into reality. As most introverts are emotional people, they do practically everything to protect themselves from a possible heart break.


Being an introvert isn’t the easiest thing in the world. It takes a lot of time for introverts to understand that they are a minority and the world will not bend their rules to accommodate them and that they need to go out of their comfort zone to fit in. However, only if people are a little considerate, introverts might turn out to be the most reliable friends, colleagues, lovers, and leaders.

Ssshhh! Keep your mental illness a secret!

Imagine, someone with a bad headache approaches you. What would you tell that person? Sshhh! “Try to ignore it. You are brave. And sshhh! don’t tell this to anyone”. Or, imagine someone who is just diagnosed with cancer breaks the NEWS to you in a moment of despair. What would you tell that person? “Oh, you can deal with it. You are brave. Believe in yourself.” Awareness about mental illness is so less in our society that people who should seek professional help for their mental conditions are made to believe that there is no real problem to begin with — it’s all a figment of their imagination. “Be brave”, “Don’t act sissy”, “You are lost”, “Look at the positive side of things” is what they get instead of help.

There are also another kind of people who use the word ‘depression’ and ‘panic attack’ so casually that they make these sound like a seasonal flu.  Haven’t you heard statements like, “Oh, I am so depressed that I didn’t get a decent pair of shoes to match with my dress” or “I almost had a panic attack when Brad & Angelina broke up“. I wish it was casual as they made it sound. Alas! It’s not.

Very interestingly, patients with mental illness are also conveniently labelled as ‘attention seekers’, ‘weak’, and ‘someone unable to deal with pressure’. Unfortunately, the labeling and the stereotype prevents people from seeking help. It’s the result of this stereotyping that parents of kids with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Autism Spectrum Disorders, or similar other issues, which can be managed with some patience and professional help, hesitate to first acknowledge the problem and then seek professional help. Some adults with mental illnesses (and aware of their condition) also hesitate to seek help because, you know, from there on the term ‘the mentally ill’ will overshadow all other aspects of their personalities & lives. The terms ‘people with mental illnesses’ and ‘the mentally ill’ are used so interchangeably that I, sometimes, wonder how difficult it is for people to see the difference in both the terms and the baggage that the latter one carries. It’s hard for one to deal with the illness in the first place and people around don’t always make things easier.

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As a kid, I was introverted and struggled a great deal with ‘social anxiety’. I would never understand why I did not enjoy weddings, gatherings, celebrations as much as others from my age would. Somehow, my parents understood my issues (while they might not have been aware of the term ‘social anxiety’ at that time) and gave me my space when needed. I am so glad they didn’t coerce me into attending every damn celebration within the family and their social circle. But I know how much slack my mom had to take because of this. Very often, people would express concerns about my marriage, because I was a loner and wouldn’t enthusiastically perform in front of uncles and aunties to garner praises. They were worried how I will take on the responsibilities in a new family if I don’t learn to socialize (and this was when I was barely 13).  Dear over-concerned uncles & aunties, fortunately, I am doing pretty well in my married life as an adult because I acknowledged and addressed my problems 🙂

My friend’s dad struggled with anxiety at one time and my dad struggled with it too. When my friend and I discussed about the intensity of their issues, we knew the problem was bigger than what we assume to be normal day-to-day stress. I am glad that we could talk about their issues freely because it was only then we realized our parents needed professional help. I am glad they agreed to seek help. Unfortunately, depression and anxiety finally overshadowed my friend’s dad’s will to live. By God’s grace, my dad could overcome the ordeal. But you know, during all this, I saw how the very acknowledgment of a mental problem makes many near and dear ones distance themselves from the entire family, as if, suddenly, the whole family has some sort of contagious disease.

I am glad that now many celebrities are now coming forward and acknowledging the fact that they have struggled with similar issues. Success, failure, temperament, money has nothing to do with it. Like any other kind of ‘illness’, it can happen to anyone. On a lighter note, I feel illness is less biased in its approach than the people around us 🙂


Anthony Bourdain’s suicide starts a dialogue on the acknowledgment of mental illness once again. People wonder, why Anthony Bourdain felt like his life of adventure was not worth living and suicide was his only possible option. The simple answer is, this is how advance stages of depression and anxiety make one feel. I am glad closer to home, Deepika Padukone and Shaheen Bhatt have spoken about their struggle with the problem. I am glad that we are, at least, at a juncture where there is a possibility of starting a dialogue. It’s only when we share, talk, acknowledge that we will be able to receive and provide help in time.

I wish more & more people come out and talk about this.

PS: If you are someone who is feeling extremely low and considering on giving up your life, please call Sneha India Foundation at 044-24640050 or write to It’s a 24×7 free helpline. And please, please, please seek professional help.

Wear his ring, not his rank!

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Okay! Cool! Your husband is <insert his rank here>. That’s awesome. That’s more than awesome. I would love if you could thank him on my behalf for serving our country with his blood and sweat. Trust me, I understand, how much it takes to be away from family, friends, love, hometown, and everything that, in multiple ways, is a part of his identity. And of course, if you were not his pillar of strength, he wouldn’t be where he is right now. I am explicitly stating that he could not have done any of this without you. But oh dear, that’s where your role ends.

Being married to an army man, I know I always take the second precedence. Duty comes first, always — without any ifs, buts, whys, and why-nots . He has taken that oath and as his life partner, I must help him stand by his words. Well, but then, frankly, I am not doing this for the country, I am doing this for my man, and here is what makes his role very different from my role.

I rejoice his success. I help him overcome a failure. But I don’t sit in his chair or walk in his office, uninvited. They are his, not mine! I married my man for who he is, not for the brass on his shoulders; so of course, with or without the uniform, I take pride in my man and love him with all my heart.

Someone I know introduced herself to me in the first meeting as the wife of the second-in-command in the unit and I couldn’t help but chuckle. “Oh dear! you are not married to an appointment. You are married to a gentleman — all in flesh and blood“, I so wanted to say. But better late than never, Mrs so&so.

No, hold on! That’s not all. Some women talk about helping out their husbands with the duties.

So, am I supposed to share my husband’s duties? No, the answer is — I am not trained to do his tasks. I may be a coder, a doctor, a teacher, but of course, I am not supposed to take strategic or welfare related decisions for the unit/sub-unit on his behalf. I am not supposed to give any instructions to the staff meant to assist him. So, buddy bhaiya certainly is not arranging the school uniforms for kids in my house and escorting my babies and babas to the school bus stops. And in return, I am not grooming their wives. I trust their parents to have groomed the girls well. If at all they need my advice, I would love to offer one, but not in the capacity of an officer’s wife — but in the capacity of a fellow human being who shares similar problems as theirs. Do I feel great that they think that I am worthy of giving them advice? Oh yes! Of course. But I am no one to shove my choices in their life. For example, unless I am a Sangeet Visharad myself and they have come to me to learn music, I am not qualified to tell a JCO/OR wife, “Tumahara sur hi nahie lagta hai! (You can’t sing well!)”

I am glad that the men in uniform — full of chivalry and class — miss no opportunity to show us respect. Whether it is an NCO in the mess offering me a glass of cold water on a super sunny day or an officer pulling a chair for me at a formal dinner, I feel glad that ‘my husband’ socializes with men who respect women. I am proud that army as an organization welcomes me with open arms despite I NOT being a part of it in any official capacity. I remain a civilian. So, women who pass nasty comments on civilians make me wonder, “When did you don the OG, dear lady?”. Last I checked, you were a civilian yourself.

Also, how much ever I love my husband — he certainly is not the be-it-all of my existence. I have a career. My political viewpoint is different from his and we debate, the army parties are not the only occasions I shop for, and oh yes, he didn’t have to ‘groom me’ — my parents & alma mater did that really well.

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However proud I am of my husband for the person he is and, to some extent, the hardships he takes in the line of his duty, that’s not the only thing I am proud of in my life. There are many more achievements to my credit other than being an army wife, an-almost-single-mother, and grooming the ladies around me. So, when women say they gave the life to army because they couldn’t have enough time beyond army activities! Sorry, the army never asked for it! You did it out of your own free will. You did it for your life partner. Blame him with all your might for making your life challenging, but blame the army! Nay!!!

I am not taking away the fact that your life could have been easier if he was not in the army. He chose that life and you chose him! Ah! But that doesn’t mean, you show off his rank instead of his ring.

Sometimes wise, mostly otherwise…

I am a sucker of emotional dramas. Nah! Not the Ekta Kapoor kinds, but the real heart touching kinds! For example, I am hooked to the Netflix series, The Crown right now. And when I hear Elizabeth and Philip argue about the priorities in life, my heart bleeds for the Queen. I drop an invisible tear or so when she tells Philip that “Like other couples, we don’t have an easy way out…we are in a unique situation that needs to be worked out”. The character, Elizabeth, represents a woman who puts self-respect and love at the same pedestal — the toughest ever choice a woman makes in her life. Because, how easy it is to love and dream, and not let ‘self’ come in between! Ah, but women like Elizabeth have inspired a generation of women to fly high in love, but still remain grounded enough to deal with the realities of life.


I know I will be jumping to a completely different zone if I tell you about my recurring nightmares in the same blog where I am talking of profound love and wise women. But you know, such is life. Here I am, past late twenties still getting recurring nightmares about my chemistry examination at the higher secondary level (ISC, as some of you call it!) and also empathizing with the longest living monarch in the world. However random it may sound, I feel the real wisdom comes from the deepest fears one buries inside their heart. I guess for me, the fear is ‘failure’ — the possibility of failing at anything in life helps me make wiser choices.


But the question is, and I ask this to myself very often, ‘Am I wise?’. The answer is yes, sometimes I am wise, but I, mostly, am otherwise. For example, how much I wish to keep a poker face in situations when I am enraged, how much I wish to forgive people who have let me down, how much I wish to see people beyond their limitations, but the wisdom of sages — the art of non-reaction — doesn’t come to me even when I force it on myself.  My mother says, the art of not reacting to things/situations comes with age, when one has seen it all and one has understood that no one in the world gives a damn to anyone else’s emotions (however genuine, truthful, and heartfelt those might be!) and then one learns to channelize the reactions into real actions. For example, I may never learn to forgive, but over a period of time, I might learn to act cordial in spite of differences. I might never learn to keep a poker face, but may be, I will learn to politely walk out a conversation that challenges my principles.

Sometimes, I even wonder, why disruption is mostly considered negative? Why do I not work towards being vocal? Why do I think being wise is more an inward thing? Would I be wiser the day I become immune to pessimism, negativity, criticism, and pain? Ah, this brings me to another question, ‘why do I need to be wise’? I am happy when I am naive. I am happy when I know what’s wise, but deliberately act otherwise.

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To Mrs Satan and her cult with love!


Until 25 years of my life, I was unaware of Mrs Satan and her cult. Mrs Satan’s cult includes very peculiar kind of women. They are urban but not suave. They are well-dressed but uncouth. They might be occasionally seen in branded western wear and sunglasses, but they are the strongest believer of misogyny. They despise women who talk about equality and talk about being child-free all their life. If Mrs Satan’s cult ruled the world, they will announce capital punishment for all women who give more importance to their careers than worldly gossips that Mrs Satan’s cult thrives on.

On a regular day, you will see Mrs Satan talking about the importance of being a devoted and loving wife to her husband and a dedicated mother who sacrificed her (not so) thriving career for her children. But after she has consumed a few shots of vodka, she will tell you how much she has sacrificed for the main man in her life – who is not even thankful enough. You see Mrs Satan married Mr Satan in the hope of climbing up the social ladder, but Mr Satan was a simple man and didn’t rise much in-spite of Mrs Satan’s sacrifices, vices, and social plotting. Now, Mrs Satan, who is terribly upset at this unplanned full stop to her social rising, can’t even express disappointment because in her own words – “No one else could have dealt with her so patiently for so long”.

Now, Mrs Satan and most women in her cult come from remote countryside places and have always dreamed about their prince charming flying in economy-class flights to rescue them from the ‘small towns’ they detest. Despite being aware of their limitations, they are an extremely confident lot. While they can’t pronounce Krug Clos d’Ambonnay correctly, they will hold their champagne glasses in so much style that Audrey Hepburn might feel inferior.

If you have to see the real side of Mrs Satan’s personality, wait for her to talk to her house-help. Mrs Satan, who has strong opinions about house-keeping and child-rearing will abuse the domestic help in the choicest manner with colorful abuses in front of her kids. Right from the time her kids have started understanding words and surroundings in general – Mrs Satan has told them about their social status and privileged upbringing. So, obviously, her kids are not allowed to touch, play with, and be around people who are even one level beneath Mrs Satan’s ‘presumed’ high-class society.

If Mrs Satan ever created a Curriculum Vitae to apply for a job, her list of achievements would include: paintings that she bought but claimed to have painted, home decor items purchased from ‘Ravivari’ markets but presented with an expensive home decor label, and a big, big paragraph about how she has fulfilled her motherly duties much better than other women around her – who leave their kids ‘orphaned’ while they go for work.

Mrs Satan hates beautiful women. In a happening party, a ‘beautiful woman’ (by all conventional standards) happened to catch the fancy of all men. Mrs Satan who felt extremely sidelined and insulted, then, spoke about how she will never dress in a revealing manner to get attention from the opposite sex. Mrs Satan hurled abuses at the beautiful lady because she happened to be smart as well. Mrs Satan gathered her cult around her and spoke about how this beautiful lady is not even concerned about her husband’s needs and is often travelling out for work.

Mrs Satan hates women like me as well. Partially because we don’t compete with her socially and partially because we are not enamored by her fake charm. Mrs Satan makes a point to talk about the importance of work-life balance whenever she is in my proximity despite not having worked a single day in her life, simply because she feels women like me waste their lives trying to achieve professional competence which our husbands are anyways bestowed with, simply by the virtue of their gender. Mrs Satan like a nosy neighborhood aunt also shows a lot of interest in my soon-to-expire reproductive system by simply reminding me that I will soon cross the most ‘fertile’ period of my life and miss the joys of motherhood if I delay pregnancy even by a day now. Alas! What a waste of life! She also tells me that the only way full-proof way to ensure that my man doesn’t stray is to serve him ‘ilish mach’ at least twice a week.

Mrs Satan, as I told you, is an interesting woman with a fan following of many women like her. Ah, I despise myself for not being included by her in her ‘young women grooming club’. But then, not everybody can be this lucky!