Thursday, December 26, 2013

21 little joys of living alone

I think your real character emerges when you are alone, when nobody is watching, when the mask rests on the table and you are only you, in your pure untainted form. In the last one and a half years that I have lived alone, I have found out a lot of things about life and myself. I have never been a very social person, so living alone was not particularly a difficult decision. It was something I longed for, and was happy to finally be able to afford it.

Simple joys of living alone. . 

1. There is nothing more calming than to come back to a clean house, a clean bed with pillows and cushions wagging their tails, calling out to you.
2. ‘Relief’ is too small a word for the feeling you get when you know that there is food in the kitchen, and you have all the time in the world to stay stuck to your laptop, and get up only to heat your meal in the microwave.
3. There is something absolutely liberating about playing loud music in the house and singing along side tunelessly. No worries about music on loop to bother anyone.
4. Long showers before getting into the bed with latest season of Breaking Bad.
5. Roaming around skimpily.
6. Calling friends over and planning sleepovers. Cooking for others.
7. What do you want to be today? A butterfly or a couch potato?
8. Feeling all grown-up, paying the bills and getting plumbing done.
9. Going to sleep at 5:00 am and waking up at 1:00pm.
10. Never having to latch the bathroom door.
11. You never walk, you only swagger.
12. I don’t understand this one but- the surprised look on people’s face when they enter my house and see that I live alone, run a ‘household’ all by myself.
13. Finding and nailing the right balance of milk, sugar and coffee in my mug.
14. Perfecting the temperature of milk to go with crunchy muesli, so it is just enough crunchy and just enough soft for my liking.
15. Learning how to cook, eating burnt food, and going gaga when the food turns out to be finger-licking-good.
16. Knowing exactly what goes where and finding it there, coz nobody else is around to mess it up.
17. Having control over the speed of the fan.
18. Passing out. Nothing like dropping dead wherever, however you want.
19. All the plug points are MINE.
20. Sob your heart out while watching an embarrassingly emotional movie.
21. To sprawl across the queen size bed like a continent.

One thing I absolutely hate about having roommates is small talk. I loathe detest abhor small talk like nothing else in my life. Oh and the fact that I don’t have to ‘accompany’ people to things where they don’t want to go alone. What makes you think I want to be subjected to the nonsense that you’d rather not do alone!

P.S: After reading the post, it is easy to conclude two things- I am anti social and I am a foodie. Number three, I also have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. 

Monday, December 16, 2013


People have many kinds of phobia in life. Fear of heights, fear of water, fear of closed spaces. There are many weird phobias in the world. My biggest fear in life is the fear of loss. I am scared to lose. Not in winning and losing kind of way, but losing something that is yours. It takes a lot of effort, time, energy, good luck to acquire, find, get something. And then to lose all of it in one flickering shot, is a scary scary proposition.

I was a very sentimental kid. I remember, I must be 10 year old, in the middle of a happy shiny family moment when everyone is laughing, singing, talking I would be all teary eyed, sitting quietly and sobbing. Reason being- “All this will be gone one day, we won’t be laughing like this, we all will die one day!” and I would burst into a crying spell. I would be made fun of or hugged and reassured and distracted with happy things in life. But what could they tell me? It is life’s ultimate truth, how could anybody defend my fear.

I clearly remember the moment when I got to know that EVERYONE has to die. I must have been 6 or 7 years old or maybe younger. It was summer vacations and our grandparents had come over. One idle afternoon, I was playing with my granny- teaching her A,B,C,D. . .when she remarked- “Oh, why do I need to learn all this? I am so old, I will die very soon, what’s the point of this now?” not really meaning it. It was just one of those things that old people like to say. And very sweetly I told her that she wouldn’t die, because she was such a good human being, my grandma, how can she die! To my utter shock and disbelief she told me that EVRYBODY dies, irrespective of everything. With a broken heart and thinking that my uneducated grandma didn’t know anything, I ran to my mum who was working on the computer. I was very angry when she told me that it was true. I think ‘angry’ is the right word to explain what I felt. It just made no sense to me. Why do people have to die, even if they are good? So you are behaving yourself, being a good girl, minding your business, not fighting with anyone. . .and then one day it’s all over? Without any rhyme or reason? Shouldn’t there be an explanation to why I must be pulled away from all the good things?

People have recurring nightmares, this was one such nightmare which haunted me in living daylights. And then at the age of 13, for the very first time in my life, I came face-to-face with death when my grandfather died. That is another tragic story, for another day. Although I didn’t quite wail and get depressed, the first feeling that hit me when I saw his corpse lying on the bed was that of hopelessness. Death is such a permanent, irreversible thing I realized. What can you say to someone whose loved one has died- “everything will be alright” ? coz it won’t be alright. Nothing you say can appease the loss.

As I grew up, I stopped thinking about deaths. There were more important things that drove my attention. But the fear of loss stayed with me. Even if it is a pen or a paper or a t-shirt I never wore or an ear-ring or a document or a book or a relationship. . . I have the greatest paranoia buried in the abyss of my heart, to lose.

I recently lost two acquaintances to bad road accidents. What wrenches my heart is that both the girls had an infectious zest for life- they were the kind of people you would remember having met them once. I would call them ‘full of life’, ironically, for their mad dreams and passions. Would they have ever thought, in their craziest of imagination, in their bluest of moments that they would die so young?

Why are we afraid of dying? Why are we conditioned to think that dying is bad? Not like the life we are living is great! There are so many problems, so much injustice, cruelty, hatred- perhaps after death you do actually go to heaven and things are great there. And people who die young in life are the ones who get a shortcut to that heavenly kingdom. God says, “You don’t have to endure the pain of life any longer, come to the party up here.”

God has a lot of explaining to do.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


I keep saying that I don’t like more than half of the people I meet (I should stop saying that!). I am quite fussy that way and it doesn’t take me too long to know if I like someone. Within moments of meeting someone new, I know if it’s worth my time and energy to be with or around that person. That is why a lot of times you would see me being all by myself. I am not a people’s person at all. I won’t call myself a loner, coz when I am around people I adore, I am very talkative, very animated, very comfortable with my surroundings. But given a choice between bad company and no company, I would go for the latter. I enjoy my own company- I am quite entertaining like that :D That is why I never feel bored. I may get restless, about things, but never bored. Even when I am alone, I always find something to do- even if that means having a cup of coffee alone, listening to music or curling up in the blanket and going to sleep. It is better than hearing someone go on and on about things I don’t care about.

But there was a phase when I was a people’s person. Let me rephrase this- there was a time when I would always have people around me, lot of talkative people, with a lot of conversations. House parties. BYOB kind of parties. And I would observe people and their conversations, especially when they were high.

Everybody talks about their experiences- how they went somewhere and did something and almost got into trouble / adventure and how they came out of it and what a great thrilling experience it was. Before the story reaches the end, someone else would interject and try to top that experience. Like a battle of stories. A battle to find out who is cooler than the others. Showing off. Nobody is really listening; everybody is waiting for the person to finish so that he could narrate his great legendary experience. THAT is my biggest problem. Nobody listens with the intent of listening, but with the intent of plugging their own story. A conversation which feels like a relay race is a total turn off. A conversation needs to flow like two rivers, intermingling with each other, sharing experiences, co-creating meaning in doing so. That is why I don’t enjoy being a part of a conversation, unless I am really interested in what you have to say, coz am all ears y’know. And I can’t pour my thoughts out unless I know what I say matters. If you can’t improve the silence then STFU, is my mantra.

But over the years, I have learnt how to fake interest and seem like a good listener even if I don’t care. I learnt how to do that when I started working. I am a very curious person, so asking questions and wanting to know more comes very easily. Being in the Communication industry, I have to be a people’s person, I have to listen to people and I have to get heard.

So when a REAL good conversation comes along, I find it very difficult to let go. I treasure good conversations that are effortless and natural. Conversations where I don’t have to think before speaking, where I don’t have to fake interest, where there is no room for pretence. A soulful conversation, I call it.