The Enigma of Solo Travel

The Enigma of Solo Travel

Although the world has seen revolutionaries travel alone and discover places, I don’t think it’s been more than 10 years that the idea of solo travel has become a popular trend. Before you think, “oh, I have done it!”, be sure to check off from your list, those kinds of travels which are done to a familiar/comfortable place, even traveling for work (majorly going into an office setting) doesn’t count unless you take time out to travel and explore the place. So yes, I mean traveling alone, outside your comfort zone and exploring a place.

In a close-knit society such as ours, the first thought of solo travel makes a person appear as selfish. “O my god, you’ll go alone? What is the purpose of that anyway? It sounds so weird.” Continue reading “The Enigma of Solo Travel”

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When He Met His Ex

It had been seven years since she had seen him. They were together for three years and then they decided not to meet after this one day. It was a close friend’s wedding and she knew he would come. She knew he was married. Was he happy?  She looked into the mirror before leaving. She looked gorgeous.

What luck! She bumped into him right at the entrance. His wife was with him. She was pretty and graceful. But definitely less pretty than herself. He cordially met her and without a face of awkwardness, introduced both of them to each other. She waited for his wife to go away and then after some “hi-hello-what’s happening”, she could not resist asking:

She: So? Has she been able to fill the void left by me?
He: No.
She: So? You mean, you don’t love her? Continue reading “When He Met His Ex”

Just Gym Things

A future famous personality, “You can judge a person by the way he/she behaves in the gym.” This quote is true on many levels. There are all kinds of gym goers. Starting from the ones who blame the season (no matter which) for not waking up regularly or because of their busy schedule, can’t make time for the gym. This is, of course, after paying for a full year membership in the excitement of the New Year. Then there are the OCD ones who reach gym at the same 7:59 AM every single day. But it’s interesting to see how the Gym unfolds, the curious gym politics.
I’m not sure if there’s a research done about it but it is safe to assume that treadmill is the most loved gym equipment. It keeps everyone distracted, at least in the cardio section. The ones doing the warm-up have their one hawk eye fixed on few of the treadmills and a clock keeps ticking inside their mind. If even by chance, they see that the person on the treadmill is slowing down, they expedite their warm up like a machine in the factory. The person on the cycle and elliptical are also in the same pursuit. Sadly, this pursuit is not of getting the ultimate happiness because the person on the treadmill is not happy either. He/she will keep a constant tab on their neighbours, “Is he running faster than me?” “Oh, you want me to show you stamina. See, see.” Their auras converse with each other.

Continue reading “Just Gym Things”

When Being Mediocre is Okay

There is a pendulum between being excellence and mediocrity, in which we all are swinging. Our films (remember Three Idiots), our leaders, our entrepreneurs- inspire us to run towards ‘excellence’, and very rightly so. We must strive towards excellence. But what until then? ‘Being Mediocre’ or ‘Mediocrity’ is shameful.

In our aspirational (and imaginary) race, we forget that mediocrity is very subjective. For most of us, mediocrity is a third party perspective. “Do people consider me mediocre?”  “A mediocre student became a doctor and now works in his village.” He could be a student who cleared MBBS from the city but decided to go back to his roots, to serve his people. (I actually know someone like that.)

For example: “A mediocre student became a doctor and now works in his village.” In reality, he could be an average student who cleared MBBS from the city but decided to go back to his roots, to serve his people. Someone who wanted to study further, could not, and had to manage his father’s business or someone who wanted to run away from home but could not because there was a house to manage. Someone, who could write the ‘commercial’ kind of writing but lived their writing style. Someone who did good design work but did not get the credit.

For a comedian, a ‘9 to 9 job person’ from an ‘average’ company would look like a ‘mediocre’. To a popular comedian, the struggling comedian might look like a  mediocre. A commercial actor might think of a struggling theatre actor as mediocre (and vice versa). To an entrepreneur, an employee in an MNC might look like a ‘corporate slave’. A corporate employee might see an entrepreneur as ‘wasting time’.

How are we to make a truce with these two things? The truth is, there’s no right or wrong because:

“Do people consider me mediocre?”  is very different from “Am I mediocre?” If the person is fulfilling their primary motivation in the current situation, whether it is livelihood to take care of their families or pursuing their passion; it is in its own sense extraordinary. There is nothing mediocre in doing what you are supposed to do.

Continue reading “When Being Mediocre is Okay”

When Unemployment Tries to Kill You

Be fired, get the axe, get sacked, pink slip, put out to pasture, call it quits, resign, retire, stand down, give in, hand a notice, vacate and bow out- all mean the same thing eventually. The market that it is right now, we have a lot of people around us- either they quit on their own or they were made to quit. Whether it is for a month for six months, there is a waiting period before you get into the next thing. And even though there is nothing shameful about it, we feel ashamed. Endless scrolls on the social media which were once a normal thing now become a pain in the ass. Everyone seems to be moving ahead, having a vacation, finding happiness, getting engaged or married or going on an international honeymoon- everyone, but you. And the worst part about it is that we let it become a big question mark.

Am I good enough?

Will I ever get a job?

What will I tell people?

Do I deserve this?

What did I do wrong here?

Why did this happen to only me?

How could they do this to ME?

While a little bit of contemplation on these questions is only natural and necessary but overthinking is dangerous. It makes you lazy, under confident, sad, under confident, regretful, under confident, aloof, attention seeking, etc.

The risk is that if you keep thinking, “I am useless”, you will internalise that thought and it will become a part of your mental framework. It kills you partly.

Continue reading “When Unemployment Tries to Kill You”

When Parents Go Wrong

You only can give birth to a child. You can’t expect to own them when they become adults— their bodies, feelings, desires, dreams, consent— nope. I’m sorry if this hurts to know but those things are not yours to control. And that is, of course, in spite of all that you have sacrificed for them or for all the love you have given to them. Don’t put your love on a bargain to emotionally blackmail your adult child. Your ego must not weigh more than your child’s happiness.

This is not how it works. Neither logically nor legally. Perhaps you are worried about the culture or the society around you, what will they say, how will we answer? Well, then, think of the answers. Find the right answers, instead of taking the easy way out- do what everyone else is doing.

Who is this society? Is this one person or two people? Why are you so desperate to be a part of it? Is this society giving you birthday surprises or kissing you good morning every day or lovingly buying you clothes with their first salary? Does the society call you to ask if you’ve had lunch? Does the society come with you to the doctor when you’re sick? Does it pester you until you eat the medicines? Does it push you for the morning walk? How many times does the society give you a hug when you need it the most? How much will the society cry when you are dead? Continue reading “When Parents Go Wrong”

The Mango Thief

Ramlal was a vendor of seasonal fruits. The items kept changing every season but his favourite selling items were mangoes. It was the most profitable item and he was an expert in gauging the quality. Everyone wanted to learn from him but he would keep the secret buried in his chest. He had learnt the art from his father and he would only teach it to his son. Mango season was his favourite also because it’s the most luring fruit and it was costly.
Ramlal had a neighbour, Prayas, who would come to his laari (cart) every day in the market and spend at least five to ten minutes checking and smelling the mangoes. Then he would ask for the price of the mangoes. “100 rupees for 500 gm mangoes.” Prayas, without the slightest disappointment on his face, would smile and leave. This would happen every two or three days. This thing had started to annoy Ramlal.

Continue reading “The Mango Thief”