Friday, 28 June 2019

You're Not Alone. (Diary Logs)

Hi All! This is an important post about mental health written by someone who wants to stay anonymous. Read it. Spread the word. People need to help people. Let's talk & show some love.


I have been thinking about writing this post since some time now. I just didn’t have the right words. And, when you’re writing about something like this, you need the right words. The kind words. The empathetic & healing words. The words which will make others feel connected & more so help them feel a little better, even if it is for 2 minutes. Here I am, for those 2 minutes of feeling human. Not Happy. Not Sad. But, also not alone.

Whenever I think about mental illness, I always find myself off balance. I have anxiety. I have OCD. I have PTSD. I am stressed & sometimes I even suffer from depression. But I am all these things just on borderline. I know that it isn’t critical. I am aware of that. And all this time, because of this reason, I refrained from posting this article. But, when it comes to mental illness, there isn’t a thing as less or more. Instability is instability. Weakness is weakness. And so, I had to write this, because there could be many of you out there who dismiss your own borderline anxiety to care for someone who is critically depressed.

Here I am. I cared for people who had PTSD, who belittled my PTSD to theirs. They belittled my depression to theirs. They belittled my anxiety to theirs. And, at the time, I thought okay, you are suffering much more than I am. You have the right to say that. But, now that I think about it, that was wrong of them to do. Them having suffered more than me should have made them more empathetic to me rather than dismissing my situation. And so, I walked away from them. It’s been a while now & it has taken some time for me to realise this, but it needed to be said.
No matter what you are suffering from, no matter how infinitesimal, no matter how unimportant it may seem to you, please do not dismiss yourself. Please consider your mental health as a priority. No one else knows your mind the way you do. So, take care of it. Stabilise it. Nurture it.

You might keep counting the number of people in the room. It could be at home when the people are constant or could be at work where people keep coming in & going out.
"Is he really not going to use a coaster for that Iced Coffee on his own work desk?"
"Is she really going to eat her food with her hands and then use the same hands to open the bottle of water leaving oily marks all over it?"
Do not dismiss the OCD.

You might get tensed up before meeting your friends even if it’s just a hangout. You might get nervous every single day before a daily work call.
"Why I did I think of hosting a dinner party for 15 people?"
"What if they don’t like the 15 types of food I made keeping in mind all of their likes?"
Do not dismiss the anxiety.

You still could get up in the middle of the night because of a nightmare from something that happened years ago. One tiny incident can take you back to your trauma.
"Why am I not able to get over it already?"
"Why does my past keep cropping up again & again?"
Do not dismiss the PTSD.

Please. Please. Please. If you ask such little questions to yourself a lot during the day, please do not think that you are alone. There could be someone out there who could help you. If you cannot help yourself just yet, seek help from a professional who will make you help yourself soon. Do not dismiss these things which may seem like nothing in the moment. But, when years go by piling up the little questions, it will erupt like a volcano. So, please, the right person is just a call away. Do not dismiss the little things. The little things are more often than not symptoms of mental instability.
Make yourself a priority. Make your physical & mental health of utmost important. Cancel plans that give you a lot of anxiety. Tell the untidy person why the things they do bother you & till what extent. Speak up. Be bold. Reach out. You are not alone.
Until next time,

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Reviewing the 19 Things To Do in 2019!

After I posted the June Book Haul post, it made me dive right back into reading & how glad I am for it! At the beginning of the year, I made a list to do 19 Things in 2019. And, now that half the year has already gone by in a jiffy, I thought of reviewing these goals & checking progress.

1.       Read 19 books.
I am well ahead on this goal as I have already read 16 books so far! You can check some of the reviews here. Now that there are still more than 6 months to go, I think it’s only fair to increase the target.
Revised Goal: Read 30 Books

2.      Plan 3 trips.
This is already achieved. It sure feels like my trips to Pondicherry & Kochi were way long back. And, there are still 57 days for my Jaipur trip! I’m quite content with this much travelling. But, if time permits, I will try to go to one more place by year-end.
Revised Goal: Plan 4 trips

3.      Write 50 blog posts.
This is the 27th post this year. So far so good! I don’t plan on increasing the target of blog posts. Everything is going smoothly so far, I don’t want to increase the target & then come up with shitty posts that have nothing to do with either travel or books or story writing. (Probably like this one?) So, sticking with the Big 50!

4.     Wealth:
I haven’t focused quite as much here. I saved for the first 2 months & a bit last month, but nothing as I had planned. I tend to spend a lot over books, food & travel. It is money well spent, but it still makes me guilty for not increasing my savings.

5.      Health:
Not much focus here either. I started walking & exercising, then I stopped. And it has been an on-off relationship. I’m definitely going to try to improve on this front.


6.      Listen to one TED Talk every week:
I am ecstatic that I decided to do this! I listen to one TED Talk on every Thursday & this exercise has brightened up my week. I have listened to 24 TED Talks so far. Some of them were quite enlightening, some were witty, some hit home & some were just for fun. You can check them out on Twitter or LinkedIn with the hashtag #OneTEDTalkperweek !

7.      Doodle once every week:
I haven’t been extremely rigorous on this as I am with watching TED Talks, but doodling really helps. It reduces my anxiety & improves my concentration. Plus, it’s fun! Whatever I draw is not original. I look at pictures on Pinterest or Instagram & draw those. I have doodled 26 times this year, which is a good enough number.

8.     Improve photography skills:
I finally checked all the features of my DSLR & tried out new things. While I have learned a few things, there is still a lot to do.

9.      Learn one recipe every month:
It is amazing how easy it is to learn something when you do it step by step & at your own pace. I have learned 7 recipes so far, already ahead on my goal. So far, I have learnt to make Upma, Khichadi, varan-Bhaat, Cheese Onion Grilled Sandwich, Veg Hakka Noodles, Idli & Mashed Potatoes. I can definitely survive on this.
Revised Goal: Learn 18 recipes this year.

10.  Donate books & clothes:
Check on this! I donated a lot of my clothes & few of my books to those who needed it more. It sure feels good!

11.    Focus on relationships:
So far, so good!
I had planned to do 3 courses; HRBP course, literature course & Adobe Photoshop. I haven’t done any of these. To be honest, I don’t think it is possible to take the first 2 courses this year. It doesn’t feel like the right time. Instead of those two, I am going to complete the previous 2 courses!

15.   Go to a concert or music festival:
No progress here. None of my favourite artists have been to India so far. If I can’ attend a music festival or a concert, I will go to watch Stand Up Comedy.

16.  Go out more:
Definitely doing good on this front. I have been trying to make plans with people, taking initiative, so it’s not my fault that the plan never materializes. But, yeah, I did go to a few cool places. I went to Kala Ghoda Arts Festival in February. I went to the Pani Puri Festival last month. Both were pretty fun experiences.

17.   Do things alone:
Doing things alone involved shopping alone, eating in a restaurant alone, watching a movie alone & travelling alone. Only one to go!! Shopping done. Eating in a restaurant done. Travelling done.

18.  Go for camping:
There were many opportunities to do this. But, every weekend I caved & stayed home. Surely going to complete this by year end!


19.  Do something you are scared of:
Yet to figure this out!!

So, mid year, I have managed to complete almost 10 things! I really hope I complete everything by year end!!
Until next time,

Sunday, 16 June 2019

June Book Haul!!

Hello Readers!! Ever since March, I have been on a book binging phase & it was awesome! June though has become a break from reading. Something or the else is coming up. When I get free time, I end up binge watching a show or movies. So, I have only read one book this month. I know I can’t go on like this, which is why, I browsed through the many book recommendations & ordered 5 books from Amazon! I had decided not to buy a new book until I read all the books in my bookshelf, but who am I kidding? That’s not going to happen any time soon. So, here we go!

The first one is ‘My Lovely Wife’ by Samantha Downing which is a thriller mystery novel. I read the intro & thought they gave away the main mystery in the novel title itself. But, let’s see, I am yet to find out!

‘All The Light We Cannot See’ by Anthony Doerr is a book which kept popping everywhere; Instagram recommendations, Twitter, must-read lists & so on. It comes under historical fiction, which I have grown fond of. It will definitely quite serious & quite tense as it is about the WWII.

The book ‘The Hate U Give’ by Angie Thomas is Young Adult fiction with such a strong message that it almost feels like self-help or non-fiction. In this age, it is must to read this book, so here it is, on my bookshelf!

‘Little Fires Everywhere’ by Celeste Ng is a mellow book compared to the others. It gave me the feeling of the book ‘We Were Liars’, which I had loved, so I picked this one out too! Goodreads has termed it as contemporary fiction, with a lot of secrets, heartbreaks, motherhood, hopes & beliefs. I’m hoping this book will get me out of the reading slump!

Lastly, ‘Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine’ written by Gail Honeyman was a last-minute buy. It wasn’t on any of my lists, but when I checked it out online, I was intrigued, so I bought it. It is a YA coming-of-age fictional novel. It gave me mixed vibes of ‘Finding Audrey’ and ‘Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse: One Twenty-Something’s (Mostly Failed) Attempts At Adulthood’. I had loved both of these so I decided to go ahead with it!

I hope I get out of the reading slump really soon with such amazing books adding shine to my bookshelf & my To-Read list!

Until next time,

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

May Reads!!

Hello Readers! We are already in June! That was quick, right? To not lose perspective, as the months pass by, I decided to review each month; what I achieved personally & professionally, where I travelled, which new experiences I had & so on! March & April were quite eventful, focusing on reading & travelling. Well, there aren’t any highlights in May except for the fact that I read 6 books! So here's what I liked, disliked & absolutely hated!


It feels like I read this book a really long time ago! When I loved Jane Harper’s first 2 novels – The Dry & Force of Nature, I decided to read the latest one.  Unlike the first two, I didn’t fancy this one so much. I have rated it at 3/5 on Goodreads.
The story is set in rural Australia where one of the three Bright brothers is found dead. The story revolves around brothers Cam, Nathan & Bub & with their families. There are 2 backpackers who live in Cam’s house as well. That gives the reader a lot of suspects as to who might have killed Cam. The protagonist (Nathan) is the one investigating Cam’s death. Nathan Bright is the most flawed character that ever existed, which makes reading the story even more intolerable. With an already slow pace, not good enough writing & flawed characters like Nathan, it isn’t a joy to read ‘The Lost Man’.
The main thing I hated was that there was no Aaron Falk in it. He is the Lead Detective on both the previous novels & he is amazing. So, naturally that set me off & also made the book a bit dull. If you manage to read it till the end, you will be surprised. Just when you think the story is ending & that there will be no closure, the killer presents itself silently. It is quite unpredictable, but those 10 pages sure don’t make up for the rest of the book.

This is another book I wasn’t a fan of. I suppose that’s the reason I didn’t write a full-fledged post on either of these two novels. For a change, this novel isn’t a love story, like every other CB stories. This one has a different vibe to it. You can call it a crime thriller, except for the fact that it is not thrilling, in the least.
The protagonist is Keshav who tutors kids who want to join IIT. He is the guy who is still hung up on his ex-girlfriend, Zara, even after 4 years. And then, on Zara’s birthday, she texts him to meet her at her hostel. Naturally, he goes & finds Zara’s dead body in Room 105 of her hostel. The book is about how Keshav & Saurabh (his friend) solve the murder of Zara Lone. While they go from suspect to suspect, hinting at terrorist groups, caste difference, bribery & so on, they take away all the curiosity from the story.
The story is not good. It’s quite mundane & boring. Not to mention, it is completely unrealistic. CB has tried to focus on some critical things that are going on in the country, but the impact is not strong enough. Definitely not a book I would recommend unless you wish to waste your time.

As I have said time & again, Paulo Coelho is among my favourite authors, which is why I decided to read Hippie & ended up liking it. I have already written a post on Hippie containing some of the most amazing quotes from the book. You can check it out here.

Both of these Nora Ephron books of essays are funny, witty & liberating. The kind of essays she has written about every day women’s problems relating to hair, purses, skin cream is completely relatable. While it is a bit of a drag reading about her personal story, her career, love life etc, she catches up with a lot of humour in both the books. You can check the post about these books here.

This is the last book I read in May & undoubtedly one of the best ones so far! It is the story of a rock n roll band throughout their journey in the 70s. It has a lot of drama, passion, love & every other feeling you can possibly imagine! It is a Must Read! You can check my review for ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’ here.

And so, the month of May has passed. I didn’t get the chance to travel anywhere, so I did a lot of reading instead! I have already read 16 books out of 19, which was my 2019 Reading Challenge! Yay me!!
Stay tuned for a Mid-Year Goal Check Point post in a few weeks! If you have any book recommendations, fire away! If you have any requests on the kind of posts you want to read, I’d love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments below!!
Until next time,

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Dread of Life. (Guest Post)

Hello Readers! Happy June! How are we already here? Always amazed at how every day looks small, but when I look back, I've already come all this way.

So, today I am here with a guest post, written by
Sameer Joshi. He is a writer, poet, traveler & friend. He is a person like any of you all, with a lot of wonder about how the world works. You’ll know when you read the post & I'm sure you will find a relation somewhere.

Also, the below photo is clicked by his brother, Vishal Joshi, who is an incredible photographer! I'm lucky to have this duo of talented brothers on my blog!


Being on the edge of extroversion as well as introversion consistently has left me baffled as to which side I belong to. Is it a choice I need to make? It's as if I am just standing on the ledge. It feels like I have spent all my life confused whether to step down the ledge or jump off it.
What kind of life is that?

I have been in many groups. Then it went down to a few groups. Soon it was one group. And, today, here I stand, one person. Few betrayals from friends. Some ignorance from others. A backup for many of the remaining. A frenemy here and a back-stabber there. I have gone through so many faces; real, fake, superficial, pitying, smirky, wicked. And, after hoping for every face to be kind, here I am, finally without any hope left to give.
What kind of life is that?

Even after such sufferings, when I’m left alone, I crave to be a part of a group. But, as soon as I see their true colors, I crave to be apart from that group. Is it always my fault or am I judging myself too much? Would you judge me too much after what I have been through? Or is it that I only like the feeling of being in a group but not actually being in one? Is the feeling enough to continue to live as an extroverted introvert?
What kind of life is that?

Gary Vaynerchuk, who has made entrepreneurship cool, quoted, “You’re not lost in life, you are just early in the process.” If that’s true, why do I constantly feel like I am running away from life? I can’t see the process. I can just see one day and going through it again and again and again until I meet my fate. What’s the point in living if we are going to die one day? Some say that you should live everyday like it is your last day. While some claim that we should be patient and live life in the long term. Whose advice should you take? With whom do you share such thoughts that kill you piece by piece every day? Your peers are busy being someone else’s slave. Your parents won’t understand your entire generation. Your juniors are as clueless as you are. How do you find a mentor? Whom do you trust? What could you precisely do to make your life better? How do you choose when there is loss & hurt in every possible path?

What kind of life is that?

Solitude or Camaraderie?
Alone or Lonely?
Isolation or Community?
Everybody’s Extrovert or Nobody’s Introvert?

Until next time,

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