About pausetoponder

I'm always on the go and everyone's go-to-girl. I have little time but lots of patience and a laissez-faire attitude to life. Often called Little Miss Sunshine.

Somebody’s someone

Have you ever wondered how we ever only remember our life as a part of someone else’s?

I cannot recall my earliest memories without my middle sister featuring in them. Archana and me – my memory draws no distinction. She is six years older. When I was in class 4 she was in class 9. She bossed and bullied me as she pleased. She would catch me eating food from the canteen rather than eating the lunch my mom had packed and would threaten to tell my mother. She blackmailed me into submission. She would interrupt my class to ask for water from my bottle, much to my teachers’ chagrin. She would often grab me after my class and take me to hers where for her friends (older and cooler in my opinion) I, was the entertainment. Her friends fawned over me, I even recall one girl in particular who would stitch little dresses for my dolls. I basked in my sister’s reflected glory. Popular simply because I was Archie’s sister.

We set off every summer to visit our grandparents, a long train ride into the Indian heartland. The anticipation mounted with each passing train station. Archana and I would fight for the window seat and quarrel about the upper berth. My mother and my eldest sister Vandana, who is 11 years older and was always a grown-up, were the peace-keeping forces. Sharing our berth was our constant companion, a large red and white, Milton water-cooler with cold water and Glucose D to keep us hydrated. A red Walkman plugged in my ears. George Michael for company. Bored and happy in equal measure. The parched lands, the rolling hills, the sunsets, the inky blue night, the moonlight casting shadows on trees and the fireflies sparkling before our tired eyes. Little treats marked our progress. Belgaum’s Kunda, Orai’s Gulab Jamuns and Jhansi’s Pethas. From hippy, hedonistic Goa to conformist, conventional Kanpur. After nearly 24 hours of travel, we would arrive smelling of the Indian Railways. That unmistakable smell I can only describe as train-iron. As she stepped off the train, my mother would step out of my father’s shadow. We would see her in a new light in her old home. As girls raised in Goa, we were so obviously ‘western’ in Kanpur. We didn’t wear a salwar kameez or should I say salwar suit. We would refuse to wear a dupatta in Kanpur’s searing heat, but my cousin could never step out without one. My aunt would chide me about calling my sister by their names and not adding a Didi as a mark of respect. We were a constant source of amusement. One morning my mother chuckled when a neighbour remarked, “Neerja tumhari beti toh bilkul Russi hai” i.e “Your daughter is so Russian”. I’m quite certain it was less of a compliment and more of a judgement on my mother’s betrayal of Kanpur’s traditions. That jibe about my carefree nature stayed with me because I was after all Neerja’s daughter.

My father was always encouraging us to read and take-up new hobbies. However, he maintained that our studies always came first. Unfortunately for him, right through school, I didn’t. Perhaps my only talent was that I was chatty, confident and never shy to put on a show. Story-telling, dancing, elocution – I didn’t need a second invitation. I was a little less enthusiastic about equations, formulas and theorems. I recall one hot balmy afternoon in particular when my friend Nandini picked me up on her trusted two-wheeler Scooty. She lived quite far from us but friendships weren’t defined by convenience and kilometers. She wasn’t in ‘my side of town’ but she was in my corner when I decided to address a room full of scientists. The topic was water conservation. These were my father’s colleagues at the National Institute of Oceanography. When my father suggested I participate I gamely agreed, but on the condition that he couldn’t be in the audience. I came first. And what I remember most about this achievement was that the congratulations were for Mr. Bajpai’s daughter.

Daughter, sister, wife. Where’s the I in identity? By the time I was old enough to have that self-awareness to enjoy that individuality, there were already too many demands on my time. Work, family, friends, fitness and fun. And then I found out I was pregnant.

It was almost a year ago. I was in Sydney on a business trip and attributed the disorientation to the jet-lag. I shopped for winter-wear for my soon-to-be postponed holiday to Ladakh, met friends over wine and good food. Inspired by fitness-obsessed Australia, I even gifted myself a Fitbit.

A little strip in a little bathroom confirmed in three little seconds that I would have a little one soon. All of a sudden I began to consider known facts in a new way. Could I have tea? Are mushrooms okay for lunch? I was tempted to break the news to my husband in person to truly enjoy the moment together. But I had another few days in Sydney followed by a business stopover in Hong Kong. And surely this couldn’t wait? I was wary of calling him at work and listening to his usual officious tone. Maybe I could wait till he’s back home to break the news? The time difference hardly mattered because I could barely sleep with excitement. But I just HAD to hear his voice and yet, give myself the option of not sharing this news over the phone. So I found a novel solution. I decided to Face-time him in a face mask! He quizzed me about why I chose a video call when clearly a hydrating mask was more important. The pretense didn’t last and I told him. His response was that I must have had one too many glasses of wine and that I should take the test again in the morning.

I braved the next few days in Hong Kong. It was very difficult to lie to my friends and attend my business meetings. Passing on the glass of wine is a tell-tale sign in today’s times so I would priggishly order a mocktail that could pass off as a Cosmopolitan. I landed in Mumbai on June 1st 2016 and headed straight to my gynecologist who confirmed that  I was six weeks pregnant. On June 2nd, I gifted the scan report to my parents as their 49th wedding anniversary present.

Over the next few  months I enthusiastically committed myself to project Pregnancy. Our baby boy was born on January 5th, 2017. Perfect in every way. Never before have I loved anyone so intensely, deeply and completely. It gives me an extraordinary sense of purpose each morning. Motherhood means there are so many unaccounted hours in the day but it’s in those hours that I find everything. The purest joy. The finest moments of my life as he coos and babbles. The little one lords over the daily chores and I’m at his service.

That said, I try to reclaim myself from time to time. Snatching some time to think, read, exercise, shop and write. All in an attempt to remind myself of who I once was. Not the individualistic, self-gratifying nature of singledom which is now a distant memory. But a more realistic endeavor in which I remind myself that I perhaps can’t go back to my old self but to become a newer version of myself.

Last week as I sat slumped in my chair exhausted with the effort of love that is feeding, I got a phone call from the paediatrician’s clinic to confirm our appointment. “Is this Neev’s mom?” asked the receptionist. I was caught off-guard. And just like that I had a new identity. But this time someone belonged to me.

“Yes”, I said, sitting up a little straighter.

Coming Back to You

My last post was in January 2015 which is embarrassing. I’ve had painful reminders about my inertia. Statistics from WordPress, coaxing from friends and my inner voice chiding me regularly. It’s like not calling a friend for longer than one should have – you intend to, you think of her often but just don’t get around to picking up the phone. The longer it takes the weaker the resolve. Inertia very quickly turned to insecurity. Was everything I felt irrelevant? Everything I wanted to say inconsequential? I was emptied out. Did my last post take everything from me?

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Perhaps, I’ve been too comfortable. My hypothesis (possibly flawed) and past experience is that a certain level of complexity is a prerequisite to passionate writing. The last year was spent in simple domestic bliss and a challenging yet successful year at work. I was too happy or too engaged with life to pause and ponder. Happiness has always made a guest appearance in my life. Short, sporadic bursts and then it was gone. Leaving only a gentle reminder of its presence and a desire to pursue it some more. So, for the first time I reveled in it. The generosity with which it came – I splashed around it in.

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I light a lamp each night. I’m not religious but I have faith and the simple act of closing your eyes, and bowing your head in gratitude, the feeling of surrendering to something is in itself calming. Every night I thank the Lord and implore him not to snatch this away from me. I feared that this absolute happiness, this unadulterated contentment, the feeling that everything around is just right, was almost impossible. As I bit adieu to 2015 I was almost wary of what the next year would bring. Turns out I was right.

2016 got off on the wrong foot. In January, my sister was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease. All of a sudden that happiness started dissipating. Our phone conversations were now cloaked with anxiety. Since I’m not yet a parent, I experienced first-hand that worrying is a full-time job and I was learning to cope with that feeling.

When I was younger I used to joke that my sister is my oxygen. She’s six years older than me and has raised me. Her priorities changed as she became a mother but I still hung on stubbornly to that notion. So this blow was hard on all of us and I was expected to bring comic relief to a weary household. To be a jester without a trick or a joke. I remember being in the kitchen with my mom and she asked me if I thought my sister would get better. Her naked worry stung me. We expect our parents to be teflon-tough not realizing that they too, have doubts, fears and worries which they hide from us.

When life deals you a bad hand occasionally, you reflect and ask existential questions about life, love and loss You also observe things that you’d otherwise have missed. There are two unrelated incidents that occurred and served as reminders that life must go on.

My husband and I had boarded a flight, on a sunny afternoon, hands linked to each other and as he sat on the aisle seat and I in the middle. An elderly gentleman showed up and claimed the window seat crushing my hope for an afternoon nap. As my husband pulled out his book and I reached for my Kindle, my neighbor bent his heavy frame and fished out the newspaper from the seat-pocket and as he started to read the tripe that passes for news, he settled on a page. Folding the paper indicating his full attention and interest. His eyes scanned the paper as mine studied him. He was reading the Obituary page. I wondered how it would feel, in my twilight years, much like him ,to be searching for friends and acquaintances in the pages of a newspaper?

Some months later, I had the flu and after several failed attempts at self-medication I went to a doctor. I took his prescription to a busy chemist and as I handed the piece of paper hoping he would have better luck understanding the illegible handwriting, I noticed a middle-aged woman walk up to the counter. She was from a humble background, her clothes and shoes had seen better days and she carried some medical reports in a worn-out yellow plastic bag. She gingerly took out the report and gave it to the assistant. He announced rather loudly that the injections would cost Rs.4500 each (approximately 66USD). She repeated the amount slowly, she didn’t look crestfallen as she calculated silently. I guess when an experience gets familiar, it fails to shock you. I was very tempted to jump to her aid and almost opened my mouth to offer her the money but the sales assistant returned with my order and asked me if he should give 12 pellets instead of 10. Yes, I replied hastily, and turned to look at her but all I saw was a receding figure, crossing the road.

Being helpless saddens and often angers me. But I realize I must not give up hope. Despite Trump. The soundless wheels of time are turning each day. Delivering pleasure, pain and prose. 10 months later, my sister’s health is stable and improving and I’m going to be a mother soon. 2016 draws to an end in burgeoning optimism.

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Hong Kong

I’m back after a hiatus. There were seismic changes and all in quick succession. Physically fatigued and mentally worn out, I had no time to think; much less to write. Such fervent planning, selling, buying, packing and unpacking that I felt bereft of any emotion, focusing only on the tasks ahead. It all began when I requested for a transfer from Hong Kong to India.

After the macro planning of moving countries came the piecemeal planning. Taking photographs of my furniture, uploading it on various websites, drawing up a price list and the slow, systematic, dismantling of my life. As I had inherited my landlord’s furniture I didn’t own much but what I did was precious and cherished. But if you separate the owner from her belongings, you’re just left with objects. Life can be brutally transactional.

My hot pink IKEA sofa, my romance chest, my movie style lamp, my Indonesian wooden bar cabinet. Yes that’s right, I owned a bar cabinet with lots of very expensive glasses, imagining I would be hosting many soirees. I’m not a drinker but I am a dreamer.

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It also involved some paperwork. As you know it’s not my forte. (https://pausetoponder.com/2013/09/05/staying-true-to-form/). Between the termination notices and other formalities, it didn’t allow me to feel melancholic about the inevitable farewells.

I attempted writing this piece but words escaped me. I felt strongly, but strangely, I felt empty. One Friday evening, I opened my refrigerator and thought I’d seek aid from alcohol. A glass of wine perhaps, like shown in the movies. There’s a saying in Italian “ In wine there is the truth”. Alas, instead of coherent thoughts I welcomed sleep.

Why? I wondered. Life changing events and I felt nothing? I probed. Perhaps my instinct for self-preservation had kicked in.

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Leaving Hong Kong was rather difficult. It’s a transient city but I grew up in that city. It took a lot from me but it gave me so much more. Wonderful friends, heaps of fun, lasting memories and lessons. It was a defining period in my life where I wandered off and then reclaimed myself.

I’d spent nearly seven years in Hong Kong. A few more months and I would be a permanent resident. Hong Kong. Have you realized how different a word sounds depending on how your world changes? How easily some names that meant so much at one point, that would roll of your lips so naturally, now sound unfamiliar?

In response to immigration officers, I’d say I live in Hong Kong. I’d rush to airport gates announcing a flight to Hong Kong. My last two passports were issued in Hong Kong. My photo identity was my Hong Kong Identity Card. In response to where I was from, Hong Kong was the most appropriate response. After all my business and personal travels, I’d land in that city and wait for the airport express train to swoop in and carry me swiftly and safely to what was then, home.

I had packed my bags for Hong Kong with trepidation. Everyone assured me that I would love it and I did. How could I not, the vibrant city envelopes you in its heady mix of money, shopping, friends and travel. It’s off-the-charts sexy and it also has a soul.
It must have been my unending enthusiasm because when I landed in the month of February it was unexpectedly cold, bleak and uninviting. I was cooped up in a service apartment for a month with no friends but plenty of time. I was lonely initially but not sad. I began to revel in the anonymity. Getting lost in the labyrinth of gleaming and imposing buildings.

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The early years are not something I want to forget entirely. But they’re also something I don’t remember easily. The memories have been folded neatly and pushed in the far corners of my heart. Once in a while I’m reminded of them, accidentally. Chancing upon old scanned documents in folders long forgotten. Unearthing USB’s with photographs. On rare occasions I cave in. I remember them, deliberately. Like today.

It would be dishonest if I write this chapter on Hong Kong without mentioning my former husband. My former, laugh-out-loud hilarious partner. He’s not a person, he’s an experience. He kicks the door open to announce his arrival. One of the most creative people I know with talents that never cease to end. He can cook, sing, rap, dance, act, play musical instruments and play sports. A photographer par excellence. He ran marathons, reviewed movies, programmed music channels, created cartoons and last I checked he was into rowing and also sang in a choir! He is a living example that it’s never too late to attempt anything.

We shopped, made new friends, partied, traveled, binged on our favourite TV series and experimented with international cuisines. We enjoyed all the firsts that come with living overseas. In a foreign land we leaned on each other for companionship, resulting in a closeness that wasn’t sustainable. Eventually we had to pull apart. We got confused. We got temperamental. We got lost. We lost each other. It was as if I had subscribed to an entertainment channel. Scratch that, a bouquet of channels. Perhaps our combined energies were self-destructive; waiting to explode.

I was desperately sad in the months that followed. It was the void that hit me first. I tried every trick in the book to fill this void but I was just sinking into irrelevance. I hit the malls with a vengeance,tried Zumba and became post-break-up thin but I slowly realised that only I could fill this void. I had to be autonomous in my unhappiness. Not by staying busy but by staying strong.

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To fill this void, along came a new companion. Anxiety. It hung around me in a heavy air. I tried to outsmart it but I couldn’t. It linked arms with me. It accompanied me to meetings, picnics, parties and in bed. I accommodated it, because anxiety kept me on my toes. It kept me in check. It made me more efficient. The longer it stayed , the better I got at handling it.

Finally, I was in a good place. There’s a line in one of my favourite books The Kite Runner:
“I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.”

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Perhaps I had forgiven myself for what I considered a failure. Soon I began to love my life and my independence. My ex and I often found our paths crossing but never our lives. He met the girl he would marry and months later, I met my future husband.

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Our friendship grew organically. We didn’t say I love You’s. We didn’t need to. We just knew. If my ex had given me wings, my husband provided wings and roots. I call him my anchor. However, marriage meant leaving Hong Kong and my solitude. How ironic that the very thing that scared me at first was now invaluable. Solitude teaches you more about yourself and I highly recommend it in large doses.

In May, my ex-husband and I met for lunch possibly for the last time. For a man of flamboyant entries, his exit was quiet and full of grace. We caught up, cried softly (blamed it on spicy Sichuan Chinese food), reminisced about traversing the peaks and valleys of Hong Kong, literally and figuratively. He left on the 14th of June for the States and two weeks later I bid adieu to Hong Kong. Thus ending this glorious chapter.

Six months later, I’m back in India. Furniture sold, MPF and bank accounts closed, taxes cleared and correspondence addresses changed. There’s no trace of my life back in Hong Kong except for what survives in memory.

‘Do you miss Hong Kong?’ asks everyone. ‘No,’ I reply feeling faintly disloyal. Although I miss everything about it. Friends, colleagues, weather, food, gym, infrastructure, governance and yet I’m happy. Pure, unbridled joy. Sorry Hong Kong, just because I didn’t think I was lonely didn’t mean I didn’t feel lonely.

I’d left as a young, carefree girl and I’ve returned as a wise old soul. ‘Life takes you places, love brings you home’.

Happy Father’s Day

I was half asleep until half an hour ago, that in between state of sleep and wakefulness. When my mind stirred and the thoughts started warming up although my eyes stayed firmly shut and body remained still and limp with sleep. But a thought crept in, about Father’s Day and that I should have bought a present for my dad. Should have sent a little surprise perhaps? I’m the only member in my family who believes in them. The others are shockingly bad with surprises or spontaneity.

Instead I decided to write this post, not because I will publish it and my father via Facebook will like it and so will my extended family. No. My dad’s mercifully not on Facebook and my sisters aren’t very savvy either. This note is just a recognition. Mother’s shouldn’t be celebrated over a day, it’s a lifelong gratitude. You say the word mother and it warms the cockles of your heart. They are just as sacrificing now then they were before. But our fathers, deserve a special mention today simply because they’ve stopped making men like them.

We’ve all heard that term before. Our rich history with selfless visionaries can’t be compared to the current crop of pathetic politicians. The thieving ministers and thugs that are elected to lead us. We get melancholic listening to Kishore Kumar, RD Burman or Dylan. Plenty of good talent now but hardly exceptional. Actors like Harrison Ford, Clint Eastwod, Richard Gere, Amitabh Bachchan. They were men not boys.

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Our fathers were our teachers, our handymen, our accountants, our drivers, our mechanics and our doctors. They were everything rolled into one without making it seem like it was extraordinary. That generation of men lived a disciplined life. I wonder if our fathers ever slept in, nursed a hangover or chilled at home. It seems to me they were up before the alarm went off even in their twenties.

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My father was born in a small village in UP and given his background I think it’s remarkable the life he’s made for himself and the life he provided us. He does manage to surprise us sometimes with his choices. Like moving to Goa or painting his scooter a bright canary yellow. The head of the family was ahead of his times.

My father pressed his own clothes as well as ours. He is never too busy for us. Recently an old childhood friend who I lost touch over the years added me on Facebook and told me how grateful he was that my dad helped him with his practical exams. I had no idea that they had such an arrangement. In the evenings my father turned part teacher part monster. Let’s just say Maths was never my strong point. It never quite added up in my head.

On the weekends too he works with clockwork regularity. Washing the scooter and the car. Cleaning the blades of all the fans, dusting and finishing other domestic duties. They were fixers. Whereas the guys I now meet have to be told, gently persuaded, reminded, begged and yelled at until they get-up from the couch or look up from the TV or an iPhone etc. Then they have the audacity to call us nags.

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Being domesticated didn’t mean that they weren’t worldly and wise. He can engage in a discussion about history, politics, science and is more knowledgeable than most guys I know.

My neighbour recalls how dad would yell at anybody trying to steal mangoes from her tree. My father and mangoes are not to be messed with. This summer his voice on the phone was almost deliriously happy because he had received his first batch of mangoes. What I admire is this conscientious attitude. Nowadays who gives a damn about what’s happening in your neighbours life?

Now that he’s retired he’s still equally busy. The red tapism in India keeps him suitably busy and largely frustrated. During one his walks, he noticed a pipe was leaking and of course my chagrined father went to the local MLA to tell him a thing or two about wasting water.

He’s a Doer. He’s the ideal candidate for a Power of Attorney. My sister entrusts him with her investments. He walks over to her house and attends to her garden. He recently fixed her washing machine using an old vegetable tray. On another occasion my sister was complaining that her sunglasses have become loose so my father used a hair dryer to heat the plastic until it worked. We would have purchased another pair. We’re the infamous use and throw generation. My dad on the other hand was from the mend and save generation.

When any of us have a work related problem, my dad always assures us by saying ‘Don’t worry about losing a job. I can’t provide you with the luxuries you’re used to but I can still take care of my children’s necessities’

My intention here is not to extol about my dad. It’s just a salute to our dads. The rare breed of men who make it all possible. One might argue that they were not hands-on daddies like we find today and I agree. But life is all about trade offs. The relationship with my father wasn’t based on friendship. Papa wasn’t playful but was respected. Feared more than he was loved.

Sadly he is also taken for granted. Until now.

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To right the wrong

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“We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us. But if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong.
Why is this? Because you yourself are wrong in some way, and you seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way. But it takes a lot of living to grow fully into your own wrongness. And it isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest demons, your unsolvable problems—the ones that make you truly who you are—that we’re ready to find a lifelong mate. Only then do you finally know what you’re looking for.
You’re looking for the wrong person.
But not just any wrong person: the right wrong person—someone you lovingly gaze upon and think, “This is the problem I want to have”.
I will find that special person who is wrong for me in just the right way. Let our scars fall in love.”

― Galway Kinnell

As I Walked Out One Evening by W. H. Auden

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As I walked out one evening,
Walking down Bristol Street,
The crowds upon the pavement
Were fields of harvest wheat.

And down by the brimming river
I heard a lover sing
Under an arch of the railway:
“Love has no ending.
“I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love you
Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sing in the street,

“I’ll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
Like geese about the sky.

“The years shall run like rabbits,
For in my arms I hold
The Flower of the Ages,
And the first love of the world.”

But all the clocks in the city
Began to whirr and chime:
“O let not Time deceive you,
You cannot conquer Time.

“In the burrows of the Nightmare
Where Justice naked is,
Time watches from the shadow
And coughs when you would kiss.

“In headaches and in worry
Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
To-morrow or to-day.

“Into many a green valley
Drifts the appalling snow;
Time breaks the threaded dances
And the diver’s brilliant bow.

“O plunge your hands in water,
Plunge them in up to the wrist;
Stare, stare in the basin
And wonder what you’ve missed.

“The glacier knocks in the cupboard,
The desert sighs in the bed,
And the crack in the tea-cup opens
A lane to the land of the dead.

“Where the beggars raffle the banknotes
And the Giant is enchanting to Jack,
And the Lily-white Boy is a Roarer,
And Jill goes down on her back.

“O look, look in the mirror?
O look in your distress:
Life remains a blessing
Although you cannot bless.

“O stand, stand at the window
As the tears scald and start;
You shall love your crooked neighbour
With your crooked heart.”

It was late, late in the evening,
The lovers they were gone;
The clocks had ceased their chiming,
And the deep river ran on.

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Happy New Year!

We’re celebrating a new year (part deux) in Hong Kong. The Year of the Horse that I hope brings new milestones and nomadic freedom. Looking back makes most of us reflective at first and then resolute. Revisiting the past and reviewing the experiences enriches us with a special wisdom. Sharing some of my key insights and lessons here:

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I’ve often questioned the wisdom of eating Wasabi.

Business class upgrades restores my faith in luck and loyalty programs.

I’m incurable when I suffer from queue envy.

We have to accept that sometimes life takes more than it gives. Forge new friendships and learn to forget.

Hankering for holidays gives me the will to work.

Hair has a long -term enemy called humidity.

Take photos but also take the time to see them. What’s the point of record-keeping if they’re forgotten once shared on social media?

Take risks…calculated or not. A bad decision is a good lesson.

The best sleep is the one that follows after you hit the snooze button.

I prefer people befriending me than following me. Facebook vs. Twitter.

Weekends are about the joy of waking up without the shrill of an alarm.

There are people who have emails and there are people who have email folders.

Generosity and giving has a special joy. However, gifts cannot be compensatory.

Conferences are very conducive to sleep.

I can’t imagine giving up carbs but always envision myself being magically cellulite-free.

Bath tubs are dangerous for accident prone people like me and should come with an emergency button.

We’re allowed one mega mistake a year. A titanic of all screw-ups. That’s how I justify it to myself.

All good stories start with “One day we had too much to drink…”. Nothing exciting ever happens over salads.

The fancier the hotel/club/restaurant the more ambiguous the signs outside the ladies and gents bathrooms. Why sacrifice simplicity for style?

You fully understand yourself when you’re living alone. Until then you’re mostly living up to expectations.
You get to know yourself, not a version of you through the proud eyes of your parents, the love of siblings, the romanticised idea of you held by a partner or the camaraderie of friends and colleagues. But the real you, the one that talks to you when you’re fixing a meal for yourself in the kitchen and the one that gives you company at 3am when sleep evades you.

Comfortable high heels is an oxymoron.

Vanity and my winter wardrobe don’t get along. Puffer jackets..UGG!

Hangovers are the price you pay for a good time.

You’ve invested in past relationships and people casually refer to it as baggage. Some have carry-on, some have it checked in and some have excess baggage. I don’t want to let go of this baggage. It’s brought me here and will travel with me like a silent companion requiring no retribution.

Recycle bins and Trash folders are a treasure trove of memories.

Sometimes I don’t know if I’m dreaming or thinking in my sleep.

Long after the people have left, if you still think of them and smile then I guess it’s a nice way to be remembered.

Baz Luhrmann suggests remembering the compliments you receive. The best compliment of 2013- A friend told me that each time she sees me and returns home, she feels like she’s been on a holiday.

Be honest, without fear of judgment or losing someone.

Routine ruins me.

There is a parallel universe with forgotten passwords and PIN numbers.

One can never keep up with the Kardashians.

It’s never too late to start a hobby. Much like this blog.

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