Saturday, December 24, 2016


Sometimes I think that the world is collapsing around me. No one could have it tougher than I have….what did I do in my life to deserve this? Is it ever going to get better? Why me??? 

I have been through this several times.  But then I have to make myself go on…there is no one else to help me out and get through these times, so best to have some strategy that works out.

One of my first instincts is to shut down.  I don’t want to talk to anyone.  For about a day or two I just think about the situation and feel bad or angry. I masticate on it, sleep (or not), and just try all the solutions on my own.  My next step is to talk to my good friends. I have some really good ones who I can talk to about certain problems. Different friends help out with different situations.  Most of my friends these days are from work and slowly we have become close.  I have also learned over time that my friends can help me only if I share my experiences with them – otherwise we will just be superficial friends.  So I do share with them!

Talking to my friends has always helped me. And of course we usually have friends who think like us. But luckily my friends have not been afraid to speak their minds to me and I have the comfort level to listen to their point of view.  And no matter what they say I still have to decide for myself. Although many times I have followed their advice and it has served me well. As I have always said, I am blessed to have good friends in my life.

Once I have talked to my friends then I take the necessary action to resolve my issue.  Usually by that time, I am on a path to some action or in the process of letting it go. 

There have been situations where I am my only friend. I depend on myself to make the right decision. It has been tough, but luckily I am not a hot head.  I am not impulsive. I do have anger issues but they are for sometimes really trivial things.  Usually when something really bad happens to me, I am very calm. Sadly.  My anger is quite passive aggressive – I will not talk for a while. I go into hiding. I never have shouting matches. I hate shouting.  Although I have been told that my tone is bad – but it always depends on who is listening. 

And generally somewhere between all this stuff, I think about all the people who are going through so much hardship in their life. The refugees who have had to leave their homes and now live in camps.  The veterans, who just serve their country but come back with not just physical but mental injuries. So many of them have to restart their lives.  All the women out there who don’t have even 5% of what I have. I think about the people who lived a good life but due to change in government were persecuted for their life style.

There is too much grief in this world.  Every day I have to think about all that is good in my life and move from there.

There will always be people who make will make me feel bad, little or meaningless, but they don’t control me. I am responsible for my own actions, my own character.  And eventually my own sanity. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Acceptance - Trump - 4..5...whatever

I cannot believe the people of America can be so dumb so as to believe all the fake news.  But recently I have been reading a book that says you can train your brain to do anything. And one of that training is to believe a lie. Yeah! Weird eh!? The biggest lie we tell ourselves is that we have forgiven someone for something terrible they did. The very honest truth is that no one can forgive. We learn to live with the "acceptance" that we cannot change the past - so we fool ourselves into believing that we have "forgiven" the person. This is a big lie.

That is what happened in this election.  All the people who have lost the coal jobs, the manufacturing jobs somehow believe that this man can bring them back are delusional. They want to believe....just because it gives them a sense of hope that they were not getting from the other side.  So whoever can speak to their "belief" is going to be their saviour.

The other big factor I felt was that Trump's whiteness and his golden hair (and his children's golden hair).  He is a story book character - all white and golden, rich, has his own plane, has a model for a wife etc etc....People somehow revere that more than honesty of a person. A lie told by this golden haired person was much more believable than a the truth spoken by a white woman.  I don't think white women realize that they are going to be a minority soon - especially in the work place.

So back to acceptance.  At this point, I have to accept that we will not have a sane person at the helm of USA.  We will have a rich person who only sees money and power.  The people on the way are just nuisance to be trampled on to get to his goal. Every time this man appoints a member of his cabinet there is an uproar in the press of negative things about that person.

We have to accept that things will not be normal.  This is the season of losers.  All the people who were losers in their campaigns or districts are now employable.  They were losers because of their bad policies - but now because of this one big loss for America, we will be led by the losers of all USA. All the policies will be extreme and not in the best interest of America - only in the best interest of the person in charge.  Unless the GOP wakes up and does something - which they will not, we really have nowhere to go. So best accept it - fight it if you can.....

My place in this world is so small right now. I feel powerless and hopeless to do anything. I have to wait for people in power to do the right thing.  But it is cannot hope for anything good.  As everyone says things will get worse before they get good.  I thought we had already been through that with Bush - but I guess there is more worse that USA has to see.

I will accept all the changes Trump is bringing.  He will not do anything good for the country, but people voted for him and he needs to do what he needs to do .....

Sunday, December 18, 2016

President - 3 or 4....

This one is dedicated to Trump....

This man never laughs. He does not have any friends.  I feel like one of the reasons he ran is so he can surround himself with people. And now he is the king....he is surrounding himself with his once enemies (the people he bullied). He seems to want to say to them, "Look I won - you did not!". That is why he is calling them all one by one or collectively to his "towers" and making them kiss his feet.

Now he will have friends!!

This man does not have friends. One does not have to read about him to know that fact. Children are dear - that is one thing - but the way he hangs on to his is like his lifeline. 

One of my biggest problem with him is that he has never had to work a day in his life.  He had everything given to him by his father. Every time he needed money all he had to do was ask his Dad! The same goes for his children. They have been raised with not a silver but gold spoon in their mouth. And now these people will be running the USA! Wow!

All Trump wants is a way to get even richer. That is why he admires Putin. He was endorsed only by one billionaire, Thiel.  All the others know he is a fake. He wants to use his presidential stamp and USA's money and strength to make himself richer. He already has his name licensed everywhere - so as he is conducting government work (which god knows if he will do) - he will promote his business. His children are always sitting in on all the meetings - why? This is such a mess.

And worst of all - this man does not read .... at all. His attention span is only 140 characters! So he can only do is twitter. What an intellectual we have as a president. It is so embarrassing.

Most of his supporters hated Hillary so much that they don't realize that they have just given the con man the treasury. He is now appointing all people to dismantle everything possible including freedom of speech which he is doing himself.  I don't know how America can tolerate this. This is not why I came to America.

I hope some of these wonderful leaders of ours (Obama, Warren, Sanders etc) will come forward and put and end to this hostile takeover by Trump.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Dear Zindagi - 3

The purpose of writing all these posts is not to blame anyone or feel pity for myself. I have to understand where I come from, what I need and what I stand for. At the end of the day, I should be able to look in the mirror and feel good about myself - that I did not hurt anyone, I did not betray anyone's trust, I was there for them.....

The movie, Dear Zindagi, was not deep, and it does not have to be. The key thing for me was that it discussed something that we don't ever talk about.  There were some takeaways for me:
  1. Parents are only humans. We put them on high pedestal but they are just human beings trying to live their lives as best as they know how to. As children of our parents, our whole being is a result of treatment from our parents. As children we believe they cannot be wrong - they are the ones who teach us everything - how can they be wrong? But time and time again that has been proven wrong. Parents are as human as anyone else. 
  2. Why do we punish ourselves? Why do we believe there is some great prize waiting for us if we go through a lot of pain? We push ourselves to take great risks to our mental and physical life to live our life just because it will make us better, stronger and earn respect. WHY? Why don't we take the easy way? What is the problem in that? 
  3. It is important to look inward from time to time, look at our relationships and just like we try to keep our body healthy, we should learn to keep our relationships healthy. They should not get rotten or get fungus on it. They need to be kept fresh and flavorful! This closest relationship of a nuclear family is mostly taken for granted. I have written about this a lot in my blogs in various places.
People don't change their behaviour unless they want to. So I don't try to change anyone or expect anyone will change for me. I also cannot change myself too much....we always remain who we are.

We have our baseline of needs and requirements in life. If those are not met then life can be very difficult. I have many things in my life that make it comfortable, but it has not been easy.  The journey has been hard.  And being alone has been the hardest thing possible for me because I never expected I would be alone. Fighting alone, dealing with emotions alone, having no one to talk to, doing all the work alone. It all gets very tiring. And I am getting very tired. I feel like I have no patience to play games anymore. I want what I want or get out of my way.

I want to enjoy the money I am earning in traveling where I want to, doing what I want to do. Find a person who enjoys life as much as I do and live my life with him. Just relax and take a day at a time. No worries ... no fights.... no competitions....nothing....just an easy going life.  Why can't it be possible?

I don't think I was made for this world. I don't know how to live in it.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Dear Zindagi - 2

So back to “Dear Zindagi”. The first connection I felt with Alia’s character was that I also don’t have a stable romantic relationship.  I have not had much of an intimate relationship with men.  The kind of men I have encountered in my life cannot be trusted and sadly none have stood up for me.  I have thought a lot about it in the last five years as to why I got a divorce and why I don’t have a partner in life.  I always come up with only two factors: 1) No one has ever been loyal to me.  I need someone who would be faithful. If I cannot trust the person then I cannot be with them and one way or another I will let that relationship die.  2) I have yet to meet a man who can handle me. I may not feel strong internally but I externally I come off as an independent, strong woman. It is possible that men cannot handle it.

Different women require different things from their spouses or romantic relationships – money, home, children etc., while some were married young and were more open to adjusting.  But for me it has always been loyalty and personal strength (confidence). And then I wonder why is that? If I was a little more flexible in my needs I would have stayed married or found someone. And this takes me back to how I grew up being betrayed all the time by the ones close to me.

There were so many times that I just wanted to run away from everything.  And even now, when I am living alone, I still want to run away from everything and everyone.

The second thing I could relate to from the movie was the feeling of being abandoned.

First I was happy that I did not have to be with my parents when they left me in India to study, but only later on I realized how wrong that decision of theirs was. No parent sends their 16 year old daughter away to another city - forget another country.  They did not send their son anywhere. I was left in care of relatives, but they were strangers to me. At that age I had to learn how to manage so many things.

The same thing happened with my PhD I did not know even what a PhD was. No one in my family had one. Only my MS professors had PhDs and none of us asked them how they got it or why or what to do with it.  A number of friends finished their Bachelors or Masters and got married.  But not me! I was going to do PhD. I was so proud! Only later I realized that my PhD had nothing to do with anyone caring about my higher education.  My father wanted to make sure that my brother had someone taking care of him during his education in USA.

All of this for me translated into: I was no good for anything except to make sure that my father's son was taken care of. Regarding my care, my parents would always say, "Oh she can take care of herself"! Sure!! They had only two responsibilities – one to educate me and one to find a nice family for me (as all Indian parents do for their daughters).  The first happened because I was capable of doing PhD and because they did not have to pay a penny for my PhD.  And they failed in the second one.

One might say – "Why are you complaining? You have a nice job, a house and you are independent."  That is true. That I am thankful for – but there is a gaping hole in my life that will never be filled.  And yes there are many girls whose life is tougher than mine – but I can compare myself only to my peers – all of whom are successful career woman with families and a support system.  I had to fight for everything myself.

There is always this feeling of abandonment, that everyone is going to leave me eventually (and I am not speaking about death).  No matter how much I do for anyone, eventually they will leave me when I need them. And most people have. This is not a feeling I felt one time...this is a feeling that keeps reinforcing continuously with experiences - I cannot ignore it. And the good for nothing husband did the same thing....he chose to leave me instead of fighting for me.

I felt really let down when I got married.  No one tried to stop the atrocity that was my marriage.  The guy was no where equal to me any way.  And in this day and age that should not have been the case.  And my parents should have known that they did not raise a Sati-Savitri.  But I could see from that time that I was always going to be alone.  During the two years that we were looking for a potential husband, my father showed me colors that I have not seen before.  I felt completely betrayed. By the time the “would be husband” came along – I was tired of fighting and explaining. I had given up. The loss was mine, and the lesson was mine too. I gave up on any support from my family at that point.

Now I have made myself such that I try to not let things affect me. I do what I have to do, need to do and should do, so I can live without any regrets.  But even that can be trying. I have to routinely deal with the negativity of my father, the general apathy from my mother and total lack of support from my brother.  Regardless of whether I can get love or not from family, one thing I will surely get is criticism.  There is no shortage of that.

One might say I am being dramatic – sure go ahead.  It’s my life and my experience. No one is going to come and live my life for me. When the times come, I have to handle things myself.  I decided what job was good for me, where I had to move, which house I had to buy etc.  I cannot count on anyone’s objective or caring feedback to give me the emotional and mental support I need. I cannot even count on telling anyone anything without them getting all judgmental on me. So now I just keep quiet about so many things.

One might ask – have you talked to your parents about this? My answer is why? There is no need to.  Everyone knows what they are doing. My parents are educated, mature individuals who have gone through a lot in their lives also.  They know exactly what they are doing and they don’t care for the consequences. One cares for the consequences only if one has something to lose.  The one time that I did not speak to them for a few months during my divorce, they drove 11 hrs from Detroit to Kansas City to see me.  And since then I don’t make them feel like they need to do reach out to me like that.  Regardless of how they behave with me, they are still my parents and if I can make their life easier, I will.  They don't really think I have anything to complain about so they will not understand my no need to explain anything. Just keep living.......

Because of all this nonsense in my life – loyalty is above anything else to me.  My trust has been broken so many times that it is very hard to trust anyone.  Although I have to trust people in order to get anything done, but I have noticed that people are not all that dependable anymore.  Everyone is looking out for themselves. Their own purpose should be served, that’s all that matters.  Everyone for himself!! Sadly I don’t follow that philosophy so I will always have a hard time in life.

And that is why I want to disappear.....I really do.

Dear Zindagi - 1

So I saw this movie yesterday – “Dear Zindagi”.  It was not what I was expecting. In the movie, Alia Bhatt’s character is going through some hard times with her relationships – especially with men.  And she is shown as a strong, independent girl.  But because she is single she is kicked out of her housing and so must move in with her parents in Goa. Her emotions show that she has issues with them which has really shaped her character but we don't know what issues…. yet. By chance she is sitting in a hotel where there is a presentation on mental health going on. One of the speakers is our own very Shah Rukh Khan, a psychiatrist, speaking on what a taboo it is to seek and give mental health care.  Well, Alia starts seeking Khans’s professional help and little by little the story unravels as to why she is the way she is.

It is not a deep deep movie but it still brought up a lot of emotions for me.  I could really feel Alia’s pain since I have been there.  Most girls go through some or the other negative experience in their life – it could be eve teasing while shopping, having sexual advances made by relatives, coworkers or bosses and being abused emotionally, physically or mentally.  Lucky are the girls who have not experienced any of these! Most girls go through the negative behaviour without telling anyone – that would be a sign of weakness and/or they may end up losing a little bit of independence they might have. We suffer through it – it makes us who we are as a person and most times it will translate into how we handle our relationships.   The girls who have the most positive relationships are the ones who come from a set of parents who loved her.  These girls generally don’t know how to cook….that is how I know they were loved. If they cook they learned it on their own, not from their mothers.

Most of us like to suppress bad memories and relive the good ones for happiness sake.  We go through relationship issues but we don’t stop to think why? Everyone has issues – right? So its okay – it cannot be because of some childhood or growing up pain.  We would rather blame others or circumstances but never look inwards to think about why something happens to us, even if it might be a pattern.

Some of us talk to our friends and if we are feeling the same thing then our feelings are validated. But not always, in which case we might feel superior for suffering or inferior for not being able to handle things.  And in several cases, we don’t talk about everything – some things are too private to share.

We could talk to someone else…..someone who could give us objective advice and keep our secrets a secret but…..then see a psychologist? A psychiatrist?

Mental health is a taboo – everywhere.  At least now in America people know there is a problem so there are professionals to help. I know when I was going through my divorce, my friend, happened to be a counselor, really helped me balance my emotions.  And for the last 20 years I have seen a real openness about talking and dealing with mental health issues in USA.  Women go through it a lot more than men, maybe because our brains are wired to constantly keep thinking and we are by nature more emotional (hormones?).  But men are also susceptible to it – but again that is a taboo…

Mental weakness is a general sign of weakness in a person. Everyone needs counseling: career, medical, law, spiritual – then why feel guilty about mental counseling?

Of course, I don’t know the answers – but I do know that I have been thinking of getting counselling for the past two years but have not done it.  There are things we can talk about to our friends or parents or boss to try to get feedback, but there are so many things that we are just not ready to share with anyone.  For me I feel that I cannot even talk to myself about certain things because I will start to rationalize them….or justify them. And since it is only my brain giving all the answers – I will never get another perspective.

At this time I am left thinking more about what happened in my life that makes me behave the way I do.....

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The New President...Continued 2

I keep thinking a lot about what is going on in politics and instead of writing an essay I feel like just penning my thoughts as bullet points.
  • I think Kellyann Conway should have a word limit or time limit for her answers.
  • I think all news agencies should hire one person specifically for deciphering and
    handling Trump’s tweets.
  • I think the press should stop acting bewildered every time Trump does something stupid….that is the new normality of America – get used to it.
  • I think the press should just start writing the facts regarding Trump’s tweets etc. rather than having a debate about it – there is no use arguing or justifying the pig.
  • I think instead of people getting angry and being abusive to other people, they should get involved and make a difference for whichever area they feel like – environment, economy, voter rights, women’s rights etc. 
  • I think everyone needs to realize the importance of education.
  • I think people should get to the know the difference between facts and lies. And please stop using the word "Falsehood" - can we just say "lie" for something that is not true?
  • I think we should hold people accountable for their words. Words mean something - they are not just alphabet soup one vomits from their mouths. And words have consequences..... 
  • I used to think Americans were sensible people, capable people and innovative - they have proven me all wrong this year! Or maybe not - they have shown me how innovative they can be!
  • I will add more as I think more........

Where is my Life?

Things have not gone the way I wanted or imagined. Maybe a lot of people feel that way. But now that I have lived more than half my life, I can look back and think of what I have and what I could have had…and of course what I really wanted!

My first thought is always that I never thought I would be alone at this point in my life. I am and always will be a romantic and believe that there is a someone for everyone. But where is mine someone? All my life I have not even met anyone that I would want to be with. So what happened? Where did I miss my chance? Did I even have a chance to begin with? I will never know the answers to those questions.  I know I am still a romantic and always hope for the best.

I never thought I would be working this much! Of course not! I was supposed to be married and have someone else take care of me. I would have worked but given it up when I had children.  But none of that happened, so here I am working my behind off without any end in sight.

I never really wanted to have my own children because I believed in adoption. I also had no real desire to be a parent (have my own kids or adopted).  But according to the norms of life it was something that was going to happen …it happens to everyone – right? I took this for granted so much that I never thought it would not happen to me. I saw my friends and cousins, get educated and get married and having kids. Some were still working while some quit after kids. And that is how I thought my life would turn out to be. Well…destiny had other plans for me. For once my desire to never be a parent turned out to be granted to me.  There were some points in my life where I would really have a strong need to be a mother.  But now with years that has passed and I have no desire to be a mother anymore. 

I knew I would be working – for how long I did not know.  But what I did not anticipate was how challenging each work-place would be.  I always believe that we live life to improve ourselves to make us a better person and work towards a better life. That is how I wanted my work to be too. But it seems that I am only going downhill in life. There is no improvement in working conditions and my colleagues are getting worse to deal with.  Every place I have worked there has been that one challenging person in the department who has felt threatened by me. Why? I am such a low key person.  I like achieving goals, but I don’t take them away from anyone. I only do what other people don’t want to do, yet I have still be ostracized because of that. All of these nemesis have been women. Most of my sounding boards and supporters have been male colleagues. I was lucky to have them or I would have thought I was going crazy! This downhill work-place issue seems to be a never ending process. WHY? If destiny had decided that I was not going to have a home life why not give me a satisfying professional life?

I never thought I would be so socially isolated.  I have always had many friends. I enjoy their company and cannot imagine not socializing – even if it is for a short while. I have had all kinds of friends. Lately I am realizing that all my friends have turned into “phone” friends.  Most of my friends from other cities have become my true friends while where I live – West Palm Beach – does not have the kind of people I can socialize with.  WHY? Again – destiny!

I go through life sometimes thinking that I am living someone else’s life.  How can this be my life? There is no love, no happiness, no family, no friends, no professional satisfaction. there is nothing in my life that I thought I would have.  There is absolutely nothing in my life that gives me happiness. I just feel like an ant – just going out there, getting food and coming back.  There is not one thing that inspires me to keep going. I am just sitting on a Ferris wheel going round and round and round… and sometimes not even that – my situation has not stayed the same, it has only worsened.

I keep thinking next year will be different and my quality of life will improve.  Things do change but for me ... not for the better…..I am waiting……