Action Replay: November 2017

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Tomorrow, we're stepping into the last month of the year and I cannot be more glad. Honestly, I think I'm done with 2017 and it might officially be the worst year of my life so far. I tried my best to see the good in it, trust me, but soon it was all back to square one. No, nothing that terrible happened to me over the year, but nothing good happened either. 2017 has been a year of unrest for me. It was a battle with my own mind and my inner strength. But to look at the bright side, I came out a much stronger person with a good number of lessons in my kitty. So far, I had learnt to slow down and let go. This had helped me immensely and I had made peace with the demons in my head. Sadly, November introduced me to the mother of all demons - Anxiety.

When you are a strong person, people think that you cannot go through anything bad at all. "Oh, you are so strong. Everything must be rosy in your life", is the general assumption. People need to understand that a smooth sea never makes a skilled sailor. Being strong doesn't mean that you do not have to go through bad weather, it means having the strength to get into the storm and come out alive at the other end. Being strong also means that you accept the scars that come your way and not avoid it. Being strong means putting up a brave face when the people around you are crumbling. Being strong means believing that things will get better tomorrow. Being strong means working hard to come out of a bad situation and moving on towards a better future. Being strong has nothing to do with physical strength, it is all in the mind. My strength lies in my mind and no amount of anxiety can take that away from me.

Book Review: Big Little Lies

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Title: Big Little Lies
Author: Liane Moriarty
Publisher: Penguin (7 May 2015)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Mystery
Price: Rs. 357 on Amazon
Pages: 496

Just like 'The Handmaid's Tale', I heard of this book too when its show won big at the Emmys. A show headlined by Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon would be quite something. I decided that I'd read the book before watching its adaptation. Also, this was the first time that I was reading Liane Moriarty and I was a bit worried about the writing style. The writing style of Margaret Atwood was very difficult for me to read, so I was a bit wary of trying new authors. Still, I went ahead and ordered the book.

Big Little Lies revolves around the lives of three women and their children who all go to the same school, Pirriwee Public School. Jane is a young, single mother to her son Ziggy. Madeline has a daughter, Abigail from her previous marriage to Nathan and a son, Fred and a daughter, Chloe from her current marriage to Ed. Celeste is a mother to twin boys, Max and Josh and is the beautiful wife of a successful rich banker, Perry White. On the first day of school, Ziggy is accused of bullying Amabelle, another child at the school and soon the all the parents within the school are split into pro-Ziggy and anti-Ziggy. Madeline takes Jane under her wing and along with Celeste, the three women become really close. As close as they are, each woman is hiding something from the other.

Dance With Me

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Just hold me tight, follow my lead
On the right foot, I'll help you start
Together, holding each other
Lets dance to the rhythm of my heart

Let our eyes do the talking
Together as our fingers entwine 
Intoxicated, let's lose ourselves
Like drowning in a pool of wine

Hungry and thirsty, let's explore one another
Slowly at first, and then once and for all
The passion we feel will keep us going
Step after step, without a fall

Of Heartbreaks & Digital Footprints

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Recently, one of the badges that I pin to my bag bag broke off and I googled "How to mend a broken badge" I could have just gone ahead and bought another badge worth 50 bucks, but the Monica in me wouldn't let that happen. From "How to get ball pen ink marks off leather" to "How to get peanut butter off hair", I have googled it all. Anyway, I digress. As I was typed "How to mend a broken...", the first option that google suggested was "broken heart" followed by "broken soul". It is almost amusing to think that people turn to google for mending a broken heart. Having been through a couple of heartbreaks myself, I know how hard it is to get over a broken relationship. But never did I ever resort to google to help me get over the pain. In today's social media age, it is very difficult to get over a heartbreak. More so because every social media platform has remnants of the relationship. Plus, it is very easy to keep track of someone, also known as stalking.

It took me years to get over my first heartbreak, and to be honest the pain I went through was self inflicted. I was more in love with the concept of love than the person. Insecurity and love can never exist on the same page, anyway. I started my blog during this heartbroken phase. Back then, I used this blog as an open diary and used to vent as and when I wanted. Plus, it brought out the poet in me and I wrote some really good poems that were totally seeped in melancholy. As and when I found and lost love, I've penned poems or stories around it. All those posts are still very present on my blog. For those who have known me from the start in the blogging world, they've seen my journey from heartbreak to happiness and back and forth.

#FeministMondays | I Do And The Aftermath

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In my previous post, I spoke about how women who drink are judged and scrutinized by the society. Today, I want to raise another important question and attempt to answer it in my own way. As of today, in India, there are 945 females to every 1000 males. And trust me, this is a better statistic when compared to what it was earlier. We all know the answer to this imbalance, don't we? Female foeticide. Years ago, I wrote a post about this very topic and it hurt me so much to write that. A few days ago, I happened to chance upon that post again and I thought what could be the primary reason for people, men and women alike not wanting to give birth to the girl child. As a new month began and a certain loan amount was cut from my bank account, I got my answer.

It has been close to five years since I got married, but the loan that I took for my wedding is still on. My parents are still paying off debts that they had incurred at the time of my wedding. Yes, five years ago. Weddings in India are a pretty huge and extravagant affair and the expectation is that the expense should be borne by the girl's side only. Maybe, that's why parents don't think twice before going ahead and aborting a girl child. Why should one take care of a child, pay for her education and other expenses and then spend all their life's earnings on her wedding, just to send her off to another house.

Book Review: The Handmaid's Tale

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Title: The Handmaid's Tale
Author: Margaret Atwood
Publisher: Vintage (19 September 1996)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Price: Rs. 259 on Amazon
Pages: 320

I only heard of this book when its series won big at the Emmys. When many people praised this book on social media and since the book was written as a response to second wave feminism, I was intrigued and placed an order for it. It is a fairly short book and I read it in three sittings.

The Handmaid’s Tale's setup is in Gilead, formed between the borders of what was formerly the United States Of America. In Gilead, only the men hold power. Be it political, economical or social. The women are only seen as objects of procreation and that is pushed on them as the only expectation from them. They are unable to do anything else, be it have jobs or have a bank account or even read. Since the government has been overthrown, a military dictatorship is formed in order to protect the people from Islamic terrorism.

Action Replay: October 2017

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It was only when Goodreads sent me a mail asking me to vote for my favorite books of 2017, that I realized that we're towards the end of the year. I still remember new year's eve and the terrible hangover that followed and now I have to plan another new year's party? Where are the days going? I have not even completed 20% of the things that I had planned for the year and now a new year beckons? Maybe, I can just push off my resolutions to the new year instead. Now that I am done with the initial drama, let's get to the post. It's November already and to be honest I'm glad this year is moving quickly. It has not been a very good year for me and I can't wait to start a fresh year again. However, the last few months have been pretty good and it helped me immensely to grow as a person. October was no less.

I've been so terribly overworked that one fine day I just decided not to do a few things. No, not like forever, but just for a few days. I needed a break from everything around. Since I can't not do things at office, work remained the same. It is my bread and butter after all. With all the other things around, I took a backseat consciously. In May I had an emotional burnout and in October I had it again along with a physical one. I was way too tired of everything around me and I just wanted to stay away from everything for a while. Even the things that I loved. Initially, I thought I was being stupid. But then it turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. Since I have a supporting partner, I stepped away from household chores too. Not completely, but I definitely slowed down. Instead of three meals, I cooked one a day. Instead of scrubbing the kitchen clean every day, I let him do it or I did it every other day. Normally, this would bother me, but this time it didn't. I really wanted to slow everything down.