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We are one day close to a new year and that definitely means new beginnings! But before that, here are ten things the last decade taught me!
New Years. Why is it even a thing? In the end there isn’t much of an actual word physical difference between 31 December and the 1st of January. But people like new beginnings, fresh starts, shiny new things. And 2020 is new in so many ways. Not only is it a new year, it’s a whole new decade.
Our generation’s ‘roaring twenties’ if you will. Not quite, though. They had economic prosperity, the Jazz age, Great Gatsby-esque parties.
And us? Climate change, war and financial crisis are only three of our major problems. For me, personally, this decade has been a full of change, learning and so many memories.
I grew from a child to a woman, and am still growing. As we move toward a (hopefully brighter) future, here are ten lessons that I learnt from the past decade:
Ever heard the story of Juha and the donkey?
Well, basically a man named Juha wanted to sell his donkey. So he set off with his son for the market, leading the donkey. On the way they met a group of people who said, “Look at the these two walking and leading the donkey. What a waste!” So Juha rode the donkey and his son walked along.
Later they met some people who pointed and said, “Look at the selfish man, riding and making his child walk.” And the like till he ended up carrying the donkey because he couldn’t please everyone.
Similarly, if you aren’t married by a certain age, you are a failure. But if you focus on your career, you’re too modern. Wearing western clothes makes you shameless and wearing traditional clothes makes you frumpy and old-fashioned.
Honestly, do whatever makes you happy. People will never stop judging anyway.
Sometimes, we get so caught up in the chaos of life that we don’t realise how much beauty and goodness we are surrounded by. Things like a good cup of tea, a touching song or a beautiful sunset.
I’ve come to understand how important it is to make time to appreciate these things and how much of a positive impact they can have on our lives.
Self explanatory, I guess. But something I’ve realised is that it’s easy to be kind to people who are kind to you too. At the same time, try to be kind even to those who aren’t. You don’t know what someone is going through.
This is possibly the opposite of the point above. No matter how hard we try, we just can’t ‘fix’ or ‘change’ a person.
The world is full of narcissists, sociopaths and toxic people. You may even love or be close to some of them. However, you need to know that they will keep on hurting you over and over again, on purpose. You can’t change everyone.
So, sometimes, for the sake of your own well-being, you have to let fo and step away from the relationship (romantic or not) It may be painful, but it is for your own good.
It’s impossible to be sunshine and rainbows all the time.
You may have had a bad day, a fight, something bad happened to you or maybe you are just overwhelmed and stressed. Whatever the reason, it is okay to cry sometimes. It doesn’t make you weak or pathetic.
So go ahead and have a good cry (unless you live in a hostel in which case good luck finding a place to do so)
Nobody is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. We’ve all experienced pain or grief. Sometimes we feel it’s impossible to recover from those experiences. But the truth is that pain and failures are simply learning experiences.
It is also easy to fall into self-destructive behaviour when things don’t go your way. But believe me, someday when things are better, you will regret the actions you took in a moment of weakness.
So learn from the hard parts of life. Learn to express your feelings in a healthy way. And if you can’t deal with it alone don’t ever be afraid to ask for help
Different opinions were not really encouraged while I was growing up and so I believed everything I was told. I had no concept of feminism or any social issues, really.
It was only recently that I began to understand that there’s so much wrong with the world. While I am no celebrity, politician or a billionaire, I know my voice matters. It matter now, more than ever. And very recently, I realised that it isn’t just my privilege but my duty to raise my voice against cruelty and oppression.
I was fortunate enough to have grown up in three different yet wonderful countries- India, Canada and Saudi Arabia. Because of that, I experienced so many different cultures, food and entertainment.
Right from Arabic coffee to Korean skin care products to Japanese dramas and Indian ethnic wear! I find it fascinating that the world is so unique and diverse. Add to it, globalisation, it becomes easier to experience other cultures as long as we are open-minded and ready to explore.
We are always so pressured to excel. Whether at school or work or even in our personal lives- it is always about the A grade, the awards, the medals, and the certificates etc.
Yes, it is a good thing to be focused and driven but it is equally important to do something just because it makes you happy, just because you want to.
So dance awkwardly, draw badly, write cringey poetry, bake inedible cookies. It is okay- you don’t always have to be perfect.
When you grow up hearing nothing but criticism from who should’ve been your biggest cheerleader, you internalise it and you believe it. You believe that you are ugly, useless, lazy and unworthy of love (amongst other things)
I still find it hard sometimes to feel confident, to look in a mirror, to eat without feeling ‘guilty’ or to accept compliments. But in the words of a very wise man, “I have many faults and I have many fears, but I am going to embrace myself as hard as I can, and I’m starting to love myself, little by little.”
So love yourself, for you’re your biggest cheerleader and ring in the new year on a slightly positive note.
Picture credits: Pexels
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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
Darlings makes some excellent points about domestic violence . For such a movie to not follow through with a resolution that won't be problematic, is disappointing.
I watched Darlings last weekend, staying on top of its release on Netflix. It was a long-awaited respite from the recent flicks. I wanted badly to jump into its praise and will praise it, for something has to be said for the powerhouse performances it is packed with. But I will not be able to in a way that I really had wanted to.
I wanted to say that this is a must-watch on domestic violence that I stand behind and a needed and nuanced social portrayal. But unfortunately, I can’t. For I found Darlings to be deeply problematic when it comes to the portrayal of domestic violence and how that should be dealt with.
Before we rush to the ‘you must be having a problem because a man was hit’ or ‘much worse happens to women’ conclusions, that is not what my issue is. I have seen the praises and criticisms, and the criticisms of criticisms. I know, from having had close associations with non-profits and activists who fight domestic violence not just in India but globally, that much worse happens to women. I have written a book with case studies and statistics on that. Neither do I have any moral qualms around violence getting tackled with violence (that will be another post some day).