Love is a bit confusing. Perhaps I confused one year of friendship, care and intimacy with love. Maybe it is not love when, even after all this time, whenever I look at a pair of suspenders, the first thought that comes to my mind is how your dad likes them. Or when I come across a cute polka dots accessory, I think of how your mom adores them. Maybe it is not love when I read a cool Harry Potter fact and instantly save the post to share it with your brother, only realising a few seconds later that I am never going to get the chance anymore. It was probably not love, just my mind tricking me into thinking it was, when we could read each other’s minds, or when we were each other’s safe place. It is perhaps not love, when, even after all this time and all that has happened, you are still the first thing on my mind when I wake up, and the last thought before I fall asleep. Maybe your being on my mind all day is not love, after all. Maybe now it is time to change all my passwords from your name to something else.

If you really love someone, you should be happy in their happiness, regardless of whether you are a part of it or not.

Still working on trying to be this selfless true lover, or at least a good human.

Incoherent 2 AM thoughts

I often wonder why this had to happen to me. All the quotes that talk about treating everything as an experience on one hand, and this nagging feeling on the other. This unrelenting heaviness always manages to weigh down the other. The way we left things on crossroads, we might hope for next chapter and it will come, but our paths are different now, never to merge again. So, were you really a blessing, or am I just compelled to think that you were, to move forward with grace?

From what I have been experiencing lately, it is a combination of both gratitude and regret. I feel you were a blessing, you helped me become a better version of myself, you brought out parts in me I had long forgotten I had, you made me smile more, you made me want more. Then why this heaviness in the heart, is it because I have figured I am incapable of making myself smile truly, or the fact that our paths are never going to cross again?

All things exist in a delicate balance, there’s light and then there’s darkness, there is good in the world, and then there’s bad too. Hell, we have two sides inside us, the good and the bad. Is this why I must accept the downside of having ever met you? Because as much as I want to give you the sole credit of how much I have evolved as a person, the bad inside me sticks out its head time and again to remind me exactly how broken I am, also because of you. Is it wrong that I am so petty, to blame the circumstances I am in on someone else?  It is wrong, self-sabotaging rather, to give this much power to someone else, is what I have been taught and told. But right now, there’s a war waging inside of me as well, with negativity giving strong competition to the goodness I am attempting to shape myself into.

Everyone must go through bad times to appreciate the good things in life even more. Why so many rules dear life, can’t anything be straight and simple for once?

Silver Linings

All these years, I have been trying so hard to train myself to find silver linings in all the situations, to always see the bigger picture. One of them in this pandemic, I believe, is that it has slowed down our pace so much that there is now time to sit with ourselves and contemplate. I mean, honestly, how much Netflix and chill can one do. Today I opened my LinkedIn account after months, and most of it was filled with my connections’ posts of completing different courses and certifications. The same thing happens on Facebook. Every time I open the app, there is at least one post of someone announcing about their marriage. All this often makes me think – “What have you achieved these past few months girl? You seem to be really lagging.”

Well, to be truthful, it does make me feel inferior sometimes.  I have always been that person who needs affirmation from others to feel good about myself. So naturally to feel better, I instinctively grab my phone and start scrolling through all the motivational, feel good quotes. It is calming and to some extent, disturbing as well. The fact that there is someone else going through the same phase as I am calms me! Somehow this feels appalling. When did I become this person? This isn’t me, I was never like this. But maybe this was a side of me I never paid attention to. It is only when we focus on ourselves that we start to know us better. This pandemic has raised our anxiety to an alarming level, true. But if we choose to see the silver lining, it has also given us a chance to know ourselves. This leisurely pace of everyday life has given us a chance to be by ourselves.

I have now started paying a little more attention to the inner me, the way I react to things, the way I think. I figured it was now time to improve, to work on turning negative qualities to positive and to enhance the good ones. I mean, even if I haven’t learned anything new all these months, or achieved anything spectacular, working towards improving my inherent qualities is also not so bad. Making absolutely no attempts to sound modest, I feel that getting to know myself is proving to be a real privilege. Now I understand why they always say that most of the things you try to look for in others are already within you, it is just a matter of getting in tune with your true self. I never paid heed to the universal formula of practicing self-love before anything else, but I get it now. It really is one of the simplest to understand, but tough to implement equations – “How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you.”

To sum it all up, we need to consider how fast we are really moving, when it seems like we are not moving at all. Because sometimes even small steps in the right direction can turn out to be the biggest step. And frankly speaking, what’s the hurry! Judging by the current statistics, it looks like the world is not going to change its sluggish pace anytime soon. So, let us all grab these little silver linings and do whatever works for us, to make a breakthrough for us.

“We are the silver lining in any and every dark cloud we could ever find. There is no need to go looking for the light when you bring it with you.” – Tyler Knott Gregson

The Butterfly Effect

Recently I came across an interesting thread on quora related to the Butterfly Effect.

The Butterfly Effect is a concept that was invented by the American meteorologist Edward N. Lorenz. It was initially articulated in connection with the problematics of weather prediction. It suggests that how small changes at one place can lead to large differences. Eventually people started using this metaphor outside the area of sophisticated scientific context.

Now I am not a person who is very much into science (despite being an engineer, and I swear I am not proud of it). I have always been more inclined to thinking almost all the things from an emotional perspective. So, after understanding the general concept of this theory, my mind as usual wandered from its scientific implications and I started applying it to everyday stuff. It reminded me of the lines from Rachel Platten’s fight song-

Like a small boat, on the ocean

Sending big waves, into motion

Like how a single word

Can make a heart open

I might only have one match

But I can make an explosion

Apparently, and as experienced, taking action, no matter how insignificant it may seem at the moment, is the crux of moving forward. Because to achieve something requires continuous efforts and perseverance. You want to lose weight, you’ve got to start regular workouts. The results are not immediate, but worth perspiring for. You want to buy something big, you’ve got to start saving little by little. You want to master a skill, you’ve got to work at it regularly. Or as my mom says to me from time to time with those eyes, “Your wardrobe won’t clean itself, start doing it. Don’t make me come to your room.”

Being a Potterhead, I will quote Dumbledore again- “It is our choices, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities”. Building on this, when we choose to act over something, we get closer to achieving it. As someone who is healing from a hitch, it took me time to get back on track, but I have finally understood the importance of taking action and I know that these small steps will lead to something big.

PS. Do read about the Butterfly Effect. Who knows, you will also be able to get that dose of positive motivation like I did. Also, it is damn interesting, especially for all the science buffs.

Safe Place

One of my fondest childhood memories is going for walk with my dad on the terrace. It was usually after dinner, on weekends. We used to talk about anything and everything. I used to ask him all sorts of childish questions, going on and on about my week. My favourite part of this was when we would sit in our spot and look at the stars. He used to get all silent at this point and just gaze at the sky, while me being a chatterbox, used to keep on babbling. There used to be some lucky days for him though, when I would behave like a good girl and quietly enjoy the mesmerizing view with him. But this was always followed by his lecture on life principles to me, so I rarely let this happen (I was smart, duh!).

I still love looking at the stars, getting lost in the vastness of the starry sky and feeling like a child again. Whenever I find myself in dilemma or “life happens”, this is where I turn to and pout. When life overwhelms, I seek comfort in this familiarity and find balance again. I have had quite a few epiphanies brooding under the stars. I have learned that deep down, we always know the answers to our problems and the right thing to do, but this comes only after sincere introspection. On a serious note though, I would really like to hope here that I look as cute as that kid from kuch kuch Hota Hai who used to count stars, when I stare open-mouthed at the sky.

Life is full of ups and downs. It gets messier as we grow up. To all those who are struggling, remember that this is not permanent. Difficult times and situations change us as much as good times do. Everybody has their own way of dealing with loss, hurt and happiness. We cannot change what is not in our hands, but we can learn to accept it and move on. One of my most favourite concepts from Harry Potter universe is the Patronus Charm. The way to produce a Patronus is to think of a happy memory, let it fill you completely, and you can keep the dementors away. (For all the muggles out there, dementors are foul creatures who feed on happiness, thus generating feelings of sadness and despair). This stargazing is my happy memory, a safe place. We all have our safe places, memories. Instead of negativity, let’s allow the happy memories to consume us to chase away the dementors. As Dumbledore says-

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

P.S. Albus Dumbledore is the greatest sorcerer in the world. End of discussion.

My Little Infinity

One thing that I’ve learned till now is that life is highly unpredictable. No matter how much we try to control it or plan it out, it always does as it feels. No one can be taught how to deal with it beforehand, every situation must be lived first. We must go through every emotion, be it positive or negative, before we learn how to enjoy and cherish the happy moments and how to come out of a bad phase. I dedicate this article to the best phase of my life.

“Will I ever be able to forget you?”

No.

“Will I ever be able to forgive you?”

I don’t know!

You came unexpectedly in my life and swept me off my feet. I could hardly believe it, for I was not anticipating it at all. You started working your magic, making me high on dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins all at ones. I took my sweet time with you, and you let me get drunk on it. You showed me new places, you made me shed my inhibitions, you made me appreciate myself like I had never done before. I was baffled, for I didn’t know if it was a dream or if it was a dream come true. Never had I hold anyone the way I held onto you, for you were the best phase I had ever experienced. I was so overwhelmed, I ignored everything else. At times the enormity of it scared me, and I tried to hold on to you even tighter. I was so consumed by you, I started making plans to be with you forever. I was convinced that you were my escape from all the troubling memories of bad phases, I was convinced that this is how the bad phases come to end to give way to a better tomorrow. I was so much in love with the present, I was blinded by happiness just by thinking how awesome and peaceful the future would be. You were a blessing, the answer to all my prayers.

But I forgot the one ultimate rule- “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Maybe I held onto you so tight that it suffocated you. Or maybe my moments of fear and doubt resonated into negative feelings which made you leave. Or maybe my past complexes caught up and chased you away. Maybe I took it all for granted, it was too soon to start feeling proud of being in the most beautiful phase. I guess I will never fully understand the reason.

Now that you are gone, I don’t know how to accept the fact that the bad phase is back again. With all the good things the “best phase” taught me, it took away my ability to be practical, to be strong in the face of hurt. I am in denial, with no plans to go into acceptance state soon. I have become an annoyingly hopeful person, nothing seems to shake my faith that you will return. I should hate you for leaving so soon, but I am just angry at you, and a little angrier at myself. I want to cherish you, but it hurts too much to think of it all. The confusion is at peak. Everything is messed up, my thoughts, my handle on feelings. I don’t feel happiness anymore, for I don’t know how to be happy without you. Is it possible for a year to have an impact this big?

Dear “best phase of my life”, no matter what I will never forget you. I can never hate you. I want to get to the place where I will think of you, where I will relive every moment without a hint of melancholy. I wish to remember you like a sweet nostalgia. I will always be hoping and waiting for you. I can never shut my doors for you, for you were my little infinity. You gave me happiness worth 1000 years. No matter how limited the period, but you were all mine.

Will I ever be able to forgive you? I don’t know the answer yet. I hope someday I get to the place I’m trying to reach where I will be able to fully forgive you. I want to wish you all the best, for you are entering someone else’s life to make it as beautiful as you made mine. Am I jealous? Immensely! Am I hurt by your betrayal? Undoubtedly! 

Ten years down the line, I’ll ask myself again,

“Will I ever be able to forgive you?” Hopefully, the answer will be-

“Someday, maybe!”

To communicating “out loud”

My name is Aishwarya Kher. I am a hopeless romantic, avid reader, sucker for Shahrukh movies, Potterhead and have always been a little too optimistic. Over thinking and over analysing the situations is my forte.

Recently I experienced something, a setback, which made me question all the supposedly “real things” in my life. I think this moment comes in everyone’s life at one point or another when they get a wake-up call. I suppose this was mine. It was after this, when almost everything started to seem uninteresting, even my favourite series the Big Bang Theory, that I started to ponder over why things happen the way they do, and why acceptance of the situation seems so damn hard. Trust me, it is. You can read over 100 quotes on Pinterest on how to deal with tough situations, how to accept things the way they are when something doesn’t go your way, but nothing helps. 

My close friend shared something with me one day. It said “Whatever happens, happens for the best. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, it gets better with time. We just need to find a silver lining and hold on to it”. I thought oh boy! She is going to give real competition to the extreme optimistic in me. And that’s when I realized how easily I had given up on hope. Okay, now this will be an exaggeration to say that I never give up. I have given up on diet more than 5 times, I have given up on learning piano shortly after a week. Once I made up my mind to learn French, fantasized myself on a trip to France, flirting with a handsome French guy “un beau homme” (How do I know this? I googled ‘How to say you are handsome in French’ while writing this. So, thank you google. Also, no comments on how bad I am at flirting). But there are some things in you, which make you the person you are. And I had given up on that inherent quality of mine. I decided to bring it back. I thought to myself what’s the worst that can happen? The worst is already happening to you Aishwarya, so instead of wallowing in the hurt and negativity, why not be hopeful and try to be positive. It is said that universe picks up the vibes you give, so why not send positive vibes. Because after a while, you yourself get tired of that downward curve of your lips. I know there is a 99% chance that the situation will not turn out the way I desperately want it to but moping around isn’t going to turn the tables in my favour either.

Well, easier said than done. Since then, I am trying to strike a balance between being positive, and the gloomy thoughts, courtesy over-thinking. Sometimes, crying clears the mind too. I feel it really helps when you say, whatever you’re feeling, out loud. It gives your thoughts a voice. I communicate more easily when I write, and what better medium than blogging to voice my opinions, overwhelming emotions, everyday stories, funny incidents. I am not entirely sure of where this idea will take me, but who cares. As they say, the stories we love best, live in us forever. So, here’s to doodling thoughts and communicating “out loud”.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.