A LOOK BACK INTO THE YEAR (2019) GONE BY – THE FIRST TIME IN 10 YEARS I AM INDEPENDENT

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Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

 

The year 2019  is winding up and as I look back, there are many more things to be happier precisely. If I summarize it was a year mixed with emotions for me. Being an emotional being, I had my ups and downs to look for.

My first- New Year Without DAD

As the year 2019 began, it was my first new year, without my Dad. He was my motivator, my everything who led me to things I could barely think of doing.  I tried my best to support my mother, who is anyway much stronger than me in everything though.

My First- Job after 10 years of gap

I had my ups and downs in my career in my past years if I look back. After 10 long years, I took my dreams to the next level, I was given an offer to work with a company, which was kind enough to understand my toils and my needs and offered a pretty good work environment to work in with total flexibility. Hence I regained my confidence and my dream to be much more independent in my life. It was again a tough decision to arrive at, as there was a  huge gap in my career and was not pretty adaptable to any work environment. But here, after a long gap, this was indeed a milestone in my life.

My first- Motivational Session

I took my very first motivational session in my office, which was again rather “my first” attempt. I actually don’t know how it went, but it was one of a kind experience I wanted to venture.

My First- “Self-love”

Most of the time, I preach about self-love, but now I began to do it. And yes, I feel totally good. I recommend everyone to do the same.

My First – Co-author book published

The first time, getting my three poems selected and published in a book. I take it as my first step to pursuing something I want to do in my life. In spite of all the rejections and failures, not meeting other’s expectations, I did something out of the blue to keep my passion ignited.

And yes – it is my happiest moment!

My first- New Year without breaking my unwritten Resolutions

Yet another happiness is about me changing my self a lot from earlier. Even though I don’t lay any kind of resolutions to follow (as I am good at breaking them), I just go with the flow.

Many things changed:

  • I did start my workouts.
  • I started writing much more.
  • I made new friends.
  • I learned many more lessons in life and at work.
  • I changed things, which I hated about myself to an extent.
  • I kicked out negative people out of my life.

Downfalls

Everything is not always great. Accepting the mistakes and problems occurring in your life is important to understand and diagnose the issue at much deeper levels. I had problems in life, which I face strongly and arrive at decisions. But this time, I took myself in priority for an instance.

Moving On…to 2020

I do not know what lies ahead… but I am well prepared to face anything that comes to me.

Happy New Year To All !!

 

“I’M IN THE SPOTLIGHT” – DISCOVERING SELF

I remember when I proposed this ‘Discovering Self’ series, in the beginning, everyone was doubtful about what I was talking. But as one or two posts were published one after the other all of the members of my team started to feel excited about their time to come. And soon days passed by with a total of 12 writers answering the questions asked to them by their teammates.

Personally, it was an amazing experience answering 10 questions prepared by teammates, my angels for their leader – Mr Charlie 😛

Summarising the whole series, I want to quote a few of the writers for their remarkable statements. They are as under:

We only concentrate on whom we love ignoring those who are showering us with love. Virtual connections and texting are only making it worse. Physical presence, caring touch, a delightful hug has become a rarity. There are very small things in life we stopped appreciating.  – Aastha

If I could eliminate a vice, then that would be “the Ignorance in human heart regarding the sovereignty of God. – Avinash

I ask a simple question “can I change anything?” If the answer is yes then I must do it instead of sulking in a corner and if no then I should better go to bed to avoid dark circles thinking over spilt milk. – Kalpana

I love myself the way I am. I always have had pampered myself and loved all my flaws. I believe, my flaws are the most beautiful in me. Through my flaws, I get a feeling that I am strong and determined. So, I am not going to make any changes in my physique or appearance… – Prerna

Alone in space!! That would be scary! But if I am to think of such a time, well, first it would take a while to grasp the fact that I am all alone there. Then, I think I would wonder at the magnanimity of the celestial bodies that I would witness all around me and begin to praise the Creator who has created them. – Rajnandini

I question my abilities every day and there is this urge to give up on my dream. But this dream has grown on me and taken hold of me so forcefully that I have nurtured it in my heart like my blood and flesh child. I just can’t afford to give up on it. – Saakshi

I think I’d just sit and laugh. Laugh around people I love and make them laugh. Spend all my time with them and make sure they are happy in that very moment. I think seeing your loved ones happy is the most satisfying scene.Vidhi

In my opinion, no matter how hard we try, something or the other happiness slips away through our fingers. I have no regrets in my life. I believe God has blessed me more than I deserve.Geetmalini

I say no only if I am not able to do what’s been asked. Popularity is secondary for me.Preeta

Even salt looks like sugar. Unless verified, a blind trust can spoil a dish. I have faced difficulties because I easily trust anyone. Bitter experiences in the past have taught me to trust better people over time. – Deepa

I actually haven’t discovered my comfort zone yet. I surprise myself when I do something new. But haven’t really known the boundary of this.Shwetha

I am known to work and live with people who are not easy to work and live with. I can put up with any kind of people. It sometimes is difficult for me but I am very adjusting. I think that is one quality that overshadows my other weaknesses.Prabhjot

I am so overwhelmed by these statements of my beloved teammates that I can’t explain. As Prabhjot said: “I feel like a celebrity answering these interesting questions.” And I want to assure them all that they are not less than the celebrities in any manner. That is why I created a new scroll-down-tab on Candles Online named – “Discovering Self” where all of our answers were arranged as individual profile pages. Please check for the same on the Menu Bar on the top of the site.

To end with, I will quote Vidhi again when she was thanking me for organising this particular event on Candles Online: “It definitely made me think of what exactly I’d be doing in various situations and also helped me dig deeper into my own self.

It is always good to be under the scanner, be once in a spotlight – answering questions and spend time introspecting within our hearts to prove our credibility in front of the people as well as before God.

Stay Blessed!!!

I AM IN THE SPOTLIGHT – Prabhjot

I totally loved answering these questions, I hope you all enjoy reading them. Some of the questions really made me introspect and think about myself. I have been as honest as I am comfortable on a public platform.

Thanks for this opportunity, Chiradeep. And thanks to you Shwetha for asking these very amazing questions

1: How would your best friends describe you?

Ans: When you say best friends, one name stands out for me – Hina Kapoor. She has been my friend since last 20 odd years or so and we have been close ever since. How would she describe me? She would probably say that I am a little crazy but I am fun. I know she would complain about me for not always keeping in touch with her, but she would also say that she loves me nonetheless. She would say that I have been there for her since ever and she can share the world with me. She would probably say that I am a good listener and can understand her quite deeply. She would claim that she can rely on me for anything at all and knows that I won’t say no to her.

2: Do you think, out of your personal experience, that love can happen between two complete strangers?

Ans: No. Love is a feeling way too deep and holy. It can never happen between two strangers. There have been times when I have felt physically attracted towards men who are complete strangers, there have been times when I have felt very comfortable in a company of a stranger and there have been times when I have felt the need to talk a particular stranger. But none of these positive feelings can be termed as love. Yes, such positive feelings can be a beginning of something as beautiful as love. But love, at first sight, doesn’t exist. Or even if it does – I have never experienced it.

3: What according to you is more precious – friendship or love or both need to be together?

Ans: This question hits one of my sensitive nerves I think. And I don’t know if answering this is really simple. I believe that love for a person can die and I have seen numerous such examples around me when the feeling of love just vanishes. But friendship (if it is true) is eternal. So, I think I would always prefer to be friends with the person I love and I know for sure that even if our love disappears – friendship will remain. I wouldn’t want to be in a relationship where there is only love and no friendship because then I believe the foundation of such a relationship isn’t strong enough.

4: How do you manage stress and depressive state of mind on a daily basis?

Ans: The way in which I manage stress and depression is to cry it out. But it doesn’t work always. So I always had a Plan B to manage it which has been changing since years. When I was a young teenager, I used to put on music and dance. Later when I was in my mid-20s – I used to workout (either hit the gym or run). But I think those were the ways in which I just used to distract myself from the situation. It was my way of just expending all the energy and get so tired that I wouldn’t have any more energy to be sad. Now being a bit older and wiser, I have resorted to meditation. I meditate from anywhere between 15 mins to an hour. It really calms me down and brings me to the right perspective. I feel I have become a better person since I started this practice and I hope I get better.

5: Do you lose your temper and scream or keep the anger inside yourself avoiding the devastation?

Ans: It depends on the person and situation. If it is my husband, parents or sister – I would just let my temper out and scream. Mainly because I know that they are my own people and I can be myself in front of them. But if I get angry at my workplace or with outsiders, I try not to react to the situation at all. I take time off and probably think over it even sleep over it and then try to resolve the situation.

6: Do you hold grudges or you can forgive easily?

Ans: I would say that I try to forgive but it is not always easy. I take time, patience, empathy, compassion and a change in perspective to really forgive a person and move on. Honestly, in spite of knowing that I must forgive – I am sometimes just not ready to forgive mostly because I need a closure to my anger. This is one of the areas where I know the right thing to do but my own fears stop me from forgiving the other person. It is indeed difficult. Forgiveness never comes easy especially when the pain is too deep.

7: What steps do you take when you desperately need some inspiration?

Ans: I read. I am crazy about self-help books. There are some of them which I have read multiple times. Books just tend to have the maximum impact on me. Currently, I am reading a book called “Lady, you are not a man!” by Apurva Purohit. It is all about women who want to make their family and career a huge success. It is a balance that can drive a woman crazy. This book has made me laugh and it has made me cry. There is just so much that I could relate to in this book. Very good insights and tips to not drive yourself crazy while keeping this delicate balance.

Next one in the queue is “Mindfulness in plain English”. This one is about meditation and is inspired by Buddhism. I always have a list of self-help books that I want to read. I use my kindle to its fullest. Anybody is welcome to have this discussion with me, I would love it.

8: What are your guilty pleasures? Do you mind sharing them?

Ans: Of course, I would love to share them. I hope I have some people saying “me too”. Food is something that I derive a lot of pleasure from. When I am too stressed or feel bored, all I can think of is that bowl of pasta and choco lava cake. Sometimes I think about fries, chips or Maggi. Sometimes it is about ice-creams or ultimate “death by chocolate”. I love eating and invariably I end up feeling guilty soon after I finish it. This is my relationship with food which has caused me to be overweight along with some other lifestyles issues. I am working on it constantly by telling myself that food is meant for nourishment and not for pleasure. There should be other things that I must look forward to pleasure. Food is not the right choice.

9: You got a free pass to do anything you wish without paying a single penny. What would you opt to make that pass worthwhile?

Ans: This is one question that I spent maximum time on thinking. There are two things that I would love to do.

First one is – I would like to use it for travelling to different places but not travel like a tourist and see the world around. I would like to really spend time with each culture and understand their values and traditions. I would like to live with them for a few months, really live their lives and understand their joys and their challenges. Because I think that would really make me open my perspective.

The second one is – I would like to travel to space and experience zero gravity. I know it sounds silly but I have always wanted to do this since I was a child. This is the reason I wanted to be an astronaut. No specific reason for this wish except for the experience.

10: Share about your one strength that overshadows all your weaknesses and one weakness that demeans all your goodness.

Ans: This is the best question in this list. I am known to work and live with people who are not easy to work and live with. I can put up with any kind of people. It sometimes is difficult for me but I am very adjusting. I think that is one quality that overshadows my other weaknesses.

It is very difficult for me to say “no” to people especially when I know that my “no” will hurt the other person. Even when I believe for sure that it has to be “no”, I find it challenging. Saying “yes” in a situation when I should have said a “no” has quite horrible consequences. I believe this is one weakness that makes all my goodness go down the drain.

I hope you all enjoyed reading this as much as I loved answering these questions.

I AM IN THE SPOTLIGHT – Shwetha

Thank you Vidhi for such probing questions. Thank goodness, Chiradeep told me that I have the option to skip 3 questions maximum. 🙂 

Let me answer then right away…

1) What makes you truly happy?

2) What is that one thing you’ll do anything to achieve it?

Ans: Well, I’m going to combine these two questions and try to answer them.

It’s very difficult to find even a ray of happiness amidst chaos. And finding something that makes me happy is next to impossible. 

But speaking of what makes my soul ‘truly happy’ then I would say my kids, my 2 beautiful boys. No matter where they are or what all they do to torture me (they are literally brats) or how much they adore me, they are the best things in my life. Seeing them giggle or laugh out loud or are insanely happy about the smallest things, makes me truly happy. I consider myself to be responsible for their lives and they, thus are responsible for my happiness. And for that, I would literally flip the world upside down.

3) Do you run away from situations or fight with it out?

It depends on the situation.

Mostly I fight with it, for it. I’m not the backing out kinda person. If I know I’m right, I stay put and fight with everything I’ve got. I hate to be held accountable for the wrongs which aren’t my fault. So I stand tall and face it with all my will. But…

Sometimes, such situations arise which are better left the way they are and just run as far away as possible from them because they will leave your soul marred for the rest of your life.

4) When you are sad, do you feel comfortable sharing things or do you keep everything to yourself?

Everyone in this world has their own set of problems. Some share and feel better.

I, for one, am the quiet type. I don’t like to share. I shut myself from the world and hide in my shell, like a tortoise. It’s difficult for the other person to understand what I am going through, and I don’t expect it either. So I prefer to keep mum.

5) Do you believe in the concept of self-love or self-sacrifice?

Ans: Silence is Golden… :p 

6) When was the last time you did something out of your comfort zone?

Ans: I actually haven’t discovered my comfort zone yet. I surprise myself when I do something new. But haven’t really known the boundary of this.

7) What’s that one thing you would do if nobody is judging you? 

Ans: Hahaha… that’s really interesting.

You do know that no matter what you do, people judge.

Anyway, if nobody is judging me, then I would be the real me – Bold, beautiful and audaciously insane.

8) Would you rather roam around clicking pictures or run around with a journal and a pen?

Ans: Ah! A tricky one!! I would say… I would click the picture that would inspire me to pen down the beauty of it.

9) Are you using your time efficiently?

Ans: I think, the responsibilities I have to carry out every day, I carry them out efficiently. Does that mean I use my time efficiently? 😉

10) What according to you is the purpose of your life?

Ans: To answer this… I’ll be taking the reference of questions 1 & 2…

I brought two beautiful souls into this world. Taking care of them in every possible way there is and making them feel proud to have a mother like me, is the sole purpose of my life. So right now, the purpose of my life is to be a good mother. 

In the end, I just want to mention one poem to encourage my readers along with my own self:

Don’t be like the mighty elephant
tied with a meek string.
Know your own strength and
all the wondrous marvels it can bring.

I AM IN THE SPOTLIGHT – Deepa

Discover to be Discovered…

Thank you, Chiradeep for discovering me amidst the million bloggers and giving me a chance to rediscover myself with some thought-provoking questions from none other but you. I am glad to have come out of my protected shell to share the honest me.

1. Do you work according to your emotions or your intelligence?

in a war of intelligence, my emotions always win!

Given a situation, I first become emotional and then I think of a way to handle it with intelligence. There are many instances where I had been emotional. When I had to quit my job to become a full-time homemaker, I became emotional as I had never thought about quitting my job even in dreams. Had I not given a thought of intelligence to keep aside my job for family, I may have missed seeing the smiles in them.

2. Why are you grateful to God in your life, assuming there’s something you are grateful for?

one man’s need is another man’s sacrifice!

I am always grateful to God for what I am now, for the beautiful family and harmony in my life. Some wellwisher’s prayers for my well being is making a huge impact on my everyday life in the form of events. I am always grateful to HIM for making me wake up to see a beautiful tomorrow.

3. What are those two favourite quotes that you relate well?

To gain something, you have to sacrifice something.
Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me. So choose your life and chase for it.

The first quote has been following me since my birth. In every important decision of my life, I have been through a sacrifice to gain something. To share my personal experience, I almost gave up on life when I had a miscarriage at 9 months a decade before. My baby was dying right in front of my eyes. I had a low placenta and the baby fell into the toilet breathing its last. The paramedics gave up hopes when I went breathless. Had I not been emotionally intelligent that day to fight the death, I will have been a framed picture now. I chose to live and chased the death by the grace of God.

4. How long does it take you to trust a stranger?

  all relationships revolve in the axis called trust.
a five letter word
easy to say and write
but with time t
trust also rusts

Even salt looks like sugar. Unless verified, a blind trust can spoil a dish. I have faced difficulties because I easily trust anyone. Bitter experiences in the past have taught me to trust better people over time.

5. How much you value patience in your life?

we clip our wings even before testing the wind

I am not an epitome of patience. To me, patience is “what I have when there are too many witnesses.”

6. Rewards or words – What energizes you more?

life is all about finding people who will notice those little things you do for them and appreciate it.

I love words. I love words of appreciation and so do I love to return them with rewarding words in return for their effort to make me happy.

7. Do you avoid conflicts or like confrontations?

conflict is a battle between you and your state of mind.

I am very flexible, delicate, sensitive, and equally emotional. Conflict is something contrasting to my character. I try to avoid any situation should there be any conflict involving in it knowing it is worthless for an argument.

8. What are those few things that really fill your heart with joy?

sing a song of joy
live a life of love
flashback to see
the child in me
coffee and me
makes me high
and
brings me joy

9. What do you keep under your pillow when you sleep?

they infect you
the more you are in love.
Tears are sacred, aren’t they?

I love my pillow. It has seen me at my vulnerable best and it has whipped my tears when no one else did.

10. What was the last time you cried and why?

our last goodbye was never said

This cold sweat always breaks out on my eye. I cried today morning waking up to see a dull weather, dirty floor, my bird’s poo, washed yet forgetful to line dry the laundry, craving for sweet food and a rumbling stomach. When I realized the reason for tears, I could not help myself but laugh out loud. I went on a hunger strike yesterday and which is why the reason I cried. An emotional person like me will always have a bucket of tears no matter for happy or sad moments.

Patience is indeed a virtue. Thank you for sparing a few minutes of your time to know me.

I AM IN THE SPOTLIGHT – Preeta

It seems I am in the last year of school and answering questions in a friend’s slam book. Thanks to Chiradeep, who arranged such a captivating week of questionnaires.

  • Are you only good at laughing or can you even make people around you laugh at your jokes?

Ans: I am a jovial person. I love to laugh and I make others laugh as well, not at my jokes though, but at my actions and phrases that I use on certain situations.

  • Have you ever smiled at a stranger and then wished you hadn’t? Why or why not?

Ans: No, I have done something bigger than that- held a stranger’s arm! I was walking with friends in the busy Paltan market of Dehradun. I saw something and I hastily held one of my friendsss, Kapil’s arm and started walking fastly. I felt strange when Kapil wasn’t walking as per my pace. I was about to shout at him when I looked upon his face- the man wasn’t Kapil, but a complete stranger. I apologised, but the man was more embarrassed than I was.

  • What is your most embarrassing childhood memory?

Ans: I must be around 10 then. There was a pile of clothes on the bed that had just been dried under the sun. I thought to surprise mom by folding the clothes. I started the work and after a while I heard my mom calling me. I didn’t answer as I wanted to surprise her. Suddenly, everyone in the house started shouting my name. I still kept mum. Then my mom came into the room and was relieved to see me. She had thought I had gone somewhere without telling her. Though no one scolded me, just said that I should answer whenever my name is called, I felt embarrassed for the fact that my idea of giving a surprise scared everyone else.

  • What is your favourite activity or hobby that you always manage to spare time no matter how busy you are?

Ans: That would be definitely listening to songs, which I hear almost daily while doing my work or travelling.

  • If you are in a bad mood, do you prefer to be left alone or have someone to cheer you up?

Ans: Yes, I prefer to be left alone, but that has hardly happened. I am lucky to have a few loving and caring people around me who sense something is wrong with me and they lift up my mood.

  • Out of the negative emotions of greed, anger, jealousy and hate, which one would you say affects you the most?

Ans: Anger for sure. Actually, I have never been affected by greed, jealousy and hate. I don’t pay a heed if anyone hates me or is jealous. But, I do get affected by the anger.

  • What skill do you wish you had?

Ans: Remembering the numbers involving money! I am very bad at recalling the exact amount I paid for something, or have to pay. I even forget the amount of my kids’ tuition fees and my husband’s salary. Gosh!

  • Are you a good listener?

Ans: Yes, I am a good listener. I listen calmly and give my advice whenever anyone needs me.

  • Are you able to say no, even when it makes you unpopular?

Ans: I say no only if I am not able to do what’s been asked. Popularity is secondary for me.

  • What is the funniest rumour you have heard about yourself?

Ans: That I am going around with someone. Sounds too funny when one is happily married with two kids!

Thanks a lot, Geet for this interesting questionnaire. I loved answering it. It was fun recollecting a few memories.

I AM IN THE SPOTLIGHT – Geetmalini

To begin with, kudos to Charlie Bhai for engaging us in such an interesting quest. The moment I read his text in WhatsApp, the first thing that I was reminded of was ‘slam books’ that we used to have during our schools days.

I thank Deepa Karthik for taking out her time and framing such thought-provoking set of questions. I will answer them as honestly as possible.

So here it goes,…

  • Have you felt stuck in life?

Ans. Yes, I have felt stuck. Last year while appearing for 1st-semester exams of LLB, I had a really tough time. Legal terminology and theories came raining down on me and I went bonkers. It took me quite some while and now I have a rather clear picture in front of me regarding the course.

  • If you were given a power for a day, what would you like to do with it?

Ans. I would love to possess any superpower given for a day. I will utilise it to the fullest, without exactly harming anyone.

  • How are you inside and out? Is your outer appearance the same that you are inside?

Ans. I am the same person both inside and out. My perceptions, emotions and thoughts get reflected easily while interacting with people and dealing with various situations around me.

  • Are you open to questions or do you hold back?

Ans. I am open to questions in general but I hold back while answering questions regarding private family matters.

  • Which emotion or character best describes you?

Ans. In my opinion, the fictional character of ‘Lucy Pevensie’, from The Chronicles of Narnia series best describes me. I am very fond of The Chronicles of Narnia series. Lucy is the youngest amongst her siblings and so am I. Each time I watch the movie or read the book, I visualise Susan Pevensie as my elder sister and myself as Lucy Pevensie.

  • Do you judge people? If yes, how?

Ans. Yes, sometimes I judge people. But I have my own explanation for it. There are certain situations where I tend to judge people: Many a time people comment on a road accident blaming ‘girls’ being incapable to ride or in news debates regarding some sensitive issues when people give biased comments or accuse the innocent for political interests.

  • Apart from being a writer, what other talents reside in you?

Ans. Well apart from being a writer, I love to cook, I make sketches, I love spending hours making art and crafts, I am an ardent music lover and I can sing too. I was in the school choir from std vi – x.

  • Do you have any regrets that you miss something in your life?

Ans. In my opinion, no matter how hard we try, something or the other happily slips away through our fingers. I have no regrets in my life. I believe God has blessed me more than I deserve. I am reminded of the famous hymn “more than I deserve” by Paul Baloche.

Oh what a gift You gave, oh what a price You paid
More than I deserve, more than I deserve
Your constant faithfulness, Your every promise is
More than I deserve, more than I deserve”

  • When life gives you lemon make lemonade.. Is there any situation you made the best of it in your life?

Ans. Life gives me lemon every now and then. I am no less why to make lemonade every time. I too make lemon fudge cake, lime tart, sweet lime soda, and refreshing summer mojito. Jokes apart, I handle every tough situation prayerfully. And by God’s grace, even worst situations have turned in my favour. Bible says, Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances”.

  • A six-word story about you…

Ans. I may not be the best, but I am certainly not like the rest!