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.