On Broken Souls and Olive Branches

On Broken Souls and Olive Branches

I’ve been told I don’t try hard enough

I’ve been told it’s my fault things go wrong

They said I was weird and unfixable, with a sad little laugh

They said I don’t know what it takes at all

I’ve been told the problem lies in me

I’ve been told I’m no good

And I whole heartedly agree, because honestly

A year went by and I achieved nothing

It’s hard to find someone who gets it

Someone who feels what you feel

They might try on your shoes but they won’t fit

As comfortably as they seem to fit you

No matter how many olive branches you extend

Someone needs to be receptive there too

Broken people and broken relationships don’t mend

Not one their own, they need a lot of help too

I’m an introvert when it comes to feelings

That won’t ever change

I wish I could stay in my bubble and find some meaning

Meanwhile I’d let my ramblings comfort me in my head

It’s a new year but nothing feels different to me

I feel detached like I’ve always been

Broken people don’t heal themselves, you see

What’s worse, I feel like I’d never find my clarity

Actually Painful Stuff

Actually Painful Stuff

Have you read Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda? Becky Albertalli just casually throws a line in there about how exhausting blogging actually is. That’s the number one thing on our list today: blogging, on the daily, is painful. Painfully hard.

Is there anything harder than that? Yes. Challenges. The 365 day challenge. The gallon-of-water-a-day challenge. The no sugar diet challenge. The list goes on. Now don’t get me wrong – we love lists on this side of the Internet. We do. In fact, my blog seems to be filled with listy posts that people actually managed to read without falling asleep. So yay, go me. My point here, before I digress, is lists are hard to do. Both to make and to stick to. Also, I cannot tell you the number of lists that I have taped to my fridge. It’s more like a noticeboard that’s kind of screaming for help with things left unchecked. Life is mental. Life is batcrap mental. Send help.

You know what else is difficult? Trying to live with Indian parents whose maid just quit on them. Again, don’t get me wrong. My parents are wonderful people. It’s the maid that’s kind of super attached to her new grandkid and didn’t want to be a maid anymore but kind of needed the money – so long story short, she got found out stealing moolah from our wallets and tried to make us look bad and well, um, she quit. Maid culture is rampant in India. Your mum won’t miss you when you’re not around but she’s going to miss the maid. She’s going to be all depressed because she’s the ONLY person who’s working a nine to five job in the circle of other brown mommies, and has to come home and make her own tea. I think this bothers her more than anything else, making her own tea. She detests her own cooking. Go figure. And she won’t like it if you make tea for her because the maid simply does it better. Like holy wow.

Now, as if THAT wasn’t enough, there’s my most painful experience ever – having to wash my makeup brushes every Sunday. It’s a process. You gotta find your brushes first. Make a nice concoction with dishwashing fluid and olive oil, making sure you don’t mess up the ratio. Next, you need to clean the pink Sigma glove you use to swirl your brushes on, so the dirt comes out. And you’ve to do all of that without annoying your mum and her ritualistic Sunday-cooking frenzy. And then you’ve to leave the bushes to dry and put them back in their proper containers so they don’t look messy.

It’s tough being a woman. It is.

*THIS POST HAS BEEN WRITTEN IN JEST. TAKE ALL OF THIS WITH TEN PINCHES OF SALT. IF YOU ARE HYPERTENSIVE, TAKE IT WITH HALF A PINCH OF SALT.

Holi and Polling Season

Holi and Polling Season

I’m just going to go ahead and say it. I detest Holi. It’s this loud Indian festival of colors and pretty much everyone seems super into it, except for me that is.

I’ve never been a very social person, and I remember this fateful Holi of 2010 when my friends tried to make me come out of my dorm room and socialize. I was in the hallway and then suddenly, someone upended a whole bucket of nasty water over me. See, that’s the thing. We Indians tend to make everything twisted. You got your basic Holi stuff – you know, play with dry organic colored powder and slap it on each other, if you must, but why do you want to play with really muddy looking gross water? That’s beyond me.

And HOLI crap, did I come down with a bad cold the next day. Trying to concentrate on class while battling a sneeze-fest is the hardest thing ever.

So the Lok Sabha elections are in the pipeline and we’re dealing with a population that’s divided – one half wants BJP to win, the other half doesn’t. It’s crazy to see the supporters of Ms. Mamata stoop to seriously low levels just to try and get her the votes needed to win. We’ve had patients come to us, drunk so surreptitiously out of their skulls they couldn’t even remember their own names. Imagine that, on top of the Mamata frenzy, and the trail of colorful powder they managed to drag into the hospital. Super unsanitary. And if you refuse to see a patient, you get beaten up. Ah. Life’s sweet.

Which makes me wonder: if Holi is the festival of colors, why must you take drugs or drink too much? Does it make you experience the psychedelic rush that I’ve heard kids in college hype up? Does it make Holi better? Also, why do women get eve-teased so much on this day? Does color on your hands give you the right to molest women? The least you could do is be responsible:

• Don’t get drunk. Not only does booze have empty calories, it also messes with your last two brain cells.

• Don’t make prior appointments with your doctor if you can’t stay sober or talk sense. If you’re a doctor, close down your clinic for the day. Only tend to emergencies. Your own safety is important too.

• Don’t force people into playing Holi if they’re not into it.

• Do NOT start a political discussion in the middle of the road – it’ll end in a fight and you’ll have a brilliantly black eye and it’ll hurt. A LOT.

Happy Holi, Folks.

What Happiness Feels Like

What Happiness Feels Like

So you’ve seen it all. Heard it all. Your back, it’s now against the wall.

You’ve fallen so far down the rabbit hole, you can’t possibly fall any farther down.

Your heart was broken, you fixed it, someone broke it all over again.

One day you looked at your forehead in the mirror, and started smoothing out that frown.

That same day, you decided, you won’t let pain cut into your veins, you’d had enough.

That very moment, you decided, you were done with people and their words – oh such words.

That instant, a fire lit within you, and you with your wounded pride, you picked up the pieces.

Your individuality, it started to shine through, despite how, all this while it lay blurred.

Your frown, where was it, now? Your eyes crinkled up at the corners.

What people called “crow’s feet” and got Botoxed for, turned into your prized possession.

Your lips stretched into a smile, and you felt the iron cage around your heart break open.

Suddenly such a weight lifted and suddenly you never knew depression.

And for the first time in what feels like years, you’re breathing like you were meant to.

You feel unburdened, and it’s not because you’re rich, it’s not because there’s a new man.

You feel like a Phoenix, that’s risen from the ashes they left abandoned in the corner.

You’ve left behind all negative energy and you’re a new woman with a new plan.

You’re going to be unflinchingly yourself – shameless, bold, bad, manipulative – so be it.

They misunderstand you, you don’t care, you’re dealing with it like it’s not important at all.

You’re happy, and finally, nothing gets to you – this bubble around you, it protects you.

And this time you’re sure, that no matter what happens, this time you won’t fall.

Stuff I Failed To Comprehend THIS Year

Stuff I Failed To Comprehend THIS Year

It’s almost the end. Of the year, that is. And 2018 was all over the place. I remember all of us praying, like we typically do, for a beautiful new year just last year and then we got well, a load of crap.

The only good thing that came out of all that crap was probably the Me-moji. Case in point:

While this is very cute and seems to have very fine teeth and all, there’s a million things that made me very unhappy this year. Let’s start with the very obvious, shall we?

1. Atrocious Grammar and Catchphrases:

This was the year of the worst grammar out there. I fail to see how “I’m shook”, “It’s lit”, or “It me” makes any sense. Okay, I maybe a bit of grammar nazi, sure. But I’m also pretty sure that *most* English teachers on the planet are actually smacking themselves on their foreheads.

Also, what’s “She’s quaking” supposed to mean? What’s with the overuse of the word “sister”? Why is it okay to say “I’m sister shook?”

Well, young lady/man, I’m sister shook at your sister atrocity. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, stop reading and Google James Charles YouTuber.

2. The Over-saturated Market:

There’s this pretty huge Instagram page called TrendMood1, and I think she should change her handle to The Enabler. I’ve never seen someone so influential. She could even sell a used tissue, she’s that convincing.

And she’s been phenomenal in helping saturate the already over-saturated beauty industry.

It used to be Kylie Cosmetics alone that would pump out new launches. But now, we have every other brand follow suit. We can’t keep up, and our wallets and finally our interests follow suit. This is coming from a makeup hoarder. I used to buy a lot. I used to buy a lot in 2017. Heck, even in June this year. But now? Every time there’s a new lipstick out, it’s like I’ve seen it before.

3. Bookstagram Drama:

It’s bad enough we have so much drama in the beauty industry, but now it’s spilled over into the world of Bookstagram too.

It all started with my good friend Faroukh talking about sponsorships and ads. Which actually started off a little bit of a war. And then it quickly escalated. And then it moved to Twitter. I don’t think it’s wrong to expect payment for content you’re putting your heart and soul and time and effort into. It’s only fair that when you’re creating content for someone, you expect to be paid. With actual money. No one should be working for free, right?

But oh boy. It did rub a few people the wrong way. And before we knew it, up went a post talking about how freedom was too important and how money doesn’t count. Oh dear. To think we had drama only in the beauty community. What’s next? Gym membership drama? Oh. Popcorn time.

4. Apple and The Crazy Prices:

So Apple is really testing people with the crazy prices. In India, the new iPhone XS Max is priced slightly higher than a tiny car called the Tata Nano.

While there’s no denying the fact that the new phones are beautiful, it does get my goat sometimes knowing that you’d have to buy extra attachments in order for your phone to be properly functional. The stock adapter isn’t gonna come equipped with fast charging. Which is so annoying.

When you pay so much for a phone, it has to be perfect, right? But it is a beauty. Takes amazing shots, you see. Wow, I’m contradicting myself.

And finally…

5. Wedding Fever:

Everyone is getting married.

Everyone. Celebrities. Common folk. Puppies. Like, what the heck?

I don’t understand how people suddenly develop these weird fevers and then go about doing all of it like crazy on crack.

I know at this rate, I’m going to be the last grandma standing.

Help.

That’s a Wrap On August

That’s a Wrap On August

What a slow month, you guys.

I’m not dead, no. Not even been as busy. I’ve been dry as a bone, meaning my creative juices have literally stopped flowing. It happens, when you’re stressed out and you’re hating on all things remotely connected to the Internet.

A quick rundown on everything that hit me like a speeding train this month:

“TEA SPILLAGE”.

Oh my Lordy. If you’re into makeup and stuff like that, and if you haven’t been living under a rock, you KNOW where I’m going with this. Brands and people my friend calls “Influenza” (influencers) are spilling way too much tea. I don’t know where this phrase came from.

Everyone’s been spilling it, sipping it, burning their tongues in the process. My English friends are super mad, you know, because their precious tea is being used to stir up drama. I feel like tea spillages are going to go extinct very quickly and go down the exact same route as fleek and slay have, and that’s only because the market is so over-saturated, people are getting tired already.

I, for one, want my coffee. I’m done with this stupid tea. I want to find this person who started the phrase and smack them crapless. Why must you squeeze every damn lemon till it turns freaking bitter as eff? Thank you, but stop. Like, now.

FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS/ THROUPLING/ OPEN RELATIONSHIPS.

Jesus. I thought FWB was the end of it. And now we have “throupling”, and I didn’t even know such a word existed. So I did some research and realized a movie (surprise, surprise) had popularized the trend. That’s like three people in a relationship. Isn’t that twisted beyond measure? My brains from the twenties can’t comprehend this weird millennial logic. It can’t. Can yours? Then do explain how and why any of this is normal? The movie was released in 2014, but since stuff reaches popularity (notoriety) here late, we now have this dumb act on the rise in India. Kill me.

(The only good thing that’s been happening is the fact that celebrities are actually getting married. Or engaged. Maybe, people will take some inspiration. High time.)

KERALA FLOODS.

The amount of political dirty laundry aired, post the Kerala flood situation, was crazy. I had no idea politicians lied more than Amy Dunne in Gone Girl ever did. Jesus H. Macy.

The upside, though, was the fact that people – regular people – actually made lots of donations and helped in any way they could. Faith in humanity restored.

“SLOWLY.”

Someone recommended I use Slowly to make pen pals.

I know what you’re thinking. Who the heck has the time? Why this dumb app now? How many apps do we need?

You don’t need a million apps and you don’t need to invest a lot of time. Slowly lets you type letters, with stamps and everything, and here’s the thing – it takes hours for letters to deliver, depending on your location. You get matched with strangers and you have complete anonymity.

I’ve been enjoying writing to people on Slowly. Really happy with the old-school feeling it gives.

Do you have any hits and misses for the month?

…and then, there’s distance.

…and then, there’s distance.

There’s a reason I loathe watching romantic comedy movies. It makes me want to grab a whole box of tissues, cry enough buckets to drown a whole town and then some. But I also love, love, love Drew Barrymore. And her cute little smile and all of the movies that she’s done.

Specially Going the Distance.

If you haven’t seen this movie, pause and go watch it. It’s about a thirty-something intern called Erin who falls in love, over the summer, with a guy named Garrett, who manages a band and hates his job. Just briefly, they fall in love over the summer without even planning to. Since she must go back to San Francisco in a span of six weeks of meeting him, they agree on a casual fling. But love doesn’t really work that way, and they end up crazy about each other.

Soon, they’re exclusive and decide to do the long-distance thing. Erin gets offered a job at a newspaper in San Fran, and is not sure of what to do, because she’s been in the same situation before and she followed the guy around. Garrett tries to find a job in San Fran so he can move there and be with her, but there are NO jobs. Over the next few months, distance makes it really hard and they call it quits.

And then some miracle helps them meet halfway and everyone is happy.

The thing is, distance sucks. I can tell you that because I’ve been in the exact same situation, and things get super crazy. You start to doubt yourself. It’s easy to have a romance and everything when you’re in the same city as your partner because you guys KNOW that you can just pop over and see them. With long-distance, there’s no knowing. At all. And boy, that’s so exhausting. Nothing makes you question your self-worth, your existence, and yourself in general, like a long-distance relationship does.

Am I not worth it? Is he cheating? He’s online till 4 AM and he wasn’t talking to me. He doesn’t send flowers, is he not into me anymore? He doesn’t call, has he gotten tired of me? Should I drop my plans of flying to see him on his birthday? That list, that bloody stupid list, is endless.

You know what’s worse? Having an introvert partner on top of that. Long-distance and under-sharing do NOT go hand in hand. Your partner shuts you out and makes you feel like turd and doesn’t even realize because that’s what comes normally and totally naturally to them. You try sending hints and hints fall flat. And when they do get the hint, they try to overcompensate and it doesn’t really feel as good. Nothing feels as good, not until things happen organically. Plans are made, and cancelled. Tickets are made, and cancelled. And eventually, you start pulling away. Emotionally and physically. You don’t visit as often because you’re scared you’ll be troubling them. Doubts and depressing thoughts chase each other around in your head in circles till one fine day you wake up with an aneurysm and go, “FUCK THAT SHIT.”

Eventually, once distance wins, you don’t have the energy left anymore to start over. But you do. You look for love again. Be with the old flame, or you start swiping. All the time going, fuck you, technology. Fuck you, 2018.

Why Being a Doctor SUCKS At Times

Why Being a Doctor SUCKS At Times

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to hurt anyone, it’s just all in fun and jest, to lighten the mood. If this title offends you, please find another blog post. 

So, we all think doctors are these amazing people who basically play God at times, right? WRONG. I’ve been in the field for quite a while now; long enough to – as the cool kids say – spill the tea. 

AND IT’S NOT FUN.

For starters, you’re nothing unless you’re doing your residency. Me. I’m not doing my residency. I’m the worst apple in the basket and all I do is just cry on the inside. You’re nothing even after you’ve devoted the better part of over half a decade of your life trying to retain some information in your brain so you don’t potentially end up killing people.

I envy people that sit in “corporate offices” and lord it over other people and complain that their jobs suck, all day. Oh, how I feel sorry for you – because you don’t have to rush to attend calls at the drop of a hat, because you have your weekends off, and because nobody calls you to look at a nasty pulsating abscess that needs to be drained. I pity you.

I have this friend who works at one such establishment and is the most inconsiderate person I know. And since I’m a doctor, I can’t complain that she’s being inconsiderate. While you’re looking at patients and your phone keeps going off constantly and you come home at quarter past midnight, drained and dehydrated from the day, only to peek into your phone and realize your friend has Un-friended you because you couldn’t be there for her all day.

When you didn’t even do it on purpose and you were basically with a patient that happened to go into labor right in the middle of her partner’s eye check up, for God’s sake. And you couldn’t leave her alone and had to arrange for transport and everything else and be there till the baby was born. Which is super crazy and has never happened to you before. But then you’ve taken an oath and you only put your patient first. And you come home super empty, and your friend gives you an attitude.

Forget about the times you’ve texted back immediately or called from the loo because she was freaking out. Forget all that.

Because no one understands.

When you’re a simple MBBS graduate in the likes of a country like ours, nobody tells you that you’re also a pariah, a watchdog, a doormat and a punching bag. Nobody tells you that. I wish I could stop taking my oath as seriously.

For the most part, our fraternity is also greatly misunderstood. People think we’re snobs that only hang out with other doctors but that’s not true because well, refer to the earlier example, please. We’re labelled as snobs and that kind of hurts because we aren’t snobby at all. This is why being a doctor is super lame because no matter what you do, you’ll be put on a pedestal and judged.

The thing is, people think that a lot of us aren’t cute. That’s like, missing the mark by a wide margin. So what do we do to make up for the lack of looks? We get an attitude as well. And forget about the pretty ones. You’re pretty, and you’re a doctor, and oh you’ve got an attitude. That’s all the whammies combined. Ouch. And with the whammies come the personal attacks and the physical attacks.

Which prompts us to consider getting bodyguards or even, guns.

I carry pepper spray. I’ve had my share of handsy patients. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of working in any hospital run by our darling Indian government, you’d know what I’m talking about. Patients swarm in like a whole hive of bees. You have no personal space. Forget that, you have no breathing space. And then people sneeze all over you. Puke all over you. And your mask isn’t helping. And you’re still supposed to smile.

Just an example of how bad it gets, guys.

I’ve been puked on. I’ve been sneezed on. A patient once gave me a sharp smack on my hand during my internship because I was trying to draw blood. If this was America, I would have sued. For assault.

But it isn’t America and we don’t have the right and we have to live with it all. Guys, don’t send your kids to med school. Please.

The Rise of The Anti-Vaxxers

The Rise of The Anti-Vaxxers

Vaccine controversies have been around for almost a century. People that don’t believe in vaccinating their children or don’t believe in being vaccinated themselves, are called the anti-vaxxers. There’s been a sudden spike in the numbers, even more than the numbers last year, according to this article I found.

That’s crazy, right?

2018 has seen a lot of anti-younameit so far. There’s anti-Christ, anti-humanitarian, yada yada yada. And now we have Kat Von D join the bandwagon. She’s a tattoo artist, who injects her own body with chemicals but won’t vaccinate her baby when he’s born, because she’s vegan and refuses to pepper her child’s body with vaccines. Wow. There are hypocrites and then there’s Kat Von D. Why she going in and standing her ground is yet another piece of dumbass information – the Lancet published an article saying vaccines cause autism because of the aluminum that accumulates in your brain.

The doctor that published this also had his license taken away, because the connection between autism and vaccination is completely non-existent. There’s no solid proof because the whole thing is completely dumb to even talk about. You need to be vaccinated, period. Medical sciences have brought us where we are today, with longer lifespan and better lives, because vaccinations make it possible for people to not be prone to a lot of life-threatening diseases. Polio. Measles. Diphtheria. Tetanus.

I posted a comment under a Facebook video of a child getting vaccinated and people went off like crazy. But here is the thing: pathogens don’t seek permission to enter and infect your body. Pathogens don’t seek permission before setting up shop and making you sick. Pathogens just don’t. They won’t. So what’s the point, you know, of saying things like:

“Parents do whatever they want with their children and vaccinate them because children are incapable of giving consent.”

Right. That’s very sensible, yes? Because pathogens definitely ask oh hello, can we please live inside your body? Jesus, this whole thing gets me so mad. It makes me even more so because Kat Von D is super influential, and she says things that people tend to believe in and I’m scared epidemics are going to make a comeback super soon. The beauty community acts like the Roman mob from Julius Caesar every time something like this happens. I’ve gone ahead and boycotted the brand (it makes me very sad, because I did love the KVD liquid eye liners) and I’m not alone – other people are doing it too.

Combined with the rising number of people that believe in the earth being flat, and that vaccines cause autism, I don’t want to live on this planet anymore. This is why we are undergoing serious retrogressive metamorphosis and soon, we will go back to the stone ages and the human race is going to die out. Just you wait.

Things I Learned on Vacation

Things I Learned on Vacation

I’ve been away for a good while. Not gonna lie, I missed blogging terribly. I missed being able to sit down and pour my heart out on my freaking keypad and I missed being able to talk to you guys.

To answer your question, no, I’m not dead. Just on a hiatus. And extremely happy that I got to think about a bunch of stuff, because going someplace with no cellphone reception is, like, liberating. This was a learning curve. A whole lot goes down in a week’s time, you know?

Here’s what I learned on my getaway:

1. People stay in your life as per their convenience.

I had this friend. Really, really, really good friend. The 3 AM SOS kind of friend. I go away for a while, bam, I get unfriended – literally. Please note, that this was the person that would text me at ungodly hours and I would always be down for a conversation, no matter how tired I would be. You can tell a lot from the way a person’s text pattern changes and one word answers and weird emojis are a big no no. I asked if she wanted me to stop bothering her – she replied, without missing a beat, “Yes”, no punctuation. Which also goes to show that two women can never stay friends for ever. That ship sailed way back in 500000 BC and it’s a lost cause.

2. It’s good to disconnect.

I had no idea I would feel so good with no cellphone reception. I was happy without having to FaceTime, text or call people to assist them when they needed help with something. And people usually call when they need something, we all know that. It felt really good. I swear.

3. It’s not the place, it’s just how you feel, that actually matters.

You don’t have to go to Bali. Or Peru. Or the Bahamas. You could just take a random road trip or go trekking and feel so much sadness lift if you just let things go. You’ll end up noticing so much. And little things do make the most amazing memories to cherish. Look at this amazing heart shaped stone I found while walking around to go see this waterfall. In the middle of nowhere.

Changi falls, Rishap, North Bengal, India.

4. Fur babies are beautiful.

I was at this hill station called Loleygaon, and the place we stayed at had a few highly trained, pet dogs. Meet Whitey (I’ve to be honest, I hate that name), Bobo and Bailey. I may not be ready to have kids just yet, but fur babies? A million times yes.

5. Food is bae.

You don’t have to constantly be on diet and punish your body. Letting go sometimes, feels really good.

I’ve never had as many dumplings my whole life. And guess what? I didn’t feel guilty at all. I know I’m not a photographer but here’s what I’m talking about. Momo and Thukpa on a cold, rainy day. That’s what I’m talking about.

Does anyone want me to do a travel blog post? About the places I’ve been to this past week? Let me know!