Ode to my little brother

ImageI’ve changed his nappies. I’ve made him cry. He has made me slam doors and scream my lungs out.

He has made me happy. He has made me proud. He has made me feel like the best human being on the planet.

He has shared secrets with me. I have given him good advice. I have given him bad advice. He has protected me. He has supported me unconditionally.

He drank his first beer with me. He hated it! Now he loves it. So if he ever becomes an alcoholic it will be my fault.

My brother is one of the most sincere, positive, generous, and open hearted people I know. He is also one of the most creative people I know –- except for when he designs his own tattoo. Thanks to me, he now has the coolest tattoo ever. His thoughts, my advice = great result. You are welcome, Anish.

He has a precocious mind. He knew what he wanted to major in, in the eighth grade. His first short story was published when he was in grade 10. He started his own business with his friends when he was 15. He is a football fanatic and I know he will work and excel in that industry one day.

He has numerous unique, multi-dimensional skills:  Intelligence (he passed his CFA the first time round, after studying only for a week!). A diligent and responsible work ethic. Can dance hip hop, rap and bhangra equally well to the same song. Can sing without embarrassing anyone. Superb design and video-editing skills. Taught himself to play the guitar. Can cook Indian food (!). Can do the tough-mudder.

He is amazingly patriotic, even though he hasn’t really lived in India. That feeling along with his talent, could make him a game changer for our country. I hope India doesn’t disillusion him irrevocably.

He has taught me to believe in who I am by always looking up to me. I feel a responsibility towards him as a big sister; it helps me make decisions sometimes. He is the most mature 24 year old I know. I won’t make big decisions without his opinion. He inspires me in many ways.

I hurt when he is hurting, and also when he acts stupid. I want to protect him, but still be the cool big sister. A tough balance to keep.

I worry who he will marry, only because in my mind no one will be good enough for him. But I do hope he finds genuine true love and is able to keep it for life.

He was born on my request when I was 9; I was a lonely child. He is the best gift my parents could ever give me. I am blessed to have him as my brother, and really wish he didn’t live 13,334 kilometres away.

Happy Raksha Bandhan, my dearest brother. I miss you.

My first postcard from a stranger

Postcrossing postcard #1

Postcrossing postcard #1

A few weeks ago I wrote about having joined the Postcrossing service that allows you to send and receive postcards from strangers. Well, to my utmost thrill (yes, it doesn’t take much to please me) today I received my first postcard from a stranger.

It’s from a girl called Pooca in Tampere, Finland — and it’s a picture of a Moomin. A Moomin is a round, furry, white troll that resembles a hippo — the fictional characters were invented by Finnish illustrator and writer Tove Jannson in his comic strip “The Moomins”.  So coool!

For those of you who didn’t know (I didn’t), Tampere is located south-west of Finland and is the third most populous city but only has a population of 300,000 people. The postcard was sent to me after a Postcrossing meet that was held there, and everyone at the meet signed it!

Super cool. Made my day.

What it’s like to fall in love with an assassin

This is by far the best story I have read in a while. War photo-journalist Jason P Howe travels to Colombia on a mission to document images that would narrate the country’s political history bound by terrorism. He falls in love with a Colombian woman who turns out to be a cold-blooded killer.
[Excerpt]:

“The woman I had only recently begun sleeping with was a hired killer and there was a gun on my bedside table.High on a combination of the heady tropical climate, local rum, grade A cocaine and in the arms of nubile 22-year-old, fantasy and reality became blurred. It felt like I was living in a Quentin Tarantino movie.”

Truth is far more interesting than fiction, it’s a shame that so many stories remain untold. This one is beautifully written and the blatantness of the story gave me goose bumps. A must read.
A movie is planned and his book “Colombia Between the Lines” will be out this Spring.

Howe’s photography from Colombia, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan and Kurdistan is phenomenal too, you can see his work here.

Unhappy in your relationship?

Over the last few weeks or so, I have been privy to many, MANY conversations about relationship problems (when girls get together, 90% of the time, this is, unfortunately, what we talk about).

The crux of it all has been that people are in relationships that make them unhappy. Boyfriends are dicks and make their girlfriends unhappy; girlfriends are distraught and not living their life because they are too affected by their boyfriends, who are being dicks.

There is just one thing I want to say about this:

YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN HAPPINESS.

Yes, people you love have an effect, we are influenced by them. Their animo often becomes ours, and we have good days and bad days. Ups and downs are normal in relationships, people aren’t perfect, everyone has issues. But having downs doesn’t mean you are an unhappy person. Your temporary mood with a person is distinct (perhaps not exclusive) from whether overall you are happy or not.

Aside from this, if you find yourself unhappy for an extended period of time, honestly, it has NOTHING to do with anyone but yourself. It’s YOUR FAULT that you are unhappy, not your boyfriend’s. People may treat you badly, or unfairly, but you have the power to fix that, and it may be easier than you realize. You cannot depend on somebody else to make you happy.

So guys, stop blaming others for your misery, get a life, and find a solution so that you can make yourself happy. Life is too short to not be happy.

Dating: The Three-Month Twitch

I have been in the “dating” sphere for the last 10-years, and I have not been able to keep a man in my life for more than 3-months at a stretch — a consistent end post the damned if you do, damned if you don’t theory.

Various reasons for this, all bullshit, but reasons nonetheless — or excuses rather. For example:
-“You are too good to be with a jerk like me.” (huh?)
-“I respect you too much to be dating you casually.” (did I say I wanted a serious relationship!??)
-“You are the type I would take home to my mum, and right now I just want to get laid.” (dude, I don’t want to meet your mum!)
-“How can you want to date me knowing it’s not going to last? What is the point?” (Urrr…nothing lasts forever, and whatever happened to enjoying the present?)
-“I am scared of commitment.” (I don’t want to marry you!)
-“It’s not you, it’s me.” (My all time favourite cliche 🙂

I’ve had the odd “I’m really still in love with my ex” thing, which is fine and acceptable — but the boys have not had the balls to tell me that whilst breaking-up. The odd mutual break-up “we like each other but not enough to keep dating” shpeal has been the cleanest cut-out.

However, what might be interesting to note (as I choose to humiliate myself publicly on this blog) is that all these guys went on to have serious relationships after me. I don’t know what to think of that, and I rather not. I do wish they would have told me the truth though. I’ve been half-tempted to ring them all and ask them “what did I not do right?”

Maybe I was too easy. Maybe I should’ve played those stupid games that everyone plays. Maybe I gave too much too soon. Maybe I didn’t give enough. Maybe we shouldn’t have gotten involved in the first place. Fuck knows.

Anyway, so I’m currently involved in something. I don’t want to tag it, there is no point. (Oh, I also recently learnt that “dating” is different from a “relationship” — I didn’t know that. Yeah, I’m pretty clueless when it comes to men. And I’m sick of trying to figure this whole being with someone concept. It’s overrated and it gives me a headache.)

So post my confidence being shattered a million times and my therefore assumed vulnerability, my dating mind frame has evolved into this: I date someone because I’m enjoying myself. The minute it’s more painful than fun, you get out.

Coming back to my point: it has been 3-months since I have been with someone now and that momentary realization (that I don’t want to dwell on which is why I’m ranting it on this blog) has made me think about my past hook-ups and how pass this duration and within a week it’s over.

I know it’s not fair to compare your relationships. Each one is completely different, they have nothing to do with each other. But, when the pattern repeats itself on numerous occasions, you can’t help but wonder.

It’s like the guys had a timer that started beeping come the 3-month mark and were afraid that what they are involved in is nothing but a bomb waiting to explode.

It’s not like I’m consciously counting days, but it’s hard not to be aware of this possibly apocalyptic phase of my dating life.

I don’t know what that says about me. Did I just compare myself to a bomb waiting to explode? I really don’t know what that says about me. Sigh.

Anyway, there are a few thoughts that help me deal with stuff like this:
– You can’t make anyone do anything they don’t want to: if someone doesn’t want to be with you there is no convincing him into it.
– It’s all about personal growth: whether in or out of an involvement with someone, as long as you’ve grown in some way (together or apart), it was worth it.
– Nobody dies of a broken heart: you fall, you get up, you dust off, you move on.
– Everything happens for a reason.

Someone once told me that you attract what you are ready for. Maybe subconsciously this is all I have ever been ready for? Or, all I am ready for at the moment?

Is this normal or is there something seriously wrong with me? Do I need to see a psychiatrist?