Mobility gives you wings. It gives you freedom, independence, and agency to move wherever you want to be and do whatever you want to do. I decided to write this post after driving my scooter for the first time. It was a different feeling altogether. That feeling can’t be expressed in words. It gave me freedom, ownership, and independence. Every woman should own a vehicle and it is very important for women to learn to drive. A general observation in and around you will show that most of the vehicles are owned by men. When your mobility is sorted, no one can control you. It makes you independent and gives you the agency to chart out your life. When you can take care of your mobility, you are not dependent on your spouse, children, or anyone else to move around. Maybe that’s why women are restricted or forbidden from driving in various countries and societies. They want to control women and don’t want to give them agency to live their lives on their own terms.
I also felt less vulnerable while driving than walking on the roads. Being a pedestrian, I suffered harassment on the streets multiple times but when I started driving my scooter, the harassment was less. Whenever you are in a strong position, people will hesitate to bother you.
Mobility has a big role to play in someone’s life and growth as a person. Public places are hostile to women. They face various kinds of challenges and harassment navigating the public place by walking or driving, or using the private and public transportation system. Many studies and anecdotal evidence expose the masculinity of public places. Most women feel unsafe and avoid being in public places to save themselves from sexual harassment and the toxic male gaze.
As per the data released from India’s first Time Use Survey, it was found that more than 53% of women had not stepped outside their homes the previous day. Only 38% of women in this age group reported stepping out of the home, compared to 88% of men. Marriage and children have a huge impact on women’s mobility and absolutely no impact on the mobility of men. Being married or living with a person is associated with reduced mobility for women but increased mobility for men.
I urge all ladies reading this post to learn to drive even if it’s a bicycle. Figure out a way to do that and your life will change. I am grateful that I finally learned to drive. देर आये दुरुस्त आये 🙂
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Calvin and Hobbes comic strip by Bill Watterson is a marvelous piece of creativity and imagination. It has many philosophical lessons in the mischievous conversation between Calvin and his imaginary tiger friend Hobbes. This comic strip makes you laugh, gives you insights about life and also discovers the beautiful relationships of friendship, growing up and the meaning of life. The special bond between Calvin and Hobbes makes it relatable for many of us. Calvin’s behaviour also reflects our inner child.
A fascinating part of the comic strip is its beautiful layout and hues of color. Bright yellow color, the picturesque landscape and Calvin and Hobbes’ expression makes you feel energized and smile while reading.
Ending this blog with some of the best lines by Calvin and Hobbes:
“The most common way people give their power is by thinking they don’t have any”
“A feminist is someone who believes in social, political and economic equality of the sexes”.
It was easier to understand how discrimination against women exists in society than to realize how we ourselves undermine our own capabilities. Dealing with this self-awareness was more challenging than discrimination in general. I remember when I got my first job, from the first day itself, I was feeling guilty about not having enough time at home and not being able to manage the house better. This feeling was recurring when I moved from one job to another. I remember this one moment when I forced myself to come home early so that I could spend more time taking care of the home which was absurd. I could have spent this time networking with new people at the office or doing something else rather than unnecessarily worrying about my so-called responsibilities to take care of the house. I also skipped many office get-togethers, feeling that it would be a waste of time.
It was quite relatable and engaging to read Sheryl Sandberg’s book ‘Lean In: Women, Work and The Will to Lead’. Sheryl Sandberg served as the chief operating officer (COO) of Facebook for more than a decade. She raised her voice against the discriminatory practices at the company. She also founded two organisations called Lean In and Option B to help women achieve their ambitions and help companies build inclusive workplaces where women of all identities are supported and empowered.
Reading this book made me realise that what I used to feel is a universal feeling experienced by all women of the world. Talking to so many women colleagues made me understand that workplace discrimination is pervasive. Almost all the women accepted that they undermine their capabilities and fail to advocate for themselves. I have read many books that show systemic discrimination and stereotypes against women, but not every book discusses solutions to these problems. A majority of books dealt with the external obstacles that created hurdles in the path of women’s careers. However this book focuses on the “internal barriers” faced by women in their journey of career progression. Sheryl adds that these internal barriers hold us, women, back from looking for opportunities and dreaming big.
That’s where the book shows the path through which women can take charge and grow in this discriminatory man dominated world. Many would not agree with it but it made sense to me. We need to come forward and take on the challenge of balancing work and home without feeling guilty about anything. According to the author, Lean Inis a way to address the problem of lack of representation and discrimination against women at the workplace. It is totally acceptable that many institutional, political and policy changes are required to deal with the discrimination problem at a larger level. But we need to take the smaller steps. The author feels that we need to break free from that unknown fear and move forward.
She shows how despite having to face so much discrimination in the internal and external environment, women have to go extra miles to prove their capability and seriousness. Some of them are highlighted in the book:
Women have to prove themselves to a far greater extent than men have to do.
Women hold themselves back. They lower their expectations of what they can achieve. They put themselves down before others can. They consistently underestimate themselves leading to this strong feeling of ‘imposter syndrome’.
Women internalise the message that it’s wrong being outspoken, aggressive and more powerful than men.
Women are discouraged to take risks and advocate for themselves.
Women are disliked for not displaying the so called ‘appropriate behaviour’
Women are judged for doing it all when no one knows what’s going on in their mind and how they are constantly struggling and hustling to do everything imperfectly.
Women suffer not only discrimination and sexual harassment but also everyday blatant & subtle sexism.
Women are also looked down upon for managing everything and also made to feel guilty for not doing it perfectly.
The biggest take away of this book is that it makes the case for leaning in, for being ambitious in any pursuit. Though women are discouraged and disliked for being ambitious and taking risks, the author adds that career growth is mostly dependent upon taking risks and advocating for oneself. Because opportunities are rarely offered, they are seized. Women suffer from ‘tiara syndrome’ where they expect that if they keep doing their job well someone will notice them and place a tiara on their head. However, it doesn’t happen like that in the real world. Women need to advocate for themselves when their efforts are not recognised. Sheryl adds that not only do we need to take risks, prioritise growth, challenge ourselves but also ask for promotions with a smile on our faces. According to her, there are no perfect opportunities, we need to learn the skill to make any opportunities fit for us. To have a successful career plan, she suggests adopting two concurrent goals: a long-term dream and an 18-month plan.
The most insightful fact about this book is the idea of ‘Don’t leave before you leave’. Women don’t leave the workforce making one big decision but they make many small decisions and leave the workforce. One of the best examples she gives is about pregnancy. Generally all women start worrying about pregnancy long before even trying to conceive which hampers their career prospects. Sheryl feels that women should utilise the time to grow and lean in till the moment their child is not out of their womb. It made perfect sense to me. It’s like whatever time you got, you give your best shot, you work hard and achieve whatever you can so that when you come back after your pregnancy break you have a base on which you can restart your professional journey.
No one can have it all and whoever is claiming to have it all, is lying, says the author. The thing is that life is full of imperfections and flaws. It might look perfect to other people but it is never perfect. Women need to embrace the mess and keep going. Having a supportive partner can help in dealing with these things in a better way. It is a must for any working woman if she wants to excel in her professional life. If the partner shares responsibilities at home, it becomes easier for a woman to manage work and home both.
Very rightly she shares this whole idea of ‘fit in’ at the workplace. I can say this from my personal experience that people are appreciated for ‘fitting in’ and not for delivering good work. People were promoted and liked just because they were fitting in and they were sucking up to their bosses. Workplace bias is a reality. People are evaluated based on personal preferences. At the same time, the author feels that one must not inject gender into every conversation which makes people uncomfortable as well as brings a feeling that one is asking for special treatment. Rightly so, she shows how some women are also perpetrators of sexism because of internalised patriarchy and misogyny.
The only thing the book lacks is the idea to bring reform at a larger level through which every woman gets to understand all the biases and barriers they face internally. How can we bring systemic change to it? Until and unless things are not changed at a larger level, it will take years and years of hard work and effort to achieve gender equality and empowerment.
I am grateful that a colleague of mine gifted me this book recently. It’s fascinating to read this book at this point in my life when I am trying to make my career bit by bit and understand it from the perspective of a woman who worked in a male-dominated workplace. It feels so warm when women support each other which is not the general norm. Though it is not their fault because they also come from the same patriarchal environment.
Sheryl Sandberg is a brave woman who not only took various initiatives to change the system for the better but also showed a path to the upcoming generation. Her honest ordeal in the book makes it a must-read for all women out there. It will empower women to sit at the table, understand the myth of doing it all and why we should not leave before we actually leave the workplace.
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“It’s impossible to grow up as a woman in India without knowing what it is like to have to always seek permission to be yourself. Each of us, in our own way, often magnified by caste and class encounters resistance in finding self-acceptance, achievement, and affection.” (Excerpt from the Book)
The 90s were the time when Shah Rukh, Shaktiman, and cassettes ruled the world. My childhood was spent in the 90s and it was heavily influenced by Bollywood movies. Watching the Sunday matinee show on Doordarshan at 4 o’clock is one of my most fond memories. I was probably 5-6 years old along with my cousin. Both of us eagerly awaited 4 o’clock movies. We finished our homework before time so that we could watch movies in the evening. No matter what the weather was like outside, nothing could move us from our seats before the screen. The saddest part of our movie times were the power cuts which took place right before the movie’s climax.
Despite being scolded by our elders many times, we both ran for 1 kilometer to finish the movie’s climax. Doctor Saheb was an acquaintance of my grandmother, and he was quite wealthy for that area. He also owned a generator that would come on whenever there was a power failure. After the movie ended around 6:30 P.M., we both went home to enjoy a Sunday evening in a fantasy world away from reality. However, after we reached home, our Bua (Father’s sister) would beat and scold us. Occasionally, she would close the front door and not open it for at least two hours. We would wait for her to open it. The whole ordeal was repeated almost every Sunday. Wow, what memories!
I am sure you are wondering why I am telling you this story. The book I am about to discuss has the context of Bollywood films and how they have fascinated generations of Indians in their search for hope, freedom, and fantasy.
Shah Rukh Khan and Shrayana
“Desperately Seeking Shah Rukh: India’s lonely young women and the search for intimacy and independence” is written by Shrayana Bhattacharya. This book is the best example of the saying, “ don’t judge a book by its cover”. Like other people, initially, I ignored this book because of its title. However, after listening to the author Shrayana Bhattacharya on The Seen and the Unseen podcast, I immediately ordered this book and devoured it. It gave me perspective. I started observing all ladies around me and trying to piece their lives and how they are navigating and fighting with this world. The author is a young woman and economist at World Bank who also happens to be a zabra fan of the Bollywood super star-Mr. Shah Rukh Khan. She wrote this book motivated by her fandom for Shah Rukh and stories of ordinary women and her work as an economist to weave a fantastic story to understand what’s going on in the lives of ordinary Indian women and how they are dealing with the system of patriarchy.
I have found it to be one of the most insightful books I have read recently. I underlined almost every line. Each and every story of the woman in this book resonated with me. The frustration and relative deprivation of Vidya, the pains of The Accountant, the anxiety of Gold, the boredom of Manju, and most importantly, the author’s own story, all made sense to me. Whatever your educational and economic background, these stories show that women are discriminated against and made to feel inadequate and manipulated. It is all to serve the needs of the other half of humanity. The only difference was that the quality of this discrimination might have varied. Some of it was crude and visible, while others were refined and subtle. Then there is Mr. Shah Rukh Khan’s fan following. He helps these ordinary women bargain and survive the toxic patriarchy in their everyday lives through his movies and interviews. Shah Rukh’s fandom demonstrates their disappointment in society and its institutions which broke their hearts in different ways.
The lives of ordinary women
Reading this book made me more empathetic toward the lives of Indian women. It showed me how much struggle they are still going through irrespective of class, caste, or any other classification and how we women are also complicit in our own discrimination. Women are withdrawing from their jobs because not only do they have to face discrimination in their offices but also they are overburdened with the care and love which they need to provide for their families. Despite sacrificing their freedom to provide love and care to their family, women are feeling lonely and unloved. They are withdrawing from the workforce because of Sanskritisation effect where the increase in family’s income and status lead to more control of women’s body and their mobility to maintain the purity of their community and caste networks. Higher incomes allow family members to perform traditional upper-caste social rituals when women’s bodily honor is guarded strictly within the four walls of the home.
Women leaving the workforce
They leave the workforce because of an unfriendly and discouraging work environment where they are paid less as compared to their male counterparts plus they also have to deal with the male gaze. Marriage and child care act as a hurdle for women to take up jobs in India. In totality, family and society both make it so difficult for women to survive, take up a job, or stay single. We are taunted for whatever choices we make in our lives. In fact, they have a problem whenever we make any choices.
Feminism on Instagram
The author also highlights the discussions around feminism on Instagram. As per the author, real feminism is happening in the everyday lives of ordinary women and she does not have any radical story of resistance to share from the hinterlands of India. They are constantly navigating the patriarchy in their everyday lives which can never be seen on an elitist platform like Instagram. The story of Vidya from the book was so relatable that at one point I felt like vidya is speaking on my behalf. I have seen and worked with women who are very similar to Vidya’s that friend who finds faults in everything that Vidya does. They themselves are so rich and entitled but they judge women like us who have achieved something in their life coming from a normal background without any support and guidance.
In spite of not being able to relate to the heartbreak stories in the book because it has never happened to me, it was heartbreaking to know that women’s relationships, marriages, and love lives are bargained as commodities, and women are judged on the basis of their looks. Despite their different backgrounds, all of these women are fans of Mr. Khan. Seeing a superstar like this who respects and loves women provides them with a respite from oppressive patriarchal culture and discrimination. Many poor and working-class women display their fandom for Shah Rukh Khan or attend his movies in the theater to express themselves.
We need intimate revolutions
The beauty of this book lies in the fact that it also proposes ways to solve these problems for our country.
“Meaningful change in everyday life happens when we start to pratcise the views we profess. ….Only fools think we can rationalise, cancel, tweet, or march our way to a social revolution. Radical change needs oxygen from each one of us. We are required to practise what we retweet, to self-scrutinise, to incrementally partake in impossibly difficult conversations in our own everyday relationships. For people to move beyond people…………………real shifts in their private behaviour requires repeated and sustained intimate interpersonal dialogue in which discriminatory views are revealed and challenged.”
“Change will need good faith and generosity. Mindset is not enough, morality is embodied in how we demonstrate our liberal views in our daily encounters with people, places and our self. Without these intimate revolutions, the best laws and the strongest movements will fail. The realm of everyday intimacy is the true home of social change. It is where all our longing, self-loathing and biases are unveiled. This is the world of deeply private rebellions, within people & within relationships. No platform, no performance. It’s where the real battle is. And it’s got to be long and ugly.”
An answer to the most debated question on humanity can be found in this book. Exactly, what do women want? The answer will surprise you. Women want love, freedom, and respect in no particular order.
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It’s an unconventional book that tells us to change the way we work. This book is filled with timeless wisdom. In spite of the book being written in 2010, whatever is written therein is still relevant and will continue to be useful even in the future. It is written in a straightforward style. This book can be finished in one day or even in three hours if nothing interrupts your reading.
Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, founders of 37 signals, wrote this book. 37 Signals is a two-decade-old software company that is now known as Basecamp. The authors have shared practical insights in this book based on their own experiences of starting a company from scratch, operating on their own, hiring employees from all over the world, and handling crises as they arise.
In this book, you will find many inspirational lines that you can use in your life and work. These lines can be written on post-it notes and stuck to your desk, so you can get a little inspiration every day. Here are a few of the best:
Be a starter
Scratch your own itch
No time is no excuse
You need less than you think
Start a business, not a startup
You need a commitment strategy, not an exit strategy
Be a curator
Interruption is the enemy of productivity
Meetings are toxic
Good enough is fine
Long lists don’t get done
Make tiny decisions
Focus on ‘You’ instead of ‘They’
Say ‘No’ by default
Build an audience
Go behind the scenes
Show your flaws. Be vulnerable
Press releases are spam. Instead, call someone
Everything is marketing
Hire someone who can manage herself
Send people home at 5 PM
Sound like you
ASAP is poison
Please read this book and let me know what you think about it. If you have already read this book, please let me know your thoughts and experiences in the comments section.
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Stories have always been told from the perspective of the powerful. Most Indian mythologies glorify male characters. It is rare to find a female protagonist whose story of valor, sacrifice, or complexity of character has been told in mainstream work.
This very beautiful book, ‘The Forest of Enchantments’ tells the story of ‘Ramayana’ through its women who were an integral part of the story. Despite the book’s focus on Sita, it also tells the story of other women who suffered just as much, if not more, in this war between good and evil.
Sita’s story shows the vulnerability of being a woman and how she had to struggle to get respect and recognition for her capabilities. Essentially, the book deals with all human emotions, including love, passion, courage, jealousy, anger, and shame, while showing how these characters behave as normal human beings.
My favorite women from this story are Mandodari, Urmila, Kaushalya, Sarama, and of course SITA. However, we rarely know what their contributions were. Everyone knows what Lakshman did for his brother. Although he and Rama were exiled for 14 years, we do not know what his wife Urmila did for him. She had slept for 14 years so Lakshman would not have to sleep for his entire exile period.
Vibheeshan helped Rama conquer Lanka, but his wife Sarama sacrificed his son and protected Sita when she was being held as a captive in Lanka.
I loved this book for two reasons- first, it highlighted the stories of women I had never heard about, and second, it used beautiful and music-filled words that made me feel as if I were reading poetry. My mind created an image from the details in this book – I could see the forests, the palaces, the animals, and all the people that lived in this story.
Do read this book if you haven’t read it yet. If you have read this already, do let me know your thoughts about this in the comment section.
Let me tell you the story of my grandmother! I spent my childhood with her. I have seen her saving one rupee each day which led to huge savings later in her life. She did unbelievable things. She has a lot of patience. She believes in moving mountains even if she is old and sick. She never loses hope. She believes in the idea of compounding. Certainly, she does not understand the economics behind compounding. I have seen her converting hundreds into lakhs bit by bit. You must be thinking why I am telling you this? Recently, I saw a post about a book called, “The Psychology of Money” on Linkedin. This title made me curious and I decided to read this book. While I was reading this book, I realised that these pearls of wisdom on wealth and happiness were always there in front of my eyes. It usually goes unnoticed. The author of this book, Morgan Housel tells you those simple and obvious things about building wealth as Sherlock Holmes once said, ‘The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.‘ It’s possible that we see these snippets in our daily life, but we never understood their significance of them.
Luck and risk
The book is divided into 20 chapters that take the reader from one timeless lesson to another about building wealth. As per the author, past experiences impact one’s behavior towards money. He believes that financial outcomes are driven by luck, independent of intelligence and effort. Luck and risk both play an important role in someone’s life. Outcomes are not only guided by individuals’ efforts but also by actions outside of our control. One of the best things to be said by the author is this: “Not all success is due to hard work and not all poverty is due to laziness” Therefore, he suggests keeping this thing in mind before judging people. Housel suggests having the virtue of contentment and not to risk what you have. According to him, there are many things that you should never risk. For instance- reputation and freedom, family and friends and happiness are some invaluable things that no one should ever risk in their life.
Things are uncertain and many times not dependent on historical factors. You should always be ready to face surprises in the financial market because no one clearly knows what might happen next. You must always give space to the room for error and be always ready to deal with unknowns. You should be ready to take risks but don’t take a risk that can wipe you from the world. Pessimism is so seductive and believable because setbacks happen too quickly to ignore. In comparison, progress happens too slowly to notice. Improvement is driven by compounding that always takes time. On similar lines, you should be ready to face losses in the financial market. Housel adds that true financial optimism is to expect things to be bad and be surprised when they are not. Nothing is free in life. Market returns are also never free. You should always be ready to lose some money and be ready to face the consequences. It’s like give and take. If the market gives you some returns, it also takes some back.
Compounding is the key
The most important concept discussed in this book is “compounding”. Time is the most powerful force in investing. The duration of investment matters. It takes time to accumulate funds. It makes little things to grow big and big mistakes fade away. However, our minds are not built to comprehend the enormous power of compounding. As I told earlier, I have seen compounding working in my own life. Once my grandmother bought something worth ten lakh rupees when she was earning only 10 thousand rupees per month. It looked totally absurd to me and I tried to stop her from buying something so expensive when her income is so less. But she told she will slowly make this payment. Still, I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t believe till the date she was able to complete the whole payment. So compounding works in a way that our mind is not ready to sense it.
“Staying wealthy is more important than getting wealthy”, says the author. Keeping your money safe and using it rationally is more important than getting more money. Nothing should be taken for granted. Investing requires taking risks, being optimistic, and putting yourself out there but keeping money requires humility, fear, and most importantly frugality. The ability to survive plays an important role in becoming wealthy and in creating happiness. The author adds that sticking around for a long time should be the cornerstone of anyone’s strategy in life. Growth takes time. Be it about money or in career. And growth requires surviving all the unpredictable ups and downs that everyone inevitably experiences over time. Applying a survival mindset means appreciating three things in life:
You need to have enough savings to survive any disruption, pandemic and chaos in your life.
Planning is important but the most important is to plan on the plan not going according to the plan.
You need to have sensible optimism.
Being in control of your life
The best wisdom shared in this book is about how money can give you the freedom to control your time. As the author adds that the highest form of wealth is the ability to wake up every morning and say, “I can do whatever I want today” The ability to do what you want, when you want, with who you want, for as long as you want is priceless. It is the highest dividend money pays. Being in control of your life makes you happy.
Savings are linked not to your income but your humility
Creating wealth has no direct relationship with the income you earn or the investment returns you get. It depends on the saving rate. Saving the money you have and exercising frugality are the ways to build wealth. I have seen this habit not only in my grandmother but also in other family members. They don’t throw old clothes, boxes, and many household stuff and re-use them many times. They don’t go out and spend money to experience things as the new generations want to do. They have their own justification. However, saving money is the only way to build wealth. Spending money is also linked with your ego. If you desire less, you can save more. Housel has something interesting to say about increasing your savings. If you want to increase your savings, raise your humility than your income.
Saving money is the gap between your ego and your income & your income and wealth is what you don’t see.
The creation of wealth is linked to the psychology and behavior of the person. Saving money is like developing a good habit as James Clear shows in his book Atomic Habits. You don’t need a specific reason to save. Savings without a specific goal give you leverage to deal with unpredictable situations. It gives you flexibility and control of your time. The author also adds that you need to focus on being reasonable than rational because ultimately you are a human being who has emotions and feelings. You need to cut down on your expense but it does not mean that you stop living.
People change so do their goals in life
People’s desires and goals change so it is difficult to make long-term plans. The surprising thing is that people themselves don’t realise that how much they have changed in the past and how much they are going to change in the future. The author suggests keeping two things in mind whenever you are making a long-term decision. Firstly, you should avoid extreme ends of financial planning because people adapt to circumstances and the thrill of chasing dollars or living a simple life diminishes after a point. Secondly, you need to accept that things change and be ready to move on. The most beautiful thing author has to say is that you must have humility when things are going right and forgiveness & compassion when they go wrong. Because we never know what will happen and always be grateful for things that we have.
The crux of building wealth is to be humble, practice frugality and make saving your daily habit. Be a Ronald Read and not Richard Fuscone!
In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, It’s the life in your years.
Recently, I had this feeling of what next I should do. And then I decided to create a list of 50 things that I want to do before I die. When I was thinking about it, I had so many things in my mind and for a moment it felt like, life is like a -to-do list.
Out of curiosity I also asked others. I got different answers from everyone but the interesting thing was that no one told me that they want to study or appear for some exams rather most of the people added that they want to travel or do some adventure sports, create a small library, build their own home and do something for underprivileged. I don’t know what to feel about this. Here are my 50 things I want to do before I die:
Want to work for the Government of India
Help and guide 100 underprivileged students to appear for Civil Services Examination
Want to write two books: one non-fiction and another fiction
Want to work for GOOGLE and TWITTER
Want to start my venture through which I can contribute to the society
Start a small café where people can come and hang out or just read some books. The café should be green, full of art and beauty
Do a degree from abroad
Give a speech to an audience of a hundred people
Visit all cities of India
Travel whole India by Train
Travel in a truck
Want to go on a road trip from Kashmir to Kanya kumari and from Gujarat to Arunachal Pradesh
Travel solo without any planning; just start from anywhere and go anywhere
Want to have a drink without any hesitation
Sleep under the stars on a road or a mountain without any fear
Build a small cottage home in Dharmashala (Himachal Pradesh) and also make it a homestay for tourists
Climb Mount Everest
Volunteer at Golden Temple, Amritsar
Adopt an animal
Adopt a girl and provide 100 % funding for her education
Travel at least 100 countries of the world
Ride a bike and go on a trip
Learn a foreign language
Go on an island and stay there for a month without any outward communication and internet connection
Sleep on the Beach
Spend a night in a Tree House
Participate in Floating lantern activity in Thailand
Want to go horseback riding
Want to do zip-lining, sky-diving, scuba-diving, and paragliding
Go on a hot-air balloon ride
Want to participate in cycling
Want to have a nice romantic dinner with my spouse on the Eiffel Tower
Jump-off a cliff
Visit a chocolate factory
Make chocolate from scratch
Buy a Mercedes
Travel to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Bhutan
Talk to a lot of strangers and write their stories
Volunteer for ‘clean river campaign’
Participate in road painting/road cleaning exercise
Plant 1000 trees
Do something for my village located in Azamgarh district
Ride a bullet
Go on a girls’ trip with some of my close friends
Create/Direct a documentary
Write at least 10,000 blogs before I die (This is my 93rd blog)
Read 10,000 books before I die
Stay in Varanasi and Sikkim for sometime
Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go- T S Eliot
This post is for all those people who sometimes feel a bit low because one of their friends is having a great time with her partner/spouse/best friend, cleared a top-level competition, got a high-paying job, having a great love-life or got selected to some Ivy League University or having a great time in their life. It seems that they always look good and they are quite fit or they are visiting exotic destinations(though not these days because of corona epidemic and lock down).
Almost everyone has a story to tell. Everyone feels incomplete in their own way. Everyone has some painful moments in their life. But you know what I feel, people feel more comfortable in sharing their happiness than their pain/sorrow or painful moments or their problems. You need a lot of courage to share your pain, your guilt and your problems to the world. I also don’t dare to share my pains but I can easily share my happiness.
So don’t worry. Don’t overthink. No one is perfect. No one is completely happy. As Oscar Wild said, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken”. Accept your flaws because they are beautiful. It makes you a soul. Lastly, have a lot of courage and strength to say what you think, to express what you feel, to do what you love and to become what you want as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment”.