Changed …

I had a childhood where I was labelled a lot of things. It used to be amusing for some reason to the adults and they had a nice, hearty laughter at my expense. Every time. I was a kid (6, probably 7) and all of this made a tremendous impression on me. I stopped interacting with people (till date, I don’t interact easily unless I’m extremely comfortable with someone), cried at night (because then nobody would know), and had huge self-esteem issues. Yes, I was made to feel disgusted with myself.

The photo on the left is from 12 December 2013. This was at a friend’s wedding. At that point, I was trying to come to terms with a breakup, my dying grandma (who I was very close to and the only sane person ever in my life), and M.Ed. semester I examinations. It was such a shitty time and all I wanted to do was give up. But I decided that I wouldn’t let people run all over me. Not anymore. I got to work on myself and I’ve worked hard.

It was depressing but there was no looking back. I got a closure on my long lost relationship, witnessed my grandma deteriorating, did stuff that I wouldn’t such as draw blood from her, eventually saw her die,  topped the University at the M.Ed. exams, and changed myself for the good.

Nevertheless, the point is please don’t demean anybody. Just don’t. It’s sick. Of course, people are much more aware nowadays and that’s good. As for me, I’m way more confident and completely in love with myself.

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I am a Potterhead now . . .

What a magical journey!

The seven Harry Potter books have left me not only fascinated and awed but have managed to reinforce the fact that love conquers all. I’m not sure if this was the right time to have read these books (30 when I read!) or if I should’ve been done with them at least a decade ago. By the way, the seventh book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released on my 21st birthday (July 21, 2007). ☺

Nevertheless, it was amazing reading the adventures of Harry Potter. However, Rubeus Hagrid, Ronald Weasley (completely underrated and I’m glad Hermione Granger chose him), and Albus Dumbledore would always remain my favorites. I have also read the play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child but these seven books, wow; just wow. 😍

I think I may have also dreamed about magical stuff but I don’t recall what exactly those dreams were made of! 😃 Nevertheless, I am a Potterhead now . . .

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My Nicholas Sparks Story

See, I am a die-hard romantic and all that but I used to be a little, what’s the word, uncertain probably, about indulging in the romance genre when it came to literature. OK yes, I’ve read Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet; I’m not averse to the genre, I was just uninterested. These stories didn’t seem real to me. And let me bring to your notice, that I was in a steady, romantic relationship once upon a time and my experiences were nowhere close to what happened in these books.

So, there I was all “I am not interested in reading romance” when I first heard about Nicholas Sparks and his super successful romance books. Also, the films based on his books. I remember dismissing him and getting on with the thrillers, suspense, and mysteries.

It was only after my break-up, and I can’t really put my finger on the reason but it was most probably after watching the movie Message in a Bottle, that I decided to read Nick Sparks. I wanted to know why his books enthralled readers worldwide? What was in there? Would I be able to relate to it?

I borrowed Message in a Bottle from a book shop and boy, oh boy, I was hooked! Now, considering my history with this genre, I never thought I’d get through even the first few chapters but I did. I was so pulled into the book by the amazing and “relatable” writing of Mr. Sparks.

The rest, as they say, is history. Today, I have read and am the proud owner of all the 20 Nicholas Sparks books. I have lent them to my friend, too, making her, in turn, a Nick Sparks fan. And, I’m definitely looking forward to reading more from him.

By the way, did I mention that I still prefer not to read the romance genre? Of course, Nicholas Sparks being the only exception. 😊

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Losing It: In Beautiful Goa (Part Three)

So, in all my frustration, I packed my bags for Goa and upon reaching there, my frustration about the whole weight loss thing just went poof. I mean, there is something in the air of Goa; no, really. It makes you forget all your worries and you’re just happy. So well, yeah, here I was in Goa, the lovely, lovely Goa.

Like I said in my earlier post, weight loss was not part of my Goa plan. Obviously! You got to Goa for peace and some fun. And that’s what I planned on getting. Oh, I had my itinerary and all that in place. Ha! So, how did the weight loss happen? I’ll tell you.

Travel (within Goa): Now, Goa has a lot of travel options, don’t worry. I chose to travel by the local buses. If you’re wondering, they’re safe! However, what probably led to the weight loss (and I am assuming) is the whole process of changing buses to get around, you know, like from one place to another. So, walking or running (hehe) to get into the bus gave me the much needed physical activity. But, weight loss because of that, maybe.

Activity: Now, by activity, I mean the physical exertion that I may have gone through, not those water sports or any other activity. Come on, I’m trying to lose weight here. So, yeah. Two incidents come to my mind that left me drained. One was the visit to Chapora Fort. Oh the climb to get up there is seriously crazy (but totally worth it). So, huffing and puffing, I climbed up there and what a view; wow, just wow! By the way, did I mention that the Bollywood film Dil Chaata Hai was shot here. Right!

The second incident was the long walk to Britto’s at Baga Beach. In case you’re wondering why I’d walk there and if I was out of my mind, it was that smart alec bus conductor, who told me that the bus would go to Baga when its last stop was Calangute. But, I forgive him. I totally do because that walk to Britto’s, even though exhausting, may have led to me losing some more of my baggage. 😉

And how can I forget the nice, long walks on the various beaches I went to. All these helped, I think.

Food: A total diet change is what I experienced in the five days that I was at Goa. Food here is very different from, at least, what I eat in the Maximum City, where I live. I practically lived on rice preparations, fish (either shallow fried or steamed in a gravy), and veggies (any) through those days. Calling the food tasty, I believe, would be an understatement. These simple food preparations were divine and healthy, if I may add.

Weather: An important factor I considered was the hot and humid Goa weather in the month of April. Yes, I was sun-burned and deeply tanned. However, I think, summer is on of the best times for weight loss and possibly the Goa weather played in my weight loss, too.

And guess what, when I weighed myself upon returning home, ya ha, I was lighter. I did suspect that because my pants were, you know, lose all of a sudden but when you see a smaller number there on that scale, now, that’s some reinforcement. I was now at 76.5 kg. And, as for Goa, it always had a special place in my heart and it’ll continue to remain there forever.

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Losing It: The Gym Saga (Part Two)

And so, like all weight loss enthusiasts, with the dawn of 2016, I joined a gym. I swear I was all geared; determined to show the world that I could do it – lose it. Yeah!

They began by weighing me (goodness, stuck at 80 kg!) and measuring me and chalking out my exercise regime. Monday, abs; Tuesday, upper body; Wednesday, lower body; and it went on. And, let me tell you, I did all that I was asked to do RELIGIOUSLY. But that number still stuck. 80! It was getting to me now. This was a psychological battle for me, remember, and I was on the path to being depressed. They said it would happen but when. I needed to see a drop in that figure!!! I didn’t care (at that point) that I was gaining muscle and all those nice things. My fight was with that digit on the weighing scale (which now, I realize, doesn’t matter – will get to this a bit later).

I worked out and worked out but no, my weight remained where it was. It was frustrating and this continued for some months. Then finally, after four months of turmoil, I managed to lose one kg; you read that, one kilogram. Mind you, I maintained caution when it came to my diet, the usual no sugar, no oil, nothing white. Then what was wrong, I wondered!

In all this frustration, I booked my tickets to Goa. “Chuck everything!” But then, I didn’t know that this trip would turn out to be a life-changer where my weight-loss was concerned. More on this wonderful trip in my next post.

P.S. I personally detest going to the gym and doing those weight training exercises but they make sense really. I do them.

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Losing It: A Psychological Play (Part One)

So I thought I’d use my blog to share my weight loss story. And to begin with, let me tell you, please love yourself, your body, concentrate on being the best version of you. Do not, I repeat, do not let anybody tell you otherwise.

With that, let me jump to why I chose to lose weight; it’s simple – I was on the borderline of being obese, which, of course, is an invitation to a host of other ailments. Ummm so, I didn’t really want to be sick and all, you know, physically. What was worse, however, was the psychological effect that my weight had on me. Coming from a society that chides you and labels you for being overweight, this weight started affecting me; it got me depressed. I had to do something about it and believe me, I tried everything (will write about this in further posts) with no results.

Mind you, I was excelling in life (be it studies or anything else) but this was a downer. It was a battle I fought and lost so many times that I’d given up all hopes. And all it did was increase my weight. That number kept going up! When it touched 81.4 kg (I’m 5’3″ tall and that wasn’t good for me), I was full-on depressed . . . I sobbed, I despised what I saw in the mirror. Disdain. Disappointment. Desparation. I felt it all. It sucked. I couldn’t play this psychological game.

But I hung on and all it took was a trip to one of the most gorgeous places in India – Goa – to get in the mood (wait, get motivated) to play this game. I’d decided not to quit . . . I’d play and I’d win this battle with the mind.

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Marriage Material, Am I? – Part Two

OK so, the marriage thing is getting out of hand!!! Almost everybody is working overtime looking for a groom for me. Well, except me but I get the updates . . . No boy yet! And this got me wondering about the other reason (apart from me being too old at 30!) I may probably not be considered marriage material. And that is my education . . . Dang!!!

Before I continue to blabber, let me tell you that I have four degrees already and I am on my fifth and that fifth is Ph.D. Now, what’s the problem here, you may ask? Frankly, I don’t see any! Big deal! However, this made me recall an incident, right after I’d received my B.Ed. degree, where an auntie said the following words to my mother, “Don’t educate her anymore, she won’t get a husband!” Excuse me but huh???

It is unfortunate that our society still thinks the way it does. What has the number of degrees got to do with marriage anyway? I thought marriage was all about love, acceptance, and commitment. Oh wait! Wait just a minute there. Is this about the boy being insecure and all that crap?? Ah! I should’ve known . . .

This is sad. Really, why do we do this to our girls and boys? Why is it that such things even matter when it comes to marriage? I’ll confess that this did bother me. I did wonder if I’d get a man who’d not be bothered about my achievements. But then, I was back to being myself and now, I don’t give a damn!

Oops, still marriage material, am I?

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