The Perfect Marriage

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Does happily ever after really exist or is that just some silly phrase out of a fairy tale?

The fact is at no point in life can you be perfect at anything, but you can prepare yourself for the adventures of life.

And one of life’s biggest challenges is marriage!

Marriage is considered to be one of the hardest aspects of life to control and requires preparation emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

The old notion of “soulmate” is just overrated; “True soulmates” are the one you are married to no matter how unreal you might find them in the moment of aggression.

This is especially true as it is said that “true soulmates are not born but made!” It isn’t something that will happen in the first month, or even in the first year. It will take time, and patience, and commitment. It is believed that with the right amount of love, happiness, and communication anything is possible and your dreams of being together forever may one day come true.

I was married on 25th December 2015 and I have learnt both the numerous ways to destroy and build a successful marriage through “live experiences”.

Few months into our marital bliss, we sobbed on our couch with our heads in our hands. We fought numerous times and we made up even more. Each fight taught something new about each other and led to the reality check of ‘being married’. We disagreed on finances, our ideas of running the household, family, friends, even sometimes on our views about current news! Sometimes our fight led to other person jumping to conclusion without other completing the sentences. I found some his views unreal as he was sometimes stubborn and annoying during such fights and he might have felt the same as we never knew these aspects while we were dating!

Isn’t it during such fight we feel that this is not what I bargained my freedom for? Isn’t it during those hard times we do feel, marriages sucks and most often we assume the other person has changed or maybe we never really knew who they really were!

This happens because we often fold inside of ourselves these lengthy lists of qualifications, standards, and traits we expect the “right person” to meet. But the reality is there is no such thing as “right person” and this is because no one is perfect. There are in-built flaws in all of us and you just have to learn to live with it.

Do you really think there is any such thing as “the right person will come and wipe of your tears and your life will become magical”? Well NO! No one has that kind of power. How can one expect another person to encompass all of the ideals he or she is so grossly incapable of encompassing?

There are thousands of articles available that tell you ‘Dos and Don’ts of a successful marriage.  But the fact is every marriage is different and the rules cannot be same for all.

What I learned and still am is:

 “Believe in your partner and their intentions like we believe in ourselves!”

This does not mean turning a blind eye but it only implies considering them as part of you and trusting their actions even at a point when you know you are on the verge of breaking.

I strongly believe after being married to the person I love the most now is “No matter how wonderful he is, he isn’t a knight-in-shining anything because I am certainly no princess either!” And it would be unfair for me to expect him to be.

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Boys will be Boys and Girls will be Girls…

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Boys will be Boys and Girls will be Girls

The term ‘gender bias’ is most often used in relation to discrimination against women, but men can be discriminated against as well!

Gender bias is harmful to both men and women because ‘stereotypes’ are not always true and having a false view of either gender is not fair.

Gender stereotypes are prescriptive and it’s not just how women and men are, it’s how women and men are supposed to be.

Since childhood both girls and boys are raised in a society where they battle their inner desires. From selection of toys to kind of movies they should watch to how they should act, ‘virtual rule books’ are instilled in their innocent minds.

Women love romantic comedies. Men will laugh out loud at a crude joke. Women appreciate a subtle pun; men a brutal one-liner. ‘Chick flicks’ are for girls. ‘Guy movies’ are for, well, guys!

Members of either sex who do not follow gender stereotypes are often punished or mocked at. It has always been perceived as:

Strong Men and Thoughtful women

It’s time to break the stereotypes of both genders prevailing in societies since ages and it’s best to start it young and when the minds are innocent.

Stop telling kids from young age that boy can’t play with dolls; gender has nothing to do with what toys one should play with, similarly girls should be encouraged to play with racing cars if she wants. Stop posing unrealistic expectations on boys. Boys are not only told that boys are not supposed to cry but crying is equated with femininity and derided –boys sometimes end up forming harmful impressions about women as a result, instead normalize the idea of boys expressing emotions. Men are even mocked for choosing field of study that are less technical like arts, choking their creativity in the process and on the other hand girls are still refrained in many societies from taking science stream as they are not meant for girls. When education did became a subject of gender disparity? Isn’t that should be one’s freedom to choose and learn without being stereotyped?

Boys will be boys and Girls will be girls but that should only mean that they are true to themselves

On this International Women Day, let’s pledge for change  #PressforProgress

 

A Friend I knew once

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Globally more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression and at worst it can lead to suicide! (World Health Organization statistics)

“Another boring blog!” Some of you might already want to skip reading the rest of it; I might as well, until now.

Because until it affects someone we love, we don’t even know it’s there, it’s really not our problem, so why should we care?

It was May 7th, 2010, Akash’s 24th Birthday. My best friend, my confidant and one of the craziest, wackiest friends in the group we ever had. As the clock stroked 12, I picked up my phone and called to wish him.  I called him thrice to a dead tone, no one answered.  I slept thinking I might as well go to his place first thing in the morning and surprise him.

I woke up at 7 and switched my alarm off. My phone rang a couple of moments later. His name flashed on my mobile. I picked up and screamed “Happy Birthday”.

Momentarily silence and a stranger’s voice from the other end said “He is no more, he hanged himself!” The rest of the conversation is a blur, but it’s a morning that will never, ever leave me and that conversation replays in my mind over and over and over many times a week.

Isn’t it strange, how few short seconds can lead someone’s life in a whole new direction? One single incident in life can alter your own reflection; can change your entire perspective of life!

The horror of my friend’s passing hit me hard. The thought that all of those deep and meaningful conversations had now ended — that he had literally taken my secrets to his grave — shattered me.

As we tried to console ourselves, what bothered me was how a seemingly happy person like him can, do something drastic like that to his life. What could have made him do that?

Though no one could even picture the mental agony he must have gone through right before the moment he decided to take his own life, that suffocation, that mental block, that feeling of utter uselessness, that helpless feeling that he is all alone in the world, that cry of pain that no one, just no one could understand what he is going through.

I tried to picture his entire life now, trying to analyze could we have stopped him from doing that?

He lost his mother in a car accident a year back. He often used to tell us he was closest to her and her absence instills voids in him. His father was a busy man and he hardly get to see him.

Few months back, he failed to get admission in his dream college due to low scores and had to settle for another ‘low key’ college.

That did change him I guess; he stayed at home more, talked less, ate less, which he called ‘diet’. If he was with us, he would get drunk, not the one we all enjoy. That was different; he would just sit and drink glass after glass. Whenever we tried to have a conversation, he would just laugh and say we are being melodramatic.

I can never forget what he said once and now it echoes in my mind every single day. I was having an argument with him on his changed behavior and was forcing him to visit a counselor.

He simply replied “Being lost at sea was a comfort!” and walked away.

I called his father immediately and told him how worried we were for him and he agreed to take him to a counselor right after his birthday which was two days from then. Yes! the same fateful day he took his life!

If only, we realized the seriousness of the situation much earlier, if only we could have made him talk, if only he received help.

Instigating major, but necessary, change in our life can be just as painful.

It changes us all for better and worse but we have to realize no matter how bad it may seem, or how alone you may feel, others are always there to help.