Monday, March 2, 2015

I Loved Him.. But He Never Loved Me

Today's post is a true story from my reader Akanksha who is quite regular in reading and commenting on Womanatics. The beauty of the story that you see woven in words is given by Rashmi, who is the new co-author on the blog and who has previously penned What is Sex post on the blog. I hope you enjoy the post. Read, share and comment! 


As a story teller the hardest part is to find the beginning of the story. If you think about it does a story have an absolute beginning? Our lives are like a woven fabric of stories, each knit connecting another.
I guess that’s why all the fairy tales began with once upon a time… I guess that’s what stories are, a moment in time, when in a blink of an eye everything changes…

It was a cool month  of October, hazy dull in the air, bare trees stretching out their branches in the cloudy dimmed sunshine, when I noticed his light blue shirt standing out in a blurry of grey.

Like always I was late for college and was rushing past the crowd trying to juggle my laptop bag and books.  As I was hurrying up the stairs I suddenly noticed him, what struck me was his calmness, his sense of aloofness from the chaos around him. For a moment time stood still, it was just me and him and a blurry of figures rushing past in the background. Our eyes met. My heart knew I had fallen in love.

My head kept rationalizing, “how could this be?” “You just saw him!” “You don’t even know who he is!” “This is absolute crazy!”

But my heart didn’t need answers.

Later in the day I found out he was a faculty member at the college and to make matters worse he would be teaching my class!

It is very difficult to look studious and interested in class when you are besotted by the teacher! I don’t think I could pay attention in class because even though I was in class I was lost in my world where there was only him and me. His smile, intelligence and sense of humour would sweep me of my feet!
 Most of the times I would find myself staring at him, and even when our eyes would meet, it was not awkward but beautiful and natural.

I would take extra study class of his subject so that I could be his favourite student; I remember being really overwhelmed when once he called out my name in class. I don’t remember what he asked me or what I replied, I just remember thinking “He knows my name!” 

After I left the college, I too like everyone else exchanged numbers and facebook invites. I gave him too thinking probably in future we could connect in a different situation. 

He was always on my mind even after I started working; I never really stopped thinking about him. A nighttime ritual was to check my texts, facebook updates, and refresh, re-refresh!

And one day my wish on a falling star came true. There was a message on my facebook from him. Even though it was not his declaration of undying love for me like I always imagined, but a friendly "how are you?" "what are you doing?" We started chatting on facebook and soon exchanged numbers.

We would talk quite regularly and soon became friends. 

As time passed I looked forward to our conversations, even though we spoke about regular stuff and nothing personal, just the fact that I could hear his voice speaking just to me and that he was listening to what I was saying was more than enough for me. I knew I loved him and knowing that I loved him with all my heart was enough for me. It was not right for me to expect a return policy on that. Just because I loved him he need not love me and I understood that. We were friends and I didn’t want to sabotage that relationship. 

It’s been 3 years since my college farewell, when I last saw him. I remember his eyes. I can never forget those eyes, with so much depth and soul, twinkling when he would laugh and a sea of calmness when he would be lost in thoughts.

The last time we talked he told me he was going to Bangalore for two months and that he could not call me during that time.  On Valentine’s Day I found him online on Facebook so I wished him "Happy Valentine’s Day" he did not reply so I wrote "If you wish me it will not represent anything" Finally he replied "Thank you" I noticed his location on Facebook was showing that he was back in town. 

That night I called him, and heard a busy tone, after an hour he called me back, as we started talking I casually asked him where he was and he replied that he was in Bangalore. Hearing him lie snapped something inside me, I just couldn’t take it anymore, and I couldn’t do this to myself anymore.

“I don't care where you are, you don't exist in my real life, you belong in my virtual life” I screamed at him. There was silence on the other line, all I could hear was my heart pounding. “Ok” he said and cut the call.  I never called him after that.

I was angry with him that he had lied, but later I realized that he didn’t have to tell me the truth either. Who was I in his life?  And what I had blurted out in my peak of anger was true; he didn’t exist in my real life, the concept of him was in my head. I was in love with a man who didn’t love me; our relationship was not on equal terms My heart loved him and my head was making him to be more than what he really was.

Later I questioned myself. Why did I react the way I did? Did I really have to scream at him? Was he wrong if he was trying to hide his location from me? 

Maybe he was not wrong in what he did. To each his own. He didn't have to tell the truth to me. BUT I knew and I had realized that he didn't have to lie to me either. 

Why did he lie? Not because he didn't have to tell the truth. 

Being truthful to the people around, to your friends, is the basic virtue of friendship. He breached that. He lied because probably he knew I had feelings for him. He lied because he didn't want to give up on me. He knew I was head over heels for him and he liked me  swooning over him. 

He lied because he didn't want me to know the truth. He didn't want me to walk away from him. He wanted a girl to keep having feelings for him. It was a great ego booster for him. 

I am not trying to console myself or trying to say that he had feelings for me. I know he never did. But that is what explains his behaviour. If he didn't have the feelings at all, why did he lie? 

He wanted me to be there in his life as an extra. And it was a win-win situation for us. It plumped his image of himself that he was wanted, badly desired by somebody. And on the other hand, I was happy with whatever little alms I was receiving from him. Unless, I stopped being that extra. 


I was caught in the tangle of head and heart, where my heart longed and my head rationalized. The heart wanted him to know my feelings for him were true and real and the head just wanted us to be friends and even there it was skeptical. 

Have you been in love with someone who didn't respond with the same feelings? Let me know in the comments. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

What is Sex?!

Today's post is by witty and quirky Rashmi, who joins me on the blog and pens a post that would make you smile and think. Both at the same time. On to Rashmi now..

Saying "Fuck" to someone won’t garner as much response as saying “Sex”. It is the word that must not be spoken. Along with Voldemort! Oops!

If you want to be one with the crowd then you better be shocked every time you hear it. “It’s because of these Americans. With all these American programs on television. All the young kids just want to do sex and drugs. Even the girls!” said this lady to me shaking her head sadly at the topic. She looked so disturbed I had to ask.

“So did you know anyone personally? I mean who got influenced by Americans?”
“What is there to know personally? It’s in the papers everyday!”

I had to subscribe to her paper. Really there were reports every day? And why was it more shocking that even girls were doing it? Since when did the responsibility of good behavior of society fall on the girls’ shoulders? Oh wait…always! And more importantly why were the Americans the flag bearers for anything and everything related to Sex? 

“So I’m guessing Russians are not into sex and drugs?”

“Why?” asked the lady. “Don't they watch American television too?”

(Source: istockpics)
Ironically the country with the most liberal views on sex is…Israel! But I didn’t have the heart to tell the lady. She had chosen her enemy, the sole conspirator responsible to bring down the Indian youth.

But I don’t really understand why we are so hypocritical about sex? Indians wrote the Kamasutra. One of the three pillars India stands on to woo foreigners, other two being Gandhi and Taj Mahal.

What’s a big deal about sex? For a population whose only past time other than cricket seems to be having unprotected sex. I really don’t understand the ‘shyness!’

I know parents who don’t let their girls hang out with boys or go out with them. “We are very strict with Anu; we don’t want to encourage wrong things” they will say proudly. A pride that makes sense only to them and to no one else, think of the confusion it creates in the youngster’s mind.  So Anu is thinking “Amit and I are in the same class, we travel to college together, we see each other the whole week at college but it’s wrong to hang out at CafĂ© Coffee Day on weekends! Hmm?!”

Confusion creates curiosity and curiosity will always trump any common sense.

How can we forget our own emotional hormonal roller coaster at Puberty Park?

It starts with crushes on cheesy looking celebrities. Rahul Roy had crazy female fan following. Yup! That guy, whose hair covered his face throughout the movie, if that doesn’t highlight the craziness that puberty brings I don’t know what does.

Then starts the ‘puppy love’ no idea why it’s called so? Puppies are the last thing on the minds of charged up teenagers. And it’s this phase which shapes and develops a young person’s healthy attitude towards sex. Instead of dramatizing sex let’s be open about it. The fact is that there is a growing number of young men and women who are confident of themselves and their bodies. They know what they want in a relationship and are not ashamed of it. SEX is not a 4 letter word anymore!

You can put your kid in girls’ school, boys’ school, no school; put them on top of a mountain! They will reach sexual puberty; they will think about sex and will want to have sex. When they are going through these throes of hormones and changes, it’s better to talk about it openly with them, talk about protection, and have discussions.

I had a friend who got married after her post grads, a month after the wedding we started chatting online, and she asks me how to have sex? She was serious and didn’t know whom to ask. The best part was her husband didn’t either. He apparently had never been with a girl before and was very happy with the hand held version of his ‘equipment’.

More than the how of sex, the why of sex is also important. It is an evolution of a relationship between consenting adults. It is literally and figuratively union of two bodies, minds and souls. Ironically it’s not such a big deal if a boy engages in pre marital sex, but it’s a complete no no if a girl engages in one. A relationship may flourish or ebb away and sex cannot be used as a tool to brand the individuals especially women when it fails.

We have to take pressure off sex, instead of over analyzing it. One of the dumbest observations being the preposterous concept of virgin bride! The understanding being that the sole purpose of a woman is to be preserved and presented for the pleasure of man. I’m sure this is how the Christmas Turkey feels too!

And why the various phases to sex? Pre marital, post marital, extra marital and then comes the absurd gradation to sex; make up sex, break up sex, one night sex, wild sex and what not sex.

Seriously do we need a caste system here as well? The religious conservative pompous asses will frown on all forms of ‘marital’. According to them the purpose of sex is to reproduce like in the animal kingdom, other than that what is the need to have sex? 

Sex is natural to the body, humans were meant to have sex or we wouldn’t have been built the way we are. Women have to stop associating sex with guilt, shame and negativity. It’s pleasurable and like everything in life has consequences emotionally and physically, just be smart about it. 

We should embrace our humanness and all that comes with it and not necessarily look at the animal kingdom. Do you know what happens to drones after they mate with the queen bee? Their testicles explode! 

To all those puritans out there, may you be reborn as the humble drone.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Best Marriage Quotes To Inspire You

Sometimes people say things that touch our hearts deeply. These are the words that leave their imprints like carving on wood. These words uplift us, give us the courage to fight and show us the light.

Below is a compilation of few such words viz., quotes that will reinforce your faith in marriage.

1. A happy marriage is the union of two forgivers ~ Ruth Bell Graham

2. Having a great marriage isn't rocket science. It is simply a choice. ~ Kristine Carlson

3. The goal of sex is the big O... (and it ain't orgasm). It's Oneness. Loving the whole person, not just the body parts. Connecting at a deeper level. ~Tim Gardner

4. The success of marriage comes not in finding the 'right' person, but in the ability of both partners to adjust to the real person they inevitably realize they married. ~ John Fischer

5. Many marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they are on the same side. ~ Zig Ziglar

6. Marriage: Love is the reason, lifelong friendship is the gift, kindness is the cause, till death do us apart is the length.  ~ Fawn Weaver

7. All marriages have challenges, it's about what you choose to focus on. ~ Ngina Otiende

8. Being in a long marriage is a little bit like that nice cup of coffee every morning - I might have it every day, but I still enjoy it. ~ Stephen Gaines

9. A great marriage isn't something that just happens; it's something that must be created. ~ Fawn Weaver

10. Marriage doesn't make you happy - you make your marriage happy. ~ Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott

11. Couples who make it aren't the ones who never had a reason to get divorced; they are simply the ones who decided early on that their commitment to each other was always going to be bigger than their differences and their flaws. ~ Dave Willis

12. A husband and wife may disagree  on many things that they must absolutely agree on this: to never, ever give up. ~

13. People stay married because they want to, not because the doors are locked. ~ Paul Newman

14. Never stop being your husband's girlfriend. ~

15. A sure sign of a man's strength is how gently he loves his wife. ~

16. A strong marriage requires loving your spouse even in those moments when they aren't being lovable; it means believing in them even when they struggle to believe in themselves. ~ Dave Willis

17. The best security blanket a child can have is parents who respect each other. ~ Jane Blaustone

18. Marriage is a thousand little things... It's giving up your right to be right in the heat of an argument. It's forgiving another when they let you down. It's loving someone enough to step down so they can shine. It's friendship. It's being a cheerleader & trusted confidant. It's a place of forgiveness that welcomes one home, and arms they can run to in the midst of a storm. It's grace.  ~ Darlene Schacht

19. Make your marriage your own. Don't look at other marriages and wish you had something else. Work to shape your marriage so that it is satisfying for both of you.

20. My name sounds even cuter with your last name added to it.

21. I can conquer the world with one hand as long as you are holding the other. 

21. Marriage is a mosaic you build with your spouse. Millions of tiny moments that create your love story. ~ Jennifer Smith
22. I want the kind of marriage that makes my kids want to get married. ~ Emily Wierenga

23. Grow old with me...

24. It's not always about sex, sometimes the best type of intimacy is where you just lay back, laugh together at the stupidest things, hold each other, and enjoy each others' company. ~

25. One of the greatest things in life is finding someone who knows all your mistakes and differences and still thinks you are absolutely amazing. ~

26. A happy marriage is about three things: memories of togetherness, forgiveness of mistakes and a promise to never give up on each other. ~ Surabhi Surendra


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hello My Dear Valentines, 
I wish you all a very happy Valentine's day. 

Who is a Valentine? Someone who is close to your heart. A person who you love and who loves you too. A loved one who is there for you through thick and thin. 

So, as a blog writer of Womanatics, who can be closest to me? Ofcourse, you all. All you lovely ladies who write the kindest of emails to me, sweetest of comments and heart touching personal messages. 

So, here is wishing all of you a very happy Valentine's day. 

Personally, I am not a fan of such days, per se. Gone are those days when I used to swoon at the sight of flowers and midnight calls wishing on birthdays and romantic dinners on Valentine's day. 

I no more cringe for such occasions because I have these moments all year round. Last week, Sanjay and I went for a nice dinner where he kept telling me some of the nicest things about me. Last to last week, he bought me a nice present so I don't need any present for today. 

For today specifically, it is going to be an ordinary day for he is out of town. Though he would be back tonight but once he is back, I want to stay at home with him and not go out to a fancy restaurant. I think I would enjoy being with him in the coziness under a blanket more than being at a restaurant among lotsa other people. This is just me, though. But yeah, for the day I would go out with Pahal and treat myself to some beautiful desserts. 

I feel these days have a big significance for people who otherwise can not make time for good quality time together and that ways, Valentine's day is a perfect occasion to be with your loved one. For couples like us, who often make sure of spending time together, it is just another day with simply a label. 
So, what I am trying to tell you is that if you are not having an extra-special day with your spouse or boyfriend, do not feel bad. It is because your normal days are also special. :) 

Feel happy that you are there for each other and you will celebrate in your own ways, on your own chosen days. 

For people who have been looking forward to this day, I wish the day brings some of the most cherished memories for them. 

All in all, the key is to love and feel loved. Which day, which moment, which gift and with what words - it's all upto you! 

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Best Way To Show Affection To Your Loved Ones

'Whoever makes you feel that deeply and that intensely, deserves to know how they have impacted you' ~ Alison G. Bailey

So often we imagine a life that is perfect. A life full of love, loved ones' affection, smiles and no sorrows or grief. A life straight out of a fairy tale. But we too often forget what makes any ordinary life a sweet life.

We so casually ignore that important thing that makes a life worth living, a love worth deserving.

Expression of love.

We need to show our affection to our loved ones if we want to be loved. Unless the love is expressed, how would one know if love exists at all or not.

Love is intangible. It is not an object that can be bought and proved that yeah, you love the other person. It is a feeling that need to be said, communicated and expressed.

It is up to you how you do it. Some say it explicitly. They say 'I love you' in clear terms. Some show it by acts of service. They do things for their lovers. Some adopt other subtle ways of expressing their affection to their loved ones.

There is not one, perfect way of showing affection to the people you love. To each his own. I have written an article on 'Five Languages of Love'. That article talks about how different people have different ways of expressing and expecting their love.

While each way of showing love is fine as long as you are communicating and your partner is getting it but there is certainly one way that surpasses all, and in my humble opinion, is the best way to show your love and affection to those who are close to your heart.

I recently watched a video on where one of my favorite authors, Toni Morrison (read my review of her book The Bluest Eye) talks about that one, best way. Watch the video here and you would know what I am talking about.

In the video above, Toni asks if your face lights up at the sight of your loved one. Here she is particularly talking about the children. She suggests that when our children walk into our room and look at us, they expect us to be glad at their sight. They want us to accept them the way they are and not how they are looking at that moment instead of looking at them and finding faults. 

Toni's advice on just being happy at the very first sight of your children is so profound and perceptive. 

Imagine you, as someone's loved one.. say your mom's child or your husband's wife, walk into their room and the first thing they say is - 'What happened to your face? It looks dull' or your husband complains, 'why are you wearing this yellow color. You should have worn red' or worse still, your friend or sister remarks, 'look at your eyeliner. It is all smudged'.

It is understood that these instant and spur of the moment remarks are purely spontaneous and they don't mean our family does not love us or they are not happy to see us. But these general statements about how we appear to them at the first sight, makes us feel vulnerable and unaccepted. 

It feels that they have failed to look beyond what we are carrying in terms of appearance. It feels we are just a body to them and not the soul with which we feel connected with them. 

It has happened with me several times. Last year, I remember, I attended a small family function and the moment I entered, I met my sister. She looked at me and remarked, 'what kind of suit are you wearing? Couldn't you find a brighter color?' I felt so bad that of all things, all she could notice was the color of my suit. 

I know she loves me, a lot. I know she is generally critical of my dressing sense and this helps me because mostly she is the one who makes the efforts and finds outfits for me. I am aware that her gesture of pointing towards the dull, off-white color of my suit was to help me in looking better in a crowd but this is not what I wanted from her at that moment. Maybe if she had said it, after we had settled for a while and talked about each other's well being, it wouldn't have hurt me that much. 

This video plus the incident above made me realize that I have committed this mistake too and not once but several times. 

So many times I criticized mummy of not using any lipstick or nice color before stepping out. In a social gathering, I get quite wary of how my family members are carrying themselves. Maybe it is because I am associated with them, I want them to look good. So that my status symbol rises up a bit! 

But I now realize how superficial and fake is that. My love for my family depends on how they look in public!! No, that's not me. 

I never realized I did all this until I watched this video. And now I feel quite ashamed of my unnecessary, unsolicited and absolutely ridiculous statements on appearance. 

When you love someone, you love them. You feel happy for them always. You want to be with them. You want to see them. You want them and not their clothes or good looks. 

Your love and affection for them depends on who they are and not how they look. 

Since then and after having spent years with my husband and noticing him (how he never even bothers about my clothes and only looks brighter after having me in front of him), I have changed my habits. 

I now focus on my loved ones being there. I light up at their presence

I can also tell you how it feels when you truly wait to meet your loved one. Each afternoon, when I go to pick Pahal up from her school, I instantly smile at her sight. I don't care if her hair is frizzy or her pant is dirt laden or if she is looking untidy or worse than other kids. I just don't bother about all this. 

All I know is that I am glad to see her again after 4 hours and that all matters to me. 

So, all mommies and wives and sisters and friends out there, next time when you see the person you love, gaze beyond the appearance. 

Light up. Cheer up. Smile because they are there. And this is the best way to show affection to the ones you love. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Top 60 Inspirational Must Watch Movies For Women

Movies are like our best friends. They make us laugh, cry and think. They also understand us and help us in understanding ourselves through their characters.

I am particularly drawn to movies that influence me, that infuse positivity in me and that make me feel empowered.

Here is a list of inspiring movies that I think are a must watch for women. These are in no particular order but the top twenty are my all time favorite while some down the line are also connected with me in some way. I have included movies that show women in inspiring roles or leave a strong moral message for the viewers.

Please feel free to give your recommendations in the comments. 

1) Dor


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

True Story: A Mom's Conscious Decision To Work From Home

With ever-changing times, there is an unstoppable debate on working moms. On one hand, working moms are seen as playing a big role in women's liberation while on the other hand it is seen as taking a toll on children's emotional well being. 

Recently I read about famous Chinese actor Jackie Chan's son attributing his drug addiction to his father's long working hours and absence from his life's important occasions. While some may agree that parent's neglect can affect a child'd life adversely some see it as a sign of weakness. 

Chirantani Dey gives us an interesting perspective on how parenting is all about a fine balance. Read on her story to know how her working mom influenced her decision to work from home so that she can be with her kids. 

Off to Chirantani Dey!.... 

I grew up with both my parents working. I remember my mom never partied or even went out with friends on weekends because she spent a whole lot of time with us. Every evening once she got back home she would quickly change out of her work clothes, gulp down some tea and some snack and sit down with us to look through our school work and generally discuss how our day went. I guess we never realised then how tough it must have been for her. While we often resented her rushing off in the mornings and returning late in the evenings we never accused her of neglect. She was working to give us a better life and ensure we had the best. 

My dad actually managed to spend more time since his workplace was closer home and his own (he is a business man) and could occasionally pop in to see how we were doing. We were mostly looked after by a nanny which, in those days, was unheard of. But the fact that my mom could never go to pick us up from school or like other moms accompany their kids to birthday parties, stayed with me.  It used to break my heart sometimes but somewhere knew she had no choice and also knew given an option she would rather be with us. That was consolation enough.  

Hence post child birth it was a conscious decision on my part to work from home so that I don't miss out on my kids' childhood like my mom did. Till date she says she never realised how quickly we grew up.

Times are changing and how!! 

Children these days are far more head strong and aware of their surroundings more than we were. Owing to much more media exposure and ready availability of information children can and are likely to make informed choices. All they need in the timely push in the right direction.  Having said that it is imperative to add that parents can't do all the work. Onus also lies on the kids, as they grow older, to act responsibly. 

I completed my schooling and joined Delhi University for my graduation.  Spent crucial, decision making period of my life in a hostel. A lot of things could go wrong but thankfully they did not because we were a part of the struggle my parents went through when we were kids and inadvertently always realized how much hard work and effort was being put in by my parents to do the best for us. My brother and I grew up together, with each other, very grateful for the values instilled in us by our parents.

So when Jackie Chan's son blamed his father for his drug addiction, I was aghast. Blaming the parents for all things bad in one's life is juvenile to say the least. There is only so much one's parents can possibly do. We also need to make efforts to work around tough situations. That's what growing up is all about. I am a parent now and often I see defiance in my children's eyes and it's going to grow with time as they turn into teens. 

However, these growing up years are crucial. Our role as parents have started and will continue for as long as we live. My mother has not stopped being a parent just because her daughter is a mother now. 

Irrespective of whether one is a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, life is never easy and neither are the decisions regarding children. Who ever said parenting was easy!!!! :-D

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