What losing my phone taught me about myself

No, it’s not about my pointless Insta stories.

What losing my smartphone taught me about myself | Chai High is an Indian blog started by Shivani KrishanLess than 24 hours after I prided myself on my independence, my cell phone crashed. Ordinarily, this would seem like two separate instances—a woman’s independence and a rectangular handheld gadget—but it wasn’t quite so simple. The fleeting sense of achievement I’d experienced was entirely dependent on Uber, a car booking app, and Google Maps. I was alone in Chandigarh for the very first time, and I was relying on the good sense and navigation expertise of my Uber driver, and my ability to read Google Maps, to deliver me in one piece to my ailing grandmother. And I was mighty proud of myself at that. So, a day later, when my phone died, it took away my independence, sense of empowerment and feeling of being in control. The ground beneath my feet had shifted. And this raised a few questions in my mind about the extent to which we rely on technology today.

It’s interesting how the smart phone has enabled the independence of women. In a new city? Find your way with Google Maps. Don’t have a car? Book an Uber. Hungry? Order on Swiggy. Don’t know where to stay? Book an Airbnb. Want to pay a bill? Choose Netbanking. Unlike paper maps, regular taxis, restaurant home delivery and hotels, these “apps” are accountable if your driver misbehaves, food is contaminated, or room is dirty. And with users giving ratings and writing firsthand reviews, it only adds to the feeling of empowerment, when you make a choice based on your deduction of the average opinion of 14910 others. It’s hard to explain the feeling of elation you get on landing the ideal balance of an above average rating that also fits in your budget. Therefore, it was only natural, that when my source of empowerment and entertainment stopped functioning, I felt like a lost child.

But is this healthy? The fact that we no longer remember phone numbers, that addresses have lost their meaning, that our sense of direction is dependent on an electronic voice, that we constantly need to check our phones for WhatsApp messages and memes from friends, to validate our existence? Many would hands down say no. After all, isn’t it a sign of severe deterioration of cognitive ability to no longer be able to memorize phone numbers or recall directions? Whatever happened to the feeling of joy on locating an address based on a “landmark” from which you were to take the second left, cross the fifth vegetable seller and then look for a black gate–“no not the large one, but the smaller bling-and-miss one”—and then take a U turn to arrive at your destination? Whatever happened to good ol’ talking to people over the phone rather than half-hearted WhatsApp texts and Instagram DMs that are often “read” and not replied to?

It’s hard to argue with the logic.

Nevertheless, all the cognition required in earlier days to traverse new grounds only kept us from venturing beyond our comfort zones. For, if we were lost and didn’t have a cell phone, how were we to call for help, WhatsApp our live location to a friend or google map our way to the nearest familiar space? Unsurprisingly, rarely did women venture beyond the familiar when travelling alone, and even when they did, they’d dare not travel after sunset. Today, we travel at all hours of the day and night, within the country and abroad, and often take off into open roads and unknown streets, by Google mapping our way.

Which brings me to the “godsent” smartphone, a device I openly dissed and loved to mock, until I was left without it, in an unfamiliar city. The thing is, I had always associated phones with phone calls, social media narcissism–#ootds and #wanderlusts, and text messages, things I was happy to forgo as an experiment, for a limited amount of time. What I was unprepared for, was losing out on Uber, Google Maps, Netbanking, Airplane ticket download, E-Aadhar card and the fact that, increasingly, almost every transaction required an OTP. What I was also not expecting, was losing out on my independence.

The sense of invincibility, I’d felt as I made my way in a relatively unknown city to my grand mum’s quarters in an Uber, Google-mapping the directions, was replaced with a feeling of complete disorientation and dread when my phone blanked out. Which made it clear that I am only as independent and empowered as my smartphone. Take it away, and I am a nothing person. Does this mean, I have a false sense of self? That I am not really as independent as I think I am? That I am only as smart, independent and empowered as my smartphone allows me to be? That, by being dependent on my phone, I am simply entrusting a gadget the place previous generations granted their husbands and fathers? That it’s time to end this toxic relationship disguised as a happily-ever-after? That it’s finally time to break up?

Since I respect my phone too much to ghost it, I should probably just start getting really “busy”.

 

 

 

How I, a 20-something girl, started wearing sarees to work

I almost missed my graduation ceremony because I was at the salon to get my saree draped. I didn’t trust the “eyebrow didi” (who had enthusiastically agreed to help every single girl who’d asked her in the days leading up to D-day) to find time for the relatively soft-spoken me. And I most definitely did not trust my mother’s off-white silk saree in the hands of my 21-year-old classmates who’d have a better chance of accidentally throwing the nine yards in a fictitious paper shredder than managing to get halfway through a draping exercise. So, I ended up missing my batch photograph, and just about made it to collect my certificate and award.

Five years later, today, I can (almost) drape a saree in my sleep and get through a day without fearing a minor wardrobe malfunction every time I have to do a little more than breathe. So, what brought about this shift? Apart from an all-prevailing boredom with the contents of my closet (yes, really), an innate need to experiment with my look, and one of Anavila’s earlier shows (where linen sarees actually looked super comfy!), it was an admiration of the simple elegance with which the Maharashtrian ladies on the local trains carried themselves; their neatly parted hair, gajras, gold hoops and sensibly draped sarees (no floating pallus, please) inspired in me the need to emulate their effortless aesthetic. I found myself wanting to normalise the act of wearing a saree on an ordinary day, to put it in the same league as a bright floral dress or a pair of jeans.

This combined with a lifetime of admiring my mother every time she emerged from her boudoir in a saree, and having two grandmothers with diverse aesthetics—fluttering chiffons and ornate, heirloom jewellery on one side, and starched kota sarees with pearls on the other—helped nudge me into the saree-wearing world armed with a mishmash aesthetic that, I believe, is clearly my own.

Around the same time as I was beginning to consider the possibility of wearing a saree on an ordinary day, I was just about finding my personal sense of style. Increasingly, I was gravitating towards handlooms, linens, and cottons, with skirts and dresses tailored out of traditional textiles and weaves. A trial of one of my mother’s Bhutanese skirts brought about this shift—I had nothing to wear one time, and she happily lent a skirt to me, mainly because it was a far cry from the shorter lengths I would sport at the time. Reminiscent of lungis, straight cut and ankle length, my mother’s “skirts” could be considered the transitional outfit that helped ease me into wearing a saree.

It took me several attempts of putting on a saree only to discard it seconds after, till I mustered up the courage to ignore the nagging feeling of doubt and reach work. As expected, the initial reaction in a legging and denim-wearing world was, “Puja at home?” But when I told them no, I wore this of my own accord, to mix things up, the response was heart-warming. I was bombarded with compliments all day, with people going as far as saying I should wear sarees every day! By the end, I was encouraged, and my confidence was at an all-time high. “I can do this”, I thought to myself.

I started my saree-wearing journey with a single white cotton. Within a few months, I had added a black version to the mix. A year later, my school friend decided to gift me a black and white cotton saree. Now, I knew, I was a saree wearer! Soon, I was rummaging through my mother’s closet, picking up hand-painted and hand-embroidered versions that had been handed down to her by her mother. I realised, I had a “type”. Dull, “ugly”, sarees, that no one my age would be caught dead in!

What helped in normalising the saree, was making the drape as comfortable as possible. Think shorter lengths, pinned pleats and compact pallus that could be swung around, teamed with loose blouses or tank tops for a relaxed, easy vibe. Also, staying as close to my everyday slightly-undone aesthetic—messy hair and everything—helped me feel like me, by emphasising that I had not been airlifted from a puja and dropped off at work. With time, I got bolder, and added sneakers and bright socks to the mix (such fun!).

People still tell me “Only you can pull it off”, to which I tell them, “So can you”, not out of politeness, but because I strongly believe everyone can take a saree and make it their own. For me, simple cottons work well, because I tend to add interest with sneakers and a random hairdo. For you, bright printed chiffons with Grecian sandals and poker straight hair, may work wonders. Or a starched kota with a crisp and sheer organza blouse and leather broguesOr a plain georgette saree with a matching georgette blouse and simple thong sandals. But you have to try it to believe it.

Once you find your very own kind of everyday-friendly drape, you’ll find yourself looking grudgingly at denims and leggings, dresses will no longer occupy prime real estate in your wardrobe, and a whole new world will open up in the form of frilly petticoats, crop tops, statement blouses that double up as underpinnings for a solid saree, and jewellery! You’ll begin to see every new trend in the context of a saree. Soon, questions like this will fill your mind: Can I team a corset belt with a crepe saree? Can I wear an off-shoulder, peasant top with a simple mul saree? Can I add ruffles to my blouse? And, just like that, you will have one more option to choose from, every morning. And who amongst us, apart from the Steve Jobs-inspired, does not want yet another outfit choice?


 

 

In defence of the “ugly” dress

The uglier the better.

Every wardrobe should have at least one ugly dress. The long, loose kind, that hangs on your frame reminiscent of a scarecrow wearing your grandma’s faded nightgown. You know, for those days when you feel particularly lazy to rack your brains on what shirt goes with what skirt.

The ugly dress covers flab. The ugly dress allows you to overeat. The ugly dress allows you to run on the platform when you’re just about missing your train, without fear of ripping your skintight jeans, dropping a strap and having a minor wardrobe malfunction in the face of 100 creepy train travellers.

The ugly dress makes you look “prettier” than you really are. The ugly dress is so ugly that anything compared to it looks stunning. So, even if you feel like shit, when you put on your ugly dress, instantly you will feel better – after all you can’t be “uglier” than this dress can you?

The key to buying an “ugly” dress is to buy one that’s a few notches below you on the looks scale. By which I mean – a dress that won’t steal your thunder. When people see you, your dress won’t be the first thing they see. Instead, the focus will be on your face. That’s the best thing about the ugly dress – it’s completely missable.

The ugly dress comes in ugly colours. Like yellow ochre, mud brown, rusty red, algae green; earthy hues.  Extremely flattering especially when you darken your eyes with some kohl, and enhance your natural lip colour with a lip jelly that changes colour with your lip temperature and ph. The ugly dress is great for those fuss-free days when you aren’t in the mood to dress sharp, yet want to feel beautiful.

The ugly dress can also be made pretty. With silver jewellery and pretty sandals. Then, you can take the dress out for brunch. It can also be made sporty – with a pair of white converse sneakers, in which case you’re fully equipped to race against time to catch an about-to-depart train or flight.

So, the next time you’re out shopping, don’t let your eyes gravitate towards the shimmering pinks and delicate laces. Instead look out for the rugged, sensible cotton counter, with the ultra-ugly printed dresses.

Happy shopping. 🙂

 

 

Realisations, learnings, insecurities and questions from 2017 – Self-discovery 101

Sometimes happiness simply means the freedom to be who we want to be.

What indeed is a true test of us being “happy with ourselves”?

Is it being able to be alone, cut off from everyone, with just social media for distraction?

Or is it being surrounded by friends and family who play the role of said social media, filling the gaps in our lives with friendly banter, chatter and one too many tequila shots on a blurry night out?

Or is it the ability to be on our own with no social needs at all?

Or is it having no gaps at all, no spaces in our hearts or minds that need filling from family, friends, social media or work?

But then again, isn’t it “gaps” that make us human? And separates us from machines?

We try and fill the empty spaces in our lives with Facebook and Instagram “likes” and appreciation. And the funny thing is, it actually works!

Disturbing, eh? Imagine being dependent on “likes” and “comments” for our daily dose of ego boost? But, then again, what’s the alternative?

Man is a social animal – we need contact with fellow creatures – be it a flesh and blood human or a digital social media “friend”.

Our mothers spent hours on the phone, discussing everything from outfit choices of the 200 guests at the Delhi wedding, to maids and their “attitude problem”. We do the same, but online. We “heart” wedding outfits of fellow friends on Instagram, and post statuses about our maids. After all, we just want to be heard. Listened to.  Really understood. And social media comes in, where no family or friend can – it gives us a mouthpiece to express. A one stop shop to say what we’re feeling and gauge which of our 750 friends really understands our thoughts and “reacts” to it. It’s almost like an experiment. A hotline connecting us to the universe. And if someone responds out of the digital black hole, we know, deep down, we’ve found an ally.

Sometimes I feel, true happiness comes from understanding and being understood.

Not so much in loving and being loved. Or in being solitary – independent of worldly needs.

True happiness comes when our innermost thoughts and ideas are understood by another being. Doesn’t matter if its a lover, stranger,  parent, friend or acquaintance.

 

We are free to love as many people – men and women as possible, yet restricted to “end up” with only one?

Are we really “free”, then?

I spent a lot of time trying to explain myself, To try and make myself understood. And when I failed, when I began to spend my energy explaining why I was explaining, I realised that the relationship was over.

A little bit of sexual energy is good. Even if it’s in the head. It translates beautifully into creative energy that enhances the quality of our work.

Sometimes our families serve as reminders of all that we are not.

There always seems to be an additional something we need to do to make them happy. An exam we need to pass, a person we need to call, a chore we need to do or money we need to make. And the worst is, these expectations come disguised in a set of words we probably have no comeback to –  “for your own good”.

Sometimes a cup of tea can awaken ideas inside me like nothing else can. There’s an energy that bubbles up after a cup-and-a-half, and then there’s no other way but to ignore all duty and start typing.

My relationships often heighten my sense of inadequacy. I start out whole. But at some point, along the way, I look at myself and wonder what happened?

Each conversation I’ve had with myself over the past two years has revealed some fascinating truths about me. About things I like and don’t like. About what makes me happy and what brings me down. For instance, I took two solo trips this year – both of which were distinctly different from one another. While the first was economical and involved zero sightseeing, the second was luxe, insta-worthy, and beautifully documented on social media. And both these experiences taught me a lot about who I really am; I realised I preferred the first vacation simply because I got to meet a lot of new people – and simply be.

So, does that mean I am not really anti-social like I thought myself to be?

Or does that mean, I simply enjoy the freedom that comes with socializing with new people? The lack of expectation to do a certain thing?

I’ve realized that some of the most fun I’ve had is when I’m with people.  But being on my own helps renew my soul. And when I go out into the world with a refreshed soul, I end up letting myself enjoy each moment in a deeper, more meaningful manner.

I need  solitariness and socializing in equal measures – the alternation between the two extremes keeps me sane. One can’t exist without the other.

2017 taught me a lot about who I really am. It brought the process of self-discovery that began in 2015 to a close. The turmoil in my head reached a head and poof – it was gone. Of course, this is not to mean there are no more lessons to be learnt. But until then, let’s keep it happy and shiny.

XOXO 2017

13 letters to body parts written by surprisingly sporting men.

The reason I say “surprisingly sporting” is probably based on a little ignorance on my part. I had assumed that men won’t be as sporting as women when it came to writing about their bodies. That they’d laugh at me for even asking. So, for weeks, I contemplated if I should indeed do a “Letters to Body Parts – Men” like I’d done this one with women.

But, at some point, I decided it was worth a try. I thought to myself – if I got men to open up about their feelings with regards to their bodies, I’d have helped kickstart an important conversation.

And I was in for a pleasant surprise – most men I spoke to didn’t need much convincing (those that did – well, their letters haven’t made it here – they didn’t write). 

Men were more than happy to share their stories of love, hate, exasperation and gratefulness towards their bodies. While some have written longer, beautifully-articulated letters, others have penned fun poems and sweet, little thank you notes.

And mind you – not all men featured here are writers and poets. There are copywriters (obviously), but there are also sales-people, IIT-IIM geniuses, brand strategists, PHD scholars, designers, and directors. There are letters by 26-year-olds and those by 40-year-olds. And if there’s one thing all these lovely people have in common, it is the incredible self-confidence and a deep sense of self-awareness to be able to put themselves out there with their words.

Do take the time out to read each beautifully-crafted letter. It will make you smile.

Dear Calves | Letters to Body Parts | Chai High is an Indian Blog started by Shivani Krishan

Dear Left Brain | Letters from Men to their body parts | Notes to the self | Chai High is an Indian Blog started by Shivani Krishan

Dear Wiggly, Jiggly, Juicy Bum | Letters from Men to their body parts | Dear Bum | Notes to the self | Chai High is an Indian Blog started by Shivani Krishan

Dear Voice | Hi Voice | Letters from Men to their body parts | Notes to the self | Chai High is an Indian Blog started by Shivani Krishan

Dear Hands | Letters from Men to their body parts | Notes to the self | Chai High is an Indian Blog started by Shivani Krishan

Dear Brain | Letters from Men to their organs and body parts | Notes to the self | Chai High is an Indian Blog started by Shivani Krishan

Dear Tummy | Letters from Men to their organs and body parts | Notes to the self | Chai High is an Indian Blog started by Shivani Krishan

Dear Shoulders | Letters from Men to their organs and body parts | Notes to the self | Chai High is an Indian Blog started by Shivani Krishan

Dear Overthinking Mind | Letters from Men to their organs and body parts | Notes to the self | Chai High is an Indian Blog started by Shivani Krishan

Dear Butt | Letters from Men to their organs and body parts | Notes to the self | Chai High is an Indian Blog started by Shivani Krishan

Dear Hair | Letters from Men to their organs and body parts | Notes to the self | Chai High is an Indian Blog started by Shivani Krishan

Dear Brain | Hey | Letters from Men to their organs and body parts | Notes to the self | Chai High is an Indian Blog started by Shivani Krishan

Dear Nails | I hate you | Hey | Letters from Men to their organs and body parts | Notes to the self | Chai High is an Indian Blog started by Shivani Krishan

If you made it till here, thank you. Also, if this post inspired you to think about your most prized body part or the most frustrating one – do pen down your thoughts, turn them into letters and mail it to me at schivany@gmail.com. I will do another post soon.

Have a happy weekend. 🙂

Cheers,

Shivani

 

 

 

My love affair with locals – one year and counting

Pretty long for an affair, don’t you think?

Mumbai Local train stories | Chai High is a blog by Shivani Krishan

My relationship with the Mumbai local trains started last September when I took up a job on the other side of town. At first, I assumed it would be a temporary arrangement, moving closer to work being the general idea. But laziness and fear-of-seeing-ugly-houses kept me committed to my tiring routine.

Home -> Auto -> Train -> Cab -> Work = 1 hour 40 minutes

Work -> Walk -> Train -> Auto -> Home = 1 hour 55 minutes

Day in and day out for more than a year.

A couple of my colleagues have looked at me pointedly and said – “Wow, you must really love this job.”

But like most relationships, my affair with the local train and therefore my job, is not based on “love” alone.

Like any affair, my tryst with the locals came with its own set of stages.

First came the adrenalin – I can do this. Travel 4 hours a day and survive, I mean.

Then came the tiffs – little hiccups in the journey (like missing my train), that made me reconsider my decision to live so far from work.

Then came hatred – with the Mumbai rains – that made me want to quit. The job, the city, the world, everything.

Then I got used to it. It became routine. A habit. I began to love the little quirks, stories and happenings in the ladies compartment – so much so, that I realised, I may miss it if I quit.

It’s funny when you think about it. How can you hate something one moment, and absolutely love it the next? How can you bitch about it for hours, and then defend it vehemently when another suggests you cab it instead?

A love-hate relationship, that in addition to making me feel really proud of myself – when I realised I had completed a year of this gruelling schedule and survived, it also opened my mind to the world in a whole, new, different way. There were days I teared up with joy on seeing acts of kindness between fellow passengers – the world can be a happy place sometimes. And there were days when I came home bursting with stories of large insects creeping up under salwars and burkhas, driving entire compartments into mayhem.

The local trains can brighten up your day in more ways than one. If you let it.

Also, I lost a shit ton of weight. 😉 One does NOT simply give up on something that helps you stay fit without actively trying. On second thoughts, maybe it’s fear of getting out of shape that’s keeping me addicted to the locals, but that’s a thought for another day. 😛

Over the past year, I have written about these little instances and observations on my Facebook page. And plenty of my friends who’ve read it have asked me to write a book, create a vlog, or simply come up with a comic series on the same. However, I think, for now, let’s keep it on this blog.

Have a look, and hope it keeps you entertained.

Cheers.

Mumbai Local train stories | Chai High is a blog by Shivani Krishan

Mumbai Local train stories | Chai High is a blog by Shivani Krishan

Mumbai Local train stories | Chai High is a blog by Shivani Krishan

Mumbai Local train stories | Chai High is a blog by Shivani Krishan

Mumbai Local train stories | Chai High is a blog by Shivani Krishan

Mumbai Local train stories | Chai High is a blog by Shivani Krishan

Mumbai Local train stories | Chai High is a blog by Shivani Krishan

Mumbai Local train stories | Chai High is a blog by Shivani Krishan

Mumbai Local train stories | Chai High is a blog by Shivani Krishan

Mumbai Local train stories | Chai High is a blog by Shivani Krishan

Mumbai Local train stories | Chai High is a blog by Shivani Krishan

Mumbai Local train stories | Chai High is a blog by Shivani Krishan

Mumbai Local train stories | Chai High is a blog by Shivani Krishan

Even if you’ve never been on the local, these updates will vicariously let you live the local life. 🙂

Cheers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If only someone could understand my angst at finding fungus growing on my Theobroma Rye bread – An essay on the importance of Understanding

And the extreme pain I felt while throwing the nearly-perfect loaf into the trash can.

Last night, I got home to find a thin layer of fungus growing on my neatly-stored Rye bread. That loaf was particularly tasty, and my almost-2-hour commute back home had been spent imagining eating the rye bread for dinner with all sorts of toppings – a warmed-up slice with a generous slathering of peanut butter, or a sandwich with hummus, cottage cheese, bell peppers and a boiled egg thrown in.

So, while my brain was merely disappointed at finding my Rs. 85-a-loaf bread spoiling, my taste-buds were devastated. They had to settle for oats with milk. And that in itself was punishment – one does not simply swap hummus and rye with oats.

Now the thing with this problem was, if I’d shared it with anyone else, chances are they’d tell me to calm down and just order something. Which, let me explain, IS NOT THE SOLUTION.

I don’t want to order something else. I want my rye bread back, un-fungused. And ready to be heated and layered with peanut butter. But, one can’t reverse fungus-growth, just like one can’t reverse time.

So, let me say it again.

If only somebody could understand my angst at finding fungus growing on my Theobroma Rye bread. 

I don’t want a new rye bread. And I most certainly don’t want to be taken out to dinner as consolation. I just want somebody to understand what I mean when I say I am devastated that my bread has fungus growing on it.

Which brings me to the point of this story.

We all seek someone who understands us without us having to explain ourselves.

There is this powerful quote from Murakami’s 1Q84 – If you can’t understand it without an explanation, you can’t understand it with an explanation.”

Let me repeat.

“If you can’t understand it without an explanation, you can’t understand it with an explanation.”

Of course there are some things that need explaining. GST for instance. Or the Aadhar card. But that’s not the point of this essay.

So, what do we mean by understanding? Does it mean agreeing, accepting, unconditionally believing?

Not quite.

Understanding is more in the realm of empathy. It’s when you may completely disagree with another’s point of view, but you have the imagination to put yourself in their place, and view the world like them. For a brief moment you’re able to switch places with the person in front of you, becoming them, thinking like them, inheriting their likes, dislikes, and quirks, and therefore being able to emphasize with their feelings – however silly they may be.

Like getting upset about fungus, in my case.

As I meet more and more people, it becomes glaringly clear, that most people are not empathetic. We’re a judgemental class, however much we’d like to claim otherwise. We try and look for flaws in people. And if we can’t find any, we pinpoint the least appealing of the person’s personality (or physical) traits and make it seem worse than it is. Especially when the subject is a smart and beautiful man or woman. Is it jealousy? Is it self-preservation? Is it a manner of boosting our own egos by putting down a seemingly better person?

I don’t know.

But, this lack of empathy is turning us into an unhappy class of people. When you begin to judge people from the place they shop from, the texture of their hair, or the tone of their voice, you’re unknowingly exposing your own insecurities.

You’ll rarely hear a secure and happy person discussing another person’s “disastrous” fashion choices.

Of course, I don’t mean to say, we need to become serial do-gooders, forcing ourselves to feel something alien. Because, that would be dishonest. Sometimes, like in school, or in a disciplinarian workplace, it’s almost cathartic to bond with one’s peers over a particularly tough teacher or boss. Or, with your friends over a particularly horrid ex.

When I say we need to be more empathetic, it simply means putting yourself in anothers’ shoes, understanding their life-experiences, motivations, fears and hopes, and then seeing if you still feel as harshly towards them. Their choice of shoes, style of talking, whatever.

Our opinions of others are subconsciously influenced by our opinions of ourselves.

When we are insecure about certain aspects of ourselves, we unknowingly project these insecurities on the people around us. We disguise our insecurities as their flaws, to make ourselves feel better.

When you begin to empathise with others, you’ll begin to empathise with yourself. And then your own flaws won’t seem so bad either. After all, nobody is perfect.

Understanding helps create stronger bonds.

Ever feel you’re surrounded by friends but can’t seem to discuss your innermost feelings with any of them?

When we empathize and understand the people around us, it helps them break down the walls they’ve built around them. And when they open the floodgates to their honest emotions, that in turn breaks down your own walls. And voila, true friendship is born.

It’s as simple as that.

Today, we are guarded. We are reluctant to share our feelings. We are worried about what others will think, primarily because we, in our heads, have already judged others for those very same feelings we are experiencing. If we don’t judge others, we don’t judge ourselves. And that paves the way for years of self-love and happiness.

So, let us (me included) start understanding others and through them, understanding ourselves.

Enough preaching. Now go have a happy (and judgment-free) Sunday.

Cheers.