An Ode to Feminism and Personality Prints

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Feminism runs in my family, in parts.

I come from a family of outspoken (sometimes bordering on the line of offensive) women, about whom the men in the house would jokingly warn new entrants to be wary of.

We inherit a chunk of values subconsciously from the ones around us. The early lessons often imparted by family. The few beads of feminism that I took away from mine:

Importance of education and hatred for dowry – I learned from my grandfather, who would tell his daughters “I am ready to sell everything to get you girls a good education” and who would ask prospects to kindly leave if they ever asked for dowry.

Importance of courage, debating, learning, re-learning, and speaking out – I learned from my mother. She has been at the receiving end of many jibes that came her way for raising her daughters to be the feminists that we are. Instead of feeling the burden of everyone’s favorite dialogue “It’s the mother’s fault,” she rose to the challenge and took it as a compliment.

Importance of financial independence – I learned from my aunts, who owing to personal incidents had to depend on themselves to keep their family afloat.

Importance of gender equality – I learned from my dad, who was absolutely fine with doing household chores, cooking, and cleaning. P.S: He used to make the best mutton curry.

Importance of freedom – I learned from my sister, who values her independence more than anything else in this world. Nothing can stop her from pursuing her dreams in life.

We always learn little lessons from everyone around us, without even knowing. When I look back, to think where I got my current ideologies from, these are the people who pop up in my mind. I learned a little bit from each and together they have defined my set of values.

An individual can be unique not just in physical appearance or fingerprints, but even by their “personality print” which is the sum total of all their experiences in life. Next time you feel you are not special, think about it this way. There is literally no one like you – with the same set of values, journey, experiences, understanding. Just like fingerprints, no two personality prints are alike. You are uniquely you. Is there any better reason to celebrate?

An Ode to Learning New Things in the Midst of a Pandemic

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2020 has been eventful. There have been a lot of lifestyle changes because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many absolutely hating the year from the very core of their heart.

Contrary to the popular (or should I say infamous?) opinion about 2020, I on the other hand, consider it as one of my most constructive years.

An ode to one of my most happening years where I:

  • Travelled solo to Goa for the first time right before the pandemic commenced
  • Had the most wonderful trip to kick start the year
  • Danced on-stage for the first time
  • Broke off from a long dead, mentally exhausting relationship
  • Learnt how to keep my sanity when I was home all the time (new hobbies, in case you are wondering)
  • Learnt new things like hand sewing, machine sewing, job-related courses, a new language – all in the comfort of my home
  • Started the curly girl method to embrace my natural hair. It has been 3 months since I straightened my hair. Less fuss!
  • Got back to reading. 15 books and counting (hey, that’s a lot for me!)
  • Got back to writing
  • Started this blog!
  • More productive at work than ever before. It helped that I did not have anyone at home who is dependent on me.

For these things I am really grateful for 2020. For all the lessons it imparted.

It feels like a new beginning. A new life in a way.

I honestly believe (at the risk of sounding preachy) life is all about what you choose to focus on. At times like these, it can be difficult to filter out the good. But a reality check of what’s happening around always brings me back to being grateful for having a home, for being safe and healthy so far.

Let’s not take what we have for granted. It is a great opportunity to do things we wouldn’t have done if we were on the move all the time. For that, I wouldn’t want to cancel 2020. I want to sit down, have a proper conversation with the year, to see what it wants to teach us, what it has to offer and what it hopes we learn by the end of it.