It’s been 2 ½ weeks since we came back from India this time around. The India fever has been running high ever since I came back home, been binge-watching Hindi films during these past few weeks to try to grasp for the last few straws of India that I had left in me from the trip. Why do I feel this way these days? Am I making up for all those years when I didn’t feel that I belonged neither here or there? Am I getting more sentimental with time, more than I already am? I don’t have an answer to all these questions, all I know is that writing has been my only saviour; it helps me cope with my complicated and scattered emotions about belonging.
I just started reading the book The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri and have also watched the film by Mira Nair based on the same novel. That film hit a spot in my heart and I can’t help but to cry tears of recognition and melancholy. The pain and the suffering is too close to heart. Writing these words after watching the film, aren’t written without a tear in my eyes. At least they clean the vision and hopefully I can see clearly now what I have long wanted to see. Me and who I truly am. There’s never been a need to pretend but I didn’t realise that when I was younger. You don’t have to try to fit in when you know you don’t. Being unique is what is best.
Ever since the second day of visiting Mumbai in November, I knew that I had found my missing piece of inspiration. My long lost inspiration for writing my story, my book. I found it again, in the heart of Mumbai. I could see the waves coming into the shore and we were driving by the south side of Mumbai, feeling the breeze from the opened window. My hair was getting messy in the wind, but I didn’t mind at all, I felt at peace. I knew I had found my way back, to my core. I think that’s why I have had my “identity crisis” with the endless watching of Hindi films, trying to see if I can relate to any of it. I don’t feel the need to relate anymore, I already know what was missing all along. My acceptance.
Work hard in silence, let success make the noise. – Frank Ocean
This is my motto these days. I have come to realise it’s sometimes better to keep quiet about all your plans than to blurt them out to everyone as soon as you thought of them. This has been a tough practice for me and it’s been difficult because I have done the opposite in so many areas and it’s still a daily struggle. I find that it’s better to wait for a while, let the thoughts remain yours and let them mature and then let people in your surroundings know when things are more clear and you have a good sense of direction. I have told people about my plans for writing a book, opening a café and my change of profession way too many times, in vain. Because they stop listening after a while. It’s now just become noise because you’ve been there before, you’ve said those words before. Let your actions speak for themselves instead. That’s what I’m working on these days, and that’s what is inspiring me the most.
– How is the business going?
– It’s going real well, I’m progressing and I enjoy the process.
That is it. That is all that will be coming through my mouth regarding my business during the coming months, until I feel I have reached a step in my goal, and I want to share it with the world. Until then, I will keep my eyes on the goal and not look back.
I don’t believe in regrets and I never have. I try to live in the present and plan some things ahead, but not too far into the future. I do however believe in reflecting over past mistakes, and past experiences, and I as a Piscean can many times get stuck in thoughts of the past. Not to dwell, but to figure out my way forward based on my past. My past is always teaching me a lot about my current situation and how I will go about to make the choices that I need to make in order to get to where I want to be.
Song for this blog post: Darren Hayes – Where You Want to Be
Today is the first day since my move that I felt a little lonely even though I was amongst people. I have never been the type that would rely my whole life on someone or some people to entertain me or to hang out with. But today I felt like this new city life, the tough parts of it, are catching up on me. To have some own friends to just call up and go out with, to go downtown shopping with someone who just happened to be nearby.. all those things. I do have some friends in this town to start with but you need to build a network slowly and that’s what bothered me today, that I don’t have that starting point that people usually do when they’ve lived in a city all their lives. I need to work out how to get a little more acquainted with the city so I can find myself around a lot easier and to meet new people that I can call my friends.
I went to a café today to write in my book. Anyone who writes knows what a struggle it is to keep that spirit going and to keep on writing even the days when you feel like it’s not giving the results you want. I love the topic I’m writing about and it gives me strength and hope in my everyday life; so I love the process when I’m actually in the process and writing. It’s all about getting in the process in the first place, to sit down and start writing those few first words that get you into a flow. The flow is all you’re looking for, but that’s usually what hinders you as well. What if you can’t find the words, what if it doesn’t become as you want it to, etc.. That’s just your mind putting doubts in you. I believe it’s all about getting those moments for yourself and write from your heart, then all the words you want to write that particular day, they will come to you, the flow will come to you.
I’m going to be updating you all about my writing soon in another blog post, some more details about what I’m writing about. If you’re interested to find out a little bit, there’s a post further down that explains a little bit on a higher level what topics it covers.
I’m going to share a little piece of what my book is going to cover. This is something that I’ve been thinking about for the last few years and it’s a very personal topic, and I’ve been very unsure over those years whether or not to share it with the world.
The topic is: arranged relationships (or marriages) vs. love relationships and related stories. It’s going to be a very personal book, very close to my heart and it’s going to be about cultural differences between western and a mixed Indian culture.
I don’t personally have any experience in having to be in an arranged relationship (thank God!) but I am very interested in the subject and how it’s still a problem for some young people to get out of (if they wanted to). They are usually expected to follow the family traditions and they therefore agree to go through with it to avoid bringing family shame or damage the family honour.
Why would there be family shame if they choose their own partner? Why shouldn’t we be able to love whoever we want and choose to spend the life with that person be enough to please the family? Those are some very difficult questions to answer but I’m very eager to dig deeper into the whole concept and find out more about the pros and cons of such an arrangement. Isn’t the individual happiness what should be in focus, since we’re the only ones who are going to live our own life?
Another interesting observation is how girls and boys are treated differently and the expectations and pressure are also very diverse depending on if you’re a boy or a girl. A boy might be able to date more openly before a marriage in some families, while girls should not even talk to a boy before she gets married. I know I might take the most extreme examples, but they do exist, unfortunately.
From a Western perspective I have a hard time accepting or believing that one would ever want to marry a stranger and build a family with them, but somehow it’s not hard to accept for true followers of this tradition or culture.
What is interesting to know about Indian culture is that it’s very intertwined with religion; so there is really a fine line between the two. One can be non-religious but still follow all traditions and celebrate religious holidays, just because it’s natural to them. I compare it with celebrating Christmas for example, not many people in Sweden are religious but we still celebrate Christmas here. It’s fun to receive gifts and have the whole family gathered – but it’s more for the social aspect than it’s ever going to be religious. At least here in Sweden, which isn’t a very religious country.
I guess growing up in a very nonreligious country together with having a family which is Indian and having that Indian culture with me has made me question many things while growing up. These are just a very few of my thoughts that have triggered my need to write my story, as raw as it might be, because I believe that it’s necessary to shed some light on these topics in today’s modern society where we might think that everyone has a free will. At least here – in the West.
This year has been amazing. Year 2012. The first complete year I have worked at HP – at my first real job. It’s been a great journey and experience so far and it will continue into 2013.
I have travelled to some places in the world – as I try to do each year. This year I’ve been to beautiful Vienna, amazing Budapest and incredible India and I started year 2012 in Copenhagen. I wonder which adventures 2013 will take me on. Some places/countries on my list would be: Stockholm, South of Europe, South India (Mumbai, Goa, Kerala e.g.)… and the list goes on. Most of these journeys that are nearby Sweden would have to be done over weekends due to my job, but that’s okay. An extended weekend is always a nice way to get away from work and stress, a good way of relaxing (unless you plan to tourist around hectically for two days).
The trip to India was the most amazing thing during the year – something I’ve wanted to do since I last went there 10 years ago. I promise myself that it won’t be as seldom as every 10 years from now on. I really started to connect with my roots this time and I really believe that the more I go now that I’m an adult the more I will feel comfortable there. It’s hard to imagine the future when I might have to go without family and rely on my own judgement when it comes to India – it’s such a large country and so much to learn – it’s just mesmerising.
I have started my writing journey for real this year, I have made a lot of research for my book writing process and I have jotted down many ideas for it. Looking forward to 2013 when I will focus a lot on my writing and reading inspiring books.
I’ve met some inspiring people through work and that has made my job more fun in the office – it’s just too bad to see them go when projects end. That’s when I think about the fact that the world is so large and the friends feel further and further away from me – all spread out in the world. I suppose that’s when we all should be thankful for technology and IT – to be able to connect worldwide with people we want to stay in touch with. But still, it’s not the same as sitting opposite to someone and have a real conversation – that’s precious.
Happy new year, everyone! 🙂 Hope 2013 brings you a lot of joy, good health and insight. I intend to make it a great one!
It’s a cold spring day of April and the sky is cloud-free and blue, birds are singing and it’s pretty calm inside me. I am not rushing to work, nor am I rushing to meet up with anyone. Today is the day, when I get back to writing, when I find that inner peace that I have been looking for so long to be able to write again. So this blog today at this moment is a sign for me to continue on my writing journey, and I’m not referring to the blog, but to write in my book again. Writing a novel is not an easy task, hence I have been going back and forth with these ideas I have for some years now. When contemplating over the topic and my story, I still conclude that it is very relevant for me to still write my story for others to read. That journey is starting today.
I have had to make some hard decisions regarding this book, but I have finally come to decide what language I will write in. My native language is Swedish and I love English. All my poems are always written in English and that’s what I feel comfortable with. It is also a very international language which means that I can reach out to so many more that can read what I have to say. I can’t share too much about what it would be about, but I guess you’ll have to stick around to see what I have in store. It’s a deep and long journey into my darker and more vulnerable self; which is why I can’t share more than I feel is right.
Another decision I’ve taken is that it will be written in thoughts-form, from one person’s perspective. It has a lot to do with cultural differences and what a young girl has to struggle with when caught between two world’s. One is modern and independent, but yet very lonely. The other is strict and suffocating but also a very narrow world. It’s a very deep journey to take on while writing this book, which is why I have been waiting until now to write it. I believe I am strong enough to deal with it now, and it will make me stronger while writing. I have always felt that writing makes me feel stronger, whether I write poems to reflect what I feel or if I write in my personal diary about thoughts I think.
So today I’m embracing the day when I will start this journey. I will keep this blog updated on my progress without sharing too many details about what I write, since that is a surprise. 🙂
I was looking through old notes and found that the song The Power of Goodbye by Madonna was a key for me when I decided to let go of the past and move on towards being more free, and be myself.
“Freedom comes when you learn to let go,
Creation comes when you learn to say no”