Dear people on the street 

Hello people,

The few who are looking at me walk down the street of Bombay. I know how we walk, we walk with our hands outstretched to haul a willing rickshaw guy to take us to our preferred destination. And while I have a dozen things on my mind I happen to look at this one guy standing near a bike looking at passerby.

As is my job I wonder what is his motivation? Then was more curious by the thought that occurred in my head.

What will he think about me?

Which made all the other thoughts in my head evaporate… I was curious. I wondered if he thinks I am peculiar, can he see my anxiety, can he see I am keeping it together by creating so much noise around me that I can’t hear the scary self-deprecating thoughts. Can he see all that by looking at a girl walking down a street in here best Sunday dress?

Or what if I didn’t wear my Sunday best, what if I walked around wearing mismatched clothes, or my hair wasn’t combed or my shoes we different ? Would he for a minute have a thought of concern or would he just call me crazy and move on to the next passerby?

I want to say as we get more modern and well read.. we have also become more judgmental and indifferent.

I want to say the world can’t see my mental health concerns till I get to the stage of running on the street naked probably. So even I can’t see the struggles of the lady walking ahead of me. Or the guy who is looking at passerbys.

We all have an Achilles heal. We all have bat caves and gained batman strength through the hardships that has made us the super hero we are today.

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Life does turn and twist in the most unexpected ways. A reassuring hand on the shoulder turned into a burning Tobacco stick. Our ridiculous banter changed to Ed Sherman, kandisa and like I am going to lose you … in just that order and just as ritualistic as you were about looking at temples on our ride home.  

So from chattering about our day to talking about marvel and superheroes. When we broke up I would dread a ride home as would miss you terribly.. I cried in unnumerablr rides … but now i don’t choke on tears, I press a burning cigarette in my lips and suck in the void while listening to music. 

Soon one day 

Soon I am going to warp my fingers around someone’s wrist and say “wow” 

I am going to greet someone by saying ” how much do you eat? ” 

I am going to touch somebody’s stomach and say ” ohh you have one !!” 

I am going to enquiry if ” shopping at adults section is fun ?” 

I am going to check someone out look suprised and guess that person’s weight 

When some one is picking a bag be concerned about them and ask if  “are you sure you can carry that? ” 

Even if doing this will make me extremely uncomfortable 😣..

Just to understand the fun I am missing out on by following personal space boundaries and refraining to comment on somebodies body type …..

Cool unconscious or anxiety driven consciousness? 

They say lucid dreams are those that you control. You can change the characters, the setting, the time and best of all you can disregard it all together. Just fly yourself out of it. Statically they are the dreams you remember too. 

So I still dream about you. I still do no matter how much I try not to, I still pick out situations we might meet and play them in my head again an again till it become a dream. 

So yesterday I saw you in my dream again. I saw you with a girl in a totally unexpected place a church. I really want to know  how that came about as I have never played that in my head before. So this one is on my  unconscious. 

So I see you at church with a really pretty girl and I come up to approach you. We end up having dinner. You me and your new girlfriend. I notice she is clumsy but I don’t hate her. 

I am happy for you. I am not jealous I am not judging her. I just like her instantly and I am happy. The funny part tho is that my stomach churns when I am typing this. I feel my anxieties putting their heads up like a dozen 100 of meerkats in a grassland of errand thoughts. But I know without a doubt in my head that I was happy in my dream.

Seems like I am cooler subconsciously. Not cool at all consciously. Thus I see why I black out after 4 beers. 

Is consent only for discussions ?? 

Last week a couple of my friends all psychologist, shared an article by Alayna Kolberg, explaining her reasons as to why she felt it was okay for her child to say no when other children ask him to share a toy. 

We chatted at length how it’s commendable for a mother to be okay with her son not being a people pleaser. As most mother are petrified of being judged by others. It’s actually worries us when we see a mother trying to manage a crying toddler and the load of judgemental looks she gets. We have to make sure she knows that she is being judged for not being able to manage a crying child. To which my friend who is now a mother to an infant.. remembered when we were judging a couple with a crying toddler. In my defence I was very quick to point out that I still judged that mother as she brought a 3 year old to a pub. I understand we need to party or hangout with friends but then find a babysitter. You can’t have a 3 year old running about a pub and looking at other tables. Maybe you are comfortable allowing your child seeing you drink. I am not comfortable looking at a child and smiling when i am sipping my whiskey talk about our sex life plunge even before we reached 30. 

We chatted a couple more minutes about the crazy Moms world. And then got down to discussing when we can raid my bottle of unopened Cabo. We decided Friday and I thrashed that plan right away. I didn’t wanna drink a day before my big work day. So my friends began pushing and begging and cajoling and guilting me into getting the bottle. Being very comfortable saying no. I didn’t bulge. I knew they found it childish and inconsiderate. But I knew my reasons and I was sure. But I did feel kinda like a mean girl to saying no to cajoling. 

But we moved away from the chat and were fine. Only to be taunted at once for not getting it. Which I didn’t bother.

 A day later it struck me how difficult it is for us to take a no and understand the idea of consent. 

We can talk for hours discussing how a mother understood consent and began to teach it from that young age. And here we are disregarding consent when it comes to accepting a No! 

 

Thank you Ola share!!! 

Thank you for the most weird ride. It started with not the driver but my number being shared with my co passenger who called me to ask me if I don’t mind waiting for the cab another 10 mins as he is at a cross road where a left would take him home and a right will take him away from his home. I couldn’t argue with the guy who randomly got my number from a company that promises me they will not disclose my number to random people other than the 10000 employees. So in the totally confusion I said fine just go home and then send the cab to me. Thankfully the driver came in another 10 mins and stopped another 10mins walk away. So I have to thank you for making sure I am fit and get some exercise. The driver was kind enough to follow directions but while talking to his girlfriend the whole 30mins ride. I have to tell you the poor guy is harassed by a friend for money and is bullied. I usually don’t like eves dropping but my phone’s full volume was not loud enough for the super high decimal he was at in a match box wagonr. Then came in my other co passenger who smells of gutka and booze so bad that I wished that the car didn’t have ac in Mumbai heat. That in itself is saying a fucking lot. Then mr. Co passenger upped his game by removing his smelly feet out of the shoes that he has worn till the 1st dinosaur was born on Mother Earth. So one side I had a teenager trying to up his game with his girlfriend by thrashing a competitor teen. And the other end was extortion call riddled with flowery language and a drunk friend who was partying. So I was analysing how god must me showing me what I felt 10 years ago and who I will be at 20 years ahead. So am eternally grateful for ola share for adding another existential crises to my already long list. 

Judgement

Judgements

I like how we are very quick to categorise people.images (1)

Oh that’s a smart dressed person .                                                        .

Can I roll my eye enough at that giggly teen 3 tables away?

Omg! they can’t keep their hands to themselves, get a room guys !

90% people agree to have had these thoughts and the remaining 10%  say they didn’t are lying.

It’s not even funny how these judgments creep up. How quickly we categories people based on one behaviour, one action or one choice.

I decided to take up the challenge to understand how judgemental I am. As a psychologist I am shocked at how many I have and how easily they surface.

I am taking the liberty to mention only those that made me cringe at myself and I am comfortable putting out.

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The first one crept in at 10:00 in the morning when my client refused to confirm appointment. At first I was like typical Mumbai. Time here is always subjective. As each one of us  has his or her own time which in most cases is  always late by 15-50 mins.

So judgement- people in Mumbai don’t know how to follow or respect standard time

They say everyone deserve a piece of mountain top. Even in this city where one can’t find one’s own tree to sit under.. nor can one find a tree actually.

So I evolve… industrial revolution evolution, my mountain top is a rickshaw ride. This is where I take time off, plan my day and clear my head. Today as I looked out I saw a group of guys at the small smoke shop. One of the boys looked irritated and fanned the air In front of him when smoke blew his way. I smiled at the thought…, no starch that … I smiled at the judgement I passed. That’s a girly guy.

My judgment siren when ‘ eeew awww eeeew awww’ like a ambulance in traffic. I am a girl I like to smoke. Not liking smoke in your face has nothing to do with gender. I did cringe at this one. The smile faded. The feminist and non judgmental side of me was ashamed, clicked their tongue at me while nodding their heads.

This is how deep the ideas of feminism and masculinity are one action or one expression is enough for me to judge a person’s gender conformity.

My next judgement was a positive one but I would still prefer not to have it as a categoriser at all. A NGO that I consult for to establish a mental health Centre send in their co ordinator. So we could discuss some fine logistic details. In came a girl, crisply dressed and on time. I immediately liked her. We spoke not only about logistics and mental health Centre but soon about public awareness for our respective fields. The meeting changed to a casual comfortable chat.

My judgement here was – a well dressed punctual girl is smart. That judgement made me accept her and be less critical of her. Would I be the same to another girl who came in late with the hair in the air like I always wear mine? I would like to say yes. But I do know that’s a lie.

However, do we judge only others; fortunately and unfortunately no. As I was waiting for my last client to come in. I knew he wouldn’t keep his appointment. I began questioning my self. Maybe last time I made a reflection he wasn’t ready for. Maybe my style of therapy is not best for him. These questions and more quickly led me to pass the judgement, I am not a good adult therapist. This is my anxiety cycle with adults counselling. I get anxious- I tell myself I am not good at it – then I don’t  believe in my skills- I refer my clients to someone else. So I never do well with adults and thus the self fulfilling prophecy fulfils itself.

I reach home exhausted and my pet jumps up and down with excitement and runs away to sleep. Quickly a magnitude of emotions jump up with Worry as their Commander in Chief. I ask my mom a list of questions and all of them in hindsight are blaming.

I asked her if she bath Ally (my pet) again?

Did she give that crazy massage again?

Did she carry Ally upstairs again?

After the fourth or fifth question my mind goes ‘ eeeew-awww eeeew-aaawww’ I see the judgment I have against my mother, that she will mess up.

So I ask her what happened to Ally why is she so sleepy?  But I could see the damage was done.

Ally was just tired as she had gone to the doggy park and had ran for a good hour chasing other dogs.

Judgments are inherently interesting, but they do way more damage than good. While I was rereading or proof reading my rant, I felt that most of the paragraphs seems incomplete. I have left  them unexplained or with no plan to combat them. Maybe on purpose so these judgments haunt me. Maybe cause I don’t have the answers to how to change them. Or maybe cause I believe knowing about them is half a battle won. Or maybe cause I am placing my faith on my internal red light ambulance siren to help me recognise them better and let them go through as soon as possible without causing damage.

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They  are not who you think they are,
not that you really give a damn.
Your judgements hurt people from the inside out,
but I guess that’s really all this life is about.
You play life as if it’s one big game,
but the consequences you create are never the same.
Everyone holds pain inside,
you’d see that if you really tried.

Judging people is pointless and cruel,
sometimes all it takes is a small amount of fuel
to make someone explode
or choose the wrong road.

One small word, harsh or kind,
Can work wonders to someone’s mind.
You can help them or destroy them,
crush them, or mould a perfect gem.
Build them up or break them down,
make them smile, make them frown.
It’s really up to you, and the choices you make,
So before you judge someone….

by beautiful imperfection