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Posts from the ‘Myself’ Category

The Stench of Self-Pity Part 2

BK Shivani said that just like you don’t yell at others constantly, we also need to be gentle with ourselves. Take a moment, think of all the negative sub talk that is going on in your mind. I know I am guilty of it. There was a constant river of berating myself for not being focused, not working out, not writing, not working, not being good enough, not eating well, not keeping up with friends, not being better and on and one.  This was the soundtrack of my daily life.  And I am pretty sure it’s yours.  We are constantly beating ourselves for what we are failing to do.  Yet we don’t take the time to be grateful for what we do have and what we are doing. I know I was guilty of that. I also know how silly one can feel being grateful for what we have. It just seems natural. It’s there. I want what I don’t have. We have this need for what we cannot ever grasp in our hands, yet each moment that we pass without thinking of what we have, we move further away.

Two years ago, I was perhaps the furthest I have ever been from writing and reading. Two very simple things that I have done most of my life, and at first I dismissed them as simple things that I would get to. Then I became addicted to social media, constantly checking and rechecking other’s updates about images, stories and things that in the long run did not add much value in my life. Don’t get me wrong. I am not bashing social media, but for me what I thought were simple things to ignore allowed me to use shallow posts to become my crutches.

So I began reading, then writing every day. Now I struggle with how much I can do each day with me adding learning Spanish, Meditation, and working out. I say all this not to brag, but that instead of the negative self-talk, I accept who and what I am.  Yes. there are days, many of them  infact, that I don’t get to all that I want to get done, but you know what? Its OK. I give myself a break. I now see that even when I dont get to do all that I want, I still get something wonderful, like an hour long phone conversation with a great friend, or getting to know something about Preeti that I didn’t know, or doing something completely new.

In a nutshell, be gentle with yourself. Stop the negative talk. Enjoy the moment. Take a breath. And then keep moving.

The Stench of Self-Pity Part 1

Is there a better feeling than waking up to the quietness of a beautiful morning?  When the eyes are still closed, but inside you feel full of gratitude and love for all that is in your life?  Think I am full of shit? Few years ago, I would have agreed and perhaps even said that I was just trying to be a creative writer.  Yet, last year around this time is when I was still recovering from my brain surgery and prior to that, my wife’s illness and then before that a stroke  around the time a loss of a dear dear friend reverberated through  my soul. So I could say life was not fair. I could have whined, and been angry.  And honestly, I did. I cannot even read some of the stuff I wrote around that time because the stench of self-pity suffocates me.  I felt so sorry for myself that I engaged in soul deadening behaviors like avoidance, and pretending all was well. I stopped reading, writing or really doing anything that gave me true joy. I fought with people in my life with such a vengeance as if it was their fault my life was where it was.

I probably would have continued if some of the strangest things came together to salvage who I used to be. It began with a subscription to The New Yorker. I have been buying books all my life, and there are always piles of unread books surrounding my homes, but subscribing to the New Yorker was a new commitment for me. I had no idea that each week, a magazine that was extremely well written with VERY long articles would come to my doorstep.  Each and every single fucking week. So I began reading. Around the same time, a forwarded You Tube link of BK Shivani’s “Healer Within” caught my eye.  At first, I was uncomfortable with the Indian accents, but her words struck me into submission with their clarity and accuracy.  I also began doing Morning Pages from The Artist’s Way as well as doing Lumosity brain games while trying to learn Spanish (still struggling).

I didn’t realize at the time, but I had begun constructing a new me….

To Be Continued….

FULL & Grateful

I failed to realize that just breathing was a gift.

Read more

Resolving to be me.

dreamsSo day 20 of resolutions, 2 days before my 42nd birthday. I ran 5 miles today, submitted my first 5000 word short story to my critique group, and did the 4 hour body diet all day and am down to 201 pounds. I am sure you are already rolling your eyes at my bragging, but the real reason I share so openly is because that’s just who I have always been.  I think its part of being a writer. We share. Probably share too much (as my wife can attest), but it comes naturally to us.  If you are unfortunate enough to be my friend on social media, I am sure you have seen my barrage of shared posts on inspiration and articles I find interesting.  You may also notice that I don’t post many status updates anymore.

There was a time, it was natural for me to share every single thought and emotion that came to mind. I was addicted to seeing my words come alive, but it became apparent that all I was doing was annoying some, while others tolerated me and friends found it kinda funny. So instead of just putting words down, I began to pick up the phone (not texting) to call friends and family or spending the end of the day talking to my wife about what was going on.  It was simple, but not easy. Facebook and Twitter, on the other hand, just require you post instantaneously, and while sometimes that’s fine, it can also not be the best representation of who you are really.

So I resolve to keep writing, and keep sharing things that move me, but I also intend on nurturing my relationships rather than social media.

Fobbylicious

I don’t know when it began. This love of indian music, food, language and religion. I have always accepted it, but recently there has been a disturbing trend that I keep seeing and hearing that just doesn’t make sense to me. When did it become OK to bash people who are from India?  Either calling them IT guys or wondering if they can speak English?  When did it become OK to look down on them?  What is it about other Desis that makes us so uncomfortable?  I just don’t get it.

OK, so the accents are funny sometimes, and dress sometimes more so, but as someone who spent 15 years in Little India. I don’t get the attitude that somehow because some of us speak English without an accent or dont watch bollywood or dont listen to desi music, that somehow we are better. But yet, most of our friends are desi. Just no desi music.  Just brown skin, please.  But nothing brown inside us.

Maybe I just don’t get LA anymore. Maybe, things have changed. The things that excite me like UK Bhangra, and hindi remixes or Asian Underground don’t matter anymore. Sure, Bollywood seems bigger, and seems to have incorporated a lot of the stuff that was clubby and underground before, but there is a large segment of us who just look down on anything appearing to be our motherland (yea I said it).

As if our parents language doesnt matter. As if our heritage, culture, music is something to be ignored, put down or disgusted by. I just don’t get it. Maybe I am just old. Maybe I am so out of the scene that what they say makes sense.  The thing is, they said the same thing to me 10 years ago. The scene is dead. LA sucks.  No one goes to parties.  Blah, blah, blah.

For me, desi music will always matter, and if I like something, and if I have the power to do something about it, I will it.  So hopefully, I will see you at the next event or maybe the one after. Maybe, just maybe, I am right.

Promoting Again??!!

PMC_Flyer_FAnd so begins the first full week of 2014.  There is so much I have reflected on for 2013, but a few things that struck me as surprising. I decided to start promoting again. And the reaction was confusing.  There were some who were excited, and then there were others (namely my family) who were like why?  Why do you want to start doing events again?  a) You have a job. b) Aren’t you a bit too old to be promoting. c) The scene is dead.  No one does parties anymore. d) Aren’t you too old?  And then was New Years. Although the event was not as successful as I would have liked, it convinced me of one thing. There is a need for desi events, but not for all desis. There were some there who were absolutely miserable, and then the majority who had a blast. So why do desi events?  Became I am a fan of desi music. I am not a FOB (well maybe I am), but I am a fan of music from my country. If that is a badge of disgrace, then so be it. I am doing events to bring the groups and producers I enjoy. It’s my party. and that’s what I want to do. So if you don’t like Panjabi MC or Mickey Singh or Jassi Sidhu or Dhol Nation or Sandeep Kumar, then maybe, just maybe, you have no love for great music made by our own. And you know what, that’s OK.  Just don’t tell me I shouldn’t be promoting. Because it’s easy to criticize, but extremely hard to do.

See you at the next event, or not. I don’t plan on stopping. Somebody needs to save the desi club scene in Los Angeles. Why not me?

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