Circle of life

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I was sick again. Very high fever 101-102 degrees. Had to call the doc for a home visit and though I am all good now, I still haven’t regained my appetite. And I shall repeat, being sick and alone at home sucks big time. Being sick also derailed some of my plans of wrapping things up before moving out and lessened the number of offs I could take while moving. So there’s the rant against it.

But I also realised that when I had just moved into this place, I fell sick too. It felt like a circle of life thing. Back then too I was very sick and my neighbours helped me. It was also at the height of the swine flu scare in my city and I was so scared I was going to contract it.


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For a reporter who has never been to the US, but has seen situations like 26/11, the events unfolding at Boston were an eerie reminder of just how fragile life can be. The last two nights, I have been glued to the TV, not just because the events themselves were surreal, but also because as a journalist, I wanted to see how CNN, NBC and other international outlets handle this.

I must say I am thoroughly impressed. I write this as reporters across the spectrum not just heave a sigh of relief but also convey the feeling of we are safe now to their viewers. I am also amazed by how the on field reporters are also very honest and realistic about their expectations of what answers and closure to expect from the agencies. There are no pretenses, no one is saying that everything is great. I get a sense of we suffered, we have tried to make sense of all of it, but more importantly, we are all together in this.

That sense of empathy is so important when a community goes through something like this. I remember 26/11 and just how chaotic everything was. And I remember how in the aftermath, there were no words of reassurance. There was the usual talk of resilience, there was also some talk of finding the culprits, but the political discourse was and still continues to be that of blame games and religious divisions.

Our country has sort of become accustomed now to terror attacks. Every few months, a series of low intensity blasts shake some city or the other and the suspects are never caught. Compared to that, looking at what America managed today, I feel people there should really be grateful that they can at the end of the day, still depend on their security forces.

However, one thing was very similar to our country. The internet witch hunt and disinformation. I hope everyone apologises to the families of the 2 who were wrongly named as suspects.


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Exactly how I have been feeling and yes I am not quite at stage 3 yet.

Uncharted Waters

it seems like every girl of this generation must go through a three step process when thinking about their career.

First. The encouragement stage:  In this stage the young girl is encouraged to apply to college, to travel, to be whatever she wants to be.  Scholarships are easy to get, even though girls now make up a larger percentage of undergrads than boys. This is a stage without limitation. A young woman sees successful women like Hillary Clinton and doctors and professors, and only senses the “up” direction for her career.  Settling down and having children are looked down upon – you are bombarded with messages from your high school health teacher, the media, etc. that getting pregnant would be a disaster.  College’s hookup culture doesn’t give you much practice actually having relationships.  Your career starts off well and then…

Second.  The “intentionally dumbing down” stage. …

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What kind of single?

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The ancient definition of single is someone who has never married at all. I fit that definition. However in the modern context, there are many definitions of both singleness and couplehood.

I will start with my particular state and then talk of others. I do have someone I have been seeing for sometime now. Yes he is there but there is no ring on my finger, we don’t live together and both of us haven’t met the other’s family. So what we have is sufficient to update a Facebook status to in a relationship, but that’s about it. We are pretty serious about each other but the future has not been outlined in the conventional terms and hence I consider myself single in the unmarried sense of the word.

You may then ask, why am I advocating this singles movement, if I do have someone however much in the background. I don’t know about you, but in my heart I feel if you live together like a family as a couple, then marriage is just a milestone and so even if you are unmarried you are living the life of wedded bliss. This I probably am saying from the envy that comes from never having even come close to anything like this 🙂 Yes, one reason of starting this blog is to get rid of some of those moments of negativity I face about not being wedded or even close to being wedded. Living in is not an option in my country and even if it were I am not sure I would risk my heart because living in without marriage may trigger anxiety in me. I admire those who are able to though. It shows a level of self confidence and trust in the other person.

Back to the topic though, single could also mean you were married once and aren’t anymore or you had a long term relationship where you raised a family but that relationship has ended now. You could be a mother, you could be a former live-in partner but in the present moment, it is just you. You could be a widow. Sometimes you are considered a spinster or single because you have passed the conventional marriage age in your culture.

The struggle in being single I feel is mainly with respect to a greater need to be loving and forgiving of yourself. You have to love yourself even when most people try to bring you down because of the absence of a ring on your finger. You have to look at the disappointment in your parents’ face when they contemplate your future and still soothe yourself. No one else is there to do any of this for you. Happiest day, saddest day, whatever kind of day, you may return to an empty home.

All of the above may make you think that its awful being single. It actually isn’t that bad. But I feel it would be a lot easier if people around you didn’t make your singleness, whether by choice or circumstance, a failure or character flaw of yours. Which is why the greater need for a single to just be strong and loving towards themselves. Its easier said than done on some days.

It is this need to celebrate myself no matter what, that made me start this blog. And as I browse through WordPress, I realise there are many smart, witty, successful women out there, single for their own reasons and connecting to others like me through this platform. The human concept of shame is such that you can inflict it on someone if you convince that person that he/she is alone. But with so many smart people writing on singleness, who can convince us that there is any shame to it?

So what kind of single are you, come on spill, now that there is no shame to it 🙂

James J Need

Writer & Mind Coach


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