As always, thanks a ton for sending in your questions! If some of your questions didn't get answered, it's mostly because I've answered them in the previous QnAs so do check them out.
You seem to be always happy and smiling. How do you remain so cheerful? What is your favourite stress buster?
Thank you! But the truth is, I'm one of the grumpiest, moodiest people I know. I grew up around moody people and hated other people's lack of control over their mood swings. I swore to myself that I would never be like that but I ended being even worse. Never thought that was possible! The good thing, however, is that I know and realise this charcter flaw and still hate it. So the cheerful side of me that you see is my conscious effort to not be a kill-joy. And I've been pretty good at casting off the gloom and moodiness which in turn has helped me become a happier person.
I have two favourite stress-busters and they're both extreme. The first is working out. There have been times when an inanimate workout equipment has flashed messages at me asking me to cool the fuck down, or when a simple walk outdoors to distract myself has rendered me breathless and sweaty. I get it out of my body with physical exercise. The second extreme is to turn into a sloth. I cut out all human contact, I don't move my ass from one comfortable spot, I order takeaway, get Shane to collect it from the door, watch trashy television and even indulge in ice cream which I hate. Eight to twelve hours of brooding brings about a significant change in my stress levels and mood.
You've travelled so much! Of all the places you've visited and lived in, which is your favourite?
I would disagree with you. I haven't travelled much although I do try to squeeze in travel as much as possible. There's so much more for me to see and learn. I would say that of all the places I've been to, Delhi and Edinburgh are closest to my heart.
Delhi is where I spent 4 years of my life and received my formative education. I had the best schooling and friends there. I loved the community of Armed Forces families that we lived with and life was generally good back then. I wish I never had to leave at the age of 10.
Edinburgh is where Shane and I finally built a home together. It'll always be special to me as this is where many dreams came true.
I listened to your previous podcast episode where you mentioned that you and Shane were just 23 when you got married. Why did you make such a huge life decision at such a young age?
Actually, when we got legally married on paper, Shane was 22 and I was 23. So, yeah. We'd been together for four years by then and were very happy. We both wanted to start living together by that point. But I knew that if I just moved in with my boyfriend even though my parents already adored him, I would end up losing my parents. Because they just wouldn't be able to digest it. That's not how things work in India. It was important to me to have both Shane and my parents in my life. So if the only thing standing in the way of our collective happiness was a legal document, all I had to think about was whether I'd want to buy property with Shane in the future, whether I'd combine finances with him, and whether he'd be a good dog-parent. The answers to all those questions were yes and my answer when he went down on one knee was also a yes.
Do you really own size 2 footwear?
It's complicated. My branded footwear are all size 3 and they fit perfectly. My hiking boots are size 4 because they don't make it smaller than that but they still fit perfectly because they're heavy and are tight around the ankles so they don't fall off either. It's when it comes to ballerinas and slip-ons that I have a problem. Size 3 slip-ons fly off my feet so I have to shop in the kids' section because they don't make size 2 footwear for women. So to answer your question, yes. I do own a few pairs of size 2 footwear from the kids' section.
Do you shop for clothes from the children's section as well?
Mostly, no. But every time I need to grab slips and plain inner t-shirts to wear under my sweaters, I go to the kids' section because nothing fits me better than 'Ages 12-14' plain tees. It's hilarious.
What's on your bucket list?
The list is quite long and most of it is personal but I'll share a few.
- Wathcing the Northern Lights.
- Visiting Iceland.
- Going fishing.
- Visitng all Harry Potter landmarks.
- Becoming a dog parent
And maybe even making a friend some day LOL.
Could you list 10 of your favourite books?
Oh wow. This is going to be hard. I always struggle with picking out my favourite books because I tend to love almost all of them. But I'll try recommending a few (some that I've already recommended in the past).
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
- Atonement - Ian McEwan
- Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston
- Purple Hibiscus - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Room - Emma Donoghue
- The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
- Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear - Elizabeth Gilbert
- Rani - Jaishree Misra
- To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
- Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë
This is in no particluar order of preference. I hope you pick up one of these books and tell me if you liked it!
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Definitely an introvert. Most people don't understand what these terms mean. An introvert is not unfriendly, shy, too reserved, and mean. And an extrovert is not someone who is always the life of a party. Basically, an introvert draws energy from himself or herself whereas an extrovert draws energy from other people around them.
If I meet you at a social setting, chances are that I'll be friendly. I'll talk to you, laugh with you and have a generally good time. But at the end of the day, I'll return home, curl up somewhere and read a book or write while avoiding all forms of social contact. I can very well be the life of a party but I cannot function without "me time". I have no qualms about sharing the story of my life on the internet with scores of strangers but I would probably not open up to a close friend about something that's been bothering me for a really long time. I couldn't possibly be happy and productive in a joint family where I'm constantly surrounded by people and expected to interact with them. But I could easily be the life of a family gathering once in a blue moon, and then return to my safe space to recharge my batteries. Everytime I spend a lot of time with other people, I need at least a day or two later with zero human contact and plenty of time to recover.
Introverts are not socially awkward and completely dysfunctional. They're not a mess. They just don't give a shit most of the time and love being left alone to their own devices.
Haven't read anything about your period mood swings in a while. So am I to gather that they're not troubling you anymore?
I wouldn't want to jinx it but it does seem that way. For the past two months, uterus shattering pain has replaced extreme mood swings. In fact, two hours before we were supposed to catch our train to the Lake District, I was doubled over on our couch and moaning in pain while Shane cleaned the kitchen counters. The pain is terrible and makes me want to puke but like I've said before, I'll take that any day over the mood swings.
Did you ever wish that you had siblings?
As a child, yes. I used to even lie to my classmates about having younger siblings at home because every single one of my friends had siblings and that seemed like a lot of fun. I used to make up elaborate tales about how my younger sister also annoyed the fuck out of me. In fact, I just remembered something really fucked up. Prepare to have your mind blown: I used to walk my friends to a random kindergarten classroom, pick the cutest little girl in class, and tell them that she was my sister. This poor kid had no idea why I was feeding her lunch or petting her like a puppy. That was a weird phase of my life.
And then, I grew up and realised that I'm very possessive over my parents and don't like sharing affection (or anything for that matter) with anyone. I grew up to be a selfish brat with a different set of issues than the one that used pet kindergarten kids.
Are there anymore funny fan mails you can share with us please? The previous ones were very funny.
Sure, why not?
As usual, these are from my folder called 'Fan mail/weird'. What you're seeing in bold is the subject line of the mail followed by a snippet of the message.
I don't know what's weirder - asking me for my number in all caps in the subject line or sending their numbers to me with no subject.
I wonder why anyone would think it's appropriate to send a stranger an email asking if they'd be interested to meet up. But then, I wonder about a lot of things. Like, what's my name doing in the subject line of a mail that has no content? Or why should I call someone who likes my post?
So that's all for this month. I try my best to pick out the most commonly asked questions and restrict the number to around 10 per month so that the posts don't get too long. I hope you enjoyed this post. If you have any interesting questions to ask me for next month, do send them to my email or DM me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
See you tomorrow!