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We’ve heard the age old saying, “the third time is always a charm” well to be technically correct, let’s get rid of the term “always” from in there. Because let’s face it, even doctors don’t make promises. And as I sip my honey-lemon green iced tea, with my legs over my balcony, its dark and cool at this hour of the night here. The mosquitoes haven’t made their way yet. And I have just been out of yet another relationship.

What went wrong this time? you’d ask if you were one of my veteran girlfriends. And I’d simply tell you this, nothing. I have dated tons of men in my life, but I could call this one my second real relationship. PS: I’ve been told a relationship with no sex involved is apparently not a relationship. And ofcourse, a thing or a fling with just sex is also not a relationship. So here I am, nearing the mid-point of my twenties, and I have gotten one thing surely right.

Buddha was bloody right! its all about the balance!

“the balance my dearest is not letting anyone love you less than you love yourself”

the balance is also not letting anyone love you more, and sometimes substantially more than you love them.

So, why is the third time always a charm? I’ll tell you why.

Mostly, your first relationship is the oyster and a whirlpool of your mistakes. You probably loved the person too soon, said it too soon, without really meaning to, loved someone way more than they loved you back, didn’t know what love was. You somewhat damaged and bruised yourself in the process, if they were even trying to let you down nicely, you still managed to fuck it up for yourself.

The second relationship, if you are lucky, is usually the over-compensation. You finally meet someone who is an over-compensate of your ex. It feels like sweet karma, or sour karma, whatever your case may be. Where your ex falls short, they make up. This is the relationship where you are loved tons more than you can ever give back. Let’s be real. You are sometimes dating below your league or you are just dating a first-timer, and in rare cases someone who is just ready way sooner than you are. If you are an average selfish person, you stick to this person, I mean what is better than having someone at your beck and call at all times, someone who would never stray? Don’t they say marry someone you respect and who loves you in return. If you like comfort, this is your stop. But if you want that perfect ying-yang, this is your learning curve. Even though, this person is the healer of your bruised heart and it seems very selfish of you to leave them, in the periphery, this is one of the most selfless acts you will be doing. 

Now, the third time must be the charm? Well by now you have figured it all out. You’ve been around the block, two times maybe four. Its all upto you, how fast you learn. End of the day, love is a choice we make, and chemistry isn’t. If you are smart, you’d look for something that is a 50:50. You will understand that balance is what you want. You will know how not to hurry up things, and how not play people like fiddle. You can either turn this stage into the charm, or you can become the charmer. Having the experience of two real relationships, you can either help yourself by playing people mercilessly or using the same expertise to finally find something substantial. That, is ofcourse upto you. 

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Darling I can buy you a hermes, but what I can’t buy you is a husband to keep. No not even with a lavish wedding, not even with an arranged setup. As my friend’s one year old marriage falls apart bit by bit-a marriage that includes-a recent miscarriage, abuse and a kid who was just not ready for a commitment like this, she complains and plays the age old blame game. 

V should be standing up for me, she shouts in my ear from the other end of the phone, she claims she is suicidal, she sounds suicidal, suicidal because of a guy? been reasonably close to that place, okay, I empathize. We are on a three-way call. Ten years back we were discussing our new-found boobs, now we are discussing the asses we employ to suckle on them. Truly. But P has always made it about herself, K was and is the reserved one, and I would rather talk about P’s boobs than bring up mine. When I have had enough of it. Then I have to politely remind her that we too have boobs, and it hurts just as much to transition from trainees to real bras, so she agrees to go to marks and spencers near our school to shop. Ten years hence, I have to again remind this woman that we too have sailed her boat, that if she suffers from a broken marriage or a marriage that is breaking apart, we too have had our respective share of heartbreaks, so she agrees on a yoga retreat. K is on the sideline, with on-point advice and letting us heal each other as always. 

“But my dad spent 10 cr on the wedding”, she is complaining, “and my cousin’s dad? he spent 1cr (1cr=166,667USD) on her wedding, but look, she is happier”. Firstly, comparison is the thief of joy, and secondly, I am telling her how can she say that, how can she straight up put a price tag on it all? I could have a mere 10 rupee wedding tomorrow and heck it could be as much as of a fail as her’s or as much of a success as her cousin’s. Point is a wedding is not an investment, its an expense, from an accounting perspective. And even with the expense you dispense, you just can’t buy love and your place in someone’s heart. For that you need to put in some damn effort, and hey sometimes it works, and not so much the other times. 

India’s upper class and upper-middle class has a well kept secret, they have brought up a generation of kids who don’t work. Who don’t know housework, who have never cleaned a dish in their life or even fetched a glass of water for themselves! the rich dont let their kids work a “job” they have comforted them thus that it is hard for these kids to go off and sustain themselves on an entry-level salary. When girls are married, and married with dowry they expect to be treated exceptionally, you are tackling two evils here, the evil greedy in-laws(the frankenstein monsters you create) and your own damn attitude towards one of the most important relationships of your life, your marriage. You can’t expect money to fix it.

P also complains that V, the husband, doesn’t stand up for her. That when her estranged sister-in-law two years her junior, physically abused her, he should have stood up for her. How can you expect another human being to stand up for you, when you don’t even expect yourself  to stand up for yourself? A supposed MBA, from one of the wealthiest familes P is struggling in her marriage, and where all else fails she puts in our age old “kundali”(birth chart) argument, thats where my logic is truly raped and murdered with this woman when she says something on the lines of how her guru has recommended this and that. 

While I do commend her parents for standing up for her, I cannot help but foresee the problems with the system. A lot of cultures around the world have dowry system, but dowry is and shall remain evilly tabooed, because one cannot phantom how much evil it creates on both sides. The girl side, creates a frankenstein monster of the boy side, by first feeding into their whims and demands and then later falling victim to their increasing greed, the girl expects to be treated well, sometimes without putting in any effort because her family has given a lot at her wedding, on the other spectrum she also feels obliged to work on a sometimes failing and dead-end marriage because of the “capital investment” already deployed by her parents. In India a daughter’s wedding is something of a liability, if one reads enough paper female foeticide (killing the baby girl in a mother’s womb) is common for this same reason. They not only want sons, they also don’t want daughters, since daughters mean dowry in the future.   

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There are more ways to feel the burn of racism than just the direct one, when one person from one race or faith decides to date another, they also face a type of racism.

In my dating history, not deliberately, yet I have dated across religions and races. I think the only time a woman or a man gets deliberate is when they choose to date their own race, or just one race. And even then, its is personal preference and it should be left to them. While I date the person I want to, I seem to piss off others. I do not understand this recurring phenomena, yet I face this every time. Its been some 50 years since the civil rights moment and some 70 since India has been declared a secular state. Yet, whenever I find myself dating a black, a muslim or a white guy, I find some people ridiculing me. I find people even telling me that I will be punished by own kind, for dating these “others”. It is hateful, and it should stop. What two people decide to date should totally be upto them and should be their business. But here are common insults I get. 

When I date a black/african guy:

1. She likes it big

2. She has no standards

3. You can never marry “that”

4. Find someone of quality

5. (somebody pushed me, yes, actually pushed me)

6. Mama likes chocolate

7. How is your nigga?

8. If you ever marry him, don’t be surprised if he has another baby mama in another state

9. They always cheat

10. Find someone of quality, find someone of your own
11. I had respect for her, then I saw her with him

12. He’s just her fetish
13. Your kids will have no faith, what will you teach them? They will be confused about their identities
14. Why him?

When I date a muslim guy:

1. She likes it circumcised

2. Isko kya chahiya, katta lund aur muh mai allah (what does this one want, she wants a circumcised dick and someone who says Allah)

3. What are you going to be, wife number 2? 

4. You know some of them only go for non-muslim women just so they can convert them 

5. Find someone from your own faith

6. I can date anyone, but I can never date a muslim, why are you bent on ruining your life, your parents will cut you off 

7. Your kids will have no faith, what will you teach them? They will be confused about their identities

8.Why him?
When I date a white guy: 

1. She is a sellout 

2. He is into colored women 

3. Why can’t you find someone from your own race

4. White men eventually cheat

5. Your marriage with a white guy will never last

6. Atleast this is better than dating a black guy, a muslim guy or a mixed breed 

7. You are not white you know

8. Your kids will be so pretty 

9. She thinks she is white

10. She is not happy about who she is and where she comes from 

11. She is trying to marry up the foodchain 
12. She’s one of “those”

13. You are just his fetish

 
14. Your kids will have no faith, what will you teach them? They will be confused about their identities

15. Why him?

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Marriage Isn't For You.

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I once dated a pro boxer, hands down, the strongest man from my dating history. Yet, this lad never laid a finger on me. I figured he was so fully aware that he could crush me in minutes if not seconds that he exercised his caution to the fullest even when he fumed in anger, even when I broke up abruptly, without any real reason. 

I recently got to know about Ms. Quin Woodward Pu and her brutal takedown on a guy she had dated for approximately 20 hours, now I do not know what is the back story of this and that.

But I realize this. 

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Being a writer of sorts myself, I understand that I have a strong control on my verbiage. Which means I can build you up and tear you down with my words, and while my boxer ex was often cautioned by his trainers to never exert his force on his woman, or anybody for that matter outside the ring; you see my mentors who were busy brushing up my APA, my MLA and my interviewing skills, they forgot to mention it to me that when I use my words, I must too use them with caution in my personal relationships. They told me you represent the journalism profession 24/7, conduct yourself thus, which meant, never pledge political alliance infront of people you don’t know much, don’t pledge any kind of alliance anywhere, never wear clothings with logos etc. In essence, they told us, never stop being a writer. And we never did, do.

Twas so invariably ingrained in us that indeed it is not intuitive for us to separate our individual self from being the writer, as for me the difference between me and me being a writer is a null set. But I still have to understand the effect of my words on other less versed or not as verbally creative humans. I have to assume the responsibility for my words, and the hurt they can invariably create.

As a writer I love the sound of my words. I love to express myself in them, I love the sound of my voice when I repeat my crafted story or when I declare my love to someone so flowerly. But as a writer, (yes, after some errors) I also realize the power and negative effect of my words post a break-up. That just because I have an inherent power which doesn’t really seem threatening in the traditional sense, like boxing etc, it does not mean that it is not as fatal.

Someone said the pen is mightier than the sword, needless to say writers must also understand that the people they fall in love with, and later out of love with should be protected from their sometimes very brutal words. We are a passionate bunch. If you are in love with a writer, or involved with one, understand this person will invariably write about you at one time or the other, don’t take it with the greatest of malice or the greatest of joy. Take it with a grain of salt. As a writer I can too be very creative in my insults. And sometimes go overboard even when it is not much required. What they failed to let us know in our creative writing classes, although not too intuitive should be a lesson learnt by ourselves.

And I hope all writers realize this. We won’t get jailed for verbally putting someone down, as someone who violently beats someone down will. But verbal abuse is also abuse. It can also tear up people to their core. And shred their souls. Let’s just face it, why leave scars on someone’s soul, a soul maybe once you even hoped to love, or actually did love. 

Besides, just calm down and let Karma finish it/god take care of it.

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My relationship with my father is intriguing, you see, before you dismiss me as just another daddy’s little girl with sky high expectations of men. You need to hear me out.

Having known myself, my sister and a few other Daddy’s girls, here are our common characteristics:

1. We don’t use men. 

It is simple, the first person we fell in love with and who loved us back abundantly was/is our father. He is the one who adorns us, and takes care of all our needs, if he has a somewhat good relationship with our mothers, we tend to ape it with you. We don’t have tricks up our sleeves to not show you our crazies, or not be demanding of you in the initial stages of a relationship. In short, we come without a game plan. Something that I have observed in girlfriends who are closer to their moms, they tend to “strategize” their relationships. In essence, they are probably more “relationship smart” than we are. Now this is both good and bad. 

2. A daddy’s girl will take care of you, financially too. And vice-versa

Being close to her dad, she probably knows more finance than kitchen, so she could help you getting that loan you want, or play you up at company parties. Yet she does have a soft corner for men. She might not be able to make perfect gourmet meal, but trust her to have a sense of whats going on with you and be intuitive like that. She knows how to forgive and forget, and offer a hot chocolate on a cold night. She genuinely cares. Not just you, but the bunch of guy friend army she has as well. That’s one thing about a daddy’s girl, she tends to have a lot of guy friends. She also expects you to take care of her. With advice, answer to all her questions, and making sure she doesn’t trip when she is drunk, she wants a man with an arm around her waist, and she is usually quiet successful at getting just the kind. She hates to be ignored, because let’s face it dear papa showered her with all the attention. A guy who checks up on her, usually scores. Because she was probably dropped everywhere by daddy dear.
It’s good and bad, I told ya  

3. She is intrigued by your being

She is a man-lover, there are no doubts about it, she is intrigued by your being. She understands the pressures society puts on you, and she is sensitive like that. She has probably sat in awe as her father carried out day to day business, she sees men as some magical beings who take it upon themselves to see things thru-and they never give up, to put food on the table for their family, create luxuries. She has seen them complete a hundred tasks and favors everyday. She has seen her own father go thru ups and downs of life, and exactly knows how to be when the going gets tough. Years of being close to her father, has her intuned to a man’s silence, his misdirected anger and all that comes with it. She knew she even knew how to speak properly when to just go and hug him. She understands silence, and is able to sense things better. She will understand any man better, because it only takes her some time to get intuned with him. Her love is understanding you.  

4. My oh my her expectations are high

Even though she understands you are a different man, yet by some freudian logic she will want you to be something like her dad. If she comes from a father who is self-made, boys driving daddy bought cars won’t really intrigue her. If she comes from a working class hero, that is what she will find enticing. If she comes from a workaholic father, she will have no qualms sharing you with your work. But she expects you to love her more than she loves herself, because frankly thats how much her father probably does love her. (ehh now thats a huge pickle, ain’t it) Her father has gladly left you some very big shoes to fill.

5.  She feels guilty at first for choosing you over him

Idk how to explain this, but this is something I have observed myself doing in all my relationships. When in love, that feels true, this same girl starts choosing you over her father, starts feeling angry towards her father for even calling when you are around. I still need to see my psychiatrist maybe, to completely understand this. But what starts as a guilt, soon transforms into anger and then transferred love. Now, all of a sudden, you are the number one guy. 

But, before you get too elated. 

6. She wants you to take charge 

If you become the number one guy in a daddy’s girl life, she expects you to be as territorial and a man with the plan. I am not saying she will follow thru with your plans, and follow you around like a sheep, but she does expect you to be a man enough. Too much pressure for a guy whose like half her daddy’s age..ehh

Don’t fret the best is yet to come

7. They are as loyal as they come

They don’t believe men are out there to get them, as their father is probably an excellent example. They are actually one man women.

8. They will ape their fathers

I have seen that while in a relationship, I tend to become my father! This is a case-by-case hence cannot be explained further. 

Alrite, thats that. Find yourself one, or lol stay away from one. 

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Hi, I date inter-racially.

And when I do, I reach your probing eyes, sometimes you smile because you are happy that people like me exist, sometimes you are trying to keep a straight face, and I can see that. I get dirty looks too. And if you are someone from my race, you give me third and fourth looks, if you are someone from his race you still seem to accommodate more-thankyou! If you are an ignorant someone from his race, you like to call me “that little white girl” even on my fat days, yet I am Indian and I stand 5’6″ tall. It pinches, because you think I am nothing more than a light skinned girl-and that maybe he is dating me for my color.

If you are a guy from his race you look at me like I am fair game, and this hurts me even more, if you are a guy from any other race you are hell bent on to prove it to me that you are *big* down there too, and that is disgusting.

You have presumptions about me, because I am holding his hand. When you are a guy from my race, you think I am just playing around and that I am still fair game because I will never be serious about this dude, btw who told you that?

If you are an older person from my race you blatantly shake your head at me, as if I am committing a crime. I sincerely don’t need your judgments.

And you, yes you, the one I date, or I am dating, you doubt even my sincerest feelings for you sometimes, and that bloody hurts, your friends seem not to tell you otherwise, you call yourself “a huge waste of time” for me-and that hurts more than a thorn. Or when you think that I think that you are not good enough for me, when I am standing there doubting just whether I am even accepted in your damn heart, and maybe that gives me my weird expression. You think you are my fetish, that you are my ‘sexual experiment’, and even if its just a joke, that feels like an arrow thru my chest. I am aware of your color, I am aware of my skin too. We are only a few shades apart..

I have nothing against the guys of my race, nor do I have a thing for yours. Okay maybe I do, maybe I do like to date inter racially because I don’t like to bind myself to one kind. Yet, I just happen to be with you.

I just happen to be with him.

I just happen to be with him, because he makes me feel safe, because we laugh at the same things, because I can have a conversation with him without ever getting bored, I am with him because there is no dull moment between us, and even when we are laying un-groomed around his apartment, I still find him cute. Even when he hasn’t shaved in days or he packs in a few pounds, I still like him as much. I know what his every expression means, and he can read my mind. I like him because I can tell him anything, because I trust him. I think I like him because he is committed to his family and his work. And even though I am not religious myself, he is, and thats something I look for in a person I am with. I like him because he is a feminist. I like him because even on my bloated days, I go see him, and he looks at me like I am some goddess. Even when I am breaking out he doesn’t seem to care, if its broken he fixes it.

If it lacks luster. He polishes it.

And you know what, I leave it be like that, just so he can do it.

So next time you make a snippy comment, remember this, just because you are with your own race does not mean you will definitely have a successful relationship, the chances of you falling apart or making it as much as ours. And when you point one finger at me, remember three are pointing towards you.

And why are you still stuck in some medieval school of thought, if you don’t want to date inter-racially, just don’t! But don’t look at me in scorn 

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