Sunday, December 24, 2023


Seven lessons and Seven reasons to be grateful.

I am glad 2023 is over.

I began the year with abundant optimism but a few days into it, 2023 decided it wanted to shake things up and take me on a roller coaster ride. While I was trying to smile and scream simultaneously through the various loops it took me though, it taught me a few lessons and gave me many reasons to be grateful for this crazy ride.

 January, February and March looked a bit like this 

So here goes, 2023 – the year of the number 7. 


1.   I learned about loss, deceit, pain, hurt and fear. Most significantly, I grasped the concept of time – how swiftly it trickles by and yet how sluggish it sometimes can feel. 


2.   I learned that age creeps up on the people you’ve known to be the strongest. It’s a hard truth to swallow. I also realized that at some point in life, though I’m not sure when this pivotal moment happens, you morph into someone vividly reminiscent of your parent and suddenly, the roles reverse. 


3.   I learned that relationships take a lot of work. They necessitate honesty and transparency – It's a conscious commitment to love that one needs make every single day.


4.   I learned that some wounds are better left to form a thick scab. Attempting to scratch and delve with nails to try and heal often deepens the wound, and leaves a more significant scar.


5.   I learned that genuine friendships persist. Despite disagreements and arguments you find a way back to each other. 


6.   I learned that while it feels good to bend over backwards, it feels even better to stand tall and set some boundaries.


7.   I learned that spontaneity is not always the best decision, especially with words that can’t be taken back. 


At many points of the year, I thought I wouldn't survive another month. I was living in the fear of uncertainty, of losing control and of the unknown. 

April, May and June in Sunny Singapore 

But looking back, while each month felt like climbing Mount Everest, I had the helping hands of so many people and ropes to pull me up to make it to the finish line. 


So, while I’m glad 2023 is finally over and for the lessons it bought to me, I am also extremely grateful.

Views from July, August and September 


1.   I am grateful for a blunt therapist, a gentle Reiki Grand Master, an intriguing Brazilian astrologer, a stern yet sweet breath work teacher, my tarot cards, the power of Reiki, the magic of crystals and all the teachers and healers I connected with this year. 


2.   I am grateful for reconnecting with friends and having them back in my life. 


3.   I am grateful that while there were so many narrow escapes with the health of my loved ones, they had the best care one could ask for. 


4.   I am grateful for my job and colleagues who inspire me each day to do better and aim higher.


5.   I am grateful for the healing power of furry cuddles.


6.   I am grateful that even in the darkest of days, I decided to choose love. 


7.   I am grateful that my heart, mind, and body have endured tough times and challenging situations while still thriving - strongly and fiercely. 


Thank you, 2023 for your lessons and making me stronger. 

Ending 2023 with some memories of October, November and December 

I’m welcoming 2024 with the hope that it will be kinder, healthier, and more joyful. I hope it will bring clarity and magic, so that the things that don’t serve a purpose will drift away, and the things that do will somehow find a way to stick around. 💛💫⭐

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Ten things I am grateful for this year – 2022 edition


1.     I am grateful for my home. This lovely, light filled apartment that gives me solace every single day. 


2.     I am grateful for unconditional love, puppy eyes and soft cuddles. I cannot explain the love I feel for Chai, isn’t motherly instinct for a pet a thing? 


3.     I am grateful for finding my tribe, there are days when I want to retire as soon as I can and there are days when I am inspired every hour of the day. Thankfully, the latter outdo the former. 


4.     I am grateful for loved ones who stand by me, celebrate me and are there for me no matter what 


5.     I am grateful for love that is not perfect but strives to be an inch closer to perfection every single day 


6.     I am grateful for letting go of the urge to be liked and in turn letting go of people who didn’t need me anymore


7.     I am grateful for help at home and the comfort it brings to our lives 


8.     I am grateful for travel, access, and the freedom to fly again 


9.     I am grateful for health and the freedom it brings


10.  I am grateful for this little family I have the honor to build and create. Our little haven on the red dot

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

In 2021, I promise to....

 In 2021, I promise to….


Never take a hug for granted.

Never compromise on my peace of mind.

Accept how my body is changing and love every single part of it, without criticism or judgement.

Never let someone else’s problems define how I feel about myself.

Constantly connect with people who knew me before I knew the world.

Give myself a pat on the back every now and then for my achievements. 

Make new traditions and carry forward the old ones.

Find pockets of happy moments each day.

Give up controlling things, people and situations that I cannot change. 

Walk towards the light, every single day.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

The Happy Umbrella

It was May 2009 when the Burj Khalifa was getting its finishing touches and skyrocketing cranes could be seen everywhere you looked. There was no Dubai Mall and the Sheikh Zayed Road did not shine as bright as it does today but there was an underlying sense of new beginnings in the dry, sandy air. 

I had just got my first ever passport stamp and I was in Dubai - jaw open and wide eyed, marvelling at the architecture, the speed at which we drove and the posh cars that overtook us. I remember the song Empire State of Mind playing on the radio and thinking to myself, if I can make it here, maybe, I can earn enough to buy a ticket to New York City one day. The universe was listening. 

Eleven months later, on the 7thof April 2010, with ten thousand Dirhams in my pocket, butterflies in my tummy and a big red American Tourister stuffed with shirts, pants and jackets from Marks and Spencer, I arrived in Dubai. 


I had a job, but I didn’t have an apartment, household necessities or even the knowledge that to get off the bus, I needed to press the stop button. In India, you just had to shout as loudly as you could for your voice to travel through a wave of bodies and across the bus for the driver to know that he needed to press the brakes for a passenger to deboard but in Dubai everything was so high-tech. 


The thing about being young and optimistic is that your faith is strong in the illusion that somehow things will work out by themselves. It took me a week to move to a studio apartment that had the biggest French windows, a whole wall as a wardrobe and was just a fifteen minutes’ walk to the Mall of Emirates Metro station.


Every day at 8.30am I set out in the piercing April heat to the metro, walking as fast as I could so the air conditioning at the station would soothe my parched skin.  And every day, I learnt something new. I would get over one fear to discover that I had developed a new one. Those daily walks to the metro station made me question my decision to move to Dubai. Even though I had been living alone for the past twelve years but this was a new experience. I was in a foreign land with little or no clue about what the next day would bring.


I was alone, I didn’t have a long term plan, I knew I was being paid peanuts at the job that I was doing and to add to my miseries my Marks and Spencer pant suits didn’t match up to the impeccably stitched couture I saw around me. Walking in the heat made me sweat and my cotton shirts wrinkle and just that was enough to bring down my confidence levels several notches.


Over the years I have become very particular about my space and comfort but that June these were the last things on my mind as I prepared my small home for the impending visit of my parents and Grandma (Dadda). The heat was at its peak and it was just the wrong time for anyone to visit Dubai, but I was excited as I furnished my home with a sofa bed and a mattress. As we all huddled together in that small studio with the minimal facilities the square footage didn’t matter. For our hearts were full. For them - overflowing with pride to see me making it on my own and for me just having them around – a sense of home that comes from the same stories being told over and over again, mom’s cooking and the uncountable hugs. I had missed it all so much.


Dadda would observe me get dressed every day in my professional pant suit with great pride. For a  woman who had defeated the odds that society and life threw at her, bought up three children on her own, found a job when it was unimaginable for women to work and demonstrated to us what commitment and hard work meant each and every day, the sheer joy of seeing her grandchild make a professional career in a foreign land was an out of world experience. 


She didn’t say much to me but I have always wondered about what must have gone through her mind then – did she think of me as the little girl who always wanted to share her food and wait for cuddles or did she marvel at the way in which that little girl was now all grown up, talking of topics she didn’t really understand. She failed in words, but I could see her eyes sparkle with pride every time she looked at me. Every day that she was in Dubai with me, she would watch me walk out in the sun and patiently listen to me complain in the evening about how hot it was, how I unsure I was about what I was doing and how much I would miss them once they went back. 


The day before they were to leave for India, Dadda got me a gift that she had picked up from Lulu supermarket. She gave me an umbrella because she didn’t like me walking in the scorching sun. I remember her telling me how proud she was of me and that I shouldn’t worry at all about what life would throw at me. All I needed to do was to believe in myself, be happy, be true to who I was, and the path would always uncover itself. 


What was more important to her was that I protect myself from the sun. 


When my studio apartment lease expired in April 2010, I moved to a one-bedroom apartment. I also found another job that paid me much more and helped me revamp my closet with clothes from Zara and stiletto heeled shoes. The Marks and Spencer pant suits were folded and kept on the top shelf and never really worn again. I realized that a fitted jacket with skinny jeans and pointed heels made me fit in and feel better. I got more stamps on my passport, even making it to NYC. I made new friends, learnt to drive, bought a car and slowly, along with the red American tourister everything from that first year in Dubai faded or was given to charity. 


But the one thing that remained with me was the umbrella that Dadda gifted me – my constant all weather companion. The brand name HAPPY always brought a smile to my face and it travelled with me to Europe, South America and Asia. It was thrown at the backseat of my car, shoved inside my work drawer and finally seven years later when it was time to leave Dubai, it accompanied me to Singapore. 


Back to square one in a foreign land and all alone once again, I explored rain-soaked Singapore with my Happy umbrella. I was anxious once again to prove myself. The umbrella was a constant reminder of Dadda and I felt comforted in the knowledge that there were people in the world who loved me unconditionally and even though Singapore felt like an endless work meeting, I would eventually crack the code to build a life here.


And just when Singapore was finally feeling less like a fast-paced meeting, COVID-19 hit us, and the world went on lockdown.


In the early months of the lockdown, my walks to the supermarket were the only things I looked forward to. Like everyone else around me, adjusting to working from home, dealing with the sense of uncertainty and loss of control was extremely hard. I stayed up many nights wondering if/when I could see my family – my constant cheerleaders, my backbone. I survived by telling myself that everyone, all over the world was going through similar anxieties but it was tough. My anxiousness impacted my work, my health and everything else around me. 


Yesterday, as I got dressed to leave for an appointment, I couldn’t find my Happy umbrella. I searched every corner of my home, the closets and other storage areas. I mentally kicked myself for not remembering what I had done with it and worse – where had I lost it. It is moments like this that make you realize that the smallest things can bring you comfort. Especially ones that connect you to unconditional love. 


My Happy umbrella – a companion that had been with me through scorching sun and thunderstorms, my connection to how far I had come, a memory of those who had stood by me and a constant reminder to always believe in myself had simply vanished. All of a sudden, the last six months came crashing down all around me. 


I called Dadda to tell her about the loss of the umbrella, but she didn’t remember anything about gifting it to me. She, however, said the same thing to me that she always does – be happy, be yourself – everything will work itself out. 


After a frantic, despondent, and somewhat tragic morning, I eventually found the umbrella in my handbag. Strange, how I never bothered to look for it in the one thing that was right in front of me. 


And that is how life is sometimes. We are so unnerved about not having control, not knowing what tomorrow will bring or if we will even survive the change that we forget to see the joys that are right there in front of us. As the rain poured down and I walked into the thunderstorm, I felt a sense of relief, realizing that one must be in the here and now and not look too far into the future. Just like the Happy Umbrella that wasn’t really lost, life too reveals its magic when we are least expecting it.  

If I can walk today in the rain and sun with my happy umbrella, and unapologetically be myself just like Dadda taught me, I think I will be alright and this too, shall pass. 




Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Here's To The Next Ten!

On the island of Gozo in Malta stand the Ä gantija temples. 5500 years in age, they are the second oldest existing manmade religious structures we know of. Unassuming at the first glance, they are simply a bunch of stones arranged in a flower like pattern on the top of a flat hill. What takes your breath away is the view of endless green pastures, painted over a inky, cotton adorned sky.

As you turn to enter the structure, the large stones tower over you as if they want to make you feel miniscule. In 1840, an Englishman decided to display his artistic abilities as graffiti on one of the stones. As my hand traces the 1840 etched on this stone for eternity, it hits me that I’m probably not the first one to do this. The man just before me did this and perhaps a few hundred people standing in the line at the entrance will do it too. Each one of us with our own little story to tell. 
How many eyes have seen the view from these temples and gasped at the sheer beauty nature has to offer? How many feet have walked these steps and wondered at our amazing ability as humans to dream, create, discover and destroy? 

In this very brief magical moment, I realise that even though I am a tiny speck in the vastness of time, I am so lucky to be a part of this insanely beautiful thing called life. 

This year and probably most of the last decade has been about movement. Sometimes slow but most often a whirlwind with bits of balance thrown in-between for sanity measures. 

Moving out of the homeland, creating a space called home, filling it with friends and family, watching a little boy grow up to be a teenager and our parents get older, overcoming fears, owning a car, falling in love, breaking someones heart, having my heart broken a few times, embracing the joy of solo travel, checking off bucket lists, learning to be alone and loving my own company, discovering where my soul is at peace, dancing, dreaming, exploring and when the chance presented itself, packing and moving again. 
As the decade ends, I have come full circle, once again, I am on the brink of a new adventure. 

As I walk away from the Ä gantija temples just a few hours before the decade ends, I wonder what the next ten years will bring? 

With the new adventures, places and people, I hope life continues to surprise. It never becomes boring and always makes me awestruck at its splendour. 

I hope I can find more time for things and people I love. I hope I can stand up to what I believe in and fight for what is right. 
I hope as a race, we overcome differences and break walls that are being built around us. We become better, stronger and happier individuals. 

I hope that a thousand years from now when another soul stands at the Ä gantija temples and traces the 1840 etching wondering at the millions who came before her, she is living this insanely beautiful thing called life in a green, happy, violence & hatred free world. 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Singapore Love Affair

A few weeks ago, Singapore and I celebrated our first anniversary. It wasn’t a fancy affair. In fact, I wasn’t even here to celebrate it. I danced the night away in Phuket, only raising a silent toast to our blossoming relationship from afar.

Like lovers who make inspirations for romance novels, we’ve had a classic partnership that feels like forever and yet so new.

Around four hundred days ago when I sat in an empty apartment with three suitcases and a dozen brown boxes, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I tried to predict how my life would turn out in the coming year and I drew a blank. 

I was starting from scratch, yet another time. I wondered if I was too old to make the change, find new friends and throw myself in to work that I was not acquainted with.

Leaving familiarity is one of the hardest things to do. We end up staying in relationships, places and jobs because we are accustomed to them. We take the same route to work, pick up our coffee from the café where the barista prepares our order in advance, we know the buttons to press with our colleagues, round up at the regular bar for a drink and have repeated conversations with our friends about jobs that suck and dreams that remain unfulfilled.

I was breaking my current rut but something inside me hoped that I wasn’t getting myself into another one.

When the plane took off from Dubai and I glanced at the fading lights for one last time, I wished on them. 

A year and some later, I think about that day in the apartment. I try to remember the uneasiness, but it’s gone. 
I try to picture myself, but I can’t. I see another person sitting around the brown boxes – anxious and confused.
I’m glad I don’t know that person.

Love should feel like home. It should be easy and yet make your heart beat just a little bit faster. It should make you smile even when it’s gloomy because you know that sunshine is right around the corner.

When I landed in Singapore and we exchanged glances for the first time, I didn’t expect to fall in love. It happened slowly, and it was in the long-drawn process that I tried to find little reasons to smile every day.

Waking up in an apartment that overlooks the river.

A short walk to work.

Learning to cycle again

New friends who feel like forever.


A job that doesn’t feel like one.

Embracing dim sum for breakfast.

Hundred and fifty dollars return tickets to Bali.

Happy hour.

Bartenders that know that you need gin & tonic at 5pm on a Friday evening.

The joy of having Sunday off.

Whatsapp calling.

Traveling for work.

Packing away heels and fancy clothes - embracing shorts and slippers.

Cooking at home.


Becoming content with nothingness.

A gym with a hair dryer that’s better than the one I have at home.

The unfamiliar is frightening but we seldom realise that it’s in the unknown that magic happens.

On the 15th of June 2017, seated in that plane, I wished for playfulness, I wished to discover a part of me that got a bit side lined over the years.

By searching tiny reasons to smile every day and through this exciting, surprising, playful ride over the past year, Singapore has taught me to be grateful. To give, receive and embrace love, once again, unconditionally.

I can't wait to see what you have planned for me next. 
Here’s to us, Singers.


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