The Lit Life | Ep. 04

Here is the latest episode for The Lit Life Podcast. If you enjoy listening to “against the grain” viewpoints and care about issues like racism, stereotypes, and hypocrisy in the Indo-Canadian culture — then have a listen!

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Snap out of it!

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted. For once, and yes I can confidently say this has never happened before –I vanished from social media because I just didn’t have a whole lot to say.

It seemed as though things were piling up against me to the point in which I wasn’t able to see the silver lining – and type about it too.

My book plans didn’t exactly pan out as anticipated, motherhood become overwhelmingly challenging when my toddler suddenly became strong enough to overpower me (both mentally and physically), and my relationship was just in a not so great place for a short while.

All in all, life was just kicking my ass – and I had a tough time pulling myself out of the slump I allowed myself to sink into.

Luckily, the on-goings of my life have always been cyclical – and after a low there’s always a high and I felt a great sense of perspective bringing relief after a family vacation in which I had the chance to really bond with my husband, son, and immediate family.

In my entire twenty-eight years of life I had never traveled with my father – so it’s safe to say I was delighted to be able to spend some quality time with my entire family (including my dad) during a short trip to California last week.

Seeing my niece and son rejoice in the simple joys of staring at the many attractions of Disneyland, and watching my mother and father laugh and bask in the sun along the shore of the charming beach we stumbled upon whilst driving home from a family wedding truly helped me remember what life is all about.

Life isn’t about becoming defeated when receiving your first true blow of rejection, or feeling near hopeless whilst engaging in the same ol’ arguments with your spouse – it’s about learning to soak in the moments which follow or are in between the not so great ones. The times which are there to remind you that even though things may not turn out the way you wish them to –there’s always another avenue through which you may find happiness, and it might not be down the path you previously assumed you’d find it.

I still haven’t given up on my goals of 2016, I do very much so intend to publish my fiction novel, clean up the loose ends of my personal life which are a incessant nuisance, and try my very best to give motherhood my all each and every day. But I have also learned that it is not the end of the world if you do not succeed the first, second, or even third time around while trying to accomplish something. I’ve learned to bask in the sun even if it’s only peaking through the clouds in small glimmers.

I hope anyone whose currently in a rut finds a small moment which provides them with some enlightenment and subsequent happiness. Because after all, life’s more about the journey rather than the destination.

Have a wonderful rest of your week everyone and thanks for sticking by while I took a short break from the world of literature!

-Amrita Literature

Happily Never After – The Truth About Indian Relationships

I’ve been in a relationship ever since chingy was the number one artist in the world of Hip Hop and R&B. My singificant other and I skipped school together, grew our own identities yet managed to remain close, and formed a rollarcoaster of a life including a hoot of a three year marriage and a rambunctious little one year old.

Every now and then I come across someone who tells me how so very LUCKY I am to have a husband. As if it’s a rare jackpot of a scenario to find and marry someone you can actually stand (for the most part). When I ask these subtly glum individuals if they’re seeing anyone or getting married soon – since they’re typically my peers or slightly younger – they simply respond that “there’s no good (guys or girls) left out there.”

I usually can’t comprehend exactly what this means. “Good” meaning they do their own dishes and mind their p’s and q’s? Or good as in meet their checklist of standards for their dream significant other? Then I’m usually forced to listen to their horror stories of past relationship failures and cringeworthy stories of the dating world (aka club scene) in Vancouver.

I just can’t help but wonder, where have all the good girls and guys gone to hideaway?

If there’s a seemingly equal amount of guys and girls on the prowl, who are all looking to settle down with smart, attractive, and successful individuals, then why can’t they seem to simply make their way to one another?

Here’s my theory..(and you all knew there had to be one). The reason people are getting married later and later and more and more engagements/relationships are being called off is because people have built up an unrealistic ideal of what it means to be in a relationship. We grow up watching television programs and movies which depict relationships amongst people of a complete different background and upbringing.

Not to mention the fact that in current day, social media makes it appear like those of us married with kids or simply in a relationship are just picture perfectly happy on and off the screen. Here’s the cold hard truth though, ain’t nobody pulling out chairs for us and showering us with bouquets unexpected flowers. Just sit there and smile as you sip your Mc Donald’s coke with Crown mixed into it on “date night.” That’s about as much wining and dining you’re going to get honey.

Our men (the Indo-Canadian ones) simply haven’t been raised in the manner to be these respectful chivalrous gentlemen which we have so pine-fully dreamt of our entire adolescent years. This ideal image we have created of what our perfect mate should be like is much too unattainable for the simple fact that – they don’t exist.

Now I like to keep things fairly unbiased and impartial so I don’t want to seem like I’m bashing all apnay (Indian) men here. I’ve heard plenty of guys complain about the fact there aren’t any “good” girls out there either. Well to you all I’ve got to say – where are ya’ll lookin? ‘Coz if it’s in the lineup to caprice (is that still a club?) then you best get your butt enrolled in a post-secondary institute of some sort and begin your hunt for a good wife there.

Book smarts tend to equal a well rounded individual – for the most part. So shape up your expectations and start looking in the right places. What you surround yourself with, and how you behave, is what you will attract.

Be the man you’d want your sister to be with, and be the woman you’d expect your daughter to be – and maybe, just maybe, you’ll come across that special someone, get married, and then bitch about the fact they’re nothing, nothing at all like Ryan Gosling or even Prince Adam from the little mermaid for that matter.

What does everyone think about this? Am I being overly pessimistic? Is it right to hold out for “the one?” Or is it time to accept that there’s only one way to get married – by lowering your standards and expectations and just settling for a secure and comfortable life.

Please do let me know in the comment section below or on my Facebook like page!

November 25th 

Two years ago today I lost my grandmother. The days leading up to this life changing event were some the most intense and painful times I had ever experienced. But as through any difficult experience it ultimately led to growth and change – for the better. At the time it felt like this was something that I was never going to be able to “bounce” back from. I felt forever changed, this much was true. Although time did heal the pain to be much more bearable there is no denying that things changed drastically after the head of our family left this world.

Now after having a child and so many changes having occurred since my grandmother left us I have realized one key thing – family is everything.

I feel like a lot of us grow up taking our family forgranted. We feel protected by them and their so much a part of our daily life that we see them as permanent fixtures which could never be taken away or change.

What ends up happening is you get a little bit older and wish for some independence and autonomy. When that doesn’t happen we blame them for all our shortcomings and distance ourselves from them.

During this time we might feel like we are “finding ourselves.” But really we are just experimenting with being on our own without our families.

Eventually you grow old and wise enough to realize that this is what life’s all about. Either being close to family or when the time and circumstances are right – creating your own.

I truly believe a lot of the meaning of life begins and ends with the strength of a happy family. If one has a strong base to grow from and always return to, they will be more well rounded and better functioning individuals.

So take a look around you and appreciate what you have. And if you don’t feel what you have is enough, then you can always create your own family and spread love and light through your own efforts.

I was thinking of my grandmother today and just felt like putting up a post for her. She’s the one who made me realize just how important it is to keep the cycle of life going. Love you forever Bibi, hope you’re happy wherever you are.

Why women nag


The other day my cousin (who just so also happens to be my very best friend) asked me why I think women feel the need to nag.

 
Now this girl is the most easy going and simplistically pleased gal there is. So if even SHE felt the urge to nag at the male species then this definitely is a gender specific tendency.

 
Let’s just generalize here and say all women do at some point or another nag at their other halves. Some more than others, some more ferociously than others, and some to the point of where everything and anything a man does just isn’t right.

 
So the question comes back to being – why? Why has it been hot wired in us to be constantly dissatisfied or wanting more from our significant other?

 
Well I gave it some thought and I realized that perhaps it’s not about them at all. Maybe they are doing everything just right and to the best of their abilities and we just don’t see it that way. Maybe the problem is actually us.

 
Crazy. I know. But just think about it for a moment. Have you ever noticed that you are never capable of just being completely gratified with the present moment? Like you are constantly wanting more, needing more, and most importantly expecting more.

 
To be completely satisfied and happy is a rare occurrence for us women. We seldom live in the moment. We have so much on our plate that we are always ten steps ahead thinking about what needs to be done in order to better ourselves, our lives, and those around us and subsequently their lives as well.

 
But the key aspect to this all is that we look outside ourselves for happiness. Our current mood, or general level of satisfaction is typically contingent upon how our male counterpart treated us or behaved with us that day.
So when we don’t have it all then we blame the person we think shud be making us happy.

 
This is the exact opposite of the concept of self actualization. Which is meant to be synonymous with true contentment with ones life.

 
If I don’t have you quite convinced just picture this: Your guy blows you off last minute to hang out with his friends – don’t even try to deny that it completely spoils your mood and rest of your day and maybe even the next.

 
We wait for him to come home, for him to plan our next date, to bring us some sort of surprise. To be our happiness. To put a smile on our faces. And when they don’t – when they fall short of the imaginary version of the relationship we envision – we nag.

 
We b*tch, moan, and complain that he’s not DOING enough, he’s not being enough, he ISN’T enough. Yet maybe he’s giving it all he’s got.

 
This is all simply my opinion. My intent is not to belittle a woman’s mind and heart but rather draw attention to some general tendencies I have noticed amongst my peers and myself included.

 
What are all your thoughts? Have you noticed that you allow men to be in the driver seat of your happiness? How often to you find yourself complaining or nagging? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

SHOW ME YOUR PHONE!

The other day I was wandering around downtown Vancouver with my husband and baby. A little bit up the street from us I saw a woman visibly upset and shouting at her boyfriend or husband. He was attempting to comfort her and calm her down but he wasn’t having much luck. She was super angry and kept gesturing to his pocket. I got kind of nervous to cross their path with my baby (being the super cautious Type A momma bear I am) so we kind of just slowed down and decided to let them have their moment.

Then came the line we’ve all exclaimed to our significant other at one point or another, “Show me your phone!” The woman screamed at him with all of her fury and might. He nervously laughed but didn’t dare pull out his phone. And then it hit me. The realization that technology has truly changed the way relationships are nowadays. Gone are the days of monogamy and trust. It’s just all too easy to cyber cheat. Or have phones hide the dirty work of actual cheat cheating. So you just got to wonder – where do you draw the line?

What’s considered cheating to you? Is it one too many likes on another girl’s picture? Or maybe it’s secret deleted convos from last weekends drunken hookups. Texting and emails have made having a little somthin’ somthin’ on the side all too casual. Not to mention the major trust issues it has caused. I can’t count the amount of times I have misinterpreted something I saw in my husband’s phone which turned me into Inspector Gadget going through every single aspect of his online life.

It’s a sad time for love. If that’s what you even want to call it. Where did that ‘old school love go?’ The kind where if you’re with someone you’re really with someone. You’re not in so called “open relationships.” Where the lines of commitment are blurred and overstepped one too many times. No one even fears going for another person’s significant other anymore because being secretive is just all too easy with cell phones and computers to hide behind.

We’re all losing our moral consciences and subsequently relationships are losing that intimacy, respect, and trust factor. I do wonder when the turning point will come. I am lucky enough to be in a fully committed relationship in which I have seldom to worry about. But the fact remains that marriages are having more and more riding against them these days. It’s no wonder people are breaking up and throwing in the towel left, right, and centre. The world being your oyster isn’t always a good thing.

We are receiving the false impression that there’s always so much better out there for us. The temptation is all too real and it’s following us like a plague every waking moment. What do you see all over your social media feeds? Men and women alike portraying their very best sexualized versions of themselves to attract the opposite sex, or make their significant others jealous. Maybe this is a huge generalization. But I tell ya it’s not far from the truth. We’ve all got to be careful of what image we are putting out the world because that’s the one being thrown right back at us. And the mentality of fun and carefree living is not helping us much in the long run that’s for sure.

Then there’s the question of just how far is too far when it comes being secretive of our phones. Well yes it’s blatantly obvious that you are not being faithful if the reason you protect your phone like it’s your handheld pacemaker or something is because you are speaking to someone else inappropriately on it. This is clear cut infidelity. But what about pornography? What about all those borderline nude photo accounts you follow? How about the girl or guy that you are “just friends with” and casually text here and there? If you wouldn’t do it in the flesh in front of your partner – then what makes it okay in pixel format?

Not to mention the fact that quality time with one another has now turned into being honed into our phones the entire time. I find myself guilty of this as well. I’ll be so occupied with updating my various social media outlets or writing random tidbits into my phone for future post ideas that I don’t realize I am completely ignoring my husband. And of course he is at times so consumed with his own phones that he’s doing it right back and neither of us realize it. Maybe it’s time to drawback and unplug for a while in order to reconnect to one another once again.

Just another one of my random thoughts which turned into a major realization. So the next time he or she demands to see your phone. Just hand it on over – and if she discovers something which sparks a fight, well maybe you two need to question if you’re actually better off single and doing whatever you’re doing out in the open. It would be a lot better of a feeling than being in constant lockdown secret mode with your partner.

What are your thoughts about this topic? Feel free to leave a comment below!

Originally posted on: www.amritaliterature.com

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One Big Circus Act

Motorbikes, horses, entertainment, and luxurious jewelry and attire – no I am not talking about a circus, just your good ol’ run of the mill Indian wedding.

Growing up just like every other little girl I sat in awe as I accompanied my parents to family functions and weddings. I loved the shiny flashy outfits, the loud music, and general happy buzz in the air. I remember when my cousin got married when I was six years old. I felt the excitement of family coming together from all around the world to celebrate. It was my first dose of what was soon to become a whole big production.

The difference is back then reception decor consisted of paper bells hung on the walls and a string of helium balloons above the head table. The happy couple popped their $30 champagne, cut their $50 cake, and danced their way through the night with maximum 100 of their closest family and friends. It was an event you looked forward to for weeks and you thoroughly enjoyed because it was about two people joining their lives together and celebrating this union with their loved ones.

Fast forward some 15 years or so and now every weekend there are dozens of weddings occurring simultaneously at various temples in the metro-Vancouver area. And each of these weddings symbolizes not the love between a couple – sure there’s that too (most of the time) but rather a price tag. It’s about who booked the most popular makeup artists and will pop up on everyones news feeds before they even finish the fourth “laav.” Who hired the most expensive caterers, dj’s, and booked the best venue. Up to tens of thousands of dollars are spent on hair, makeup, jewelry, clothing, food, decor, photographers, and the list goes on. Weddings are more of a circus act than anything else. A grand entrance must be made, and sometimes (as seen in a recent viral video showcasing an unfortunate groom and a horse) these entrances can go wrong, very wrong. This is where you just got to stop to think – why have we raised the bar so high? Why do we need our dad’s, uncle’s, best friend’s, daughter’s father-in-law to be sitting front and centre. Is this all just one big opportunity to show off and prove who loves their kids enough to spoil them with a week of extravagant events that do nothing more than exhaust the poor couple?

Not to say I’m not grateful for my own wedding. I remember feeling infuriated when my sister would question – but does she REALLY need that? It’s all going to be over soon and no ones going to notice if you do or don’t do or have things as perfect as the next person. Well, after it’s all said and done, I realize it was a big huge waste of money. I wish I had spent half as much time and effort into getting to know what my life would be like AFTER the wedding was over rather than planning and focusing on something that was only going to last a few days. I was so consumed with the event that I forgot what it was all about! Boy was I in for a shocker when my life was turned inside out and upside down upon being oh so very blessed with the “wife” and “daughter-in-law” title. Bottom line – the focus should be on the MARRIAGE, not just the wedding.

At the end of the day I suppose to each their own. If it’s ones life prerogative to have fire throwing dancers and enter their reception on a motorbike with their dolled up wife perched sideways behind them – then all the power to ya my friends. But I really think our priorities need to be second guessed here because it seems things are getting a little out of hand. What’s next – having caged lions and real diamond encrusted outfits? Hm, that gives me a idea – perhaps it is time to start planning my son’s over the top first birthday party now ;).

Are you filtering your life away?

So it’s no secret that today’s day and age is all about social media and how we portray ourselves on it. We are all constantly plugged in and connected to one another via the online image we create in our daily (sometimes hourly) updates. But what is missing from this webosphere is the ability to really see the true version of someone. We filter and choose what side we decide to “publicize” to the world. What’s left is the inability to feel confident in your true self in “the real world.”

If you are constantly finding that best angle, the shiniest flawless filter, or the wittiest caption – how will you ever feel comfortable with just being you. Flaws and all, no pixels, just real life flesh and blood. Awkward statements, uneven skin tone, and maybe a few pudgy areas around your waistline. There’s no way to sugar coat who you really are in person as you do online. Are we losing the ability to be completely real with one another? Are we all just walking talking virtual versions of ourselves? With walls up to make sure no one gets in and sees that we are not the picture perfect or snap chat happy person we pretend to be.

So much of our day is consumed by trying to impress others. Trying to APPEAR superior. Heck I do it too. Lately I find myself posting a whole lot of my son because I enjoy putting it out there that he’s pretty dang spectacular. So by default that makes me pretty awesome too.

What I fear though is that future generations will have subsequent feelings of insecurity and disconnect due to this culture of creating virtual bubbles to keep people out. Will anyone ever share secrets or be okay with being vulnerable or inferior? Will we be okay with showing that today we did diddly squat other than lay around all day with greasy hair and an unwashed face?

If we’re all about the image – how will we ever learn to see past that? I fear for what this will mean for friendships, relationships, and families. The more we boast ourselves up online the further we are straying from true human interaction.

Just something to think about the next time you’re scrolling through those filters. Maybe we all need to start “liking” ourselves and one another just the way we are.

5 times you MUST get out of a relationship

They say summertime is “break up season” because everybody just wants to be carefree and check out some
other fish in the sea. Well, these are usually more casual and less committed relationships. But, what I want to discuss in today’s post is the relationships which are of a more mature but no less destructive construct. The relationships in which everyone but those involved can see this couple is just not right for each other. Yet these two individuals cling on to one another. Be it for comfort, familiarity, fear of the unknown, or just because they’re too damn lazy to do anything about their unhappiness.

Perhaps it’s the case that one person has lost interest but the other hasn’t. Have you ever been around a couple in which one partner just completely obliterates the other persons self esteem on a daily basis? It’s like their very existence irritates them in one way or another. Well, to them I say, why not set them free then? Why continue to make someone miserable just for the sake of not wanting to let them go? Does your fear of being alone run that deep? That you would rather make someone’s everyday life absolutely hell in order to live comfortable in yours.

There are many reasons for certain relationships not working out. But I think it all boils down to these five times I would say it is time to throw in the towel for a relationship.

1.) When you are constantly miserable or seem to be making your significant other miserable. Nobody likes feeling like shit, and no matter what it seems like they probably don’t like belittling someone and making them feel like shit either. If you can’t remember the last time you and your ‘loved one’ shared a good laugh or a good time then chances are they just aren’t making you happy anymore and vice versa. Perhaps it’s the annoying habits you used to find cute. Or it could be that you just don’t agree with the life path they’re on. Maybe it’s their friends or family – whatever it is, if you’re not happy, it’s time to make a quick exit strategy and find a way to change that!

2.) When you’re living in the past. Perhaps one of you acted less than loyal at some point in time. Maybe it was a major incident, or a minor one, whatever it may be if it’s too big to shake off, and is being repeatedly brought up, it’s time to stop trying to turn the page on what happened, and forget about each other instead!

3.) When the bad outweighs the good. Sure everyone has their ups and downs. Things can’t be amazingly spectacular at all times. But if you feel unsafe, unhappy, or uneasy at any point in time in your relationship. It’s time to call it quits! Nobody should ever have the authority to pop your happy bubble and make your life negative when you very well would be much better off without them!

4.) When you are constantly fighting. Chances are you’re doing so publicly and your friends and family have dropped some subtle and some not so subtle hints that perhaps it’s time to move on. So before things get out of hand, take a deep breath and suggest you guys take a collective breather from one another, maybe a permanent one!

5.) Last but not least: before you turn into a infidel – when you begin to notice your interest is repeatedly caught elsewhere, it might just be time to stop sneaking looks and flirty banter on the down low – and make it be know that you’d just rather be single and ready to mingle. Rather than tied down with a frown.

(Note: This goes without saying but if you are in a abusive or otherwise unhealthy relationship there is NO justification for staying in such a situation. No matter which way you may internally excuse this these types of scenarios are unacceptable and please tell someone and/or get help any way possible ASAP).

Love, Marriage, and the Baby Carriage!

I feel like these images my sister-in-law (Erin Sandhu of Ek Art Photography) took perfectly capture the love my husband has for our son. We are so lucky we get to have all these moments frozen in time with all these photoshoots!

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The entrance of my son into my life has made me understand why they say a lasting marriage requires you to fall in love with the same person multiple times. With life’s changes and ups and downs you see new aspects in one another which will either make or break you as a couple. You either grow together and become stronger, or you falter and grow apart.

I have known my husband for a very long time – over a decade. In my first year of marriage everything felt so exciting and new that we were finally “together together.” After sometime I felt like there was no way I could possibly love him more. I believed I knew everything and anything about him. His likes and dislikes, his pet-peeves, the childhood stories which he would repeatedly recount and I would smile along as if it was the first time hearing it. Everything felt very comfortable. We knew each other inside and out and everything felt very routine and safe with him.

I was never expecting to learn new things about him or see a new side to him be brought out by the birth of our son. I knew he was patient, kind, and caring but now he simply amazes me with just how loving he really is. He manages to care for him wonderfully while working without any days off or breaks. He is determined to succeed not only in the professional world but as a father and husband as well.

I sometimes catch myself watching the gentle manner with which he handles our son. It is in these moments I am falling in love with him all over again. I can definitely say he’s handling it all a lot better than I am. And in my moments of weakness he is my strength and he is the one who gets me through, helping me to always remember the big picture – that times of hardship are temporary. Now, as we all find our way as a family and I have seen the way for which he cares for both of us I feel sure that although it may not always feel like it, we are all going to be okay and only grow deeper in love along the way.