Here’s to the annual ‘how did this year’ go post as we transition into a new year.

Honestly the answer is “in the blink of an eye”. The thing is, this year was very different from the years in the past decade. Previously, there was a lot of learning, a lot of growing, a lot of changes both externally and internally happening depending on what year it was and what was happening. This year was all about stability.

This year was different in the sense that I reached a place of zen in my life. For once, nothing was different. Except for a few health based hiccups that resolved with time… The year just ended. I’m happier. I’ve become one with whatever wisdom I’ve gained in prior years.

I’m genuinely happy. Yes the people around me have helped, but my happiness for once isn’t dependent on anyone else but myself.

Covid is still going on? – no big deal… it is what it is just keep doing what I can to obstruct it

Life didn’t go as planned? There’s plenty of time and if I run out of time to do whatever, then I’ll just find a better way to replace that time.

People, close ones, who have been given way too many chances just can’t seem to treat me with love, care, respect? It’s okay, can’t force love on someone anyway, I know I’m a good person. I’m happy. I’m thriving. I’m not the problem so I’m not going to entertain the people who don’t deserve to be entertained anymore.

Instead I chose to focus on all the love this year brought has brought me.

A closer relationship with my in laws who believe it or not behave more like blood family than even blood family itself for which I am so blessed.

A husband who plays multiple roles in my life to ensure my safety, security, and stability.

An entire huge long lost branch of my family that we finally reconnected with thanks to genetic testing!

Friends old and new who continue to make me SO happy. I got closer to friends I hadn’t seen in so long. And with all friends, work friends, old work friends, America friends, India friends, kids 10 years younger than me, uncles and aunties 20 years older than me – every interaction felt so much more personal and close. Late night convos, smiles plastered onto our faces because the convos are just too funny. Just too warm. Intimate. Happy. These are the amazing people who fill all the gaps that family and spouses naturally can’t – so guys we have to give more credit to friends than Indian culture usually does. Friends are not outsiders. They are the family we choose with our hearts! It’s the family that is always growing because the heart has an unlimited amount of space!

Basically all in all, except for very few transient things, it was a very normal year (which is abnormal in itself). The only thing that changed is that I finally distanced myself from all things toxic for my health by officially breaking ties with anyone or anything that threatened my sanity, and only allowed the love in my heart to grow.

On this last day on 2021, though the world is still up in flames thanks to COVID, I am finally at peace. It’s a year I’m thankful for 🙏🏼

Now to see what 2022 has to bring.

Magnetic Souls

Have you ever met a person with whom you felt a strange almost magnetic pull towards in the very first moment you met them?

We meet new people all the time. Some of them go on to become our best friends, some even lovers or spouses. But the type of person I’m talking about here doesn’t necessarily fall into any of these categories. This person may or may not be an important part of our lives. Heck, they may not even hold any sort of special title in our lives. No, this bond is unnamed, and yet it has a stronger pull than magnets.

What to call such a bond? It could happen with anyone really, outside the boundaries of age or gender. It could be the sweet grandmotherly woman you helped out on the street, or it could be the toddler boy who grabbed your leg for a second thinking you were his mother. It could be that random person with piercing soulful eyes at the wedding party whose aura shined brighter than anyone else’s in the room, or… it could also be the young man halfway across the world who you’ll never see again selling you a product from his shop.

I’m never sure what to do with people like these when I meet them. A temporary interaction feels wrong, it should be more permanent. Denying this stranger a close bond under any circumstances feels unnatural. Giving the unknown so much importance is considered wrong in our society, but that wrong feels right. Why is there such soulful depth to these existent non-existent relationships? Is it because the universe meant for that bond to exist and therefore we must respect it? No matter how much we try to forget it or separate from it, it is something we have no control over.

What gives the feeling of, “I feel like I’ve known you forever” when it’s only been a few minutes? What gives the feeling of, “I can’t stay away even if I want to, even if I should”. The feeling of, “I care about your wellbeing even though I don’t really know you”. Is it proof that we’ve had past lives wherein said person held an incredibly powerful position? Or maybe they didn’t, but we happened to know them in another lifetime so their aura calls to us and gives us the feeling of home? It’s kind of like meeting that Aunty who has a similar personality to your mom, so you are naturally drawn to sticking around her at social events – but across several lifetimes.

Quite literally speaking, when two magnets are stuck together and you try to pull them apart, they fight all opposing forces to try and stay together. Sure, we can pull them apart if our force outpowers theirs, but regardless of our strength and the high potential for their failure – the force pulling them together never ceases to exist. Put in close enough proximity to one another, they’ll snap right back together as though they were never separated. In fact, they’ll snap tightly together even if they’ve never “seen” each other before.

The magnetic pull between two souls feels the same way. As much as you try to minimize their importance, their existence, their pull – you just can’t. You don’t necessarily have to have any emotions towards that person, or care for them in anyway even – but nevertheless their presence pulls you closer to them. Their soul makes you feel like you’re finally in the right place.

This is what the pull between two magnetic souls feels like. And blessed are those of us who have experienced the nonverbal tug, the nonverbal closeness of it at least once in our lives.

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Self love part I

The past few weeks I’ve been having intense convos with multiple people about “self-love” so today I want to start writing a multi part series about it. While it’s a long journey, I personally have reached a place of self-content thanks to the amazing support system I’ve had, but I realized that there are people around me who now need the push I once got.

This isn’t just my story. It’s many of ours.

Life is beautiful. Life also sucks. Amazing things happen in life – like making new friends, achieving goals, falling in love. Horrible things happen too – the people who are supposed to love us, don’t. We are unsuccessful at meeting goals. The people we trust cheat us. The lists could go on…

Over the years I’ve noticed that we all tie a lot of our self worth to the actions of other people. She didn’t love me, I must not be worthy of being loved. He cheated me, I must have deserved it. They didn’t protect me, I must be disposable. I must have no value.

I don’t deserve to be happy.

I. Don’t. Deserve. To. Be. Happy.

And slowly but steadily, this one small thought, put in our minds by the actions of others, becomes a belief we stick to more strongly that religious fanatics stick to their religions.


Why do we give other people so much importance that we allow their behavior towards us to dictate how we perceive ourselves?? If no one knows me better than myself, then why don’t I trust myself over others??

After the immense trauma I went through a few years ago it’s been a long long journey towards healing, but I can’t blame it all on those few very scary years. The truth is that the seeds of self doubt had been planted at a much younger age. Was it not being Indian/American enough? Was it being born a girl? Was it being too skinny? Was it not being tall enough. Not fair enough, pretty enough, smart enough? A different race? A different religion? What was it??

No matter how “enough” I wasn’t, the fact is that I was always still a human. I was always still deserving of love and protection and care! We all are… but unfortunately, the world is sadistic, existing to bog us down.

It didn’t take long for the uncontrollable horrible truths of the world to slap me in the face and in no time I started believing – I deserve to be unhappy. It was after that point that the self sabotage started. If I was happy I would find a way to minimize myself. I would create worst case scenarios in my head and let myself physically feel the pain of them because all of a sudden pain was the state of mind that I felt the most comfortable in because that’s what I deserved.

Or so I thought.

Inflicting pain on oneself is unnatural. Imagine the duration of and the degree of mental manipulation that had occurred to get me to this space. I had successfully allowed people who didn’t care about me to dictate what my identity was.

Pain. Rejection. Disposability.

Then one day, I woke up. And thank goodness that I did. One day as I was wallowing in my misery, I thought to myself:

I’m a good person. I care about people from deep within.

I’m an empath.

I am successful.

The world is full of 8 billion people. Sure there are people triggering my self doubt… but there are a lot more people who love me (like my husband! And my best friends!). There are people who admire me. Want me in their lives. Who care for me, who fight for me. Who do have my back!

I am worth it.

Why had I spent so many years giving importance to the people who constantly broke my resolve while conveniently ignoring the people who wanted to help build me up?

In fact, forget people, both the good and the bad. Why didn’t I pay attention to myself??

As I said above, no one on this planet knows me better than myself. No one loves me more than I do. Then why wasn’t I taking care of myself? Why wasn’t I focusing on all the amazing things about me? Why wasn’t I tying my self worth to my own knowledge of me!

I’m strong. I’m independent. I’m capable.

I love myself. I deserve to be happy. I deserve to be surrounded with love. I am indispensable.

Truth is, it took half a decade and counting for me to even start believing these words. It has by far been the hardest journey I have ever taken. Harder than any form of neglect or abuse I have ever endured. But no matter how hard it is, fact is that self love is the most important thing every person must ensure they have in their lives.

It’s not easy but we all have to start somewhere. For those of you who have never had to take this journey, good for you. For those of you who have been in my old shoes – let today be the day you start telling yourself the right positive things about yourself.

It may seem like a lie today, but I promise that eventually you’ll start believing. Eventually you’ll start loving yourself. Eventually, you’ll start trusting your own version of you.

The most accurate version of you.

Home in another place <3

“Sayli ahe ka ghari?” ‘Is Sayli home?’

These simple words spoken to my MIL by my friend Ashwini touched my soul so deeply in that moment! What was so exciting about hearing something so common?

To give a little background – we were in India and I was actually going to be leaving for America later that night. I had already seen my friends the night before for dinner, and that same morning I had seen Ashwini and her husband Mrugank again at the COVID testing lab. After our tests, I had said my goodbyes to Mrugank since he had to go to work after. Ashwini had mentioned she would stop by later, but somehow in that moment the way she did it, took me back to a younger time!

The last time someone came knocking to ask a parental figure if I was at home and/or free was when I was 9 years old and my friends wanted me to come out and play. That way of checking in person to see if a friend was in was so sweet! In recent times, it’s usually a text or a call announcing that someone plans to head over followed by a long wait until they finally arrive. Of course, that’s always more convenient but there are emotions tied to old memories okay! Ashwini’s arrival and hearing her voice ask my MIL the question before I could see her took me back to that childhood memory.

I had a similar feeling earlier that day as well. As I was sitting in the balcony chatting with my cousin who I hadn’t seen in years, our other friends (Abhinav and Neha) pulled up on their bike downstairs. I was filled with delight seeing the two as my husband asked them what they were up to. “We’re stopping by to say bye to Sayli!”. Once again I was caught by surprise because people were showing up places in India… looking for me!

Of course our friend’s actions were completely natural and even expected perhaps! But the fact is, I think our life and social practices in America are so different that these things don’t really happen. I wasn’t expecting anyone to come in person and say goodbye, maybe shoot a text, but certainly not stop by! The truth is I’m that weird person who attaches an emotion to everyone’s actions, and notices every small little nice thing people do for me. Heck, I’m that weird person that becomes delightfully sentimental about everything!

But in this case why shouldn’t I be?

It may have taken 31 years… but for the first time, these people, these friends… my extended family…. Made me feel truly at home on the opposite side of the world ❤️

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The people I met, the bonds that grew

Early December 2021

Ding dong, the doorbell rang at my in laws place.

I got up in my newly bought Indian nightgown (that only moms wear but I was SO HOT and needed some air 🤣). I opened the door not knowing that yet another pivotal life moment was about to occur, you know, the kind that occurs every time you meet someone you’ll shortly connect with on a more than just an acquaintances level.

Two brothers stood on the other side of the door. “Pull the door behind you” I said as I welcomed these soon not to be strangers in. They both stared at me for a second cause I sounded weird (weird American accent and all).

The rest is history.


In all honesty, over the course of this India trip preparing for my Sister in law’s wedding, I came across many people I connected with on a much deeper level than just the generic acquaintance I won’t remember tomorrow.

Whether it was dance practices, or getting our nails done, or decorating for the mehndi party – I was blessed to meet the sweetest people that I would have befriended independently of an intermediary had our paths crossed organically. There was no boundary of gender, no boundary of age as I am pretty sure some of the girls were a good 10 years younger than me, or aunties were old enough to be my mom. I connected with each of them the exact same!

The day I left, I had tears in my eyes for the first time ever leaving India… trust me when I say I *never* cry leaving India because I’m just so excited to get back home. But that day, I did. I could have done with 3-4 days more to get the full closure I needed with all the friends and family I would soon leave behind. In the hustle and bustle of the wedding, I needed just a few more post wedding hours with each person or group to feel content with going home. *I’m going to write more in depth separately about my already existing friends in a separate blog*

I kept telling people the feeling I felt was bittersweet because that’s what I usually feel. But now that I’m hardly an hour from touching down SFO, I realize the feeling was just bitter.

I met so many new people, each one changing my life for the better, but the best part of this trip was that I got to know my in laws better. When my sister in law left (albeit very briefly) I felt extremely lost in the house. I couldn’t do without her presence! I had long chats with my mother in law, and jokes with my Father in law. During your own wedding you’re so busy you don’t get a chance to really bond, especially as a foreigner, but this time we finally got to do that! I also got to know my SIL’s family closely, and they too turned out to be such wonderful warm people! Her MIL kept me in mind and gave me two packs of my favorite “chiwda” before I left!

Anyhow, I’ll surely miss each and every person I met, or bonded further with, and will carry those memories with me till next time!

To be continued next time… (not via Pune Darshan 😉)