Category Archives: Love Affairs

A Calmer You: Abki baar, careful yaar

Ma’am mujhe phir se sachcha pyaar ho gaya hai,’ writes Mukundan Dixit. He sends me a mail whenever he falls in ‘true love’. He sends me a mail every two months. I have several problems with Mukundan. To start with, he should remove either the first two letters or the last two letters from his name, because, you know, you can’t force-mix two perfectly valid names to produce something that requires your lips to form an awkward circular shape, each time you call out.

A Calmer You Abki baar careful yaar

Maybe, just maybe, this ­awkwardness is not letting sachcha pyaar stay on in his life for long. Who knows. Vaise who knows what sachcha pyaar is, in the first place. I don’t. Mukundan certainly doesn’t. Half of the young janta reading this column right now and texting their ‘steady’ ones from the other hand don’t. Most of us latch on to the first relationship that seems ­reasonably okay to us, and try to squeeze-fit it into the sachcha pyaar mould. Which is actually not a bad thing, considering that relationships are meant to be a lot about accepting and adapting. But then anything you squeeze too much, bursts out after a while. Science ka kuchh funda hota hai, so don’t ask me why.

So Mukundan and others like him, stay in a perpetual quest for true love and send mails to velle columnists like me, who themselves may be going through shit in life but never lose an opportunity to shell out advice just because they are perceived as experts. Well then, Muku, here’s what I think. Relationships being a very personal thing and all that, I probably can’t tell you who to opt for, but I can sure tell you what kind of a person to NOT go for. And since I don’t know or care which way you swing, this advice is gender-neutral. Run the latest candidate of your sachcha pyaar through these five moulds. And if she/he doesn’t fit in either, hang on in this relationship. And do not send me another mail so soon.

1 The unapologetic: A relationship in which only one person is always seen apologising is the most doomed of all to not be happy. An unapologetic partner – boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife, is always trying to tell you that all that’s wrong is your fault. The partner who gets used to apologising for everything so that fights and arguments can be avoided, is actually getting used to slowly killing his/her self-esteem. And that, is never good in life. Close your eyes and recall the last time your partner said sorry to you over something. No matter whose fault it was. If what flashes before you are visuals only of yourself pleading and apologising, it’s time to open the eyes. Literally and otherwise.

2 The polar opposite: Yeah, I know ‘the opposites attract’ theory but if only life was till the stages of attraction. Life actually begins when the attraction settles down. And it is here that similarities matter way more than differences. I’ve seen people gloating about how they and their partners are like north-south poles, completely different, and yet so synchronised, and that adds spice to their lives. It’s absolutely great if it works for them, but in most cases, the extra spice starts to choke you, if you know what I’m saying. There isn’t too much distance to travel between ‘I LOVE my boyfriend’s shy nature’ to ‘Oh God, kuchh bolta hi nahi hai’ to ‘I can’t stay with him, he has complex issues.’ Don’t look for a replica of yourself in another gender, but don’t also fall for one who you share absolutely no common interests with. That’s two lives wasted. We are quick to match horoscopes even in this day and age. How about a compatibility quiz as annexure?

3 The non committal: A person who keeps hanging you in the lurch for small or big decisions is not just not respecting you enough, but also giving subtle hints that the relationship itself may not matter enough to them. I get countless mails from young people who are stuck in a ‘I love him/her but they say we are only good friends’ stage. Yes, not everyone is as proficient in moving on as Kundan and normal people need time to take decisions about committing but if for months or years, someone is just giving you the ‘let us explore where this goes’ line, they are bullshitting and you should know it. Now puhleez, don’t you go ‘But, I can’t take her out of my mind’ on me. Devdaas dekhne ko maine kaha thaa? Move on. There are Madhuri Dixits waiting ahead. (PS: Mukundan Dixit, this advice is not applicable to you)

4 The Unequal: You know, I have no regard for differences of caste, culture, religion, age, race etc when it comes to love. As long as the two people share a certain common value system that they imbibed while growing up. If there’s way too much inequity in the very socio-economic set-up two people grow up in, it takes its toll on a relationship. Bollywood films that show a coolie falling for a multi-millionaire’s daughter or TV documentaries about an American tourist marrying an illiterate farmer in an Indian village, make for an interesting watch, but perhaps not a very practical life. Anyway, I might be incorrect and also sachcha pyaar may be above all these differences, but I see no harm in keeping the ears open in case alarm bells about a wide inequity between you and your crush are somewhere ringing in the background. Do you?

5 The guilt-giver: This kind of a partner will ruin your life. Almost surely. A person who claims to love you but consistently makes you feel like a loser is not just being consciously or subconsciously manipulative, but is also distorting the very idea of what’s right or wrong, in your head. Sample this mail I got yesterday from a 16-year-old in Indore: “I and my boyfriend love each other too much. On the day he proposed, he made me promise that I won’t talk in a friendly way to any other boys in the class. I always kept my promise but last week when a boy commented on my FB post, I replied back with a smiley, and exchanged two comments with him. I have been feeling horrible ever since and I confessed to my BF. He shouted at me and says he wants to break-up as I’ve broken his trust. How do I tell him I’ll never repeat the mistake?” Well my dear Indore-girl, yes there is a grave mistake in your life. Sadly, you’ve not written his name. Need I say more?

Sonal Kalra is writing a ‘how to find sachcha pyaar for dummies’ guide. Any publishers interested?

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A Calmer You: Valentine’s Day ke side effects!

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Love it or hate it…celebrate it or sulk in a corner, this luv-shuv and V-Day tamasha can have only one outcome. Ask me! It’s that time of the year again. You are either gloating with mush about celebrating love or shaking your head @10 times an hour about what a tamasha western concepts like Valentine’s Day have made our lives to be.

A Calmer You Valentine’s Day ke side effects

You are either checking out gifting ideas which are, le de kar, limited to chocolates or teddy bears or getting blue in the face telling the world that all 365 days, and not just one, are meant for love.

Whatever it is, my funda is simple- it’s gonna bring stress in the end. Don’t believe me? Take the test and see for yourself.

Sonal Kalra is too mature and evolved to buy herself a teddy bear on 14th February. So only heart-shaped balloons would do. 

An Unusual Love Affair

I pucker my lips, ready to take in, and open my mouth, only to listen to my inner self screaming at its highest pitch!
“No! Don’t do it. I am not satisfied. If at all you care for me, get me what i want”.

But then i try to calm it saying, ‘this is not as bad as you think and good for you too unlike your love to that insanely harmful & vicious …..’

“Stop it! Not one more word! I hate you.”

And in that moment,all of a sudden, my hand twitched and the hot Tea spill all over my lap.

Yes. I tried to force myself into drinking Tea instead of Coffee. And my inner passionate self whose love for coffee is climbing Mt.Everest day-by-day has defeated me in trying to avoid coffee.


I am a person with simple beliefs that ‘nothing should be excessive, lest it turns poisonous’. Now its not that difficult to understand, is it? Yet, the other me doesn’t get it quite right. I ( both me and the other me) have loved coffee ever since i took the first sip of that instant-mix you get in the market.

But as time went by, there came the side-effects of having too much of it. Its more like, i can’t get my head straight without having a sip of it everyday and when i drink it, there’s acidity in the alimentary canal. Its like something is lacking in your daily routine if you don’t have it. I had this insane desire of wanting to smell it, feel it and drink it everyday and once i have the first sip, i feel that all my grey cells start working faster than usual, my body feels strangely warm and relaxed.

Now my logical self, which is the actual ME, has realized that this is going to be a problem someday in the long run. So i tried to chide the other me. It feigned fear, and then got back its usual self and continued the love affair with coffee. I felt dejected. I need to control it. Yes, i am a control freak and i wanted myself to control my love for coffee. Yet, it didn’t happen.

So one day i give an ultimatum to it and stopped having coffee. Thought to myself that if i substitute it by another supplement before completely stopping, i can overcome the desire. TEA was my first and only option. So i resorted to it.

Day after day i’ve been giving myself tea instead of coffee so that the other me doesn’t recognize the sudden change. But it did! It tried to reason with me and i neglected it.

“Tea is fine…but doesn’t have the ambience of coffee. Coffee is much better y’know”

‘Yeah.Fine.Just drink it up.Does no harm’

“Alright, just this time. Next time its gonna be coffee,okay?”

‘You bet! Definitely’

The other time, it was bit more serious.

“How can you drink something like this?! I mean, seriously?!! This is not cool. I need you to understand that i can no more tolerate this.”

I didn’t give my two pence for its so-called threats.

And day by day i started conquering it. But something changed. I was no more happy. The inner bliss is lost. But i was adamant to control myself. And simultaneously unhappy.

Finally it rebuked that i spilled it all over! And only then did i realize what’s going on.

Sometimes, somethings are not good for us if overdone. But we can’t abandon them completely; they gotta exist in our lives. Just like people. Though they are not-so-good influence, without them, life is not so enjoyable. It creates a void. Which can’t be filled by Tea or anything better. You just gotta cut yourself some slack and try to be easy on yourself for the sake of happiness.

Tears started rolling by after that incident(Tea was way too hot and burned me like hell, you see!).And i cleaned up, strode towards kitchen, to make myself coffee and promised to never ‘over-do’ it so that i can satisfy both the persons inside me.

END OF THE STORY! People who got bored after reading this post can go have coffee. And people who found this article worthwhile, never lose the coffee of your lives. And don’t over-do it either.ADIOS.

A Calmer You: Mujhe arranged marriage se bachao!

Are you too desperate to fall in love, for the wrong reasons? The wedding season is upon us. And brings with it a truck load of stress, as always. I toh anyway firmly come from the shaadi is barbaadi public school but I recently realized what a tension a wedding can be, for the bride or groom’s single friends. ‘The moment your best friend gets hitched, the pressure on you to get married too, starts to mount,’ said Minakshi from my team yesterday. ‘And because you don’t want to give in to the pressure and agree to an arranged marriage, the stress of falling in love quickly takes over,’ added Neha. ‘The stress of falling in love? I thought love happened to people on its own, in fact, far too soon these days, ‘I said, and they both laughed, before rolling their eyes in a very ‘oh-we-are-stuck-with-an-imbecile-cavewoman-as-a-boss’ kinda way.


My hesitant queries on this subject to my own younger cousins eventually told me how right Minakshi and Neha were. So one has to try really hard to make love happen these days, varna ghar waale pakad ke arranged marriage kar dete hain. I wondered if this desperation to escape the possibility of being tied to a virtual stranger for life, is also making people get into relationships without too much thought. A mail from a 24-year-old girl from Indore, who didn’t wish to be named, cleared all my doubts. ‘We are a group of four close friends. All the three, apart from me, have either got married or engaged. Mom does nothing else these days but remind me that good rishtey won’t come if it gets too late. My parents are broad minded enough and asked me if I like someone. Now there is a guy in office who I somewhat like. I’m not 100 percent sure if he’s perfect for me but he’ll be better than someone totally unknown. Shall I quickly do friendship with him?’ Well, I don’t know, girl from Indore. Seems like we are deciding on buying a dress or something. Anyway, it’s much easier for me to give you gyan, than for you to go through this stress daily. But, then gyan is all I have right now and it may just make sense to you. Please remember….

1. People don’t want to be with a desperate drama case: The more hurry you are in to get out of the ‘single’ status, the more you’ll ward off the right kind of people. Because whatever said and done, desperation shows. Coming on too strongly can intimidate, scare or simply put people off. And frankly, why should someone else make such an important decision in a hurry only because there’s pressure at your home to get married? It’s a question of their life too, equally. Isn’t it? Don’t put someone else’s — and your own future happiness at stake out of sheer desperation. All that a good decision ever wants in life, is time and thought. Give it both.

2. It’s too old fashioned to think you are too old: There used to be a time some decades back when marriage would start to get discussed at home when a girl or guy would turn 20. Elderly women, with a grim expression, would also declare from time to time that ‘the family must be complete by 30 years of age,’ whatever that meant. Now, that mindset has thankfully gone from at least the educated middle class, and so should the stress. Of course there’s always an ideal age to settle down, both from a biological view point and otherwise, but that notion of an ideal age can no longer be a sword hanging on a person’s head. If the choice is between marrying the right person and marrying at the ‘right’ age, and you go for the latter only to gain short-term peace of mind, let me slap you right now. Because life will, later.

3. Single doesn’t always mean sad, just as relationship doesn’t always mean happy: Kisi married bande se jaakar poochho, you’ll get the right gyan about what rushing into commitment does to peoples’ sanity. But then you won’t understand it, because all you can see around you, when you are single, is happy couples. Just remember that when they are done flaunting their ‘committed’ status, all they see around them, are happy singles. That’s the irony of human mind. Your happiness, whether you have a Mrs or Miss in front of your name, will only come from your own thoughts. If you’ve consciously chosen to be happy, the presence or absence of a girlfriend or boyfriend can only add value to it. It can’t be the basis of it. It just doesn’t work that way.

4. It’s your life…not theirs. One wrong choice and you’ll be stuck, not them: When I say ‘them’, I mean everyone, right from relatives to friends to even those who have proposed to you and waiting for you to say yes. None of them can, or should, influence your decision to get married. The voice, about the right time and the right person, has to come from within you. Whether it is getting into a hurried relationship to avoid an arranged marriage, or saying yes to an arranged match only because all your friends have
settled down, it’s finally your life that’s going to suffer. And your partner’s too. No relative will then own up to the responsibility of pushing you into an unhappy state. And even if they did, it wouldn’t change a thing. Take your time before you take the plunge. Even if it means taking forever. Staying single is not the end of life. It’s just another way of living a beautiful life, if you are peace, and in love with yourself. Anyway, whether you are married, unmarried, committed or single, there’ll always be some people who’ll envy you, and some who’ll thank God they are not in your place.That’s just how it is.

Sonal Kalra will someday open an ashram where only two kinds of people will be allowed. Happy married. And happily unmarried. No entry for negativity.

A Calmer You: are you dating a drama queen?

Only guys are allowed to give feedback on this week’s column :). Okay, so I have already ordered for a five-inch thick helmet. Itni maar padne waali hai, from girls, after this week’s column that it’s crucial to have adequate protection against possible brain damage. Some of you may think the brain was damaged before all this was written, but then who can stop some of you from thinking? I had vowed to not write anything incriminating against any gender, especially the one that begins with ‘F’, but then I can’t help it. A friend just narrated such a horrid tale of his love life that my radars have got stuck on drama queen girlfriends. So his girlfriend, who he’s planning a break-up with for over two years now, recently advised that they note down, in minute detail, every expense that they incur on a date. And then share it equally.

A Calmer You are you dating a drama queen

One would think it’s an applause-worthy move, considering a lot of guys still have to live up to the chivalry of opening the wallet — and keeping it open — each time they go out with their girlfriends. Just that this suggestion has come from her exactly two weeks after he lost his job, while she happens to have just got a well-paying job. For the past two years, while he was earning and she was jobless, he was the one picking the tab. Anyway, their financial matter is their concern, but what got me jumping on the couch with disbelief was the formula she devised to calculate the expense. Since they both smoke and happen to sometimes share a cigarette, she wants to divide the expense on the basis of the number of drags or puffs each one has taken on a cigarette. Stumped? There’s more. She’s clarified that if they happen to go out with common friends, the sharing of expense will be on the basis of whose friend that person originally was. Any violation of this code will invite screaming matches after the date. I’m so utterly fascinated by drama queens, I tell you. This is just one of the various kinds that exist.

Actually, if you look at it objectively, such quirky behaviour is not limited to girls. A guy can be equally weird and therefore be a bigger drama queen (DQ) than the girl. But let’s just focus today on how to identify if you have been dating or married to a DQ. I’m admitting right now itself that I won’t be able to give you any tips on dealing with them. Because our religious scriptures say that we are all supposed to go through the torture pre-written in our destiny because of karma etc. You can revel in my abundant sympathies if you wish.

1. DQ1: The tantrum thrower: Stuck at the mental age of five-and-a-half, this girl has the superhuman capacity to pick up a fight over anything. Everything. How dare you forget the seven monthly anniversary of the first time she called you ‘baby’? Now she has a valid reason to sulk for at least seven days. And each time you’ll ask what’s wrong, she’ll say ‘nothing’ at the speed of light. So go figure what crime you committed…err..this time. Vaise achha hai, it keeps your mental faculties alert. You’re living a quiz all the time, wondering what you did wrong this time to deserve a cold shoulder. And the day she’ll burst out and tell you what’s bugging her, you’ll get the bonus of being reminded of all the grudges of the past years.

2. DQ2: The friend hater: She expects the day you get into a relationship with her to also be celebrated forever as the day you got out of a relationship with all your other friends. Well, you have her, why do you need other friends? And have you not noticed how ill-mannered and shabby all your friends are? Any time spent hanging out with them is a sheer waste, considering you could have productively utilised it in saying ‘I love you jaanu’ to her 27 times. With her by your side, you are ‘settled’ in life, so better not behave like a free bird and hang out with the guys. And if your friends happen to be girls…ha ha…consider taking part in India’s-most-suicidal championship this year itself. You may not be around to opt for it next year, you see.

3. DQ3: The time-keeper: Shouldn’t you be happy that someone is selflessly spending her entire mobile bill in tracking where you’ve reached after work? And in exactly how many seconds will you make a sakshaat appearance before her eyes? These DQs were math toppers in school, so don’t try to fool them by saying ‘I’ll be there in 30 minutes, when a distance of 18.5 kms, travelled at an average speed of 55 km/hr can be covered in 22 minutes 45 seconds.(PS: If any of you actually tried to calculate this using some Godforsaken formula and write to me that I got it wrong, I promise I’ll come over to your home and slap you). With such a woman in your life, getting late for anything is an award-winning recipe for disaster. And, ‘stuck-in-traffic’ is a fool’s excuse, because she can switch on the radio and check the traffic condition of your area. If you happen to be late because you are with a friend, the powerful forces of DQ2 and DQ3 will collectively curse you. Basically you are dead.

4. DQ4: The Money-saver: What? You gave some money to your brother? Why…how? Tum unke liye kamaate ho? How can you be so foolish and spend real money on someone other than her? She’s only trying to save up for your future. Why will your stupid friend need an actual birthday gift when you can give him the pleasure of an additional notification on facebook. Okay fine, if you feel so bloody close to him, wish him on your own timeline in addition to his. But no need to spend hard-earned money on such things. And God help you if you decided to spend the evening treating him on his birthday, and get late in the process. That’s DQ1+2+3+4. Good bye, my dear. Strive to be born as a DQ next time.

Sonal Kalra has only one advice for those stuck with DQs. Try to change her… if it doesn’t work, well, change her.

Like Older Women to Marry?

I just read news about Bar Refali, a 26 year old Israeli supermodel who says she has a crush on 18 year teen popstar Justein Beiber and feels one day they will be getting married. This news reports on Page 4 of Hindustan Times and carries a photograph of the supermodel….( Man! She’s hot…!)


I really wonder why the relationship of an older girl and younger guy is looked upon with raised eyebrows, with certain amount of disapproval and insanity. I really don’t get the logic why the girl has to be younger than the boy in the so- called “ideal relationship model ’’ created by the society. Do these guys have any idea, how such a forced convention play havoc with the   love –life of many individuals around this world who don’t choose partners on the basis of freaking  conventions  forced  by this society? Also it kills the chances of our flirting with older girls! Dude that’s pathetic for us but I am sure you old –society guys don’t give a piece of mind to it. 

  [stextbox id=”black”]

bachpan se hume kaha gaya hai , ki jo humse bade hote hain, wo hamare bhaiya ya didi hote hain.”

………quoted by someone close


Yup that’s right and it is something every one of us has come across many a times during our growing up. It happens that you are visiting your neighbor’s house and they already have guests, you come across this beautiful shy girl who’s watching you from the corner of her eyes but before you can even appreciate her beauty, yours  Not-So –Understanding (NSU) old uncle kicks in.

(NSU-UNCLE)-Astha beta!! Apne chote bhaiya se milo, ye humare padosh mein rehte hai… :P

[And then he scornfully looks at u….]

YOU: :(  🙁  🙁  :(.., Screw You!!!  Old penguin…!

And then all of a sudden the shy beautiful-chick takes form of an Irritating-Vintage-Sick-Aunty.

(Somebody has rightly said it’s all about paradigm and perception…poor guy!)

But, whatever the society feels. I think the old-girl and young-guy relationship rocks and it is as normal as any other relationship.( I can’t promise that if the girls happens to be taller than the guy..It really sucks then!!…  L

But Who wouldn’t want a more experienced, more caring, wiser partner…Whom you can trust and in the mean time you can enjoy your carefree self, because someone more matured is there to care for you. J

who will explain this to girls? Being in a relationship with a younger guy is like an insult to them (due to the virtue of rules set by society) Come On! Girls! Look at the Guy! Not his Age and think for yourself not for society… because it’s your life.

Poetically “Love has no boundaries, no religion, no age, no gender( it’s for my gay bros and lesbi sis.),……” and also “ love is blind” but The Problem is that lovers do know boundaries and they ain’t blind in most of the cases…so in the end we reach in a very perplex situation. But still I would like you to break boundaries, let the Magic of Love blind your eyes, be Stupid, Go Crazy… Maybe that’s what’s Love and Trust all about!!

(Again visiting your neighbor and meeting a new girl there)

YOU:   Namaste UNCLE!

NEW GIRL: Hii! :)

NSU UNCLE: Beta! Rishika apne bade bhaiya se milo ye humare pados mein rehtein hain!! :P


YOU: (slowly) This World sucks!! :(

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A calmer you: Help! My girlfriend is upset

Just two days after we all bowed down, or were made to, before the ‘fairer sex’ (totally meaningless term, by the way) in the name of International Women’s Day, I dedicate this week’s column to the hapless guys all over the world. Hapless — and I could’ve said helpless too — because of the sheer torture they sometimes suffer at the hands of the girls in their life. The trigger is this mail I got from Krishabh from Indore, the excerpts of which I’d like to share here. ‘My girlfriend gets upset @ 5 times a day. That’s the minimum. I love her and all that, but I feel all my energy just goes in manaoing her and saying sorry a million times. It’s another thing that mostly, I don’t even know what I’m saying sorry for. She sulks endlessly and doesn’t bother to tell me what has hurt her. She says if I love her, I should know. Please help, and don’t disclose my name.’ Well, Krishabh, I so wanted to respect your wish of staying anonymous, but not being able to ignore your attempts at jamming my inbox by sending this mail nine times in the last one week, I’m only adding another letter to your name. So technically, I’m not disclosing your identity but secretly hope this does its bit in shooting up your girlfriend’s ‘average’.


That said, you have my full sympathies for trying to deal with a sulk. It is never easy to be with partners or spouses who decide to use the relationship as a platform to unleash negative behavioural traits, the worst of which is sulking. Also I wonder why people forget the ‘friend’ part the moment they turn into a ‘girlfriend’ or a ‘boyfriend’ to someone. You wouldn’t treat your friends with a perpetually long face because you know they’d leave you in an instant. Just because a boyfriend won’t, it doesn’t mean you take him for granted. In my opinion, someone who often gets upset without caring to even tell the reason doesn’t really deserve to be cared for too much anyway. But then Krishabh my dear, you clearly are in ‘love and all that’ with the sulking beauty and well, to each his own. Here’s what you could do….

[stextbox id=”info”]Boyfriends Girlfriends Fight – Calmness Tips on How to Deal with it[/stextbox]

1. Stop apologising: You are not doing yourself a favour if you are saying sorry to your partner all the time, especially when you don’t know what you are apologising for. Because if you don’t know, you’ll keep repeating whatever has hurt her in the first place. Always remember that uttering ‘sorry’ without meaning it, is worse than not apologising at all.

2. Don’t indulge tantrums: Whenever a person sulks too often, they are essentially trying to manipulate the relationship to make you feel responsible for their emotional immaturity. Encourage this behaviour and you’ll be digging your own grave. I know a guy whose girlfriend’s pet phrase in life is ‘I’m not talking to you’. I and his other friends would see her do that to him in public, and the more he responded with ‘Why honey, what have I done’, the more difficult it was becoming for all of us to look for places to throw up after this excessive display of mollycoddling. Until one day, we sat him down and told him what she was turning him into. He had to realise that him constantly giving into her tantrums was making her feel she was winning at it, and would make her repeat the behaviour far too often. It was not helping either of them, or the relationship in the long run. Next time she said it, he responded with, ‘okay. I’m here whenever you feel like talking.’ It wasn’t negative, and it did the trick. Indulging the excesses of a loved one is a nice gesture at times. But only at times.

 [stextbox id=”black”]It’s completely impossible to find someone who won’t ever hurt you, so go for someone who will make the pain worthwhile. – Author Unknown.[/stextbox]

3. Understand the gender bender: No matter how much we talk about equality in relationships, it is important for both genders to understand the inherent behavioural differences between males and females. Since this week’s column is primarily addressing the guys, let me tell them how a girl’s psyche works. They want conflicting things, and are often unclear themselves about what exactly they are looking for. They’d want attention, but would freak out and call you possessive when you’ll give too much of it. They’d like to be pampered but would behave with defiance when you’ll be at it. In a nutshell, girls are pretty messed up in the head, most of the times… and then there is PMS! But these unpredictable emotional swings may just be the endearing thing about them. Try and understand that, and you’ll sail through. The idea is not to take their mood swings personally and let them know that you are around to care if, when and in the amount that they would desire that care.

4. Talk it out: Oh well, girls love to talk. Didn’t you know that already? Every girl’s favourite and every guys most dreaded sentence in a relationship is ‘We need to talk’. So go ahead, do it for once if her behaviour is taking a toll on your mental health. Tell her it’s not pleasant to see a long face several times in a day and remind her that constant fighting leaves little time for expressing love, and she may just enjoy the latter more.

5. Love or leave: I’m not asking you to dump her. Well actually I am, but only if you are sure that it’s not possible for you to go on being with an ill-behaved adult-child. Rather than living with the guilt of ending a relationship, give her the choice of ‘love or leave’. Tell her you would like to give your relationship a genuine try, but not at the cost of their mood being in the driver’s seat all the time. It’s not too much to ask for, is it? And if you explain yourself clearly, and she still doesn’t get it, it’ll be time to ask yourself some serious questions. Remember, once the charm of a new relationship wears off, the negative traits in a person seem all the more starker. It’s important to sometimes step back and foresee that situation.

Sort your life out, Krishabh. Five times a day is a pretty horrifying average. Bring it down, or bring it all down. And hey, sorry about your identity. But I may just have helped you. Do write back. Not nine times.

Sonal Kalra can never become a relationship counsellor. She’ll keep advising people to break-up and keep losing clients. Hey, is there a job called break-up counsellor?

To all the drama queens and kings

Please, for God’s sake now, don’t start sending me mails saying I’m cynical or anti love etc. I’m as romantic as they come, but also try to be as practical. Mind you – both can co-exist. There’s a good reason why I keep telling you to not obsess about four letter words, especially this one – love. Because it is overrated, overused and you just don’t get over it.

If I get 700 mails in a week from you, at least 500 are about a broken heart. And no, not of the medical kinds. Had that been the case, I could have tied up with a hospital and made some money by referring you to them. You write about the emotional heartbreak. Can’t blame you, I too, was like this as a teenager, but uff, I’m seeing more and more drama queens these days. People just like to overdramatise everything – I will die without her, I don’t want to live anymore because he hasn’t replied to my text for six hours now. Arrey chhodo.


Ab yehi reason reh gaya marne ke liye? Please take the trouble of asking a senior… someone who managed to get his/her love and have lived with that person for 10-15 years. They’ll tell you how they clamour to get some peaceful moments, without the ‘love of their life’ lurking around, looking for a new reason to fight. Of course love exists in their case too, but the expression and intensity assume some semblance of maturity and sanity. Khair that’s not the point of discussion here.

[stextbox id=”info”]Calmness Tips for Broken Hearts[/stextbox]

The topic today is that it is perfectly possible to be young, in love, go through heartbreak – and still not behave like a walking hormonal mess. Look here, into my eyes, and answer one question honestly and very seriously. “Kya aapke toothpaste mein namak hai?” Sorry, bad joke… and I even cracked it once earlier. Maarna mat, don’t answer any question. Just try to pay attention to these, if you’ve ever suffered from heartbreak, be it due to rejection of love or a nasty breakup.

1 No obsessive thoughts, please: Thinking about a person

24×7 is not healthy. Period. Be it a celebrity, the hottest one in the neighbourhood or a highly desirable colleague or classmate. An obsession with anyone never leads to a happy outcome. If you ever start to feel that you would die if a certain person wasn’t with you, slap yourself on the left cheek from my side and then think about this – Even when you did not know that person, you had a life. It involved your parents, your friends, and also a routine of going out, watching movies, reading books etc.

To suddenly consider all of this inferior to thoughts about another person is so unfair. Because even if that person doesn’t exist in your life anymore, all of these still do. If a relationship has not worked out, it only means one thing. That someday, another will. Thoughts of cutting yourself from the whole world, killing yourself for someone etc are frankly, very uncool. While you are in love, live it as the most beautiful and healthy feeling, and give it your best. When you are out of love, look at all the other beautiful and healthy things in your life. Leave the obsession – and its expression to Hindi films.

2 Don’t seek too much advice:

As a race, we love and specialise in advising others. When it comes to matters of heart, then toh we go overboard telling people what to do. May I please request you something… give your heartbreak the dignity of healing without making it the subject of someone else’s water cooler gossip. Don’t ask for advice from the whole world. Also don’t move around with Devdaas written all over you so that people start advising you even when you’ve not asked.

Frankly, no one else lives your life for you. And its very easy for your friends to tell you how to get over grief and for people like me to write columns on what you should do. But it’s another thing for you to live through the experience of pain. Go through it quietly, and give it time. Do just what your mind tells you too. I would have said heart but woh toh toot gaya nah! Oops, bad joke again.

3 Everything ends:

This will sound very weird (as though the rest of the writeup doesn’t), but the universal truth is that every relationship in this world ends. I’d once read somewhere that whether it comes through an untimely breakup, or a detachment of the mind, or ultimately death… but the end of any relationship is inevitable. And people still have to go on with their lives. Why not then, go on with it happily, till it lasts. Treat heartbreaks as temporary setbacks and signals that things didn’t work out only because something better is in store for you, or the other person. In both cases, the pain is worth it.

4 You are not alone:

If it helps, do know that scientists who have nothing better to do have come up with studies that reveal that over 70% of people in this world experience heartbreak at some point or the other, in life. Over 40% are toota-dil veterans who undergo it more than once in life. That’s massive company you have. And still look at how the world’s population is bursting at its seams. The lesson: People may die of heart failure but no one dies of
heartbreak. It just heals. No more drama. Just get over it and get yourself a life.

Sonal Kalra is seriously begging for some happy feedback mails and not the ones crying of break-ups and rejection. Don’t break her heart please.

Hey cupid, do i look stupid?

Arrey jao, nahi karna celebrate Valentine shalentine day, kar lo jo karna hai. Am sick and tired of every vella asking every other about their plans for V-Day. I just don’t get this needless pressure to celebrate, be it New Year’s Eve or Valentine’s Day. Do you? For me, the stress to plan or gift something only because a lot of people have asked, takes away the spontaneity and fun out of celebrations.


And as if Valentine’s Day — whose origin and logic is a mystery to more than 90% of those who dutifully flock restaurants, suffer long waiting, and end up paying twice as much — was not enough, now there is a Rose Day, a Propose Day, a Morose Day, an Afsos Day or whatever, in the run up. Anyway, I’m just ranting, the existence of these days is not the topic of discussion today. The spotlight, this week, is on those who are sitting, with a rose, and their head, in their hands because they are the unfortunate victims of OSL syndrome. One-sided-love. Typical filmi style, I love Sunita, but Sunita loves Anita…oops.. Amit, Amit loves someone else and so on. Aao sabko thappad lagaoon. What a big tamasha our life is.

[stextbox id=”info”]Calmness Tips for People with One-Sided-Love Syndrome [Valentine’s Day Special][/stextbox]

And then suddenly this OSL becomes the focus of their existence, they can’t help but keep on thinking about the person they have a crush on, who, for some reason, does not feel the same way about them. I’ve been at the receiving end of several mails from OSL sufferers this week. And in the interest of humanity, I’m attempting calmness tips for them rather than for those mushy buffoons who’ve already spent three months of pocket money on buying gifts for their girlfriend which she would receive with an awww and tears on Feb 14 and exchange with the store on the 15th. No need to fret, the OSL gang, calmness awaits you.

1 Have you said it right?:

Before you go all teary-eyed on how the person you love doesn’t love you back, just be sure that you’ve expressed how you feel, clearly and in the right manner. The worst would be to move on from someone ‘assuming’ they don’t feel the same way, when they perhaps would have, had you expressed clearly. And since this one thing is likely to have a big impact on your future, be upfront, clear and un-dramatic, in the way you put across your feelings.

In other words, don’t get into the farce of waiting for the Propose Day, buying cards with hearts drawn on every free inch, and writing cheesy lines picked up from the Internet. And if a romantic relationship is what you are proposing, be mature, sensible and clear about it. Don’t mumble vague things such as ‘I want fraandship’ with you, which then gives the other person a chance to throw back equally stupid replies such as ‘but we are already fraands’, when they jolly well know what’s being implied in the proposal. So, unless your OSL is for someone who is already committed in a relationship — in which case go ahead, slap yourself — say clearly why you feel the two of you are right for each other, and how it would be a good idea to explore taking it to the next level. Sorry, now that I’ve written it, I realise that my advice sounds more apt for a corporate proposal. Sigh. Okay, buy the damn heart-shaped card but don’t be tacky. Please.

2 Learn to take ‘No’:

Now, you expressed your feelings but the other person replied that he/she doesn’t think the same way about you. Well, too bad, but that’s it. THAT’S IT. Not an earth shattering development and certainly not the end of the world. Yes, it is disappointing but do not make the mistake of over-reacting and thinking of it as a ‘rejection’ of you as a person. As I wrote in last week’s column about break-ups, someone not wanting to be with you is about them, not about you. Everyone has a right to choose who they want to be with. Grant them that right, and don’t go all bitter because you are not who they want. Also, don’t trample your self-respect by harping on it even after they’ve clarified their response. Remember, it’s not easy for them too, and a lot of people hesitate from giving a clear negative response to a proposal. But for your own good, learn to interpret it correctly, and to let go. Anyone who says things like ‘I do feel for you but my parents would never agree’ or ‘I think you are great and anyone would be lucky to have you, but right now my focus is my career’ is essentially saying ‘No, thanks’ but doesn’t want to be rude. Don’t prolong their agony, and yours, by not understanding their response and insisting that you’ll convince the parents when the right time comes. They know it already, and have still said ‘No’. Learn to take it.

3 Move on:

Are you the King of the World? Or God? Even if you are, there’s no guarantee that everything in life would work out the way you want it to. You felt for someone, but it didn’t work out. Now move on. There’s too much to do, to accomplish in life. Love, or the lack of it, is just a part of our life’s journey. Don’t try to convert that part into the entire whole. Doesn’t work that way. Staring for too long at a closed door takes our attention away from all the other doors that are lying open. Phew! Itna gyan toh Aastha channel pe bhi nahi milta. Please grasp it before I get indigestion from saying all these wise things. I promise not to write any more senti columns on the matters of heart. Too much ho gaya… here’s my parting advice and the most important, golden rule of love. ‘If ever there’s a choice in life, always go for someone who loves you, rather than someone who you love.’ Khush rahoge, mind it.

Sonal Kalra thinks Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest causes behind the state of bad mental health in India. Research, anyone?

Why let a break-up break you up

My elder sister Katrina’s photo proved so lucky for me that a record number of you wrote back on last week’s column. It’s another thing that some described, in vivid detail, how they curse me for casting an evil eye on their love affair with the rainy weather. Their curse seems to have worked, going by a rather traumatic experience I went through yesterday.

Why let a break-up break you up -5 feb 2012 calmer you column tips

Cut to last evening. Setting: my home. Weather: cloudy (aha!), Me: desperately wanting to sit in the balcony, have a cup of tea in peace, and watch neighbours quarrel over parking. And then she walked in, all geared up to spoil whatever peace of whatever mind I have. She sobbed. I gave her a tissue. She sobbed again, and extended her hand. Now tell me, don’t you think one tissue should last longer than a nano sob but it wasn’t the right time to act all kanjoos. I gave another. She then burst into a fit of tears and my heart sank. I had run out — of tissues, and patience.

Bansuri, my neighbour and emperor-of-the-irritating Chaddha ji’s daughter had been crying for over two hours now. In this duration, I had witnessed 17 different sounds and styles of crying but she hadn’t shared one minor detail with me — ‘why’.

If you have been following this column regularly (you better be!), you’d know how I’m blessed with unique neighbours. Apart from her name which gives me giggles no matter what the situation is (heartfelt sorry to some perfectly nice Bansuris I know… but it just doesn’t go with Chaddha), she has a lot of other things that are…emm… odd. Anyway, this time it was getting out of hand, so I had to confront her with the bitter reality of the situation — no more tissues — and asked her to tell me what was behind all this rain in my living room.

‘We broke up — Cheenu and I. Just two weeks before Valentines, it’s all over,’ she said. I wasn’t listening, my head spinning from trying to suppress a manic bouts of giggles over the fact that someone named ‘Cheenu’ was err… playing this Bansuri (sorry, I know I’m very mean. I’ll improve).

Anyway, apparently Cheenu had suddenly withdrawn from her, after seventy-two blissful days of courtship that had even survived a meeting between him and Chaddha ji. ‘I feel like ending my life… just can’t get him out of my mind,’ cried Bansuri. Going by the sheer number of young boys and girls feeling the stress of ‘break-up’, am sure a lot of you can identify with junior Chaddha and her trauma.

[stextbox id=”info”]Calmness Tips on How to Deal with a Break-up in  Relationships[/stextbox]

Though I continue to firmly believe in my well-researched theory that deep inside, those in a relationship are equally dukhi if not more, here’s what I have to say to the ones who’ve recently had a break-up and finding life worthless a la flute Chaddha.

1 It’s a curse, not to be not in a relationship, but to be in one with an unwilling partner:

Whatever the reasons, the moment one partner says he/she wants out, the soul of the relationship flies out of the window. Please note that I’m not referring to the idiots who end every day — and every fight — by announcing that they are breaking up and are back to exchanging lovey-dovey emoticons over SMS the next morning. I’m talking about situations where one person has emotionally withdrawn but is dragging along only because we in India are experts in not being true to our own feelings and facing the consequences of it.

Watch out for signals

Sentences like ‘you deserve someone better than me’ or ‘I’m not ready for the real thing just yet’ or ‘I love you but right now I need to focus only on my future’ or ‘I need some space to get my thoughts together’ are all ‘BS lines’ or polite ways to say the same thing – ‘I don’t want this relationship anymore’ (BS stands for Bullshit but I’m not supposed to say it in print. You have no decency or what?) Anyway, what I’m saying is, no matter what BS line is being thrown at you, do realise that there’s absolutely no point in forcing someone to be with you if they don’t want it. You just need to remember that it’s not about you, it’s not a rejection of who you are. It’s about them, and only them, being so fickle minded that they can’t deal with the demands of a relationship they wilfully got into. Don’t let it even touch your self esteem, and you’ll do just fine. The golden rule — ‘If someone is stupid enough to walk away from you, be smart enough to let them.’

2 Deal with it, with your head held high:

I know it’s easier said than done. Life after a break-up seems worse than hell for a while. For.A.While. Do you get that? Nothing’s permanent, my friend. If even the mushy love slowly dies down in a relationship that otherwise may last 102 years, how can the pain of a break-up last endlessly? If you are not hell bent on making a Devdaas out of yourself (even he went on to Madhuri Dixit by the way, I mean Chandramukhi), nothing can stop you from feeling fine and happy after a while.

The period may differ, but with time, we all forget. That’s how we are wired from inside. In my view, what really helps in getting over a break-up is staying away from your ex, at least for some time, unless he/she is someone you have to see everyday in college or at work. Even then, it’s possible to stay away, emotionally. All that spiel about ‘being best friends’ and ‘staying in touch forever’ after a break-up is nothing but BS. Someone wise has said that saying we can still be friends after the relationship has ended is like your dog dying but your mom saying ‘hey, you can still keep it’.

3 Finally, don’t close all doors of your life after a break-up:

A relationship not working out means only one thing — another will. Each time you break up with someone, you are inching one step closer to the person who is actually right for you. I know, I know, I sound like Yash Chopra when I say such things, but let’s just be practical.

So many loving, sincere and hard working couples in our country have worked extra hard to take our population to the level where it stands. You can’t waste their effort by thinking that one moron, who just broke your heart, was the only one made for you. No, no, no. There are others. Many others. Give them a chance. Give life a chance. Another one.

[stextbox id=”download”]By the way, what do you think about gifting A Calmer You Book” by Sonal Kalra to your partner this valentine so as to know some ready tips on how to deal with relationships and even break-ups. Buy it online at maximum discounts from here.[/stextbox]