Sometime during the year, someone asked me what am I grateful for and one was pissed off and angsty, so of course one had the choicest things to say. Ya, ya, I know, one is a royal pain in the butt but relatively honest, you have to grant me that. So if I’m angry every fibre of my being- from my hair to my toe will scream that it’s pissed and it wouldn’t care if it makes me look bad, it is what it is. Pretending to be pleasant and nice ain’t my trip in life! But having said that Jannat-e- Kashmir meri jaan, has a calming effect on the raging bull, so one’s ending the year, on a happy note. Here’s what I’m thankful for-

1) For my Amma- In retrospect it’s so much easier to forget pain and just remember the good stuff. Death and distance do tend to glorify people a bit but as I struggled with my mind this year, one got to re-examine my mum’s life almost as much as my own and however she lacked as a mum she was a class apart as a human being. I’ll always be grateful for having had the privilege to witness the life of someone, who was so different-depressive and joyous, loving and violent, doing exactly what she pleased yet never being indifferent. Truly, a character worth knowing.

2) To these crazy ships- I think it was somewhere around May, when one started to question everything. Existential angst came to hit me with a bang. Everybody kept telling me to find someone and somehow married people look so out of love to me, that nothing inspired me to tie that noose around my neck. Somehow, the cynical me, chanced upon Jikook and Larry Stylinson and yes, I know I’m not a sixteen year old girl but there’s something so enticing about forbidden love, that one was hooked and how. My daily dose of watching videos of closeted gay couples and a little bit of thinking about Shabnam Hashmi and Gauhar Raza, has kind of rekindled my life long romance with the idea of love. Not that one is looking, far from it but it’s nice to not growl at the idea of it, at least. Don’t you think all great love stories are essentially about fighting against ‘them’-family, society, world, injustice, whatever gives you an adrenaline rush? Or maybe like they ask , ‘Is it separation or is it marriage that’s worse for love?’ The jury’s out on that one nevertheless we are starting to love the idea of love, again.

3) The wonderful insights- One’s bumped into many people this year who helped me more than they’ll know. Their valuable insights about-life, femininity, grief, strength, rights, love, even about me as an individual helped me a great deal and one is truly grateful.

4) Realizations- One is apparently, very self critical, so very rarely can anyone tell me something terrible about myself that I don’t actually know. But two things really stood out- someone told me I was being very touchy about anyone calling me a photographer and that was on point.Months passed by and I couldn’t shoot, so I was being highly sensitive about it. One thought one would never be able to shoot again, so that comment really made me work on the problem. The second comment came from my father. He was explaining something about the business to me, about always having a backup plan and in the midst of this serious discussion he smiled and said, ‘you know everything about it! Since your teenage years, you’ve always kept a back up plan!’ Honestly, it was terrible and yet so true. I always thought, I was the queen of the rebound because I was just commitment phobic but shit I’m more cowardly than I ever admitted to myself. When I look back at all my relationships, I realize, I always expected them to fail. Going in, my subconscious strategy was, this is going to end sooner or later, what will I do next? If ever there’s a next time, I have to think it’s going last.

5) Friends- The one’s who miraculously, have had my back the past two years. To go against the tide and have someone’s back when no one is by their side requires real spine. Respect! It hasn’t been easy, in fact like they say ‘ the best part about the worst time of your life is that you get to see the true colours of everyone around you.’ Wow, what a revelation it has been! For helping me hold on to my sanity, for showing up, for the scoldings , the coaxing and the fussing, thank you mere gine chune, chindi chor, dosto you all know who you are! Tum jaise ——ka sahara he dosto!

6) The detractors- For all those whose lives are so uninteresting that they spend so much time discussing mine, plotting, recording, trying to hack my phone, trying to link my articles to porn sites, thank you. Iss kaneez ko itni importance, wah! It’s made me realize, I’m truly blessed to have so many things to occupy my brain, tongue and time with. It’s a privilege one’s truly starting to feel chuffed.

7) Karma and the Lord- Karma has been quite kind to me and Khudda ke to hum entertainment channel hai hi! Barring the times I’m bloody pissed with him, he keeps me good company on solitary nights.

So on this X’mas day, this is my gratitude list. Since one’s always a bad girl of course Santa, didn’t come down the chimney but in my old age I’ll try, to be good, just to see what the damn fuss is all about! He might pay me a visit then.