Elseworld 🌱

As all the worlds collide,

I offer you some quiet,

no promises, no words,

just silence that comforts.

Instagram handle – @words.and.other.comforts

Notes to 2020.

Death to 2020 @ Netflix was sheer sarcastic brilliance. Much like a lot of what I saw on social media this year was.  I laughed more than I should have, at both on-screen and off-screen drama and yes, am grateful that I had the comfort of a couch and some popcorn to up the entertainment quotient while some real shit was happening outside. Needless to say, none of it takes away from the seriousness of the curveball life threw at us this year and many others who weren’t as fortunate.

This was the year I saw activists emerge in full glory on social media. I still for one, can’t understand the logical reasoning behind all that aggressiveness. How is liking 20 tweets or posting 20 things of the same kind starting from a gentle nudge to hardcore accusations going to get people to even remotely listen to your perspective? Besides, what even is the point of just loud armchair activism? What am I missing here?

This was the year I saw trolls emerge with zero pretence whatsoever on social media. Being deliberately nasty at a time when people are just doing their best to get by on a day-to-day basis, you have got to be really twisted in your heart. I have no words for you.

However, this was also the year I saw kindness and quiet strength emerge in the way people coped with the shit-show around. Resilience won the day time and again.

Final words on 2020, because sometimes even we give in to the hype around writing notes to the year that was. No, 2020 was not a year of reset for me. It was the year I rested.

Halfway into the year I lost my job and while it was very disappointing initially, it gave way to a long due break. The first three months were spent in the sweetness of not knowing what I wanted to do next – from one hour to the next, one day to the next, one week to the next. I cooked, I baked, I went for long walks, I clicked photos of anything that caught my eye, I read books, I read blogs, I experimented with making cocktails, I learnt about wine, I shifted preferences to white wine, I read about my industry, I read about interesting people not from my industry, I watched loads of shows and movies, I wrote bits and pieces whenever I felt like. No agenda, no purpose but just pure zen and therapy. After close to 13 years of working our asses off, upskilling and networking could wait for a while.  I was even lucky enough to land a project for the next 3 months, one that pushed my boundaries of thinking, while still giving me the space to continue my other interests.

It was most definitely a year of feeling and expressing deep deep gratitude for all I have, especially family and close ones, and good health. Touch wood.

So, to wrap what has been an unusually fulfilling year personally, my top three’s:

  • Cooking and Baking – Momos (steamed, pan fried, soups), Patra (stuffed colocasia leaves), Focaccia (normal tomato, cherry tomato, heirloom tomato)
  • Books – Remnants of a Separation, Park Bench, Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed
  • Gen entertainment Shows – Salt Fat Acid Heat (Netflix), The Morning Show (Apple TV), Street Food Latin America (Netflix)
  • Movies – Little Women (Netflix), If Beale Street Could Talk (Netflix), Unpaused (Amazon Prime India)
  • Cringe Binge shows – Indian matchmaking (Netflix), The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives (Netflix), Emily in Paris (Netflix)
  • Blogs – A Cup of Jo, LaTonya Yvette, Apartment Therapy
  • Wines – L’etincelle Pays d’Herault (Chenin Blanc, France), Villa Loren (Amarone, Italy), Maria Camilla (primarily Sauvignon Blanc, Italy)
  • Homemade Cocktails – Negroni, Paloma, Sangria
  • Instagram handles – @words.and.other.comforts (shameless plug), @saffrontrail, @newyorkercartoons
  • Twitter handles – Sayantan Ghosh@sayantansunnyg, Pomp@APompliano, Wine Folly @WineFolly

On that note, 2020, we were okay. 2021, may the force be with you but for now, continue to wear a mask please 🙂

The Covid Life – Emotional Distance.

How do you do the long distance love? Parents, cousins, friends.

Yes, we do the video-calling and the normal calling and the whatsapp messages. But these are not ordinary times to just keep in touch in a passive detached way. Every thing seems to be tangled up in every thing. News, moods, love.

We consistently find the answer in everyday little things. Good mornings, breakfast photos, a call to say hi, lunch photos, a non-sensical joke forward, sharing a song i hummed all day, sunset photos, sending them reiki healing, daily game of ludo, analysis of the game, jibes over how dad’s always focused on killing us all, slightly heavy goodnights because none of us know how tomorrow will fare but we are hopeful.

It is a hell of a lot of work. Sensitivities are at peak and emotions are swinging like never before. Some days you tick all the boxes and arguments still break out but you don’t have the luxury to be upset for a whole day because none of us know how tomorrow will fare but yes, we are still hopeful.

Then we hunt for ways to keep the connection going in a purely mechanical way. Ludo comes in handy again. Play, kill, throw a six, start again. Hesitatingly share another dinner photo and hope you get a reply or even just an emoticon. Gauging cautiously, you make that call just to say goodnight and you sleep yet again with a slightly heavy heart because none of us know how tomorrow will fare but we are hopeful.

I read somewhere, ridiculous times like these call for ridiculous amounts of love. Yes please, love. Even when you feel like you can’t, LOVE. Baby steps 🙂

The Covid Life – Balcony series.

This tiny strip of land we call balcony.

Home to our plants, our chai dates, deep conversations.

Our connection to the outside. Moving cars on the road providing some semblance of normalcy. Heavy downpours, lightning and cloud drama giving us company on otherwise lonely days.

Our comfort space to go to after petty arguments because living together 24 hrs also takes a toll some days. To shut the balcony door firmly. To go stare outside. The vast expanse of the sea providing comfort to the restless soul.

Our brief escape route from the day-to-day routine with the gorgeous sunrises, stunning sunsets and beautiful dusk settings.


The New Normal.

Given, we are living in the new normal now. While there is no denying the fact that a pandemic as big as what we are currently facing is bound to change one’s way of living, it is hard sometimes to pinpoint exactly what some of these big attitude changes are.

Here are my most evident ones –

  • Filtering the outside noise – Social media has always come with its own dose of ugly and there are now significantly a greater number of people engaging online at a higher frequency than earlier. It has become more important than ever to effectively filter out what you allow to enter your mind space and what stays. I have ruthlessly unfollowed and muted people on Instagram; commenting turned off for most posts. New Facebook connection requests are strongly filtered. WhatsApp group notifications have been put on mute. And no, I have zero FOMO moments, this is pure JOMO. I have reached Marie Kondo expert level 8/10, and life is so peaceful I wonder why it took me so long to get here.
  • A-level prioritization – Never, I repeat, never have I so unconsciously been able to prioritize what needs my emotions and actions till now. It is disconcerting when I think of how some of the most hyped news these days fails to rattle me. It affects me, but it no longer freezes me in my tracks. And while the noise filtering is conscious, the prioritization I have to say is mostly unconscious. It is almost as if very automatically there is a mental system that starts classifying various levels of graveness in my head and does not demand a strong reaction till it reaches red alert level. I do not understand the reasons behind it. Is it the many distractions and escape routes available? Is it the heightened awareness around mental health issues? Is it this need to live every moment as best as possible given and despite the Covid uncertainty? It is like my brain decided to play out Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F@#k effortlessly, 2 years after I read the book. I do not know if I like it yet, but the soul feels clean so far.
  • Mental Health – Suffice to say, very aware of the ups and downs. The big change here is the conscious action taken when I figure it’s a down. Automatically social media is put on hold, chai is brewed, candles are lit, couch is seized, blanket thrown over. Hygge all the way.

We are conscious there is a raging pandemic outside seriously affecting many people. I have had a job loss myself and it was hugely disappointing. Politics is a shit-show right now all over. We have parents back in India, where daily case numbers are breaking their own records. All of this is being taken in with the knowledge that 99.8% of it is not in our control. We have contributed where we could and are taking care of our own the best possible way in this situation (and vice versa). There is also an acute sense of gratitude knowing we have the better deal so far by virtue of living in a well-managed small country. As cliché as it sounds, there is a roof over our head, food on the table, good health which we are putting every effort in maintaining, responsible and disciplined family members, a few close friends with whom we can be our cranky unfiltered selves when needed, and the good side of social media to share in the collective pick-me-ups.


It is unfortunate that a pandemic had to be our wake-up call on some fronts, but like the wise ones say – it is never too late.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑