Read the language of love

A lot of problems would vanish from our lives if we understood everyone expresses love differently

Have you noticed how people express love differently? Take something as simple as greeting people. I come from a culture where people greet each other by planting a peck on each cheek. A former boyfriend’s family had to explain to me that I couldn’t just kiss every person they introduced me to. It’s not that it was considered a bad thing; people just weren’t used to it and got embarrassed.

In a similar manner, we all express romantic love differently. It’s unique to each person. How you express love for your significant other depends on a myriad of factors, from how physically affectionate your parents were when you were growing up to trauma, like domestic abuse.

According to The Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary Chapman, there are 5 love languages: 1. Words of affirmation 2. Quality time 3. Receiving gifts 4. Acts of service 5. Physical touch.

While growing up, I was very close to my father. I still am. He showed his affection very openly. I got lots of kisses and cuddles and loved every one of them. In return, my father loves being told that he is wonderful and that he is loved. Basically, our love language mainly involved words of affirmation, physical touch, and quality time.

Thankfully for me, my current boyfriend is similar to my father. He needs lots of cuddles and words of love. Our love languages match. But what happens when your love languages don’t? For example, what if you like spending quality time with your partner but he expresses love by giving you gifts? You might end feeling like he is ‘buying’ your love and he might feel like you don’t appreciate the effort he puts into getting you nice gifts. What do you do?

The first step is to know what your love language is; only when you know what you expect from a partner will you be able to move forward. If you’re confused about what you want, imagine how confused your partner would be.

No one’s a mind reader. Your partner will not know that you are unhappy because he got home late from work and didn’t get enough time with you. He may think that by bringing you flowers, he was making up for it. So please go ahead and tell him why you are feeling upset. It will help you both understand how to work through your problems as a couple.

I’m not saying that you should change who you are completely just because you want to make your relationship work. But compromises on small things are part of a healthy relationship. Accepting the odd gift here and there won’t undermine who you are. He must compromise as well by spending more time with you.
Relationships work even if people don’t express love in similar ways. You just have to be proactive about it.

Diary For My Child

1. The most important thing I want my child is to understand how important is his body and how to take of it irrespective of any situation in life. All good if health is good.

2. We always say pride is destructive thing, but most destructive thing is self-pride which is shown to yourself which stops your viewing of factual and practical things in the way they are.

3. There is a right time for everything in the life. Whatever life we will live, follow the rules.

4. However your child is DEAR to you as a parent, but do prepare him for the benefit of the society and not to your restricted family.

5. Always keep ready funds for your child.

Happiness is a quiet responsibility

As life moves on, our idea of happiness evolves too – but does the core belief of what brings happiness really change? The columnist examines her own case

Around 20 years ago, I defined what happiness means to me in a column I wrote then in The Times of India, called Mars & Venus. Stumbling on it today, I was inspired to wonder how much my definition of this “ever-elusive angel” (as I called it back then) has changed over a period of two decades. Back then I wrote I like to be on a constant high, shifting from one excitement to another. Today, that idea seems kind of alien.

I reproduce here what I wrote about happiness then.

“I taste it in the raindrop I catch on the tip of my tongue; I feel it in the touch of a calloused hand on my cheek; I see it in the depths of a gaze that suddenly darkens with passion; I smell it in the heady fragrance of a rose; I hear it in the uninhibited laugh of a child.

“Happiness – that elusive angel who evades me when I chase her, and settles on me like a mantle when least expected. I find it in the littlest things – the drone of a bee on a summer day, the inflexion in a voice as it says my name; the memory of Mother’s creamy soft tum; a baby’s dimpled bum; a sudden, unexpected smile, and the curve of my man’s jawline.

“Happiness for me is very internalised. It’s a gift that I can give myself. And, it’s in the Here and Now. It’s not the sparrow’s chirp that makes me happy, but I that make it sweet.

“The twitter of birds; the softness of down; juicy, sun-kissed grass; the cool crispness of white sheets – the magic is all mine. It's just a matter of keeping my senses fully attuned to the notion… My problem is that I like to be on a constant high – to shift from one excitement to another…”

Poetic and romantic, moving at a giddy pace. That was what happiness meant then. Twenty years on, happiness has mellowed and matured. It is no longer the brook that hurtles and changes course; chortles with laughter and then takes dizzying jumps. Today, my idea of happiness is more a placid lake with meaningful, contented depths. Though all the same things still make me happy, my way of experiencing the emotion is different today. It manifests itself more within. Rather than a loud laugh or grin, it is more a smile that begins in the soul and then invades the eyes.

I guess time and passing years do that to you. By the time you have had your share of all emotions — good and bad — and learnt to take them in your stride, you realise that come what may, life carries on. Like water, life finds its level and somehow, gains balance again. Happiness no longer takes you to heaven; grief does not permanently ground you. All you seek is a good steady balance. And remember, the person who laughs too much, may not actually be the happiest.

And yet, the core thought hasn’t really changed for me at all in 20 years. I still believe that we are responsible for our own state of happiness. Happiness comes from within. You can choose to be happy most of the time, or not. A happy person is not one who is without problems; but just one who has learnt to deal with them better.

I find that comparing ourselves to others is the biggest mistake we make. The only way ahead is to get ahead of yourself – become better with each step. To me guilt and regret are the toughest enemies of happiness. And the only way to avoid these traps is to be true to your own self. If you stick to your principles and beliefs, you will never have reason to feel regret or guilt.

One is happiest when deeply connected to oneself and to the environment one dwells in; when one loves and is loved back. When one respects, and is respected back. When one believes, and is trusted as well.

Going back to my 20 year-old column, “Since life is not so kind as to keep us all in a constant state of bliss, I guess it’s left to each individual to invent and look for his or her own moments of elation.”


1. Far is the vision, safer will be the ride

2. If your intetntion is good, a time will come when your opponents will also join hands with you

Can desire alone help you achieve a goal?

Does the Universe actually conspire to help you achieve goals? Or does the recipe need another ingredient?

In a Live Twitter chat, I was asked, “Writing and publishing are two different ball games. Somehow, the uncertainty of the publishing world and the perceived competition gets in the way of my writing and causes mental blocks. Any suggestions to overcome this?” I responded, “The greatest writers have written because they cannot help writing. It is the love of the act of writing and sharing that prompts the best literature. Just give in to your passion and allow it to lead the way. Don’t worry about what comes later. Every story has its own destiny!”

The same holds true for everything else in life. When we focus on the desire obsessively, to the exclusion of everything else — forgetting even to work towards it — it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy for failure. The rest of the world seems to melt away as our dream becomes an obsession and we feel frustrated and dissatisfied with our present lives. Soon, it becomes bigger than us and the rest of our lives. We start feeling inadequate because we are not able to achieve the one thing that we now believe is everything. With such narrow focus, we are surely setting ourselves up for disaster.

There is always that group you desperately wish to belong to, that job you desire, that book you want published, the elite club you wish would accept you as a member, or that man or woman you covet. Ultimately, you will either attain your obsessive desire, or not. But either way, you have defeated yourself. If you get it, suddenly the force of your passion deflates and it’s just another achievement, while you set your sights elsewhere. And if you don’t get it, you go into depression and consider yourself a failure.

And yet Paulo Coelho, Rhonda Byrne and several other self-help gurus have stressed the importance of desiring something and acknowledging the strength of that desire. Coelho said, “And, when you want something, all the Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Rhonda Byrne talks of the Law of Attraction and how when you want something, you must start behaving as if you already own it. So then, where exactly is the disconnect?

The disconnect is in wanting and desiring, and then not acting upon that desire. It is in wanting something so badly that you forget to work towards it in a logical and reasonable manner, without expecting a reward in return. This can only be done if you enjoy the task itself so much that this in itself becomes the reward. And then, before you know it, you will have reached the space you so wanted to occupy without even realizing it. It is your passion and the enjoyment of the task that led you to the ultimate goal; no amount of plain desire can do that.

Let’s see what do Coelho and Byrne have to say about that. Coelho says, “When you want something it is because that desire originated in the soul of the Universe. It is your mission on earth…. To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only real obligation.” And so what Coelho says is that the Universe will help you – but only to achieve those desires which strike a deep chord within you, so deep that they could only have originated from the Universe itself. This is destiny knocking at your door. If you do not work happily and consistently towards it, the door remains closed. You have to want your goal with happiness, not with desperation or obsession.

Rhyne too makes the same clear. “It is impossible to bring more into your life if you are feeling ungrateful about what you have. Why? Because the thoughts and feelings you emit as you feel ungrateful are all negative emotions.” She insists that you celebrate what you desire right now, as if you have it already.

And so once again the same message – the Universe will help you, but first you must feel happy and grateful for what you have. Negativity and frustration will not help you. A happy engagement in the present and gratitude for all you have, will.

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