Failure to Launch

I’m twenty six and live with my parents.

I live in India, the land of joint families and snake charmers, so its really not that unusual or strange. But it’s not ideal. Ever since I’ve moved back home after University, I’ve thought a lot about what it means to be an adult? I have a day job, I take a decent amount of responsibility for myself. But I’m not sure how I would do, out there in the big bad world?

Anyhow, almost a year ago I got engaged to my long term boyfriend and now I guess I’m a real adult. I’m moving out of my parents home in 5 months and moving in with him and his family. It’s a strange and scary feeling. I’m really excited to spend my life with him, but I’m not sure if I’m ready to move out and leave my family.

My mother has made my sister and I, the centre of her life and I think I have done the same for her. She’s my closest friend and confidant, she’s my advisory board on life and my inspiration to do better always. More than all of that she’s my pillar of strength and support.I’m not quite sure how I could ever stand to not have that kind of an equation with her? Would things change? Would my priorities change? I’m not sure if they will. Mother and I work out of the same office space, so I know I’ll see her most days of the week. I feel like a five year old with separation anxiety.

Before I actually got engaged, I really wanted to get married and start my own independent life. I think it was part of a narrative I had built for myself, and I didn’t realize the serious life changes I’d have to make. Now with five months to go for the wedding, do I have cold feet? Yes.

But this is life and nothing is constant in life, except change. So I will try to embrace this new change in time and work on establishing new equation with the Mother which are stronger than ever but different?

I’m twenty six and I want to always live with my parents. Sigh.


Adventures in Pakiland

The Indian Partition: the division of the Indian subcontinent which led to the single largest migration in human history, millions of muslims trekked to Pakistan, while millions of Hindus and Sikhs headed in the opposite direction.Millions of families were effected and mine was just one of them.


My Great-grand mother and her five little Dhawan-lets fled across the border on one of those bloody trains in the early days of the partition, leaving behind the land of my forefathers. I grew up on stories of my Great-grandmothers in Lahore and Jhelum.I think that’s where my life long fascination with all things Pakistani began.

In my first year at University, I made my first Pakistani friend, Madeeha Khan. Calling her a friend today seems so wrong. It’s too small a word to explain what she means to me. She’s my soul sister, she’s my other half, she understands me above all others. Knowing Madeeha has enriched my life in ways I can’t explain, she taught me what it means to be a friend and what it means to have a friend. Madeeha was/is my window into Pakistan, through her I made many more Pakistani friends.

mads and me

In December 2014, I was invited to Pakistan to attend two weddings and it just was my grandest adventure! For those who don’t know, it very difficult for an Indian to travel to Pakistan, our countries are extremely hostile towards each other and Indian tourists are treated with extreme suspicion by the Pakistani High Commission( and vice versa) .

Anyhow, with great diplomatic efforts of my friends in high places.( For Real!)I got my Pakistani Visa stamped and I was on my way to Karachi, two days after the 2014 Peshawar School Massacre. Suffice to say, my parents were in a tizzy and but I was resolute.


Landing in Karachi was a strange experience, I felt like I had landed somewhere in India in the 1980s. The airport seemed to be in a time-warp, but I sailed through quickly because my friends in high places had got me something called “Protocol”, that’s basically an airport Security person taking you through immigration and security real quick, like a Diplomat.

People ask me what was Pakistan like?

The only thing I can think of saying is: it’s warm. Pakistan is this warm country, with the most welcoming and courteous people. Living in India, their is so much hatred against Pakistanis, I went in thinking it would be the same from their side. But it was just the opposite. They were warm, welcoming and exceptionally happy to have me there 🙂

So what did I really enjoy doing in Pakistan?


That’s happy us, no clue who the guy is though :/

First and foremost, I met Mads again after 10 long months. We were ecstatic to be together.

And of course the amazing festivities of two weddings, I found them heartwarmingly similar to ours. Pakistanis and Indian’s both dance to songs from the Hindi Film Industry! (Bollywood as its infamously called)


IMG_5627_Fotor.jpgThen there were the clothes, Pakistani women’s fashion is just something to gawk at. I spent most of my evenings watching all the pretty women waltz around in their wedding finery. Those cuts, those colours on those foreign yet familiar silhouettes. *bliss*

A Pakistani bride is a thing of beauty, here’s a picture of my friend Serena all dressed up for her Nikkah.

Although, I really wanted to get my hands on some Pakistani couture , I was too busy with wedding festivities to really venture out too much.
Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 8.58.50 PM.pngI did however manage to get my hands on some of those Pakistani Juttis. When I say some, I mean ten!  when the shop keeper found out that I was an Indian, he was ecstatic. He ordered tea from a near by tea stall and made me sit while he showed me his “premium collection”. Best Khussa buying experience ever, highly recommend it to anyone visiting Pakistan



Snapchat stories are interesting while in Pakiland

Karachi is apparently,the most dangerous city in the world. You can’t just go around driving by yourself. So when the girls and I, went out on the town we were accompanies by a Pathan Gunman. No, really. He’d be ridding shotgun with his piece on display for all and sundry. Apparently, that what keeps the kidnappers at bay?

Ah Pakistan, I do love thee. Can you see how this has been such an adventure?

Then there was the food, just good enough to die for and I nearly did – from diarrhea and the most horrific flu ever.


My friend’s dad helping me with the drip.

Unfortunately I caught something really bad, I had a cough, I got fever and I caught a really bad case of diarrhea. I think we never figured out exactly what it was,but I’m guessing it was some sort of stomach bug.


Finally they put me on monster drip and a nebulizer to make sure I have enough energy to make my flight.

My family fondly remembers it as my Talibani Flu.

So how do I feel about Pakistan, in retrospect?

Pakistan felt like homecoming, it felt like my country. The people, felt like my people and for that it will hold a special place in my heart. How does one explain the feeling of traveling to a foreign country and feeling like they’ve come home? It’s the land of my forefathers and I hope to travel back again to explore more of it. InshAllah, I may be given the chance again!

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 11.20.11 PM.png

For some inexplicable reason this truck is absolutely symbolic of Pakistan to me. It’s edgy, its ethnic, it’s fiercely vivid. All brightly coloured and proud, at the same time slightly dangerous.

But most of all, its endearing.











Bucket List for my 30s

Life has a way of taking over and before you can grasp how much time has past, you’re close to 30 and not where you wanted to be in life. So where did you want to be in life? What did you want to do? I think that’s what I’m pursing – clarity.

Once I can figure out what all I really want to achieve in the next few years, I can start figuring out how to make them happen! So for posterity, I’m going to list all of them and I guess I’ll update every year.

  • See Machu Pichu
  • Grow a Garden:with night jasmine and a kitchen herbs
  • Finish The big Tolstoy Re-read
  • See the Tsarkoe Selo
  • Watch Ballet in St. Petersburg
  • See Christmas in St. Petersburg
  • Party in Moscow for New Years
  • Learn to speak Punjabi like a Punjabi and lose my city accent
  • Have tea next to the Badshahi Mosque in the city of my ancestors Lahore.
  • Stand in the Gardens of Babur
  • Witness the destruction of Afghanistan
  • Buy Afghani Kuchi Jewellery
  • Look up at the Buddhas of Bamiyan
  • See the marvels of Persia in Tehran and the Destruction by the Amerike
  • Float in the Dead Sea
  • See Petra and hang out with my friend Rudain in his country 🙂
  • See Israel – the destruction of the Palestinian
  • See the Marvels of Egypt –
  • Portugal- the first explorers, the small country that dominated the world of trade:)
  • See the Cherry blossoms in Japan and witness the first world
  • Be a successful entrepreneur –WORK IN PROGRESS
  • Save up a pot of money
  • Plan my destination wedding like a full on Bridezilla – WORK IN PROGRESS
  • Have a kid – maybe three?
  • Name my kid Fateh
  • Learn to Tango – the tango
  • Party in Rio
  • Learn to swim :/
  • connect with him again sometime and talk like before
  • Meet my friend Madeeha every year – be the best friend I can be to my soul sister
  • Go for a long holiday with my mumsie alone
  • Be a Homeowner
  • Oktoberfest in Germany, visit the Pergamon Museum in Berlin
  • Visit Auschwitz
  • Party in Croatia- island hopping?
  • White nights in Russia 🙂 Relive my Bronze Horseman experience
  • Visit Morocco with my friend Aziz
  • Another Coldplay concert please
  • Massai Mara – the great migration
  • Experience Zanzibar island fun
  • Say YES for an entire week
  • Try really hard to not become like the Good looking Sardar from the Sports Injury Hospital – there will be a post about this!
  • Railtrip across Europe – try to make it on the oriental express
  • Stay in a Scottish Highland castle, see the standing stones 🙂
  • Learn to Waltz in Vienna
  • Visit Pompeii – DONE
  • Learn to Sail
  • Learn to cook > Maybe?
  • Complete a 365 day photography project
  • Spend a week at sea
  • Hangout on the Nile cruise !
  • Create a life journal complete with posts, pictures and videos
  • Throw tomatoes at Madeeha in Spain for La Tomatina
  • Learn to be a happier person 🙂


The featured imagine is from a beautiful blog post: (you’ll probably have to use google Translate)


A Promise

I grew up dyslexic, finding it hard to put letters together to form words. It shaped my life in so many ways. I have a beautiful mother who knows everything, so she figured it out early. At that time, the Indian education system didn’t have a lot of awareness about such things.

She saved me, she made me. She taught me that I must work harder than everyone else just to be able to do as much as them. That’s who I am, I’m the ant.

I got through school, sometimes doing well, sometimes not so much. Life was good. Life has been good, I’m blessed. My parents shipped me off to Canada at the age of 17, my father wanted me to have the best education and I did. My struggles in Canada are for another post – too much ground to cover.

Fastforward 7 years, I’m sitting in a Cafe in hometown writing this post, New Delhi. Father and I, have started a Supply Chain company. Work is slow, building a business is so much harder than it seems in Business school. Which is why, real entrepreneurs usually drop out and make things happen while we study their lives in HBS cases.

But the more I think, the more I realize, am I doing the things I want? I feel empty inside sometimes. I had so many creative pursuits through school and college and I’ve left most of them behind. It’s left a gapping whole in my life.

Being an ant, trying to get ahead in this game of life. I worked on getting myself an education, a job, some money,  long lasting friendships, a Fiancé. I invested in all of this, but I forgot to invest in “myself”. Who am I? Who is Anyushka? What does she do for person growth, personal happiness, creative  expression and thought? I think I’ve lost the little girl my warrior mother saved.

So its a decision. No it’s a promise, I’ll change things, I’ll express myself, I’ll try to find my creative self.