What all do you drop on the way to where you are now?

Think hard. I would like to think I havent dropped much. I have added on. The most obvious would be the kilos. The possessions. The worries. The husband. The child. The house. The jewellery. The cars. The staff. Their salaries. The grey hair. The wrinkles. The worry lines. The spare tyres. The excess hair growth. The polycystic ovaries. The little bald patches (well, technically, this is a dropped because hair has dropped off, but lets not argue about technicalities here.)

I’ve added on friends. Relatives. Acquaintances.  I have piled on clothes, shoes, bags. Cosmetics. Books. Furniture. Utensils. Crockery. Artefacts.  I’m pinned down beneath the weight of so much that I have attached to me. I think if my soul has to break free of my physical shell, I have to first rid myself of my attachment to my shoes and bags, or find a way of taking them into the afterworld with me like them Pharoahs.

But I’ve also dropped quite a lot. My insistence on doing things my way. My egocentric view of the world. My ability to find happiness only through making myself happy. I’ve dropped tolerance. I dont tolerate anymore. I move on. Life is too short to constantly keep adjusting and living in hope that the tomorrow will be better. You have to make your now as good as you can.  I’ve dropped being polite with people I dont like. It is not worth it. I dropped pretending to be civil.

At nearing 40, you know the best years of your life are behind you. And the best years are still to come. Paradoxical? Let me explain. You have put behind you years when you had health, youth, beauty and ambition and arrogance. You know now that you have approximately 30 years left of your life of which 20 more will have you in decent enough health to go around doing your own thing. And most things you hankered for in your youth dont really matter any more. You know what is truly precious to you and you cherish it. To me it is my son, my husband, my mother. I also know that when I age, my son will have his own life, my mother will be long gone and I will have only my husband to turn to.

I have dropped hankering over what might have beens and concentrate on my what is right now. My what is right now is much more precious to me than any idyllic imaginations of Utopia. May be it isnt the ideal I imagined it to be, maybe I’d expected more of myself and my life, and thought I would have things differently but what I have is nice and I’m not swapping with anyone. I dont mind swapping the bank account with the Sultan of Brunei or Oprah Winfrey though. But, of course, Oprah worked her butt off to get to where she is today and I recognise and salute that. Sitting on my butt here is not going to get me her bank account.

I have few friends but all of whom I can call on at midnight to help out in a crisis, and who can do the same with me. I no longer need to have a mile long list of friends. Never mind if my facebook list tells you contrarily. That list is not that of friends. Some are. Of course. Some are people I have never seen face to face in my entire life.  I do know that I have got to know a lot of folks I barely knew through their updates and their photographs.  And I enjoy that.

I have dropped the need to be perfect everytime I step out in public. It is now okay to not insert my contact lenses, not to have perfectly applied eyeliner, to have unvarnished nails. It is okay not to be perfectly coordinated. Its okay if your hands and legs are unwaxed and your eyebrows unthreaded. Your face unbleached. Not always. But sometimes. It isnt the end of the world. The most beautiful woman in the world isnt one who is perfect. She is one who is serene and radiant. And stressing about being beautiful does not for serenity make. It is okay to be a little sloppy. Because I am perfect. I was made perfect. Two hands, two legs, two eyes, ears and the vitals in perfect working order. What more do I need?

I have also dropped my demanding relationship with God. I no longer ask. I accept. There is a plan to everything, and I will get whatever was written in my plan.

And most notable of all, I’ve dropped all the extra baggage from my emotional life. I’ve realised life is too short and too precious to hang on to toxic relationships, friends, acquaintances or more difficult, relatives. I detach myself. I move on. And that, I think, has given me the most happiness and peace.  The husband says he marvels at my ability to cut off a person from my life cold bloodedly. It is so not you, he says. You have changed, he adds. I admire how you can say no, he adds.  It gives me peace. I will always help out but I will no longer be taken advantage of. I will always respect another individual but I will no longer allow folks not to respect me.

I have dropped caring about what other people think of me, and think about only what I think of me. Am I able to look myself in the eye in the mirror at the end of the day and not cringe with shame and embarassment? That is all I need. Will I be able to tell my mother about my day without whitewashing bits of it? That is my touchstone. I know I could tell her anything and she would understand. But I dont want to be in a situation where I have to tell her something she needs to understand and accept. Except of course, my need for continually replenishing my bag and shoe collection.

I have dropped ambivalence. If I get into something I throw myself into it wholeheartedly or I dont take it up at all.  I have also dropped intractibility. I am more able to accept that I have made a mistake, I eat my words with relish because I accept that I am learning, growing, and accepting my mistakes is the first step to growing spiritually.

I have dropped a lot. Now let me get back onto the mammoth task of dropping six kilos to get myself back into Shallow Hal territory.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published nine books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016), psychological thriller with Missing, Presumed Dead (2018) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. In 2018, she was awarded the International Women's Day award for literary excellence by ICUNR and Ministry of Women and Children, Government of India. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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71 Responses to What all do you drop on the way to where you are now?

  1. Paroma says:

    Excellent post Kiran. I am dropping many things too. And gives me my peace of mind. By the time I reach 40 I think I’ll undergo the complete detox therapy. 🙂


  2. aniruddhapathak says:

    i think i have dropped a lot of baggage too, as one moves on one feels lighter, i guess thats the way it should be to be completely light so that one gets ready to merge in ultimate…excellent post once again 🙂


  3. aneela says:

    this is beautiful reading….now how soon before this is plagiarized, sigh?!!


  4. Meira says:

    wow…you make nearing 40 sound so appealing 😛 . Awesome post.


  5. babiesanon says:

    Lovely ! Simply awesome. I wish I could think like you do, right now..

    Woman you are gorgeous inside out.


  6. Kiran Manral says:

    Paroma: Now if only I could drop my need to shop, life would be perfect…

    Aniruddha: 🙂 Thank you kind sir.

    Aneela: Have put up dire warnings at the entrance of the blog, copyscape and creative commons license. Hope the fangs help.

    Meira: 🙂 It is a nice place to be at. You are mature and you still have all your faculties around you.


  7. Kiran Manral says:

    Poppy: You’re seeing me with a biased eye…just because I was your doula 😉


  8. this post i like. but it makes me think and that i dont like!
    im closer to 30 than 40 but i can still agree to lots of the stuff you said.. nodded along happily as i read… havent learnt to cut off ppl tho..i ‘jhelo’ them because some of them u cant get rid of, try as u might!!
    how come u missed out things experience brings you?like crisis management, problem solving, patience… i think as you age you get better at things like that,dont u?


  9. I loved this post kiran.. only uc an write it so well


  10. Kodi's Mom says:

    this is a post that needs to be saved and savored. made for beautiful, thought provoking reading.
    thank you Lady K. 🙂


  11. Mumbai Diva says:

    LOVED the post,Kiran.


  12. mummyjaan says:

    Extremely well-written, Kiran.


  13. BlueMist says:

    Thanks for this post Kiran. You have unknowingly answered lot of questions that i refuse to answer. Long way to go for me. Being on this side of 40 and other side of 30 is not as frightening as it would be otherwise.
    and brilliant write up !!


  14. suma says:

    good post…touches upon a lot that i’ve been thinking about lately.

    i like being 37…i’ve changed a LOT. Things which used to matter much to me 10 years back don’t now…dropping extra baggage would be something i have to work on….

    of course i would have loved to have thought it out as lucidly as you did…:)


  15. anna says:

    brilliant! and oh so true! thanks for puuting it down so well.


  16. Shivani says:

    “It is okay to be a little sloppy. Because I am perfect. I was made perfect. Two hands, two legs, two eyes, ears and the vitals in perfect working order. What more do I need?”
    Thank you for writing this…that entire paragraph actually. I’m in my mid-twenties, but from teenage to here, I’ve only graduated from “extremely sloppy” to “little sloppy” 😀

    And this, inspite of being surrounded by people whose world revolves around Avon catalogues, make-up, accessories & exotic facials. I have no hope of getting better by the time I hit thirties 🙂

    As usual, excellent post Kiran!!


  17. Saya says:

    Thats a beautiful post Kiran. Love that part about the emotional baggage. So true.


  18. sscribbles says:

    Loved this post K. It felt like I was at a serene place, one where I would love to be, in the coming years. Cherished every single word you wrote. (BTW the sentences also didn’t go beyond 50 words……the journo in you will understand :))


  19. dipali says:

    Superb! You’ve surpassed yourself, Kiran:)


  20. herez a random question for ya, do u never change ur header?


  21. Kiran Manral says:

    Aniruddhapathak:always feel free to get carried away while commenting on my posts!

    Kodis mom: honoured.
    CTWM: Those are skills you would learn on any job. And I think I’ve become impatient rather than patient in my old age.

    Itchy,Mumbaidiva, Mummyjaan: Thankee!

    BlueMist: no it is not frightening at all. Right now 70 seems frightening but I guess I will be there soon enough.

    Suma: I have one year of experience on you! 😉

    Anna: 🙂

    Shivani: but having written that I must admit I am still pretty fastidious about my appearance. Dressing well and being well maintained shows you respect yourself and appreciate yourself.

    Saya: Thanks.

    Sscribbles: ah the 50 word limit! The one I always struggle with and give up.

    Dips: 🙂

    Ctwm: Never. That is what this blog started with two years ago and that’s a two year old pic. And the only halfway glam one I have of myself. I am pretty vain you know. 😉


    • oh like that aa… then i must admit.. im pretty inconsistent! i have to change headers( and themes) allll the time..its like the header urges me to change it!!may be i just get bored easily..

      two yrs and the same header!? wow!! thats something.. i wud have got like 200 diff headers by now!! lol


  22. Paroma says:

    I think all that shopping and adding on bags and shoes to an already shameless number of bags and shoes balances the dropping of other things. Seriously. You ought to take some and leave some.

    And other than that, being a woman you have the right to all your gorgeous shoes and bling-y bags girl! Go! Shop! Add! And be at peace 🙂


  23. Gauri says:

    Lovely post Kiran and very thought provoking.


  24. JLT says:

    Am awed at your writing, Kiran. Lovely post. Your maturity simply shines thru in your ability to let go. It is so difficult, letting go.


  25. S says:

    Wow. This post is simply amazing. What you say makes a lot of sense. Even though I am yet to find a lot in life, I think what you said makes sense for anyone who wants to be happy in the moment and live a good life.

    Thank you for such awesome writing!


  26. shilpadesh says:

    Great post Kiran. Though I am not quite there yet, I definitely feel like I am at more peace with myself now than I was in my early twenties. Also, I am more sure of what I can and cannot do!


  27. Upsi says:

    Loved this post of yours, Kiran.


  28. Sonia says:

    Awesome post Kiran!! I still have a long way to go, hopefully one day I will be more at peace like you….but for dropping something, I hope to drop atleast a few pounds, have signed up for 2 half marathons this year :))


  29. anamikais says:

    Applause! This was exceptional.


  30. Aathira says:

    Loved this post…

    I have so much to drop.. but then I guess I should do it spaced out to last till I have 40!

    The top priority to drop are: Ego, remembering fights and obv some kilos!


  31. What can I say? This post should be printed out and pinned to the corkboard in front of one’s desk.


  32. Dottie says:

    What a lovely post, Kiran!!!! I agree with mystic!


  33. Pepper says:

    That was really amazing! I think it has little to do with age.. we all add and drop along the journey of life.. its a constant process. I’m certainly going to come back to this post and reread it at some point.. thanks for writing it!


  34. Sands says:

    Absolutely beautiful post Kiran. As one who is nearing 40 in a few years myself, I can totally relate to this post. Lovely lovely read and like many others said one to save for posterity.


  35. CA says:

    Lovely lovely post Kiran !!
    And you know what, there are so many things I wish I could drop … but it is just so hard and I know I am making it difficult on myself by hanging on to it.
    This post is so thought provoking. I wish I had the maturity as you … pls tell me it comes with age. I am 32, not too far behind you in age … but in terms of maturity I have a long way to go !

    Thanks for this post.


  36. rayshma says:

    loved this post.
    have dropped a lot… and gained even more… i may take this up as a tag, actually.. you won’t mind if i do?

    and btw, u really don’t “need” to drop those pounds! 🙂


  37. V says:

    I am one of those people whom you have never met,but are in touch with on FB…:) Lovely post.. I hope to be where you are right now on some issues such as dealing with ungrateful and manipulative family,and saying no!


  38. manisha says:

    love almost everything you write, but these words:
    “The most beautiful woman in the world isnt one who is perfect. She is one who is serene and radiant” sent a shiver up my spine. That was such a wise and kind piece. Thank You.


  39. Someone just sent me a link to this post today – and well, its amazing. It’s comforting to know that serenity IS possible. Its inspiring to know that perfection is not a myth. I wish I have the courage to cut of the toxic people and not get dragged down into a never ending morass of pettiness.


  40. Roop Rai says:

    how do you string poetry so beautifully in prose? how immaculate! husband doesn’t read blogs … but i got him to read this post of yours. he had a smile on his face after reading. as did i.



  41. bhavna says:

    Kiran, u know the post is beutiful but more than that for me it was so comforting. Yesterday,will go down, as one of the worst days in my life and reading ur post helped me get some sanity. Wud u mind if I got a !bit’ inspired by it and picked it up as a tag too?


  42. Kiran Manral says:

    Mystic, dottie: honoured.

    Pepper: yup. True. We keep adding some, dropping some. The ideal would be to drop everything till one reaches the birth stage of total spiritual nakedness from attachment when one dies.


    CA: I don’t know if you can call this maturity. I call this a kind of selfishness! Ensuring that one keeps oneself as happy as one can.

    Rayshma: please go ahead. And yes I do. For fitness and to be within my healthy bmi. 🙂

    V: we are more than fb friends I hope. You are an India Helps pillar! Saying no has been one of the most difficult lessons I’ve had to learn but the most valuable.

    Manisha: well to me my mother is the most beautiful woman in the world and she is miles away from beauty. You know. 🙂

    A cynic in wonderland: well now that you’ve dropped by I hope you stop by more often!

    RoopRai:now if only my husband would bother to read my blogs!


  43. Kiran Manral says:

    Paroma: put like that, well yes I should. Shouldn’t I? 😉

    Gauri: thanks dear. You and Tharini are two bloggers who really give me food for navel gazing!

    JLT: 🙂 what maturity yaar. I still squeal if someone polishes off my ferrero rochers from the fridge. 😉

    S:living in the moment. Yes. Being happy and at peace in this moment yes.

    Shilpadesh: life is truly too short to spend it being miserable.

    Upsi: you’re back after ages!

    Sonia: way to go girl. I wish I had the discipline to do that!

    Anamikais: 🙂

    Aathira: no, I don’t think I want to drop ego. Self importance, pride, maybe. But ego gives me self respect. Which in turn ensures others respect me.

    Bhavna: take it up feel free!


  44. sraikh says:

    I dont know what to say. This post has left me speechless. Seriously what a thought provoking post. I dont know which one is better, this one or the one abt your dh…


  45. Kiran Manral says:

    Sraikh: I think we are both going through the wringer at the moment, dh and I. Both posts are a result of events in our life right now.


  46. Andy says:

    Hi Kiran, this is beautiful and in some way helpful too!! I was wondering if all the changes – forced or otherwise – in me had changed the person I am but now I realised, I havnt changed, I have evolved like all living being should. It just shows I am well and alive right? Love u for putting thins in the right perspective!!


  47. chandni says:

    I love this post. Will think about it and pen my thoughts down 🙂


  48. Shobana says:

    Kiran, I really am in awe of the kind of self-understanding you have. I only wish, that I am half of what you are, in 10yrs time. I really wish, that I could learn to let go…what do u do to do that? I mean, how do you tell yourself to let go of some thoughts, people, actions and such?


  49. Veena says:

    Beautiful post, Kiran. The kind one should print out and display for inspiration. Lovely thoughts..


  50. Mallika says:

    Beautiful self realisation Kiran. A big hug 🙂


  51. Pingback: Gaining and dropping! « BoHeMiAn RhApSoDy

  52. Tara says:

    hey i am adding you in my blog roll.. loved your writing and the person that comes across 🙂 cheers!


  53. SMM says:

    Oh this is such a lovely intropsective post. I need to think about myself and pen down what i have gathered & what I have dropped on the way.


  54. Kiran Manral says:

    Andy: not a single cell in your body is more than seven years old (I think) so why shouldn’t you expect yourself to change. 🙂

    Chandu: loved your post. Will comment there.

    Shobana: I just ask myself if it is important for me to hang onto. Letting go seems sensible.

    Veena: am honoured you think so!

    Mallika: a big hug back to you too Ruma Mashi. You know where half this post is coming from being on this side of 35!

    Tara: flattered and honoured!

    SMM: look forward to reading that!


  55. Serendipity says:

    Delurking for today.
    An absolutely beautiful post!


  56. Subha says:

    A very nice read. I was able to relate to things that I have changed in myself from introspection. The ‘Ego’ bit on your reply to Aathira, made me think, may be being a little bit egoistic is not too bad, contrary to some advises we get. But knowing where to stop is what needs to be understood. This post has made me think of a few things that I need to drop and some that I need to add.

    Thank you for such a wonderful write up on yourself.


  57. Renu says:

    Really loved this post :). Especially the part where you have touched upon letting go off the need to be perfect all the time. That struck a chord.


  58. Kiran Manral says:

    Serendity: Stay delurked… 🙂

    Renu: Oh yes, not being perfect all the time can be such a stress buster…


  59. Indyeah says:

    Got here from Chandni’s
    loved this post 🙂


  60. Suni says:

    Lovely post kiran…i have been lurking around for a long time now but had to delurk for this one. Very thought provoking…thanks again.:)


  61. Ariel says:

    An absolutely fab post!! Have read it thrice already and love it with every read


  62. blinkandmiss says:

    your point about being able to talk abt one’s day without editing stuff to one’s mother is an accurate measure!! you surpass yourself post after post. and i would’ve said this post is wonderful, but we readers have been spoilt silly with your writing. are you writing a book? i think i have asked you earlier. please let me know if it’s out. if not, then pls consider writing one.


  63. Mansi says:

    Very touching and thought provoking post. You write beautifully..


  64. Kiran Manral says:

    Indyeah: Welcome and keep returning.

    Suni: Please stay delurked. Love getting comments.

    Ariel: Honoured.

    Blinkandmiss: LOL, it is my measure, but am sure it works for everyone. No book on the anvil. For that I need dedication, perseverance and a book deal. I cannot start writing and then go through the heart break of rejection…or simply put, am lazy.

    Mansi: Thank you 🙂


  65. Mampi says:

    I am still learning to drop the baggage…
    God willing I will.


  66. Kiran Manral says:

    Mampi: Sure you will. Sure we all will. At differing speeds but we will.


  67. awesome lady k..I should take this up as a tag!


  68. shub says:

    What a lovely, honest post. Loved reading it 🙂


  69. Pingback: A Day of Taking Stock « Title Intentionally Left Blank

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