Turning 40…

Posted by on Nov 10, 2016 in Travel Tales | 17 comments

Turning 40…

Yesterday was my 40th birthday. Amidst people in one part of the world counting votes, and the other half counting notes, I pretty much had a great time! Infact, I get a feeling that it took me 40 years to convince the world that I was born to create history!

When I was a kid, 40 seemed so old.  Middle aged.  The age of my school teachers and doctors with fudged up spectacles who my dad and mum relied upon so much.

When I was 20, 40 was like a whole life-time away.

When I was 30, 40 seemed like an age where, when I reached, I would have things figured out. Set. A solid ‘foundation’. Would have figured out, put myself on the right track to have everything in place and just where I wanted it to be.

I really thought I’d have stuff figured out by 40.

But I don’t know.  Have I? My honest reply is “Errmmmm” !


All I can say is that I think I’m finally learning just how much I DON’T know.  And I think I’m finally learning that it’s ok not to have it all figured out by now.

It’s a cocky place to be, really.  Any average statistician would agree, I’m pretty much halfway through this life. Strangely enough, it doesn’t worry me at all. Moreover, it seems to excite me.  And makes me want to share my ‘wisdom’. Hey..half my life’s worth can still be useful to people!


So, get a little drenched with a few drops of  my wisdom, will you?

I’ve learned there are people in this world I would die for, and kill for, without a moment’s hesitation.  But I’ve also learned that there are people in this world who despite my best efforts aren’t meant to be a part of my life, and that’s ok. And, you know who you are…so live with it- for better or for worse!

I’ve learned that a rainy afternoon of snuggles, giggles, stories and movies at home with my twins tops exciting treks or luxury holidays, any day.




I’ve learned that there are things that I can’t control, no matter how badly I want to, and I’ve learned to (sometimes) let them go.

I’ve learned that trauma transforms me. And makes me a stronger and more positive human being. The birth of my pre-matured twins and the struggle to keep them living, the death of my grandfather.. made me much stronger  than I ever could have been. I carry all this inside me because of the meaning I fought to make of it, how I chose to weave it though the narrative of my life. Trauma is what you leave outside that narrative, until it grows a dark narrative of its own. That’s true for a novel, and true similarly, for my life.


There were some wild years, and no matter how ill-advised some of those nights may have been, I’m grateful for them (because they were awesome). I’m also grateful I got through them unscathed.

I have learned that I need to be grateful for my stretch marks and my battle scars. Fall down seven times, get up eight. I’m grateful for that eighth time, that next day, that new chance. Not everybody gets one. They don’t last forever. I’m grateful for what’s behind me, and for what lies ahead

I’ve learned to ask for help.  It’s hard for me, but no one cares if I’m a martyr except me and in general, the people who love you will help you if you let them.

I’ve learnt books can be addictive and history and mythology can be evocative. Which makes me learn that elusiveness and irritation, in that order, are never permanent feelings. You need air and space to convert each of those into love and addiction. And when it does, it becomes as strong as your hatred.

I have learned travelling releases you and binds you all at once. It allows you to feel attachment and detachment at the same time, and that’s precious. That in turn makes you as resilient as a rubber band. You turn out impenetrable.

I’ve learned that it’s never too late to try something new or dream of doing something else. There  are things that I’ve always been interested in doing, and if not now, then it will be never.  Now’s my time. So, says my tattoo!


I’ve learned that it doesn’t really matter what other people think of me.  I’m much more concerned about how I feel about myself at the end of the day.  If I can look back and see that I made good choices that allow me to sleep at night and I did no harm to others, then that was a pretty good day.

I’ve learned that it’s ok to ask for what I want. And I am convinced that if you don’t ask, the answer is always ‘no’!





I have learned its important to know how someone loves you. Its not important why it is the way it is. Feelings are never up for comparison. So trust always that how someone loves you is the best way in which he can. And that’s what will always matter.  Trust love. And respect that trust. It may not take you to the stars, it may not be butterflies giggking in your stomach, but terra firma is much better- that’s what you learn.




I have learned that when I see how beautifully Ma has aged, it feels awesome for a lot of reasons. I feel I am looking at my own future. Because if I end up looking anything like she does when I’m in my 60s, then I’ll consider myself a very lucky woman.


Most importantly though, I’ve learned that I’m not done.  I’m not finished evolving into the person I’m meant to be.

And somewhere in the distance – hopefully in the far, far, far-off distance, the light-years away kind of distance – my future self stands on a balcony looking out at the view, hair twisted in a chignon and a gin-and-tonic in one hand as I celebrate perhaps my latest book, or my newest grandchild, or an awesome yoga session or an old friendship or a new friendship or the richness of my companionship or the start of a new end..something!


So, I will just let myself be! The way I am .. flying dreams in air, and stealing raindrops from the sky. Demanding, cunning and erratic. Sometimes plain random.


  1. This is so beautiful !
    Happy 40th Sammy!

  2. Loved it and identified with all the lessons !!!! I couldn’t have said it better !!! Cheers to life and to all your years ahead !!! Muaah!!!

  3. Beautiful. Happy 40th, Sam 🙂

  4. Mylittle bonfire under a starlit sky, my tucked away cornerplace in the attic, my sunshine day and night, My wild little child.

  5. So beautiful. It shows the very soul of you. Many things resonate with me – we’ll have to sit with a glass of wine and share them when you come. Happy 40, Sambrita. Love and hugs.

  6. Well written Sambrita! Could relate to so many of your views – particularly those about age & about trauma & about the small things in life that make us happy & not luxurious travel!! Wishing you more new paths, new opportunities, greater challenges & of course, the little things in life!

  7. Thanks Ma’am… so sweet of you to stop by, read and post your thoughts here !
    Am so glad you felt connected through this- it really means that all of us eventually end up feeling the same, don’t we?

  8. Oh totally!
    Shall I get some kucho nimki along? 🙂
    Tried and tested.. goes well with the red!

  9. The most precious gift, so far! Thanks Ranjon da…

  10. Thanks Ishani!

  11. I love you, too!

  12. Great thoughts! Hopefully it would be that much evocative for me when I turn 40. Happy 40 Sambrita!

  13. Beautifully expressed words.Turning forty is a wonderful experience, my baby.Live ur life to the fullest.Your Ma and Baba are always beside you. Love,Ma

  14. Eki! you still a baby then, Suparna 😛

  15. I know. And, thanks 🙂

  16. Fantastic can turning 40 be more luscious?

  17. Hahah! 🙂