For those of you who have known me over the years, you know that I am the “queen of disclaimers,” and I always say that they are #nevernotnecessary, because, thus far, they have never proven not to be. There is, legit, never NOT someone who lacks a sense of humor/does not understand sarcasm and, therefore, cannot take a joke and takes everything literally thereby resulting in next level butt hurtedness (*real phrase* – just go with it). There is also never NOT someone who does not understand that what I share is simply my OP-IN-I-ON and that I am not remotely suggesting that I am “right” or that they are “wrong” simply because we view things differently (the number of people who want to #comeatme on the regular is truly remarkable and, sometimes, alarming while always being amusing); rest assured that asserting my opinion in a confident manner (read: as if it was the truth) does not make it the truth. Finally, there is never NOT someone who does not interpret my having the gall to express myself unapologetically as my thinking that I am “better than” or “think I know better than” or some other effery.

*News Flash* I do not think I am better than anyone and, for reals, I do not know shit. I feel rather lost on most days and am just trying to figure out this whole life thing as (I believe) most people are; however, contrary to many, I actually share my struggles and not just my highlights reel as I no longer have any effs to give about what other people think and, accordingly, choose to live a self-expressed life. For me, “sharing” is not something I simply “enjoy” doing nor do I share to “get” something, but it is who I AM and what I believe is my higher purpose/calling in life, and my desire – more like compulsion – to share comes from having made a million and four mistakes. Maybe a million and five. I dunno, but A LOT, so I “overshare” as I do simply because my life’s greatest desire is that as many people as possible – particularly young people – be spared from making the same mistakes I did, and, even if they do make them, that those mistakes are understood to be lessons to learn from rather than experiences that derail their lives entirely as they did mine (on more than one occasion, because I used to make the same mistake at least thrice for good measure). *Judges self but quickly forgives for doing the best I could with my level of consciousness at that time*

Anywho… so, the “disclaimer of all disclaimers” includes all of the above and also includes the following which is that there is really very little unique thought left in this world in spite of nearly everyone out there (self-help/development peeps, “gurus” of whatever, coaches of every variety, etc) pretending that they are coming up with “novel” thoughts all the time when, in fact, they are simply thoughts that have been repurposed, repackaged, and repositioned to be sold as “novel” and “life-changing.” Keyword: SOLD, and I will rant about this more in a future post.

For now, please know this: I am – as you are – the sum total of all of my life’s experiences and all of the things I have ever read, watched, and heard before. Where I absolutely know that a notion is someone else’s (who I can attribute to as such), I will do so as I cannot stand people who portray ideas/thoughts/concepts as their own that aren’t which is practically every person on the interwebs nowadays. That being said, there are things in life that I never heard of before and that simply came from a feeling in my heart – for example, how much women overly apologize – and I expressed these thoughts well before I had ever heard anyone else express them and waaaaay before anyone ever wrote any book about “stopping to apologize.” (*rolls eyes* CAN’T STAND HER, but I digress). Therefore, you’ll have to forgive me if I say something that has been said a million times before; it is 10000% sure going to happen as we – as humans – often have common experiences/learnings/viewpoints/lenses.

To continue with the disclaimers, here’s a biggie… I love to curse. This is always an interesting disclaimer, because I know that there are “holier than thou” types who would “like me so much more” (like, people have told me this) if I “didn’t use *foul* language,” but what is funny to me about that is that my language says absolutely nothing about my character, values, or fundamental goodness. What is extra funny is that – while you are thinking someone else may be “good” because of how they speak sans curse words – I can assure you that, unlike that seemingly perfect and proper person, this rough-around-the-edges-unpolished-loves-to-drop-an-F-bomb human would stand for and with you in your life’s most trying times no matter the cost or risk to me. If you can say that in full confidence about those who don’t offend your senses as I do, awesome, but I am done “toning myself down” or dampening who I am authentically to be more broadly pleasing.

Instead, I revel in being narrowly pleasing and forever polarizing. While most people aspire to be liked by the masses (to be able to ultimately, at the root of nearly everything, “sell” to the largest audience) I want to be liked by my people… my like-minded and similar-valued tribe and divergents of this world who have already filtered themselves from the masses and emerged in my life and will continue to do so. I refuse to spend my one and only life aiming to be pleasing or worrying about being liked as I already wasted so much of it doing exactly that. Hate me? Good. That means I’ve pushed your buttons and challenged your thinking. Indifferent or TBD? Awesome, and I appreciate you sticking around to decide. Love me? Thank you, and I will never be able to fully express the depths of my gratitude to those who make me feel seen, heard, and known.

One last thing… Actually, two. I write as I speak, so if you are a “grammar nazi” or feel that I am adulterating the English language, I AM as I have made up my own way of speaking and writing. To me, creative writing is just like art, and there is no one way to do it; I am not looking to be known as a “literary genius” (ermm… because I am the fuuuuurthest thing from one), so #sorrynotsorry if you can’t stand my “style” of writing. I am simply not for you, and that is okay.

& now the actual last thing… my greatest joy in writing has been the conversations that emerge and community that is grown, so please – whether it be on my posts or in private messages – always feel free to reach out. Maybe you’re not there yet in being able to share your personal truth publicly and perhaps you might not ever be, but, sometimes, just saying it aloud to someone knowing that you won’t be judged can be incredibly healing, and there has been nothing more rewarding and meaningful to me than those who trust me to be that person.

K, I think that is enough disclaimers for now, so, on that note… I am stepping into “Smita Shares” (let’s stay connected below!) fully with purpose, passion, and conviction, and I am so deeply honored by and grateful for whoever bears witness to me finally doing the thing that I was always meant to do “when I grew up.”

With love,




Stay connected by liking Smita Shares or following me on my personal page (I’m sorry that I cannot become friends with everyone up front, and I’m not saying that it won’t ever happen, but I just require us to connect on a personal level before it does and hope you’d want the same)



If you randomly ended up here and are not quite sure what my blog is all about, please kindly click on ABOUT to find out about the blog’s history and future… 

So… about me…?

Hi, this is me (in a rare put together look)

Hmm. Now that you have a face to my name, I guess I will share why it is that you are reading this today. Whether it is (was, as this is not a particular interest of mine anymore) South Asian Dating, social issues, “controversial” topics, and everything in between, I am someone who has never been able to NOT speak my mind. Read: it is basically an affliction. You know the thing that everyone is thinking or feeling but feels afraid/hesitant/nervous/awkward to say out loud? Well, I will always say it, & I suppose this is – if I am allowed to say so myself – revolutionary (while also being deeply offensive and loathed) for being a South Asian woman in particular.

I say that because women, in general, are expected to be pleasing and agreeable and our being (perceived as) antagonistic, “contentious,” or having any disapproval or (horrors) rage is dismissed and not tolerated, so… next level that times one hundred as a South Asian woman born to immigrant parents in 1979.

I have had quite a journey during this thing called life – and continue to – and, at my heart, I am someone who loves to share what I love (particularly positive experiences and things that have made my life better) while, every now and then, how I feel about various topics. I have been writing since as long as I can remember, but I am uncertain what warrants me being able to call myself a writer (I mean, is it a published book? Is it a bazillion likes and a fan following? Validation from another writer?). I do, however, know that *real writers* – like the ones who reached out to me with unsolicited advice when my first blog was blowing up – feel that I could be an “even better writer” if I “just used fewer side thoughts” (parentheses and dashes are LIFE because I, legit, think and speak in real life this way), better grammar, fewer run-on sentences, and less made up words. Noted, but, with all due respect, I also completely do not care.

I have never written to be validated by anyone or for the praise of the masses; at the end of the day, my first blog got me as much scorn as praise, but, hey, people were reading and talking about it, and making people think – ideally, challenging their thinking with a (perhaps naive) hope of helping to evolve thinking/beliefs/behavior/outcomes – is what I am all about.

As long as I can remember, I have been the kind of person who can’t just stay quiet when I see something wrong (or even really right) happening, and I have always believed that sometimes – even when it is socially unacceptable, likely to get you ostracized, or have negative consequences (as I was often advised writing Blog 1.0 would – i.e. – “No one will date you. Ever.) – you have to do what feels right and that you should never stop trying to make a difference even if you are going at it alone.

Nothing taught me that lesson more than “the events of 2012” (see About), and I will share more about what transpired and the aftermath as we get to know one another.

Other than that, I am a pretty simple person. I love to be a goofball and am a comedienne in my own mind. I have spoken publicly on various occasions and aspire to be a (legit) public speaker; one of my life’s bucket list goals is to do a Ted Talk one day. I am an extrovert-turned-introvert-turned-ambivert (more on that later, I am sure). I wear my heart on my sleeve and am known to cry over #allthethings (happy things, sad things, & other things). I LOVE love and children and – although I have no desire to be in a relationship or procreate at present writing, &, yes, I do know my “biological clock is ticking” – could not be bothered to care. I am overly attached in a totes dysfunctional and co-dependent way to my parents, and I am a doting aunt (my nephew and niece call me “Bhua” which means “dad’s sister” in Hindi) to the loves of my life.

That is me in a nutshell, and I look forward to sharing more of myself and what I love with all of you.

Thank you for stopping by,

Published on 11/20/2012. Changed privacy setting back to public on 4/5/2012 after my public live video share to my Facebook page (link to follow) about SABA North America allowing my ex to run for their board. More receipts to be shared, and I am in complete awe that I had the ability to write this – actually, do ANY of what I did – while living through what felt like a Lifetime horror movie and while experiencing PTSD & depression (which I did not cognitively perceive until my flurry of naive justice-seeking activity stopped) as I was just in non-stop “fight/flight” survival mode until then. 

The below is to provide context to my OPEN LETTER TO JUDGE BALL-REED (scroll to Nov. 20), because my story is important for 2 reasons:  1)  Without it, it would be difficult to fully understand just how wrong Judge Patrice Ball-Reed got it (click here to see her ruling) and 2) to open up the public’s eyes to how this broken system further victimizes victims and why domestic violence as an issue is not taken as seriously as it should.

Is donating bone marrow a personal cause of mine?  No, but it is something that I have had an awareness of ever since my senior year of undergrad when a friend (real talk: kind of a frenemy and this haunted me for a long time) had a bout with leukaemia and was saved for the second time by a bone marrow donation from her brother (sadly, she did not survive due to something entirely unrelated)… that experience inspired me to help my brother host a bone marrow drive back when I lived in DC… 3 years ago, I met Vijay Uncle who not only inspired my starting this blog but was and still is a huge advocate for South Asians registering as bone marrow donors… a friend of mine (who you may have heard of), Tim, started a South Asian-focused non-profit for finding bone marrow matches worldwide… and most recently, a friend of mine, Cherry Mangat, went through the experience of being a donor.

Now I can honestly say I don’t really know Cherry very well.  I met her when she lived in Chicago, knew her more through friends and really never got to know her personally.  Oddly enough (to you, not to me because this happens quite a bit for me), I got to know her through Facebook.  As much as this will sound creepster-ish, when she moved to San Francisco, I would see her posts, saw someone who was like-minded and wished that I had gotten to know her better before she had left.   As far as I could tell, Cherry was a soulful, spiritual and thoughtful person but nothing affirmed that feeling as much as when I saw her post the day she was going to be going to donate bone marrow.

I think I may have been the first person to like/comment (I know, shocking) on her post regarding being a donor because I put myself in Cherry’s shoes and imagined what a profound and life-changing experience she must be going through.  I followed up with a personal e-mail asking if I could interview Cherry for my blog with lots of SM-disclaimers about “no worries if not” and “I know you’re going through the procedure as we speak.”  However, Cherry wrote me back from the hospital graciously saying yes.

Below is my interview with the beautiful – on the inside and out – Cherry Mangat.

1)  When did you first register and why?

I first registered for the National Marrow Donor Program when I was a Junior in college.  I started out simply wanting to donate blood but I was underweight so I wasn’t allowed to give, so instead, I volunteered to organize all the blood drives on campus.  Through that work, I heard about the NMDP and how hard it was for patients to find a match, especially for minorities.  I thought that if I could help someone in this way it would be wonderful, and so I registered.

2)  When did you receive the call that you were a match and what information was provided to you…?
I first received a call in October of 2011 that I could be a potential match.  It was actually right around the time of my birthday and it felt like a gift to me; I had been in a rut and feeling sorry for myself for so many things.  Getting that call was a reality check, a reminder of how lucky I was to have my health and that I could actually help to save someone else’s life.  The chances of that happening are so rare, I felt like I had won the lottery!

The NMDP provided a lot of information to me, including what every step of the process would be (health questionnaire, in-person health interview, blood tests, x-rays, EKG’s, physical exams, possible methods of giving marrow, recovery time, privacy rights, a possibility of corresponding with the patient, etc).  I had the kindest donor advocate and she went with me to my appointments and offered a lot of support before, during and after the procedure.  All of my questions were answered promptly and since I was in SF but my family was in Chicago, the NMDP even offered to fly a relative to SF if it would help me.

3)  What ran through your head when you found out (include any reactions from family/friends that you think is relevant) and what followed in regards to next steps?

When I found out that I was a potential match in October, it did not really hit me.  When I went through all of the tests in December and I was deemed healthy enough to donate, I was excited.  A date was set for the donation in January, but it kept moving out the month after month because the patient was not doing well.  At that point, I was feeling quite sad because even though the patient was anonymous, the NMDP was allowed to tell me that she was 16 and that she had Leukemia.  She was also an international match so most likely I figured she was Indian.  We had never met and I did not know if we would ever meet, but I felt a connection to her and it was hard to know each month that her health still wasn’t good enough for the intense chemotherapy that she would have to undergo before she could receive my cells.

In the beginning, whenever I would meditate I would send positive thoughts to her and her family, to help them pull through.  I also took extremely good care of myself because I wanted to be as healthy as possible for her, which sounds a little weird but when you know that something that is inside of you is going to be put inside of someone else, you have a whole new respect for your body and you also want to give that other person the best possible chance of surviving.  I wasn’t given any restrictions on what I could do or eat or anything like that, but it was just something that came from within me to want to be in the best health possible for this procedure.  But after this went on for four or five months I began to lose hope.  At one point I did not think that she was going to make it, and it was a very sad time.

Then, when I received a call that she was doing better and that we could move forward with the donation in June, it was a huge surprise!  I felt many emotions – excitement, anxiety, fear, love, oneness, and many other things.  Everything moved really quickly so I almost did not have time to process all of the different emotions.  My family was very supportive, some of my relatives even admitted that they did not think they could do something like this, but they were proud of me for having the courage to do it.  I did not think of it as being courageous, to me, it just felt like something that human beings should simply do for each other.  How often is someone given a chance to save someone else’s life?  Some people said to me “I would do this if it was for someone that I knew, but not for someone I didn’t even know.” That was a strange thing to hear because how can we value one life more than another?  If someone in our own family had a disease and we had to count on others to help, but if others also thought “well this person is not in my family” – we would never find help.  As a society, I hope that we can move away from that kind of thinking.

I also had to prepare myself for the fact that I could go through the donation, and then the patient may not survive.  That is a lot to think about, but, at the end of the day, I felt that even if that was the outcome, at least the patient could leave this world knowing that someone out there cared and tried to help, that she wasn’t alone in this fight.  And the same for her family, at least they would have been given some hope, and some comfort.  So I decided to still move forward.

I could not have done this alone; I had a lot of support from family, friends, and co-workers.  Lookout, the company that I work for, was very supportive from day one and told me to take as much time as I needed to recover, and they even sent me flowers, how sweet!  My uncle lives in the Bay Area and he came with me to the hospital on the morning of the procedure and stayed with me as long as I needed.  I was also seeing someone at the time and he was also a big help, calming me down when I got nervous, visiting me at the hospital both days, taking care of me during the days after the procedure when I was feeling a little weak.  The whole thing was an emotional and also spiritual experience; it was a good reminder of how we should not take our health for granted.  It was also a reminder of how much we rely on each other for support, it was a humbling experience.

4)  Since we all know where bone marrow comes from and due to what we’ve heard about the process (even if it is outdated information) there is a natural hesitation when it comes to pain.  What were the actual procedure and recovery like?

There is definitely a lot of misinformation out there about the donation process.  The way that I donated was actually very different than the procedure that most people think of.  There are actually two ways of donating, the procedure used on me was called Peripheral Blood Stem Cell donation (PBSC).  Normally in PBSC donation, blood is taken out from one arm, it goes into a machine where it is spun really fast and the cells that are needed are taken out of the bloodstream, and then the blood is returned through the other arm.  Very simple.  For me, because I am petite and the veins in my arms are too small, they had to take the blood from the vein in my neck instead of from my arm.  Also because of my size, this had to be done over two days rather than the normal one-day procedure in the hospital.  I didn’t really feel anything while the procedure was actually happening, just a little tired and weak.

Five days prior to the procedure, a nurse came to my apartment every morning to give me a shot which helped to increase the number of blood-forming cells in my bloodstream.  This was just like any other shot and I only experienced mild aches which were easily managed by taking some Aleve.  After the procedure, I felt generally weak but was able to return to work after a few days.  There was soreness in my neck from where the blood was drawn but that also was totally manageable.  The hardest part was when they put the catheter in my neck, which was the only time that I experienced real pain.  Yes, that was hard but in comparison to what the patient was going through, that was nothing.

Every single doctor, nurse, and other hospital staff that interacted with me kept thanking me and kept saying that it was wonderful to do something like this for another person.  When you have all of that support, you do not even focus on anything else but the fact that this is all for a good cause, and that anything that you’re going through is totally worth it.

At this point, I know that the patient has received the stem cells, and at the end of this month I will find out how she is doing.  I continue to send her positive energy and positive thoughts.

5)  I can only imagine what a powerful, meaningful, and life-changing experience donating marrow has been.  What has donating meant to you and what you want readers to know about registering?

I highly encourage everyone to register, it is a very simple process.  The chances of being a match are very rare, but if you do get the opportunity to donate, it is a life-changing experience.  I’m humbled to have had this chance to serve, it was a great reminder of how connected we all are.  Life is fragile, and we cannot take our health for granted.  Imagine what it means to give someone hope….can there be a greater gift?

6)  & lastly, favourite quote/life motto? (I know, so cheesy, but since I asked Sacha Dhawan and am obsessed with quotes…):

I have many favourite quotes but the one that applies most directly to this particular donation experience is this one:

“I slept and dreamt that life was a joy. I awoke and found that life was service. I acted and behold, service was a joy.”   Rabindranath Tagore

So, that’s all from our interview, and I hope that Cherry’s experience inspires those who haven’t yet to register.  To find out how to register, please visit, and to fully understand the importance of why we need South Asians to register, please read this article, which elaborates on the fact that “only 17,000 of the nine million members on the registry are South Asian.”  Vijay Uncle has said countless times that we need to register because although we hope and pray otherwise, one day it could be our sibling, son, daughter, cousin, friend or even ourselves who may one day be in need of a bone marrow donation.  I hope everyone feels that way about everything – that what happens to one of us, happens to all of us – and that if you have not already registered, that you do and encourage others to do the same.

Thanks always for reading and write soon,





“Giving of any kind… taking an action… begins the process of change, and moves us to remember that we are part of a much greater universe. ”
― Mbali Creazzo

“I want you to understand that your first duty is to humanity. I want others to look at us and see that we are not just about ourselves but about others.”
― Madam C.J. Walker

As I have mentioned in recent posts, in addition to relationships, I have a keen interest in South Asians taking the path less travelled, and – as part of a community that gives so much importance to “what people think” and, for the most part, putting on an “I only have good times” front in spite of really hard times that one might be facing – I want to thank Sona Mehta for taking the path less travelled and sharing her very personal story with all of us.

As I’d mentioned in my last post, I used to be a big dancer and loved the high of performing basically more than any other feeling in life.  So after attending 2 Subcontinental Drift Open Mic events and in light of all my “birthday – aka new year of me – resolutions,” I thought I should do something at the next event.  Although people expected me to dance, dancing was something I felt comfortable doing in front of people and that I had no shame (even though I sometimes should) or consciousness about, so instead, I decided to do something that ever since a traumatizing moment in a random Miss India DC pageant back in 2003 (I will tell you about it later) I had dreaded doing… last night, in front of an audience of about 50 people – mostly South Asians & 80% of whom I did not know – I spoke about my 2 year blogging journey…

Disclaimer (& 2018 edit): This and many other posts were written between 2009 and 2011; during this time, I was very much so interested in finding a “life partner,” getting married, having kids and “being settled.” Now, at this juncture in my life (not because I am jaded by what I lived through or anything like that), I am not seeking any of these things. I am enjoying being just me and completely free; instead of seeking a relationship withy anyone else, I am fully engaged in one – for the first time in my life – with myself.

Four years ago today, my brother & sister in-law got married and although I know that they’ll likely be horrified at a blog post dedicated to them (sorry!), I hope they do not mind too much and for the purpose of this post, my brother will be bro (what I actually call him & errr… I am sure I did not have to explain that one! =P) & my sister in-law will be “Isha” or my SIL.

Although this is a post that – at it’s core – is about Broisha, I must first digress and talk about my last post, What Good Looks Like, which was a really interesting experience for me.  After publishing that post, I received about 10 messages from friends telling me that it was one of their favorites, several guy friends who I saw out that following weekend told me that they really enjoyed it (which, I am not going to lie, I heart those guys for not getting caught up in their heads over admitting that they read my blog), & for the first time in a long time, I received comments on one of my posts.