Click on the image to read about the interview and more!

Saturday, 9 December 2017

'Aur Batao'

I know you all must be doing really well, but I'll still take the pains you letting you know that I know all about your whereabouts, what you have been doing since the last 13 years. I know about the fight you had with your sister last Christmas and the one before that with your brother over Diwali. I can narrate the list of gadgets you've used till date. I know all your friends along with their surnames, I know of your school crush and college affair. I also know the person whom you secretly hate. I know what you ate a month ago at a local pizzeria and I also know what you pooped this morning.
I basically know your life in and out even though I seldom talk to you.
I must let you know that even though I know it all, I'm least bothered about it.

I'm that nosy neighbour or that wave away friend whom you only get to hear from once a year on your birthday. I am all of us.

Most of the times when I've called to wish you, you know I have secretly hoped that you wouldn't answer the call and save me the embarrassment. I know this when I receive your text sorrying that you were busy and I got the chance of winding it up easily. 

But then there are those unfortunate times when we do cross each other and have had to talk because we forgot our phones and we couldn't fake talking over it as we walked looking away.
It also happens when one of us accidentally answers the unintended phone call.

So what happens when we finally come face to face?

We wave and hug with a big gaping smile as if we've found our joy.
We ask of each other's well being with banal greetings.
Now comes the challenge of keeping the ball rolling.
Neither of us want to be there, yet we are.
We want to wind it up as casually as we can and leave the scene immediately without looking too rude.
But we still continue saying ‘aur batao‘ again and again as no one wants to be the first person to accept the awkwardness and finish the buffet.
It’s like juicing a sugarcane, by passing it repeatedly through the crusher, only to result in garbage which you don't know where to keep.
And if its the festive time of the year, esp New Year, then you've got nowhere to go.
All year long, a boring answer to aur batao  only meant that you had no news.
When it's the year end, suddenly, 'So what are your new year plans?'  becomes the 'aur batao'  of December and there's nowhere to run.
A boring answer to this would only mean that you don't have a life. Even though the world is up kissing and partying, you'd love to laze at home and sleep.
But for the sake of it, deep in your heart you know that you have to nail it for the social trophy of the year. After all, this is what everybody is going to be talking about all summer for who had the most exciting new year's eve.

Before you ask me 'aur batao', I am going to have a really awesome time on 31st. I'm going to travel to the desert and sleep in my PJs.
Any way, if you have any better, exciting and new comebacks to spool the yarn, please batao in the comments below!

NOTE: If you didn't get the sarcasm in this post, kindly send me a New Year's Card with the answers and I'll explain.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Intelligence that irks the fire!

To people who lose their breath when they observe a person conduct themselves and are amused by their confidence rather than their physical beauty, do you find it weird to explain?
It isn’t complicated.
A connection that goes far beyond the physical attraction and sexual chemistry is far more important than any other quality in the long run.
Sounds like a paradox? It isn’t.
It’s sapiosexuality - a simple attraction to intelligence above all.

Now, that doesn’t mean that a sapiosexual person won’t be attracted to the physical grandeur of a person. It’s the conversations and the thinking that they value more which help them go the extra mile in the long run.

Well, a sapiosexual person might not necessarily be turned on by sexy abs or a curvy woman, they might again. Yet, one doesn’t have to be Aryabhatta to please a sapiosexual. All you have to do is observe the everyday life and be stimulating with your words. It’s just that wit and intelligent conversations gets them frisky rather than a musky soft foreplay.

Communication and connection is of utmost importance. Looks might fade, but minds last till the end and that’s what keeps them going. Also, sapiosexuals are more likely to have long lasting relationships; after all it’s the mindset that keeps them together.

They are more interested in what their company knows rather than what they have. They have a zest for knowledge, learning and discussion. Hence, they always have a lot to talk about, provided their company can keep up!

And so, instead of being hyped up on the first date itself, these incredible people are more likely to develop an attraction much later after a few simple stimulating conversations. The mental and emotional connection is what gets them amped up.

Ergo, if you are a sapiosexual or happen to have a friend who’s one, go ahead, take them for a walk and talk! 

Saturday, 11 November 2017

A Thousand Years...

"Time stands still
 Beauty in all she is
 I will be brave
 I will not let anything, take away
 What's standing in front of me
 Every breath, every hour has come to this...

One step closer..."

A Thousand Years, sung and written by Christina Perri.

Most of us would relate this song to incredible romance and eternal love, perhaps loving someone who gives them the joys of being alive and making promises of being together forever.

But I'd rather have you ponder on a totally different version of mine:
Years have passed but the clock doesn't seem to tick for her. Though she has grown old, and her hair has gotten grey, she is still a beauty. She is still brave and fearless. This woman has always been independent in all ways and so she remains. For years she has fought for her dreams and after so many years, would she let a little rip stop her? She wouldn't fail herself now, not after all that she has been through, not after all that she has achieved, not after where she has reached. She would give her very last breath away fighting for what she deserves, for what she believes in...

Well, the whole song is definitely romantic, and we won't even recall the version above while listening to it as the tune and words melt our hearts.
But then, we gather strength only in scraps and fragments before we rise up as a fighter.
So this is to all women, men and others who are searching for motivation and courage.
You'll find it anywhere you want, even in moments that are terribly depressing!
You only need to be watchful!

Monday, 30 October 2017

Unveiling an Open Secret

Everything in India comes back to family. Acceptance is really important, and whenever someone does something which isn't a norm, they get shamed. Even if their family accepts it, it has to remain a secret. This acceptance should go beyond the household - this includes the society, friends and relatives, neighbours, law makers, and the moral police.

The Hindu tradition is not void of same sex depictions in many instances. Yet, homosexuals continue to be alienated from the social community. Even the law under Section 377 forces criminal charges on any sexual act that is unnatural which has put these sections of the society into terrible stress.

This is even more stressful when it comes to transgenders. Though the society overtly recognises the trans people as hijras or eunuchs, we aren't comfortable allowing them to use a third gender to identify themselves with. This again is kept a secret which everyone knows.

While most of us would easily lay down and revel over gay and lesbian genres in porn, none of us want them to actually live their lives socially. We want their existence to be merely limited to our fantasies. Such genres exist only because these people exist, it's real.

With the number of same sex marriages rising in the country, most of them refrain from publicising their preferences. Even though many metros across the country host gay parties providing a platform for like minded people to meet, they still are organised in secret. Very few people would have even heard the names Gaydar and Gay Bombay. Other social hubs that openly deny any adherence to the LGBTQ+ community only allow secret hangouts instead to prevent interdiction and damage from local politics.

While there is a good number out there who have raced to incredible heights and carved their names on the walls of success, people like Anjali Ameer were too scared to leave their exile. Now she is going to star in a movie releasing this December. Yet there are many who only chose to reveal their identity after they were assured of their protection.


Though the situation in the country has changed now, most of the masses aren't yet ready.
We fail to realise that they are just as real as us. Being hostile towards them won't change the facts. They exist and the earlier we realise that, the better.

Image Source:Youtube


This post was featured on Women's Web. Click here!

Saturday, 14 October 2017

There's hatred. And for a good reason!

[Warning: Content is highly misandrist and anti feminist]

Why most of us hate men?
Is it just that we tend to find and fall for the worst ones? The one's we met were flamboyant, shallow, interested only in cricket and sex, insecure, and threatened by any strong woman who came along.

Must we assume that all men are the same?
Are they all rotten humans?
Of course not. Perhaps, such generalisation would be obscure about men.
There are decent men who behave decently. But there are also men who only want those women who do as they are told. Then there are passionate lovers. But there are also those who only want sex. To some beauty is just skin deep, looks don't matter to them and they go marry the one whose heart is beautiful. But no, there are men who only want glamour queens.

Of all the people we know, most seem to be in a camaraderie that do not require one person to be blown at or denigrated by the other. But may be that's what they show. Maybe inside they are just as insecure and hurt as any of us are in our lives and relationships.

Men try real hard to act as if they are loved and wanted by all. Men hate and fear confident women. They are extremely good at manipulating you. No matter how strong, confident and independent a woman is, she has a docile heart, you all do. First they get you used to them, push their schedule into yours, and when you finally make them a part of your lives, they begin to sway. Women are too emotionally dependent by this time and these men know how to make the best of it-- 

--You get ignored, all your plans get run on, and things go wrong, yet you are easily brushed off until its gets uncompromisingly bad. And then you know you are screwed because you know that even though you brought it up late, it was already ruined when he made you an option. Yet you bargain for empty promises, with nothing to show that they were ever made in the first place. You try not to complain or pressurise him even though the problems keep occurring and you console yourself thinking he is working on it. But it gets worse each day and it isn't long before he breaks you just like one of his toy cars.
You can't complain because he never allowed you that privilege, he never promised his love and attention but made sure that he made you dependent enough that way. You can't move out because now you undeniably want him and are ready to do whatever just for a speck of his attention, not that you are desperate, but you want him to reciprocate because you've put in more effort on this supposedly unbreakable connection than you should have. You know that he is indeed a playboy and regret for not having believed his words earlier.

Such men are proud of what they do. They always keep options ready, at least a couple of women whom they lie to, cheat on, and entertain themselves with. But they really know there is no one out there for them. They are not ready to fight. They are too good at keeping secrets and dodging off all kinds of questions that might ruin their well orchestrated plan. They are not ready to accept that they ruined what they did- they killed a heart and broke it into tiny pieces incapable of loving wholeheartedly ever after. They aren't sorry at all.

No matter what they say, it's all just a part of manipulation. They pledge on their 'first' love and pray for another chance.
Dear women, those stories that'd even melt a stone couldn't have created such hardhearted playboys. Such men are not in search of any emotional attachment. And it annoys you that they aren't one bit apologetic about it. But don't hope for a change. Such men do it, again, because they like it. Such men deserve to be never loved, again. Such men deserve hate.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Smarter, wiser and a decade later...

 About 10 years back I craved to become an adult and always wondered how I would feel when it would be 2017.
How excited I was to celebrate my 18th birthday!
Well, now I'm way older than that!
I'm not sad that I grew up so fast, like many of us, I'm just not content with my experiences as an adult.
I always cringe when I think of my younger self.
That could mean years ago, months ago, weeks ago, or even seconds ago.
I always thought that I was constantly growing mentally and that my thoughts and decisions would only get smarter and smarter.
I discovered that I've always been the exact same person, and no matter how reasonable a decision sounds at first, it will always be looked down upon by my future self.
I developed a strange mindset the last two months where I gladly accepted all my bad choices as mistakes because it meant that history wouldn't be repeating itself.
And if it did, then I'd be prepared.
But no.
It's not worth the knowledge anymore.
And definitely not the experience gained.

Friday, 29 September 2017

#ShortStory - Putting Pieces Back Together - 2

Weeks passed and Divyanka still hadn't changed her routine! She quit her job and began to sulk in her loneliness.
"Do they really have such perfect lives?", "Nasty fakers" she thought as she scrolled through the news feed on her Facebook, , more pictures, more love celebrations, her fingers sped.
"Travel to heal your broken heart". Her fingers stopped. For the first time in a long time she saw something that incited excitement in her. She couldn't wait for the sun to rise.
Beeep! Beeep! God bless her timely alarm.
"Morning Pa", she greeted as she jumped out her bed, "I was thinking if I could go on a holiday next week."
"Sure beta, we shall go, where do you suggest?"
"Umm, I was actually thinking of going solo, just so you know...I can have some time to myself, refresh..."
"But beta, it's not..."
"I'll be safe I promise, I'll keep you updated with my location at all times, please pa, let me go!"
"Okay, fine, but not more than 7 days, and talk to your mum about it."
After a long time Divyanka had asked for something, how could her parents deny her?
The next thing she did was book tickets to the North.
It was a wonderful week. She was finally completing her bucket list!
Her pictures read "Solo Trip", "Trekking", "Jungle Walk", "Camping", "Rain Dance" the list went on and her parents phone was flooded with pictures. They hadn't seen her so happy since the wedding. They knew their daughter was back. The week passed quickly.
With shoulders back, brave chest, and smiling from cheek to cheek, a happy Divyanka entered jumping in through the gates. She smiled at her surprised neighbours and waved at the kid next door.
"I'm home!" she cheered.
Her little brother ran to her and hugged her tight. The old couple looked pleased at their daughter's transformation.
"How was your holiday Diva?" greeted her dad.
"Great! How are you all? How's my little bear? I missed you!"
"I missed you too Di, did you get anything for me?"
"Ofcourse I did! Here... " as she handed him his present. She had got souvenirs for all of them.
The family sat together and talked for the rest of the evening, surprised and laughed at the incidents as their Divyanka narrated.
For once, there was cheering in the house. For once, the family was happy again.
There were various plans racing in her mind now...
She soon set up her own art studio and began offering smiles all around. She was independent, energetic, and moreover, happy again!
All she needed was a spark to set her engines running again...

She was a woman who had chosen not to succumb but walk out.  Was she still a good woman according to the society?
It didn't matter to her at all, because she was her priority now.

Note:
We find many people around us, those who have given in to their 'fate', and those who are still fighting it. We, as a society are major hurdles in their lives, in their path of happiness. And for the fear of losing a place in the hypocritical masses, they keep losing a piece of their soul each day.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

#ShortStory - Putting Pieces Back Together - 1

With folded shoulders close to the neck, a bent head and tensed eyebrows pulled towards the hairline, a meek and scared Divyanka walked in through the gates.
"I'm going to sleep well tonight", she procastinated.
It was a tiring day for her at work today. In fact she had been having tiring days since many months now.
"Dinner's ready", shouted her mom from the kitchen. Her little brother ran to her for his evening treat as she handed him a perk. 
"I'm not hungry ma, I'll just go sleep."
"You must eat well Diva, skipping meals everyday isn't good for...", the voice faded as she closed the door behind her.
"I've indeed become ugly and lean", she said to herself as she looked in the mirror and splashed her face with water, "I'll follow the schedule from tomorrow".
She pulled out some notes from her bag and began to read it as she lied on her bed. It was a schedule she had made for herself so that she could stay busy, get her life on track again and put her broken pieces back together.
"Yoga at 6, temple at 7, breakfast at 730,  why did he do it...?" (uh oh) (sobs) It had become her routine now. She couldn't fathom what had happened to her and why!
Beeep! Beeep! The alarm was always on time, she never was. She turned it off and went back to sleep. Her days were spent more despairingly in bed and lazing around now. She had a decent job but she wanted to quit.
"You'll be late again for work today Diva, its nine already". Her dad was always her saviour, always there in the nick of time.
"10 unread messages" read her phone screen - "All meeting today?", "At Joe's Cafe @5", "Divyanka pls do come" as she went through her friends' Whatsapp group without replying to any of them.
She rolled her blankets and walked lazily into the shower with smudged eyes from last night's tears.
She quickly got ready, denied breakfast as usual, picked up her lunch and rode off to work just on time!
She had married her one true love (she thought), and ended up living the most regrettable and dreadful phase she could. As she walked, the people stared at her, how a vibrant happy girl had turned into a scared depressed anxious being. She had dreams of touching the sky, but now one could hardly make out between her and a rolling vegetable. He had given her such abusive memories that she couldn't withstand her own presence.
She reached and got busy with her meetings and work. It was the only thing that kept her from wallowing into desolation. It made her feel essential.
She was young and beautiful inside out. Her spirited mind always inspired people. But now she was nothing like before!
May be deep inside she was still there somewhere, but too scared to be her true self, too scared to be hurt again.
Will her scars fade away?
Will she make new memories?
Will she be able to love herself or find her own love?
Will she ever be able to revive herself again?

[To Be Continued...]

Note:
We don't understand how long lasting the damage of abuse can be, psychological or physical. It ruins them for life and no matter how hard they try, they can't get over it.
Women mostly tend to become the victims of domestic violence. We have been taught by our elders that adjustment and compromise is the secret to a happy husband and happy married life.
But how much should we adjust and how far should we compromise?
Should we end up losing ourselves in hopes of saving an abusive and unfruitful relationship?
We must be wary of such offenders, or at least caution the victim if we come across one. We must learn to deny anything that seems to be unfavourable to our healthy mind and body.

Monday, 25 September 2017

How far alcohol?

With the bifurcation of the state of Andhra Pradesh and its new liquor policy (Excise) for 2015-2017, it’s not surprising that an increased number of happy men and women have been entertaining themselves in socializing at hubs and malls and the shy drinkers are all but hoping for discreet delivery of alcohol soon.
Objectifying only women when they drink would be wrong, when the government itself hasn’t discriminated between the genders in its policies; in fact many respectable and fun eateries like 10 Downing Street that recently opened its outlet in Vijayawada are also offering free liquor to women on select days of the week.
When it comes to drinking, most of us discard the mere notion of drinking as bad and irresponsible.
We forget that this tradition has been followed since many centuries in our cultures only that it was ritualistic and ‘occasional’.
But the trend of alcohol consumerism has shifted deftly to more of a recreational and frequent activity and we have been blaming the West for it.
Consuming alcohol isn’t a privilege, its unhealthy and has always altered society into unhappy families, broken relationships, depressed youngsters, suicidal teens and hospitals full of patients with ARLDs (Alcohol Related Liver Disease).
Men and women both should tie down their social statements and limit alcohol consumerism.


[Image Credits: Sonal Kothari]

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Just a girl with a heart!

I'm a girl. I'm my pride and my respect. But I want to be like you.
I have emotions but I'd rather dump them elsewhere.
I'm much cooler than the 'other' girls. But no. I'm like 'other' girls. I say I'm not emotional yet I want to be loved. But I'd would rather leave than be left.
I'm a woman and I don't want to lie to myself and take any 'other' man's place. I'd rather remain a woman and fight for my place.
I want to defend myself but I'd rather want someone else to defend me, because I'm tired of doing it all by myself. I want to be told to be proud of myself, for who I am.
I avoid taking risks and don't leave anything to chance. Maybe because I'm insecure or may be because I'm too shattered to be broken anymore.
I've become oblivious to the touch of a person maybe because I've been left petrified for too long.
I plan strategies to escape the reality and then evade imagination. Maybe because the reality is too harsh and the imagination makes me sad.
I've made my choices and I've had my emotional rides, none of which are unfamiliar to me. But I'm still not ready for anything bad.
My heart is broken, or maybe its not because I'm strong and I tell myself that I don't get mushy feelings anymore.
My heart is still beating. It begins to race sometimes and sometimes it skips a beat. It makes me believe I'm alive.
I like the taste of air I breathe. For once in a long time I have begun to breath free.
I've been through things nobody would believe. But I know. And I won't forget because that's what has made me.
Time heals. But more importantly I've healed myself. I've got scars all over me. They still pain but I'm used to them now.
I'm going to get a lot of surprises on the way, good ones and bad. I'm going to fall in love and I'm going to get hurt too. I'm going to take risks and I'll get through.
So what if I'm a girl and I'm emotional? Can't I have a heart yet be strong?
Life is going to be difficult I know. But I'm not scared just because.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Box of Chocolates!

I hate it how people want to know you and talk to you. They want to discover all the mystery that your personality beholds, all the mesmerising newness of a person enchants them and they seem only astonished at how easily you have been able to lock so much magic within yourself until that time.
Until that time when they feel you aren't interesting enough to entertain them. They know everything about you and don't find you different enough to make them hold on to you.
That's the part of this world I don't like.
I don't like how people like to be entertained all the time, with your stories, your thoughts, your language, your smell and color and everything else a normal human has.
Until the time they've heard it all, they know it all and they don't find you as marvelling as they thought you'd be. Because now they know you.
It was you that they found magical and full of fairy tale secrets. For once, magic is enticing, twice, it becomes amusement, the third time its a trick and from then on, its just every day routine. It's just that their curiosity was so well fed by you that they aren't longing for you anymore.
They don't understand how difficult it was for you to open up your self. You are scared of being judged and disappointing those you love by letting down their expectations you never set. You are scared of losing people and things you get attached to, because you change and evolve and you have to let go. So you open yourselves to people you met 5 minutes ago and share your deepest self. It scares you, yet you open up because you are human and you want love and to reciprocate it.
You were like an exotic box of chocolates to them. It wasn't your fault you let them open and see your box of chocolates. And now they know you aren't exotic and now they know your box of chocolates is just like theirs and now they know you are just an ordinary human being. Now they know you are just like them!
Now they won't be as fond of you as they were before! Or maybe otherwise:)

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

#CauseIHaveVaginaRe

Just in time AIB and Kangana!
I am not angry #CauseIHaveVaginaRe
I'm just not surprised!

I won't write much here, just watch this video and get back to whatever you were doing!


Monday, 28 August 2017

Hope(less)

The greatest fear I've ever experienced in my 25 years is the realisation that I'm scared of hope.
It's the most bipolar emotion.

In a single moment, you can go from gazing into a glowing-golden horizon to wallowing in the darkest night of your lifetime.

Still, I won't let the possibility of a dark future shadow my ability to hope, and I won't let the fear of change hold me.

Most importantly, I'll be careful with how I use it, and I'll choose my battles differently.

No more silly hope for cake and ice cream.

But hope for redemption...now that's something worth the fear.

No, I won't let go of that despite the greatest terror.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

I overthink, therefore I am!

Thoughts drive me.
Now, many of us are facing the grave danger of using our brains too much and creating problems for ourselves that don't even exist. Then there are those who think and create wonders for themselves out of sheer luck. They are the inventors of the easiest solutions for the gravest times as if its duck soup. Then there is me. I'm a person who might make sense publicly, but inside I'm as good as a dumb donkey who is out kicking it's own ass for no reason there can be. First, I think; there's no good outcome. Then I overthink;  there are dangers present which never existed before.

Last night I sat back thinking how easily more than three quarters of 2017 were already over.
That's when I began to skim through all my posts over the past months and I must say I indeed have been scary.
In reality, I'm not scary, and I'm not full of hate either, in fact I love to love and be loved back.
And now I'm in a position to either delete them posts or let them just be as an evidence of what I've been through and been doing all this time.
I'm sure I'll find this post as cringe worthy as my previous articles now, yet I write.
The amount of growth I achieved in the last year has been incredible and I'm thankful to all those who helped me achieve it. Coming this far wasn't easy.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, rape for rape!

Today I came across a Panchayat news and there couldn't have been a better example of our world, where we are headed and evidence of our increased inhumanity and sloppy judgement.

News as reported by CNN: Village elders ordered the rape of a 17-year-old girl after her brother was accused of raping another girl in Pakistan.


Here's what happened:
A man raped a 12-year-old girl while she was cutting grass.
Post contemplation, the elders declared that as vengeance, one of the sisters of the first attacker would be raped for the crime.
The second victim's 'mothers and sisters'  protested this but the elders brought out their guns and threatened to kill them.

An eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth was considered amicable justice in the past but we have moved on from the conventional times to a more just age where various other factors are considered before passing such crude judgements.
Going by the proverb, the elders must have ordered rape of the culprit. (Seriously considering rape for a rape is just so barbaric.) But thankfully, they didn't. They rather 'ordered rape of the culprit's sister'.

Now would that be just on the part of the girl? Who should she look upon for a revenge and justice? Did she deserve it for whatever her brother did? Does anyone even deserve rape?

By passing a judgement that serves rape as punishment implies that the offender deserve rape.
No body deserves rape, not even the rapist.

It is not the first time a woman has been raped as a form of punishment which is far more than that. Men or women, rape is irreparable. It's the most inhumane form of cruelty that we can inflict upon each other. It damages a person physically and psychologically. Moreover our society and it's norms have made it even more difficult for victims to come out with it. They survive for the mere sake of survival.
Our society has limited our existence to the bare holiness and purity of skin, body and most importantly genitals of the victim only who also is a woman. If any of these is untouched, a woman is fit for a family, unless otherwise.

By raping a woman we destroy the honour of her family, and all those people who she belongs to. And most depressingly, women are not human beings. Women are perceived as property. To own. To sell. To destroy. To rape. To enslave.

Yet we go about happily with our life as if nothing is wrong and carry on with our misogynistic norms. We, who destroy these women, want to live a fulfilled life yet expect the women to only survive with guilt because living is only for them who haven't committed a crime of being raped.
For all that has happened, and for all that we have done, it's not them who should be ashamed, but us.

http://www.womensweb.in/2017/08/rape-as-revenge-for-brothers-crime/

This post was published here as well!
 
T[op image credits DVIDSHUB, used via Flickr under a Creative Commons license 2.0; Used for representational purposes only]

Friday, 30 June 2017

Safer a cow than a woman!

HEADLINES: A photography project featuring a woman wearing a cow mask created furore nationally!

Photos featuring a woman wearing a cow head was featured as a part of a photography project went viral and many Hindu nationalists seemed to disapprove the insult that was being cause to their 'gow mata' and demanded that the pictures be taken down immediately.



Well, a few more incidents that took place over the past few years that has enough offending material to qualify for the headlines:

NEWS: A girl raped in a bus on her way back from the cinemas with her friend.

Yes, this is the Nirbhaya rape case which provoked the ire of almost every human. The accused were caught and yes, punished too. But did it lead to mass murdering or any kind of lynching? No.
In fact, even after the horrid incident, the rapes and harassment or women didn't seem to subside.

Well, Nirbhaya, who seemed to have enough evidences against her offenders took so many months for a judgement just enough that she couldn't see it happen.

Another news just a few weeks before the Nirbhaya rape case:

NEWS: A Muslim man lynched for storing and consuming beef allegedly at their home.

A man and his family were rumoured to be consuming beef, meat derived from a cow, at their home in Uttar Pradesh, India. Well, that man was killed and his son was left seriously injured as a group of more than hundred men barged into their house smashing everything in the way including doors and windows.
Though it was later confirmed that the family hardly had any beef in their fridge, it was mutton, the so called justice didn't take any more time to be rendered than the rumours took to spread.


Most of the Indians regard cow as a sacred animal. We pray to her, she is our goddess, she gives us milk, she is a meek, soft animal who shelters anyone who comes to her. So whenever a cow is hurt or is killed by anyone, we think "How dare they insult and kill our mother cow?" 
But these same people also regard many women as goddess and pray to them day and night, Kali, Saraswati, Sita, Mother Mary, Mother Earth and so many others. Women protect anyone who is around them, their family, their children, also, these are the same women who feed their babies with their milk just like cows,  women are also human if any of you had failed to notice.

Why don't we get as aggressive when a woman, a form of these goddesses, is torn apart and scarred for life? Where do these nationalists go then?  How are women any less? Are we even supposed to compare a woman with an animal? Is this where our humanity has brought us? The furore over the cow masked lady? And when harm is caused to a woman, we all go inside and sit quietly in our homes waiting for the drama to subside outside.
(No offence here, I'm a veterinarian and I'm definitely against animal slaughter.)

Well, what do we understand from this?
Cows in India are safer than women.

There are so many things wrong with our society here that all of us have failed to notice.


This post was featured here!

[Image credits: Sujatro Ghosh, the man behind the photography project mentioned here. More about the project here.]

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Just another vexed question

Is it just me who finds everything wrong with the present society, its subservient norms, and all the hypocritical attitude, or does any one else also joins this squad against the swells?

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Haww! Your Lingerie Was Stolen? You Only Have Yourself To Blame!

NEWS HEADLINES:  A village in UP suffers the wrath of a lingerie thief this summer. Women blamed for drying their lingerie in the open.

This weekend I came across weird news of a strange series of incidents happening since 90 days that had left the women of Prabhupur village of Chandauli district in Uttar Pradesh, India, baffled.
Why baffled?
Someone had been stealing their lingerie whenever they hung it to dry in the open.
Who you ask?
A 11 year old boy seemingly suffering from an unsound physical condition is the culprit.
Why didn’t they report it sooner?
Well, because of the stigma attached to it, the stigma attached to women wearing lingerie.
What is even more surprising is that even after the women upped their courage and complained about it to the village pradhan, who is also a woman, she didn’t take any action and waved it off.
It shocking how many sets of valued lingerie must they have lost, but they didn’t even discuss about it because they were shy, scared and apologetic that they even owned one.
Why were they conscious, intimidated and ashamed of accepting a basic fact that they are human and like anyone else, they would definitely wear garments of all types to cover themselves and their body parts.
Men wear lingerie; it just has a different name. Well, they shouldn’t be guilty of that because A. they are men, B. everyone knows the need to wear it, why hide, C. any other sexist reason
Women wear lingerie too;  but they shouldn’t reveal it, the same lingerie that is openly advertised on the television, on bill boards on the roads, in malls, and in porn. It is considered an open secret that everyone knows but nobody talks about it.
Why is everything about women considered clandestine?
Their dreams, their achievements, their passions, their needs, the clothes that they wear, their periods, the problems they face and the violence they suffer in silence. Everything about women is considered unholy and embarrassing.

May be that’s why the village pradhan didn’t report it to the police officers. Eventually when all the women had lost all their pretty pieces, a anonymous old man did gather the courage to report it to the SHO who later found out that a local adolescent had decided to trouble the women by stealing their lingerie as it hung dry in the sun and later dumping them in the village sewers.

Did they find a solution to the problem?
Well, they did. They blamed the women for hanging such shameful items out in the women. They should have dried them somewhere in secret, preferably in their homes, in the dark, according to the SHO.
Hats off to the police authority for such an incredible and errorless solution. None of the officers, not even the best in the country could have thought of such a magnificent idea.

Is this the only village when women are facing such issues?
I live in a city where I often see women and girl as young as 8, hiding their clothes under a towel as they go for their shower.
I have travelled many places and everywhere I witnessed sanitary napkins being wrapped in news paper or black plastic before being sold. A friend of mine would rather bleed through her dress than go and buy a pack for herself on her period.
I have seen girls being morally educated by random strangers and friends as their bra strap decided to slide a few inches into the open.
Is this the only country where this is happening? I doubt that.
We, women exist everywhere on the planet and account for nearly half or more of the human population. Yet, we, women have to fight for our rights as humans and for our peaceful existence among men.
This post was featured on Women's Web too! Click here or on the image to read it there!

Saturday, 24 June 2017

#ALetterToHer

'This letter/story is based on a real life incident.'

Yours wasn't a love marriage but everything about it made it look like a match that God and you had conspired together. You had never seen him before you saw his photograph on your dad's phone when he asked for your hand in marriage. Both were smart, educated and had astounding compatibility, your likes, choice of food, nature, it was a perfect match. Nobody would admit it, but many women were in awe of the solidarity between you and him while many of our men acted snobbish and superior to us. You got married half a year later and moved to his city to live with his family.

You were versatile. You were good at sports, academics, cooking and socialising. You loved having nights out with your girl friends. You believed in God. You loved to party and watch movies at home along with homemade popcorn. You were creative. You were retro. Your parents had taught you every skill there was, they never discriminated between a boy and girl, and taught you that you both were the same. You had your dream graduation.You had the best of friends. You strived to achieve what you planned. You even got to marry the man of your dreams, one that many of us dream of marrying. You had dreamt of joining the police forces. You wanted to study. You wanted to work. You were pretty and humble. But you had given it all up for him because he wanted a 'homely' wife which meant you had to stay at home with his mom and manage the household. Yet you were happy and you didn't regret giving up your dreams because you now dreamt of having a family with him, loving and living together, till death did you part. So adjusting in any environment must have never been difficult for you. Right?

After the marriage, you decided to wear sarees because that was the norm his family was comfortable with. You agreed, you buried those pretty dresses and heels deep inside the closet. In fact you carried sarees way confidently and with ease than most old women did.

It all began with the slow and soft verbal abuse made of seemingly harmless comments. Then came the disapproval of your housekeeping skills and and then something else. Slowly, it began happening in front of his family and friends. After that it wasn't about disapproval, you couldn't see it turn into clear cut insult. Initially they laughed it off, but slowly, things got serious and he would sit there and derogate you while the onlookers stowed themselves behind his abusive noise.

A month later you came back to visit your parents. While you looked, laughed and talked the same,  your smile wasn't reaching your eyes. Something wasn't right, but you decided to keep it to yourself, maybe because it wasn't that serious. You thought it was all about settling in. You thought it would soon be alright. You wanted him happy and were ready to do as told in the name of 'adjusting' and being a 'responsible' and 'loving' wife.

Then came the demands. He told you had to do as his mother says otherwise it would upset him. You cooked three meals a day and stood beside the table each time while they had it, not matter how tired, hungry or busy you were. You had to dust and wipe the house for hours every morning, no matter how squeaky clean they were, you had to clean the toilets with hands not brushes, it was disgusting but you did it anyway. You had to wash brass utensils with bare hands and ash, even if your nails split down the middle. You gave up your phone and all your jewelry. You did everything they asked to avoid their tantrums, didn't you?

You began to realise something was wrong. Your room didn't have a latch and the lock was open to everyone in the house. You told him about this but he waived it off saying you didn't need a lock while you stayed with family and your own people. You weren't allowed to rest at noon or sit in your bedroom just because. You didn't complain because you didn't want to upset him by making him feel he wasn't doing enough for you. His brother visited the room every so often, while you slept, washed yourself or changed clothes. This time you told him about it and he called you a liar. You told his mother and she blamed you for alluring her little son.

The gas lighting started from here.
They told you weren't cooking right and no matter how hard you try, you would ruin a meal because it would always turn out to be too salty, spicy or bitter. You, the girl who cooked lip smacking dishes couldn't hold the frying pan in her hands now. You once saw her spoil your dal after you left the kitchen. Then they told you had developed the habit of lying because their little brother/son could never lay his dirty eyes on you. You were asking too much of them, even if it was just a short rest after a tiring day or a visit to the doctor when you fell sick. They made you believe that your family, friends and cousins were bad people and didn't allow you to talk to them for months. She would too often hide behind the door and listen as you worked or tried to talk to them. You weren't allowed to visit the temple or meet the local relatives unless they accompanied you there and back. No one spoke to you for days because it was your fault.

You began to fear them from this day.
You were left with nobody but a mirror to talk to until the day he smashed it before you. That was the day when you found out about his alleged affair. You dared to confront him and he responded by smacking the belt on the floor and threatening to beat you. He made you feel that it was your fault he was having an affair, you cursed yourself for being a bad wife. You tried to forget his disloyalty and his affair, you loved him just like before.

From that day on, it kept getting worse, it wasn't verbal abuse anymore.
It was that night when he slapped you because he was intoxicated. You forgave him because he was not in his senses. One day he got you a pretty dress. He asked you to wear it with his friends. You were confused but you obeyed because you didn't want to upset him. Later he blamed you for being slutty. He got you drunk even though you didn't want to, clicked pictures of your bedroom that night and laughed at them with his family and friends. He threatened that he would send them to everyone if you didn't do as told. A few days later his father began to eye you as you worked in the kitchen early morning. You tried to unsee it because they said it was your imagination, until one day his little brother came and tried to force hug you before his mother. You tried to push him away while his mother said you were at fault by not letting him express his pure love. You got slapped that evening again for expressing your ingratitude towards them. His mother began to drag you out of the house by your hair because she was angry. You wouldn't let go. You got punched this time.
You were confined to the four walls of his house, with occasional social gatherings where you were forced to look happy, otherwise consequences. One day he took your hand and forced it unto the hot pan, because you bled the earlier night.

Soon, you began to distrust yourself.
You still believed in him, he told they were straightening you and your ill-mannerisms. May be you felt that he still loved you. You tried to adjust with whatever scraps of love and warmth you could get until one day they didn't let you eat. They would throw away the leftover food and made you sleep hungry for days. Anybody wouldn't talk to you, you craved for the touch of another human being, you wanted someone to hold your hand, brush your head, or at least ask how you felt.

You were like the frog in a pot on fire who bore the heat until it was too late and couldn't jump out to save itself.

The day you decided you wouldn't succumb, the day you left.
Then came the day when he decided to abuse you with words no one should hear. You kept silent until the moment when you couldn't take any longer and decide to break off. You asked them why they were torturing and abusing you? He had sent your video everywhere. Something didn't feel right and you knew he didn't deserve you.
The next day your father came and took you back home. You both had met after months and he couldn't recognise you. You had marks on your face and body which were proof of the torture they put you through. your saree hung on your shoulders like rags on hangers. You looked malnourished. Your nails and heels bled as he softly held you back. Your eyes cried out loudly tearless. You had imagined your death here. He seemed an angel from heaven when he said he had come to take you back home.

When you returned a year later, you were no longer the girl you were. You were weak, you were not ready to believe what he had done to you, you had given in to your fate and your heartless in-laws.
Yet here you stand against all those who tried to silence you.

You always wondered why it happened to you, haven't you?

It wasn't your fault.

They were the one's with the wrong goals, trying to achieve the wrong things and hence, you were like a mountain of obstacles to them. You showed them that their possessions were not enough to lure you in.  You were too strong for their weak minded games.  You were too much of a valiant before their cowardly and spineless nature.  They were typically pissed because you exposed their unduly adolescence.  It was just that you reminded them of the lack of substance and truth their hearts possessed.  Every time they saw you, they felt an invisible smack on their face.  They couldn't stand your veracity and truthfulness. 

Now you know why it happened to you - It was them! 

All those who want to bother you for the rest of your life, tell them not to give up! You've always been working towards perfection. And you'll need someone to pull you down so that you can slingshot yourself even higher. You're not going to stop loving yourself. 

And you'll do it even more now because- Now You Know!

Did you love  him and break your heart? Try loving yourself now and mend those pieces forever.
Did he drag you by your hair? You grow that mane and don't you dare cut it short.
Did you try to confine you in a cage? You'll break that cage and let the world know about the fierce lioness that you are.
Did he hit you? You shall hit them back, with nothing but confidence and triumph.
Did they abuse you? You don't need to remember those words but one thing - 

- You will now be the power they feared of rising. You are a woman, a goddess in herself. You will not let those scars deform you, they will be motivations to those who are on the verge of succumbing to theirs. you must rise up and shine and work harder to achieve what you dreamt of.



Note:
Meena Kandasamy's book, 'When I Hit You' is a must read for all those who feel that domestic violence must be silenced and that it's a man's right to hit every once in a while. Why should domestic violence have marks to prove its prevalence? Words can break and kill a human as equally. Domestic Violence should be reprimanded and condemned in all its forms.


This is #alettertoher , to every girl out there who is fighting the evil in their homes, and to all the women who have survived the atrocities that these heinous people put them through.
#riseandshine #chinup #neverbackdown #AFightAgainstDomesticViolence 


Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Bottled Fragrances

I love perfume!
To be precise, I love fragrances and the way they trigger pheromones and spark a memory out of nowhere.
Scents are always enticing and intriguing. I can't stop wondering how certain smells make you feel, they're so distinctive.
Anyway, there are certain smells that put me off, I hate those floral fragrances that are so sharp, they either make me dizzy or give me an instant migraine.
There are scents that I smell everyday and on everyone as they pass by. I see them on hoardings and on the TV. Scents are meant to be unique and if everyone smells the same, I want to at least try and be different.
One thing that I have noticed is that everyone sorts them according to gender - perfumes for men & women, I mean why do you have to sexualise perfumes? I wouldn't do that.
I sort them according to seasons. On cold days, and evenings, I wouldn't mind a heavy perfume. But on sunny days and mornings, I'd rather go for something that's airy and fresh.

Here's are list of a few of my favourites, some of them were given as gifts, and some I bought, also, they might not be the best, it's just a matter of personal preference:


Burberry London

I bought this a few years back.
A mixture of bergamot orange, lavender and warm cinnamon, mimosa flower and oak moss, this one gives a perfect tone of distinctive and refines fragrance. And I never miss to wear this when it rains!







Armani Code Ice

Well, I got this one for my dad, but I use it every so often.
This one has an aromatic woody flavour, with tangy citrus notes and sweet spices, perfect to wear in winters or in the evenings.




Guess Girl

This one was a gift.
It has a seductive floral fruity fragrance, that many people call it a feminine perfume. But I don't like it that much since it has very strong floral notes. Just tipped it here because I have it. If I had to, I'd never wear it while I'm travelling, makes me nauseous. My review - don't buy it.





Carolina Herrera 212 Men NYC

I found it in a lifestyle store and just couldn't get off. Finally ended up buying it online.
A woody fragrance, but with fresh notes. I wear it whenever wherever. No doubts about this one being my favourite favourite. Also, it has a perky magnetic cap!


Bvlgari Aqva Marine

This was a gift, ever since, it's been my one of my favourites.
For a whiff of unique, crisp and vibrant freshness of water in all its purity and vitality, this is what I reach for everyday, every morning and even after so many years, I still don't seem to get off it. The bottle looks like a fresh drop of marine water, so cool right?







Calvin Klein In2U

I got this one a few years back. It was a favourite, but I don't fancy it that much now.
It has a woody tone again, but with a mixture a floral and fruity and juicy tones. It isn't strong, yet stays for a long time. I like it, but I don't use it, because I broke the bottle somehow! :(





Bvlgari Jasmine Noir

I'll be honest, I only bought this because I liked the bottle with a poof.
It's definitely floral, but woody too. It's strong, with tones of gardenia flowers, sateen almond aromas and licorice absolute. Suitable to wear on evenings.






Givenchy Play

I don't quite remember, but I think I got it for mom, but it has always been in my closet and she doesn't use it much.
The composition combines floral and fruity aromas and leaves behind a sensual woody trail. I wear it all year round or whenever I feel like having a change. Definitely one of my favourites.



Versace Eau Fraiche

This comes in a classic bottle, I bought two of these, one for a friend, and one for me.
Like the bottle, the fragrance is classic too, aromatic, woody and awesome! I use it anytime, but always on the neck.





Sandalwood Essence


This belonged to my grandma, it has sandalwood oil and pure essence in an old corked bottle, and she had had it for years, preserved safely. I have it in my closet now and whenever I happen to open the drawer, the room feels so fresh, I'm sure I wouldn't find such pure and strong sandalwood extract anywhere now.

Well, that was all, I do have a couple of fragrances on my wishlist which I'll definitely let you guys know once I own them.
If you've tried the ones above and if there are any other favourites of yours, do let me know in the comments.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Old Wives Tales!

We all love those sweet old ladies who freely give their advice when it comes to sickness, marriage, studies, or any endeavour to bring us good luck and save us from setbacks.
And they swear by their predictive power so well, that we can’t help but sheepishly heed to their warnings.
There are some pretty entertaining old wives tales whether you buy them or not!



Here are some amusing tales, true or not, that our grannies told us, and so did mommies, just to have some fun:


A mole on your tongue means everything you say will come true!
If you call your husband by his name, his lifespan will decrease.
Cutting nails at night summons ghosts or bad luck.
A tree will grow from your belly button if you happen to swallow a seed.
Seeing a broom first thing in the morning will bring you bad luck.
If a woman has a longer second toe, she’ll dominate her husband.
If you choke on food, someone’s remembering you dearly, or well, someone’s cursing you.
Having the last bite off your plate assures that you’ll have a loving husband, or in some cases, you’ll get married soon, or could even remain a bachelor for life.
If you pull out a grey hair off your head, ten more will grow in its place.
A person becomes a dwarf if you walk over their legs.
Sprinkling salt over your shoulder brings you good luck.
You turn into a python if you sleep immediately after having your meals.
Peeing on your foot in the shower will prevent athlete’s foot.
If you’re unable to fall asleep, you are awake in someone else’s dreams.
Picking your nose makes it bigger.
If you carry high, it’s a boy, if you carry low, it’s a girl.
You must hold your breath while going past a cemetery or you will breathe in the spirit of the deceased.
If you cross your eyes, they’ll get stuck that way.
Knuckle cracking causes arthritis.
A dog howling a night, or an owl crying at night brings bad luck, or death.
If you see a rainbow or a comet and make a wish while looking at it, it will come true.
If anyone sneezes while you are leaving the house, it brings bad luck.
Drinking too much tea makes you darker.
Having curd and sugar before doing something important brings success.
You will grow horns if you don’t bump your head twice after bumping your head once.
Hiccups mean someone is missing you.
Laughing too much before going to bed means you’ll be crying the next day.
Travelling in a company of three is unlucky, so carry a stone as the fourth.
If your child has two whorls on his head, means they’ll have two spouses or, two more siblings after them.

And if you have come across any funny ones that I might have missed here, do write them down in the comments section :)

Monday, 5 June 2017

The Scariest Question

Last night when I was about to sleep, like it happens to all of us, my mind began pondering over the most trivial issues and up popped the scariest question of my life:

The memories that I have made, will they be the best ones I'll ever have?

So much for a grim past huh!