Sunday, 15 November 2015

Someone Who Makes A Difference

I am an ultra filmy person. I have always believed that our life is just like a movie. While we are in the lead role, there are many supporting actors and others doing significant cameos. In most of the my favorite movies there is one such character who is more wise and charming than the protagonist, always guiding through the tough times. In our lives too, we often come across one such person. A person who may have a short spanning role in our lives, yet managing to leave a deep imprint.

Such characters become our role models, our mentors, our teachers. In my life also that person is a teacher, literally. My English teacher. Unfortunately, our lives collided for only one year, when she taught me in 11th grade. But I can count on that one year as a thorough learning experience that is significant to my life more than all the other years taken together.
Mrs. Bisht is an exceptional teacher, and a graceful human being. Even though she was our English teacher, she imparted us knowledge pertaining to Geography, Philosophy, History and life in general; all while rambling between the literature lessons.

She is a fluent and confident speaker. It was always a pleasure listening her speak. She has a knack of language, knows what to speak where and when, and in such an eloquent manner that she could win hearts with her words. And she actually did. Ours was the last batch she taught in school after which she retired from job. But what she has given us in the form of these words will continue to enlighten us throughout our lives.

She always told us to be aware of the world around us. When we were promoted to 11th class we were just a bunch of careless and ignorant girls. Mrs. Bisht worked to raise us into ladies who would be intelligent but would always remember from where they belong. She gave us strong roots, and she gave us wings to fly, into a world that would often be harsh but we shall never let it dull the glimmer in our eyes.

The fondest memory I have with her is of the stories she used to share in her English classes. Whether she told us about one incident where she cleverly outwitted a molester and escaped a potential threat; or how she always maintained dignity while talking to her mother-in-law (who eventually remembered only her name during her last days when she lost her memory); and how she and her brother never fought with each other, or their father, for any thing at all. All such stories from her experience would teach me so much about life, and how to live it with my head held high. She filled a major vacuum in my life, that of a role model. Whenever I think of someone I want to become, her flawless face appears in front of me, smiling like always.

She always talks with great regard about her family. I feel it is in the way that she was raised that makes her such a perfect human being. Her desire to inculcate the same values in her students is absolutely adorable. She would often scold and punish us when we were wrong, though she once confessed that she never really gets angry but pretends to be just to make us realize our mistakes! It even worked. Her slightest of scolding would pinch me deep down to the heart, because they were true and in the purest of intention. 

I can't help but wish she would have taught us for one more year, but then I guess it's all destined. Even in the short time she had with us, she made a big difference in my life. I am extremely grateful for all the moments I shared with her. Truly, some people are one in a million and #madeofgreat.


This post was for the #madeofgreat contest by Indiblogger. Check out: http://madeofgreat.tatamotors.com/



There is one contest for the readers, too! 

The best comment that answers the following question will win an Amazon Gift Voucher worth INR 750/$11.34:-


"What do you think of Tata Motors' association with Lionel Messi?"
The contest closes on 26th November 2015 at 11:59 p.m. So make sure to drop a comment below before the time ends!

Saturday, 14 November 2015

The Horrors of Sleep Paralysis

Source: Google Images


An asleep person is half dead. Anything can happen to you while you’re sleeping. A spider can walk over your face and get inside your nose. Someone may break into your house and steal your Nutella. A natural calamity may sway you to Heaven along with your mattress. Or for that matter, the world may come to an end and you might wake up straight on the Judgment Day. Anything can happen.

Sleep is an integral part of the human existence on this planet. It is also the most fascinating phenomenon that a person can study.

Recently I started paying attention to my nightmares and often tried to remember them for as long as possible. One afternoon I was having my after-lunch nap that I had a nightmare. This is not the unusual part. The unusual part is that after I became aware of my lucid dream and it ended somehow, I lay in bed motionless for a few minutes. No matter how eloquent I try to be I cannot precisely describe that terrifying moment. I just lay still in my bed while my brain was struggling between sleep and consciousness. I was trying to sit up with all the strength and might I had in the midst of sleep exhaustion, but nothing happened. I came out of it somehow and regained control.

This irregularly happens with me. It’s just a matter of few numb seconds after which I wake up. But those few seconds are absurd, sometimes very horrifying.

I was so intrigued with this strange occurrence that I decided to Google it and read a bit about this phenomenon called sleep paralysis.


"The Nightmare, by Henry Fuseli (1781) is thought to be one of the classic depictions of sleep paralysis perceived as a demonic visitation." - Wikipedia 

I opened up myself to a vast ocean of knowledge pertaining to sleep disorders and what they really are. After knowing what sleep paralysis actually is, I realized that what I experienced is not even a fraction of something that could explain the gravity and complexity of the situation people suffering from it go through. People actually struggling from sleep paralysis disorder had shared their stories. Some of their experiences were similar to mine but with some I simply couldn’t relate. Before I head on to that comparison I would like to explain what all I know about sleep paralysis to give you a better insight.

Simply put, it is a moment either while falling asleep or waking up; where your body is still into the state of sleep but the mind has woken up. While reading up sleep paralysis I noticed repeated mention of the term ‘REM sleep’.

What is REM Sleep?

Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep is when we do most active dreaming. Our eyes are actually moving back and forth during this stage, hence the name. 


Now, it would be more comprehensible to know that sleep paralysis occurs when our body can’t transition smoothly between going into deep REM sleep and coming out of it. The reason behind the failure of smooth transitioning is yet unidentified. It is, however, an absolute natural occurrence and can happen to any person, healthy or ill.

Source: Google Images

If we look at the logical need of sleep paralysis state for the body, one fairly obvious reason surfaces. When the body fails to transition smoothly between stages of REM sleep, the brain instructs our voluntary muscles to relax. This causes a state of paralysis called ‘atonia’ in science. 
This way the brain prevents us from acting out our dreams (as in the case of sleep walking).



Now I would like to share with you all the tid-bits of facts I collected about sleep paralysis.


Some of which matched with my personal experience:

· It is more likely to happen when we are sleep deprived and need more rest than we are currently having.
· Most people have experienced it at least once in life but are not aware of it or ignore it.

· It lasts for around 20 seconds to a few minutes.

· It is NOT a disease or a mental illness, until it is very frequent and exceeds the 20 sec- few mins average span. In that case, the reasons behind it might be other than the usual natural occurrence (for instance, a past mental illness or trauma)



Source: Google Images


However, I couldn’t relate to a few other facts. These are possibly true in case of unusual causes originating out of a mental illness or trauma:

· You feel as if you woke up dead.  Well, that is not what I felt, at least. You kind of know what’s       happening but can’t really do anything about it.

· Your eyes are sometimes open.
  Hell! That is scary.

· You feel a presence in your room and sometimes even hear voices.
  That seems bizarre and is more supernatural than scientific.

· You just can’t wake up. It is a natural process, not in your control. So you just lay there             waiting until it ends.
  But in my case, as I mentioned, I was able to wake up once I pushed myself up with all my might.       But chances are that I just feel that I got up because I tried hard but in reality it was simply the             natural end of atonia.



In a nutshell, sleep paralysis is just one of the sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep walking but not as common. These lines by one of my Twitter friends perfectly explain the feeling of being in sleep paralysis:



It's that time again –
that moment 
when wake and sleep 
become one 
and I don't know 
what world I belong to.



P.S- If any of you know more about sleep paralysis, have a story to share or simply want to correct any of my observations, comment below or you can message me directly via the contact widget on the right sidebar.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Why Do People Think It's OK To Lie?

Here, I don't intend to claim that I don't lie. But I definitely don't think it's OK to lie and often fail terribly at it. Sometimes I have to lie, just to make a situation better. In such scenarios we all feel it's OK to lie because a 'small' lie can turn things in our favour. Well, yes. But why is it so?

Because we're a world obsessed with serendipity. Even though we see no potential of it happening, we still keep wishing it happens. Any consolation in that regard calms us and soothes what's burning inside.

But I don't want to soothe my fire. It is what keeps me from giving up and going berserk.
That is why I like brutally honest people. They might seem rude and harsh but atleast they're not pretending to be someone else. They are people we can bank on, people who are actually making the world a better place to live in.

I would trade my seven lives in this world for a year in a world where all the people are honest. Where you can make friends without the fear of being stabbed and express your real emotions without the fear of being misinterpreted.

That would be my utopia. Because of course, ' There is no legacy as rich as honesty'.



Thursday, 1 October 2015

27 Broken Footprints- A discussion with the author




Recently I got the chance to have a discussion with the debutant novelist Preeti Bhonsle regarding her novel 27 Broken Footprints. I would like to share the interesting conversation I had with her:


Me: Firstly talking about When A Star Dies. When I read the name of the chapter I thought it would be a metaphor about the downfall in the career of a celebrity. I was party wrong and partly right. What is most surprising is the fact that you've connected it to science, despite maintaining the literary device. Did the IITian inside you seep into that concept or was it the result of a past observation that led you to this fascinating piece of fiction?

Preeti: I had the story in my head about the girl as you have already read. It seemed so obvious – her fall and the way a star fades out. What I like about this piece is how a story can be told around a few factual sentences and also how these scientific inserts provide for the right kind of breaks for the starlet’s story to progress.
Now tell me did you like her name?




Me: I loved it! Did you name her so because it seemed apt to the story or is it inspired by a real life character?

Preeti: I would like to believe that I have invented the name. Google might disagree, should check on this. But I certainly did coin the name. I like how it sounds.
Based on a real person? Hmmn...let’s not share everything…

Me: One thing I find really interesting about your book is that even though there are different chapters with different characters yet it all looks interconnected. Want to elaborate on this?

Preeti: They are all interconnected. Ways of story telling are carried over from one section to another, sometimes in style sometimes in characters. For example The Tree House in the rain, the second story in the book, borrows the protagonist of the first story, The Other Woman. Borderline Human Tales is just a more detailed version of Little Stories. Also the issues I bring up in Women, men and heroes form an integral part of the story - Like me, you are and also a little of Inside Diary.
I had written an article about the fractal nature of the book, you should go through it.

Me: Your writing surprises me every single time. One thing which is identifiable to your writing style is that you connect science to random life coincidences, and it seems absolutely legit. Let me tell you that I am a very non-science person. In fact I hated science all through middle school, if I may say. That is because I was always inclined towards the philosophy of living than the science of life. And you're the first such person I've come across who blends both science and philosophy in such a beautiful manner. I admire you for that!
Coming to the chapter Forgotten Tales Of A Family Lost. Why do you call these tales 'forgotten'?

Preeti: The family in this story is struck by recurring tragedy across two generations. They have realized that the only way to truly cope up with difficult times is to forget them.
But the "forgotten tales" bit is slightly self-referential. Notice the starting lines, the narrator is trying to remember their story, her story, she is trying to remember what she has forgotten. Also the prose forgets certain details too - for e.g. after the twin is lost there are four people at the dining table, the very next line says there are five of them at the table.
Towards the end of the story, the forgetting bit gets very rapid. I think it is a bit scary how this story ends, I almost feel for the husband.
Did you like this one?

Me: Yes, I do. After having read three of your chapters I notice that you have a kind of soft corner for the supernatural. Your writings are wrapped in suspense and it gives immense food for thought. Is it your genre of writing by default or did you work on it for specifically this novel?

Preeti: This was just a phase. I had been experimenting with this kind of writing – magical, real, mystical, with characters – abstract, blurred, ideal, evil. Only these sections of the book - Little Stories and Borderline Human Tales are mystical, supernatural, abstract and magical. Rest of the seven are in no way like these.
I did not work on it specifically for this book. It was just a phase I was going through. For example my latest experiment was in trying to write a different kind thriller ( Who Killed Linda?) and it turned out to be fantastic.





27 Broken Footprints is available on Amazon and Infibeams. Despite of what it says on the Amazon site, the book will be delivered with 3-4 days.


To read more about the book and Preeti, you can visit www.27brokenfootprints.com

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Reader's Post




Recently I encouraged all my readers to write poems to themselves, for self love. I got to read some really beautiful poems. I would like to share two of my most favorite ones.



Introduction


Why hello there young lady
Came around to recheck?
While you stand at the 'right' angle
Here is a gentle reminder-
It's about time you sung your song!

An introduction
Of a peculiar soul
Behold the irony-
With just two syllables
You scribble a whole saga!


Born amongst fiery flames
Under the northern star
As nine as a feline
As clean as a cleanser
And yield company like Caesar.

Your ebony coated pupils
Shy away from those ivory
They tremble with grace
Look down with "dew" respect
And up with a gazillion ambitions.

Your bruises have a healing power
Right now they may be numb
But they contain ingredients
Of a soothing lotion
Which creates dimples in melancholy.

The strands that fall out of place
Creep under your quilt
To tease you during wintry nights
Yet when you mercilessly splash water
They go on and kiss your blades.

You bump into humps
And enter a different dimension
You trip on a tile
And fall into nature's cradle
You make clumsiness feel trendy!

Your puffed up cheeks
And ever pigmented lips
Moisten the mist
Outshine the sunshine
And drill the craters further.

And when you hide your face
While chewing those treats
And when you button your cuffs
Like it's a huge obstacle
There's someone capturing your moments.

Honey, you are beautiful
A treasure, a dynamite
You wear a halo for a tiara
Just never fall for your shadow
For it is the black in a spectrum.

- By Vani Devraj


Loving Me....


Comfortable, neat, pressed, well dressed;
Yep, I take pride in always looking my best.
I'm fly, I'm breezy, I'm sharp, I'm mean
Whenever they see me they say I'm too clean 😎

Calm, collected, quiet, reserved,
I'll give you no less than the respect you deserve.
I'm shy at first but don't be deceived
If you ever befriend me I'll make you believe
That even if you're hurt and filled with sorrow
There's waiting for you a beautiful tomorrow

Lean, fit, ripped and toned
At 5'5, man I'm bad to the bone
But don't be alarmed, I'm gentle I swear
Yep, I'm cuddly just like your teddy bear

Smart, wise, mentally sound
My head's held high, my feet firm on the ground
Straight A student, yes at every school
Try me America, I'm no "nigger" nor fool

This poem is mine, but its not just for me
It shows you everything I think about daily
My virtues, my strengths, my guidelines in life
Things that help me in times of strife

Standing in front of my mirror, I will try something new
I will lift my eyes... Smile... and whisper "I love you"
I've said to so many, friends and family.
But I never said it, to the one that is... Me

"The Bipolar Being", my friend, I love you too
Because without this poem I would've never knew
How lost I was, trying to please everyone else
Trying to help them I neglected myself

So in my closing, a quote i leave with you
"If I asked you to name all of the things you loved, would you ever name you?"

- By Tadãshï Yasáhîro

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The Curse Of Monsoon

Photography: The Dreamers 


This title might be indigestible for many of you.
Monsoon can’t be a curse! 
What is she saying? 
We all love monsoon! 
Maybe you do. But some people don’t.

When I travel to school, my school van passes under a flyover in Hauz Khas. Like every other flyover in Delhi it houses a dozen or two beggars and vagabonds. And when it rains, holy shit, when it rains; they live in literal hell. My school van’s window seat gets wet in rain because the window doesn’t shut properly. I was annoyed at the driver for this the other day. But then I looked beyond the window and what I saw has pacified my grumblings forever. Of those nomads, ones who have the flyover as a roof are still the lucky ones. Some of them sleep on the footpath, the ones that don’t have a family or are abandoned by them. They are the minorities among the minorities. The footpath is their mattress and the night breeze becomes their air conditioner. But when it rains they are left devoid of even these petty dwellings. They probably have only one pair of clothing that soaks wet and dries along their skin and this cycle continues with the water cycle during monsoon.

The situation on the flyover is no better. All the water slopes down the steep end of it, where it clogs. It should rather flow into the drains but for some reason it doesn’t. So the cars riding towards the flyover have to swim across to go ahead and climb the flyover. Almost always an aged car drowns mid-process. This leads to a line of cars behind it honking ridiculously to make way. My van mostly swims, thankfully. And then we go on peacefully till we pass in front of that huge MCD public dustbin. Now what is a dustbin doing here, right? The problem being that there is always more waste accumulated at a time than the dustbin can capacitate. So the waste walks out of it on the by lanes and forms grand heaps. The time at which my van passes by this vista the MCD truck has not come for picking up the garbage. Coincidently, at the same time the Heavens shower pious water droplets on these heaps of garbage giving out the pleasant odor we all despise.

Thinking of all this I start to wish for the monsoons to storm away to some far off land and not return. But then I think of the farmers, the devotees of monsoon. They wait all through the sweating summer and windy winter to quench their thirst. The harvest needs rain, and the country needs the harvest. Not just our country, but this harvest is exported to all over the world. This eventually stimulates the inflow the foreign currency and the Economics student inside me boasts with pride. The tiny droplets of water caress the seeds of nutrition sowed in the fields of Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and all the agricultural states. Monsoon is the time when the perpetual sweat on a farmer’s forehead is wiped off with the rain droplets. The country rejoices. Now I cannot wish for the monsoon to go away to some far off land.

But all I wish to ask is that can I not, as a teenage girl from India, love monsoon like others do? The answer comes no. Never in my life have I been able to look at something from the face value. I see beyond my immediate pleasures. And I get sick tired of this process. To think so much about matters supposedly not concerning me is the reason I have pages of my diary filled with rants. But let’s not shift from the point, here. The point is that I live in a beautiful country. We are blessed with the most diverse combination of land forms, climate and resources. What we could achieve with all this, yet what where we stand is miserable. If water clogged flyovers and stinking by lanes is development for people, I don’t know what we’re up to. If these developments were taken care of in the right way, I would also enjoy monsoon like the rest of the girls; gazing out of the window and daydreaming while my face is smitten with the cold winds. But here I am, indoors, terrified of stepping out into the muddy roads and water clogged flyovers! 

Writing all this and wishing for the world to change won’t do. I cannot change the world, but I can change myself and the people around me. And that might as well change the world?

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Hideous Beauty

I recently read a post while surfing the net. It emphasized on the fact that why are all those love poems dedicated to someone else but yourself? Why is it that we have all the love in our heart to love somebody else but not ourselves. So I decided to take it up and write a poem dedicated to myself. 




I was born and I shall die. But in the labyrinth of life if I ever get lost, let me not loose myself.


I love the way my wet curly hair
Flow lustily down my shoulders after a shower
They be frizzy and untamed, but they be mine
I won't tie them up, what if they don't smell like the flower?

During times of melancholy, I read myself stories, poems, listen to songs, go on a walk.
Who else would ever do so much and why?
I can trace the map alone
The comrade of my soul is never shy.

I have brown eyes that glisten with dreams
Even after my specs hide them
Some days I have dark circles and my eyes look dull
But to me they'll always be a precious gem.

A stranger is never strange to me
I gel with a myriad, not just one personality
Deliberate in my efforts to not leave a scar
Even if I fail, I value this mentality

My nose is flat and small
But it breathes for me the smell of rain-drenched mud
Twitches everytime the sneeze plays hide-n-seek
But it's as significant to me as the redness of my blood


I am short, but I can make a big difference
I am fat, but my greed is bleak
I am amateur, but my pursuit is clear
I am flawed, yet beautiful all the same.



Tuesday, 14 July 2015

आज मै डाकखाने गई थी।


Note: I had written this a few weeks earlier. An account of a previous date.
03.07.2015


अाज मैं डाकखाने गई थी। चंद दोसतों अौर दो अध्ययापिकाऔं के साथ। स्कूल के चार कदम पीछे ही है हाॅज़-खास़ का दाकखाना।

वहाँ  जाकर कुछ अलग सा ही महसूस हुआ। जैसे वो चार कदम चल अपने बचपन में आ गई थी।
सातवीं कक्षा में हिंदी का कार्य मिला था कि गर्मीं कि छुट्टियों मे एक दोस्त को पत्र लिखकर पोस्ट करना है। तब इंलेंड लैटर लेने पहली बार डाकखाने की सूरत देखी थी। पापा जब काऊंटर पर खत जमा कर रहे थे तो मैं वहाँ बेंच पर बैठी एक गहरी सोच में डूबी हुई थी। कि नाजाने किस तरह भारत के एक कोने से एक कागज़ पर मामूली स्याही से कोई व्यक्ति अपने एहसास लिखता होगा अौर चंद दिनों बाद उसका मित्र वह कागज़ अपने हाथों पर पाता होगा। आजकल अगर कोइ पार्सल लेकर पोस्टमैन अाता है भी तो शायद Flipkart का भेजा हुआ औरडर होगा। खत पाकर, खोलकर पढने का वो रहस्यमयी एहसास तो डाकखाने की तरह ही लुप्त हो गया है।
आज रह गये हैं तो केवल SMSs अौर e-mails, जिंहे ना तो मैं संज्यो कर अपने मेमोरी बैग में रख सकती हूं अौर ना ही सालों बाद उनकी सुगंध से यादें ताज़ा कर सकती हूं।

ऐसे ही कुछ खयालात लिए INDIA POST के दफ़तर के सामने खड़ी थी। इतने में एक मध्यम-आयु के पुरुष आये और हमें पोस्ट-औफिस कि नयी सुविधाओं  के बारे में जागरुक करने लगे। Digital India के तहद अब भारत के डाक-खाने उपलब्ध एवं बेहतर हो गये हैं। Core Banking कि सुविधाएं काफी आश्चर्यचकित लगीं। मैंने तो कभी सोचा भी नहीं था कि एक डाकखाना बैंक की तरह भी काम कर सकता है!

आखिरी कमरे से बाहर निकल रहे थे कि देखा दीवार पर कोने में एक कागज़ पर लिखकर चिपका रखा था - "हिंदी कार्यालय दिवस"। एक ग्यारहवीं कक्षा की लड़की ने उन पुरूष से पूछा कि इसका क्या मतलब है तो उन्होनें हमें बताया कि हर बुद्धवार को विधि हेतु सारा कार्य हिंदी में निभाया जाता है। पहले तो यह सुनकर चेहरे पर मुस्कान आ गयी पर फिर हैरानी ने माथा ढ़क लिया। भला ऐसा क्यों कि भारत के डाकखाने में प्रमुख भाषा हिंदी के लिए एक दिन सिद्ध किया गया है? डाकखाने जैसे बुज़ुर्ग दफ्तर में भी अगर अंग्रेजी आवश्यक हो गयी तो आखिर हिंदी प्रयोग होगी कहाँ?

इसलिए अपना छोटा सा ही सही, पर हिंदी में यह लिखकर, योगदान देना चाहती हूं उस भाषा को जो मेरे दिल के बहुत करीब है। इतने करीब कि ये आखिरी वाक्य लिखते सार ही एक आंसू आंख से छूट अाया है।

Image courtesy: Vani Devraj

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Shot In Heaven

He sips on his coffee
and remembers when love was brewing 
moulding them in feelings
warmer than the mould that holds his coffee
----------
He looks out of the window
and sees himself dwindling in the street
holding her hands, jumping over puddles
This monsoon had been prolonged, the reporters had said
our courtship had lasted even longer, he thought
----------
The channel flickers on the radio he is listening to,
breaking his tryst with the outside
he rubs the small droplets of water off the antenna
and the song that plays then, he remembers, was their favorite
he can feel his palms on her waist as she swings along.
The beats are zealous, but her moves were exuberant, he knew
----------
He closes his eyes and when he opens them
for a moment he doesn't blink
what he sees is her face, exquisite as ever
then his pupils broaden and he realizes it's her picture 
the last one of her life; poised on the bureau.
The picture is beautiful
but lifeless,
just as his wife now is 


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

My Question To The Pseudo-Feminists



Feminism, when invented, simply meant equality for women in the society. However, right now we are in a phase in human history where women are slowly pushing men down to capture their place on top of the ladder. 

I am ready to face flak for this, but I am averse to this idea. As equal sexes, men and women are supposed to climb the ladder together, and not by pulling the other one down to mud.

We have been living in a terrible male-dominated world for ages. After much of exasperating efforts, women are finally making a paradigm shift. But hold on, is this shift in the right direction? I am afraid we’re shifting from a patriarchal, male-dominated society to a matriarchal, female-dominated society. Instead of asking for equal rights, why are we asking for a shift from one domination to the other? Isn’t domination exactly what we’re fighting against?

I am not against feminism. I am a woman and proud to be so. But I am definitely against this new found facet of feminism that promotes nothing but weakness in women.
For instance, ladies yell out at male passengers sitting on a ladies’ seat. We all think this is the right way. But do we actually pay head to what these small acts actually portray? That women are weak. That they cannot stand on their feet for long. That they need men to vacate seats for them. Is this what we should call feminism? The other day I was talking to a friend about this. Her response was very casual (and I’m sure almost-universal also) - “See I prefer convenience. When I travel in metro and I see a guy sitting on a ladies’ seat, I ask him to get up. If we’re getting an advantage, why waste it?”

Now if we think, isn’t it the same thing we’ve been cursing men for? Of taking advantage of their position in the society? 
If we cannot stand for ourselves, how can we ask men to do that?
We have it written all over our public transports. “Please vacate seats for women, children and physically challenged” So is this what it is? Are women equivalent to children and the physically challenged? Hell not!
Also, ladies like it when their boyfriends take them out for shopping and pay restaurant bills for them. That is courteous and gentlemanly, for sure. But once in a while, we can pay bills for them, too. If equality it is, then equality it shall be!

We disgrace men for taking advantage of their convenient authoritative position in the society and at the same time we ourselves prefer “convenience”. How will anybody take us seriously if we are so hypocritical? We just keep changing the definition of equality according to our whims and fancies. Male-chauvinists have already done this to death, pretending to be superior. We don’t need to repeat it.

Let me put it straight for all the weak and hypocritical women out there. You’re not superior to men, nor are they superior to you. We are all made equal; men, women and transgender alike. In all probable definitions and meanings. Equal.

P.S- I am a feminist. Even I hate men who impose restrictions on the women in their lives and mentally/physically abuse them. I do not stand eve-teasing and walk with pride on the road. I love being a woman. But I am not weak. I can earn respect for myself as a good human being. I don’t demand respect simply for being a woman. All I demand is equality, unfiltered and for all.


P.P.S- I posted this article on a writer's society and people went on to criticize it to extents where I was taken terribly out of context. So if any of you feel the same, let me tell you that I am NOT against feminism. I believe it is high time women get their due in the society but not at the cost of hating and generalizing all men! Some women have been misusing and misinterpreting feminism for personal benefits rather than well-being of women in general. These are my personal opinions and I stand by them. Maybe I'm not absolutely right but I am absolutely honest. 
In the words of Kurt Cobain: "I'd rather be hated for who I am than be loved for who I am not" 

Thursday, 16 April 2015

And I Found Myself Like Never Before

It was a usual Sunday morning and I had my Maths class test (I had studied for this one). It is the beginning of class 12th and we are all on this study spree regarding this whole CBSE Board thing. I am not the one who usually studies for a Maths class test but this time it was different. Since the past two weeks I had been in a deplorable academic condition. All these days I used to sit in the class and stare blankly at the blackboard trying to fathom what the teachers wrote. All I could still fathom was that I was a loser. Absolutely. Completely. One part of me cursed the education system and just wanted to write multiple poems to the non-existent love of my life while the other half nudged my loser self to work hard in order to achieve my long-lost dreams. In short, I was constantly at war with myself.

With all these thoughts playing in the back of my mind, I completed the math test way ahead of time. I submitted my sheet and glanced back at my friends who were furiously stabbing their answer sheets and I knew better than to wait for them to finish. So I went out, alone. I had a lot of time in hand and as I had mentioned earlier, it was a Sunday morning. Cold winds, seclusion and stuff. A solitary walk was needed. High time. So I started walking. I had no idea where to go but I wanted to reach as soon as possible. I had long been in search of a parallel universe, or maybe the fourth-dimension. I just wanted to be somewhere else, somewhere better. I wanted to explore. But before that, perhaps, all I needed was to find myself. Explore myself.

While I was walking, the first drops of drizzle touched my palm. Unnerved, I kept walking. I saw a man fixing the chains of his bicycle. I couldn't have been of any help. Loser. I kept walking and reached a familiar road.  I remembered how I used to walk here and listen to Tum Se Hi with Tanya. She was probably still stabbing her answer sheets right now. I put the thought away and started walking swiftly. I came to a sudden halt in front of an old park which was almost to ruins. Due to the recent turmoil of bad weather, a few trees had fallen in the middle of the park which blocked the inside view. I kicked a few bushes off the entrance and went inside. Thankfully, one of the benches, though muddy, was still intact. The fallen trees provided a kind of enclosure and blocked this spot entirely out of public view. Relived, I sat down.

For a moment, I sat there emotion-less. And then it happened. Tears trickled down my face beating the speed of the ongoing drizzle and soon I was exhausted and choked. But when I stopped and wiped my tears away, I swear, I had found myself. This was the place. I picked up my phone wanting to listen to some radio but realized I never brought earphones to the math class. Then I saw my register. And my pen. Bliss was never so exquisite. It was the end to my month-long block and I kept writing until I had nothing more to say. It felt as if a big burden was hustled off my shoulders. I felt light as a bubble, ready to float around without the fear of being pricked.


I saw that my phone was vibrating. It was Arunma’s call. They had finished the test. I got up to walk back. But I was different now, no longer the same person who wanted to run away. Now I had the courage to bounce back, and fight.



Sunday, 8 March 2015

I Am Sorry

I am sorry
And I've always been
For one thing or the other
I’m born into a world where I am constantly reminded
That I should be sorry and that I should not have it any other way

I am sorry because even though some people hate me
I do not hate them back
I am sorry because I feel only love can drive out hatred

I am sorry because no matter how hard I try to be the ideal child
They still find a speck of dust in the vast ocean that is my demeanor
I am sorry because no matter how much generous a human being I try to be
People don’t cease to zoom into the flaws
But despite of that I continue to believe in myself when no one else believes in me  
And trust me, I am sorry for that

The people who abandon me and choose to leave
Are like scars on my soul
With every second scar my skin grows rough and ugly
But this time if you choose to be one of those scars
I will still care and love, like always
And I am sorry for that

I love, and therefore I am
What is the essence of our transient being if we don’t feel the need to love?
I am sorry I theorize that we’re all broken into pieces and that only love can join us back
People continue to forego my love, but still I continue to love, and fiercely so,
With the sum of all my broken pieces
I’m really sorry I do

I have dreams. Indestructible dreams that won’t let me sleep.
Oh, but I’m not sorry this time.  Why?
Because when in the day I allow the world to slave me and my thoughts,
I wait for the dark. That is when my dreams breathe life into my scarred soul.
That is when I, and only I, have the key to my conviction.
That is when I can unapologetically hope for a better world
And I will not let you snatch away my hope and crumble my dreams
Even if I belong to this world, my dreams solely belong to me.
And mind you, I will never be sorry for that.

                                                   

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Liebster Award


To start with, I must thank my friend and one of my favorite bloggers Vani Devraj for nominating me for the Liebster Award :) She blogs at Pearls Of Catharsis

For all of you who don't know what the award means, you can read the details in the image given below 




Questions I've been asked:


1. What is the last thing you ate?
- I'm just eating a burger while typing this. Big foodie I am yaa

2. The mystery behind your name? (Who kept it, meaning etc.)
- My mother kept my name. 'Ishita' apparently means superior and therefore it is a synonym for Hindu Goddess Durga. 

3. Any dream you remember? Then share it. :D
- I am an avid procrastinator so most of the time I'm sleeping and hence dreaming. I hope we could record our dreams and replay them because it's so difficult to remember them once you get up. So TBH, can't remember anything vividly to answer this :( 


4. Your ultimate aim in life? 
- In the words of John Lennon- to be happy. 

5. Has life given you lemons?
- *Burps* I guess that was the lemonade. 

6. Do you believe in ghosts?
- According to Newton, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. So since I believe in God, I do believe that there exists an opposite force but definitely not equal in power. Most of the time, the ghost resides in our very own soul and keeps haunting our desires. 

7. Are you creative? If yes then share your talent. :)
- I think creativity has more to do with the way your thought process functions rather than how good you are in an art, dance or writing as in my case. And in that matter, I can be sure to say that the rebel inside me does not let my thoughts be ordinary.

8. Name a book that changed your outlook towards life.
- It has to be Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom. He urgently needs to write more books! *Sigh*

9. How many true friends do you have?
- Around 5. 

10. Do you like me? ^_^
- I love you, Vani !

11. Are you satisfied with these questions?

- Hell yes!



Facts About Me

My last post being 20 Facts About Myself , I would like to avoid repeating the same facts in another blog post.

I further nominate Pallavi Bhatia, Yashasvi Shailly, Rudrank Riyam and Traci Lawrence for the award. If anybody else wants to be nominated you can let me know in the comments below and I will tag you :) 


My Questions

If you choose to accept the award, then these are my questions for you: 

1. When did you feel that you should start blogging? 
2. What is your wildest fantasy? 
3. If you get to chose your Heaven after dying, how would you like it to be?
4. What is that one thing you swear by?
5. What would be your comeback if someone criticizes your writing skills?
6. If you have to listen to one music artist or band all your life, who would that be?
7. Who is your favorite writer and why?
8. What do you think this world needs the most?
9. If you were Adam/Eve, what kind of civilization would you have initiated? 
10. What is your idea of love?
11. One thing that brings out the best in you? 

Happy Reading!  




Saturday, 24 January 2015

The Great Indian Litterbug



I have a very vulnerable hate speed, i.e. the speed with which I can start hating a person is very fast. Usually these are people I don’t know, people I just observe on the roads, the streets, the markets etc. And my hate speed is directly proportional to how big of a litterbug they are. Though the reasons for which I may hate a person are many, but the most irritable nuisances committed which I just can’t tolerate are the various modes of spreading “beauty” that people in India are accustomed to.
Broadly categorizing, there are 3 main types of such litterbugs in India.


1. The Great Indian Pee Panthers

These are commonly men, who have the nature’s advantage to be able to stand and pee. And for the same that goes for all the other advantages men claim in the society, this is also considered a birth right by most of them. These people, surprisingly, have no set range (pun not intended). They may vary from a construction laborer to an educated businessman to a policeman himself! These people would never care to control it in for some time and look for a public toilet. In fact, they have their own favorite and convenient spots- public walls! Ironically, many walls have been covered up with tiles portraying religious idols to stop this practice! Yet another example that people in India need religion to remind them of their social responsibilities.


2. The Great Indian Gutka Giants.

These are people fond of chewing ‘paan’ or ‘gutka’ or any such so called delicacy. Even if we ignore the gross activity itself, but the fact that they spit it out on public roads is invincible. Our roads and streets have become more red than grey. The walls bear emboss color outbursts of their gutka. If you’re having a bad day you might as well step on one such fresh pulp of red and curse your existence!


3. The Great Indian Tetra Troubleshooters

This, according to me is the most heinous social crime. One can argue that the urge to pee or to spit 
out waste is uncontrollable (even though prevention is better than cure) but the practice of throwing Tetra Paks , plastic bottles, vegetable and fruit peel offs, etc on roads is unforgivable and any excuse to justify it is utterly baseless. While one can easily carry such packets home and throw them in a bin, most of us chose to get rid of them right away. But we forget the most important thing- when you throw dirt, you lose ground!


It is because of these litterbugs that revolutionary movements like the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan bring about but a little change. It takes so much time and effort for many people together to clean up a road. But it takes only one unconcerned brain-dead person to litter it down again. As unfair as it is, we, the anti-litterbugs, just end up cursing our own government and citizens and find opportunities to run abroad.

But we need to do this:

Ridicule the litterbugs! Show them that they are gross and unclean. Whenever you see a person littering the surroundings, even if it is somebody you know, make them an ugly face; say ‘Yuck! You’re such a litterbug’; and move away from where they’re standing.

Social isolation and mockery is the best way to prick their conscience!



You must watch this video - The Great Indian Litterbug Pledge , a hilarious initiative by Times Of India and IndiBlogger .


Sunday, 18 January 2015

Garnier Pure Active Neem Face Wash

Just imagine. You're going out for a party. All dressed up in pretty clothes and good make up. You look absolutely perfect. But that one pimple that flashes on your face spoils the whole idea of looking beautiful. We all have faced situations like this. During my puberty days my face used to be red. Not because a rose berry blush or something, but with pimples. Even though I believe that beauty is from inside but pimples are a different matter altogether. I was fed up with trying all kinds of medication to get rid of them but nothing seemed to work. Around that time Garnier had launched the first Pure Active Neem Face Wash and it was just a matter of few weeks for my pimples to vanish in thin air! What an exquisite feeling that was!  



Since then Garnier has been favorite beauty care brand. For me it is the tried and tested brand we can rely on for our needs.

So when I got this opportunity to blog about the Garnier Pure Active Neem Face Wash I was more than happy to do so. 

We all know that acne is a curable problem and we can easily fight it back with the right tools. So don’t need to worry about those little spots. You've got this perfect product to your aid.

Firstly, you need to know how the Garnier Pure Active Neem Face Wash helps your skin.

It fights germs, pollution and removes oil as it is enriched with real Neem Leaf and Tree Tea Oil extracts. So after washing your face with it, you will get a fresh and glowing skin and you will eventually get rid of your pimples.

It is important to use the right product in the right way. Here are the steps to use the Garnier Pure Active Neem Face Wash:

*Gently massage on damp face using your fingertips carefully avoiding the eye contour area.
*Rinse thoroughly.
*For best results use twice a day.



It is a superb product priced reasonably and cleanses the face without depriving it of its natural moisture. Also, a very small amount is required for every single wash hence it also provides value for money!

I have myself used this product and it has proved to be extremely useful. Now I confidently step out of home with a clear skin. I don’t have to worry about extra make up for hiding my pimples and I don’t have to cry over pimple marks. All thanks to this awesome face wash!

This blog post is a part of my Blogger Activity at IndiBlogger




Friday, 16 January 2015

20 Facts About Myself


1. I am a very filmy person; so filmy that this point made it to the top of the list. My conversations very often contain dialogues from films.

2. I am a tomboy and I hate the color pink just for the girlish feel of it.

3. I am a big time foodie. After breakfast I think of lunch and after lunch I think of dinner!



4. I fantasize that violins will be playing when I meet the love of my life.

5. I am that friend who’s always single but looked up to for relationship advice. Love guru, you may call it!

6. I am very fond of my singing but others are not. You will always find me humming to an old 90’s song.

7. I may seem jolly and strong but I’m a very sensitive person. Even a little argument or insult can take its toll on me.

8. I love it when somebody writes something for me. I am an ardent reader and if it is about me, all the more wonderful!

9. I really like if I’m able to make people happy and lessen their sorrows.

10. I love experimenting new styles with my hair but they are just not meant for that!

11. I don’t like if somebody hates me. No matter how much I pretend I do give a damn about that!

12. I am a very confused person. I’m always in double minds about making a decision and after 
making it always think if the other option would have been better!

13. I am a single child to my parents and pampered beyond limits. But that doesn't make me a spoiled brat.

14.  I am very, very punctual. I hate getting late and because of this I often end up sitting in a party where no one else has yet arrived.

15. My favorite author is Mitch Albom. I have many favorite authors but no one ever reaches close to this man.

16. I am a loud and boisterous person. I am calm only when I’m sad or deeply pondering over something.



17. I hate the winter season. Too much of procrastination!


18. I am a very opinionated person and really love discussions.

19. I was a Humanities aspirant and really loved studying History, I still do. Somehow ended up with Commerce.

20. And but of course, I love writing! ;)



I thank Vani Devraj for nominating me for the 20 Facts Challenge. She blogs at Plain Jane. I don’t have 20 people to tag. But I will just nominate three of my friends Yashasvi Shailly who blogs at Randomness and Beyond.. , Pallavi Bhatia who blogs at Reckless Serenade and Prerna Rawat who blogs at shewritesaboutherself . Also if you are willing to take up the task, you can mention it in the comments below and I will tag you too. :)

Sunday, 4 January 2015

There is a place in the heart that will never be filled




It is yet another year
So I try to count the losses I bear;
Not of gems and pleasures
But of relations I treasure.


There was a friend,
I loved her dearly
But as time played the role of sand;
And swayed her away from my hand
She is too distant to be anymore,
my gleaming lamp of Aladdin.
As I behold the Bible she gifted
resting on my lap,
I miss the times when she had my back;
Yet I moved on

A girl I met in 8th grade
Fragile and lone she was
Firmly clinging to my Olive leaf
She confided in me through thick and thin.
A swirling roller coaster our friendship was
It went up and down
But came all the way round
As gullible and hateful as she was
The ride came to a halt.
The roller coaster stopped,
But I moved on

My mother’s family is close to my heart
And closest was the man
whom I revered more than my dad.
A man of his words,
he was my guardian angel
He inspired our philosophies of life
But death patronized suffering
And I willed myself to move on

The nonchalant strolls of a charming boy
had secretly made way to my heart
A mere fleeting glance intoxicated every part
of my miserable scarred senses
Babbling gibberish talks all day
I would go mute, cold as clay
on the sight of his distant silhouette
Oh my, how the heart did sway!
But as the bubble of infatuation 
burst out to reality,
I moved on.


And with all these people I leave behind,
a part of me is left behind
And as Charles Bukowski said
"There is a place in the heart that will never be filled"
Thus, I shall move on.