Note to self on the new effing year

* Nothing like a blog to make you feel guilty for not committing to writing regularly *

Dear self, firstly, stop behaving in a way that you don’t feel like addressing your own self as “dear”. You’ve been a frickin a-hole. You know that feeling when you can forgive everyone in the world except yourself? Yeah, you don’t want to go there. That’s hell.

Secondly, you are allowed to feel low. Just remember, only you can pull yourself out. Stop depending on some imaginary external party to do the miracle for you. And stop taking your loved ones for granted. Got it?

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…love…

 

Also, you need to buy that notebook and pen – and effing write something everyday. EVERY effing day. You get it? Every EFFING day. Until you’re dead or are on your periods. Writing lets you be true to yourself and you want to be that.

Thirdly, now more than ever, you need to stop bullshipping yourself. NO excuses for anything, ever. You get it? Excuses are for losers.

Finally, be more grateful. Everyday. How easy it is to be ungrateful…ugh. Slap yourself or something. Just get your brain trained to be grateful and proud of how far we’ve come.

You can’t turn into the woman you want one fine day magically. You’ve got to live that person every effing day. Be the woman you want to be every frickin’ day. What stops you, after all, huh? You can do it. You HAVE to do it. For yourself. You owe it to yourself to be the person you always wanted to be.

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That don’t impress me much (at least, not anymore)

I’m not impressed anymore by the motorbikes you ride or the cars you own. What impresses me is whether you heed the traffic rules (especially in Bangalore’s traffic!)

I’m not impressed anymore by the “brands” of clothes and shoes you wear. I’m impressed if you’re comfortable in your own skin.

I’m not impressed anymore by your looks. (In fact, if you’re cute-looking I just wait and watch until you eventually, behave like a total, narcissistic jerk.) I’m relieved if your nails are trimmed and clean.

I’m not impressed anymore by how you treat me. I take notice of how you treat your subordinates at work and the sales guy at the counter.

I’m not impressed anymore if you can debate non-stop on a topic. I respect if you think it’s not cool to joke about sensitive topics.

 

On Teachers’ Day

Disclaimer: This post is no way meant to be malicious towards my Alma Mater. We studied from the best educational institutions at our place and are proud and grateful to have those opportunities.  

With the nation celebrating the Teachers’s Day on September 5 each year, I refuse to romanticize my schooling or graduation. That phase sucked and I am glad I survived school and college!

I find it hard to recall teachers that truly inspired me. Barring a rare teacher here and there, the majority of our growing up memories are nothing remarkable. While I can’t remember much inspirational words they ever said, I do clearly recall the times we were blatantly treated partially.

Best to say the teachers were doing “their jobs” of completing the annual syllabus. With our outdated education system and the kind of pressure teachers have these days, it is only fair not to expect anything ‘guru-like’ from them.

All I wish is, each student hears, if only once in her life, those few words of truth and encouragement from a teacher that resound throughout life.

 

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The Great Indian Independence Day and Feminism

Growing up I used to love “my country”! You know, how we have those cultural events at schools and universities with singing songs in praise of our nation and hoisting the flag every 15th August. You just could not not feel that patriotic fervor – even if for a single day!

As an adult women who doesn’t feel safe to step out even in broad daylight…forget after-dark hours…I don’t know how patriotic to feel! Every single effing day we see and hear stories of rather ‘harmless’ eve-teasing to horrendous cold-blooded crimes against women in our nation.

As someone who has had her “fair share” of being groped and pinched and poked in the ass (I know, ugh, right? I did turn to slap that bastard but alas it was too crowded to figure out) – on city streets, market areas, public places and where not…I don’t know…it’s gotten harder to nurture the patriotic feelings I once had.

All I have grown to think about is being on “high-alert” about my safety and the safety of other women I know. I am distressed and it will best be hypocritical to feel patriotic.

Am I alone in this? Do other Indian women feel this way, ever?

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A letter to December

You’re here. With the first day of the last month of the Georgian calendar.

I want to cling on to you, December and not let you go. Why do you always seem to come around and leave so soon? Stay, my friend, can’t you?

Every time I realise you’re here, I go into a retrospective mood and the memories of the past 334 days gone by start to flash in the mind with mixed emotions of happiness, achievement, sadness and a pinch of regret (just a teeny-tiny bit). It’s a strange nostalgia. You make me miss my home even while I am at home.

I hope you know you’re beautiful, December. You bring with you festivities (including long holidays, of course! ) and warmth. (Except in the southern hemisphere of the planet where you’re probably too warm.)

Don’t go, December. Wait a bit, a little longer. Can’t we slow down our watches and do away with the calendars?

Till as long as you’re here,
Happy you to everyone.

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Indian cinema – you have a long way to go

We watched Dear Zindagi yesterday. I found it flawless. Except for one bit. Why couldn’t Jehangir Khan and Koko be together? I mean, he was divorced and she was very much single. They both seemed to like each other.  They couldn’t go out for coffee ONCE. Why? Why? Why? Why does Indian cinema have to do this? Just because he is maybe 10 years older to her (and divorced)? Just because it wouldn’t be totally conventional? In all possibilities, even if they pursued, their relationship may NOT have worked out. That doesn’t mean they should not have given it a try.

dear zindagi, DearZindagi

When a refreshingly unusual Bollywood movie still manages to confine to stereotypes.

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When Trump Trumped

Okay, apologies for the poor (and probably excessively overused by now) pun in the title. So, Donald Trump was elected the new President of the USA. As someone who doesn’t follow the political news closely – I had learned that for many voters it was a difficult choice – much like that between the devil and the deep sea.

Among other things, political pundits remarked this was the result of a deeply-embedded misogynistic attitude. What saddened me was not the ‘apprehension’ of misogyny – rather the fact that the electoral results directly meant that the people defended all the publicly made oh-so-ludicrous remarks of Mr Trump throughout the campaign as well as otherwise. I would refrain from citing examples because I am sure anyone who logs on the internet at least once a day or reads a newspaper these days must be aware of them.

 

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Because obviously, I couldn’t write the actual remark! 

 

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Little bets

Do you keep “little bets” with yourself? They seem so childish – but I always catch myself betting something against something!

  • If this works out – I’m going to do that.
  • If I find that perfect shoe – I’m going to buy that dress I fell in love with.
  • If he texts me first – he likes me too.

And you know…

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Here’s to the lucky ones!

I loathe festivals. I LOVE the festive spirit all over with Diwali round the corner – the neighborhood is all decked up with decor and all the shops look lighted and welcoming. I totally feel delighted up until the actual day of the festival – decorating our place, shopping, cooking, lighting lamps – I hate the particular day of Diwali. It’s like, anticipation is better than arrival.

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We made these gel sparkly candles. Pretty, aren’t they? 🙂

Invariably, we have no one to celebrate Diwali with us any year. Mum is at native – she can’t travel. We don’t have the time to travel to her place. Almost all friends leave for hometowns and it just gets so lonely. It sucks to be alone on festivals, especially Diwali.

I’m still okay to be alone on a Valentine’s Day (not that okay, but you get the idea, right?) – not Diwali. That’s meant to be spent with people. Growing up too, Diwali (including all other festivals too) used to be boring.

Shucks.

I realize there are way more unfortunate people than us in the world. Without a doubt, if there’s one thing we have learned out of all struggles of life is – to be grateful in all times.

To all those who have friends, family and loved ones to celebrate life with you – I hope you know you’re super lucky, guys.

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When you can’t relate to your own self

Do you ever shiver thinking of the challenges you’ve overcome?

I mean, when I recall or am reminded of the hardships we faced in our lives – I cannot even believe we survived it.  It’s like, there was a clone who went through all of these horrid experiences and then suddenly it’s us today. All new and with no (visible) traces of agony.

Do your very own past struggles seem so alien to you now – that you can’t relate to yourself? Sure, some memories fade. It’s not just about that. It’s not about faint memories you can’t remember. It’s about how you can’t imagine – you – the same you you see every day in the mirror- emerged alive from those seemingly never-ending struggles and daylight horrors of a dysfunctional family (or whatever you defined as hell.)

 

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Have you been there? Where you finally know what hell must be like? [Image:Crosswalk.com]

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