“Oh! Look my darling,
I’ve set us free.
You and me, in this wind and free
Singing and dancin’ just as we feel,
oh look, oh look
at the pretty skies,
oh look at them, those wonderful lies,
How they come to a sudden halt,
Darlin’ oh darling,
I’ve set us free,
What a joy, no, blessing, no – joy
it must be to be in love,
and finally free”
Within the night
Between the sparking, glittering stars,
She arose, again in a slight smile
Of every fear, of darkened smiles of love,
She gazed into, and upon,
The skies and the moon and the sun to be.
She sat within a distance so safe, so secure
Her hair mingled with the windless air,
Her skin rippled with her touch
And the ever lasting frowns that lined her eyes
Burnt further into her smile
Within the night
Between the sparkling, glittering stars,
She arose, she smiled, she loved.
Mom – You are awesome. I love you so much and what we have is so real. We quarrel, we argue, we gossip but most of all, you always have my back. From terrible grades, to silly boys, to mid night snacks, to ADHD, you’ve never given up on me, instead you encourage me. Every step of the way you make me a better person and give me space to grow. I don’t know what I’d do without you and thank fully, even though I am SUCH A HANDFUL I’ve never needed to find out. I don’t know how you do it. But I am so thankful that you do.
Your spirit, your zest for life, your encouragement, your perspective on life, you focus and of course your absolutely amazing unique personality mesmerize me even today. You are such an inspiration to me. I strive everyday to be a little like you. A little kinder, more patience, more forgiving, more understanding, happier, more successful, just a little more like you.
For every day that you call and bug me about eating well and for every time you know when I’m upset, I am so, so grateful to you. For the past few years Mother’s Day has been without you physically present, but every single day, I miss you and I know you’re there for me.
Be it rain, hail or sunshine, you never give up on me. I admire you. I cherish you and I thank the lord every single day that I have you. I love you and I never want to know life without you. Happy Mother’s Day.
It’s been a while since I did a #ootd post. Now for a while, a lot of you have asked me about wearing earring with jeans and shorts. While i did reply to most of you personally, I figured I’ll make a post so that everyone knows.
Now, fashion is different for everyone. I wear what makes me feel good. It may not make you feel as good. If so, feel free to find other bloggers who resonate your style better. No one should police your body or tell you what to wear or what not to wear and I don’t intend to do that either. So this blog post is solely for those whose style is a little like mine!
Here is what I wore (The gallery of pictures is just below the individual pictures!)
And finally the earrings I wore!
Other earrings you can wear
Check out the gallery for more photos!
Stepping out in my towel I rush to get dressed. My wet hair drops till my mid waist rather dramatically in slight waves. I pause and stare at myself in my mirror. I see clear, slightly pink, lightly freckled skin, lash less eyes, a slim body and a face so used to being nude that it brightens up with makeup. I am scared to remove my towel and stare at myself. Naked, sun kissed, and already stretch mark suffused. I stand there for what seems to be eternity till I drop my towel and look at myself. Truly raw. I smile, then, suddenly aggravated I get into my pjs and ponder.
I’m taken back instantly to a ‘Carry On’ series movies where the women were often short, plum and padded with stretch marks. Those were the women sought after in the days gone by. Not just men, even women looked down upon those actors if they were too skinny. And then now here we are in what can easily be equated to Dante’s hell. Right here day in and day out. We have passionately entwined our lives within this man made hell we claim to escape.
But are we looking for a way out? Are we truly, actually, aggressively, passionately looking to change things? Are we, in India, working towards a change or are we working towards a bloated ego?
At one end we ramble on about natural beauty and when Sonam Kapoor, in an interview, reveals her stretch marks and fat, instantly she is at the receiving end of snarky, derogatory remarks, not by the ‘uneducated’ Indian we hide behind, but by the educated Gucci laden Indians that reside in so many homes. When we tweet anxiously about respecting women and not objectifying them we do so with the fervor of an India Pakistan match being won by Indians. But when it comes to music we still dance to the tunes of ‘Baby Doll’. Where one end we so aggressively rallied for justice for a rape victim, we still re-blog, repost, and agree with articles and pieces that judge women for their short clothes.
If you’ve looked away and declared me unworthy of your attention or yourself above the aforementioned, stop and think for yourself, when was the last time, you let your daughter wear what she wanted irrespective ‘of what people would say?’ When was the last time, you actually admired a woman in her ‘normal’ self or not snicker when she dressed up? When did you last teach your son to respect people for who they are and not their choices? As trivial as these might seem, they are the true indicators of change.
Or did you, like the million others, hand your son a bottle of whisky and your daughter an orange juice? How many times have you, boys, spoken to a girl and gotten to know her before her mini skirt proclaimed her a slut? I know for a fact that you didn’t. That you ‘educated’ kids in the pubs and discos went and spoke to the woman with the shortest skirt assuming right of the bat that she was ‘easy’ and yet if she asked to be taken home to meet your family, you’d disappear like perfume in air, almost there but never quite seen.
Is this to say we are all like that? No. If I’m writing this, someone else has thought it too. But are most of us like this? Yes. If you get offended by this piece, guess which category you fall into. We thrive in the negativity that we bestow upon others as it makes us feel superior. And you know what (if you didn’t already) it’s not just the men.
It’s the women too. You girls who sit among your guy friends watching your girl friends (if that term made you clinch or giggle, you might as well stop reading ahead and first educate yourself) get slut shamed by the boys are perpetuating this culture. Because for you, the attention, that momentary approval of those guys suddenly means more to you than your girl friend. This does not make you a bad human being, it makes you just that, human. However, the point is that you too are perpetuating a cycle you might be a victim of.
Because tomorrow when you come in a skirt, if it’s a full length skirt you are a ‘behenji’ and if it’s a mini you’ll be called a slut. Because you, knowingly or unknowingly gave them permission to judge you and shame you when you laughed with them at your ‘friend’.
Should the boys know better? Yes, but so should you.
So now, tell me are we truly perpetuating a change where every moment is a struggle? For that’s what change is, it’s uncomfortable, it’s uneasy and that’s why it’s so difficult to bring about. Or are you too just smothering your ego?
Well let me tell you. You’re doing neither. You’re comforting yourself in the anonymity of your stature in society and hiding behind the norms that you perpetuate. Re-blogging a post, or sharing a status isn’t enough, in fact it’s nothing. You’re waiting for a wave of spontaneous change to come along so that you can then dip your feet in it in an attempt to get famous and then again soothe your shameless ego by telling it you tried.
What have I done? What gives me the right to tell you this? Well, I too, was an educated teenage hypocrite. And as for what I’ve done, today, I volunteer at hospitals for the poor, write a fashion blog for the ‘normal’ Indian woman, defy every societal construct of beauty at my whim and fancy and hold workshops for women empowerment. I’ve not done enough but I’ve started. I weigh as much as my conscious agree upon, I dress however my mind wishes. I watch everything from Two and a Half Men to Mr Khan to Keeping Up with The Kardashians, but most of all, unlike you, I reflect and act. The degree of my actions are seen in my everyday behavior. But of course, you don’t know that for the minute you saw me laugh louder than you, you assumed I did for you.
*P.s – It’s a repost. This article was written 2 years ago and has been unedited. It is slightly problematic, and I recognize that, yet it has not been edited/ corrected.
There cannot be greatness without courage and failure.
There is finally silence in my heart. I hear the voices clearly in my mind. After a long time, I am not worrying, in fact I am excited. I am not weepy, instead I am rejuvenated. The prospect of college finally excites me. For the first time, in a very long time, I feel at peace. My body isn’t quivering, my mind isn’t shaking, my mind, my soul is free. I can think. I can finally think.
It’s weird how much I listen to the world and how little I listen to myself. It’s a miserable, heart wrenching, soul crushing feeling to do something you hate. But to find the courage to do something you love is rare. And what’s even rarer is the fact that my parents pushed me to do what I love. They have always let me take my own decisions, and even today, they don’t tell me what to do. But thank fully, finally, they stepped in. They still didn’t tell me what to do, but they did tell me what not to do – to not mess up my present, my future and my happiness for something I may never even want.
I feel relieved. My heart isn’t anxiously fluttering. I think, for the first time since I was 17, I feel at peace. I don’t feel a maddening, driving rush of misery, instead I’m excited, passionate, bold and even happy with the thought of my future.
What I will end up doing, I don’t know and now I don’t even want to. I just want to enjoy the last year of my undergraduate career, I want to take classes I love, write the stories I love, be the person I was lacking and do whatever my heart desires. I want to, finally, be my own person, do my own thing, not worry about the world, not worry about everything, not worry about nothing. I will, listen to my dad and follow my heart. I know it’ll take me to greatness. I refuse to be mediocre, because I’m not. After so many years of failure, and so many years of getting back up again, failure doesn’t scare me and now I even have the courage.
So who is to say, I won’t be the best? Who is to say my heart won’t lead me to success? Who is to say, I can’t achieve my dream? No-one.
Finally even my heart believes.
P.s: Thanks Dad & Mom <3
I love writing and I intend to change the world by doing so. Of course, that is an ambitious goal and seemingly impossible task, but then again, nothing is impossible. Or so I believe.
I currently write solely in English. Even though English isn’t ‘technically’ my first language, I still speak it better than Hindi. So I write in English and what I write is only read by those who actually read English. That’s such a limiting audience! I’m already learning Spanish, so that I can be fluent in it. The process started about a year ago and is still to be completed. So if I woke up with new linguistic skills, I want it to be French.
I then promptly want to enter a French Cafe, order French coffee (if there is such a thing) and then sit in the corner of the cafe learning Spanish. Why? Well what better way to change the world than an English speaking India, learning Spanish and drinking French coffee?!
Sitting there in that quaint cafe, slowly mouthing my Spanish words, I’d compel every passerby to look again and wonder what I’m doing. Then I’d slowly become a part of their distant, slightly off memory till the day my books take off. Then, when they’ll be translated into French and Spanish and Portugese, most native speakers won’t think too much of it. Some would read the book and like it or dislike it or some would just never read the book. But one day one random person, one of the people who saw me in the cafe years back and found my Spanish sub par, will find my book, probably online for free. She’d read it not knowing who wrote the book.
She won’t think much of it yet out of curiosity she’ll look for me online. And that’s when she sees me. On wikipedia, on my website, in the news and maybe in a commercial for women’s rights. I am where she wants to be. Yet I was where she was. Same cafe, similar situations, similar lives. And now it’s no more the same. She’ll wonder what makes me special. Why I am where she wasn’t to be and she isn’t. In a furry, she’ll start looking around on google or on the DYNAMITE app (which would have taken off in a big way and will be on itunes) and then she’ll stumble upon my blog. Hidden somewhere in this vast ever expanding virtual world. She’ll go through it in a fury. She’ll mock me for my grammar and then my spelling.
She’ll realize I’m nothing special. In fact, I’m a lot like her. Clumsy, insecure, happy, afraid, bold, funny, witty. She’ll smile or maybe just gaze into nothing. That’s when she’ll turn off chrome and open word grudgingly for it’s been so long she doesn’t even remember the title of the story she was writing.
Her story slowly and eventually will have just a few days left for completion. She publishes it. It sells. Slowly but surely. She’s reaching where she wanted to be. Her world will forever be changed and in turn maybe, she might just change someone else’s world nd that too, when she wasn’t even trying to.
I’ve never had a mentor. I’ve had support, advice, information and have been taught. I have however never had someone show me the way. But more often than not, I’ve had fictional mentors. Authors have fortunately or unfortunately been my sole mentors so far. So as far as career goes, I’m figuring it out with advice and support, but as far as life goes, I rely on Paulo Coelho.
My brother often joked that I was reading The Alchemist looking for answers. I just laughed. He wasn’t wrong. Of course, I could simply be over thinking or interpreting the words in a way that suited me or maybe, just maybe I did and still do -find answers in books.
When I was 14, I was in 8th or 9th grade. I had braces, a bob and a fringe. Quite ugly.
I was also very creative and imaginative and opinionated. I’m pretty sure I still liked pink. Yes. Definitely liked pink. Too bad people dislike pink. I don’t know if I’d discovered my love of South Indian food, particularly food from Kerala. No matter what anyone says, that is the best kind of food. I loved dresses, I know that. I still do. I wonder how similar I was.
I know I thought differently, but I guess that’s growing up for you. At that time, I hadn’t even thought of coming to the US to study. I think I was still into Nickelback (yeah, yeah) and ‘Numb’ by LP. I was in Shillong for sure.That was a really pretty place. I wonder if I ever wanted to live in a giant underwater tube at that age. Or domesticate a cheetah. Maybe.
Ooh. Did I still write? I know I made jewelry and friendship bracelets. I would spend so much time and energy in my bracelets. I actually remember making my own design once!
Well I guess when I was 14, my hobbies weren’t very different but I was definitely a different person.