You

You

Your smile..
Like a warm cup of hot chocolate,
On a winter night

Your eyes..
Like two undimmed stars,
On a starless sky

Your love..
Like the unfathomable waters,
Of Pacific

Your voice..
Like a million nebulas collapsing,
In my fragile heart

Your touch..
Like the only memory left,
In Dementia

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Scented Letters and Glass Dreams

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Love.. Four letters,
Or Million memories

His half crooked smile,
Or her red rosy cheeks
His warm bear hug,
Or her playful side nudge

His soft blue shirt,
Or her sweet spring scent
That she casually sprinkled,
On a letter with glass dreams

The scent had faded,
And the dreams forgotten
When they crossed each other,
On a day unforgotten

She had never forgotten,
Those familiar brown eyes
That consumed her,
Like the infinite dark skies

And he had never forgotten,
Her face had one less mole
When he tried to draw,
His favourite constellation whole

So his lips curled up,
Into a half crooked smile
And her cheeks lit up,
Into the rosiest red

She gave him a playful nudge,
And he engulfed her in a warm hug
And her sweet spring scent,
Almost mended a broken glass dream!

No Alibi

forced marriage noun

Forced marriage is a marriage in which one or more of the parties is married without his or her consent or against his or her will.

No alibi

I plead Guilty,
Of witnessing a cold calculated murder.
I heard her silent screams,
After they killed her sacred dreams.
She smiled as she gave in,
Hushed the little soldier within.

She wanted to run away,
Hide somewhere far away.
In every bone of her body,
In every inch of her skin,
In every atom of her being,
She felt Imprisoned.

A thousand times she must have cried,
Crawled inside and died.
But she was taught – To nod, To agree,
To obey – when the time comes.
Because they had only raised her,
To give her away.

The family gathered one by one,
Shattered her dreams till there were none.
She kept giving up, kept giving in,
She was already dead within,
With a soul that stayed…
Un-ransomed.

 

Over and Over Again!

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“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.” – Gilda Radner

For a minute, I could not believe that you were sitting right next to me. You were in that proximity circle after ages. I wanted to hold those mini eye-contacts a little longer, or maybe not. Because it was too much, too sudden, too familiar. Another minute passed, and I wanted to make sure if my hair looked right from your angle. I was hoping I had chosen the right outfit, the right colour. My heart started to beat in a way it had forgotten. My palms started to sweat like they always did around you. Has anyone after you made me feel the same way? Not even close, I guess.

I wanted to hold that hand you offered to get rid of my nervousness, but I wondered if it would make the nervousness any better. I wanted to gaze at the way you smiled a little longer, because now the smiles were moving and they were not constant like your pictures. I wanted to ask a million questions, but I couldn’t manage a perfect sentence that would bridge the gap of all those years. I wanted to memorize the way you talked,  the way you threw your head back laughing like a little kid, the way you touched your hair, the way you did Everything. I wanted to take a photograph to make every single detail last longer.

You looked at me with those undimmed coffee-brown eyes, and a zillion fleeting moments came flooding back to me. A thousand different possibilities crossed my mind. It was chaotic, and it was calm, all at once. Everything blanked out in that second. And I wondered, if I could, I would build a time machine, travel every possible route and find the one that leads to you. Over and Over Again!

Take Time

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I have been working for three years now. And let’s accept it, Adulting is tough. We are constantly trying to achieve more, and change the story of our lives. We are trying hard, every day, to be extra-ordinary, to be something more, to learn something new. We take pride in paying our own bills, in affording our own apartment, in being independent and self-sufficient. We are probably becoming stronger. But there are times when you end up feeling suffocated and confused… about what you REALLY want.

I have started to feel that I need 48 hours in a day. To read more books, to watch more Netflix, to spend more time with the people around me, to just sit alone in my room and reflect upon myself. But there is never enough time. I wake up at 8 on most days, reach office without having breakfast, forget to take the required amount of water during the day, come back exhausted, hit the gym, buy groceries for dinner, while away time on our favourite sofa with my flatmates, take a shower, finish up the pending office work and it is 12 already. So, I sleep around 2 on most nights to manage the two hours for myself. I wish I had more time. Because two hours is too less. And, I have started to feel teeny-weeny bit tired, but I still try to take time to follow the little routine that I have, anyway. Because, I cannot imagine to be less occupied. It feels good to be busy. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. I believe, most of you can relate to this ordinary routine. Same story, different cities.

I remember, when I was young, I used to see my dad returning home exhausted. And I remember how he still took time every day to talk to us, be cheerful and take care of everything we needed. I remember seeing my mother attend to our tantrums all day, all night and tuck us safe in bed with her sweetest smile, even though she would have had a super-tired day. In all my innocence, I took a decision that when I become an adult, I’ll manage all the time in the world to do something for the people around me every day. And here I am, struggling to find time for myself. And thank God, I am single. I have no freaking idea, how would I save those “two” hours otherwise. But eventually, I will learn, I hope! Because, then I have weekends, and I don’t want to be munching on Churros alone.

So, the point is, how do you find that extra time? I have my sweet weekends but I don’t want to waste the 5 days of every week thinking about the weekend. I want to be busy and happy all week, at least for most of the week! I have been trying since a year to not worry about the office work after reaching home, which solves half of the problem, I feel. I hate sitting in my closed apartment after coming back from office, so I immediately change up and leave for a walk/gym. And I think it has become my favourite part of the day. For the laziest person on Earth, it was pretty merciless to follow this part of the routine, but it is totally worth it. It is one carefree hour of my day, when I have no other thoughts bothering me. It’s just me and my favourite music. It is something so small, yet so peaceful. So, I really wish each one of you take time to find that one hour in your day. You owe yourself that, amidst all this chaos.

Also, we need to stop neglecting the little things in life. It makes us who we are. We should take time to replay the previous day in our heads, thinking on how we could make it better. It could be as small as opening the door for the maid with a smile, or thanking your Uber driver before your trip ends. Small gestures speak volumes. We should try to recollect everything we did wrong that day and try to work on improving those things the next day. Maybe you could have avoided that harsh conversation, maybe you could still apologize for it the next day, maybe you forgot to call back your worried mother, maybe you did not care enough to say an “I love you”. And it’s alright sometimes. But we could be so much more if we try. So, take time. Take time to be kind, to be happy, to be there for yourself, your family and friends. I am still working on it. But we all need to start somewhere.

So, to begin with, go find that ONE hour that makes you really happy. It could be that sketch you left unfinished a month ago, or that football match you saw your friends playing the other day, or maybe that yoga or dance class you always planned to join, or go write that blog post you wanted to write last year, it could be anything! If you’re happy, you can keep the people around you happy.

Fantastic Feminism and Where to find it!

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I recently read this book called “Dear Ijeawele” which is a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions on how to raise a feminist daughter. You will be surprised on how this book, which is just under 60 pages, can influence you. I may not be able to do justice to the book with this ordinary post of mine, but I’ll try my best to pass on these suggestions in the best way I can, because you all need to hear this out!

Suggestion One: Be a full person. Motherhood is a glorious gift, but do not define yourself solely by motherhood. Never apologize for working. You love what you do, and loving what you do is a great gift to give to your child. You don’t even have to love your job; you can merely love what your job does for you – the confidence and self-fulfilment that come with doing and earning.

Suggestion Two: Do it together. And please reject the language of help. When we say fathers are ‘helping’, we are suggesting that child care is a mother’s territory, into which fathers valiantly venture. It is not. The father doesn’t deserve any special gratitude or praise, nor do you.

Suggestion Three: Teach her that the idea of ‘gender roles’ is absolute nonsense. Do not ever tell her that she should or should not do something because she is a girl. ‘Because you are a girl’ is never a reason for anything. Ever. The knowledge of cooking does not come pre-installed in a vagina. Domestic work in general is a life skill that both men and women should ideally have. Have you realized how early the society starts to invent ideas of what a boy should be and what a girl should be. Helicopters. Dolls. Blue. Pink. Comics. Fairytales. Didn’t you just categorize these things into two genders in the flick of a second. Gender roles are so deeply conditioned in us that we often find them difficult to unlearn, and so, it is important to try to make sure that she rejects them from the beginning.

Suggestion Four: Beware the danger of ‘Feminism Lite’. It is the idea of conditional female equality. Reject this entirely. Being a feminist is like being pregnant. You either are or you are not. You either believe in the full equality of men and women or you do not.

Suggestion Five: Teach her to read. Books will help her understand and question the world, help her express herself, and help her in whatever she wants to become.

Suggestion Six: Teach her to question language. Language is the repository of our prejudices, our beliefs, our assumptions. A friend of mine says she will never call her daughter ‘princess’. People mean well when they say this, but ‘princess’ is loaded with assumptions, of a girl’s delicacy, of the prince who will come to save her, etc. So decide for yourself the things you will not say to your child. Teach her that if you criticize X in women but do not criticize X in men, then you do not have a problem with X, you have a problem with women. Teach her that women actually don’t need to be championed and revered; they just need to be treated as equal human beings. It makes me think of chivalry, and the premise of chivalry is female weakness.

Suggestion Seven: Never speak of marriage as an achievement. We condition girls to aspire to marriage and we do not condition boys to aspire to marriage, and so there is already a terrible imbalance at the start. The girls will grow up to be women preoccupied with marriage. The boys will grow up to be men who are not preoccupied with marriage. The women marry those men. The relationship is automatically uneven because the institution matters more to one than the other. More important, every woman should have the choice of keeping her name. It is the name that I have had since I was born, the name with which I travelled my life’s milestones, the name with which I have answered to since that first day I went to kindergarten. Also, I prefer Ms. because it is similar to Mr. A man is Mr. whether he is married or not, a woman is Ms. whether she is married or not. Women should not be expected to make marriage-based changes that men are not expected to make. Here’s a nifty solution: each couple that marries should take an entirely new surname, chosen however they want as long as they both agree to it.

Suggestion Eight: Teach her to reject likeability. Teach her to be honest and kind. Teach her to stand up for what is hers. Tell her that if anything ever makes her uncomfortable, to speak up, to say it, to shout.

Suggestion Nine: Give her a sense of identity.

Suggestion Ten: Be deliberate about how you engage with her and her appearance. Encourage her participation in sports. All kinds of sports. Any kind of sports. Not only because of the obvious health benefits but because it can help with all the body-image insecurities that the world thrusts on girls. Also, try not to let puberty get in her way. If she likes make-up, let her wear it. If she likes fashion, let her dress up. But if she doesn’t like either, let her be. Don’t think that raising her feminist means forcing her to reject feminity. Never ever link her appearance with morality. Never tell her that a short skirt is immoral. Make dressing a question of taste and attractiveness instead of a question of morality. If you both clash over what she wants to wear, say things like, “That dress doesn’t flatter you like this one”. Or doesn’t fit as well. Or doesn’t look as attractive. Or is simply ugly. But never ‘immoral’.

Suggestion Eleven: Teach her to question our culture’s selective use of biology as ‘reasons’ for social norms.

Suggestion Twelve: Never, ever link sexuality and shame. Or nakedness and shame. Do not ever make ‘virginity’ a focus. Teach her to reject the linking of shame and female biology. Why were we raised to speak in low tones about periods? To be filled with shame if our menstrual blood happened to stain our skirt? Periods are nothing to be ashamed of. Periods are normal and natural, and the human species would not be here if periods did not exist.

Suggestion Thirteen: Teach her that it is NOT a man’s role to provide. In a healthy relationship, it is the role of whoever can provide to provide.

Suggestion Fourteen: Not all women are feminists and not all men are misogynists. Teach her to identify this difference.

Suggestion Fifteen: Teach her about difference. Make difference ordinary. Make difference normal. Teach her not to attach value to difference. Teach her never to universalize her own standards or experience. Teach her that her standards are for her alone, and not for other people. Tell her that some people are gay, and some are not. Tell her about different religions and different cultures. Don’t raise her to be non-judgemental. Raise her to be full of opinions, but her opinions should come from an informed, humane and broad-minded place.

So, these were my favourite parts from this book. I hope it stirs you somewhere. I hope you find the courage in yourself to believe that you have the capability to do anything and everything you want… not because your gender permits it, but because your capability to dream permits it. I hope I see a world soon where everyone identifies himself/herself as a feminist. Let’s try to change one person at a time.

La La Land

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Welcome to the Wishful Whimsical World of a mid-20s’ girl! I am probably not a great writer, but I have always wanted to have a blog of my own… So, here I go! This evening, I gathered my guts and wits, to complete a half-written page from my diary. Be patient and kind. I promise to improve with time. So here you have it, a tiny snapshot of the little world I live in and the theories I believe in. Also, brace yourself up for my pointless anxieties, over-analyzing capabilities and a pinch of bittersweet prejudice.

Happy reading! *flashing-my-most-appealing-and-nervous-orbit-white-teeth-smile*


Remember the movie… Inside Out? I believe, we all have this special “Island of Love” in our hearts, that we protect all our lives, for that One Big Fall. We start building it up, when we first see, hear or read about Love. We form this Core Idea of love, which we keep safe within us. We build high walls around this vulnerable island, surround it with unfathomable waters that nobody can cross. We protect it so much, because our biggest fear is to see it crumbling down someday. We paint this island with the color of our dreams and hopes for the future. We hide our deepest secrets, fears and disappointments here. We keep everything that is central to our identity here. And one day, you would want someone to fall in love with all of this, all of your scars, without any judgement or hesitation. If you are really lucky, you find that One person who will guard your island like his very own. He will not only protect it, but also build it in ways you could never imagine. He will not try to mould you into his Idea of Love, instead he will love you for exactly who you are. He will help you transform in the greatest and truest version of yourself. When you are around him, you will always feel appreciated, secure and empowered.

I read this somewhere, that “We accept the love we think we deserve.” We accept the people we think we deserve. I had found the urge to write this post, when I saw people around me struggling in their relationships because the love was withering away. I found myself thinking a lot about the idea of compromising in love. For a long time, I believed that I must definitely be the weaker person to hate the idea of compromising in a relationship. I never really could imagine myself settling for a Love lesser than my Idea of Love. It took me years to realize, that it takes a lot more courage to NOT compromise and protect your Idea of Love. It takes a lot more courage to believe in your Idea of Love. It takes a lot more courage to know that you deserve something more. You owe yourself your “Island of Love”. You shouldn’t just give up on it.

As far as I am concerned, I am still working on myself, trying to protect my island fiercely and preparing myself to protect my Love’s island as fiercely. Love comes with an equal responsibility. You become responsible forever for what you’ve loved. Also, we cannot equate love with, “If it’s meant to be, it will be.” It’s just a fanciful coping mechanism we irrationally employ to distract ourselves from the truth: Love is hard. Love is perpetual give and take. But is it okay to put someone else’s needs above your own, selflessly and willingly? I am still figuring that out. I see people around me compromising all the time. But I am not sure how okay I will ever be with that concept. I hope I learn to compromise, but just a little. Because love is supposed to feel easy, unfailingly rewarding, kind and true. All the time. At least, most of the time.

So, I ask you to fight harder for your Island. Believe in your potential to love someone and accept nothing lesser in return. Love is supposed to make you feel something. Every moment. Also, remember to love yourself. Everyday. For everything that you are. If you don’t love yourself first, you’ll always be chasing after people who don’t love you either.

So, that is me. In my wishful whimsical world. Signing off for the day.