Saturday, 31 December 2016

Blessed

"We're born with millions of little lights shining in the dark
And they show us the way
One lights up every time you feel love in your heart
One dies when it moves away"
- Passenger (All the little lights)

This has been a long time coming. I haven't written for a long time, so well, let's start with something positive. Something happy to signify the end of the dark times, moments of self doubt and turmoil, and look forward with excitement to what life has ahead.

A huge thank you, to all those people, family, friends and strangers, who've made my day a little better.

A special one to those few wonderful souls out there, who send me something inspirational everyday (and I do mean every single day). You've been the light in many dark times. I cannot thank you enough. And you still do it, every single day, something to get me going. I'm so very grateful that I have you in my life. I can only hope I am the same to you, even if it's just a little bit, I'd like to be little light in your life.

I am blessed to have you all in my life.

Cheers to life of wonderful memories and love!
-Anj

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Locked Away

I found my old blue jeans at the bottom of the trunk while packing. I was almost done.
I could still smell the sea on it. The pockets still had sand in them. Now I remembered why I had kept it away, untouchable...they brought back memories that crashed through me. Memories that I had chosen to suppress. Memories that were just that, long gone, eager to be forgotten, to fade into the mist that some memories eventually blend into, but unfortunately remain to haunt us forever. My hands clutched the fabric, and my eyes grew vacant.

The sun was shining and happiness ruled the air. She kept dancing and prancing around, her little feet eager to explore new territories. Our feet sank into the beach sand, and she pulled at my hand, her feet carrying her forward in excitement.


 There were sand castles around the mat I was  sitting on. She said it was the fortress for her  mummy who was the Queen, and she the little  princess who would protect it.
 She made friends easily. Her feet were slowly  drawn to the water. They stayed in the shallow  waters, collecting shells and throwing water on  each other. ‘An Image of perfect happiness’, I  remember thinking, and settled down in joyful  contentment. They waded a little deeper. A word  of caution was told. They stayed their progress.
 The seagulls screeched high in the air, sunshine  was abundant and the air untroubled.
 It was unexpected, the locals later told us. The enormous wave came without forewarning. The sandcastles were under 3 feet of water, my mat was gone and my eyes were frantic as I screamed for Katy. I saw her getting carried away and then disappear as my legs fought to stand up and swim after her. The locals jumped in too, they told me. I swam after where I had last seen her. Not there.
No...she’s just five. No..Another wave.
I dived in, straining to keep my eyes open against the salty water and the tears, then I came out gasping for air. I dived in again. Nothing. I came up again and looked. There, I could see her dark locks, and I swam.  Hands reached out for the limp body, as I screamed for her to open her eyes. Someone carried us and helped us out.
They said the EMT’s tried their best to revive her and two others. They were sorry; they said that those little feet will never move again.

I quickly put the jeans back inside, as silent tears rolled down my cheeks. The dust mites glistened in the sunlight pouring through the window. I closed the trunk and the vial of memories. Screaming silence remained.

I picked up the luggage and locked the door to it all. And then, I chose to walk away for a new life.

Monday, 15 August 2016

On the Road to Self-discovery: Pages: Diary of a Young Woman

#5

The past couple of weeks were a positive drag, waking up with trepidation and ending the day with tears. The past couple of days were peaceful, with songs, dancing and the joy of privacy. Here is to hope that this streak of peace will continue. Life and its ups and downs (this said with a long sigh). A friend told me recently sighs deserve hugs and long sighs deserve long hugs (J ).


Image Courtesy

The person I am now, I am so much more conscious of the events around me and how they affect me, I am stuck in the realisation of each and every moment. If I am unhappy, I know the cause. If I feel overjoyed, I can pinpoint the exact event that put me on this high. I accept the sadness, admitting consciously that better times will come. And while I am happy, I admit grudgingly hard times may not be so far. Cynical of me, perhaps, but it keeps me grounded. I grow more and more distinctly aware of the selfishness of human nature while accepting this as a fact. I seek to justify the behaviour of others rather than just mine, blaming human nature as its cause.


Perhaps Rabindranath Tagore’s words summarise the initial naiveté of this human nature of ours- “Alas for our foolish nature! Its fond mistakes are persistent. The dictates of reason take a long time to assert their own sway. The surest proofs meanwhile are disbelieved. False hope is clung to with all one’s might and main, till a day comes when it has sucked the heart dry and it forcibly breaks through its bonds and departs. After that comes the misery of awakening, and then once again the longing to get back into the maze of the same mistakes. [An excerpt from 'The Postmaster']
This touched me so strongly that the moment I read it, I could only stare at the screen while my breath quickened. This is the naiveté of humans, but once through, we are not naive anymore. We learn better to guard our heart and trust. I have learnt to accept the people in my life who are good for me and reject those who aren’t. And I am still learning to let go of these people. It’s hard to do, to let go because our hope is persistent in asking the ‘what-ifs’ and ‘second chances’. And we keep giving in. However, we can only learn and grow wiser in our choices of what/ who we chose to keep close to us. But while making these initial wrong choices, we learn so much about who we are, what we want from life and what makes us happy, that the sadness/heartbreak is almost always worth it. I am grateful for them because they set me up on this path to know who I really am, on this path of being comfortable in my own skin and make selfish choices. It showed me to accept my mistakes and wrong choices. It made me question my principles. It made me realise the reality of life, that no matter how much I want to be, I cannot be happy all the time. It made me learn to accept it. In no way have I learned to accept everything, but I am still a work in progress. It made me realise that I am capable of loving too much, but in the end, even though it will take me a long time and a lot of second chances, if it does not make me happy or content, I will always walk away. I will walk away even if it breaks me and then I will take the time to heal and learn to love this life of mine again. It made me realise that before anyone else, I need to grow comfortable in my skin and learn every inch of myself before I decide to make someone an integral part of my life. I have learnt to let go of all the pretensions, stand up for what I believe in and be comfortable being myself. So for now, I will spend some time doing exactly that, learn to know myself first. 


Getting to know yourself can be painful, but always a better choice than living in ignorance. And once we begin, there’s no turning back. I refuse to believe that this is only me, I am sure every 20 something individual is on this road. So I hope someone tells you, that it's okay to be selfish. Love yourself first, you have plenty of time to love someone else. Be kind, and empathise. Find out what you believe in and what makes you happy, then pursue it. Know yourself inside and out. Stand up for the principles you believe in. Live and experience every moment. And be grateful for all the ups and downs. Be content and at peace with yourself and the world. Be happy and lose yourself in it's pursuit.

Friday, 24 June 2016

What it's like Being a Feminist

Yes, I know what you are all thinking, there goes another woman spouting crazy about women’s rights and crap, and well I don't care, I'm still writing this. J

Let me start off by making a few things clear:


‘Feminism’, is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. Here is the link for the definition if you don’t believe me (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feminism). Yes, you ignorant mortals, feminism addresses men’s rights and issues as well, only catch here is, talking about these issues when one is talking about women’s issues is not the right way to do it. Call a discussion on the discrimination against men, we can take it up, but most people seem to bring this up as a cause of concern only when there are women’s rights being discussed. Here is a link you can peruse about all the issues tackled by feminism when it comes to men’s issues- https://www.reddit.com/r/AskFeminists/comments/3syhda/a_list_of_feminist_resources_tackling_mens_issues/  Go on, read it, don’t chose to remain in ignorance when you are being offered knowledge.


No, I do not hate men. (Believe me, some people, even some friends have asked me this). All I can say to you is, please, for goodness sake; do your basic research you ignorant souls. Neither do I mean to convey that I hate men when I speak about the discrimination I face during my day-to-day life. I am addressing a truth that I face, every day of my life.


And for all those out there, who go, ‘No, I am not a feminist, but I support equality’, honestly, your ignorance has no boundaries does it? Again, the definition itself is self-explanatory (Feel free to analyse that one sentence definition again). Agreed, feminism started with women who wanted reforms and rights, this was at a time when women were not even allowed to vote (and P.S- If it weren’t for these ‘feminists’, most women still wouldn’t have any voting rights). Gradually as women started getting equal opportunities and some of their issues started to get addressed, feminism started addressing men’s issues as well (As I pointed out earlier).‘Feminism’, has taken the form of a ‘dirty’ word, that even some women are afraid to use it. Agreed, it has been grossly taken out of context by today’s media, some men and women, BOTH, and some extremists. What most people need to realise is what feminism actually stands for, which I hope will be clear to you (Come to think of it, I don’t particularly care if it does become clear to you or not, you can continue to keep that stick up your ass against feminism).

This one is for all those women out there, who do not identify themselves as feminists (this is completely fine), BUT at the same time criticize feminism - Playwright and pastor Kristine Holmgren writes in The Guardian: “Make no mistake, the work we did to bring about social change was done at great personal sacrifice. Every time a woman rose to speak for freedom of choice, a personal reputation was ruined. Even so, my generation of women thought nothing of defending the rights of other women at the price of our own futures.” (Reference link- http://www.global-briefing.org/2015/01/feminism-is-for-men-too/) These women worked for the simple rights that we have today. If they had been like you, you would be devoid of something as basic as the right to Vote.



A few more things that should have been obvious to you, but then apparently isn’t (make a wild guess why!) -

As a feminist, I do NOT think I am better than a man. I think I am equal and deserve equality. And NO I do not hate men.

As a feminist, I believe a man should be punished for domestic violence. It also means I believe a woman should get punished for domestic violence as well (and not simply cheered on, or ignored).

No, I do not make everything a feminist issue. I call a SPADE a SPADE.

If you find a self-proclaimed feminist, accusing ALL men of being evil, then it’s not called feminism, that’s extremism.

Yes, I am aware some women misuse this new awareness about women’s rights and use it for their own benefits. And NO, that does not make my argument or point any less valid.

Feminazi (or in fact any kind of ‘Nazi’), is a term which I have found only some of the world’s most mindless and insensible people use. It is NOT offensive to me, or to you, but it IS offensive to the millions of Jewish families who went through hell and suffered in the hands of the Nazis.

As a feminist, I do NOT just hold a few men at fault for inequality, I hold the women who propagate the idea that women are any lesser than men, and I hold the education system, mindset and culture at fault too.

As a feminist, I believe that a woman can still be a feminist even if she is devoted to her family and domestic life.

As a feminist, I will speak up against cat calling, eve-teasing, domestic violence, child marriages, dowry deaths, rape, public shaming and any other sort of discrimination against women. I will also stand as an ally to the LGBTQ+ community and fight for the recognition of their rights (Surprise, they are humans too). I will also fight for men when they are discriminated against.



Coming to my point, being a feminist and a girl (yes, men can be feminists too, surprise!) can be a test of your patience and your ability to remain silent and ignore the blatant ignorance of people around you. Every day you will face issues where the fact that you are feminist, will be rubbed into you, and most of the times it will be taken in a negative sense. You will be bullied intentionally or unintentionally by your own friends. If you dare speak up on the internet, you will be a victim of cyberbullying. If you are a young student and have dared make your views public, elders will come and preach to you about how it’s not right for a girl to be so vocally opinionated. If you have been eve teased and dared to defend yourself or call them out on it, you will be treated to verbal harassment for at least the next few days. You will also be told, by your own friends, how you should not have reacted because apparently then there will be no difference between you and them (To all of those people, here is the difference, I did not choose to call out a random person (girl) walking on the road and pass sexual innuendos at her, I am not the one choosing to act like an illiterate, that is the difference, just in case it wasn’t clear to you). You will be subjected to feminist jokes and everything will be made into a big show, just because you are a feminist. More than a few times, you will be left to stand alone in your views. You will be made to feel inferior for being a feminist (And just in case you are wondering, yes, ALL of the above are from personal experiences).

But you don’t stand alone. You will meet some people (admittedly very few), who understand you, support you and even believe in the same causes. Yes, you will meet men who are feminists too and not ashamed to declare it. These few men and women will be precious to you, hold on to them, they are perhaps the only ones who will understand you and support you when it comes to standing up for your beliefs. They will be the ones who are there for you when you are in doubt and start to question right from wrong (been there, done that!).

So stand tall, be bold, speak up and don’t give up for the things you believe in. I know I won’t.


Note: If any of my commentaries has offended you, well I don’t care. Maybe you should start wondering why it offended you in the first place. J


Tuesday, 21 June 2016

In Conclusion - Day 7

So I made it! And believe me, I almost missed this last day. It's 11:30 and I remembered; blogging for a week continuously was a promise I made to myself. And well, hurrah! I did it!

I'm happy. :)

My thoughts -

Happiness is indeed a choice, albeit a difficult one. We get so used to the comfort of sorrow that we don't see it that way. I know I haven't. And I also know, that only when I make an effort to come out of it, do I see the bigger picture. So if there's anyone out there, who is suffering, in any way, know that it's upto you to come out of it. Be sad. Give it time. But do not get used to the solace offered by that feeling. The choice to be better is always upto you. The choice to make your own happiness.

Keep yourself involved. Stop over thinking. Do well by you. Be the better person. Forgive yourself. Give love freely. Have a clear mind. Make memories. Be you. Be the complete you. And stay happy.

With love,
Anjana

Monday, 20 June 2016

Pages: Diary of a Young Woman

#4

So, it’s been another year (academically speaking of course) of studies, highs, lows, craziness and well...drama! Yes, you heard me or rather read me right, DRAMA. And man, do I need to get a grip on life or what?! But besides all that, I am grateful for all that I have been through and all that I have learnt, life lessons and otherwise. It’s been some year!

Putting all that aside, right now, I’m just going to go on a ranting spree; a good ol’ fashioned tirade that will leave me with a lighter heart.
So I am going to be 21 soon (yayy!) and in a burst of unusual enthusiasm towards anything so happy-happy (also being a person who makes it a point of openly mocking and condescend on such happy-go-lucky things with a look of blatant cynicism), I wrote down a list of things I need to do before I am 21. One of those things included travelling alone for at least a couple of days. But poor old me; in that burst of ardour and zeal, my brain conveniently seemed to forget that I have parents who are Indians (No, I’m not stereotyping all Indian parents, don’t go taking offence on me). My dreams of having adventures and escapades in far off places, as you can imagine, were foiled. And for a person like me, who’s every molecule demands, rebels and exhibits a stubbornness that can be a pain to deal with, did not take that well. So much for big dreams, ehh! I can’t blame my parents, they didn’t stop me because I am a girl, they stopped me because I am still their dependent child. I am sure if my brother displayed such tendencies he will meet with the same answers (or the world might yet get to see WWIII).

Note: It took me some days to reach this stage of acceptance because I had high hopes for the trip happening. But deluded dreams hardly see reality.


But then, as informed to me by my parents, I can make my own money and do whatever I want (to which I sullenly agree makes sense), and that my friend is exactly what I am going to do. Here’s to alleviating frustrations through writing! Cheers!

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Haiku: Another try

Sun blazed through curtains
Two souls adhered to tasks while the
Elephant sat still

Saturday, 18 June 2016


Need

There is power in prayer,
Her heart believed
With her face looking up,
Eyes closed, and
Lips whispering in fever,
She prayed in need.

Friday, 17 June 2016


Haiku


Dusk gave into night
Starry skies pursued in craze
The bloody sky in race

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Dusk gave into night
The birds soared from trees and flew
While the south wind blew

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Dusk gave into night
Night jasmines blossomed anew while
Snakes slither nearby

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Thursday, 16 June 2016

An Act of Kindness

At the end of each day, the old, worn out cobbler would come and give a little of whatever money he had made to the orphanage at the end of the street. He would move slowly but steadily into the office room of the orphanage. The lady of the orphanage, who took his deposits, never said anything; just the usual thanks were to suffice. The mischievous little boy, who always got called to the office, found this raggedy old man a very curious entity. Once he threw the ball at him, expecting an outburst, but the old man bent, took the ball, smiled and threw it back. He came every single day. His contributions were hardly worth anything, but he never stopped.


Image result for old man silhouette walking down the road
Image Courtesy
After making this routine journey, he would proceed walking home to a tent; he called home, on the outskirts of town. His load was heavy and his shoulders bent with them. Nevertheless, he carried on. A small fire built over collected twigs, and whatever little money from the day’s work could buy; putting some aside for the next day’s lunch, would be the dinner for the day. Many a day there had been without a meal, the stomach in turmoil, but the mind at peace. A long night would follow, wrapped in a thin, well-worn blanket with holes. Yet, the old man slept with a smile.


The next day is another long journey back into the city streets mending and polishing the shoes of those who were perhaps gifted with a better fortune. Work would be slow during lunch time. He would seek a quiet corner to take his lunch from the leftovers of yesterday out, wrapped in whatever piece of newspaper he would have found. Sometimes, one or the other street dogs would join him. A morsel was then shared. Work continued after lunch. The day dragged, slowly, but it did go on.

At the end of the day, the old man made his way to the orphanage at the end of the street. He moved slowly, tired, worn out, like the shoes he sometimes repaired. He put what he could spare into the hands of the lady of the orphanage. The mischievous little boy saw him again and bade no heed. He was no longer of interest when other distractions called. And then the old man made his long journey back.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Sunday Sentiments

The curtains were flying, so I went to tie them up. It was 10 am, but still dark. ‘It will rain today’, the thoughts followed quickly. The cool air was a nice welcome, so I decided to sit on the window seat for a while. It felt nice. Having a corporate job with a hectic work life, and living in an apartment building where you don’t even know your neighbors tends to leave you with not many plans on a Sunday morning. It didn’t matter but. I cherished the moments I got to be alone with my own thoughts.

Image Courtesy

The trees were dancing, letting go of their oldest leaves, in despair perhaps. I thought. Why would you want to part with old friends? The clouds were rolling in and I could see lightning in the distance. Chilly and dark, the kind of dark where you feel the sun is fighting to establish that it is daytime and not night. Everyone loves this weather. What is it about this climate that made everyone so happy?


The wind uplifted my souls from the dreary depths it had chosen to rest in, for the past almost one year. After a long time, I felt like a part of my own story, I felt in control, but mostly I felt at peace. I closed my eyes and let it wash over me. ‘Take it away, all of it’, I whispered to the wind. And the wind complied, it slowly touched corners of my heart I thought I’d never set free again, and washed away the dust that had collected. For the first time, in a long time, every bit of me was awash in light. I let out a deep breath I didn’t realise I was holding in. I smiled, and my eyes fluttered close. So I just sat there, doing nothing, but feeling. Feeling all the emotions I’d been holding in, letting go of what negativity I’d been holding on to, promising myself all the things I would do.


It’s going to be a beautiful, new day, come tomorrow.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Of love...

You know how there are different kinds of love...the filial kind, the romantic kind, the friend love, the random acts of love love.
The saddest of them all is a love that once was, and never could be the same again.

One of my favourite books, Gone with the Wind, ended with Rhett Butler telling Scarlett that he didn't love her anymore.  I'd keep wondering how is it possible for someone to stop loving a person.  And I didn't believe it. But now I do. And needless to say, it's a scary thought. To think that someone who once pledged the world to you, someone who said they loved you till the moon and back could one day just walk away from it all. And it wouldn't make a difference. So is there anything like true love? There is this part of me that desperately wishes for someone to tell me that, yes, there is, but then the majority of my mind tends to be rational about it. So much of me wishes I could be that one exception to the rule, but well, beggars can't be choosers in the hands of destiny. Sad. So is there no thing called 'true love'?

We do feel it inherently for family, I believe. But saying that you love someone outside your family, leaves my mind ringing with bells of falsehood. Being completely honest, I find it incredibly hard to completely believe in the possibility of that kind of love existing. And I hope to God someone proves me wrong one day.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Today I finally realized what it truly meant!


Give love, even if you don’t receive it. Give it unconditionally. Don’t expect anything in return (sounds so clichéd but believe me, it wasn’t until today that I truly understood the true meaning). When you give love, the happiness reflected on someone else makes you happy too. Care for others, and show them that you care. Spare a thought for everyone. There’s nothing wrong in it. No expectations, no regrets, and no attachments. Live happily. You’ll do just fine. Make happiness your only goal. J


Cheers!

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Handbook for Life #1


These are just a few things that ran across my head this not-so-lazy Sunday morning. So I penned them all down...

1.       Stay Positive: There will always be bad times, hurdles, rough patches, you can’t ask for sunshine and colours without expecting darkness now and again. Through it all, keep your head above the rising waters, think happy thoughts, and don’t let those negative thoughts push you down. It’s hard to be positive all the time, but try and keep the negative ones at bay.

2.       Don’t compare: There will always be someone better, more successful, more social, more good looking or more popular than you. Don’t compare yourselves with them. Your only comparison should be you and how much you have grown over the years and how much more can you improve. You are your own challenge.

3.       Let your life be your own: Many a times you start living the way other people expect you to live, it may or may not be the way you want to live it. You start changing things you have always wanted to do because of someone else’s opinions; it could be your family or someone you love even. I know because I have made decisions based on someone I love’s opinions, and speaking from experience, don’t do that. Of course if it’s wrong (illegal, etc), well, don’t do it. But if it’s something you really want, then go ahead, don’t let others opinions hinder you. Live for yourself.

4.       Fall in love and then fall out of it: You need to experience this, not just the romantic kind (although yeah, fall in love!). Get your heart broken in friendships or with that guy you-used-to-know.  Only then will you know how to love, your faults, your shortcomings, what you did right, what you did wrong, what you want from a friend or a partner in life. After all, it’s all trials and errors.

5.       Make memories, live in the moment: Just because you have had a bad day, don’t let that affect the time you spend with your friends/ family later on. Even if you end up crying all alone at nights, laugh and enjoy that dinner you all had been planning for weeks, or that random lunch you end up going to with all your friends. You can be sad, upset or angry, but not with the people who didn’t have any role to play in making you feel that way. Enjoy that time with them, you need it more that you know (I should take my own advice here!).

6.       Be childish at times: Okay, I don’t mean be immature and whiny (and no, that’s not what I think of children!), but do those things you feel like doing at times but then you talk yourself out of it because that would just make you look so immature. I realised this the other day at the mall when I finally gave in to the urge to climb up an escalator going down. And that really made me feel good, it’s a small thing, but trust me; it makes you feel so free.

7.       Friends will come and go: You are continuously moving through life, and you will meet and make friends all the time, with some you will make everlasting memories with, even though things might not end up well in the end. No one is perfect. In the end, humans will always be selfish. There’s nothing called selfless friendship, so don’t expect too much.  Enjoy the good times, but be prepared to face the hard times alone.

8.       Be kind to everyone: There are times when we are so distracted, that we don’t really ‘listen’ to what others are trying to tell us. I know I do that. Be kind to everyone, treat everyone with respect, and be fair. Actually ‘listen’ to what they are telling you and what they are not. Everyone is going through some tough times; everyone has their demons that haunt them. Don’t judge them (I know I do, although I’d like to believe not so much now). You don’t know their story. Be kind. If you can’t help them, then just listen and empathize.

9.       Keep your expectation low: Or you will end up getting disappointed. It could be people, situations or something you had been looking forward to for weeks, things will not always go according to plans. It’s something that we all struggle with (I know I do, a lot, especially when it comes to people!). One thing I have learned is never expect a lot from people, family or friends. Take a few deep breaths and let go of the expectations, you will live a happier life when you do.

10.   Learn to appreciate being alone: Learn to love your own company. Don’t be a loner but appreciate that time you have to spend with yourself. Introspect. You will come to know yourself better. Realize that you’re living this life alone and you don’t ‘need’ anyone along for this journey. People will tag along on this journey, some will get off at some stations, some will take the other way, some you will miss, some you would never want to leave, but know that your destination is yours alone. No one is getting off at that destination with you, you will be alone. Learn to love that.

11.   Love yourself enough: No, I’m not asking you to be selfish. Rather love and respect yourself enough to know when something, instead of developing you as an individual is only harming you. Know when to put a stop to it. It could be a bad habit, unhealthy relationships, or even something you have been doing for a long time. Let go of it, no matter how difficult it is for you to do this. It will take time, but in the end you will be happy.

12.   Everything will be okay in the end: Things are hard, they will be. Friends will leave. You may not get that job you wanted and worked so hard for. You may fail an exam. You will have relationship problems. The work load will stress you out. Everything that you love or worked hard for will fall apart around you. Your will have family troubles. But this isn’t the end. You will come out of it stronger, better prepared and with your head held high. There’s always light at the end of the tunnel. If it’s still not okay, then it’s not the end. Have faith, and just live.

And then I realized these things are so easy to preach but so hard to practice. Honestly, it would do me a world of good if I followed my own advice at times. But well, no one is perfect. However, you reach a point in your life when you realize how important these things are to follow, and I think I am there. Now the next step is to follow them which hopefully you and I both will.
Cheers to life comrades! We’re all in this together.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Of God, Religion and Rights

Not something I would chose to write on easily, but lately my thoughts keep circling around this.

I wouldn’t call myself a religious person, no. For me, religion has always been a concept introduced by humans to stay within the lines of morality and as an attempt to bring some sort of order into this chaotic world. That’s how I have always looked at it. But then I am of the view that religion isn’t necessary to stay within those moral boundaries. In fact I have atheist friends who are better human beings than some of my theist ones (this isn’t meant to point at people) or vice versa.

For me God and religion are two completely separate entities. You can say I believe in God, but not in religion. Perhaps, it is because of the way of thinking around which I was brought up. Actually, that is the reason for how my standpoint is today. I was raised by a father who spent nights telling me stories from each and every religion. And that’s what they were to me, stories; stories spun by old men from days past and read out as the only truth over generations. Perhaps that is the reason I believe in God as well, because of the beliefs surrounding my formative years as a child. And that’s what it amounts to in the end; your beliefs are a result of your surroundings, and no one belief can be justified as right or wrong. Be it an atheist, agnostic or a theist, it doesn’t matter. Everyone has a right to their own beliefs and justifications.

Discussions on these have always been tiresome and hardly ever end without at least one of the parties getting offended. Heaven forbid, a person walking out not offended from that particular debate. My views, now that I read through what I just wrote, sound lax and vague. I would be lying if I said I do not get offended by some of these discussions. I do, and hence the general avoidance of the whole matter.


I believe in God, I believe in prayers, I believe that everyone has a right to their own beliefs and I believe that no one faith is greater than the other. Most religions teach us that anyway, it’s just that, some of us in our deep piousness tend to overlook that little fact and interpret the words of holy books in our own way. But then again, there is nothing wrong in that, as long as you do not start denying others their basic rights based on your take on the matter. Live and let live. 

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Coloured Perches

 ‘The first to apologise is the bravest, the first to forgive is the strongest and the first to forget is the happiest.

Growing up and passing through this journey of life, you meet a lot of people; some stay, some leave, and some leave impressions on you that last a lifetime, while some just slowly fade away and blow away with the wind of lost memories.

Of my short, perhaps ‘not yet much experienced’ life, I have come across people who I can categorize into well, three categories (I felt like a judgemental ass writing that, but oh well!).

There are those who forgive and forget. They are perhaps the most innocent, or rather pure of souls, incapable of holding any grudge against the people around them. A simply apology makes everything alright. Even before the apology, they accept whatever they have faced, and well...move on. These people, they amaze me, I have the utmost respect and I stand in awe of them, for I know I am one of those people who cannot ever be like them. The world needs these happy-go-lucky souls, they are perhaps the reason optimism still persists in abundance in a world in need of such positivity. The world, for them is black and white. There is however, a darker side to such glowing naiveté (I acknowledge I might not be right in calling them that). But the world would find it easy to take advantage of these happy souls. In an ideal world, the possibility is hardly relevant but in the real world, it’s hardly so. There will always be, after all, two sides to everything.

Then there are those like me. Forgive, but not forget. It’s perhaps the easiest of choices, but I don’t know how to explain this. I believe a vast majority of the people can identify with this. These people, they play by throwing caution to the wind. Forgiveness comes easy, but forgetting proves a harder fight. There are not many they trust and trust for them is fragile, easily broken, and a prized possession, like strings, once broken, there will always remain a knot. They are more practical in their nature, but riddled with doubts on everything. This attitude might prove more effective in the real world, but in the long run results in tunnel vision. They are perhaps even inclined towards more pessimism than optimism. The world for them is grey. There is always a reason and an explanation to everything. Some of them hold on to the grudges, some let go, but with both, the memory of the experience still remains. Speaking from experience, it’s not a very pleasant state to be in. You learn to let go of the feelings, but you take the lessons with you.

And finally, the ones who never forgive nor forget. You come across a few of them now and then, and as always they do not fail to amuse me. On a much lesser scale of the damage done, their antics are hilarious to observe (speaking from my sardonic and hardened perch). But on a larger scale, result in a bitter way of life, always complaining (whining rather!) lifestyle filled with pessimism. They are not always this noticeable though; some just stay quiet and silently breed and garner the growing pile of grudges. It might prove helpful at times, in context of winning an argument or some slight matter at hand. But in the long run, it doesn’t leave you with many friends or loved ones. For them the black and white world is continuously changing according to their needs, feelings and desires. Nothing remains white, or black, always changing, never constant.


This is just one perspective, there are  different types of people, depends on what vista you chose to observe from. There are so many perspectives, different angles, divergent, individual, distinct opinions. They all matter, for they are your own. I know I am not right in my distinctions (I strongly believe we are different yet the same, there’s no complete black and white, always grey), but then they are my distinctions and ultimately my choices. Every individual has their own outlook on life, on people, on experiences, and no one outlook is right, nor wrong. They all matter, for they all speak of our own different, individual signatures that we chose to leave behind for the world to see, our impressions and legacies.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Macabre

I saw the crescent moon tonight
So I imagined a child climbing onto it.
He tied a rope around one of its corners, and then he hung himself from it.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Today

That sudden urge to cry in the midst of laughter.
Sometimes being so good at pretending is not what you need. And sometimes that's all you need to make it through the day.
Then at the end of the day, you realise happiness is a choice, a hard one, but nevertheless a choice.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Solace

------------------------
A quick, silent walk down the path to the park.
Blank eyes, following the lines of the way.
Lifeless eyes, staring back at strangers.
Faceless you, walking down the path to the park.
Shoulders bent down, and eyes now downcast. Darkness abound.
One glance up, a smiling face stares back. Grinning and genuine, the intensity hit hard.
A ray of light shone in the distance, followed by the pain.
------------------------

When you seem to 'need' those people the most, they never seem to be around. So close, yet so far away.

Strangers seem closer then.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Of Expectations

Meena was all sunshine today. Her father had written to her, he had written that he would come see her tomorrow. He will be coming in the evening train, one of the handful of trains that had a stop in their rural land. She was smiling, life was colourful, there was nothing she could want for.

Tomorrow

It was the only train of the day. It was due at 4 pm. It was now 4:18. The station master had told her that the train was 20 minutes late. She couldn't wait. There was a whistle of a train far away and her heart jumped up. She was grinning. There, there it was, slowly and grumpily making its way through the golden fields. She stood up. She was the only person waiting on the platform. 4:19. The train finally slid into the station and came to a stop. A two minute stop. She felt her heart would burst. Expectation soared. 4:20. She glanced nervously around. There was still time. Anxiety slowly made its poisonous way into that palpitating organ. 4:21. The train whistled. Her eyes were wide, frantic, hopeful, ever hopeful. 4:22. The station master pulled out the green flag and the train started moving.
Disappointment coursed and crashed into her. She thought her heart would break. She clutched her chest and backed away. Not again, no. But he promised, the thought was involuntary. Just like the promises made before, and then broken. Naive, that's what she was. She stared blankly at the train in the distance. The light of hope was gone. Gone off a face far too young to know what its like to live without that light.The station master spared a glance filled with pity at her and moved back into his cabin. She sat there, staring at nothing for a long time. There was pain. Silent tears rolled off her cheeks.
6:55. Shoulders squared, she rose, resolve made. Never again, she promised herself. And then with her head held high, she made her way back home alone.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Thorns

I am a firm believer of the fact that if people wanted to be in someone's life they'd make a genuine effort to do so. I believe, noone is too busy to not make time for someone they truly care of. A text, a call, anything, is never too much taxation on someone who really wants to be close to you.

Of experiences.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Lessons Learnt

#8

Growing up is dealing with your problems on your own.

As I sit here and write this, I cannot help but feel a little proud of myself. It doesn't amount to much when compared to others around the world, but it's my little victory and it means a lot to me. And that makes me happy.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016


Dark
She was scared of the dark. And she was scared of the men. They didn’t believe her stories.
They didn’t believe her until the marks on her skin started showing.


Dark
She was talented, successful, beautiful and earned well.
The prospective groom rejected her because she was too ‘dark’.


Dark
He grabbed the chocolates before his cousin could and ran away.
He put one in his mouth and grimaced. The chocolate was dark.
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