Sunday, April 28, 2013

Not growing old. Just getting older.

The older I get the more I worry.
About the future. The present. And oh god, the past.

The older I get the more possessive I become.
Of friends. Of secrets. Of him. Of her.

The older I get the easier it becomes for me to cry.
Not weep, not howl. But a tiny tear that slips in. To shock you, ground you.

The older I get the less cool hangovers are.
Can't brag. Can only pop pills. (Work night jäger bombs never looked less fun.)

The older I get the more importance I give to money.
Not to spend. Never to splurge. Only to save. Not sure for whom.

The older I get the wiser I get.
Not about careers, or life. Only about relationships, the ones that matter.

The older I get the more I value touch.
His touch. Mom's touch. Keeping in touch.

The older I get the mellower I get.
Doors and phones I slam no more. PDA queen I am no more.

The older I get the more I'd like to visit a temple.
Not for Mom. Not for Mom-in-law. Only, for me.

The older I get the more I care for my health.
Still silly enough for 'extra cheese', but smart enough to avoid Diet Coke.

The older I get the more adventurous I become.
'Next time' won't always be an option. Now, is.

The older I get the more scared I become.
I have much more to lose now, and yet, still so much to gain.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Please let us not generalise.

I read a post on Twitter today written by a prominent blogger, and/or his wife. Few blogposts affect me this much. So i decided to write how I feel.

I am a Delhi girl. I’ve lived in Delhi for 22 of my 27 years – Jamshedpur for 2, and have now been living in Mumbai for the last 3.
Firstly, I, am not here to ‘compare’ Delhi and Mumbai in the ‘safe for women’ aspect – I can do a whole series of posts on why ‘I’ like Delhi or Mumbai more – but with safety, Mumbai is the pinnacle of being safe, being open, being forward, being free. So just for five minutes, let us leave Mumbai aside.

Are you trying to tell me, that I can, wear a skirt, have a few drinks, and return by cab alone post-midnight without worrying one bit in, say, Kanpur? Lucknow? Ahmedabad? (No drinks there, sorry). Chennai? Kolkata? Chandigarh? Indore? Cochin?

Half the places above I can’t even wear jeans, forget a skirt. Drinks? In a pub? COME HOME ALONE BY CAB? I doubt it. Maybe I can, but it's definitely not the best alternative. How many women actually do this?

Ok, you could say this is an elitist, extreme example. Fair enough. Let’s talk about roaming in the streets. Are you saying women don’t get stared at, whistled at anywhere else in this country? Are you saying no man ever brushes past women in crowded streets?

In my 22 years in the glorious capital, I have thankfully, by the grace of god, karma or even perhaps being over-protected, never been molested or manhandled. Sure, I’ve been whistled at, kissing noises made, called ‘baby’. But has that never happened to me elsewhere? Of course it has. It does. Every other day, all the time. I am letched at routinely, wherever I go, wherever in this country I may travel. Our collective mentality, the Indian mentality, is the same everywhere.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not using the ‘Everyone does it so it’s ok’ argument here. Delhi IS bad, sure. There are more 'reported' rapes in North India than anywhere else. But why generalise, trivialise? The post in question is so horribly generalised, perhaps exaggerated, I don’t know whether to feel angry or sad. If any of the Delhi families I know had 6-7 year old boys saying ‘Main tera rape kardoonga’ the elders would probably kill themselves over their failures at parenting. The post makes Delhi sound like a city of impudent GIJoe-toting boys walk around raping little Barbie girls. Which men say “Zyada bak bak karegi to uska rape kar denge”? This is ridiculous. Raping women to assert their masculinity is not what the uncles I know discuss at dinner time. I feel terrible that the author of the post knew such people. But if you tell me all your fathers and uncles are like this, then perhaps you and I both need to get to know more people.

I do not, for a minute, doubt the post's accuracy. Horrible things happen. But the manner of the post makes it appear so commonplace, makes a reader wonder if there are any respectable men and strong women in Delhi at all.

There was a mention of joint families in a palatial house. Take any city, town in India. How much do the women in these palatial houses speak up? How much freedom or activism do they demonstrate? Are all women in say, Haryana, Gujarat or even South India, venturing out alone, speaking their mind, wearing what they want?

Again, I repeat, the fact that every city is bad doesn’t make it ok for Delhi. In fact, I hope with all the protests being prefixed with a ‘Delhi’ – my city will probably get better soon. There will be closer monitoring, more awareness, more laws, hopefully, much much less tolerance.

I do agree with parts of the post. My mom would perhaps throw a solid fit if I, dressed in wedding finery, with jewelry, decided to walk for ten minutes to get to a venue. In fact, it would perhaps not even cross my mind to do this. However, the primary fear here is not of me getting raped or molested. It would be of getting robbed. My well-wishers would stop me from doing this whether I was in Delhi or in Bombay. This is not about the city. This is our country. Why make it about Delhi?

All this dramatic outrage I am doing is not only to defend my city. It is for preventing it from getting worse. In India, known with our 'chalta hai' attitude, how long before people start reacting to rapes like:

‘Oh, another rape in Delhi? That city has gone to the dogs’
‘What? A rape in Mumbai? How dare they? We need to demand action. This is just not done. Mumbai is safe for women, we have to keep it that way’.

See the difference? Generalisation slowly results in acceptance. Lets not accept the fact that Delhi women are subjugated, are used to being molested. No amount of ‘eve-teasing’ – how I hate that phrase – or subjugation, or conditioning - makes me adequately prepared to deal with molestation or rape, be it mine, a friend's, or the horrific one of a 23-year-old physiotherapist I’ve never met.

PS: link to the blogpost that initiated this.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Of love.

Love is the embellishment for your reality.
It glows, radiates. Love sparkles.

Love is the intoxicant for your boredom.
It heightens, enhances. Love stimulates.

Love is what your doctor should've ordered.
It heals, rejuvenates. Love helps.

Love is your excuse for stupidity.
It giggles, preens. Love laughs.

Love is the joy in your moments.
It dances, sings. Love celebrates.

Love is a lifetime of memories.
It captivates, remembers. Love sets you free.

Love is the bonfire in your harsh winter.
It embraces, protects. Love saves.

Love is everywhere, in everything.
It needs, hopes. All it wants, is you.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

If only.

If only night-repair creme could fix broken dreams.
If only a straightening iron could un-crease my brow.
If only concealers would cover up the blemishes on my spirit.
If only mascara could hide away my tears.
If only nailpaint would polish my soul.
If only this scrub could exfoliate the pain.
If only make-up remover would erase those memories.
If only I truly looked like, what I see in the mirror.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Attempts at Poetry/Shayari (2)

Aaj apni galtiyon ka ehsaas hai,
Aaj teri khushboo ki pyaas hai. 
Kitne din yaad kiya tujhe,
Ab teri yaad bhi nahi mere paas hai.   

Thoda tum chalo, thoda hum chalein..
Faasla yun hi mit jayega.
Thoda tum chalo, thoda hum chalein..
Faasla yun hi mit jayega.
Hum chale iss taraf, aur tum doosri ore..
Ab hamare beech faasla nahi, saara jahaan hi aa chuka hai…

Tum kya samajh paoge, humari kya hai musibat.
Tum kyun samajhna chahoge, hamari hai kya musibat?
Dil tumhe saunp kar, hum hue bedil;
Ab toh yeh berukhi, ban gayi hai jaise ek aadat.

Kitne pal humne saath bitaye,
Kitne saal yun hi has kar kate.
Par ab itni raatein humne alag hai guzaari..
Tumhe yaad karna hai mushkil, aur bhool jana namumkin.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Things we can't ever seem to get right

I do admit some of these might be a result of my ineptitude at basic life skills, do let me know if you agree with any one!

  1. How many times to call a person back after they hung up on you in anger
  2. The perfect cozy-under-the-duvet AC temperature
  3. That one drink to stop at to avoid the hangover the next day
  4. How to deal with those who annoy us, without letting them affect us
  5. The choice of person to lose your virginity to - a choice that would seem correct at age 30
  6. The optimal number of shoes to pack on a vacation
  7. Accurate microwave settings and timings
  8. How short to cut your hair before it becomes too short
  9. Whether to reply to a text message signaling the end of a conversation, or not reply and be labeled a snob.
  10. The exact volume to set on the TV without having to readjust it every few minutes
  11. How many cheese puffs to have before you feel sick
  12. How more-or-less frequently must you text the person you're thinking of all the time
  13. Knowing exactly how many onions will constitute one kilo - to avoid the vegetable seller seeing right through your n00b-ness
  14. How much tip to leave after a meal - without hurting server sentiments, and your wallet.
  15. Whom never to trust too easily, and whom to dare trust with you life.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Why I refuse to be called an alcoholic.

Baileys. Creamy silky liqueur. As it went in me, a burning calm. My tongue lingers for an extra drop. He sees my happiness as I drain the glass, and asks, 'What is it, about alcohol, that you so love?'

I ponder.

Is it the taste? From the bitter to the sweet, from the fruity to the dry, from the light to the strong.
Is it the aroma? From the smoky single malts to the coffee-laced crèmes, the spring garden scents of champagne to the wintry strength of rum.
The colour, perhaps? The silently strong vodka to the dramatic show-off merlot? The grand oaky whisky or the golden sunlight of beer?

Well it's all of those, I feel. But what makes it truly wonderful? A thing to be enjoyed, a craving, a companion? The answer lies in the effect, I feel. What alcohol does to us. What it brings out in us. What it makes us be. Or want to be.

It uninhibits some people,
some, it calms.
A few, it angers,
Most, it allows expression.

In him, it brings out the comedian.
In me, the poet.
It saddens a few,
and makes brave many more.

It makes strangers appear friendlier,
and loneliness feel lyrical.
It makes the drear of reality seem distant,
and really, what more can one want?

It is a vile poison;
and yet my precious nectar.
It brings me so much pleasure;
I wonder why they could think of just seven deadly sins.