Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Of dreams and us

I dreamed of you last night; two dreams, which were not daunted by the miles which separate us in reality. You gave me that quizzical look when we first met, the one that I have grown to love and miss. It didn’t matter to you that this girl who was once a romantic is now swayed by the fallacies of life, although she wishes to escape reasoning and dissolve into emotions. She has unwillingly held herself at the edge of the cliff, but can’t let go.

You know I doubt my love often, and find my conscience conceited for wanting to take the easy way out. Did it have to be this difficult? That I am always eager to misconstrue, find reasons why we wouldn’t be compatible. But then we say the most incorrigibly idiotic things to each other and the pain ceases by a notch.

Last night, I was in bed, finding it difficult to breathe with a chest full of phlegm. Reminded of the time when my feet had gone too cold at the movies, and you sneaked your hand below the seat to keep rubbing them so that they were warm.

It’s overwhelming to try and keep up when we meet after ages, make memories which should suffice for the times we spend apart. But then I dream of you. Of us. Not trying to make things work in the little time we have together, but being in the moment. Breaking into a laugh in the middle of a serious conversation, speaking endlessly of our indisputable love for our dogs and cats and how coffee just makes the world a little better.

With each day that passes us by, you inspire me to be a little more chaotic and sentimental. To trust that love will guide us, and even on darkest of nights, there will always be a glimmer of hope. And dreams which will see us through. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Bearable Lightness of Being

“I don't want to freak you out, but I think I may be the voice of my generation. Or at least a voice .Of a generation.”

Today, I feel oddly inspired for some reason. Inquisitive, curious and yes, I am also visibly anxious. I am happy because I have words at my disposal. That I can read and write, retort and emote.
I can lap up fantastically composed sentences and aspire to write like that one day. But I don't feel obligated to do it because I want to move people, as much as I have been moved. There is no urgent need to reach out and make them empathise with the experiences I have. Weirdly enough, I feel isolated from my own life. As though it were someone else's. I can relate to my unaccomplishments but also feel detached enough to understand that it happens.
I have one aspiration though. To keep doing what I do. To keep scribbling on paper and typing on the keyboard, like my life depends on it. To put out experiences because it makes you delusionaly light. At one moment you are cribbing about your frappe being horribly milky and in the next you are grinning like a monkey.
In a consumer-driven world, where we realise the worth of our bylines, our blogs or a profound status on Facebook only by the number of 'likes' or 'comments' they have got, it is high time that we go back to when and how it all started.
Perhaps to middle school, when a prude high-schooler broke your heart or when your mom grounded you for arguing with her, that in a fit of rage you locked yourself in your room and wrote for hours together. You were writing for yourself and letting words bleed into paper.

Experiences manifest themselves in different ways. But if you are a writer, you will be greedy for as many as you could possibly muster. And when you sign a bumper book deal with a leading publishing house, remember how it all began. Let it guide you and make you believe that if you can deal with snooty teenaged girls undermining your existence in class, a few bad reviews will only make you realise that you are not the only one reading your work carefully.
And let nothing change that.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Its NOT okay

I was reading Tina Fey’s memoir, Bossy Pants and in one of the first chapters she speaks of discussing with a group of women the question, “When did you first know you were a woman?”

She writes, “The group of women was racially and economically diverse, but the answers had a very similar theme. Almost everyone first realized they were becoming a grown woman when some dude did something nasty to them. “I was walking home from ballet and a guy in a car yelled, ‘Lick me!’” “I was babysitting my younger cousins when a guy drove by and yelled, ‘Nice ass.’” There were pretty much zero examples like “I first knew I was a woman when my mother and father took me out to dinner to celebrate my success on the debate team.” It was mostly men yelling shit from cars. Are they a patrol sent out to let girls know they’ve crossed into puberty? If so, it’s working.””

The reason I bring this up is because a few days back when I was traveling by bus, an elderly man on an adjacent seat asked me, “So, what brand of perfume are you wearing today?” I wasn’t as mad as I was appalled, saddened and almost silenced by the most random statement that could ever be made by an absolute stranger. 

I feel sorry for the fact that at times, instead of celebrating womanhood, we end up feeling quite dejected by it. By that racer-back top or the bright pink lipstick and the dark-kohl which we can’t do without quite often.

And to that bright, balding man I must ask, “What were you thinking really?” and do you really have to say something nonsensical to someone less than half your age because you simply can? 
When a successful actress like Deepika Padukone can be objectified by the “largest selling newspaper in the world” or when Jennifer Lawrence’s nude photos are splashed across the web -to the perpetrators I ask, what were you thinking?

What is that hedonistic pleasure that you get by invading someone’s privacy, traumatising them or even questioning them on their choice of attire because really, it’s none of your business? And when, we as consumers allow this to happen, when we click the mouse on that link, we play the much-required part to make these people or organizations feel that this is the content we are asking for and THIS is what we deserve.

And this is perhaps why when a pervert pinches your buttocks and vanishes in the crowd at a railway station it dismantles you but what he probably feels is a brazen euphoria. I mean, if Honey Singh can swoon over Sunny Leone singing Char Botal Vodka, you could very well molest or letch at an unknown person. Totally doable.

And to you, I wouldn’t even bother reminding of your mother and sister because clearly you care zilch about them. Or even hope for you to have a conscience, because then I’ll be trying to invest in the prospect of you being a decent human being. Which lets face it, you never are, and never will be. 

But hear this, for the umpteenth time, ITS NOT OKAY. To ask unpleasant questions, to make an unsavoury remark, to dismiss a person because it makes you feel invincible. Its not okay that you decided to grope me, when I was barely in my teens and shatter my self-confidence and sense of being.

To make women feel safe or even to pretend that you care, you have to understand that are not they are not commodities which come with an expiration date. They have hearts, minds and YES, bodies which will open up to another person ONLY when they want to. By trespassing, passing comments you will only be alienated by the prospect of being truly admired by a beautiful person, who could be self-doubting but does not need you to make it worse.

And to those who want to make it count, instead of opening the door for her next time, fight for her, fight for her opinions and love her for it. Fight for her happiness, fight for your happiness and the next time someone circles a woman’s cleavage on a national daily (because how else could you have spotted it!), make a choice, and subscribe to a different paper. And when a friend spams you with “hot photos” of Oscar-winning actresses, realise the fact that the photos didn’t reach you with her consent. Un-friend the friend and move on. 

Let’s hope that we all manage to love kindly, with discretion and the possibility of imbibing the fact that we are nothing without an open mind, and of course a fabulous dressing sense, both of which can never be compromised with.