Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tell them you love them.



"Since then I decided I will tell people that they are great and I am happy to have them in my life, and that they matter to me and if they decide to go from my life, I will at least be happy that I made it a point to tell them how much they meant to me."

 I told this to my friend and she went to the person she liked a lot and told him that he means a lot to her, and that she cherishes his presence. She felt great, she felt free and contented. He had a smile on his face, and reciprocated the same feelings. She came back to me and narrated this incident, and I hugged her and said-'' I don't know why people do not seize the opportunity and tell people that they are likable, amazing and truly great. It is a heavenly feeling." She said that even if he had not reciprocated the same feelings, she would have had the same amount of happiness she had then. Not that a weight, a load was shed from the heart- but something which was meant to be shared, was finally out there.

One day one of my friends got startled when I was talking casually to my 'crush', a senior in my college and in the conversation, randomly told him that he was my first crush in college. I don't know whether he really felt weird or taken aback, but since then our meetings have not been weird, but have become more amazing. He had laughed, smiled and acknowledged my revelation, and it was a great feeling that I did not mediate my thoughts through someone else. Whenever I tell a person I cherish their existence, I feel that if I die tomorrow, I won't regret anything.

But what does 'since then' signify? Since when?

Not that someone I loved and wanted to spend my life with died, or someone very close went so far away that I could not reach them and tell them that they contributed to my life. When in Chennai, I used to pass by a general store where I used to eat 5 rupee Ice cream or a 10 rupees juice while returning home from school. An uncle and an aunty used to greet me with, 'vaa kanna' ( come dear), 'yepdi irundudhu school' (how was school), and other things which strangers won't really ask you. But then it became a ritual. I always used to stop there for some reason or another, and had a unique relationship with the two.

One day, my mother went for some function but came way too early than expected. I was doing my homework, on a register I had bought from the general store. My mother came, and sat next to me and started crying. I asked her the reason and then she said that the uncle in the general store died. A drop made the paper of the register wet, and the ink spread. It was a very symbolic moment for me- a single moment had changed my entire system of thought.

He had had diabetes for a long time, had developed gangrene, and one day he was gone. I forgot what was the main cause of his death, because I did not even consider asking- the fact that he was gone and I won't see a bespectacled man while passing by that area was so overwhelmingly sad that other things were fogged. Now I could only see aunty, sitting, distraught. I continued my ritual, but it was just one-sided. He was gone.

But then, all these days I had not seen one bit of pain on his face. He used to stand behind the counter, and all my life, I had seen only his torso. I never saw the pain that was being inflicted upon him by his feet, and never cared to know or ask. Everyday that man's smile and pleasant countenance used to complete my day, but I had never made it a point to tell him. 'He died a sad man. His wife and his children had left him'- aunty said. I felt, if only I had told him how much his being there, standing behind the counter means to me, he would have been happy for at least those moments I uttered those words, or at least he would have been bestowed with some contentment. 

Since then, it became a system- trying to gain good wishes of people, filling in the void I felt after he had died. The feeling when the guy in the cafe of my college calls me by my name and shares his problems, the old uncle who makes nimbu pani talks politics with me, is a feeling where I believe that the void is huge, but then it will be filled

Not that fearing someone's or our own death should make us tell people how lovable they are, but it is the selfish feeling of avoiding regret, if God forbid they are suddenly gone, (death not being the only reason).The happiness one gets by at least contributing a millisecond of a moment to someone else's joy  made me feel that people should know their importance in my life. Ego comes in the way, but sometimes if you take the plunge, you feel victorious after seeing it was worth it. 




Sunday, September 28, 2014

I won't be a bad host.


A small poem about how people come and go, and sometimes you have people who need to stay but they go away too soon.

You arrived.
Stayed for a long time.
When I said I liked your stay
you went away.
Don't go.
I don't want you to stay always.
Hovering around you.
I want you to keep visiting.
Now and then.
It won't be like the stay 
you have had before.
I promise
I won't be a bad host.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Why did we believe?

A minister gets imprisoned in a graft case, she loses her position and becomes the first one to lose it in such an abominable case. Ministers were once thought to be the partakers of the country's destiny. They were our representatives. They were people who represented our thoughts and beliefs. Today when I look back at my country's recent past: I see nothing worth emulating. Some minister is in an assault case, some in a corruption case, some in an abuse case, some in a murder case. A friend of mine told me, well, they are humans. They are supposed to have flaws. They are supposed to commit mistakes. But then, mistakes at the expense of the country as a whole- that is not a human mistake, it is a major blunder. We are introduced to their hypocrisy in such cases- ministers who showed their sheer love and belief in the lower classes get caught for having disproportionate assets. All this just instills fear in me- If there are 2, 3 , 4 ministers like these, how many more are out there? Who are fooling us? And then, the most important question- did we fool ourselves by believing in them in the first place?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Impervious to the Obvious.

Recently the Deepika Padukone issue created havoc.
What was the issue?
She has a cleavage.

Salman Khan's abs are fake?
Whoa.

Emma Watson delivers a great speech on gender equality.
Wait, let's release some nude pictures of hers.

Yeah, we are getting more ridiculous day by day.

Then I remembered those lists I see in famous websites, showing how a hollywood/bollywood actor was clicked at a certain moment where it looked like he was looking at his co-actress's boobs. It might have not been the case, but it is still sensationalized. If it was the case, well, it is not even a case in the first place. Why? Umm, isn't it natural? Okay, I might be saying something controversial here but let us face it, it DOES happen sometimes. I am NOT talking about voyeuristic male gaze here, but then, sometimes it is very natural for a boy or a girl to look at the opposite sex and admire. They look at us, and let's admit it, even girls look at guys. It isn't wrong. There are even words for it (see Krukolibidinous).

When it crosses a level, a level it should not cross, which is the level of violating the other person, then it becomes problematic. These pictures are just a matter of accidental timing of photography, when the man's face seems to be at such an angle that it is looking where it should not look at.

Second, we have sensationalized a woman's cleavage, and this same world has also sensationalized a man's boner. Yes. We also sensationalise men's erections which happen in public, accidentally or due to some obviously natural cause. "21 most awkward boners of Hollywood Actors".  Why? Isn't it OKAY? Just because they are doomed to be watched 24x7 by people like us, every action of theirs is recorded because their life is an entertainment factor, they are put on pedestal which should not exist in the first place- it just makes them look so distinct from the larger context of humanity that we say they WERE NOT SUPPOSED to have the erection in a public place. Who made their life public? We did. Do you see how highly in the wrong are we?

Third, there was a news when from an actor's pocket, a condom fell and it was made a matter of HUGE discussion. Wait, he is a guy, and has a condom. Good, he is having safe sex. Isn't that nice? No! He has a condom. He is having sex.  Who is he having sex with? Is it the woman in his previous movie? Or the next movie?

The problem is that we have deified actors- and made their life a commodity. Whatever they do, they show, is a matter of contention, debate,discussion, just like this one. A cleavage, is normal. A boner, is normal. Having a condom is normal. Smoking,  drinking by humans is normal, Going on a date, is normal. NOT going on a date, is normal. So if a 'celebrity' has or does all this, why does it become a headline on my newspaper?

It is a shame, that I had to write this. I can't believe we have reached the times of saying biological endowments are well, a part and parcel of human nature. We are being impervious to the most obvious things, and making a hullabaloo of something which does not even need a shout.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Humanity before Nationality- Ask How to help, not Who.

Due to the Jammu and Kashmir flood- I have a few Kashmiri friends, who could not talk to their parents for a long time. Some of them still cannot. Their face had a glint of sadness, even though they carried on with their daily life with the same rigor. Some of them continued with their play practices, assignments, attending classes. I go to my friends' home and he makes me food. I say I got reminded of home. Another friend says I don't want to get reminded of home- it just saddens me, it reminds me of something sullen. Then they all continue to indulge in their daily lives. Are they being insensitive? No! The fact that they are able to carry on with their lives is a proof of how strong they are, and because they cannot go home, they do not even create a facade of trying to do something which they cannot. They do their bit, but know that they can't do a lot. But who can, they did. Some of them did their bit- organised relief drives, arranged for money for their families and others' families, went to public places for donations. They were joined by people who were not related to Jammu and Kashmir. They were related to something called beautiful humanity. This shows in a microcosmic manner what a country should be- you do your bit, you do not show more than your abilities, and you help because you are humane. I come back and I see Facebook Statuses shouting about Army obligations, army this army that, border this border that. I do not even want to go on those debates. It was a flood. In Jammu and Kashmir. A place which has been a space of lots of issues and contentions. A place with humans who are always under some threat. A place... Why? It was a flood. In a place. A place with humans. Why can't we just stop at this? Why not? My own discussion is futile. It is not helping the loss. But the insensitivity was too high, and I had to do this.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tamaasha!

I am blogging after one month. I am a little disoriented, but then I have so much to say but so less a vocabulary.


.....

After a long time I want to write something personal. Not something which will ignite thoughts or question beliefs- just something I always wanted to write in my blog- what I feel like.


A month- I devoted my time to a play in college which has become one of the most amazing things I have ever done in my life. The last time I had committed myself whole-heartedly to something was my Class 12th Boards. I had stopped blogging and did only what a 12thie is supposed to do - study. But this one month I did something which I love to do- theatre.

College theatre is not really theatre, but it is a beginning. I never had spent a month on something which was not related to books, and it felt great. This play was not just staging of something on the, well, stage, but it was a month of a LOT of learning, unlearning and trying to get a balance between seemingly imbalanced things in life.

I learnt that being someone else is not really a stage or a drama phenomenon- as I spent an enormous amount of time interacting with people from broad cross-sections of college, I got to understand and know different aspects of different people, including myself. We are never who we pose to be, and that is why anyone can be an actor on stage because we are anyway acting in daily life. 

I learnt that criticisms can be of many types- some sane ones, sensible ones, some which just are there for the heck of it and some which bring no change whatsoever. But more than this, I learnt that whatever kind they are of, we have to manage them, deal with them, and then choose which one to take and which one to let go. The only key is to get to know how to handle them.

I have developed thick skin for many things I was very sensitive towards- I never knew how to take a joke, or even give a good witty repartee. With people with major wit and tactics of witticism around me, I developed a good range of taking jokes on myself and letting others laugh at my expense- it is spreading happiness, so be it.

The play was based on Mirza Ghalib,( Tamaasha ya Tamaashayee) the great Urdu poet's life, and his life and his shayarees taught me a good load of things. I cannot go on to write what they have taught me, but here it is in a nutshell- about how delicate a human being is, how pervasive and universal his/her thoughts are, how similar we all are, how are our problems actually the same but their manifestations differ, how language is just a medium and not a barrier, how beauty is temporary but love is not, I can go on and on.

This personal note will end with nothing but my favorite shayari of Ghalib:

हजारों ख्वाहिशें ऐसी कि हर ख्वाहिश पे दम निकले
बहुत निकले मेरे अरमाँ, लेकिन फिर भी कम निकले






Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Rape is not about my assets.

I was out in a market with this friend of mine. I am a thyroid patient and suffer from obesity, and I was walking around in the market with this friend who is according to societal demands- quintessential. I saw 10-20 guys giving her a second look, "checking her out"while she remained aloof and indifferent. She knew people looked at her, some people just with appreciating eyes and some lustful. She gave back angry looks, but all in vain. Did I feel bad that no one gave me a second look? No. why will I? Did it make me feel less attractive? No. Unwanted? No. I didn't feel anything. But then something else made me feel bad. The same day I talked to a friend of mine and I say that damn Delhi is really unsafe. Those eyes were enough to infringe privacy. The friend said."You don't have to worry."
I asked why.
The friend said, well, no one will rape YOU! (quote unquote, with the exact caps lock spacing )
What did I feel bad about? That I am not attractive and hence I don't get voyeuristic views? No. What hurt me was indirectly I was told that looking pretty, being thin and being a media driven beauty makes a girl more vulnerable when it comes to rape. My friend said I am safe because well, who will rape me? I am not good looking enough.
People really need to get their ideas right. Rape is not directly proportional to looks. It can be a subjective, specific factor but not an all encompassing cause to an effect. If it is so you won't have 6 years old raped. And if I am fat and that makes me safer than the thin female counterparts I have, then that's the worst and the most fallacious argument ever made.