Posted in close to heart

Love long. Live Longer.

When you are loved, it shows. It does.

It beams and shines bright with the delight of being wanted, of being admired and longed for.Image result for Love
It shows in that swing of your waist, when you are free. It manifests in the song that you hum around.It shows in the way you put your foot forward when you have nowhere in particular to go and everywhere to reach.
It shows in the spirit of your laughter, when you are happy from inside. The mirth that springs through mouth and twinkles through eyes.

It matters when you know you matter that you are loved by the one you love. The glow, the waist, the swing, the spirit, the laughter, the heart. It all becomes a part of one – the Universe, your Universe.

Oh and people who love long, live longer! After all, love is vast and elusive. Much like the Universe or the God. How else can you explain the greatness of human intellect and its incapacity to yet explain it.

Happy Valentines Day! My y’all love long and live longer!

 

Posted in close to heart, m@dness

Note in the mood- 31

 

imageI am the loneliness of the crowd

I am the silence of the talk

I am the dryness of the rain

I am the oneness of the many

I am the softness of the hard

I am the wetness of the dry

I am the happiness of the sad

I am the oneness of the many

I am the solitude of the open

I am the darkness of the light

I am the shallowness of the depth

I am the oneness of many

Coz’ I have been the one among many and many within the one

Posted in close to heart, m@dness

Girlfriends- The Real SoulMates

For oft when on my couch I lie,

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye,

Which is the bliss of solitude.

-William Wordsworth

Quite unlike a normal day, I have a few minutes to spare and I was in the mood for some introspection. Happened to overhear a conversation between 2 college going girls and it bought a rush of memories. The girls were discussing about what to wear to work and what hairdo to adorn to college the next day! I remembered making calls to my bestie asking her what I should wear to the parties, to a function or just to go out. Oh the hours those phone calls used to last! While in school, a minimum of 5 calls after school was a must. The joy and satisfaction was priceless. Conversations would range from normal Wassup to philosophy and life!

Unlike men who never let anything come in between their manfriends and man -time, we women tend to get tied down to a lot of things. Especially after marriage. My bestie and I have been friends for decades. Longevity doesn’t necessarily elicit a deeper friendship but it sure keeps you from having to explain yourself. She knows my story. The ups and downs, the good, bad, ugly. She is my “Remember when” girl.

It’s hard to nurture friendships when you’re busy raising kids. Some days, I don’t have the time or energy. I pick up the phone to call her but something comes up. Despite all this, in some strange way we are connected. There are times when I have received a call just when I needed to speak to her. In my weakest moments  I have noticed that while faith keeps you standing, more than family, friends hold your hand as you slowly move forward. They help you find a new normal, continue checking on you and show love in a million heartfelt ways. And now listening to those girls having fun, I realize the laughter is only part of the story, what comes after the complicated grown-up stuff. And while we certainly need the wonderful men in our lives, for they play a crucial role, too, men simply aren’t designed to understand us like one of our own. Sometimes it takes another woman to intuitively recognize what needs to be done — then do it. Or to sense what needs to be said — then say it. Or to take the thoughts and emotions we don’t voice — and know what to make of them.

Here are the unspoken rules. I want my girl to know..SO…

  1. True girlfriends will tell you the good and the bad stuff. They will also find a way to make you feel OK about both.
  2. Your best friend may have other friends too. Accept it.
  3. We are imperfect people. Your friends will disappoint you. Forgive them even before they as
  4. A lack of phone contact should not breed insecurity, just excitement when you finally do connect.
  5. Don’t be a high maintenance friend, life’s hard enough. Just love well and often
  6. Apologize when you screw up, because you will.
  7. Don’t just say you’re going to pray for her, actually pray, even when she doesn’t ask.
  8. There’s a fine line between sharing information and gossiping. Don’t cross it and ask your friends to do the same.
  9. And lastly, no matter what it takes, catch up once in awhile. It will be worth it!

I hope this acts as a friendly reminder of why girlfriends matter in good times and bad, laughter and tears, and through the highs and lows that reveal who’s with us for the long haul, and who’s willing to share in our suffering so that one day, when we’re laughing together again , there will be a history that makes the laughter sound richer and stirs the curiosity of anyone in earshot.

Call your girlfriend. Now.

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Posted in close to heart

Remembering an Iron Girl

” I was a failure in my personal life.My life is a open book. Everyone loves MGR ,even I did. But I was not accepted in a legal relationship. That made a fire in my mind to make an identity for myself. I would always feel that if my mother was alive in my crucial hours ,my personal life would have been more better than this. But I want to prove that Dr.MGR is my identity. So I entered the politics. An Indian tradition is that a girl is born as a daughter, then a wife and should die as a mother. I couldn’t achieve myself as a wife. But I will definitely die as a mother”.

A lady radiating poise and charm , making the men in general go weak at the knees passed away to the other side. At 11:30 PM on 5th December 2016, the nation or the world at large, lost an icon who had been a sensation in her early years, an encouragement to women all over during her prime and an absolute fighter towards the end. Jayalalitha Jayaram or “Amma” as she was known. The world lost a woman who was a rare concoction of vanity and valour.

Most of my girl pals are dumb and totally ignorant when it comes to politics and political figures. So it kind of surprised me that they were all quite emotionally posting stuff online as the news about Jayalalitha’s death gained momentum. As I read through the posts , i slowly realized that I shared the same sentiment. It wasn’t like I knew her personally or even followed her on any social platform (pun intended). On a serious note, till very recently I was confused between who was who in TN Politics. Of course I had heard about “Amma” from my dad who claims to be a distant relative of MGR who is her, well lets just say mentor. A few years back, i happen to see a video of hers and I started reading up on the person she was. A lot of my perceptions began to change within a few days.

Her first political campaign was called a ‘Cabaret Campaign’. Even for a woman as intelligent and charismatic as Amma with unmatched oratory skills, honour was still considered to reside between the legs.What differentiates her from you and me? Nothing. She was as much a girl as you and I am. I prefer to call her a girl, because when I look back and think of all the discussions and interviews I have seen of hers, she has constantly adorned a sense of innocence, stubbornness and recalcitrance that is more often seen in children than adults.  However, unlike most girls, she made the difficult choices and stuck through them despite almost always being in the wrong place or situation as fate would have it.Well behaved women rarely make history and it wasn’t very different in her case. Broken heart, glass ceilings, slut shamed and every other disgrace and depression that most of us are subjected to. What kept her going in spite of all this was her assertiveness, poise, sense of humor and grit.

The lady was corrupt in the sense that she did amass a lot of wealth but she was also extremely philanthropic. She made sure the people of her state had every item necessary to run a house. She empowered women. She made sure girls were given education. She built hospitals for the poor and she convinced the people of an entire state to elect her as Chief Minister 6 times! Down south, when everyone makes fun of the way we speak English, Amma made sure to give it back to any media person who ridiculed south indians. She spoke impeccable English and her control over 7 languages, stunning the world at large. She was bold, direct, fierce and powerful. What was most important was that none of this had come to her on a silver platter. She took pride in the fact that unlike a lot of people of her generation, she was self made. There are rumours that she was mentored by MGR but a little probe reveals that while it is true that MGR was her political guru, she took centre stage and revolutionized politics in TN with no support. She rose from the ground. It was her impudence and head strong attitude that paved the way for her, politically.

Everyone knows her as the person who silences opposition and who creates sycophants who fall at her feet and worship her. This was the only possible way she could command, consolidate and hold on to the otherwise elusive power. If she was any more cordial than this, she might have as well been an airhostess.

It will be several years, even decades, before another woman can even remotely achieve what she did in nation like India. In a few generations, I hope the tags attached to a woman changes. From “wife”, “mother”, “subtle” and “peaceful” to “brave”, “strong”, “powerful”.  To the woman who didn’t ask to be treated equal to a man, To the lady who was strong enough to stall even death several times. Last but not the least, to the girl who silently addressed millions of girls to not succumb to the ever dominant male society and to keep listening to your heart no  matter what the world says or thinks!. Ms. Jayalalithaa may your soul rest in peace. You will always be second to none. Thank you. God Speed.

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 This one if for the girl in you. Hope you listen from up above.

Posted in close to heart, m@dness

Move on

Its that one rule life tries to tell us during trying times. Move on. Its easier said than done though. I have lost quite a number of people to both fate and death in the years that I’ve walked on earth. I have tried to make up for the loss of these people in my life as well as in the lives of others whose world’s they occupied. In most occasions I have failed miserably. Nobody can take the place of someone else. Nobody. Period.
That said, something has been in my mind for a few days now. It could be because of the nostalgia that came after reading  a post on my brother’s blog. My father raised me alone. It was him all the way. I say all the way because although there were family and friends to help out at one point or the other, for most parts(read:95%) of my formative years , it was him. For a man to bring up a girl , i am sure would’ve been a herculean task. I know for sure because I have seen the stress and  effort Ro takes when he has to manage ami for a few hours!  So imagine about 24 years!  Things were different and difficult for the three of us; my dad, brother and me. Boys are more closer to the mother abd girls to their dads. I could tell my dad everything but he and my brother always had that line between them. Always.
A neighbor passed away recently due to an illness. A nasty illness that too. She left behind 2 boys aged 8 and 3 maybe. I wasn’t too close to her nor the family. However when i heard of it, I cried my heart out. Partly for nostalgia and partly for the boys. Their family is huge. Grandparents and uncles and aunties and cousins and friends and so many others. Would that be enough for the boys? Will they be able to bond with their father and tell him every small detail of their lives? Would he care to listen? The truth is that we’ll all grieve. For a long long time. We’ll never be tbe same again. We’ll heal in bits and pieces and we’ll slowly learn to live with the loss..the void..the space in our hearts. Forever.
I have thought about speaking to the family time and again and convincing them to let that man marry again, but I have been overpowered by the typical mind-your-own-business mentality. Will he get him self another wife? Will they ever be happy again? I pray they do. Those boys and that man deserves happiness in their life.
I asked myself this question: if I were to die unexpectedly.. would I want to see Ro and ami happy? Would i want to see Ro married again? Ami calling someone else AmmA? Yes. I’d want to. I would love to make sure that they are taken care of well in my absence. I am pretty sure every person up there wants their loved one to remain happy. Happy doesn’t  mean forgetting.  Does it?

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Posted in close to heart, m@dness

Note in the mood-28

When we were children, we wanted to just grow up and be adults. Like really quick. Being adults enticed us a lot and maybe thats why we loved playing house house. Maybe we thought that life was a lot cooler as adults. Remember when you were a kid and your biggest worry was like whether you’d get a cake for your birthday or would you get to eat chocolates the next day. I remember my relatives and elder cousins telling me to enjoy my schooldays while it lasted coz it was the time we would be free of any responsibility. Today when I see children playing house house ans daddy mummy, I tell them to go out and play something else while they can. I tell them that they have a lifetime to play house house and live the adult life. The poor children think the adult life is happier and a lot easier and a life free of exams and tests and homework. They think its all about cooking, partying, love and office! If only they knew.
Adulthood is responsibility. Adults have to be places, do things, earn a living, and pay the rent.  Everyday is an exam, a test that you must most certainly ace. Its not just you, you are responsible for all those that surround you,  all those whose lives are a part of yours. The scariest part about responsibility is when you screw up and let it slip right through your fingers. There are no weekdays,no weekends. Its just one loooioooooooonnnggggggg neverending day. Unfortunately once you get past the age of braces and training bras, responsibility doesn’t go away. It can’t be avoided. Either someone makes us face it or we suffer the consequences. And still adulthood has it’s purpose. I mean the guiltfree shopping, the love, the no parents telling you what to do, the life after the responsiblities… if ever…that’s pretty damn good.

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Posted in close to heart, m@dness

Women of strength

For those of you who aren’t from where I belong, my country n in recent times, my state has been in the news for attack on women. Sexual attacks on women. Rape. I am a mother of a girl child and things like this shake me up very very badly. When things like this happen in places you are familiar with, you just look up and thank god that its not happened to people you know or love. Thats our problem too. We dont act up until it happens to one of us and from where I come from, even if things do happen to one of us, the ones close to us will just blame it on fate!  Fate, my !@@$. So what do we do?
I dont want to start a post on going into the mind of a rapist. I am just going to say they dont have a mind even, forget heart. How can I make sure my girl grows up to be a strong, independent woman, capable of defending n protecting herself if n when the need arises. Asking her to cover herself fully isnt going to do the trick-WHAT IF HE IS LISTING LOOKING AT HER EYES?  Asking her not to be smart and bold may not work either – WHAT IF HE IS LOOKING FOR A SOFTSPOKEN, GENTLE WOMAN AS HIS NEXT VICTIM?  Asking her not to reveal her religious identity even may not come handy – WHAT IF HE IS AN AETHIST?  I even thought of home schooling my daughter and never letting her out of my sight-but again, what if he is just around the corner, waiting to come into my house to hurt my child or the people I care about or myself!
A regional movie I happen to see recently had one dialogue in particular that made me think. It goes somethin on the lines of if you are a small girl and someone tells you that you are a nice, obedient, softspoken girl, dont pay heed to it. Do not grow up thinking that you are the above mentioned. Its a trap. It is told to you so that you convince yourself and grow up to actually be a poor, softspoken, naive girl who will never have the guts to stand up to an eve teaser, a letcher or an abuser. You will be that person who silently suffers all the abuse and torture met out to you and cry when nobody is watching. You will always be abused by one or the other and you will silently bear the brunt of it all. Thats the problem, isn’t it? Most of us keep quiet if a man intentionally touches us inside when we use public transport, if a man letches looking at us, we bear the abuse in a marriage all the while thinking that we are to blame. Why should we keep mum n suffer the pain n trauma.
Everytime you keep quiet, you are encouraging the abuser in him.  He thinks that girls will silently take it all in, no matter how much damage he does n so he commits rape too. He starts with the ‘bad touch’ and slowly n stealthily moves to being a serial abuser n finally to rape. He kills the girls who fight back because he is only used to the girls silently taking the torture. So am going to bring up my girl by asking her to speak out. To speak out no matter who is listening and without thinkin what people will say. She will speak her mind and be gutsy. She will hit the man on his face if he misbehaves.She will stand up n shout if she needs to be heard but she will not surrender n sit silently. The next time someone says how naive and innocent she is, I’ll make sure they take back what they said.
Let us, mothers, help make a world safe for our girls. Lets make our daughters empower themselves. Lets make sure they trust us enough to speak to us about anything small or big n let’s ensure that they trust the power they hold.
Women of strength,
Lets know them
Lets raise them
Lets be them.

For you, my ami.

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