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.

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Posted in m@dness

Arrogant Display of Insensitivity

I cannot change the world and its ways. I have accepted that. But I sure can speak my mind and hope that someone who reads this post will change the way they think and act. So. I lost my mother at a young age. Very very young age. To this day, I remember one of my family members screaming and wailing in front of the body as to how she would have been alive if she hadn’t given birth to me! Yes I remember the person, the wails and it all. It haunts me everytime I see or hear about young children who lose one or both their parents while they are young. So imagine my frustration when I hear and see that a person I used to know died giving birth. I had to fight back the tears and nostalgia. I still am.

Our society in particular are very cruel to the survivors. By survivors I mean the family who is left behind by a dead person. Not only do they not give support, they tend to pick and dig into the matter in a sort of schadenfreude pleasure. To overcome the grief takes time, years, sometimes forever. Nobody understands the effect such events have on children. I don’t need to imagine that because I know.

We, the human race is supposed to be a very advance species. However I am beginning to think that the more advance we get, the less emotional and empathetic we are becoming. Selfies are the best example I can think of. An occasional selfie when you are wearing a brand new, great looking outfit is fine. Hanging out with friends, post a selfie. had a fan moment, be my guest. Date night with the love of your life, go on, take a selfie by all means. However, lately I have been  noticing the line disappearing. The line that clearly defines when the selfie must stop. On Fb, the other day, a friend posted a picture of his grandmother’s funeral. A selfie of him and the grandmother’s body in a coffin. Just when I thought I had seen it all, this morning another friend posted a picture of a newborn with her dead mother! For me, personally, I lost it. The real me wanted to scream at the friend and shake her and bring her to her senses but the socially responsible-well behaved lady in me just asked her politely as to why she would post a heartbreaking picture on a social platform. That’s that.

Why would or why have people turned to be so insensitive? This definitely psychopathic behavior leads me to believe that maybe the experts are right after all.Selfies tend to attract a type of person already more likely to push the boundaries of normal behavior,the so-called Dark Triad of personality traits – narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy – are likely to pursue selfie glory regardless of who or what gets hurt in the process. While in the earlier days,photography was just to keep  old memories alive,today photography has grown far more than that. In the last 190 years, which is when the first photo was take , photography has grown to a  level where most people use it to prove something!

It all comes down to one main thing: self-indulgence. One becomes self-centred once they get habituated to taking pictures of just about everything, that they start ignoring the conditions around them, and even the feelings of the people in the vicinity.There is nothing wrong with taking pictures of yourself or of things, but lets not forget that it doesn’t have to be a part of our daily routine. It is more important to live in the moment than to worry about your looks and lighting. A confident person doesn’t rely on the popularity of a picture but rather the popularity of their personality. It is not only insensitive, but also kind of stupid to take pictures while people around you are in trouble or are grieving. You would be looked upon as a selfish person despite your good intentions. So next time you pick up your phone or camera for to take a picture, look around to make sure you are not offending anyone.fb_img_1433099907089-724420

Posted in The Chronicles of A

You are two!

Dear Ami,

We have known you for exactly 2 years and 10 months. Almost 1000 days. You are a part of us now. I have always taken pride in the fact that unlike your dad, am very verbal. I speak my mind. However, it now scares me to think that i may or may not be in a position to tell you what I want to tell you. So I am going to write you a letter every year to tell you things I may not remember to.

I had no clue what to do with you! For the past 2 years, you have been the number one source of my worry and happiness! As you learned, I learned too. You were neither my need nor want. You were probably the way god showed me what  my purpose in life was. And what a gift it was! Everyday since the day I have known you, I have prayed for you, over you. My little ami, I have loved every moment with you, but it has been painful and exciting to see the time pass and to see you grow into the beautiful person you’re meant to be. Painful because I want to freeze time and memorize your speech, your tiny fingers, and tiny toes. I want to remember your funny faces, your laugh, and your love for life. Painful because I want the moments of you crying out for me to last forever but painful because never do I wish to see you hurt. Painful because I know this time is too precious. I want time to slow down so that we can hold on to these cherished days forever. But it’s also been exciting, too. To hear you say words and then 3 word sentences to 4 and 5 word sentences. To see yyou run n jump. Recite nursery rhymes and hear you catch new words. I had my heart ripped out when I had to take the decision of putting you at a daycare. I want you to know it wasn’t easy. But you my tiny ami, made it easy for me.

I want you to smile my dear. It is so pure that it really will make another’s world seem brighter. And you my dear, have the power to change the world with your smile. Over compliment people. Make their day! Love wholeheartedly and unconditionally. People will hurt you n rip your soul but that is when I want you to remember the time you learnt to walk. You fell, tore your skin, ripped your knee, cried but you still walked. You ran, infact. All it takes is try.  You are exquisite dear. To me, no matter what happens, you will be number 1. you will be my most special human being! I want you to know yourself, to know your soul. To do that, you must be truthful to yourself. Your conscience must be clear at all times. I know I will raise you well and so I know that the choices you make will be wise.

And always always always remember, what made the stars, made you too. Never doubt the light you shed. And last but not the least ever, on the days you feel low,remember that the man who said he loves you first, still does and will always mean it and the woman who first kissed you, did so, unconditionally. We will always be there for you and accept what you want to be. We will be your Armour and Shield.

Happy Birthday Princess.
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Posted in m@dness

Note in the Mood-30

Diwali is just around the corner. I had never celebrated Diwali till 2 years ago. And when I did celebrate, it really was with a bang. Ami was born on a Diwali, 2 years ago. So indeed it was with a bang. Nope, the post isn’t about Diwali. Go google if you need to know about the festival. As a ritual, the ladies clean the house, from top to bottom, in and out. It is tiring. As I moved things around here n there, I slowed down. Couldn’t it be possible, that by cleaning, our ancestors actually meant our heart and soul? That, what if they meant was to throw away the negative thoughts in our heads and leave space for the good stuff to enter. Make way for goodness! Couldn’t it be? And dumb us keep cleaning the exteriors, the material things.

I did. I sat down, this weekend. I thought of the good stuff, I couldn’t think of too many bad things that I had done, but I could think of a lot of things that people had done to me that really did leave scars. We try so hard to protect ourselves, but it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference. Cause when the bad things come, they come out of nowhere. The bad things come suddenly, with no warning. But we forget that sometimes that’s how the good things come too. So I sat down and thought of all those experiences and cried. I cried for the last time. I decided I will not cry over all of it ever again. I will not keep a revenge and I will not curse. I let go. I forgave.

It felt good! Why however, does it feel so good to get rid of things? To unload? To let go? Maybe because when we see how little we actually need to survive, it makes us realize how powerful we actually are. To strip down to only what we need. To hang on to only what we can’t do without. Not just to survive, but to thrive. Maybe we’re thankful for the familiar things we know. And maybe we’re thankful for the things we’ll never know. At the end of the day, the fact that we have the courage to still be standing is reason enough to celebrate. Happy Diwali.

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Posted in m@dness

Everyday Super Heroes

I have personally never been a fan of superheroes. I have always thought that like Santa Clause, they are just fictitious characters to fool kids. Until very recently. There are days that I walk to work. Its perspiring but it’s the time I get for myself. I think while I walk, I listen to music or just take in the sights and sounds. I have seen a lot of aged people work their ass off just to earn enough to feed their tummy. The task they do is so difficult that sometimes it looks impossible. But they do it and smile. Victoriously. 2011 and 2015 were the years that tested my limits as a mere human. These years taught me life. There were days I couldn’t just get up from bed just dreading that I was alive. But I had to keep moving. That’s when I chanced upon the Superhero Stance.

The physical pose in which the superhero stands with legs spread apart, arms on hips, elbows bent. The superhero stance projects power. It’s an example of what psychologists refer to as an open posture, in which limbs are spread out in a way to take up more space. If you can retain the superhero-type stance for a grand total of two minutes, you will feel more powerful and act that way: Stand like a superhero, feel like a superhero, act like superhero. This phenomenon has been proved and I can assure you it works. I have assumed this stance quite a number of times in the last few years; my productivity has increased measurably and my mental state has had a 180⁰ turn from depressing to in control.  I know it will make you look stupid, but I assure you it is life changing! It changed mine, so am pretty sure it will change yours too.

Winning and Losing is  all a part of the circle of life. Everyday, we loose battles as often as we succeed. The key though, win or loose, is to never fail. The only way to fail is not fight. So you fight until you can’t fight anymore. Hold up your head and enter the arena and face the enemy. Fight until you can’t fight anymore. Never let go. Never give up. Never run. Never surrender. Fight the good fight. You fight even when it seems inevitable that you’re about to go down swinging.

Why? You ask. Why do we even try when the barriers are so high and the odds are so low? Why don’t we just pack it in and go home? It’d be so, so much easier.

It’s because in the end, there’s no glory in easy. No one remembers easy. They remember the blood and the bones and the long agonizing fight to the top. And that is how you become legendary. An everyday Super Hero.

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Posted in m@dness

note in the mood-29

Its a Saturday morning. I am feeling good, after a long time. I mean eons. We have been walking for a long time and I can finally see light at the end of the tunnel. Distant and faint but I can see it. We have been through hell last year and even now, sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and wonder if we really did survive.A year back, exactly a year back, I would wake up in the middle of the night, frightened, look around and start crying. I’d look at the 2 souls sleeping next to me and wonder what would happen to them, to us. As I write this, just thinking of it, I am getting goosebumps. I woke up last night too, sweating furiously. And then I looked around and smiled. It was all going to be over soon.

My prayers have been answered. A new ray of hope has fallen on my soul and filled me with a light so bright I can no longer see my yesterday. My very sorry yesterday. Now all I see is tomorrow. A beautiful tomorrow. And so I’ve decided to put away all the worrying, consciously. Nothing I’ve done so far as been planned. Call it destiny or by any other name, but every where I’ve been so far is where life has taken me, not where I’ve wanted or decided to go. Everything I’ve done has been what has happened, not my actions out of a deep desire to act so. Life for me has been a journey without a destination. To put it short, I’ve just been flowing with the tide. And now I am going to ride the tide.

*Touch Wood.7673275_orig

 

Posted in m@dness

Of Blocks, Newspapers and Bathrooms

I have a job. I mean, I have a job now. What is funny however, is that this particular job pays me to write. Oh, I can already hear the snigger n muffled laughs. Shut Up! There’s this about me page on this blog that you  should read before you read any further.  So damn true! At this very moment, I am working as a Social Media Consultant. Eh? No, not because I have accounts on facebook, twitter or linkedIn. Duh! No, not because the brother is a Social Media Guru. No No. Apparently my  references suggested I am better at this than HR. Am pretty sure they were all drunk or drugged! I havent written blogs for so long now.I posted one out yesterday out of sheer desperation!

I shudder at the thought of having to type a few words these days. FOr my blog I mean. The past few days have made me into some sort of word vending machine! 30..40..60 posts each day for social media!

The high point of this whole thing has been a mail I composed last evening. That is when I realized my writing has gone from manageable to garbage-disposable. In a paragraph of six sentences, I must have used the word ‘some’some sixteen times which was okay until I realised that I used ‘Basically’a lot more in a eleven word sentence. So basically, it was a wake up call in the midst of reading the crap I had written.It made me realise what I was missing. Awww I miss my blog. I miss that frantic finger-hops on the keyboard, the hurried reading, the looking for ideas to spur of the moment publishing .

2013-artwork-writers-block-sketchIts not like I was not trying. I did. I swear. I have at least thirty six incomplete, unpublished drafts.So what if 9 of them are blank & one of them is more like a digital signal. But still, I tried. I have spams from bathroom cleaners and sanitary distibutors which I am sure is my family’s doing! Time and again they have taunted me on the basis of one freak incident involving bathrooms! Now, I do admit I am not exactly a bath-lover ,humiliating me publicly,  was unbearable. I have published those too so that it inspires me. Well, i tried. Nothing happened.So basically, there was not much enthusiasm forthcoming due to such insanely (ir)relevant comments. I didn’t know what to do, I still don’t. Then I thought that maybe this is what they call “blogger’s block?” and I’d read for a while, but between balancing on one leg and learning to walk again and running away from mad dogs and thieves, I couldn’t spare much time. I didn’t even read the newspaper.I still don’t have the time. The little whats-happening-in-the-world today info I have is because its my task to pick up the paper and place it on the coffee table. Well, that is yesterday’s newspaper that’s delivered today morning. Yeah, my dad reads yday’s news today coz the media barons think that Bhopalites can make do with stale! You see it screams out all the news that’s worthy of being made into a Bollywood movie in the near future while holding back all the other unwanted stuff. It screams, trust me, Anyway, it is unrelated to my writing which was what I was writing about.

This not-writing thing. It is really driving me crazy. I do shudder at the thought of typing a few words these days. Its mostly to do with the fact that I have to reduce my characters to 140 and so my thinking and ahem creativity is narrowed down. Ugh! Twitter is sooo definitely a man’s invention. Who else would want to restrict speech to 140 characters! Definitely, not a woman! Who knows? I inspired a good friend to start writing again and here I am. Stuck. Oh oh another block. Hitting me.Now. Help!

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