Posted in m@dness

The gift

The other day when I told Ro that I write, he seemed really shocked and that stunned me. Yeah I know that not too many friends of mine know that I write and I dont want them to know. However Ro’s reaction got me thinking. Why do I write? Why do I write and not make a fuss about it? I write because I don’t know any other way.I write because my fingers hurt if I don’t and my mind doesn’t rest till it’s penned down(virutally). I don’t care whether it will please my people, or whether it’s going to win a Booker or whether it will truly be the best piece of writing I’ve ever done. I write because it makes me human. It’s my heart’s way of expressing itself.

I remember Das telling me that when I was really young, I used to take Readers Digest and read and laugh at the jokes. Mind you, I was hardly 5-6 years then and there is no way I’d understand what was written! I still laughed. I wrote essays and cut out pictures of important news and wrote about them in my own style. Like my own personal newspaper. I think Das has all that kept away safely. I used to draw too. Artist A. Ramachandran, a friend of an uncle used to term it as modern art then. It used to be window, lines, circles and god knows what shapes. But I remember Ramachandran uncle slowly deciphering it and asking me if I thought while i painted. He, dad and my mother were pretty sure that I’d be a creative person rather than a geeky person. I could not have cared less abt what I’m going to become. I wrote because I needed to. I wrote poems that didn’t make sense to anyone but me. I wrote books on spiral pads about people/incidents who meant something to me. My brother used to make fun of it saying i’d copied it from somewhere. But you must know that i am talking about an era where the internet was still unheard of.

I was someone and I felt something because I wrote. I would get up in the middle of the night and write thoughts that came into my head, dreams that were disjointed, rhymes that came from a consciousness I didn’t know existed. I wrote a diary for years. Everyday. Things that made me smile, things that troubled me, things that could be better.I wrote fiction. I wrote about things I thought about would/could happen and the emotions that I’d have if it did come true. I made a diary after diary of my life. I kept it locked away. Like all my other writing work. I didn’t want to show it to the world…not even the people closest to me. It was mine. It was private. It was not meant for public scrutiny. I didn’t want the criticism on it. I didn’t need the feedback. Until my brother stumbled upon it one day and made a hue and cry about it! Thats the day I stopped writing diaries and to this day, I havent written an entry.

I went on to study human minds. I thought it was the most fascinating thing. I still think it is. I wasnt too keen on learning psychology but as I read, learnt and wrote more, I realised how amazing the human mind was. I would come home numb from exhaustion, bruised from the reprimands and broken from the penury and that’s when I could do only one thing. I wrote.I sat down and filled the virtual world with stories of people and places and my feelings to all of it. Till I went to sleep. Till I knew my heart was happy for a few hours.

 

And then it happened. I decided…very hesitatingly…that maybe I should show something to the world…And I wrote an idea out. An idea that came from a conversation. An idea that had bearings to my own life. Something that a few people might be able to identify with. And I wrote my first post.It didn’t have a title then. It was just this idea. And it developed, like my life into something larger. I kept it closely guarded. Afraid that if I show it to someone they will bring it down. Afraid that people might think this is my life or that my life would turn out to be the way i wrote here. But I wrote, concentrating on just the feelings of the fictional incidents and events I created. The actions would come later. The mind doesn’t really know Love. Only the heart does. And that was my beginning. I deleted more than I wrote. I began to think that unless it was the best piece I’ve written, it should be trashed. I researched and the feelings turned into style.People who were regular readers commented that I was changing and that my style was improving. I became confused. That was not me.I always wrote because no one was looking. It was my secret place. And now it had to be all those things that I could not fathom I would be.

And it finished.I sent it to the recycle bin.I say recycle bin because I started again. Yet again. Being true to myself. I wrote with a passion that came from knowing that I had a gift. I could imagine really well and I knew it had to be given due credit. So I wrote. My soul was out there. For all to see. To criticise and hate. This was it.  And now as I wait for the reactions to come back, I know that my heart will not be able to take the dissension yet I will be strong enough to live another day.To write more.

No looking back. After all I have the gift.

Today, when I see the recognition I get, be it likes, shares or comments or just clicks/visits, I know and I am assured that my gift is real and not imagined. Not fiction.

Posted in Uncategorized

A better generation

Recently, I was out with my cousins to a restaurant when something caught my attention. A mother was engrossed in a conversation with a group of people. Her daughter kept pulling at her shawl, asking her something. The mother would keep brushing her off, too caught up in the conversation. Ultimately, the child lost her energy and went to a corner of the room and sat quietly. The mother may not have realized it but the child was so obviously craving for her attention. And how disappointed she was when she didn’t get it.

Children are so innocent. We’ve all been told this but have we really realized the implications of their innocence? They’re like a clean blackboard. What they grow up into is a result of what we, as adults, write on those blackboards.

I have friends who are parents and I have seen the difference between children of working parents and  children who have atleast one parent at home. I have observed that children who have been bought up by aayas or maids or just grandparents have this strange insecurity and attention seeking issues.  These children do just about anything to get a little attention from parents and these children grow up into adults who are insecure about people, relationships and begin to do really weird things just to get attention. The slightest dent on their emotional side could make them lose their confidence and so on. On the other hand, children who have been bought up basking in attention by parents grow up to be confident, secure and bold individuals. They know to get what they want and does not need any motivation or boost of confidence.

Now let’s come to our education system. It’s based on rote learning and not on analysis. As a student, I was weak in Mathematics. Before I could wrap my mind around a concept the teacher would move on to the next point and I was lost. After a while I would give up trying to understand. I’d think to myself that I’d go home and work it out myself. But of course, this was too difficult for me. And I never had the courage to raise my hand or go to the teacher after class and ask her to explain it to me.

Are children of today also facing this difficulty?

As a society, our education system encourages rote learning. I remember mugging chapters of History for my 10th boards – the independence movement, the partition of the country, the constitution of India. But did I really think about all those events? Did I wonder why Gandhi’s strategy of non-violence worked so well in India? Did I empathise with Lord Mountbatten’s herculean task of smoothly transitioning power from Britain to India?

We need to teach the children of today how to think and behave. We need to spend time with them, play with them, listen to them and make them understand how to treat one another with respect. Parents need to imbibe the qualities of honesty, respect and patience in children at a young age. Boys need to be taught to treat girls with respect, they need to be told to protect themselves as well as the girls, they need to be taught the value of money, the sense of equality, the importance of education etc. At the same time, girls need to be taught to protect themselves, react to anything that they dont feel comfotable about, value of money,patience and most importantly education.

I think its time we took a stand to make our next generation a little more armed in terms of personal security and lets tell them to react and say no when you have to and to treat each other as equals and with respect. Lets teach them qualities that would nurture them as good human beings. Lets listen to them and spend time with them for a change.I think that would make the whole difference.

Posted in m@dness

What can I call you

I think I am in love with my name. I like it so much that I’d strangle anyone who named their child my name! I think every human is entitled to having a unique name.So well, I was talking to M and we were on our babbling spree when she announced that she would name her girl Manna which apparently means (in the Bible) The substance miraculously supplied as food to the Israelites in the wilderness (Exod. 16). Not surprising eh. I mean nobody who knows us would be surprised if we told them that our kid’s names were related to food! My brother used to joke(still does) that my kids would be named aakrant(greed. Read greed for food) and aarthi(again femme version of aakrant). Oh and M and I arent even married. M will be in a few months and my knight is still stuck in anothe planet I guess.

So I have seen quite a few couples run around to name their kiddo and end up naming them and detesting it later. I mean, if they could come and ask me for names and actually chose those names too, imagine their helplesness, insanity and confused state of being! Hihihii. So I decided I’ll spare myself the horror then and start collecting names and pile it up here and choose from it when(if) the time comes. I mean its a name we are talking about and so it really has to be decided with utmost importance. I know a couple who named their child, only to find out later that it was a very disgusting word in arabic!Oh and they lived in Dubai.. SO i think it really very crucial yeah.

So here are a few favourites from here and there. I will keep adding to it as and when I come across unique names.

Daksha
Dhruv
Milan
Steve
Stephan
Manasa
Manav
Ami
Sanjeev
Maitreyi
Mythili
 Miriam
Sameer
Samar
Sameera
Sairah
Sakshi
Dia
Esha
Gautami
Mridul
Mrinal
Lavanya
Trisha
Ayush
Chinmay
Darshan
Niranjan
Sidharth
Devan
Devika
Narendran
Abhimanyu
Tripti
Maia
 

P.S- I am proud to have named quite a few children whose parents were kind enough(some even forced) to let me name them. Lilian, Hannah, Joel, Saurav, Nivin, etc….But, I enjoyed naming all of you and to me you will always be special:)

P.P.S- I kinda secretly consider myself the Godess of all things names:)

P.P.S- You can defenitely reach out to me if you want to name your kid eh. Ill be more than happy to help. 🙂

Oh and yes no matter where you come from, I’d be happy if you share your favourite names too…

Posted in m@dness

Let there be rain

“…These are the seasons of emotion and like the winds they rise and fall 
This is the wonder of devotion – I see the torch we all must hold. 
This is the mystery of the quotient – Upon us all a little rain must fall.”

-The Rain Song,  by Led Zeppelin.

I am back and am happier than last year. Why, you ask. I am happier because I know I’ll have a super year because when the clock struck 12 on 1st morning, it rained! And it rained just the way I liked it. To me it was like washing away all my past, all the hurt, the torture and everything I was sad for last year. To me, the rain told me that this year will be a year I’ll remember in a very happy way. Hmm Lets see……..

I have always loved rain! I have written about it a lot of times! Why do I love it? I don’t know. I just always have.

Rain is an enigma, a symphony, a powerful force, a lifegiver. I love how rain can almost always prove you wrong. You may be angry or frustrated and you angrily walk out into the rain, hoping for some sort of understanding,denial or absolution. As if  the gray clouds and the tiny puddles will give you answers. But before that earth-shattering moment occurs, you are drenched. Completely. Not just by the droplets, but by the smell of rain, and what it does to the environment around you. The rain commands your attention. It’s just you and the rain now. No, you don’t want to attain nirvana, like you first thought in your fit of chagrin. All you want is to roll around in the mud. You want to stomp around in puddles like noone’s watching. You want to love, laugh and live!

For the sulk in you, you can crib about the traffic jams and the floods all you want. Sometimes I do, too.  But you just cannot deny the beauty of this weather. Raindrops falling elegantly on the black asphalt of your potholed road. The exquisite smell of wet mud. The long walk with no umbrella over your head. The element of surprise as it suddenly stops. The glimpse of a rainbow.

Aah so as much as I love to believe that this year definitely has something good in store for me, I must wait for time to tell me if my intuitions are right or not. So Y’all have a super duper year and I hope that you had a great start just like I did.

 

You think I idealize the rains, eh? Call it a genetic defect, that I love. 🙂

“Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.”

Posted in Uncategorized

And then came christmas

Am in a different kinda mood today. Dont ask me what? I’ll bite your neck off! I am happy that I am off for ten days, I am sad because today might be one of the last times I can be with a very dear friend, I am excited because its the end of the year and so on! So I’ll just leave you with something to think about..something thats on my mind….

“How do you love someone you hardly know? Or do you love someone because you hardly know?”

Make a wish, smile a lot, give charity, pray for all and have lots of fun. Wish you a very merry christmas!

Stay safe and Ill see you in ten days!

P.S- The world hasn’t ended, yet.

Posted in Uncategorized

Tell me your dreams

My father says dreams happen to people who have unfullfilled things to do in life. He says it takes a lot of effort to dream. Its like you are so active that you dont even rest while you sleep! Dreams, the stories that our mind weaves when we are asleep. And also the visions for future which keep us awake for nights. Dreams are also the hopes that keep us alive when the real world disappoints us. If you ask me, dreams are magnificent journeys that never cost us anything, but are invaluable in the way they make us thrive, inspire us and push us to seek more. In our dreams (especially the ones we see with open eyes) we are strong, we are powerful, we are beautiful, creative and we are forever young. In short, we are everything we aspire to be.
I for one, am an addicted, incorrigible dreamer. I dream with my eyes open and closed. I dream about so many things and people – and so often that at times I find it difficult to believe that they don’t exist. I mean, I get such vivid memories of these dreams that I wonder if in my old age I would actually start considering them real. I dream myself alive. I dream of fascinating places …or experiences I would never have. I dream myself as an eagle sitting on a branch of tree overlooking a valley. I dream myself falling from the peaks enjoying the fall. I also sometimes dream weird. I see deaths and destructions. I see myself trapped in a place. These moments are so real for my mind that I am sure the real experience would not be much different from that.

I am sure there have always been people like me who believe so seriously in dreaming. There are mornings when I wake up giggling with the memory of some weird dream and there are those sudden frightful moments when I force myself to open my eyes to escape some scary dream. There is a good reason why in all ancient cultures and civilisations we have sayings about dreams. We even had people who could interpret dreams.

Many celebrated poets and writers, mathematicians and scientists claim to find their inspirations and discoveries in their dreams. I read about mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujam, who claimed that a goddess , would appear and present mathematical formulae in his dreams which he would verify after waking. The tune for “Yesterday” came to Paul McCartney in a dream… and so did the idea of Frankenstein to Mary Shelly. Many others kings, statesmen and writers found their dreams guiding them in real life. I totally buy these stories as I have firsthand experience of such guiding dreams.
It is generally believed that the mind plays tricks with our dominant thoughts and concerns to put across a blend of scenes, sounds and emotions as the dreams. But then how does one explain the totally unrelated dreams about things you do not know exist and places you have never been to. I guess, it is this dilemma that led to the explanation that dreams are when angels try to converse with humans.

Posted in close to heart

Tuesday Tunings

Tuesdays have been special. But, tuesdays have also been funny, always. On most Tuesdays I do not realise it is Tuesday unless  someone (Read: generally the other M) reminds me its a Tuesday n smiles. So I generally look forward to the day every week because something generally happens on every Tuesday. I have been telling you about asking Mr. God for signs and somehow every week I seem to get one on the second day of the week. Funny right?! I pray everyday to the lord I believe in but on Tuesday its a prayer specifically to St Antony. He has heard me, that much I know. There are good Tuesdays and bad. Good signs and no signs I mean.This week seemed nice though and I did fly a little high up but then I remembered something and I went back to (sigh) living….

“Girls are taught a lot of stuff growing up. If a guy punches you he likes you. Never try to trim your own bangs and someday you will meet a wonderful guy and get your very own happy ending. Every movie we see, Every story we’re told implores us to wait for it, the third act twist, the unexpected declaration of love, the exception to the rule. But sometimes we’re so focused on finding our happy ending we don’t learn how to read the signs. How to tell from the ones who want us and the ones who don’t, the ones who will stay and the ones who will leave. And maybe a happy ending doesn’t include a guy, maybe… it’s you, on your own, picking up the pieces and starting over, freeing yourself up for something better in the future. Maybe the happy ending is… just… moving on. Or maybe the happy ending is this, knowing after all the unreturned phone calls, broken-hearts, through the blunders and misread signals, through all the pain and embarrassment you never gave up hope.”

Sooooo till next tuesday…its hope and pray 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized

The People I Like

I bet you thought that I was going to list out the people I like n all that! Boo you! Well I’ll just start by quoting Scott Fitzgerald:

“I simply state that I’m a product of a versatile mind in a restless generation — with every reason to throw my mind and pen in with the radicals. Even if, deep in my heart, I thought we were all blind atoms in a world as limited as a stroke of a pendulum, I and my sort would struggle against tradition; try, at least, to displace old cants with new ones. I’ve thought I was right about life at various times, but faith is difficult.”

Before I start,, I was just wondering how ” like” has become such a major part of our lives! Don’t you think so?!? I wonder if a few days/ months/ years later, people’s life altering decisions or just life might actually start depending on the “like” button on facebook!!!


So back to my liking of people. I like the people I meet in general.  Most in my friend circle are fun-loving with a thin streak of sarcasm and spontaneity, a passion for breaking stereotypes n rules and a flair for drama. That’s basically what you will figure out within ten minutes of speaking to me too. 😉 And then I think.There are only SO many people you can genuinely ‘like’.There are people you only claim to like to keep up appearances, and people you like only for the first twenty minutes of conversation. I like a lot of people, genuinely or even otherwise. It’s been a long time I met a person I can not just like, but respect. For their scope of thought or abundant talent. I think the last person I liked out of respect was hmmmm, well…hmmm Aamir Khan. No, not for the tears he shed on every episode of Satyameva Jayate. But, for the fact that he atleast opened a few eyes and bought out a number of social issues we face these days.

Does this make me a sound like a pretentious snob? Sure it does!But I’m just being honest. I feel like meeting Bhagat Singh. Or Oprah Winfrey. Or someone who can just blow me away.Anything to get respite from the drudgery and routine of this monotonous n mundane life. I think we like people when we find them similar to our nature but they earn our respect when they do things out of the way n out of the ordinary.

What do you think?! Who do you respect!?

Posted in m@dness

Of Civil Unions

How do you react when a friend tells you that he would like to get married to another he. I laughed my heart out. Not in a way that I was making fun of same sex couples but because both the “he’s” in question were known to me. I did have a hearty laugh after a long time thinking of psycho on his knees proposing to AD while AD blushed. It really was hilarious. I could picture psycho in one of his shorts and tees and AD in a dress! I could picture AD saying “Yes” and also a cake with two men in tuxedos on the top instead of the regular bride n groom miniatures!

Well he was obviously joking when he said that both of them were made for each other and that they truly understood each other. N I was thinking, well if understanding and giving each other space and feeling special about each other and respecting each other and loving each other is what marriage is about, then why do people have such a problem with same sex unions! Aren’t they allowed to be happy? Duh!

Yes marriage is about a whole lot of other things too but isn’t happiness and comfort of primary importance. I do know someone who swings the other way and not once has that affected my dealings with him. I have seen him with his partner too and have found them to be a really cute and mature couple. They know exactly what they want in life and from life. They are like all regular couples too, they have their moments, their arguments, their bond and their love. Then why do people have such a strong notion against them.

Love and be loved. Marry the man or woman that you love, and give your life to them. Nothing else is of the slightest importance. Love’s young dream isn’t alien, in the words of the pop song. It’s the whole point of being human. I wish we talked about it a little more often  and just let them live their life too.

P.S- Just coz I stand up for same sex rights does not make me any less straight!

Posted in m@dness

The Unprotected Lot

I watched a program on a popular regional channel recently. The subject was very interesting and I wanted to see what the modern Malayalee thought of the same. The subject in question was that women felt unsafe in buses in Kerala.

The panel consisted of a few educated, articulate young ladies one of whom was a very well spoken actress. On the opposite side were not people who held a contrary view, but men, mostly middle aged (and a few young guys too) who I observed were present only to oppose the view. Instead of this show being a discussion that concerns the entire society, it turned out to be a man vs women kind of a fight with the men opposing the view only for the sake of opposing. They had no concrete facts to support their argument and instead tried to dismiss the whole issue by trivializing it. It was almost as if, they opposed the ladies having a view point and more importantly a platform for airing it.

The point to note however was that not a single man sitting in the chairs behind the panel of men spoke up for their sisters, mothers, daughter, wives etc.

The debate started with the women articulating very eloquently and with a lot of clarity the experiences they had in Kerala buses. But if you think the men let them have their say, think again. The men merely shouted down the women, wouldn’t let them talk and when they expressed their opinion, it was so stupid that you wondered if they knew anything about the subject let alone any other subject worth discussing.

The men, they had no clue to what\ the ladies were talking about but considered it their right to shout down anyone who says anything they do not endorse. It was almost as if they were afraid and angered by people having a voice.

What was surprising about this show was that there wasn’t a single man in the audience or panel who talked with some understanding of the subject or who knew how to participate or behave in a debate. Most of the men were only interested in opposing anything the women had to say and if possible making noises so that the ladies did not get to speak.

The moderator of the program can easily put Arnab Goswami to shame. Just when a lady was making a point in a clear and concise manner he would interrupt or pose another question to the men. Then the whole program would descend into pandemonium. It was the most frustrating thing to watch.

After a time I stopped watching because I just could not believe that grown up men could behave like this. One man went on to say that Kerala is the safest place in India for women. Another said that Kerala men were very decent and the fact that he wasn’t keeping his daughter as his wife was proof that he was a decent guy (believe it or not).Duh!

Then they went on to allege that women enjoyed the attention of men and that they invited it either by showing interest or by dressing provocatively.Here is where I beg to differ. Ok, if a women dresses provocatively or shows of a bit flesh, then the men are at no fault for looking at her or molesting her! And i am thinking, everyday a lady witnesses n number of men, standing on the road and peeing to their heart or organ’s  content! Isn’t that provocative? Isn’t the women folk supposed to feel just as tempted as the guys!

What struck me most about this program was that the ladies participants in the program were way ahead of the men in etiquette, decorum, articulation abilities and knowledge. They took part in the discussion with dignity, stating their experiences in a matter of fact manner while the men just misbehaved as they had no point to counter the ladies and most importantly did not want the ladies to have a say.

And that is when it struck me that this was a very good spectacle of what women in Kerala go through, not only in buses but in life in general. The debate was an eye opener to the kind of people the ladies have to put up with daily.

All I got to say in conclusion is that the Kerala society seems skewed. On one hand we have the women, who are educated, progressive and intelligent, on the other hand they are dominated by men who are completely opposite to them in every aspect. A very sad situation indeed! No wonder the state is just next to Tamil Nadu in divorces. How can women in such a society find partners who are their equals in every aspect!