The thing with a loner and someone who loves solitude is that we are very happy in solitude’s company. We don’t question it.
No, don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. In fact just the opposite. I am acknowledging the fact that we love being by ourselves. Away from the hustle bustle of trying to keep up.
We have friends, some 4 or 5. But we forget to keep in touch with them too. And we all know how good this world is in turning one agaisnt the other. So the fight is fought by the hearts, “why should i text first, always!”
The problem occurs then when after recharging with less to no social interactions for months, we finally feel ready for some. Instead, we are hit by “NO NEW NOTIFICATIONS!” message on our phone and laptop screens over and over and over again.
Whatsapp talks only of work, work and work. Instagram makes you want to get detached from the outside world rather than feel closer to it. Facebook feels like a distant memory land you once loved visiting.
You scroll through the contacts book only to find you’ve no one to call, really. Someone who would pick up instantly and you wouldn’t feel guilty for not keeping in touch. It will feel like just where we’d left off.
So, you decide to go back to the loner hole. Except this time you see solitude has invited her distant cousins insomnia, irritation, mood swings and depression to the party.
Except that you don’t really like this party anymore. It doesn’t give you the sense of comfort it used to. You feel yourself slipping away into a mess of unwanted nothingness. You extend your hands to grasp something, anything to hold on to. Instead you drift away and hear the laughter and giggles in the distance, slowly fading away.
Since I started writing, I’ve always looked forward to the future you, sorry, me! Ah, well, the same thing. I wrote to the future me because I thought that’d help her deal with stuff life might throw. But, unfortunately, I’m those kind who doesn’t go back and read what they’ve written to themselves, so that excuse just doesn’t make sense. Weird, right? Well, we are!
Anywho, how have you been back there? Wanna come up here? No? Alright. Let me catch you up.
I am 23-years-old, apparently, an adult! I have a job, yeah I know crazy! Can you believe it? Also I am fat now, well yeah fat. I don’t dance anymore, not that often to put it in a better way. I started playing an ukulele now btw, yayy! I know you always wanted to. I have exactly 5 friends. They are crazy, hell raising bitches, but they are my love. I read, a lot now, more than you could ever think of. I journal everyday. Learning Spanish. Living with constant, terribly gripping anxiety, extreme mood swings, emotions on the brink of the eyes. I try to talk but mostly avoid it as much. Huff. Thought I’d last short. But yeah that’s about it.
And now, I know you are surprised to receive this letter, so without further ado, the reason I’m writing to you at amidst a busy work week is to say that I miss you! Oh. So much you can’t even imagine.
I miss the weird faces, using moms makeup in hot summer afternoons when she’s asleep, tying scarfs around the head to feel like having long hair, walking from one room to the other with a few books and copies playing teachers, enjoying guilt free chinese take out (remember how dad used to get so angry cause you only ordered Noodles and Chili Chicken? Haha)
I miss those carefree naps after school and the swing dates with mom in the park, just watching the sun go down. I miss putting on the orange and black kurta-pyjama‘s and go to dance classes every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays. Remember how you carried a small pouch that held my ghunghroos and how when it made sound and everyone stared you felt pride ride up your chest, “I’m a dancer!” I was so happy to be existent.
Remember how mom used to braid my long thick curly hair in one and give warm milk with chocos and I sat to study. And I’d look forward to reading new stories and hate to sit and learn spellings. I miss doing that. You might find it funny as to why would I want to sit and learn spellings but trust me it’s better to do that than sit idle and being anxious or panic about absolutely nothing.
But just saying, a few things you could have done better you know? For starters, start loving your hair. ‘Cause believe or not, people are gonna be crazy about those curls. We should have never thought about blending in cause we were born to stand out!
Might I also suggest, you could have eaten less of that Maggi junk, it’s biting my ass now. But I’d agree that’s a guilty pleasure I can probably never give up.
I wish you could have spend more time with the ones you love, mom, dad, brothers, sisters. You never know when you run out of time or you get too busy to even call the other on birthdays let alone checking up on them. Sigh! Btw, that’s not adulting, its bullshit.
Also I wish you could have written more journals, you know, they would have been food for my thoughts and I could have known what you were thinking!
Okay enough of lecturing, though none of it makes any sense.
But once again you curly headed, big eyed, dancing Barbie, I love you, no matter what. I will always love you. You’ve done all that you could and I’m proud for who I’ve become and that’s all ’cause of you, so thank you too! Your battle scars are flauntsome!
Also, you think it’s gonna be possible for you to visit more often and not just at times when I am lost? Please, pretty please?
Miss me, okay? Write back soon. See you ladybug. 💜
I received this book, The Archer by Paulo Coelho as a gift. I was extremely excited to read it, and started with it even though had planned on finishing a book that was long overdue. Before starting this book, I had read only one other book by Coelho, the classic, “Alchemist.” So, you can guess my excitement!
Just putting it out there, I am not a reviewer, and I am not gonna comment on the writing or nuances of the book or the author, be it any! I am just putting this out there so that whoever thinks of starting this book can do it. Because this book can change the way you are looking at your life currently.
This is not like a regular book, with big and long paragraphs, pages after pages descriptions, it’s short, crisp, to the point and you’ll feel you’re sailing through a smooth sea. It evokes a similar sense of passion and zest you find while reading the classic Alchemist or even more.
Though, the the whole concept of archery, which is the main plot of the story with the protagonist a brilliant one, may not be your forte and you might think why would I read anything about archery, but you’ll soon realize it’s not just about archery but about life.
The relation is between the archer and his bow, arrow and target. And that’s not just it, it carries along the after lessons of perseverance and how to handle when the arrow reaches the target.
It has a prologue and epilogue and in between the most important lessons, I believe, not only an archer, but everyone should follow in their lives, to make it truly worthwhile.
The simple, light weighted dialogue story makes it very easy to read, but there’s a lot to grasp in amid the bits and pieces. It explores the ways of life, ambition, passion, duty and ultimate aim of our existence. Coelho’s languages creates poetry than just a inspirational booklet.
Along with the simple writing style, it also has artistry of simple and beautiful sketches which will also keep you hooked to it.
It is a book that reminds you to take life as it comes, simply, and live with the grace of happiness.
It’s a beautiful short read and you’ll want to come back for more.
Highly recommended and especially if you are a philosophy and Coelho lover, you won’t be disappointed, I promise!
I know 2020 has not been as easy as you thought it would have been. But, what the heck? You survived and how!
A year back, you didn’t even think you’d bag a job, but now, you are earning and how. I know you’ve had to deal with anxiety attacks alone at night, left crying at times, felt like nobody understands you, but just remember one thing, you are ENOUGH!
The only thing you ever needed was YOU! And you’ll always rise from everything.
“Go on and try to tear me down I will be rising from the ground Like a skyscraper” – Remember this forever.
It’ll be possibly more challenging, a tougher 2021. You’ll get tired, you’ll falter, the destination is still afar, it is okay to take a break in the journey. The promises you are making to yourself will be fulfilled, maybe with a bit more effort than you’d think. You will get hurt, have scars, but remember the battle is never lost, yet if you still fear, remember, you’re not alone in this crowd. 🙂
Take it slow, falter. Remember in childhood how you learnt to walk by falling a few times, or when you scrapped those knees and elbows off while trying to ride the cycle or the scooty. You are way stronger than you think, so put on that million dollar smile and keep it going. You’ll find yourself in all those moments you think that you would want to give up. Accept the flaws, take the compliments and live!
Read as much, take breaks from social media, exercise, eat healthy, eat as much, make yourself happy with whatever it takes, doesn’t matter if it is just a walk for a smoke after a long week of work. Sing, dance, doodle, learn the new language, do all that your heart yearns to do.
A few harmless lies is always good for a healthy mental state. Always keep yourself the main priority. Throw out the junk that hampers your mental peace. Breathe. Keep the journal. Write how you feel. Write what bothers you, don’t lend an ear if others don’t agree to your POV, it’s your POV, and not theirs’s to agree or disagree.
Make the most of this year. Let ’21 be full of effort to be effortless!
And, always remember, you’re not alone!
Still thinking 12-year-old but 22-year-old you! (xoxo)
Just a few days ago a controversy blew up the whole social media into a wildfire creating a ruckus over a few boys commenting and going to the extent of wanting to gang rape a minor girl.
With this, a few other screenshots that emerged were that of a snapchat conversation where a boy was allegedly seen wanting to rape a girl.
A probe into this made it clear, that the ‘Bois Locker room’ and the snapchat conversation has no link whatsoever. And the most shocking part of it is, a girl under the name and snapchat ID of a guy was in her words, “testing” him. She posed as a guy named ‘Sidharth’ and proposed to the guy with an offer of raping a girl.
I, myself, had put up a blog and a tweet questioning the simple fabric of humanity in men. But, honestly, the fabric of humanity is missing from every human and not just boys.
It makes me sick. It makes me not want to deliver another human amongst this inhuman breed of animals.
What are we teaching our younger generations? Where are we lacking?
We have forgotten to teach our kids, irrespective of gender and age, to respect another human being. To be kind and honest and humane towards others.
This literally creates a veil in my mind when I think of my sister, who is just 12 years old. I feel scared and i feel sorry for her. What kind of a world she is growing up in.
Is there anyone who you can trust with your eyes closed?
Where is humanity going?
I am saddened, when girls say they are afraid to step out of the house at dark because they fear there’ll be men waiting to hunt them down. But I am also heart broken, when girls in the name of ‘feminism’ and what not, bully innocent boys.
Gender equality has everything to do with gender neutrality. If we don’t look at both the genders in the same eyes, we will definitely oversee flaws in one.
We, as a society, need to look up from the mess we have created. And its high time we clear it out.
Yesterday night while scrolling through one of the most popular Social Media site Instagram, I came across something that scared me to hell. I am not a very out going person to begin with, it takes me time to voice my opinions. But this is the longest time that I have ever taken.
What I saw yesterday, at first created a stir in me. I felt a rage building up inside me but I was out of words to express it. Imagine, the best I am at, I lost those!
I came across a bunch of screenshots of conversations between a group of boys aged between 14-16/17, (who are, btw, minors still, in the eyes of law) talking about ‘Raping a Girl’ in a social media group named ‘Bois Locker Room.’ That’s not all, they shared filthy photographs of underage girls and used vulgar languages, objectified them, degarded them, edited their images and humiliated them. This regards to as child porn, which btw, is not only morally incorrect, but illegal under IPC Section 292, 293.
By the time, I could traverse through the whole story, the concerned post was deleted by the girl who shared and exposed these bastards due to some Instagram guidelines or so.
So, I found myself on Twitter. As most of you might know, anything that happens in the country/world it is already all over Twitter. I looked around, found some more screenshots of similar kind and went back at the girl’s account who exposed them. In an utter shock I found that these boys rather than apologising for what they have done, threatened the girl of raping her and even went to the extent of hacking the girls account and changing her password.
Kudos to all the girls who had the courage to stand up against these bastards and exposing them. They are tackling them legally now that Delhi Police and even the Delhi Commission for Women are involved. The DCW has taken a suo-moto cognisance against the case and sent out notice to Instagram and Deputy Comissioner of Police, Delhi.
While, they are dealing with these nuisance, I would like to take this time to express the utmost concern as a citizen and moreover as a women.
It took me a day to digest the whole fact and bring myself to write this.
A few things that I saw happening in the comment sections of the posts were the following. Firstly, victim-blaming. I mean, common, if not anything, we are pretty good at this, aren’t we?
Secondly, a set of people have been going on saying, “The rape didn’t take place, did it?” Wow, I didn’t know, we were sitting around for the rape to happen, and then start with the victim blaming again, “Where were the girls, what were they wearing!” or maybe just a candle light march, which btw, leads to nothing!
While these are not the only ones, a few other disgusting groups are defending the boys saying they are kids! Really? Kids? If that’s the case then, perhaps you need to take care of your kids too. ‘Cause maybe someday in the future your kids will do the same thing, but as parents you would have failed to teach them that if they do something wrong and as degradeful as this they would have to deal with the consequences.
And for those who are defending by saying, “Everyone has groups of these sorts.” I am sorry for bursting the bubble, but no, we don’t. We don’t have personal groups where we degrade men or women for that matter. And if you do, then you’re the part of the problem. Even if you don’t participate in the conversation or say anything distasteful, just your presence is wrong too. You should immediately remove yourself from the group and it utmost importance remove yourself from that kind of an environment.
Speaking about the problem, this is inherently in the patriarchial society we live in. Boys grow up believing that they have a right over women’s bodies like they are their properties to infest on. And if one does not comply, threaten her about ruining her life, either by raping or doing some other extremely dereogatory thing.
Toxic Masculinity, as we speak, is not chugging down beer after beer or playing a sport or having muscles and a beard, its much more and graver than we can think of.
Toxic Masculinity is ‘Lad Cuture‘, ‘Locker Room Talks‘ and treating women as sex objects, using “Boys will be Boys” to excuse themselve from anything wrong that they have done and much much more. This needs to stop.
All these has happened over Social Media, while it is definitely, no doubt, a very effective medium of getting through a larger audience but I believe there should be proper induction about using social media for kids of all gender and age. These boys had the audacity to call out disgusting names and things to the girls who did the right thing by exposing them and even going to the extent of hacking their accounts. What does it say about our way of imparting correct knowledge?
Also, talking of media’s role in this? Where is the Indian media? Where are the journalists who call themselves ‘Nationalists’ and shout sitting at the Air Conditioned studios? Where are the stories? Why is that only a handful of people, who are tech savvy and social media savvy know of the incident. This is an incident in the Capital City but hardly any media houses has taken it up, hardly anyone knows.
There is a lot to say, a lot to do, but I would end this with a simple question, when are we going to teach the real meaning of Masculinity to our boys? When would ‘Bro Code’ simply mean educating the ‘bros’ to respect women? It’s about time, isn’t it?
P. S. The pictures attached are the screenshots of the conversation I found of Instagram, I do not hold any rights regarding any pictures here.
My sister had once asked me, being an introvert why did I choose a career that involves a lot of talking and mingling with people?
Though, I could not give her a satisfactory answer, because all I could gather up and say, “It’s hell daunting and that I spoke to no one the first two weeks of my office.”
It’s true. The first few days in a new environment, an environment I have always wanted to be in was daunting and demanded a lot of courage from my end. I could hardly gather my introverted ass to ‘hi’ back to anyone who would smile looking at me.
I, mostly, remained at my desk working on the given stories assigned to me. I even had my lunch there, watching YouTube. Imagine, how sad I must have been.
But, truth be spoken, I wasn’t sad or depressed or anxious.
I was being me, my normal introverted self.
Until, one day, my team leader poked me out of mind saying my writing did not make sense and whatever I was writing was not up to the mark. Well, here, you need to know one thing about me, I, may seem like a chill girl, but if you question my ability I make sure to remove even a single doubt left in.
I came back from the office that evening, didn’t change, saw a development in a story and immediately wrote on it and without a second thought sent that to my leader. It was 11:30 pm.
And soon after, I got a reply from her, that the piece I wrote is absolutely perfect and will be published the next morning.
It was exactly 12:15, I was sitting in the balcony, January breeze was flowing and my roommate and I were smoking up, when she asked, “Why did you choose Journalism?”
The same question, my sister had asked.
I turned to her, put my hair in a bun, and said, “When I was asked in the interview what is my weakness, I had told the interviewer, I was an Introvert. It is hard for me to mingle with people easily. To which, she had asked, then how do you plan on executing your projects, which will require a lot of work you’re uncomfortable with? Why choose this profession? I had answered as firmly as I could, yes it will be hard, uncomfortable, and daunting, but I can do it, I want to do it. It has been a dream. Throw me out of my comfort zone, I will look out for the stars to come out victorious.”
My roommate smiled at me and said, “You just did.”
I reflected for a moment and realized what I was doing wrong. Being silent or taking my time to settle in had got everybody thinking of me as a naive kid, who probably didn’t end up in the right place. But, I was exactly where I wanted to be.
It took me a while to comprehend, there is always a cost you have to pay in order to get closer to your dreams.
It’s been roughly 40-41 days that Indian Government declared a nationwide lockdown. With the growing concerns of Coronavirus cases in every other state, almost every individual is in self quarantine for more than a month. Stuck at home, working from home, schooling online.
The world, as a society isn’t really very accustomed to this home-boundedness. We have had our freedom and liberty to move around, go to offices, schools, parks, resturants and spending a good amount of time outside our houses.
This sudden imposition by the governments around the world, in the beginning acted pretty well. People were happy to have the time to spend with their families, spouses, kids.
I was too.
Fortunately for me, with the intention of giving a surprise visit, I came to Kolkata a week before the lockdown was announced. It was supposed to be a three day visit, but due to the growing cases and a few other concerns, I had to stay back. I had planned to fly out the next week but by that time, my office declared work from home for all, so my parents advised to not back, until the mess gets over.
So I did.
I was quite happy actually. I got to spend time with my parents, got to be in my pyjamas and work from home, eat my mom’s tasty meals and got plenty of time to catch up on my sleep and laziness.
Spent my days working, and nights watching movies and speaking relentlessly to my boyfriend, who btw, is in the US (he is student there).
Well, it was all good in the hood, but gradually this was becoming tiring with the same boring routine. But I maintained by sanity somehow, until day before yesterday, when I heard one of my favourite actors was hospitalised due to his ailing health. The news just couldn’t ‘sink in’ in me.
The next morning brought in the news of his death, that created a lump in my throat. I know, he was an actor, someone I never met, yet his death affected me in a way as if he was so close to me.
It was almost unreal to me.
He was just an artist, and you could tell no more about the person than what he showed or portrayed in the films. He was the kind of artist who played the boy next door, with those humbling eyes and ever so charming smile.
And strangely there was a pit in my chest, a void, which I tried shuting out by doing what makes me feel my heart beating again, dance!
But, with two more death news, I felt this black cloud hovering over my head. I did not feel like waking up from my bed, constantly felt tired and sleepy.
I just realized, this locdown is definitely doing great for Mother Nature and we can defeat the virus by staying at home, but it is also mentally very taxing. It is taking a toll on me now. I don’t feel too excited about stuff anymore. It has become like a routine, get up, take a bath, eat, watch films, lunch, workout/dance, and back to watching films.
I have no words that will help anyone or even myself, for that matter, how to overcome this. I myself am in the pit right now and it does not seem pretty at all. But hoping we recover soon from all of these and resume our normal lives.
Now, if you read through all of it, then thank you so much for sticking through with this ranting.
I am undoubtedly very proud of who I am, what I have become and what I will be.
But, when my awkwardness embarrasses you and I am counting till 3, I won’t embarrass myself anymore. So I’ll increase the number, in order to escape telling you…
I am an Introvert!
Have you all ever looked at an ‘Introvert’ carefully?
Though you did not think twice to generalise us with a few facts.
Yes, we despise small talks and we hate phone calls. We don’t party all night long or talk to random strangers in coffee shops.
Yes, social situations scare the shit out of us and anxiety’s an old friend we like to bring along everywhere.
Yes, texting is our forte but we are a bundle of mess when it comes to calls or meetups.
But, we also hate less, love more. Talk less, listen more. Take less, give more.
No, I don’t mean extroverts don’t do all these. I mean, we invest ourselves to all the little things we care about. They may be very small in quantity but they are more precious than our whole lives.
We are all those above things, but we are mostly, late night wine-sipping, joint-smoking, alone types. Yes, we also know how to have fun ‘our way‘.
We are mid afternoon rants on meaning of life and existence. Long arguements on which is better chocolate cake or cheescake, while we end up ordering both.
Solitude is not being lonely for us.
We find ourselves in our own ways, sipping chai over our favourite Bollywood songs. We are the stardust on full moon nights. We are gorgeous sunsets, far away yet so close.
We have accepted whatever you called us- shy and awkward and docile, ranting out Socializing 101’s for us but, we don’t shy away from loving ourselves, even if that means to be the first one tapping love on my own Instagram pictures!
When most of my friends around me were hit by the puberty truck and were busy getting all slim and pretty, I found myself in XL clothes and full of negativity about my body.
Growing up, I was a pretty thin kid, you know. I was into yoga and classical dance, I hardly needed anything else to keep me fit even when I ate 8 pieces of luchi.
I had a very well balanced figure until 9th standard hit. Suddenly, I started gaining weight and quite fast. Somehow my metabolism slowed way down but I kept eating to my heart’s content. I was not really bothered by the way I looked, not until now.
By the time I passed 12th standard, I was full of hate comments from everyone about my protruding belly and the double chin.
Funnily enough, I did not stop dancing, still this sudden weight gain, now started making me conscious.
I started wearing loose fitting clothes, nothing body hugging, less dresses and more tee shirts hiding and hating every part of my body that I should have loved.
But, better late than never, I went to a doctor for a consultation, and I was diagnosed with PCOS, Poly-cystic Ovary Syndrome. I was not familiar with the term so I looked it up, did some research. The doctor himself recommended me with a dietary change and a regular dose of exercise.
I followed the diet religiously. Took an hour walks every evening. Danced as much as I could with full energy. But things like loosing weight, especially when you have PCOS takes time.
In the meantime, I happen to cross paths with a few people, who changed my perspective completely.
I had both positive and negative people.
On one hand, when I was struggling with the irregularity of my periods and weight gain, certain people took a dig on me about my weight every chance they got.
At the time, I myself was not sure how to love my body, how to worship it. So every comment went straight to my head and heart and I found myself drowning in an ocean of hatred.
I hated my body, every inch, every curve of it, with all my heart.
Depression got a hold of me.
I found myself spending most of my time in my room, and less and less amidst the crowd.
Slowly and gradually two of my closest friends held my back and walked me through the phase. They showed me, I was making progress. And also, having a slim figure is not the goal, living a healthy life is.
I started falling in love with, every picture, every curve. Every kilo that I shed, reminded me, my love was winning against my immense hatred for my body.
I held myself up after that hefty fall. I found myself slowly learning to love thy curves.
I accepted, I was curvy and that I liked it, actually loved it. And I deserved no less love than any of my skinny friends.
Though I have gained the bunch of weight I once lost, but deep down somewhere I know I will loose it once again.
I still am bombarded with all sorts of hateful comments about my body, but now I know how to deal with the haters and the hatred.
And when , once n a while they do get to my head, I know I an count on those two three people I call friends to have my back.
I, now, wear my scars like a crown.
“You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart.” ~ Alessia Cara
So, to more messy hairs, double chins and crooked teeth.