Conversations With The Universe

Me to the universe: 2019 is going to be a great year. Its the year where I reclaim my awesomeness and finally achieve the life of my dreams.

The Universe: It is only the 9th day of this year but you are gonna fall down the stairs, fracture your spine and spend several days on bed. Enjoy!!!

***

Some Things End, Some Begin…

I am not sure whether this is a comeback post or just a culmination of all the posts I am trying to write in the past several months. I can’t believe that I started this blog with the dreams of becoming a writer someday but somehow it ended up being a graveyard of my sorrows and broken dreams.

I know I have written some pretty intense things here, my struggle with depression, my failures, my heartbreaks and if someone who knows me in real life right now ends up reading this, he’ll be in one hell of a shock. That is the thing with people, you never really know them in entirety but only bits and pieces of what they want you to know. But this blog is where I feel whole. The internet is usually a place to show off your best life but for me blogging turned out to be a journey to find myself and be true to my own beliefs. If this means I have to share my not-so-great life with others, I am okay with it.

***

I started working three months ago. It isn’t exactly a “job” but I get paid, get a chance to do something at a reputable place, and also see new people, talk , laugh, have tea or lunch with them, which is unlike what I’ve been doing since the past two years, that is sitting on my bed and contemplating my future.

The good part about this thing is I am working in my own town. For a long time now, I was really worried about my parents living alone. They are in their 60s-70s and although I am more of a liability than an asset but just being here with them calms my mind. I’ll admit, it is sometimes a pain to live with your parents when you are an adult and have tasted freedom before but I would rather spend time with my mom than on random “social” things.

***

To Alok,

It was the second week of September when I came to know about your untimely demise. It was much more difficult to accept that you took your own life. I have only known you through our blogs and the little interaction we had over comments but you were always a positive influence in my life. It is hard to believe that you aren’t around anymore. I’ll miss your motivating comments. I’ll miss seeing the world through your blog. You were such an enthusiastic and motivated individual. I wish the world wasn’t too hard on you.

I don’t know how many times I’ve opened WordPress to write you a proper goodbye, but it is just too difficult. I can’t imagine what your family is going through right now.

Goodbye my friend. I hope you find peace wherever you are.

***

I am okay. And I may not be in a state to write about this right now but I am okay. Sometimes, the things that you have worked for almost a third of your lifetime don’t work out but still feel worth it. I know nothing makes sense right now but someday it will. Love, like many other things is about how hard you work to make it work. And it doesn’t always have to end in a good way, or end at all. You could be in love without being in a relationship or feel unloved in spite of having someone to hold on to.

Everything comes to an end in this mortal world. It hurts, but this is what grief does. It makes you feel alive and even when something doesn’t work out the way you always imagined it to be, it doesn’t mean you have to live with regrets.

You’ll be okay one day.

***

It has been almost six years since I’ve been writing here, on and off. There are times when some people (and by some I mean you Nomadosauras) dig up my old posts and comment on them. I have a pretty bad memory and sometimes I don’t even get the context of what people are commenting on. So, I go back and read my posts and it feels amazingly weird. I feel like I am reading someone else’s words. Sometimes it doesn’t even sound like my life. Sometimes it does but written from someone else’s perspective. Just so weird. I don’t know if I am able to put words to my feelings but it is just surreal.

And boy, have I grown in all these years!!! I was such a stupid girl. Well, I am still pretty weird and stupid but I am happy, in spite of the zillions of problems in my life.

Just the other day I was telling Vishnu that happiness to me is contentment. I don’t think I am content with life, not yet and probably not ever. And there are days, or even weeks when I cry my eyes out but generally, in a normal kinda way, I feel okay.

For several years, I have had this feeling that I wasn’t rich, intelligent, or pretty enough. Everything felt inadequate. I looked at friends, with jobs, with life partners, with money, property and a “life” while I had nothing. I have almost none of these things even now but I have stopped looking. Not to sound too “enlightened” I still have my “days-of-doubt” but my feelings are a little controlled. I feel blessed… with all “the little” I have.

***

2019 is going to be a great year. I don’t know how or why or what am I going to do then but I have this belief that it is gonna be AWESOME.

I want to believe this.

I have to believe this.

To quote John Green, I’ll be on a roller-coaster that only goes up my friend.

***

HAPPY NEW YEAR. IMG_20181224_162356

Hope Is A Good Thing

Someday we are going to have a good life.

The things we dreamed about will be right in front of our eyes, not in the form we want them to be but probably in a way we need them to be.

We are going to travel to places we haven’t seen, if not in first class then in economy but what matters is that we are going to be there together and isn’t that the point, to be with the ones we love.

We are going to fill our tummies with the yummiest food ever, probably not at a high end restaurant but at a road side dhaba and that’s better because a girl like me would probably embarrass you at a fancy place.

We are going to gift crazy, stupid, little things to each other, sometimes from a flea market or from festive online sales even if it means celebrating your birthday on valentines day and mine on our anniversary. It is perfectly okay as long as we find new days to celebrate our lives together.

We are going to fail and fight and stop talking a hundred times but we’ll be fine as long as we find our way back to each other.

And all these may sound like vague, hollow sentences from a cheap, cheesy novel to you but for us, I can be a total loser.

As long as we shall live, I want you to hope for a better day and a better life. Don’t give up just yet because these times will change and we’ll embark on a new journey, stronger, together.

As someone recently told me, hope is a good thing, may be the best of things and no good thing ever dies.

Have hope.

#Madness

Have you wondered why a butterfly has such a complex life cycle? I mean it could have been just a simple process of tiny butterflies flying out of hatched eggs, but noooooo that is just too simple for Mother Nature.

First the eggs have to be hatched so that a larva comes out.

The resulting caterpillar has to eat and eat and eat and keep on eating till is becomes huge.

Now this caterpillar has to built a cacoon around it and do other complex stuff inside so that it builds up its limbs and wings and entire body,

And finally,

Magically,

A butterfly comes out.

I am sure there is some evolutionary reason behind this tamasha but it could have been a lot easier. I mean there are around 40-45% insects which do not undergo complete metamorphosis to reproduce but look at these butterflies, they have to rub off their hard work on our faces, and all this work to reproduce. WHAT!

So, yesterday I was reading about this lady who went through dozens of failed IVF processes and several miscarriages in order to have a baby! Call me insensitive but I don’t understand this craze of organisms to produce a progeny! Now a butterfly is probably wired that way, but us humans, supposedly the most evolved animals on earth need to be a little thoughtful. I understand the human need to be parents but I don’t know how far one has to go to fulfil that. There are other ways to be parents in a world which is filled with children in need of love.

And don’t even get me started about the insane people in our country who take extreme measures to have a boy. One of my sister’s friends who already had a teenage daughter went through so many treatments in order to have a son and recently gave birth only after six and a half months of pregnancy. That baby doesn’t even weigh a single kilogram and if survives, is bound to live a difficult life. I do sympathise with them, but when I think about the inherent sexism in this entire situation, I don’t know, it hurts me a little.

Basically I started this post to talk about butterflies and post a few pictures I took today but somehow I ended up ranting about humans around me.

Hmmm…such is life!

Bangalore Rains, Bangalore Days…

I’ve had several special memories associated with rain and several of them have been in the city of Bangalore. The weather in the city was unpredictable. I remember my first day of school in Bangalore when it rained like cats and dogs and I was drenched from head to toe. I had not bought the school uniform yet, and was dressed in a light colored salwar kameez which soon turned translucent so I had to cover myself up with my dupatta. It was embarrassing, especially since it was my first day at a new school, in a completely alien city.

And then there was this time when I met an old friend after about four years. We walked around the city all day long and when it was time for me to head back to hostel, it started raining and we hugged under a bus stop near MG Road.

But the most memorable day for me was when me and my best friend went to a lake near our college. We always used to go there when either of us was sad. Sanky tank was around 3-4 km far from our college and one of those places where we would roam around, check out couples, laugh and cry about life in general. This one day, we went there and as always bought the charcoal roasted corn (bhuna bhutta) to eat as we walked around the lake. Suddenly everything went dark and it started raining heavily. We waited for an auto or a bus but the streets were almost deserted. Now my friend is kind of a chicken and she really worries about things a lot. I on the other hand try to act brave even if I am not. So we were walking in the heavy rain and I was laughing so hard over the situation, and she was cursing me non stop. I was still eating my bhutta in the rain, kind of enjoying everything while she was almost in tears.

I don’t know why this incident is so memorable to me, when clearly nothing great actually happened. I guess it is more about the kind of friendship we shared, two contrasting people, spending every day together. I can’t think of a moment I wasn’t with her in those four years of college.

Now that I think of it, even though I was never that social I always had a good friend at every phase of my life. I was never really alone. I have been lucky that way.

I really was…

I wonder how easily we forget the happier times but spend a lifetime thinking about everything that is wrong with our lives.

But then happiness is mostly counted in moments while grief in periods.

If only these good moments occurred more frequently, life would have been a little better…

Late Night Musings…

Sometimes I feel that the luckiest people in the world are those who get to sleep next to someone they love. Isn’t it such a warm feeling, to share a bed with someone you care about? To let someone be so close to you, and feel protected, like nothing could harm you as long as you lie besides this person.

I have always taunted my friends over the reasons they give me to get married ranging from society to biology but would you judge me if I tell you that the only reason I find worthy enough of this risk called marriage is to have someone to share these long, dark nights with. To have a person you want to see at the end of every day, to share all your sorrows and laughter with, to fight and make up, to have someone to wake you up when you are having a nightmare indeed sounds like a great prospect.

I guess we all need someone to feel a little less lonely… And for some of us that itself is a distant, utopian dream…

It’s A Rainy Day…

While all the major Indian cities are flooding owing to the monsoons,our town hardly got any rain this time. Thanks to global warming, the Himalayan region which used to get a lot of rainfall during the Monsoons, is usually very dry in the last few years. I mean,  people who don’t live here, would probably be shocked at reading this since you always see it in the news that so many people have died due to cloud bursts in the hilly region, and I am here saying we are not getting enough rain! Well, that’s because we don’t get that consistent rainfall we used to get before. It is either very heavy rainfall or no rain at all. I remember having 7-10 days of having non stop rainfall during my schooldays but that is not the case now.

Climate has changed so much in just the last decade, I wonder what and all we would be witnessing in my lifetime.

Anyway it rained today (thankfully), and I took out my phone to take pictures of the flowers growing in our garden.

Hibiscus flower with rain drops on it in a garden at Uttarakhand

Hibiscus

Okra flower on a rainy day

Okra (Ladies finger)

Scarlet Jungle Flame

A white rose with rain drops on it

Rose

Hibiscus

Rose

Golden Trumpet

Periwinkle

Rain does make everything more beautiful, don’t you think?

Do you like the rain? Which one is your favourite flower?

Am I boring you with so many flowers and questions? Haha

***

On The Other Side Of Silence: The Subtle Irony Of Being A Woman!

Sanskrit, the mother of all Indian languages describes women in the following manner:

Karyesu Mantri

Karmesu Dasi

Rupesu Laksmi

Ksamaya Dharitr

Snehesu Mata

Sayanesu Vesya

Sadkarma Nari Kuladharma patni (Pillai)

By which, the saying literally means that an ideal woman should be a minister in practical affairs, a slave in action, Goddess Lakshmi in beauty, mother earth in patience and  a prostitute in bed and so on.

This is how women have been treated for years and years. We have crossed centuries and ages in India, behind the myth that women here, are treated as Goddess Lakshmi, the four armed goddess of wealth, often depicted holding lotus flowers and an overflowing pot of gold. But where exactly have we reached? We have definitely ‘evolved’ from living as saints and hermits to a well civilised person, but this mythical concept of an ideal woman never changed. Do women get the same freedom? Think about it. Surely, we have come from using pigeons as a source of postman to email’s and messages, but the treatment of women never changed.

The very fact that I have to say ‘treatment’ of women is proof enough that we live in a gender biased society. She isn’t a commodity; she is a separate human being who has her own rights and freedom, who never needs to ask her father, brother, husband, boyfriend, fiance, father-in-law or any male relative for that matter for any single thing. She has the right to live the way she wants to.

It is her life, it is her choice!!

As a male, we tend to get offended by this. Why not? It hurts our ego. We have stuck with this Sanskrit concept of an ‘ideal women’ only because it suits us and not her. We never stuck up with the concept of

“Tvamev Mata Cha Pita Tvamev

Tvamev bandhu sakha tvamev

Tvamev vidya dravidam tvamev

Tvamev sarvam mama dev dev”

The virtuous thing we don’t accept and keep with ourselves, but the thing which should have changed years ago, is still with us. How many of you would dedicate this shloka to your parents today? I mean, yes you love them, and for now you might say that yes you would say this for them but honestly, think of it, would you literally go and say this to them? That you are everything to me?

But this other definition of ideal women seems to have stayed with us longer, way longer than it needed to be with us. The shloka was written ages ago, we have come a long way from it and we truly need to let that belief go. What happened in the yesterday, was in the past, it no longer needs to be with us. This has been our belief always, in everything except for this matter. Sure, women have been done wrong for ages in the past, but it does not need to remain so! Change is the constant!!!!

We don’t follow the old age rules any longer mentioned in the books of Manusmriti, Ramayana, Mahabharata or any other epic or myth then why do we still stick up for this age old saying.

In reality India’s women are discriminated against, abused and even killed on a scale unparalleled.

It’s a miracle a woman survives in India. Even before she is born, she is at the risk of being aborted due to our obsessions for sons.

As a child she faces abuse, rape and early marriage, and even when she marries, she is killed and abused for dowry. If she survives all of this, as a widow she is discriminated against and harassed for no fault of her own.

Any single one of you cannot deny that this does not happen in India, with or without the statistics.

Oh don’t even start me on statistics. You say that the numbers are reducing. I don’t believe it, because the old school person that I am, still likes to read newspapers instead of apps, and every day that I open the paper, I find headlines with ‘3 year raped and murdered’ ‘Women gang raped and dumped’ ‘A 100 year old raped, found dead’. We have crossed all boundaries, my friend. The gender doesn’t matter to men, but so does the number. These psychopaths have not spared any one, they select their predators from varying ages, from months old baby to a century old woman, and they have no guilt inside of them. A little girl who doesn’t even know that she will be able to speak one day, goes through something, which she will never know was wrong, and a woman who has seen everything, has greyed over all shades of life, sometimes is yet to see something more gruesome.

Seriously, are we evolving or are we simply going back to becoming animals?

Oh, no, I am not pointing at you, I am just stating the facts. You might not have done anything wrong.

But have you stopped anyone from doing this wrong?

Coming to an absolutely different perspective. I am still ashamed to see that we still have people blaming women for the things that occur to her. I mean, she gets raped “She was wearing obscene clothes”, she gets molested, “She was talking to men on the road, late in the night.” I mean if talking to someone in the night, or wearing revealing clothes is the issue then why are men never raped when wearing shorts or talking to a female in the middle of the night?

They talk of lose values. I don’t understand what are exactly loose values? The fact that a woman wears jeans or the fact that a man stares at her in a way which makes her uncomfortable to a point that she feels horrible to be born as a woman?

For god’s sake, and it is not even about wearing jeans. Bring me one woman, who says that she wears only sarees and suits and has never been mistreated and looked upon with hungry eyes.

Molestation and rapes are an issue here, accept it, and the sooner we change it the better for us.

Come to think of it, the trouble is not only from the unknown males; the women are not safe inside their own homes. Now, where do you think the problem lies?

“Don’t wear this, don’t go there. Don’t do this.” What if someone says this to a man? Would he follow this? Wouldn’t he be angry?

Yeah? Then women feel so too. It’s as simple as that.

A man wouldn’t like to be told what he should do, what he should wear, what career options he can pursue, what is the time by which he has to get home, then how would a woman like this?

She is just another human being whom we need to respect, that is all. She needs nothing else from us. She can be secure in her own regard, only if we as men change ourselves, because I don’t think she needs any kind of change in herself. She is marvelous.

She is beyond colour, shapes and sizes, beyond the colour pink, beyond kitchen walls, beyond the way she speaks and dresses up, she is who owns power, she is who can never be suppressed. She is who keeps on fighting. She is a free bird who celebrates herself every single day.

She is the woman, of whom, some men have been afraid, which is why they have been suppressing her.

We as a society need to stop this dominance, and let her fly of her own will.

In conclusion, I would only say that I might not have brought forward any new point here, but all I hope in return is a new outcome the result of which would be a happy and free woman.

PS: This post is written form a male point of view, as a hope and belief that there are some men who think this to be true, and want to see the change which women have been dying to see since ages!!

By Moushmi Radhanpara

PicsArt_07-27-07.36.26

Forever in Captivity

***

Moushmi Radhanpara is one of my favourite bloggers who pens down wonderful prose and poetry here. You can also follow her on Twitter & Instagram.

On the Other End of Silence is a new category on my blog that focuses on gender issues where I am inviting posts from everyone who is willing to contribute. If you have something to say, whether personal or fictional, positive or negative, a rant or a suggestion, you can mail me your entries at pseudomonazz@gmail.com(Contact). There are no rejections, no prizes, no rules and no word-limits, just a platform to voice your opinions.

This Is Not The End…

Have you ever noticed when a celebrity commits suicide, there is a flood of comments on social media by fans or friends like

  • Wish we had known he/she was depressed, we could have saved him
  • Oh, his/her songs were all about how he was feeling, why didn’t we notice it earlier
  • He/she should have talked about it

I don’t think anyone really understands what goes on inside the mind of a depressed person. Most people do talk about the hardships they are going through but I guess the world just fail to notice it. We hear things, but we don’t really listen!

I would be lying if I say that I don’t think about dying. I do. No, I am not exactly suicidal but sometimes “the end” seems like a fair option. The worst part however is, it is just not a viable option for me. Some days ago I read a quote on twitter that said, “When you give up on life, you don’t end the pain, you just transfer it to someone else”, and I don’t want to be the reason for someone’s pain. And to be honest, after spending so many years struggling with life, I don’t want to give up now. What if I die without seeing any happiness in life? What a waste of life it would be! Whatever tough times I am going through, these won’t last forever right! What if I accept darkness right before dawn! Matlab yaar, jiye bina hi mar gayi toh kya fayda?

This is what I think majority of the times.

And then, there are other days, those that brings another failure, that crush another hope and my mind goes into a negative spiral. What if I am supposed to be a failure all my life? What if this darkness consumes me entirely? It doesn’t help that the guy is going through similar stuff and is stuck in a more complicated spiral than me. And so when both of us feel low, we talk about death, and then we laugh and then we plan and then we laugh again. What a twisted sad little couple we are! And because among the two of us, I read more stuff on the internet than him (and is more woke) so I inspire him with little anecdotes like,

  • We have reached so low that the only way now is Up…
  • There is always a storm before the rainbow…
  • It is darkest before the dawn…

Blah blah blah…

And so, I take upon myself the unfathomable task of keeping two people alive, hopeful and happy with what they have.

And while doing so, I get to talk to nobody. I am not complaining about this, neither am I saying that people have abandoned me. To be honest, I have abandoned others. I don’t know if any of you relate to this but I feel like as we grow older, we just lose the connection we used to have with our old friends/acquaintances. I just don’t connect to anybody anymore. Even if I try to tell someone how I feel, I know that I am being judged rather than being understood. And so I tread alone…

Jodi tor dak sune keu na ashe,

Tobe ekla cholo re…

(If no one answers your call, then walk alone …)

And so, I turn to this blog to let my heart out, to tell you that I am suffering and however hard I try not to write sappy stuff out here, I fail to do so. I don’t want to write these things here because several of my friends know about this blog. I don’t know if anyone among them still reads it, but I don’t want to let them know about the state I am in right now. Call it my ego or whatever, I don’t want anyone’s sympathy, especially the people who actually think they know me in real life. I don’t think people who go through tough times, want to be sympathised for it. They may want to be understood but isn’t that a lot to expect in this kalyug!

Anyway, this is it with my rant! I am okay. Okay is a word I relate to a lot. It says so much without actually saying anything.

This was not a call for help. This was just a way for my future self to know that life sucked big time in my past but it’ll all be worth it in the end.

Or agar end mai sab okay na ho, to wo end nahi hai, picture abhi baaki hai mere dost….

The Living and the Dead

Love As It Is…

“Let someone love you just the way you are – as flawed as you might be, as unattractive as
you sometimes feel, and as unaccomplished as you think you are.
To believe that you must hide all the parts of you that are broken,
out of fear that someone else is incapable of loving what is less than perfect,
is to believe that sunlight is incapable of entering a broken window and illuminating a dark room.”—Marc Chernoff

P. S. I am alive.