Summer. India.

You sweat like a pig, couldn’t expect anything better. Shucks. This awful vegetable market, my mother didn’t find a better place to shop.

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I’m Sixteen, maybe forever…

I am a girl of sixteen from a small town named Winston. My only dream is to fall in love. I go to school sometimes, mostly because my parents ask me to. I live with them, so I need to listen to them. I have no siblings, partly maybe the reason why I desperately insist on falling in love. My parents tell me I’m very young to understand love, but I love my cat Juggles, so I guess I’ll manage to understand, loving another human. My neighbor Pasha tells me I’m a very loveable person, but Pasha must be seventy years old, otherwise I would consider loving him. I like him already, I also told him that, but he just ruffled my hair.

My parents married thirty years back, my mom tells me they ran away from home. I also hear from her it was the worst mistake of her life and I should learn from it. I do sometimes think my parents drifted apart with time, especially when my dad is drunk and he’s beating up my mom. ‘Were they really in love when they ran away?’ when I ask my grammy this, she says they were blind and young. My mother was sixteen and pregnant with me. My grammy was against this union, so my parents preferred running away. Although my mother always tried keeping in touch with grammy, in spite of all the animosity.

Most of the days my parents don’t even look at each other, they try to be nice to each other if I’m around, they really do. I guess they stuck together for so long because of me. I don’t enjoy this thought much, but I’ve learned to live with it. This has not become an impediment in my search for love. I do believe there’s someone out there to fall haplessly in love with me.

As I walk the lonely streets of Winston, I look at the verdant lands, hoping to get lost in them. Not having to go back home, roll on the greens and just close my eyes. Close my eyes till the moonlight shines on me and the breeze gently caresses my body; the music of passion starts playing in my head and there is no one to enjoy all of this but myself. How I wish I could shut myself amidst these greens!

I don’t mind skipping my age to when I’m thirty-two. May be then my life would be different. Maybe then if I’m walking the streets of Winston, I’m walking with someone else, someone who holds me when I walk. He would roll with me on these greens, kiss me when we roll on each other; caress my body with his gentle fingers and breathe against my cheek. Like sunlight he would touch my soul and me.

It’s almost past midnight, by the time I wrap up these thoughts. These thoughts are what I hold onto, they inspire my search for love.

I reach home. Back to the world where I don’t belong; it’s suppertime, but I lost my appetite to those thoughts. I go to my room without seeing my parents, I wave Pasha goodnight from my window. As I lie on my bed, I shut my senses. I turn back to my thoughts, as Juggles snuggles by me. Yet again I’m lost at the smiles of my endeared.

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Tired of fighting patriarchy.

Is patriarchy a way of life or women like being submissive?
Does a woman have to be labelled as a ‘feminist’ to question the patriarchal set-up? If only a handful of women fight to break out of the shackles of this inhumane and violent society, why should the other women talk about equality, because ‘equality’ is a joke!
When we reflect on the feminist movements over the years, we realise that fundamental rights and freedoms wouldn’t be give to us, but we had to take it. It was a task, but we did it.
Today women technically have their rights on paper, but who really cares about it’s letter and spirit?
100 women die every month in Bangalore because of the violence
Inflicted on them in various forms, but this is just a number. The disappearing women have just remained as a count.
Today we protested in Victoria Hospital Burns Ward to shift the general casualty ward(ground floor) to a different OPD centre on the campus. This protest came after lobbying with the government for 16 years. The infection in the general casualty spreads infection to the burns ward which is on the first floor. The women admitted in the burns ward come with severe burns and die due to the infection.
But who gives a damn about them anyway. They’re second rate citizens in the eyes of everyone. The government has carried their ‘let the women die’ attitude and will continue to do so.

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To be or not to be an intellectual?

It’s hard to understand the labels that are attributed by the so called called pseudo-intellectuals. If you connect with another human being, you become a ‘humanist’; if you think practically you’re a ‘pragmatist’; if you’re against the institutions established by a system you become a ‘Marxist’ otherwise you’re just a ‘structuralist’. The intellectual sphere instead of being liberal in approach is now viewed in black and white. Cynicism and reason was what intellectuals are respected for, but unfortunately cynicism is overrated. The intellectuals have isolated themselves from reality, reality being, interpreting reason and logic to the present scenario. India as a country is not short of the cream-they like to be called that- but their acumen, knowledge is monopolised and restricted to the intellectual sphere itself. There is no theorising or duty to theorise this level of understanding any issue/ conundrum beyond the sphere. They are territorializing the sphere! Intellectuals were meant to bring perspective, but instead, look down upon the ones who least know.

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Contentment

When you make someone happy there’s a sense of satisfaction. The essence of being is justified. That smile on their face and the feeling of belonging-most definitely-doesn’t seem to shake off. You take long deep breaths and suddenly everything feels calm. It’s like the feeling you have when you were kissed for the first time. Earth is still and yourself being fixated. That look of love.

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Love=Happiness

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Sarita and her son Sharat Kumar
Where there is love there is happiness. This we forget most times and hurt the ones we love the most.
Sarita’s husband beat and tortured Sarita throughout their marital life. He burnt her hands or legs if she refused to obey him. He was a chronic alcoholic and a junkie. But Sarita devoted her life to serve the monster. Sarita has three children. Two girls who live in hostels and this monkey boy who was rescued from the monster’s clutches. Today Sarita is safe, but there are so many women out there who await the moment of freedom.

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Baby Rumi mumma

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Ameena has been in pain. She has been in pain for a while now. She’s waiting for a miracle, a miracle to come save her and her baby. She laughs with us, but she’s not happy. She’s helpless and so am I.
I met her six months back. She thinks of me as a confidant. I look at her and disbelieve. Her life is nothing but hardships.
I want to help her, but I never see a start. I want to sit her and calm her down. But she’s flooded with words and thoughts and feelings. Will my words do any good to her? Will I comfort her in any way?
But for now, I just sit back and think. This is life and we all need to live it.

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