Forgive but don’t ever forget

Forgive but don’t ever forget.
The pain you feel?
The burn of the betrayal?
It’s not in your head;
It is real.

How many times will you forget?
How many times will you get burnt?
You can bear only so many regrets,
Until you realise that
The lesson is learnt.

A person who has hurt you twice,
Won’t shy away a third time.
Habits break; characters don’t.
Remember that it happened,
And it wasn’t just a mime.

The person obviously didn’t care about you.
Now why don’t you return the favour?
End it soon. End it now.
Your peace of mind,
It’s something that you will savour.
– Mia

I hate mashed potatoes

Yesterday, I did a thing I had never done before. I made mashed potatoes.

My exams are a few weeks away so I have my study leave going which basically means I have to eat at home. That’s a relief because me mam is a really good cook. Except she isn’t always at home. Throughout the day, she is at work being all busy and chemical (she works in a textile chemical laboratory.)

And I am left at home to fend for myself. Normally, my sister, cockroach, makes something for the two of us. She might be only 13 but boy, is she an excellent cook!

Sometimes, just to see me suffer, she refuses to cook. Then I have to enter the kitchen and do the thing I suck the most at-cook. Making chai or instant noodles is an art that I have mastered.

However, when it comes to cooking food that is even a little complicated, I suck.

Yesterday was another such day when I had to risk blowing up me mum’s beloved kitchen to satisfy my primary need for food. Instead of calling up mum for advice, I turned my mate, Sam. She used to be someone who wasn’t all the proficient at cooking either but now she manages and pretty well in fact.

Sam suggested I satisfy my potato cravings (GO POTATOES!) and try making mashed potatoes. She explained the recipe in detail. It seemed doable.I commence by selecting two of the prettiest potatoes you will ever see. I put them in a vessel filled with water and lit the gas. The poor little potatoes were now boiling.

Or so I thought.

Within ten minutes, I took them out, expecting the potatoes to be boiled and mashable. That minute, my granny entered the kitchen. Thank goodness for her wisdom or my mashed potatoes would have been even a bigger disaster. She pointed out that the poor petit pretty potatoes were still pretty raw.

I put them up for boiling again, this time with a duration given by aaji (my smart granny). In my excitement of the potatoes boiling, I had also put a cup of milk with way more butter than me mum would approve in a pan to warm. But only after what exactly Sam meant by ‘pan’. A panaroma shot? A frying pan? Pan, the Greek God?

Guess what she meant.

I hurriedly shut off the gas under the pan. This was becoming more and more complicated by the minute. There was a point when I confused whether I was cooking mashed potatoes or brewing a vial of Polyjuice Potion.

After a ridiculously long time full of false signals, the pretty petit potatoes finally boiled. I mashed them. I mashed them like I was mashing the faces of my sworn enemies. I was mashing the potatoes like The Mountain mashed Oberyn Martell’s head.

Then after adding the now-mashed potatoes to the butter and milk (buttermilk?), I stirred the paste. And stirred. Stirred some more. Stirred till my brain felt like it was about to explode due to the lack of mental activity. Stirred till my hands gave up. I was left with something I thought was the ready version of mashed potatoes. It was a touch and go sort of situation honestly as I had never tasted mashed potatoes before.

Fortunately, I was right and these were mashed potatoes.

I served two servings- one for me and one for my sibling, the human cockroach. I took my bowl, sprinkled some pizza seasoning on the mashed potatoes because pizza seasoning makes everything better.

I took some of the weird-looking pasty stuff in a spoon and put the spoon in my mouth. It tasted good. Well, it tasted buttery and buttery is always good. A few spoonfuls later, however, I suddenly realised I was no longer enjoying the mashed potatoes and had actually abandoned the bowl involuntarily.

After a few more spoonfuls, I realised I kind of couldn’t stand the mashed potatoes.

The very same thing was repeated with my sister. First, cockroach praised my mashed potatoes a lot. Then she stopped eating them and promised to never not cook when it was just the two of us.

Just then me mum returned from work. I made her taste some and finally someone who genuinely felt that the dish was tasty. She couldn’t have a lot (the remains from my plate as I was feeling nauseated because of all the butter.) So we kept the bowl away.

For once in my life, I attempted cooking and god, I was so horrible that I am taking a vow of cooking chastity.

Okay, cutting myself some slack here. The mashed potatoes weren’t all that bad. They tasted just like mashed potatoes should. It seems like I just did not like the way mashed potatoes taste in general.

There’s no relief for me in this self-discovery. I prided myself on loving potatoes in all forms and now there is one dish of potato that I don’t like much.

Cue existential crisis of sorts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just want to be enough…

Kellu ❤

My Mildly Mortifying Musings

As an answer to every question you ask,
I simply put on a new mask.
I don’t want to bluff,
I just want to be enough.

Clashing against time, breaking all norms,
I have become an artist who never performs.
I don’t want my existence in handcuffs,
I just want to be enough.

Hugs and kisses and pats on the back,
Genuineness is something they all lack.
Keep me away from all this fluff,
I just want to be enough.

Things thrown at me were taken in stride,
But with every hit, a part in me died.
I can no longer act this tough,
I don’t think I will ever be enough.

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Feminism in India

To be a feminist in a society as patriarchal as India, one has to be prepared to receive considerable criticism and backlash. A majority of the society finds it very easy to disregard feminism as a passing fantasy or a movement with no importance in the evolution of the society.

What is ‘feminism’ really? Feminism is a movement and an ideology that opposes chauvinism. The term ‘chauvinism’ does not refer to only the belief in the male superiority. Women can be chauvinists too when they believe themselves to be better than men. Feminism stands for equality of both the sexes and hence opposes chauvinism.

If feminism is synonymous to equality, then why is it called feminism? Why is the root of the first half of the word feminine?

Throughout the history of mankind, it can be observed that women have more often been the ones being suppressed than the ones doing the suppressing.

Traditionally, women played the role of a nurturer in the unit of family. They tended to the offspring while the men hunted and gathered food. Providing for the family financially has been considered as a man’s job in most societies of the world. In lieu with these roles so assigned, women were encouraged to take up the responsibilities of managing the household while men had to cultivate the land or provide other services with the aim of earning an income for the family. This was a system of co-dependence.

However, ,much like the Varna system, this harmonious co-dependence turned sour as the mobility reduced. Women were now considered incapable of taking decisions regarding the family or the finances. They were denied an education, political rights and financial rights. In India, especially, women were subjected to a number of unfair and often cruel practices such as child marriage, sati, pardah and so on. Even in the absence of the horrible practice of Sati, widow remarriage was not allowed and the widows had to follow a strict etiquette which severely curtailed their individual freedom.

It is the year 2016 now and we can’t still say that these practices have been completely abolished.

Society doesn’t undergo a metamorphosis overnight. Change occurs over a period of time. Feminism ensures the continuity of change of women’s development in the society. It is primarily a women’s movement because they comprise a section of the society that still has to fight for their rights. The balance of equality can be achieved once women get the same opportunities and rights as men.

We live in a mostly urban society today. Many women in metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai work for a living. The female literacy rate in India is on a rise. There are seats reserved for women in government offices and political organisations. Women can and do vote. So feminism mustn’t be necessary anymore.

The thing is this scenario can be seen only in urban India. Rural india is a different story altogether. Young girls who haven’t even hit puberty are still married off to much older men. The female foeticide and infanticide rates continue to rise despite strict laws taken by the government. Dowry system still prevails.
In urban areas too this disparity can be still seen. Girls might not be denied an education but their academic endeavours are limited till school or graduation. I am actually acquainted with someone who was forbidden from pursuing graduation but married off instead. She lives in Mumbai.

In workplaces too, sexism prevails. Men are often provided with more opportunities for growth on the basis of their sex as compared to women. There are times when a female employee worthy of the promotion is dismissed only because of her femininity.

Crimes against women are prevalent in the urban India. Not a day goes by when we don’t read about a case of rape, molestation, assault, acid-attack in the newspapers. The guilty of such offences often show no remorse as they consider it to be their birthright to dominate the so-called weaker sex. In response to this, we have politicians making statements blaming rapes and other forms of assault on the women’s clothing or curves or something as ridiculous and disconnected.

Even in the absence of all this, the Indian women is stereotyped to an amazing extent. An unmarried Indian woman simply can’t be happy or satisfied with her life. Marriage is yet another test that the Indian woman has to through. Can she make round rotis? Is she pretty? How does she dress? Is she a virgin? These are the questions asked.

India needs feminists and feminism. It will take a lot more time to vanquish every trace of chauvinism from the Indian society as this attitude is so deeply ingrained in the Indian culture.

Feminists are women who demand equal opportunities and rights for themselves. If such demands are not made, how will change take place? If one half of the population isn’t functioning at its optimum, how is the nation supposed to progress?

Be a happy potato ^_^

Waffle Dreams

It’s a Sunday. We do lists on Sundays.

(Well no, we don’t. But let us assume that Sunday is the day of lists. C’mon, Play along.)

(Also, today isn’t a Sunday but let’s ignore that too.)

Weird things I do in my Freizeit (free-time but it sounds cooler in German)-

  • Read the entire plots of Hindi soaps on Wikipedia.

  • Read menus on Zomato.

Believe it or not, reading menus on Zomato is actually very fascinating and often fruitful. That’s where I learn about new restaurants where I can drag my mate, Geet. One day, I got very very lucky. I learnt about a place in Vile Parle that had an all-day breakfast menu.

Yes, I was won over by the mention of hash browns. But in my defence, hash browns are made from potatoes and potatoes are delicious.

After months of foiled plans, I ended up on a table at Tea Villa. The ambience was like a typical cafe with funky tea-themed décor.

My friends and I decided to avoid a main course and indulge in lighter snacks instead.

To begin with, we had a plate of nachos. The nachos were covered by a thick layer of creamy soft cheese. Tiny pieces of chopped bell peppers where sprinkled on the nachos. Now, for nachos, the dip matters just a little more than the actual nacho, in my opinion. The dip was exactly the thing needed to complete the dish. It was tangy- the opposite of the mild cheese. The contrasting flavours between the cheese-topped-nachos and the dip were beautiful.

1

Then, we opted for the much-awaited hash-browns. They were accompanied by slices of bread with a thin layer of butter. These cold slices weren’t all that appealing. We ignored them and devoured the hash-browns. Potatoes make everything better.

2

From the Starters section, I used a veto vote to order Sauteed herbs mushrooms. I have recently developed a mushroom obsession. I can assure you that, my obsessive self was wholeheartedly satisfied with this dish. The dish comprised of chopped mushrooms tossed in a sauce (that I couldn’t identify) with exotic vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, onions and olives. The pandemonium of tastes was so pleasant that we finished all our veggies like good children.

3

With our tummies nearly filled, it was time for dessert. When the establishment offers an all-day breakfast menu, what in the seven worlds do you order? Pancakes? Waffles? Pancakes? Or waffles? Tash flipped a coin and waffles it was. This time around, Dee and Tash used their veto power to order Oreo Waffle. “Loaded with Oreo cookie & melted chocolate” stated the description. Sounds delicious, right?

Well, here’s the thing, I can’t stand oreos. I love other brands of cream biscuits but not oreos, never oreos.

Also, good waffles are extremely difficult to get. Either they end up being too hard or too chewy or too soggy and no fun. I kept my fingers crossed.

The waffles that turned up at our table were beyond perfect. Not hard, not chewy and definitely not soggy even though the chef had been quite liberal in pouring milk chocolate over the waffle bases. Oreo crumbs were piled high on the layer of white chocolate. The waffles were served with a bowl of more white chocolate on the side. Overall, the meal ended with a chocolate induced foodgasm.

I am not lying when I tell you that the waffles have made multiple appearances in my dreams.

4

If you ask me if Tea Villa was worth getting out of my pyjamas, I would tell you that you needed to go to the cafe right now. Albeit the service was a little slow, the food tasted good enough to make up for it.

Have you ever seen a star die?

Have you ever seen a star die?
No, I haven’t either.
But I’ve always imagined it…
I’ve imagined it-
As a final spark
         before the lights die out;
As a final blast
         before the unending quiet;
As a final show
         just before the last bow;
As a final hurrah
         before the end of a year,
and the start of yet another.
A dying star doesn’t slither away
to hide in a dark, desolate corner.
A dying star doesn’t give in
to the impending unavoidable doom.
No. Instead it takes the centre stage.
One last final vibrant boom
before it all begins to fade.
The dying star doesn’t let its light go waste.

Being sick is like

Hello Blogosphere! Fear no more! Or fear even more. It’s all relative and I totally get that. The thing is, I’m back.

I was sick and stuck at home for a greater part of the month of February. There was a time when I didn’t mind being indoors so much. That was when I was watching Doctor Who. I finished watching the newest season, series 9, in December.

Confession time: I don’t know what to do with my life any more.

Okay, I admit I am not that lost. I make plans and draw up schedules but when the time comes to follow through what has been scheduled, I’d rather watch Doctor Who.

The cure for a TV show/ book series obsession normally is to get obsessed with another show/book series/movie franchise. I did that. I did just that. I got into Star Wars. I had long,endless discussions about Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala with my friend, Sofia. I listened to and watched Jimmy Fallon’s Star Wars A Cappella Medley on repeat. But the discussions came to an end and I got a little bored of the medley.

Also, this was in January.

I decided to watch Hannibal in February and it was way too intense and gory. I am almost through season 1 but I couldn’t binge it. A Hannibal binge might just result in some serious mental scarring. I’m not denying its absolute brilliance but not everyone can stomach Hannibal. I mean, he is literally shown cooking human meat. And then feeding it to his guests. Argh. And those poor schmucks have zero idea that they are basically indulging in a bit of cannibalism.

After a few episodes of the cannibalistic Hannibal,  I was left with a dire need for some light-hearted comedy. Enter Jane the Virgin. I have already caught up with the show. It is the best thing I’ve seen in a very long time (Since Doctor Who, probably). I can’t even begin to fangrl about it. But if you haven’t watched it, watch it NOW! It is funny, romantic, sensible, outrageous, dramatic- all at once.

Jane the Virgin has all the plot twists that you would expect in a soap opera or a telenovela but they aren’t lame here. Rather the show makes fun of all the soap operas. I find it to be a satirical genius. Also, Jane is such a relatable character. She isn’t me, but she is the person I’d like to be.

Then there is Rafael Solano.

giphy (3)

Jane’s reaction exactly. 

 

giphy (2)

Look at that smile!

giphy (1)

AWWWWWWWWW

Safe to say that I have developed a bit of a crush.

I have also thought of a short story which could possibly end up as a full fledged novel. That isn’t scaring me. Not even a little bit. Due to my absolute lack of fear, I haven’t started writing it yet.

February was also me mum’s birthday. I gifted her a pair of pants and a nice top. I had also planned on taking her out for dinner wearing the aforementioned pants and top but then I fell sick and mum ordered me to stay at home. Meh.

In Feb, I have been more or less stuck at home. I might be an introvert but I am also human. Human beings are social animals and my introversion has its limits. It’s driving me insane now. I can’t wait to go back to school (well, college but back to school sounded like a song…oh wait! Grease 2!). I can’t wait to fight for a seat in the train or cuddle up next to Geet in class (and also eat her tiffin. I know you’re reading this, Geet. And you know what I want. Yes, you do.) I want to have a cup of chai with Amreen and snapchat with Zaitun. Most of all, I want to make fandom references with Kellu.

Yeah, I miss my friends.

Meanwhile, I have another couple of days of doctor’s appointments. Then I will escape these shackles and take my first breath of freedom.

Till then, be a happy potato, you.

 

Meraki

This is a story I wrote for RavenclawSam’s blog. There’s some good work there. You should definitely check out the other stories in this series of guest posts.

A Blast Of Random

The curator switched off the main light and looked back into the room. All seven paintings were lit by their individual soft lights. They were placed all around the room with benches for observation in the middle of the room.

Personally, the curator didn’t like this particular exhibition of paintings. They made him uneasy. He couldn’t point out why but they seemed to be eerily alive- especially in the dark.

The curator left the room in a hurry. It was 11.15 pm. He knew he was late. The wife would be angry. He checked the room once more before locking up for the day. His boss would have his head on a platter if anything were to happen to the paintings.

The room with the paintings was enveloped in complete dark barring the lights of the paintings. The room was quite empty and still. Yet something was breathing. Breathing, waiting…

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It felt like Flying Away

In the 19 years and 6 months of my bookish life, I have had some of those nights when I felt alive. When anything and everything seemed possible. When I felt like everything’s right within the delicate seams of the universe.

The night when I saw Ed Sheeran live with was one of them. Eating Rustomjee’s ice cream on a windy winter evening with the salt of the sea in the air and on my lips was another.

The most recent night happened a couple of days ago.

26th January 2016. India’s 67th Republic Day.

***

If you ask me if I am spontaneous, I will firmly tell you that I don’t have a single spontaneous bone in my body.

Or I would have.

The night of 26th January was a chilled winter night. I sat on the terrace of my building with a few peers. We were playing Truth or Dare. Nostalgia is much needed at times.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I don’t have much of a filter for my thoughts anyway. So the cringe-worthy memories were absent.

As the clock struck twelve, two things happened.

One, my ass began to freeze because of the icy (Not really. This is Mumbai we are talking about.) floor.

Two, we began to receive calls from the irate parental units. So my friends and I decided to disperse for the day.

All left but three. For once, we could actually see the stars. I couldn’t help but stare at the constellation Orion which is the only constellation I know.

The three of us talked for a bit in the freezing Mumbai air. It was a pleasant change from the perpetual heat and sweat.

A perfect night for a drive, as my friend suggested. The other friend agreed.

I was in a dilemma. I knew that mum would be absolutely pissed if I chose to go. I don’t have an official curfew. But nor do I have a life other than books leaving aside this particular incident.

I so wanted to go. But the urge to conform was very strong.

I decided to actually practice what I preach and flip a finger at conformity. I wasn’t doing anything wrong. No alcohol. No drugs. No cigarettes. Just three people in a car talking about life and shit.

Wild, I tell you.

I love the night. It is soft, velvety and the time for the writer in me to rise. Also, the moon and the stars come out only during the night.

A short ride ended up being an hour long. I fell for my city all over again. Why, you ask.

Because of the endless roads. Deserted but not quite.

Because of the reflection of the sparkling lights on the gentle waves.

Because of the sheer exhilaration of viewing a side of my city that I hadn’t seen before. 

Because I could feel the infinite possibilities in the air and more.

Because of my friend’s magnificent driving skills.

Because I felt like I was living my life for once.

Because I felt like I would die without regrets if I were to die.

Because I could feel my hair whipping around in the wind whenever the windows were down.

Because I felt free.

Because it felt like flying away.

Nothing but The Perceived Truth

Sometimes I find it difficult to breathe. I probably shouldn’t write this much less post it, lest someone I know will read it and get worried. The likelihood of that happening is pretty darn high as almost everyone I know read my blog.

But I am still going to write about it and even more post it. I lack a sense of self-preservation, don’t I?

Sometimes it gets so difficult to breathe. Not the kind of difficult when you have a blocked nose. More like the panicky kind of difficult that happens when you are lost. Or when your world is spinning out of control.

Is my world spinning out of control?

Not really. It is all okay. I do not exist in the time of the Great Plague or any of the world wars. Now seems to be the best time to live in.

And it is. I’m glad that I exist now. That I get to read all the books I’m reading. I get to watch so many movies; so many TV shows. There is a lot of good music to listen to. I have good friends. A family. If I count all the things I should be grateful for, I won’t ever finish.

But sometimes, it just does not feel enough. I am me. I am this person. But I don’t feel like me. I feel that the real me is trapped somewhere inescapable.

Society tells us to conform to so many things. Right from what to wear, the people we should talk to, what kind food to eat, what to watch, what to read, what to talk to the extent that we are conditioned to think in a certain way.

I used to be perfectly content in this conformity. Good grades, good friends, decent clothes etc. My biggest rebellion was reading books my mum wouldn’t approve of and reading them way beyond my sleep time.

Now, I rebel by buying books whenever I want and not adhering to mum’s book ban. Yeah, I understand that I own too many books- a lot of which I haven’t even read yet. But isn’t it better that I’m spending my money on books than alcohol or drugs?

Another act of rebellion was supposed to be getting inked. I had expected a lot opposition and drama at home. That didn’t happen. Everyone took it quite well. And I’m glad they did. I have no desire that my life should turn out like an episode of Gossip Girl or One Tree Hill.

But I felt a little disappointed. I am not Katniss Everdeen. I understand that but at times, my imagination gets carried away.

Conformity…

Tomorrow India will celebrate it’s 67th Republic Day. The Government adopted the Constitution on this day. In India, we hoist the flag and suddenly start overflowing with patriotism. There is a parade in the capital, activities in schools and colleges, speeches, patriotic songs, and a whole lot of WhatsApp messages and Facebook statuses.

I no longer see the point of it all.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m proud to be an Indian chick- with my gorgeous brown skin and inborn multilingualism.

But to be told that I am patriotic only if I attend these speeches or sing those songs and do certain things seems a lot like propaganda to me. Propaganda calls for conformity. And I am not a big fan of conformity.

Not in all cases. Not complete obedience.

If I let someone else think for me, what’s the point of living in a democracy?

If I am in a state of complete conformity, then how do I create something unique that will actually be remembered in the years to come?

If I don’t dare to use my brain cells, what’s the point of having them?

This gets me into trouble more times than I care to count.

But I don’t I care.

I don’t give a shit anymore. But the thing is, I have been conditioned to care about what other people think and I can’t help but fear being reprimanded.

This fear leaves me out of breath.

I believe that I have offended enough people already. I think I should shut up now.

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