Wednesday, 18 February 2015

A Country of Love, A Country of Death

The feeling of realizing that I was in love was like getting hit by thirty bludgers, all at once. I couldn't move, just felt it hit me like a sack of bricks, and felt the sudden dread fill the places left behind.

But the words will stay stuck in my mouth as I struggle to speak of this feeling, my heart will thud against my ribs and stop me from breathing.

And now, I sit here in from of the fireplace, thinking about what could have been and if only...if only I had said something.

Hilariously enough, the feeling of watching someone die isn’t all that different from the feeling you feel when you fall in love. You feel tiny bits of you fall apart as you hold back your tears, because you don’t know how to say the words that just won’t form in your brain. As you watch the sickness take over and leave behind flakes in their wake, as you watch the body count rise and the muscles and bones disappear, you feel an overwhelming sense of regret.

Regret, because you could have saved them.

But how. You’re not a doctor, a nurse.

Yes, I may not be a doctor or a nurse. I may be young and not be wise.

But I understand what it feels like to love, I understand what it feels like to feel, what it feels like to see the world around you fall apart under the hand of a structure that is too old to hold its own weight.

Maybe I don’t have your experience, maybe I’m hot headed and over-opinionated. But like the people of my generation, I will claim that as my own, when I have nothing else to own. I will claim this country as my own, while others throw it away or use it for their own benefit.

I may not know what its like to be old.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to live.

And that definitely doesn’t mean that I can be blinded by your pretty words and your silver tongue. I don’t want your words- for me they are but noises. Show me results. Show me that highly regarded responsibility you hold so dear.

Because we will not stand around to just watch our country die.

Note: Every year, India loses its future and current citizens to various issues like farmer suicide and female infanticide. On top of that are a millennia's worth of social issues that have yet to be resolved in order to retain any semblance of human rights in the country. I hope that tomorrow, the youth of India will take responsibility of the country and change it into a country that is inclusive and human rights oriented.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Anxiety and Panic Attacks (Possibly Triggering)

Sometimes, I can feel the cold fingers of anxiety gripping me, wrapping itself around my throat, making it hard to breathe. I can feel the cold suddenly take over me, making me shiver as I struggle to swallow the lump in my throat.

I can feel my eyes water till the tears fall out my eyes as my breath comes out is shaky gasps. I can feel my heart beat faster and then slow, and then faster again. I can feel the moment my body betrays me and my shaky breaths turn into sobs.

What I hate the most, though, is the moment of clarity before my brain stops working. I can think rationally, and know this isn’t right. I know whatever I’m anxious about isn’t even that serious. Academics aren’t the end all of life, I know that. But still, regardless of what I know and believe intellectually, I feel the tendrils of anxiety brush against my consciousness and I hate the frustration I feel when I realize what’s happening.

That’s the part I hate most. The knowledge that I don’t know how to stop it, I don’t know how to stave it off. The frustration that comes along with that knowledge blows away all hope of sorting it out quickly.

The only thing I can control is how I deal, and my first instinct is to close the door so I can sink into the abyss in relative peace. I don’t want my parents realizing how much I hate this, how broken I am. I hate the fact that for those moments of my life, I have no control. I am tetherless and I drift through a space of my own creating, trying to move against the currents to I can get back to my normal state.

Sometimes, it happens when I’m in bed, at the wee hours of the morning, wide awake because my stupid brain won’t stop working. I’ve taken to staying up as late as I can so I pass out immediately and can’t think at all.

Sometimes it happens when everyone in my house is awake, and I have to close the door and blast music into my ears in an effort to push it away and distract myself.

But it has never, ever happened when I was inside my classroom, barring that one time during an exam that I just sobbed on my exam paper because my brain just stopped. I think it has a lot to do with that fact that I prefer that no one sees me that vulnerable, not even my parents. I can’t handle the idea of people looking at me with pity in their eyes.

“Oh, you have it all figured out! I wish I was like you!”

No. No, you do not want to be like me, you absolute moron. I do this- this planning thing- because if I don’t I know my anxiety will probably eat me alive. I need to have control over it, I need to have something I can control. Never mind the fucking fact that it usually does not go according to plan.

Yeah. Yeah, I try and that’s what counts, but what does it really matter? Its not like trying ever seems to get me anywhere. Its not like it stops the anxiety from controlling me, possessing me in a way I can’t help but hate.

It doesn’t mean that I get what I want, and that’s what is the final nail in the coffin. That’s what this is all about, right? Being good enough. Be good enough for a fancy college, be good enough to get top grades, blah blah blah.

People don’t bother me. Their words rarely make me blink. But the moment I am faced with the possibility of failure, it all crumbles down and I am yet again a little child, standing in the rubble of what once used to be a person.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

You Won A War

I was thinking about this today, and I realized that we complain about a lot of things- about too many free hours, teacher that annoy us, people that annoy us, how the food in our hands looks like something regurgitated.

Of late, however, its occurred to me that I've started to look at these same things with the response of- at least my city isn't being bombed.

Guess I can now add- at least the Taliban aren't killing me or my children in a misguided attempt at revenge.

What I think everyone needs to realize is that the state of our world right now is so pathetic that there is no longer that sense of surprise you feel when humanity disappoints you.

You no longer feel like the person is something uniquely horrendous- a sole barbarian.

Because let's all be honest here- humanity has always had the potential to be the monsters under our beds, in our closet and in the blank pages of our storybooks. It has always had the potential to create situations so horrendous and horrifying that there are no words to describe the acts.

Rape. Murder. War.

Those children who died were exactly that- children. Those were the innocent souls we should be protecting, the little angels who are our futures.

What kind of people are we, if we cannot realize that children have always and will always be out of bounds?

But I suppose war, as a whole, doesn't really care. When you have an agenda- being it racist propaganda, foolish ideas of supremacy- you don't care if the person in front of you has done anything to you. You don't care that the individual is a child, a woman, an old soul. You don't see a human being.

You don't care at all, because you're out to win a war. Out there, its either you or them, damn the consequences, damn the lost lives.

And damn all the children.

And hey, woohoo.

You won the war.

You got what you wanted.

You now have the blood of millions of children on your hands.

And no- I am not talking only about the 132 children brutally murdered while at school in Peshawar. I am talking about every child who is killed, who is forced to become a puppet in a war they do not want any part in, who is forced to leave behind their innocence in favour of survival.

I am talking about those children who have no option but to give up their hopes, dreams and happiness.

I am talking about those casualties of war that were never even given the chance to live up to their potential.

So congratulations, humanity! Let me bring out the champagne and maybe some party poppers! Maybe even some turkey!

After all, you won a war.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Independence Day

Happy Independence Day to the country where I was born.

It was on this land that I was born, where I took my first breath. It was here that I learned to walk, where I learned my first words- both in Konkani and in English.

It was here I attended my first school, where I first realized the world was so much bigger that I thought it was.

It was on this land I first felt true happiness.

I left India for around 7 years, and came back relatively grown up. I was no longer the innocent child who loved to talk to the vegetable vendors outside her house. I was smarter, more careful. I was also angrier.

It was also on this land that I felt true rage. It was on this land that I first felt hopeless and helpless.

It was on this land that I grew older and looked at the people around me with more and more distrust.

I watched large buildings rise up in the form of towers, but saw men harass women every day.

I saw the news, I saw the statistics.

No woman on this land was or is safe.

Sometimes it feels like we never will be.

I know, as every woman in this country knows, that I can walk out of my house wearing anything I want, because I will still get harassed.

I grew older, and my faith in humanity grew weaker.

How disgusting, how cruel, how barbaric do you have to be to strip someone of their dignity, of their right to say no?

It was on this land that I shed tears of helplessness for the first time when I realized the true weight of the patriarchy on a woman.

It was this land that a man, many a man, would touch you in a way you did not want. A reality that every woman has to face.

The colours I used to see in my country faded away, the childhood joys that were felt were dulled at best.

The laughter, the happiness. Its all gone now.

I've grown up, I see the world for what it is. I can see the blood of a rape victim flowing on the ground as semen fills her up. I can see the isolation, the blame she will have, the brand of shame that society will give her.

I see it everywhere I go- on the streets, in college, in the mall.

I can see this country slowly becoming every woman's worst nightmare.

But once a year, I let myself hope. Every year, on the eve of Independence, I allow myself to hope for the future, to hope that maybe, this will be the year.

This will be the year that my country becomes a country I feel safe in.

This is the year that men will slowly stop raping women.

This is the year that India will finally be the India I saw it to be a little less than 2 decades ago.

It hasn't happened yet.

But, in the end, what else do I have but hope?

Monday, 19 May 2014

The Story Of Me

As some of you may or may not have noticed, my blog isn't the most active. Every now and then, I read a newspaper article, or watch a show, or come across individuals that strike a chord in my- not in a good way, but in a way that angers me.

Every now and then I feel like the world is filled with hopelessness and mindless rage and war.

Its a horrible feeling to have, and I've found that putting that feeling of hopelessness, hurt and confusion into words helps me a lot.

However, I've been thinking about this for a while, and I've realised that maybe I've been going about this the wrong way.

My blog is- so far- only about things that make me angry, things that make me feel like the shittiest person on earth. Its not about unheard voices- its about mine.

That's when I realised that this blog may contain things that people out there relate to, but before it is another person's voice, it is mine.

I am the one who is trying to tell people that I feel like this is wrong. Your thoughtless words hurt me, your indiscriminate judgement makes no sense to me.

Perhaps, one of the easiest things to do when you write a blog about topics like the ones I've spoken about is that you can easily get lost. You can lose yourself in this utterly wrong and baseless idea that you are giving someone else a voice.

Never, ever think that.

Everyone has a voice. They may not have been able to raise it yet, they may not have the courage to shout, but it is there.

Never ever think that you can speak  "for the people of India" or "the women on the world", because they have their own voice.

Don't think that, just because you are among the lucky 1% of the world who has it relatively easy that you can "emancipate" everyone else.

You're not helping anyone, you're merely making them more disabled than they were before. In that one act of misguided help and perhaps compassion for your fellow beings, you may just be accidentally releasing a discrimination you never realised you had.

There are no voiceless people.

There are only those who are oppressed, whose voices are crushed and muffled.

But never, ever assume that your voice can be that of everyone else.

So, I just wanted to say this. This blog isn't out here to tell everyone what they should be feeling, what they should be thinking, what they should be doing.

Its about what my feelings are, as I swim through the murky waters of life.

Its not about you.

Its about me.

Its about how I feel rage when someone insults people for being different- not because I think the proclaimed underdog needs the help of an almost 20 year old college student who really might do more damage that help, but because everyone is different.

Its about how I feel pain when I realise that the people around me, the people who I call my friends, may not respect me the way I want them to. Without meaning to, they may accidentally objectify me in a manner that hurts me much deeper that anything they could ever do.

This blog is not about the world.

Its about the world of a little girl with ridiculous notions of justice and respect, who clings to her morals and views like they are her lifeline.

This is not the story of a billion people across the world. No one could ever encompass such a monumental story.

This is the story of a girl who just wants to understand why we are so intent on being sad, when we could all very well be happy.

Saturday, 1 March 2014


They say you're weak,
But I think you're strong,
Because its not that easy,
To give up your life,
To act against instinct,
And they will never get it.

They’re there when you’re dead,
But what use is that,
When no one heard your screams,
Your bitter sobs and cries for help,
That wiped your whole soul clean?

Why would their thoughts matter,
When they were never there,
How could they even get it?
They think they’re right,
that they have the right,
To pass divine judgement.

But no one gave them that right,
To decide if you should live,
That’s your choice, and yours alone.
Maybe, as sad as it is,
Its the only thing that is.

You tried so hard to hide the tears.
To gather up your strength,
You wanted to live,
You wanted to laugh,
But you were never given the chance.

They hurt you the worst possible way,
They tried to take your choice,
They may not have made the decision,
But it was they who took your life.

Faint eerie cries from a distant wasteland,
Calling out your name,
The Hanging Man beckons you near,
And their phantom hands are pushing you to him.

You don’t really want to fall through the Veil,
But do you really have a choice?
What is there in this world for you,
Besides tears, pain and lies?
No one wants you,
No one cares,
Nobody notices how broken you are.

Their eyes brush past you in the hall,
Their words fly over your head,
You’re invisible,
You don’t exist,
So why are you even there?

They say that suicide it for the weak,
Because it does not eliminate the bad,
It eliminates the chance for good,
But why would you take that chance?
Why would you hope when you have no heart,
Just an organ circulating blood?
Why would you want to take a risk,
When there’s no one to stop your fall?

Nothing scares you anymore,
Because you may be here for now,
But you know that maybe tomorrow,
You won’t be here at all.
There may be a wake in the cemetery,
That’s about a block from your house,
Or you could be sitting where you are.

The sky would still be blue,
The stars would still be bright in the night sky.
The sun would rise,
And so would the moon,
And the seasons will continue their cycle,
You don’t see what would change if you died,
So why not?

You’ve reached a point where you’re not sad,
You’ve gone beyond that point,
You’re just tired to the bones.
Your whole body aches with it,
You’re tired of this whole darn life.

The voices are killing you,
They taunt you in your sleep,
They jeer and taunt your very being,
Even when the sun has reached its peak.
They haunt your every day routine,
They follow you to your room,
They follow you down the road to the grocers,
They haunt you as you move.

Reality is a prison for you,
And some part of you hopes,
That once you’re gone,
And buried six feet under,
That maybe someone would come and see.
Maybe they would put flowers on your grave.

And for once.

For once in your whole darn life.

You would be beautiful.

Better Off Not Living

We try so hard to fit in,
But somewhere we all go wrong,
That’s not who we are, or who we want to be.

But the pain will never stop.

They shove at you,
They jeer and punch,
They insult you and they make you feel horrid.

They have no clue what they’ve done.

Our soul peeks out of dirty curtains,
That are supposed to hide the beauty,
Of a loving, caring individual.

But the world will never see.

Why should you live in a world like this,
Where you find no appreciation,
No love, no friends, no family.

You’d rather die a quick death.

So under jeers and shoves,
Under taunting laughs and hands tugging your hair,
You make your final decision.

You welcome it.

A day later, your body is found,
Hung from a fan in an empty room,
But no one cares, and no one cries.

Maybe you’re better off not living.