To Start Living, Rather than Merely Existing

I can’t see the bigger picture, I just can’t. I live in the small things, I am always scared to take the leap, personally, professionally, financially, anything, change terrifies me. My husband always teases me that I am not a risk-taker, I calculate my steps, I am a planner,  I save, I fret about finances, I fret about expenses, I ponder a lot before making any investments. Ahhh, this is me, and trust me I so want to change somethings about myself, I want to feel free, slacken, enjoy life, but it does not come easily to me. And also over time I realized that nothing is enough for me, I always kept praying, “God, just a little more and then I would be content”. But it so never happens.

So I decided after a lot and lot and lot of pondering that there are certain things that I really need to change. I mean I see people around who have much less than what I have and they manage just fine, and I keep wondering how? The trick is to find solace in what I have right now. So here are my set of rules that trust you me I would imbibe them soon into my life (Fingers crossed!!!).

First and foremost, STOP, STOP and I mean like RED LIGHT STOP moaning about things I don’t have and appreciate the things I have, I know it sounds trite and stale but that’s the truth, looking at the world around and envying what they have achieved, does not help in any way, so I think it would be better that I start appreciating and improving what I have right here with me.

The next up on my list is something I absolutely loved doing when I was much younger, I really don’t know why I stopped, and it is to DAYDREAM. OMG don’t we all just daydream, I used to daydream about almost everything when I was much younger and those little precocious dreams of mine eventually used to turn to reality. But then I stopped, I thought it just did not make sense, I came to believe in doing rather than dreaming. Though no doubt the latter is important but so is dreaming, it opens so many doors to go out and achieve. And so I have decided to spend some time in dreaming every day. Oh it will be so much fun!!! J

Alright so up next, you see I am very bold, I argue and challenge things a lot, but I am scared of making fun of myself in public and hence more than often I don’t take risks or don’t try something new. It scares me to bits to think that I would not turn out good at it and this stops me from even giving it a shot. Perfection is very important to me. I really need to stop doing that and start taking risks as there is so much to explore and achieve. I so need to get out of my dreadful zone of doubt and just go out there and do whatever it is.

And yet again, I have to absolutely stop being the control freak that I am, let go and accept certain things, my house can never be clean all day along, especially when I have a toddler. I cannot keep wiping the bathroom floors after every single drop of water that is spilled. I cannot keep arranging my cushions every time I feel that somebody sat on the sofa and pressed my cushions too hard.

I don’t want to be miserable anymore. Stress from job, marriage, home, kid, gets on me most of the time. The pressure to be the best hovers on my head all the time, and in the process I am losing my sanity. Letting go, delegating, taking a break now and then, making time for myself, not being affected by what others a have achieved or what others are doing, especially the social media crap, I mean watching my friend’s post of the latest place she visited swirls my mind, as if I am missing out on so many things, where in reality I am happy where I am. I think I push myself too hard, sometimes so hard that I fear that the thread of my patience would snap. So from here on, I have decided to take a break, give a pat on my back now and then, because I know I am awesome. I still have many years to live (I hope!!), so it is better that I start living it as well.

Behind the Forbidden Doors

She sat at the window and glared down the road. The sweeper was cleaning the ruins from the last night, she watched as he swept and let many things remain where they were. There was no point telling him that he was being lazy as he would not pay any heed to her, like many did not. She continued watching the day unfold. People walked down the road, shops were starting to open for the day. There were not many who looked up to see her, some young men did now and then, glaring was often followed by whistles. Nothing made her uncomfortable now, she was well adjusted to her surroundings, this the life she had chosen, this is the life she needed to survive.

She got up from the balcony and sighed, and went to the kitchen to make her breakfast, last night was horrible. She realized she did not have the same energy anymore and she was not interested in fulfilling every customer’s whims any longer. Money was all she needed to survive and it was hard getting any these days. People were always interested in the younger girls, and she was aging. She lacked the patience now and had almost forgotten the art of seduction. Survival was her sole motive to stay here. There was nothing much to look forward to for her, already in her late thirties, she had never had kids, neither did she want any. Her own family had disowned her years ago, she herself was left with no urge to meet them.

After a long breakfast, she cleaned up her room, she had always been tidy, even though the world called her a ‘dirty woman’, she liked her surroundings clean. She had cried after her first customer inconsolably, she could hardly remember how she had reached here, years of work had made her memory bleak. The business was good when she was young, she had entertained all sorts of men in her prime years. Some were sweet, some cruel, yet some abusive and some were lover boys. She remembers falling for one and almost running away with him far away from this world before the lover boy got cold feet. After this she understood the world like she never had before, she never trust anyone, just did her business and went on.

As years passed by, she had several ups aand downs but she was always happy that no matter how, she was able to take care of her needs on her own. This little world of hers had made her strong and she knew come what may she could very well take care of herself. Sure if a chance came she decided many times to leave everything and lead a normal life, but over the years she also understood that once here you could never be anywhere else. Even if she tried and forget, the world always remembered.

As the day drew close to an end, her day was just beginning, as the shops closed downstairs, quirky lights lit up her area. She readied herself for the night ahead, a deep plunging neckline, with a bright lipstick, topped with a flashy face and clinking bangles, and a lot of talcum powder, she was ready for the night. She stood near a pole and started gesturing at men passing by, calling out men to come and take her with them. Some came near but she was not happy with the money they were offering, many preferred going to the much younger girls around. The night ended with no customers for her. It was worrying as she still had to pay the rent. She climbed up the stairs to reach her room and took a blanket over her, it was a cold night. As she slept she dreamt of her village when she was a little girl, she was running to the river with her friends to take a bath, the wind was cool and she was happy playing with her friends, she could not wait to go back home to her mother who she knew had prepared her favorite rice and dal. After a heavy meal, she remembered falling asleep in her mother’s lap as her mother told her stories of a prince charming who would come soon to take her along. She could only smile as she went into the dreamland.

We Never Want to Be Raped : Plain and Simple

This one is coming up Bold, but nevertheless this needs be conveyed.

Just recently I had some urgent errand to complete and the scanner at my workplace was out of order, so I had to go to a nearby photocopy shop to complete the work. It was a small place with a floor occupied by photocopy machines and a guy standing in his mid twenties waiting for me to explain him what I wanted. He asked me to get my scanned copy from downstairs. I followed him to a dingy looking shack in the basement with two men sitting with a computer. The mere sight of that scene sent me goose bumps, chills to my body. I was scared to hell to enter that place. Though everything went out smoothly must I say, the men were nice, they did their job, no lewd looks, or remarks but yes I only let out a sigh of relief when I finally left.

It was only then on my way back home that I realized that just what has happened to us, the females of India, why has this fear settled into our conscience.

What I have really learnt from growing up as a girl in India is, that it is not the circumstances, not the sexuality of a female, not what we wear, nor what we say that instigates a man, it is totally the disposition of the males that is wholly and solely responsible for heinous crimes like these. We belong to a society wherein we nurture our daughters in such a way that over time they themselves feel that they are vulnerable showpieces. We educate them, encourage them for sports, extracurricular, want them to be independent but I believe that only a small fraction of the society does this solely for the girl, it is more to grab a suitable suitor for their daughter. I am very sure that when a girl child is born in India, (undoubtedly most of the urban society now feels happy, things have changed), but the happiness is also immediately invaded by thoughts of the mere responsibility this girl child will be, her marriage, and thoughts of making all possible provisions to keep her safe in this world starts to ingrain the minds of the parents. Then how do we expect these girls to become confident young adults??

We are in the habit of undermining the women so much that every raised head of a female is bashed up by thousand raised fingers. How did rather one decide that who is the stronger gender, was it merely on the basis of physical strength. This catastrophic conclusion was reached thousands of years ago and hence we are still taking the brunt of these actions. From goddess Sita who had to give herself up to the whimsical doubts of his husband Ram who did not consider the fact that the same lady left all worldly pleasures to be with her husband who was out fulfilling the whimsical demands of his father. He forgot the fact that it took a lot for a girl to give everything up for her husband. And then there is Draupadi who accepted being wife of five husbands, gave up her love, nobody bothered to know what she wanted, who she loved, and after all this too she sets a bad example in history of someone who slept with more than one man, Draupadi is synonymous with derogatory terms in the present time, but what people fail to understand is that it was not by her choice. Apparently our forefathers failed to set a very good example for respecting females. History is proof that women were always treated as mere objects of pleasure.

There are certain things that just plainly need to be understood and accepted, the bodily autonomy of a girl needs to be respected no matter what. We need to accept that it is very OK for a female to want and enjoy sex. Here in India and probably elsewhere as well women are not meant to like sex, it is merely an act to gratify men for their deed, for them being in our lives, or plainly for they being men. A woman’s sexuality seldom exists for her own. Mostly a woman who is outgoing, confident about herself, capable of taking control, outspoken, is considered a dreadful, abominable being. It is OK to have more male friends than females, OK to dress to our liking, get drunk at parties, come home late at night, and doing any of this does not mean we become open to violence to our bodies. The tendency of society after rape is to find reasons, “What did the girl do to deserve it” and not, “Why the rapist did not stop”. Clearly no rape victim gives any signal, did not dress thinking, “OK today I am dressing perfectly to get raped”, nothing that we do implies that we are ready to be manipulated by anyone. We are capable enough and should be able to decide when to say “YES” or ”NO”, is it really so much to ask for. Yes females do want to have sex but with partners of their choice, in surroundings of their liking, and why NOT?

Every girl is born with a “I don’t want to be RAPED” birth right and you just cannot deny it to her, just cannot!! There are no excuses or justifications for rape, never have been, never can be. No one can disregard our NO, it is part of our existence. Rape can never be a punishment for how we dress, drinking too much, staying out late, or having a partner. Those are choices we make according to our liking, that does not entitle men to do what they do, and it is not a compulsion. A rapist can never have excuse for what he did, he can never justify it, he should only regret it. It’s a CRIME no matter what reasons are put up later. Rape victims are always blameless no matter what. Living by the idea that she must have done something to instigate the man is wrong and needs to go. We need to stop the culture of shaming and blaming rape victims, have quicker and fairer trials, stop the absurd culture of silent institutions towards this heinous crime. A woman needs to be respected in all means for a country to progress and this needs to be emphasized that’s it.

Happy Women’s Day Everyone!!