#Me Too – Really??? That’s How You Define Yourself??

#Me Too tag – that’s all I’ve been seeing all around me for the past couple of weeks now. It’s the new craze, new frenzy gone “viral” – of something that’s been happening from so many years all over the world, but which people only realized when a major Hollywood hot-shot was cornered!!

It irritates me, makes me impatient, angry!!

No, don’t get me wrong. I know what it is to be abused..Oh yes, I know it very, very well. I know it’s effects, I know how much permanent damage it can do. I know how these monsters of the mind creep up suddenly on you, years after it has all happened.

But do I want that to be my label, my identifying factor, do I want to proclaim to the whole world – that “Treat me different, Look at me different, I am different, because #Me too”??

No!! Definitely not!!

That phase of my life does not define me. I refuse to give so much importance to that part of my life that I need to label myself on the basis of it.

And all the ladies out there who think they belong to the same fraternity because – “We are all sisters”, – let me tell you my experience.

During my long, painful years stretching more than a decade, there was not a single individual belonging to my gender who stood up for me. They were there – as part of the perpetrators, they were there – as instigators. They were there – eagerly drinking in on my miserable stories around the table, or water cooler only to giggle and gossip over it. (A Feminist? Not I… )

Apart from my parents (I cannot thank God enough that I have them in my life), it was a man – who gave me the courage, who made me believe that I did not have to take it like this, that I could give it back. That I could walk away from it all.

No.. not a woman, it was a man who helped me to the point from where I could redefine myself.

I refuse to confirm to labels which define standards of hypocrisy.

Counting and data analyzing the number of people who are “#Me Too”s does not serve them any purpose.

How many of you are really doing anything to prevent many more of them? How many of you would take it upon yourself to actually give someone the courage and support to walk out, to not put up with it, to not suffer in silence? How many of you would not use it to spice up your gossip circles?

Define yourself as #Me Too – but not as a label of what happened.

Define it as a label to show that “I too helped someone get out of it”.

Can you do that??

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Groundhog Day

I watched the movie “Groundhog Day”, yesterday. (ya.. the 1993 one).

I do not know what the script writer or the director wanted the movie to be. Maybe they wanted it to be just a comedy on a guy fantasy – “getting away with it, without consequences, and still managing to win the girl of your dreams”. Or maybe it was not so simple, and it was a light hearted look on getting yet one more chance in your life.

Whatever it may be, the movie spoke to me. And I understood. Whether it was the same language or the same lessons, I cannot be sure.

Till some time ago, I used to have frequent bouts of anxiety attacks and depression. I struggled to not be a victim of my past and to move on. (Thank You Fellow Bloggers, Every One Of You..).

I woke up with dread in my heart, dragged through the day in a muddle of heart-wrenching sadness, loneliness, misery, self-pity and self-hatred. Struggled to stay afloat. Struggled to stay positive. Struggled to forget the incidents of the past, that kept coming up like vomit. Struggled against the rising panic that I felt inside me, the anxiety and the heart palpitations. By the end of the day, I was exhausted and kept wondering whether life was worth living. Desperately hoped that the next day would be different, and then it would be the same day all over again…

Every day – was a “Groundhog Day”.

And then one day, I came across a quote – “If you repeated today every day for the next year, realistically, where would you end up?”.

The words struck me.

I knew that this was not the day I wanted to repeat every day, every year. I knew where I would end up like this and I definitely knew, that was not where I wanted to be.

I put behind my half-hearted stabs at change aside,  and made an earnest effort to reclaim my life as my own.

I worked very hard on myself, trying a lot of self-therapy, devouring books from neuroscience, psychology, law of attraction, self-help, anything and everything that could help me live my life anew, as a better, stronger individual. I used to write notes to myself, have quotes to help me. Since I did not have friends, I ended up being my own friend… telling myself, that I could do it. That it was not impossible.

Every time I found myself slipping into negative, self hating monologues, I would force my brain to repeat the quote. And my berating mind would quieten down. Every time I felt the feeling of being not good enough, of being a failure, of being ugly, of being boring, of being good-for-nothing, of being a curse, of being a disgrace, of being a burden, I would try my best to focus on the line.  On the occasions, where I was able to pull it deep from some inside corner of my mind, I was able to gain control of myself.

It was not easy. It was difficult, very, very difficult. I slipped, I missed, I relapsed, but I never gave up. I made sure that every day was a little different, a little better than the previous.

Today, I can safely say that I have reclaimed my life. That I am in a better place. Yes, I lost a lot of things, yes there are some things I can never get back, there are some things that I will never have a chance to do or experience in my life because of the years that I lost; but there is so much, so much I can still do.

I have put my pieces back in a different way, to be a better and stronger person. I know I have a lot to be thankful about, grateful about, every moment and every day. I am as kind to myself, as I would be to my friend (if I had one), and I know that I deserve every bit to live a worthy life…

I realize that the world is as large and as small as I decide it to be. I understand that it is up to me to decide on what and whose company I need. I am responsible and in control of my life, no matter what.

The winter days, with blizzards, numbing cold and darkness are in the past now; the Groundhog has definitely brought in an early spring for me; and I am determined to live every day of it to the fullest.

 

The path towards the sea..

The mind wanders, through the meandering lanes of thoughts.  She strolls, in a leisurely pace, through the winding roads of memories and dreams. The crooked alleys of the past rarely beckon her anymore.  The sights of her abusive days no longer pull her, to re-live the pain and misery.

Sometimes she does stumble, unknowingly – on a trigger that throws open a door, from which gushes the toxic memories that crush her spirit. But she no longer stands transfixed, overwhelmed by the debilitating pain and shame. Instead, she slams the door shut, with both her hands and walks away.

And she glides on, peering into each lane, planting a dream there, picking a memory here.

She finds him standing there, on the path towards the sea.

Running her eyes through his face, she can’t help but smile. Hesitatingly, she brings her hand up and traces his face. Her fingers tingle, with the touch. He smiles, and gently takes hold of her hand. There is a bubble of joy bursting from the center of her heart now, like a sprinkler spurting higher and higher, and a tinkle of laughter bursts out of her.

She is happy and her face lights up with joy as she now walks in step with him. Her heart is full, with that rare sense of contentment and peace that she always finds in his presence. There is no need for chatter, for the silence between them is never awkward.

They finally reach the end of the road, where the sky meets the sea, and the sea gushes to meet the land. He brushes his lips against her forehead, and she curls up in his arms, warm and safe. And they talk, as the dusk turns into night. From one topic to another, the conversation flows with an ease that she finds only with him. They pause only to make love, only to let their embraces express what words fail to do. And they laugh, love and talk, never knowing, when the night becomes dawn…

………………………………………..

Yes, the mind wanders through the meandering lanes of thoughts. She knows, it is but a beautiful dream. She knows that he is a mirage. She knows that she will never feel the brush of his lips on her forehead, nor his embrace. And she knows, that the conversations will always be unfinished.

Yet, she smiles. For in those winding roads of her dreams, she lives every moment with him, and knows, she will find him right there, every time she went – down the path to the sea.

The lamenting man and his worries…

I had a very strange conversation with a colleague a couple of months back.

Now, this man is a piece of work. He is crass, turns half-truths mixed with lies into completely new “facts”, gossips, and complains incessantly about his life. Add to it, a penchant for leching, and you get the picture.

So yes, I don’t have the best of opinions about this individual. But, after this conversation I ceased having any opinion about him.

So, he calls my name out this day, and says he wants my inputs on a dilemma that he is facing. I ask him what it is.

And this is what he says, “My father and mother are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in a month’s time. My father wants to throw a party to all relatives, extended family and friends. He says, they are happy and fulfilled; that their children are all alive and doing well in life – with children of their own; and both he and mother are witness to it.  He wants to share this happiness with everyone by celebrating it in a grand way”.

I express my congratulations, and then wonder to myself what the dilemma is here. It is a happy occasion and worth celebrating..where was the problem??

And then it comes…

“I don’t want to have a party”, he says. “I have refused to host or participate in a party”. “Why!!??”, I ask incredulously.

“I will feel embarrassed in front of relatives. They will ask me about my pay, my social status, my car and all that. I feel ashamed and insulted”, says the man who owns two  homes of his own in a big city, a car, a very high paying job, financial security and a healthy wife and kids!!!

I am unable to understand. “And why would you feel insulted?” “I feel embarrassed because I don’t have anything”.”You don’t have anything???!!”,I exclaim. “Oh, and what about your two homes, car, the position you occupy , your family and your luxurious life in this big big city??”, I ask. I can barely hold back my sarcasm and irritation. “All that is there…”, he shakes his head. “But my wife doesn’t work, and my brother earns more than me”. “Hmm..”, I say and am just about ready to walk away. I don’t want this conversation.

He asks. “So I would like to know your opinion. What do you think I should do?”I rub my hands over my face to gain control over my emotions and them look at him.

“You want to know my opinion?”, I ask.

“Here it is. Your father and mother will have only one 50th anniversary in their life.  They are grateful and happy about the life they lived. If God forbid,  they are unable to host a 75th wedding anniversary party, can you live your whole life with the regret and guilt that you denied the one thing they wanted, for your own selfishness and insecurities which are baseless and hollow??”

He stared at me for a moment. But words like these have no effect on a mind like that. He had already made his mind up, and he cared a rat’s ass on others’ opinions in fact. He was emphatic that there was no regret or guilt element here. That his situation was more pitiable and deserved sympathy than his parent’s wish for a party. And finally, he put it all on his poor wife, saying that her parents were ill, she would not be happy seeing the celebration on his side, she feels insulted in front of relatives, that he was protecting his wife’s code of honor.

I mentally checked out of the conversation, kept my silence and walked away at the first opportunity.

I was fuming inside for a long time.

I always knew this man was insensitive (like for example, he wanted to know how “despite being pretty, well-educated, smart and able I ended up as a separated, single mom”), but I could not imagine someone being so insensitive to your own kin, your very old, aging parents who worked their whole lives to put you up to where you are today. To this position, where you sit in a cozy AC room, counting your “grievances” against life!!

They certainly did not deserve a son like this…

Happiness, contentment and prosperity are very different for each of us.

This man finds himself “with nothing”, in spite of having everything. I cannot count any of the items that he takes for granted, but I still have everything and I am everyday grateful for a second chance of life, of all my blessings, my parents and my little girl. I also know of people who live on minimum wages and say that they live a contented life.

We are all on a quest to find our Shangri-La in this world. Some of us find it right inside us, and some of us fail to see it even when it is in hand, and keep looking for it. It is up to us to decide where to look for it and how far to go for it.

Where do you think, my friends, you will find it??

The Long Walk – A lesson in kindness

I have found kindness in strangers, more than in people I know. I have been stuck in some terrifying situations, and it has always been totally unknown people who found it in their hearts to help me out.

In an imaginary world, these people will turn into your best buddies for life. Strangers who become friends.

In reality, I never saw any of them ever again. They passed into my life, at that moment, stayed with me through it and passed out of my life. I don’t even know some of their names, some of those faces are blurred over years. But the memory stays.

The terror I felt during each of these incidents has dulled to a tinge of vague anxiety over time. But the warmth and gratitude I feel every time I think about my rescuer/s of the moment has never faded.

One such incident happened in my life a decade ago.

I lived in one end of the city then and worked in the other. I took the bus to and from the place I lived. Evenings were always a rush. The push and shove of getting into the bus, trying to find a seat or jostling standing room,  and the long, very long journey – tiring, exhausting, frustrating.

One very rainy day, I rushed from office around 3:00 in the afternoon hoping to escape the evening showers. Around an hour after the bus started, the gentle shower turned into a roaring  downpour.

And what was usually an ordeal turned into a hell ride.

The rain beating inside the bus, the deluge outside, people packed like sardines, sweating and swearing, the bus inching forward slowly, trying to navigate through blocked roads, overflowing drains and the huge sea of traffic. Finally by 7:00, the driver gave up. He just stopped the bus. He had taken a deviation from the usual route and we were around 5 km away from my usual stop. He just asked everyone who had to get down at my stop to clear off the bus.

I gingerly got down – right into knee deep water. And looked around. I was terrified. It was dark, and all I could see around me was water. Murky and dirty. There was no road, no by-lanes, nothing..just a sea of water below and the downpour above. As I stood there, wondering how this would end for me, two girls waded towards me and  nonchalantly, one of them just held my hand.

“Come. Let’s Go”, she said. “How?”, I asked. “We will manage. Come”, said the other.

And thus began our journey. We gripped each others’ hands and waded through the water. When one slipped or slid, the other held tight. We marked short goal posts ahead of us and kept inching towards them, trying our best to keep to the center of the road. Heads down, ignoring the catcalls, drenched, the darkness wrapping its shrouds around us – we bonded.

As we almost swam the 5 km together, we talked – at first hesitantly and then more comfortably, about our work, home, family, life.

I reached my home that day at 10:30 in the night, 7 hours after I left office. Tired, bedraggled, looking like a drowned cat dragged from a manhole. Every bone in my body ached and I was shivering from head to toe.

It would be nice to say that I gained two friends for life that night. That we swapped numbers, stayed in touch and are best buddies.

But that’s not how life works, I suppose. Yes, we swapped names. No, we did not swap numbers. They walked me home and went on their way. I never saw either of them again. I don’t know if I will recognize them now.

Over these ten years, I think about them off and on. Every time there is a heavy downpour flooding the city, my memory comes back to haunt me and comfort me alternately.

I do not know how my story would have ended if S hadn’t held my hand. I do not know if I would have ended up as a statistic of the casualties of my city deluge or I would have fallen victim to one of the cat callers who wanted to offer us a ride. I do not know if I would have managed to reach home unscathed.

But, in that moment when these two girls decided to take a stranger into their company and walked home with me, they gave me hope – in this world, trust – in people and a belief – that life may be is indeed worth living.

 

And then there was “Once”

I love stories that are well told. Stories that hold me and take me along with them, making me a part of the journey; stories that in some way touch my soul.

I am also a kind of cynic – or as it is said, “in other words a failed romantic”. I don’t believe in love stories, in fact I can’t tolerate most of them. They seem like costume dramas and fancy dresses and I am unable to sympathize or feel elated with the lead couple. It all looks fake, unrealistic and tedious, and the main pair just look superficial or pathetic to me.

I knew that love existed inside every person, in different ways; but I always grappled with how to define it; explain it. It was certainly not what these romantic blockbusters showed it to be, but I didn’t exactly know how to put in words what it was.

And then, I saw the Irish movie – “Once”.

I fell in love with this beautiful, simple and realistic  story which effortlessly puts into words what I have been struggling to express.

For, that’s how love looks like for me, and that’s what being in love means to me.

No, you may not get to hold and live your life with the person who means the world to you. No, you will not kill yourself when the person has moved away; no you don’t go crazy not looking into their eyes, hearing their voice or seeing their smile every day;no your life does not stop when the person is no longer a part of you.

Yes, you die a little death. You ache, you pain, and you long… and you still love.

But you live. You sleep, eat, work, laugh… and live. And you make a world, where this person is no longer visibly present every moment.

But they are right there – inside you, along with the fleeting moments and lasting memories. And you feel happy, contented – in having shared the same space as this person; in still existing in the same world; in knowing that they are happy and safe with the people they love.

And you hold your love so close inside you, your feelings and your memories; knowing that they are yours, only yours – and nobody could take that away from you.

No.. your life does not end. You make it better and more beautiful, and they live every moment somewhere inside with you; from the day they made place in your heart till eternity and beyond.

 

 

A loner – by choice, not chance.

I am a loner – more of choice, than chance. I find it difficult to have inane conversations which meander nowhere. I find it extremely difficult to have hypocritical relationships.

I have tried, I have tried hard to be part of  a “group”. I have gossiped and bitched, talking about people whose stories I don’t know; just passing the time of the day – saying what somebody told about somebody else who for heaven’s sake have absolutely not done anything to me!!

But after every such conversation, I always came out feeling dirty… feeling dirty about myself, feeling ashamed of this kind of person.

At one point in my life, I just felt sick of it all. I saw that none of them were actually friends. The group I was with, were just a vicious, mean bunch of manipulative people, and I was becoming like them.

I couldn’t carry on this charade anymore. I felt sick in my stomach that rather than looking inside me and fixing the broken pieces there, I was becoming a vapid, mean individual. And I stopped. Put an end to it completely. To some I had to tell directly that I was not interested in others’ affairs; and to others I just had to show them in other ways.

But one common thing happened when I stopped – I lost all my “friends”. Not a single one remained. Every one of them was gone, without exception.

And I was alone.

Today, I don’t have friends. There is only one person whose company I long for, but the vice-versa is not true; and I am trying to make peace with it.

So yes, I am a loner.

There are days when I feel very lonely, days when I wish I could talk to someone, but never even for a moment have I ever had the desire to associate with any one of them again.

Over these years of being my own friend, I have repaired so many things inside me; I have grown as a human being and as a person. I have had experiences which have made me more realistic and a better individual. I am happier than I ever was, and more at peace with my words, actions and behavior. I love myself, and the person I am. I observe the world more around me, and have met some wonderful people whom otherwise I would not have even noticed.

I do not regret even for a second that I am a loner, or that people see me as a weirdo.

For it is the moment when I lost them that I finally found myself.

 

 

 

 

My Action… Justified or Inexcusable?

A couple of months ago, on my way to office, I saw a dead man on the road… stabbed – in the back.

I walk to my workplace every day – early in the morning, when the dawn is still breaking out.

Living and working in a bustling area has it’s own advantages. For one, it is never completely deserted. The early mornings have their own set of regulars. The joggers fighting their daily battle with bulge; Old ladies with their head covered in sari, wearing Nike shoes marching with a purpose to the park, while young girls in their gym wear head in the opposite direction towards the gym. People walking home from their night shifts; earphones plugged, heads in their mobiles, feet automatically carrying them through the paths they walk everyday. The honking and speeding cabs, rushing to drop and pick up the next shift of employees. The sweepers, the maids, the security guards, the milk men, the paper boys, the nurses, the receptionists,the priests… and the drunkards.

Now, these inebriated men are a class of their own. And they need a total post dedicated to them.. suffice to say that my path is often littered with these individuals in different states of rest; and I end up picking my way carefully around them.

That morning, as I walked my usual way towards office, I saw ahead of me a man lying on his stomach, his hands stretched out over his head; looked like a form prostrate in prayer.

And I thought, “Oh, another one drunk and passed out”. Carefully, I crossed the road to the other side and walked on.

As I crossed the figure on the other side of the road, I felt something off and a sense of dread and unease flooded over me. I turned and looked again. And then I saw… blood, dried and etched out streaking all through the ground starting somewhere from the back of his colorful cream shirt, inanimate, no signs of breathing. I stared, and looked again, my heart making big leaps inside me. No, I was not seeing a drunk; I was seeing a dead man, a man stabbed on the back, who lay bleeding for how many hours(?), hands prostrate (was he begging his assailants to spare him?).

I looked around. He lay in front of a bank( where was the guard?). There were people all around me, sparse but definitely present; but maybe like me, they all thought that he was passed out. Anyways, nobody paid a second glance that side.

I kept walking, feeling uneasy, guilty and a bit scared. What should I be doing? Draw people’s attention to this man? Call the police? Take him to a hospital? Be the upright, conscientious person  I think I should be?

Well, reality and my cynicism didn’t work that way. For every question that one part of my brain put, the other had an answer.

“You walk everyday morning when it is still dark, the same way, the same route”,my mind said. “He is dead, stabbed in the back. The people who did it, may still be around, may still be watching, may be the ones you will walk into when you try to bring attention to the body. Do you want to be a person of interest to them? Do you want to be tackled by them on the road one day? There’s a little girl right now at home, in bed, sleeping well, because you are there for her. You go to police, you again become what? Witness, suspect, what? No you can’t do anything to that poor man… you cannot bring him to life… Just walk..walk..walk..walk.. don’t look back.. walk.. to office”

And I walked…I reached office, and went through the whole day confused, my conscience pricking me, and my brain admonishing, advising, consoling, berating and driving  me up the wall.

As I walked back from office the same route, late in the afternoon, through the now jam-packed, thronging streets, I dreaded seeing the scene of crime.

But when I reached the area, it was as if nothing had happened. The front of the bank was clean, not a single spot or smudge anywhere, there was no police, no tapes indicating it was a restricted area, nothing. It was as if I had hallucinated, as if nothing had happened. Life went on, all around me, busy as always.

I reached home and visibly got busy, while my mind kept churning over what happened.

Even now I am not sure if what I did was alright or something I need to be very ashamed of. I know that I can justify my actions till I go blue in the face, and I am definitely able to live with myself everyday with ease; I know I thought of myself and my little girl at that moment and put that thought ahead of the dead form on the road. I know I let my fears and mistrust of the society and people in general, overrule my conscience.

Yes, I have made peace with how I behaved that day, but.. I also know that I no longer have the right to judge anyone who would walk away without another look back from a similar scene of tragedy.

 

 

The Unseen People

Let me tell you a story today.. a real story.. a story that hit me so hard that it to took me 4 months to put it down on paper. The story of a person – unseen, unknown, present among us but never acknowledged.

I am one of the early birds at my workplace. The earliest bird in-fact. I love the calm, quiet and silence of the mornings before it all becomes a busy mayhem. So the morning hours are usually just me, and the cleaning staff.

They are there, mopping the floors, filling water, getting the milk, placing the dustbins, cleaning the toilets…moving all around, visible – yet not present in my world. Most of the times, I am not even conscious of their presence. Just people in a world far different from my own…at least that’s what I would have thought, if at all I would have ever given it a thought..which honestly I didn’t.

Then one day, one of these blue uniformed apparitions walked right into my vision and asked me if I belonged to this place (the name of my hometown). Now, the name of my hometown always gets my attention. And I focused, on this person standing in front of me. A small, dark lady, large sunken eyes, and a face lined with the trials of life. Must be in her late 40s.  “Yes” I replied. “I come from there too.  Have been seeing you from so long now. I heard you talk and guessed that you come from my place”, she said. I nodded. Not really interested in carrying on a conversation, but at the same time not wanting to sound rude, I mumbled something..polite and indifferent…something about thinking she came from another part of the country.

She shook her head. “Have been in this city from the past 25yrs.”, she said. “Came when I got married at the age of 18. Husband broke his back in an accident 7 months later. I was 3 months pregnant at that time. He is bedridden from then on. I have been working all these years”. I looked at her appalled. There was neither self-pity nor emotion in what she said. She was just stating a fact, completely calm. Life must have rubbed her so often and so hard over the years, she must have numbed her senses.

“What about your daughter?” I asked.

“She is a doctor. Doing her final year internship in —–” (she named the most reputed medical college in our state). I am ashamed to admit this, but for a moment I did not believe her. I feel embarrassed to think how I must have looked, staring at her goggle eyed, wondering if I had heard right. “What? Where?” I asked. She repeated her sentence. I had heard right. After delivering her baby, she had taken the baby to her hometown. Her daughter lived with her relatives, while she took care of her invalid husband, and slogged years and years living her life cleaning after others, in a city without a heart or soul. “She is a brilliant girl. Always was. And she is getting married. Next month. The boy is also a doctor. Everything is ready. She is coming down next week. We will buy dresses” she sounded..contended.

I felt happy actually. Felt that this little lady deserved a world of happiness. Felt happy for the girl who did her mom so proud and who had found a mate after her own heart.

I wish I could end my story here. I wish I could tell you that, that was all that happened. That this unseen lady of my world, left her dreadful job and lived happy and comfortable. Oh! How I wish..

I saw her again, after a month. Recalling that her daughter would have been married by now, I asked her “How was the wedding?”

She looked at me for a minute, silent, her expression resigned.

“He died”, she said. I felt my heart skipping beats. “What??” I asked. “The boy..the groom”, she said. “He died. Two days before the wedding. He collapsed after dinner. Was taken to hospital. Was dead in 12 hours. Doctors said brain hemorrhage”. I felt my throat tighten, and it took all of me to control the tears that seemed to have welled up inside me. “How is she?” I asked.

“She is here. With me. She came down with me. She said she wants to be with me.” And then, this little lady who had stood stoically calm and indifferent in front of me stating the tragedies of her life, choked and tears streamed from her eyes. “I stay in a small shanty. I want her to stay in comfort, so I ask her to go to these relatives’ house. She says no. She says she wants to be with me – her mom. She cooks, washes the clothes, cleans up, she has got her computer with her and her books. And she reads..her big books..in English. She tells me not to talk about what happened, not to talk about marriage. She tells she just wants to be a good doctor and wants to take care of me.”

And she wept.. wiping her hands over her eyes..again and again, trying to staunch the tears that refused to stop.

And this woman, unseen and unknown blended into my life, visible and clear.

As I looked at her, trying to control my tears, all I saw was a mother. A mother – hurting, hurting bad for her little girl. Hurting for the pain her daughter was going through and also proud of having given birth to a girl who loved her mother exactly for what she was.

I felt humbled, I felt small, I felt privileged – for I stood in front of a person who was braver, stronger, kinder and worth more than almost everyone I knew.

And in the story of this one person, I saw a glimpse of the life of the Unseen People, lost and ignored. I felt ashamed, of the multitude of us, for whom these people are just wraiths, meant to be felt with only what they did- not to be heard, not to be noticed, and not to be seen; whereas they were braver, stronger and worth so much more…so much more than you or me could ever become.

 

 

To the “esteemed” people on the panel sitting with an opinion on me

People who have absolutely no idea of how I really am, have an opinion on me, my capabilities, and my life.  Free with their words of wisdom and judgement, they spread “facts” about me far and wide, painting me in a picture that is so far from true.

No.. I don’t watch soap operas, I watch thrillers and nerdy comedies.

No.. I don’t read the gossip mags, I read books – from “Oh! Jerusalem” to David Baldacci’s latest.

No… I don’t listen to Hindi songs, I listen to a wide variety of music including Rap and Soft Metal.

No.. Curd rice is not my favorite, Maggi with boiled egg is.

No.. I am not an orthodox, conservative female, I am more liberated and accepting than you fake forward people..and no..nobody’s sexual orientation and preference matter to me… only their actions and behavior as a human.

No… I don’t gossip and no I don’t care if I am not a part of any clique or group and no I am not interested in knowing who is sleeping with whom.

No… I am not slow witted or dumb, I am a shy introvert who is intelligent, bright, extremely hard working, and with a dry sarcastic sense of humor which most of you, sitting on this opinion committee, can’t even grasp.

Yes, I am fine walking alone, yes I am fine with no friends. And no it’s not because I am arrogant, it is because I don’t have the energy or time for hypocrisy and fake friendships.

Yes…I am soft and kind, but no I am not a coward and a weakling. I am a brave single mom, who has lived a brave life and is living one every passing day.

No… I am not sexually frustrated looking to get laid. Don’t try to act as the concerned team mate with your condescending attitude and concerned advice, I can see through you. And Yes… I can curse like a banshee the choicest f words which you ogling creep would not have ever heard..

So, members of this highly “esteemed” opinion committee who have tagged and bagged me .. I have something to tell you..  please continue doing whatever you are doing… for in my universe, the likes of “you barely register, but even that’s one register too high”!!!