Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Letter to Her

Dear Maithili
Wondering why I chose that name for you? Because you are the quintessential Indian woman, a shadow of the one you derive your name from-Sita! Yes, the one who was the epitome of sacrifice, of the strength of a woman so misconstrued by society for years together now. Because you have been made to believe that sacrifice is the virtue that makes you a Goddess. Who are you then, if not Maithili( princess of Mithila) or Janaki( daughter of Janak) or
Ramā( wife of Rama), a woman whose name too is seeped in patriarchy. And so when you choose to look away when abused, I know not any other name by which to call you.
Don't be disheartened by my harsh words. I only wish to ignite the fire in you. I only wish to tell you that a man who torments you physically or emotionally or psychologically does not deserve your silence. There is no merit in saving the face of one who sends you into exile or demads an "agni pariksha" from you. Unmask the misogynistic abuser and set yourself free.
I have often spotted you late in the night, under the covers with swollen, red eyes. Sometimes it' s a phone call, sometimes a scar on your face...a deeper one somewhere inside. At other times its dowry or a loose remark, a slight push when your man is inebriated and intoxicated. That "not in his senses" excuse to forgive him another time; that preposterous comparison asking you to bring him back from the abode of another woman..." after all Savitri brought back her husband from the clutches of death"... and give him just another chance. I have often seen you battle it out on pitch dark nights when you know best that the world will be unable to trace your tears. And yet you have found reasons to hang on a little longer maybe. Suffering in silence is the quality of your Goddess afterall.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Look at Yourself!!

Hello everyone!

Well well's such a day today! I'm practically done with my morning chores and I'm out of work....just figuratively, mind you. A steaming cup of coffee to kickstart the rest of the day and a drizzly, misty morning right out of my window to give me company here. Couple with that the burden of penning my thoughts on the 8th of March. Deadly combination you see!

I really want to write great stuff today. Like all those messages I received this morning. I quote one...Look at yourself...energetic, radiant, efficient, terrific...
 I wonder how they manage to make it all so glossy and furbish it all up. Makes me feel on cloud nine. So I literally turn to look at myself in the mirror. Still in my pyjamas and trying to fight early morning blues, I'm certainly the opposite of energetic. Never mind, I tell myself and turn over to my visage. I'm trying to see the wonders of the age reverting, exorbitant emollient that I'd applied just before slipping into bed last night. It seemed to have worked for my neighbor who happens to be a year older. In my case radiant???....nah...not really.  That's okay. I still have a few more adjectives to validate myself. So I rush into the kitchen to do those endlessly chaotic morning routine tasks, ones that I need not elaborate, for they are most common to almost all women. As I shuttle from one corner of the house to another, there's a pot of milk that spills over, a glass that almost breaks, a five year old whose piggy tail waits for a lost ribbon and a sock that hopelessly looks for her lost partner. There's little hope so I quietly strike off efficient. While I'm on the next adjective, there's a channel that is showing some of these phenomenal women. There's this sports person and an actor, a politician, an entrepreneur and a Nobel prize winner! I'm nowhere close. So I simply delete the message from my chats. I hurry in for a quick shower and then sit down to do what I do best...share my thoughts with you all.

If you ask me, whats that one thing that we women do to make life tougher for us, I will say that we continue to look down upon ourselves. Each time life gives us a reason to celebrate who we are, we let it drown in those countless expectations that we have from ourselves. There is always a nagging pain about not doing or being who someone else is. There is this constant tussle about choosing a way of life and then wondering if it is the best choice. There is this continuous proving of yourself to yourself that women suffer from. And so if I were to say why women must celebrate today, I would say that they must to remind themselves of the multifarious probabilities that they are, to remind themselves that they are much more than a pay hike or elastic skin or awards or motherhood or whatever. 

And so as I close this piece can any one of you resend that message to me. I want to keep it. I want you to keep it...
Look at yourself...Energetic, Radiant, Efficient, Terrific..... 


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Yellow Stains

There were those yellow stains on his shirt
She couldn't get them away
The detergent didn't help much
She tried anyway.

They saw the yellow stains
Nothing could be worse
His honour was at stake
Couldn't she have rubbed enough.

Those yellow stains would stay
As long as she chose her ways
With life invested in office files
Blotches would forever stay.

Yellow stains are irresponsible
Exhibit promiscuous ways
Those appraisals hardly mean a thing
Until you get those stains away!

And so they hang the yellow stains
On the right most shelf with the appreciation card
So the next time you walk into her house
You don't miss
The Yellow Stains.

I do own a time machine.
And I often use it to travel back
to my other life…
I live two
One here, today
And the other, that I left round the corner
and  conveniently call it yesterday.

On rare occasions when I wish to holiday
and feel the need to breathe
I sit in my time machine
to go back
to tresses with shades of grey
and wonder how they became this colour
since I saw them a few months away.
I go back to grooves
and can make out those dimples gone astray.
I go back to puffy eyes
that hide behind horn rimmed glasses
only to find them a little weaker than they were
on my last holiday.
And then I sit in my time machine once again
to travel back into today.

That morning my phone buzzed unusually.
There was a call from that side of life called yesterday.
It had a new address
Ward fifteen at a place called Healthcare.
I paced for a while
and thought if it was urgent in any way…
I sat in the time machine
but it refused to budge
I tried hard
Checked for power failures,
battery woes
and other technical slows…
I summoned the engineer
only to know
 that I'll have to wait until the weekend
 before I can go.

Alas! The time machine
held me back
Wasn't really my fault you see.
I made a few phone calls though
Even tied up for somebody
to run errands all through.

Coming Saturday I travelled back
to see another strand of grey
troughs on cheeks deeper than ever
and puffy eyes tired like never.

Next morning, it was time to move.
I wished the time machine
to give up once again.
A snag, a lag
anything that would make me stay.
But it never breaks up when I travel into
this life called today.
So I sat down once again
as I chose one life over the other
that day!