In honour of women’s day, here’s a little something.
Women’s day. An occasion to celebrate women, and how far they’ve come. After several struggles, protest and strikes and loads of hard work – women have reached where they are today, and it still is nowhere equal to where men are. They might be getting the same jobs as men, but not the same salary. They might be getting the same rights as men, but not the same respect. They might be getting the same security as men, but are they really safe? Some say that it is due to the under development of the country, and the socio – economic problems which have caused women to be uneducated or poor. Yet, America being one of the most developed and wealthy countries – still chose to elect a misogynistic, and sexist orange faced president instead of electing their first female president. Coming back to India. Although, there are numerous cases of violence against women which are filed in our country, everyday – we as a society are slowly and gradually beginning to accept the fact that gender discrimination is a real thing, and that women rights are human rights. Feminism as a concept has really begun to gain popularity in the past few years. Yet some people have misunderstood that feminists are people who are against men, and want special rights for women but that is the exact opposite of who they are. Feminism is the belief that every female should be provided with the same privileges and rights as any other person, and not just legally. Society needs to accept them and believe in their capabilities. Above all, females need to believe in each other if no one else does. Earlier, women weren’t as aware of their rights and were to afraid to speak up. Afraid of how society would judge them, afraid of how they would be treated afterwards, afraid of what people would think of them. But, it isn’t what people think which matters – it’s what we think of ourselves. Since birth, women have been taught shame. They have been taught to cover themselves up and they have been taught that by being female, they are at fault. They have been suppressed by their own people for so long, that they have lost faith in themselves. Our owns society starts mistreating them as soon as they enter this world. They pray to goddesses in temples, but abuse women in the domestic sphere. They elect women to powerful political offices, yet mistreat young girls in public, and what’s worse is that people are still pretending like it isn’t happening. However, in this modern era of feminism, movements and protests like the #MeToo movement have helped them find their voice. They say it’s a scary time for men but if you aren’t someone who harasses women, then why is it scary? It is this mentality that we need to change. That women are trying to overpower men, because that is the exact opposite of what they are trying to do. I don’t know if you all are aware of this, but recently a 620 km long women’s wall was formed in kerala. It was formed in hopes to protest against the Sabrimala controversy, and gender equality in general. This is a clear example of what women are trying to do – which is empower another, so many women still fear speaking out, and talking about how they’ve suffered for so long. Until we get to a state where each and every woman is bold and confident enough to share their story, and to share what they stand for – we haven’t achieved gender equality.
School doesn’t suck as much anymore. Maybe it’s because of the beautiful weather. Maybe it’s because I’m finally getting some sleep. Maybe it’s because I smile more now. Maybe it’s because I laugh more now. Maybe it’s because I have let go of the past. Maybe it’s because of him, or maybe, I am finally, falling in love, with life.
“For maybe, the wolf is in love with the moon, and each month it cries for a love it will never reach, and maybe the moon is in love with the sun, and each night it longs for a love it will never touch.”
Before this vast world started swarming with the undying human race, it was just a dim forest. A forest as dark as death’s eye, and as gloomy as a graveyard on a wet Sunday. Until Solis came. Solis was a gift from the gods, a gift to the creatures who resided in the mystical forest. He sang harmonious songs, which were so bright and melodious, that they ignited the correct path for those who lost their way in that enchanting yet, forgotten forest. But alas, no matter how much one tried, no one was ever able to even catch a glimpse of the rumoured to be divine looking Solis. Until Luna lost her way. Luna had been on her way to the huge Venus tree. She went there once a year, just to pluck those alluring white flowers. The white flowers complimented her complexion which was as white as they were. Luna had been strolling around, without thinking about which way she was going. She was too busy day dreaming about the gorgeous flowers she was going to have in her palms in a few hours. Then the speculated happened, and Luna didn’t know where she was. She had heard a lot about Solis, and often heard his faint singing when someone near her lost their way. But this was the first time she had lost her way, although it wasn’t something she wished for, she was keen on hearing Solis’ oh so soothing voice, so she called for him, “Solis, I have lost my way, could you please lead me to the Venus tree?” Luna waited for a few minutes, and then she heard a gentle voice, which gradually grew into the most remarkable voices she had ever heard. It took Solis just a few minutes to highlight the correct path she had to go in with a bright sparkling golden light. Luna, slightly disappointed that his song ended, thanked Solis. But before leaving, she didn’t hesitate to ask him why he never showed himself. To which he replied with the most adorable chuckle Luna had ever heard and said “It’s what the gods have commanded me to do.” Luna was puzzled and longed to know more, hence she asked him what would happen if he showed himself. She waited for a reply, but none came. Maybe he had gone with the wind, possibly to help another lost soul. Instead of collecting those white flowers, Luna now had another desire. She was bound to catch a sight of Solis. She set on a long journey to look for him. When she heard even the slightest sound of his voice, she would go running into its direction, only to be greeted with nothingness. One day she heard him singing, and this time it felt as if he was extremely close to her. She grabbed her things and went running into the direction of the voice. This time, she wasn’t greeted with nothingness, but instead a hairy man, with sharp features. She silently approached him and asked him in a faint voice – “Are you Solis?” The man chuckled, sounding nothing like Solis. “Of course not, I’m just another lost man who he has succeeded to guide in the right direction. If I’m not wrong, you must be another soul trying to look for him, but bound to fail to do so?” Luna scoffed, and said “I am not just another person trying to look for him, I am determined to find him and I will not fail in doing so.” The man was fascinated by her perseverant personality, and said “If this is so, I am obliged to help you. What is your good name, young lady?” Although Luna disliked the gentleman, she really could use some help and hence, introduced herself. He told her his name was Lupus, and together they continued their hunt for Solis. For many days, they looked for him. They tried to summon him while pretending to lose their way, but nothing worked. Once, Luna could have sworn that she saw Solis’s golden hair before he disappeared into darkness. One day, Lupus said – “This isn’t working Luna, we need to think of a better plan instead of chasing him.” The truth was, that Lupus wanted to leave Luna a long time ago, but he had fallen in love with Luna’s personality and her stunning looks. He wasn’t interested in finding Solis, but he knew how much Luna wanted to and although it hurt him, he knew she adored Solis. “Well, what else can we do? I don’t think there is any other way,” said Luna. Lupus sat down, and began to think ways to trick Solis into showing himself. He thought about why the gods had sent him on this earth, and suddenly it hit him. “Luna! If we summon Solis, and tell him to guide us to him, then he will have to show himself!” “And why would he show himself just because we ask him to?” “Because he has been ordered to! Remember, Solis is obliged to guide every creature to whichever way direction they want to. He cannot say no, because its his duty,” I told Luna. Luna excitedly started jumping around, and after she had calmed down, we took our plan forward. As per our wish, Solis came and when we told him our destination, he said with hesitation in his voice – “ But I am not supposed to show myself to you creatures,” To which Luna replied, “Its your duty to guide us to our destination, and you must do so.” Solis then quietly showed himself. Luna saw him and gasped. He had god like features, which were glowing because of the shimmering golden light surround his body. He carried a mysterious aura around him, which made him stand out from everybody else. Luna had never seen someone so charming and beguiling before. His intense gaze glimmered into her lost eyes. Unfortunately, all good things don’t last forever. Before any of them had time to say anything, thunder and lightning struck out of nowhere. The thunder seemed to crack the air, as if the very heavens might split apart, which sort of happened. An enormous figure appeared, with huge features, and a body ten times the normal size. “SOLIS! I COMMANDED YOU TO NEVER SHOW YOUR FACE TO ANY CREATURE, WHY HAVE YOU DISOBEYED ME?” Solis replied in a scared tone – “Oh lord, they asked me to guide them to me, and as it’s my duty to do so, I was obliged to show myself.” God was outraged, and announced- “NEVERTHELESS, YOU ALL DESERVED TO BE CURSED FOR MAKING SUCH A FOOLISH MISTAKE.” They all gasped, and begged for forgiveness, but of course god was too angered to feel any amount of sympathy for us. He began again, “FIRSTLY, SOLIS YOU ARE FORBIDDEN TO STEP FOOT IN THIS LAND AGAIN. YOU WILL NOW STAY IN THE SKY AND PROVIDE LIGHT TO THE CREATURES DURING THE DAY.” “SECOND, LUNA AS YOU ARE IN LOVE WITH SOLIS. YOU ARE FORBIDDEN TO EVER BE ABLE TO TOUCH HIM AGAIN, AND YOU WILL NOW STAY IN THE SKY AND PROVIDE LIGHT TO THE CREATURES DURING THE NIGHT. AS SOLIS WILL DRIFT FROM THE EARTH, YOU WILL ENTER WITHOUT COMING CLOSE TO HIM.” “AND AS FOR YOU, LUPUS. YOU WERE THE MAIN CAUSE OF THIS. AS YOU ARE IN LOVE WITH LUNA, I PUNISH YOU TO STAY IN THIS LAND FOREVER ALONE. EVERY MONTH YOU WILL CRY FOR HER BUT YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO REACH HER.” Then the god left, after destroying the love they had. Luna cried tears upon hearing the curse and created the stars. Lupus looked at Luna one last time and said, “I will look for you among the stars,” and disappeared. ‘Solis’ which is Latin for Sun, became the source of light for the creatures during the day. When it set, then came ‘Luna’, Latin for Moon, she lightened up the world during the night. Providing them with hope, even during the darkest of times, just like her persona. Lupus, Latin for ‘wolf’ remained forever alone, and once a month, tried to jump and reach the moon while howling loudly for its love. “For maybe, the wolf is in love with the moon, and each month it cries for a love it will never reach, and maybe the moon is in love with the sun, and each night it longs for a love it will never touch.”
I guess that maybe, I’m not the only flawed one here. For we are more alike, than we are unlike.
I stared at the person in the mirror. The person was me, but also not me. Messy hair, face filled with acne, too thin, big nose, I had so many flaws. I tried to remind myself that looks do not define who I am but oh well, society thinks they do. It’s as if society tells us to be who we are but in a certain way. The way I look doesn’t fit their beauty standards. My hair is a part of me that I’ve always despised. My eyes too. They are two things that I think are my most flawed physical traits. My eyes are too big and dark, and I have absolutely no eyelashes. My hair is always too curly and messy, and a little too dark. My sister stands beside me, at least two inches taller. I’ve always adored her hair, straight and blonde. I continue staring at my reflection, it’s a new habit I’ve developed. Its as if I judge myself so that others don’t have to. After glaring at myself for five minutes, something hits me. It’s quite obvious but I’ve never realized it before. My eyes and my hair; two things that I hate, are the exact same colour. They are both dark brown. I stare at my huge eyes, and then at my long hair, and then my eyes, and then my hair and so on. Without realizing I say it out aloud – “My eyes and my hair are the same colour, ugh I hate them so much.” My sister faintly chuckles and says “You know, this is how we humans are. We judge each other and only spot our flaws. We fail to notice the one thing that brings us together. That is, how alike we are. In one way or another, no matter how diverse and flawed we all are, at the end we’re still human. It’s one similarity no one can change or take away from us. Sometimes we just get too busy hating on others and talking about their flaws that we forget how similar we are. Humanity brings us all together. For there is unity in diversity. I hope you know sister, that no matter how much you may despise your flaws, they still are what make us all alike.” I don’t show it, but I am deeply affected by what my sister just said. I guess we all will always be the same no matter what. I guess that maybe, I’m not the only flawed one here. For we are more alike, than we are unlike.
An entirely fictional, but at the same time – real short story.
I catch a last glimpse of my home and my city – Copenhagen, once so stunning and lively, now in ruins and lifeless. I then take a deep breath. Say goodbye to my home and enter the underground tunnel. I run to wherever the tunnel takes me. Hopefully, where the wild things are.
I can feel it coming. It begins with the clouds whispering within themselves, whispers which lead to aggressive arguments. It can strike any moment. Maybe after every three seconds, maybe ten or even thirty. It’s like the future; impossible to predict. And then it does strike, a flash of brightness in the sky which is as dark as a coal miner’s handkerchief. Throughout, the wind screams rather than howling. It’s uncontrollable and powerful enough to turn grasses into seas. The gusty wind blows through my hair, touches my skin and soul, makes me feel alive, like I’ve never felt before. It is wild and free, something I wish to become one day. The clouds continue to argue. Their anger boils and it seems like they’re about to burst any second, and then they do.
A shower of tears; rain. The rain washes the world, and brings a sense of calmness to me, which can never be found elsewhere. The pitter – patter sound is soothing, unlike the frightening thunder. This storm has come out of nowhere, without any warning, just like the soldiers. The storm will go but, the soldiers won’t. War is coming. I have to escape, I have to go through the storm. They say that “when you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in”. Well that’s how storm and war are similar. In was we find out who we are and how strong we can become. Soldiers are all around, they have stopped us from roaming around in our own home. I see them, screaming and pushing everybody into their homes. The tall, fair, muscular man shouts something to the others in German, and so it begins. Rifles are pulled, and firing starts. Anybody who tries to rebel or argue with them is shot straight to the heart. The scene is horrifying. How can a human be so cruel to another human. All of the soldiers look deadly and scary. I take a brief glance at all the bodies lying on the ground; lifeless. I see women, men, children; crying. Some sobbing for the loss of their loved ones, and some crying for just everything happening to them – getting tortured for being Jewish and getting trapped in their own country isn’t exactly a delightful experience.
I can already imagine what the days ahead are going to be filled with – food shortages, no electricity, curfew. We’re stuck in between a war, and this wasn’t our choice. I feel bad for leaving the people of my city behind, I wish I could save them, but as they say “During war, only you can save yourself.” I catch a last glimpse of my home and my city – Copenhagen, once so stunning and lively, now in ruins and lifeless. I then take a deep breath. Say goodbye to my home and enter the underground tunnel. I run to wherever it takes me. Hopefully, where the wild things are.
This isn’t the best because I feel like there’s a lot more I want to address, but for now it’s just a broad view on the issues I am going to write about in the near future.
Females are not objects. Alcohol, short skirts, flirty behaviour, or walking alone aren’t the causes of rape. Rapists are. We live in a society which teaches women how to not get raped instead of teaching men not to rape.
Nothing has changed between Mahabharat and today’s Bharat. I ask you, a citizen of our country, do you notice any difference since the time of Mahabharat and now. The story might be thousands of years old, but it depicts what happens in the current society. Let’s go back to the epic and recall one of the main characters – Draupadi, the heroine of Mahabharat was always bold and forthright. Her husband Yudhisthir had a weakness for gambling and staked and lost everything including his wife. The brave Draupadi challenged the assembly and demanded to know how it was possible for someone who had lost his own self to retain the right to put her at stake as well. Duryodhana, the villain insisted that Draupadi had become his and hence ordered that she be disrobed. As she was disrobed, the more her sari was pulled away the longer it became. It was this event which turned Draupadi from a contented, but strong willed wife into a vengeful goddess. Do you remember what happened while she was being humiliated and disrobed in front of everybody? Try and remember.
Well, let me remind you – nobody dared to say a word. Not one person objected against the crime that was being committed in front of their eyes, inside the palace of the kingdom itself. Does this historic incident remind you of anything? Perhaps, our society? India is a country which has one of the highest amount of rape and sexual violence cases. Yes, women are beginning to feel empowered. Yes, they are finally gaining the rights they deserve, and slowly equal amount of respect too, but are they safe? Have equal rights stopped people from objectifying women? Have they stopped people from thinking that women are inferior? Instead, the number of assault cases has increased in the past years.
Indians pray to goddesses in temples, but abuse women in the domestic sphere. They elect women to powerful political offices, yet mistreat young girls in public, and what’s worse is that people are still pretending like it isn’t happening. People still refuse to speak about young girls being sexually harassed and assaulted. It is still considered a taboo amongst several Indians. Just like nobody dared to speak up against how Draupadi was mistreated, nobody dares to talk about how women are being harassed on a daily basis. The worst part is that most of the time, the female is blamed for it. She is accused of the fact that if she doesn’t cover herself enough then such things will happen to her. That if she goes out of the house past 8 then such things will happen. That it is her fault for getting raped.
What people don’t understand is that even if a female goes around naked on the street, one still does not have the right to, forget rape, but to even touch her without her permission. A female has a right to wear whatever she wants, say whatever she wants, and go out at whatever time she wishes to, but no person has the right to harass her and touch her without permission. Just because a female wears short clothes and goes to the nightclub, doesn’t mean that she is ‘available’. Forget females you don’t know, you don’t even have the right to touch your wife in an inappropriate way unless she allows you to. Certain men think that since the woman is their wife, they have every right to do whatever they want to with her. Just like Yudishtir put Draupadi at stake even though he didn’t ‘own’ her in the first place. If she doesn’t want you to touch her then do not try to persuade her. It is not right. What is happening in our country is not right. People are still pretending that it isn’t happening, but it is.
How many rape cases will it take for people to understand that no means no? Females are not objects. Alcohol, short skirts, flirty behaviour, or walking alone aren’t the causes of rape. Rapists are. We live in a society which teaches women how to not get raped instead of teaching men not to rape. Till when will women carry pepper sprays in their purses? Till when will women cover themselves from head to toe even in the burning heat, just so that any man doesn’t have the urge to rape her? Till when will women stay trapped in their homes after 8 pm? Till when will women not go anywhere alone? Why do things like alcohol excuse a rapist’s actions but condemn the woman’s? No matter who a person is, nobody in this world deserves to be raped or has a right to rape somebody.
Women are not your property. Since birth we have taught women to cover themselves, we have taught them shame. We have made them feel as if by being female, they are bound to be at fault. We teach them that they are inferior to man and are only for their attention. We teach them that they cannot be sexual beings in the way boys are, and if they are harassed then we put the blame on them because men are never at fault in society’s eyes. Every article I read about sexual violence always has a title which refers to a woman being raped or harassed, why is that? Why do we talk about women being raped, instead of men raping women? It is as if the victim is being accused for the crime which has been committed.
I repeat myself, nothing has changed between Mahabharat and today’s Bharat and it won’t unless we change ourselves. By this article, I do not mean to refer to all men as rapists or all women as victims. Although rape is more common amongst women, it happens to all the sexes. No matter what, it needs to end. I urge you all to speak up, being sexually assaulted is not shameful, the one who does it is. I urge you all to unite and let everybody hear your voice. Each and every person’s voice is important. We’re blaming society even though we are society, so to make it a better place, we must change ourselves first. Come forward and reveal your stories, your scars are what make you strong.
I wrote this a while ago, hopefully it motivates you to take that chance, and do the risky things you’ve been trying to avoid doing in your lives.
They are there to help guide us, to make sure that we do not get lost in this complicated life of ours, but even if we do, we can always return to where we started, we can always go back to the beginning, because we have a whole journey, a whole life ahead of us. So my friend, why stop?
As the rain falls gently, I hear the ever so calming pitter – patter sound of it. No, not a storm, there isn’t even any thunder or lightning. Just light rain, which has been falling throughout the day. Soon enough, night has approached. Ah, night. Today, it looks rather darker and mystical than usual. The shining moonlight beams through the window, into my dim room. Sunlight is way brighter, but I’ve always found the moonlight rather ethereal and elven looking. Of course, the stars are a big plus. The moon is just so beautiful, there aren’t enough words to describe it. Although there is nothing special about its plain colours, it is just so glamorous in its own way. If I had to compare the moon to a human, it would be the type of person who has the looks of an angel but, is so mysterious and in real possesses the personality of a devil. The kind of person, whose beguiling looks can deceive even the most cynical of human beings. The mixture of the moonlight, and the soothing sound of rain creates a rather magical aura.
The trees outside my house, sway along with the wind as if dancing to a soft, melodious song. The water droplets, drop slowly on them, making their forest green colour look new as if just painted. The street lights on the road, sparkle brighter than usual, because of the dark and gloomy night. As if joining the stars in providing hope, during the darkest of times. It’s late, almost midnight, yet the city moves so fast as if trying to catch a train at the station. The cars move fast while trying to over take each other as if racing to see who reaches their dreams first. The traffic lights are there at every turn, to maintain their speed, so that they don’t destroy themselves during their journey to achieve their dreams.
If you think of it, it’s all like the human life. The cars are us humans, competing along with each other to see who accomplishes their goals first, the street lights are there to provide us humans with hope, even during the darkest of times. The traffic lights are there at every turn, every hardship in life, to remind us to take care of ourselves and not destroy ourselves while trying to fulfill all our dreams and desires. All those lights around us, represent our loved ones. The ones who stay with us during our bad times and help us when needed. A speed ticket, or a small accident represent the mistakes we make which help us learn and not repeat them again. These are all held together by one road, the road of life which takes us on a beautiful journey with several hardships and fun times along the way, until we reach our destination.
It teaches us that we can put loud music on, and drive at a fast speed, but if we have too much fun sometimes, then it leads to mistakes and too many mistakes can destroy us, which is why the lights are there. They are there to help guide us, to make sure that we do not get lost in this complicated life of ours, but even if we do, we can always return to where we started, we can always go back to the beginning, because we have a whole journey, a whole life ahead of us. So my friend, why stop?
Trust me, it’s not why people usually start a blog.
I believe that when people give advice or just any kind of knowledge about life, they are really talking to their past selves. To their younger selves, who were still naive and didn’t know much about life. It’s like they’re trying to prevent you from making the same mistake they made before.
Heyyy to anyone reading this. THIS IS OFFICIALLY MY FIRST POST YAYYYIIIEE. I’ve been procrastinating on making this blog for the past 3 months. But you know what, it’s 2019 now. Time for new beginnings and all that crap which I’m trying really hard to believe in, this year. As you know from the title of this post, I’m going to share the reason why I’m creating a blog with you all. You might have gotten a broad idea of what I’m about to tell you by the little quote kinda thing I wrote above, but anyways here we go.
Firstly, I feel as if this part of my life, is very important and right now – everything which is going on in the world has raised so many questions and thoughts and opinions in my mind that I feel the need to vent out somewhere. Not just to my best friend, or to my sister, but to as far as my voice reaches. I may sound like those patriotic over achievers but I really want to create an impact. Something I really enjoy doing – is writing, so I thought why not combine the two? Going back to this part of my life being very important. I know going into high school isn’t a huge deal, especially in our country, but I believe that this period of going from someone who thought a person shouting at me in 5th grade was the biggest problem in the world, to someone who is socially aware and understands the various difficulties people go through in this world – is one of the major but not talked about enough part of puberty and maturity.
Secondly, school hasn’t been the absolute best or worst, but what it has been is – a place which has given me memories I will never be able to forget or replace. As cringe worthy as it sounds, I love that shithole. Furthermore, these memories have taught me lessons, left me with experiences, and quite a chaotic life. I sound like any other teen and I’m sorry about that but, in reference to my little quote above – I really want to be able to have a platform to generally talk about things or some advice I would have given my younger self. Don’t worry it won’t be the cheesy ‘Don’t fall in love’ type. Giving advice to my past self, won’t just be about what I should have or shouldn’t have done. I want to talk about the issues which surround our community and environment, the issues I wasn’t aware about at that age. Issues many people still aren’t aware off.
Us lucky ones have been provided with so much in life – electricity, food, water and much more. But most importantly we have education which we can share with those who weren’t as fortunate as us, and what better way to do this than to use the internet as our platform. Many people say that social media is a curse, and the internet is destroying childhoods and that it is an addiction which I totally agree with. Internet’s misuse can be very harmful. But if we have electricity in our houses, we have network, routers, if we have internet in our house and possess any kind of knowledge then shouldn’t we combine both? Shouldn’t we try to use it for the better, and set an example for those who misuse it? What if someone takes it the wrong way? What if it becomes an addiction? There can be so many what if’s, but we need to take the chance. Every thing we say on here, can have an impact on someone’s life. It’s up to us whether or not make it a positive or negative one. If we have so much then it would be a waste to throw it all away, don’t you think?