Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Today, I am not proud to be an Indian

On any other day, I am a proud proud Indian. I can go on and on about all the things that make India incredible. I believe in India, in its people, in its culture, in its development and some rare times even in its government. Today is not that day.

Everyday, when I go on to TOI or The Hindu’s webpage, I hope not to read about rape in the headlines. Everyday my hope is shattered. To this day, I cannot think of once, that this has not been the case. And it’s not because the most recent one is making (inter)national headlines, that I suddenly felt like writing about this, however on any other day, a blog with this headline would have made headlines. I have actually noticed a decline on how often I go onto the new websites anymore, because I don’t want the start of my day, reading about rapes, female foeticide/infanticide, murders etc.

Today I am ashamed to be Indian. All of us who live outside of the country, but love it just as much, feel we are the ambassadors of our country. I consider it my job to make India look good, I denounce slumdog millionaire, because I don’t want people to see India in a negative light. Deep down I know what is portrayed is true, and therefore my feeble attempts to cover it, by always talking about the positive things in and about India. Today, I have nothing to say.

It’s disgusting how desensitized we have become to such news. And the worst part is, for every 3-4 rapes that make the headlines, there are countless others that go unaccounted for. Its scares me to even fathom what women in India have to go through. I feel happy that I took the decision to leave India when I did, and feel stronger than ever to never want to go back. Because I’m not ready to live in a society like this. I want to be able to ship all my family and friends out of India, so I can protect them from these gruesome acts.

Capital punishment is not the answer. The answer is to publicly humiliate these men first by cutting off their genitals followed by stoning them till the beg for death. And no this does not even come close to being harsh, for what they have done. And while we are at it, do it to a few more -- so the others get fair warning. And this sounds harsh and its only so because I'm angry. But in hindsight, maybe its not a very bad option either. It is barbaric. In a society that can’t stop talking about how 'cultured' they are, how they say Namaste because they are so humble, how the 'mother' is everything and more, we have a fat number of hypocrites. Even though half the Gods we have a female, and the biggest festivals celebrate women, the plight of women in India is comparable to those in countries that are run by terrorists.

I am an extremely positive person, full of hope that someday India will be what we all know it can be, a first world country. But I’m sorry, we are nothing more than a country full of uncouth, uneducated people who get instigated at the drop of a hat, but do nothing about it. Women hold up half the sky, and until we as a country believe this, we are going to remain where we are. And it’s easy to blame the men and the police and the government and the 'system' and the corruption, but I don’t see women doing anything other than protests holding placards anywhere in India. For every rape story that makes the newspapers, half off them claim the involvement of women. Today a dictatorship like annihilation of people doesn't seem half as bad. Unless we equip ourselves, to help us, no one is going to do it.

Today is not a good day to be an Indian. I am struggling to find anything good to say about my country. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Top 10 of 2012.

These are listed on no particular order, maybe timeline wise if nothing else. I know the last point is like 3 points, but whateves, this is my blog.

1. Fun - We are young/Some nights.
This song reminded me of what a powerful period of life I am in. the feeling of invincibility that only comes with being 21.

2. Getting a job
More than anything else this year, this moment made me eternally grateful to God and the universe. For giving me a real chance to prove myself. 

3. Getting to address the international students’ reception.
Being one of the two people who got this opportunity, and getting nominated for it, made me realize that not only do people trust me to represent them, but also that I have great responsibility to not completely screw up, with all those people looking at me.

4. Commencement 2012.
the overwhelming feeling, being in a room with 2000 others, not knowing how many of them I’ll ever see again, what each of us will make of our lives and potential that graduates have to make a difference. 

5. First wedding of the house/Sister's big day
This was by far the highlight of the year for obvious reasons. All of us cousins got together for the first time in 10 years, we danced and ate and drank and shopped till we couldn’t anymore. Most of all, seeing that weddings really do bring out the best and worst of everyone.

6. Leaving WV/Moving to UT
Everything I had known for 4 years, claimed my own, I knew the roads like the lines on my palm. Everything that had owned me, and everyone, was going to change. Moments like this, make you realize how much you take for granted, and how you never value something when it’s there. Moving to a new place where I didn’t know a single person was extremely exciting. The new mistakes, the new streets, were just labeled to be mine.

7. Meeting a best friend for the first time in 4 years.
This was probably the most anticipated and planned day of the year. So naturally, nothing went according to plan. It was a beautiful, sunny day in my most favorite city of New York. Catching up with someone you used to know, to see how much they have changed and how you are an entirely new person. But in the craziness of it all, you still get along, you still love them, you still can stand each other.

8. Starting to grow up/Being employed
The Humility that came with being surrounded by freakishly smart people. Learning that from this moment on, I am on my own. Just me and my decisions and their consequences.

9. Buying my first car
Just for the sheer greatness of it all, this moment was a big deal. being behind the steering wheel, gives you a surge of control, and an adrenaline rush from realizing that you really can decide how and what happens to you.

10. Making new friends/Reading Stardust/getting a massage.
The first one is obviously the hardest, by the time you are done with college and all its fun; you look for different things in people. You also realize that everyone has a loco side and a dark side. And the only thing you can do about it is, accept it and get over it. The book I am talking about reminded me of the first point. We are young. It reminded me of my love for reading. How words can transport me to a completely different world, and how that escape is the best of all. How there will always be a piece of me that will want Hogwarts to be a real thing. Because only those who believe in magic, see it. And well to end the year on a good note, I got myself my first massage. And maybe because it was my first, or that it was just so damn good, I was in heaven. I knew what it felt like to achieve the nirvana state of mind. I had no thought in my head for 2 hours following that. Just peace. Nothing else. It was beautiful and so so necessary at the end of this crazy awesome year. 


Monday, December 10, 2012

t'is the season - to be thankful.

I wish I didn’t have to do this so often, but disclaimer: this is my blog. I can write whatever I want in it. Stop judging. If u want to judge go somewhere else. Plenty of other blogs out there asking for your opinion. Not this one. So, bitch please.

So over time, I have heard myself claim that I have always had more guy-friends than girlfriends, and how they are so much lower maintenance than the girls. While at any given point, that is and has been true, but the few girls who have stuck out, deserve every bit of maintenance they require.

There is one I have always known. I knew her since kindergarten. We were destined to know one another. There is no one else like her. One look in her eyes, I know her heart and she knows mine. We can even tell what the other wants to hear, on the phone miles apart. she is brilliant, because she is beautiful; she is clever and solo fucking smart. she knows just when to clip my wings, because she knows me just too damn well. she is my soul mate and I will forever and ever love her. we don’t even have to try when we are around each other. the occasional I love you is enough for us to know that we are in love, even if that's all we exchange. she has been a constant in my life since I was 3.

There is another who I consciously remember as being my first 'best' friend. I made her cards, and she made me some. we had stay overs and tried to do girly things, and failed miserably. she gave me my first reader's digest. she is an alter ego in many ways, and I guess that's why we complement each other so well. she is brilliant because I know, when all else fails, she is solid.

There is a third, who is the hardest to maintain. and also the most worthy of it. she is me in a different body, but times 10 on the crazy scale. it’s hard to keep her happy, but it’s something I love doing, everyday. she is the person I can say the craziest thing to; confide all my fantasies and our friendship is strong enough that we don’t laugh at each other on the face. she is just as confused as me, just as mental, just as romantic and just as utterly lost. she is my soul sister, my high school savior, my personal punch bag and everything a best friend should be.

The next one came a little differently. I wanted to be friends with her before I met her. well that’s because I was devoid of female companionship prior to that, but anyway. she is beautiful, she is elegant, and she is simple and just every bit so complicated. she is the perfect girl-friend (emphasis on girl). even I feel like behaving like a girl when I’m around her. she knows exactly what to say to comfort you at any time, she does not judge and she just loves. she fights for things that are worth it. and also sometimes for things that are not. she has some issues, but oh well, so do I. she is my favorite project to work on, I am hers. she is the exact opposite of me when it comes to boys, but we still like the same boys. she is my photo booth buddy. nuff said.

The last one, because 4 bffs are not enough, is a recent addition to my collection. she meets me halfway on everything I say or think. she is half like me and half a different person. she represents hope. she reminds to be humble and to be cocky at the same time. and I teach her to be fabulous in return. she is every bit a diva a girl should be and bad ass when it comes down to things. she is very different from my usual choice of friends and thus so much more special. she takes the cake when it comes to saying it like it is, and not being afraid to give her opinion her thing. I love her, truly, madly and deeply.

These girls have taught me everything I know. I owe you one.

P.S. - if you recognize yourself and are offended by what i have written, i apologize in advance. because this is my most sincere-est form of appreciation. And i love you with all my heart.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

things i think about.

Getting drenched to my skin in the rain. The sky right before it’s about to pour, the cool scary breeze that warns you about the storm that about to hit. I love it. I love getting wet in the rain. There is an emptying yet fulfilling feeling about it. Its happiness. I think about the time when we got wet in the rain together, and instead of trying to get inside, we kissed, like there is no tomorrow, in the rain. Knowing deep down that this might never happen again, hopeful nevertheless. That is my most fond memory of you. When nothing else mattered and the skies rejoiced with the glee in my heart. The way the clouds rumble, making my heart beat faster with nervousness and anticipation. Often blamed to be gloomy, rain is my favorite weather, I love the splattering on the windshield, the little puddles that become a lake for all the origami boats, the announcement of the oncoming rainbow, I love rain.

I also sometimes think about the time we rode the rush-hour subway and you took a chance of standing closer to me, and I fell for you all over again. I sometimes think about the close escape you made from my house, had it not been for that, I would have probably had a very different life right now.

Christmas lights. It’s true, the Christmas cheer is infectious. Especially with the city decked up in Christmas trees and the empty trees that are covered in a million tiny lights. It makes me happy on the inside like nothing else. It also reminds of when your mom would send this truly delicious cake to my house. It reminds me of the innocence of the young, hoping and praying that Santa has over looked the mischief and still brought them stockings full of gifts. It reminds me of stars in the sky that shine so bright, but for once I don’t have to look up for it. It reminds me of Christmas carols that we learnt in the choir and subsequently the hours we spent with each other. All the stations on the radio and every store are talking about last Christmas and all they want this year. I see promise of a new beginning, of new resolutions and of new forgiveness. When I see Christmas lights, I think about the evolution of mankind, that has driven darkness out of our lives with a brilliant invention.

I think about all the things I still have to learn about when I hear you talk. And I think to myself, what if I am not able to. What if I don’t learn everything there is to learn. What if I miss something crucial, and get anxious. And then I relax and smile, and remember what a long way I have come from being an insufferable know-it-all teenager to a humble adult.

A thing of beauty is a joy forever. Keats showed this to me. He and many others introduced me to poetry. Being awful at it, made me appreciate it even more. Every time I read a stanza I fell deeper and deeper in love with the many meanings that 4 lines can hold. The realization of the freedom to interpret it any way I please was exhilarating. So was the guess work, when trying to figure what the poet really meant to say.

High school. I love high school because it reminds me of how utterly clueless we were of everything but considered ourselves nothing less than her majesty. We think, we have everything figured out, and everyone judged, but little do we know our lives outside this school is about to do a back flip. It reminds of simpler times when just a glance at you across the basketball court was enough to know that you mirrored my feelings. When every romantic song that ever was written was the story of our lives, when just holding your sight for a few minutes was priceless. It reminds me of friends turned enemies turned friend turned acquaintances. And the other way around. It reminds me of my first dance with a boy that gave me butterflies so bad, that I thought I was going to cry. It reminds of how the brain is capable of making the simplest situation a circus.

Music. The food to our soul, without which no moment is complete. How would we ever be the best of friends if I hadn’t sung the most horrendous songs obnoxiously in your ears I don’t know? How every moment of your life would be incomplete if not for the background score going on in your head?

Privilege. This is something not a lot of us think about. I didn’t, until I was asked to, and the comparison of notes shocked me. All my life there were things I took for granted, never questioned or even hated, were things considered a privilege for others. Thinking about this gave me perspective like nothing had ever done before. It makes you think, how shockingly different my life have been if I was born in my neighbors house.

I think about religion and god sometimes. I think about how sophisticated god is and how crass religion. Man made for control of people; it has tarnished the value and importance of recognizing the superpower. I think about how different the world we live in would be, if there was no concept of god. Would we still worship the sun, the water, the fire and the land? Or would we be living in a super advanced world where cars were considered prehistoric. Would there be countries and wars or would there be just nomadic life. It amazes me the role religion has to play in a person’s life.

Sometimes I think about forgiveness and the role it plays in our life. I read somewhere that forgiving is letting go of the hope that the past will change. I always think about how easy it is for you to ask me to let go, that it only hurts you if you can’t forgive. And I think nothing other than time gives you the strength to forgive. There are a lot of people I know who have wronged me. And I did nothing to deserve it. And some of them I have forgiven, but none of them forgotten. Because yes those experiences made me who I am, (and I’m awesome) but some of them I would gladly go back and tell you exactly what I think about you. How you are not even worth being a sentence on my blog post. You are nothing but a speck of dirt in my life. That has been brushed away.
I think about a lot of things. But this is a snapshot of a random day.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Strawberry fields forever

There comes a time in everyone's life, when they get the realization, that there is too many things to do and too many places to see and very little time.

This realization can come at many different times in life, or at any stage. It can come when you graduate high school, when you graduate college, when you are nearing the end of a really long relationship, when you get you first real job and hence ur first big paycheck, or when ur 48. I can say with much conviction, that this is a life changing moment in a person's life. It usually affects all the immediate people around them. Partners, roommates, love interests, parents, friends, siblings etc. and if the counterparty is caught off guard, it can be very discerning for them.

Here I'd like to repeats Peter Parker's uncle's words. With great power comes great responsibility. So here is the deal; power because when this enlightenment hits you, you are infinite in that moment. You are responsible to break it to those around you as gently as possible. Trust me it sucks being at the receiving end of this news. You cannot be responsible for how they react, as only time will tell, but it's in ur hands how you deal with their reaction.

More times than less, people do not react to change positively. Especially if you know any engineers, you'll know what I mean. They are the most pessimistic of the lot. Even if they have dreamt of owning a Porsche all their life, they’ll buy a Honda because of its proven worth. Anyhow, I digress, I'll save my rant on engineers for another blog. But the point is, people don't like change, if it's not in their comfort zone, or out of the ordinary, they will be resistant to it. It's how you ease them in to it. Sometimes ripping out the band aid in one swift motion is good, sometimes you just have to rip it, slowly.

This moment, keep in mind isn't always a good thing. People have been known to do just really stupid things when this happens. So, always take someone into confidence and well confide. Tell them how you feel, and what you think. It doesn't have to be your BFF or your bf or ur sibling. It can be anyone you think you have a connection with. Another side note, a lot of times when you think there is a connection, there probably is. Explore it. Sometimes a person who doesn't give to many effs about you, probably has good advice in such a case, because ur decision doesn't affect them.

And well, if you've made up your mind, and decided to go for it, after countless hours of one part of your brain arguing with the other part of it. Then seriously bro, just go for it. Close to nothing is permanent. People will be pissed, and hurt and angry and then they will finally understand. And well if they don’t. Oh well. At least you got something out of it. Again, after you have seen everything and done everything and it kind of sucked and those people give you the I said so look. Oh well, its fun to be stubborn sometimes.

And I’m not a dark person, but hey if you die sky diving, at least you know you were having fun doing it. And seriously, this does not mean do stupid things. Please use ur brain. Don't be an idiot.

The fact of the matter is, everyone at some point in their life, tragically, grows up. Then, things you thought were cool are not cool anymore, things you could do being a fool are foolish, getting wasted on a Tuesday night is not acceptable, long road trips to nowhere seem to be a waste. And that just sucks! so do it while you can, plus when you get older, you have to be responsible and stuff.

In a familiar land, not too long ago, I knew of a girl who broke up with the best guy she had ever been with, because she wanted to 'see the world', be someone before she could be someone's, do stupid shit instead of making out. And well I don't know the end to the story yet, but she is seeing the world. Going places. Having fun.

The fact of the matter is that in the end, it's not what anyone thinks of your life, but what you think of it. You may lose people along the way, and it will hurt and looking back you’ll wish you didn't do that. But in the end....quoting linkin doesn't even matter :)

When you tell your many grandchildren or your friends children what a mental person you were growing up, they won't believe you and neither will you. So get away with ridiculous stuff as long as you can. You want to have a juicy story to scare your grand kids right?