Dear Bad Drivers!

Dear Bad Drivers!

With the sun shining luminously across the road, my dark brown glares cover my emphatic eyes as my left hand grips the steering wheel. My right arm sits on the windowsill as my right hand’s fingers run through my wavy hair. No frizz today! The humidity is low it seems. Soon my fingers find its way from my black hair to my black radio. The volume is up. The song is rock. My heart is content.

“Beep beep!!”

“What even!?”, I say to myself softly as I turn the music down. It seems to me like a white Sedan is trying to grab my attention for no reason at all. It is coming from behind me. I’m in my lane I think, feeling mildly perplexed.

“BEEP BEEPP!!!”

“But why?”, I say these words as I look into my rear view mirror with a sudden, grotesque expression.

“BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!!”

I open my eyes dramatically. Feeling awfully cold, I realize I had thrown my fuzzy blanket off the bed sometime during the night. I grab my cellphone and stare at the alarm ringing on my phone screen.

“Beep beep!!”, it goes.

With a dismal look on my face, I begin to dread the abysmal commute to work this morning. Thinking about ubering, I head into the kitchen thinking I’m going to need EXTRA coffee today. As I pull out the coffee maker from the upper left cabinet above my dirty sink that I promised I’d clean last night but didn’t cause the traffic got me home too late, I look out the window next to it and say “Ew”. Unlike my dream, there was no sun or a clear road ahead. Only a road overcrowded with big cars, small cars, buses, autos, bikes, and bicycles. The only thing common to all was it felt like they all screamed “Don’t even think about it today”.

But when you have a devilish boss like mine, your angelic counterpart is compelled to think about it.

For all those mornings when so many people across India feel this way, on behalf of them is a letter written by me to bad drivers.

Dear bad drivers,

Hi. Or wait, I think I should greet you with a blaring “HONK HONK!”. The deafening sound you choose to greet me with at any time of the day. Be it me driving home from work, to the grocery store, taking my friend home or even to the hospital. You are annoyingly omnipresent.

Respect is a virtue we Indians egotistically pride ourselves in at every chance we get. Maybe the word ‘Respect’ redeems us of all the actual jarring faults of our country. So out of respect for the word ‘Respect’, I am requesting for you to respect me- a normal person who is allowed to use the same roads as you do. Whether you’re a middle class man rushing home to his children to take them to the park they always wanted to go to or a high-profile businesswoman racing her Zomato valet to her house who is supposed to be bringing her, her favorite Mexican bowl….

I don’t care. Your mexican bowl or paucity of time for your children is neither worth your life nor my business. So let me explain to you, your business.

As a normal human being who is expected to value other human beings at a minimal level atleast, your driving habits speak for you otherwise. Every single time you cut me in, make a face that makes you look duller than my worn out jeans from 2012 or honk at me when you know I’m an equal victim as you in the same cycle of traffic, you instigate 10 other people to be worse than you.

But they don’t. And this is why.

Basically, they use a rarely found concept called logic that allows them to unlock certain avenues in their brain which automatically relax their nerves despite the stressful situation of them waiting to get home.

In other words if you are the type of person who judiciously uses their cellphone and social media while driving, their brains broadcast a DM to be “calm af” and plays a YouTube video inside the body titled “What an idiot! I wish he would learn how to drive”.

So friend, before you hammer the hell out of my universally valid argument, I’m not asking you to be selfless. I want you to spend time with your kids and heck I love Mexican bowls – bro you need to get that! But, can you please for a second just adopt a lingering sense of courtesy that might actually improve your chances of getting to your destination with a free smile on someone else’s face?

I know I sound like the anomaly considering that we are all so used to people rash driving and driving on the wrong side that when you tell them to stop, they look at you as if you don’t belong in this world. It’s true. i’ve experienced it.

But you’re the true anomaly in a world perpetually trying to redeem itself with words like respect. Be kind. Be normal. Be fair, please.

 

With love and a distant handshake from my car window to yours,

From people who care about others too.

 

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Technology Changed My Day!

Technology Changed My Day!

I rub my eyes and heave a gigantic sigh of relief.My eyes still closed, I scramble about, searching for my smartphone which is so elegantly laying on the side table. My fingers know the drill of this routinely exercise. Placing it in front of my face I press the unlock button which causes a sharp screen glare in my face. “Ugh!”, I exclaim.

Coming back to reality, I check the time and there it says, “7:42am”. My fastidious self is unable to handle this wild beginning to my Saturday morning. I missed the time for my run!

After heavily admonishing Siri for not ringing my alarm this morning, she opens Saavn and plays upbeat music to help me get started on my day.

As I plug in my earphones while running however late it is for me, it is indeed a fascinating morning. The skies are a plethora of hues with a tinge of harsh sunlight but not harsh enough to make me run home. The breeze is strong but feels light on my face as sweat starts dripping on my forehead and my cheeks turn baby pink and I stop to catch a breath. I crunch my body as my hands grope my knees and breathe heavily until I stand erect again and pull my phone out of my pocket. My running app proudly tells me, “2 miles done”. I smile and kiss my phone. I turn around to start heading home but wait, I am lost. This route is foreign and perhaps I was not paying attention for being so focused on saving time on my day. At least it is pretty.

“Stop! This isn’t safe”, I think to myself. Google Maps, HELP ME! 12% battery but its okay. I can make it. As I navigate my way home, I use the 6% battery left on my phone to take selfies intermittently. I pose against random, colorful walls and take portraits of stray dogs for my temporary photography obsession. VSCO gives me an array of filters to refine my amateur photos and ta-da! Feeling like a photography maven, an Instagram post is ready to be uploaded. I reach home and jump in the shower and start singing an old 80s song that I can’t quite remember the lyrics of. I put my hands on my head and my psittacism of the same lyrics is of no avail. Frustrated, I Google the lyrics and voila! My parents can now happily enjoy my semi raspy voice through the bathroom door.

Opening my wildly unorganized closet, I instantly grab the new Blue shirt I ordered last week through Amazon. Unable to decide whether it complements my  jet black jeans or classic beige pants more, I sit on my bed and resort to Pinterest for helping me find the perfect look for my day. Takes me a couple of minutes until I decide to go with the White skirt. The ongoing fashion is literally and metaphorically on my fingertips.

The day progresses into noon and before I surround myself with an endless abyss of assignments and menacing school projects, my gluttonous heart demands an Orange dreamsickle milkshake. “Zomato will take at least 45 minutes”, I think. “It’s worth it”, I say as I excitedly open my app to order a milkshake to pacify my petulant self. Sipping on my vivid colored drink, schoolwork has never felt more tranquil.

After that fleeting afternoon, perplexed and bored I decide to do something I might enjoy a little more.

“Watch a movie?”

“Where is my kindle?”

“Make that video for my mom’s birthday?”

The winner is YouTube dance lessons. It always wins. Bluetooth and my speakers make the evening abundantly vivacious and I hop and jump to the countless beats that grip my attention and let me sway into a trance that helps me realize the paramount position of dancing in my life.

Done with my day, I scroll through Instagram. A  renowned photography page liked my photo of the stray dog. The sent me a DM to be part of their next workshop. I guess my interest might not end up being temporary after all.

Before I know it, it is 10 pm. “Don’t forget to set that alarm”, i say to Siri as she plays my favorite calming music to help me move into a state of slumber. 

They Say That Friendship Lasts Forever

They Say That Friendship Lasts Forever

They say that friendship last forever – a simple myth that gives people immense hope despite our awareness of its tragic consequences.

As Homo sapiens, we pride ourselves in the countless visionaries, inventors and extraordinary people our fascinating world has birthed. Yet, we fail to acknowledge everyone’s common weakness- the one that binds us together and tears us apart simultaneously without us ever being able to contemplate the extent of its heart wrenching after effects.

We crave love in the purest form and despite it being a ubiquitous notion, our super egos being more powerful than our minds stop us from admitting it. Sometimes even to ourselves. It’s like everything we do, think, imagine or hope for is a manifestation of our incessant need that this world fails to fulfill in most cases. You see, this world is designed in a specific way that we may not all have understood yet. It has an arcane beauty, one that can enthrall you enough to be blinded by its sheer malevolence.

Looking around, we may often see dim lighted cafes that echo of large vivacious groups and voracious eaters, laughing hysterically like it’s the end of the world or concerts where best friends click selfies while holding each other so tight hoping that the night ever ends for them. But like that night, good times end too and with that so do good friendships. So no matter how many times you wipe your friends’ tears on the bathroom floor after ordering yourselves a large pizza and making sure to remember to order extra olives because you know she loves olives, our human complexity jostles us into ourselves ultimately. We our are longest commitments, not our friends.

I may sound like a cynical misanthrope. A person without any friends at all. Selfish even. But to be fairly candid, aren’t we all a little bit selfish?

We only enjoy friendship until it saturates our need for love. It is like a game of stimulus and response. Without an appropriate stimulus, response secedes. So when our friends act distant or self-absorbed, we introspect for a while until we decide to move on with ourselves, doing everything we can to shield our hearts from the arrows of reality until we can find our haven, again.

Time is ethereal yet it is obvious that it can be much shorter than we want it to be. And its rapid speed can sometimes be overwhelming enough for us to be at constant battle with it. So as we battle time and pretty much everything else, it becomes like our duty to put ourselves and our needs before everything else. Not duty only, it is survival.

Even though losing friends may result in a severe paroxysm, broken dreams, desolation and an urge to save our eloquence for another time, our valiant hearts find a way to pull through our messes in order to save ourselves.

Paradoxically, friends truly are brillant. There is no replacement for how a coffee date on a rainy day can boost your joy or how efficacious one simple message saying “I’m here for you” is. This recurring experience is one of the most cherishable and will undoubtedly produce excessive dopamine in your body. However, instead of learning it the hard way it might be easier to accept that it is ephemeral, despite its actual duration in time.

So as we tackle life as we call it while encountering many bumps and finding people to enjoy them with we must be grateful for knowing people we think we love more than we love ourselves ,exuberating compassion, getting lost with them in the maze that will one day lead us to ourselves.

So true friendship exists.

It can be crazily impactful whether you’re 7 and sharing Hot Wheels cars or 70 and sharing memories.

But it is fleeting.

Friendship does not last forever.

For one reason.

One reason only.

Just so that we do.

The Sea

The Sea

A form that transcends tranquility,

An irony in truth.

A roaring chaos in reality,

Forever in its youth.

 

Reminds me to be grounded,

And tethered to this world.

I feel secure in being bounded,

I don’t need to be heard.

 

Iridescence pushes through the clouds,

And gently sparkles over the ripples.

With cognizance I feel endowed,

And delight in triples.

 

Far from home and close to haven,

Love is ubiquitous here.

Sitting across the strong maven,

My demons disappear.

 

Sand brushes against my fingertips,

My head tilts away from the sea.

A vociferous rumble grips,

And reminds me that I am unfree.

 

 

 

My Take On Feminism Today

My Take On Feminism Today

I am a woman. And as much as the others everywhere else, I’m entitled to equality, freedom and justice. I have always identified myself as a feminist, despite the snarky expressions I encounter every single time I say so. It is not because I feel oppressed or deprived. I am luckier and more privileged than most. Empathy is the true reason I believe so strongly in women’s upliftment. Compassion is the only way to cure everything wrong in this world.

The egregious truth of feminism today, hasn’t yet allowed me to extricate myself from this ideology. However, I am “triggered”.

Not AS a feminist but BY their vexatious attempts at changing the world, for only themselves.

The feminism that dominates the media today, is a bra burning frenzy aka a group of women who want to abandon razors and be allowed to man spread in public. Now, I am not conservative. Heck I only shave once in two weeks! But our real concern in the world is not the social convention of woman having to remove the hair from any body part that they choose to expose.

While #FirstWorldProblems is a fun little thing on Instagram, how juvenile is it to incorporate it into something much graver. This is not the time for our petty problems. The feminism gaining momentum today and being shown in movies is women rebelling against all social norms. Smoking openly like men do or wearing tube tops whenever you want might be their way of celebrating “feminism” but it is not the one the world needs its attention drawn to, not yet at least. Those actions might be empowering to some but being a feminist requires a stronger standpoint than that. You see, women’s problems are not only confined to our own daily lives. The lives in which we receive an education, can marry a man of our choice but for some reason “it is horrible that I can’t wear shorts to work and that people don’t openly want to talk about my period. I’m a woman. Accept it.”

^^ I’m afraid of these ladies.

I’m not going to lie, women experience inequality in all walks of life. But my point is, to address the issues that are genuinely detrimental. Equal pay for equal work, violence against women, FGM, abortions, catcalling, trafficking, etc are things that actually need to be revolutionized.

My basic point is to shift our focus from women wanting to show social equality by wanting to habituate themselves to manly practices to women being harassed in the workplace or child marriage in the less developed countries. That was always the bona fide essence of feminism which has in the modern world been blotched by period acceptance and what not.

Moreover, I believe that men and women are indeed different from each other in various ways. We cannot simply decide to be just like them while retaining our original sexual orientation. For example, we need bras. We just do. And if you don’t want to wear one, that is your personal decision and not something to wake up the world for. We are two different types of humans. We cannot unify every single aspect of our existence. But we should be able to unify those aspects which are truly relevant to overall welfare and are in fairness.

 

A Woman’s Dream About Her Distant Love

A Woman’s Dream About Her Distant Love

Walking by your side as you hold my arm close to yours, I look up and thanks my stars for these ephemeral blissful moments. Gratefulness is my only weapon and my only survival.

I take a deep breath.

Deeper than your beautiful, black eyes that hold a sense of apology yet also satisfaction. You can’t stop staring into my eyes either. My tears are not for you to blame upon yourself. I want to tell you every day, that it is not your fault. You are what keep me going.

I look down at your hand. Your long fingers still haven’t played me that piano tune you promised you would. I’ll forgive it. The sound is better in person anyway. But please don’t ever break your promises.

As I cup your face in my hands, your cheeks turn red. A shade lighter than the shirt you love on me. You said that shirt made me look as radiant as the moon. Graceful and distant. Easy to love, but so difficult to touch.

It doesn’t surprise me that you begin to tickle my ribs as soon as you sense my tension. My smile is your strength. My joyous whoops restrain your guilt. How temporary is laughter. We must be so used to temporary by now.

You then curve a smile like you do every single time. Reassuringly.

You walk away like you do every single time. Painfully.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/afterthought/

The Pink City

The Pink City

 

It is a pity that I never took advantage of being born in one of the most historical cities of India. My family and I moved to Ahmedabad so soon after my birth that Jaipur only became “ where my grandparents live”.

Despite visiting Jaipur every year to spend Diwali with the family, I was never motivated to step out of our large, old home. I vaguely remember running up and down the stairs, gardening with my grandfather and eating like a horse. But that is all that Jaipur meant to me –  7 days during which my grandparents get to compensate for not seeing my all year, by recklessly spoiling me. I quite enjoyed it. Which is probably why I closed my eyes to everything that the city had to offer.

Its funny really, how much I’ve always loved Rajasthan for Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Udaipur but never once explored the city I belong to and visit every single year.

This summer, I simply couldn’t wait till Diwali to see my grandparents. I was ready to get fatter before that. So I flew down to them and this time without my parents. I had truly missed my grandparents and needed a change from being home alone with my dog for most of summer (thank you workaholic parents). But this time in Jaipur, I was simply tired of being the child that sits at home all day, munching on everything in the kitchen, listening to dim and distant stories to a point where I showered after 5pm. Basically, I was curious to know why Jaipur was as cool as the world said it was. And boy, was it cool.

Lucky me, a family friend residing in the city took up the responsibility of showing me around and enlightening my ignorant soul about my very hometown.

We toured the usual and the obvious. Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, Jal Mahal, Albert Hall but the rest of the city wasn’t any less of a sight. The gates surrounding the inner city were so elegant yet displayed toughness. The roads are definitely better than the ones in Ahmedabad. And while the traffic in big cities is usually pretty bad, Jaipur’s seemed quite bearable. The city has a strong effulgence of history. I felt royal just taking it all in from the car window. The monuments were impeccable. Every corner was a story, every ceiling was a song. Amber fort’s enormity came over me. As it towered over the city, I took in the breathtaking view and called myself an idiot for not going there before. The huge gardens in the city provide an easy escape from city life. It makes you feel like there is actually space left in the world.

Being one for bargaining and enjoying anything that barely hurts my wallet, Bapu bazaar was the place for me. Markets in Ahmedabad are so far from where I live, it would take a decade to simply go to the old city and another decade to find parking. Bottom line: my family doesn’t care for it. But Bapu bazaar was perfectly suitable for my love for anything cheap and my lack of adjustment when it comes to traveling far in the city. I have never seen so many colors all at once. I loved each second of it. Each hue was different and all the gorgeous intricate designs made me want to abandon my tees and wear Indian outfits. That was a big statement. I love my T-shirts.

I did buy a lot of clothes though.

Jaipur is nothing short of a magical confluence between the strength of its historical definition and the contemporary world we choose to live in now. Its well-preserved beauty is perfectly balanced by our present day needs of a fast paced metropolitan city. The city seems to be captivated by its glorious past while simultaneously progressing towards success. I feel happy to call it my home and disappointed for not valuing it all these years. I want to go back there more often than I do now. I don’t even mind only going for a couple of days to shop. Believe me, it is worth it. 

Until next time, you beauty.

Happily Ever After?

Happily Ever After?

 

Diary entry of a content woman and the idyllic life that she had always hoped for.

12th june, 2032

As I feel sunkissed not only on Instagram but also in my actual life, my little girls whizz around me and chase each other through green fields and under a beautiful blue sky. My twins prefer gardens over the beach because the beach is too close to home and too routinely. I could still lay on the beach every single day and will eventually get a tan I’ll regret later. Our dog, Yoko is having one of his lazy days and is subtly pleading me for a belly rub. Yoko is three years old but twice as lazy as the girls. He even wants a snack already.

I find it so comforting to be here right now.

My husband bought me flowers today. No occasion. Just that its summer and life should be summery. He should be here anytime. He was working because a client urgently needed his attention. Maybe that is the reason for the flowers. Well then he better bring the girls their favorite flowers too.

I refuse to check my cellphone at all while I’m here right now (unless my husband calls). My phone addiction is getting better. Or that is just what happens when you love the life around you so much. I’m not boasting right? It’s my diary so I guess I’m not. It’s not like I go around saying it at parties or at work. I’m happy but humble. Which reminds me, my party phobia is still the same. I like the dancing but I can’t stand the excessive drinking. Work is going well. I haven’t had the chance to work on an ‘amazing’ writing projects but it has been less busy and I like that. The other day I actually had time to get lunch with my husband during work hours. He seemed really happy to see me less stressed than usual. The girls were over at their grandma’s. I simply took the rest of the day off and went home to Yoko and took a much-needed nap.

I should get the girls ice cream today. It’s really hot out and the ice cream at home run out last night because I stress ate while watching the Bachelor. After which I worked from home till 1am because I could not sleep.

Wonder what we’re gonna do for dinner tonight. The girls will ONLY want pizza but I can’t let them be as unhealthy as I was when I grew up. One of them seems to be chasing a butterfly right now. I bet she’s gonna want to draw it when she gets home. She made us a beautiful thank you card yesterday for buying her that bicycle she always wanted. This is her 9th hand-made card this month. She is unstoppable. I hope she doesn’t ask for art lessons or else our house won’t have enough walls for her talent.

I can see my husband’s car pulling in now. Yoko is already hopping around his car.He didn’t call me when he was on his way so I’m hoping work wasn’t too bad or anything. I should go over and walk him here. I hope he brought some Snapple, he knows I could really use some right now.

 

 

Looking Through Her Peephole

Looking Through Her Peephole

 

Love letters burnt to a crisp but the ink used on them is marvelously adamant like a mind that doesn’t let go.

An unfinished book draft with cigarette ashes smeared on it like the lipstick smeared over her face on the days she hated herself.

Un-used make up brushes because he liked her without makeup anyway. He enjoyed her obvious sadness.

Curtains that cloud reality and never allow the sunshine to seep in.

An engraved watch which burnt two holes in her pockets because she didn’t only buy one for herself.

An unopened care package from her parents kicked to the corner of the room. Even the card that came with it.

Frozen pizzas overtake the entire fridge. Ice cream is for the good days.

A neat bed for she crashes on the couch after her alcoholic legs don’t allow her to walk that far.

Clothes with tags still on them because she wore the same sweatpants every day, the only thing in her life that she was comfortable in.

A suicide note, as incomplete as her.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/micro/