Speak up India – A tribute to sexual assault victims

A burning shame spirals downwards
Into the bloodstream of this nation.
Racing through, so thick
The heart melts into suffocation.

How long before we asphyxiate
And give in to the brutality?
How long before the struggle wears us out
and our indignation turns into passivity?

How long before we become
Just another number in your damned statistics ?
Another scream choked into silence.
Another pair of frantic eyes faded into void.
Another forlorn soul.
Bruised. Ripped. Killed. Buried.

While you fight over your trifling politics
And your god forsaken religions.
So exploited in their names,
Your Gods abandoned a long time ago,
Grieving over the monstrosity they birthed.

How do you not drown ?
Under the wailing cries of the innocents.
How do you not choke yourself ?
While smothering humanity with your own bare hands.
How do you go on living , remorseless?
With so much blood splattered
All over your conscience.

-SR


Dedicated to :
6 year old from Haryana,
8 year old from Kathua
11 year old from Surat
17 year old from Unnao
And countless others who have endured some form of physical violence / assault , meaning 1 in every 3 women in India.

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Shut up ! I’m NOT a grown up… yet.

Sunday morning. Hair tied up in a messy bun. Soft bollywood music plays on my phone, while I knead the dough. For some reason, my best friend loves the taste of parathas I make. I serve her hot with cardamom tea in that ‘Princess’ mug my parents bought me, along with a lot of other stuff, when I moved into my first flat. It’s been 7 months now. And it has almost become our weekend tradition. “You know you’re like my mom to me, here. Treating me with such homely breakfast.”, she jokes. I don’t like to cook. Wait. Understatement. I hate it. She says I’m getting ‘experienced’ at this. “Experienced? You mean like a grown up?”

Fast forward an hour. I pick up my phone. My gallery is full of pictures from last night. Instagram stories I don’t remember posting. Looks like I had a lot of fun. Some 400 people now believe that my life’s a party. Great! They should. I deserve one night of fun after a week’s drudgery. I have worked hard to get here. I am working hard to get further. They can not know how I struggle ‘IRL’. Sorry, I use such short forms. I’m a millennial. And we don’t have time. Oh and, we live through screens. Shh… we are not allowed to share how we are IRL. But what does it matter, anyway? Screen or no screen, isn’t putting up a smiling face at all times, means being a grown up? Does it mean I am one now?

It’s Monday now. I get out of my bed to prepare my own breakfast. Oh how I miss my mom right now. I reach my work place, settle down in my seat and watch the day turn from morning to night through the clock at the front wall. I have almost forgotten what afternoons look like. I do not see that scorching sun I used to curse an year ago, anymore. I do not see those driving rains I would often get drenched in, anymore. I miss them now. But seriously, who cares as long as I’m making big bucks? Isn’t that all a grown up should care about? Wait. Am I thinking like a grown up now?

It’s Wednesday today. Middle of the week. Clients after clients. Calls after calls. I’m so busy, I can not afford to think about anything else. Except, when it hits me. “Shit! Did I turn off my straightening iron before leaving?” Or, “I can’t remember, if I closed the door to balcony.” What if I burn my flat down? What if someone climbs through the balcony. To think , things as little as those. Yet so scary. Unending anxiety and paranoia has become a part of my life. “No space for mistakes”, they say.
I’m sorry I’ve never lived all by myself before. This is my first time. And I’m scared. DON’T SAY THAT! No one must know. Just keep pretending to be perfect.
Just keep acting like a grown up.

It’s friday now. Long weekend. How I’ve waited for it for so long. I’m home now. Long way from the disguised reality. Long way from that stupid trepidation. The good part is that I do not have to fake smile any more. The better part is that I can rant about it while my dad patiently listens. Look at me. I’m back to being that whiny kid. A few minutes later, I get a text. I forget everything, put on my flip flops and run off, without thinking once about the stupid doors. Apparently, all these years later, “same place, same coffee” still means a thing. There are no instagram stories of it. No 120 pictures. Those 400 people do not know this. But here and now, life is good. It’s going to be a few hours, until I come home. And it’s going to be a few hours while I watch the sky turn from blue to crimson to jet black. I love it. When I do finally return, I can smell dinner from a distance. PARATHE !! One bite and  I recall …..this is what ‘experience’ tastes like.

Nope! Defintely not ‘experienced’. Nope! Definitely not a grownup.
I’m on my way. But I’m not there yet. And I’m desperately holding on to what little of my childhood’s left. Desperately scrounging for the leftover bits of it. All while the weekend lasts. Before I go back to my pretenses.

-SR


Just a little compilation of bits and pieces taken from my journal entries, written back in November – December 2017. Been sitting in my drafts since January, only seeing the light of the day now, because I’m jusssssst………….. lazy like that.

Wholeheartedly dedicated to all 20-somethings, beating the struggle alone everyday, and working hard to build a life.

 

 

20 Days

I often go back to the time
When we sat on the staircase outside late one spring night,
When I threw my bitter resentments at you,
My despondency wrapped in I-hate-you’s.
But you hung on my acidic words,
Promising to make things right.
Do you remember, when we had our last 20 days ahead of us?
Do you remember your heartening words?

I often go back to the time,
Of our inhibited talks.
Your festering fears.
My profound apprehensions.
Our little ice cream walks.
Do you remember those casual saunters?
If only they lasted a little bit longer.

I often go back to the time,
When you took my hand,
And waltzed me around.
When everything else,
Evanesced in the background
A moment which passed before I could savor it.
Do you remember that song
Which suddenly became my favorite?

Oh how it killed me to watch it all fade,
But all I had,
Were those last 20 days.
Until you decided
To drop the masquerade.

-SR

Life Lately …

Life lately has been pretty much upside down with all the Stranger Things happening around, but I’ve gotten used to it.
Was that a pretty pathetic attempt at being funny while opening a blog post , which has been due for an year? …. Okay I get it… you don’t need to answer that!

I see my last post here and I see 22 year old me trying to be all wise and smart and, 23 year old me , right now, is just cringing so hard. But damn that girl was wiser than me, whatever happened to her.

An year later now, I’m out of college, leading a cliched “big-city-big-job-lonely-life” and feeling terrible exhausted, and bored. Good news , I’ve saved up enough money now to make a pilgrimage to holy land of London and see with my own mortal eyes , the holy world of Harry Potter aka WB Studio in all its glory. Bad news, I can not afford to take any leaves from work. Oh yess!! Saddest situation ever!! Plus, my mum wouldn’t let me go alone so…   (I’m just going to ponder on for a while about which excuse sounds sadder than the other)
Anyway, so I was saying … life here is killing me. I remember during my last few days at college, I was starting to get mixed feelings. Of course I was upset, but there was some part of me which constantly screamed NO ASSIGNMENTS NO EXAMS, and that just got me ‘elated’, every single time. And 3 months after that, I forgot what that word felt like. Life has become a constant cycle of work-eat-sleep-repeat and I’m just spinning with it. And not to sound very sentimental and cry-ey about it, most of the time I just pass it with a ‘K Whatever attitude‘ , except on a few days when I come back a bit late from work and I can smell something good cooking while walking past every damn house/flat in my society and I reach my place, stuff my face with cold bread and butter and cry myself to sleep on those nights.
Actually , no that’s not true, I’m just being over dramatic, but you get my point, right? For twenty two years , I’ve lived surrounded with people, and suddenly there’s so much peace and quiet in my life that I just find hard to digest sometimes. (TBH, being an introvert helps a lot but not always). So, to solve that problem, I signed up on some extra courses, and long story short , it’s just more assignments and work life + student life going hand in hand. I don’t know which one I’m doing part time.

But anyway, it’s not sad all the time. I mean I don’t have to think twice anymore if I want to buy something and I get that feeling of being independent, which I just love waking up to everyday.  I’ve also learned to cook a lot of things. And while, I’m still struggling to be a pro at adulting, one thing I’ve definitely learned is to NOT care about people or silly things a lot. Oh wait, is that me throwing shade at someone/something? Or am I just being dramatic again? Hmm…

So that’s enough about career. Moving on, how can I not mention? BOOKS!!
I haven’t read a lot lately, but ALONE IN BERLIN by HANS FALLADA? Man, that book gave me chills. That’s another addition to my favorite Nazi themed novels. Just a fun fact, this masterpiece was written in 22 days. 22 DAYS!?!?!! I mean you really really have to read it to know how good it is. If you’re into reading, better get your hands on it ASAP! If you’re not, well… you have my sympathy.
I’m also trying to finish Cosmos by Carl Sagan and Made In America by Bill Bryson, since foreverrr, but something about non-fiction, it just takes me soooo long!! Oh and I also finally read Catch-22, and I know I’m so late to the club, BUT WHAT A FIVE STAR BOOK THOUGH! *Tosses it on my pile of favorite books*. There might be around 10 , maybe 12, books more, but I can’t think of anything to specially mention.

I can’t think of anything to add more now.
I would tell you about the time when I cut my feet with glass and just went to sleep leaving it bleeding like that because I’m clumsy and ignorant like that (Ha! Talk about adulting), or maybe that time when I felt so heartbroken for Cassini, a spacecraft’s, self destruction that I ranted about its ‘suicide’ for half an hour over call to my brother because I become an emotional mess sometimes, but those stories are much too random and much too long to accommodate in this post. So much… SO MUCH has happened in this past one year, that I just can’t pick my favorite stories to tell. Should I mention those about my travels, or about my work or all the random batshit crazy experiences I’ve had? *pulls out my 2017 journal, looks at the number of pages, keeps it back*. Maybe some other time guys. I’m just going to end this here.
And I’ll leave you with a song I’m listening to right now…

Have a good night/day, if you’re reading this.

Later,
Srishti

 

HELP ME PLEASEEE!!!

I just need 30 seconds of your time.

I’m conducting a research on the brand image of Tesla for a college assignment. Please fill this form. It will not take more than 30 seconds of your life. Pleaseeeeeeee do it.

https://docs.google.com/a/nirmauni.ac.in/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeXt4v5fvU3ebv2fvXCBq5o2wcy9WrfoEF0CxHEW8IgRsFy7A/viewform?c=0&w=1

Feels like 22!

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I turned 22 on 22nd October this year and I’ve been intending to write a post about it ever since… but oh… my lazy self.
I TURNED 22 ON 22!! ALRIGHT!! I’M ALLOWED TO BE EXCITED ABOUT IT AND I’M ALLOWED TO NOT POST ABOUT IT UNTIL AFTER A WEEK RIGHT??? RIGHT??

(*whispers to self* Sit down Srish, you’re looking stupid! )
Okay I’m sorry. I don’t know what I’m writing. Alright, back to the subject, hmm…

So what’s changed between 21 and 22?
Nothing. And everything.
Every year it’s like “Oh it’s my birthday… I’m officially an year older but do I really feel older?”
“Yes, of course, I feel older and wiser.”
“REALLLYYY??”
“Hell NOOOO!!!” 

This year, the answer is YES! This year it genuinely feels like 22.
I’m wiser than 21. I’m sillier than 23.
I’ve never felt more myself than I’m feeling now. At 22.

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Delirium

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Light as a feather, drifting away with the wind,
Or lost in space, floating to the ends of the galaxy,
Or fierce like a dragon, ruling the mountains,
Or swimming in the depths of my own childhood memories
I live in my dreams,
away from the confined realities.
Where I’m free.
Where I’m infinite.

And the nightmares that haunt me,
I’ve accepted as my own,
At least they make me aware of every breath I take,
With those demons I have grown.
They don’t scare me,
half as much as those dreamless slumbers.
Making me oblivious of the world,
Of my own existence,
Taking away everything I’ve ever known,
in an instant.

Yet I know, it’ll swallow me one day,
into its eternal darkness,
which makes me think,
maybe I’m not afraid of loosing myself,
maybe I’m just afraid of waking up.
From this beautiful dream which I so like to call a confined reality.
Maybe this is all I get, to fly and to be free,
to be humane and to be fierce,
to be one thing at a time,
or to be everything at once.

And I’m not ready to let this go,
my dreams, my deliriums
I’m not ready,
to wake up yet.

-SR


I claim no rights on the picture used above.