*My Safe Place*

I have often heard of this term “safe place.” And recently, it has grown on me. Why recently? Because our safe place is the people who are close to us, right? And that should be our family. Yes, our family is our constant but as we grow up, this “safe place” changes or it extends beyond our family, to put it simply.

So, I think that we grow up with more than one metaphorical “safe place.” Safe to say, we all have multiple “safe places.” And that is a good thing, right? You don’t have to rely on the mercy of one “safe place.” Before I stop making sense to you, let me come down to what the definition of “my safe place” is.

My “safe place” is that Whatsapp notification which leaves me grinning from ear to ear, and makes me feel like a schoolgirl, even at 21. My “safe place” is this voice which always, literally every single time, makes me feel much better, notwithstanding, how horrible I am feeling. My “safe place” is this amazing and generous soul who has grown so much as a person since our first meeting. My “safe place” is this person who tells me as it is and never sugarcoats anything, no matter how harsh the truth is.

And recently, this voice has become a constant in my life. But, this is what terrifies me the most, because life has taught me that sometimes your “safe place” is not meant to last a lifetime and they leave you or you become less important to them. But, God, I hope that this single time, life makes an exception, just this time with this “safe place” of mine.

Advertisements

Change the song (if you don’t like it, of course)

There are those music apps that show you the time it will take to listen to all the songs they have specially curated for you. You know, like those playlists that are updated almost every day depending on the season, artist and other such things.

Of course, we don’t listen to the whole playlist. It is someone else’s choice and we don’t like each of their choices, right?

Now, just be patient, I will make sense in just a few lines…

You see, our life is this long (reallllyyy long) sequence of songs. The continuous murmur in the background or people who love music (which is everyone) will call it the melody behind our chaotic existence. So, yes a long sequence of songs… Let’s think of our life that way. The tunes, rhymes, symphonies, chorus just filling in the background.

But, here is the thing. It only makes sense to some people. Because everyone was given the same playlist. No discrimination at all. And the “some” people can comprehend the song because they care enough to go to the length to understand it. The whole ‘setting on a path to understanding their inner calling’! Not that, but just the meaning of the song, the “some” people just want to know the meaning. You got the gist, we will move on.

Since, these “some” people have put in real efforts to find the meaning, in the end, they do. It all comes down to that single moment – where the lyrics don’t seem like a collection of gibberish spoken by someone. Everything makes perfect sense and it just clicks.

So, who will actually enjoy the music? People who know the meaning because they know the lyrics. These are those “some” people. While they are enjoying the soulful and meaningful music of their life, others are just busy cursing the constant and deeply exasperating murmur in the background.

Ultimately, it all comes down to those sequence of songs. Some songs make sense, while others not. We are here in our quest to decipher the meaning of those songs (if we really want to enjoy the music).  Obviously, you never listen to a song that doesn’t mean anything to you. And when you find any of the lyrics confusing, you get up and Google the meaning. (Well, I do)

But, what do we do when even Google doesn’t have the meaning or even after finding the mean, we don’t like the song?

Change the song!!! We always do it on our phone, right? Simple as that. Because dancing to the music you like (and understand) is pretty important or else you would always feel like you are in a classroom you don’t belong. And that is as worst as it can get.

How vulnerable my younger self was?

As I stepped out of the restroom of my college, I saw a girl bawling her eyes out. Fortunately, she had a couple of friends to console her and tell her that whatever it was bothering her would pass and it was just a phase. As I walked past them, with no intention of prying (mind you), I overheard the girl saying, “Doesn’t a 6-month long relation mean anything to him?” And I couldn’t help but think back. As bad as I felt for her, I knew what it felt like because approximately 5 years back, I was in her place. Only, I was crying in the restroom of my school and I was crying for a month long relationship. Fortunately, only my best friend witnessed all that as I stood there and hugged her and questioned myself. Was I not good enough or pretty enough? So, I said to myself, if I can make to this point, she will too.

It’s been days or even months since I last cried. Not that I consider that a sign of weakness or something to be ashamed of. It just comes as a surprise to me because when you have literally cried for almost everything back in school, you sit back and think where did this person come from?

Well, now I know. It comes from years of restraining and realization that life is just not fair. Not to me, not to you or any other person. It just has this weird way of giving us the shocks of our life at the most unexpected times. I have been through that hole where you question your existence and feel like giving up all because of another soul.

That “another” soul doesn’t have to be a boyfriend/girlfriend only. It can be our closest friends as well. Everyone has gone through some tough times, so what makes my story or my life any different?

Not everyone is stupid enough to give multiple chances to the same person. How long before you call it quits with a person who has been unabashedly hurting you and not gave a fuck? Once, twice or even thrice? Well, I was naive enough (or stupid) to let the same person come back at me.

And the worst thing that you can do is to not stand up for yourself and confide in the same person over and over again. Until you realize that this is not the person you thought to be. You thought of the person as your saving grace, the one who will stand by your side and be your rock. In the end, the only thing they do is hit you hard with the rock and make you regret trusting them.

If I would ever get a chance to talk to that wailing girl in the restroom or for that matter, to my younger self. I would not tell her to let it go or stop crying. Because that would not fit with the reasoning of my younger self!

But, I would tell her this, “You don’t have to stop crying or be the strongest person in the room. You can let this thing eat you from inside. And I wouldn’t stop you from being careless with your body. But, before you go down on the path of ultimate self-destruction and wreck everything you have, just stop and think what if 4 years down the line, you don’t need a boy’s validation or acceptance to survive and feel good about yourself. What if all the things you have ever wanted would become your focus and you will be so confident in your skin that you won’t settle for anyone but the best. And even if the best doesn’t come along, you will not give a damn because you would be out changing the world or discovering every inch of it or anything else that you have always wanted to do?”

I have come to a place in my life where my acceptance and approval means the most to me and even if I don’t find “the one”, I will be making my parents proud and paying for my own indulgences and pets. And that idea sounds as good as waking up on a Sunday morning with the love of your life and making pancakes. Doesn’t it?

How many more queer prides in this long struggle to freedom for being different?

“Coming out of the closet is not easy

when everyone wants you to hide and conceal your true identity.

Being different is definitely a rebellious act in a world

which is dominated by stagnant notions of existence,

but then again, that is their problem, not ours.”

In another event to celebrate the gender and sexuality expressions of every individual, the first ever Gurgaon Queer Pride 2016 was organized on 25th June 2016. An event that marked the beginning of a struggle that lays ahead of us if we want to remove the shackles of constricted thoughts from our society.

The beauty of such events is the diversity of people you get to see and for those two hours, people were being themselves without hiding in a veil that others want to see. It had many happy faces, or as a matter of fact, genuine faces who were thrilled to express themselves.

The event which was held at the Leisure Valley Park had colorful balloons and the symbol of the LGBT community – rainbow flag. The event started with performances which included an open mic, music, and even poetry recitals. Poetries that were written by people when they were 15 years old to the ones which raised the question that everyone is asking today – how can you silence the voices of many?

IMG_20160625_190002

After the recital and the performances by individuals who wanted to speak for themselves and share their story with everyone, there was a walk held through the park holding the rainbow flag. The flag is not only a symbol of the LGBT community but it also symbolizes what they stand for – diversity. Slogans of “No going back” and “Gurgaon ab door nahi” were shouted with zest and vigour. After the walk, everyone lighted candles in the memory of the victims of the Orlando shooting.

IMG_20160625_191925 (1)

The violence and the backlash the LGBT community have faced in the past years is no surprise. It is one thing to legalize their existence but the grave concern of the hour is acceptance. How many people are actually ready to accept the LGBT community?

The pride saw the turnout of many youths who are not shying away from their reality. They have come full circle with the truth about their identity and they believed it is only a matter of time when the entire nation will sit back and take notice. “It’s been quite a while since we have been trying to change it but I think it’s a long fight ahead of us. The narrow-mindedness of Indians cannot not be just changed within a generation. It is going to take a long time for them to realize that it’s not a disease,” said Shivam, a student who has just completed 12th standard and is planning to take up psychology in college.

He also said, “Most of the countries have actually accepted that it is happening. India is way behind.” And it is true, same-sex marriage has already been legalized in Ireland, US, UK, Canada, South Africa, France and New Zealand. The rainbow flag was not only waved in Gurgaon yesterday, thousands marched in the same-sex marriage rallies held in Australia. However, the difference was that Australia is way ahead and they might even get same-sex marriage legalized by the end of this year when a new party gets elected on July 2.

Everyone is not as liberal as the people who gathered at the Gurgaon Queer Pride. Violence and hate crime against the LGBT community has been rampant in our society and the 49 radical queers who were killed in the Orlando shooting were just a few of many. Another similar event of violence took place in Mexico.

But, there is hope in our nation and everywhere else. People are supporting the LGBT community and we have come to a place where they are no longer hiding their identity. One of the most successful endeavor to help the LGBT community and bring them to the fore is the Wings Rainbow, a radio taxi service which gives employment to the LGBT community of Mumbai. It was started earlier this year.

IMG_20160625_182753

The will and strength of the LGBT community are unwavering and they have a spirit which is indomitable. They are ready to fight the battle which may not reap fruits for them, but they would be happy if the coming generations would get to taste freedom. Isn’t humanity all about it? Looking out for each other! So, why attach the inhumane concept of “against natural order” to the existence of these people. This is the reason why Section 377 needs to be scrapped. The section which is infamous for not only criminalizing sexual intercourse between people of the same sex but also for dating back to the British rule in India! Britain has already moved on and legalized same-sex marriage, then what is India waiting for?

A long fight indeed, but everything good comes after a long struggle and at least people who support the LGBT community are increasing. It is only a matter of time before the government heeded to their demands and the conventional people stopped using an archaic law to discriminate, assault or attack the community that proudly chooses to be different.

Not everyone will be standing to face the sunshine because some people choose the dark and hide in its abyss and ignorance. But little do they know that the sunshine is helping them embrace the myriad colors of the rainbow.

Promises!!

DSC00545
hope in the chaos

There are days when you have everything going for you and then there are those gloomy days when you would rather sleep it off than face the world. It is common. Happens with everyone, right?

But, what is NOT common is your inability to confide in people, your best friends or family – about your innermost fears and the demons that are eating you away. It takes away a part of you inch by inch and one day, nothing would be left of you. Write it down, let it out either with tears or your sudden outburst of emotions on someone close. You are a person full of possibilities, dreams and emotions. Don’t let it all go away just because some people couldn’t live up to their promises. Make sure, you do!!

Our innate selves remains intact despite the experiences we have. They do shape us for who we are and give us a better disposition to face the world, but if you have always been a caring and forgiving person, you won’t stop doing that, because that is who YOU are. Don’t fight it!! Be your own knight in shining armour, but don’t build up walls!!

“Walls are meant for buildings and protection from the outside world, not you!! You were meant to be a free soul and nothing could cage that, NOTHING SHOULD CAGE THAT”.

-From a person who is feeling all sorts of chaos in her mind!!

 

 

The one who always stands by you!!

Life would have been tough without best friends and whoever said that was correct and was fortunate enough to be with one of those friends in life. The days will soon pass, but your best buds will stay and not only once, but they have proved it time and again that they will surely be there when you need them the most, unconditionally and no questions asked. If your life is a roller coaster ride, it becomes even more bumpy with that person but it is always worth it. They are your human diary, your other half and the person who defines the true meaning of the word Trust, Kindness and Life. 

I am fortunate enough to have one such friend in my life too. No matter whatever be the distance or the time, she remains my sole confidant and she is there in my life, not because she flatters me but because she guides, corrects, reprimands and understands me. The one thing that will never pass is the bond.

Your best friends know all your mistakes and your stories and your emotions too, because they don’t judge you. After all, you don’t meet a person whom you can call in the middle of the night and cry inconsolably, every day. They know the level of your insanity or your stupidest mistake, yet they will be there. If I was asked to choose between your happiness and mine, I would choose yours because I know you are praying for mine every single day.

I am glad that nothing changed and the friendship we have is irrevocable and will always be there. *Fingers Crossed* And thank you for putting up with me and my lunatic ideas, behavior and my completely irrational ranting. Thank you and love you.

“They say nothing lasts forever …dreams change, trends come and go, but friendships never go out of style.” This quote is so apt for you.. my dearest… Nivedita Negi – who has stood by me like a rock, no matter what the situation was and even when the world was against me!!!! Thank you for all of it.. :*

The documentary – where the world is just not fair!!

Injustice, deceit and any plot that is set to degrade the reputation of women and only add to their plight never goes unnoticed by God. She just wanted to have a perfect life for her daughters, she didn’t want to stand her ruthless and barbaric husband, but she did – for her two daughters. She was ready to go on any long journey to misery, so that her daughters would be able to breathe and live a happy life. She just wanted time, time to get out of the shackles that her marriage had become for her. She was tired of giving up her body to her husband who thought that he “owned” her body just because a piece of paper had legalized their relation as marriage. A marriage that had no beauty of the word attached to it.

He wanted to get out so that he could go after another woman or to be more apt, get married to a 14 year old girl. She needed time. But the lust in her husband’s mind couldn’t wait and he did what would leave your souls wrecked and question the sound judgement of God. Yes, in a society we are blinded by the word “I” and everything beyond that seems to be inconsequential, the woman who wanted to live a life of dignity by working as a caretaker so that her two beautiful daughters could live a life that would not be directed by such cruelties, Soraya M. was stoned to death!! Appalling and another shame of society, she was stoned and stoned yet again till she died. If this was not enough, she was stoned by her two sons who were utterly misguided and had no idea as to what was happening to their very own mother. A woman who is loyal and lives by the rules of the society – however absurd they might be; this same woman is called a whore, a bitch and is stoned to death in the most inhuman way possible!!

Such are the harsh realities of life and some small towns in various countries of the world. We don’t even have the heart to listen to such acts where people, especially the so-called “respected people” of the society go down to the level of making the stupidest and unfair law. If a husband accuses her wife of adultery, the wife has to prove her innocence; but if the same husband is accused of adultery in a marriage, the wife has to prove that her accusations are correct and she has to get the evidence for their conviction. We can’t even empathize with Soraya because she was first called a bitch by her own father on the day she was stoned, and then she died in a way that we can’t even dare to die in our worst nightmare possible. Still, the woman chose not to cry because it wasn’t her fault and she took it all in and went to the paradise that she deserved, but the inhuman brutes of our society continue to live and live unabashedly without a hint of guilt in their heart. This is the story of Soraya that saw the light of day due to the consent of God, but there are innumerable other such people who are facing the same disgraced fate and no one is around to help them. This makes me think, have we even seen half of the misery of the world and yet we so cleverly choose to ignore to be kind and help a person in need because our life is centered on “I” and everything beyond that just blurs out.