My Tamil Playlist

Aaaaaand today, I’m going to unleash my Tamil Playlist.
What’s unusual about that, you might be thinking, right? Haha! My dear reader, I am a North Indian who doesn’t know how to speak, write or understand Tamil. Surprised? Yes, I know! Hah!
The tryst started when I was surfing channels one day (yes, an act which can be called the mother of all amazing discoveries!) And I came across a Tamil movie Sachein, dubbed (inappropriately) in Hindi as Ghamandee. The last scene was playing out, wherein the male lead was hugging Genelia, whose familiar face made me stop and see. The scene was, undoubtedly cute, worth going mushy over! But what stuck with me was the background score, which was very romantic, the kind which latches on to your soul. Without delaying any further, I downloaded the song and then started my mission. One song lead to another, Youtube played cupid, and I soon put the Hindi/English songs on a backseat and be it while travelling, having a bath, dressing up, dancing my bum out, it was Tamil songs all over. My parents found it strange, with my mother having suspicions about if I had caught a Tamil guy. Haha, but soon, she, hearing them at all hours, started humming them too, or liking them. They say music has no language, it’s true. For I realized it myself.

Anyway, here it is-

1. Kanmoodi Thirukkumbodhu (Sachein)
Devi Sri Prasad is a legend down south. I understood why. This is the song I’ll be humming even when I am old, I bet. The lyrics and their meanings are pure bliss. And how can you miss Genelia’s beautiful saree.
And, oh, cute movie!

2. Annal Mele Panithuli (Vaaranam Aayiram)
Surya looks heart stoppingly dashing in the olive greens. Don’t miss the maroon beret! The song, partly shot in the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun is close to my heart. The lyrics are, again, meaningful.
I’ve watched the movie with English subtitles (Bless Youtube.) Totally worth it!

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*LOVESTRUCK*

3. Mazhai Vara Pogudhe (Yennai Arindhaal)
Loved the beats, the tempo. And the concept of how the relationship matures slowly and steadily between the two good looking actors. There’s one scene wherein the cop single handedly fights the goons. That’s realistic and well, the male lead looks handsome too. Bonus, bonus. The actress takes the cake with her dressing sense. So elegant!

4. Kaara Attakara (O Kadhal Kanmani)
A R Rehman is a genious! Beautiful soundtrack with the peppy pairing. Honestly, it was the trailer which hooked me. I wish this movie was available with the subtitles. So wish to watch this one!

5. Nee Korinaal
I’ve always found Siddharth handsome since the Rang De Basanti days. The song is such a romantic jingle.

6. Paiya Thuli Thuli
The song, as I researched, was composed in the moment when the writer saw a beautiful woman in the
rain. And, I must say, the song feels just that.

7. Nenjukkul Peidhidum (Vaaranam Aayiram)
This movie. This song. A boy smitten with a girl. Love at first sight. Romance ensues. Heartfelt song. Plus, Surya looks yum!

8. Pachchai Nirame (Alaipayuthey)
If you loved the title track of Saathiya, this is the Tamil version.

9. Nijamellam Maranthupochu

10. Velicha Poove

11. Kalvare (Raavanan)
A song close to my heart for more reasons than one. *Secret*

12. Ennai Konjam (Kaakha Kaakha)
Surya and Jyothikha look so good together.

13. Kaatru Veliyidai- Azhagiye
Looking drool worthy while donning the uniform runs in the family, I guess. Karthi gives tough competition to Suriya here. Touching the sky with glory, eh? Also, a nice song to propose the girl you love. Umm.

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14. Thalli Pogathey
A.R.Rehman. Enough said.

15.Maruvarthaai- Enai Noki Paayum Thotai
Loved the tempo. And the voice.

16. Neeyum Naanum- Naanum Rowdy Dhaan
If I could sing flawlessly in Tamil, this would be my song.

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The other day, I got these cheap, wooden dolls, thinking they would look cute on my bookshelf. And my mother peered suspiciously at me, noting down that it was a “south indian groom”. Haha! Well, well. I am not complaining, but won’t mind that either. 😉
*Tamil Love*

The Game Of Last Names. Anyone?

This is a major vent out post. And on an issue which turns out to be, in several cases, a question on a woman’s rights, or let me term it as choice. It was yesterday during our evening walks that my mother was telling me the workplace gossip. One of her colleague’s daughter has got hitched recently. Now, the boy’s family was “encouraging” her to change her last name to that of her husband’s. I was dismayed. And I let out a loud and long “Whyyyyyyy on earth are they doing so?” immediately. My mother eye rolled and gave me a “Isn’t this obvious” look. And, I asked her, why did you change your surname, Maa? The answer to which was that “It was expected of me.” Being a teacher, she had an interesting tale to share.
She got married in February and right in March, joined back. March being the examination season in our country, she got busy in a round of examination duties. Now, as we all know, every teacher has to mark her presence in the attendance sheet. I’m talking about 1992, when they didn’t have the fancy electronic devices to do that by marking the finger impression. So, the peon arrived with the list and she got busy looking for her name. Since she has a fancy, though a ‘commonly popular’ name (that’s how I put it, Hah!), she had to search for her’s through the surname. Failing to do so, she sent the peon back to the incharge to edit the list. The peon, dillydallying, came back, announcing in a monotone that her name was there. She got irritated on checking it twice, and failing to locate it, was about to march to the incharge’s den, when the man in question appeared himself, and pointed out to her the name, which to her surprise had been changed. As in, they had already changed the last name. She had no say, and embarrassed (I didn’t understand why, though), she complied, for it had to happen anyway. Now, this was a classic example of the society forcibly putting into effect, it’s own rules down the woman’s throat. But my bone of contention was that why, in 2016, were we still in a dilemma when it came to the last name of a married woman? Why, oh why?
Isn’t it a woman’s choice entirely? If she wishes to keep her maiden name, good. If she wishes to keep the maiden name as the middle name or edit it out completely, that’s okay too (though, the latter decision could also be a desperate attempt just in case you have a hideous surname, man! Yeah? Heh). Some people choose not to have a surname at all, but that’s another debate altogether. My question is, does a mere changing of your last name indicate your love, happiness and feeling of togetherness to the new family you step into? Is that a marker of sorts? I am of the view that changing the surname is baseless. My mother considers it to be a hint of my adamancy and arrogance. Is it so? No! I have a sexy surname, and I have every right to keep it. Hehehe pardon my naive remark. Though I do have something against women who completely change their identity and merge it with that of their better halves, that is, adding their husband’s full name (name and last name) to their first name. How utterly claustrophobic does it look. And according to me it is a marker of dependency. For to me, it only sets out to cement your status as a commodity, which was transferred from one male to another. And to add to that, if a woman herself does that, joyfully, then, needless to say, patriarchy will have the last laugh.

So, ladies, take the reins of your life and identity in your hands. And do have a choice. And strength enough to voice it. And stand by it.

Dear Future Husband

Dear Future Husband,
As I start writing this, I cannot fathom my mood. Really. Should I be giggling right now or should my face be scrunched with seriousness. As a typical Libran out to find harmony, constantly juggling with paradoxes, this is indeed normal, let me warn you.
Before I start offloading my mind, do listen to what Meghan Trainor crooned beautifully. The song starts something like this-
“Dear future husband
Here’s a few things
You’ll need to know if you wanna be
My one and only all my life…”

I have been looking for you ever since I gauged the concept of marriage and soul mates. Or let me put it this way, I have been trying to mould you up in my mind since forever. I don’t remember our last life together. Neither would you. That’s fine, I guess. Let God figure out how should we be meeting/bumping into/finding each other. For the time being, let’s find solace in the fact that we shall meet. Somewhere. Sometime. Eventually.
As you’ll know me eventually, I love the desert state. My grandmother, whom you shall only be introduced to through my lustrous memories and loose talks, belonged to the region. Everything, and I mean everything- be it their language, customs, attire, music, food and way of living attracted me. I was determined to marry a man from that state. My granny would laugh it off saying- “You little firefly, we keep a lot of fasts. Do you think you’ll be able to manage that?” This, because I am a foodie. And dreamy eyed, I would reply, “Yes, of course! I’ll eat the ghee laden food thereafter to regain my lost strength.” To which a series of guffaws would greet me. But now the 23yr old inside me brushes that innocence off. All you need to know is that even if you hail from the south, east or north, I’ll be just as fine with that prospect as I was with my earlier fantasy with the west.
Belonging to a family, wherein many of the men are in the armed forces, I had an early obsession with the men in uniform. I still do, perhaps. But I have wisened enough to understand that being married to someone’s profession leads you nowhere, for it’s the person who matters. Still, try and be a man in uniform. Hehe.
I am the kind of girl who grooved to Alisha Chinoy’s Made in India as a kid. Tall, dark and handsome men like Milind Soman were my choice. But now my standards of considering men handsome have altered drastically. I hope you possess an ease of manner, confidence, an endearing smile and a great sense of humor. Trust me, that’s enough to make me drool for you. And oh, yes! Everybody in my family is tall. They would prefer a 6’2” son-in-law for themselves. But even if you are six-ish, it’s cool. Hehehe.
Being a woman with an enormous sweet tooth, it’ll be nice if you could be my partner in crime, when I have my midnight cravings. And though I can’t claim to be an expert cook, I do cook great Halwa. I hope you’re tempted enough to find me now. Haha! But, hey! Do sign up for cooking lessons right now, if you are a hopeless cook. For when I lay my feet up, which shall be often, be a bumblebee and dish out delicious dishes for us, lover boy. Thanks in advance.
I did have a phase in my life when I was considering turning agnostic. Blame the fact that I was the typical English Hons student, out testing new waves in the sea. Haha! Well, that’s not the case now. I now stand a firm believer. And I am utterly secular. You can spot me at all holy shrines. The sufi shrine of Nizamuddin Auliya being my favourite and amongst the Hindu Gods, Shiva, the ascetic being my object of worship and study. As a god fearing person, I believe in the power of good over evil. And in the concept of karma. I have never indulged in unethical acts and I hope you have a clear conscience too. For let me warn you, if you indulge in ethically corrupt practices, I’ll be there to swerve you out of danger and bring you back on the right path. Be moral. And have patience and be content with all that you have. All I’ve gathered from my life on Earth is that everything happens for the best and we should find good in everything. For the Almighty loves you and all we both shall do is showcase our gratitude to him in plenty.
Not to sound snobbish, but I consider myself to be a beauty with brains. And accomplished too. So, it goes without saying, that I want you to be the same. Coming from a family wherein you’ll find army officers, professors, doctors, lawyers all around, I would want your family to match up to mine on that account. See, I would appreciate if you have an independent identity, free from the shadow of your parents. And an identity you’ve worked hard to achieve, not through sycophancy, luck or corruption. Please.
To add to that, I am the only child of my parents whose lived in a joint family. Pretty cool, haan? Yes, I agree. So, I am, you can say, the only child who confirms to many, if not all the stereotypes related to my kind. I am the apple of my parent’s eyes, I hate sharing, I love my me time. And I love reaching my destination by figuring things on my own. I am pampered. My mother would like to term it as “realistic pampering”, though. Haha!) So, I hope you are an only child too. Or an only son. Because, baby, I am bored of large families as of now and I love attention. Though that doesn’t mean I love solitude a tad too much and am a loner. Oh, when you know me, you’ll see I have a large group of friends who are so dear to me. And all of them are gems. Blessed I am, indeed, to find good souls to mingle with, wherever I go. So, I hope you are an outgoing person, with a good old group of chaps you call pals. I would love to be introduced to all of them, trust me on this.
Turning to the fun side, do promise me that we’ll zoom off to visit places all over our country every year. And enjoy/shop/wonder our  hearts out. I am an early riser who loves to sleep. So do join me for a walk every morning and snuggle with me when I hit the bed, noon or night. Oh, yes! I have a nasal allergy which crops up due to pretty much everything. And I am allergic to mangoes, love. Brace yourself for that.
They say, your father is a major inspiration for you when you look out for guys in this wide, wide world. I used to shove this line of thought off, until recently. For I’ve recently found out that if not all, I do have some habits/ traits of his which I would want you to possess. I hope you have a passion for driving, because I detest it. “My daddy strongest” was the tagline I used to swear by as a child. And my daddy was indeed, a sportsperson all throughout his salad days. He still is a fitness enthusiast. He is street smart, good at mathematics, a helpful soul. So please, match up to him in that field. Being a working couple, my parents have given me major relationship goals. Let’s outrun those. But please, don’t be too quiet or reserved, or a little moody, and unlike my daddy, please love taking pictures, of yourself, I mean. Haha! Coming back to the basics, do make me feel safe, loved and inspired like my parents do. But I know you’ll do that. No two ways about it. See, I trust you so much already. To finish my rant now, even if you are not a book worm, that’s okay. I’ll still love you. Just help me clean my bookshelf every week. That’s all I ask. Do care for my books, for they are your future adopted kids too. And please, please, bring in loads of your interests/hobbies into our life when we meet, for it’ll be exciting to be a part of all that.

Now, now, now, while I am still figuring out more of how you will have to be, you continue being you. Add on to your accomplishments. Work hard. Party hard. And wait for me. For I’m just around that corner. 😉

“This blogathon is supported by Woo, The most popular match making app in India with a base of over 3.5 million users.”

Memorabilia From The Mountains…

One day, while Instagramming, I found out that one of my all time favorite writers, Ruskin Bond, was to be honored with the lifetime achievement award at the Times Literature Festival. Excited, I glossed over the schedule and made up my mind to visit the venue, for even a glimpse of him would be an once in a century moment for me.
I had always known that he lived in Mussoorie and it so happened that my plans to visit this beautiful place went haywire. Every damn time. Meeting him at his bookstore, and getting my books signed was a dream I had cherished since a long, long time. But as they say, all in good time. I had a good feeling that I shall grab that much awaited chance to see him. Being the talebearer that I am, it becomes compulsory to  narrate the story of how I got introduced to my other favorite author, Vijaydan Detha. One day, in 2013, I read a headline in a newspaper daily about his passing away. He, the “Shakespeare of Rajasthan”, was in the running for a Nobel in Literature, but missed it. I had watched the star studded movie Paheli, which was based on his short story- The Dilemma. Being a lover of anything and everything that belongs to the desert state, I was hooked to the news. But before I could reach upto him post the reading up of his work, it was too late. Otherwise, I would definitely have met him.
So, when the news of Bond coming over to the capital city hit me, I had made up my mind. And the next day, I reached the venue, which was Indian Habitat Centre, one hour prior to the scheduled time. I waited and waited for over an hour post that, but there was no sign of Mr. Bond. Hungry and on the verge of exhaustion, I marched to the food court. After having sinned for gluttony, I went back only to find a long queue. And on further inquiry, my suspicions were confirmed. He was indeed there! Even the snake like line did not deter me from my goal. Armed with two books, one being my supplementary reader from fourth standard, the first book of his I had laid my hands on, the other being a collection of his work I had bought in the book fair two years back.

I took the former with me, and gave the latter to my friend, who inspite of not being a book lover, was forced to stand with me in the line, for carrying two books to be autographed would have looked outrageous. I found many people, with no knowledge of his genius, buying the first book of his off the shelf (For Penguin India had put up a stall nearby), and standing in the queue for book signing, just for the sake of it. That irritated me. But in hindsight, it gives me peace to think that even if they read and discover the great writer now, it would be a blessing for them.

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Who’s scared of the bouncers? 😉


As I finally met him, the wrinkled smile greeted me with a warm hello. I went weak in the knees, handing over my copy to him, I muttered nervously, “This is my first book of yours, Sir. Thank you for gifting me an amazing childhood,” I added. His smile broadened and he signed and gave the book back to me with a thank you. And in that moment, I became the child who had, after throwing tonnes of tantrums, got his favorite toy/candy. And also,  I was enlightened as to what makes writers great. It’s their humility and delight in indulging their readers, to be frank, which puts that prefix before their name. For Mr. Bond respected his readers just as they loved him dearly. With the twinkle in his eyes, he acknowledged everyone around. And I muttered to myself, while clinching my treasure and going back home- Ek tha Rusty. 🙂

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Look at that smile he gave me while handing my book back. Awwh! ❤

Love for teaching. Yes, it exists!

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Isn’t it amazing that after months of anticipation, tartness, upheaval, suddenly you feel a change. From a very abyssal zone, you sight the gate of a paradise you’ve been longing to camp into. It was one such day for me. After a long gap of four months, I went back to teaching. And I cannot even begin to describe how satisfactory was that. Almost therapeutic.

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This July, was, undoubtedly one of the most stressful yet adventurous July of all the ones I’ve seen in my life on this planet so far. It kept me on my toes, took me on an emotional ride, gave me beautiful memories to cherish all my life, and colleagues you could die for. I had enrolled myself for a coveted English language teaching course called CELTA. Big deal. Yes. It gave me goosebumps. For the course was known to be “a boot camp for English Language Teachers.”
After learning numerous worthwhile methods in CELTA and successfully implementing them in my teaching practice, I came out a changed person. English is, undoubtedly, a link language. And it comes with a colonial baggage, so to say. And if you are teaching this particular subject/language, the mango people are ready to put you on a pedestal. Yes, that is the amount of respect and attention it gathers. Post the course, almost the whole bunch of us course mates went back to their teaching jobs, or were hired accordingly. I, on the other hand, had decided to sign up for a Bachelor’s in Education. I was clear on this even before July that I have to get this particular degree in my kitty, for it is a pre-requisite in case you wish to land up as a teacher in a school anywhere in India. But after the course, going back to academia felt like a lull had been created in my life. I was aching to put my recent learning to use.

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And it did make me go bonkers, for in spite of what I would like to believe, I am somewhat low on patience. November finally came in swashing, and there came an opportunity to finally teach! We had to go for our observation in government schools as part of our course. And I landed up in a girls school for my share of observations. The Principal demanded I take a class for the “failures” (I am quoting her!). Inspite of my shock and disapproval, I decided to ignore that remark and went ahead to do as told.
Coming from a girl’s college, it felt like home coming to be a part of an all female space once again. I decided to teach the class Ruskin Bond’s poem Grandma climbs A Tree. And before I started with my lesson, I told them one thing- Be unabashed. Make mistakes. And laugh at your ability to do so. Only then shall you love the language and conquer it, all in style. And thankfully, they did follow up my advice. And we had an amazing time, learning grammar, new terminology, tackling the blocking vocabulary together, laughing and enjoying throughout. I was confident that they liked me and my style of teaching. Still, I wanted to hear that from them. And when the scheduled one hour class came to an end, they all requested me to continue with the class for another half an hour, before they dispersed. That, my folks, was music to my ears. And my true reward.
On meeting my classmate later in the day, I had a chat regarding the class we’d both taught. He commented bluntly that the situation in the government schools was pathetic. The nonchalance of teachers, their shirking of their duties was disturbing, to say the least. As a teacher of English, I looked at the girls, whom they had marginalized as ‘slow learners’, at their enthusiasm and inquisitiveness, and wondered, if they had got the right guidance like me, right from the start, they would be blooming already. Are they failures, or the system, which doesn’t help them come onto the mainstream and flourish, I wondered. For God knows, they are doubly marginalized, being women. The need to educate them flawlessly is all the more urgent.

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As I was going through the corridors, thinking all of this, peeping into every classroom I passed by, smiling at the girls who wanted to smile and wave at this new visitor they had spotted, just then, my classmate caught up with me and spoke up, as we were walking to sign the teacher’s register- “Will we become as lax in attitude as the teachers here?” I wasn’t surprised. The negativity of the work surroundings had seeped into his very being. I took a deep breath and repeated parts of what my mother, a teacher herself, and a seasoned one, tells me often. Being in the teaching profession for a good 25 years, she has come to believe in the concept of Karma. And through her, me too. She tells me that when she started with her job till now, she’s seen a sea change in the attitudes of teachers, which is the reason why the profession has lost its erstwhile respect. Most of them don’t even bother to do justice to their duty. They all wish to rake in the moolah, but according to me, it’s just not halal. And through her experience, she tells me, if you try and jeopardize the future of someone else’s child, you don’t expect excellent results for yourself then. And she’s seen it herself. Such people don’t have contentment and happiness knocking at their doors often. And internalizing her words of wisdom, I always, always strive to do my best. And trust me, it is a blessed feeling that you get at the end of the road.
Every year on the fifth of September, I wait for her to arrive home, only to sit on my bed, balancing the flowers she receives, reading the bag full of letters, cards and messages her students, spread all over the world send her. And even today, when the students she taught, when I wasn’t even born, pay her a visit every now and then, just seeing them interacting makes me envy her. Now that I’ve embarked in the journey of becoming an inspirational teacher, I hope a make a similar mark as my mother has, in the hearts of millions of students.

Periods. Ooolala!

“When she bleeds, the smells I know change color.
There is iron in her soul on those days.
She smells like a gun.”

Menstruation. Periods. Aunt Flo. Blood sister. One process. Many names.
Every woman quickly dons an excited avatar when asked to talk about her tryst with menstruation. I am no different from the lot. And today, I am inspired to open my pandora’s box and share my story. It was on my mind since many, many months. But I guess, it had to written today. So be it.
I’ve studied Literature for five long years and will continue to, for being a student of literature doesn’t end when the course ends. It’s a never ending process. You keep reading and growing. What the course has bestowed on me is a sense of immense pride on being a woman, albeit I’m still, in little ways, moving away from the patriarchal definition of a perfect woman, in cultivating myself to have a strong, independent mind and opinion, not to be easily suppressed or thwarted. Yet when it came to Periods, I was struggling. Thanks to the social set up around me.
It was in sixth standard when I got to know about the process. And how! All of us girls were secretly huddled into a hall, where these women representatives from an ngo, in tandem with our teachers, had their pincers ready, to grab and feed the till then withheld fruit of knowledge to us. They made it appear as something very secretive and dirty, with strict instructions not to tell any male about all that trespassed in that hall. We were told about the mood swings, headaches, food cravings, irritability, about pre menstrual symptoms, so to say. And it was meted out to us in a very confusing manner. I sat there, thinking, “Oh, Lord! I have been grunting for days at home, pestering mumma to prepare my favorite dish and I had a headache yesterday as well.” I was convinced I had periods. It sounded like a disease. I was worried. And then the ill informed ladies used the blue ink and the sanitary napkin to “help” us understand the process, which further confused and scared me. The short movie revolving around a young girl getting her first period showcased to us didn’t positivize things any further.
And suddenly, I was this girl on a mission. On returning back to class, we girls were concocting excuses that we were supposed to give when the boys would shoot us questioning glances. You see, patriarchy had already done the black magic.

I, on the other hand, couldn’t wait to get back home and get hold of mumma. Just as my father got up from the dining table post lunch, I started with the tale in hushed voices. My mother listened patiently and to my horror, confirmed that all of it was indeed true and that no, I didn’t have periods. She, being a biology teacher, gave me a very detailed definition and clear idea of the process, which knocked some sense into my head. But at the same time, I felt betrayed because the gates to the secret kingdom had been veiled from my eyes till now, and I couldn’t wait to enter the golden gates into the new world.

One day, I was alone at home and opened my mumma’s cupboard to take something out, and Viola! There it lay. The sanitary napkin with a small booklet, which she must have got from some god damnit similar session in her school. And I read the booklet, only to understand that each woman’s menstrual cycle is different, which furthered me in my interest on the topic. Then when I held the sanitary napkin in my hands, it was the most queer moment. I felt so excluded and special, both at the same time, as if it was a prized possession I had caught my hands on, accidently. That summer, we went on a road trip to Pithoragarh and in the famous Kali Temple there, I wished that I get my periods soonest, because I wanted to experience the transformation, that of being a woman. Since both my besties had got their periods a few months back, I felt left out when they discussed the “P issues” in school. My mother was shocked beyond comprehension when she heard of my wish and commented bluntly that “they’ll come anyway. You’ve wasted your wish, girl!” And the wish stood fulfilled in one months time! Just as the school term started.

Nothing, and I mean nothing prepared me for periods. I suffered from terrible menstrual cramps the whole day at school, thinking of them as a stomach ache. The moment I reached back home, in tears, I told my mother about it and she shrugged simply, placating me that she’ll take me to the doctor, for I must have eaten something wrong. And when I looked at that red spot in the bathroom, all pain vanished and I rushed to inform my mother of the arrival of my blood sister, brandishing the undies like battle scars. She was horrified at my supposed unabashed display and nonchalance when it came to being a ‘proper woman’. I, on the other hand, was on cloud nine. I was gloating. I called my Granny to inform her of the new development and she laughingly congratulated me, sharing her list of do’s and don’ts, post that.
But in spite of all my happiness, I discovered to my horror, the painful menstrual cramps were there to stay. That made me dread my periods over the years. Then I went through the usual phase every woman does- of cursing periods, of hating men that entire time when the tummy felt like it was being pierced and burnt. I too, like other girls, wished we never had them or if at all we had to, even men should experience something as painful as that. My mother belonged to that lucky lot who didn’t experience the painful, painful menstrual cramps. She couldn’t share my pain. Also, those three-four days were a supreme test, an exercise to remain “normal” in spite of all the mess in front of my father, or any other male for that matter. His every word made me angry and he unknowingly got on my nerves, which still happens now.
I still view every male as worthy of being hunted and shot, if I am in pain. I value that ‘me time’ all the more during the first day, for luckily, unlike other women, who suffer in pain for all the days their periods are on and have to take pain killers to carry on with their work, I only suffer on the first day. With loss of appetite, runny stomach and weakness tugging at my sleeve. But, like other women, I was told to bear with it, for how would I bear pain during childbirth. Yes, that’s the silly logic society gives you. With some women throwing shady things like it’ll be cured after marriage, making me think if at all it had something to do with your sexual appetite/needs being satiated/taken care of suddenly. Hah!

When one day, after many years, I couldn’t take it, I called up my maternal aunt, who is a gynecologist, I asked her to do something about it. And she suggested I up my Vitamin B12 and calcium intake, for that might be a root cause of the pain. I did as she told, and trust me, it worked wonders, for the pain lessened to a great degree. So, ladies! Don’t suffer in silence, or pop pills unknowingly. Take care of your diet, exercise regularly and slow down while menstruating, for your body demands to be pampered. And don’t hesitate to take medical help in case you feel the need to offload your agony and pain and seek some sort of remedy.

Now now, coming to the menfolk. We’ve all heard stories of clueless males being enlightened about the process through courageous and sensible women in their families, at some point of time in their lives. Haha, right? It was still a biggie for me when I heard a guy in my post graduation, retorting to another girl when she was getting cranky at him, with shouts of “someone give her a Meftal Spas.” My eyes popped out in surprise and adulation. I had my own experience recently. My male bestie messaged me, blabbbering about how I needed to be pampered during ‘that time of the month’, for he got the information from the pictures I had liked on Instagram. I stared at that message for a minute. Shock, relief and gladness tiding over me, for he understood, and that I could prattle about my mood swings and pain to him, without feeling like a monster. All the more because I had described pmsing as “a girly problem” to him two days back, falling so deep in my own eyes for saying that. Me, an enlightened woman, of all things. Much like a stream of consciousness, it struck me how one thing is interlinked to the other when it comes to periods. If we educate our young girls to view periods as a normal biological process instead of a thing to be shy and silent about, then we cannot leave the men behind. That would change the status quo and ensure the society itself is period positive. We should enlighten girls about menstrual hygiene, to not give in to the superstitions that the society sets for us, only to break them and end the tyranny. To use red ink in advertisements to highlight the truth, to not change channels if an advertisement on pads arrives, to avoid period shaming by getting pads wrapped in black bags. For periods are to be celebrated. You’re fertile. You’re powerful. And unstoppable.

This blog post is written as an entry for the #PeriodPositive blogathon, organised by Women’s Web.

“This blogathon is supported by the Maya App, used by 6.5 million women worldwide to take charge of their periods and health.”

One Year As A Blogger! Yay!

And last night, I logged into my WordPress account, only to find the notification section gleaming, with a trophy symbol adorning it. Excitedly, I opened it, to find this-

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And I was so happy! I didn’t realize it had been one whole year since I had willingly drenched myself in the world of blogging. And that prompted me to pat myself on the back. For it is a milestone, right?
It was in 2011 when me and my bestie decided to start a blog together, deciding on the name and password first and foremost (as it happens to be the case, always!), only to forget about it after a while. I guess, an exciting and busy college life took the better of us.
It was in 2015, that while lounging lazily in the bed, I was going through my memo, wherein I had stored the password and name of the blog we had started. And it lit the bulb in my soul, which is always in for procrastination. Why don’t I write, I thought. And quickly, the blog acquired a facelift. I wrote two non serious reviews of some damn café I had been to then, and within a week, the blog posts received two likes, from god knows whom. And that got me thinking- was I writing something worthwhile? The answer, to be obvious was a big no. It took me some time to find my calling as a blogger. And once I found it, I’ve never looked back. I decided to write about something I was. My blog had to be huesome, I decided, with my individuality coloring it with confident strokes

And the epiphanic moment gave rise to my first love-

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I decided to write about being a defense aspirant. It came easily to me. I thought starting a blog could be a joyous beginning for me, a lucky charm sort of thing. And it was challenging, let me tell you. When you decide to write on a particular theme, it forces you to be creative every time you decide to pen down a different aspect of one precious dream you have every moment. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would like to inform all you amazing readers that since I was already following a lot of fauj related blogs, they were a huge inspiration for me in this context.
And as you might’ve guessed, I am now addicted to blogging. After refusing to take it seriously for about three months, owing to my passion for reading, which often meddles with the rest of my priorities (Not that I mind. Haha!). Post that lull, I was into it all the time, which led to the deadly determination of starting another blog, in order to write on a host of other things that caught my fancy every now and then. And in this one year, due to my blogs, I have encountered so many other talented bloggers with the same interests as mine. Reading them blasts my mind with freshness. And it makes me go all wow on them. That, in turn, encourages me to write better, raising the bar every time I start typing my heart, mind and soul out.
Now, now, isn’t it exciting to be learning so much every day? And since I follow blogs, or leave comments only when the blog post hits me as worthy enough of taking out my time and energy to thank the writer for writing what he/she did, I value all of you readers/bloggers, who do the same for me. I value all the love, luck, compliments you have given me in the past one year. With close to 500 hits and 15 followers on my first blog and the second one bucking up in that department, I am proud of myself.
I had decided beforehand that I would start my journey as a blogger anonymously, and not enlighten any other friend/family member of this new development. It just takes the fun out of the whole task, I tell you. I am the kind of person who hates garnering publicity for anything. I decided I shall have genuine readership, and I did achieve that in such a short span of time. The pride is hence justified. After some months, I told just about 5 people- my mother and four besties, of my blog and the darlings that these folks are, they praised me to the skies, in spite of me begging them to give what I call constructive criticism. To which their only answer was – “There is none.” The whole affair made me glad to have such cherubs around me.

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Quite a surprise for my bestie! 😀

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She knows me so well. Awwh! ❤

And am prepared to come out of the hiding any time soon? Hahaha no, not now. I don’t think I am still ready to share my identity, only to have stalkers checking out my facebook and instagram accounts to dig in information about my life. Hahaha, okay I know this was me being mean and foolish. You might be thinking why don’t I just advertise my blogs on the social platforms, for those on the friends list. Nah! Too much of an exercise, I tell you! Hehe.
Till a change of heart happens, I am going to write more, live more, observe more, making mental notes in the process, putting the thoughts/experiences which are blog worthy, in my top priority mental folder. So, where’s the glass of wine, man! I need to celebrate the achievement, oh yeah! 😉

Meanwhile, keep reading, commenting, liking, loving, and most importantly, sharing feedback with me. Thank you!
I solemnly swear to keep writing, reading, and most importantly, ranting! Oh, they call it blogging. Silly me! 😀

Psst… I’ve been reading all my blog posts since morning. Shit. I write so well yaar! *sheds tears of absolute joy* 😛