Thursday, 12 June 2014 2 comments


My eyes dart in all directions. This is the only time when I felt like a chameleon. Being able to look at diverse places at once. I have to as a recurring thought nags my head. It’s late and I'm alone in this auto rickshaw. There is more than one route to go home from work. Today the driver has decided to take a different route. One less congested and devoid of traffic. 

I sit back reluctantly and look around. Few people on the streets. Fewer cars on the road. A thousand scenarios gallop through my mind.

What if someone were to get in forcefully? What if this auto driver has an insidious agenda of his own that I am unaware of? What if I'm whisked off to some secluded place? What if he has others like him hiding? Waiting patiently. He is a stranger after all. What do I know about him? Nothing. Would things be different if I was with someone? Someone I knew? Would it have made a difference? He/she could've been easily overpowered or rendered helpless. Or worse. He could've been a part of it. Someone who I may have trusted only to have it broken in a million shards.

Did it really matter?

My fate hung in the air of uncertainty. I got nervous. But I didn't want to show it. I snaked my hand inside my bag searching for my phone. Finding it I quickly call my mom. I hear her voice and I relax minutely. She inquires about me in a concerned manner. There's worry painted all over it though she tries to veil it failing terribly. I speak to her in a much louder tone than I usually would trying to scare away all the frightening thoughts in my mind. And maybe to show the driver that I'm not alone.

Did it really matter?

For all I know I could be speaking to my mother for the last time. She might never be able to hear me again. Today morning could have been the last time when I saw her. Hugged her. Did I even say goodbye properly before leaving? What were my last words to her? A flood of memories from this morning trickled in. She was her usual self. Running around the whole house, assembling things for me while I perused through my new phone. I kept pestering her that I was getting late and that I needed my lunch ready and packed soon. She was warning me against the dangers of texting or listening to music while I’m walking and not paying attention to the vehicles on the road. I wasn't giving any heed. Just the semblance of it. She had been wary of what I was wearing. It had been a button down shirt I'd bought for myself for my birthday. My mom thought it was too sheer. I bade a hasty adieu and scurried out shaking my head at her reservations regarding my clothes.

Did it really matter?

As I sat recalling this I felt a sting at the back of my throat. One that beckons incoming waterworks. Isn’t this what every girl in my country goes through? Aren’t all the mother’s here as helpless and harrowed when it comes to their daughter’s well being as my mom? And the most important question that bugs me – does it really matter? Does it really matter what I’m wearing? Does it really matter what age bracket do I fit in? Am I a 5 year old child? A woman in her twenties? Or a lady nearing old age? Where do I come from? Where do I live? A metropolitan and allegedly progressive city? Or an never-before-heard tiny village filled with regressed minds? Or a stranger from another country just visiting? What job do I have? What time do I get home? Do I go out at night? Do I go out alone? Do I hang around in clubs? Do I follow the rule book and be somebody else’s definition of a good girl? What do I eat? Do I drink too much and invite unwanted incidents? Do I smoke and give the impression of being that girl? Do I provoke someone? Do I elicit such reactions? Is it all me? Is it my fault?

Did it really matter?

Because no matter how horrendous his crime is, at the end of the day he might be sent to correctional facility. Or he will be declared a juvenile just 1 month shy of reaching 18 years of age. Or he will never get caught, move to another city, get a respectable job at a bank only to commit this atrocity once again. Or he would exercise his powerful influences and walk away scot-free. Or he would be sentenced to a minimum sentence of a few years while the victim has it etched in her mind, body and soul for life. Or he would become a part of an ongoing trial that goes on for years while the victim’s parents live with and face the horror every day. 

Yes, words of courage would be spoken. Motivational speeches will be given. Tears would be shed. Crowds will gather. Candle light vigils would be organized. We would all grapple with changing mindsets. Sensationalism would prevail. It would all be politicized. Mudslinging would take place. Countries would jump at the chance to point out each other’s weaknesses. Jeer at them. All the while forgetting what has really happened. Discounting the little voice nobody heard. It would all be painfully analyzed. Scrutinized until they find the faults. And the crown of liability would always be worn by the woman. She would be called names. She would be viewed as the culprit who incited others. The one who asked for it because of what she did, said or wore.

It will all come back to her.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014 5 comments

I'd Like To Thank My Mom, My Dad, My Pet Turtle And...

One fine day I stumbled upon that precious comment left on my blog post by Pawan Hegde informing me that he had just awarded me the Liebster Award. I didn't know what it was. But the thought of being awarded something by a fellow blogger was both unique and endearing to me. After a few minutes of much needed R&D, I found out that The Liebster Award is an award given in the blogger community as a way to appreciate other fellow commendable bloggers and also to get to know them better.
This being my first ever blog award, I was on the moon! Thank you Pawan for nominating me for this award. I sincerely admire the eloquence that your writing possesses and I also admit that I'm a little jealous of your vocabulary. :D
Thank you once again! I'll be proudly displaying this one on my blog for all to see!

The Liebster Award Official Rules:

    If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:
  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
  2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
  3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
  4. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
  5. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
  6. Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.
  7. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
  8. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!
Following are the answers to the questions that I was asked: 
  1. Why do you write?
Writing for me is cathartic as it is for most writers I’m sure. I write because it is the only place where things are the way I want them to be. That does not mean that I’m a control freak :D It provides an escape. It is an alternate reality. My pen takes me places where there are no limits and I’m not bound by anything. I run free.
  1. Do you have a procedure that you follow when you write a story or a poem?
'There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.' - Ernest Hemingway

Those words ring true. For poems, I usually write whenever I have a dark cloud hanging overhead. Whenever I’m dejected. The pen just yields whatever mood I’m in. However, sometimes, for say, a WoW post, there is no particular road map that I follow. My imagination is quite hyperactive so I write whatever comes to mind.
  1. Do you enjoy reading? If yes, what do you like to read? Poem? Fiction? Comic Books? History of Medieval European Blacksmiths?
Yes! I love reading. Reading and collecting books. I believe once you get a book you shouldn’t give it back. It’s like you’re returning the knowledge you gained through it. I love reading poems, fiction, it’s been a long time since I’ve read a comic book though. If given a chance I’m sure I’d devour a good comic too. Early teens saw me reading a lot of Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and The Famous Five. I love reading classics as well. Once on a bus trip I saw a girl reading Robin Cook (yes I do that), so I picked up Abduction and loved it. I’m a fan of Stephen King for life.
  1. If you were a character in a book, how would you describe your appearance?
Some lines could be taken from a li’l something I had written on a post as a comment ;)
Although that was written from an interviewer’s perspective I would like to be portrayed as someone not too heroic. In other words, the same imperfect, human me. (With a pinch of healthy boasting :D)
  1. How do you think people view you?
Understanding me is a task in itself, believe me. Sometimes I really feel like I belong to another century. The way I think doesn’t sit too well with most people and hence I have very few trusted people in my life. I prefer it that way too. People who don’t know me usually think of me as a highly reticent creature who doesn’t mingle much. Myths dispel IF and WHEN they get to know me better. Because people who do know me, know that I love clowning around. And then there are people like my folks who think I’m a little girl and will never grow up. EVER. :D
  1. If your life were a movie, which one would it be? And why?
I’d always pick some classic. Like the movie version of Jane Eyre or something. Precisely because then I’d be paired with Michael Fassbender. ;)
  1. What do you see yourself doing in 3 years?
I’m currently working as a Graphic Designer but I have been realizing slowly and steadily that my true passion seems to be writing. So I hope to be a good writer soon. Get some of my work published. God, I really want to do that!
  1. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My inability to express verbally. Definitely. I’m not too vocal about how I feel. That has always created some irreversible blunders in my life.
  1. Can you change the above mentioned thing about you? Have you tried?
I have. Or maybe I haven’t tried enough. I carry around with me an orb of twisted logics concocted by me. One of them states that letting people in and showing how you feel makes you vulnerable and weak. So I tend to bottle things up.
  1. Which is your favorite language? Why? (Expect more than 'it's my mother tongue')
I’m not saying it just for the sake of it but I really love all languages. This feeling stems from my mother. My mother tongue is Urdu and thanks to my mom I can read, write and speak decent Urdu. She inculcated in me the respect I have today for all languages. I find myself being curious if I hear an unknown dialect and don’t shy away from asking those around me for its meaning. 
For e.g. I remember I was quite taken with these lines from the song Nagada Sang Dhol from RamLeela

“Lili limbudi re, leelo nagarvel no chhod
Parbhu parodh na re
Maar gher uttaara karta jaao
Utaaro nahi karun re
Maar gher Sita juve vaat
Sita ekla re
Juve ram-lakhan ni vaat”

I asked my team leader to translate it to me. Then there is this verse that is sung in Tamil in the song Titli from Chennai Express. I’m proud that I’m surrounded by such diverse languages living in one country. I have also been very eager to learn Spanish. Hoping one day I will. :)

11 Random Facts About Me

  • ALL the WoW posts that I write are written in those precious 30-40 minutes that I get during the one hour lunch break at work. As soon as the new prompt comes out, the wheels in my head start churning and I have to challenge myself to come up with something unique. Fast.
  • I love The Walking Dead. Although I haven’t seen the most recent seasons but I still love it. If ever the world should end, it should go The Walking Dead way. Zombies, blood and gore, guns – I'd like that! 

  • Two of my most favorite poems are The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes and What Is Love by Mihai Eminescu.
  • As a school going kid, I used to eagerly wait for the day my Dad would bring home the new books for the new syllabus as I got promoted every grade. I used to be the only kid in class who would’ve finished reading all chapters from the English and Hindi textbooks before they were even taught in class.
  • Is it possible to fall in love with an edifice? In my case it is. I really feel an indescribable connection to a building near my house. It is a quaint place which gives a very different vibe to me. Weird much? :D
  • I love engaging in debates provided the topic incites me. Since school I loved participating in debating competitions. A good debate always gets my adrenaline pumping!
  • I believe you haven’t really seen anything till you’ve seen ‘Lost’ – the TV series. I fall in love with it every time I watch it or hear about it. 

  • I’m a Twihard. And I hate it when people make dumb jokes about it or create stupid memes revolving around it. I just love it all - the books, movies, soundtracks. I had a phase in college when I used to carry the books with me and read out my favorite parts aloud much to the irritation of my friends. 

  • I’m not a major auto junkie but I love muscle cars. A Camaro, Mustang or a 1969 Dodge Charger. I daydream about owning the Chevy Impala 1967 that the Winchesters drive around. I keep searching for stores or shops that make custom car models. If any of you know, please do tell me! :)
  • I’m an ardent believer in admiring things from afar. Because getting closer might mar its beauty. (Another one of my twisted logics)
  • I can’t finish this without mentioning my dear friend Robert Skeaff. He’s someone I’ve never met. Just my Canadian friend (that’s what he used to call himself). He was the one who really motivated me to write more often, everyday sending me links on how to write better and focus on my passions. Bobby, I really miss your words of encouragement. Hope to see you tweeting again soon. May you be happy wherever you are! 
Gah!!! That's the longest I've spoken about myself!
Let's get to the bloggers that I'd like to nominate for The Leibster Award.

 Pawan Hegde
Midnight Scribbles
The FactFiction
Tale of Two Tomatoes
Anmol Rawat

Dear nominees, here are your questions.
Hope you enjoy answering them as much as I enjoyed framing them! :)

  1. Tell me about an incident in your life that moved you
  2. When was the last time you cried?
  3. When was the last time you laughed so hard your belly ached and why?
  4. What song describes you best?
  5. What do you do AND do you love what you do?
  6. You would write an ode to …? (Could be a person or a thing)
  7. Your favorite childhood memory
  8. One dream destination you’d want to visit and why
  9. Love or Lust and why
  10. A book/movie that got it all wrong and your advice for the same
  11. ‘Forgive and Forget’ or ‘Revenge is a dish best served cold’? 

I hope you all enjoyed reading all that I had to say and that I didn't leave you feeling as if you had a one sided conversation with an irritatingly cocky person. :D