Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Bumps In Our Journey!

One fine evening, I find my house rather laid back and unusually quiet. I rang the second bell and the door opened with a whiff of air that smelt of spiced rajma. Now to give you an idea of why I find this setting ‘unusual’ is that I have a twelve turning thirteen year old Sister!
Pari had opened the door and didn’t even say “Hi” and turned back and ran into our room. Now that was the ‘nail in the coffin’ sign that something was not right! I was on my way to the room when I found a piece of paper half-folded, lying near the bin.
I picked it up and read the contents of the letter-

Why don’t you go away
Let me live my life, my way!
When you are around
My life is dark and blurry
Please leave, please hurry!
My best friend can’t look at me
As if she’s ashamed of my presence
Others run away as I come to them
As if I’m a ghost without a name!
No one will love me it seems
If you are around me
So please dear go away
And let my Didibhai kiss my cheek!

I was beyond shocked! I didn’t know what to speculate upon- whether how she managed to pen down this nice little piece of poetry or the subject of this poem! What was it that had made her so upset? Could it be a boy? Could it be something to do with school? Friends?

My mind flummoxed my sanity and I decided to confront her instead of going on webbing my doubts!
Me: Pari baby, what’s wrong? Are you upset? [ She hid her face with a pillow and answered from beneath the pillow.]
Pari: Yeeeaaaa
Me: Won’t you share your pain with me Baby? We are best friends no? [ I was seriously worried by now!]
Pari was silent for a minute. Then slowly, she removed the pillow from her face and sat down upright! She had a pimple! A biiiiig one on her nose! And she looked so anxious!
I was puzzled for a moment! But then I made sense of that letter and all the anxiousness and burst out laughing! I know … I know.. it was mean and I perhaps should have been more understanding but then pimple wasn’t a big issue for me! I’ve always been a “pamper my skin” person! I’m addicted to my cleansing rituals and beauty essentials. My sister on the other hand has been maintaining a one-hand distance from all creams and cleansing so far! And thus, the resultant PIMPLE of a problem!

I finally got a grip on myself and sat beside her. By then, she’d started fuming and if this was a movie, she’d have smoke out of her ears, I’m sure! So I took upon the role of the big sister and made her understand the importance of a proper cleansing ritual followed by moisturising. She seemed to take me a lot more seriously and I think she sincerely made a mental note of the same!
That night I let her use my Garnier Pure NeemFace-wash and she had read about the importance of neem in cleansing both externally as well as internally and she understood the relevance of the product. She also further applied moisturizer though she cringed her face!
Life teaches us many lessons, either by others’ experience or by our own.  However, it is important to learn from that experience and grow! Thanks to this experience, I am sure my sister has learned the value of following beauty rituals, not just to look beautiful but to feel beautiful!
We often take our skin, our body for granted. But then we stumble upon a bump or two to make us believe in ourselves again!
With Garnier Neem Pure Face Wash
You can bade Pimples and Acne problems
Bye Bye!
It is time to show the world

Some YOU-th!

This post has been written for the Indiblogger contest in association with GarnierNeem Pure Face-wash.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Pre-Marital Sex: Love Lust or Luck? Who decides



     S  e  x
Sex.. Now that I’ve got your attention, let’s talk about it. Oh, not so loud? In hushed tones, discreet coded words and whispers?
Because it is something we are ashamed of doing..thinking..imagining..talking?
And if talking of sex isn’t bad enough, I happen to be too young to talk of it? Not married, but crossed puberty! Ah! Like the “khuli tijori” , “ghodi bina lagaam”, “kali kawari” tags that the society entails upon us, we’re utterly vulnerable, on the verge of tearing the hymen at any pretext, we love having chowmein and listening to songs sung by hot guys and chicks ..
Well… wake up!
No, seriously?! At an era when a girl reaches puberty at even 10 or 11years of age, we can tell her what menstruation is but not tell her why it happens? What is the process of conception of human beings and that we do not fall from the sky or that angels don’t fly us down from the Heaven! Moreover, we expect that in this day and age where internet is our biggest saviour, children won’t know what is porn, chatting, or won’t enrol into social networking sites? Is that even possible?
Even doctors tell us that sexual thought and sexual consciousness is an inevitable part of growing up. Our body develops and certain changes take place that heighten our inquisitiveness about them. It is a natural phenomenon!
These feelings are further stressed upon by factors such as internet, peers, media, films etc. However, the important point here is that “sex” is not just a social construct but rather a biological one that is innate to a human.
When all of this is so clear to us then what fails to make sense to me is that why this emphasis on “virginity”? Post the advent of globalisation, liberalisation phenomena, men and women have come together to build a strong global economy which includes a lot of hard work, dedication and commitment. Hence, it is understandable that career has taken a step ahead in the list of priorities for both men and women.
In such circumstances, as a consequence marriage has taken a back seat. People have started marrying late and focus on being stable before getting married. However this does not mean that they don’t think of sex, or don’t feel the need for love, intimacy and companionship! Like I mentioned earlier, it is a biological process. Then what is it that we want when we say that “pre-marital sex is a sin/taboo” or that “pre-marital sex is all about the body and not the heart and thus only lust”?
Such a mentality only reflects how we have moved on with developments while we have kept one foot still at the crease. How will we move ahead in that case? Let us not forget that it is pre-marital sex and not pre-martial sex. Blowing things out of proportion only leads to its bursting off loud, right?

I understand the complexities of pre-marital sex. I am also aware of how hot this topic is; one mention of it and the world comes running to you with an opinion. The point is that irrespective of who think what and in spite of who thinks whether premarital sex comes within the ambit of moral and ethical conduct of the society or not, it is and it should be entirely up to two adult individuals to agree on whether to have a sexual intercourse or not.
And no, a sexual intercourse does not necessarily have to lead to marriage and kids and old age. It can just be an expression of love between two consenting individuals and that’s that!
I threw this topic up to a bunch of my girlfriends- over texts, whatsapp, and even when I met some of them. Almost 80% of them had not had sexual intercourse yet. However, about 90% of them had had making out sessions, most of them had embarrassing ones or quickies and they wished they had felt more comfortable during them. Out of fifteen of them, only 5 admitted to masturbation while some others had doubts regarding it. A common question to them was..
If they were given a comfortable environment, say a room minus the hassles of the inquiry in hotels or interference of parents or their attitude towards an unmarried couple in a closed room, would they have had sex with their partner?

Almost all of them agreed, and the ones who said no, said so because they didn’t trust their partner that much, which is totally ok and in fact, good. One of my older friends in fact retorted, “One must be open for sex. In fact, if you fall in love with a guy and end up sleeping with him, don’t end up marrying him please!” That was an interesting analysis coming from her because she is herself married. She explained, “See, after you sleep with a man, he thinks, if you have slept with him, there are chances that you may have done so before as well; as if you’ve always been open to it!”
I asked how that was a problem. She may have been in love before! Even he could have, right?
“Hahaha, for a boy it doesn’t matter whether he sleeps with one woman or a hundred. But a woman can’t. It then affects her character. He may end up marrying her, but he won’t respect her like before. He’ll doubt her somewhere in his mind. And no, there are no exceptions!”
Well, that’s some food for thought, ladies and gentlemen! I do not know how true or false this perspective is! If you have an opinion regarding it, let me know..!
Sex is part of our palette of things..along with the basic necessities of life..roti ..kapda and makaan..
While I am all for it, I do think that is a very important decision. One must be fully aware of the physical and emotional circumstances and must know how to deal with them. They should go ahead only when they want to and trust their partner enough. Also, all precautions must be taken with great care and knowledge about the repercussions.
While the society should not judge people on the basis of their sexual virginity (virginity of the mind , well yes, now that must be explored further! J), even we as responsible adults should make decisions that do not cause us problems later on. Whatever we do in life, regret must not be one of them! Love is a beautiful feeling and there is nothing wrong with sex, premarital or otherwise. It should not be forced, it should not insult, hurt or degrade others (by that I do not mean don’t make love because Mr.Sharma doesn't want you to have sex and you having sex may hurt his sentiments.. That’s just crass!) Jeeyo and Jeene do, is the clear funda. And yes, please spare us from the weirdest forms of embarrassing PDAs(Public Display of Affection) and seriously guys, GO GET A ROOM ! J

This post has been written for the prompt “Pre-marital sex- Yes or No” hosted by Indiblogger in association with Poonaam Uppal, who has written a book regarding the same theme, A Passionate Gospel of True Love-A true Love Story . Do check the book out and if you liked this post, leave in a comment! J Thank you!
If you are an Indi-Blogger then please do vote for my post HERE . You're awesome! J

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Miles We Travel, The Smiles We Unravel

She brings a smile on my face  
In a million hundred ways
The memory of her words, her grace
Stay with me through my life’s toughest phase.
She is the sparkle of the skies,
The movement of winds, the twinkle in my eyes
With her, time just flies
And life seems like paradise.    

They say, with the birth of a child, your life assumes a different meaning. It is a milestone we cross, and we’re never the same again! Well, the day my sister was born, I had determined to give her all the happiness that I can fetch for her.
Travelling is one of the best ways of getting the family together to enjoy. And when you are in the company of children, it only doubles the enjoyment! Isn't it amazing how children make the best out of any opportunity- be it a tough situation at school, bad marks, first crush or a trip! They are the first ones to get all excited, making plans of how they’d sit in the back seat, what songs they’d sing and what toys they can hide in their luggage and bring along!
We are a family of travel enthusiasts though we are not able to travel as much as we’d like to! However, when we do travel, we make the best of it. Like while travelling within the country, we make sure we stop at dhabas and interesting spots and we try the local cuisines, click pictures with the locales and basically, we eat a lot!

And when travelling internationally, we’ve trekked to places, climbed into trains going to unknown destinations, lodged into wrong hotels…Ah! The craziness sounds much more decent than it has been!

With my sister by my side, we end up doing a lot of quirky stuff and in that list, tops “Posing for photographs”! Give us a mall, an actor’s wax model at Tussaud’s, a stadium, an ice-cream cone or if left to just ourselves, we can create the right blend of spices for us and for those around us! Trust me!

Being her elder sister, I have experienced some great moments of my life with her. To see her smiling, to be her support, to be the one she trusts, makes me feel good about myself. It is the way in which she looks at things so differently, the way she trusts us completely to take her wherever we intend to, I don’t think we are able to trust like that once we grow up!

She notices the littlest of things- the fountains, the changing colors of the sky, rainbows, how there are lakes with “green water” and then lakes with “blue water”. Her bespectacled lenses open up a world of their own and I love being a part of it sometimes; I feel like a child again. Trust me, it is a privilege. In a child’s world, everything seems animated. You are not part of the rush, the camaraderie and you just do what makes you and people around you happy!
Children are such innocent angels who through their words and acts can amaze you! So when an opportunity comes to show them what you’ve got, you must do nothing less than amaze them! They see the world we show to them, make sure you show them a bright picture!

We had a fun trip to Kasol recently where we rode ponies for the first time and she was scared and enthralled all at the same time! We saw open pastures and she marveled at the picturesque view! We’re planning for a trip to Prague next. I cannot wait to see her inquisitive eyes drool at the magnificent architecture and historic culture of that place! But I think I am most excited to be a part of the journey she will take me through, through her eyes!

I wish to thank Indiblogger and Club Mahindra for this wonderful prompt that brought back quite a many memories to my mind! Enjoyed writing this post thoroughly. If you enjoyed reading, do let me know with a comment! Thank you!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Life and Death-Two Sides of the Same Coin? #PeshawarAttack

I do not think there is anyone left in this world whose heart hasn’t been affected by the Peshawar Attack that shook our conscience, the way we undermined the kind of destruction we are capable of doing and the extent to which our own kind can go to hurt our own people! In those four-five hours, we have cried, mourned, and have run around with those hundreds of parents as they searched for their children!

Terrorism is an understatement for the trauma those eight alleged terrorists caused. I remember the live interview of a man who went in the front lawn of the school to search for his nephews and carried a dead body out saying he’d seen more bodies lying around-some shot in the head right in between and some had bullets pierced into their eyes!

This isn’t terrorism, this is Hell! By which religion, I wish to ask, does this act of sin be justified? I remorse; for the dead as well as for those who’ve suffered injuries. For more than the physical experience, I think the emotional and mental trauma to see your classmates being killed, lying in pools of blood, tattered clothes , fire, smoke.. Colourful futures being shredded to wrath..

It just makes me wonder… The things we say about how good things happen to good people, the promises we tell our children about, do they mean anything at all? If yes, how do we justify the inhumane termination of so many innocent children? Where did God hide then? Are these jihadists right that we needed to feel this pain?

These are the moments when you let go of the trivialities and introspect- How much does death affect us? And this loss of life is inevitable..Someday we die..But does the way we die, make the whole difference?
Also, what is religion? What is the scope of existence of a God who supposedly punishes the wrong and rewards the right?

How do you define a day of yours? A yesterday you spent procrastinating about that test you have the next day or that cake you need to bake or how cold it is going to be.

You wait for a tomorrow. You dream and hope. You get busy in the mundane and leave out the special for a fine day. I'll wear that dress on my next date, will treat myself to a doughnut on Xmas, will go for a manicure when that friend's wedding approaches...

 And then one fine day, you're gone. Startled you realise, the days just went by. The words you wanted to say, the hugs you wanted to give, the pain you wanted deliverance from, the eternal wait for justice or a punishment for someone who'd wronged you, all neatly folded in the casket that once held your heart firmly shut.

You want to breathe but you don't even Own your body anymore. You feel devoid of an identity or matter. Limitless and numb, you only wander.

All of a sudden, you know you won't be returning home. And you know it'll hurt, but they'll survive. You'll become a memory, a milestone they had to eventually move on from. They need to go back to the ordinairé, the mundane too. You'll see the pages turn, exactly one by one. You'll taste the saline and the bitter.

Death is the culprit, or life does that to you? Or is it we ourselves who are to be blamed? Should we blame each other or sit down and pray? Pray to a God for a miracle, because we cannot take a step back and think what we’ve done that was not right?
Is today not good enough to think about the coin we’ve tossed high up and not wait for God to catch it and throw it back to us? It’ll fall upon us one day and whether for good bad or ugly, the consequences of our own actions shall see the end of us!

For now, we can only take this one moment and pray for the souls that could have represented the future- a much more peaceful, educated, responsible Pakistan. It is indeed an immense loss, Mr. Nawaz Sharif. I hope you'll realise that the tiger you'd chosen to pet in your house, has eaten up your own family. It is time to kill that man-eater, NOW.