The Color of Blood.

The Color of Blood.

It has to be, they say

It’s that time of the month,

Throwing harsh words and curse words

Her way, all day, everyday

She says nothing, just lets tears fall

And a storm rages on in her head

She thought he’d understand at least

He doesn’t, and she wishes she were dead

Unsolicited advice comes her way:

“Have children, before it’s too late.”

“Have children, doesn’t matter if you’re not into it.”

“If you don’t want them, God curse your fate.”

She feels like a package

That everyone’s dying to unwrap

She feels suffocated

Every harsh word is like a slap

They don’t let her bleed in peace

The color of blood it repels them, you see

She’s just a walking uterus

Meant to carry kids, isn’t that how it was supposed to be?

She’s not a woman if she doesn’t want kids

She’s not normal if she wants to be

She’s shallow if she wants to be happy

She sits in the corner, with the color of blood for company

And they shake their heads and click tongues

She’s failed the generation once more

He could have done better, they think

And for once, she couldn’t agree more.

Unchained Emotions

Unchained Emotions

Don’t post this, don’t say that

Pretend you’re something you’re not

Act cold, act happy when you’re sad

Act excited even when you rot

Don’t be yourself, they said

Be someone else completely

Someone not so messed in the head

I say ok, and I nod my head weakly

Haven’t been happy in months now

But I can’t talk about it

It has to be hidden away somehow

So no one knows about it

Made to feel like a dirty secret

Almost like it were wrong to be me

Like I’m supposed to have no identity

And I’m supposed to be unseen

Alone and secluded for weeks

Abandoned, and forgotten almost

No one asks if you ate or if you’ve healed

I’m struggling to barely stay afloat

This isn’t a cakewalk

Not like I thought it would be

There’s no champion, and no rock

No one seems to let my headspace be

Either you’ve to post grad

Or make progeny

There’s just this or that, really

With no options in between

Sometimes I wonder would things

Have been different if I’d switched rooms

I lie awake and the doorbell rings

Bringing in yet another day of doom.

More Reflections Via A Block Of Text.

More Reflections Via A Block Of Text.

It’s been weeks since I’ve actually sat down to write something. Writer’s block is painfully real, you guys.

This would actually be the last month that I get to stay here, at home, before I relocate for good. Home? Wait, what? What even is that? Where even is home? I remember being in med school and feeling more alive than I’d ever felt back when I was living with family. I came from privilege – but with privilege, specially in families like mine, comes a total absence of affection and acceptance. To be elitists was all they strived to be. 

I grew up feeling unwanted and unloved. Feeling. I cannot emphasize on that enough.

My family doesn’t do hugs or cuddles or the occasional pats on the back. None of that. You get harsh critique, judgmental behavior and you get body-shamed right from the start. I remember aunts saying I had a flat head and a monkey face with frog eyes and that I wouldn’t find someone to love. This frog-eye bit is getting too old but they won’t stop. A certain cousin was instrumental in making sure I chose the science stream after the tenth boards. Nobody asked what I wanted – they made every choice for me. Given a chance, I would have taken up humanities and gone on to pursue English lit in college. I’d have actually been someone. Done some good. I’m not complaining, just talking about things I honestly regret. Yes, there’s nothing I can do about it, but I wanted to get it off my chest. I don’t have an outlet, really. My blog is public and I’ve to post safe because I can’t hurt people’s sentiments. Right?

I don’t know when clinical depression seeped into my pores but I remember being fourteen and waking up one morning actually feeling like a loser. So I took a look in the mirror and shut down. I withdrew. Emotionally. So bad, that I never actually let people in again. The walls went up. Sure, I made friends online but I’ve since avoided people in real life. This is also why I haven’t stayed in touch with quite a few people from my family and even a lot of my friends. Also one of the reasons why most of my friends are going to be absent from the civil wedding next month. People feel happy when there’s a wedding in the family. Not my family. Everyone is on edge and testy and snappy and they cannot wait to see me leave, like I’m this cumbersome abscess that needs draining.

This scares me, you know? Marriage. Kids. New beginnings. I’ve grown up around so much negativity I’ve ended up having far too much absorbed by my system. What if I make a terrible Mum? What if they hate me? What if, what if and what if. Too many ifs and too many buts and too much stress. Dude, I’m losing hair on my head. You can see my scalp now. Shiny and gross.

I have to stop worrying. People who grow up in unhappy environments sometimes try and spread happiness to their new families, because they don’t want history repeating, right? Please, God, just please.

Five Habits That Changed My Life

Five Habits That Changed My Life

As you get older, you face a bunch of issues, and I’m definitely no different. First came the busted kneecap. Then came the sudden appearance of astigmatism. The lactose intolerance decided it had a vendetta against me. My neck, my back, oh everything cracked. And chiropractors are expensive, and taking a bunch of pills isn’t ideal. That’s when I decided to actually do something about whatever was happening.

There isn’t much that I’ve been doing, really. Just five things, and I did ask people over on my Instagram (via a poll) if they’d be interested in reading about it, and a lot of people happened to say yes. So here goes, a comprehensive list of five things that I’ve been implementing into my daily routine, which actually have gone on to make my life a whole lot easier:

• Restricting social media activity.

Also known as minding your own business, this is an EXCELLENT way to keep your mental health great. I don’t comment on people’s posts even if they’re triggering me. I simply unfollow, or maybe mute things, and I scroll past.

I don’t post about my personal life on the internet and I don’t compare what I’ve got with what someone else’s got. When there’s no room for jealousy, because you’re nipping it in the bud, it actually helps you thrive.

And boy, am I thriving. * knock on wood *

• Logging in my meals.

I use this app called HealthifyMe, and it gives me a daily calorie budget. Before I reach out to grab that bag of blue Lay’s, a little voice in my head goes: those are just empty hundred and sixty six calories, you don’t need them. And I stop immediately because staying within my calorie budget is a fitness thing I’m very much into, and I refuse to not be able to stick to my goals.

• Body language.

I used to slouch, and I’d have put Quasimodo to shame. No offense to Quasimodo because he was born with it, and I kinda gave myself a slouch situation, but okay.

I don’t do that anymore.

Sometimes I’ll walk around the vicinity or even find a wall to stand against and I ensure that my back is ramrod straight. Gone are those days of back pain and my weird posture that made me look zero confident and unimportant. I still don’t look important (YET) but I’m going to get there. Soon. Body language is very important when you’re trying to hold someone’s attention and to make an impact. Unless you’d rather blend into the wall (“Issa me”), this projects confidence and makes you look like you’re someone who’s worth it.

And don’t we all want to be worth it?

• Staying away from the phone.

I barely use my phone anymore. I don’t text much. I don’t scroll through my explore page. I read an actual book, and no, I don’t feel the need to post about it, and I actually enjoy my time away from the screen.

And there’s this weird peace that comes from being able to keep your phone away. Voluntarily. Try that sometime.

• Clean eating and skincare.

I’ve said goodbye to strict keto.

Most of my food is plant based, and there’s no dairy in my diet. This has kind of led to a reduction in the frequency of my acne breakouts. I don’t juice anymore. If I need to eat a fruit, I actually go eat a whole fruit. Bananas are amazing for you. I did a whole post too. So are oranges in the winter. Full of good stuff.

Also, Vitamin C is something I’ve been using religiously in my skincare now. It protects your skin from pollution and such, and following it up with SPF after has made so much difference to my skin in a short span of time – I’m hooked.

Is there a lifestyle change you’ve made that actually is working wonders for you?

Stuff That I Should Have Started Doing Earlier

Stuff That I Should Have Started Doing Earlier

Seeing a dermatologist.

I’m super ashamed to say I’ve never seen a dermatologist in my life. When you’re in your late twenties and you’re saying something like this, this is a major problem.

I didn’t know I would face so many skin problems – I have clogged pores that don’t go away, I have whiteheads and my skin is aging – and no amount of aloe is keeping my skin normal.

I have my very first appointment with a dermatologist on Saturday. I hope I don’t get judged too harshly.

Taking proper supplements.

In addition to eating your greens and otherwise having a diet that’s super clean, your body does need supplements. Some people overdo, and that’s bad.

I just started on collagen and biotin and other vitamins.

• Walking everyday.

I workout at home, and I follow people like Chloe Ting. And although my body is apparently healthy, I don’t walk enough. No, walking on your treadmill doesn’t count.

My health apps remind me that I need to be walking more and that never seems to happen.

I’m trying, and so far I’ve made it through Tuesday. Let’s hope I keep at it.

• Keeping in touch with only people who matter.

For the longest time, I would avoid talking to a bunch of people because I was under the impression that they were nosy.

I was wrong.

Nothing feels better than reconnecting. At the same time, nothing feels more liberating than finding out who’s going to be around when you’re sinking, and cutting off the unnecessary drama from people that never wish you well.

Sleeping better.

I’ve actually posted about the benefits of sleep on my blog before, and it’s weird to me that I never followed my own advice.

I’ve made changes now and I give my body six solid hours of sleep. Sometimes seven.

What are some recent changes that you’ve made in your life, that you wish you’d done sooner?

Feminism: An Essay.

Feminism: An Essay.

Science has a no-nonsense way of conducting experiments as we were taught in school. Make observations, draw an inference from said observations and the experiments and then supply a conclusion based on the results. Have no bias whatsoever and stay true to facts. That is what I will attempt to do here, be as objective as possible as to determine the cause and effects of lack of equality among human beings.

Before we talk about things like feminism, misogyny, benefit of doubt and subtle changes in the gender hierarchy, we need to talk about human beings as a whole. Dynamics between men and women and how our minds work is of essential importance while trying to understand the existence of complicated issues such as sexism, racism, casteism etc. Let’s observe ancient history, where men and women were barbarians. There was this inexplicable need the males felt when they saw the females, they couldn’t explain it but they NEEDED it. So they used objects to hit women on the head till they were unconscious and drag them into their cave to procreate. Sometimes the females would die, so they adapted & started using blunt objects to only maim and not kill their target. The females, tried to defend themselves but more often than not were physically overpowered. That’s how the seven billion people of today came to be.

“When the chips are down and rules don’t matter these civilized people will eat each other if they have to”, quoting Heath Ledger’s Joker from The Dark Knight here.

Might seem out of place, but this is very relevant. It speaks about how everything humans do is conditional. And that only the condition matters.

Fast forward to the era between the 1500s to the 1900‘s, humans became much more aware not only of themselves but also of the things around them. Education and art flourished during that period, equal human rights started to seem possible and not just a far-fetched dream. That change came – not without reason – as science advanced scientists found that human bodies were all more or less alike irrespective of gender (excluding reproductive systems, obviously), caste or creed. That shattered the dominant male’s world view, in their opinion they were physically stronger & mentally sharper so they had to be superior, how could they then be considered equal to women? Like every change it not only took a while to implement but also wasn’t accepted by everyone, still isn’t till this day. Seems kind of weird for the mighty human species, the apex predators as we call ourselves, civilized human beings to not be able to make the change in themselves based on reason when barbarians made the change in themselves based on wanting to simply get off. The key point is the change suited the barbarians and their priorities, it did not suit the civilized human males’ priorities. “Kind of weird” is putting it mildly, it’s actually insane. What else would you call someone who completely ignores obvious evidence?

“Insanity is like gravity, all it needs is a push”, second quote I mention from The Dark Knight by Joker which speaks about the condition from the first one, and how that condition just needs a trigger and it can turn into an irrational compulsion, a force that drives you from within to take/not take actions based on facts. In the barbarians that condition was being horny, which drove them to make the change in their style of weaponry. For the civilized men the condition was power, which drove men to deny that the power dynamics were not in their favor, at least based on empirical evidence it wasn’t. I firmly believe this is the reason for feminism to even exist, it’s the incapacity of people to accept change since they weren’t able to place facts over personal priorities.

Feminism proposes the liberation of women from the patriarchal society we have created, & change it into an equal one regarding matters of social, civil & personal rights. A society where people aren’t judged by their gender, but by their abilities. Atleast, that’s what the originators of the ideology imagined.

It took a while for the world to catch on, but the various social media movements such as #metoo and #timesup gripped the world in horror, when people realized how women’s rights are still lacking in majority of the world. Shouldn’t that have been enough to make people realize how messed up our priorities are? Human beings can send machines beyond our own solar system, we can send humans on the moon but we simply cannot accept men & women as equals? That is where another kind of trigger happens where not unlike an auto immune disease the protectors attack what they want to protect.

When a person/people propose a revolutionary theory in any particular matter, the immediate reflex of the human species is to ignore it, to laugh and ridicule it and finally to destroy it. Again, let’s look through history from peace & unity promoters like Mahatma Gandhi & Martin Luther King junior to scientists like Hypatia & Archimedes all of them were murdered. Feminism met with the same ridicule,it wasn’t a person though but an ideology so it couldn’t be killed off. With people taking sides according to their own opinions, a divide came into place which wasn’t much different from the divide caused by race or religion. And that is precisely what brings me to my third and final quote from The Dark Knight, again by the Joker “You either die a hero, or live long enough to watch yourself become the villain.” The hatred spewed in each direction between pro-feminists and anti-feminists, began to blur the lines & before people could know what was happening the victim became the aggressor in the form of feminazi’s and male-bashing. Is that a fair statement?  Women were denied equal rights for centuries, still are in many places and yet they are being held accountable for being overzealous and ending up violating what they claimed to believe in. Are they both the same magnitudes of offence? Definitely not. Does that make it right? Definitely not, but it surely gives men the excuse to stereotype all feminists as feminazi’s and try and draw attention away from the underlying issue.

So what now? Are we doomed to ignoring what the other side is saying and yell our own opinions louder? Will humanity get compartmentalized on the basis of difference of opinion to the extent that people will just stop trusting each other? Depends on what you believe, if you believe the need to prove yourself right exceeds the need to question & analyse what’s right then the Joker would be proud of you.

The reason I keep mentioning the Joker and his lines is because one of the few great things DC comics ever did was to create the character of The Joker. He had no superpowers, but he also didn’t have any delusions about people. He saw the world for what it was and not what he’d like it to be. He had no motives of his own, and that is precisely why he was so dangerous, he knew people. How their minds worked, and that is specifically why this fictional character’s quotes from a somewhat old Hollywood film hits home a little too hard. 

But he wasn’t right in the end of the movie, was he? The people in the bomb-rigged ships carrying the trigger for the other ship didn’t blow each other up. From that I’d like to believe in humanity, I would sleep better knowing that maybe, just maybe at the brink of destruction humanity will do what it does best- evolve. Because that’s all any of us can do really, do our best to learn and listen, and have faith in the people around us.

© Suyash Upadhay, 2019.

Dear Cheat Day

Dear Cheat Day

I’m pretty consistent with my diet, and I haven’t had sugar in almost two years. That being said, I do give myself a cheat day – every Sunday – so my body can chill for a while.

I don’t eat sugar on cheat days, because I don’t want to overdo things. This used to make me cranky as heck when I first started, eventually getting used to it. BUT, with all that being said, I guess everyone has a breaking point. *insert hysterical laughter here*

Krispy Kreme kiosks need to be made illegal at airports. Even if they have to set up shop, it needs to be as far away from the boarding gates as possible. For someone that the reaches airport and checks in super early because of the impending rush, self-control becomes a ginormous issue.

You haven’t had a donut in two years, I told myself, and you can control this six am craving.

So I passed by the kiosk once. Successfully. Did that a second time. Gave up and got myself a Belgian donut thingy, new on the menu, and the guy actually laughed at me. I think I wolfed it down in a minute. Or even less than. It’s been four hours since I had all that sugar and I’m actually super happy. Reporting zero traces of crankiness on the horizon, viability almost at a hundred percent, we are in for a sunny day in my head, irrespective of the actual weather outside.

The point* I’m trying to make here is:

• It’s okay to have a cheat day, and one tiny cheat meal, as long as you’re doing it in moderation.

Ensure that you don’t deny your body and at the same time, don’t overfeed yourself. Most of us have done that at some point, only to have regretted later.

• Sugar ages you faster, so refrain from too much of it. Only have it if you must. Like I needed the donut after a two year break. It was heaven.

• Hydrate. Apple cider vinegar in water actually kills the attack of the “munchies”, and it’s so effective. Tried and tested.

• Make sure you go back to your normal routine after you’ve cheated. So important.

*points. I realize I just listed out five of those. It’s okay. We all know I cannot resist a good listicle.

Have an amazing start to the week, folks!

When Did The World Get So Overwhelming?

When Did The World Get So Overwhelming?

A friend and I were having this conversation the other day and she said:

“I guess we were all running away from home to bigger places and faster lives and social media attention and now when all of it is ruining us, we are running back to the peace of the little towns and taking a supposed social media detox.

Like why do we even need a break from something which wasn’t even our real lives in the first place?”

She’s a hundred percent correct.

There’s no living space, there’s very little breathable air and no drinkable water. India already has a water crisis going on in a lot of places. And everyone else is just so unaware. Doing things for clout, preaching about feminism that doesn’t feel like feminism anymore and pretending to have chill, happy lives which we should all look up to. Most of us don’t even like our day jobs anymore. In a world where YouTube celebrities and Instagram models are fast becoming role models, where do our moral compasses point to, really?

The thing about the modern world is that you cannot say or do the “right” thing. If you post your opinion online, you’ll get trolled and hated and dragged through the mud for it. You’ll be misinterpreted and misunderstood and nobody will cut you any slack. The world is very accepting, yes that’s true – but it is also very unforgiving at the same time. Everyone is constantly and perpetually triggered and is out for blood. It’s so scary and so overwhelming. And you’ve to think a million times before even posting something as simple as a thoughtful and well-written eyeshadow review, or even a book review dismissing a popular author, because God knows who might get offended. There’s so much going on – Stan culture, cancel culture, pile-on hatred and bigotry – that you don’t even feel remotely safe or comfortable anymore.

And you still go back.

You go back to what hurts you and you want to see what’s going on and it’s like an itch and you keep scratching at it, and you bleed. And you still look at what’s bothering you. Social media addiction is a real thing. And at some level, we’re all afflicted. It’s crazy how we all compare ourselves – both on purpose and subconsciously – to that image of some influencer’s perfect. We choose to flaunt fake stories, we choose to show happy when we’re really NOT. There’s a rise in divorce rates. Cheating incidents. Scandals. People feel so entitled to take what’s already taken, and they don’t stop to think or analyze. There’s a rise in immorality and a serious fall in moral values. And if you dare say anything, you’re just a depressed piece of turd that’s moral policing and has no life. They say, Live and Let Live, And before we could realize it, it’s turned into Die and Let Die, but don’t say anything. It’s twisted, really, when we could be idolizing real people with real stories, but we choose not to give them any importance. The ones actually making a difference only exist in the footnotes of some super obscure magazines. Or they exist as obituaries in newspapers yellowing with age – they were the real influencers. The real feminists. And it’s scary today, to see to how far people calling themselves modern influencers will go, for mere likes and followers, losing themselves in the process.

When did social media become our whole lives?

How To: Deal With The Feeling Of Being Demotivated

How To: Deal With The Feeling Of Being Demotivated

Most of us have days where we feel really dull and don’t get much done because the feeling of being demotivated just becomes too overwhelming. Some of us even fall victim to it and let it drag us into an emotional black hole. Luckily, for most of us, this is only a phase and it’s easy to get out of.

If you’re someone that’s doing a workout program, or a writing challenge, demotivating comes to you super easily. It’s hard, I’ll agree, to push yourself constantly. So what do you do?

You give yourself a break.

Don’t forget that you’re human and we all have our dry spells and it’s okay to feel like you’re going through a dry patch. Take a break – it could be a vacation or even a tiny getaway – but once you break the monotony, you’ll notice your life coming back on track.

Don’t PUSH your creativity.

If you’ve got a deadline, and you’re totally panicking, calm down. The more you stress over something, the more you lose track of things. Creativity is something that needs to come to you on its own, and it will, once you let it chill.

Don’t forget to be observant.

There’s a lot to learn from everything and everyone that exists around you. Be vigilant. Who knows what might inspire you?

Get rid of negative people.

If you’re getting bad vibes from someone and if you feel like it’s doing nothing good for your mental peace – drop them. Just let them go. At least for a while. Your peace of mind and your well being are really important and you don’t need someone tossing negative energy your way casually, like it doesn’t matter. Just block them or terminate all contact till you’re a hundred percent fine, and doing great. And then forget about them.

Practice mediation.

I’ve talked about this before – mediation is super powerful and helps you relax. Ten minutes of mediation first thing in the morning is such a good stress-buster. If you’re unable to mediate on your own, use Headspace. It’s a free app, available both on Android and iOS.

“Meat.”

“Meat.”

It says “wifey” right there on my Instagram bio. That never stopped a bunch of guys from sliding into my DMs because they wanted to tap that. Do these people NOT have parents? Do basic manners not exist in 2019?

Apparently not.

I ran an Instagram social experiment and paid to boost one of my posts. This is the photo I “boosted”.

As you can tell, there’s no skin show. Just my hands, my face and my phone. My phone isn’t showing any skin, either. I’m not someone that ever wears clothing that shows a ton of cleavage or arms. I’m not someone that even has a bikini body to begin with, so I don’t wear bikinis. And despite being so covered up, stuff like this didn’t hesitate to show up.

India has this rampant rape culture and my photo is PROOF in the pudding, that it’s not about what you’re wearing. You could be in a potato sack and your hair could be a greasy mess, and you would still get objectified and propositioned to, even flashed. There have been no naked photos in my DMs – yet – and I consider myself very lucky.

What does all of this mean?

That there’s something seriously wrong with India. If you happen to be a woman, you will be – invariably – treated as meat. There will be human versions of rabid wolves fighting to sink their teeth into your skin. To claim and to maim. To destroy, pilfer and damage beyond repair.

I hate to think of what would happen if I posted a photo of mine from my workout sessions.

And it’s terrifying to me that WOMEN, and sometimes men, have to live in constant fear of the possibly of getting attacked if they don’t go into hiding. The whole social experiment proves that it’s not about how you’re posing on your Insta, it’s not about how you talk, it’s got nothing to do with your personality – you’re basically just someone’s meat. And that’s the bitter truth.

This is what scares me to death.