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.

Why Is Keeping Your Own House Clean a Big Deal?

Why Is Keeping Your Own House Clean a Big Deal?

As Indians, we grow up with a certain set of fixed ideologies that become so deep-rooted into our brains that it becomes hard to think outside that box. Our country has been under lockdown for three weeks now, meaning we’ve all had to do our own mopping, dusting, cleaning, organizing, and even doing the dishes. The concept of having people to do it for you – by people I mean the house help or the maid, to put it simply – has been prevalent in the country for years. And only with the imposition of a total lockdown, did people realize how important the house help was.

Did that bring a change in the average Indian mentality? No. We’re the generation that takes photos of ourselves in visibly blah clothes, clutching at a broom in one hand, phone in the other, in front of the full-length mirror and posting pictures on our Instagram stories, and captioning it – “My jhaadoo pocha outfit.” That’s the word for dusting and mopping. Collective. You miss Mira Didi, not because she gave you company, but because she’d come do the cooking. You miss Jyoti Ben because she’d come and do the mopping. And the sweeping. And the dusting. And the bathrooms and even the toilet bowl. And you still negotiated with them over their paltry salaries. And never said thank you, but blamed them for messing up your fancy fruit bowl or sometimes, breaking your favorite wine glass. You conveniently overlooked the fact that Jyoti might have cut her finger picking up the broken pieces. And you made her work with a cut finger which you only put a Band-Aid on. You overlooked the fact that the help came to your house to keep it clean despite being on her period, or even despite running a fever. You refused to give her a day off because you couldn’t manage the house – the big sprawling house when compared to her tiny shack – by yourself.

And I’ve got a problem with that.

Do you need someone else’s help cleaning up after you’ve taken a massive doody? No, right? Then why would you make it a big deal, and go posting about it as well, after you’ve cleaned your house by yourself? My, my. What a major achievement. What an accomplishment that you’ve managed to wipe the kitchen counter clean after burning the lentil soup you were attempting to cook. What a good thing to have finally learned how to boil an egg or make whipped coffee all by yourself. Like, seriously? Everyone in the rest of the world does their own chores. Only in this country do we lack the understanding and acceptance needed to grasp the importance of dignity of labor.

I just wish that it wasn’t such a big deal, you know? Cleaning and organizing. Things like that? All of this? All of this doesn’t need validation from the Internet if you think it’s such a pain being a “maidfor a while. Also, doing daily household chores actually helps to burn calories. You won’t realize how fit you’re going to be if you’re the one that’s cleaning on a daily basis. Imagine how much active movement you’re getting. Also, cooking is very therapeutic. And baking. NOT being dependent on someone else to do YOUR chores lets you plan your day around your routine and not on when Jyoti comes to clean.

Plus, with the center probably extending the lockdown by two more weeks, it’s about time you forget Mira and Jyoti and get comfortable with staying indoors. It’s hardly a big deal, honestly. Although many influencers will tell you that it is, consider how lucky we all are to have a roof over our heads and a few meals a day. It doesn’t matter if other people don’t understand dignity of labor. It starts with you, and one small change makes a big difference. On that note, I’m going to wipe the kitchen down while I listen to some Doja Cat. Good day, y’all.

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?

Three Things You Cannot Be Thanks to the Modern Economy

Three Things You Cannot Be Thanks to the Modern Economy

The economy is changing. Fast. There’s a huge growth in competition and consumerism and it’s hard to keep up at times. As a millennial, struggling with whatever demon you’re currently fighting internally, sometimes you miss your calling. And this becomes a long-standing issue. With social-media influencing becoming a growing career, here are three things you can absolutely not afford to be today.

1. Lazy: You have to hustle. Unless you were someone that would soon inherit millions, you cannot afford to be lazy. Irrespective of your gender, you need to have something that you’re passionate about. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of jealously and you often find yourself wishing what a certain twenty-something-year-old rich influencer had. But wishing alone isn’t going to give you what you’re looking for. And if you do want to be lazy, you’ve to make smart choices. Weigh the pros and the cons before you decide on taking the plunge you’ve been debating about.

This is also why you should wait it out till the right person comes along, before deciding to go ahead and saying, “I do.” Marriage is particularly difficult these days.

Which brings me to point two.

2. A Stay-at-home wife/husband: Back in the day, let’s say even a good decade ago, being a stay-at-home wife (or a husband) wasn’t really a bad thing. You could chill at home and (specially in India) with your domestic help doing most of the work, you would have a lot of time to care for your kids, you could be very hands-on, and have a healthy marriage too.

You probably can’t do that anymore. Almost everyone has a job that overworks and underpays at the same time. Now unless you were married to someone with a very, very high-paying job or maybe a very good business, you really cannot be too dependent on your partner. Plus, if you’re a woman, chances are that some other woman is going to actually shame you for not having your own finances sorted.

And I’ve seen this happening in person. And it gets worse each time.

3. Generous with money: This one is a BIG no-no.

Don’t stay friends – actually it’s a bad idea to even give too many people your phone number – with a bunch of people. A lot of people won’t hesitate to take a screenshot of something you’ve said, and forward it to someone else and start a fight. And fights lead to negativity and stress and eventually, depression. And nobody understands what you’re possibly going through even in 2019.

If you’re someone that gives loans despite being in trouble yourself, you need to stop immediately. Money creates a lot of rift between good friends too. Also, don’t be a spendthrift because you don’t want to be broke at the end of the month.

On that note, hope you’ve had a wonderful and pollution-free Diwali if you’re someone that celebrates. ✌🏼

Happy Blogtober!

Happy Blogtober!

September was awful: I didn’t even post consistently. The whole town was flooded for the most part and I hate it when it’s so gloomy. I mean, rains are nice and all – but it’s supposed to be fall weather and NOT monsoon. Maybe the world is actually about to die sooner than expected. Scares me to death, really.

Okay, all depressing thoughts aside, I’m actually looking forward to October. A few key events are coming up and I’m so excited I could pop a vein.

• BIRTHDAYS:

The love of my life celebrates his birthday tomorrow. Although I’m not around to actually celebrate with him in person, we’ve only got three months to go till we’re actually living together. I cannot wait!

My very good friend and adopted “grandchild” turns twenty one on October 16th. And Egg, if you’re reading this, although this makes you eligible to get drunk, I hope you don’t drink too many margaritas, *snicker* only kidding.

And finally, my fellow GRANDMA EM, also has her birthday in October. Precisely on October 25th. How exciting! Girl, go easy on the sugar. I worry about those crowns on your teeth. Bye.

PUJO:

Every Bengali living in West Bengal or other parts of the planet actually count down the days till Pujo happens. This year it did look like Pujo would be a flop show – thanks to the rain – for a little bit, but we’re good now.

Kids buy new outfits and everyone overeats. Time to say bye bye to my Keto diet for a few days.

HALLOWEEN:

We don’t really celebrate Halloween in India but it’s catching up quickly. If you’re into makeup, you’ll know that this is the time of the year that people go ham with FX makeup and other Halloween inspired looks. I cannot wait.

Also, happy Blogtober! I’m going to try and go back to posting everyday. The three month window is making me nuts. Pray for me.

“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.

When Did The “BODY POSITIVITY” Movement Get Hijacked?

When Did The “BODY POSITIVITY” Movement Get Hijacked?

I’ve been seeing a lot of “body positivity” posts that are promoting plain simple obesity to be honest.

It is one hundred percent okay to love yourself but it’s kinda wrong, you know, to stuff yourself and never get any exercise. I know people that follow unhealthy lifestyles, and fall prey to diseases like hypertension and diabetes type two. They justify their behavior and call themselves curvy and they’re leading you to believe that morbid obesity is the new normal.

When I think of body positivity, the first thought that comes to mind is accepting yourself, all of your imperfections. Albinism. Crooked teeth. Heterochromia. Freckles. Birth marks. Unibrows. Everything you were born with. Body positivity doesn’t mean making yourself unhealthy by neglecting yourself and taking a drum to the streets, announcing that being morbidly obese is the new normal. There’s a lot of obese people all over – sporting beer bellies, with BMIs that are over thirty, and having to battle things like atherosclerosis, because they INSIST on eating pizza every day rather than choose something healthy. They’d rather go drinking every weekend, than actually hit the gym to stay in shape. And they body-shame people that run Instagram fitness accounts. And they have hijacked the body positivity movement and they are now insisting that being unhealthy is super cool because that’s what being curvy looks like. I beg to differ. Here’s what curvy looks like:

And she’s far from being fat or unhealthy.

As opposed to this:

Your heart is only programmed to pump so much, don’t make it overwork and don’t kill yourself. How hard is that? It’s so important to cut back on alcohol and sugar, both of which do zilch for your body. I feel so strongly about this only because I used to be overweight and I was super unhealthy. But now that I’ve changed my eating habits and made a lot of lifestyle changes, I actually feel and look good. And it makes me happy.

What’s your take on this? Do you think the body positive movement has somehow been hijacked by the over-promotion of obesity?

Friday Binge: Movie Recommendations! *contains spoliers*

Friday Binge: Movie Recommendations! *contains spoliers*

It’s Friday, and it’s probably raining where you are – or it’s really really HOT, and you’re tired from a long week at work. And if you’re like me, you’ve also got zero inclination to leave the house. Which is why, you’re probably going to binge watch a lot of stuff and binge eat and then chill.

Here are five movies you might like:

• The Queen’s Corgi.

This one has to be my absolute favorite. An animated movie, about a Corgi called Rex, that belongs to the Queen of England, animated versions of Melania and Donald Trump AND cute little puppies? Yes, please. Also, Rexie gets caught up in the underground world of dog-fights. If you’ve watched Fight Club and loved it, you’ll love this cute movie.

• Murder Mystery.

Aniston and Sandler (sporting a mustache) are a husband and wife duo that get involved in a very Agatha Christie kind of plot. Hilarious, fast paced and witty, and not to mention that Aniston made me question my sexuality while she was driving the Ferrari, this is a must watch in my book.

• Cecil.

The story of a nine year old with a lisp will have you rolling on the floor laughing in certain places. The movie has a lot going on: from selling names at Horsey Orsey and a twisted principal and Michael Jordan, and the most adorable protagonist, ever.

• Shazam!

A fourteen year old that turns into an adult with a bajillion superpowers may not seem like much of a movie plot, but Zachary Levi is hella charismatic and has some of the best lines on screen. If you haven’t already watched, what are you waiting for? Also, you get cameo performances by Ross Butler (Reggie Mantle from Riverdale) and Adam Brody!

• After.

A coming of age teen drama, with “young Voldemort” Hero Fiennes Tiffin as the male lead is something you need to watch if you’re into romantic movies. His eyebrows do a lot of talking and the British accent is delectable. After also stars inspirational YouTuber Inanna as bad girl Molly, and she nails her character down to a T.

Have you seen any new stuff lately? Leave me a comment. Have a wonderful weekend, you guys!