Quill

RAW

The truth is I am the most vulnerable person you will come across. Not as in, I break down on the simplest of the things or something (PMSing is an exception) but the real and true emotions make my heart do a little dance. I am not very expressive as such, but my heart wrenches when I see my loved ones sad. In a group of friends, when we are laughing on the silliest things, I feel like I will explode of happiness. I can cry on the simplest display of pure emotions of sadness, happiness, love anything. Anything Raw. 🌌

P. S. Sorry for making The Pocket Diaries my personal diary.

Quill

STAINED

Oh, so let me get this straight.
She is stained if she bleeds once a month,
But not when she is ripped apart, trying to give birth?
Does a body part determine her worth?

She is stained as a survivor of sexual assault,
But as a rapist, you are not?
And if she unknowingly converses with men like you, she is of the wrong sort.

She is stained if she is pregnant with her rapist’s baby,
But why is the tag reserved only for the lady?
When she tells people that the father is unnamed,
Shouldn’t he be the one who is stained?

She is stained if her pants show a red patch,
But not when she wears a little red dress,
And is considered a ‘catch’?

Changing the views of a country that took ages to make,
It just won’t be a piece of cake.
Even after all this progress, if these notions remain……
Is it possible, that it’s not our girls, but our society, that is stained?

Quill, Write Ups

THE ANGER THAT SEETHES WITHIN

Gunshots rake through Chatanpally, Telangana. The four accused in the gruesome rape and murder case of Disha are killed. There is a celebration all around and closure for families of other rape victims. This is the victory of good, this is justice

But what baffles me is the meaning of law and justice. Does it entail retaliation and revenge? Does it encompass taking the reigns in your own hands? Or does it mean a systematic and organized process of punishment and deterrence?

These questions swirl in my head while reading the various perspectives regarding this incident that seems to have been the final straw in the history of appalling crimes against women. While some hail this act, others condemn it as an extra-judicial killing. And still, others feel this to be the awakening of a new dawn, a safer world, a brighter future. But this incident is a grim reminder of the eroding faith of citizens in the state institutions of courts. It shows how the years of wait in the courtrooms, hoping for justice have led to the reduction of its legitimacy. Courts are perceived not as harbingers of justice but as a mechanism of enhancing the victim’s suffering by delaying redressal of grievances. The pendency of cases, reformative punishments and an exhaustive list of remedies for the accused, evident from the mercy petition filed by an accused in the Nirbhaya rape case a few days back, have marred the fabric of trust and belief of citizens in justice. This, in turn, has unleashed unbridled rage. It has been aroused all those times the charred bodies and torn identities were displayed in media, girls were ripped apart and killed for daring to dream big. The tolerance has given way to hellbent rage, a longing to right the wrong, to take an eye for an eye and restore order in the society.

It is a sad state of affairs that the inadequacies of the state institutions have brought us to this cusp where we all now become our own masters and rebel against order and balance. But who decides this order and balance, the state and its mongering mouthpieces, the opposition parties with garlands of onions adorning their necks or the academia which does publish reports and articles but is then gagged and underfunded? Or is it decided by commoners, who ride their pillions towards their offices every morning and try to maintain a facade of normalcy in the face of the breaking news they read which threw their age-old ideals and ethics out the window?

While answers may not be plenty, I can say that the present state of affairs is not welcome. It only heralds a darker age of brute force and fury which will burn our existence to the ground.

Quill

An Apology

So today, I am sorry. I am sorry that even today, after all this ‘progress’, I am scared. I am scared, that when I hug my male relatives, they will interpret it in a way that would leave me somewhere, mangled and torn. I am afraid, when I stand in an elevator with two unknown men. Everyday, when I leave the house, with all the safety that there can be, I am still terrified. This is the level of fear that has been ingrained in me and every other girl in our country. And most of all, everyday there is this fear, somewhere, deep in my bones that there is no limit to all the tortures that another 16 year old girl may be enduring somewhere. When I sit in my father’s arms at night, I feel guilty. Guilty that another girl might be caged in the prison of her rapist’s arms, slowly dying every second. Today, when pictures of Dr. Priyanka Reddy’s charred body flash on my phone, I give up. I don’t have the strength to tell my father that he worries too much, when he tells me to be alert and call him when I get to class. I can’t fight anymore. I don’t want to be another daughter whose honour India failed to uphold. I don’t want to be that girl whose body is found in a sack in a street trashcan, and whose pictures are splashed across the media. I don’t want my sister to know that I am scared, and I don’t want my parents to tell the world that I died fighting.
To Jyoti Singh, I can’t be fearless. To Dr. Priyanka Reddy, I can’t burn for my country to rise from the ashes.
To all my sisters, whose voices haven’t been heard, I am sorry. I am sorry that I am alive, and you are gone. I am sorry, that today, I think that being a rape survivor is a better fate than dying.
I am sorry that I want to live.

Poetry, Quill

I’m Happy

And patiently I write what I’ve held in my heart,
For in sadness, I tend to forget times like these,
When the air smells sweet, my arms beneath my chin,
I’m smiling in the winter morning breeze,
It’s hard to remember the times like these.

It should be cold under a few degrees,
But I’m warm for my heart saw you smile at me,
The fog from my breath floats away at dawn,
And the warm fuzzy hoodies that remind you of me,
I hope I remember the times like these.

I’m happy and sadness seems miles away,
The world itself hums a melodious tune,
I blush for the sweet life in front of me,
There’s order, yet a beautiful entropy,
I want to remember the times like these.

And whence comes dusk unexpectedly,
As I sulk away in my balcony,
Sadness caresses my face, calm and composed,
I’ll open this page and read it again,
To make sure, I remember the times like these.

Quill, Write Ups

But I Became The Change I Wished to See

You surely would have heard of this phrase before at least once if not often. And honestly irrespective of the resistance you showed towards its genuineness and credibility in the ‘modern world’ yet, just like me, just like us, you too accepted it.

And just like me, you too had nothing to answer back when your parents slammed this rhetoric straight into your face, “saari duniya shudaaran da theka tu lita hoya hai?”

Just like me, you too accepted it. But, I did become the change I wished to see in this world, and maybe so did you.

From targeting the most subtle forms that stemmed this plight of the modern woman to directly addressing them, I did it all.

“Teri maa ka”

“Teri behan ki”

Sounds like just another day at school, that is how firmly these slurs (now adjective cum fillers) have inculcated into our language and hence our lives. I eliminated them completely from my vocabulary for I realised nothing would change, surely not the nation until we, the intellectual millennials, keep on promoting raping our own sisters and mothers after every couple of words we speak, in every joke we crack, in every sentence we form. I realised that it wasn’t funny and surely not casual when even my best friend used this filler for me. And I stood my ground firmly irrespective of how many times I’ve been told that I am overreacting upon this ‘just friendly cussing.’ Yet the only thing I felt was a feeling of alienation whenever I stood among/in the groups, my friends, for I didn’t ‘behave’ as normal teen friends do, as I did. “You have changed” that is what I got, because I changed?

Do you feel the same? Have you changed yet?

I put forward stats of how there were only 280 rapes in 30 years when mutilation, stoning to death, or hanging were the three options to chose from when caught guilty of raping in medieval English midlands. How only 63 rapes, all martial, were recorded in 5 years in Viking Scandinavia when beheading was the only punishment.

And I don’t need to prove anything, for now when the punishment begins at 2 years along with the imposition of fine, the stats go to somewhere over 106 rapes per day in India.  

I also tried telling people the problems, I questioned, I studied this predicament, I wrote articles on men, women, and their duties. I fulfilled mine. I became the change I wished to see. Yet, my phone flashes Priyanka’s burned body. Why? Who shall answer me at this juncture? I changed myself for Gandhiji, for ‘mentors’, for ‘well-wishers,’ for those wise ones who told me that doing so would change the society too. Yet, my phone flashes Priyanka’s burned body.

Hey… Knock knock… I know you’re there. You told me to first be the change I wished to see. But I already did that… I don’t see no difference… Hey, I’m talking to you. Have you become the change you wished for? Did anything change?

Am I all by myself, are you still there? When will not me, not you, but we change?

Quill

DEAR CRUSH,

Butterflies, stolen glances, going out of way, doing the silliest things for attention. Dear crush, I don’t even know when I fell for you or why I liked you at the first place. And you don’t even know that I exist, that a girl like me swoons every time you run your fingers through your hair. I swear my heart threatens to burst every time you stand up to make a speech. How can someone be so perfect? And to be honest my friends don’t really understand my liking for you. For them, you are an ordinary guy. For me, you are an unexplainable reason to smile all day long.

-A girl waiting for her dupatta to get stuck to your shirt’s button.

Quill, Write Ups

Peter Pan

Dear peter pan,

Whenever a small version of me woke up in the middle of the night, scared of demons in her dreams, my mum would be right there, ready with a story book and an aura of comfort only she could provide to fill the void of the dark night.

As I lay on my favorite storyteller’s lap, which would always be more homely than my bed, she would read out the title nice and loud:

“Peter Pan, the boy could not grow up.”

And soon I found myself floating in the adventures of a boy too cocky for his own good, a self-centered, bumptious boy who seeks the extremities of his fantasies.

As days passed, there was a constant clash between the beasts who reveled in keeping me awake in the middle of the night and the sweet voice of my mum who lulled a so very pleasant tale of a not so very pleasant boy.

And I started believing in you, started in the Kensington Gardens, started believing in flying, in the wonders of being audacious, in evil and in just a little bit of tinker.

But, above all, I believed in staying young till the very end of eternity.

‘Children have minds that run at speeds; adults could never pace up to.’ Mum used to smile and tell, with a chest filled with pride, to others, to me, to herself.

‘Everything has a price, honey’ she’d say cautiously at times. ‘For Peter must forget all about his adventures and what he learns about the world to stay childlike.’

But as my feet grew, my hands bittered, my tongue dried up and my height rose, so did the expectations of this world.

I remember sitting on the window and waiting for a perpetual sight, bright eyes shining with a hopeful future, a smirk that won’t go away, a sharp red nose, rosy cheeks, viciously pink lips with a melodious voice that would be so pompous that I’d be inspired to leave this worldy mess within seconds.

But, alas, my only company in those lonesome nights would be the scars of the moon; praised by all for it’s beauty.

Have I failed you or you me?

Was I banished to nowhereland without even existing in your team of lost boys?

Why did you give up on me and my escapade before even understanding me?

Maybe I deserved it because of the ridiculous aspirations I had from a boy who could not love for the sake of this undying youth.

When I stand in front of the mirror, I see a lady, a lady in distress, her eyes bloodshot, she waves a bottle of alcohol so as to hypnotize herself to be happy perhaps, she’s covered up in wounds of the past; cleverly hidden underneath tons of makeup.

What has become of the lively adolescent that once stood in her place, the one who was crazy enough to imagine her life as a tiny bud forever, who was moronic enough to imagine that creations lasted and quiet.

My uncanny truth has indeed damaged the very essence of my childhood.

I’ve lost my belief, my dear pan.

Glittery tears, where’s my fairy dust?

Yours truly,

A lost girl you never found.

Quill, Write Ups

Last Words


“The love that moves the Sun and other Stars….” is how Dante Alighieri ends his 100 canto epic, which has rekindled itself throughout history, again and again…and again. Mortality is a “cloud” for Dante, an obscure haze that prevents the truth from being fully seen. Little by little, the Divine Comedy’s events remove the cloud from his vision, preparing him for ever more direct insights into God.

Quill

To AGAR TUM SAATH HO,

I heard you for the first time, in the car. You became my mom’s favourite soon after. At first I thought you were a regular love song, with some nice beats. But, no you were much more than that. You are not about VED and TARA anymore. To be very honest I am not someone who feels think so deeply but I felt the pain in Arjit’s voice, I felt Alka’s longing. You broke my heart. Probably, I think can not even explain in words how I feel hearing this song, and it is kind of weird because you are the song which I will probably hear again when I will be happy in love and sad, heartbroken. I don’t know, I really don’t know.

But I love you, Agar Tum Saath Ho!!

#4yearsoftamasha