Picture Imperfect.

Not everyone can click beautiful pictures. They look good if the subject is picturesque, has a meaning. The lighting has to be flawless. And the frame has to be on point. It is an art to determine the exact things to include and exclude.

But the reality is not as surreal. There are imperfections that we just choose to cut out of the photo because they don’t add value, they are not good to look at, people will not appreciate them.

We create an illusion, half a truth, just to make us feel secure, make us feel that we live in an ideal world.

And so is the life that we paint for ourselves. We pretend things are all up to the mark, ignore the things that bother us, that do not fit into our quintessential lives. We slightly align our lens as per our will and just look at the pleasant things, show others the same, lock everything else away and dream on.

But not today. Today I want to make a collage of all the imperfections and flaws in my life, and hang it over my bed. I want to look at it and face it everyday, admire it, and tell myself that life is just as amazing with these not so happy memories and qualities. Today I accept my messy life, today I make the perfect picture imperfect.

Traditions

I read about traditions in many families, see them on the television. People have traditions for holidays, for birthdays, where family gets together and does the same thing every year. Some cook a certain meal, some watch a certain film, some play a certain game or just sing a certain song.

During every festive season, I watch my family, having small arguments, always being a mess and not figuring it out, someone crying, people fighting with each other and wonder if we are broken and try to figure out why don’t we have any traditions. Am I missing out on a lot of happiness?

My dad teases my sister when she is making rangoli and she always gets mad. Me and my dad go on a shopping run at the last minute and have some snacks while buying sweets, and get so full that we are never able to have the lunch that mom cooked at home. During the pooja, my brother, I and my mom always start laughing uncontrollably and get scolded by dad. Somebody is always dying for the pooja to get over soon so they can go downstairs to their friends.

It all appeared broken to me at first, but now I’ve started to wonder, there’s a pattern in this chaos, there’s some playfulness in the things that seem a bit unhappy. And maybe that’s our tradition.

Winters.

The cool winter breeze has started knocking on my door. Sudden chills run down my spine every now and then. I get goosebumps without getting scared. The season I hate the most and yet enjoy the most is almost here.

As if I was not lazy enough, winters make me 10 times more lazy. Stuffed inside hundreds of clothes, my range of motion is limited and my will power is almost non existent. I want to stay buried inside my blanket, or a fortress of blankets and pillows, all day long. Hibernation should not be limited to just animals.

Even though I don’t exactly celebrate Christmas as I follow a different religion, Christmas feels are all around. My playlist slowly shifts focus from random songs to requesting Santa for a light blue convertible, or convincing my sister to build a snowman.

Warm, chocolaty drinks, come into my dreams and eventually in my hands. I am transported to all those winters that I really enjoyed with my friends and families. Lying in my bed, I begin to wonder how did I used to go to school or college in such a weather, how did I used to study. Work seems impossible to get to.

I have my favourite sweaters, that I cannot part ways with even though they surprise me with shredded threads. They smell different, of a different place & time, of a different me. Only they are able to satiate the chills that I feel, and without them I am lost.

I dread how I will survive the coming months, yet I always find myself longing for more winter clothes. I have to ask my sister and friends to not let me buy another sweater and yet my heart just keeps leaping out of my body every time I lay eyes on one. I look a lot fatter than I am because of so many layers and yet I feel the smartest in winter clothes. What kind of game is that?

I am gonna complain every minute of every day for the entire season and yet miss this cozy season a little when it’s all over.

Rita

I stumbled upon a random Danish show recently, while scrolling through Netflix. One online review had compared the show to Fleabag, and since that was such a delight to watch, I decided to give it a go. Sharing all the things that I loved about the show and why I would recommend it to others.

  1. Danish Culture!
    It was a breath of fresh air, to get to know about a new culture from a show. People are super helpful over there, and well one of the most happy people as well. I was looking for some references of Hygge, the secret Danish recipe of happy life, but I am sure I will be able to draw some parallels from that book once I read it.
    Their language was a delight to the ears. I ended up signing up for Danish lessons on Duolingo. Pronouncing the mighty soft d is a little difficult but someday maybe.
  2. Schooling.
    This show has touched upon so many matters but proper education being one of the most important ones. Everyone talks about having diversity in their schools or companies, everyone talks about creating an inclusive environment but very rarely people actually stand up for it, and do something real which makes a difference. Every kid comes from a different background, with some secrets of their own, with different situations at home, that affect them. It is upto the adults to understand their problems and help them in overcoming them. How teachers are supposed to be a safe haven is presented very well in the show. Even our main protagonist says that she became a teacher to protect children from their parents when needed and that sends out a very strong message.
  3. Friendships
    It is important to support your friends in their problems, be happy in their happiness, sometimes be present for them silently, even when they say they don’t need you, and always show up. These are all expected from any friend, but sometimes a friend needs to shout at you to bring you back to reality, to jerk open your eyes, to help you in facing the reality and being strong. Because that’s what matters in the end and that’s how you will move on. Hjørdis, one of the colleagues of Rita, who had not seemed like such an important and sensible character in the beginning, turned out to be the truest friend there ever could be.
  4. Rita
    Rita. Unapologetically herself. Reckless. Irresponsible. Makes millions mistakes. And yet holds her head up high and forgives herself for everything that she is guilty about over and over again. She fights for what she believes in, and the most important being her students. She is a little insensitive to her own children’s feelings initially but gets so much better at everything as the time progresses. She is sad when she is living alone, but too proud to tell anyone about it. I would just say she is one of the most honest and real characters I have seen. She is just like all of us, imperfect.

The show is not about showing happy endings, not about how everything works out for everyone in the end, and definitely not about girl meets boy and gets married. There are problems now, and will be in future, but it just makes you believe that you will figure it out at the end of the day. And whatever you do, just be true to yourself, because that’s the beginning of everything.

Moving Away

I am considering moving away, bringing in some big change in my life and starting over somewhere. Do I need to? Maybe no. But do I want to? Yes. I want to. I want to get out of the house and do something. And the place where I live is limiting in that regard. I cannot simply go out and do something. I cannot go out and roam around, I cannot go out and travel alone. I am just so dependent on others, my friends and family. But I want freedom. I want to feel in charge of where my life is heading, and sleeping in my parents’ apartment, handed food in my hand in my room by my mom, is not the way to go. It is not bad in my country to live with your parents but I think there is a reason why west came up with the term of moving out. Because the process of moving out and fending for yourself is what gives you ultimate power, what makes you responsible. It is scary, yes. Will I feel lonely? Will I feel afraid? Will I get tired of doing so much work for my livelihood? Yes I guess so. But don’t I feel lonely already even when I am with friends and family, when sometimes I am not able to completely express myself? Don’t I still feel afraid when I feel my life is going nowhere, that I am a loser? Don’t I feel bad that my mom has to do manual work on my behalf because I live under her roof? So it makes sense to start over, right? Hopefully it will transform my life, or atleast me as a person, in a good way. Is this post a way to seek validation and assurance from others on my decision? Yes it is. But despite how much validation we may seek from others, we kind of always know internally what we really want to do. And this time I feel like I really want this.

Am I evil?

You talk about heroes, the ones who defended their countries, fought for the right cause. You praise them, honour them, call them martyrs.

But me? I am just a villain for you. I am the one that they fought. You rejoice if someone like me dies. I am cursed, I am called a killer, a monster.

But I was not always a killer. I was a boy once, just like your heroes. I dreamed about serving my country, serving my people, bringing honour to my parents. I just wanted to do good by the people that I knew. What it my fault that I was never shown the other side of the coin? That I was always taught that we are to kill the weak and reign over them? That I was told I will be called a martyr too if I gave my life for the cause, but never knew that I could question that cause itself?

I had doubts when they told me it was okay to kill the innocent as they are collateral damage. I wasn’t sure if that was the right thing to do. But when I tried to look into the eyes of other soldiers in training with me, I saw that they were just looking ahead at the goal, so I swallowed my inhibitions and decided to move forward as well, because weak hearted people cannot be a part of this cause.

I was scared when I held a gun for the first time, when I uttered a killing spell for the first time. My hands were shaking, my eyes were watery. I still questioned myself and the cause. But when I looked around, they were killing my people too, in revolt. Or atleast that is what I was shown. And hence I wiped my tears and fired that gun, let that spell kill the innocent.

Even though I only followed orders like a machine, having blood of the innocent on my hands gives me nightmares. But I am too deep in this maze and I cannot get out. I am too scared to get out. I am not sure if I know any better. I wish I could turn back time and ask them if what we were doing was right. But I am slowly turning into a heartless person as that is the only way I can survive not letting others survive.

If I die, you’ll not call me a martyr. You’ll say I had a choice. But don’t undermine my circumstances that led me to this. I am truly sorry, and I wish I could have taken a different route. Maybe in another lifetime I’ll truly be a martyr.

From
A soldier fighting from the evil’s side

Does she have it all sorted?

I often lay awake at night and wonder, do people look at me, and think that she has it all sorted?

Because in my head, I am clearly doing it all wrong. I look at various other people, and just pick some aspects of their lives which appeal to me and conclude that they are living the best life there is to live.

Some have an amazing partner, and they never had to go through multiple break ups to find them. It’s almost as if they are reaping the benefits of some good karma in another lifetime.

While others have a successful career, they are living in a better country, earning more money and getting far more opportunities to grow.

Others are just happy in what they have, be it less or more. They have some passion that brings them joy, be it travelling, writing, making reels, anything. But they enjoy it so much that they hardly have time to worry about what others are doing, what they themselves are lacking.

And here I am, wondering why I am doing things so wrong that I am not satisfied at all. There is no lack of opportunity for me to achieve any of the above. It’s the courage and the determination where I lag behind. And sometimes, the culprit is not knowing what I really want and the will to go after it.

I feel that many unsaid standards have been set by the world on the quality of life and we are always comparing ourselves against them. The worst part is, these standards keeps on changing, so even if we achieve one thing, tomorrow there would be a new goal in town and our achievement would get obsolete. And because of just following the herd, we often miss out on finding what we really want while trying to keep up with the world.

Also, I am not blind or immature. I know about the truth of social media and what people slow in their stories is far from reality. I know that the lives of others look more rosy from the outside and in their normal every day lives, they are struggling too.

I hope that even my life looks better from the outside and all my inner turmoils aren’t visible.

And so I wonder, do people look at me, and think that she has it all sorted?

Independence day

I often end up fighting with my mom when she asks me to not step out late at night, to not go on road trips alone with girls. I ask her difficult questions as to why I am not allowed to do this whereas guys can do the same thing. Ofcourse I know the answer but I still probe her. I understand it’s for my safety but I don’t want to understand it anymore.

Why am I supposed to not go out because the world is unsafe for me? Because some creep lurks behind the shadows and might attack me? Why cannot something be done about that creep?

And the worst part? My parents think I can be independent, i can be safe from all harm in the world after getting married, because they think having a man in my life is going to protect me from all the lurkers in the world. Women are to be passed around from possession of one man to another, from father to husband, to take care of them, to stop them from being independent. But the same men cannot be taught how to make the world a better place for us.

I am fed up of begging for my independence, to be called a rebel for asking what is rightfully mine, to demand to live in a safe place where I can freely roam around without a pepper spray. I feel that the term independence was only coined for men of our society, because thanks to them, girls can never truly be independent.

Secret love

We would steal glances the entire day because there is a thrill in knowing something, doing something, and keeping it hidden from the whole world.
We would try to stand together in the crowded spaces, and let our fingers graze each other, just a smidge, so as to not raise suspicion.
Often, we would even hold hands under the table but hurriedly let go of it, when someone walked by.

The entire thing felt like a build up.
We would be igniting fire inside each other, birthing a monster, which would ravage the other at night.
Craving for more all the while, just to consume everything in the evening.
A dangerous game to play before dusk, only to relish in the victory till the end of the dawn.

We would look at each other the entire night, our naked truths, peering into each other’s souls. We had nothing to hide from each other.
We would be entwined in each other’s arms, not relinquishing, because we were afraid of the separation that the next day would bring.
We would talk, kiss, make love, laugh, sleep, but not let go.

Only to let go in the morning and do it all over again.

I am insecure

I am insecure
That what I feel is un-relatable
It is silly, weird
Will make people mock me
And so I keep my feelings bottled up inside

I am insecure
That what I say is never heard of
Nobody will value my opinion
I will be proven wrong and ridiculed
So I stayed taciturn

I am insecure
That what I write is not a piece of art
I don’t use fancy words
And nobody wants simplicity
So I keep a secret journal

I am insecure
That I am not special
But I am not common either
I don’t fit in with the society
So I became invisible.