Let’s be weak 

Yeah, you read it right. Let’s be weak. 

Most of us would be familiar with the fact that being strong is considered good. If you’re strong, you can handle anything. You have to be strong because that’s desirable. It’s a compliment. 

Being weak, on the other hand, is undesirable. It almost sounds like a mocking remark or something that’s said to make you feel inferior. Being weak isn’t, in any way, considered right or acceptable. 

Weakness is important. It really is. It’s a way of letting go of all that you’ve held for long. Weakness is an outlet of suppressed emotions. You have to let yourself be weak and emotional. How are you going to be strong if you don’t allow yourself to be weak?

Every person is a mix of both, but not everyone accepts being weak even to themselves. This is what is important; accepting it to yourself, accepting yourself. 

The perception shaping weakness is so wrong. Weakness is an integral part of our being and we need to change the perception for our own good, for our mental health. 

It’s okay if you can’t go on and if you want to cry, but don’t give up. Take your time being weak and crying and fearing and hurting because once that passes, you’re going to make through. No matter what, you are going to make through anything and everything. Weakness doesn’t mean giving up. It means being strong enough to accept and face your feelings as they are. It means being strong enough to break so that you can mend again. 

Weakness is cathartic. 

Being a girl is adventurous!

Being a girl in a patriarchal world is a challenge worth living. Somehow, it shouldn’t even be an issue, but it is. Equality is an issue. That’s one natural thing that’s considered unnatural. 

Being an honest girl is more of an issue than being a girl is. People have a problem with honesty. They have a problem with truth. They have a problem with anything that’s going to show them a mirror. We all have at least some moments when we don’t want to accept our mistakes. Some people have those moments all the time. They’re going to defend their mistakes when you call them out. 

If you’re a girl who is honest, upfront, and reasonable, you’re going to face problems. Nobody warns you about it. So, be prepared. 

A girl who can speak her mind is insolent. A girl who is honest is impolite. A girl who can stand up for her and others is disrespectful. 

A girl isn’t a human. She is subject to public scrutiny. The world has every right to rip her character apart, impose rules and regulations on her and make sure she follows, control her so that she doesn’t act differently, like herself. Those who rebel and go their own way aren’t obedient, good girls. They’re those girls people want to keep their sons and daughters away from. 

Look, we’re all in the same team, okay? You find a girl who’s done nothing, but is an easy target because she is honest, then blame everything on her. You find a girl who can take a stand, then blame all the problems on her. It’s fun to paint her character black. A bit of a lie about her character wouldn’t do any harm. 

Just talk rubbish about her too. It adds to the fun. She must be used to it. After all, she’s a girl. She should know her character is always judged. She should know that all her life, she’s supposed to follow rules everyone makes for her. The best ones would have a perfect life and by that, we all mean a good husband (mostly, every husband is always and eternally good, unless he is a feminist and believes in equality), well behaved kids, a good job that doesn’t require her to speak her mind, and she’d play all the roles to perfection. Punish her if she doesn’t follow rules.  Besides, it’s our right to say anything we want to about her reputation. She has to pay for her rudeness. Girls should stay in their limit (ones that we define, not the girls themselves).  Teach her a lesson. She was born inferior and weak. Blame her mother for raising her to become so independent. 

Ssshh, girl. Don’t you dare say anything to them. They’re never wrong. You are. You always will be. See, it’s simple. You can be as patriarchal, prejudiced like them and you’re a good person. If you deviate from this, don’t blame them if they spread rumours. You know they’re right. 

Listen, since you’re a girl, be prepared for others to be a challenge to you. Your life is going to be extremely adventurous. People are going to team up against you. They’re going to say wonderfully nasty things about you. It doesn’t mean anything to them at all. You see, insensitivity is the way of life. So, sit back and relax. You’re living a life you never imagined you ever would. 

Trust no one. Believe in yourself. 

Lost bonds

Have you ever had a moment when you’re looking at someone and you see all your memories with them, where you realise that you’ve lost everything and everyone you had, where you’re all not the same person you used to be?

I’ve had that moment. Even if you know you don’t want to go back, you feel bad about it all. There’s a life that you’ve left behind and you meet it somewhere on the way to the new one, feeling hurt about the ways of people and how it’s affected you. You see that life on their faces. All of you know there’s something wrong, yet everyone prefers not to show it. There’s an incredible amount of unfamiliarity in the air. Everything has changed and so has everyone. Life’s never the same again.

How does it feel to lose all, to be left with a handful of people by your side? Honestly, that hurts. At the same time, you really realise that the ones left are the ones who truly love you. 

We all may have different reasons to feel hurt about, yet we all express it in one common way; through tears. How many tears we’d have shed to wash away the hurt, yet the scars still remain fresh? They always will.

It’s terrible to lose bonds. It’s even more terrible to be living with fake ones. They say love is eternal, so is hurt, so are scars. 

Be careful with who you hurt. It’s going to come back to you too someday. Karma does exist. 

How I fell in love multiple times 

I’m sure if my family or friends read this title, they’re going to start wondering what I’m talking about.

Before you all start wondering, I’ll explain.

We all know that the world has been in some of the most difficult times. There’s so much going on that some of us may have already lost faith in humanity. I, however, fell in love with it multiple times.

I’ve seen people who deserve nothing but all the love, people who deserve all the respect, people who demand nothing and give everything.

I was in a hospital for about a month last year. I met some incredibly beautiful people there. Doctors were amazing at their work. In a world where we are losing our faith in this industry, I had mine intact. The workers there, cleaners, nurses and literally just everybody knew me. They’d do their duty of taking care of me, but many times, mostly always, they’d go out of their way to care. If I haven’t thanked enough, I’d want to thank now. All of them, including my doctors, each person that ever came to see me, I respect you all not just for doing your job wonderfully, but also for being massively supportive.

Last year, roughly around this time, I met an old man. Sitting in the waiting area of the hospital that I went to after getting discharged from previous one, I was with my mother and aunt. Completely clueless about everything going on with me, I sat there looking hopeless. Just about a month back, I had a normal life. A month later, life was everything but normal. I couldn’t recognise myself. My face looked as if it was painted black with hopelessness, exhaustion. I was just not myself. That old man had no idea why I was there, looking extremely deplorable. He had no idea that I was not myself, that my life changed drastically in less than a moment. He asked us if I were sick and then said that I can’t be sick. He then asked me to sit beside him and I obliged. He told me that I am not a patient, that I am such a beautiful girl (I really wasn’t. I really was in a terrible condition). At that moment, I had nothing to say. I was so overwhelmed, I had no words to say. That man left soon. If I’d have to describe what hope looked like, then it’ll be him. I don’t know why he said what he said, but I do know that he’s always going to be in my heart. This is highly unlikely, but if you’re reading this post, uncle, know that all of it meant so much to me. It still does. I fell in love with humanity once again.

I was admitted for some days about a month after meeting the old man. I met a nurse there who was admitted as her hand was fractured. She had come to see me in my room and I’ve known her since then. One of my nurses needed help and she, with her fractured hand, helped out. Whenever she would see me, she’d smile. Little did I know, I met her once again months later when I got operated. I had just gained consciousness when I felt someone by my side asking me if I recognised her. I couldn’t see clearly, but I knew it was her. I don’t understand how I knew it, but I did even though I hadn’t seen her that day before going in for surgery. She was there looking after me. To that woman, thank you for being you.

My doctors at the current hospital I’m going to have been a significant part of my journey. They’ve been working on making me feel better since one year and they’ve worked hard. They have been a fighter along with me and my family. They’ve fought, they instilled hope in me, made me feel normal. They’ve been God sent miracles. They did and still do their job with so much honesty, they deserve to be appreciated.

My friends, I can’t thank them enough and without their quick action, I wouldn’t have been here at all. I think they’d know why I’m saying this. I love you all. You’ve redefined friendship and gave it so much of meaning.

My extended family is on the list too, especially some of the people who have been so incredibly supportive that I can never forget all my life. I know that family is something that’s supposed to be always by your side, but it’s important for me to mention this. There are some who’ve done so much for me that you cannot describe in words, especially my aunts and uncles. You can only respect them for it.

I also know of so many people who have prayed for me, called me to check on me, did all they could to make me feel better. They weren’t even related to me, but they were still there. All of them, they deserve all the respect.

My family friends and their two little beautiful kids have become family to me. I’m not sure if it’s the same for them, but for me, they mean so much. Throughout the time that they’ve known me, they’ve been an incredible support, brought a smile to my face and made me happy. They’ve been there always and that matters. I don’t have many words to describe them, but I would definitely say they’re one of my million blessings. All the love to them.

I hope I’ve not missed anyone because it was important for me to talk about it. All these people have shown me that there’s a lot of hope in every person around you if only you could look at it. They’ve shown me it’s still possible to do so much for someone without asking anything in return. I respect each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.

I have to mention my parents too. My mother, who left her job to take care of me and stayed with me away from our home and my father who stayed alone for more than one year are two people who’ve taught me everything in life. They’ve taught me to be strong, to be kind, to give without asking anything in return, to love, to care, to understand and accept all, to appreciate whatever life gives and however it turns out to be. They’ve made me whatever I am today.

The list goes on. And I don’t think I can do justice to it because there are just so many people that made me realise life’s full of hope.

At every step, God paved the way for me to walk on. He opened one door after another and sent people to me who would do all to bring me to this stage in life.
All these people have made me feel loved massively, they’ve made me fall in love with humanity over and over again. They’ve made their own space in my heart and I shall keep them there forever.

I have my faith in humanity, in all the people and I know that there are so many of you out there defining hope for many others. I believe in you too. I believe in humanity.

Into the mind of an introvert

There are different kinds of introverts. Yes, there are. Just like we’re all different individuals, we’re different introverts too.

What kind of introvert am I? Let me explain.

I might be talking to you, doing some work, or I may be simply idle, yet I’ll zone out. It takes some seconds for me to realise I’d left reality and entered into a parallel universe. Zoning out is a fascinating phenomenon, especially when this happens while I’m in the middle of a conversation or any work.

It’s not necessary that I’m lost in some thought while I’m silent. For all you know, I may be singing a song in my head or I may not be thinking anything at all. I do some thinking while I’m talking, which isn’t as same as zoning out. It’s just thinking.

I’m a paradox. I’m simple, yet complex, even to myself. I feel everything intensely, yet feel nothing at all. I’m reserved and shy, yet outgoing as well. And the list goes on.

The feeling of numbness is not an alien feeling. I’ve felt it since forever. Let me explain this if you don’t already understand. Numbness is when you stop feeling anything or getting affected by anything. You may have a lot going on or you may come across something that should make you feel a certain kind of emotion, but you fail to feel it. You’re numb.

If I love people in my life, I’ll love them with all my heart, I’ll literally do everything for them. But if I’ve let you go, it’s taken a lot for me to do that. And when I let go, I’m never going back to it.

I’m not too great at staying in touch, but it doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten you. I don’t forget people. I might even contact you out of nowhere reminiscing about old times.

I see so many angles to any story and they all seem right in their own way. That’s something which is complicated, yet simple. I accept things and people the way they are. I’ll understand your reasons and everyone else’s who are involved in your story. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to look past what’s wrong. I’m honest and that’s why I choose to stay silent a lot of times. People don’t appreciate the truth many a time.

I’m a realist, but not pessimistic. I can be a little negative about myself, but that’s mostly because I’d want someone to oppose the negativity and tell me the positive idea that I want to hear.

I’m not indecisive or confused, though I may say I am. I’d be very certain deep down but would still have many layers of confusion mainly because I’d want my certainty to be reinforced.

I’m not spontaneous or impulsive, but sometimes I’d like to be. I follow my intuition and sometimes, it comes across as spontaneity, even when it is not.

For me, everyone is a good person. I’d know the bad in you, but I’ll keep giving chances to the good in you. I give a lot of chances.

I do not like the word ‘hate’. It’s too strong and evil. I do not like the word ‘ugly’ too for the very same reason. Also, they’re both insensitive.

I’m not good at expressing. My way of expressing is through writing. Words have become an incredible friend of mine. When it comes to speaking, it’s difficult many a time.

I think a lot. I analyse a lot. Both of them can be a gift and a curse. It depends on how you’re taking it. It doesn’t take much time for me to dwell deep into thoughts.

I’m my worst critic. I’m way too sensitive to others than I am with myself. It’s not unusual for me to be pretty harsh with myself.

I also have problems trusting people. I can’t trust people easily. Trust is a rare thing.

I’m also adamant, very adamant. If I know I’m right, there’s no way you can change my opinion. But if I’m wrong and you prove it to me, I’ll accept it.

If you’ve read this much and are acquainted with MBTI, you’d know by now that I’m an INFJ. You’d also know how flawed we are, how difficult it is to understand ourselves sometimes.

It’s like a battle you’re fighting with yourself. No victory, no loss. A constant battle of a lifetime. At the same time, it’s all you know to be, the only person you actually can be. And in so many ways, you really just want to be the same.

Why The Colour Purple is still relevant

If you’re reading this, I assume you would have read The Colour Purple by Alice Walker published in 1982. Written in the form of letters to God from protagonist Celie and to Celie from her sister Nettie, the novel brings to forefront social issues faced by African American, especially women. It’s an intersection of themes of racism, sexism, questioning the existence of traditional gender roles, and a slight reference to homosexuality.

Today, this world faces much of what has been depicted in this book. These themes have stood the test of time, unfortunately. Let’s take a look at what’s actually in this novel that is still pertinent. While reading, you may be able to draw similarities between the reality of then and now, though I’m sure there has been a certain degree of change.

The novel explicitly brings out the above-mentioned themes, leaving us to question the morality of traditions that do more harm than good to the society. Violence and discrimination against Blacks in those times went to the extent of Whites lynching them for their good. The superiority instilled in the consciousness of Whites is clearly exhibited. Slavery may have been abolished, but its seeds still persisted in the minds of people. It became the way Blacks were perceived and treated.

What’s interesting is the way the protagonist transforms from an abused, raped teenage girl to an independent woman standing up for herself. With various female characters exhibiting different nature, the novel throws light on the suppression of women through violence and abuse. The induced social superiority of man over woman is questioned by showing different lives. Women who refused to give in, who stood up for themselves and fought for their right, who didn’t let men dictate their life empowered and inspired the protagonist, who was buried under ignorance, which led to teenage pregnancy and abuse.

In the days when colour dictated the terms of social relations and established norms biased to a certain community, questioning the traditional ideas cannot be labelled as a radical attempt. The novel does a good job of highlighting the confusion of illiterate, teenage mind conforming to brutal ways of the world only to realise her own worth with the release of built up emotions.

Walker doesn’t go into much detail of clearing the confusion of protagonist regarding her sexuality, which could be interpreted as an effort to mean that whatever be the sexual preference, it’s people’s right to explore and figure it out for themselves rather than be told what is right or wrong. While this may attack the conservatives, it also instils the belief that people should be allowed to be themselves regardless of race, colour, gender and religion. She does do justice to dissecting the gender roles to question if women really should be relegated only to the domestic sphere and men to the public.

I do believe we’re all evolving. I do believe that we’re on a road to progress. However, if you look around, you are going to find some people still struggling with the above-mentioned issues as well as many others. Both women and men face the social challenges of the world in varying degree.

Today, The Colour Purple stands as a metaphor of struggles each one of us goes through no matter how big or small they are. It stands out for its explicit depiction of truth, which does need to be put out to realise the need to change the reality. 

We don’t need to change the world. We need to change ourselves and impact people around us and the world will change automatically.

Start today. Start now. 

Insight into 13 Reasons Why

Let us first establish the fact that we’ve watched the series and some of us may have read the book too. One word that would aptly describe it is complex. I’m not going to talk much about what the series/book is about. I’m going to talk about what I understood from it. I’ll talk about two perspectives to it.

Before beginning, I’d like to clear one thing. I’m not a professional who can talk about mental health and I’m not someone who knows how it feels to be in a situation like Hannah’s.

Hannah’s story is significant. So is everyone else’s. Some of the reasons that Hannah mentioned were extremely horrifying. She had to go through bullying, abuse, harassment. She witnessed a brutal crime and couldn’t do anything about it.

The first perspective is that the show, unintentionally I suppose, ends up depicting that suicide will end your suffering and that people you consider responsible for it will eventually realise they’ve done wrong. It has portrayed that they’d be held accountable by law and justice may be served. This depiction is hazardous. Hannah should have approached the authorities earlier and reported bullying and assault of her friend that she witnessed and one that she went through herself too. Suicide, harassment, bullying, assault and many other social issues cannot be justified on any grounds.

What her friends did to her wasn’t right in any way. They didn’t realise how their actions were affecting her. Reasons, small and big, kept on piling up one after the other and inflicted complex emotions that she couldn’t deal with. All that was needed was one trigger that’d break her completely and more than ever. She decided to die and she figured she had reasons to justify her action. It seemed as if she was justifying her decision by holding others responsible for it. While I do believe that her friends should have been held accountable for what they did to her while she was alive, I do not believe that suicide was the way to end her suffering and make them realise their mistakes.

There’s also another perspective that we have to take into account. We all must understand that this show depicts Hannah and her friends’ story. They do not talk about suicide in general but portray a specific, unfortunate case. Everyone is different. So is their experience. We cannot measure their pain and experience to say they weren’t hurting much. In Hannah’s case, she had gone through a lot and she needed help. She was in a turmoil, she was drowning and she needed someone to help her come out of it. Every instance of pain was pushing her more towards the edge. All of this again doesn’t justify suicide, but only provides an angle to understand Hannah.

She didn’t think of her parents when she decided to die, she didn’t think of a future with hope, of all that she could have achieved in life. All she wanted was an end. But the question is: when you’re on an edge, do you really consider logic? Do you really think of what is right and what isn’t? Can it all be generalised and applied to everyone? Did she suffer from some mental health issue? Did she think she was suffering from some issue? More importantly, did she want to live? Because if she didn’t want to live, she could not have been stopped without professional mental health expert’s intervention. If only she could have tried to seek help in the beginning from a psychiatrist, talking her heart out to him/her about her life and all that she went through instead of going to the school counsellor at the very end, the story may have turned out differently.  All those alternatives can only be imagined.

People around her were either mute spectator or couldn’t figure out she needed help. If 13 reasons why she thought she should take her life were her friends’ actions or inaction, the 14th and the main reason was Hannah herself because she had the power to take the decision of her life.

The actors and the show have done a brilliant job in portraying raw emotions and tried to make it look as real as possible. What still doesn’t change is that we never know how it may affect some people, especially those suffering. It may turn out to prove dangerous in case of some people while in the case of others, it may push them to seek help.

13 Reasons Why did one job right. It got everyone to discuss this issue, even if it meant talking about what was the right or wrong portrayal in the show.

 

 

The beginning

Here’s what I’ve learned in life and how. This is just the beginning, I believe. (Click here)

When something can break you, it can also unleash a power in you to put it back together.

That life-threatening incident turned out to be the most wonderful phase of my life.

When a story ends, it leaves behind a ‘phrase’, a phrase that is the beginning of a new story.