Monday, January 23, 2017

New Resolutions

A new year brings with itself a lot of hopes, much like the birth of a child. Every new year inspires us to make beginnings and bring an end to the rot and rigmarole of habits, that we have always wanted to give up.
2016 was an eventful year which was a witness to my only brother's marriage. Since, I am the elder one, the burden of responsibilities was put on my shoulders, which made me give up on my fitness goals due to the lack of time and commitment. After having bid adieu to Bombay, I have not been in shape all thanks to the unhealthy eating habits and incessant travelling. I have done my best to stick to my exercise regime but the lack of inspiration failed me.
I have made a sincere promise to myself in the new year to wrap laziness in the folds of the crisp cotton sheets that my bed wears, and lead a life that was a bane for me and my body.
On the very first day of the year, I decided to hop onto a weighing machine that set the alarm bells ringing in my head. Since October, that's the time my brother got married, I have put on a whopping ten kilograms. I wasn't sure of believing in the scales, so jumped on and off it to make sure that I wasn't hallucinating.
I have given up on white sugar and polished rice, and plan to cut on caffeine once the spring season visits us. It's not easy to live in a city battered by winters without gulping down on hot beverages. I am waiting for the harsh winds to mellow down, before going running. Running for thirty minutes everyday was both a liberating and happy experience, that has helped me to shed weight in the past and stay on my toes. I am also trying to keep all my gadgets away from my bedroom to regulate my sleep cycle, although I have been cured of insomnia. The joy of getting a sound sleep cannot be bought by all the riches of the world.
Other than the fitness goals that I plan to religiously stick to, I have decided to write more often especially push myself to complete the story I have been writing. I am also doing my best to learn two or three new words in a week to build upon my vocabulary and read more often, indulging only in literature that will make me forget my woes and allow me to become a better writer. This post is the first of the many weekly blog posts I wish to pen in the new year.
Before heading out of India, I'd also want to explore my country and revel in its beauty.
These are some of the goals I have set for the new year in a bid to become a fitter and happier person. What are your new year resolutions? Do let me know if we share any. 
Picture credit: www.happyholidaysblog.com

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative forIndian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

Monday, October 17, 2016

Fair skin racism: Why we must shun it right now

A visit to the Kirana store can sometimes be a big leap towards insanity. The big cut-outs of fair women smiling at me is not a very happy sight. And the shopkeeper at the big kirana store in the central market, is the only one who stocks up the lotions and potions. While many times he runs short of a basic moisturizer, you will surely find fairness cream tubes of various sizes and types at his store. You name it and he has it, from Fair and Lovely to Garnier and even those for men. It is amusing that despite not being a country of Caucasians Indian people lunge behind fair skin. 
As a young girl I was a fan of basketball and remember dribbling the ball with my best friend at a time of the day when the sun was spewing fire. Both of us never bothered, and by the time we hurriedly paced towards the classroom for the next period, we were sun-burnt. The nastiest May heat couldn't scare us and there we were, two Indian girls fascinated by tanning. While many of our other girl friends hid in the classrooms, petrified of sun burns and skin darkening, we made sure that we hopped around in the basketball court and didn't hide from the angry sun. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Seven steps to a healthy heart

Health is wealth but in today's times, wealth is our new best friend. We all are running from pillar to post to make ends meet. A comfortable sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy food have become our soulmates. Most of us do not hear the warning bells ringing until a trip to the hospital doesn't happen.

Two years ago at around this time, I discovered on an accidental visit to the hospital that I had put on some extra kilos. I had been a victim of persistent throbbing headaches but decided to ignore them blaming the sweaty humid heat for my ordeal. While I was intending to meet the dermatologist, I also happened to walk upto the general physician. I felt thankful at the startling revelations  that he had to make about my health, and from then I took a decision to give up on habits that were playing a spoilsport for my heart and health.

My sleeping schedule has been erratic since college and all through the long tiring hours I spent at the laboratory trying to unravel the mysteries of life, it continued. That very day I made a promise to myself to go to bed early, come what may. That also meant that even if I were to fall in love, I had to make sure that I don't lose sleep over it.


Saturday, October 1, 2016

Parched-Taking Feminism a step further

Bollywood with it's unrealistic, sugary stories and spotlessly beautiful people as though they have come straight out of fairy tales, had very little to offer viewers like me, rabid feminists to be precise :) This is perhaps one of the very few instances when I am watching a second Bollywood movie in the same week. And, both movies were worth my money. 
Parched unlike Pink is set in the rural hinterland of india, trying to tell the stories of three women who do not have the agency to break rules, shackled by violent alcoholic husbands and a society that looks down upon its women. Still, a wave of rebellion strikes and is fuelled by the eons of oppression they have suffered. 


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Pink the Movie: The Movie that started a discussion on consent

What is a definitive no, and do we really understand consent, even as women, the kind of consent that we should rightfully be able to lay claims on? Does a woman become a 'loose character" if she doesn't wear modest clothes and consumes alcohol? Should her loud laughter and friendliness be considered as a doubtless "yes" ? Do men who support women in their quest for equality exist, and why are they frowned upon?
These are the important points that Pink raises. It loudly and unbashedly questions the " victim blaming" culture that men of Indian families, leave alone goons do not understand. Although people were praising Meenal (Tapsee Pannu) I also fell in love with the other characters especially that of Falak (Kirti Kulhari) who is making ends meet and is the sole breadwinner of the family.Andrea's (Andrea Tsaring) character struggles to tell Indian people that women from the north east are one of us, as opposed to how they are considered to be, especially the stereotypes around their character.
The things that I couldn't digest was the title of the film. We are tired and bored of the feminization of the colour pink. Once upon a time pink was considered a masculine colour, and this again is a Western import.  A female lawyer instead of Mr.Bachchan could have done more justice to the character and would have been more emphatic. Perhaps we have still not evolved as a society to take women professionals seriously. The sequences of a creepy neighbour keeping a check on three working girls living in the neighbourhood were scary.Why did Falak wrongfully admit to taking money when none of them had agreed to exchanging favours for dinner or drinks? Perhaps she might have done it to remove the stigma around sex work or did she try to make a point about consent and it's withdrawal. Why did the lawyer appearing in defence for the girls raise questions about Meenal's sexual past and use it as a yardstick to prove a point?

Friday, September 2, 2016

Mask(s)

Young fresh faces with not a fine line
frown at you 
at the entrance
sashaying in neatly pressed uniforms 
hats that are perfectly balanced on a head
standing straight, smiles sacrificed 
in call for duty, talk with a wild posture of hands
learning directions that will set us free,
painted lips curve to not hurt the jaws
serving coffee and food on a 6 am flight
minds still imprisoned in beds that shook them off
money is their honey, a comatose mind luxury
their choice is a will
to buy objects that demand a price
as misogyny's mistresses, a size zero figure 
tip-toes on pencil heels 
slapping the floor rudely
disguises  dissapear every time
a passenger presses a button
flying freely to places 
with strange names, the only perk
for wearing this camouflage of colours.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Breaking the stigma around menstruation

We are a country full of ironies. While we unfailingly worship the goddesses for nine days every year during navratri, we shun women and their bodies forcing them to hide and feel ashamed of their existence. Menstruation is a normal biological function that is definitely messy and painful but not at all shameful. Period shaming is widespread and in a country like India where being a woman is a dangerous disadvantage because of traditional misogyny and patriarchal structures ruling the roost, being on your period spells trouble.