#Octoberfalls 10. Held together by strings

#Octoberfalls 10. Held together by strings

“Hey! Be yourself!

You deserve to be happy!

But, can I make a small suggestion?

You know who you were,

the other day?

Please be that ‘you’!”

I am sick.

I am tired.

Who are these people,

telling me who to be and who not to be,

when they’ve only seen a sliver

of who I really am?

They want me to be the real me?

They want me to be true to myself?

Well, I hope they’re prepared to run because

they have helped me unleash the beast

within me.

I hate this society. I hate that the people that I really care about fall into this category. I hate that there is so little open-mindedness. I hate it, but I swallow it all up because if the majority of the people around you are like that, what can I do?

I suppose there are changes that I would love to make in this drawing, but I’m really happy with it.

 

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#Octoberfalls 7. Knife’s edge

#Octoberfalls 7. Knife’s edge

chop. chop. chop. 

I am chopping up the vegetables for dinner tonight.

An elaborate dinner at my house, at my dining table which seats only four but there are 7 people coming for dinner and my mother will not stop pointing out why I have such a small table in such a small house when I have such a huge family. Or, when I could one day have such a huge family.

An extravagant dinner at my 2 BHK rented house with nosey aunties and helpful uncles, situated at the centre of the city where everything is in walking distance. And I can go everywhere in house clothes. No bra needed. Just with a huge sweater and a shawl and I am one of the homeless and unrecognizable and happy and serene.

I need to be my exuberant self, wearing a saree and being a “proper” lady or otherwise, the boy coming to this “dinner party” will think wrongly of me and, he will not marry me and what do I do then?!Who will marry me?!

chop. 

I don’t want to be exuberant.

chop. 

I don’t want to smile all night, filling everyone’s glasses with that horrible soda and make small talk with my siblings who don’t care to see me, as long as I send them money.

chop. 

I don’t want to be pleasant. I don’t want to chit-chat with a dumb-looking stranger whom my mother and father want me to get married to.

chop. 

I don’t want to “be” home when my husband comes in so I can take off his shoes and socks and remove his tie and take his bag and make him coffee and get shouted at because he had a bad day at work. I don’t want to be that woman who worships her husband just because he agreed to marry her. I will not be that woman who will offer her body to her “husband” because he felt like it.

chop. 

I don’t want this.

chop. 

I wanted a loving family. Small is beautiful.

chop. 

Instead, I got this.

chop. 

I was thinking of all the ways a girl in India is chained by social constructs, and how suffocating it is for us to not be able to live the way we want. It makes me angry and sad at the same time. Hence the poem.

This angry poem is dedicated to all free thinking women out there. Who don’t let the society define them or their clothes or their behaviour or their habits.

#Octoberfalls 4. Fables and lies

#Octoberfalls 4. Fables and lies

As my seven-year-old reads aloud

the stories of the cunning jackal and the innocent deer

and the wise crow,

I am overcome

with emotions. This situation

with me as the jackal and her as the deer

seemed so much fun, until I

understand how hard she

is being the crow

and out-jackal-ing me.

There’s a story in the “Hitopadaesha”, in the part called “Mitralabha”, which is a story of a crow, a deer and a jackal. The jackal, cunning as they come, is plotting to eat the deer, by befriending it. The crow, which is the deer’s best friend, advices against it. And the crow helps when the deer fell into trouble.

The best part about these stories is they’re made for adults, but the animals talk. These stories give insight to life. I have studied some of them and even though at times, they were frustrating, they were enjoyable.

#13. Games in which we relearn everything

#13. Games in which we relearn everything

“Twenty Questions.”

That’s the first thing you say when we met after 6 years.

We were best friends then.

In my mind, we always were.

When you asked the first question,

I knew, that we

will always be best friends,

but new people to each other.

This is how I feel when I meet my school friends after months.

Parvathi and I are attempting Rebirth in April in July, prompts created by JR Rogue and Kat Savage.

 

#12. Relearning happiness

#12. Relearning happiness

It is 4:32 AM.

I am not asleep.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be.

All the events since the last month have eaten bits and pieces

of me, slowly.

I get up to make myself some tea.

I pad around my apartment,

seeing but not noticing.

Hearing all the early morning noises

but not really listening.

I turn the radio on for company,

but all the chanting and the mantras makes me feel sick.

All

Over

Again.

I have no clue what this this about, but I had other things in mind. But I am typing this at 6:50 AM, so yay me!

#18. Let’s call this what it is(n’t)

“What are we doing?”

“We’re having lunch, like we always do.”

“But why?!”

“What do you mean, why?”

“Yesterday, you screamed at me.

You were saying that I didn’t pay enough attention to you

when all I ever did was physically attached to you!”

*Silence*

These prompts, The New Renaissance, were created by Tyler Kent White and Amanda Torroni, and I am attempting these with Parvathi over at Queen Talks.

#9. Black Canvas

#9. Black Canvas

Stargazing is not

fun. You sit for hours and

hours, straining your

neck and your eyes dilating to

adjust to the darkness and

then to the stars, far

far away. More than that, the

stars are a painful

reminder of you. That some

thing so brilliant is right

in front of you, yet

unreachable. No question

of giving up though.

I missed one! I’ll try catching up real soon!

This is the Spring Palette for the Heart, curated by Parvathi and Me.