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what is independence without you?

Recently I got a school assignment to talk about the army and its determination as a part of our independence week celebration.

So I called up one of my family friend ,who’s dad was army officer now 87 and retired , and as I was talking ,thatagaru said and I quote “ To be very honest , it wasn’t hard being at the border , but the hardest part was the vacation; when I came home and  every time I came home my two little kids didn’t look so little anymore and even though it felt good being at the border throughout the year , it was only hurtful when I had to leave family after vacation” 

He laughed when I asked him if he was ever scared of losing his life. And replied “the only thing I was scared of is what my family and my little children would do if I was gone , but maybe that’s what army is , it never gives you the time to think about yourself “

After the talk with him , I realised that its not as easy as it sounds to be on the border , its not easy to wake up everyday not knowing if you will still breathe as the day evolves.

The Indian Army looks out for us while putting their lives at stake ,From when we got Independence till 2013 about 23,000 soldiers lost their lives while protecting ours. 

And the fact that we are all here today at this very moment , doing what we are doing , despite all the non state actors out there is itself proof that their determination can determine our lives. 

JAI HIND!

pride month

Over the last couple of months we have all obsessed over one virus , today I want to talk about another multifaceted virus that takes thousands of lives every year but will never be declared a public health emergency.

Homophobia; Queerphobia;Transphobia.

I know most of you might be thinking , I’m too young to write about this or I’ve not seen the world enough ; but it is extremely important to me to write about this because I have seen my friends suffer with the fear of how people around them are going to react if they come out.

Thinking about their pains and dilemmas is very disturbing. I can’t imagine what they are going through.

What I have realized in the past few days is that , most of us casually use ‘gay’ , ‘faggot’ , ‘chaka’ and so many other terms as insults and jokes.

I confess that I did it too.

I used it as an insult too.

But this was all way before I knew how hurt the other person could get . I’m not justifying my actions but want to acknowledge that I am no longer insensitive. The only thing I can say now is sorry.

All my power lies in these words :

So what matters is that so many of us try to make this world a better place to live in , itself is evidence that we care ;  we love our country and its people so much that we are capable of discussing what we can do , both mentally and physically, to actually make it better.

India has legalized being LGBTQIA .

But the fact remains , about 50 % of the trans genders in India have attempted suicide before the age of 20  and 31% of them are said to succeed. 

And what hurts is that we are the ones driving them to the extreme step where they believe that  it’s better  not to exist.

I want to tell this to all my LGBTQIA friends who are still fighting with the society to be accepted :

You deserve to be loved as much as anybody else and we love you for being you.

THANK YOU !

You are a virus , you are the pandemic , if you are actively or passively involved in dehumanizing the LGBTQUIA community.

                ~ Trinetra Haldar Gummaraju

uncluttering spaces – by a confused mind

I’m sure I lost count of hours during the quarantine period just like everyone else ; but I’ve tried , Eighteen hours awake in the twenty-four hours of a day. And I’ve at least spent eleven hours just doing nothing, absolutely nothing at all.

Sometimes I have a tendency to not being able to experiment or exit in the middle.

I love so many things that I don’t know which ones I actually want and absolutely need, and most of them I realize are completely not me. Not just this but as a person I want to do so many things . until as recently as eight/nine weeks ago I even wanted to pursue about 5 masters – I’ll leave it up to your imagination.

And that’s when online courses came to my notice and as a curious person I decided to try them out , and what I’ve realized is that these 3-8 hour courses actually let me decide if that subject or that topic is my cup of tea.

But still I decided to do  a course on habits the other day because I can make a lifestyle out of it , and it now helps me track my day to day activities and constantly keeps me on my toes. Plus it really adds to my absolute passion for an understanding of the subconscious mind.

         And my experiment with online courses did not end there , today for a change I decided to go though course on minimalism and interiors , and one thing really caught my attention and that is  decluttering and the importance of keeping it minimal.

And I wanted to take up a challenge because I just can not let go of things that easily .so I decided to take this and got 3 things out of my room to give away and recycle .

You have to believe that I own and posses every single birthday dress from my first to till date parting with the things you love can be emotionally painful. Maybe I just like them way too much as memories , but people who visit me at home go nuts looking at the things I’ve accumulated over the years .

And I want you to join me in this challenge – but before you ask why , let me tell you my experiences :

·     Whenever I organize my desk , I’ve always felt like I had a much clearer stream of thoughts flowing – and google matha says that it’s actually true.

·     Especially when I declutter my closet  I had to choose between clothes  I’m going to wear , clothes I’m going to donate and clothes that I’m going to share with my sister or my friends.

·     When I organized my bed and cleared out my sleeping space I felt more relaxed and serene to rest , don’t forget to keep a book by your side because who cant fall asleep with the thought of reading :p

·     It for sure helps me focus!

To conclude , I am more clear clam and motivated to do the things I love to and to keep myself productive .

 I hope this little story convinced you to join me in this challenge , so take pictures of them or with them and tag me once done!

#gettingorganised 

Before
After
This took me forever butt the efforts pay off 🙂

is my sister ‘i’ or ‘c’?

Today dad was so done with my sister and me that he yelled at both of us and he just needed to go for a walk. 

Lockdown has given us sooo much time that my sister and I have spent it all on proving eachother wrong , oh if only I had won any argument ever. But we really always manage to drive dad crazy.

Imagine two Arnab Goswamis staying in the same house debating on the same topic ! probably that’s what it was like.

So I sat down thinking what the problem is , and  I realized that both my sister and I are extroverts , and I slowly began recollecting a workshop I did about personalities. 

It was held by Priya , at Sage, Jubilee Hills last December .

We began by learning about DISC,

which made me aware of terms like people centric , task oriented , extrovert and introvert.

Extroverts are people who enjoy and are  energized by being around other people , whereas  introverts are people who are almost opposite to an extrovert , introverts love their own company.

And as much as I know , people centric people are ones who put people over task.

For example,  you have to meet a few friends , but you also have a deadline approaching , then if you’d choose to meet your friends then you’re a people centric person.

However , if you choose your task over going out for coffee with your friends then you’re a task centric person.

DISC

D – Extroverts + task centric

I – Extroverts + People centric 

S – Introverts + people centric 

C – Introverts + task centric 

D’s are Direction oriented– are generally outgoing , they operate on taking action.

I’s are Idea driven– they are generally persuasive. This type truly enjoys being around others and trusts people naturally. 

They function best when people are around .( been analyzing myself since a while now , and I personally think this is me )

S’s are Solution driven– are always looking out for what might happen.

Let’s just take an example :

There is an event that is supposed to be held outdoors, but it starts pouring outside, so an S type person would generally try making arrangements for the event to be held indoors. 

C’s are people who like to have control and feel responsible – they generally have an eye for detail and are more on  the critical thinking side , they try to have an idea of what they and others around them are doing at all times.

Now I’m super confused if my sister is an I or a C ; she loves to control me , at the same time she prefers people over task , and I must say she’s also very persuasive.

Maybe it’s too early for me to comment on this , I guess I need to seriously understand this psychology more.

But I’m sure there is more to people than these labels can restrict them to.

Workshop details :

Held by : Priya Rajiv

Email : info@priyarajiv.in

Website : priyarajiv.in

can we heal ourselves ?

Thank you so much Lellavati aunty ,for gifting me Louise Hay’s YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE around summer last year!

 I was really not a reader back then , so I took sweet three months to complete reading the book and thanks to my Dad who kept pushing me to complete it.

The book is very inspiring and what really hooked me is the chapter that describes the life story of Louise Hay : how her parents  got divorced when she was  eighteen months old and why her mom married her step dad -was it because she actually loved him or just for providing them a home . 

Louis Hay described how she faced constant sexual and physical abuse as a child by predators around her ; she ran away from her family at the age of fifteen. 

Starvedof self esteem and affection she gave her body to anyone who was kind to her , and right after her 16thbirthday she gave birth to a baby girl. She found her child a good home and left  5 days after the birth of the child. 

 Onovercoming the mental pattern of guilt and shame she went back home and got her mom away from all the abuse there . She left her sister with her step dad as her sister was always daddy’s little girl.

After making her mom comfortable , she left for Chicago for 30 days and didn’t return for over 30 years. She then left for New York and became a fashion model; yet she couldn’t own her beauty and her self esteem stayed the same. 

She met a handsome English man. She travelled the world with him and  married him. They had fourteen years of beautiful marriage till her husband expressed his desire to marry another woman. 

She was devastated , but she moved on with time.  She studied and passed a test and became a counsellor at the church of religious sciences soon . 

And all of a sudden one fine day she was diagnosed with cancer , and yet with all her understanding, she knew that mental healing worked , she knew that getting an operation was not the ultimate cure for her disease.  She knew she had to dissolve the mental pattern that created this disease in her . She negotiated with the doctors for sometime and did everything in her power , from consulting a therapist to getting reflexology. And six months later there was no trace of cancer! 

And in the joy of celebrating she found out that her mother had been blind for years .

And as she began to get back to her normal life , she got a call from her sister , the first call in years , that her mother , blind , almost deaf , has fallen and broken her back . 

She got her mom’s cataract off one eye and got her a hearing aid too.

This one chapter made me read the entire book . The book is about the power of the subconscious mind and the power of self-healing that we all possess ; it is also about the value of self esteem which most of us lack in right proportions. 

More importantly, the book has made me realise how my mom’s true love for me has made me love myself.

letter to amma

Amma I love you,

I know you are watching me and protecting me every minute . while I miss your touch everyday but I know I am surrounded by your blessings .

I know it was difficult for you to leave us mid way but I am glad you made the right choice because we could not  see you suffering .

To be honest amma , it does not feel as if you are not here with us physically , we feel your presence every time we are home, we feel you are coming home back from work and will check on us as soon as you enter, I can feel your magic in every corner of the home.

I am part of you even before I knew my identity , so I know our bond is eternal. I know how you will react watching me from there doing all the things I do .

Watching us at this very moment , I can imagine how much you are missing Raaga and me.

I still don’t know if I have completely accepted your departure , or if I actually just did not digest the fact that you chose a new world too early .

Amma , I miss irritating you as soon as I come home , I miss you feeding me when I ignore to eat , I miss you sorting fights between me & Raaga , and I miss our family karaoke sessions because we don’t have a purpose and audience any more.

But ma I don’t want to miss you being here for me , because I know you are still there for me and that you will be there , right there when I need you  and I promise ma I will do you proud.

Amma , I’m sorry ma , even though I expressed my love for  you through tiny acts ,I  told you I love you very  occasionally, but you always knew I loved you , I still do and I will continue to .I know that you love us forever amma , but I just wish I had said it when you could reply .

I love you Amma

Amma , you are the most wonderful person I ever witnessed  , You understood me so well ; fighting cancer is not easy and I still wonder how you managed the pain so well without telling me a word about it . You’ve taught me how to be as confident as I am , you’ve taught me how to keep myself together , you’ve taught me that it’s okay to be messy and confused as long as I know I am myself , you taught me how to create my own  principles , you taught me how to be independent , but I thought independence was just standing up on my own feet , I didn’t know it would come with so many responsibilities .

More than anything ma , you are the sculptor of this statue and I promise it will make you proud .

SRILAKSHMI KANAKALA (1975-2020) You are Beautiful, Strong and the absolute BEST MA.

IS CRYING ACTUALLY A SIGN OF WEAKNESS ?


It’s strange how we all consider crying as a weakness .
It takes a lot of courage , especially nowadays because all of us seem to be wearing that fake smile really well.
It took us to a point where now only happiness is considered as an acceptable emotion.
Have you ever thought how gutsy you have to be , to be able to cry? Especially when crying is considered weak , vulnerable and unacceptable.
We all go through it wether it’s bad days or hurtful situations .
So have you ever thought, why only the four walls of our washrooms know the sound of us sobbing?
Why do we cage our emotions inside our own body until it hurts so much that it finally breaks out in the form of damaged health.
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So i want you guys to do me a favor and ask yourself;
Are you brave enough to be vulnerable? 
To reach out when you need help?
To dive head first into your shame ?
Are you strong enough to be sensitive?
To cry wether your hurting or your happy , even if it makes you look weak?
Are you confident enough to listen to the people in your life ? 
To hear their ideas or solutions? 
To hold their anguish , to actually believe them even if what they are saying is against you ?
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Can we redefine our meanings of strength, bravery this and toughness?
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Acceptance is one thing that helped me a lot , because accepting a person as they are is one of the most difficult thing and yet the most beautiful thing , because acceptance leads to not judging and when that happens you are automatically ready to seek help from them when you need it.
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Inspired by Justin baldoni.

how i’ve been bullied.

I’ve been bullied as a child and i still am as a teenager .
The first time I was bullied was when i was in second grade .
It was my second day in a new school , and while coming back home by the bus there were only three of my senior boys and I there . I sat in the front next to a window , thinking , wondering , doing my own thing , and when I don’t even notice that these seniors came close to me got something poky and just touched my shoulder , then i tuned back and they said “ You don’t look pretty , you don’t deserve to live , so we gave you an injection that will kill you in an hour , if you tell it to anyone you will die even faster. “
I believed them . I believed that if I tell anyone I’ll die even faster  .
I colllapsed on the floor crying as i stepped in to my house , i started crying , crying so hard that I could faint at any moment , I didn’t stop crying until it was nearly two hours later when I realised I didn’t die . Later I told my parents they complained , then the school took action about it .
But you know a few things don’t change . They kept bullying me , over and over again saying I don’t deserve life , i don’t deserve to be alive . Everyday I came home in tears , making myself believe in what they wanted me to believe , that I didn’t deserve to live . 
This continued till those particular seniors left the school .
There  was a point when I got so  fed up of complaining ,that , i stopped , i gave up . 
Went through that level of criticism EVERY SINGLE DAY . 
I never told anyone how bad it felt to be bullied , cause i knew they’d never understand , trust me even today when i think about it , I break down .
I got over it , but every time i think about it , i fail to be strong person i am all the time .
Then they finally left .
That’s when I thought it was over , that i didn’t  need to have to though it anymore . 
But again , things change , two years ago when I shifted to my new house , my bus route changed , and I wasn’t used to the people there so i slept , morning and evening . This girl , used to throw the inside of oranges at me and squeeze them on my head , while i was asleep . Again I didn’t know her , not even her name .
She squeezed orange peels into my eyes , and it burned like living hell .
You see by this time i was in seventh so I said people will change and let her go , then yes things did change instead of oranges she threw bread and foil at me . 
I complained, no action taken . I thought again she’s another human she hopefully dose have feelings , so she’ll  change . And as i said she did  ,again she did , now these hurt way more than oranges, bread and foil , these are called words  ,and trust me they hurt way more than war weapons slammed into your body .
Now this other girl also joined her ,
 they tell me fat , ugly , fit for noting , stinky , dark skinned .
Yell at me saying I’m a whore , I’m a slut and what not .  
I have held it in for months now , i can’t now , not anymore . I’ve never regretted anything in life , but now i do , I regret not taking action on her all this while . I am gonna correct it .
 

adventures in punjab

PUNJAB

As my school generally come up with crazy ideas , this time they named it oak venture and took my class to Punjab where each student , stayed with an other students family in Punjab for six days . This was a new thing for me, like I went on vacations with the school but , never lived with a local family .

It all began with a bang ! A garland in my neck and a tika on my forehead !
I mean I had to be the luckiest, to have a family that took care of me like their own child, the family I lived with has showed me immense love , affection and care , that I could never , ever forget that I have another beautiful family living in Punjab.


I lived in a village named “Manana” , It had all the local punjabi village atmosphere and fields all around , with tiny roads and beautiful sunsets . During the time I went the family was celebrating a pooja , for health and happiness, it was a three day ceremony , where a book from the Gurudwara comes home and the gurus read it a loud , in their tradition everyone has to cover their head , the men had paddies and the women had to cover their hair with a duppata or a scarf.

A few days before the pooja me and Divjot ( host child) went to the gurudwara , she was very kind and had explained me the entire history of sikhs .where I found amazing point of views and things that we probably don’t even know about.

The Kada that the sikhis wear is not just a religious thing , it is an iron bangle that energises your body so you become harmless .

While at the school with friends , me and a few others tried on some panjabi parandhas and pagdies .
We also visited the Golden temple in Amritsar, where we had our lunch which is called Lahore at the temple .
We also felt and drank the holy water of the lake , the lake is holy because the gurus have dipped in the water .
Later on we visited the Jallianwala Bagh , where we saw the welll that the Indians jumped into to protect themselves from the British . We also saw the bullet marks on the walls , and the bushes that were carved into the shape of the British shooters .
We also visited a government school in kanpur , where we saw the extremely talented kids , who also presented us a dance before we left , in the school visit we met the sarpanch of the village and got a chance to ask them a few questions, we as well spoke it the local people and the teachers of that school, the best part of Khanpur was our tractor ride into the fields , they left us out in the fields where we ( mostly me ) got a little too exited and got a shoe stuck n the mud .
Even though it was amazing .

Soon after we came to the school to perform our Panjabi dance , which we learnt in Mohali , with that we had an open mic session, where they asked us a few questions and we had to answer them based on how we felt .

My school just gave me an amazing opportunity to build new relations , and I really thank my school for that 🙂

over all it was an amazing experience , where I learnt a lot of new things , and built amazing relations !