THE BRIGHTEST LIGHT

When you want to kill yourself…don’t!

Hold on a bit longer.

It hurts; I know.

The pain makes you want to scream out loud.

Yell, if you must!

Let it all out!

But please, don’t let go!

They say every dark cloud has a silver lining;

and that there is a rainbow around every corner.

I have never seen silver linings;

nor have I been greeted by rainbows round the block.

But I have seen a light in some eyes.

Eyes, which have shed a tear for a fellow being.

Eyes, which have smiled to make another happy.

I tell you this now.

Look for this light;

for it is brighter than the most brilliant stars in all galaxies.

It can light up the darkest of nights.

So look for it!

Take a good look at all those empty eyes around you.

Delve in; go real deep.

Rummage around for sorrows.

Look for moments of intense despair.

And listen; just listen!

Now, when these eyes have poured out all their grief;

walk to a mirror.

Look into your own two eyes.

Look carefully.

Well….do you still want to kill yourself?

 

THE MASTER STROKE

No. I don’t love you.

And I don’t think I ever will.

At least not till I see it reciprocated.

Nevertheless, I like the way you make me smile.

As I told you, I haven’t done that in a while.

You say you don’t love me.

But I tell you; you cannot.

I am a work of art.

My beauty is my confusion and my soul.

However abstract it may be.

It is what makes me whole.

But they say, every work of art has a simplifying note.

Something that grounds the artwork.

So people can understand it.

You are that to me.

You took all my confusion and simplified it.

You ordinary man!

I always thought I had found the other piece of my soul.

And lost it.

But, when I saw you,

I knew.

I am among those unfortunate few.

Doomed to linger around

Till the next piece is found.

But now I tell you.

I will have you.

And you will love me.

Because there will come a day when you cannot resist.

You will love the madness.

You will wade into the storm.

Knowing well you are signing your death note.

Because no one can love you the way I have.

Maybe because it is not love.

It is hunger.

It is thirst.

Like the parched Earth looks up to the black clouds.

And asks for a few drops of mercy.

Like the moon looks to the sun.

And borrows some of his splendor.

So she may light up her night sky.

You ask me why I love you.

You silly man!

Don’t you see?

You are the sun and moon to me.

The halo I told you about.

It lit up my day when I saw you.

The aura I told you about.

It still holds sway over my night sky.

You certainly aren’t the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

But monuments aren’t meant for backyards.

You cannot build your grave in a pyramid.

You want to rest in peace in the land where you were born.

Simplicity is the masterstroke in every work of art.

And you, you simple man!

You are the masterstroke.

Maybe now you know.

That there is no escape.

You will have to love me.

Someday.

It is written.


FOLIAGE

Leaves tremble quietly

In the fatigued embrace of the dark

They read each other blank faces

Wordlessly, mirror their sorrow in that of another.

So many leaves

Some are green, some yellow, some discoloured

All tell the same story

As they dance to the same tunes

Green, red, a plethora of colours.

Gleaming away for a while.

Followed by a dark, ominous silence.

Dear Deepika ‘Dipshit’ Padukone,

Many congratulations to you and your friend Mr Adajania on your latest accomplishment. The video created quite a buzz in the media circles. You were in the limelight again. Aapke depression wale dukhde ne agar koi kasar baaki chhodi thi, toh woh yahan zarur poori ho gayi hain. There is no doubt that your intentions behind making the video titled “My Choice” were very genuine. You, like every other progressive Indian woman, wish to empower the female voice of India. And that is the most noblest of gestures which deserves a standing ovation. One sees that women in India are being treated like objects. And to add to it, the lawyers’ testimonies in the BBC documentary created a new wave of uproar. Women were enraged at the very thought of “India has the greatest culture in the world; here, we have no place for a woman”. This, unfortunately, is the bitter truth. Women, in several inaccesible parts of India, are made to feel embarassed about being feminine even today. And it is this deprived audience that must be targeted while talking about feminism.

MY CHOICE. Dear Deepika, these women don’t have a choice. They don’t even have a voice.

A woman in the villages of India is treated with severe humiliation even when she menstruates. And the solution to that is certainly not the opening of the strap of your brassiere. I understand, that this was symbolic. But my dear, the ordinary Indian woman hasn’t studied art history at undergraduate level to realize this symbolism. She probably studied something sufficient to guarantee a small job.

A woman in rural India cannot go to toilet in broad daylight for fear of being seen by prying eyes and being raped. All she asks for is a decent toilet. Imagine how caged her mind and body must be feeling. Your video hasn’t empowered her, dear. She still has to wait for nightfall to have a peaceful dump.

A woman in uneducated India has to keep having children till her in-laws decide that it’s enough. She isn’t given the privilege of choosing to have a baby or not.. Because, if she resists, she is raped. By the very man who swore to protect her. She isn’t given the choice of inserting a T into her uterus or asking her partner to get a vasectomy done.

Girls in poor India face the fear of being sold, by their own fathers, for peanuts. Deprived of education and proper employment subsequently, she has no choice but to elope with the next best prospect. Though, she is well aware that it is like going from the frying pan into the fire. She doesn’t have a choice.

Several women in India have no access to proper healthcare facilities. Afflicted by myriad diseases and disorders, their pain goes unnoticed. Lack of food results in something lesser than a size zero, and ignorance about healthcare during hormonal disorders results in something beyond a size fifty. Yet, they continue to live with it. Because they can’t dress themselves in appropriate clothing for their ‘pear-shaped’ or ‘apple-shaped’ bodies. They don’t have a choice.

Patriarchal India doesn’t let a woman defend her own rights if she seeks love outside of marriage due to mental torture from an impotent or otherwise, imbecile husband. She can’t choose between temporary love  or eternal lust. And to have feelings for another woman is totally out of the question. The parents were careful to not ‘expose’ her to this culture. It’s not left to her choice anymore. She must be trapped in a loveless marriage because of social diktats.

So, there you are Ms. Deepika ‘Dipshit’ Padukone. The Indian woman doesn’t have a choice. Atleast, not in rural India. And that is where majority of India lives. Not in South Bombay or in other elite parts of the country. These rural women saw your video as yet another overtly bold actress raising her top for a bag of money. You didn’t empower them, dear. You may have given the undergraduates at SoBo colleges a new fashion statement: GO BRA-LESS. And you may have given the elites another topic to discuss at a friendly Sunday brunch. But that’s it. That was the impact of your video. YOU DID NOT EMPOWER ANYBODY.

Lots of love,

An Indian Woman

P.S.: I really liked your role in RamLeela. Do something like that. It suits you.

India’s “Little” Problem

Recently, BBC filmed an hour long documentary on the Nirbhaya rape case in Delhi which was later uploaded on YouTube. Applauded by the youth and the ‘educated’ class in India, this video seems to have not gone down well with several of the political class. Satirical videos and press comments condemning the documentaries weren’t far behind either. “Government requests YouTube to remove the video”. Angry uproars, sarcastic barbs at the people in power, flowery language on Facebook expressing ‘love’ and sympathy for Late Miss Jyoti Singh (yes, we finally know her name) came in tow as well. And if all this hasn’t bored you to death already, here’s another response on the recent talk of the town. However, I must warn you in advance, YOU ARE NOT GOING TO LIKE THIS.

BBC should not have uploaded the video on YouTube for all the Indian people to see. Yes, there. I said it. And no, not because I have joined a religious extremist organisation. Not because I am a ‘traditional’ Indian who believes in the joke called Indian culture. And most certainly not because I am an enemy of women’s freedom. I said it for a very simple reason : India isn’t mature enough to grasp the true meaning of the video. 

Let’s face it. We do not understand every aspect of this incident. As a nation, we noticed the testimonies of the wrongdoers and their advocates. We, who strongly believe in the idea of “jaane de na, chalta hai” (let it be, it’ll pass), were so quick to grab our laptops and smartphones so we could add our bit to the tweeting and blogging and Facebook comments. I’m so sure that the elites must have had an extra cup of Earl Grey with lemon while having a peaceful discussion over the ‘issue’.

But let me ask you something. Did you notice what the jail psychiatrist had to say? He was the man who spoke the truth. The other counsel for the accused, too, had a wonderful piece of food for thought. He referred to the parliamentarians with criminal records. And no sir, he wasn’t wrong nor blasphemous. It is very easy to rally together as a ‘strong mass of united people’ and send an impoverished man to prison. (I must clarify here that I do not wish to come across as someone who justifies the accused) Your unity and power as a people will be considered commendable when you perform non-cooperation to an extent where the MP who thinks “boys will be boys” will be forced to go down on his knees and beg for the people’s pardon. If you can do that, if you can eradicate that mentality, then you have the moral right to say that you fought for a cause. When the fire from all your candles will burn all the money that these filthy leaders have kept in their pockets and deprived the poor of a decent living, that is when you can pat your backs and say that you fought for justice. Screaming out songs of “nyaay do, nyaay do, Nirbhaya ko nyaay do” (Justice for Nirbhaya) will only give you a sore throat and deprive the babies in the neighbourhood of their sleep.

Now think about this : why face tear gas when you can listen to the woes of the poor and shed a tear with them? Maybe your empathy will melt his heart and he won’t drink that night and won’t beat his wife. In turn, his son won’t see a woman as a helpless object.

You want a solution? Probably you should stop shelling out money to make Bollywood so rich. The same Bollywood which was once a media of enlightenment, but is now a softer version of porn. When the words on your posters will be so peaceful, yet bright, that every cameraman in the nation will be forced to turn towards it and leave the sexy, semi-nude, anorexic damsels deprived of footage, that is when you can proudly tell the next generation, “I contributed in making the country as you see it today”.

And no, these aren’t mere words. This is hope talking to you. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

My request to you: Don’t look at the oil spill on the surface and blame the ship that did it. Ponder over it. Inspect all facets of the filth that you see in front of you. And above all, please do not forget the fishes below that spill who are deprived of light, air and other basic necessities so the rich could enjoy the luxuries of oil. (Silly analogy, but I hope I am putting my point across; besides, I was bored with the typical ones)

LOVE EVERYONE WITH THE SAME INTENSITY OF YOUR NARCISSISM.

P.S. If you think you can mature your mind enough to grasp the meaning of the video, do watch it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Tfaurfg7EQ before the inevitable happens.

Find Me

When it’s time for daybreak

And the birds are flying from the thickets

And there’s dew on the grass where we lay

Spread your hands out to welcome the sun

Feel me in its warmth and find me

When the sun is at its peak

And the sunflowers are dancing with glee

And you’re walking through the fields

Run your hands over the yellow petals

Remember my laughter and find me

When it’s time for dusk

And the sun has turned red

And the sky is filled with floating clouds

Write our names in the sand before you

See the waves wash it away and find me

When it’s time to close your eyes

Be calm and rest your tired mind

Dream a lovely dream

Think of the time when we were one

Know that my hand is in yours and find me

When all the light is gone

And the world is dark

And the creatures of the night are out

Prowling for hopeless souls

Come to me and find me

Find me, O Long Lost One

I have now lost my way

Shine your light

Show me the path

Bring back the sunlight in my day