In a world where people say, “Let it out”, my mind shouts, “Screw you”.

In a world where mental health is being acknowledged, Where people are willing to hear stories, Hoping it will help the storyteller to live that day, Sleep that night, wake up the next morning, Without the thought of killing himself/herself; In a world where people are trying to understand, The beginnings of anxiety or depression, And ways to cope with it, My mind shouts, “Screw you.”
For as far as my memory allows, I remember the desire in my 8-year-old heart, I remember the desire to die. It wasn’t a desire that came in the pre-teen years, When I began believing no one understands me in this world. It was a desire that I truly wished to be true, So I asked my then believed ‘god’, To give me end stage brain cancer, On the days that I cried as well as when I laughed.
When I was diagnosed with initial stage of cancer, I began believing that there is perhaps someone out there, Who heard my voice and responded wisely, To my unthoughtful, perhaps, stupid but not hasty desire.
I didn’t die but if I were to b…

They say, "You're Lucky." I say, "I have Built my Ground."

Luck. My oldest memory of the word goes to the casual use of ‘Bad luck’. Then, there’s the memory in which my parents say, ‘Best of Luck’, before exams. Many a times, luck seemed to be the word that filled gaps, in conversations, that people wanted to avoid. There were times when it was used according to the need but those times were rare.
Luck has been perhaps one of the most used, if not exploited, word. After a point of time in school, I told my parents to wish me All the Best instead of Good luck or Best of luck. I was uncomfortable with the idea that my performance depends on my luck. I was willing to take the burden of failure on my shoulders or success for that matter. But, to give my power to an unknown third party simply didn’t seem right.
Growing up, I began using the word privilege instead of luck. A few years ago, I would have said, “I am really lucky to have such parents.” Now, I choose to say, “I am privileged to have such parents.” The difference is simple. When I use l…

My Last Toast to Leukemia

Cancer. It gives people the scare. Leukemia, not so much because it’s not a common term. It gave my father a scare because he had heard the term in the movie Akhiyon ki Jharakon Se. It gave him the scare because the 1978 movie showed that Leukemia had no cure. Thirty years later, little did he know that his much-loved daughter will be diagnosed with the same. As for my mother, I don’t know how she felt. If I ask her today, I don’t think she will answer my question. She’s probably one of those people, who can keep their emotions in check when the time demands them to act. My brother’s Class 10 board exam results were out. He says that I was the one who called him to declare his results, that he had secured the second position in his class. I do not have the memory. Although I imagine being immensely happy while shouting his results on phone. I do not remember the date when I was told the name of the disease, whose symptoms had made me slowly immovable over the course of six months. My …

Of Conversations that could have been and Loneliness

A man sitting on my seat offered to get up when he saw me undecided - should I ask him to get up or simply climb up the side upper berth?I took the book that I was reading out of my backpack as he began to get up. As we stood side by side for a few seconds, he asked me, "What are you reading?" I showed him my copy of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah. He tried to read the author's name and perhaps, failed. He returned the book with a look that made his friend chuckle. I wanted to tell him, it's a Nigerian name. I wanted to tell him that the title of the book is what Nigerians tend to call people who move to America, something like Amriki or Amrika-wale as we Indians might say in Hindi. I didn't want to explain without being asked, which was quite unusual for my ever-explaining self.
Later in the evening, as I climbed up to the upper berth, allowing my co-passenger to have the lower berth all to himself, I wondered about the former moment. I began thinkin…

Friendship and the Lack thereof

“At times like these when life is getting me down And world seems like it’s gonna end-ship There’s atleast one power that we both still have And that’s the power of Friendship." - Duet, The Flash
Two and a half years ago I began deconstructing the idea of the friendship that I so strongly believed in while growing up. I had put friendship on the highest pedestal of relationships. With the deconstruction, I am now convinced that I no longer have friends. I have people with whom I bond not as a whole but in pieces. A few days ago, when my brother asked me whether or not I have that one friend who I can tell everything that’s going on within me, I told him, “I have no one. I deal with my problems alone, because that’s how it’s always been for me.” Then I added that I have some people but I don’t really share all my problems, I sort of never have had. I had stopped thinking about friends or the lack thereof till last night when my first roommate, after I moved out of home, called me at two…

“Make women beautiful but don’t make men so lustful.”

Ray, P. (1995). Yajnaseni (15 ed.). (P. Bhattacharya, Trans.) New Delhi: Rupa Publications India Pvt . Ltd.

Pratibha Ray’s Yajnaseni ― an epistolary novel, beginning at the end and ending at the beginning ― tells the tale of the most complex epic of all times by turning the victim into a survivor, by bringing the marginal woman to the centre. Draupadi is perhaps a character who has carried the weight of every single patriarchal injustice towards women. The beautiful dark-skinned princess born from a sacrificial fire with the purpose of establishing dharma on Earth had been a victim of male gaze, lust, arrogance and ego, beginning from the Kauravas to Pandavas. “Despite someone else being the root of all causes, they emptied the entire cup of blame on my head and went away – leaving me thus at death’s door. (2)”

Yajnaseni, retells the Mahabharata from the perspective of Krishnaa. It is her story of womanhood, for she follows every act of Dharma - of being a wife divided between five hus…

Stories, we are all Stories.

In the last couple of years, a lot has changed within me -be it the perks of having a plenty of alone time or the downside of a mind that’s never without a thought. I am a person who jumped off a cliff at Rishikesh. Between the moment when I was off the rock-solid ground and hadn’t hit the water, I thought, “Did I jump, or was I pushed, or did both happen at the same time!” When I was out of the water all I could think was, “What’s the big deal about the experience? It was so tiny a moment to feel anything at all?” When I asked so to my already-experienced-cliff-jumping brother, he said, “That’s just how it is.” All I am saying is that I had a thought even in that tiniest of a second and I am unashamedly okay with it. It has been recently remarked by a dear friend of mine that I think so much that I do not let myself feel anything. I am working on those lines whose roots are as deep as the hive in Stranger Things, believe me.
Having firmly established that, the one thing that has chang…