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I Love Cooking, and I Deny Gender Roles to Overshadow it

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One day in my M.A. classroom, a professor was teaching Emily Dickinson’s “She Sweeped with Many-Colored Brooms”, and I was scribbling a poem of my own in the last page of my notebook. I stared up, not looking at anything in particular, unaware that my gaze was in direct contact with that of the professor. He asked me, “Do you sweep at home?” “Yes”, I replied. “Girls usually sweep”, was his response. Unable to control the rising adrenaline and noradrenaline within me, I replied without being asked, “I sweep because I live alone, I cannot afford a maid (irrespective of my issues with cheap labour), and I like a clean room. I don’t think it has got anything to do with me being a girl. I am sure, any responsible human would do so.” I do not remember what happened next as my response was ignored. I went back to writing my poem. Do you realise what happened in those few minutes? My developing sense of responsibility was overshadowed by my social sex, my gender, and its role in this society.

Respect and Love: Better Earned than being in Shackles

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[The following post is a personal and subjective take on the issue. Any offence is deeply regretted, or maybe not. Read it till the end and you might understand why. Forgive me for the irony and paradox used.]
We belong to the Indian culture where we respect our elders and love the ones younger than us in our family, by default. I am simply stating a fact, without raising this culture to greatness or demeaning or comparing it to any other culture. If you are born into a conventional (Hindu, as I cannot speak for other religions) Indian family, you know you are supposed to touch the feet of the older members of the (extended) family, join your hands on the road if you meet the neighbouring uncle or aunty, share your personal belongings with your siblings and so on and so forth as gestures of respect and love. If you don’t, then either your parents are blamed for not giving you the correct upbringing or you simply become ‘that’ kid whose lack of such gestures is taken as naughtiness but …

"What are people with trust issues called?" "Normal."

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“I have trust issues.”
The moment one utters this statement, people assume that the person has been betrayed, his/her trust has been shattered so much so that they developed issues around it. Probably, but not necessarily. One might even assume that people with trust issues do not want to take risks in their lives or are scared of trying something beyond their comfort zones and worst of all, they are trying to protect themselves. Sit down, give up any thought that you might be having about this blog post, and before you close your eyes, for once, in the blankness of your mind think about a person who has not developed trust in the first place. What did you make out the person to be? Were you baffled by the idea that there might be people who were born with the ability to not develop ‘trust’? Probably, you never even thought about it, because trust and broken trust are what we grow on, learning lessons.

That "Lootera wali Feeling"

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The outline of the distant hill keeps it separated from the dark blue sky. Forgive me for my incompetence with shades of colours. The hill looks darker than the sky, towards a shade of black. The river that buzzes throughout the day with the people from nearby slums bathing and washing clothes is camouflaged in the darkness, so does the narrow sandy road to it. But in complete silence, one can hear the sound of the river flowing. The railway line and the road by its side cannot be seen either. But every now and then, a car or a motorbike passes by. It’s headlights are the only lights. Sometimes the vehicle goes in a jiffy, sometimes it’s slower. But every time it does, my mind goes back to the underrated romance that I love so much.
As the night takes over dusk, I look outside my window and tell mom, “this view gives me such a Lootera feeling.” My mom asks me, “What is a Lootera wali feeling?” I say, “You know, when Ranveer and Sonakshi are returning, theirs is the only car on the othe…

She will do it Again

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Big round eyes popping out through a thick pair of glasses, an ear to ear smile, a long pony tail, and chubby cheeks. That was a munchkin of happiness thrown her way.
Dragged to a family picnic on a sunny December morning in a tiny city of Maharashtra, Avni spent her time faking smiles and Namaste at women her mother introduced her to. “Could I have had a better time in this alien territory?”, thought Avni. She had spent twenty long years in one place, and didn’t see the fun in shifting to a new place. Oh, wait! It’s an old place, new to her. Duh uh!

Through a Half-open Window

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It began with a ‘Hi’. No, I think it began with a concern. ‘Whose kid is he, walking on the boundary wall?  How can parents leave kids at that? I hope he doesn’t fall.’ He jumped inside, my heart skipped a beat. I reminded my scared self, kids don’t develop the sense of fear so early. I let a short laughter out loud. I cannot jump from two feet height on to the ground now. In my musing, I forgot that I was still looking in the direction of the kid. He had seen his stalker by then.
He waved. I ignored. I went back to chopping vegetables. It was noon already and lunch was yet to be prepared. I looked up through the window, he was right there waving with a big smile. This time, I smiled back. I ran through the kitchen, assembling ingredients and vessels. Then I heard a ‘Hi’. I saw  across the window. I did not reply. I was chopping bitter gourd by then. I stopped and stared; I looked up, smiled, and said ‘Hi’. I saw him jump in glee. He went up the wall, walked, and jumped. This time, am…

The Only Thing that Changes with Body Types is How People Look at You

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I remember the time, when I got down from the stairs of Nizammudin Railway Station and asked my brother if I look weird. He answered in affirmative and added, who wears make up (Kajal) with Cargo pants. With that remark, I was very pleased with my look. Since then, it has been sort of a quest for me to blend different things together making it unconventional. But more importantly the aim has been to become unpredictable and hence, cannot be contained in a particular category which means that I can follow the mainstream fashion too when I want. On some days, I wear kajal but not lispstick, on other days even if my hair is uncombed; I make sure I put on lipstick. I wear sneakers with my kurti, and flats with a dress. It doesn’t make a difference to me, but it hurts the eyes of the ones who see me, scanning me top to bottom. My purpose is served the moment people are uncomfortable, even if they don’t say it out loud, you can see it on their face. I am not against the ones who follow the …