Reach me at:         Follow Me on Pinterest 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Being a reflective writer, no idiot's job!

Many readers, critics and even authors have time and again argued the every work of fictional writing has inspirations in the very non fictional world that surrounds the author. Being someone who enjoys writing, I couldn't agree more. I am no one to speak for anyone else, but when it comes to what I write, yes, It is, almost every time, the result of inspiration that I draw from my own life, either by observing people around me or by my personal experiences or my introspective mind, but yes, all my works are a reflection of my own life and its learnings. Precisely why I say that I am a REFLECTIVE writer.

I have developed a new found respect for all those writers whose principle source of inspiration is their own life, their experiences and people around them. It is indeed not easy to be a reflective writer. You have to TELL ALL without telling it all! You can actually understand and get to know a lot about a person by their literary style and work. Its like, you stand up on a table, in a crowded room and throw yourself open to judgments, hypocrisy, moral criticism etc. But u still have to walk out of that room as if nothing ever happened!

You, although indirectly, make your life public, share your experiences and learnings out of them, without even knowing how many would understand your perception. Being a reflective writer, you are introspective and tend to look at things, and world at large, through a magnanimous mind and an open heart that ain't afraid to fall down, has courage to get up each time and embodies compassion that treats every being equal. All this gives you an altogether different persona and the way you look at life is different from that of the herd mentality. So you really don't know how many of your readers will agree with your viewpoint and how many will judge you through the eyes of narrow vision. For some, your work becomes the silver lining in dark clouds, while for others, you become a threat for culture/heritage etc.

But you still go ahead, because you know that you look at every being with the eyes of compassion and you understand that everyone is entitled to their opinion. In spite of being judged with hypocrite comments, you chose to look at people who motivate you to work hard and you draw strengths from them.

Indeed, being a writer, who wants to reflect the society, ain't really that easy :)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

5 random facts about me

1. I like being alone :)
Strange, but true. I LOVE being alone. Yes, I do go to movies alone, I roam around the entire Mumbai alone, I have meals alone etc. and I don't see anything wrong with it. Not that i don't like people or I have attitude issues or anything like that. Its just that, being alone and introspective is a very crucial and integral part of my personality....its like my "me" time that keeps me going. I enjoy my company but that doesn't mean I don't like people. I love people. For me the biggest success ever, would be to make a positive difference in the lives of people around me. But again, to keep myself going, I need my "me" time and moreover, this "me" time is sometimes the best option to keep all the unnecessary drama, non-sense and negativity out of my life.

2. Friendly with all, but friends with few :)
Yes, i have few friends and they are family. I am selective about people I open up to, I share my life with and once you are that close to me as a person, you are not just a friend, but for me you are a part of my family, so much that I won't even bother being formal with you. I ll love you and care for you from the core of my heart, will stand by you in the darkest of hours....but, you need to be worth it! I irritate my few friends like helllllll, make their lives miserable by my insanity and make them go nuts with my stupidity, but when I TRUST them, I trust them, completely. Of course, in general, I also refer all my colleagues as friends, but the truth is, I am just friendly with them, the people I am friends with have to understand this by the way I treat them......now my FRIENDS need to understand me this much at least :)

3. I am a very Private person.
Yes, I am a very private person and I have my guards very, very high. For a simple reason, I live life on extremes, either my guards are very, very high or I am just an open book to you, nothing in between. I also believe that it is my this extreme nature that gives me the strength to love unconditionally and stand unfaltering by the people who matter to me, and I am proud of it. Also, I respect my personal life and those of others as well. I don't want my life to a topic of table discussion. I am unconventional and so are my decisions. Not every one has the right to put my life on a table, judge it or even opine about it. That is a privilege I give only to few people that are close to me and hence, I am fiercely private, have very high guards, open up to very few people I truly call and mean FRIENDS and finally, this is the reason why I have very high standards set for letting people close to me. Either I don't trust you or I trust you completely, and I cannot stand betrayal.

4. I am die hard romantic :)
Now, this is something many people don't know about. Yes there is a girly side to me. I do come across as a practical, studious and boring girl, but I do have a side to me that very few people know about. I am an emotional fool!!!!! I don't fall easy, but when I do, i fall hard. Having said that, let me tell you that I am single, I have hardly had one relationship, which was also sort of one-sided and then, it has always been about one-sided love. I don't speak about my relationships, but yes, my love life has a lot to do with the kind of person I am today. It has taught me the real meaning of love, unconditional love, loving without expectations, independence, pain, betrayal, strength, compassion and of course, hope. In fact, guys, all the poems on this blog are because of my girly feelings and so are most of the articles ;) I have actually walked miles under the sun to save money to buy gifts for that "someone special" and then spent hours packing them because I wanted to personalize them ;)

5. Sometimes, Nobody gets me. NOBODY!
True. I am impulsive, unpredictable and moody. Owing to this, many a times, nobody gets me. My values, my principles.....people find them weird!At times, even the few people I call friends fail to get me. But still, they believe in me and stand by me, without any questions, maybe that's why they are my friends.But then, there are others, who question me when even i am in the process of discovering answers. They judge me for petty things and label me for not justifying myself. The demand of justifying myself is something that I find unacceptable. I don't justify myself even to my friends! I just express them what I feel and what I learned from the ambiguous situations, but I don't justify to them as well, so why on the earth should I justify my actions or thoughts to anyone, especially as long as I have not hurt anyone? That is what I believe in.


So well, this is me for you all. As a friend and even as a person, I ll make life very irritating and troublesome for you if you are close to me but at the same time, I ll always be there with you, by your side, without judging you :) But yes, u will have to adjust with the above facts.....because that is who I am and that is what that makes me the person I am. So....its your choice, take me as I am, or watch me as I go :)

Uncertainty: A poetry....

Stumbling over and again,
I somehow begin to stand.
All what I shared with you,
now seems a flowing sand.

We might not survive,
I might not see you again.
But the memories that we made,
Will shine bright admist pain.

Your arms were my heaven,
Your smile; my hope.
In these moments of ambiguity,
I wonder how will I cope.

On one side I see hope,
On another I see fear.
Uncertainty grips me tight,
And a mask of calmness I wear.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Being the honour of the family: a matter of pride or burden?

The verdict in the Arushi-Hemraj double murder case attracted its own share of controversies. Rajesh & Nupur Talwar were convicted primarily on the basis of the “last seen theory” and the investigating agencies say the crime was committed in a fit of rage, when the Talwar couple found their 14 year old daughter, Arushi Talwar in a compromising position with their house-help Hemraj.
Although no strong evidence of this theory have been made public, as of now, let us assume that this is the truth. Under such situations, this conviction raises another set of questions on the way we raise out girls and the perception we have of their individuality.
Even if Arushi, a 14 year old teenager, was found physically close to Hemraj, was “killing” her the only option? Why was it so tuff for the Talwar couple to consider the situations at hand as an act of immaturity on the part of the teenager and hence, forgive & explain her?  And a very important question:
“Had the Talwar couple reacted in the same fashion if instead of Arushi and Hemraj, it was their ‘son’ who was found in a compromising position with a female house-help?”
Most probable answer to the above question is a “NO”. In that case, most likely, Rajesh Talwar would have supported and tried to save his son, while putting the entire blame on the involved female.
Why this discrimination? Just because Arushi was a girl, or rather, the “honour” of the family!!! What kind of “honour” is it? The one that isolates a teenager from her human tendency to learn from mistakes! And why, because of her gender?
At the time of crime, Arushi was 14 years old, a teenager at the onset of her puberty and a girl at a sensitive emotional stage. She was as vulnerable to hormonal changes as boys her age. She was also equally vulnerable to making mistakes in the flow of peer pressure or emotional and sexual excitement. Something that is very common with “boys and girls” of that age.
What was needed was an open and communication between Arushi and her parents, but rather, she was “killed” by her own parents, because being a girl, she was probably considered the “possession” of her father and the “honour” of the family, and in the opinion of her family, she “disgraced” them.
On the ground level, looking at various aspects, in my opinion, this is also a form of “honour killing”. Arushi was found close to Hemraj, but did anyone ever tried to probe the reason for it? Maybe she was a lonely teenager whose doctor parents never had time to have a “talk” with her. The case also brings up the deadly consequences of lack of communication between parents and children, especially teenagers.
And as I conclude, I would again like to emphasize on the “Honour” aspect. Traditionally, Women/Girls have been considered the honour of the family, which should ideally be a matter of pride, but with such incidents, being the “honour of the family” is now maybe a matter of burden. Do we, as girls and women of this country, desire to have “such kind” of honour? The one that deprives us from learning from our mistakes and might eventually cost us our lives!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Rupaiya

A beautiful hindi poetry on "money" by my friend Aastha Singh

Rupaiya...

Tere rang k aage phika pada har rishta
Use thukraya sabne jiski kismat mein tu na tha

Tu ho to chain sukoon nahi
Tu na ho to roshan kitno ke ghar nahi

Tune looti farishton ki niyaat
Har shaks ki dua mein hai tu banke chahat

Kitno ko kiya tune beghar barbaad
Kuch zindagiyaan tune banayi sukhi aabad

Zamane ko kharida tune par rooh na kharid paya
Wah re insaan jisne rupayia banaya.

Kisiki muskurahat kisika ashq hai tu
Ek bebasi hai jab aaye nahi tu

kitne haath khoon se range tune
Kitno ko likhna sikhaya
Teri mannat ne thake pairon ko milo chalaya

har lamhe ko tune apna ghulaam banaya
Kisiki saason ko bhi apna mohtaj banaya

teri buniyaad ke saare rishte khokle hain
Kitno ko becha tune kitno ko kharida hai

zamane ko kharida tune par rooh na khari

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Gratitude to my readers

Hi,
This post is a gratitude to all those people who took their time out to read my blog. I am truly thankful to you. When I started blogging in October 2012, I wasn't even sure if anyone would read my content! But today, with all the love and appreciation that you guys have given me, I feel blessed. It feels great when you comment and appreciate my work, when you inbox me and say that you like my writing style or when I fail to update my blog for long, you ask me as to when am I posting next? Believe me people, its really encouraging. And for someone like me, who took up blogging just a few months ago, there can be no greater motivation than my readers coming up to me and saying and they liked my work...in spite of the fact that I am an armature writer, that my contents are lengthy and a lot of other flaws. When you say that you can "connect" to what I have written, I truly feel satisfied. Thank you so much.

I am still an armature writer. Far from being good. I started this blog to get over some personal issues. There were times I felt drained. I just wanted to throw up everything that was running in my mind. I wanted to speak about every single emotion that I was going through, but I did not know how? Then, I took up writing, I wrote about every emotion that I experienced, analysed their relevance, logic, pros and cons. And a lot more. All this brought me to the discovery of complexities of Human emotions, which are not really that complex! I could somehow manage to describe various emotions that I had felt in a single moment, with immense honesty, practicality and sentiments. All this, just to make myself light and then when you all liked my posts and said that you too can "connect" to them, I had this urge of writing more. Through you all, I have discovered a lot about me. A side of me that I never knew existed!

And all this is what that brings me here today, to dedicate a post to all of you :) Thank you so much dear readers :)

Stay blessed,
Spread compassion,

Love,
Rupali.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Coming soon on this blog:
Posts on:
Why we hurt people?
Insecurities in love
Being Compassionate makes life beautiful

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Its all about belonging-Part 3

To read the first part of this story: "Its all about belonging-Part-1", Click here

To read the second part of this story: "Its all about belonging-Part-2", Click here

Part-3
"Chanchal, don't make me feel that your ex was right for what he did to you."

That was a blow! How could he even comment that way without even being aware of all the necessary details? I tried to keep my cool, but things went above my head when he continued his manipulation. His voice and logic itself made it clear that he was lying. Memories of Tarun, the night of August 1, and Sahil's words made me mad. All I’d wanted to speak was well-planned with the expectation that, over the phone, he won’t lie...but he did, this irritated me way too much to be sensible any more. There are something’s we all are sensitive about. For me, it’s fidelity. A lie, just to accuse me of having intentions of making a man an infidel, that was too much for me to take gracefully.

August 5 was the last when we spoke. That night, I very calmly explained him my perspective, but all in vain. He stressed only on the numerous irritating calls I made. I wanted to shift his focus and make him understand what I exactly felt on the night of August 1, but that wasn't the right time.

What I could not digest from that call was his statement that,
 "You are being involved in my life more than a mother."

I never tried to control his life. I never told him to do this or do that. We were not committed so I never restricted him from considering any other girl. Never had a problem that he wants to stop the intimacy. I was irritated and questioning only about his lie and manipulation. How does that mean that I am so involved in his life? He always expected honesty from me, what's wrong if I expected the same? Had I lied to him, he would have been upset as well, maybe would have never even spoken to me again. So, if I get hurt at his manipulation and question him for that, how does that mean that I am behaving like his gf or mother?


I realized I needed to know his mind. I called up Neha and took access to her facebook account. Read all the chats between them.

First blunder was that Neha played a pivotal role in Sahil mistaking my irritation for my Possessiveness. Neha has been of the opinion that I and sahil are meant for each other, right since Feb'12, when I and Sahil first had a chat regarding marriage and he unknowingly ended up behaving like my to-be-husband. Now, while I was being irritated as things were not the same, Neha at that time was discussing with Sahil that she thinks I feel for him! What a brilliant timing that was...Huh!

In the chat of August 3, he confessed to her that he had faked the relatinship with Natasha and that he is still emotionally unavailable. he was the same Sahil, who knew what a mess I could be but was still ready to believe in me. All the time I was wondering,
'when he knows me so well, whats taking so long for him to understand what I went through on the night of august 1??'

I then read the chat of August 5, when he had decided not to talk to me ever again. That was a long chat, but one statement stuck me:
"No Neha, Chanchal was never hurt, she just wanted to irritate me and strech things"

Ya...I was never hurt, I just enjoy screaming and screeching silently in pain till 4am in the morning. Its really fun :p. And yes, I just wanted to irritate him and strech things, that was the reason why, when he accused me of the extra marital thing, instead of coming up with various other issues that we spoke of on chat, I just questioned on the concerned matter to clarify things...Huh!

He also mentioned to her that I hurt him. He didn't mention when or how, but I understood that.

Indeed, for bonds that are built on honesty and open communication; giving up, signal communication and manipulation act like poison.

I then remembered what my mentor once quoted to me,
"Chanchal, mind is a complex thing. At times we have something in our mind and we say something else. That’s normal."

That held true for Sahil and me. Our hearts, our minds and our words were in complete disagreement.

Though unknowingly, in our pain/irritation, we both ended up hurting someone we never wanted to see hurt-EACH-OTHER. In irritation he needed time, and due to pain, I was too impatient to wait, but our final intentions were the same, sorting out things....

I didn't contact him for next few days. I had been rude to him, had irritated him to the core, though unknowingly, but left no stone unturned to hurt him...all this in spite of being well-aware of his intentions. I hated myself...yes, his manipulation hurt me too, but two wrongs don't make one right! I don't know why I forget that all the time? But the best was yet to come.

After irritating him to the core, fighting with him and being extremely rude him, on the evening of August 10, all of a sudden, I realised that I love him!

Honestly, I didn't knew hoe this happened! When? I did not had an answer for that either. But as of then, the bottom line truth was that, in the middle of all the fun we had, all the memories we created and all the care we had for each other, I fell for him. There was no denying in this and I am pretty happy that when I first realized my feelings for him, I did not chose to live in the mode of denial.

I first informed my close friends. By the time it was mid-night, almost everyone who knew me was informed that I WAS IN LOVE, except Sahil. The feeling of love was amazing, it was after a long time that this beautiful feeling had paved its way into my soul. I cherished every bit of it.

But the next day, I started feeling heavy, for I hadn't told Sahil about it. I spoke about it to Neha. We both were of the opinion that in such situations I should not tell him, but then, considering how heavy I was feeling she advised and convinced me to listen to my heart.

In the evening I texted Sahil that I needed to talk to him and asked when can I call him. No response, so on the morning of august 12, I sent him a text:

"I am takin ur silence as a no 4 cl. msgn u evrythng. pl try to understand. sahil, dere ws nthng lyk dis b4, its jst d day b4 evenin wen i reralised dat i do hav sum feelings 4 u. no, dont worry, m not askin u 4 any commitment, jst informing. u knw wat? 1 year ago itself i assumed this possibility n decided dat if sumthng like this happens, i wont hide it, wil jst honestly say it. Sahil, evn if v wud hav been physical, i wud hav told dis n wud hav chosen to keep d physical intimacy, feelings n frndship independent of eachothr.Dats wat m doin now. sahil, "i love u" is jst an expression of wat i feel n nt a proposal, so just chill....m nt proposing u n nor wil i do tht. i do undrstnd dat ur focus at the moment is ur career n derez no space 4 a relationship in ur life for nxt 4 years ATLEAST. Same wit me Sahil. dekh feelings pe aapka cntrl nai hota, wo bas aa jaate h...bt jahan mera cntrl h, wahan m still d same person. m still nt sure wethr m ready 4 a relation. m 100% sure tht i dnt hav faith in marriage. So relax...I love u bt I'll deal wit it. As a frnd I had 2 b honest to u, bt believe me, u dont hav to worry abt dis. I do undrstnd ur situation n i knw mine as well. tk cre. Hope u undrstnd n sorry 4 evrythng."

He didn’t reply. Maybe, after the entire blunder, he too needed time.

Since I was feeling heavy, I headed for Mount mary. I'm not a religious person but for some reason mount Mary gives me peace. I spent some time there and walked down to bandstand. While walking down, I felt a sense of freedom in me. I felt light...the feeling of love was now entering my soul in true spirits. The cloudy waterfront looked more beautiful and the short walk by it felt so romantic, a smile took over my face for no reason. It was after a long time that I felt this way, and it was really beautiful...

Yes, the memories of the night of August 1 still hurt me. Days are somehow spent in disguise, but the nights were lonely, I had to face myself. The nights that were virtually spent in his arms, were now spent in the teary memories of manipulation. Pain replaced pleasure..

These nights also served as a mirror to me. I realised I didn't had strength left in me. I have always been the types who easily get over things that hurt them, no matter how bad. In past 21 years of my life, this was only the second time I failed. I didn't had the strength to get over Sahil's manipulation...in spite of being aware that it was fake, that his intentions were true, that he cares for me....something about that night, maybe the intentional blame on a topic I am sensitive to, pained me. But yes, not even for a moment did I cry or got upset that I am in love with a guy who doesn't love me or I don't have a future with. Now, that's the power of love.
On one such weak nights, Neha called up. excerpts:
"Chunu, its ok. have faith."
"Neha, darling I have faith. dont worry about me and sahil. Even i dont think much about it. Its all about belonging. If there is no one who is more compatible with us, except for each other, If we belong to each other, today or tomorrow, we'll end up being together and at that time, my reservations about legal commitment and his emotional unavailability wont really matter. And if we don't belong to each other, then we may even get into a relationship today, but it won't last for long. Its all about belonging sweetheart....its all about belonging"

I said all this more to comfort my own self. I do love him, I also understand that just because I love someone doesn't mean that they have to love me the same way, I also believe that as long as you know this, its OK to love anyone, even if they don't love you, but a part of me was worried as to how ill I stay with this? I had assured Sahil that they are my emotions and I'll take care of them and that there is no need for him to worry, but deep within even I wasn't sure if I had enough strength...
Right then, a voice from within me, said;

"Quiet Chanchal. Quiet. If even after all that has happened, you could gather the courage to love someone again, will all your heart, in spite of being well aware of his emotional unavailability, then at the right time, you will also gather the strength to stay with it proudly. Where there is courage, Strength is bound to follow.....remember, its all about belonging..."

I took a deep breath looked at the window, shivered and then suddenly smiled...saw something that petrifies me, but today, it reminded me of sahil as my fear for this very thing was the topic we spoke about on the very first day....CHIPKALI :D

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Its all about belonging-Part 2

To read the first part of this story "Its all about belonging-Part 1"  Click here

Part 2
Around noon, I received a reply from him on facebook. It read,

"I’m leaving Mumbai in an hour...it was awesome to meet you...keep in touch :)"

I almost suffered a mini heart-attack when I first read this. Without realising, tears started flowing down my cheeks; I was sitting with my back rested on the wall, a heavy lump in my throat and my eyes fighting my tears. I read that message again and again, several times, hoping for it to be an April fool's joke, but it wasn't.

I made a call to Aaliya, she stays in my building and during those days, her std. 10th board exams were on. She was having her lunch when I called her, but I was too upset to be considerate. Infact, my tone was seemed to be that of order and I asked her to literally leave her lunch and reach my place. My last words to her on that call were, "I need you."

Aaliya was at my place in 5 minutes. At that time, I was speaking to Neha and Aayushi over the phone. Both of them stayed in hostels. Neha in Jalandhar and Aayushi in Raigad. Aaliya came and sat next to me. Alisha was already there. None of us knew what to say. I was multitasking, sobbing and trying to hide my tears at the same time.

After spending some more time with my girlfriends, I took a deep breath, gathered all my energy, logged into my Facebook account and wrote a stupid, chirpy, upbeat and funny reply to him along with my best wishes for the journey and life in Bangalore. As usual, I was careful to not reflect my sorrow in the message, but I was sure that once again, he would have read between the lines.

It was for this understanding that I never asked him as to why didn't he inform me about his transfer in advance. I knew that he was well aware that this news will make me feel a bit low. Also, even I was well aware that though it wasn't tough for him to tell me this, it wasn't easy either and I could sense this in his reply as well. More so, as we had planned to meet on April 3.

We both had never discussed as to how I would felt when he left for Bangalore or what went on in his mind when he informed me about his departure because we both understood very well that we could do nothing about it as it was a crucial step for him. We chose not to discuss this as whatever we needed to know was already known to us between the lines.

Anyways, after texting him, I told Aaliya to get back to studies and told Alisha, "Ali, I need some time on my own. Please revise whatever we have studied till now. I’m not in a state to study now and need rest."

Alisha understood my situation and nodded in support. I went to another room and cried myself to sleep. All the time, once again, a part of me hoped for it to be an April fool's joke, but it wasn't. Sahil was going for real.

I got up in the evening. For next two days, we had a couple of casual chats. Nothing intimate. I had assumed that we won't be intimate any more but things began to change soon. We were intimate again, on the phone and the web. Nothing, except cities, changed between us.

We did had a longing for each other and it was clearly evident in the stupid excuses I suggested to him to come back to Mumbai despite his work in Bangalore and also in the silly options he gave me to dodge my parents and manage a trip there...all so that we could meet. We still enjoyed the same friendship, honesty, trust, bond, fun, understanding...everything was the same. We enjoyed the same bonding.

In mid-july, he shared with me that Natasha, his colleague, had proposed to him. On a serious note, I advised him to listen to his heart, but on a funny note, being aware of his "Emotionally unavailable" status, I left no chance to tease him...

We spoke so cutely after a long time. No, things weren't rough between us. But for more than a month, they weren't like before either. The paradox that we were still intimate but he was being resistant, slowly started to irritate me. I did try to confront him a couple of times, but got no response on the matter. Although, I tried to keep my irritation to myself, by the end of July, it became evident to him in my behavior.
On the night of August 1. I called him up. Excerpts:
"Chanchal, you are surely going to make Natasha break up with me. Every time I am with her, you have to call! Even now, her call is on waiting and she texted me saying, 'it must be Chanchal, you talk to her first.'"
"Sahil, are you dating her?"
"Yes"
"Since when?"
“last week"
"3 days ago I had sent you an intimate mail, to which you replied. Why didn't you tell me then?"
"Because I wasn't in a mood to tell"

He spoke with such cool as if nothing had happened but even before I’d realised, I was in tears. I felt pain entering my body. In that pain, I called him up again. Call waiting....I waited, after some time, he picked the call and said,

"Don't call me again. If you do so, I'll block you." and disconnected the call. He didn't even hear a single word from me.

I still kept trying. A few minutes later he switched off his cell and slept, but here, my pillow was absorbing my silent yet painful screams till 4am in the morning.

No, it wasn't because he had a girl in his life. Had that been the case, then after having been told of her attraction towards him, I wouldn't have said, "Sahil, what is it that you want? There's no point in holding back if you feel for her."

Nor was it because we wouldn't be intimate anymore. In past two years, we had thought over discontinuing our intimacy, atleast three times and had even stood by our decision for a while. It never hurt nor did I ever get hyper. So, even this wasn’t the reason for my hyper behaviour.

It was something else. Earlier, I was in a relationship and was extremely clear about one thing,

"Tarun (my past), if you are not happy with me, you can leave me any day you wish to. But please, do not break anyone's trust because of what we share."

I said this because, as a friend, Tarun did matter to me, and I didn't want our good moments to suffer or lose his friendship because of what had happened between us. I’d told the same thing to Sahil. But back then, inspite of me being explicitly clear about this, Tarun double-dated, ruining all our good moments and making our friendship suffer because his girl had a problem with me. At that point, it was Sahil who lifted me up and gave me hope but what he said on the night of August 1, was so similar to the past, that it pierced my heart.

Being a girl, I understand a girl's insecurities. Had I been in a relationship with a guy who was earlier intimate with someone else, I would have expected him to officially end things with her, before getting into a relationship with me. Natasha must have expected the same. This entire situation had placed me in a position where I never wanted to be and I was angry at Sahil for this. I felt I owed Natasha an apology.

I messaged Sahil on Facebook  expressing my disappointment on the WAY he ended things and requesting him to make me speak to Natasha once as I wanted to apologize.

I calmed myself after that and patiently waited for his reply in the morning. I did get his reply, but with a shocker. On knowing my disappointment, he accused me of having serious intentions of having an extra marital affair with him! Yes, we did speak of an extra marital affair on our chats, but I wasn't in it one alone, he was equally involved, so now how could I be blamed for it? Moreover, I was the one to remind him on a serious note that even though we had planned our extra marital affair, we both knew it wasn’t going to happen as we both believed in fidelity. Also, just like the extra marital affair we had also spoken of getting married and having children...but all that had been said just for momentary fun AND HE KNEW THAT VERY WELL, as most of those topics had been brought up by him.

I was stunned at his behaviour  It all seemed so nostalgic. Two years ago, in front of his gf, Tarun had denied his relationship with me and accused me of  coming between them, inspite of the fact that I had pleaded him to be faithful, and today, Sahil was behaving in similar fashion.

I got hyper again, pain and fear gripped me. I started calling Sahil vigorously. He blocked my number but I still kept trying, begging him to talk to me once. Calling someone so desperately will surely irritate that person to the core, but I was in pain as well and I needed to know the truth. Of course, 60calls in 45mins are not justified, but my pain wasn’t unjustified either.

Yes, Tarun was my past, but even if I eliminate him from the situation, I still feel that making a girl, for whom fidelity matters, feel that she intentionally plans to ruin your relationship, would obviously bother her.

The same day, I spoke to my friend, Neha, she was also in contact with sahil and had questioned him about this. She read his reply to me. His reply had a sense of fakeness to it...In fact, to neha, he even denied answering my intimate mail. I calmed myself down and recollected his behavior since last night and it suddenly clicked me that he would have never behaved this way had he been in a relationship. He was a "non-senti" person although perhaps, the real Sahil was an extremely sensitive person, having a great command over his emotions and preferred being the "non-senti" type.

Zap! I realized something else as well. As I mentioned things weren't the same between us and I was irritated for that, I'm sure that he MISTOOK my irritation for possessiveness and emotional attraction and hence faked a relationship with Natasha!

Amazing! The second time we thought of stopping our intimacy, he had clearly stated that we needed to stop as he is afraid that we might start feeling for each other. What had happened to him now? Why did he choose to manipulate and hurt me instead of directly confronting me?

My consciences were relieved but I was still upset and irritated that such a good friend of mine, who had always maintained, "I Hate lies"; manipulated me so badly in order to make me feel that I was intentionally trying to ruin a relationship.

He had done the only thing that I hadn't wanted him to do. I felt agitated and in irritation, decided to go for a dinner with Bhavesh. I informed Sahil about this.

On august 3, I met Bhavesh and realized why Sahil hadn’t wanted me to. I hate to admit this, but he was right. That evening, I left the restaurant even before I was done with the starters. During the half an hour that I was there, I’d addressed Bhavesh as sahil at least thrice. I didn’t wanted to think about sahil, but I just couldn't stop..

While Neha was trying to explain to me that I was being too impatient, and even Sahil is bothered with this impatience, my irritation crossed all limits and I told her:

"Tell him to bother only about his pseudo relationship... for which-in reality-he lied to and manipulated me...I'll find a replacement soon (Never meant it)" I said this inspite of Neha informing me that my assumption, about Sahil faking a relationship with Natasha, was correct.

I admit I was wrong. I shouldn't have said that. Yes I was hurt by his manipulation and intentional blame game, but two wrongs don’t make one right. That night, I made several calls to Sahil...being patient was an option, but I was in so much pain that it seemed like the only thing that could calm me was an extremely honest conversation with him.

We finally spoke on the night of August 4. That night, I expected that things would sort out but things turned into a blunder. In my irritation I unknowingly ended up being rude to him. Worse came when he said,
"Chanchal, don't make me feel that your ex was right for what he did to you."

To read the third and final part of this story: "Its all about belonging-Part 3" Click here

Monday, May 6, 2013

Its all about belonging-Part 1

Emotionally devastated, robbed of faith and filled with the pain of betrayal. This was the pathetic condition that defined me when Sahil entered my life as a mere facebook friend and soon became someone who gave me back my faith and filled me with a new energy.

We were two different people from the same planet. Open minds, vision above the set society standards, courage and a desire of honesty in our friendship! We were on the same wavelength. Similar ideologies coupled with open minds and honesty help us understand each other better and our respect for each other grew deeper with each discussion we had. Ofcourse, being in the same city only brought us closer, leading to a strong bond of friendship between us.

Sahil was a face reader par excellence and this furthur added to our understanding. We were soon at a position where we read each other between the lines and heard, we heard what we did not say.
I remember, that incident from mid of March 2011. It had hardly been a month and a half since we had known each other and I was meeting him for the second time. In no time, our casual talks had turned to some serious discussions and suddenly, out of nowhere he touched upon a topic that took my breath away. It was that side of me which hardly anyone knew about. But Sahil had not only guessed it correctly but he also stunned me with a direct question in direct words. I went numb. I could barely answer. I found myself fumbling.
I could clearly see and feel that someone had managed to read my face beyond its mask. That day, at that point, in front of him, I felt naked...I couldn't do anything beyond fumbling...failing to understand what to do, how to respond, what to say or how to even change the topic...I went numb.

This wasn't the only incident of such sort. In the time that followed, there were a couple of more incidents where I could feel Sahil listening to and understanding my unsaid words.
No, we were not in a relationship. After an extremely bitter experience with Tarun and a couple of other social observations, a part of me was resistant to relationships and legal commitment. I had my own reservations against relationships and no longer believed in the institution of marriage. Sahil, on the other hand, was an extremely focused person. He had a concrete plan ready for his life and a relationship was surely not on his radar for next 4 years, atleast.
So yes, I was emotionally devastated and Sahil was emotionally unavailable. No, cupid did not play its role but our human carnal desires did. Soon, by the time it was mid-June, we became extremely close in all aspects.
No, we were never into a relationship, but in my opinion, what we shared was so perfect that we didn't need a relationship. Infact, I found our bond to be much better than that of a relationship. Deep understanding, utmost honesty, satisfaction of carnal needs and above all, a space to be extremely frank without any hesitation....simply perfect!
Our bond also had a strong element of care, protection and belief. I being the slightly immature one among us, Sahil showered these wise elements on me whole-heartedly. He never tried to control or dominate me. Yes, at times he did guide me, advise me and when required, even stopped from taking some stupid decisions, but all that was his care and protection towards me, which I understood very well. With him, I was always free to do whatever I wanted but yes, he never approved of me going for dinner with his one particular friend Bhavesh. He had his own reasons for that which I had a slight idea of so I chose to oblige.
Also, we never consummated our bond. I never stopped him from anything but it was he who understood that I needed time. The second time we decided to get intimate, I had consented to consummate but inspite of being a guy, it was he who said, "Chanchal, you are not ready yet. You need time and I don’t want to hurt you in any way." So then onwards, we choose to be intimate without consummating our bond.
Sahil was someone who never gave up on me. Not even when he discovered of my past medical history that had a shadow of a severe bone disease, which was the real hurdle for me to consummate our bond without being uncomfortable. Any guy in his place would have chosen to give up on me, but he choose to believe in me, chose to give me time and kept motivating me constantly to exercise but I, the ultimate lazy bum, didn't do that.
The USP of our bond was our honesty to each other. We were not honest with each other because we hated lies, but because we gave each other the SPACE to be honest about anything and everything. We were just so comfortable being honest with each other!
I remember asking him, "Sahil, how will you react if someday I came up to you and said that I’ve intimate with someone else or I’m in a relationship with someone else?"
He Replied,
"We are not in a relationship, no commitment between us. So I would be fine with it. But yes, if you tell me later or if I get to know about it from someone else, then that would be bad."
Although that was all what we expected from each other, a couple of weeks later, Sahil requested me not be intimate with anyone except him - not that I was-but he still requested this as he know how bad a judge of men I was, how easily I trusted people and how easily people took advantage of me. I wasn't in a relationship with him but still I chose to honour his request because I was well aware of the concern behind it. On the other hand, I chose not to make any such request myself as I understand that I wasn't satisfying all his human needs.
In time, our bond just grew stronger. At times, we did contemplate to discontinue being intimate and accepted that thought gracefully, but the idea never worked and everytime we ended up back as we were . But no matter what, out bond, our friendship, our trust, our respect, our honesty and our understanding just grew stronger.
In April 2012, Sahil was transferred to Bangalore. I saw his status update regarding the same on April 1, 2012 at 8am. A shudder ran through my body, but I managed to remain calm and composed. At around 11, I gathered myself and wrote him a mesage that read:
"Hey congo......tu bangalore jaa raha hai? Nice place, I went there last December...pretty peaceful place...though lacks vibrancy...still a peaceful place to be...kab jaa rha hai?"
I was ofcourse happy for him. Being transferred to the IT Capital of the country was no doubt a great boost for his career, but yes, a part of me was upset for the fact that we would no longer be in the same city. I tried my best to make sure that this low mood of mine was not reflected in the message I sent him, but considering the understanding we shared, it was pointless.
It was a Sunday and Alisha, one of my four best friends - other three being Aaliya, Neha and Aayushi, had come to my place to study finance as our final year university exams were approaching soon.
Around noon, I received a reply from him on facebook. It read,

"I’m leaving Mumbai in an hour...it was awesome to meet you...keep in touch :)"

To read the second part of this story: "Its all about belonging-Part 2" Click here
To read the third and final part of this story: "Its all about belonging-Part 3" Click here

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Effects of domestic violence on children

Child Abuse and neglect cases are rising alarmingly and now it’s high time to give this cause its due attention. Crime against children cannot be curbed unless and until crime against women is taken along with it. Any crime against women in the household has a direct impact on her child. This post is a short summary of the long-lasting effects that a child goes through by witnessing Domestic Violence in his/her home

Generally, domestic violence is considered to be a crime merely against women, but in ground reality, it is a crime against children too! The existence of domestic violence in a household, when witnessed by the children in the house, arouses some of the following feelings in their tender heart:

1. Anger:
Anger at the abuser (mostly the father) for the violence, at the victim or themselves for not being able to stop the violence, and at the society for allowing it to happen. 
2. Fear/Terror: 
Fear that the mother or father will be seriously injured or killed, that they or their siblings will be hurt, that if others will find out, then their parents will be “in trouble” or that they will be removed from the family.
3. Powerless: 
Kids feel powerless because they are unable to keep the fights from happening or to stop them when they do occur, and because the community, including law enforcement does nothing to stop the abuse.
4. Loneliness:
Feeling unable or afraid to reach out to others, feeling “different” or feeling isolated.
5. Confusion:
Confusion about why it happens, about choosing sides, about what they should do, about what is “right” & “wrong”. Additionally, they are confused about how the abuser can sometimes be loving and caring and at other times be violent?
6. Shame: 
Shame about what is happening in their home.
7. Guilt:
Children in such houses feel guilty because they believe that they create fights and should be able to stop them. Moreover, children of fighting parents are made to believe that their abused parent is holding on to the marriage and taking all the abuse only for the future of the child. This in turn, makes the child feel more guilty.
8. Distrust: 
A feeling of distrust of adults, even teachers because their experience tells them that, adults are unpredictable, that they break promises and/or they do not mean well.

Each violent act a child witnesses harms or confuses the child. Over time, they lose the meaning of love and morality, which is such a disaster! This, along with the above mention feelings, harms the self-esteem of a child/teenager, frustrates them, and makes them more vulnerable to substance abuse, crime, negativity and behavioral & relationship problems when they grow up. This is form of Child abuse, psychological child abuse. Psychological child abuse is the most complex type of child abuse, but is unfortunately allotted the least awareness across the globe. Also, such children are more vulnerable to being sexually active and sexually exploited at an early age. It is important to reach out to these children and make them see "hope" in life. Because if all the negativity that they have faced is not taken care of, in long run it can lead to more harmful consequences as depicted in the circle above. It is, after all, a full cycle, all the negativity that they have in them, ultimately  creates nuisance in our society in the above depicted forms. Violence is carried from one generation to other and so is the submissiveness. Somewhere, we have to break this cycle. and the time is NOW.