Posted in music, nostalgia

Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought

We look before and after,
And pine for what is not:
Our sincerest laughter
With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.
– Percy Bysshe Shelley

These lines from ‘To a Skylark’ are some of my favorites lines in English Literature. In very simple words the poet explains the complexity of the human mind: we are never truly happy but then again in moments of sadness we somehow find comfort…

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I came across the song Ekki múkk by the Icelandic rock band, Sigur Rós, while checking a YouTube video about Facebook Graph- a new feature on Facebook. Facebook Graph turned out to be quite unimpressive if you ask me but the background score made me sit through the whole video and I just knew I had to Shazam it.

On finding the song, I played it on repeat the whole day.

I don’t want to look up the lyrics. The tune makes me immensely nostalgic and brings about a strange sweet-sad-feeling and I don’t want to read anything that might change this perception. The vocals and the melody make this sad feeling beautiful. ” Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought”.

The video below is not the official video of the song but was adopted to tell a short story- which is equally beautiful. The video is so deep that it deserves a post of it’s own. Like one of the viewers commented, the video is dedicated  “To those we have carried, To those who have carried us, And to all those we have lost on the way.”

Here’s the link to listen to the song uninterrupted – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INWZy3-Vw80

The tune build up very slowly so be patient and keep listening… I hope you enjoy the music (and the emotions that follow) as much as I did.

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Posted in confusion, head and heart, love, movies

We accept the love we think we deserve

Sam: Why do I and everyone I love pick people who treat us like we’re nothing?
Charlie: We accept the love we think we deserve.

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How many times have you asked yourself, why do I always end up with the wrong guy? Every one of us, at some point or the other, has settled for someone. We reason out with ourselves, count the positive traits of the person, hope to change the annoying ones and most importantly, fear that we wont find anyone else. It probably is also the fear of being alone that makes us chose the wrong person. Sometimes, we think ” may be I have set my standards too high ,I should go out with this person and who knows, I might end up liking him/her”.

It doesn’t quite work that way, does it?

Initially we accept the differences and adjust but very soon we start cursing ourselves for taking the wrong decision and try hard to change the person we are with- to make him/her someone, we feel, will be a better match for us. In the start, to keep us happy, they always listen but soon they give up pretending to be someone they are not. (Which, I think, is only fair.)

All that’s left then are two unhappy people in a sad relationship. Sometimes, by the time we realize this, the person is so deep seated in our lives that breaking up becomes extremely difficult- not the process itself but because we think it would be a great deal of pain to break the routine of being with them and because of the thought that the next person we go out with might be even worse… Once a girl I know had said,” I want to break up but I don’t think I’m ready to find someone new and put all the effort to get into the comfort zone I’m in now with my current boyfriend.” I had flashed her my been-there-done-that smile…

Last night, when I heard the quote above in Perks of being a Wallflower, I released that is the answer to all our doubts and confusion. We accept the love we think we deserve. When we doubt our worth and what we deserve, it’s easy to end up with a person just because he/she is willing to be with us (in the fear that we might not be good enough for anyone else or we might not find anyone better in the near future). Definitely not the right reasons to be with someone…

That doesn’t mean we should go back to fantasizing about the “perfect” people from the chick-flicks (or about Christian Grey in 50 Shades of Grey!). Thanks to Disney and all the Romantic Comedies we start making images of the perfect man who’ll ‘come and sweep us off our feet’ from a very early age. Right from high school, we decide on our “type” and wait for someone like Landon Carter ( from A Walk to Remember)  to come and solve all our problems and give us “endless happiness”.  When we don’t see that happening, we panic and that’s when we start taking the wrong decisions. If you do find your prince charming in real life, you are probably one of the very few lucky people. For the rest of us, then starts the weighing of options, categorisation of ourselves into a “league” (so as to decide if the next person we meet is in or out of it) and realisation of the fact that perfect people exist only in fiction. It often becomes very difficult to understand if we are expecting too much or if we indeed deserve more. This is the part that we need to figure out ourselves. No one else, even parents and best friends, with our best interests in their hearts, will be able to help us with this. This is when we need to clear our heads of the fairy tales and think hard about ourselves and what kind of person would compliment our nature and make us happy.

So the first step to finding the right person for us is to know our own selves. Everything else should then fall in place.

(This article was published in For Any Woman (a digital magazine in the UK) in their July/August Issue. www.foranywoman.com)

Posted in Uncategorized

Don’t tell me how to dress, tell them not to rape

Quote-on-Rape

I would like to start the post with my deepest condolences to the family of the girl gang-raped in Delhi on the 16th of December, who breathed her last earlier today. Imagine how heart-wrenching it must have been for the parents to listen to their daughter’s account of how the six men brutally raped her for an hour and inserted an iron rod into her vagina. Imagine how hard it was for them to watch her suffer in pain on the hospital bed for 15 days till her body could take it no more. Twice amidst the medical procedures, she told her mum she wanted to live…

The whole nation weeps today at the loss of an innocent soul but it doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone that something like this has happened in India. In fact, we all know this is happening every single day in all the cities, towns and villages in India. This particular case found media exposure because of the location of the crime – Delhi.

Unless you can afford the luxury of having a chauffeur driving you around, I’m sure you have experienced the trauma of travel by public transport in India. Lewd comments, groping and molestation in crowded buses, trains and Metros (Underground) is not a new phenomenon. The women have been withstanding it for years now and had come up with a coping mechanism- silence – accepting that sexual harassment as an inevitable part of life.

The Delhi gang-rape case proved how wrong our strategy has been all these years. We should have nipped the evil, in the bud. We now realise how easy it is to fall prey to ruffians trying to satisfy their sexual perversions and not just by groping this time but by rape. We have come to realise that it’s about time we found our voices.

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I have myself lived in Kolkata (former Calcutta) for 3 years and I have first-hand experience of the indecent comments and groping that a girl faces when out on the road.

What makes it worse is the victim blaming by the society:

“You were out late in the night, no good girls do that. You were wearing too “modern” clothes, that tempts men,so you provoked them to touch/rape you. You were holding hands with your boyfriend, you must be up for more (and not just from him).”

reckless dresses versus random rapists
Image source: http://papodehomem.com.br/estupro/

It is very important to increase the severity of punishment for rapists, yes, maybe even death penalty. But it has to be made sure that the loopholes are also taken care of so that the law is not abused.

Educating people will go a long way to decrease the number of rapes. When I say education, I don’t mean degrees.  I mean educating little girls that they are okay to shout out and say ‘no’ when someone does something indecent to them, even if it’s just a lewd comment by a passing by an auto driver. Little boys should be allowed to mingle with girls and taught to respect them as equals, right from the childhood. Also, may be self-defence classes should be made compulsory for girls at school.

I realise for the poverty stricken millions, teaching kids to respect women is not much of a concern. The slum dwelling families just focus on getting their basic needs satisfied – hunger, lust, etc. and don’t really have the mindset or the time to teach values to their kids and this is where strict laws would help. People in their right mind won’t commit a murder because they know they will be given capital punishment and so it should be for rape. If you don’t love and respect, at least fear and respect. 

The 6 men involved in the Delhi gang-rape case are slum dwellers. Other such perverts in the slums probably don’t even know what’s going on and wouldn’t think twice before doing the same thing to some other girl -forget about having any idea of how much shame this incident has brought upon the nation. The Govt need to find a way to reach out to them. Billboards come to mind here. How about having the photos of the 6 rapists on billboards all over India with a description in the vernacular of why they have been arrested and what is in store for them?

The government have taken a good step by trying to involve the public in the decision-making process for the reforms in the law regarding rape. We can now suggest the preventive measures or punishment for rape via email : justice.verma@nic.in or through fax : 011-23092675. This is our chance to make a change. All the things we have been suggesting in our Facebook posts and tweets can now actually help shape the new law.

The people and the media should keep this flame alive – not only till this girl gets justice but also, till the necessary reforms have been made both in the society and the law.

was it rape

And once we feel a little safe on the roads and don’t live in the fear of being raped by a stranger on a dark street, we can start discussing marital rape: If she said no but you forced her to have sex with you, it IS rape, even though she’s your wife. 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

The Cross, Moseley

Hi, do you know where’s the Moseley B13  Magazine’s meeting’s going on in here? I think I’m late… have they left already? I worriedly checked my watch again.

Sorry, I am not aware of any such meeting.

A little surprised, I explained, “Well, we were supposed to meet here for 8 tonight. It’s my first meeting with the Editor of the magazine, John Northam..”

The bar tender smiled and said,” Well, that explains it. It’s only 7:15 now. The clocks went back last night”

Of course! Damn you day light saving. Unlike my smart phone, my dumb watch did not fix itself and twice every year I face embarrassment as I unmistakable reach early or late to places the next day.

With a sheepish smile I said, “That was daft of me!”

“No, that’s okay”, he said with a sympathetic smile.

Turning a little red, I asked for a glass of orange juice and settled in one corner waiting for the B13 team to come in, on time.

As I sat there on my own and looked around, I started admiring the décor. Curious photos adorned the walls and the ambience and the music made it a perfect place to hang out with friends, come for a first date, pop in for a quick bite, relax in a corner with a pint or to have a casual meeting with the editor of a magazine.

It was 7:45 now and I felt a little prang of hunger. Picking up the menu, I started browsing for a quick snack and after a tough battle, nachos won over the sticky toffee.  A huge bowl of nachos, with melted cheese on top, jalapeno peppers, salsa and sour cream soon arrived at my table. It sure is good value for money, I thought, thinking about the £3.34 I paid and the amount of nachos that now sat in front of me.

As I looked around I saw a lot of people relishing their burgers and with a little more research I realised that these beef burgers were the speciality of The Cross. People came for far and wide for a taste of these burgers. As I made a mental note to try it the next time, a man in a dark blue jumper walked towards me, “Is that Ko-ye-lia? Hi, this is John, Editor of Moseley B13”

 

 

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Posted in Uncategorized

Just another love poem

 
(Disclaimer- No, I’m not in love. This is not a lament of poetic love that could never bloom. This is, well, just a poem. 🙂 )

All those years when I wanted to say it
Something held me back.
The time was never right-
and then I thought of all the things I lack.

You were always too good for me,
Way out of my league.
You can do much better than me-
I made myself believe.

I feared you would tell me you are sorry,
If I vented my feelings for you.
So I made myself believe that it was just an infatuation-
noting real, nothing true.

I thought time will heal me,
I only have to try.
I thought I can bury my feelings,
And so, I to myself told a thousand lies.

I cried to sleep
I sobbed and weeped
And buried my feelings in the deep, dark core
I thought I was over you-
and would long for you no more.

And then, out of the blue, one fine day,
You stood in front of me-
Smiling just the same way.
And those long lost feelings gushed back to me-
much like a flood tide in the sea.

Destiny sits and gloats
And watches the drama unfurl
Just when you think your life has taken a turn-
You are back to square one.

Posted in harry potter

Professor Dumbledore

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There was a time when I was crazy about Harry Potter- I’m using the term “crazy” for the want of a more intense word. The craze was so much that I had a Harry Potter Fan’s Club at school. My favourite character in the series was Prof Dumbledore. I was always fascinated by the fact that he knew things. He knew exactly what was about to happen. Well, I knew that it was Rowling’s way of giving us extra information but none the less I was always at awe of him.

I am listing below a few of his quotes that I had underlined while reading the books. These are no doubt some of the best lines out of Rowling’s pen.
* “After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”
* “What we need,” said Dumbledore slowly, and his light blue eyes moved from Harry to Hermione, “is more time.”
* “Call him Voldemort, Harry. Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.”
* “The truth is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.”
* “Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn’t realize that love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign … to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever. It was agony to touch a person marked by something so good.”
* “It is our choices Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”