I’m A Staunch Feminist, And Here’s Why…

Because in my country, the birth of a boy is celebrated, but the birth of a girl is lamented by everybody.

Because my parents were advised by all our relatives, including my grandmother to have another baby in hope of a son because they had two daughters.

Because me and my sister were blessed to be raised by parents who were fiercely strong when it came to fighting gender biases for us.

Because the first time I realized the difference between a boy and a girl was in kindergarten when our PT teacher told me to go play hide seek because football was not a game played by girls.

Because I was lucky to be encouraged by my dad to enroll into tennis, taekwondo and skating when all the other girls were either going to dance classes or art and craft classes.

Because my parents raised us with no gender specific roles. We could doll up as much as we wanted or get filthy as we wrestled in the mud.

Because I was always taught to be on guard and be strong enough to take care of myself.

Because even if I’m wearing a salwar kameez and I’m covered from head to toe, men from all age groups will stare at me when I walk down the street.

Because I don’t feel safe walking on a road even in broad daylight without a Swiss knife or a paper cutter in my hand.

Because I actually have used that paper cutter in broad daylight on busy roads.

Because when I used to wear glasses, random people suggested that I use lenses or get a lasik surgery done so that it is easier for me to find a husband.

Because when I replied to those people that a man who would not marry me because of my glasses is not worth marrying anyways, I was told that with this attitude I would never find a husband.

Because at 24, the only aspect of my life that interests people is my marriage. My career or higher studies have no importance whatsoever because at this age marriage is what I should be thinking about.

Because people find it unbelievable that I don’t use make up and go to work every day with a blemished skin and frizzy hair.

Because it’s considered my duty to look flawless and beautiful every single second of the day.

Because I’m told by random people that I should talk softly and never answer back a guy because these are not the qualities a person wants in his wife.

Because girls in this country are taught that if a guy is eve teasing or harassing you, you should never answer him back or else his ego might get hurt and he might throw acid on you. Maybe even rape you.

Because, eve teasing, sexual harassment, pre marital sex, consensual sex, marital rape, domestic violence and rape are dirty words which are talked about in hushed voices.

Because in this country every man worships a goddess for strength, prosperity and knowledge. But the same men consider it acceptable to hit their wives or use cuss words which are derogatory for women.

Because ‘Tota’, “Item’, ‘Maal’, ‘Pataka’ are common words used for women in this society.

Because every second day you hear about girls as young as 12 are being dragged into prostitution.

Because in this age and time, being a woman is both a curse and a blessing.

Because this country needs to teach it’s sons that a woman does not want protection by a man. A woman wants respect and dignity so that never is a girl made to sit at home by her parents who fear for her security in this world.

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It Goes On

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I’m pretty sure everybody has one incident in their life, which shook them so bad that surviving beyond that point seemed impossible. That one point when life seems to come to a dead end and even breathing seems to be a task.

A bad break up with somebody you thought was your soul mate can be crushing. Or maybe a poor score in a test for which you had studied day and night. Or any other horrible incident that happened and it seemed like god was punishing you.

At that time it seems so hard to get over it; to find that inner strength to move on and turn a new page.

I myself have been through horrible phases in life. A couple of years back, I was walking to the metro station from work to attend a class. It was a super busy road due to an upcoming festival. I had earphones in my ears and I was walking down pretty much not bothering about anybody around me.

Everything was fine until the time I felt a hand trying to touch me indecently. It was sheer reflex on my part that I turned around and caught hold of this pervert’s collar and slapped him hard.

Seeing that people around had stopped and were looking at what was happening, he pretended to be innocent and became defensive, shouting at me saying what the hell did I think I was doing.

I swear to god every fiber in my body burned with rage. I slapped him again and screamed at him as loudly as I could. Looking me screaming like this, a few men who were standing at a nearby shop buying sweets came up and asked me if this guy was bothering me.

When I told them what happened, they caught hold of that man and boxed his ears so bad that I’m pretty sure he saw stars in that glaring daylight.

I’m not in favor of violence as such but if you personally ask me such perverts need to be kicked in the balls. Which is exactly what I did when a policeman came up and tried to calm everybody down.  I was so angry that I screamed at the policeman as well and he took that man in custody.

I literally blessed my starts that somebody came up and helped me. I have heard countless cases when nobody comes up to help a girl when she is in such a situation.

I thanked those men who came up and helped and believe me, for nearly a week I walked around with such suppressed fury in me that even sleeping became impossible.

Although I was unharmed, but the very thought that somebody can actually do something so disgusting in the middle of a busy street made me furious.

The shock took some time to wear away and at that time I actually thought that I would never be able to walk down a street without being touched by some pervert.

It took time, but, I finally got over the incident and was able to move on with life without any anger seething inside me.  (Though I still hope and pray that all such men who think that a woman’s body is like a public property which they can touch in any way at any time should burn in hell.)

Every such incident in your life will bring your life to a halt. I pray that no woman should ever go through any such harrowing experience. But I’v learned that time can be the best balm for any wound.

And life I’v seen will always move on. No matter how much you think that it is not possible to get on with it. Believe me when I say this. It is not always possible to get over something quickly, but give it some time. It will seem difficult but you need to find that strength inside you to fight every demon that haunts you.

Life can be a bitch sometimes, but it will move on, bringing to new experiences and many more happy opportunities.

Sorrow’s and Joy’s

Life has way of balancing everything. Like if you get too much sorrow, you are bound to get an equivalent amount to joy some day that would write off all the sadness you felt.

Just when you start thinking that everything is falling apart and nothing could get to through, life gives you a much needed little nudge that helps you get through the most terrible times of your life.

Recently I lost a very dear aunt. The whole family was shocked at the untimely loss and for nearly a week we could barely think of anything else.

My aunt was the live wire in our family. A happy go lucky person who was bound to make everybody around her smile because she had the most infectious laugh ever! A regular chatterbox, she was always full of energy.

I remember my mom telling me that when she met my dad’s family for the first time after her marriage, my aunt was in 9th grade. She says that the first thing she noticed was how this girl ran up and down the stairs all day to get things done for the reception that was to be held that night. And how she came up to my mom every 15 minutes and made sure she wasn’t bored or feeling out of place in a new family.

Years later my aunt had revealed that when she saw my mom, she realized how lonely the bride must be feeling in a new family. So she made it a point to make my mom feel welcomed.

I’m often compared to my aunt for being the most talkative person in my family. And frankly, I feel proud to be compared to the one person who was the funniest, most caring, and the strongest member of our family.

At the age of 21 she had against the consent of the family, eloped with the love of her life  , who today is my uncle and the father of her two beautiful children, . Together these two had built the foundation of a strong marriage and a healthy family.

I hope wherever she is, her soul finds peace. She is watching us from the heavens above and I know that she can see the piercing pain everybody is feeling.

My family had been trying to cope up with this huge loss, when life turned around and bought happy news to our homes.

A couple of weeks after this tragedy, my cousin announced her engagement. Being the eldest child of our generation, her’s is the first wedding in the family after a long time. This news acted like a balm to our hearts. It gave us something to rejoice and look forward to.

Today, as I write this post, I can’t stop smiling at the happy prospect of my sister’s wedding, even though I sorely miss my aunt.

Life came full circle for us. We said goodbye to a beloved daughter of the family, and are now, thanks to my sister, preparing to welcome a son.

#LikeAGirl

 

I was bored at home tonight so I was randomly going through YouTube when I found this video. I saw it and it struck me like a baseball bat on my face.

I mean it’s like everything I ever felt. This is the biggest reason why I turned out to be a tomboy. I always felt this really deep pain every time the guys said “Oh! You can’t play football. It’s not for girls. Go play house.”

And to prove them wrong, I always played with the boys. I dressed like them, talked like them, for a long time I sported a bob cut, and basically was a boy.

My parents never had any biases with me or my sister and we were encouraged to do anything we want. Obviously not anything, but yeah most of the stuff. They never said things like ‘You’r a girl so you should wear this dainty pink dress and sit prettily’. Rather whenever I told my dad that I wanted so and so thing from the boy’s section, he went with me and helped me find the correct size and a color that I liked.

This video is so correct! Why is being ‘like a girl’ used as an insult? Is it really that bad thing being a girl?

Weaker sex my foot. Being a girl gives me the option of wearing anything I want. I can dress like a girl as well as dress up like a boy. I can confidently walk into the boy’s section of any store and pick up anything that catches my fancy and wear it with elan.

How many boy’s can go to the girls section and pick up a sexy skirt and wear it?

Yes, boys are physically stronger. I’m not denying it. But to say that I’m weak just because I don’t have equivalent physical strength is absolutely baseless.

I’m not weak. I’m just not physically strong. Mess with me and I’l show you what weak is.

It took time but I’v accepted the fact that I don’t need to prove myself every time to every guy who thinks that I’m behaving ‘like a girl’.

When you say I’m behaving like a girl, it means I’m giving every thing I have to do the best I can.

And this video is a for every body who has at any point in his life thought that being a girl is being weak.

Yes I’m a girl, and I love behaving like one.

 

 

Things I learned In 2013

2013 passed away in a jiffy for me. Believe me, I was standing on the dance floor on the 31st wondering where the hell did these 365 days go!! It went away so fast that I could just remember the little highlights of the year that went away in the blink of the eye. 2013 was pretty much like aloo chaat for me. 

What is aloo chaat ?

I’m glad you asked.

It’s a North Indian street food of boiled and fried potatoes mixed with chutney and spices. So it’s sweet and spicy and sour at the same time.

And it’s exactly how this year felt to me. So many highs and an equal amount of lows. As I sit down to write this I feel so many emotions and thoughts going through my head.

So here’s what 2013 taught me.

1. You alone are your biggest support system. Not your family, not your friends, and not your better halves.You alone are the person who can understand what you are going through and be your biggest fan and critic. If you are clear about what you want, you are pretty much a winner.

2. It’s OK to fail and be miserable about it as long as it makes you even more determined to get what you want. Everyone fails once in his or her lifetime. And you are no exception. Learn to make your failures your biggest strength.

3. Sometimes you have to go against the entire world to get what you want. There would be times when nobody would stand by you and everything would seem lost. That is the time to be the strongest you’v ever been and stand against the entire world if it comes to that. If you prove yourself, the world will follow you.

4. Never let anyone dishearten you by discouraging you to do something you had set your heart on. Never give up before trying even if it means listening to lecture after lecture by people who have apparently more experience in life than you have.

5. The regret of not doing something would always be bigger than the hurt of failure. Before you give up on something, sit back and think whether you would regret not doing it when you are on your deathbed. Trying and failing is always better than not trying at all. Who know what destiny holds for you.

6. It’s OK to cry sometimes. Shut the door of your room, get under the covers and cry your heart out. It will cleanse your heart.

7. Not all you plans would be successful. Always have a contingency plan when it come to life, because life will always throw googly’s at you when you least expect them. A contingency plan will always help you get up when life will throw truckloads of shit on you. 

8. Being alone is healthy. There are times when you just need to be alone and spend time with yourself. Go to a coffee shop alone and read a nice book. The time you spend with yourself will be the detoxification you need to remain sane in this crazy world.

9. It’s OK if you have nothing planned ahead. Going with the flow is the sometimes the best thing that you can do. I have plans but I’m not forcing myself to follow them. I am happy to go wherever life takes me. 

10. There is no bad day which can not be turned over by good food. Throw away all your dieting rules and enjoy your food. There was a reason god gave us the three senses of sight, smell and taste. 

11. Everybody has bad phases. From ‘I don’t want to talk to anybody’ to ‘I want to run away from everything’ to ‘Vodka is my best friend’. We’v all been there done that. Never let these phases get onto you. It’s OK to have them sometimes but never let them become a part of your life.

12. Fate is what you do to your life. There is nothing that you can not do in life. The Indian Mythology clearly states that your ‘Karm” i.e. your work would always take you wherever you want to go. If you work hard towards achieving something, your fate would turn the tides in your favour. Believe in it. Never let your “stars” come in between you and your dreams.

13. Fall in love. Not necessarily with a person. It could be your job, your home, or even your dreams. If you fall in love with your dreams and passion, life would be 10 times better than what it is now. 

14. Dress smartly and feel good about yourself. If you are confident about yourself, the chances of you doing better in your work would increase dramatically.

15. Always consider yourself blessed. I repeat, ALWAYS. There are millions of people around the world who have not even 1% of what you have today. You may think that you have nothing but believe me, there are people who would exchange their lives with your’s in a heartbeat.

I end this post with a smile on my face. Life will have up’s and down’s but if you play your cards well, nothing can ever beat you.

Be happy and be blessed. I wish you all a smashing new year.

Lots of love,

Urshita

Being Hurt…

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There are day’s when all you want to do is lock yourself up in your room and cry your heart out. When you just want to run way from everything and curl yourself up in you bed and cry till the time that pain goes away.

When you don’t want to talk to anyone, not because nobody would listen to you, but because you don’t know how to explain to anyone what is hurting you.

Sometimes all you need, is you. So that you sit back, think and calm yourself down. And then, when you open those doors, you come out stronger than ever to stand up against anything and everything that is the reason for your pain.

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