A Monster Named Insecurity


Today morning, when I woke up I wasn’t feeling my best. In fact, the feeling was mostly because of some dreams I had. Lately I keep having dreams where am either in an embarrassing situation or meeting people from the past who I have no inclination to see.

Everyone feels insecure. Everyone. I am sure you too have felt it sometime or the other. The thing about insecurity is that it comes unexpectedly. We maybe having a really good time and Bam! it comes smiling in your head for no reason.

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I keep asking my ‘inner voice’ why are you torturing me by reminding me of the things I rather forget. And pat comes the reply – “you conjured me up and you need to deal with it yourself first, I am just a reflection”. Well screw you Mr.Insecurity. I don’t need you to remind me further I need to deal with my own baggage first let alone hover above me, taunting me.

But then think about it. It is the truth. We often feel insecure because we have some unwanted emotions still lingering in us. Some experiences leave a mark on us – for better and sometimes for the worst.

When I was younger, I was blissfully unaware of my insecurity. How I would love to still be in that frame of mind. But past your twenties, it keeps gnawing on you, chipping away whatever confidence you have. It just keeps coming back now and then to haunt you. Like a poltergeist.

I just want to tell others out there, that it is all right to feel insecure once in a while. It’s what keeps us resilient. Keeps us humble.

There is no doubt about the fact that it is our early experiences in life that forms this insecurity. It’s what the voice keeps nagging us with. If only there was a mute button cause honestly I don’t give a f**k about those experiences today. Still it would be nice if we could have dealt with it more confidently uh?

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So what can we do to make ourselves feel better when we are under the attack of insecurity monsters?

  • Smile. Yes. One of the effective ways is to smile and pretend you are happy no matter what. It’s like the Dementors in the potter series. Think of a happy memory and tell yourself everything is alright. Soon you will begin to feel it. Try it.

 

  • Meditate – I cannot emphasise on this enough. This is a way to let your thoughts be free. Give them a free reign for a few minutes so they can stop controlling you. Listen to your thoughts and don’t judge them. Let them flow. Take in deep breaths for around fifteen minutes.

 

  • Forgive and Accept – The past is the past. It can no longer do anymore damage than it has. So keep it there and stop dragging it around. Forgive everything that caused you to feel like you do now and tell yourself that you are good enough. Who cares about what others think of you? They maybe going through the exact thing as you are and is probably putting you down to make themselves feel better. But you are smarter than that, right? So accept yourself as you are and let go of everything else. Life is short enough and we don’t need others to make us feel miserable.

 

I feel so much better just by sharing this with you. Of course this is another way to deal with such emotions but maybe not for everyone? As long as we know what we are capable of and are okay with it, screw the rest of the world. What matters is our happiness, and that’s what we need to focus on.

What are your thoughts on it?

 

Big Little Lies – First Impression

I have to admit here, I am a huge admirer of Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. Yet when I first saw the trailer, I was not impressed. I felt like it was a series customised to suit their respective not-so-important careers in their late age. I admit that sounds so sexist. Of course, I love them both and I still watch their movies but It felt like an attempt to remain relevant.

Anyhoo, then I began hearing rave reviews and even watched one of Nicole’s interview on Ellen where as usual she praised her guests. I finally decided to check out what the deal was. Turns out it was a series based on a book titled – you guessed it right – Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty.

So I finally began watching it and am just on episode 3. So far am mighty impressed. I will follow up with a full review of the series once am done watching. But I loved their characters and it doesn’t reek of any need to gain attention.

I have decided to read the book and recommend it as the book of the week. We have a good weekend coming up and what more do you need but a good book to cozy up with?

Coming back to the series, it invokes the emotions any woman might be going through. Myself included. I guess thats why it strikes a chord among us women. It’s not just the main characters that make a mark but even the side characters too. Everyone feels alive in the series – know what I mean? Like you have seen them before? and don’t even get me started on the atmosphere – its a character on its own.

I highly recommend anyone who haven’t watched the series to catch up and share your views here. Enjoy!

 

How Social Media effect Us and Women in Particular


 

Here is a confession; I dislike Social media. Don’t get me wrong, I have used and have been an active user of all the popular social media out there today. I still love to Instagram and read tweets but I always end up wondering what the hell am I doing this for?

Why do we make these posts? what purpose does this serve other than making us feel good about ourselves? Does it matter in the long term? After using Facebook for about an year, I deactivated my account. I was sharing far too much information than necessary and in those days people were still getting a hang out of it.

It was basically an invasion of my privacy by myself. Is that even possible? I see others constantly posting new pictures, a husband wishing his wife or a mother wishing her kids online. I mean what the hell?

Your kids may not even know what you have said if they are below a certain age and why is it so important to share each and everything on social media?

Are we compelled to do so? by peer pressure? My neighbour is doing it and so should I? I get the entertainment value of sharing. Happiness doubles when you share, I get that.

There is some chemical that is released in us when we feel a rush of happiness as the number of ‘likes’ increase. It is almost like a replacement for the real world love. Don’t we feel the same when we share in real life instead of a virtual one? Are we really creating an ideal world online which is not possible to maintain offline?

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Courtesy: BusinessInsider

I still prefer blogging to these so called platforms where people just say one sentence, their “Statement” and that is it. Go figure. Today Social Media has provided us a platform to present our views in just 140 characters – that is all and well but is it possible to actually take them all seriously? Do they give it some thought before voicing their opinion which one can do while blogging?

I have read that using Social media is akin to taking drugs because it has the same effect. Once you get hooked it takes a lot to remove it from your system. Believe me I do feel the urge now and then to open my Facebook account and go ballistic but I remind myself the after effects and back off.

One other thing I keep reminding myself is how Mark Zuckerberg became a billionaire by starting a platform that is of no use to people. I mean why can’t we individually provide something else to the world which is far more meaningful? or should we just use Facebook like zombies? Like we are in some ‘programme’?

Keeping in touch with your friends is one of the biggest reason people use Facebook or to share important news, to stay updated – are we really doing that? We love to increase our friends but how many are actually in touch with these number of friends?

In fact we are always talking to around fifteen to twenty people in our daily life –  they are the ones that matter. Imagine using Facebook or twitter to communicate with the very people in your house. Hilarious uh?

I have noticed whenever something controversial happens or a tragedy people condemn it on Facebook – like really? thats all you can do? The excuse is always that we are at least voicing our opinion, making a difference. But is that truly enough? it sounds almost shallow.  You might say the same about blogging, but that’s exactly my point.

 

Few months back, there was a news about a girl who was masturbated onto by a man in a stadium. I checked her Facebook profile where she had posted the same. Almost all men had branded her a liar. Some women too. That she did it for the attention.

Maybe she did. But does that make plights of such women any less? If you can’t differentiate between what’s right and wrong then do you really have the authority to make a decision? Something similar had happened in a railway station too, this time with ‘proof’ in the form of a video.

One of the biggest drawbacks in social media is that it allows men to attack women without any consequences unless you threaten them with something lethal or post something obscene.

Women are constantly bombarded with friend requests, messages or other requests for many unwanted needs. I have heard of horror stories of women who use the social app Tinder. How they receive hate messages because they rejected someone. I mean why?

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I do feel for the men. They too are playing a part that society has envisioned for them. It’s equally hard for them to fit into a mould. But if these men don’t speak up then who will? Today if we women are making our voices heard despite the backlash is because any animal who has been corned will try to fight back one last time.

It isn’t natural that we have to fight for something that is normal. We are all responsible for ourselves, what we need and what we do. All we need to do is try. Don’t let anybody decide for you. In the end this life is yours and you alone can live it. Do what makes you happy.

Women need to use Social media to make a better world for ourselves. To encourage each other and to pull each other up. We can’t depend on men to do it for us, if they had bothered then our plight would have reduced long time ago. The problem is with the ‘good’ men who do nothing to make a difference. It includes the men we know in our lives.

Hence, it is better to focus on what we want and to develop it in a positive manner. The concept of ‘HeforShe’ is an excellent start but many men feel it is an attempt to marginalise them. The real attempt should be He&She for Us.

One thing that’s for sure though when it comes to social media and women’s rights is that every single one of us can get involved. Lets use Social Media for the right reasons and not just to show off.

 

Lipstick Under My Burkha


 

Last night as I was browsing through YouTube, I came across a new trailer of L.U.M.B. I had already seen a previous version few months back and even though I found the story interesting it didn’t really pique my interest.

Nevertheless I was aware of how the movie was getting noticed especially in the film festivals including the news that it may even be the opening movie for the Golden Globes.

The famous “Censor Board” which is the CBFC, whose sole job is to give certification for a movie, also masquerades as the moral brigade in our country for movies. The Central Board’s Film Certifications head, Mr. Pahlaj Nihalani is quiet famous for how he wants to keep the audience away from so called filth in the movies. Clearly it speaks of his own mindset rather than the whole country’s.

He is famously known for cutting a kissing scene in the last Bond movie. And recently for objecting to the word ‘intercourse’ in Srk’s upcoming movie – ‘Jab Harry met Sally’. It is obvious he has a fixed mindset.

Though I find no credibility in his views, including that of preserving Indian Values, the reason am writing this post is for an entirely different reason. The YouTube Comment sections are well known for its own trolls and views.

Check these out:

Majority of the male comments reflect what they think about feminism. Since when did short skirts, smoking, having sex have anything to do with ‘Women Empowerment’. It made me question whether majority of Indians – specially male – as to why they have such distorted versions of feminism.

When I saw the first trailer, yes I thought it was bold and frank but it is what reality is. And the new trailer clearly pokes those questions right in your face.

To make it clear, women empowerment doesn’t mean short skirts, smoking, kissing, having sex on screen or using cuss words and such other myriad views. It is the ability of the women to be themselves just as they are and to be accepted for it nevertheless. Just like men are.

I don’t agree with smoking, drinking, dress choices are based on one’s own sense of fashion and comfort and we watch sex scenes in western movies all the time so what is not ‘sanskaari’ about the same thing here?

Do we not have sex in this country? Is that why we have the second highest population in the world? And what is so wrong in it? it is a natural human thing. what’s so shameful in showing it? These very people have no problem in watching porn in their private life but how can you question it when it is shown on-screen and is performed by Indian women? Do they have no needs and desires?

I loved one of the dialogues shown in this trailer –

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I truly don’t understand what’s so scary about female sexuality. Why can’t you accept that we too have the freedom to express it. We are not just the roles society has forced upon us that of mother, daughter, sister or wife. We can be more than that and we are.

We are so much more than just what’s expected of us. We multitask like there is no tomorrow. Unlike men who are only expected to provide and protect the family, we women are the one’s who are glue to the entire society. Without us, there is no society. Our roles are hence so much more important if not equally.

It is not rocket science. It is not Math. It is a simple social need to be acknowledged. Are men scared of women? If that is the reason you try to repress us then there is no need to fear us. If you laughed at the first question it means men are not scared of women then why the hell do you care what women do with their lives. what’s the need to control it?

Since I haven’t seen the movie I cannot comment on how the movie contributes to the growth of feminism. But for the sake of freedom of expression & creativity and the freedom for women to be portrayed as they are, it is important such dialogues are maintained.

UPDATE: check out: Interview with Anupama Chopra

What are your thoughts on it? Do share!

 

Celebrating 20 years of Hermione Granger

 

The other day I was reminded of the fact that potter fans were celebrating twenty years of publishing Harry Potter series. When I started reading the books, I was a mere teenager.

I still had no concept of male/female differences but I knew girls were not usually looked upon as bright creatures but rather things to be looked at for their beauty. Been an only child I have never faced discrimination of any kind for my gender nor have I allowed it to subconsciously effect me to an extent.

Of course, I have seen my cousins, friends all go through them. It is always subtle, but sometimes very obvious. In school we are always told to wear our pinafore as low as possible. The Shawl has to cover all the right places. Talking to boys is a strict no-no or looked down upon even though it is a Co-ed institution.

It is always surprising to see how kids can be seen as a sexual being at an age where we are just discovering our own understanding of it. It was in those days that one of my best friends at the time recommended this book to me.

I have always loved reading. I loved escaping into another make believe world and grew up watching Dungeons and Dragons cartoons. The world of magic was always a special place. Despite having no clue what the book was about, I began reading it.

Once I began reading, there was no stopping it. I had to finish the book – know what this young wizard was going through till the end. No other book had captivated me so much as the potter series had till then.

I have always seen myself in Harry. Yes. Unsure of himself, lost, humble, always between two best friends and many such similarities. It wasn’t until Prisoner of Azkaban that I realised what a great character Hermione Granger is.

To be honest, I have never found myself in Hermione. She was snooty, nerdy, miss goody- two shoes and always right! I found her to be a spoilsport in the beginning. And even though she is still all that, the refreshing part about her character was that she was unapologetic about who she is.

She never made excuses for herself and at such an young age knew what she wanted while all I knew at that age was how to quickly finish my homework and watch something on TV.

Imagine the kind of inspiration she is for women who even in their twenties need to be sorry for being true to themselves. She constantly kept pushing her selves and putting her opinions out there without any fear of  judgement. She was who she was – take it or leave it.

Between the two boys – Harry and Ron, she was the only sensible character. Harry had his own demons to fight and Ron, well he was the perfect class clown. They both depended on her. 

Her constant fight for the elves Rights was endearing. She was passionate about everything she fought for. She was that friend who would do anything to help you – without fear or favour.

For young Indian girls, she was heaven sent. Her loyalty, independence, unapologetically witty sense of humour, never shying away from who she is and always putting herself out there with confidence. She was the ultimate wonder woman of her age.

It would be wrong to not mention other female characters in the Potterverse. Namely, Ginny Weasley and Luna Lovegood. They both had their individuality thanks to Rowling who etched their characters to such details.  While one was fiercely independent, the other was slightly leaning on the odd side – but both of them had no qualms to show their true selves and neither did they let others judgement change themselves.

Today, twenty years later they are still an inspiration. Particularly Emma Watson who played the character in the potter movies grew up to be an ideal version of Hermione Granger herself. A strong headed woman who is helping the cause of feminism move forward.

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She has opened up a dialogue for todays women to engage in and is an ideal role model for young girls, something I never had at that age. It is amazing how books can give you confidence and strength and Joanne Rowling gifted the world, particularly the girls the perfect role model in Hermione Granger.

 

What about you? How has Hermione Granger effected you? Share your experience here!

The Indian Woman

Hi there.

Every time I begin to write a new post, am always in wonder what I should write. The first post matters a lot. It is what gives insight to the reader what they can gain from reading this blog.

This is not my first attempt at blogging. If fact, I manage another blog on WordPress titled ‘everydaytarotblog’ which is just a journal of my tarot and other divination hobbies. I enjoy chronicling my thoughts on them. Do check it out.

The purpose of this new blog is to expand my views which were pretty much limited in my previous blog. I believe just like any other blogger, my views too should be counted, matter.

As an Indian woman, yes I have my own thoughts and views that I like to share but in a positive manner. The new wave of feminism has touched us all. Thanks to people like Emma Watson, Priyanka Chopra, Sheryl Sandberg, Arundhati Bhattacharya, Puja Thakur, other eminent political figures, and many such women who have contributed to the growth of strong females role models.

My blog is an attempt to celebrate all things women and hence write about topics that is dear to me and which can help other women to put themselves out there and not be afraid to show who they are.

Am also creating a book club where anyone can share their experiences on how it helped them change, or made them stronger. In this day and age, we women really have to pull each other up rather than pulling each other down so we can covet for that small space conventional society has placed upon us.

This is an attempt to say that it is alright if you don’t know the answers but to find them together and make the world a better place for not just women but men who have been shouldering the responsibility for way too long and are equally mistreated to conform to a society’s standard.

The Indian woman is a complex creature; she is fierce yet vulnerable, strong yet emotional, Supportive yet held back. We have the inherent ability to lead and nurture and yet we are made to feel our role is limited only to our biological functions and nothing more.

The contrast in our position is truly a mystery. We have reached heights of success yet only in minuscule numbers. We have a long way to go and we will accomplish our goal together.