Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Is my mirror me?

This is a further addition to the article I wrote titled 'My mirror is Me'. As I did realise later, while I was going through the blog, that the blame on media for lowering the self-esteem of todays woman might have been slightly extreme. And maybe they should not be held entirely responsible for it. Why? I thought you'd never ask.

O.k, what I guess I want to say is (or now point a finger to ) that the reason for the poor self love might be due to the society and family dynamics, to a larger extent, than media. I think, most of the women today are quite self confident to not let a scantily clad woman on a screen challenge the attractiveness of their proportions. How many of us ACTUALLY care to attract attention by wearing shorts, halters, etc ? Rather, we'd not WANT to attract attention (the sensible ones ) that way, cause it'd be from the wrong people. Before you start with that 'But' you have in your mind, I'd like to say its not that most of us don't like wearing nice, flattering clothes, but please get the distinction between liking to wear them and thinking it absolutely necessary as it is propounded through certain advertisements.

Also, if it were the case that media influenced the sensible thinking woman of today, you'd see hordes of women giving up education and chasing after fairer skin in order to materialize their dreams, as Fair and Lovely states it does. I quite admire the Fair and Lovely advertising campaign. On one side, they distinguish between women, people actually, courtesy introduction of Fair and Handsome (acckk, Mills and Boons fans! Rebel against this! Long live the tall, dark, and handsome hero!), on the basis of skin, yet on the other they showcase a pro-education and women empowerment attitude by sponsoring scholarships. Applause!!

And of course, you have the "K" serials which portray women to be cunning, devilish creatures who work silently, all the time having a weirdly raised eyebrow and painfully pursed lips, to make sure the entire family goes through havoc to prove a petty point. But, neither do most women dress like vamps portrayed in Hindi serials nor act like them (Hell, the slight amount of bitchiness that every woman possesses is just the result of possessing an extra X -chromosome). Most women laugh at these vixens and perceive them as weak characters.

As Femina once rightly put it (while displaying a highly voluptuous figure on its cover page), todays woman is a Woman of substance. ( I guess the well-endowed figure was used to emphasize 'substance'). And yes, women today are pretty much fashion savvy and age defying does have lot of importance. I guess, when you feel good from inside, you wanna look good on the outside too.

So, then where does self-hatred due to a not satisfying outer self appearance stem from? Society? Yes. Family. Definitely. Now when I think about the episode on Oprah, the young children who suffered from the "body beautiful" hype, were in fact emulating their mothers. The young girl who wouldn't leave her house without makeup did so, only because she saw her mother in front of the mirror everyday, with mascara and rouge, grooming herself before she stepped out. And the young child, who thought herself fat and cribbed, was just parroting her mother.

I guess what you realise is, the values that are inculcated by parents during childhood either make you or break you. Media and the "glamour" would have absolutely no adverse effect on a healthy, self-assured, confident personality. However, it does prey on an insecure, weak self perception, driving you to the edge and over into the valley of emotional distress, eating disorders and self abuse.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Change and some other shakes

There are certain times in your life, which are so powerful and sudden, that they'll leave you completely ripped of all your beliefs, convictions and aspirations. And so challenging are such times, that you feel as if you have lived the life of a complete idiot until now. It's like when you are 10 and believe that the tooth fairy does exist and wait eagerly for your first tooth to fall so you can get the extra buck. Or you actually are nice to the kid you hate most, because you are afraid that Santa is ACTUALLY watching from the North Pole and won't get you anything for Christmas.

Then, by the time you are 12, and have a whole set of new teeth, without any addition to your piggy bank, you realise the tooth fairy is cheap and that Santa can't see all the way from North Pole, because the guy who kept bullying you always got the better gifts for Christmas. (what you didn't know then was the fact that the guy was stinking rich, but that doesn't matter..it still proves the fact that Santa ain't watching).

Later, when you hit adolescence (the most eye-opening years) you start dreaming about the perfect guy, you know the one who is cute, has a great smile (dimples of course!), smart, yada yada yada and has eyes only for you, a guy who thinks you totally rock and though you have no intentions of meeting him immediately ( your parents would kill you) you are pretty sure that one day fate will do her magic and both of you will meet. And you're happy waiting. Till then, you keep yourself busy with girly gossip, PJ parties, school, extra curricular activities, doing well, keeping your rank amongst the first three in class (what an ego boost that is! ), and enjoying life, fancy free!

And then comes that time, the one that will again shake everything, the change. You meet people smarter than you, who can manage stuff better than you, rather who do it better than you. As the 'incompetent' feeling starts to seep in, you turn to your girlfriends for help, the ones who had promised to stick with you through thick and thin, only to realise that promises made at overnight parties and in slambooks are void. Being the damsel in distress, that smart, suave guy you were sure you'd meet has no plans of saving you, or if by chance you do run into him, you soon realise he is busy running around the trees with a much prettier( read dumb) female. And as you're trying to get over the betrayal of your so called true love, your parents start expressing their discontent over your new lifestyle, the pathetic state of your room ( and the fact that EVERYBODY has a messy room is not good enough an excuse ) , and your disregard for responsibility. Yeah, you pretty much lose it there.

And though all of us can relate to this feeling of utter frustration, the time when you do go through it is probably one of the loneliest times ever. Of course, what we don't realise is, that all these tumultuous ups and downs , act as a catalyst in the 'growing up' process. I still remember my first 'unrequited' crush. Looking back, I'm glad it remained unrequited ( I had pretty much a lousy taste in guys . Yeah,okaaayy, stop laughing now) It has improved now. I think. :P

But, as they claim ( I have no idea who 'they' refers to, lets just go by popular belief) , every struggle in nature results in evolution ( hell, I have no idea if that has ever been said, I just sorta came up with that one, so lemme explain with examples) so, going on, for example, a butterfly struggles out from the chrysalis, only to be set free. A child struggles to get on all four, only to later learn how to crawl and then walk. Each struggle in Nature results in the better adaptation of the individual to the surroundings.

Similarly, the mental struggles of an individual are not an unfortunate incident, but a necessary honing of the mental self to survive in a world full of treachery, wrath, revenge, deceit, betrayal, blasphemy and profanity. And all this just leads to a balanced, pragmatic attitude which I believe is an approach certainly more effective than an emotional one.

And once you go through those depressingly lonely times, the other smaller, nicer things in life give you double the happiness.A pat on the back, a smile from a cute stranger, an A+ on a test, a good game, acknowledgement, appreciation, recognition. Change, inevitable (except from a vending machine) supplies a different perception, of people, of circumstances, of opportunities, and of yourself. The scary part, and it freaks me out, is that only a few of us actually emerge stronger and better. The rest make headlines for suicides, murders, and acts of vandalism.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

All in a day

I'm again in one of those moods of mine. The mood in which I don't feel like doing anything though I'm not slightly tired. I think I'm not tired. I should be tired. Maybe I AM tired. After all, I have had only 4 hours of sleep and no lunch. Why did I put myself through such torture? Call it temporary insanity, which results due to stress, which results due to a very unnecessary thing called 'submissions' which unfortunately HAS to exist in a educational stream called as engineering. You'd think that long run-on sentence might have provided some kind of emotional release but unfortunately it has just succeeded in heightening the frustration, so you'll just have to deal with more rants. Tough luck.

So, why 4 hours of sleep in the first place? Because Microsoft produces lousy software. But I guess I don't need to stress on that. Sorry Bill, don't take it personally. It's just the lousy mood talking, and it will be till I understand 'software' better. Or it might just still be the same. Anyway, so yeah 4 hours of sleep and 8 hours of college out of which 5 are spent running around for printouts, index sheets, signatures, extra assignments and reading other notices put up to remind you, this is not the worst. And why no lunch? Because you can never leave the lab out of the fear the teacher may just walk in any minute, and just screw your life more if not seen. Of course, when you do try to approximate the time of the teachers arrival by nicely asking her/him (with your hands behind your back and pleasant relaxed face...mind condition not in agreement ...obviously) when they plan to arrive, it is ALWAYS the very next minute without it BEING the very next minute. So then obviously you wait and wait....and well.... lunch sorta just goes outta the picture.

And now that I'm in this mood, I'll question why I took up engineering in the first place. Hmmm..... so I will go ponder that. Till then, take care.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

First impressions, and then some...

First impressions. How many of us reaaalllly trust them? I know if I did, I'd be pretty miserable and lonely by now. And extremely manipulated. Notice, I said manipulaTED, and not manipulative. So, you can stop shaking your head in agreement now. Or rather, if you know me at all, shake it harder! :P

So, yeah, first impressions. Man, the experiences I have had with these! First of all, with Meghana. (I'm concluding on a nice note dear, don't look so petrified!). Simply put, I hated her initially. No....wait....I didn't care much. Then I hated her....right Megs?...or was it the other way around? Anyway, yeah, I never really liked her much. I guess I have managed to emphasize that properly. :D So going on with the story, we never really hit it off. I thought she was way stuck up. Correction. She is way stuck up. :P But somewhere down the line, I realised we were really similar. We both had same thoughts, thought way too less of others (heheh) and then, we were best friends! Quite the swing, eh? On what grounds I realised, is way too embarrassing to state now, so lets leave it at that. Any questions you have, WILL NOT be answered. Megs, please don't oblige.

Second pseudo impression? Hmmm....Veni. Definitely. Did NOT like her. I still don't know why. Quite a cute, harmless looking creature! Maybe thats why!! :P But honestly, being in PICT, with her, has been good. I survived! Thanks to her. This extremely paranoid person, who thinks everyone is out to get her, and if an asteroid ever hit Earth, it'd find her first, is very adorable. And for Gods sake, I'm not lying! Really!

Pseudo impression # 3. Ankur. I thought this dude was a big, friendly giant who missed his mommy most of the times. Wait a minute......the dude IS a big, friendly giant who does miss his mommy most of the times. :D ....but still is independent, I adore you dude! And stop grinning all that much. God!

There are many more people on the list. Smriti. Though that was not exactly a "bad" impression. I just did NOT know how to act around her. Both of us are quite different in methods of expression. But, all said and done, we get along quite well now. :)
Gayatri. What a story. From tattletaling to teachers, and now to hanging out whenever possible, it's been quite a roller coaster ride. And just as fun! Then Rahul, from the highly snobbish male to the extremely, genuinely helpful and dependable guy I now know him as.

For me, the ones I dislike initially, I gel well with later and vice versa. Hmm, gives a lil 'zing' to relationships, eh?

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Sometimes you like someone only because you like yourself when you are around them

Friday, August 11, 2006

The mind's eye

"It's your perception, dear. If you see red as pink, you'll never see love. If you see blue as gray, you'll never see the sky but only the dark clouds"

Sunday, July 30, 2006

TGIF??

Friday has been, by far, the most tumultuous day. Ever.
Such mixed emotions. Went to college sleepy. Got sleepier still throughout the course of the day.
What thrill unqualified professors seek from teaching, and getting 300 other disturbed, break-starved, over-stressed yet obedient students to attend, is still a mystery to me. And yes, I'm very nice to my kind. So there we sat, learning data transfer through modems and entities and relationships, while the relentless rain provided the perfect background score.

Lunch was good. Thanks to food.

Would have been better, if four long hours hadn't succeeded it. Takes the whole joy outta eating, believe you me.

Luckily, after learning more about preemptive job scheduling (I like the look on your face....) and avoidance of deadlock (ah, even better now), and admiring some wiseguys' insight on polygon clipping (marvelous..I wish I had a camera), the horrendously long day was almost ending. Two more hours. And I'd be home free.

Two hours went as fast as two hours could go.. Irony. Yes.With a capital I. Time was conspiring against me that day

So, finally, after learning a few Linux commands,( cat, it seems, is not just an animal but a very important tool to create new files. Now how many of you knew that? Anyway, lets keep cat to be the furry cute frisky thing. Makes living easier) I was out! Liberty, I love thy glory. Yeah so,... you get the point.

And then of course, the most entertaining part of my current educational life, is the means by which I get to the educational hub. My carpool. The 11-kilometer one way journey, full of laughter, case-taking, sarcasm, and loud music. However, that day, the traffic really bore on our nerves. Some drivers would be dead, if it weren't illegal to randomly shoot people on the road. And I was really tempted to give certain few a piece of my mind, but expressing opinions vociferously is just not something I have been brought up to do.

Finally, I do reach home. My humble abode. And then, I seek solace in my bed. And my fluffy, yellow blankie. And after 2 hours of deep sleep, its all good again. For a while atleast ;)

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Hurt. Anger. Revenge. Betrayal.

Love.Tranquility. Friendship. Trust.

Look around.

Banish.
Look within.

Nourish.
Writers block.

Today has been a crappy day.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Gone

It happened in less than a second.
It registered much later.
And yet she did not move.

Crunched metal. Shattered glass gleamed. Blood made abstract patterns on the asphalt.
And somewhere, she knew, was his body.

Her mind was numb. The entire accident played in her mind, a never ending movie. It did not make sense.

Her legs carried her over to the scene. Burnt rubber stung her nostrils. Nausea rose within her.
Her lungs burned. She couldn't breathe.
And then, she saw him. He lay mangled. His right leg bent at a terrifying angle beneath him. And his eyes were cold. Vacant. She shuddered.

The nausea threatened again.

She rode with him. Destination now changed. It reeked of sweat and old cushions. But the smell of blood filled the interior. She gaged.

It had been an hour. The blood had soaked her clothes, and yet he bled. It trickled down, from the gash, like water from a faulty faucet.

He had support now. Oxygen. She did not want to know whether he inhaled any or not. He had oxygen.

The monitor simply stared back at her. The line danced, and his heart beat. It was the only proof of his existence.

Silence. It engulfed her. But it had been anything but silent. She could still hear the scream. It had been laden with pain. She never liked bikes.

He was always the risk taker. He used to laugh at her timidness. He laughed loudly. He loved life. Yes, he very much did.

She recoiled at her minds use of past tense.
The monitor brought her back to attention. She stared. Could it be?

Irony.

It was a straight line now. It stretched to infinity.

Nausea threatened again. Tears stung.

No, she screamed. No, No, No!

They were sorry.

The curtain fell.

And there was no applause.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

My mirror is Me

"I'm fat"
"I'm just not beautiful"
"He'll never ask me out"
Sounds like the typical teenage angst. All of us can identify with it, on some level. We can understand that need to belong, to feel accepted and to be liked and loved by those around us. Sooner or later, we all find comfort in our own skin and the self-acceptance issue is dismissed as 'just a phase'. So I thought. And I was wrong.
Everybody has issues. I had mine. At one point of time, I looked at myself as if I were this horrible looking beast. But then, it passed. Other important things took its place and life moved on. I was lucky. I realise now.
Its a common belief that it is only teenage girls who suffer from such self perceptions. Its the puberty setting in. Suddenly you are aware of the opposite sex and you realise that guys don't have the 'cooties' you once thought they did, and the mud they once used to eat did do them good. You realise that eye makeup grabs attention and lipstick holds it. Then you grow wiser and realise that too much make up makes slutty and you are best being you. You realise 'boyfriends' are not 'trophies' to be won but a nice 'accessory' to your life. You are aware of the responsibilities you have towards yourself, your parents and your friends. Your dreams are now your goals and your ambitions are your life. You hold your head high, walk with confidence, serene and content with yourself. You look into the mirror. It reflects what you feel. My mirror is ME

For most girls, this is the normal transition from a 'naive doll to a woman'. And for some, its not quite that easy.

I had heard of girls abusing themselves to the extent of turning anorexic or bulimic. Ballerinas and models were the constant victims of these diseases. I had read stories of girls struggling with not so petite figures and the disgust they felt in a bathing suit. Stories of some having broken mirrors because they could not stand looking at themselves. I had relentlessly tried to talk my friends out of going on the "quick way to a slimmer you" diet. And while all this was depressing, I don't think the magnitude of the whole 'body beautiful' hype struck me until I saw a four year old CHILD dieting on peaches and plums because she was afraid she'll grow fat and hence ugly.

And if that weren't shocking enough, another even younger girl threw tantrums when her mother refused to let her use makeup. A cute 3 year old is using foundation, eye liner and lipstick to make herself feel pretty or refusing to get out of the house?!


Where is this stemming from? Can it be dismissed as one unnatural case? I don't think so. If it were just something I saw on T.V., I'd be inclined to do so. Unfortunately it's not. The amount of young girls going through mental depression due to lack of self esteem is disturbing. And the age bracket of such victims is not limited to teens but includes infants!
Why such self hatred? Suicidal urges? Desperate need to twist oneself in a pretzel? Blind in seeing, rather acknowledging the fact that you are good looking, talented and worthy? Security in hiding behind a bitchy, slutty or snobbish facade? Why Why Why? Why does plastic beauty gain a precedence over gods given gift? Why do pursed full lips have an edge over normal 'functional' lips? And why are silicon implants still a popularity given the risk they could pose in breast cancer detection?

Why is such an unrealistic ideal of the feminine form being propounded? Why is unblemished skin, a 36-24-36, and long legs being used to advertise a car, a commodity which is used by both the sexes? Why are most of these advertisements made through a male lens, though it targets women also? Leads to a male chauvinistic perception of women as sex symbols, doncha think?
If you happen to be one of those who finds the entire advertising aspirational, and appreciate the aesthetic attractiveness, then good for you. But what about those who suffer from disoriented social expectations?
Psychologists give detailed explanations. They prescribe medications and advice you to go to shrinks. But is solution really in the 'doctored' help?

Why can't we project in society, chuck society, within ourselves a healthy mental image over a Barbie doll image? It's said, that if Barbie's proportions were translated into a human figure, there would be no space for a stomach in a waist that tiny. And yet, every young girl is fascinated by a Barbie. Why do we allow it?Why do we have only one Sophie Dahl who defies the stick thin image and emerges to be a successful model?
Is the solution such a blur? Probably. But then again isn't the root of all this a mere lack of self respect? If parents took a keen interest in their children, wouldn't it instill self love? Healthy family dynamics have always resulted in strong, confident individuals. And, corny as it sounds, if we'd compliment those around us, even once, it'd help boost an ego. Notice people around and you and acknowledge them. Hasn't a smile lingered on your face slightly longer when someone has genuinely told you how great you look? And it's not about laying it on thick.When you sense some kind of distress, it doesn't cost much to ease it off by being nice. Feels nice too. Trust me.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

At 20

Twenty.
Two decades old.
The tens place of my age changed.

I felt that was reason enough to celebrate.

I expected to wake up feeling a sense of maturity, some amount of calm and I probably would have , if I had slept the night. But since I woke up with no such feelings, I decided to delve into other aspects of my personality to discover what was the 'twenty' in me. It's funny how many faults you discover about yourself when you seriously consider self evaluation. Which is why that was the first and last time I'm ever doing it.

But probably the more entertaining part of turning 20 was the reactions I got from everyone around me.

My parents emphasized the responsibilities I would now have to share in the house. But then again, I had heard that at 19, 18, 17, 16.... but somehow at 20 they thought it would get through. Hmm..no comments.

My relatives had a hard time accepting it. Actually, they just have a hard time believing I'm growing. It seems it easier to remember me as 4 year old than otherwise, because I always seem to elicit reactions like "My god! You are how old?", "You grew up soo fast!", "Last time I saw you, you were hardly 4!"

My friends taunted me on the fact that I was no more a teen. That wasn't enough however. It extended to include my single status and inability to like alcohol. And I have a feeling I'm going to be hearing that for quite a few years. Sometimes, I wish they'll just deem me useless and leave it at that. But then again, I had also wished I'd landed first on the moon.

All in all, it was a great day! Almost no one forgot. Well, a certain someone did. But I have given her enough heat, so I'll hold my peace now. Yes, maturity comes at 20. Lucky you.

Anyway, on a serious note, the 'going on 20' year did teach me a thing or two.

I have learned....

I'm my biggest strength. And my biggest critic.

Things can go very very wrong.

When things do go wrong, very few people stick by you. Yes, those people are crazy but they love you very much. English terms them as Family.

Certain things occur in an instant but have long lasting effects. You might not be the same again. But better.

Opinions will never cease to exist.

People will talk. They will advise. That does not mean they know you better than you do.

Best friends rock.

Purple does not have to be the new pink.

Sometimes, you just have to hang in there.

Your nose does stop growing at 20.

Smiling and laughing does wonders to your popularity.

You are worth it.

It is unfair. It does suck. But it is not forever.

It goes sleep, food and studies. Any other order gives you gases.

People who believe in you, will continue believing. Those who don't, don't matter.

Somethings are just not worth it. Leave it.

Some people also are just not worth it.

Mom's always right. And Dad does know the computer better.

Many will find you weird. And it might not be because of your nose.

Success changes definitions.

There are bigger things happening in this world.

Backs are not fond of high heels.

Guys are still just as stupid. Some are better looking.

Hypocrisy is common.

It's fine if it's not fatal.
It does not have to be personal.

Confidence sails.

Paranoia is not fun.

To breathe.