Rules. We follow them all the time. Not only do they dominate our lives, they also hold a strange command over our relationships. Everything is expected to be done in a certain fashion and one is expected to find the beauty and joy of it in the process. Every culture, sect, religion, family, society etc have their own set of rules that are to be followed, lines that are to be drawn and mannerisms that have to be regulated now and then.

Enter TEMPTATION. Rules seem to be buried in closets, mannerisms seem to be absconding and lines seem to fade the moment this phenomenon enters anyone’s life, usually to alter it forever. One big issue with this word is that there is always a negative connotation attached to it, and why not, it got Adam and Eve to commit the original sin, and prepared a smooth path for lust and jealousy to enter the world (apparently it’s said that Adam was engulfed by lust and Eve by jealousy after having the fruit). The problem I believe is not the consequence, but the fact that it is not known to many. Temptation, of any kind, is attractive because it is glossy and yet challenging at the same time. It dares you to experiment, to take that leap into something that has/has been haunting you for so long and to enjoy it. From childhood we all are asked not to do certain things, but we are usually never told why. And it is this ‘why’ that stays with us, this ‘why’ is the temptation’s advocate in this case, because it does most part of the job. It raises this curiosity within our minds about the possible consequences and yet robs us off these assumptions as we can’t really point our finger on any one of these. To fall prey to a temptation of any kind was considered to be an immense sin, it was the ultimate proof of the weakness of the human nature, still is, and yet a lot has changed about our approach for this word. Now it seems like an experiment, a challenge that we wish to take up and survive, a carnal desire so strong that for that moment we are ready to let go and sacrifice a lot in our lives that we took so long to establish. the reason for this is what I mentioned before, not many know the serious consequences to most of the temptations. The gloss, the promise to provide pleasure, that supposed feeling of bliss is so attractive that we fail to notice that once we reach the top of the mountain, we are going to be pushed down, hard and long. 

I know many who are ready to take that fall, are ready to survive serious injuries, are ready to make amends later, but are not ready to give up on not doing that has been haunting them for so long. And I think that is the beauty of it. Although it exposes our weakness, our inability to control our minds, it also fills us with this strange courage, this unbeatable will that we usually never find in ourselves. Of course, later we are never always pushed from the mountain alone, with us fall a lot of relations, people, who hoped a lot from us and failed miserably and there is nothing in the world that can replace that guilt of hurting them. And yet I cannot imagine life without temptations, they test us, many times they get us to consider what we really want, and they fill us with the courage to go for it, to close our eyes and make that jump.

It’s Strange how sometimes the most accursed of things bring out the best in us!

When a name means nothing!

Shakespeare once asked “What’s in a name?”

A lot apparently. As humans we always have this need, want, habit (name anything under the sun) to name everything around us. I know as a kid I would name all my dolls. It just came naturally. Looking back in time, I now recall some of their names and the lack of my ability to at least give them a decent name, absolutely disgusts me. Anyways, the point is, there is not one thing in our world without a name. Every toy we ever touched, every teddy that we hugged in the nights, our books, likes, dislikes everything is labelled, Branded. As if the names weren’t enough we have ‘pet names’ to add to the list. Naming every person, every single thing, every relation is so deeply entrenched in our society that we don’t even notice it anymore or even wonder why it is necessary. For many people names are what we are, our identities, who will we become (this is basically taking the family name forward part of things). I distinctly remember one of our professors in college telling us that “your name is only a ‘label’ on you, it does not have the power to define you, but you surely have the power to define it!”  This will stay with me for the rest of my life I guess.

So what happens when we take away a name, or don’t choose to name anything? Discomfort I guess, is one possible answer. The other, a more serious one is losing legitimacy. Whether we agree or not, naming legitimizes almost all of our relationships and that is why it makes us uncomfortable to go on without a name. Because then, the security, the comfort, the promise that a name brings with itself is taken away from us and suddenly we are thrown in a pool of doubts. So we run away from it, don’t dare to take a chance and rather choose a relation with a name even if it comes with its own baggage of insecurities.

I chose it too, always have. Because a life lived in doubts is not life at all. Or at least that’s what I thought. But then now I choose to see it differently. It was one of those eureka moments when suddenly something starts making a lot of sense. In schools and colleges we have all made great friends am sure. But then there is always one within or outside the institution, who is just way too special. Where we know it’s definitely not a ‘relationship’ that we have with this person, but then ‘friend’ seems too small or too shallow a word to really sort of define what two people share. There is always this weird energy that those people share. Could be physical, intellectual or some telepathy but it’s there. I remember so many friends of mine saying so and so person is more than a friend but then they don’t know what to call it. Also I guess it’s simpler to define or name it when that person is of the same gender as yours. For girls it’s mostly “oh she’s a sister to me” and for guys the transition is easy to notice in the way they greet each other, from “What’s up man?” they move on to “What’s up brother?” The problem arises when that someone is from the opposite sex and we live most part of our lives by adding baseless adjectives to the noun “friend” like “best friend”, “close friend”, ” very close friend”, “4 am friend” blah blah. May be this hasn’t happened to all of us, so it isn’t going to make sense to those people. But to the ones who have been through it know exactly what I am talking about. I cringe today at the thought that I have been one of those people who has had the habit to name everything, that legitimacy was so important to me that I sacrificed the value of my relations at it’s altar, maybe that’s why many didn’t last. Because the moment I named a relation, any relation, I expected it to grow in the way others did with a similar name and when it didn’t I was hurt, broken, reactive. So today, I dare to say, so what if we can’t name everything? So what if we can’t find a name for every relation we have? Can we choose to think that the relation is so important and special that it has risen above every available word mentioned in the Oxford dictionary to define it, or do we still stick to naming it?

The choice as always is individual, but sometimes it speaks volumes about who we are. And as far as Mr. Shakespeare is concerned,

Nope, There’s nothing in a name.

Do we DARE?

The Delhi gang-rape case in India shocked the entire nation and humanity world over. How could anyone shove an iron rod into a woman’s body and not care was beyond human understanding. What happened after the rape was reported has shook the management of this country to the core. So we all yelled and demanded better safety for women in this country. Youth took to the streets in Delhi. Never had our country witnessed such an outrage in its youth since independence. So finally India is changing for the better, or so some feel. Women are demanding more police officers on the roads and the politicians are promising instant action.  Helplines have started for our safety in this country where women are seen as ‘laxmis’.

Alright then how about this? An analysis into our country shows that 60% of the rapes take place at homes or around it. Strange then that no one talks about these women. It gives me the jitters even to imagine that ‘the loving fathers’, ‘the faithful husbands’, ‘the fun cousins’, ‘the caring brother-in laws’, ‘the helping uncles in the neighbourhood’, “the protective boyfriends’ can actually rip apart a woman’s being and damage her for life. Why don’t we talk about these? Why are we expected to not notice or turn a blind eye every time our bodies are groped by uncles while hugging us, when a hand shake sends chills down our spine, when lecherous eyes follow us in family functions? Are we even ready to consider that may be our children’s bodies could be abused in schools and in our society building? Home is usually considered a haven for girls in most families. But what happens when the evil that you are trying to protect your women from, enters your house disguised as your friend? Do we do what needs to be done or do we let them treat our women as treats for them? If we do a head count we will find that at least one in five women will admit that she has been touched in the wrong way by her uncle/cousin/father/friend etc. What are the measures to stop this? Do we dare to take a stand against our sons/ sons-in law/ friends etc. or do we advise our women to greet them politely when the visit our homes? There are going to be no police officers to protect women inside their homes. This country doesn’t even consider marital rape as crime and most women in relationships choose to sleep with their boyfriends because they don’t want to hurt them. If a man really likes/loves his partner/girlfriend/wife, he will respect her decision and not force himself on her and if he does, then WALK OUT and find yourself someone better. We keep quiet about these things because of societal pressure. The need to feel accepted and respected is so vital for the human ego that we are ready to sacrifice the security of or families sometimes to achieve it.

Am I saying we need to put every man in our lives under the microscope? No, we don’t. But at the same time keeping quiet never helps, never has. When something is wrong, it is wrong. We need to stop making ourselves understand that we are misunderstanding the other person. Benefit of doubt can only be given once, not every time!

There have been cases of men getting raped too and again it doesn’t come out because society poses serious questions about his status as a man and about his character. It is usually difficult for people to digest that a woman too can rape a man, and men usually seen as protectors and providers could be victims. Yes they can, and they do.

Congress spokesperson Renuka Chaudhary said something about rape that has entrenched my thoughts for a long time now,

She said,” Rape like terrorism knows no religion, gender or caste.”

How the tables turned!

So I am finally back from what seemed like a long, self-imposed break. And like one does with breaks, I too did nothing productive except for getting myself hired at a couple of places as a professor. A teaching job is strange, suddenly it puts you in a position of power. A power that is loathed, envied or loved by students, depending on the situation of course. It’s a huge responsibility, one moment I am a student pretending to pay attention while I am busy messaging from my mobile that I managed to swoop under a bench and the next thing I know I am a professor watching one of my students doing the same. Although I don’t show it EVER, but my tendency has always been to laugh in situations like these. And I practically hear voices in my head, hilarious outbursts from friends, who are away and distant now, but were close and tangible then. Frankly they were the morons I was chatting with hiding my cell under the blessed bench, usually abusing them for not making it to class! And now suddenly I am expected to be the one who stops others from doing exactly the same thing. For telling them that it is ‘wrong’ and ‘insulting’ to do so and even going to the extent of confiscating the cell if the need be. How do I do that? How do I suddenly leave something that has made me what I am and defined me for 23 years, for something that was always the ‘other’ in the set up for me? Being a student had been something that I had got familiarized with, had taken for granted, had got used to. It always seemed never-ending, because it had gone on for too long and it had been beautiful even when it had sucked beyond words. I started working while I was studying and that’s why it never occurred, never struck me that maybe I am fast approaching the finishing line of a marathon that I now wish had never ended. I keep thinking how it would have been if a few more miles were added to that marathon. So many arguments were left unresolved, so many people went unnoticed and so many lives moved on. It’s all over now. The finishing line has been crossed, and the track is empty. The difference now is that suddenly I am the coach who trains the runners. I don’t get to know how is it to run, how is it to meet other people on the way and hold hands and jog when everything seems dizzy. I get to watch and recall my own journey. Many people working at X places say they miss being a student, they miss college, school and their canteen chai. For me I am in it and yet not a part of it directly, but until I get to be associated with it and relive my memories everyday, I am not complaining.


So, the other day, I was sitting and watching my little cousin play with his set of hotwheels. Yeah I have purposely italicized that one. There is something about guys and cars, what is so thrilling about a little car flying off high tracks and crashing on the floor, I fail to understand! But what is so cute in dressing up a plastic doll that looks so god awfully thin like it needs to be fed every moment is also difficult to comprehend. Been there, done that. But now when I think of it, I feel stupid. So while my cousin played making booming sounds to provide a perfect background for his “action-packed” game, I sat desperately trying to figure out what next could I blog about. Failing hopelessly, I turned towards him and tried to strike a conversation with a child who was least interested.

“So how was school?”


(Ok first question blown off, try again!)

“So who are your friends? What are they like?”

He gave me a long list of all his friends, which seemed to go on forever. When it got over did I realize that he hadn’t named a single girl in the list. Weird, I thought to myself and asked him if he spoke to the girls from his class. He promptly said,

“Of course I do, but they are not in my group.”

“Why not?”

 “They are girls. They don’t like what we like, and we hate what they like.”

Before I could digest this one he continued,

“….. It’s not like we don’t like them you know. But they don’t like anything we do. It’s not fun.”

Ohhkk. Do all kids talk this way? I don’t know but my hotwheels playing cartoon watching brother surely does. I was shocked and bumped off when he almost opened a window to a boy’s, actually a man’s mind to me apart from providing a topic to blog on. It was then that I realized that what he said actually made a lot of sense. Men have been under the microscope for too long (I read this line somewhere, and I believe it). We as women really keep an eye on their every move. The way they talk to us, the way they talk to other girls, the way they hug us and the way they hug their other girl friends (don’t miss the space between girl and friends, its important!). Places they take us for dinner at, the speed at which they reply to our sms, the number of times they call us in a day, everything, every little thing is checked. One mistake and we pour on them like hot lava. Every girl sees every unknown guy as a flirt (usually). We are technically judgemental about everything, the way they eat, stuff they like, stuff they hate, other girls (usually whom we see as b****es, who want to steal our guy) they talk to, how often do they talk, why do they talk? Everything is used as a reason to either take the friendship or relation forward or to end it. Yes I do know of instances where men have cheated, but women are not far behind as well. Men can be mean, nasty, sick, molesters, rapists, but so can women (ALL OF IT!!). Yes women go through a lot, we are still considered the “weaker sex” and some men really enjoy all of it, I get all of that. I am a feminist in a lot of ways. But I cease to be judgemental about men on the whole, on putting them through a series of tests until they are proved worthy; on pulling down a man or stepping over him to progress (I rather run faster and overtake him). I really have better things to do in life then to stick to my man like a leech and keep a track of everything that he does or does not do, only to find a reason to argue when he gets back home. It’s like what my mum advised me years back “If you cannot trust your man, there is no way you can entirely ever love your man.”  







CHANGE, the only constant thing in the world they say. We look around and everything is changing. Movies, politics, mobile phones, names, technology, syllabus, the hell people even change their genders now-a-days (technology surely has evolved!). We accept or at least adjust to all or most of these with open arms, seeing it as “growth” or a “necessity”. But what happens when people change? When relationships or equations change? Over a couple of years I have noticed that “change” is used as a blame game, as an ultimate shot by someone to make another person feel guilty and miserable about oneself, an attempt to load the other person with all the responsibility of bringing the relationship to where it has come (read END!). “Things have changed, YOU HAVE CHANGED! I have been subjected to this line so often, that now I have lost count. Initially I felt guilty, I hated myself, I thought I was a horrible person and I readily took all the responsibility on my shoulders for screwing up. I was made to feel like Judas or Peter who betrayed or denied the most important relationship of their lives. I lost sleep, appetite as well as respect for myself (to some extent). I made desperate attempts to make amends for what I did; I put my heart, my mind and even my blood in it until I realized that I was the only one trying, the only one caring, the only one making a fool of myself while the other person basked in the glory of it all. I paused and thought to myself of what really happened and I discovered that everyone evolves and changes all the time. Change is intrinsically attached to growth and cannot be separated. So then when I faced the rigmarole of the usual questions again, my mind reacted differently.

Person: “You have changed. You don’t care anymore.”

My mind: “Yup, I know. You see I am the only one who cared for so long so yeah dude I give up.”

Person: “You have new people in your life now you have changed.”

My mind: “So you like sit in a rat hole and don’t interact with other people? How does that change me?

Person: “Your priorities have changed.”

My mind: “Yuh huh because I cannot only dedicate myself to you. There are a lot of other things that matter to me. You are still on the priority list, doesn’t that count for something?”

While my head throbbed and sent warnings to my tongue again and again to say it out, I could not. I never have been able to, honestly. But I moved out, I left it there, hanging, not even trying to bring a closure. Perhaps I was wrong, but I don’t regret it. It is very easy to blame someone because we think they have changed, and let us take it for granted that they have; did we ever bother to question why it happened. It takes a lot of courage to change, to stand up and say I will not take it anymore. As my generation puts it, shit happens all the time, to everyone. Either we take it on and on because we care a lot, because we cannot hurt someone or simply because we are too scared to leave. Or sometimes we choose to think, to question, to realize and to take a stand. We do it because we start loving ourselves a little more, our lives a little more, our smiles a little more and our goals a little more, if that is change or selfishness; so be it! If you know you are not wrong, go ahead and do it. We all change for the good or the worst; it is how things are and have been. I surely know one thing for myself now, tomorrow if someone blames me that I have changed, I will turn around and reply, “The hell I have, haven’t you!”



I don’t really know why I chose this topic which may probably seem either too trivial or too complicated and large to be dealt with, as my first post. Probably because I have consistently found myself dealing with the problems that come with this word or have helped my friends deal with the same. I have studied how a word in a language evolves and gradually gains meaning and may be used in a different context altogether with time, as in relation to its present one. EXPECTATION, I realize, has gained Weight over the passage of time. It has grown in size and in magnitude to such a great extent that it has engulfed every possible relation within its reach. Not that in didn’t exist before, but I don’t think it was this powerful, this strong and definitely not this successful. I could be wrong, I hope am not (it feels good to believe that perhaps sometime a world did exist which was not overburdened by expectations!). There’s nothing wrong in expecting something out of ourselves and perform, it at least brings in a desire to be different from the others, if not better! The problem arises when we are subjected to somebody else’s expectations. Whether they are big or small, they automatically put us in a fix and instantly make us feel guilty, almost ashamed when we fail to match up to the expectations of others. “It’s a girl? Oh I expected I would have a boy”, “You are not well? I thought you would take me out for a movie today”, “80% that’s all? This is too less what am I going to tell my friends when they will ask me my son’s result?” “The ring is beautiful baby but I thought you would buy me the one with more diamonds on it” “You are working on Valentine’s Day? What about me? Us?” “You all (read friends) always steal my boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s precious time with me!” and the list goes on. From the micro level it slowly opens its paws and covers things at the macro level, involving issues regarding countries and the world at large. Developed countries are expected to decide while developing and under developed countries are expected to follow. Whether we realize or not, agree or not, but we are all caught up in this vicious circle of expecting, getting hurt, losing or ending relations and then expecting again. I am not saying the word is bad, but sadly, most of the times; its implication within most relationships is not comforting. We surely cannot escape from people’s expectations and neither can we fulfil all of them (it is not even required). But what is really required is perhaps some sensitivity to let someone be, to let a relationship grow into a tall, strong tree without the creepers of baseless expectations curling on it. Not expecting is not easy, it runs in our system, and it is not even entirely wrong, all we can perhaps begin to do is to consciously check if we are not suffocating anybody with it at the other end.