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Life Is One Wodehouse Story

with ups and downs and all…

Nancy and Plum 🏡

I realized something today as I finished reading Betty MacDonald’s Nancy and Plum, a book I chose to read over Marcel Proust’s ‘Days of Reading’, Paulo Coelho’s Aleph, Margaret George’s ‘Helen of Troy’, Perumal Murugan’s ‘Poonachi’ and Wodehouse’s ‘Piccadilly Jim’, all wonderful books I’ve had on my TBR pile for months but could never really find the time to read. I realized that while I was reading Nancy and Plum, I was home. That I could read all the books from all the genres but still come back to children’s books when going through a rough patch in life. It’s like you know when you want to travel the world and you do, you go places, you have a splendid time, you learn a lot through your travels and yet there comes a point where you are tired and you want to go home. You miss home. You miss your family. You miss your bed. You miss your evening tea. So let’s just say, reading Nancy and plum felt like I was Bilbo Baggins coming back to Bag End after his long audacious journey with the dwarves.

I was home after a long, long time.

There is something about difficult times that sends me scurrying back towards the comfort of Children’s books. The memory of Sara Crewe alone in her attic, from Burnett’s ‘A little Princess’ can get me through the darkest of nights. Then there’s David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, Mary Lennox, Liesel Meminger, Anne Shirley and so many more, all of whom, at some point or the other have helped me get through the bad days of my life.

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One might wonder why Children’s books?

After all there are a lot of inspiring books meant for adults out there and God knows there’s no dearth of self-help books in the market. So why children’s books?

Honestly, I don’t know. Except that I love going back to being a twelve year old who is full of hope and life in spite of life’s troubles. I still am full of hope and life, I know every reader is. But we all have Jonah days and sometimes you really have to look hard to spot that one silver lining. So every time I read a children’s book, I know it in my heart that sooner or later everything will be alright and that I am going to be okay in spite of my trials.

There is something about children fighting their way to good times in these novels that inspires me to go on too. As adults, it is expected from us to face challenges head on, but for kids in these books… it is way more difficult and yet they do it with such grace and beauty that most adults in their place would fail to. Their ability to trust life, to dream bigger and to love life regardless of the circumstances they are in is worthy of admiration, isn’t it?

And you know, you cannot read a children’s book and still despair. It goes against the entire essence of the ritual of reading a children’s book. To despair is to turn your back on every children’s book you have ever read and who wants to do that? Not me.

Not me!

God!

You know a few years ago, a dear friend and I were having a conversation about books and she told me she was reading ‘Crime and Punishment’ and I said, ‘but you were reading the same book the last time we talked. What’s taking so long?’ (note : I had never read Dostoevsky in my entire life so I had no idea) and she said I wouldn’t know since I read a lot of children’s literature.

I was offended. Mortified even.

Of course she was pulling my leg but it hurt nonetheless. Firstly because I read a lot lot lot of stuff other than kids’ books. And secondly because I felt like I was being looked down upon because I was 21 and I still read kids’ books.

Today I am 25 and I still read kids’ books everytime I have to look hard to find that one silver lining in the sky. The only difference is today I don’t really care if somebody’s going to judge me for the books I read. Because honestly, I’d be 50 someday and I’d still come reread Roald Dahl at the end of the day, because for me, as I said earlier, it is like coming home. And who doesn’t like the comfort of home? ☺️

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Daydream 🎤

To everyone who has read Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Alchemist’, remember there’s a very beautiful quote in the book that goes something like.. ‘When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.’ Of course in life, not everything you want, you get. But sometimes some dreams do come true, and unexpectedly so too. Today’s blog is about one such fangirl dream of mine that recently came true.

So last year I came across this song on T.V. called ‘Suit Suit’ (from the movie ‘Hindi Medium’) and you know how sometimes you listen to a song once and the moment it ends your immediate thought is to listen to it once more. And this doesn’t happen everyday, especially for someone who’s as finicky as me. Nonetheless, I found out the song was a remake of a Punjabi song (by the same name) by singer Guru Randhawa, of whom, sadly I’d never heard of until suit suit happened. I googled him and found other songs by him which were equally good. The best being ‘Yaar Mod do’ which is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve heard on friendship. ❤

I remember in the following months, study breaks for me was watching Guru Randhawa’s live concert videos on youtube. Listening to his songs when working out in the gym, when traveling, when bored, when happy, when sad. So may be what I am trying to say is, I was a fangirl. I still am. A proud one that too. So you know every single time Guru would upload his concert videos on youtube, I wished I was attending one and since my schedule wouldn’t allow it, I’d always promise myself that I would attend one when I was done with my exams in June. Also during this time I had to leave Pune, my hometown and move to another place with my parents as my father got posted to a new city nearby. So chances of attending his concert were next to zero. So I kept telling myself, after the exams girl, after the exams.

And then one day, the kind of day where no matter what you do things keep going downhill and you are feeling particularly low, I get a call from my father who says.. There’s a concert in town..by some Punjabi singer.. Guru something. All I could say was ‘Guru Randhawa? Are you kidding me? Don’t do this to me, it’s been a rough day already.’ BTW, he wasn’t kidding and he had called to ask if I’d find the time to go? Time to go? God! I’ve been dreaming of this day for the past ten long months. Of course I’d like.. No I’d love to go.

So the next day, just an hour before the concert.. I get this insane idea. Now people who have been following Life’s One Wodehouse Story would know how obsessed I am with the written word. For words said are lost, but the written word, it always stays with the reader. That’s exactly why I still write letters to my most favourite people, mostly friends and authors. So the fangirl wins over the realist and I write Guru Randhawa a fan letter with a tiny possibility of it ever reaching him. I mean what if I am too close to the stage? I know what you are thinking, a hopeless fangirl. 😉 Well, I am.

The concert was every bit as amazing as I’d imagined except that I couldn’t give him my fan letter even though I was very close to the stage. It broke my heart a little but I knew there was no guarantee of it happening anyway so it was okay. But then I thought, he’s come all this way, I need to find a way to give him my fan letter. I need to find a way. And just like that quote from the Alchemist, the universe helped me get my fan letter to him. I only wished for my letter to reach him but somehow Universe conspired and me and my younger sister both got to meet him.

I remember he was surrounded by his fans, each one clicking pictures with him. And when our turn came, I swear to God I don’t remember what happened. I was so mesmerized and so happy, I don’t remember anything except Guru’s warm smile that reached his eyes every time he smiled. I think that was the best part. 🙂 My younger sister tells me when we gave him the fan letter and when I asked him to read it, he said ‘Zaroor’ which is Hindi for sure. We clicked a photo (which is pretty much the only thing that reminds me it happened for real, otherwise I’d still think it was a dream.) and said goodbye to him.

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As for my fan letter, I don’t know if he ever read it (or if I even gave it to him, although my sister says I did.) and it’s okay I guess. I am just too glad that I wrote the letter and had the chance to give it to him in person.

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Thank You Guru Randhawa for being who you are! ❤ I am in awe of the grace and humility you possess. ❤

To more good songs, cheers! 🙂

Nanak 🌸

The problem with book lovers is, most of us can never choose a favorite book. And honestly, out of the hundreds and thousands of books one reads in her/his lifetime, how do you expect anybody to pick just one. It’s unfair, isn’t it? But having said that, I do believe that there are a special few that we all hold closer to our hearts a little more than the rest. Books that we reread time and again, books..excerpts from which we read at night before doing something important the next day. Books that we read when we are sad or happy. Books that we carry in our bags when we travel, books we think of as our truest of friends.

One such book that happened to me last year was Haroon Khalid’s ‘Walking with Nanak’. In case you are wondering why am I writing about a book that I read a year ago..? It’s because I was afraid. A part of me still is. It’s because I get a feeling that no matter which language I use, no matter how many fancy words I put into writing this blog, I’d never be able to fully describe the beauty of this book. But I am willing to try.

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I chose this book because as a student of History, I remember we had nice long discussions on the lives of Buddha and Mahavira in class but never Guru Nanak, one of the most influential and inspiring personalities of medieval India and the founder of Sikhism, which has over 25 million followers today. The only time I read about him was in seventh grade and that was 12 years ago. So while searching for a book on Nanak’s life on amazon I came across Khalid’s ‘Walking with Nanak’. It was the very first book on the result’s page; I read the blurb and ordered it without even looking at the other results on the webpage. I think it was the title that spoke to me. And it isn’t everyday that you know you will like a book by just looking at the title. 🙂

Three days later I stepped into Nanak’s world, the world that the author had painted so beautifully. As the blurb aptly puts it, the book retells the story of Nanak, the son, the poet, the wanderer, the father, the friend. The story of Nanak, the man. The book is part fiction and it travels back and forth in time. We have Guru Nanak and his friend Bhai Mardana travelling the length and breadth of the Indian subcontinent during the 16th century and in the present we have the author (and his mentor Iqbal Qaiser, another well known author from Pakistan, to whom the book is dedicated.) visiting places associated with Guru Nanak in present day Pakistan as part of his research for the book as well as for his love for Nanak.

From what I understood from Nanak’s story is that he was a non-conformist.

A rationalist who was at times misunderstood.

A reformer who had the courage to challenge the status quo.

A human being who could look beyond the superficiality of caste, class and gender.

A poet who wrote beautiful poems in a language that the common man could understand.

A man who followed his heart.

A saint who traveled on foot for over twenty-four years developing his philosophy and spreading the message of love and brotherhood.

And a Guru who taught the world that there is but one God.

It was while I was reading this book that I realized it wasn’t just Guru Nanak and his friend Bhai Mardana who were travelling. It wasn’t just the author and his mentor Iqbal Qaiser visiting the places associated with Nanak. I was travelling with them too. Learning new things, broadening my horizons with the four of them. Their journey, for sometime, was my journey too. I walked with them too. I felt spiritually connected to the four of them. I still do.

Another wonderful thing I realized about the book was that I was a Hindu in India reading a book on the life of the founder of the Sikh faith, by a Muslim author who lived in Pakistan. Isn’t it amazing how literature connects people from different walks of life? (Sometimes I wish there was no Radcliffe line separating India and Pakistan!)

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Here’s my favourite excerpt from the book, it taught me to find beauty in places I thought it did not exist.

I always say the right books find their readers at the right time. Thank you Haroon Khalid for ‘Walking with Nanak’. It found me when I needed it most. You inspire me and so does Guru Nanak. ❤

The # syndrome 🤦🏽‍♀️

A few months back while planning a trip to the interior parts of Kashmir a fifteen year old cousin of mine asked, ‘..but will there be internet connectivity there? I hope there won’t be any network issues.. otherwise how would I post stuff on my instagram, because that is important.’

Here I was scared for my life given Kashmir’s militancy problem and here was a teenager worried about internet connectivity and his instagram account. Hmph!

Then there’s another category of people I have in my life who say things like, ‘Oh, but I have only 2000 followers on insta and just 750 friends on facebook.’

And then of course there are people who compare their social media profiles to that of other people and wonder why isn’t their life as happening as other people’s?

Why don’t they have as many followers?

Why don’t they get as many likes on their profile pictures as others?

Why don’t they get to travel the world and get to post beautiful pictures like other people?

I know what you are thinking, ‘Oh..but we don’t do that. We don’t compare. May be you don’t. But a lot of people do. If not consciously then on a sub-conscious level. People start thinking of ways to get more likes, more friends, more followers and more of everything. And that urge to check your phone every 5 minutes just to see if there’s a notification waiting for you. You can’t fight that, can you?

It’s okay to have a social media profile. It’s fun, I know. But please don’t let your world revolve around it. Try to look beyond the trivialities of facebook friends and instagram followers. The world is such a beautiful place, I am amazed at the amount of importance people give to social media these days.

I feel a little sad when I visit a tourist place and I see people engrossed in their cell phones desperately trying to check in to that place through their facebook account. As if being there physically did not feel like a big deal until they’ve said it aloud to those 780 people on their facebook friend list, half of whom do not even care but still, Humne toh post karna hai bhai!

This reminds me of a new fad. A lot of people I know say things like, ‘I wish I could leave all this and travel the world.’ And we all do read about how some cool person or a group of friends left their Ten to Five jobs in an IT company and went backpacking to different countries and had the time of their lives. Honestly speaking this notion of leaving everything behind and traveling the world is a highly romanticized one. Not all of us can do this. Why should we anyways? In a country with 1.324 billion people where jobs are not so easy to come by, why would a person in their right mind want to do something like that?

I am not saying you can’t or you shouldn’t travel (In fact whenever you find some free time, travel. Go places!). All I am saying is please don’t act like you will die of suffocation if you don’t travel to picturesque locations and update a lot of pictures with a lot of clichéd hashtags! Sometimes the peace you are looking for is just somewhere around, closer than you’d imagine. Look up from your phone, who knows..you might just find it, right?

Two years back I left facebook. Why? Because it wasn’t adding any value to my life. And also because when you are studying 10 hours a day the little free time you get, you don’t want to spend it checking what your friends on facebook are upto. You’d rather meet a friend for real, right? 🙂

Always remember, You are not your instagram profile. Try not become one.

Quote for the day,

“Spend a little more time trying to make something of yourself and a little less time trying to impress other people.”

The Breakfast Club

Windows 🌿

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Study breaks for me these days include looking out of the window. And with my exam just 40 days away, I hardly get any time to get out of the house. (I know, I shouldn’t be writing this either, but my brain has stopped processing political science and I need to do something else to keep it going). So every 40-45 minutes I spend some 30 seconds looking out of the window. And I see the trees, the birds, the baby mongoose with its mother and the dogs playing on the ground.

I remember this book I read a few years ago called ‘The Undomestic Goddess’ by Sophie Kinsella (a little bit of chick lit now and then is therapeutic! :D). So Samantha, the protagonist of the novel is this Cambridge graduate high powered lawyer living in London. For her, work is worship. It always comes ahead of everything. She’s a perfectionist when it comes to work. She thrives under pressure. She’s forever busy and has time for nothing else until one day she makes a terrible mistake and has a bad meltdown. This blog isn’t about the book, it’s about something Samantha says at the end of the book when she finally sets her priorities straight. She says, ‘I don’t want to be someone who doesn’t look out of the window.’ Reading something in a book and understanding it is one thing, having its significance dawn upon you in real life is quite another. I just realized what a blessing it is to have the time to look out of the window. I might not have a lot of free time but I at least have the time to look out of the window. And with the crazy pace that our world runs, so many of us have stopped looking out of the window. Stopped taking a minute or two to breathe. To live in the moment. I know it’s not our fault. Most of us can’t help but be busy. And honestly I don’t want you to keep what you are doing aside and look out of the window (it will make me happy if you did that though.) All I am trying to say is try to find sometime for yourself.

It’s okay to take a pause.

To relax a bit.

To take a deep breath.

To look at the stars.

To take a walk in the park.

To read a poem.

To meet a friend.

To take that afternoon nap you wanted to take for such a long time.

And sometimes it’s okay even if you do nothing.

I know all of this sounds very insignificant and silly..who has the time for all this, right? But trust me, sometimes the silly and insignificant can help too.

No matter how busy, you can and you should always make some time for yourself. It isn’t selfish to do that.

Hope you find some time for yourself today. 🙂

The Modern Woman 💚

Somedays I want to stay in my room, lock the doors and never get out. Ever.

You know why? Because it’s safe in here. And because a part of me is afraid. Afraid of the world out there.

Why afraid you ask? Give me a minute and I’ll come to that.

So ten years ago I read about Anne and her sister Margot Frank. And like most people, one thing that stayed with me after reading about the Frank family was what Anne said. ‘In spite of everything I still believe people are good at heart.’ I believed Anne. I thought if she could say something like that in spite of her trials, it was worth believing. I have believed in that one line ever since that day. But today I am no longer sure.

Not everyone is good at heart. No. Not everyone.

An eight year old girl is repeatedly raped, tortured and brutally murdered in Kashmir. An eight year old girl!

Again back in January, an eight month old baby was raped in Delhi.

There is Kathua. There is Unnao. There is Delhi, And perhaps every place in the world where women are raped and tortured and abused. Where does this end?

Or rather when does this end?

I don’t know. But what I do know is I am afraid. And I am sure there are many women out there who feel the same.

A part of me is regretting that I started this post because honestly, I have no idea how am I going to end this post on a positive note.

All I can say is when I read about the rape cases in the newspaper today and got back to reading this year’s Economic survey, feeling helpless and disturbed, I found something. Between those innumerable graphs and statistics printed in the survey, I found few lines from a poem written by Mahakavi Subramania Bharati.

The lines have been taken from a poem called The Modern Woman. (originally written in Tamil titled ‘Pudhumai Penn.’)

Her head held high, and looking everyone in the eye, Unafraid of anyone because of inane integrity,

Possessing assuredness born of courage of conviction,

The Modern Woman never feels inferior to any.

I have always believed the right books find their reader at the right time. I think it is true of poems too. This poem found me at the right time, just when I needed it most.

So dear Woman,

I know times are hard, you are afraid. You feel intimidated by what you see around you. But you know what, don’t give up. Not today, not ever. You are not just any woman. You are ‘The Modern Woman’ Bharathiyar talked about in his poem.

You are here to fight.

To fight misogyny.

To fight patriarchy.

To fight that every institution, every person and every idea that reinforces the belief that you are lesser than the fellow man beside you. That you are weak. That you aren’t enough.

Fight for your rights and don’t ever put up with injustice. Ever.

Help other women in need of care and support. Be there for each other in this world.

Don’t let some men, who think they know better, intimidate you.

Stay strong and stand tall

And most importantly, keep breathing. YOU are important. Don’t let some worthless moron tell you otherwise.

Best,

Ashwini

P.S. – Oh, and before I go, there’s a quote by J R R Tolkien that I think of every time I feel intimidated by all the wickedness that exists in this world.

‘The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it still grows perhaps the greater.’ 🙂

Times will change, hang in there!

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Dear Indifferent Indian

I know. I know. A lot of bad things have happened in the country in the past few weeks.

Fraudsters loot this country of ₹11,600 crores and abscond under our very nose but a farmer somewhere in Marathwada kills himself because he could not repay the ₹5000 loan he took from a middleman ( because 100% financial inclusion is still a dream in the pipeline!).

Examination papers get leaked and thousands of students are asked to retake the test. Yes because what’s the big deal about a retest, right?  You take the test again. And may be if the test paper gets leaked again, you give the test again and then again. Slow claps for the best solution ever.

Caste is still an issue. Yes, I know article 17 of the Indian constitution prohibits untouchability but hey, so what if the constitution says so?  I mean we hardly know what our fundamental rights are, let alone care for somebody else’s. Btw, according to an article in Firstpost.com, crime rate against Dalits increased by 746% from 2006 to 2016. Now I am not good at math but I know an increase by 746% is insane.

We have child labour laws in place but who cares about Children’s rights? I mean somewhere in a remote coastal town in Konkan, a 12 year old Akshay cleans other people’s dirty dishes in a hotel to help his parents pay their bills. I wonder what are Akshay’s hopes and aspirations. When he sleeps at night, what does he see in his dreams?  A school? Books? A better life?

Rape is a criminal offence here but marital rape, Oh, it’s just fine. Because honestly who cares about consent? Because for some men, what is the point of marriage otherwise.

And of course there are other issues. We have an ever deteriorating quality of air that’s slowly killing us.

There’s female foeticide, rising unemployment and inequality, trafficking, and the list goes on.

So dear indifferent Indian may be you are not wrong when you say that this country is going to the dogs.

In fact, I agree with you.

But you know if there’s one thing that helps the status quo persist, it is your indifference.

It is your apathy.

 It is your, ‘So what?’ and ‘who gives a damn attitude.’

So the road near your apartment is bad?

How about you file a complaint with the authorities?

I know there’s no guarantee that your complaint will be entertained but you at least try. Problem is most of us don’t even try.

Download citizen feedback apps of the government that ask you for your feedback. If you are not happy with the services you are being provided, you say so. You ask questions. Don’t sit there whining like a 15 year old.

A few days ago, I downloaded an app called ‘Swachhata’ by the ministry of housing and urban affairs. It detects your location and allows you to post complaints related to waste management and cleanliness in your area. I swear there were just 3 people who regularly posted their grievances. In a city with 3.5 lakh people only three people care enough for cleaner surroundings?

Why?

And no, time is not an issue. Don’t give that excuse. You very well know the amount of time you spend adorning your instagram profile. The amount of time you spend watching videos on YouTube. So honestly, you don’t lack time. What you lack is a will.

And I know we all live busy lives and it’s hard to make time but that can’t be a reason enough to put up with the status quo, especially if it is unfair and unjust.

I’ll tell you something that happened a few days ago. Where I live, the garbage truck comes once in a week to collect household garbage. Moreover nobody bothers to segregate waste into wet and dry even though solid waste management rules mandate the same. So when I shifted here from Pune a few months back, I was surprised how nobody cared. So even though I knew in my heart that nothing was going to change, I sent a letter to the Municipal commissioner complaining about the above mentioned two issues. I wrote that people can’t store waste in their house for 7 days. It is because the garbage truck doesn’t come on time that the society bins are always overflowing with garbage (which not being segregated further complicates the issue.) I further wrote that I’d studied the solid waste management rules, 2016 in detail and I know that what is happening here is wrong. Nothing happened for the next two weeks. And I wasn’t surprised because I was half expecting things to remain the same. And then something changed. The garbage collection truck started coming twice a week instead of once a week like before. A small change but a change nonetheless.

As for the solid waste management rules not being followed still, I have decided to write to the State pollution control board. I don’t know if things will change, but I don’t want to not try to make things better.

You whine all day saying ‘oh, look how bad things are in India. Nothing’s ever going to get better here.’ Well, what did you do to make things better?

Did you fight for what was worth it?

Did you even try?

Okay, may be you did and your efforts did not bear fruits. And you did not have the energy or the resources to go on. Fine. But then what? You gave up? You gave up so soon. If things take time, don’t quit. You owe it to your country, you owe it to yourself!

If you are unhappy with your country, say it aloud. Raise questions. Challenge the status quo. Don’t be indifferent. It helps nobody. Not even you.

 I know we can’t bring about big changes in a day or two, but we can start with small ones, right?

Be the hopeful Indian.

Be the empathetic Indian.

 Be the Indian who cares.

 Finally, as Bapu Gandhi said, Be the change that you wish to see in this world. 🙂

Be the change, dear indifferent Indian.

Best,

Ashwini

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unplucked eyebrows

You know, except the four walls of my house.. Most places I visit, I am almost always bombarded with questions like the following :

Why don’t you get your eyebrows done? You’d look more feminine. More beautiful. You are twenty-five, this is high time.

(That is short for high time you look presentable because this is the time your family members and the people they know, your relatives, your neighbors and every other middle-aged Indian uncle and aunty you come across at weddings and  family functions and get togethers will be trying to find you a nice suitable boy. And apparently most nice guys go for beautiful and well groomed girls.)

Why don’t you ever wax your hands girl? It doesn’t look good if you don’t.

Why didn’t you put some lipstick? (Darned all women parties!)

Why don’t you let your nails grow, you should get a manicure.

And weddings are the worst because that’s where people judge you head to toe. ‘Such simple dress. And no eyeliner, you should try. And also, you should try a new hair cut. You always cut your hair straight… Blah..Blah..Blah..’

And this just doesn’t end.

Now honestly, who set these standards for beauty and femininity?

How do people decide who’s more feminine and who’s not?

How am I any less of a woman if I do not spend hours at a beauty salon or get my eyebrows plucked or my hands waxed? I seriously want to know!

And why should I get my eye brows done anyway? Because most women do it, so I should be doing it too is just not a convincing enough reason for me to do it. It’s like saying, you should try something because it’s in vogue and it’s fine but isn’t it more important that you like what you try, or should you just try everything simply because it’s in fashion. Or because everyone is doing it. That is stupid, guys.

Oh and waxing is excruciating, I know it because I did try it once and it was horrible. So why should I regularly be inflicting pain upon myself  just so that I am worthy enough for beautiful people’s eyes? Why?

Do I exist for other people to find me beautiful?

I don’t. Nobody should.

And let me tell you something guys. I do not have anything against people who visit beauty salons or people who are well-groomed. In fact I’d be lying if I said I’ve never used a lipstick in my life or an eyeliner. It is just that I like myself much better when I am without it. And I think what I think about myself  matters more to me than some random person I meet at a wedding. And I also hate it when people expect you to look your best at all times, because unlike some people who find it enthralling, some of us find it exhausting because it takes too much of an effort to decide the proper dress, then choose shoes that would go with it and then see if your nail polish goes with it or not, then see how you’d like to have your hair, and the list goes on. Hmpf!

As for good guys liking well-groomed girls, here’s what my friend Mukta said when I told her how my two aunts were making sure I looked my very best at my cousin’s wedding next month. She said, ‘Never settle for a guy who likes you when you look your very best’. And I couldn’t agree more!! Because hey, that is just one day, what about the remaining 364 days when I am wearing my three-fourth pants and my brother’s old t-shirts and my hair are in a tangle? Will I still be beautiful for such a guy? I think that is an important question we need to ponder  upon.

Oh and before I end this, every time someone says something mean to you about your dressing sense or the way you look, remember this quote by the very amazing ‘Rainbow Rowell’

“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”

That’s from her novel ‘Eleanor and Park’, it is a beautiful book. You should read it someday 🙂

Why books..📚

I’ve been going through some really trying times of late and yesterday turned out to be particularly worse, so much so that after a point I just gave up and was crying my heart out when I realized something, something that I always do on a subconscious level whenever I am having a good cry.

I was hugging a book. (My most favorite book, of course!)

And I wondered, how is it that I always manage to draw comfort from these pages with printed words on them, glued together to form these rectangle shaped things we call books. What then dawned upon me was the fact that I’d never be able to draw comfort from a human being the way I can from a book.

Why books?

Or rather why books over people?

Because books, unlike most other things, don’t change. They will always make you feel whatever they made you feel the first time you read them. They will always be who they are, wherever they are. No superficiality, no double standards. Something we could all learn I guess.

When you are with them, they are with you. They wouldn’t look at their phones to check silly notifications. But we do, I know right, stupid us!

Books don’t leave you when the road becomes hard. Or when you become dull or old or grey. They are your lifelong friends.

They’ll be there with you through thick and thin, always.

Books don’t care who their readers are. Their content wouldn’t change according to the superficial tags of caste, creed and ethnicity. They don’t give two hoots whether the reader is a man or a woman or neither. They do not discriminate.

For those of us who fear small talk, books are our true saviors. What would we do without them, God! And to think about all those long train journeys we took on our own, or the wait at the airport when the flight was late.

By the way, books are never going to throw a tantrum at you; no book is ever going to say, ‘I don’t want anyone to read me today, so kindly get lost.’ (Imagine if they did throw tantrums, boy! :p)

When disappointed with people, you can always turn to a book. In fact there’s a book for all the ills in the world.

Heartache? There’s a book to help you deal with it.

Lost and confused? There’s a book waiting for you.

Grieving the loss of a loved one? You are not alone, or so says the book.

Feeling low and dejected, here’s a book to lift up your spirits.

Happy or sad, there’s always a book for every situation.

When nothing makes sense, books do.

When you despair, they remind you there’s always hope.

When you feel lonely, books are with you.

When things don’t seem possible, books make you dwell in possibility.

Books are there with you on the darkest of nights and the brightest of days.

They are an epitome of selflessness. They are all loving and all giving. They offer you the worlds and yet bring you home at the end of the day.

Books are dreams, books are hope. They are friends who will stay.

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I wish more people were like books. Wouldn’t it be a much happier world? I dwell in that possibility. I think you should too. 🙂

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