Sunday, August 14, 2016

Dark Realities And A Story.

It's disturbing. It's reality. It's part of our society. It's the Suicide.

I often wonder what drives people to such an extreme step; a step where they end their lives. Where they choose death over their loved ones, over their strength, over their lives. What transpires, and at what level it transpires that a person just gives up. Surely it's not an impulsive decision, I gather. Or is it?

My understanding of all the observation that I have collected in all these years is that it's a slow poison. It slowly builds up, paralyses the person, and convinces the mind that there is no other way except death.

Or am I wrong and it's in fact an impetuous thing? Or is it both After all every individual is different.

Whatever the reason is and whatever the way it culminates, judging these people is not the right thing to do.What the right thing here is to observe people who have troubled lives, to an extend that they look depressed all the time, and look for signs. Death wishes, depressing talks are some common red flags that give away the suicidal tendencies.

I was recently asked on Quora by an anonymous person whether he must consider ending his life because everyone calls him a loser. 

LOSER! Such a strong word. All of just five letters and can crumble down one's confidence in a jiffy. Imagine what that person would feel after hearing it from more than one person. and perhaps, it might not be everyone calling him but only one person who means the world to him; a parent, girlfriend, boy friend.

Stronger people wouldn't give a damn to it, but not everyone is strong enough to handle certain bumps that show up in our lives. Their heart and mind are vulnerable and can be destroyed by words like LOSER.
It comes upon us, the stronger ones, to look after their cushion. 

Listen to them, talk to them.
Show them that the grass is not greener in other lawns, but it's our own lawns that need watering, weeding and mowing.

I recently came across the novel (an e-book), "The Story of a Suicide" by Sriram Ayer (Courtesy: Indichange). The book exhibits the dynamics involved with the youth's minds, behaviors, their reasoning, their thought process, their actions, and even their choice of friends/company. 

We are taken into the lives of Hari, Sam, Charu and Mani, that are entwined together. Their individual perceptions and actions result in series of rutted events ensuing in a sad corollary, which the title of the story distinctly suggests.
It rubs the dark reality of our youth, which lingers around us, right on our faces. Education, relationships, career, sexuality all have become a part of this darkness. Maybe I should say, the darker sides of the challenges found in these. And it's these darker sides that are highlighted by the writer, and he did it very appositely. 

The Story of a Suicide unerringly reaches you with these issues, shaking you to the core with the consequences one may face. 

The writer keeps it crisp, neat, and to the point. He encompasses the disturbing reality of today.

The insatiable use of social media that consumes us to the point that we often don't notice the repercussion of our actions through the medium, and this fittingly becomes the part of the story taking it to it's conclusion.
We often tend to vent on social media; what we are frustrated we are…whom we are dating…who dumped us, and some such. Less we realize the upshots of these broadcasts that follow, might come along with chaos we don't want to see as our company.

How I keep wishing throughout the read that only if I could get inside the story and talk to the protagonists. Tell them about the red flags, guide them to the right people, the professionals, who are always out there to help.
How I wished I could tell the antagonist to channelize his energies towards right people in the right way and sort out his life.
How I wished I could have saved a life...

Pity, this is not a chapter from the Inkheart. 
But in the real world, in our world, we can reach out to such people, and who knows we might save precious lives.

As I write this, the gloom of the story is still latched to me. I chose to read the story instead of listening it on the soundcloud, and I think I did the right thing. Listening to it might have left a more profound impact upon me for days to come.

The illustrations by Ghana, make the story and its execution more intense.
To all the parents, siblings, teachers, friends everyone out there, understand and endure the crux of the story. Its pure relevance to our lives makes it a definite read. 

My best wishes to the writer, and rest of the team of the book and all those people who can relate to it at some level.

This post, my thoughts on the book, The Story Of a Suicide, and the issues I discussed were for  Indichange (Indiblogger) and NalandaWay Foundation

Saturday, July 2, 2016

I'm Misleading Them...

After creating this blog it took me a few years to begin writing posts here. I simply didn't know what to write. I couldn't be an open book and pour out my heart on everything that had happened to me or was happening to me. I'm a private person on certain levels...have always been one.

I'm not a fashionista…and blogging about fashion would have meant a raid by the fashion police at my door every hour. My love for cooking too didn't mean that I would keep cooking and share recipes or food stories, too lazy for that.
Blogging about gadgets and gizmos would have meant inventing new definitions of the craft which might have given the fandom of Apple and Samsung and others severe attacks of acidity, and their wrath upon me.

The blog wasn't going to be my personal journal that was for sure…so what else I could log in here I had mused.
Books...movies…random stuff…and occasional food or fashion related tidbits?...Yes!
But how or where do I begin was a big question and the BIGGER question was- what would I call it?
Following too much of contemplation and deep meditation for like thousand years, "CoffeeBeans" was coined. 

I like the name…I like the sound of it...and the reminder of the aroma of coffee energizes my thought process. But…there is always a 'but', isn't there? But…I sometimes wonder if some other name might have been right for my blog. A jazzy or a funky name that's savvy enough to grab everyone's attention...or an elegant, lady-like name that smells of etiquette from far away...or perhaps a geeky bong name that stirs the intellectual cells of the brains. 

However, whatever name I might have chosen would definitely not have generated the kind of emails that I receive asking me if I would like to discuss or join their coffee grinding skills, or which coffee beans are of superior quality and some such.

Apparently these people strongly believe my blog to be a small scale industry dealing with coffee grinding, and that I'm some coffee maker trying to make it big in the big bad world of beverages. their R&D sucks My blog name confused them…I misled them. This post too will surely mislead them I know and their emails will keep gracing my inbox.

Meanwhile CoffeeBeans remains as it is; the name, the content…And the inbox stays open for all as usual.
If I'm a Coffee-Bean plant owner to you better think I'm the best, the one and the only, the ultimate, the unparalleled, the queen bee of the coffee industry. I won't accept anything lesser. Period.

Signing off for now as my coffee (made from ek rupaye wala Bru sachet) is getting cold.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


A couple of weeks back, I entered CoffeeBeans. What happened next was unexpected and I forgot why I was here and what I wanted to write.

I was greeted by a soggy smell that drifted through the screen. It was a familiar soggy smell; the smell that swallows up a house that's been locked for months. I trotted further in and the sight was tragic. Layers of dust sat on the posts, many words were buried underneath it. Thick cob-webs weaved by a certain black-widow were suspended from the corners of the walls. 

I advanced a little more. It was dark, it was gloomy, and it was cold. Bats hanging upside down were ready to attack their way out through the java scripts. The pictures that I used for the posts had a haunted appearance about them; I swear some of them were even moving, giving me spiteful looks. The murkiness of the place made me wonder if I was standing in the hallway of 12 Grimmauld Place. Dreadful! However, the absence of Kreacher and the Black family tree assured me that I wasn't. I was inside CoffeeBeans, my beloved blog.
The place just needed some serious breathing in there.Every corner, every crevice was wailing for attention. It needed warmth and light of words. It needed me. I began with the repair work. I needed to sharpen up my writing teeth too. The bluntness was got myself half a dozen of canons to read. 

Two weeks now, and here we are-my blog and I. You can see the walls (body of the blog) are whiter now, and the header is new too…of which, btw, I had advertised on my Facebook page (those doodles are my creation, thank you for the applause).

Of course you won't know of the changes if you are new here or if you weren't paying attention earlier because my words were so enchanting that your mind was focused solely on what I wrote and not the décor. {*bows* if that's the case}

Anyhow, that's done - the renovation, which, was quite a qamar-tod job; doodling online isn't easy, I'm getting back my sketch-pad and pencil for sure, the old school ways are always relaxing, and...and my writing is now filed too. So, see you around ;)

Namastey!  _/\_

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Misfit!

I padded my way through the foreign corridors in an institute situated in South Bombay. The beauty enthusiast that I've become today was sleeping back in those days and I had let the sun tan me badly. My hair not spared either. Dry and frizzy, I had tied it in a ponytail with the baby hairs flying allover by my forehead. A tote bag which could have be easily dismissed as a "whatever" accessory, hanged from my right shoulder. I was cladded in jeans and loose fitting Tee shirt. Loose, because I was conscious of my developed body, a result of many labels I was christened with during school and college. My thick glasses, 5'3'' demure too was always the target of ridicule in school and then later during my college days. "Geek", "Shorty", "Chashmish" can only look good in government run offices or be a teacher, corporate world (which I was interested in), isn't for her- was often told to me. Although I could never wrap my head around the connection between these. Now I was in an institute to learn the corporate ways and hone my management skills. It was my first day in campus. I reached the classroom I was directed to and upon reaching I found myself amongst people who looked like models straight out of Cosmopolitan Magazine. All eyes darted towards me. As I walked towards an empty chair to claim it as mine for the day or perhaps for the whole year, I could feel the eyes on me. Studying me, judging me, stereotyping me. I couldn't dare to look at them fearing I would cry. Yet, some unknown strength encouraged me to look up. I did. There was a girl with porcelain skin, that looked like never been kissed by the mighty sun, in trendy clothes, staring at me. Telling me I was a misfit. I didn't belong in their world. She had disgust for me in her eyes.My fears were taking their shape. All these while, somewhere in my mind a little part of me was assuring me, that I and not these people were judging myself and in fact these nice people would embrace me. However, the girl crushed that little part inside me with her obvious expression. "I'm not letting any label bind me down"- I said to myself. A deep breath, all the inspiring people I had known who tore away the stereotypes, and images of my parents were all it took. I gaczed around and found a few friendly faces; I smiled and contagiously the smiles flew across the room. The lecture began in a few minutes, and so did the new chapter of my life. I found the courage, I found the voice, to announce my capabilities. I consciously became an active and attentive student in the class, the shyness gone out of the door. My homework on the basic management, marketing and advertising helped me answer many questions on the first day itself, gaining respect from many of my classmates and most importantly gaining confidence within me. From there it was no looking back. That girl eventually warmed up to me and though we weren't friends but we did become cordial to each other. the stereotyped labels were no longer there to haunt me. By the end of the term I managed to change my appearance, to take care of my physical side, not to please others but for myself. People seemed not to notice much as I was the same girl they had known the whole year. I was a misfit for others, and years of this perception had made me believe it and live it. It had damaged my confidence, thankfully my supportive parents and friends didn't let it be a mortal one. But, why these stereotypes, why these labels? Not every woman can get out of it...the damage can be dangerous.
Take a look at some of the startling figures that the Nihar Naturals #IAmCapable survey conducted by Nielsen India reveals:
a. 69% of men agree that their judgement of women is based on their looks.
b. 64% of women agree that the judgments passed on them have affected their ability to reach their true potential.
c. 70%of women agree that majority of judgments on women are from family members or friends rather than strangers.
d. 72% of women agree that working women face more judgments on their looks or their clothes than housewives.

Scary, isn't it? So lets pledge to end this and let women be the way they want to be.

 “I’m breaking stereotypes based on appearance by sharing my experience for the #IAmCapable activity at BlogAdda in association with Nihar Naturals.”

The Dark Beauty!!

Dark her skin was, darker than the moon-less night beautiful she was, beautiful than the moonlit night.
Let me tell you her story, a story I revere everyday Her name so pretty, but I mustn't say What to call her, if you must so care, Let's name her 'K', and be fair.
Her skin hue defined her, for everyone 'Darky' she was called, her beauty seen by no one.

Thick long hair K oiled and braided, Clothes she wrapped around her were dreaded.
Smart and savvy; but no one to care for these, Her bonnie face sans makeup, was not enough to please.

Debates she won, the 'A's she earned, Ignored were all her awards, more labels for her were churned.
Fearless K trotted, corridors she glided, her confidence shone,

But tears stained her cheeks whenever she was alone.

Full with worldly wisdom, and universal knowledge, along with intelligence, drove her ambitious sledge.
Loser she would never be, K was determined of
Blinders she placed on ears and soared she off.
Physics, Math became her peers, she dived and swam in the books, the stars bowed to her and screamed 'cheers'
The labels, the judgements couldn't stop her, Her determination took her to zenith helped her. Four seasons it took for her mates to know of her beauty, her worth, her glow.
She still oils and braids her thick mane, fashions in a way that for some is pain.
She still shines in her dark skin, her makeup skills are still lean.
Rock music doesn't appeal her like classical yet for sure, Modern she is from thoughts not the external that we ensure.
A phd in physics hands proudly on her wall, Is she still being labelled, judged, stereotyped? No Sir, not at all.

This was the story of 'K' (name withheld on request), a woman I've had the privilege to know since my kindergarten days. Of course, being a year or two older than me, she too was a little girl back then.

However, to be her friend was kind of taboo in the school. She was dark, though a beautiful dark. I was in awe of her flawless complexion; often jealous of her perfect skin and of the thick long luscious hair.

My friends and other classmates wondered why I didn't think their way. Why was I revering someone who was dark, therefore ugly, hence, with no talent.

Throughout her school days, time and again, she proved her debating skills, intelligent mind and sincerity towards her studies, and yet failed to get rid of all the labels that people threw upon her.
This wrath continued even in one of the most prestigious colleges of the city where she went to pursue her academics, however, couldn't last more than a year. She was determined not to let the school days repeat themselves in college. She had to break free but in any dramatic way.
'K' took all the opportunities that came by, where she could prove herself, and prove she did.
Her hard-work and patience teamed with her excellent communication skills, spoke on behalf of her, told the world what she is capable of. Who she really is. Those who laughed at her, labelled her, now respected her.
This day as I write about her she rocks the world of science as one of the research scientists in USA.
Physics and Math are still her best friends, although she has also found some genuine friends in humans...and they are many in number.
K did it, but how many can do so? I know women who let these stereotyped labels run their lives and ruin everything they could have done, they could have been.
These startling figures that the Nihar Naturals #IAmCapable survey conducted by Nielsen India reveals:
a. 69% of men agree that their judgement of women is based on their looks.
b. 64% of women agree that the judgments passed on them have affected their ability to reach their true potential.
c. 70%of women agree that majority of judgments on women are from family members or friends rather than strangers.
d. 72% of women agree that working women face more judgments on their looks or their clothes than housewives.

Isn't it shame that our perception can damage a person forever. We can do better than this. Let us perceive women as they are and not as we see them.
“I’m breaking stereotypes based on appearance by sharing my experience for the #IAmCapable activity at BlogAdda in association with Nihar Naturals.”

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