Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Thursday, December 24, 2020
I tried registering and comprehending this event as a fifteen-year-old.
Were these fully grown women bullying us? Were we wrong to have not said something about it right then?
Then it struck me, this little incident that I had just witnessed was the result of the never-ending cycle of bullying and trying to make women fit into the standards the society has set for them. These aunties, who were now bullying us, were probably bullied into fitting the right vision of a woman the society deemed fit.
A society so blatantly unfair in its character.
I recall a conversation with my grandmother, she was telling about the days of her youth, when she was skinny, fair and "desirable", she said she wasn't always that way and that she had to become skinny to become the "desirable" woman the society wanted her to be. She smiled and said she was keen on finding the "perfect" bride for my father too. I asked her if she thought it was fair to expect women to fit into such standards, she smiled and said "that's what my mother wanted of me, Jumaina, we never had the audacity to question our elders"
We may inherit a lot from our mothers and foremothers, but one thing we, the daughters of these brave women, pledge to not inherent is their silence. Women come in all shapes, sizes and colours and we refuse to be bullied into "fixing" ourselves.
Saturday, October 10, 2020
some of the words that occur to one when they hear of India.
The landscape of India is splendid, with the long
range of Himalayas resting atop the country, adorning it like a
majestic crown, the scorching deserts and salt flatlands in the
west painting a surreal white hue, the ‘seven sisters’ in the
east as closely knit as a family is by blood, the riveting sunset
views from there, the serene greenery and waters of the
south, with hints of architectural brilliance all around. India is
as diverse as it is vast. Be it people from different religions
and backgrounds celebrating their differences or the wide
assortment of foods from saccharine sweets to spicy hot
curries or a whopping number of 780 languages spoken or
the countless fine arts, our country is the very essence of
The glory of India was not an easy feat to achieve. Years
ago, when England colonized India, our forefathers had
struggled to even survive. The craftsmen and their
indigenous art, the farmers and their dearly-nurtured crops,
the working class and their loving families, the Indian soldiers
and their dedication towards their motherland, everything
was taken advantage of. The land that was once called ‘The
Golden Bird’ looked pitch brown with the rusty prisons and
chains that bonded us; and the barren lands that were
trampled beneath the posh English boots. We were looted,
starved, shackled, whipped and enslaved in our very own
homes. 200 years of injustice and we had finally made it
through. India became independent in 1947 and rose like a
phoenix from the ashes of the British. No wonder why
everyone thought we were ‘The golden bird’. India, today,
stands among the fastest developing countries of the world.
From sports to arts, our nation is acclaimed for all the right
reasons. while ISRO launches a new satellite every six months
and Indian filmography is applauded at global events, one
such thing that is still treasured is the cultural values and
ethics passed down. The sentiments, love as well as respect
that each home carries are beyond description.
However, there are two sides to every coin. In 2020, as
the world is trying to process through a deadly pandemic,
India has its own internal issues to deal with; The political
unrest, democratic deadlock, a wave of revolution, mental
health ignorance, the long pending rights of women, riots
and a blind eye turned to all these problems. Some may say it
is mayhem. It becomes difficult to define “my india” in such
unsure situations. My love for the country makes me fear
what its future will look like but India has never been a
country to give up. The vision for tomorrow is filled with
laughter, warmth, brotherhood, unity and peace, just like the
period post-independence. What is assuring is that the
Indians are willing to dream, make an effort and grow
beyond this havoc together, hand-in-hand. That is My India.
Friday, September 18, 2020
Trust me when I say,
No light passes my way.
Life has been a test,
with no time to rest.
All that mattered was looks,
Nothing to look in books.
My life has been a joke,
No trust from my folks.
No one has been near,
who would call me dear.
Love was planted,
My life was haunted.
Dreams have gone bitter,
Nothing looks brighter.
I loved to share,
But no one cared.
Trust me when I say,
No light passes my way.
Now that I have your attention. Life has become so busy that we do not have time to smile at our loved ones. we care less of those who do not come in our shortlisted closed ones. Then there comes those people who are so insecure but very talented who are unable to feel free enough to express themselves.
To tell us insecure people to just do things is not the right way because ' If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches and poor men's cottages prince's palaces ' , those intelligent words by Portia from The Merchant Of Venice by Shakespeare. There is no one who would not want to be appreciated but what pulls some of us back is the fear of judgment and the self doubt that what we are is not enough. To those people who feel like this experience will teach you to never have a moment in life that you would regret. You do not have to make elaborate speeches to express yourself. You just have to make that one single statement that sums up all your views. As said by someone 'Silence is the best answer to all stupid questions and a smile is the best reaction in all critical situations'. If you have heard the story of 'B. Wordsworth' by V.S. Naipaul in which the protagonist, a poet, tries to write the greatest poem ever written. He tries sum up all the things that happened in a month in a single line and I believe even if he could not finish it he was a great poet because poems have to be written that way short but with so much meaning and even life is that way you just have to understand what to put forward finally
Remember the golden words of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam 'In life no one will remember how you looked, talked, walked or what you did...Everyone just remembers you by the way you made them feel when they were with you ' and this is how they judge you. Do not try to be someone believing that is what people like. You are different and unique and you are supposed to be that way. A simple smile, a hug, words of care is what people want, especially when everything has just been wrong about 2020. Life is unpredictable and you get to live just ones so give your best. People say many things but whom to listen and what you finally learn is what matters.
To sum up all this 'You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think' the very special words from Winnie The Pooh. I just hope you start believing in all the extraordinary things you can do one day. Ending this with a small poem of hope.
Careful jokes, hidden feelings,
Suppressed words, untold truths.
Craving the careless life,
Living a described one.
Jump back into
your older self,
Live again your
Find the love,
Unforgettable through times,
Find those memories,
soothing your soul.
to a joyful life,
the heartfelt smiles.
When you were not alone,
But with hopes of a tomorrow.
-D. Pranati Sreya
I'm assuming a lot went on in the mind of late Pingali Venkayya when he was designing the Indian flag. Three colours that represent courage, peace and nature manage to arouse a sense of nationalism in every Indian. We live in a country where 22 languages are spoken. It is a profound mixture of cultures and traditions that characterise the "Indian way".
As much as we glorify unity in diversity and venture out to explore opportunities abroad, there is reason to be proud of being an Indian. India was unified and consolidated by many rulers and governments with the Mauryan empire being the first to unify the whole of India.
The colonial era nationalism that rose during the struggle for independence brought together people from all over the country with a common intention. One against foreign ownership. We didn't deserve to be exploited. The Indian population was a collective force against colonial rule and imperialism because India was not to provide for a superpower but to provide for its own “super citizens”.
The genetic make-up of an Indian is far better than that. As a potential superpower, India has had a growing international influence and prominent voice in world affairs. After centuries of colonial exploitation, India has become a newly industrialised country. This land has nurtured people with exceptional abilities. We‘ve got artists, quaint creatures, scholars and discoveries of those who make us proud.
This makes up the race of our nation. The race of my nation. Where I have rights, a say and security. The diversity here provides an exposure that no other terrain can offer. A true democracy, which when I come of age, makes me a part of the collection that is responsible for its rise and fall. A vision that reaches out to every citizen and resident and extends a helping hand because we are meant to co-exist while embracing fraternity. I have the right to equality and justice based on the simple fact that I belong here hence I deserve it, not that which my age, gender, cast or faith might suggest.
Looking at years to come which may or may not be on Mars, I see a collaboration that will succeed without fear and bloodshed merely because the pen has always been more powerful than the sword. There should finally come a time where my country pioneers the peaceful war. The exchange of an olive branch will be a new found custom. Afterall, this country is a land of celebration and colour, do I really want to taint it? No.
As the great Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote,
"Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high,
where knowledge is free.
Where the world has not been broken up
into fragments by narrow domestic walls."
Growing up under the care of proud Indians and those who lived through the struggle for independence, I, a youth that has learned to appreciate the past glories of this land while being blessed with tranquility may well feel a thrill in invoking the prayer and salutation, “Jai Hind”.
-Ammaara Bashir Babukhan