Sensitivity Is Awareness : Are we ready for change ?


Shivani’s blog post  Happy Periods? Hah!! is a must read for all. Here is what she says,

” If you are calling the menstrual cycle impure, you are calling whole process of reproduction impure. It is nature’s rule, how can you judge it to be pure or impure being an insignificant human? I don’t think girls need to be ashamed of it. Can you men bleed a week and not die working? You won’t come to this world if this reproduction cycle doesn’t exist, and you make fun of a girl and enjoy in her despair? Shame on you!

If our strictly traditional elders loosen their mythological, ancient, superstitious-and add whatever adjective you wanna add-traditions, and men become more understanding and start treating us as humans when we are down, we might really have a Happy Period. Mere saying doesn’t make it happen.”

Taking off from her post and the fact that even when the TV advertisements scream about various kinds of sanitary pads and their benefits I still feel it is something no one wants to talk about openly as if it a “tainted thing” to go through this monthly cycle. One day when my periods came earlier than usual time accompanied by severe cramps  I sent my elder son to the chemist explaining which pack to get.  The teenager came fuming with anger and told  he “fucked the happiness of the shopkeeper and a lady customer there”. I was interested to know more.It turned out that the guy did not have “black plastic bag” and kept searching for a newspaper to stash away “the thing”.

When my son demanded that he hand over the pack and forget the bag etc the lady standing at the counter told him,

” Beta these things are not carried openly. Doesn’t look good. waise to your mom should not send young boys to buy it . It is so embarrassing or at least she should have given a bag or something.”

It seems the young man blew them apart in front of the whole crowd before leaving the shop. I gave him a proud smile.

After reading Shivani’s post we all remembered the incident and this started a series of debate at home.  The taboo topics- Sex education  including masturbation, mensuration, sexual orientation and other things.

It became obvious that the father was aghast that I being a woman could openly talk about “such things” with grown up boys and even share “adult jokes” or tease them. Horrifying .

Well, if I don’t talk about it to “grown up” boys do I talk to toddlers then?, I asked

Why can’t a woman talk to her young sons or for that matter anyone about it as part of discussion?

“Not dignified ” came the answer. “Balls to it”, I said. Hypocrites.

During our talks we discovered how most of the schools, offices are not equipped with any disposable facilities mainly because the thought never entered the minds of men who designed the place.

“It is time India had some vending machines installed in bathrooms in malls, offices, schools etc ” , a teenage girl joined the discussion. LMAO,  vending machines? First let them become sensitive and most of all aware of the natural process on which we have no control. Let them puke the age-old formula that has been shoved down their throats by the elder women of their homes.

It is ironical that women themselves make it look like a curse. Hiding, feeling guilty and embarrassed about it.

Another one made a face,” it is a private thing. I would not like to advertise it to the world.”

I asked her politely, ” is asking for sanitary pads or tampons and carrying them unwrapped or telling your boyfriend or son or husband to get it for you if they are going to the market an advertisement?  Is it not normal to say,  ” I have my periods and need napkins etc. or I have cramps or heavy flow so need rest? Is it something abnormal ?”

She didn’t know how to answer that. Obviously her parents never talked to her openly about it and this view was never expressed. What is privacy and what are socially imposed taboos, are two concepts one needs to be clear about.

When a biological body function experienced by half the world is limited to the confines of home and only between members of the gender experiencing it, it needs reviewing. Making menstruation a tainted issue or something to be hushed up and never spoken about with the other gender is counterproductive and completely unnecessary

It  is an integral part of our  body and being forced to feel extra discomfort or shame about  it  is not only unfair but it  also affect our  mental well-being, productivity, self-esteem among other things

During the discussion the boys shared how the jokes go among male friends about women taking pause from men, looking  like train wreaks and  are things not to be trusted for they bleed for 5 days and still live  and so on.

The younger one said that during their class on reproduction all that they could hear was giggles and sly remarks. I and the elder one were the ones who gave him the real lessons.

It also turned out that major section of their male friends either did not have correct info or did not care to talk about it openly. Even in their homes the topic was ever discussed even if they had sisters.

Is menstruation a taboo undercover topic because it is a woman related thing? Would it become a hot conversation if somehow men began to menstruate? A masculine event to brag about ?

My boys think that media is not helping in any way to make the pea brain men aware and in breaking the taboo. How? Well all the advertisements are women based and if men were introduced as supporting understanding factors things just might improve.

A really good thought to ponder on but will it really work?

In her post Shivani talks of  absurdity of calling a period “happy” and I fully agree with her. It is the most painful thing mentally, physically and emotionally and the men easily blame it on the hormones and get away during those PMS days. One thing I noticed was the names given to the products, “whisper”  a name like this says a lot about society’s attitude towards this important bodily function.

It pushes my button very hard if people use euphemisms for these things. I hate this culture of shame. it is disgusting to see some women subject themselves to self-shame giving in to some stupid deeply ingrained social religious beliefs. .

As we sat thinking on this issue another vein opened. Talking sex is taboo too. Well, talk about it.

Everyone enjoys  a good laugh at its cost, sex is talked about  in hushed voices and practiced behind closed doors, people drool over magazines like playboy and FTV  but when it comes to openly discuss or educate young children a very moral approach is taken.

I have seen parents who are themselves so ill-informed and riddled with misconceptions that they have nothing to offer to their growing children. Also they are too reserved to broach the subject and somehow shove it under the carpet if the kids raise it .

Not all parents though but most.

Masturbation is something most kids learn about on their own. While talking to my boys it turned out that between friend these days girls openly talk about all these issues among themselves and with guys too but that’s a very tiny percentage. Maximum people feel extremely shifty when the topic comes up.

The mindset of parents in so-called modern India is still orthodox when it comes to discussing/ debating sexuality,  puberty, live in relationships and relationships in general, sexual preferences etc.

I was stunned when my son told me that his sexually active friends choose not to use protection even after knowing  the implications of unsafe sex. Reason ? “It doesn’t feel the same” .

WTF I said.

“Is it the boys who feel this ? What do girls say?”, I asked.

“Well , most of the girls are desperate to experiment and experience the real thing  so they agree to it and take morning after pills etc” . He said.

I understand , even adults are curious about sex so it is natural for young boys and girls to be curious and experimenting.

“Pills off the counter I believe ” I said.

Of course , you think they take advice from docs or their parents ? “, he replied.

It sucks.

Why is it that these kids are not guided properly ? Is it that parents don’t spend quality time with their children and that they are no longer role models for them ? Is it that the younger generation sees through the faults in the previous generation and rebels against the system not knowing where it is taking them?

Why do parents think that the child will be automatically educated about sex, is it not their responsibility to guide them?

It is not surprising that Sex is the top search topic on internet by youngsters.  I feel it is a huge risk as internet dishes out a lot of titillating garbage  which these young brains can not filter.

India is still a country of sexually repressed people with half baked knowledge and utter confusion leading to various problems at all levels be it health, society or anything else.

Is it not time to wake up to reality and break the shackles . To be aware and sensitive.  To shake the age-old chauvinistic taboos.

If the urban India is steeped in such muck how do we plan to uplift the rural India?

Interview With Author Kris Saknussemm


I often say ” When the student is ready the master appears “.

I found my Mentor , Sensei , Teacher  in Kris. We met through Facebook and  in less than a year he helped me evolve as a person and as a writer and still  continues to do so. It is an honor to feature this exceptional human being and fabulous writer on my blog.

Kris Saknussemm is  widely acclaimed cult novelist and multimedia artist. Born and educated in America, he has lived most of his life abroad, primarily in Australia and the Pacific Islands. He is also a painter, sculptor and musician.

The reason I wanted to do this interview with Kris is personal. There is something  unique and rare in him, a flame that needs to be shared. Only once in lifetime one comes across someone like Kris who can lend you a hand and help you take those baby steps with so much encouragement and caring that you gain an inner strength to realize your dreams. I learned  a great deal from his perceptions and impressions.

He is an amazing writer and one can draw life from his words.  The richness of his work comes from his being fully awake to the life around him.

Hope you will learn something valuable from this interview. It has been a pleasure to know him and an honor to share his thoughts with all of you. Outrageously Brilliant , he will make you long for more. If you love bizarre , sci-fi, mysticism, tribalism,  totemism, magic and humor, ancient rituals and cults , erotic and supernatural and are willing to be led where He wants to take you then you are truly alive and awake to life and beyond.

Do open the links to discover more.

The Interview


How did your love affair with writing begin?  Tell us about it from where it began.

KS – My family was very story oriented, both in the sense of reading literature, and anecdotes and tales told around the table or in the car on trips.  The latter was an assumed family skill.  To this was added a kind of private superstition of mine from early childhood that words were somehow alive.  So, I arrived at writing from several angles.  The decisive moment came when I realized very practically that I would soon exhaust one of my favorite series of books—so I appropriated the characters and began creating new stories of them for my own.  I remain very sympathetic to fan fiction as a consequence, and to the incorporation of famous characters from literature in new contexts.

What ignites your inner fuel?  Does being wakeful and sensitive to your surroundings help you to create more than any other thing?

KS – I think writing, in fact any artistic activity, is based on a fine balance of being hyper-alert to what’s going on around you—and then being able to switch off and to go inside, to process and imaginatively reconfigure those externally derived perceptions and observations.  The mind is both inside and out, and is forever dynamically shifting those boundaries, defining them, revising them.  So, you have to stay in rhythm with those oscillations.  I’ve also found that the practice and pursuit of art makes one more attuned to the levels of things “going on around.”  For instance, there’s an interesting conflict going on right now in my office between a spider and a moth.  My dog is having a dream.  My local council is about to decide an important town planning issue.  I just Googled on the latest developments in the Middle East uprisings.  Checking my e-mails, I see I’ve been offered the chance to be a book reviewer in the USA.  And then I get a call from a Call Centre in India regarding my water bill, which is overdue.  We live on so many levels today.  Art should make us more sensitive to their complexity and interaction.

There is a mysterious world that emerges out of your writings.  A world very few like to venture into.  Tell us more about it.  What gives birth to these characters in your works?

KS – I lived a pretty adventurous life at various points in the past, and I was fortunately exposed to lot of the things that I think promote creativity—even if they’re terrifying or sad in the moment.  But my greatest inspiration is a very rich dream life, which has been the case since my first memories.  I’m not always influenced by any one specific dream—more by this pervasive certainty that there’s a whole other multidimensional world that I’m part of, which I can only take fragments of back to so-called waking life.

What is your idea of a good work of fiction?

KS – One that works on both the micro level of detail, and as unified whole.  Books with individual sentences I ponder over, particular scenes, as well as making me want to reread them completely.  Ultimately, I believe good fiction is what makes you want to read it again.  When you think about it, we apply that same criterion to music and visual art.

Do you feel that creativity becomes captive when it is up for sale?  Is writing for pleasure, a free form of writing better than the formal one?

KS – No, I see great value in the disciplines of professionalism.  Working with deadlines, respect for audience, diligence in fact checking where necessary, the self-control of editing and revising.  I don’t begrudge people the satisfaction of creativity in any form.  I encourage it absolutely.  But that doesn’t mean that someone has real talent and is an artist because they express themselves.  I also think that working within a professional framework humanizes the end creative achievement.  Art becomes meaningful when it’s shared and there needs to be some shared risk in that.  Audiences in any form enter into the work more fully when they pay for it.  It’s just human nature.  I think all the discussion of “commercialism” in the arts overlooks the simple spectrum principle.  You can go to a gourmet restaurant for fine dining and a real experience—or you can go to McDonald’s for a quick cheap feed.  In both cases however, you pay.  Both are commercial.

When the musician, painter, sculpture, poet, writer Kris is resting what does the other Kris do?  What are your other passions?

KS – A good portion of the rest of my time now is spent corresponding with associates, fans, agents, etc in relation to those activities—in other words the promotional, business side.  Some of it is honestly hustling for attention, some of it is supporting friends and colleagues as best I can.  The musical collaboration takes a lot of organizing.  The intensity of the time demands had a lot to do with my divorce and the recent end of a five-year relationship.  I do a lot of walking with my dog.  I used to be heavily into adventure sports like whitewater kayaking.  I have binges of intense new reading.  But I’ve been pretty hard focused on work of late.

Share some experiences from your journey to publishing your first novel.

KS – Well, my first published novel was really about my fifteenth.  I’d written a lot of highly experimental stuff that I thought was terribly interesting, but no commercial publisher agreed.  They in fact seriously doubted my sanity.  Some of those manuscripts survive in bits and pieces and keep insinuating themselves in new work.  Others I destroyed in a fit of depression and during a period of younger drug use.  My road to book publication is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

I love the websites for your books ZANESVILLE and PRIVATE MIDNIGHT and the music for PM.  Tell us about the inception of these unique, captivating ways to promote your work.

KS – I draw on skills I’ve made my living with promoting other people and organizations.  So, I wanted to apply them to work of mine.  There’s unquestionably a pure promotional aspect to them.  But there’s also a larger and I think much more interesting desire to make the works live on more levels—to potentially reach people who may not be readers.  Sharing in as many ways as the works allow.

Tell us about Clamon ?  I loved the tracks based on PRIVATE MIDNIGHT and would like you to share something about them.

KS – Clamon is an informal and highly flexible arts collective of people I admire and enjoy working with.  In many cases we work remotely from 12,000 miles apart.  Steve Joseph in Houston is a key collaborator.  Lyric Powers has done much of the main graphic design.  There’s the enjoyment of a sense of tribe—and the ability to extend a concept into other media.  I think extensions are something all writers have to think about today.  The music reflects these other strong individual’s response to the work.

MP3 for Private midnight

You once said “writers need to be dreamers”.  For dreamers like me who are at the threshold of a door that leads to the unknown yet adventurous world of writing, what advice would you give ?

What happens when a dream is crushed or left suspended?  When words shrug their shoulders and walk away and you stare into a biblioblackhole ?  Did you ever face such a situation?

KS – Rejection, disappointment…the struggle to be paid—any kind of “career” in the arts is fraught with so much uncertainty and heartache this way, you have to wonder why anyone would choose such a path.  So, it has to choose you.  Only very hardy people can survive the hard knocks on the business front.  As to the artistic challenges and crises…the times when the creative solutions aren’t coming, fatigue and depression set in, inspiration just isn’t there…I perversely believe you have to be the kind of person who enjoys those moments.  Listen to what your doubt or anxiety is telling you.  Listen to your anger as much as to your joy.  The more you can embrace the whole of your own psychic being (with all its failings), the more you will connect with people.  The crucial dividing line between the amateur and the true artist (however successful finally) is that the amateur seeks primarily approval.  The artist is seeking connection and self-awareness.

Tell us about your co authors, your animal companions, and how their presence in your life made it richer.

KS – Almost too much to tell there.  My dingo Gyp and my mastiff Luciano (and Tom the cat) have been extremely close spiritual companions…and also very close down-to-earth/on the bed friends.  If I had to encapsulate what they’ve taught me, it’s that the spiritual and down-to-earth aren’t opposites at all.  They’re the same meditation, as the Buddhists would say.  They’ve also made me more aware of means, performance, and demonstration in the world.  The mastiff head butts me for a pat.  Well, what other means does he have?  I think in human relations, especially in romantic ones, we forget there are only so many means at hand to communicate, to express.  I’ve grown more appreciative of seemingly simple gestures…the apparently off-hand remark.

It often takes a good amount of courage and belief to go against the tide.  What would you suggest to writers who like me who want to move away from the normal and take the dangerous road?

KS – The responsible answer is “don’t do it.”  A more considered answer is to be very articulate about what you mean by the “normal.”  The clearer you are about what you feel you’re breaking away from, or wanting to break away from, the more successful you will be.  But I think this larger principle holds—it’s much more important what you value and are in favor of, than what you dislike or resist.  Rebelling against something doesn’t necessarily give you a new direction, and we end up admiring advocates much more than critics.  As my gangster stepbrother would’ve said, “Have enemies because of who’s on your side and what side you’re on.”

How important it is to stay rooted to the culture and society we live in?  What if one wants to venture beyond?  How do we know of our calling as a writer?  Thoughts, ideas come as a deluge sometimes but how does the inner editor work?  It is always turmoil for a learner like me.

KS – Can we ever escape our culture?  Many have tried.  They’ve moved far away physically (as I have)…they’ve adopted new ways, sometimes another language.  They often seem to become more a part of their origin culture as a result!  It’s always ourselves we’re in search of, and we are all examples of our cultural backgrounds, as much as we are arguments against narrowly defining them.  I’m no more a representative American than you are of India.  And yet…

As to managing the flood of ideas, give up.  You’re a parent.  I’m sure you started off with some ideal notions about raising children.  Things don’t work out that way.  Love doesn’t work out that way.  You have to enjoy the mess of process.  Be glad you have some chaos in your head and in your heart.  That’s what art is all about.  The only remedy is constant work and training.  Like a dancer.  Like a martial artist or tradesman.  Like a musician.  Practice the scales.  Throw stuff out.  Making love is like that too.  We’re all pretty clumsy and foolish at the start.  And there has never been in any endeavor, even among the most beautifully talented by nature, ANYONE, who couldn’t get better through work.  Many people expect things to come too easily.  Good things come to those who work and failure is a very fine teacher.

We have read some memorable write ups about your family.  How did your growing up years influence you?  Share one incident that changed the course of your life for good?


KS – My father was a complicated man-child.  Frustrating, failed, impossible not to like, yet always sneaky and not entirely to be trusted.  A cowardly war hero, a nervous but brilliant preacher, an alcoholic-innocent teacher, leader and lost soul boy.  But once (and scenes like this repeat a lot in my growing up) we were driving through the California foothills to go fishing in the mountains.  A mix of old volcanic land and terrain that had been raped by the Gold Rush and its aftermath.  A blank field of jagged shale, like a dead planet, shining under hot high summer sun.  The car broke down, no one around.  I was about eight.  Sweaty, thirsty, irritable.  From his adult perspective, it could’ve been a painful moment.  Then we looked out through the sun glare over these shards of thin granite and saw—literally thousands of Monarch butterflies—it happened to be that moment in the year when they appear in mass numbers.  It looked like some strange imaginary storm over the stones.  “Isn’t it lucky,” he said.  I think about that still, whether in moments of annoying inconvenience—or real tragedy.  We so want things to go smoothly…and yet we long for the wonderful to happen.  Then we wonder why it doesn’t seem to enough.

Share the art of pulling together a good story especially if it’s going to be slightly away from the set “norms” of writing.

KS – I’d happily do this, if I had the answer.  I remain a student.  What I’m certain of is that any good story demonstrates what works in all art—some distinctive balance between intentional structure and organic, quixotic flow.  I think that comes out of losing yourself in your characters.  Plot really is secondary.  In a great story, action and character seem to meld together.  I never set out to write something odd for the sake of it—but I never dismiss any possible line of drama or scene that crosses my path, whether from walking around life, dreams, something heard from others’ experience or stray imaginings.  I’m a scavenger and relentless what-iffer.  As the poet Ann Sexton observed about a humble paperclip on her desk…if it were larger it would look something like a snowshoe.

Mind game and fairy tale, PRIVATE MIDNIGHT is a novel to treasure.  I am half way through it and it is a complete turn on for people who love to play with primal emotions.  Aren’t we all haunted by time?

KS – I think we all are haunted by time, but some are more haunted by themselves too.  Often the causal factor is the denial of primal emotions—the inability to channel them—so that they can take on monstrous proportions.  The main character in PM suffers this problem acutely.  His past becomes a monster.  El Miedo, which means The Fear.

Does your being a multimedia artist make you break through categories and bend and experiment with various subjects?

KS – It may be the other way around.  Some internal drive has necessitated a multimedia response.

The Bizarro Starter Kit is next on my reading list.  Why is this genre not really recognized in the fiction world when we are deep inside so much bizarreness?

KS – Oh, I think this genre is gaining great traction around the world, in underground circles at least.  You can’t be alternative, avant-garde, edgy (however you want to put that) and be openly accepted by the mainstream.  Bizarro is an affront to much “serious” writing and the publishing mechanisms behind that.  They also value having fun with what they do.  The bigger question is how they will respond when a serious major publisher offers to buy them out, which will happen one day.

In all my discussions and interactions with you as a friend, student and admirer I discovered a rich life and a beautiful heart that needs to be shared with everyone.  Have you ever thought of writing a biography or a collection of memoirs?

KS – My most recently completed work is called SEA MONKEYS, and is with my agent now.  It explores the childhood / coming of age part of my life.

This year has been exceptionally good for you.   SINISTER MINIATURES and ENIGMATIC PILOT are already making waves and EAT JELLIED EELS AND THINK DISTANT THOUGHTS has been accepted for publication.  After SEA MONKEYS, what’s next?

KS – A continued period of intensive writing, and sadly not much painting.  Three other novels are in the works right now, and I’m working with Clamon on music and video for REVEREND AMERICA, which is scheduled to be released in February 2012.

Any plans to raid the sub continent?


KS – I’d love to.  Probably not realistically until 2013.  When there’s some more time.

What kind of readership do you have in this part of the world?  Do you think people appreciate your style of writing here?


KS Tabish Khair, a Man Booker Prize nominee did a feature on ZANESVILLE for the Indian version of the Wall Street Journal.  I think I have a potentially fairly large audience.  It’s arguably become or fast becoming, the world’s most sophisticated audience for literature.

You love jazz and have such a fantastic taste in music.  You introduced me to a whole new world of great artists.  Does music inspire you while writing like it does me?

KS – Constantly, although very often indirectly.  Music is deeply mysterious, because it can be examined objectively as a system—more so than any other human creation except mathematics.  Yet, if it’s just system, it’s not felt as music.  I try to hear what that implies for writing as well.

Let’s talk about COLORS OF COMPULSION , your portfolio book of paintings.  I have seen your graphic work and it is as mind-boggling as your prose, absolutely delicious to say the least.

KS – Thank you very much.  It’s very meaningful for me, and I’ve been naturally pleased that it’s been taken up others.  I’m proud to have had sales and to be officially represented, but it’s honestly my very personal amateur side.  Professional validation is just a wonderful bonus in this form.

Would you like to share something I have missed and your heart desires?

KS – The only thing I can think to say here is that like every artist, I seek a certain level of success.  I just would like personally to avoid the level of pretension and self-satisfaction that seems to come with it.  It’s unfortunate to say the least that some of our most lauded artists become so taken with themselves they lose sight of anything else.  I always think back to working in a hospital.  Cleaning a bedpan brings you right down to the truth of it all.  Same with burying a dog.

Any parting thoughts you would like to share with us?

KS – Stay true to your heroes.  Take issue with them, try to transcend them if you can.  Revise them.  Discard and exchange them.  But never outgrow the need for heroes.

Links

Some more learning with Kris

KS on Facebook

Author’s Page on FB

Kris’s Blog 

The Nervous Breakdown Articles

Complete book list of Kris

 

 

Update 

Reverend America is available on Amazon . Do pick it up . 

DWI Part 1: Roses and Thorns


Read the introduction here

After considering a lot I have decided to include the first part of Sonya’s Diary as snippets from memory lane.

One

Slumbering sun , cloud cover, silence of early dawn and I .  Waking up in a warm cozy bed in a house full of loving caring people , great food , laughter and total relaxation is what my aches for and here I am in my granny’s home in this beautiful city. The touch of black leather cover and crisp white pages is sensuous.  It will be difficult to kill  virginity of this diary with blue-black letters so I will use the color of blood -Red at least for now.

Red is also color of love they say but life is not just bed of roses , there are sharp thorns that draw blood at the very touch.

Why did he gift me a diary ? Who will read it anyway ? Is it safe to bare your deepest darkest secrets , desires ? Was there a glint of mischief in his eyes or do I become delirious the moment he walks in.

Anyway today is the first day of freedom. I guess mom and I shed our polluted skins and breathe free here. I know some rainy day I will open the gutter and spill the muck on the sidewalk only to make space for more but then it is better than it overflowing and rotting.

Today nothing of that , only celebration of yesterday’s fragrant little adventure. I am still warmed by that touch. Stolen kisses are sweetest but missed kisses uff they throb like hell. Christ ! heart flutters are all good but that ice-cube sliding down your spine is erotic.

Why do people confuse love with sex, passion, hunger, lust and desires or it just that it is too confusing to decipher ?

I don’t know but these moments of pure bliss are right here and never to return . I know we will part ways .Society sucks. Might as well become a tree in autumn. Leafless, bare.

Twenty years of age and still longing for a man’s company . My life is more mundane than any other. Curled up inside I go through it splitting into many fragments at each moment. so many identities so many me. Mom understands but rest of the family , they say that this is no place for dreamers.

One such dreamer is shifting under her skin somewhere . I wonder where she went . Haven’t seen her in ages. No contact. Inseparable school friends separated for life. I miss you T.

Time to leave the bed. You go undercover my secret sharer while I follow the aroma of an early breakfast . Being pampered is a bliss but I know someone is going to screw it all. Hawk eyed monsters ready to tear your flesh at the blink of an eye.

I will meet you everyday before the sun rises from sleep and spills the wine across the sky. Clumsy fool.

********

two

Sorry babes I was away from you for so long. you see I am not used to scribbling my scatterbrain thoughts each day.  it has been a wonderful stay till now. Outing , traditional food, fun and laughter, music and theater and most of all his company. The two-day break to L was all I needed. Tomorrow I will go back to home but before than I want to dwell on something here. Heart is like a butterfly delicate, vibrant , pulsating with life but wayward.

Let me tell you about me. I am going to be 21 and still no sure of what course my life will take. Am a traveler by heart who is stuck at one destination for the lack of courage and resources . A part of me wanders all the time and then gets kicked in the back by reality to curl up inside the insecure, foolish me. Damn.

First love came to me with social bondage. How I hate this double-faced society but then what is can not be altered. Not at this stage. So I go with the flow and leave behind one precious part of me to follow a path which I am sure isn’t meant for me. Why am I taking it ? Because I see no other way now.

He questioned me at night under the moonlit kadamb trees.

“Do you love this guy , this so-called boy friend of yours  Sonya ? ”

I guess so” I had replied.

Not really committing. Yes would mean I love N less which I don’t , Only if there were no social norms. Sigh!

He wasn’t giving up. “Are you wanting to marry him for any other reason than love? You have life ahead . You can still pursue a career  in French or do something else. He doesn’t seem to be your kind of person. Are you rebelling against something, family, suffocation at home or society ?”

I wanted to scream Yes I am . I am getting into this relationship to escape myself, this restlessness, home environment , You, damn it  but  I denied and kept a brave front and talked and talked about this man in my life. I wasn’t convinced myself what could I say to him. Why didn’t he stop me ?

And that’s here I am sitting tucked in the warmth of the blanket , eyes brimming with hot tears scribbling madly. Knowing I will read and read again and the thorns will draw more and more blood. That is why I hate diaries . I know now why he gave it to me . Sort yourself out Sonya  and if you can’t then God save you girl for I am weak hearted and can not give you anything more than those precious moments of ignited passion and unfulfilled desires.

You Fool . What have you done.

It’s  late and the sky is full of little asterisks shimmering softly.  My bags are packed , my home town holds keys to my dreams and nightmares. Let sleep heal. I am going through two opposite emotions of love and disappointment now. Hate ?  don’t think that’s a right word. I know the other heart is suffering more than me. To let go  for apparently no reason is tough. These memories will be food for life time of  hurt and pain .

********

…………..to be continued



Diary Of A Woman Interrupted (DWI) : Introduction


I recognized her even after a gap of 25 years. She was the only friend I had and one day she just vanished. Frankly I also did not try to find her. I was going though my own problems and she just slipped into some remote corner of my mind.

The restroom of a swanky mall was not the kind of place to meet an old pal but what the heck I was ecstatic to see her.

I waited for her to finish. I remembered some common friend mentioning about her unsuccessful marriage but I never knew the sordid details which I was about to discover about her life.

Our eyes met in the sparkling mirrors and obviously she did not recognize me. 25 years is a long time. She felt uneasy of my stare.

” You aren’t doing a good job in concealing Sonya ” I remarked.

She turned crimson.

“Sorry? How do you know my name and what do you mean not a bad job in concealing ?”

The only other thing that had not changed in all those years apart from the mole on her chin was the spark in her eyes though it seemed to have dimmed over the time.

“There is always another rainbow my dear ” , Reminds you of someone ? ” I smiled again.

“Tikuuu , Oh my Gawd girl” and we hugged. We were filled with emotions so strong that they held us together for a long time.

“I need to go sweetheart but we will catch up this weekend .I am in Delhi these days.” There was an urgency in her voice or was it some fear I wanted to fill the gaps but held my curiosity.

We exchanged numbers and she left after giving a quick tight parting hug.

I kept looking at her slim figure scurrying past the mall mongers until it vanished from the eye.

I knew something was not right.

She didn’t call.

I was itching to dial the number she had given but couldn’t muster up the courage. I had seen her failed attempt to hide the marks on her face. Was she going through domestic violence or was it something else. The thought came like bile in my throat. Why is it that some of us go through a lot of hurt and disillusionment in life and yet can’t find the door to freedom. Is it that we search too hard and miss the opening. Maybe we look for doors and miss the window or the fire escape. We grope in darkness and feel the walls and still don’t see the faint light streaming through that one escape route.

why?

With brimming eyes and heavy heart I made my way down the accelerator and made a brave attempt to look good in front of kids. We collected the stuff and came home. They filled with happy thoughts and I with a whirlpool of emotions and questions to which even I had no answers.

Last month , after a gap of two months, I got a courier. A diary. Sonya’s diary with a note which said –

” Hey tiku,

You were right about me not being good in concealing. Even the practice of so many years has not made a pro. I had to rush to meet a client. I am at the threshold of a life changing decision and had no time to explain it to you and I know you wouldn’t have been satisfied with short answers. So sorry buddy, hope you understand. I am sending you my diary and by the time you get it I will be gone to another town.

I know about what you are going through ;). Surprised ?

well ! I read your blog and discovered an old pal who poured out all the details about you.

To tell you the truth you yourself are no good at concealing.

😦 Be brave.

Wish I could do something for you. I think it is time for you too to look closely at your life and move on.

Maybe reading my story will help you heal. Share it if you wish. Maybe some other woman will get courage to live her dream by reading it.

I know you write about issues about women even though you were never a feminist.

I wanted so much to sit down over a drink and catch up with you but I knew it would have been a traumatic experience for both of us. Also I had no time.

Will get back to you when I find a foothold in my new life.

Lots of love sweets. You are in my heart always .Terribly missed. Keep writing .

S*

I stared at the crisp white sheet till the blue letters became a blur. Neatly I folded the letter and ran my fingers on the smooth leather surface of the diary wondering what lay inside the hard covers.

I will be sharing some pages from Sonya’s diary with a hope that it will maybe light up some heart somewhere and maybe just maybe some woman will find courage to break the chains and fly free.

All names, places have been changed to respect the identity of people involved.

By the Way Sonya was a name she used while writing poems as a girl. ;).

I will try to bring it all to you as she shared with me. I will report incidents which I think are relevant to share.

I know she will be reading it too.

So here is to all the caterpillars and the butterflies within them.

Diary of a woman interrupted

I will name the posts with DWI page 1 – 2-3 or something like that to keep it connected.

Trust me It has been hard for me to do this. Very hard.

Looking within always is difficult and this has been a kaleidoscope of memories, dreams, hopes and much more.

Photo Theme For Thursday


I missed some of the past Thursday Challenges. Too much happening with the unruly heart and devious mind for me to concentrate on writing and blogging.

The theme this time is “TREES” (Saplings, Gnarly Trees, Snow Covered, Bonsai, Dead Tree, Shade Tree,…)

To me trees are Earth’s endless efforts to converse to the heavens above. I can spend hours watching them silently . They convey a very special message to us.

Reach for the sky but stay rooted to the ground.

Can’t resist sharing this link to my previous post on trees Have you ever questioned life from the eyes of a leafless tree

Two days back the winter rain returned and the trees stood in complete surrender to the thunderstorm.

Ones the clouds passed and the wet sun emerged  it created a magical picture .

A new life is unfolding in the pot.. Soon the branches will shed the leaves and beautiful crimson, white and orange Bonneville flowers will fill the small plants. Something gives way for something more beautiful to emerge .That’s the law of nature. There is beauty in life and in death. Look at the leafless trees. They bare it all to the universe. No masks , nothing to hide.

And the leaves hang waiting to leave the branches and drift with the breeze . No path , no direction just  pure bliss of freedom .

Poetry written in twigs .

Wait, Stop ,Watch the beauty around you. It makes you value life in more than one way .

Insomnia : A Poem


 

Night comes wrapped in  raven wings

and in it’s solitary loveliness

like forbidden lovers

the mind and heart meet

 

thoughts stumble on each other

like perplexed mass

strange voices touched with pain

glide past each other like spirits

 

sleep eludes me in your presence

and in absence, tears keep it at bay

 

I lie still

in silent mirages of hope

the illusionist takes over

 

a world streams out of me

and dissolves in me

dreams rise and wall

like ocean waves

quiescent I watch

 

 

 

 

 

Picture : Aditya’s Digital painting  called illusion

 

For Gyp – My Spirit Guide


 

For Gyp


from the shadows of my silent thoughts

you emerged like a vision

your inner spirit glowing

radiant, spirited, feisty

a reborn human soul

 

You come to me,

a young girl with bright eyes

and a smile that warms

the loneliest of heart

and reign over my

thoughts and actions

slumber and dreams

 

You come when evoked

and one by one  unlock

the rusted old locks

of my being

and yet

you dwell alone

my free roaming spirit guide

 

your golden youth

merging with the landscape

of the great Aussie wild

 

sometimes

chased by the phantoms of my mind

with their double edged swords

I seek you and find

three pairs of footprints

two yours and one mine

side by side

your sinews strengthening mine

 

there is a stream of life

that runs through my veins

and in yours day and night

two hearts in one

 

with you I  visit the tombs

and chase the scents of those

who  had memories and dreams too

 

we  stray to secret

pathways in the woods

hidden by star fires,

bird wings and fragrant flowers

of the wayfaring seasons

and then ours hearts fluttering

we  laze under the blue sky

sun kissed

 

we   float on moonlit waters

our bodies wet  shimmering

nude sculptures

 

You, the shape shifter spirit

and me the wild gypsy child

hand in hand we chase the veiled night

and make it plunge into the fiery dawn

and then

our souls seamlessly merge

to greet the new morn of our lives

 

Your presence grows stronger

With each passing day

beautiful, wild, untamed

you reside in me

 

heart to heart

soul to soul

 

I met Gyp through my mentor and friend Kris and the day our eyes met I knew she and I had some calling.  She visited me in my dreams and I felt her presence all the time. I still do. One very fine, courageous female soul. Words fall short sometimes when emotions run deep.

This is for you Kris, Gyp and Luciano.


All  those who wish to meet Gyp Please visit this link. Do not forget to leave your heart prints.


Living with a Dingo