Strength


“Isn’t strength the ability to renounce every lie in your heart?”

“Wouldn’t you agree that having the courage and bravery to be honest with yourself is another form of strength?”

~Tamaki Suoh  (Ouran HighSchool Host Club)

Tamaki is an anime character from   shoujo manga series Ouran High School Host Club created by  Bisco Hatori.

I found Tamaki during a Google Image Search for some anime characters I wanted to download and play with on Adobe Photoshop CS5.

I completely believe in what he says here. I have followed it and taught it to my boys too. If you are not honest to yourself , you can never be honest to others. Most of us lie to ourselves more than we lie to others. It is deeply ingrained and comes easy. We live a life of deception and denial. All our life we pretend to be someone else, avoiding dealing with issues related to self. It locks us in a cycle of self sabotage, blocking our ability to move forward. It takes strength and courage to look within, to face oneself, to break the cycle.

Deep within us there is a desire to do the right thing, be a good person but of course we don’t live up to it. We lose our bearings and feel rotten but we won’t let go of deceit, defending it just to prove ourselves right. Bearing the burden of the duplicities, false pride, and self-importance that all of us have in various measures most of us are unable to renounce the lies within.

I try never to do anything which would make me feel uncomfortable when I look into my own eyes. I expect the same from those who are close to me. That is something I teach my children too.

Take a mirror test to begin with. It is very uncomfortable and here comes the need for strength. Look into your eyes. Reflect upon your thoughts, how you deal with others, what do you say. Notice if you want to shift your gaze or avert your eyes. You will know when you aren’t right, that it is a lie you are living. Now comes the time to convert that strength into courage. Courage to accept and rectify. To be honest to oneself and others. I do it and I think that if your inner justifies your action then it is right no matter what society says.

Accepting oneself leads to self-confidence  and greater mental strength which is required to  take control over one’s life. To have a warrior mindset one needs to master thoughts, feelings and emotions. One needs to recognize them honestly and deal with them as they should be rightfully. Only when the mind is free of burdens of managing various lies it can help build strength of character.

We can only discover our true self-worth by being honest to ourselves.

Confession is another way to be honest with oneself. I feel that however difficult it may seem, confessing  always improves a relationship and a person as a whole. Doing a wrong and then covering it up with layers of denial and lies makes everything collapse. Ultimately the truth finds its way out and that pain is greater than the pain of the first wrong done. Most of the time it is too late to mend the bond when the trust is lost and one may have to live with the guilt for the rest of the life. It is always easier to lie than to confess. Confession of truth hurts but the realization that the person is lying hurts more. The pain is much deeper even if the lie was told to save the hurt.

I prefer not to indulge in anything my conscience won’t allow.

This is my feeling. I feel relationships survive on the strength of honesty and to be honest to each other one needs to be honest to self.

If you are convinced about something , if you feel no guilt, no weakness or fear, if you can justify honestly your action to yourself  Then  you are strong. That is the true strength.

So, can you handle that moment of truth? It may most probably will not be to your liking.  Do you have strength to break down, to feel pain, sadness, rejection?  To feel human ?  Do you have the courage to face the defeat and the strength to take it as a challenge to conquer it?

It takes more strength to be true to yourself than to put up a wall.  Do you have that strength?

Self-protection armor, most of the time unconsciously erected at a young age, causes most of our adult suffering. Let go of self-armoring. Let down those walls.

Being vulnerable is not a weakness, it  takes more strength and courage than overcoming most of the obstacles that you will ever encounter in a life time.

Changing old patterns takes an effort and that effort needs immense strength to carry forward but that is the road to self-empowerment and it is certainly worth it.

Give it shot.

Renounce every lie in the heart.  Be aware. Be strong

This post is written for GBE2  WEEK #58 (6-24-12 to 6-30-12): Strength

GBE2 : We are one and one is many


WEEK #57 (6-17-12 to 6-23-12): Two Days Ago

My feature on ancient art and culture took me to various places still tucked away from civilization. Sometimes to the jungles and at others to the deep valleys in the mountains where even the sun dreaded to make an appearance and this time I was in Shanghai. After a month of extensive work I decided to indulge my other self.

I saw her at the flower shop. A young woman practicing the 21st-century version of the oldest profession. street-walker in fish net stockings. She wore a short white dress and no make up. She didn’t need to.  She had personality that could smoke a man with one intense look.  Vulnerability makes women stronger and she sure was a strong woman not just physically but her eyes  clearly stated who was in control. I felt the hunger rising in me.

I stood rooted to the ground unable to take my eyes off her. She must have felt the glare burn into her but decided not to notice. An eternity passed before I could muster up the courage to walk up to her.

“100$ for night and no fantasy sex”, She said in a businesslike tone. No emotions attached.

“Fantasy sex? What’s that?” I asked, amused by the term.

She looked hard at my face, rolled out a cigarette and said” Never mind. You got a car?”

I nodded. There was no bigger turn on than a combination of intelligence and beauty in a woman.

I led the way to the car and we drove off to my cottage. It was late and I had a flight to catch next night. There were many loose ends but who cared. All I wanted at that moment was Her. I noticed that unlike others in her profession she hadn’t gone any extra miles to “perfect” herself. I liked that.

” Sana, that’s my name”.

Not much of a talker she was beginning to scare me in a very exciting way.

I smiled to break the ice.

I was sure I saw a smile appear at the corner of her mouth , it made my knees turn into jelly.

We reached the cottage and she immediately began to undress.

Beginning to feel uncomfortable I fumbled with my clothes and after years I really felt alive again

She was strong and gentle and knew the game.

I had never given to such needs before but felt good and relaxed.

It was sometime in the early morning when I slid my hand into hers and she stiffened, woke up startled, jumped out of the bed, grabbed her clothes and rushed to the bathroom screaming abuses and sobbing.

I had no clue what hit me. Too shocked to react I hurriedly grabbed the bed sheet , wrapped it around my waist and began to knock on the bathroom door. I could hear her sobbing but she did not respond even after my continuous appeals and assurances that I won’t harm her.

Numb by the incident , I dragged myself to the side table and gulped almost all the water from the jug. Spilling most of it on the floor. With trembling hands I replaced the jug and waited. Unable to think.

After an hour  she emerged. Fully dressed but very conscious of her clothes. She kept pulling down her dress to cover her thighs, failing miserably. Her whole persona had changed. Suddenly she wasn’t the same woman I had picked up last night.

Her eyes were red from weeping. she clutched the hem of her dress and was trembling like a leaf.

” Who are you? Why have you brought me here?” She asked in low scared whisper.

I noticed that she stood very rigid near the bathroom door.

” Remember we met at the flower shop last night and you agreed to sleep with me for 100$ ?” I said as gently as possible carefully choosing my words.

She winced as if struck by a flash of lightning.

“Am not a hooker” she screamed and rushed towards the door crying.

I knew there was something wrong with her and I hurried to stop her fearing she might do some harm to herself.

“Sana, relax am not gonna hurt you. Calm down. I will take you to your home. Where do you stay?”

She backed off  immediately.

“Am not Sana. My name is Jen. I stay in Colaba. Where have you brought me? What did you do to me?” She began to weep again.

“Am sorry Jen but you told me your name was Sana. Trust me whatever I say is true. I am a journalist”. I showed her my ID.

She studied it for a long time.

“Where are we?” She was more composed now as she got up and walked up to the window and looked out.

“Shanghai”.

“You got me to Shanghai?”

“No. Absolutely Not. As I said I found you in the flower shop in the market.”

I was beginning to get worried now.

“Let me call a doctor”. I moved to the phone when she suddenly turned and grabbed my wrist.

” Don’t call the police. Please take me home. You are an Indian. Help me.”

I didn’t know how to react. I had a flight in the night and here I was stuck in the most unimaginable situation.

Naturally she had no idea where she lived in Shanghai According to her she wasn’t even aware how she got here.

I suspected a foul play as it is a normal thing with these hookers but the more I watched her the idea weakened.

I decided to take help. It took a lot of convincing to make her agree.

I ordered breakfast and told her to rest.

With a lot of resistance I finally  tucked her in bed and began to make the calls.

Even after some string pulling and persistence I was unable to get Jen’s identity verified. How she got to Shanghai also remained a mystery.

It was only in the afternoon we were able to leave the hotel. I took her to the same place from where I picked her in the night. She did not have any memory of it and stared blankly at the flower shop. This was another woman ; vulnerable and weak.

We began to walk towards the beach. She still clutched the hem of her dress uncomfortably. I took her to a store nearby and told her to buy a dress for herself.  She mustered a smile through tear filled eyes and chose  a comfortable pair of slacks and soft Tee.

I paid as she changed into them, feeling much at ease now.

As we  turned to leave I saw her freeze and then all of a sudden she broke into a run.

I ran after her calling out and very scared.

She was screaming some name I was unable to hear from such a distance.  The man in front of her stopped , turned and she ran into her open arms. I reached the spot panting and out of breath. She was crying bitterly.

The man was in his mid fifties.

“She lost herself. I was about to take her to the authorities.” I did not know what I was saying.

“She is my daughter Maya. We came to Shanghai  four days back. She disappeared yesterday morning with most of the money and I have searched for her since then”. His eyes filled with tears of gratitude. “Thank you for keeping her safe.”

I felt a surge of guilt sweep over me. All the events of last night came alive.

“Maya? Did you just say her name was Maya? She said she was Jen?” I thought I was losing my pebbles.

“Jen? No.no she is Maya. Here, see , this is her passport.”  I stared at the picture of hers and the name

Maya Nair.

24 yrs

“She does that often. Must have gotten scared. Sorry about that.” She smiled feebly, stroking her hair.

Somehow it was all complicated and it did not matter. I nodded and returned the smile

I had cancelled my flight tickets so accepted their invite for dinner.

I realized that she may have forgotten about Jen so did not offer to give any details.

I felt the same urge to hold her close to me as she came down to the dinning hall of the hotel they were staying in. She was exactly opposite of  Sana but had the same vulnerable intelligent eyes that made men drop to their knees.

I checked myself and greeted her warmly. She smiled and settled close to her doting father. She had a child like innocence and it made me difficult to associate it with the sensuous woman who has made love to him last night.

After a wonderful dinner and  innumerable thank yous I took their leave and headed back to my cottage thinking how my life changed two days ago. I wondered if I would ever meet her again in India.  I knew she lived in Colaba but did not have any address. They were supposed to leave by afternoon flight the next day.  I noticed she looked at me in a strange way. They were definitely Sana’s eyes. I wondered if she remembered our night together. Before the thought took a grip I drove away.

My flight was rescheduled for two days later so I thought of  just resting.  Exhausted I slept for I don’t know how many hours until  a waiter knocked at the door waking me from my slumber.

It was a note in childlike handwriting.

We are all one and one is many. Our lives are the notes of the beautiful tragic score  life plays all the time. We have our eccentricities, secrets, game plans, vulnerabilities, and highs. We tip-off one another, wage wars, indulge in passion, sit huddled in a corner and weep and sometime plot murder. Ready to kill each other. But we stick together. We have one thing in common. Intelligent imagination. It keeps our strings attached.  There are many of us. Sana and I are the hosts. Then we are split and fractured into many more. Let us call them ghosts. Usually we are in command but sometimes these ghosts take over. Occasionally as individuals but more often combined. I live in a house of mirrors with these reflections I call myself, warped and twisted. Echoes of loneliness gets deeper sometime and I do not know my name or who I am. I become a stranger to myself. I can not tell what is real and what is not. I just endure  though at times I lose the will to do so. I know I have. 

We know you understand. To understand is to feel love and compassion and to forgive. My father knows I am not well. We have found a therapist. Most of the time I do not recollect anything but this time I feel something that can’t be named. I feel you. You are a good man.

Sending my Indian address if you wish to meet sometime. Thank you for everything . I hope to write a book one day and I will dedicate it to you.

SJM”

I felt a tear roll down my cheek.  A tear of  respect and love for a brave woman. I prayed that she be cured of her illness for she deserved one whole healthy happy life.

Healthy Traditional Indigenous Indian Coolants


The  Indian Summer is at its peak with all the right ingredients including merciless sun, scorching winds which sap the energy out of  the body. Soaring temperatures diminish the want to eat and one longs for some chilled refreshing drink. In the days when  fizzy, carbonated drinks full of empty calories, artificial sweeteners, colours and synthetic flavors beckon you from every food mall, roadside shops and eateries our home is heaven for traditional nutritious summer coolers. Natural home-made drinks which not just keep the body cool but are also healthy.

Summer in our country is ferocious and most of the body fluid is lost in sweat. It is an age-old tradition to offer water with something sweet ( at our home peda or petha) to anyone who comes from outside. It helps to keep the person hydrated and the sugar gives instant energy.

All the summer coolants are region and season specific and can be divided into two categories – Dairy and fruit based. Some fruit based summer drinks are hibiscus and Rhododendron drinks. We have the most common Nimboo pani( shikanjee) , lassi( sweet and salted)( thick creamy whipped curd /, taken plain or with dash of sweet concentrate or blended with mango) , buttermilk, fruit smoothies, fruits crushes, kokam (fruit of a tropical evergreen tree (Garcinia indica) )  sherbet, thandai, sherbets made from local seasonal fruits like bael, phalsa, raw mango ( aam panna).  Tender coconut water and fresh fruit juices are also popular. Jal zeera is another summer favorite. All these drinks are rehydrant and prevent heat strokes and other summer maladies. Sattu drink ( sweet and salty) are again making a place for themselves.  Then there are very popular mixes of sugar and natural essences like rose, kevda, khas, and other sherbets made by infusing herbs and natural essences. These are a little high on sugar but still a popular choice.  Most of them have medicinal properties and good for summer.

Aam Panna made with tender boiled raw mango, water and sugar

The plan is to help the body stock up on essential vitamins and minerals.

raw mango pulp with spices, salt and sugar

raw mango pulp with spices, salt and sugar

Exif_JPEG_420

Let us take two more very healthy traditional summer refresher today.

You can roast the mango on direct flame of stove or preheated oven at 200 degree for 30 min depending on the size of the mango. Wrap it in aluminuim foil and place on the rack. to get gorgeous roasted mangoes. Add jaggery for a healthy drink. I use organic jagerry granules or shakkar

Sattu ka ghol ( Sattu drink) 

Sultry day demands something cooling to give a boost to your energy levels. Sattu ghol is our own indigenous substitute for whey protein shake. Made of roasted channa ( gram) flour, this composition is one of the highest sources of vegetarian protein and a quality that is most easily absorbed by the body. Sattu is a special unique drink with a good source of natural fiber and carbohydrates and is made with scientific formula. Originally sattu was made from roasted powered chick peas but with time it has evolved and we can get many variants and mixes of pulses,legumes and cereals like barley, maize, wheat, rice, horse gram, oat etc in form of sattu. Sattu was originally known as Sat-Anaaj(seven cereals, millet and pulses). All across the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarpradesh , and Orissa Sattu is eaten daily in various forms. Sattu drinks can be sweet or salty according to the taste. Jaggery is used instead of refined sugar to make it more healthy.

Black Gram and Barley Sattu

One can buy sattu from a good store ( I buy from Navdhanya) or make it at home too. It has innumerable health benefits and has digestible dietary constituents of vital importance. It has high protein value and beneficial for diabetic patients. 

Mix Barley and chana Sattu drink ( salty)

Rich in Iron, calcium and magnesium Sattu is good for digestion, weight management, low blood pressure etc.

Here is how we make Sattu drink (one glass)

Ingredients : 

Chana Sattu – 1 Tablespoon

Barley Sattu – 1 Tablespoon

Salt – as per taste

Roasted cumin seed powder – a pinch

Lemon Juice – To taste

One can add, grated raw mango, coriander , mint, etc. as per taste. One can also make with sweet with jaggery.

Method :  

In a glass add both sattus , salt, cumin powder and other ingredients. Add chilled water. Mix well.  Your healthy summer drink is ready to be savored.

You can also make it sweet by omitting onion, mint , lemon, salt  and adding shakkar (Fine jaggery powder and roasted cumin seed powder.

 

Related Post 

Phalsa Sharbat 

If I had my life to live over – GBE2 Week#56


If I had my life to do over then would it really be Me ? It would certainly be some other person. doing other things, living other life and to me seems a bit scary. Life gave me a choice to make my choices and I did –  good or bad. I am a better person by learning from all that went wrong and by making the best of  all that was beautiful.

There was a time when I felt that I wish I could live my life all over again and make it better than what I am living but then it would be a new beginning and in no way I will be able to compare it to this one.  I won’t even have any memory of this life. It will have its own challenges, pains, joys, mistakes, sacrifices.   It will be a new roller coaster ride.

Certainly there are things I wish were different. Some of them I can change now and am doing it as best I can.

Sometimes one rides the roller coaster and in the end gets off to find the treasure. I feel I have been given a chance to live my life again.  Start afresh.

However, I do sometimes feel that IF I had my life to do over I would love to be the leather clad, tattooed, biker chic who hangs out with tough guys and gals, is carefree and takes no crap from no one. 😀 Single, self-willed, independent woman who lives for herself and does what she wants. Not afraid to try anything new. Not afraid at all.

I think I miss out on adventure, travel and all that now. Someone not chained by anything . Yes, one thing is for sure , even with this tough adventurous life I would never trade my heart for anything 🙂 I guess I would be just as loving and caring, just as much in love with life, an incurable romantic as I am now.  This is what makes me who I am and  I still have a life ahead to do at least some of the things I wish for.

So, here’s to present , to the woman I am today and to life.

This post is written for  GBE 2 WEEK #56 (6-10-12 to 6-16-12): If I Had My Life to Live Over #GBE2

A Peek into All Women’s IndiBlogger Meet


Sunday 10th June saw two mega back to back events at The Park, Delhi.  An all women’s Indiblogger meet sponsored by Dove  #hairaware attended by 100+ bloggers from Delhi/ NCR was the first one. A few bloggers specially came from gustation to be part of the grand event.

I had mixed feelings about the meet but the excitement to meet old friends and new was overpowering. It also meant relaxed fun time which I needed badly. My elder one, an indiblogger himself,  accompanied me as we had to attend the second meet by Spice Mobiles too.  A whole Sunday devoted to just sheer pampering.

The stage was already set when we registered and soon the introductions began.

As the introductions began I realized how large the women blogger community had become. Food, art, personal musings, poetry, fiction, technology, photography, fashion, you name it and there were women passionately blogging about it in the capital. A proud feeling to see women finding their voice and expressing themselves.

The Dove Girls

Lights Camera Action

After  60 seconds of fame the gorgeous bloggers talked about hair problems, real beauty  and other things.

We wrote about how meets can be made better. Exchanged views from other bloggers and discussed it.

I loved the spunk, the confidence, the spirit of life and the love for what she is,  in this young blogger. “What is real Beauty?” They asked.  “I am” , she said. Without make up, designer wear and any of the beauty products and accessories. .. Real beauty is with in.  YES . It Is. .. Proud of you girl. Would love to connect with her. Shout out for you dear girl..

Happy smiling faces .. It is all about being oneself .

Friendships are made here .

Lights camera Action

Love Dove smile :p

The gorgeous Inditeam with Dove T shirts. These girls worked hard to make it all a grand event. Cheers to all the team members. You rock. 😀

The kids had a blast. Yes, they were all there , from toddlers to big boys :p

😀 The big kid who along with his mom won a gift voucher of 5,000 bucks. Proud moment for me. Adi has been a pillar of strength to me in all those difficult years. Love you my boy.

Engrossed in one thing or the other. I met some of my twitter friends here. What a joy it is to meet people who were just names some time ago.

How can we have better blogger meet? Some very interesting suggestions came up and I hope they will be implemented. Blogger meets MUST have discussion on various topics that people write about, their experiences, tips to new bloggers, any other topics related to blogging , personal experiences and much more .

Indian by Birth . Blogger by choice .

The gift hamper we all got.

And the Tea/ coffee and lunch was on the house 😀

The stand up comedy act which was a tad boring for some of us.

Anoop , a gracious compare . He never left an opportunity to make us laugh.

And who had the longest most beautiful hair ? Rapunzel ?

Loveliness all around

 

 

Am waiting for the official picture to be released. The group photographs of all the gorgeous women bloggers.

The credits  for All these pictures goes to IHM and Aabha Midha . Thank you ladies for sharing them.

Still longing for more ..  Hop over to IHM’s blog .. There is more in store for you  there

What the Paparazzi captured at the Indiblogger Meet

‘beauty is as beauty does’  😀

I hope there will be more official and unofficial meet now. More women will step out of  their cocoon and share their views  with the world.  It changed my course of life, changed me as a woman, as a person. It helped me unfold my resilient petals. Hope it does the same for many others.

Thank you Indiblogger team for standing by me.  Means a lot.

Cheers !!!!!

The biggest ever Blogger meet  took place just an hour after  this one .. check out the Spice Mobiles #secureandroid  Meet  Here

Delhi  Get’s a taste of Spic(y) Makhni blog curry 

Delhi Gets a taste of Spice(y) Makhni Blog Curry


Indiblogger’s date with Delhi was nothing less than sheer adrenaline rush.  After the Dove sponsored All Women’ Blogger meet , Delhi had a taste of Spic(y} Makhni  power packed meet at The Park on Sunday, 10th of June. It was the  biggest event so far, attended by 300+ bloggers from Delhi/ NCR and even nearby Uttarpradesh .

The event was sponsored by Spice Mobiles with Tech Guru Rajiv Makhni conducting a debate on the myths and true facts about mobile security, as well as hosting a  fun quiz on the spot. Latest Spice mobiles as prizes, on the house snacks, dinner added to the excitement. For me, it was yet another chance to have fun-filled time with old blogger buddies and interact with the new ones. The family seems to have grown tremendously since the last HP meet in Dec 2011. I met some of the twitter friends and it was great to meet those people who were just names till now 🙂

It was amazing to find kids as young as nine and fourteen years expressing their thoughts via blog with such confidence on subjects they are passionate about.  Kudos to those who are not scared to give themselves to the rush and try something new. Internet has sure made a huge impact in our lives, no age bar.

I have yet to witness the kind of energy that flowed all through the event .  Rajiv and Anoop kept the pulse racing by their wit , humor and charm. Hur Hur became the cheer chat and the decibel kept increasing with the time. The fantastic thing was the feeling of  oneness and the ease with which everyone related to each other , even the first timers.

Introductions are routine unless you add a  pinch of humor to them and Rajiv had us in splits most of the time.  Some exchanges between the bloggers and Rajiv were hilarious. Never have I laughed so much in my life. Oh boy , what a day it was. A woman blogger sang Celine Dion song and yet another recited a poem dedicated to the scintillating Rajeev. ( He won many female admirers that day :p.. well deserved I must say. A very humble and charming person ).

We had ‘Catch the Thief ” game ( our team Yellow won 😀 ), an interesting debate on mobile security, privacy – myths and truths conducted by Rajiv . It is always a pleasure when learning and fun are blended nicely.

Then the most awaited on the spot quiz with coveted prizes like FLO, Stellar and Horizon phones began. Not only we came to know some very interesting facts but the joy of winning made some of the bloggers break into victory dance. 😀  Between Aditya (my son and a fellow indiblogger) and me , we won two smart phones and three pen drives. I think almost everyone got at least one  pen drive.

The mind-blowing  mind reading  show by Karan Singh was simply out of the world. The young man was so full of life and brilliant performer. We were all awestruck by the accuracy with he revealed the answers. A genius in my opinion. He freaked us out by his confidence and skills. Here is the link to his FB page KaranSingh Magic   for those who love magic in their lives. I certainly do. 🙂

Unfortunately the presentation by the product manager from Spice Mobiles was a let down ( he used an Apple iPad  :P) and most of the bloggers moved on to the tea/coffee counter ignoring the poor chap.

Apart from all the discussions, quiz , debates and games there was a huge spread of  mouth-watering dishes for dinner and desserts, though the Tiramisu was Yuck . 😦

The breaks in between gave us an opportunity to talk to other bloggers and a small group gathered to discuss about gadgets with the tech guru Rajiv. In the midst of camera flashes and people posing for photographs , laughter and fun , the Indiblogger team of Renie , Karthik, Vineet ,Anoop and the others worked relentlessly to make the Blogger meet a grand event. It was a hard task to hold two back to back meets at such a large-scale at the same venue on the same day. Hats off to the Indi Team. Very well done. We sure are proud to be part of the family.

Not just these guys but the girls worked hard. From registration, answering queries to managing both the events, they did a stupendous job.  Three Cheers for the women Indi Team of Diana, Nafisa and others.

The highlight of the meets were two ever smiling toddlers. The youngest of the Indibloggers 😀

Am sharing Some of the photographs taken by Arvind Khanna and my son Aditya . Thanks  Arvind for letting me share the joy. I hope I am able to pass on some of the fun and excitement through them. There will be many more videos and photos as the members upload them. We will have some from the Indiblogger team also. I will add them here as they come.

Enjoy !

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Cheers to all the Delhi/ NCR bloggers, Rajiv and Indiblogger team for the Spic(y) Makhni blog curry meet .. ! If this was BIG  watch us in action next time. Many friends were missed. Make sure you join us in the next meet. 

Media mentions 

NDTV Gadgets 

IBNlive 

GBE 2 – Bittersweet Days of High School


I attended an all girls school and I loathed it. This is the truth.  I was sure I will end up as a mental wreak by the time I graduate. I believed that it was a conspiracy against me to be thrown to those “catty” girls with painted claws , fiery tongues and  narrow, mean outlook just because I was a tomboy and wasn’t interested in ‘Girlish’ stuff. Actually the very fact that there was a continuous pressure to behave in “lady like’ manner  made me rebel and do all the opposite things :p  I also felt these ‘all girls ‘ schools increased gender stereotyping and sexism.

When I joined in middle school I was declared an outcast.

The reasons –

one – I did not fit in.

two – My mom was member of parent teachers association and a high official in Education Department. She officially visited school very often much to my annoyance .

The girls thought that I got more attention and that every soul who walked the school premises was favorable towards me. That my academic performance and all the medals / certificates that I won were colored by my so called special status.

Three  – They also thought I was way ahead of time and maybe not a  ‘ good girl’ to hang out with , which actually suited me fine. :p

I was filled with such rage and hurt to be forced in to a school I did not like but could not stand up against it. Dad’s word was finally.  The school was near home and less expensive. Also that the merit truly depended on our performance not the status of the school. I am sure he also wanted to rein the wild horses on which I was always riding. (It did not work 😉 ) I remained as ‘un- lady like’ as one can be except for my much coveted “lady like’  body :p . I had the best of both I guess. 🙂

I hated mom’s every ‘official’ visit ( the principal was a great friend of hers 😦 )  and expressed it openly at home but she too had a job to do. We were at loggerheads most of the time.

Those who know anything about the government and government aided schools in India would know the kind of moral policing that goes on there. The dress and behavior codes, the skewed mentality, the look busy do nothing attitude of teachers. It sucked. #shudder

By the time I reached high school I got the hang of how things worked.  I found that it wasn’t just girls but the lady teachers too had an agenda. I saw how inner politics worked. How different they were from public/ private schools.I hated those long ‘below the knee’ skirts and the hawk-eyed Physical education teacher who made life hell for those of us who were actively involved in outdoor sports and had to practice in shorts or short divided skirts along with the boys who came with the coaches. That was my first experience of moral policing  and gender discrimination.  I could see the other girls turn green with envy. It did not matter if they thought of me as an outcast but I often fell pray to their traps. Notes vanished, Notebooks vanished, Practical files either mad pages missing or ruined and much more. I never took lunch from home but the only time I did , it decided to empty itself in my bag full of books and stuff.

It was a task to stay sane and practice non violence. Though an outdoor person I was a shy and introvert girl , rather naïve and not at all street smart. Sometimes I thought my mom’s position there actually helped me stay alive but it still bothered me.

I did make a few friends but it was all superficial.

The only good came in the form of  NCC and Red Cross camps,  intra/ inter school music competitions, sports meets, and choir fests.

These were the events I looked forward to. They opened new avenues, gave  opportunity to explore and experiment new things,  and gave a new meaning to school life. I met students from all over India. Came to know about their lifestyle and culture. Made some long-term friendships.

Being in that ‘same gender’ school also made me realize what I ‘did not want’ to become.  these years in school helped me discover myself. I felt blessed that I was way above the deep-rooted traditional values these girls carried with them. Not that traditions are bad but I had  serenity to know right from wrong and a family who despite of everything still gave us enough freedom to be ourselves.

In the later half of  high school I began to muster up courage and took liberty and advantage of my place as a Red Cross Volunteer and NCC Sargent Prefect  to slip away to watch athletic meets, concerts, special screening of movies etc. or just to grab a bite and return but the sword of Damocles always hung over my head. Senior school was an easy ride.

I vowed to stay away from anything and everything that had to do with GIRLS  but life had something else in store. I joined an All Women’ college ( notoriously infamous and one of the finest in Delhi University).  😀 😀

What I missed in high school I covered in college. 😉

Now my younger son is in senior school and I see how much has changed in last one quarter of a century. Don’t know if our school days were better but yes, we were less stressed and burdened to excel than the students of today.

With all its bittersweet experiences High school still holds a special place.

This post is written for  GBE 2 – WEEK #55 (6-3-12 to 6-9-12): High School