Patience

Photo by Danka Peter

I waited while you looked around

Trying to find a place for yourself

In the crowd surrounding us.

I waited while you held on to beliefs

That were untrue and unfair.

I waited while you grasped about

Trying to make sense of what I am.

It is not easy, I give you that,

To make sense of a person.

And so, I waited patiently for you.

 

You walked on ropes,

Putting one foot demurely after the other,

Tracing back to your comfort, once, twice.

I waited, as you finally let go

Of the hold of old notions

And walked in air trying to balance it all.

You were very brave

To leave what was your truth

In order to find what was mine.

Hence, I waited patiently for you.

 

You rushed the last few steps

And fell into my arms

As a child would fall while learning to walk.

I waited very patiently

While you gathered your jumbled emotions.

Confusedly, you looked at one emotion

Trying to understand it.

It is not easy, I give you that,

To make sense of one’s emotions.

And thus, I waited patiently for you.

 

You have now, perhaps, made up your mind.

You have now formed an opinion of me.

But you still look around for words.

I’m still waiting patiently for you

For it is not easy to form bonds.

It is not easy to give a part of oneself to another.

It is not easy, I give you that,

To leap with faith into unknown.

I’ll wait patiently for you to close your eyes

For leaps of faith are best made when blind.

 

But while your eyes are open

See, that I have made a leap of my own

For it to come to this.

While your eyes are open

See the smile on my face,

See the trust in my eyes.

It is not easy, I give you that,

To see the gift that my leap has given me.

I’ll wait patiently for you to see

What cannot be, with eyes open, seen.

 

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Nice Daddy, Dark Daddy!

Picture this:

Child, 3 years old, sitting on the bed, eating fruits. Well-meaning aunt, sitting besides, talking to the child.

Well-meaning aunt: Child! Are you fair or dark?

Child: Fair!

Well-meaning aunt: And is you mother fair or dark?

Child: Fair!

Well-meaning aunt: And is your father fair or dark?

A pregnant pause.

Child: Papa nice!

As you must have gathered, the father doesn’t meet the established parameters to be considered fair. The child is barely three, and yet, she knows two things:

1. Being dark isn’t desirable.

2. Diplomacy is required in the situation because you need to cover up the fact that Papa is dark.

We live in a world full of prejudices and pre-conceived notions. What’s worse is that we are passing down these prejudices to our highly impressionable children. Children were supposed to be honest and unapologetic, right? Wrong. Children are being taught the value of diplomacy quite early these days.

India, as a country, is obsessed with fairness. The market is flooded with advertisements of fairness creams and various other beauty products which are considered to be essential to our self-respect. And I just don’t mean women alone, though they are the major target audience.

But I won’t go into a rant about why I think fairness products are highly unfair; we all have read and heard quite a lot about that. No, I’m going to talk about my life-long problem. Weight.

Fast-forward by ten years. The child is thirteen, sitting on the table, having lunch. Well-meaning aunt, talking to the child.

Well-meaning aunt: Why, you eat like a bird!

Child: (stares incredulously ) But I’ve finished four full-sized rotis already!

Well-meaning aunt: (ignoring the child) How thin you are! You should eat more.

Child: But now I’m full.

Well-meaning aunt: (to child’s mother) Why don’t you feed her enough?

Child: (fuming inwardly) I eat enough. I’m genetically thin.

Well-meaning aunt: (ignoring again) You are a growing child. You should eat enough.

The child learns two things:

1. First impressions are always the last impressions. If the aunt feels the child is thin and doesn’t eat enough, then no amount of food ingested in front of her will register in her mind.

2. Science doesn’t hold water in front of prejudices and already-formed opinions.

I’m genetically thin. Meaning that my parents were pretty thin when they were my age too. Meaning that my food habits may not necessarily correspond to my weight. But not many people would be ready to believe me.  People will insist that I’m “too thin”, and they are probably right; I am pretty skinny. But their “humorous” comments about it don’t really strike me as funny after I’ve heard them for over a hundred times. If making fun of somebody who’s fat is rude then why is it okay to make fun of someone who’s thin?

Then comes the problem of our “khaate peete” relatives who believe that I don’t eat enough. They don’t care to listen to a word of my genetic woes and keep on insisting that I should “stop dieting”. Well, I don’t diet. Believe it. And if the dear relatives are satisfied that I eat enough of my own accord, then in that case, my poor mother is at fault, because apparently, she doesn’t feed me enough. Mummy khaana nahi khilaati hai kya? is a question that I’ve heard innumerable times. Thankfully this one has stopped after I got past the age of being spoon-fed, though by a considerable amount of time. (I would still hear it when I was thirteen; I assure everyone that I definitely started eating on my own way before that time.)

I’ll take back the question that I asked: If making fun of somebody who’s fat is rude then why is it okay to make fun of someone who’s thin?

Instead, the question should be this: Why do we have to attach so much importance to it?

does it matter

I think we spend way too much time thinking about stuff like weight and skin colour and what-nots. It’s one thing to want to be healthy and fit, and quite another to want to hear, “Oh you look great! Very skinny! Wow!” being said to you. Looking skinny is not equivalent to looking great and not being skinny doesn’t always mean being “healthy”. Why should I confine my body to one narrow-minded standard of beauty?

Bottom line is this: I’m not going to eat more/less to suit other people’s notions. I’m not going to buy fairness/tanning products. I’m good. And you are too. 

Writers are…

So, one beautiful morning when I had nothing to do (I lie. I had tons of work and was too bored to do it), I Googled the following query: writers are

Here’s what was listed in suggestions:

writers-are-crazy

One positive thing: writers are engineers of the soul. Just one!

Now, you may have noticed that my blog’s name happens to be The “Writer’s” Nest. So this particular list of suggestions was almost a personal attack. Therefore, I’m going to go about busting (or not) these myths.

    1. Writers are crazy – I refuse to believe that only writers are. I think all of us have some amount of crazy within us. And I think it’s what keeps us going. Every one of us is a personal brand of weird.
    2. Writers are loners – Big lie. I don’t see any need to generalize. There are loners who are writers and there are writers who are loners. But then, there are also loners who are not writers and writers who are NOT loners. I know some personally. Case closed.
    3. Writers are weird – See 1.
    4. Writers are engineers of the soul – That’s a phrase used by Joseph Stalin. So does that bring down our tally of positive opinions to zero? No, we’ll consider it. 🙂
    5. Writers are liars – I don’t know how they even came up with that! Just because we tell stories? Give me a break here!
    6. Writers are introverts – See 2
    7. Writers are insane – Yes, we have a few writers who did go insane. But there are thousands of others who didn’t! It has nothing to do with writing.
    8. Writers are alcoholics – Yeah, and lawyers smoke too much! And chefs are addicted to coffee! And don’t even get me started on the teachers! You see where I’m going with this?
    9. Writers are forgetful – and my blog’s name was…umm…let me see now…the writer’s…umm…the writer’s …
    10. Writers are desperate people – Huh?

The engineers fared slightly better thankfully. Ah, Google! At least we share our love for engineering. 🙂

engineers-are-awesome

Have you people heard of silly myths about things that you love? Careers or interests?