How do we get out of this labyrinth?

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  • cupcake_virus 51w

    वो रसोई की खिड़की
    घुसलखाने का ज़रा ज़ोर से बंद होने वाला नलका
    पाई पाई जोड़ कर दोपहर के खाने में दावत बुलाना ,
    वो गर्मी के मौसम में पसीने की तितली
    छोटे से डब्बे में घर से आई काजू की कतली
    गली के कुत्तों से लड़ झगड़ कर, हर शनिवार चले आना
    कुछ मतलब नही है इन बातों का
    बस याद आ गया।

    वो तुम्हारा "आज ज़रा देर हो जाएगी, महखाने बुलाया है"
    दफ्तर का हिसाब करने को मुझे बैठना
    तुम्हारी छत की सिग्रेट, मेरी छत की बातें,
    वो पहली कमाई की कुर्ती और 12 आने की घड़ी
    मेरा दस दफा कहना
    तुम्हारा हर दफा भूल जाना
    याद नही दिला रही
    बस याद आ गया।

    वो तुम्हारे "हर बार क्यों झगड़ती हो?" वाले सवाल का
    "हर बार क्यों रुलाते हो?" का मेरा तीखा जवाब
    कल? परसों? नर्सों? लौट आने का झूठ
    वो हफ्तों तक गायब रहना
    दिल के सुकून को वो एक नाम ले लेना
    "तुम ना होतीं, तो जाने क्या करता?" से मनाने की कोशिश
    कहोगे की "बार बार वही बातें क्यों करती हो?"
    बस याद आ गया।

    @writersnetwork @readwriteunite @miraquill @writersofmirakee

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    12 आने की घड़ी


  • cupcake_virus 67w

    "देख लेना एक दिन साँस भी खरीद कर लेनी पड़ेगी।"

    About 10 years ago, when somebody passed this comment on a conversation about climate change, I used to imagine it as a thing of distant future where small pharmacies would sell cylinders of fresh air for the go. I could not, in wildest of my dreams, imagine the horrors that were to unfurl when my greys were far to come.

    Every movie about an apocalypse seems to have just got it right and not have the slightest clue of the magnitude of trepidations, all at once. I vividly remember walking to class in the December of '19 and rather unsettling into my seat reading "The Hindu" for exponentially increasing number of those infected in China. I had taken a gasp of fear when the numbers hit 8,000. Only if I had known that it was the tip of the ice berg.

    Over the course of past year, the protests, the crisis and the pandemic- all of this seem unreal. Years later it would only qualify as a tell-tale to our grandchildren and I hope; I hope to my dear life they believe every word of this very fictional reality.

    April has brought the face of devil upclose. It has welcomed it into our living rooms. Not a day has passed when I haven't scrolled through my social media and found every next post practically begging for life. I often joke about how my legal education has been "connecting everything to Article 21". Maybe not today?

    "A Capital on its Knees", "We have only 30 minutes of oxygen left in hospital. Please, shift your patients", " Plasma donor required", " Please, give any leads for oxygen cylinders", " I have a 11 and a 4 year old... I can not die", " Hospital Beds needed", " My aunt died. No one gave us oxygen", "Hundreds of pyers were burnt all together at the ghat today." "Mantriji Doctor Doctor karte reh gaye..koi nahi aya." These desperate cries for help have been forever etched into my memory. Unimaginably haunting.

    All the links and numbers to available beds and medicines and plasma and food and oxygen that the citizens of this country have shared (God bless them all), is an event destinied to be written in the books of history yet to come, all while the Prime Minister of the country had the audacity to go campaigning to win over just ONE state. If anymore evidence is required that it is the people in the end who run a democracy and fend for each other beyond everything that is used to fragmant them, we'd be overlooking this very important time.

    Nothing gives me more joy than witnessing the middle class, middle aged people of India, who had raised this man to be larger than ever, to be greater than God himself, question their belief in him. And I hope this time they don't justify -"If not him then who?" because intoxication is never an excuse for murder. To be the King of Melon City means to be beheaded and a democracy has no place for monarchs.

    One day we won't have to cover half our faces, one day oxygen would not have to be pumped out of cylinders, one day it would be a better day and we'd know you and I did it. One day, someday.

    @readwriteunite @mirakee @writersnetwork @writersofmirakee

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    The King Of Melon City


  • cupcake_virus 72w

    //Atelophobia: The Fear of Not Being Good Enough//

    "If we were to assign a phobia to each sun sign, Aquarians would be Atelophobiac."

    I often say that this universe thing, is a bitch and it finds a way to deliver answers to me.

    I ask this with 2 days of insatiable hunger pangs after ingesting morsels over morsels of food that, would I ever be good enough? Now, we aren't getting into the debate here about astrology being a reliable science because I have found a bridge in it, I knew I would and thats that.

    We're going to perhaps, vent. Vent here, because there could nothing be more hollow than finding equally imbecile people to vomit onto. Somedays, like most of my days, are just to endlessly empty myself of countless answers I have come up with to the question-Would I be good enough?

    Each time I write, it feels like a very public diary entry and perhaps, that is what works for me. You'd be kind enough to let it pass like a page in history. It is destined to be history.

    Every time I've tried to explain this feeling of less than, I've misworded it in seeking validation of the men I love or in envying the women they love. It's greater, grander and grotesquer than that.

    It's still stuck in those 2 inches of gap between my waist and that skirt I can't get over. It's pressed inside the pages of the bareacts stacked on my desk. It's hiding in one corner of my wallet in petrification of being spent. Its smiling under the sun being documented in high speed contemplating what if you, all of you think, "She had it and she lost it?".

    I consider myself to be extremely self aware and decently intelligent to understand the cause and effect of this question. I know well where I'm going wrong with this. But, somedays rationale is not welcome. Hysteria is my friend.

    In the grander scheme of things, this question has no place. I am aware. But, the best way out is through and this question is my through.

    @readwriteunite @mirakee @mirakeeworld @writersnetwork @writersofmirakee

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  • cupcake_virus 80w

    My 22yo self
    You might not look or feel like a 22yo but #1 on your vision list spells OLD in caps. The year of the great Pandemic was rough and it shows. Never in history did you have such exhorbitant time to overthink and kudos to you for reaching a whole another stratum of self-awareness.

    You're a terrible friend and an even horrible human being from an ethical and moral standpoint. You might want to fancify it by calling yourself a two headed Janus but lets get real, you're kind of a hypocrite, bitch. Runs in blood, perhaps.

    It's good to stay away from family and closer to some friends, after a point. The facade remains intact. The moment the curtain drops, make-up wipes off, scripts pack, you feel naked and afraid. Now, nudity is easier in theory; its poetry. You suck at poetry.

    Honestly, you'd do yourself a favour if you sat in a corner with your mouth shut more often. Atleast, pretend to attempt seclusion this time. The driving lessons seem unsure so you need to find better ways to be chauffeured around and it would be embarrassing if the jewellery collection falls any short. She often says and it is probably true, "Humein gyaata thodi hi banna hai."
    It is customary to say...
    Let it be, set it free. 'Cuz nothing else announces your presence, more than your carefree laughter.


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  • cupcake_virus 82w

    "You should try this. I think you'd really like it." You said with a lonely glass of wine in your hand.

    We are well read in French, yet I can't really comprehend the German Gibberish you speak now-a-days. Think of this as a sonnet falling on angry deaf ears. Too much with the analogies? Perhaps.

    I have been contemplating a beginning, but we can start from wherever. Just like your very specific recipe of eggs, we had brewed a parlance between us. Of chipping in every last penny to savour a really discounted butter-chicken, of making souvenirs out of styrofoam plates, of reciting Faiz and Faraz's coupletes to sleep, of breaking ribs with embraces. Before the sunset that day, I had quite literally seen words fluttering around between us. Reminds me of that song, " 'Cuz talking shit is cheap and we talk a lot of it."

    In your tall glass of wine, big fat order for lunch and sprinting days of work, my morning bed tea, siding tomatoes from meals, and my longer than usual sun baths are a misfit. I wonder, if you'd met me a 100 years back, would you have bothered to pen down a letter that was longer than a paragraph? Yes, I know. The literature part is clearly my bailiwick. Having a life comes at a cost that, sometimes we have to chip in with others to pay for.

    My love language is written of tears, and hours of serenading. Yours perhaps, is a long silent day in bed. Now, I know completing my ballad is on our to do list. But, today we speak silence.

    @mirakee @readwriteunite @writersnetwork @writersofmirakee

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  • cupcake_virus 82w

    “I am full now, Amma.”, Chotu mumbled with rice in his mouth.
    “Just one more bite. How will you become strong if you don’t eat?”
    “But Amma…” Before he could register his defiance, Amma shoved another morsel into his mouth and started blowing into the dying splinters of the hearth.
    Chotu lived in the outskirts of Delhi with his grandmother who seemed to have been alive since, forever. She was so old that one could never imagine her in her youth. Her grey hair complemented her soiled-grey saree as she walked around in their mud house doing chores and silently chanting prayers under her breath. Her son was a martyr and his wife breathed her last soon after Chotu was born. Amma never learnt to write an alphabet and never spoke much. Though, she had been around for a while now and had seen life unfurl.
    At the young age of 25, Amma’s son had been shot in his chest in the Kashmir snow. She never forgot the day he had left home for the last time with glitter in his eyes. His zeal was unmatched and valour was Herculean. Amma had always known that when the duty would call, he would run head first into the conundrum for his motherland. And so he did.
    Many years later in the fumes of polity when the city of Delhi was incinerating, Amma knew it was time again. Couple of her friends, mostly old ladies she visited the temple with, thought she was rather too illiterate understand the kind intentions of the government in keeping the beef eating monsters away from the holy earth of India. “Didn’t they kill your son?” They would ask her, covering their faces with their sarees whenever she poured luke-warm water from her herth into the flask of a young boy named Yusuf. He was one of the protestors who sat everyday outside the big red building.
    “They say, it’s not my home. But I have lived here all my life. ” Yusuf used to complain.
    “Bohot utsah hai chore mein, bilkul mere bete jaisa. He has a lot of enthusiasm in him, just like my son.” Amma would tell her girlfriends.
    Today, the city stands amidst another chaos. Thousands of men in turbans, women as old as her and young children march towards the city. They are asking to meet the prime minister but everyone seems to push them a step back. Amma’s friends still think she does not understand the kind intentions of the government while they roll out Rotis for dinner.
    In the cold nights of December, Amma and Chotu sit with these men and women often. She helps the women in cooking langar and Chotu teaches little kids a poem he learnt at school about a little ant that keeps on moving. Every day, Amma and her new girlfriends chuckle at the young kids reciting the poem.
    “Bohot utsah hai inn bacchon mein, bilkul mere bete jaisa. These kids have a lot of enthusiasm, just like my son.” Amma never fails to say.
    @mirakee @writersnetwork @writersofmirakee @readwriteunite @mirakeeworld

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  • cupcake_virus 88w

    No, its not a sad excuse for an account of bullying incident that left me scarred for life. It's the year of the great pandemic and I've had much time to reflect.

    "You're a bully." A text that lives in my head rent free since, last June. Now, a 4'9" midget of a woman who has been called cute enough times it's excruciating, hardly fits into text book definition of a bully. Mind you, I am no Phoebe Buffay who would punch you around the corner, or perhaps, eat your lunch away( for the most part of it). There is something greater and more haunting in the bully that I am. I haven't quite figured it out to pin point, yet.

    You know, the thought of somebody not liking me tears my heart. I have to have everything under control. It's a grand Shakespearean play in my head and every character has to perform on the pitch I have scribbled backstage. One can argue I am less deserving. I have always said my most favorite sound in the world is laughter. I want you to be happy but, not without me. This madness is bully.

    My most favourite lines I have ever written make so much sense here. "You were possessed long while back and now it has begun to breathe your breaths, eat your grains, speak your tongue and watch your steps." I don't know how but it seems to fit.

    I am very good at making friends. Even better at mishandling friendships. Not to sound narcissistic but remember how Poo of K3G has those 2 friends who repeated everything she said? I might have bullied people into doing that. I once cornered a guy in school corridor to make him confess he liked me. Yikes.

    What one ought achieve with smiles and tears is unfathomable. Words, rather consistent bickering can get you most things in life if you play the part right. I have successfully used this home recepie to attract people instead of scaring them away. Like I said, not a text book Bully here.

    Love and warmth are beautiful heels to dance in but you can't waltz your way into bullying the elitist circles. It's a bummer I know. And you surely cant bully someone once they aren't scared of letting you lose. Bummer? I know. While the realisation has knocked the door, the will to change isn't welcome, yet.


    @readwriteunite @writersnetwork @mirakee @writersofmirakee #readwriteunite #mirakee #writersnetwork

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  • cupcake_virus 93w

    *I put my foot in my mouth.*
    Today, as a woman is paraded through a pool of vultures picking on her flesh for a headline, the nation is in a divide to decide if witchcraft is rolled with hashish. I wanted to pen this down months, rather years ago, but I'm too dumb to have an opinion. Why do we need to have it? Why just one? Why not a toxic orgie of opinions? Maybe some other day.
    This is not a history class on Feminism because I'm not sure if I am competent to deliver one. You and I both know, it was dropped like Manah on earth to the starving. Men and women are different variables and Feminism Plan A was to offer both a constant opportunity and let them thrive. We are everywhere, but here.
    You know, once a man slid into my DMs, asked if I was 18 and on being sure I was adult enough, he shoved his genitals on my screen. For years, I have believed I am not a feminist because the connotation seemed so maligned I never was sure enough if I identified as one. But then before the dawn breaks, "hippetty hoppetty, women are property" silences the conundrum. Maybe all these women getting violated, all those girls never getting to breathe, all those child rearing factories, those women in that tribe of Uganda who have to dig a hole in ground and sit on it while their bodies bleed, need my feminism. It is a shame I haven't voiced out.
    I know somebody who says, "How far will you carry your instagram activism?" I mean, I couldn't even post a write-up with a picture of someone's bosom. It's a long haul. But, good news is, they will free our nipples, our butts, our legs, and one day our vaginas as well, like it's just another body part. But I often wonder, will this happen at the cost of our seat at the table? Trust me I'm the loudest in a fight with University guards to let me out in my shorts, but I want to pull myself a chair while I parade in shorts.
    Just recently, a friend(male) was on a meeting with a client(female), during late hours and turns out she was a sex- worker posing as a potential client. She sat on him, spat on him, tore his clothes and extorted hefty cash at knife point, threatening rape charges. What could I have said to him? "We are not in the business of justice but in the business of law?" That life is not pink or blue but my yellow bareacts bled pink?
    Nearly everyday we discuss in our criminology class if deterrence and capital punishment are serving their purpose in criminal justice system and most of my classmates conclude that "hanged till death" is futile; now only a band-aid to mass outcry. But each time a woman gets raped, I see their stories advertising public hanging, penis butchering, reciprocating rape on offenders - as potential rape punishments. Orgy of thoughts, is it?
    But here is the hard part. I am the worst person to be writing this. I have done some things that may have taken this movement 10 steps behind. I have dated abusers, have been friends with them, might have been part of bringing so many women down. I couldn't bring myself to deter them because well, it is futile. Parting ways with them didn't seem to solve the problem. I know, you can find one story of your own too.
    You see, we have to live with ourselves and the burden of truth is so crushing, we tend to justify it to ourselves so that it hurts the least. How do you think people in prison cells survive the guilt? We need this justification to hold on to. Is what you're reading a justification of guilt? Perhaps. Oh! this orgy of thoughts.
    See, I don't know what feminism is or if I identify with it or if I am just dumb that I can't see things as they are. Pardon me, to reiterate Kamla Bhasin yet again, but I don't think it is a battle between sexes, rather it is a battle of power. Or is it true that patriarchy has engulfed womankind and I am too privileged to feel it? Oh! This orgy of thoughts.

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  • cupcake_virus 98w

    To be locked in a house, for days at stretch and just trying to not be consumed by the monotony of life. The Virus threw a challenge a little too hard. But, over these 6 months, the realisation has probably settled that what is lockdown for us is just another day for Mother Goose. Only this time, she did something she actually happened to enjoy.

    For the first time in years, our family group participated in something worthwhile and for a change I'm proud of my relatives. One of them just happened to post about an Online Geeta class where they'd teach the memorisation and pronunciation of Shlokas. And the little Brahmin woman that she is, Maa latched onto the first opportunity to grab a seat.

    There was some great pleasure in watching her sit starry eyed with the laptop, reading the shlokas, pronouncing them again and again and then screaming my name because she would get confused with the unmute option. She would ask my father to print the class notes so she could practice every week and would spend hours and hours with those big chunky headphones on, trying to correct her pronunciation. Do parents feel this way when they see us studing? What euphoria!

    Weeks had passed and now it was time for Class Test. She practiced her recitation, and wore the loveliest of kurtas she owned, combed her hair into a bun, made me put fairy lights in the pooja room, and asked me to shoot an "acchi si video" for her test because she wanted to be the best presenter in her class. Now, I get it where i got it from.

    The Teacher of the hindi language, who taught so many kids at one point, who I would ask before each exam, "accha hoga na?", was worried if she'd clear Level 1. And the day, the results were out she was overjoyed and how. And then she enrolled herself for Level 2 and the whole thing began again.

    Today, her certificate arrived and I'm just proud of her.

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    Maa and Online Class


  • cupcake_virus 102w

    "Hastar grabbed all the wealth but couldn't get a hold of food. This grain is what he yearned for and this grain is what he feared."

    Today, Hastar lay on the couch, trying to pick every last coin he could. He must have convinced the goddess to shelter him, afterall he was so dear. He's petrifying to look at and he bleeds my ears with his roars. Ones alive of his curse, speak in disgust.

    If they'd let me, I'd want to climb down the well, sit him down and shake his head. The coins would all end up in his pocket but he's running out of grain.

    I wonder, if brothers of Hastar in the story, told him he was playing his cards wrong. He might have not let out the curse. But, who knows, if they told him and he was so blinded by the shine of gold he didn't care for food. I tried telling him too, he didn't listen.

    For one last time, I want to jump down the well and show him what his sin is. The sparkling coins were reaping him into murk. That if he would ask for earth, he'd get the sky and if he'd demand sky, stars would shower upon him. But would he not crave us?

    From history and folklore I know, Hastar is a lost cause and Pandurang would have to set him aflame

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    Hastar of my House