The Thinning

Protein, fat, carbs, fiber and vitamins,

Labels on a bottle are my bible.

They speak to me in numbers and chemicals,

Egging me on towards a yoga mat and dumbells.

 

I wake up on a scale.

It rings the alarm in my head.

Pop a pill, run a mile, climb a hill,

Come back down, crash and burn till I’m back in bed.

 

The doctor says I’m doing better,

‘Keep eating healthy, more greens, less butter.’

Appointment success, check; Waste of time, check,

I run back home and purge till I’m sick.

 

I can smell the sugars and fat you know,

The fatty hands squeeze my senses till I’m nauseous.

‘Eat, eat, eat. Don’t just sit there, eat.’

So I stuff my face with junk and make it healthy with couscous.

 

Between breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner,

My life struggles to keep up with my diet.

Surrounded by the strings of a cheeseburger,

I dodge their grasp, I make do with just a bite.

 

Push ups, sit ups, pull ups, you name it.

I do them all, I pull myself up.

Up and down all the way,

As I run straight to the bathroom to throw up the day.

 

Ding! It’s dinner time. Ah! Let’s say grace.

There are some beans, rice and curry.

“Pray for good health”, a quick math in my head,

“Pray for this wonderful life”, it is 500 calories.

 

I force a smile, chew deliberately and play with my food.

Get told off (for the hundredth time),

Open my mouth for all to see that I have swallowed.

Get their approval- All’s good.

 

Time for a quick selfie. I do look fine.

Two years of a conscious diet has brought out a glow.

My cheekbones are high and so are my spirits,

Never mind the bones or the shadows in the hollows.

 

Snap! Post! All done. Progress is continuous.

The scale does not lie, unlike my hips.

It’s almost time for bed, just one more thing to do.

Bottles of vitamins in the morning make way to a bottle of laxatives at night.

 

I sleep on a bag of bones.

It stings my back but numbs my head.

Pop the laxative, run a mile, purge the fatty groans.

Come back down, crash and burn till I’m done and dead.

 

 

~16th July 2017

 

 

 

Joy – A poem

‘Aren’t I the lucky one?’, I said to Dolly.

Dolly smiled at me, winking happily.

‘You see Dolly, I’m not just a girl anymore.

I’m a beautiful, grown up woman.’

Dolly’s expression didn’t falter, she just smiled some more.

 

Just a few hours ago I was overjoyed

At my gifts of a pretty white dress and a new toy.

Mama had showered me with kisses and hugs.

She had said, ‘My baby girl, my pride.

You are going to bring honor, as my little princess bride.’

 

I beamed at her, painting castles in my mind,

My prince would carry me away, I’d leave my worries behind.

I would ride a snow white horse,

Follow my dashing prince in my flowing gown

And build a family, rule the land while donning a rainbow crown.

 

‘Ay child, what are you dreaming about?’, Mama snapped her fingers.

I broke out of my reverie, but the dream lingered.

‘Mama, will I meet my prince soon?’ I asked.

‘Silly girl, there’s no time for that.

Come come, lets not tarry, here, put on your hat.’

 

She led me to a dingy hut, where the whole village had gathered,

They were chanting and singing, but I wasn’t bothered.

For inside the hut, I knew for sure,

That my prayers would be answered,

That I’d be free to express all the dreams I’d harbored.

 

Inside the hut was a white nylon rope,

A stone platform, a wooden pole, an unused bar of soap.

Was I going to be bathed?

Was that why there was a tub of water in the corner?

Or was this just a ritual? ….. Something felt wrong, out of order.

 

Mama said, ‘Now child, fear not, it will be over soon.

Close your eyes, count to five, think of the bright moon.

Before you know it, you would have turned,

From a tiny bud, into a glorious blossom.

Then your prince will accept you as a woman, as he a man, handsome.

 

I did as I was told, while mother tied my hands to the pole.

A shiver ran down my spine as my warm body felt the cold

I felt my pretty dress peeled away

As mother’s familiar voice sang an ancient song,

‘Oh god! Bless this child, make her a woman, make her strong.’

 

And then, it happened…….

 

As though a thousand knives had stabbed me from within,

Knives with burning hot poison and a deadly sting,

The pain shot up my nether regions,

Every cell in my body screamed with agony,

Culminating in my throat, I swallowed my pride and embraced my destiny.

 

When I opened my eyes, I saw scarlet,

Dewy drops of me staining my silk garment.

‘All hail the Lord’, I heard Mama declare

To the resounding cheers of the villagers,

They clapped and hooted, they were now my family, no more just strangers.

 

Wiping away dried tears, I braced myself,

As I let my eyes feast on the damage done, I inwardly cried for help.

For I witnessed the murder of innocence,

Of crushed dreams, of a treacherous path to the future.

I could see the physical pain, I could sense the torture.

 

‘Aren’t I the lucky one?

You see, Dolly, I’m not just a girl anymore…..’

Dolly had turned deaf to my woes,

She had once known a chirpy young girl,

Who had only worried about games and toys.

But the girl had disappeared, the girl she once knew as ‘Joy’.

———————-END————————

 

 

The above poem was inspired by a short film I watched on HBO of the same title. It is written from the perspective of a girl who has just undergone the torturous ordeal of a widely accepted custom in many African cultures, female circumcision.

This custom is basically just mutilation of a girl’s private regions where an elder (usually the girl’s relative), cuts off the fleshy part of the clitoris with nothing but a blunt blade. Aside from being unhygienic, this barbaric custom which is completely unnecessary, is believed to act as a rite of passage for young girls to womanhood.

This results in the girl never being able to feel sexual satisfaction, which is also one of the motives for this custom. A woman is supposed to have intercourse only for the man’s pleasure and for reproduction. Thus, female circumcision takes care of the woman getting distracted from her duties due to unwanted sexual pleasure.

It is to be noted however, that the clitoris is filled with thousands of nerve endings. This ritual is performed on girls around the age of 10 or when they are about to hit puberty, so the girls are well aware of their bodies and the feeling of pain. It is horrifying to imagine the pain these little girls must go through during this ordeal. Not only during, but much after the ritual is over, the pain remains. The scars of such mutilation remain forever. Some women find it extremely painful to perform the simple task of passing urine. Most women find sex extremely painful as well so every day is torture.

The short film that inspired me to write this poem is a brilliant piece of art. It juxtaposes superstitious customs with modern beliefs and ideals. This clash brings forth interesting discussions and the film showcases a glimmer of hope towards the end. With that being said, it was physically painful for me to watch the mother in the story trying to protect her daughter while facing demons from her past. It is a very insightful movie, only 15 minutes long. Please give it a go and spread awareness.

Superstitions, barbaric rituals in the name of religion/tradition need to be stopped. NOW!

 

 

Chapters

The quill, it has written many verses,

Some dull prose, some merry curses,

Filled with drama, every saga left untold,

Has millions of cries, of laughter and woe to behold.

Tidy, it is not, nor brimming with joy,

For it is the story of the heart, of every girl and boy.

 

The first chapter unfolds with first dew of innocence,

Of flutters and jitters, of monsoon showers of romance.

A unicorn runs hither, promising sweet sunshine,

It rains of honey, kisses stolen from moments divine.

Vain, it is not, nor generous act of instinct,

For it is the story of the lips, of tender bloom, brief and succinct.

 

The second chapter bursts forth with energy and passion,

Of powerful force, of thunderous flashes of swift motion.

The heart, overjoyed and overwhelmed, revels in the commotion,

It dances to the thumping drums and mistakes compassion with devotion.

But weak, it is not, nor strong enough to uphold

Its pulsing sinews, venomous and stung, and green with mould.

 

The third chapter blooms with caution and love,

Of gentle touch, of unending kindness from heavens above.

The soul, made tender, is now blissful and alive,

It sways to the music of smiles and swings to the jive.

Satisfied, it is not, nor sulking in the misery yonder,

Now it is ready, for more life, for more wondrous wonder.

 

The fourth chapter glides with ease and little emotion,

Of transitioning maturity, of splitting and joining with more caution.

The body, renewed afresh, stretches and breathes in

Cool, fresh air of singularity, of hundreds of voices within.

Conceited, it is not, nor lacking confidence, it yearns

For truth, just beyond reach, it lights up and burns.

 

 

 

The fifth chapter shatters all illusion, it knocks hard,

Hard on the open doors and slams it shut and pierces the heart.

The mind, caught unawares, runs helter-skelter,

It needs an anchor, a safety net, a ray of light, a warm shelter.

Ready, it is not, nor inexperienced, for it seems history repeats itself.

Now, it knows the chapter’s contents, it faces the storm by itself.

 

The quill halts for a brief moment, for now it hesitates,

It knows not the next chapter, beginning in what taste,

Ending in what flavour, it can only hope

For the writer to instill love, for now it has to grope

For a call of mercy, a song of joy, a prayer to preserve,

A symphony of harmony and above all the life it deserves.

Twelve Years- A Poem

I woke up one day, and a brilliant idea came to my mind.

I brushed off the dust in my hair, and scrunched up my behind.

I saw how the photographers had proceeded in their projects.

But I, barely with a functional camera, have never captured my subjects.

 

Never mind that, I told myself, I am a pro,

I shall do this like any worthless trite worm; I’ll give it a go.

So, I held my beloved canon at arm’s length,

To succeed in this endeavor, it would take all my strength.

 

So, here is the overview — take a photo of myself everyday,

Everyday, for the next twelve years, and stop on my birthday.

You see, the plan is brilliant, oh yes, the world would gape in awe,

Or, I may just get a lonely grandma’s “Awww”.

 

`Tis no time to ponder, linger or waste,

Time is money and I have to make haste,

I am going to create a masterpiece, a genius work of abstract art,

You, my friend, are going to wonder, where’s the end now, where’s the start?

 

So, back to now, I erect my lovely mechanical friend on his pedestal,

I set the time to ten seconds and play some heavy metal,

You see, I need to get into my element in order to perform,

And music complements art, mmmm, I smell of fruity perfume.

 

Oh how I digress! Let me check if I’m ready,

Part my hair to one side, stand nice and steady,

A gorgeous smile at the camera, I’m a celebrity,

A tilt of the head, a flash, and I’m blind, oh pity!

 

Day 1, done! Moving on, I have my chores to finish,

I’ll come back to you, my friend, you’ll need more polish,

After all, you have to work for twelve years from now,

And then, I’ll meet you, you’ll see the brilliance and exclaim ‘Wow!’.

 

`Tis the day of reckoning, of one last shot,

At the giant cannon in front of me, I skip and trot,

For it is the day, my birthday, and twelve years later,

I’m to be rewarded for my hard work, the prettier, the better.

 

Did I mention that I have not seen the pictures?

You see, I didn’t want to jinx them or impose strictures.

So, here we go, I’m going to transfer them

And then we’ll make a time lapse and cause mayhem!

 

Transfer, done, click to open aaaaaaaaand…. WHAT????!!

Where are the pictures? All I see is black naught!

There must be a mistake. Twelve years worth of pictures gone down the drain,

Oh heavens, what have I done?! (Adele’s singing ‘Set fire to the rain’).

 

I’ll check my camera, I’m sure it looks alright in there,

But wait, what’s this? Why is everything black here?

“Stupid camera, why did you betray me?”

I shake him and curse him to a life of dark infinity.

 

Clank! What’s that sound?

Something’s fallen to the ground.

It’s round and black and plastic.

It’s the barking lens cover! Oh that’s fantastic!

Liquipel- Your smartphone can remain smart, even underwater

Liquipel

Hear ye hear ye… I came across this technology that truly blew my mind. Its called Liquipel, a water repellent nanotechnology which is determined to shield your smartphone from water damage.

I have seen more than one instance of an iPhone accidentally getting dunked in a pool or the sink and then the red light of death pops up and it forebodes doom for the poor phone. Moreover, there’s no other way to correct it than spend some big bucks and buy a new phone.

Not anymore.. At least this is what the folks at Liquipel say.

Make sure to watch the science behind the brand and the supercool video demo of the product.

What’s exciting is that Liquipel is not an external, bulky case that makes you feel like you’re operating a rubber toy, but its a protection for the phone that gets blended into the surface of the phone. A win-win situation there.

Now, a slight downside would be that you would have to part with your dear phone for a couple of days in order to ship your baby to the Liquipel office so they can shield it. Time to bring out the old Nokia 1100 🙂

Its not very expensive either considering the fact that you’ve already spent a couple of hundreds on your smartphone. Prices start from $59.

So, next time you’re at a birthday party at midnight and your friends have conspired against you and made a slick plan to dunk you in water, do not be afraid of your phone dying out on you. Liquipel is here.

If only, someone would give me an iPhone 4S so I could test this awesome technology!! Sigh…

Silent abuse

Something that I feel deeply about— Abuse that women go through.. Physical, emotional or sexual. We need to stop being in denial and accept that women are being mistreated. And we need to take control.

There is nothing wrong in accepting that one has been a victim of abuse. But there is everything wrong in not doing anything about it. The poem below is a shout out for all the women who believe in themselves and the endless power they can have once they have confidence in themselves.

 

See not the blues of yesterday,

Fear not the hues of today.

There shall be a path, leading

From here to where you are heading.

 

Seek the truth, within yourself.

No blame upon him, none upon yourself.

Actions cause problems, yet

They cause solutions, you bet.

 

Look at your eye, beaten black and blue,

No shimmer left, no fresh dew.

Just bitter stains of misery and pain

You have endured, time and again.

 

The words have stung, your heart and soul,

Clutching at your life, carving an endless hole.

Scraping the shards of decency and shame,

You bow your head, fearing a black name.

 

Fear not the ghosts of today

See not the unreal monster, far away,

You are your charioteer, you are your reins,

You will triumph, till justice runs in your veins.