Aama

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Its a matter of realization that the world is filled with so many hateful people, who talk bad about people and enjoy doing so, who aren’t loyal to their friends, who plan murders and foul play but amidst of all these bad people, there are very good ones too. My ‘Aama’ was one of those people who always gave me the reflection of goodness. When I was all packed up last night and I was sleeping,  to get back home to Kathmandu from Pokhara the next day, I got a call in the middle of the night about her demise, and when I heard about the news, I felt an incredibly heart-wrenching loss, and somehow I felt as though the loss was not just mine or my family’s, I felt as though the entire world had faced the loss. Loss of the goodness that she carried within her all her life. I couldn’t express the pain in my heart to anyone, for some reason, at that very moment, no one seemed so important.

When I think about my Aama,  words such as Discipline, Strength, Love and Beauty comes to mind. A woman with so much of elegance and integrity that she wouldn’t let anything break her down. And now, that strength has gone away, that goodness has gone away, and the heart feels empty with no emotions whatsover to show. Losing grandparents is always a hard thing, but what’s more tuff is not getting to see them one last time, and I felt the same pain. The kind of pain, that might not be understandable to everyone, but it’s not necessary for people to understand at the same time. Now, when she is gone, I am sure she is up there with other good people who went away, and is still trying to spread goodness in the world.

This year has been a year full of losses, and it has ended with a major loss. I have been trying to be strong through all the loss, – losing my pet to losing people I thought were my friends, to losing who I was, but this loss is the greatest. Strength is all you can have in such situations but that strength is an inch away from extincting, and it keeps decreasing with every loved one I lose. But I will try to keep that strength alive, like my Aama would.

Pratiksha Rajopadhyaya

Let’s assert ourselves!!

The society, it keeps judging us, picking on us, no matter what we do and what we say, it’s time we start telling them that no matter how hard they try to put us down, we’ll rise up even stronger.

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Here are some stories and comments . Even though they are not real but I am pretty sure they are all relatable.

⇨ “I went to watch a movie with my friends. It was quite an emotional movie and so it made me cry. They laughed at me and commented that I cry like a girl. What does ‘Like a girl’ actually mean?”

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⇨ “My friends say just because I belong to Brahmin community, I am unnecessarily proud person. Why do you  determine my personality on the basis of a tag behind my name”

⇨ “Being born into a specific caste or religion determines your worth in the world? Sorry, I didn’t know I wouldn’t get a chance to explore my abilities, since you have already done it for me.”

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⇨ “I walked into a so-called classy shop in a mall, in my trackpants and everyone stared at me as if I was an alien. Its my body. I have full right upon it. I can put on the clothes of my own choice. Then, why am I judged by the clothes I wear?”

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⇨ “When you’re too friendly, people call you people pleaser, when you’re introvert, people call you anti-social. What do we do then, just so that your comments would stop?”

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⇨ “Yes, I drink and I smoke. It might be a bad habit. But, sorry I am not a bad person.”

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⇨ “Everyone have their own strengths and  weaknesses, that’s what makes everyone a unique being. I might have more problems than you do, and maybe I am somewhat emotionally or physically down. This doesn’t mean I am trying to seek your attention or sympathy. I am trying to seek for a place, where my strengths are encouraged, and I am appreciated.”

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⇨ “Everytime I meet a relative of mine, I’m said I am getting fatter and I should start losing weight. How do you think it makes me feel? ”

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“Society” – a place where we seek for safety, togetherness and acceptance… isn’t it quite ironical that we experience the exact opposite of what the meaning of society implies? Do you ever wonder why all of this actually happens?  Maybe this is because we give them much more priority than necesary, or maybe it is because we give them the audacity to do so. We are all brought up in such a way that it’s not only our desire but it’s our living style to impress the people of the society. And when we try to come of out of this cliched world of impressing these bunch of people who don’t even matter in our lives, they start pulling our legs, they start judging us, they keep making efforts on putting us down and they succeed in so many levels. Why is it so easy for them to put us down though? Why are we such easy targets?- Because we make it that easy for them.  So, why don’t we tell them once and for all that we’re not that easy to be put down? Why don’t we raise our voice and make sure for ourselves that we get to live our lives the way we want, the way we plan to live? Let’s tell them they don’t matter and we don’t value their opinions because if we say it doesn’t matter,  it really won’t matter.

Pratiksha Rajopadhyaya

Evocation of memories, Unending Melancholy

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I dream of you, I remember you everyday. I won’t say I miss you because you were never forgotten, but yeah I wish you never left. There are times when I feel , maybe I could have given you a little more, – a little more time, a little more love . One more conversation, maybe that could have given me some peace in my heart. But no, you have left and I am here with broken heart, eyes full of tears and body with no strength to bear this trauma. I saw you there,-lying , I knew you weren’t coming back but my heart wished it was just a bad dream, a bad dream that my dreamcatcher would keep away. When I heard the news, I was numb. I wished that my ears heard it wrong. But it had already happened, and I had to face it. I had to keep myself together to go through your loss. I had to gather all the  strength I could to accept the fact that I will never see you again, I will never hear your voice, you’ll not be there when I look for you. The pain was almost like a bullet straight through my heart.

To lose a person you love is the hardest thing in the world but when its someone almost like your mother, its even harder. You can always fake a smile and stop the tears but what you can’t do is convince your heart to accept their departure. But as they say, ‘What doesn’t break you, makes you stronger’ , so yeah the grief makes you stronger, and you get the courage to overcome the trauma, but what you can’t overcome is the beautiful memories of that person. The memories come like flashes in your mind, and takes you back to the time when they were with you.

Its been really hard but I have made myself strong to go through this pain. I know that she is looking at me, I know she thought of me like a daughter and I know she loves me. And I love her too till infinity and beyond. What I have realized is, the person might go away but the love never fades and the love is what keeps you going. Sometimes, I think of her and I can’t stop but cry but then I control myself knowing that she’s in a better place now. And other times, I am left with a big smile on my face because of all the memories and all the good times. I don’t miss her because I haven’t forgotten her. I never can. But the good thing is that I know she’s in a better place. I hope I come out of this agony one day and get myself into a better place as well.

A big smile to my late grandfather

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He must be resting in peace right now in the heaven, probably having a cup of tea and chatting with his dead mates , telling them about the wonderful life he has lived.
The greatest loss that I’ve ever  encountered in my life was my grandfather’s death. I still remember getting a call from my mom telling me to reach to the hospital. He was lying in his bed, quite unwell when I left home that morning but I didn’t realize how serious it was about to get. As soon as I got the call, I rushed to the hospital, my cousin brother offered to drop me there. As I reached the hospital, I couldn’t get myself to enter into the gate.. I was scared, unknown of what condition he was in. However, I gathered up all my courage and went inside to see him and there he was, lying in the hospital’s bed, he looked fine,  at least his eyes were open for that was the last time I saw his open eyes. The doctors did say that he was going to be fine  but I had a feeling that he was not coming back home. I tried convincing myself not to feel that way but I couldn’t. I could see his face. It was changed… that wasn’t how he was when I saw him earlier that morning.
As days passed, his condition didn’t get any better but even worse. Everyday, hoping to get a call from someone from my family , ” We’re bringing him back home ” , but no, it didn’t happen. All I saw was my mom and dad coming back home with their eyes full of tears , trying to be strong and that everlasting hope that he would be fine.
One day I was on my way to the hospital, talking to my sister on the phone.. I reached there and that was it. He was gone.. gone forever with no hope of coming back. Now I call it telepathy or maybe it was destiny that my sister called me from London the very time and she and me found out at the same time. I tried being strong. I hugged my grandmother who couldn’t stop crying. We all had to accept it. We had to accept the fact that he was gone.
It’s been almost a year and a half but still I feel like he’s going to come any moment and tell me about his day. How he used to stand on the gate , when any of us would not come home on time, how he used to bless us , his smile, his laughter , his voice, I miss it all . I miss him and his immense love for me.
Maybe, now he’s bragging to his mates in the heaven about his grand daughter writing an article for him. He was truly the most amazing man I’ve ever known!!

Fairytales or Anti-Feminism Tales

I’m one of those girls who grew up reading and watching fairytales. Me and my elder sister were big-time lovers of all those fairytales where a charming prince would come in his white horse and rescue a damsel in distress. To be very honest, I used to feel good reading those fairytales thinking that no matter how bad any situation gets, a prince will come and make everything perfect. That’s how we’ve been brought up, right? The stories we read as kids signify that girls are weak and they need boys to save them.But, is that it for a girl? I say no!

Thank goodness, I got a reality check as I grew up and I came to realize how wrong my perception as a little girl was. But, then again, I was a kid.I thought what those fairytales made me to think. But what about all those little girls reading those fairytales right now? I feel bad for them. They’re living in a bubble, where they are all probably thinking that they need to be beautiful to be happy. If you’re not beautiful ,how is a prince going to fall in love with you,right? How is a prince going to show up to kiss you and wake you up after you’re poisoned by a wicked witch? Take Cinderella for example. She was beautifu, but miserabe, tortured by her step-mother and step-sisters. Then,Prince Charming came into her life and she became a princess. What if Cinderella was ugly like her step-sisters? Would the prince have danced with her in the royal party? Ofcourse not! She’d probably still be miserable in her step-mother’s house. Moral of the story ? – Be beautiful and get a prince!
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I’m not against fairytales. I mean, ofcourse I’m not trying to form an anti-fairytale union. But , my question is , why do aways girls need boy’s support or why is it potrayed that way? Why aren’t women and girls potrayed as strong girls and women in these fairytales? Cinderella had guts to go to prince’s royal party but she wasn’t courageous enough to fight for her rights and go out there to create her own identity? That doesn’t make sense to me. The same case is with Snow-white. First she was protected by the seven dwarfs and then a prince shows up, kisses her and saves her from dying and they lived happily ever after. The potrayal of weakness of girls is so common. But ofcourse, its only a fairytales. How does it even matter, right? We read it for fun. So what if its affecting the minds of little girls and boys growing up and reading those fairytales? Nobody cares! Well, its time we start caring about it.
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Why is it always exhibited that a girl needs to be beautiful?How do we even know if someone’s beautiful and someone’s not?I keep on asking ths question to myself when I say ” Wow! She’s beautiful” .But how do I know it? Do we have a certain scale to measure it? As per these fairytales, beautiful means fair, slim , no spots whatsoever , nice hair , nice nails and nice everything , basically a dream fantasy of a guy. But, what about all those girls who don’t have these qualities? Have we ever thought about how they feel when they read these fairytales? I don’t think so!

Why aren’t there more stories like Hansel and Gretel that shows actual struggles of life? This story is about how two siblings face all the struggles of life with their intelligence and patience. I admire the fact the Gretel is potrayed as a weak and sobby girl first and then she breaks out as a powerful girl in the end and saves her brother and herself from the witch. Gretel, here represents the entire womanhood, miserable and paltry before but slowly coming out as powerful and strong. This story has no prince in a white horse, no beautiful anybody and it actually has a moral that little children can learn.
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In a nutshell, I would again like to repeat that , I’ve read all these fairytales and I’ve loved reading them , but they should give a valid meaning. Only meaning that most of these fairytales are giving is how weak girls are and I strongly and truly believe that its not true.

‘They’ Don’t Matter

If you’re fat, they say that you’re too fat. If you’re skinny, they say you’re too thin. If you’re confused about life, they call you careless. If you’re sure about what you want to do with your life, they call you an insane dreamer. If you read books, they call you a nerd. If you don’t , they call you lazy. If you’re best friends with a lot of people, they call you a people pleaser . If you don’t have much friends, they call you a dork.  So, why do these ‘theys’ judge us in whatever we do? Maybe its because we give them enough space in our lives that they get the courage to judge us that way , or maybe its because that’s the way our society is.
 
‘They’ won’t be there when we’re broke and we need money. But, ‘they’ will be there to talk behind our backs when we get into some kind of monetary scandal. ‘They’ won’t be there when a little boy is bullied in his school. But, ‘they’ will be there to have a social backbiting reunion when that boy fails his exams due to depression. ‘They’ won’t be there to stand up for a girl when she is teased or harrased every time she walks down the street . But, they will be there to torture the girl when she is raped. ‘They’ are funny. ‘They’ think they are right but, ‘they’ are mean. ‘They’ are the people of the society that we live in. ‘They’ are the ones who give fake smiles to us when we walk pass them and talk about us the moment we go away from their sight. We are treated like everybody likes us but in reality hardly a fraction of people we meet in a day talk good about us.

But, the big question is , ‘How much we let them affect our lives?’ . If we let them feel like they are bringing us down with their actions, they’ll get more confidence to speak about us. But we let them bring us down. That is why so many go into depression and that is the reasons we hear about so many suicide cases. I believe that the way to make ‘them’ quit talking about us to make ‘them’ believe that we don’t care. So, stay strong and do what you want to do, ‘they’ don’t matter as much as we think they do.  

The Hitchhiker’s Twist

It was a cloudy night. The thundering and lightening seemed like the clouds were screaming in anger. The tiny rain drops falling from the sky were covering the streets of New York City. There was still an hour for me to reach home. I was driving smoothly and steadily with Bryan Adams’s “Everything I do” playing in my music system.I was in a really good mood because that day I was awarded “The Best Teenage Fashion Designer” . I was coming back from the award function and the after party. I couldn’t wait to get home and tell my parents about it. I was just imagining all the possible reactions they could show and I was smiling to myself.
Suddenly, I saw a man standing in the middle of the road asking for a lift. I had to stop my car.
“Can I take a lift?”, he asked.
“Sure, come on in.”
He was sort of a peculiar fellow. His face, his clothes, his voice, actually, every single thing about him was strange !! I was quite nervous while driving with him in the car. Maybe to break the silence, he asked, ” Can I know your name, please?” .”umm.. Sure! Its Anna Sparks! “, I replied
“I think I’ve heard this name before!”
Looking at the trophy at the backseat of my car, he exclaimed ,”Oh! I got it! You won the award for fashion designing ,right?” I smiled politely and I was about to reply back to him when he interrupted me, “If I’m not mistaken, you just lost your family in a fire, didn’t you?”
“What the hell are you talking about? Are you kidding me? “
I sped up my car. I wanted to reach home as soon as possible.
“Can you stop the car here?”, he said.
“Okay!”
“Don’t forget to see the calender today, alright? I’ll take your leave now!”
I was in a extreme hurry so I didn’t really care about what he said. I drove my car so fast that my car crashed in front of a tree. Next thing I knew, I was in a hospital’s bed, with my hand and leg broken and my mom and dad sitting right beside me.It was such a relief to see them safe and healthy as a horse.
I remembered what the lift taker said and saw the calender. It was April 1st. It was April Fool’s Day. I had actually been fooled that almost cost me to lose my life. I was just so mad at that crazy man. It was all because of him that I was lying in a hospital’s bed miserably with my hands and leg broken.
I had imagined that day to be a nostalgic one, but it ended up being one of the silliest and scariest day of my life .