Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Spills to Remember You By: A Poem on Domestic Violence

Juveria Tabassum

Meena Kandaswamy’s When I Hit You, talks about domestic violence for what it actually is- an almost accepted fact of life for most women in our country. It opens up a conversation about an issue so rampant and yet shrouded in secrecy. I think reading such a book will enable us to have a much-needed dialogue about the inherent patriarchal mindset of our society that allows domestic abuse to continue in abject silence, and often without any consequences for the perpetrators.
Most importantly, it talks about a woman who was able to leave behind an abusive marriage and take steps towards healing and moving on. That, I feel, is the inspirational catharsis required by most women, and that is what makes When I Hit You a must-have on my reading list.
This poem is about a woman who tries to look past the bandaged times and bruised memories of abuse, and resurrect herself.

Spills to Remember You By

She lifts her eyes
Meets those of the stranger in the mirror

As a shaking hand lifts itself
A fresh gash under her lip
Of fresh blood and old questions
She searches the stranger’s face for answers-

A whole year of bewildering silence.

The class jester had fallen in love-
And love, it turned out, was no joke.
She tried, for a while,
To drown out the tears of the present
With symphonies of past laughter-
But when flesh and bones are stained every night,
How can memory stay untouched?

“The jester is dead,” says the stranger in the mirror.
“Not quite,” she smirks,
Wide, hard, until the laughter refuses to stop
Her wound splits open
Now she raises her own hand,
Dips a finger in the red,
Smears across the mirror-

“The joke’s on you, dear lover,
“Jesters never die.”

She recalls walking out,
As she walks onto the stage-
“Some stand-up comedians,” she says,
“Have to sometimes stand up for their lives.”

Fallen not Broken

Friday, 23 June 2017

Summer Wisdom- Lessons from Robin Sharma's Who Will Cry When You Die

S. Sreelekha

Of Warmth and Wisdom

It was mid-May and as usual I was enveloped with lot of free time. I tried to fight boredom by watching some fun videos on YouTube, and yet, the summer hours simply refused to melt away. 
The next day, I got up early with a prudent idea of reading a book that day.
I selected Robin Sharma's Who Will Cry When You Die
The cover promised a book full of life-changing lessons. 
I started reading the book and by the time I completed first five pages, I was amazed and hooked. 
The facts that I realise, the lessons that I learnt took me to a world of tranquility where we hear only the sound of a cascade and feel the essence of nature.
I'd like to list out the lessons that I encountered in the book.

>Robin Sharma wants teenagers to know the value of education. He says, "...the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do."
>He states that the way you begin your day determines the way you will live your day. So friends start your day well, you will never be the same.
>He recommends that we talk to ourselves. That, he says, will reduce the tension in our mind.
>He says that there is something very special about the first few hours of the morning. Time seems to slow down and a deep sense of peace fills the air. We need to experience these moments and take inspiration from it.
>See your troubles as blessings. Always remember failure is the highway to success. We need to resolve to transform our stumbling blocks into stepping stones and vow to turn our wounds into wisdom.

Through these and many such lessons, the book changed my perspective on life. I intend on using such life lessons to fuel my future growth.  The line that had me pondering the most, encompassed the message of the book for me,

'Wisdom is knowing what to do next, skill is knowing how to do it and virtue is doing it.'

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

In the Land of the Seven Sisters- Apoorva Remembers Her Trip to the North-East

India is a vast country full of beautiful places and people, and last year I got to visit, admire and appreciate one of our country's most underrated parts- the North-East.

Last year's summer (2016) was so far the best of my life. It was always a dream to witness in person, the beautiful natural scenery,  which we usually only see in portraits or pictures on the Internet.
The dream came true when I visited Sikkim, Siliguri (East Bengal), Darjeeling and also a part of Bhutan. These are the places everyone should visit at least once. 

Sikkim Clean and Green!

Sikkim, I felt, is the best among all States when it comes to cleanliness. If somebody cannot afford to visit foreign countries, then Gangtok is the best place to visit as it gives exactly the same feeling. 

Teesta river

The natural beauty of East India is mesmerizing and unforgettable. The cities are located on mountains. One side of the road is the mountain and other side is a sheer drop. The heart seems to become still for a while when we peer into those ditches. The feeling is breathtaking. Also, earthquakes are frequent in those areas. When we were in Siliguri, we experienced one for less than a second. For the people there, it's common but for me it added some spine-chilling thrills to the trip.

A temple near Namchi, called Char Dham, was my favourite and is a must visit. It is located about 5 km from Namchi town and is accessible by a nice smooth road all the way. At one point the car needs to ascend uphill to reach the top of Solophok hill. There is a statue of Lord Shiva of about 87 ft. The place is at 5500 ft. from sea level. When we look down from that height, we see greenery covered with clouds. The vision is blurred but the beauty of nature can still be clearly seen. 

The Toy Train of Darjeeling
The trip to the East of our beautiful nation was such an amazing experience. I enjoyed not just the picturesque scenery, but also had a taste of the wonderful cultural diversity which is the hallmark of India.
And now, although I miss those days, I am glad to be able to relive those glorifying and mesmerising moments all over again by sharing the experience here. 

A Few More Clicks From the Trip!

A View of India From Bhutan

Monday, 5 June 2017

Try, Try and be Brave: A Poem by Deeksha Reddy

Life is spread across the sky

Life, you are a question 
I shall answer you with will and courage.
Every day, something new,
some surprise
 But I shall
face them all
 and not fall;
Keep memories in beautiful places
right, where they belong

One wise man once said, " there is no hope without fear and no fear without hope"
I fear I may fail and lose 
all that I have
but I shall try and try to the last
and be brave.
No, No, I shall never Quit
I will pursue life
with love, joy and grit

The layers of life unfold before me