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September 15, 2014 / @smirk_ninja

Of Dogs and Lizards: A Parable of Privilege

Brilliant Post.

Sindelókë

Today I’m feeling 101-y, I guess, so let’s talk about privilege.

It’s a weird word, isn’t it? A common one in my circles, it’s one of the most basic, everyday concepts in social activism, we have lots of unhelpful snarky little phrases we like to use like “check your privilege” and a lot of our dialog conventions are built around a mutual agreement (or at least a mutual attempt at agreement) on who has privilege when and how to compensate for that. But nonetheless fairly weird, opaque even if you’ve never used it before or aren’t part of those circles. It’s also, the way we use it, very much a cultural marker – like “Tolkienesque” or “Hall-of-famer” or “heteronormative,” you can feel fairly assured that a large number of people will immediately stop listening and stop taking you seriously the moment you use it.

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August 8, 2014 / @smirk_ninja

Letter To A Girl Who Deserved To Be Raped

Thought Catalog

Lightspring / (Shutterstock.com) Lightspring / (Shutterstock.com)

I know you. You feign confidence in almost everything you do and most of the time, it works. But your self-esteem isn’t exactly top-notch, and you make that apparent by engaging in multiple risky behaviors. You drink way too much and far too often, which always leaves you vulnerable and loose. I understand the occasional good time, but you take things too far. You can never control yourself after drinking, and you always end up going home with someone you barely know.

You get around a lot. And I mean a lot. You’re not even 25 yet and the number of guys you’ve slept with is well into the 30s. But you never really saw your sexuality as an issue. You’re always generally pretty safe about things anyway. You just enjoy sex. You’re an empowered 21st-century woman. Why should men have all the fun? Sure…

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June 9, 2014 / @smirk_ninja

Normal girl #tweepinspired

I’m beginning to like this random writing. It keeps my brain ticking, albeit not a very option filled situation this. Though grateful to the few who do ask and recommend stuff. Also going to set up a form for readers to pitch in, if you are interested.

Today’s topic is from ever willing, @bitemyboots

“What exactly does the society mean by a “normal girl”. As in, they brand some as girly, some as tomboyish, that way.” I’ve decided to pen a poem. Here goes.

Normal girl

He hates pink,
Diamonds are bling
Chocolates are too sweet
In his oversized T-shirts
He goes up and down the street

The hair is cut short
He loves every sport
The guys are all his pals
In a battle or the bar
He can out drink them all

An ear ring he does sport
Heavy metal is his love
After his morning prayers
He suits up and leaves
To another boardroom bout

He likes to travel
Ride into areas unknown
Stay with random people
Without judgement
And fear of being thrown

He can’t cook a bit
Cleaning and tidying is not his thing
He isn’t expected to sit at home
Ha, Learn the ways of home keeping?!

Yes this is normal for he
Why should it be seen any differently
Are we not free to make our choices
Aren’t we created equally?

So yes he can do as he pleases
And turn a deaf ear
To definitions of society
Who are prejudiced to the past
They will change, as does he.

( congratulations of you read every he as she, and every him/his as her. Read the poem twice, in the original and then with the above replacement. Call it an experiment, if you will)

SN

Ps: not really well thought out, apologies.

June 9, 2014 / @smirk_ninja

The end of the #30daytrial

Cut to the chase, I think I did very well for the first two weeks, but then lost sight of the goal. I guess it happens. But not looking at misses, I think the fact that I can stick to something’s has been an eye opener.

For example, I hate waking up early. I’ve been doing it on auto mode for a good 20 days, almost without an alarm. Good.

I’ve been writing quite regularly. Good.

Given my own will, I’ve been eating healthy. Good.

However, the next step is what am I going to do with this learning. Will I set up a plan. Apparently this is the month for Aquarians to make a move in the health and love department.

Going by how things have…umm…come to with the crush, I think am heading for the Grand Canyon of rejection if I go on the same route, not to forget am already starting on a back foot. So health it is.

Hello Mr. Grey

SN

June 4, 2014 / @smirk_ninja

Underwear and day 23 of #30daytrial

I had a very fulfilling day at work. Fun too, even though am spending too many hours at work. Did think of her a couple of times but that’s okay I guess. Better closed than sorry. A little upset at a senior who thought it appropriate to rebuke a stern mail of mine, by a mail. When he could of just said it to me tomorrow. Anyways, am sure he had the best at heart.

Mirchi has confirmed her #tweepinspired recommendation. It’s “underwear” and you can ask her why at @mirchiladdoo

Here goes.

There’s always the first time you see someone who’s not your brother, sister or immediate sibling in their underwear. I mean it’s not even underwear as much as it is just them being, well, siblings. That too at a younger age.

I being an only child, was not accustomed to this sight. If indeed one had to be.

I had just come back from overseas for the first long term stay, and had enrolled in a hostel. So the idea of staying with other people, whom I didn’t know was, to put it mildly, horrifying.

So when the first day came, it was bath hour and everyone just dropped their clothes, picked up their buckets and marched off to the bathrooms in their designated arrangements. It was quite colourful I must say, in hindsight.

There I was, clutching at my Cartoon inspired towel, wrapped around me for dear life, wondering “how do I change here. What shameless people. No manners or decency at all” and for a good 6 months this was a daily habit. I’d march to the bathroom in full clothes, wait for my turn, get in, then change. Much to the amusement of about 300 odd kids. Needless to say, this also entailed countless hours of trying to find clothes that vanished while I was in.

Variety was never an issue. There were the frenchies that were clearly too big for the bearer, surely the outcome of a loving parent going for longevity rather than style. Then there was the war zone underwear which had so many holes that they ended up revealing more than what they were meant to hide. The most popular one was obviously the blue coloured trunks, those thigh and crotch hugging versions, which were so old that they had turned light grey in areas that were washed most often. The occasional stylish jockey did manage to come around but this was reserved for special occasions, like sports day when you wore tights while sprinting; and wanted to showcase a certain “appealing” package to the onlookers aka girls hostel occupants. The most unsuspecting ones, and I kid you not, were the casual, VIP undies that looked more like panties than of a garment that was meant to support, umm, the pride of manhood.

In the evening, you could see a range of colourful “flags” lined up outside the rooms, each basking in the glory of being washed with Rin or 501, and display the initials of the owner. Which never actually did any good In helping with identification.

Gone are those days. Today I think it’s a given that staying alone qualifies for limited, underwear (or underwear free) moving zones that let you just be. Like a famous brand once said – next best thing to Naked.

Thank god for Boxers.

SN

June 3, 2014 / @smirk_ninja

Nostalgia and Day 22 of #30daytrial

Fancy. When you really start loving your work (not job) everything else doesn’t seem to matter. Just another standard issue excuse am bringing up for not keeping up with my experiment, of which writing and waking up early are the only default successes.

Anywhoos children, today’s #tweepinspired topic is from @sandygrains: Whether getting nostalgic makes you sad or happy.

This is quite interesting. For fun sakes I looked up the word.

Wikipedia says “The term nostalgia describes a sentimentality for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.[1] …Described as a medical condition—a form of melancholy—in the Early Modern period, it became an important trope in Romanticism.[1]”

I find it hard to think of nostalgia to be either happy or sad. For the simple reason that the happy part of it, or the sad part of it isn’t entirely true to the actual sense of the word. For example, when I go to a particularly precious cafe in Bangalore, I get nostalgic. It brings about a chain of memories of being there with my dear ones, of the fun times we spent together, which is immediately followed by a sense of wanting to relieve them, and a sadness because you can’t. To sum it up, it would be more of a longing than anything else. I guess that’s how everyone feels.

I have a diary which is quite old, perhaps 12 years and counting. I used to write in it when I was going through the worst personal phase of my life. It was one of those occasions when you can’t even unburden yourself to a wall, for a fear that was irrational yet vehement. Today, when I read the diary I feel nostalgic. Its like a wave of emotions that can’t be defined in black or white. I feel saddened by the times that passed, but I ended up smiling at how I managed, and I laugh at perhaps how naive I (we) was at a younger age and at the meaningless of worry that seemed all consuming at that point of time. The feeling I think that would be best describe it is acceptance.

And then how can I write anything without dwelling on my “close friends with no benefits”. My first thought when I began this write up was this would definitely qualify as sad. But actually, no. When I see someone with a toothy smile, or a curiously irksome quirk, or a stare that’s too big bong eyed, a loud laugh that arises from a dirty mind in the most inappropriate places, an exasperated look from over the thick rimmed reading glasses, a baby like habit of pleading with you to go somewhere, and almost taken for granted expectation of you to say yes, a finger that twirls the hair in deep thought, an aggressive intelligent argument, the giggling bouts, the exclusive pet names, “am confused” conversations, the battery draining emotional talkathons, soul searing implications…

Pain. Disappointment.

Nostalgia to me is too beautiful to be restrained by happy or sad. It’s a bouquet of feelings that will always make me “feel” human, alive.

June 2, 2014 / @smirk_ninja

Day 21 of #30daytrial and Zombies

Day to be summed up in the below art. Also works well with today’s #tweepinspired recco – “zombie” by @0lv3J_tam3tu

Sigh crush pangs. Unattainable, rather choice unmakeable feelings.

20140603-011750-4670063.jpg

May 31, 2014 / @smirk_ninja

Online shopping #tweepinspired

Today’s reccomendation on #tweepinspired is from @0lv3J_tam3tu and it’s “online shopping”

Clearly she hates me. Or maybe it’s love (albeit expressed cruelly, mch)

Here goes.

***

Subro scrolled through the virtually unlimited options of things to buy, glancing at shoes, glasses, watches, computers, in what seemed an endless range of items that he would never be able to buy with his meagre pension money. It was his first time on this new age “shopping website”.

His office friends had introduced him to it. He was, how would you say, technologically challenged. Apart from that, his old world education was no match to today’s English lingo. At his government office, all the language was so standard, that he had got used to reading the same words and could easily guesstimate what it was about. But then an office clerk hardly had more important matters to bother about.

As he clicked his way through, his yes suddenly stopped at her. She was beautiful, dressed in a yellow Kurti that had intricately designed borders, that reminded him of his early days, when with his friends he would visit the public library just to get a glimpse of the smart looking college girls that would come there to meet up with their boyfriends, against whom he had no chance.

He looked at the price tag. Whether it was expensive or not, he had no idea. He had never seen anything like this in any shop in Mumbai, nor heard of it. But it was surely something to marvel. He gazed at the screen again. Could he really get her? Her eyes lined with kohl, her lipstick a bright pink contrasted with the bright yellow of her dress. He was feeling young again, blood rushing through his veins, oh to feel the exuberance of love once again!

But was this too good to be true? Could such a thing be possible? He considered his options. He was a loner, with no family that would question him. His neighbours were hardly there. He had often wondered how everyone had a partner, while he remained single. Maybe this is where some of them found them too. The money was quite an amount by his standards, but he took the plunge. After a good one hour of figuring out how to make his purchase, he managed to seal the deal. She was coming in three days!!!

As the day came, he woke up early had shaved. He wore his best clothes. Even though he had paid, he wanted to make a good first impression. These days, nothing was good enough, he thought to himself as he sprayed some of the local perfume he had purchased just the day before. Oh he was finally going to get to meet her.

As the clock ticked on, his impatience ran high. He started sweating. What if someone came to know? What if she turned out a nasty person. He was ok on his own, but he’d never been with anyone else for company for more than a few moments of coffee or tea.

The door bell rang.

Startled, he swiftly wiped his forehead and opened the door. There stood a man in uniform with a box in his hand.

“Yes?”

“Sir, your delivery from quickkart.com”

He looked around, but couldn’t see her. What hocus pocus was this? Was he here to verify him? Was he in trouble?

“What is deliver?” He asked in his best English.

“Sir you had ordered some items day before yesterday? Please check the items sir and sign here”

He opened the package. It was a bright yellow Kurti with intricate designs.

“Where is lady who wearing this?”

“Which lady sir?”

“Arre, I saw lady on website no, I ask about her. Where she?”

“Ha ha, good sense of humor sir.” Said the sales boy, as he turned around and left.

Leaving Subro confused, worried and clutching a beautiful yellow Kurti with intricate designs, albeit without the inhabitant he had seen wearing it, with whom he had already painted a beautiful picture of happiness, for the rest of this life.

***

On a serious note, please check terms and conditions, and items before buying them on any online website.

😉

SN

May 30, 2014 / @smirk_ninja

Day 19 of #30DayTrial and a recommendation

First the boring stuff – No update in the experiment. It’s going on with the expected number of commitment breaking.

Now the interesting stuff. I thought I’d ask for recommendations on what to write. Spruce up the brain a bit. So out of the millions and millions of recommendations and desperate pleas I got (you can’t see them because they’re in imaginary mode) I decided to listen to @bitemyboots (cute, isn’t she?)

Her recommendation is – “How to avoid over thinking”

Before I start, let me wipe the silly grin off my face first.

Ah, done.

Way back in October 2013, I was going through what I can personally call life’s worst tragedy number 2. This is right next to world’s greatest tragedy number 1 (Jessica Alba getting married) 

On a serious note, this was a bout of what I now call “work stress related depression”. This gets triggered when you’ve been working your ass off, with no personal life to balance it, and are not reaping the benefits of aforementioned hard work. You feel tired, broken and frustrated. Some people yell or crib it out, others cry it out, some just bottle it up. This usually happens in phases and people experience it at some point or the other. Usually it phases out. Mine didn’t. 

The reason am giving you this background, is that what I’ve learnt and been taught, and have read, works. Over thinking, or thinking ahead or “assumption” to put it simply is a killer. The Human mind is a magnificent thing, built to protect and serve your interests of survival more than any other thing. It will make you think and push you to avoid complications, by throwing a million doubts in your way. What we call over thinking, is sometimes, if you really sit and write down the logic for it, is basically bull shit.

I used to be very worried whenever I had to speak to a superior. My assumption was that they didn’t like me. That arose because one time I goofed up and I got yelled it (they call it feedback) Ever since, every step I took was an over think. I’d think a 100 times even to send out a thank you mail. What if they think am being a smart ass. What if they make fun of me. What if the others get pissed off. What if I make a spelling mistake. What if they’re busy and this disturbs them and ….you know. Over thinking. Assumptions.

One day I sat down and made a list of all these thoughts. And then against them I wrote the real truth. Most of the times, none of these thoughts had any basis whatsoever. None. You’ll be surprised to see it’s a fake wall of thoughts that just cloud your mind.

Here’s another example. Lets say you like someone. Chances her you asked her out and she said no. Now there are two ways you could read it, You’d say “meh” (or “peh” if you were me) and move on. Or you’d think oh shit doesn’t like me. She tell everyone I asked her out. Everyone will laugh at me. I can never ask another girl out. Shit.

In all probability, you caught her off guard. But your mind has already jumped a thousand steps ahead.

So to sum it up. Reign your thoughts in. You have to make a conscience effort to keep a track of your thoughts. Your mind is designed to make you run away from potential harm. But don’t let it cloud your judgement. Sit down, put all your thoughts onto a piece of paper, and then ask yourself honestly if they have any logic or truth to it.

The answers will surprise and liberate you. Welcome to my world 🙂

 

SN 

 

 

 

May 29, 2014 / @smirk_ninja

Day 18 of #30daytrial and twitter fights

I was going to demystify “nice guy” today but taking a detour because am worked up with the stupidity on twitter.

One lady says something. Someone gets offended, which is his problem. So he says something. Now she gets offended, clearly her problem. But he says a little too much (by general acceptance, not my point of view, which comes later) so a whole lot of others get offended. Then there’s a little to and fro and the supporters rally. In comes a new face, who decides to take pro active action against aforementioned guy for his crimes (considered, could have also been viewed as stupidity, it’s about perspective), and decides to Impart justice (intentions not confirmed, let’s say that some would say righteous, some evil) and at this moment fires real life threat. Aforementioned guy backs off, apologises, but lady doesn’t seem to be particularly appeased (from what society accepts as acceptable norms of forgiveness) while third guy isn’t really backing off (or did he). At this point the threat to aforementioned guy comes true (not sure how, why when) , and twitter goes crazy with opinions.

Now here’s how it looks to me.

Stupidity.

Why you ask? Well think of it. Whatever you do has repercussions. Let’s say you and I are sitting in a boat. You push me off. And then when I try to kill you, you say “no, you can’t kill me because I only pushed you off”. But then I say, “but you can’t decide the quantum of retribution because, you broke the peace first. You pushed, therefore the retribution will be not for pushing, but for never getting the guts to break peace again”

I knew I was half crazy.

If you fucking decide to do something, it’s your fucking choice. And you win or suffer.

Why am I mad? If you have this clarity and it’s not prejudiced then this isn’t even a topic to outrage about. It’s plain stupid.

Like I always say, there is no right and wrong. It’s all grey. I try to look all around a situation before saying anything, and then I realise that my right is your wrong, and vice versa. And the futility of it all makes me laugh.

Silly people we are.

SN

PS: big day coming up. Writing and waking up on track. Everything else has fallen apart. Trials are heading to shaky point. Over.