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Showing posts with the label #FourCloverLife

Who Owns My Name? Who Owns My Identity?

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Usually, there would be three people in the office that early- the office boy, the janitor, and an account assistant. Today I saw him too, and he offered to make coffee for me. He looked crisp as a toast that morning in a pearl-white shirt and charcoal trousers, a tie, hair- a mottled mixture of black, grey, and white, and eyes that that had a sparkle of a thousand splendid suns. don’t know why, but my heart skipped a beat at the thought of seeing him again, and the next day, and the day after. Two months later we were furtively writing emails to each other- in the office. Emails about my words, my thoughts, free verses vs rhyming poems, and ME. I HAD NEVER FELT SO VISIBLE. I would stay back after office hours just to be with him and savor his presence; he made affection feel simple and it felt nice to receive it. Though his family wasn’t there, they weren’t entirely absent either. We ate tofu burgers at the food court of DLF square sharing stories of our lives: me talking about my i

Dear Victoria- We have an uphill battle

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'My besties gifted me The Forever Robe in sheer black lace and tulle, with feminine ruffles, airy balloon sleeves, and pretty ribbon details. This works like magic; they chirped. The only difference, at 45, magic is neither desired nor required. With stretch marks covering my entire abdomen and varicose veins on my calf and inner thighs, the robe is no panacea for my body with blemishes. So here I am, coaxed to celebrate my 20th anniversary in a so-called exciting way. What's special about it? Nothing. There is nothing special about either 20 or 25. Trends dictate our life, and many of us find ourselves trapped by the dictum's that don't suit us, yet we succumb to it under fancy hashtags of -milestones, celebrating togetherness, YOLO, etc. Keeping the secret gift back in the cupboard, I pack my usual white and beige set for the trip. I have nothing against my husband and his preference; I have something going on with myself. I want to be comfortable in the choices I am

The Indian American Mom

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  As an Indian American mom, I struggle to teach my daughter the right values, and my parenting has sometimes been questioned. But motherhood in America changed it all…so much so that I am surprised at the cosmic shift that can happen in life when a baby pops out of the womb. As if all the alcohol inside the body dried up, the hormones vaporized in thin air, and all the morality, values, and traditions of India have one door to knock on – MINE. Thanks to the population of the Indian community here, I have fodder for my eyes and ears, to reinforce how we must preserve the Indian-ness in us, in our children; otherwise ‘times are bad’ and ‘anything can happen, you see’. Phew! To read the article, click on The Indian American Mom Image courtesy-Pixabay

Feminism, Freedom, and We

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We all seek absolute freedom, free from the boundaries of society. We desire to exist without rules. But freedom is essentially built on intelligent self-restraint and discipline. For example, you can freely move on the road when you and others obey the traffic rules; only then can you enjoy a long drive to San Juan Capistrano. If this discipline is not followed, there will be no control over people and vehicles' movement, which will lead to confusion and chaos. Freedom, thus, loses its meaning and degenerates in the absence of adequate regulations and directions. We need rules to guide our behavior and not turn into impulsive pleasure-seeking maniacs working without control. That is a license, freedom unleashed, reckless freedom which does not do anyone any good. To read the story please click on Feminism, Freedom, and We. Image courtesy-Pixabay

Hoodwinked- When the mirror shatters

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The episode of heat strikes again, and I feel my blouse soak. Lately, heat has accompanied me  most of the places: examination room, restroom, CVS, Namaste Plaza, Panda Express, and even  in the shower. Yet, I can differentiate between the warm water and the lava erupting  from the pores of my skin. Just how complicated can life become when the only two things you  feel are heat and rage. The former has an outlet; the latter simmers within searing the present." To read the full story, please click on  Hoodwinked .  Hoodwinked has had the privilege of being featured on the  Women's Web  and accorded the Hall of Fame honor in the International Symposium for Women and Literature, Kolkata Spring Festival. Happy Reading!

Pepper Spray

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“Maana, would you please listen to me? I am not insane to keep hunting for things to keep you safe. Do you think I am doing this for myself? Have you forgotten…?”   “No, Maa. I haven’t forgotten her, but what you need to understand is that I cannot, and I refuse to live in this huge fear.”   “Fear? We are talking reality Maana,” Naina followed her daughter to the kitchen with a pepper spray bottle in her hand.   “Reality? Really?” Maana rushed to her room to get her satchel. Pouring the contents on the glass dining table, Maana roared with anger, “This is my reality, Maa? This? More than books, I have weapons in my bag.”  A 30-inch foldable iron rod fell from the table on the floor with a clank. A steel baton, a small knife, a big knife, a razor, a stun gun lay on the table while the pages of H.C.Verma’s Concepts of Physics fluttered.   “And this, the brass knuckle which I wear like an ornament whenever I am outside. Now you got this pepper spray?” “It is not a weapon

The Cow

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We had 200 miles of straight road ahead. With rain falling straight on our car like drums overhead and cymbals on the windshield mirror with the wipers gyrating tirelessly, the traffic moving straight in three rows, and the heart going roller coaster, I dismissed the question saying their owners will come and take care of them. It is difficult to handle two disquieted hearts. To read the award-winning story, click on The Cow . Image courtesy-Pixabay

Bold and Beautiful

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Our society places beauty that high. When you fall, it fractures you from within. But I choose not to fear anymore. I want to be proud of myself. I am willing to let go of what I should be to who I am. Until I die, I want to continue to be list further possibilities and not a defined label. And that is being FEARLESS. Labels with their ingredient and the calorie count are good with a hamburger, not with human beings.  To read the full story click on Bold and Beautiful Image courtesy-Pixabay

I am more than 'A Body'

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Are you insane? Do you see the future of the country in me? How did you forget my boundaries passed on to me as a decree I am no pilot in the armed forces, no judge of the supreme court No officer in the Indian army, holding no responsible fort I am not your Durga or your Kaali, neither am I your Parvati I am not your Ganga or your Tulsi, nor I am your Saraswati To read the poem, click on A pair of boobs and a vagina.  This poem was penned just after Priyanka Reddy's bone-chilling brutal rape and murder. You can click on the link to read more about the story- Priyanka Reddy . The words erupted from within and spread on paper like lava. Our girls don't deserve this. We don't deserve this. 88 rape cases in a day- that's how grim the statistics are- India Today . Image courtesy-Pixabay

Did you share the carton of milk?

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Being a hoi-polloi, I find joy easily, and fear seeps easily too. I laugh easily, and I tremble easily. I thought COVID was a Wuhan thing and continued with life until it came knocking on my door, and I was horrified. I tried hard to dismiss it and pretend it cannot be my door. The knocking was relentless; it grew louder and louder, much to my chagrin. I chose not to open the door. Right then, it barged in, breaking the bolts, and I stood there feeling tiny and defenseless. Why did it come to me? How did it come to me? From where? Why? Who? all I had were questions and a tsunami of answers from all possible communication channels, each posted 'to share information, each doing just the reverse' create more fear.' So, I did what the rest of the aam aadmi does- RUN. To read the article, click on Hey Corona Image courtesy-Pixabay

The Unbecoming

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  “And how do I know that?” “You will always know it, Naina. I am your conscience. You can never stop me. If your actions bring peace, you know what you are fighting for is worth the cause; if not, you know you are betting on the wrong horse.” The noise in her head grew louder like the whirlwind beats of a dhol. Naina stood in a stupor, her eyes transfixed on the Mangal sutra hanging from her mother’s slender neck. She stood coyly next to the man with whom she shared 38 years of life. Clad in a red banarasi sari, red vermillion along the part of her hair shining bright against her bronze skin, she looked most imperfect standing diminutively next to Naina’s father – fair-skinned, tall with an Englishman’s look in a single-breasted plaid suit. To read the full story, click on  The Unbecoming . Women's Web with Anuja Chauhan(who has worked in advertising for over seventeen years and is credited with many popular campaigns. She is the author of five bestselling novels (The Zoya Factor

You MUST raise your children right

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A willow grows on my head,  Surrounded by patchy buckthorns and crabgrass, Their roots penetrate and prick my aortas, In the background, we play masks and plexiglass.   A haircut would do me a world of good, I have let them grow way too wild,  Stereotypes and Prejudices cling to the grime, In the background, the power struggle refuses to reconcile.     They tangle easily and snag at the bottom, Split ends caused by hatred, resentment, and abuse When did we start to devour each other, In the background, we play 'which color do you ‘choose.'   Pediculosis Capitis ravages through the scalp, The pieces of broken dreams continue to pelt, It gnawed a large  part of  our identity and grace, In the background, the Alaskan glaciers melt.    White dandruff flakes abound all over, Hope suffocates as we itch in dark, We let a lot fall through the cracks these years, In the background, flicker the mutinous sparks.    We all need a hairdo and some introspection, So

How to Fail like a Winner?

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Dear Students, Being your coach( I think I deserve a National Bravery Award here for surviving three turbulent and tumultuous years with you and coming out alive in one piece ), it is expected to produce exemplary sample writing which can impress my disciples and make me worthy of the hard-earned dollars your parents' deposit through an easy transaction in my bank account every month. So I wonder what sort of satire writing will work for enlightened minds like you? Several topics crossed my mind- political, social, and some even didactic. Later, I decided upon talking about something that defines me more than anything else- failures, failures that come in a variety of forms, and each of them has one thing in common- Hurt, not the kind that hurts but the kind that the world at large chooses not to acknowledge. JK Rowling spoke about it at Harvard, Steve Jobs at Stanford, and so did the former president Barack Obama at Wakefield High School; it almost seems like a rite of passage fo