Posted in Article

Language: Decoding Beyond Words And Expressions

Artwork by Akash Patwal

Did a few words ever brought you close to someone? Did they make you feel understood enough to communicate your feelings one more time and then another till it finally became a common abode for the both of you? Do you remember mumbling those few words (most of which were mere sounds)  only your mother could make sense out of until you gradually learnt to form nonsensical sentences which were a cluster of random words? This was all happening in your mother tongue and slightly in English if you hail from an “educated” Indian family. As you grew up you still were struggling to pronounce your words right and absorbing more of those in your evolving memory so that you could communicate with clarity. With time, experience and adequate nutrition develops mind, physique and personality. This also leads to emotional and perceptive growth in turn enabling you to express your individual self as well as identification within a social group. Does language play an eminent role throughout? Remember entering teenage and creating your own jargon with a bunch of friends while the teacher emphasized on “minding your language”? Also, the schools made an attempt that you developed an extensive vocabulary and got the “English” grammar just right. We were told to speak in English, watch English movies and develop a habit of reading English books while the mother tongue was a havoc and led to “fine” or even deduction of a few marks/ credits here and there. Subconsciously, we were taught that English was a superior language. But what was determining this hierarchy? Who were the people influencing our mindset even with the presence of abundant diversity in the Indian heritage? Being a British colony did hit us hard but after that we had enough time to embrace our own culture! Yet we are awed by the Western lifestyle. The need for globalisation has made it necessary to share information via a mutual medium but that never meant for us to start demeaning our own regional ethnicity.

               The early men started communicating using gestures which were accompanied with the sounds they made. It was slowly and gradually that the words were formulated. Scripts and grammar were created much later. Languages continue to evolve even today especially its vernacular attributes. This was happening simultaneously all across the world amidst the primitive civilizations. Now the modern man can easily learn languages that belong to a different country while sitting at home itself. He can improve his skills by talking to the native speakers who volunteer online or wish to exchange knowledge about each other’s language. The media now is easier to access. It is appreciated to be multilingual. It opens up our mind and broadens are learning abilities further. It allows us to empathise with different cultures with regional literature as a powerful tool. But again, hierarchy and popularity of languages is extensively analyzed and understood before taking up a new one. Every time we visit a new place, especially the ethnographic researchers, the natives share more of their lives with us if we speak their tongue. This hints at the sudden sense of belonging that a mutual language generates. Also, have you ever grooved to the tunes of a song that wasn’t in a familiar language but still felt relatable? It shows that language is aided with expressions and emotions that need to be conveyed. A language may not be that easy to decipher and would require linguistic professionals, however it is an extremely powerful tool to share all those beautiful thoughts in our head using the innumerable precious words.

Posted in Poem

Things NOT To Do Out Of Boredom

Been stuck in a room; now for a while?
The windows are at a stand still,
The curtains flutter towards the familiar edges,
The walls- they wouldn’t move
The fan hums in an absurd harmony while the roof reeks of monotony-
Truth be told, the time has come
Try and take heed beyond that stubborn door.

Been trapped in a city full of lights; now feels like a lifetime?
The road is drenched with noise
The flicker of the red light glitters;
Yet it doesn’t  appease the one in your eyes
The sky is dawned with dusk
The pace now depraves the lust for the details-
Truth be heard, the time has come
Try and find peace in a lover’s arms.

Been loved like never before, now for an eternity?
The walk- the talk- the fears- the tears-
Lived through them all
The fun and games have been left behind
Curiosity now pays the debt of adapting;
The stories aren’t wicked anymore, Just crooked with yet another encore
Truth be felt, the time has come
Try and stop being a slave to your inner boredom.

-Ruchi Bhardwaj

Posted in Poem

The Last Few Calls

You came across these words
Glad, probably intrigued
Hence, here I assume you have a shelter to retreat
I know you can read;
I wish you understand.

The world has come to a standstill; even though for a brief timid while-
It had been all over the headlines
But there’s a mother in a village who knows not why-
The world is shutting down
While her’s isn’t even around.
What went wrong? Why was the voice trembling in those last few calls?
A wife cooks that humble delicacy now reduced to two or even one meal
She might not understand the written-
But deciphers the silent cries in those last few calls.
The little children roaming around had been asked to stay home
While their mother struggles to get their lessons right
They wish their father’s stories were a little more convincing over those last few calls.

-Ruchi Bhardwaj

Posted in Artwork, Poem

Memories I Wish Weren’t Mine

Have you ever been in memories?
No, not in love- that in itself is a bitter ball game
But in memories of someone not for a day or two-
Somehow, managing to take heed for an eternity
Not the same forever
A picture- new and vivid being painted each time
One morning, a flicker of the first kiss
Another night, all the reasons why you walked away
An evening filled with contemplation of who’s, what’s and why’s
A noon in remembrance of all promises made with fingers crossed and heart set free
A dusk of those absurd fairy lights with giggles and laughter
A dawn of tears when we couldn’t stand each other.
Do you ever stop by in someone’s dream?
In nightmares hurting them;
A little more dramatic than reality,
In day dreams- as stories that were never lived.
Do you know? Do you realise?
Somehow I wish they weren’t just mine.

Artwork- Akash Patwal; Poem- Ruchi Bhardwaj.

Posted in Article, Experience, People

The Process Of Ghosting A Model

– It’s not heartbreaking, just disappointing.

Oh he is 6 feet 3. Appropriately built, athletic, dimple on his chin, curly hair, smirky smile and prettiest eyelashes- a fashion illustration walking in real life! I come across him at the gym almost everyday- Monday to Friday 4 to 6pm, Saturday around 2pm and I haven’t been there on any Sunday. Every time we cross by a rom-com followed by an awkwardly wide blushing smile starts taking form but thankfully, just in my head. I could bet he was a model and my stalking skills affirmed it. I found him on Instagram. He might not be aware of my existence on social media but he wasn’t unaware of the real life version of me. We exchanged glances several times and the lucky days were when we would do alternate sets on the same equipment. We had the most meaningful and deep conversations where I would ask if we could go alternatively and he would sweetly (read bluntly) reply ‘No, let me get done first’. Yikes! He’s rude and that’s hot. Anyway, that was my cue to stop dreaming of him.

        No, crushes don’t mean to stop ever. ‘Stop’ here translates to obsess with him and dream exaggeratedly of him even when wide awake.  After crushing on him for around a life long of five months we finally matched on some dating app. I wished for it but wasn’t expecting that. We started texting. He would not reply in more than three to four words. That meant he either had string of girls drooling over him or just didn’t find me good enough. Anyway he asked for my number. He hadn’t shown up at the gym since a few weeks but now if he did- man! it would be awkward. He asked if I would like to meet him. I would love to! But what would we even talk about in three or four words. I might be able to hold my impulse over texts but in reality, I TALK. We decided to meet on a Sunday and when it arrived I felt almost stood up because he had gone several kilometres away and didn’t text in the morning. So I carried on with my usual Sunday schedule- sleeping. A text popped around 3pm and it said let’s meet in the park near the lake anytime I was free. His kilometres were now back to the usual. Cool! But park is a weird place for a date. When I was almost going to prioritise my Sunday sleep another text dropped and it said ‘You play badminton, right?’. I jumped out of the bed, got dressed for a badminton date (not too sporty, not too lady-like) and met him in an hour.

        Damn! He was beautiful. He had made no attempt to dress up yet looked magnificent. We started looking for a place to keep my handbag away and play the game. We even had bit of a conversation which made me realise he wasn’t uninterested he just wasn’t a very good talker. He struggled to frame his sentences right. We played for over an hour continuously and he was pretty good at it while I was bearable. We exchanged our general where abouts over the game itself. He even taught me more about the game. It was truly fun. I had never been on such a date before. Then it was time for me to leave. He walked me out and suddenly he realised that he had lost his house keys. We got back in park and tried finding it for a while before giving up.

        I reached home and received a text from him that he had a wonderful time and would like to meet again sometime. I concurred. The next day I received a text from him that read ‘I am getting harmonal disbalance’. I was a little confused so asked him ‘What?’. To this he replied, ‘Don’t you go through the harmonal disbalance?’. Now I was clear about what his ‘hormones’ desired. Somehow his desire was understood but it was his way of expressing that was such a disappointment. So much of obsession, such an amazing game and this is how it ends! I shouldn’t have dreamt of kissing him while I zoned out in a class. I was definitely scared of my karma but you gotta do what you gotta do. Therefore, I started ghosting him off course after taking the wise advice from my friends who were aware of the intensity I wanted to scream with.

           After a few days while emptying my bag I found the single key to his appartment. I was obliged to inform him that as a responsible human.

P.S: I still have that key lying somewhere around my apartment.

Posted in Experience, People, Poem

A Man Sleeping On The Road

Wasn’t a morning, neither a night
It was just a noon- a time nobody cares to write with pride
That is when I met him
Rather a glance while he was at rest.
A beggar, a thief or just another vagrant-
Simply I do not know.
I saw a man that just ‘another afternoon’-
A man sleeping on the road,
The penchant for pain was obvious
Hence, I stood there in awe and wonder
No alcohol, just a dirty pillow beneath his dreams
An ugly torn quilt atoning the crimes of that winter wind.
I looked and looked; It was more than a while
Tucked in during the day time
A tiny wound let his head hurt
Did anyone sing him a lullaby?
Did anyone, anyone kiss him good night?
When ire of his destiny started knocking at the door of my empathy-
That is when I decide to get past

I saw the man
Now a chilly night
He still was tucked in, sleeping sound
I stepped towards him
That is when derision mocked life
He still was at rest, but now in peace .

-Ruchi Bhardwaj

Posted in Doodles, Experience, Poem

The House In The Village

After years of dodging; every occasion with a more bitter excuse
Finally came a day when somehow the visit just couldn’t be refused
From far away, that house in village stood still and tall
Now haunted with lifelessness
On inside did it suddenly grow small?
Or was it the memory of it that brimmed with grandeur?
The windows creak
The walls reek
Spiders smile weaving a trap of nostalgia
The garden once full of roses and lemons is now musty;
Haunted by emptiness somehow braved through my grandmother’s beliefs-
Evident by the statue of Shiva I remembered since I could remember;
Survived lessons from my cousins teaching me to play games-
While I stood there being timid, young and shy.

Monkeys in the yard
My aunt’s smirky remarks
Talking to uncles altogether a hurdle-
I knew I never would fit in there,
Now affirmed.
Yet the lullaby from past lingered longer
Singing to me of a wish why did I let go so easy-
So early at an age so tender!
Alas! Now it is too late to return
Only reminscence, what hath been done cannot be undone.

Posted in Article, Experience, Graphic art

A Letter To The “Almost” Discarded Clothes In My Wardrobe

Dear ALMOST discarded clothes,
They say vanity is shallow yet turn to it for rescue when in vain. We are made to believe that work, career and money are supposed to be the primary priorities and attire is completely secondary or even a little beneath that. But aren’t these secondary objectives the reason to prioritize the more meaningful ones? We experience that intellect stands with us throughout while beauty fades. But isn’t it because we let go a little too easy? Why can’t the two be in a symbiotic relationship? This is the reason for you adding colours in my wardrobe and my life.
The humble garments with a varying touch of fabrics had brought an utopia of its own kind to me. You have allowed me to be flattered of who I am and made me believe that I can be whomever I wish to be. You have made me feel pretty when a guy would comfort me for being ugly and showed me the mirror when I was too overwhelmed with my bold sartorial experiments. Those floral bras have supported me when nothing else was in place! My mother’s saree draping me with her nurturing tenderness had inspired me to care a bit more. Those socks, scarves, mufflers borrowed from friends never really meant to be returned open the doors enabling me to relive the several thousand memories and remind me of how I have a part of them in my own persona. The brother’s T-shirts meant to be worn out in the gym have made me feel loved and empowered simultaneously. Dad’s shoes have always been too big to fit in. The sweater from ex-boyfriend would never go well with any of the dresses yet it lies somewhere in a corner, at times tearing me apart. You may never get the credit for standing through thick and thin with me but somewhere unknowingly and without any need for acknowledgement you were giving me reasons to take care of myself.

My mother had been asking me to get rid of you since ages but looks like I can’t let you go. You have been a part of my evolving personality since a child who didn’t care of what to wear to a snobbish teenager, a girl in her twenties trying every bit to be a lady, a woman in her thirties who would realize she now is a rebel, another one in her forties who would question was everything worth it, one in her fifties drenched in nostalgia of youth and in her sixties a little content with herself because- she would have seen it all. How would bidding goodbye not be a matter of heartbreak? The time changes and so does the trend. Even if I choose to be a fashion laggard in the name of “experimental fashion”, you don’t fit me anymore. Hence, there is no way I can style you any further. Don’t worry, I won’t let you suffer with my younger cousins even when I am bombarded with the idea of responsible sustainable fashion as a trick reminder by my mother. I apologize for the times when I demeaned you and chased after the ones in stores and online even when you were in the best of condition. Sorry for differentiating amongst you based on brands. Sorry for thinking that you were not enough at times. My dad has blamed you for wastage of money but secretly you were giving me lessons on how to save for a reason. No matter how old we grow, howsoever we ignore each other I’ll always love you and know that you’ll always be there for me even if it has to be a different silhouette or a new form altogether.
Love,
The girl you own.