Posted in Article, Artwork, Doodles, Experience

DON’T TRAVEL! IT’S A TRAP!

All those people mentioning “TRAVELLER” and “DREAMER” with brimming pride in your tinder and Instagram bio- you need to bring it to hault! If you think that traveling is about climbing the rocks, trekking the Himalayas, diving in the ocean and being lost amidst the desert, then let me introduce you to another lesser acknowledged dimension of traveling – the journey from home to work. If you believe dreaming is being high “allegedly, on life” then your’s are in a desperate need of being shattered. The journey to the workplace may sound monotonous but it is a real kind of adventure minus all the fun. My dad just won’t agree to drop me to work (he even shouldn’t) and I fucking didn’t bother to learn to drive (I should have), so here I am stuck on a daily voyage of 2 hours all by myself but never quite left by myself (introducing the public transportation!). The schedule says- 10 minutes of walking from home to bus stop, 1 hour 15 minutes in bus, 40 minutes in autorickshaw and 15 minutes in another autorickshaw. It doesn’t even sound simple no matter how hard I wait to reveal the adversities, but it also leaves me awestruck at times.

Okay! Talking about the atrocities first- the crowd. It is impossible to board at first and once I manage to hop on I am welcomed by really irritated gaze. The reason behind this kind of acceptance is that the men might need to give away their seat, the women find a fellow competitor to get hold of a place to sit (challenges start early, don’t they?) and the crowd inside gets one more face to bare. Anyhow, ignoring the glare I push through the crowd and manage to find a place to stand. There is no space to breathe. Strangely the fresh air of early morning or the petite dusk is replaced by the stinky armpits. Buy deodorants people! I would not be making my point clear if I don’t mention the continuous gaze at boobs (by both genders) and the occasional boob grabbing (men, majorly) followed by “Oops, sorry madam. Bheed bhot hai!”. In that crowd more men have secretly grabbed my thighs than I ever plan to be with. Astonishingly, I can’t ever find out who these jerks are. I have not adapted to this yet. No woman ever can. It makes me extremely uncomfortable and figedty to an extent that now I jump a little even when someone taps my shoulder and asks me to get a little aside.

Well, it is said that when in darkness look for the stars. I think I’ve found mine! I have made a few friends. These are the people who themselves travel to work around the same time as I do. If I manage to be in time, I get to see them and these are the only faces that smile at me. Their smiles make my day. My first friend is a fifty-ish uncle who lives somewhere around my house but I had no clue. He helps me find a seat everytime he can. He has told me a lot of stories about his daughter and shares life lessons occasionally, especially the things his daughter wouldn’t listen to. Another friend of mine is a woman in her fifties (I guess). She is loud and cranky and mocks everybody on the bus occasionally, except me. I think she loves me. She is lonely. Her only son lives in US and cannot return due to certain circumstances and her husband left her long time ago. She is strong and independent. She whines about people in the bus and the conductor but never had she bickered about her life. She narrates her sad tales to her only audience but with a strange sense of pride. She never hesitates in yelling. Surprisingly, her sarcasm amuses the entire bus, except the frequently targeted conductor and driver. One conductor in particular never says anything at her face but bursts out the moment she steps off. That is when I know she is impactful. She doesn’t need her son to support her. Her persona is her rescue from oldage.

During the initial days of traveling a guy pushed through the crowd for me when he saw how much I was on the verge of panicking. This makes me believe in kindness and look for hope. I asked for the directions so as to reach the destination when I get down and a lot of people were willing to answer my query way better than google maps. That makes me trust people. The next day, a girl who’s face was covered by a dupatta to keep away from the tan asked me if I reached the place the previous day. I couldn’t recognize her at first but then she mentioned that I was reading a novel sitting next to her and had asked for directions. This teaches me to care and also to observe.

I started writing this piece with a grumpy face and in a fuck-this-challenge mode but right now I am ending this with a smile. The journey makes me realize that I am growing up and so are the people around me. I never thought this is from where I’ll be picking up my life lessons!

Posted in Experience, People, Photography, Poem

PILGRIMS OF OUR OWN SCARS

Inscribed on the skin- narrates the stories of our heroism
And of failures and debt,
Your body- it tells a tale
I wish so could mine
Alas! It speaks silence-
Peeping through the plight of a blank verse.
The scars- they are intriguing
I wish so might be your charm
The ones we inherit
And the ones we create
The ones we dare to embark
We recreate and recreate untill the changed us could reconnect
Indeed, we are the pilgrims of our own scars.

Posted in Artwork, Experience, Poem

The Game Called Perception

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I have an eye

A subtle and kind vision

I see through the window

And create my own stories

The gestures- they vary.

But never are they faltered,

It’s an unfair game called – Perception

Calling for chaos and havoc

Because the strengths are yet to be known

And the weak might be what we worship.

No written rules, No guidelines to abide

Yet the world is the jury-

What decisions are to be made?

No one knows

Yet unfailingly they declare the putrid.

 

-Artwork by Aakriti Thakur

-Poem by Ruchi Bhardwaj

Posted in Article, Experience, People

People You Laugh With :)

Every time I pick up the pen to give words to abstracts or the most materialistic ideas the ink flows in a familiar direction. But the urge to write about the people I love has left the paper with blotches and specs of blue. No words. Just abstracts. Abstracts I can’t pretend to materialize. Materialistic talks- strangely- with great depths. The friends, the family and the hardest choices.The moments I fain to express! Alas! A failed attempt of expressing and realizing but a still better option of living the moment. I don’t understand the joyful glitches of depending on people. All I know is that somehow these things are meant to be no matter you possess the hardest shell.

Our lazy-selves and hectic classes (at least according to us students) does not allow us to be morning people. Just one of those crappy routine things our parents think we are too proud of (we aren’t- just a lifestyle- not good or bad- just there).Certainly the rule of king, prince and pauper does not apply to us hostlers. But we have our very own set of rules including pretending to not share food but share it anyway; fight for the last bite; no plate belongs to a sole person; talk your heart out but don’t lose focus while eating- you probably know otherwise; and the list can go on.For us meals are not just a routine. They are a kind of synonym for rejoice. Keeping up with our daily revelry one afternoon seven or eight of us were waiting for food at the dhaba we generally visit. It was fun as usual. All the chirping, mockery, leg pulling, linking people together, terrible session of match making and off course eating! We kept sitting there even an hour later. We just weren’t ready to get up. No realization of the clock ticking by. At that moment we were unaware of all the stress we had before stepping there and the one we’ll have to redeem with while we step out. Suddenly all my friends’ smiling faces grabbed my attention. How typical? I know! Even after knowing their every fucking flaw hearing it from someone else makes me heed towards my turtle shell. Those few seconds of staring at them laugh deciphered a secret message that all we need is people we can laugh with. It might not be everything but it is exactly the kind of typical I want to stay forever.

P.S.: I know this is too cheesy. But what’s too much is me looking at the videos of my friends from the trek I missed!

Posted in Artwork, Experience, Graphic art, Poem

Absurd Intersections

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Ever been on the verge of crying?

Yet held back ’cause of a scrofulous friend- denial.

The thoughts that’ll be forever damned- ribald, solicitous and vile

Hard to admit – I, being a lingering curse.

Fear the modest; Escape the shy

Reciting my moral-less fable I walk past the adverse.

Oh the magic potion! The wicked witches’ alcohol

Dripping in my body drop by drop

It cuts my heart open

And burns his soul

A mystery of giving in; slowly losing control

I start to talk; Pick up till I babble

I speak my mind- the bold and all the dirty talks

I lose my innocence to him

Now unafraid of harbouring the innocent sins.

Erupting volcano- emotions just not right

I wait for no one to keep an eye

That is when I bitch ‘n’ whine ‘n’ cry

And commit every devious crime.

Yes, now a woman with every thought absurd

I catch up with his every word,

Finally a glimpse of our world’s intersection…

I wake up the next morning

Blind to his new love

Oh! The last night? It wasn’t me!

It was like giving alcohol a tongue and a pair of lips.

-Ruchi Bhardwaj