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.

Posted in Artwork, Poem

Can I?

Can I tell you a secret,
Even if my lips promised the head to keep mum?
Can I narrate you a story,
Even though I don’t want you to recognise the fiction reeking with reality?
Can I sing you a song,
Even if the music can’t hide the shenanigan beneath the happy lyrics?
Can I look into your eyes,
Even when mine would let you glance through the tears I have been holding back?
Can I say all the promises I make are mere words,
Even if I stay wide awake making the ends meet?
Can I walk you across that one dreaded street,
Even if it ends amidst the unkempt memory lane?
Can I show you all my fears,
Even if I won’t be able to mend you for eternity; followed by those beautiful years?
Can I paint you a picture,
Even if I wish to mask the vision blurry?
Can I write you a letter,
Even when the words fain to lead towards the true expression?
Can I leave a mark,
Even if you wish to flaunt you’ll embrace it hidden?
Can I say the rose on my cheek is newly bought,
Even when your presence does that to me?
Can- I – Can – I – Can; but-
Alas! I better keep that secret.

Posted in Article, Photography, Poem

Colours

They split, they splatter- throwing away a bit of dirt
They tell stories when the days are lonely
Create a few when nights are mundane
They gorge upon the masochist dreams
Speaking while holding hands of the beloved nightmare
They make me cry-
That is when I drift towards something that wasn’t ever seen
And now that couldn’t be unseen.
These- these are my colours,
Fairer than any lover
Leaving me gobsmacked at every inch of canvas that is meant to be imprinted in my skin
They go deep beneath the surface
Not just incidents, they talk of narratives
Narratives that are too speculating to be known-
Even more sad to understand
Devastating to feel

Alas! These are my colours.

Posted in Article, Artwork

Man Into Woman Or The Other Way Round

We are the choices we make. Let it be that way.

Courage. Only a few are able to muster enough of it to put forward their thoughts and desires. RARE- the exact number of people who are brave enough to live their life the way they perceive it. While walking in the streets you’ll come across many aesthetes but none who choose art as a form of reality. Lili Elbe was one such exception. She chose to kill the man he/she was- Einar to be the woman she wanted to be. Probably considered schizophrenic in those days Lili had the fortitude to explore and then stick to her sexual orientation. Oh no! Lili wasn’t gay. She was a ‘she’. Nature made a mistake. Science messed up the chromosomes. Talking of science, it comes with abundant exceptions. We the humans are intersections of science and art, therefore we are supposed to be a little more empathetic and understanding. Sympathy is not needed, empathy is all people wish for.

Einar was a renowned artist who was appreciated worldwide. He had ambitions and success. Lili on the other side had ambitions and a heart along with Einar’s wife Gerda, who loved Einar so much that she let him go and who was liberal enough to support Lili to be the woman of her own dreams. A suspected homosexual, Gerda did not have a career as glorious as that of Einar until she showcased her painting flaunting a woman with the haunting almond shaped eyes as her subject. The woman was Einar dressed in an unusual and unacceptable manner. Strangely, he fell in love with the stockings, the camisole, the corset, the heels and every other bit of it. He further explored what a woman thinks, how she walks, the way she chatters and the way she spreads an aura of elegance. From that point onwards Einar decided to be Lili. The repercussions, both social and medical were hostile. But, Lili had made a choice. Her choice was not ordinary. It had infinite constraints. She was a wreck and her choice was chaotic. Yet! I admire her because we are the choices we make and let it be that way. It’s alright if we want to be whoever or whatever. All we need to do is take a stand of our own and also of people with dwindling trust in their own selves. Just push your boundaries. May be your story won’t be as interesting as Lili’s, but your life is your artwork. Paint it with the colors you choose!

Posted in Artwork, Poem

The Woman I Pretend To Be..

colours and hues.jpg

I pretend to be calm in the ocean of tremors

I pretend to smile listening to the rumors

Trapped in my own colours and countless hues

I pretend as if I don’t know the real you

I keep away from probing-

Scared my  fears shall be affirmed and true

Aware of the apprehensive depths

Alas! the shallows I fear.

Dread it when shallows are deep

And depths no more obscure.

I have nothing to hide; No need to conceal

Yet I pretend to leave behind an aura of mystique.

Drenched in my own thoughts, soaked with imagination

I pretend not to think the queer.

I know it all- Pretend to be a wandering soul

I pretend to stay in one place

When my world had traversed the entire universe.

I pretend to stay quiet

Listening to my own silence when it makes the never ending creaks

And it hums a little song amidst the bleak

My heart filled with music; A tune ever repeating

The same rhythm just different lyrics

I pretend to stay still not dancing to my own epiphany

I pretend, pretend and pretend- a game that never ends

Not to merge, not to camouflage- but an urge to never blend.

-Ruchi Bhardwaj