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 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, 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 Doodles, Poem

What Does She Seek?

A pretty lady with thoughts gruesome
A heart lady-like but deeds one and all unkind
She looked fear in face-
No act of medallion or an attempt of being brave;
The mere trouble that she craved.
A wish to leave it all behind
Yet a victim of trauma and memory that she cherished and longed to embrace
Each day a new person aids her introspect the vacillating soul
Better or worse- she doesn’t realise upon dusk or dawn.
She’s curious, not lost
She’s not damaged, just hurt
She seeks muse, not love
She’s tired, not afraid
She is heartbroken, not disappointed;
Or is this all she speaks to put herself to sleep each passing night?

Posted in Poem

Books, Hopes And Lies.

Encased within dusty jackets they behold a vision
Dirty and naked; chastised and a bit forbidden
Yet she opens them to hope- as a surmise
One by one she flip the pages-
Chapters and soon the lessons to be learnt
The stories they change one after the other.
She caress the fables and dreams the characters coming to life
The characters they come, live and reside-
It feels real! All of it! Every bit of it.
But why? Why are the goodbyes they bid so surreal?
Leaving her with imagination running wild,
Reasons that are too false to abide
And questions that have no answers-
At least not in her control.
Alas! It’s her faith and reality that she now deems as a lie.

Posted in Artwork, Doodles, Poem

WORDS

Words, if they had a name
I’ll call them agony
For every minute of pain they welcomed.
Words, if they had a name
I’ll call them misery
For every tear a poet could shed.
Words if they could scar
I’ll silently let them mark every inch of my skin-
Beneath and beyond- untill the sadist dies a learned death.
Words- I’ll let them pour
Untill and unless the fear is drenched-
And now has a cure.
Words, I’ll let them bruise
Because violet purple red and blue-
They come with avid hues.
Words, if and only if they had a name-
I’ll call them illusion
Because in the end did we really understand?

Posted in Experience, People, Poem

White Lies

Thank them for they have saved a million lives
Guilty of fornication escaped
But three children and an oblivious woman were saved
A curling frown opened up to a smile
The tears heavy with sadness destined to roll down with remorse-
Suddenly were they blessed with joy.
Indeed, a deed so illicit in every moral enunciated by sane and “the insane”
Hope was imparted- all under a false pretense
But the damage reverted was a victory
Probing far far away the vicious misery.

The reasons given had no sense
No logic- not at all any relevance
Still just close your eyes
Pretend your mind is vague and blind
And think no more
Feed what’s presented to gorge upon.
Just follow where they lead you
Truth no more an issue
Try and empathize with the man- himself a victim
Not charred by plight of time; Not the juncture he stood upon
Yet an endeavor strong enough to hide and lie.

Artwork: Diamonds and Lies (Spill from his tongue)
Oil on canvas
Artist: Unknown

Posted in Experience, People, Poem

My Grandma Is Now Old

Painting: The sitting woman by Rabindranath Tagore

Watercolor and ink on paper

National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi

Whilst I write these words down- I am tired
But not half much as her.
As this thought stops by- I quiver
But nothing near her de-morphing shivers.
Her skin is now pale
Colours of youth long gone
Her experiences now shrunk to creases manifold
Each wrinkle has a story-
A few narrated; Many left untold.
I look at her tiny stature-
Barely walking; And wobbling more
That is when I realise my grandma is now old.
After years of delayed meetings
I might be here just in time
Scared and terrified charred by generation gap
A victim of brutal awkwardness
I stood there to realise that my grandma is now old.
Her glasses are heavier than emotions she carries
Her eyes- now they glitter no more
Her hunch rests as a heroic mark of responsibilities she took care of,
As I glance at her toothless mouth
Her mummed lips curl to become a smile
That is when all my uproaring torments die a silent death
And I know she shall nurture always
Yes, my grandma is now old
But her aura is enough to uphold all our souls.