Milestone Celebration

I’ve been meaning to do,

Something that’s long overdue.

Not the milestone I mean,

But finding an opportunity to thank YOU!

THANK YOU FOREVER AND A DAY FOR BELIEVING IN THE ABILITIES OF THIS AMATEUR!

For the longest time, I’ve been meaning to extend my thanks to all of you for all the love, support and encouragement you shower upon me. I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to pour out my immense gratitude and the time has finally come! What better opportunity than a milestone to do so?

You know what excites me when I click that publish button? The thought of the many comments that’ll appear subsequently- appreciative, corrective, informative, enlightening, interesting, etc.. YOU are the reason I no longer stick to my personal notebook. Yes, YOU! THANK YOU!

I appreciate all the support I receive from all of you. Some, however, deserve special thanks, for they’ve been here since I began 4 months ago (with the cringiest site name possible), have patiently read all my posts and have given me feedbacks one would feel blessed to receive.

Special Thanks to

Carter Ford

Offshore Writer

Radhikasreflection

Haoyan Do

Penjiri

Manoj Mehra

Thank you tonnes for trusting this newbie! I hope I haven’t disappointed you and never will. You were among my first 10 or 20 followers and have been supporting me every step of the way for which I’m highly obliged and extremely grateful. Thank you all so much! 🙏

Shout-out to

Happy Panda– Who under the sky doesn’t love you? If soul sister were a real thing, you are mine!

Shammi Paranjape– You are an amazing writer and always make my day.

Thanks to everyone, all 200 (odd) of you! You are the reason I want to continue blogging. It’s a blessing to have you all in my life.

In view of this memorable milestone, I want to make some revelations about myself. Being uninteresting isn’t my biggest weakness, so I’m going to ask myself questions and answer them myself like I didn’t know any of it before. The girl on the other side of the screen shouldn’t be a complete stranger to you.

Questions

1. What is your actual name?

My official name is Samrakshni M (where M is the initial letter of my mother’s first name).

In my family, it is a tradition to give 3 names to a child. My other 2 names are Sahana and Ranjini. Sahana is most commonly used. To my school friends and teachers, I’m Sam. (Not Samrakshni, as that’s quite long and also, due to personal reasons, my mother and I don’t like that name very much). To all others in the world, I’m Sahana (or Ranjini).

2. Is it confusing to have multiple names?

Very! I usually introduce myself as Sahana. I have reservations about sharing my official name because people can make HELL out of pronouncing that complicated Sanskrit word. Sometimes I forget where I introduced myself with which name. Can get especially awkward during phone calls.

“Hello this is Sahana.”

“Sahana who? I know of no such person.”

“Sorry, I meant to say Ranjini.”

“Which Ranjini?”

“Samrakshni.”

“Oh, Hi Sam!”

This has happened more often than I like to admit.

3. What are you like in real life?

Quite different from how I come across online. “A bundle of contradictions” is a phrase tailor-made for me. Too much to write here, so maybe I’ll dedicate a brief post to that sometime.

(Raises more questions than it answers, I know).

On a concluding note, thanks once more to all amazing fellow writers. You are all amazing and I love you all dearly, eventhough I haven’t met any of you before. I dream of meeting you all sometime by means of providence, in an island far away. Thank you all very very much!

🙏🤍🙏🤍🙏🤍🙏🤍🙏🤍🙏❤️🙏❤️🙏❤️🙏❤️🙏❤️🙏

Blogger Session with Sam Sahana

It’s another beautiful day and another interview with a wonderful blogger. You really should go read some of her write ups herehttps://…

Blogger Session with Sam Sahana

Dearest Friends,

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by my dear friend Jola. It was an amazing experience and I’m delighted it has panned out the way it has.

Do check out Jola’s blog Jay’s Chronicles . Her reflections, thoughts and imagination are extremely vivid. She’s a teen blogger with strong opinions, an open mind and a good sense of humour. You never know what she’s going to write about next! Her blog’s contents range from everything under the Sun and more!

A Long Way Home

“That’s your mother and I” I recalled with a smile, running my fingers over the old photograph.

“Those tall things you see, the long brown pillar-like structures with leaves on them, they are called trees.” I explained passionately, to which my little grandson felt provoked to ask me a question, “What are leaves?” The children always made such enthusiastic audience.

I took a breath, crafting an answer to that tricky question in my head. Leaves are leaves. How does one explain it to someone who’s never seen one before?

“Leaves are found in trees, they’re green in colour and look like this pattern on my cushion.” I said shallowly holding out my cushion, providing vague, ambiguous information that failed to quench the curiosity of the little mind.

“Do you miss the Earth?” Asked my granddaughter.

“Ofcourse I do. I don’t think your mother recalls her time there, but to me, it is wildly different living here in this airplane.” I answered, to which the toddlers felt a necessity to giggle.

“Granny, for the zillionth time, it’s NOT an airplane. Those are ancient vehicles. This is Zenith, our space colony.” Corrected my grandson.

I took off my spectacles and began reminiscing over the days in my native planet, when my daughter entered the room. “You’ve been yearning to go back, haven’t you?” She asked sympathetically, having overheard the conversation.

“Do you want to visit?” She asked, with a serious face.

I sprang to my feet with difficulty, pupils dilated. “What do you mean? We’ll be killed in seconds. The nitrogen levels are too much and the ozone layer is completely depleted. Carbon levels would be higher than oxygen and you would choke to a horrible death.” I said quickly, secretly wishing it was viable to pay a visit nevertheless.

“The N-2000 mask” she said. “Shields you from the most harmful of gases. As for the temperature, it would be too high indeed, but we’re not going to stay there very long. It will be a short visit.” She promised earnestly. “Just don’t tell anyone. None of the neighbours, none of your friends, no one.” She asserted.

Moved, with tears of ecstasy, I awaited this adventure with open heart, open spirit, the flower of youth revived from its wilted state. “I’m coming with you, granny.” Said my granddaughter, Latvia, named after our motherland in the Earth. “And me!” Yelled my grandson.

We set off in our private spacecraft, the one we use for unofficial space tours and casual space walks. In no time, we got close to the blue ball of magnificence, ruling the surroundings with her aura of glory, yet teeming with diseases her former inhabitants had inflicted upon her.

“In we go!” Cried my grandson in an adventurous spirit as we plunged right into the surface of the ailing planet.

“Don’t land in water!” I yelled and there, we landed in smooth, safe land near strategically near our ancestral home! A sight to the sore eye!

“That was fun!” Cried my granddaughter.

My eyes were filled to the brim, no matter how hard I tried against it. “A long way home.” I said, removing my mask.

“Mom, no!!” Cried my daughter in distress. I paid no heed. If my life should end, at home it would, I thought. Yet I noticed, the air was not pungent. My wristwatch indicated my O2 levels as normal. The temperature was as it had been in my youth. This all meant one thing.

“Mom!” Said my daughter exuberantly. “The Earth has healed!”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Written in response to Sadje’s WDYS Challenge

When I was in the 8th grade, I was part of a NASA space colonisation project, where we had to provide models for the design of space colonies and life in them. The competition involved students from across the globe. My 4 friends and I named our Project “Zenith.” We may not have won that contest, but the experience was highly enriching. This Colony is named Zenith in memory of our dear NASA project.

3 Things The World Needs To Learn and Unlearn from The United States

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Disclaimer: I chose to write about The US particularly in this post because: The influential prowess of the eagle is undeniable. They are masters of social media and hence, trendsetters to the world. We must learn and adopt from them whatever is right and be indifferent to the rest. (Or crib about it).

Now, now, I come from a (rapidly) developing middle-income country, so would it be hypocrisy if I commented on the Global superpower? It may be but I’m going to do it anyways as I have formed my own sweet opinion about this country I haven’t even visited, from my kin and kith living there, my virtual friends and from this great nation’s citizens that I’ve met in my country and elsewhere. Even in decades, my country may not be able to reach the pedestal that they are in at the moment, but there are things I want the world, particularly my country to learn from the majestic eagle.

To learn: Enabling Innovation through capitalism

The federal government has no control over privately owned businesses and properties and does not own corporations. Freedom, choice and free enterprise are constitutionally protected, which means that the government takes privacy seriously in privately owned entities. In many other countries, the government has the right and power to inspect, intervene in or take down private buildings and businesses for various reasons. Capitalism can lead to encouragement of innovation, a way forward in terms of wealth-generating and economic growth. No wonder most MNCs, social media sites, streaming sites and other innovative services trace their origins to the land of the free.

To unlearn: Intervening unnecessarily in Foreign affairs

And it never ends well for them. The Vietnam war, Afghan war (not a single one but a series of wars in which the Global superpower has intervened since times immemorial, which in my opinion “invited” the terrorist attacks), World War-II attacks in Japan (although this did end well for them, The Hiroshima Nagasaki attacks were a terrible display of violence that affected innocent common men), etc.. Undeniably, they have quite a notorious penchant for brutal wars.

To learn: Respect, Recognition and Validation for all occupations

In Asia, you’re either an engineering graduate or a doctor or a disappointment. There ARE people in other occupations ofcourse, but they are regarded with much less respect unless they occupy a very senior, pivotal role in their job. It is almost always a norm to study science or commerce. Arts are seen as a disgrace. This is singlehandedly responsible for most of the mass-migration to the US, where a teacher is as respected as an IT expert, and an IT expert as much as a scientist. Oh, don’t get me started about scientists! Most people who want to work in a field relevant to their field of study head to the US because it is almost impractical to do so in Asian countries. Neither government nor private institutions fund or encourage research. You will remain underpaid and unrecognised for sending a Satellite to Mars but you will be supported (and worshiped) for grasping a high-paying IT job. Atleast so in India.

To unlearn: Healthcare “business”

Health and education are fundamental requirements to all living beings. It is unlawful (not from political laws, but from moral laws) to turn service into business as seems to be the case in the US. For a country where most people go from rags to riches, that is quite… inconsiderate. Forget healthcare, everything is overpriced in the US. But this tops the cake. Insurance does not cover enough in serious cases. I recently saw a YouTube video of British people (who receive free public health care by the way) reacting to the price of healthcare facilities in the US. They were flabbergasted, needless to say. So was I, a viewer. Based on actual math, for the price it takes to get a simple X-ray scan in the US, you can buy a ticket to India, take an X-ray and even buy a return ticket! People actually do this by the way. My school is right next to a famous hospital and I see a lot of exotic faces- white, black, Arab, etc.. Ofcourse, your medical tourism is great, but only affordable to billionaires.

To learn: Acceptance of diversity

This has to be my favourite. Tolerance is different from acceptance. Many nations are tolerant, but not necessarily accepting. I’m always amazed at how the US is an amalgamation of people from different parts of the world and varied cultures, who migrated in hopes of better future and together, created a strong economy and an accepting, accommodative society. Nobody has to be silent and you are accepted with open arms for what you are. It’s heartwarming to see people of different races, sexualities, religions, political views and education levels support and love each other all the same. That is the whole essence of being human. The face of secularism. Now, before you correct me on this by emphasising on how many racist, colourist, homophobic folks there are, I should like to ask you: Where are they not?

To unlearn: Too much racial consciousness and sugar coating

“This is wonderful, but you really shouldn’t have…” is American for the German, Chinese or Indian “This is awful!”. I’ve never heard of or come across Americans who call a spade a spade. They are always very conscious of offending the listener, specifically the whites when in conversation with “people of colour”. They put so much effort into trying not to appear racist and it’s always very visible that they’re TRYING HARD. I understand that it’s mostly because we have this certain judgement regarding the whites, that they may still possess their ancestors’ white superiority complex, which in many cases is true. Trying hard and being all conscious prove exactly that.

There is another point I wish to add about this: Is the land of the free REALLY the land of the free? In quite a few cases, I think not.

Now, here’s a fun question: Who even thought of the term “people of colour”? It’s a ludicrous term with a bizarre definition! (Now, it’s NOT offensive, I just find it illogical) Given that we “people of colour” (Non-Europeans like us Asians, Africans, native Americans, etc..) form the largest population of the world and occupy the largest continents in the planet, shouldn’t whites be called “people of no colour”?

(No offence intended, just curious. 😉)

Miss Varicella

*Virus detected*

*Rant detected*

Disclaimer: I hate writing about personal experiences in my blog. So, hopefully this is the last rant you hear from me!

11/09/2021

What a strange visitor I have! This certain miss Varicella visits everyone when they’re children, so she’s decided to visit me exactly two days before my legal childhood ends! It’s the law though, my childhood only ends when I decide it ends. So in reality, not yet. However, I’m not very pleased about this visit of Miss Varicella Zoster, aka, Chicken pox!

In my dreamland, I would have had many ideas to celebrate my last day as a child under the eyes of the law. But here I am, quarantined, not even for the disease that made the word ”quarantine” popular, but for a disease 9 out of 10 people have had by the age of 15! It all started with a little red itchy something on my collar bone which I’d assumed was an insect bite. The next day, that one little itchy something had become many little itchy somethings!

By then, I knew clearly what the red somethings where. I can’t afford to fall sick now as I have a pilgrimage ahead of my ”coming of age” (by law) year. Today, the pink polka dots have only multiplied! *Fever in the background*

Miss V, in two days, has taught me that I’ve been taking too much for granted. (Strongly advice you not to read this while eating). I didn’t realise what a smooth skin I had until this outrageous infestation caused blisters everywhere. I’d always complained of pimples, acne scars, etc.. But now, with the end not in sight, I wonder if this will ever go or if there will be permanent scars. I really hope not. Oh, how I’ve taken my ability to eat for granted! With blisters on the lips and sores one side of the tongue, you have to eat without the food touching your lips and that part of the tongue, and even if you do, it will hurt anyway because it’s incredibly painful to swallow. There are probably blisters down there in the throat too! Somehow, always, as a rule of thumb, there has to be tasty food when you’re sick or can’t enjoy it!

For the first time in my life, I’m going to sleep alone. I’ve been on solo travels and even outside the country without my family (twas a school trip to Europe, maties) but never in my 17 years and 363 days have I slept alone! I hope some ghost does not take me away. Hey, besties from the West (Westies!), before you judge me for this, let me tell you, it’s easier when you’ve had practice since infancy! I’ve instructed (well, threatened) my grandmother to come for me if I suddenly call out to her in the middle of the night. After all, I did stick with them when they all had covid (But I did not catch it).

12/09/2021

I surprised myself by not waking up in the middle of the night. Every time I performed this dangerous experiment before (which was just twice), there was always a large gap between the bottom of the bed and the floor, leaving more scope for the under-the-bed-ghost to come and take me away. So I ended up discontinuing the experiment on both the occasions. This bed is more close to the ground and the ghost is probably squashed.

I’m going to rant about the pink polka dots. They’re everywhere! Scalp, belly button, MY POOR FACE! Arghh! They better go away! Such fancy destinations they choose!

I feel very oily. Can’t wait for a regular soap bath! (For the inexperienced amongst you, you can’t use soap until the scabs dry).

I usually try to remain professional in the blogosphere and never write posts like this. Hopefully this is the last. I’d like to end on a grumpy note: The world, what an itchy place to be! LIFE ITCHES!

On the brighter side, it’s better to have chicken pox at a matured age like mine because, YOU KNOW NOT TO ITCH.You also know that you need to stay hydrated. On the darker side, it tends to be more severe at an older age (13+, in this case). I’m having medications and also distracting myself with some literary goodies by the side. I can’t leave bed argh! The horror of not exercising! I feel… Grumpy.(In case that’s not clear). Never writing another rant post!

PS: Have you ever suffered from a disease other than common cold and fever? Let’s talk about it! This is my first time and truth to be told, I kind of wanted to ”experience” something. I never tend to fall sick as I’m already vaccinated against most diseases under the Sun. Our government does well there.

The Single Line Story Challenge

This is such a fun challenge and I’m so excited to see how this goes! I’m extremely thankful to my friend Moi from Definitely Moi for nominating me for this unique challenge! Moi is an incredibly creative, talented young blogger. If you haven’t visited her blog before, you’re really missing out! She’s witty, has a penchant for word plays and is a clever word sorceress.

The Single Line Story Challenge

Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you/Mention whose blog you found this on
  • Include the rules and badge in your post
  • Write 5 single line stories that fall under any of these genres (you can pick which ones you do!):
    • fantasy
    • romance
    • thriller
    • mystery
    • western
    • contemporary
    • historical
    • drama
    • dystopian
    • adventure
    • sci-fi
    • paranormal
    • young adult
  • You can choose 5 genres that’s easiest for you, or you can challenge yourself to try something new!
  • Nominate 5 blogger/writers who you’d love to see participate and leave an open nomination for all writers!
  • You can do this challenge more than once.

Again, thank you dear Moi for nominating me!

Now, to the stories!

Historical

Playing a solemn tune, the violinist pictured his daughter one last time, freckle by freckle, as the hungry waves of the Atlantic engulfed the mighty Titanic, digesting his lifeless physical form in seconds.

Romance

Gazing at the man who was on his knees before her, she answered ‘’If infinite parallel universes exist, I want to be your wife in every one of them.’’

Sci-fi

The Human colonisers and Martian natives decided that war was not the best course and signed a peace treaty at the request of their respective governments but… Will the Martians really settle?

Dystopian

The headquarters of WHO was shifted to the Republic of Antarctica, a nation that was once an icy continent, as that was the only country that wasn’t under a totalitarian government… Yet.

Fantasy

Ron Weasley was well prepared for his potions exam that day, but little did he realise that the exam was actually on defence against the dark arts!

I nominate:

Moksha @Happy Panda

Manjiri @Penjiri

Paula Light @Light Motifs II

Shweta Suresh @My Random Ramblings

Nehal @ Quirky Pages

And you!

No pressure. Anyone can take up this challenge and it’s not a compulsion. If you think this challenge seems like fun, just go ahead and jump right in! If you don’t feel inclined to it, remember that no is a complete sentence and silence is an accepted answer. THIS CHALLENGE IS OPEN TO ALL OF YOU!

Hope you had fun reading these, just as much as I did writing them… 🤍

5 Things Most Bloggers Have in Common

Get ready to be fed all the stereotypes I’ve picked up being in the blogosphere for almost 4 months now! On this note, I want to add my own quote ‘’Life is like French Grammar. Everything has exceptions, and those exceptions in turn have more exceptions.’’ So if you do not identify with any of these traits, curse me not!

Image by Pixabay from pexels.com

1. A similar sense of humour when going long

In 4 months, I’ve read atleast 400 blogs and I strongly feel that most bloggers have a pretty similar sense of humour when writing lengthy posts, or when blogging about blogging. I like to call it the ‘’blogger’s humour’’, if you will. It tends to be very subtle and usually doesn’t give you more than a chuckle. It is not intended to make you laugh, but rather adds a little light-hearted note that breaks the monotony of longer blogs, a favour the writer does to himself and the reader. It tends to be an inherent quality with most bloggers and they can do it without having to try hard. To the reader, it comes across as effortless humour.

2. Introverted or ambiverted

Extroverted bloggers, I acknowledge your existence, but the vast majority of bloggers tend to be atleast ambiverts. It must be painful for extroverts to sit in solace and type something for a long long time. Most bloggers I follow have explicitly stated about their social awkwardness and anxiety in their blogs. If we were to interact personally, even virtually in a zoom call, I can imagine how awkward it would be 😂

3. Romantic souls, nature-lovers

As prejudiced as that sounds, I haven’t met a single blogger who does not love nature or animals or the chirp of birds or the smell of woods or the sound of water or… Yeah, you get the idea.. By romantic, I do NOT mean the lovey-dovey romance with a human. I mean romantic poetry, romantic literary pieces, super-imaginative idyllic pieces, the Wordsworth kind that takes you to another world! Not to generalise, atleast my WordPress friends so far fit into this box. MOSTLY.

4. Aptitude

Not all bloggers are Teslas, but you certainly need some aptitude on a certain subject to keep blogging about it for a long long time. Additionally, word prowess is a gift not everybody is endowed with. I’ve definitely read some astonishing crap around here, especially in certain ‘’brainwashed’’ social views and shallow scientific ideas, but it’s only to an excusable extent. Your aptitude could lie in your virtual socialising skills, the way you present your content or in your ability to garner viewers.

5. Travellers

Almost every blogger I’ve come across is an avid traveller. They don’t seem to like the idea of being cooped up indoors. Imagine if in one of our travels, we all bump into each other in a far away island with clear blue water and lush green trees! I shall pretend I was watching the sky and never bumped into you to avoid any conversation 🙂 Nature-lovers love to be in nature, right? Most bloggers seem to love travel and adventure as that gives them both self-time and nature-time. Win-win.

These are STEREOTYPES. I repeat, these are STEREOTYPES I’ve formed and not a rule of thumb. Let’s see how many of these apply to you.

Have you observed any common string that ties the entire blogging community together? (Apart from the kindness and friendliness) Let me know in the comments…

Ekta -The Talk Show- Ep 2

Disclaimer: All characters in Ekta Talk Show are modelled after REAL characters and their experiences are entirely based on true stories. Ekta is the manifestation of an imaginary conversation between these characters, in a hypothetical scenario of their meeting. Head straight to the conversation if you read ep- 1 and don’t need an introduction about Ekta. In this episode, my own experiences are shared through the character of Vriksha!

Ladies and gentlemen, a warm welcome to yet another enriching episode of our monthly talk show, Ekta. I’m Shubhang Mishra, the host for this show.

Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

If you are here for the first time, welcome warmly to a world of intriguing discussions, diverse perspectives and the story and struggles associated with both the sides of the coin. Ekta’s motto is: Talk your way to unity.

There is beauty in diversity and Ekta celebrates it through an open discussion between the holders of diverse notions and those who lie in opposite sides of the road- victim and perpetrator, leftist and rightist, impoverished and millionaire, and what not! Feel absolutely free to check out the First episode of Ekta!

Our guests today have both had to travel a long way to get here. Let’s welcome Vriksha Rao and Nandini Nair with a round of applause! Vriksha and Nandini, please take your seats.

Welcome to Ekta. Please tell us about yourselves and let our audience know why our team has picked you to be here with us today.

Nandini: Namaste, I’m Nandini Nair. I hail from God’s own country, Kerala. I happen to be the first transgender doctor of my state. It was a difficult yet promising road and Ekta wants me to share my experiences with the world, with an intention to inspire many more transgender men and women to follow their dreams.

Vriksha: I’m Vriksha, 16 years old, originally from AP but born and brought up in Tamil Nadu. Ekta’s team got in touch with me to interact with a transgender, which at that instant seemed ghastly, but I warmed up to the idea as I’ve always wanted to hear their story. They often come across as people one needs to be safe around, but I’m sure they’re not all the same.

Vriksha, you mentioned that one needs to be safe around transgenders. Does this apprehension stem from received notions and stereotypes or a personal encounter you had with a transgender?

Vriksha: Mine very much stems from personal experiences. Every little encounter I’ve had with transgenders has been absolutely traumatising. My mother tells me that their tendency to steal from and bully random people on the roads is mostly due to the stigma surrounding their gender, which we so insensitively endorse. God created a third gender, but WE created the stigma. So in a way, we have earned it.

Nandini: That’s a very considerate statement you’ve made, given that you’ve had nothing but unpleasant experiences with our community. I’d like to hear you elaborate on some of these traumatising instances you’d referred to.

Vriksha: There are plenty.

I was 8-years old, in an accessories store. The store was owned and run by very religious Muslims and they were diligent, sincere businessmen. That day, a trans woman happened to come by and demanded money from the man at the counter. He said there wasn’t enough money just yet and that they were yet to meet the day’s goal. The woman started swearing at the man, not a word that I could understand, yelled at him fiercely and asked him to give her the money. She said she’d take it herself if he did not oblige. He was stunned and didn’t know what to do as he’d be answerable to his owner if the day’s goals were not met. He gave her some money, but not enough to gratify her. She demanded more money, this time more aggressively, to which the man stood in utter stillness. She got out of the shop, stood in the busy pavement, STRIPPED OFF all her clothes and yelled violently, asking passer-bys for “justice”. She went on to remove all her layers and continued to yell. The man was extremely embarrassed. I was terrified and hid in a little corner upstairs, watching all of this.

In another instance, my mother was a victim. She was in a road-side tea shop with her colleague. A group of transgenders came by and demanded money. As she took out her purse to give them some money, one of them grabbed the purse, took all the cash and hid it in their sari. They said “I shall bless you and return as much of your money as God asks me to.” They took a substantial amount and gave her the rest. One simply cannot rebel against them. Our experiences have taught us that the hard way. There are many more but I shall stop here.

That is traumatising indeed for an 8 year old to witness, Vriksha. Nandini, can you tell us why transgenders behave the way they do and have such a reputation?

Nandini: When the transition happens during the teenage years, transgenders move out of their homes to live with their community. I was an exception, which is also due to the fact that I had supportive friends and family, unlike the case with the majority of them. They strive hard to find a job, which they may never accomplish due to the absence of tight laws to ensure their progress. They live in impoverished conditions, can’t get educated, which itself is a reason for their unemployment. Another reason they can’t get a job is, they’re TRANSGENDERS and no one would give them a job. Due to this, they harass people and earn a living. Their survival instincts push them to do so.

What were some of the challenges you faced in your journey?

Nandini: Naturally, the stigma surrounding the third gender affects me professionally quite a bit. Every successful transgender man and woman are SELF-MADE! They will not be handed a job due to scepticism. When they do find a job for themselves, they will not have regular customers or in my case, patients, due to the same reason- scepticism. We are doubted wherever we go and whatever we do. People are always cynical and believe wholly that we have a natural potential to be cunning. We cannot all swindle you of your fortune *Laughs*

Vriksha: Is the swindling justified?

Nandini: Absolutely not! It’s the survival instinct ofcourse, but it’s very much in our control.

Vriksha: HOW can you control it? How can you be empowered?

Nandini: We all have the power to do wonderful things- you, me and the audience. Education is a transformational wand. Unfortunately, transgenders are deprived of it. They are deprived of opportunities and support. Their families and friends neglect them. The LAW neglects them. When we cannot all afford to empower ourselves, the government needs to do something to help us. That’s why you and I pay them taxes. It’s not easy for us. It’s incredibly hard. But it isn’t supposed to be. Humans have made life so hard for each other!

If only we didn’t move out during our transition..

Vriksha: If only you didn’t “have to” move out during your transition! Our outlook definitely needs changing. When an animal looks at you, it knows you’re human. It’s only when a human looks at you that you come across as a “different” human. I wish humans look at you, and everyone, the same way animals do. Humans have a lot to learn from animals!

Nandini: Indeed they do. My MBBS degree is as much worthy as it is when a cis-gendered man earns it. After all, I did toil for 8 years to earn it.

Vriksha: I want to be a doctor. I face half the challenges you do. When the going gets tough, I shall remember you. You have inspired me infinitely! Thank you!

Vriksha and Nandini, we’re at the end of this segment. It was absolutely nourishing to watch your conversation bloom and they’ve all heard you loud and clear. It was a delight to have you with us today. So, ladies and gentlemen, see you again in the next episode. Until then, signing off, Shubhang Mishra!

The Tragedy of Toxic Positivity

Photo by Michelle Lemanfrom Pexels

Have you ever got stuck in a quicksand? I assume not, because you’re here, reading my blog, blinking and thinking this is a ridiculous question. Well, if you are a person who follows toxic positivity as a principle, you would have stopped reading after the very first line, hated me, dipped yourself in holy water, waded off your evil eyes and set off to read another blog that’s worth your time.

People like that do exist and I hope you are not one of them. These folks believe you are “attracting” negative energies by just saying it. If you live in a household or work amidst colleagues who bar you from talking about death (like you aren’t ever going to get there), sickness, war, feuds, traffic and many such topics you can actually make good jokes about, Welcome to the victim of toxic positivity club!

Yeah, I make jokes about death. Secretly (Because people would swat me away with a broom if I did that in front of them). Sometimes I regard with sympathy, the class of humans beings who were born without a sense of humour and wonder what it is like in their pathetic worlds. I feel even more devastated for people who may have a latent sense of humour but can’t talk about 50% of things in the world because it either disturbs them or makes them feel “not so positive”. (‘’Negative’’ is a forbidden word!).

When you can’t talk openly about your depression because people ask you the ‘’reason’’ for it and tell you it will vanish into thin air if you become ‘’positive’’, stay atleast a mile away from them. After all, this is 2021, NOT a good time to be positive (get what I mean?).

According to experts (*disclaimer* which I’m not), toxic positivity can be as bad as negativity and can prove to be counterproductive by minimising, invalidating and bottling up an authentic emotion. Bottling up negative emotions can in turn lead to depression, anxiety and can take a toll on your mental health.

Social media influencers, despite their noble intentions, often spread the wrong idea that the “upside down frown” should be your eternal state. Unbeknownst to themselves, they spread a lot of toxic positivity in the virtual world, which common people begin to adopt in real life. Moreover, social media has also augmented our exposure to enormous amounts of “Smile is the best makeup you can wear.” And “Cheer up, the world isn’t ending” and messages of the like that encourage one to put up a façade of ecstasy while in the depths of despair deep inside.

I’d like to conclude by saying: Be authentic in your expression of emotions. Your emotions are valid. You don’t need to pretend to be a saint when you are, in reality, a hopelessly insane crackpot. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay if the “energy fields’’ around you are confused for a while. IT’S OKAY TO TAKE REFUGE IN NEGATIVITY WHEN THAT SEEMS COMFORTING! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise…

PS: What a shallow post, right? There’s not too much depth after all. Just wanted to share my reflection on what seems to be so common in the virtual world, something I don’t usually do here. I hope I got atleast “some” things right 😊

PPS: I’m soon experimenting with sci-fi! Hope it turns out well. Fingers crossed 🤞

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Okay, I had no idea I’d be making my first award post so soon, so many many many many many thanks to my Blogging bestie Penjiri for nominating me! I’m so excited and extremely grateful!

Penjiri is an amazing blogger and you should definitely check out her blog! Her posts are colourful, full of life and warmth. She is an avid reader and has a great taste in books, which you’ll be able to see once you visit her site. She’s an amazing photographer too, which she is too modest to admit.

This is the logo of The Sunshine Blogger Awards.

RULES

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new bloggers to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog

QUESTIONS 

1. When you read the word ‘love,’ what’s the first song that comes to mind?

Actually, nothing! Nothing comes off the top of my mind. But if I think harder, En Kadhale En kadhale comes to my mind. It’s a Tamil song from the 90s, sung by legendary singer (still an understatement) SP Balasubramaniam with wonderful saxophone accompaniments. SPB sir had a golden voice. I also get reminded of My heart will go on from Titanic (1997). It’s one of the 3-4 English songs that I even know! It’s timeless and nobody can NOT love it. Both the songs are much older than my age 😬


2. What were your favourite TV shows to watch when you were little?

Chhota Bheem, Dora the explorer, Mr Bean the animated series, Air Buddies (a 2006 film), The Lion King (CD collection), Motu Patlu, Doraemon, Ninja Hatori, Tom & Jerry, Shin Chan, Jackie Chan, etc…


3. What’s a colour you recently started to love?

🤔 Recently? Is that supposed to say something about my personality? 🤪

Okay! I saw a peacock in a park recently and fell in love with the colour of its ‘’neck’’

The blue in its ‘’neck’’ looks gorgeous! He was flexing his remarkable dancing skills to a peahen nearby 😜 She was acting like she couldn’t care less 😆😂

4. Tea or coffee? What’s your usual tea or coffee order?

Neither. Just milk, please! 🥛


5. Do you prefer writing or typing?

Writing any day! 😃


6. How long have you been blogging?

My very first post The Bribe Biryani is 3 months and 10 days old. So, yeah, that’s how long I’ve been blogging. 😊


7. If you could add to or change one thing about your bedroom, what changes would you make?

I don’t have a bedroom of my own. If you’re from elsewhere and had a cultural shock reading that, I’d like to tell you that here in Asia, it’s a very common practice for family members to share the same bedroom.

My brother, my grandmother and I share one bedroom and keep it as messy as we can 😁 So if I have to make a change, I’d make it ‘’less messy’’ but honestly, I couldn’t care less coz I simply won’t feel at home in a neat bedroom! 😜 However, I’d like the periodic table of elements and some important physics formulae on the ceiling. I SO BADLY need to change, I know.


8. What are your favorite games right now?

A game born in the same land as I, CHESS! Also, does Duolingo count? 🤔


9. Do you prefer succulents or flowers?

Flowers 😁


10. What’s the last thing you ate?

Millets Upma.


11. What’s in your purse/bag/backpack? (pick one lol, you don’t have to tell me about all of those)

A cap.


MY QUESTIONS

1. What’s your dream destination?

2. What languages do you speak?

3. Describe your ideal weather.

4. What is in your blog’s drafts?

5. It can be incredibly hard to pick favourites, but if there’s one post in your site that you’re especially proud of, which one is it?

6. What are you wearing at the moment?

Disclaimer: (In case you’re uncomfortable with this one, I want to assure you that it’s nothing creepy. It describes so much about you and your surroundings- the weather in your area, your favourite type of clothes to wear, your culture, etc.. which can be very interesting to learn about 😃).

7. Are you an introvert, extrovert or an ambivert?

8. Which emoji have you been using a lot lately?

9. If you could participate in the Olympics, what game would it be?

10. Which is the best place you’ve ever visited?

11. A fun fact about yourself that’s hard to know from your blogs.


MY NOMINATIONS

Muskaan @Girl with ink

Joanne @Beautiful You

Anna @Anna’s styles

KK @Kaushal Kishore

Moi @Definitely Moi

Hemalatha Ramesh @frameofsoul

Dwight L Roth @Roth Poetry

Shweta Suresh @My Random Ramblings

Nabeeha Jameel @Brainsstorms.wordpress.com

Radhika @Radhikasreflection

Haoyan Do @Haoyan Do

The order is arbitrary and does not indicate priorities or such.


Before we finish, I want to tell you that the hardest part of making this post was deciding on only 11 names to nominate. It was incredibly hard. There are some wonderful bloggers I wanted to nominate but couldn’t due to the restriction. Please know that I highly regret it. I love every one of your sites equally and it’s super hard to pick favourites. You all are awesome and bring so much love and warmth in the community.

I only follow blogs that deeply touch my soul. So if I’m following you and couldn’t put you here, I’m very sorry. I do not love you or your site any less. It was genuinely hard. Plz know that I respect and admire you and your work equally. 🙏🤍 I could mention some special names here, but don’t want to, because I’ve reiterated time and again that you all are nothing but equal in my eyes. Ah! My hopeless love for people I haven’t even met 😉 You’ve all earned it. ❤️

If by some saturnalia miracle I get nominated for an award again, I’ll pick a different set of bloggers next time. I see you all as amazing bloggers with each one of you having different things to say.

If your blog is award-free as some seem to be and I’ve nominated you, kindly excuse me for not knowing it beforehand. I understand if you do not want to participate. 😊

Thanks to my dearest friend Penjiri once again for making my day with my first ever nomination!

🙏🤍🙏🤍🙏🤍🙏🤍🙏