What Others Are Reading

Nov 21, 2014

The English Snob That I Was

Note : This was a story I shared with my fellowship team, when asked how the fellowship that I am a part of has changed me. There have been several ways of how this brilliant experience has brought out the best and the worst in me. I will hopefully share more on this fellowship and the learnings I've drawn from it on the blog, for now read on...

                 My name is Spoorthi. My father is from Karnataka and my mother is from Sikkim, and I… Well I am from everywhere! I can speak Kannada, Nepali, French because I put my heart and soul into learning it and of course I know English. Thinking back on my past, I realize that all my friends have been English speakers, all my thoughts have been penned down in English, and most of what I know has been read in English.
                One year into the fellowship and all the friends I had made were English speakers. I hadn’t ever realized it, but I looked down upon those who didn’t know proper English. “I didn’t done it” someone says, and I know he can never be my friend. “Kyaa aap hindi mein baat karsakte ho, angrezi samajh nahin aa raha hain” another says and I know no conversations there. “Aap kaise ho?” someone asks, I say “acha” in my broken hindi and walk away. This was who I was and I was happy with it.
                My whole life, my parents, my schools, the society I belonged to and the media that fed me, have all told me ‘English’! We had a rule in my school, if anyone speaks in any language other than English, then we had to pay a fine. Did I realize how much of my character was being shaped by this? Our whole lives we are conditioned to be a certain way, fed ideas that are said to be right, influenced towards certain ideologies. Everyday of our lives we lose a part of ourselves and become what we are forced to become, completely blind to it. In the fellowship I questioned it, and recovered a part of myself!
                I remember the day that my journey with this fellowship started. I was given a room next to two boys during our induction process, who happened to be deep and loud in discussion in HINDI! I couldn’t believe it! I couldn’t understand most of it, but I understood I was disappointed. I remember phoning my mother back home and telling her very convincingly that I didn’t think this fellowship was for me. Today I work and live with one of those guys in my fellowship home and the other one of those guys is my best friend. 
                It might have taken me a year to realize it, but a lot of courage to break my notions and to break my conditioning. The dislike, the disappointment, the hatred even, it was all not mine. It was given to me, and I accepted it without questioning it. When I look around today I see the magnitude of souls we are slowly erasing by giving them all the anger, hatred, violence, judgements and what not.
                During my field support visits to school, I meet on an average 150 primary kids that I teach, I play with and best of all, I talk to. I can feel their honesty, their purity and their free minds in my heart. I envy them but at the same time I fear for them. It is only a while until these free souls are also bound by our society’s chains. Perhaps I can save them, perhaps I can save our society from more Spoorthis who dislike non-English speakers.
                My dream is to see our children growing in an environment where they can be everything they wish to be and everything that they are, without being conditioned to be a certain way, fed ideas that are said to be right, influenced towards certain ideologies. A school where self-exploration, self-governance, self-expression, equality and freedom are the core values. I want to question things, I want to question our conditioning, I want to question everything!


Don't forget to also check out :

Sep 18, 2014

The Big Elephant in My Room - My parents' seperation

     It's been a long time since I've written(I certainly regret my lethargy) and now that I've decided to finally get back on track, what better way to start than to talk about the one thing in my life that I rarely talk about with people.
     A few of you might know that my parents are separated and it's been just my mother, my dog(now no more alive) and I the whole time. I sometimes tell people the truth when asked, according to whether they can handle it or not, rest of the times I just say he works overseas. A lot of you might be appalled as to why I lie, but it is not for me but for the well-being of the listener. Contrary to the beliefs held by many educated citizens of our great nation, divorce and single-parenthood are still a taboo and a big No-No.
    Hence I am going to do the best thing possible with this taboo today - talk about it! I will try my best to answer all kinds of questions that enter into your head when you think of DIVORCE and especially the CHILD of the pitiful marriage.
    My parents separated nearly a decade ago. I am in my early twenties now, which means I was already quite old enough to understand pretty much everything that was happening in my life. Did it affect me and damage me for the rest of my life? Well... I'm sure it affected me, but don't we all live through struggles in life that affect us, bad breakups, failing at exams, broken bones from an accident or a death of a loved one. They are all a part and parcel of life, and the best thing we can do is survive them. I survived it and I'm doing fine today, so I guess damaged for the rest of my life is not true eh?
    To be honest, the way I saw my parents' marriage, it wasn't happy for them after a while. They began with love, but love fades sometimes like everything in life (Buddha said nothing in this universe is permanent). They should have parted before the ugly side of fading love began to show. For all those open mouths and rolling eyes, I know this might sound crrrrrrrrrrazy, but that is what I believe. Nothing really is permanent, and the sooner we accept this truth, the closer we are to finding the one thing we all truly crave for, Peace.
    One of the biggest reasons marriages are stopped from seeing its end are the KIDS! What will happen to them? We should stay for their happiness? We should do this for them! Well... I am a kid of such a marriage, and for all those going through this phase in life, honestly this is the worst thing for the kids in the marriage. A forced marriage entails a lot of cold shoulders, hatred, fights, and most of the times domestic violence at home. We don't need this. The foremost thing for a child is to be brought up in a healthy , non-violent environment and if that means sitting down with your partner to decide the terms of separation then do it! If it means going to couples counselling than try that too! But don't just stay idle, waiting for things to change.
    A common question that curious little minds have asked me is my opinion on marriage and whether I see a husband for myself, despite my parents' broken ties. I suppose they expect I'd carry the hate from the previous generation, but it's not for me to carry is it? I have been given the power to make the choices of my life and it is upto me to make it the way I want it to be. On that note, will I marry? No :) But it's not because I don't believe in love, but it is because I don't think I need a big wedding ceremony or an announcement to the world or any other drama of that sort for me to share my life with someone. I strongly believe in the power of love and am infact in love with someone very special in my life, who also doesn't think he needs a certificate to prove his love for me.
    I realise I've said a lot of things that might result in a lot of hate in the comments section, but you know what it's fine. I've lived through every word I've written here and more, I've lived it and I wouldn't change a single thing from my life if I had the chance. It made me who I am today, it made me value love, it made me value myself, what else can I ask for.
    My parent's are separated, but by their choice. The only hope for humanity is to work for a society where freedom and love are the most important epithets and not force and hate. I am proud of my mother for taking this decision and setting herself free and wish a lot of women and men get the courage to take that step to set themselves free and find love for themselves.

P.S: Thanks a lot for listening to what I had to say :) Listening to each other helps a lot trust me. Sharing another article that is very close to what I am talking about.

Also, don't forget to also read :

Jun 18, 2014

My Mom Is Beautiful.

     This is a blog post after a long time travelling around the country, a bit of meditation and a lot of reading. All that done in hopes of opening new doors in my head and learning new life lessons. When I finally returned home after a year away(Only for a 10-day holiday break though) I never thought I would learn a beautiful lesson right in the middle of all the comforts home had to offer.
     My mom was dressing up to go her work, and meeting her after a significant amount of time, we were having our usual conversations of this and that. As she tried on her new purple kurta I happened to notice that she had grown a little fat around her hips and I told her "Ma, your body has become fat. That kurta looks weird on you."
     She accepted my comment coolly and justified how she had been eating a lot the past month. Her protest-less acceptance of my comment hit me so hard! I had obviously not thought of what my words actually signified, and soon a lesson learnt.
     Women will always be too fat, too short, too dark, have too many pimples and so on and on and on. I've been told of my tan, my grizzly dry hair and my farm of pimples on my face, over and over again. I have justified for them over and over again, as if being the way I am and looking the way I do offends the people who have to bear with it!
    My mother should have been horrified and told me not to talk of someone's body that way. I criticised her body, told her she was fat and basically told her she wasn't good enough. All she did was accept it. She accepted it as if I was right in saying all that I had said!
     When in reality my mother is so much more than just her body and face. Neither a size zero figure nor a body with fat around her hips, can define who she truly is. No beauty standards we create for women in this society can truly do justice to what women really are on the inside. So let's stop criticising the extra fat, the short legs and frizzy hair. Let's accept and love ourselves and each other for exactly the way we are - Beautiful! And I needed to go home, call my mother fat and watch her smile while being called fat to learn this lesson.
   I would love to hear stories of how beautiful your moms are :)

Don't forget to check out :

Mar 26, 2014


WARNING : There may be an excessive use of the word "Love" in this post. I suggest people uncomfortable with this word, don't fret, take a deep breath and then commence reading. You never know, you might actually fall in love with love.

     Love is a word we all use isn't it. Even when we talk of hate, we are actually talking of love. My life's journey has now led me to a stage where I want to feel love and compassion for all... Yes you read it right, for ALL!
     Love has always been a word that has come out of my lips, my entire life. Saying "I love you" to someone has been hard as well as easy for me. But, it is perhaps only now that I understand the real depth and significance of this word.
     Now how on earth am I going to love all, when there is so much to hate and detest in this world. When I thought real deep about love and compassion for ALL, I realised how herculean a task this is! If you are wondering, No I haven't managed to give unconditional love and compassion for the entire humanity, but good news I have figured out the first step.
     This first step is not giving up all your belongings to the poor of the world, it is not adopting all orphans into your home, it isn't even falling head over heels in love with someone. The first step towards Love is Not To Hate. It isn't even an action that requires effort, in fact it is the lack of all the pain and stress required to hate someone or something.
     Isn't the act of hating a big burden? Having to carry that lump of evil thoughts, curses, complains and what not, always around on your shoulders. What if you just let go of it all? You wouldn't have to love or forgive or even tolerate, you just stop hating. Doesn't it sound very relieving?
     Once that hate is let go of, our hearts and minds are lighter and cleansed, it is certainly easier to fill it with good thoughts and eventually with lots of love and compassion. If you are wondering if I really did try it, Yes I did. If you are wondering if it worked, guess what? Yes it worked!
The symbol of infinite Love and Wisdom, tattooed on my shoulder.
     I started with trying not to hate the nagging my mom does, trying not to hate the unbelievably gender biased movies that pass of as good films in the cinemas, trying not to hate the horribly rude auto drivers that try to loot you, trying not to hate some people that were really easy to hate, so on and so forth.
     As I reached this eureka moment in my journey of love and compassion, I also decided to mark my life with this new beginning. I got the infinity symbol of love and wisdom inked on my shoulder, to keep reminding me and to keep spreading the message of this simple word called Love.

Don't Forget to also check out my other posts :


Feb 9, 2014

In Chaotic Peace

     I have always enjoyed writing down my thoughts and ideas, despite the lack of readers for my pieces of work. Yet, I realised the past few months have been a time when my writers' block took the best of me. I argued (with myself ofcourse!) that I was busy saving the world or making my hair, that writing took the back seat.
     Today, I am admitting (to myself again!) as to why my fingers haven't penned down my mind. 
     My head is in chaos! In utter chaos. My thoughts and ideas are questioned by further thoughts and ideas, only to be questioned again by more thoughts and ideas. I haven't lost my soul, but I sure am on the way to losing my sanity!
     I have always been afraid of not believing the 'Right way' or the 'Right Answer', that I was in denial of chaos in my head. What if everything I believed in my whole life was all wrong? What if all of it was just wrong conditioning? I am at a phase where most questions do not have answers, my future plans are confusing me, relations are straining me and I basically need a break! I was just afraid of admitting this to myself.
     Don't we all reach this phase in our lives where too many doors of life confuse us and our head is lost between rationality, logic, sentimentality and thirsts for peace. Being afraid of accepting this chaos in my head meant my hands were paused in motion. But why are we all afraid of this state? Why are we all so obsessed with being composed and sorted,and having all the right answers, all the time? Why don't we allow ourselves to enjoy the chaos too? It certainly helped me to write one chaotic piece of writing, perhaps the acceptance of not having answers and not knowing which way to go is alright. Maybe sometimes we need to allow ourselves to enjoy some chaotic peace.

Do check my other posts too :