I think, therefore I write

Author: Keirthana (Page 1 of 63)

Stop giving us what we already have

Before thinking about providing salaries to women who manage the household, before debating if this is a right idea or is it putting a price on things done out of love, before arguing about whether this is a pride or an insult, how about we do a few basic things?

Before talking about money, status, and pride, let’s talk respect, compassion, sharing the load, treating them lovingly. Let’s stop the empowerment rage for one second and let’s talk why the necessity for empowerment was born. Let’s stop the oppression (not just for women). Let’s stop the patriarchy that is conditioned into each cell of this society. Let’s stop forwarding the distasteful jokes about marriage and how women spoil men’s life after marriage. Stop kidding yourselves.

Women don’t need protectors. Women don’t need someone else to justify their work. They need one thing – just letting them be. Treat them fair. Respect them for who they are. Women who need someone else to voice their concern won’t exist today if they were not fed years of implicit and explicit patriarchy.

For every brand that uses women’s day as a campaign premise,
For every politician who uses women empowerment just for the vote bank,
For every single person who thinks the marriage/husband-wife jokes on WhatsApp are funny,
For every brand that makes a sexist ad for cheap popularity,
Stop creating the problem and you wouldn’t have to search for the solution. Stop doing what you do and you wouldn’t need to empower women. Women are empowered, more than you’d think, more than you’d know, more than you could ever imagine. Just stop being a jerk and start being unconditionally unbiased.

Until later 🙂

A parent’s anguish

My almost-3-yr-old has been extremely cooperative and understanding of the situation considering her age, what with us being holed indoors. I try to be positive but as days turned into months which could now turn into years, there are times when worry eats me. The worry is mostly for my family, with an at risk husband and a toddler whose life seems to have been turned upside down. She does not know it but I do. And on bad days, the knowledge of what should have been and the memories of what were, breaks my heart.

My heart breaks into countless pieces,
When I see you holed inside these 4 walls,
You are peeping out the window,
Achingly looking at the playground,
That was your second home until a few months ago.
You don’t understand what changed and why,
All you know is that there is something out there,
Some call it corona, some call it the virus,
You get that it is something scary,
Something you don’t want to catch,
And that’s why you can’t go out.
Even the few occasions you stepped out for a walk,
With your Amma and Appa, you wore a mask,
You wore it with enthusiasm, the new cool thing for you,
You thought you were part of a grown up ritual and exulted,
Little did you know of my anguish at that sight,
Of you having to wear a mask to stay healthy and probably to stay alive.
At your age, you hardly remember a world before and after,
For you, what you see is what you get.
Hold on tight, my baby, for hope is the only thing keeping us going,
Hold on tight, to us, your parents who seem to be the world for you now,
To the vague memories of going out to that restaurant or mall,
To those memories of your birthday celebrations that just escaped the clutches of this pandemic,
To those dreams of going to your first school and playing with new friends,
Just hold on tight, let’s hope, this too shall pass.
Just so that I don’t break,
Let me believe in miracles, and
That the world will be yours again to explore.

Until later 🙁

A worthless gift

Something I wrote in a bleh state of mind, thinking about children of today who are to be the keepers of this world tomorrow.

Oh my precious little one, my hope was still bright
When you stepped into this world
Today, I am not so sure if I was right.

The world I gave you doesn’t seem so ideal
Most days, it does not show any promise of getting better
Nor does it promise you anything that’s real

The rational part of me says, this is not your battle to fight,
Do what you can to your best and teach as much
But I cringe, wondering if you even got your birthright.

Clear air, water and a place to live is all you need
Even those are hard to come by and,
Nature’s already looking for ways to trim the weed.

I really hope you get a chance to
Love what you have, and
Live how you want,
Cherish your life as you rest.

But hope is all I got,
For I am also one part of all this havoc,
Nothing else can I say except that I am sorry,
For giving you the world in this state.

Until later 🙁

Recreating memories

By this post, you would know that my interest in cooking is fairly recent. It still is a chore for me on most days but I manage to get by knowing that I can cook up a delicious meal, when needed. Anyway, as I made my way through different dishes from amma’s culinary repertoire, trying one at a time, I realized that the newly discovered interest has a backstory after all. One that’s so obvious that I am surprised that I missed it.

I miss my mom and her cooking.

Though this has happened when I first moved out from home to my hostel, then dealing with various cuisines of PG food (ugh!) throughout my spinster life and so on. I have missed amma’s cooking earlier too but that was different. This time, with each of us locked in different cities in the pandemic, it’s been a while since mom got a chance to pamper me and my daughter I got a dose of her pampering. It’s amazing how she never gets bored with cooking and always has the energy to cook up something delicious.

Anyway, this week as I tried my hand at making Vaazhaipoo urundai (A type of falafel made from banana flower), Vaazhaithandu adai (A patty with banana stem – a variant of the first dish), paruppu dosai (My favorite dish with coconut chutney, always ready when I visit home from hostel), Mushroom curry fry, Masala dosa and many more of mom’s signature dishes, the aromas wafting through my kitchen reminded me of my childhood memories, particularly around food that I enjoyed the most as I grew up. I could just close my eyes and see amma working her way around in that dingy kitchen of the monumental house that I grew up in.

Amma in the kitchen was the norm for us. I was a pathetic daughter who didn’t help around much, I did an odd chore here or there but that was it. Yes, I do feel bad that I didn’t do more for her. I would ask her why she keeps at it and how she is not bored day after day, doing the same chore and she would reply, “You enjoy the food, right?” I couldn’t imagine the level of selflessness it took to have that attitude, even if it is for one’s own daughter.

For more than 30 years, she has never tired of the kitchen and cooking. Every time I cook something, my mind automatically compares it with amma’s. The comfort of childhood memories with amma combined with the comfort of food just makes my heart fill with content to the brim. That’s probably what made the experience better for me with time – else I was unhappy that I had to work to develop the interest unlike amma for whom it just came naturally.

Of course, there is a benefactor to all this – my daughter. She is happy that she is getting a variety of dishes as opposed to the mundane routine of rice and sambhar. I don’t think I’ll ever get over amma’s cooking, no matter how old I get. I hope my daughter retains some of these memories as nostalgia when she’s all grown up. I am surprised that she, unlike me, shows an interest in cooking and household chores at such an young age. She loves sitting in the kitchen and watching me cook. And narrating the recipe to her as I cook does make the chore less boring. Sometimes, I put on music and we do a bit of dancing jumping around as well.

So if my daughter looks back at one of these evenings and thinks of it as fondly as I think of my mom in the kitchen, I’d consider it my greatest reward.

Until later 🙂

P.S: Maybe, I should start posting some recipes. Lemme think about it.

Drunk

Out of all the ways to get drunk, 
I chose to get drunk on you
And your memories

I do admit, it's an incredible way
To get high, high on the emotions
And the way you made me feel

I laughed right in the face of closure
And didn't even bother moving on
Surprisingly, no regrets there

I liked the trance, the trance of feeling
How I wanted to feel, how it felt to feel
The desire, going wild with no reigns

 Even now, it's like age old wine
 All it takes is a tiny sip
 To get intoxicated once again

Until later 🙂

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