The House of Mirrors is a place of illusions; the one that skews your image and you see yourself in ways that are far away from reality. Stout face, enlarged body, stick thin figure and midget short height is many of the illusions that you see in the mirror and laugh at yourself finishing the laughing riot in front of a simple mirror to get an overview of how you really are. You walk out of the enclosed room, back into the real world and you haven’t stopped laughing since on others for whom large bodies, skinny figures are in fact, the reality that they deal with every day. No mirrors yet distorted reflections of how you perceive them. [Read more…] about Dear Friends & Strangers, STOP Fat Shaming
There are only a few people who enter your life, and from that moment onward, you aren’t the same anymore or at least, a part of you changes completely. I met one of those people on my recent trip to Ahmedabad. A common friend, the 6 ft 2 inch giant with stirring eyes seemed to me like a closed book with a glamorous cover. Behind the charming face that attracted a lot of women, no wonder, I got attracted too; however, there was something else that I wanted to unravel.
Little did I know that the subject of my interest would turn me into an assessment and deduce hypothesis, questioning everything and flipping the pages of my personality like a pro, inferring answers that I am too afraid to confront. Music turned me on; rain outside the 7th-floor apartment was the catalyst and one question of his: ‘why are you sad inside’ left me in trepidation. Out of 10 people in the room, he walked up to me and shot this question.
How did he know? Or was this his best pickup line since we all are somewhere sad souls wearing masks of happiness and waving delusional reality on the faces of the others? My skeptical mind was racing and well, I read him too which left unanswered. Never mind, I will have my chance.
Scene changes to the one where we are face to face and I’m waiting for my over analyzing mind to stop. The story of his mother who lost her life to cancer (Leo woman, damn we are fucking strong people), work related stuff was good enough to break the ice. In some time, I included him in desultory conversations and before I could comprehend the situation, he started reading me.
Gosh! He learned that I am an emotional wreck, forgiving and keep going back to those who have hurt me, afraid to open up, dealing with insecurities and basically, showing me the mirror, only this time, it was as clean as the summer sky. I couldn’t breathe. Was he judging me? Was he creating a mental image of me without even knowing my story? It was too much for me and my obnoxious, irrational, bruised self started to dredge up. On one hand, I wanted him to shut up and on the other, I wanted to hear him read the scribbles written all over me.
He left to sleep, I played the music, sitting on the balcony of the 7th-floor apartment, waiting for the dawn to break and I will be on my way back home. Few minutes had passed and he broke the solitude, started a conversation. He gave me hopes, reminding me of what I am and what I can be. Who does that to a stranger that he has just met 24 hours ago during dim lights, in a crowd, wearing a loose t-shirt, the size of Hulk, literally? But he did.
This is it. It was time for me to slap reality on his face. I told him about my story, how I feel and how I am not ready to take up all of those words onto my shoulders that have become weak from keeping up large boulders of illusions, self-doubt and hurt. He annoyed me several times because he knew the answers to most of the problems, or at least had suggestions. I didn’t need them, I wanted to vent. Somehow, I tried giving snippets of my life and he listened to them, attentively. Until I could see how sleepy he was and I couldn’t let him stay awake, and so I let him sleep.
After an hour’s sleep, I woke up and ready to leave with nothing to say. I was guilty for keeping him awake, afraid that he will only see me as a weak, fighting with my own demons, irrational human too afraid to face reality or worse, devoid of self-love. ‘I am bad at saying goodbyes’ was what I texted him when he asked about my weird morning behavior.
I am glad that I am completely wrong. We are talking through texts and three statements during that night are stuck in my head: ‘If I can live my life without my mom, I can live it in the absence of anyone and that is how I have become strong,’ ‘It is the most important to be selfish and not give a fuck about anyone, except for those who are in your inner circle. The rest of the people can live their life without affecting yours,’ and the third: ‘You have such potential in you and capability to do things that most people only dream of. Why and where are you stuck at all the wrong places?’ Hit me like a bullet!
Sometimes, people come at the right time in your life and he is one of them. I don’t know if I can have any impact in his life, but he has on me and I am thankful for he walked in. Let’s see for how long does he stay.
We always wonder about what it takes to make a difference in the world or to bring a change in the society that we live in. A scientific discovery, a technological invention, a fashion trend, an NGO, a liberal reform or a rally; these are a few things that we often think of but for Bhuvnesh, it was simply planting a seed of thought; literally! [Read more…] about Bhuvnesh Ojha: Changing the World One Tree at a Time
That’s the thing about ordinary; it compels you to defy the humdrum and witness what lies beyond. It usually is a tedious task but somebody has got to do it, isn’t it? For instance, running a café in Udaipur can be a precarious business as with time, this city has seen multiple concept cafes mushrooming in every corner. How to keep up? By innovating and evolving and in this case, Mic & Munch raised the bar high and there’s no complaint about it. [Read more…] about Mic & Munch Café: For the Love of Food & Music
The hill range covered in lush greens, alluring beauty of the lakes, palaces that tell history, and streets that impose culture, art and beauty all around is found in the romantic city Udaipur, situated in Rajasthan. Renowned as one of the most romantic places in the world, The City of Lakes Udaipur is about festivities, old palaces and havelis, grand celebrations, shopping, elegance and memories soaked in unparalleled beauty.
When in Udaipur, go beyond the touristy tour and explore the city as a traveller, admire the architecture, learn about the history, practice art, make connections with the local and go back with an enthralling experience. [Read more…] about The Top ‘Non-Touristy’ Things To Do in Udaipur
Devika Sisodia, 27-year-old, single, writer living in Udaipur for the last 3 years is labelled by her friends and acquaintances of living a ‘happening life’ as projected on the social media is, in fact, living a lie. The truth is that she is suffering from anxiety and depression for the last 11 months and she is fighting a battle silently that most people are not aware of. This is the reality and this is her story. [Read more…] about Of All the Life’s Battles I Fought, Depression was the Worst
Emotions need to be expressed and creativity takes courage. Art is the only way to unveil what lies inside of us; having multiple interpretations and making the world a little better.
Long before what the present day art is; drawings, symbols, paintings, street theatre and folk music were the epitome of expressions. War, battles, social movement, agitation, love, cruelty, peace, harmony, dogmas, and politics etc. have been open to interpretations for the common people through art in any form suitable. Just because sometimes, we don’t understand it, doesn’t make it less imperative.
Art has a monumental impact on the society and is an undaunted force of change. With this notion, young art lovers Surya Siras and Vaidika Wadhera decided to invite city’s poets, notable speakers, musicians, storytellers and comedian to share their expressions in an open mic session.
At Mic & Munch, city’s conceptual café which promotes music, storytelling, and art combined with amiable ambience and delicious food opened its gate for all to see the varied definitions of art. Wikipedia defines ‘Open Mic’ as an event that is commonly held at venues with or without a stage where newer or emerging artists are given an opportunity to practice and improve, with a view to getting paid work in the future. Also, it is an event where anyone can sign up to perform.
The first artist to perform at the open mic was a 19-year-old storyteller Pragya Jain who put her emotions in words immaculately and connected to the audience on a deep level. She was followed by Unnati Gupta, a poetess who took the centre stage. Surya filled the in between gaps with his funny anecdotes, love poems and tragic short stories that instilled a tornado of emotions.
To shake up the mood, a 19-year-old chef with a passion for music, Vaidika Wadhera, performed Bollywood as well as English songs on guitar and ukulele including two special songs ‘Nahi Saamne’ and ‘Rubaroo’ as a tribute to maestro AR Rahman.
After the groovy tunes, I set my foot on the stage and while I had thought of reciting few poems, I instead, decided to open up about mental health, anxiety, and depression. Amid silent audience and peering eyes, I spoke about the prevalent mental health issue and to my wonder, I found people who have had or are going through the same issue. After a serious topic, poetry was recited by Rachit Boliya who took the breath away with haikus and love notes.
To give a comic relief, upcoming stand-up comedian of the city, Rohit mimicked Bollywood actors and gave all a hearty laugh. With time, all of the seats, bean bags, and even the floor was occupied by audience members and Surya Siras told a tragic love story (although he said it was fiction, it was kind of ambivalent when he said that every story is somehow inspired by real life) that baffled people as to whether to sigh with sadness or feel mushy for it had a strong tinge of love in it.
City’s renowned architect, entrepreneur and a mother of two, Priyanka Arjun took the stage as a motivational speaker and talked about her like, before and after marriage, with an architect and interior design company in her name and two loving kids taking the most of her daily time. She was an inspiration to all women who aspire to have a family while focusing on their career and her insights impelled many to pursue their dreams.
Many of the people present in the open mic session were newcomers or had been on the stage for a couple of times. But the next artist who performed was Tripti Vyas known as Tappu, who is an RJ, songwriter, and singer. She, with her guitar strapped on her shoulders, performed an original composition and an old Bollywood song from the ’60s. After she performed a few songs, Tappu was accompanied by Spanish musician Richard, who with trombone and metal flute jazzed up the good vibes.
For what it’s worth, more artists including Harshit Sidhwani (musician), Dhruvank Charan (musician) and Amulya performed over the course of the evening. There were music, poetry, stories, comedy, speech and great food that made the evening worth remembering. Special thanks to Surya and Vaidika for bringing all forms of artwork together, and it was fabulous!