An open letter to my stalker.

 

This is very confusing. Do I say hello or do I just get to the point and say fuck off? You see, I’m a very polite person usually but whenever I even hear your name or see your creepy messages, I feel like why hasn’t the earth just swallowed you whole into the pits of hell yet? I feel like sending you to therapy myself and wonder why your parents haven’t done it yet even after knowing the extent to which you went to make the last few months hell.

Oh. Are you going to now threaten me with suicide again? Or are you going to send me another long message explaining how this universe is going to smite me for hurting you? Are you? Go ahead. Your choices are yours. They don’t affect me or my family in anyway. Whom do they actually affect? Your family and friends, that is, if you have any. It certainly seems like you don’t because any person with a family, especially a sister of his own, should know that harassment and stalking are wrong.

Does this hurt? Good. I think you need a big reality check.

No matter how delusional you are, I never did or do or will in the future like you. Get this in your brain. I don’t care how much you think that we are going to end up together (what even? Pft.), we never will. I don’t care or feel for you at all.

And no. My parents aren’t the ones stopping me from replying to you or holding me back, it’s just my disgust and pity for you. (Yes, ladies and gentleman, my stalker thinks that I don’t reply to him because my parents don’t allow me to. Lol.)

Here.

Was this clear enough for you? I’ve read it 5 times to make sure that I get this message across loud and clear. I hope this reaches the sensible part of your brain if there is any, and you stop living in your own dreamland where we end up together and everything is just flowers and sunshine. Also, get well soon because you clearly are not.

Peace out.

I’m done.

For the past few months, one of my ex-batchmates from college has been stalking me and sending me very creepy messages. This harassment has been going on since February, 2017. I reported it in college and his parents were called and told everything. He was made to sign officially that he will stop or if he continues then will accept any consequences. After that, for a while the messages stopped but as soon as college ended I started receiving the same kind of texts again. I was quiet till now, but my saturation level has been reached. I will be going to the police after this if the texts don’t stop. I thought a little reality check for him was really necessary and I thought what is better than letting him know via the most public channel. I’m done hiding under my blanket and keeping mum. This is happening and I’m sure it happens to all of us at some point at maybe a smaller or larger level. Speak out. Don’t let them scare you. More power to all of us who deal with such idiots everyday and still have the strength to get through without breaking.

Sometimes, You Just Need A Paw To Hold

I was sitting outside with my phone clutched in one hand and wiping my tears with the other when Snoopy came and just sat beside me. I felt so grateful that day to have that warm fur ball as my brother. 

I was an only child (or adult…maybe?) till I was 18. We adopted Snoopy (my dog) when I finished high school. It was a major change in our lives which called for a lot of adjustments. I had to get used to hiding my shoes so that he wouldn’t tear them up or picking even the smallest litter from the floor because he was a curious puppy and would eat absolutely anything. The biggest change, however, was saying goodbye to private space because everywhere I went he followed. It made me so happy that I finally had a dog. You see, growing up alone isn’t easy, especially for a person who loves company. FINALLY, I had someone at home to play with or just be with.

I believe that adopting Snoopy is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made because not only is he the cutest dog ever but he’s become the backbone of my family. He has the biggest heart and is always ready to cuddle. A lot of people believe that dogs cause health problems and are unhygienic. Some of our relatives stopped visiting us because of Snoopy. I think all families with dogs will agree that there are always some people who have problems with our dogs. Maybe if they just took out the time and opened their mind a little, they would understand why the dog is a member of our family and not just a pet.

Recently, I went through a rather difficult time and was not feeling very good. I was sitting outside on the floor of the balcony and talking on the phone with a friend when I started crying because of all the pent up feelings and I saw Snoopy come and just sit beside me. He put his head on my lap and just lay there while I pet him and didn’t get up until I stopped crying. That is when I actually realized that dogs are so sensitive towards our emotions. He sensed that I was upset and came and comforted me till I was okay. It filled me with such a warm feeling and the fact that he loved me so much brought tears to my eyes again. Sometimes, you just need a paw to hold.

You told her

She was just an ordinary girl and you told her she was the best thing that ever happened to you. You told her you’d never hurt her but you touched her where she wasn’t sure if she wanted your touch. Your mind was full of yourself and you filled her mind with it too. She forgot she was her own person first and thought she only belonged to you. She was made to believe that in relationships it’s not okay to talk about the intimacy you have with your partner to your friends. She was gullible, saying no was out of the question, or you’d feel disappointed. You took advantage of this fact and hurt her. Physically. She was repulsed by you. She never said it to your face, she thought you would only get more disappointed. You might ask, why didn’t she just speak to you about it? Maybe because you were an expert manipulator. She knew you would victimise yourself so she started distancing herself from you. When she finally ended it with you, you asked why. She gave no solid answer except she didn’t love you anymore. You pried. She didn’t budge. She was strong in that moment. She asked you to stay away. Thankfully, you did. Months passed, she missed your attention however sick it was, she thought she owed you something. She tried to fix it, however much it disgusted her, she still wanted to make you happy. It was a habit, you see? But thankfully she had angels watching over her and they didn’t let that happen. She’s so grateful to them. She didn’t understand at first, she does now. What you did to her wasn’t love. It was abuse. 

I hope you understand it too.

All I want for Christmas

It was the first cold winter evening and the man who operated the tea-stall was just about to pack up and leave. There was a very cool breeze and he shivered slightly, tucking his shawl around him. As he was winding up and closing all the jars full of sweets and biscuits he could feel someone behind him so he turned around. Two pairs of brown eyes were looking up at him, waiting patiently for their daily treats. He opened the biscuit jar and took out eight of them and heard two excited barks. Smiling, he tossed one to the brown one and one to the black one and fed them till the biscuits got over. He knew this wouldn’t fill their tummy but it was all he could afford to give them and felt guilty when they sat in front of his stall and looked at him with such adoration. He thought about how he would go back to his small but warm bed and they would have to sleep out in the cold but what could he do? He was poor and he had his own children to think about, he had three kids who were all in their teens. Looking at the dogs sitting in front of him and watching him with love, he thought about the last time his kids had looked at him like that. He couldn’t…

There were newspapers kept in his locked cupboard and he thought that they would keep them at least a little warm. So, he unlocked his cupboard, took them out and spread a thick although a narrow patch of newspaper on the pavement beside his stall’s tarp. The dogs were looking at him with confusion, they couldn’t understand what he was doing. He called them and pointed to the newspapers and they just barked excitedly, they thought he was playing a game. He sighed and tried to coax them into sitting on it again but they just kept wagging their tails and barking excitedly. He finally got an idea! Taking out two biscuits from the jar, he placed them on the newspapers and the dogs got even more excited and ran to eat them. After finishing the biscuits they sat down near the front of the stall again and the man sighed to himself. He tried at least.

It was getting darker and he needed to get home before sundown so he unlocked his bicycle and bidding goodbye to the dogs, he set off. The dogs watched him leave, wagging their tails at top speed till they couldn’t see him anymore. The man hoped for the best as he was pedaled home because it was getting colder by the minute. On reaching home, his wife offered him a hot cup of tea and some dinner. His children were nowhere to be seen and when he asked about their whereabouts, his wife just shrugged and told him that they must have gone to their friends’ houses. He lay down, tensed, about his children and the dogs but sleep followed quickly because the day had been exhausting. When he awoke, it was 4 in the morning. He looked around the small room and saw all three of his children on the bed under covers and his wife beside him, still asleep. Rising quietly, he smiled and said a short prayer for the well-being of his family. He quickly changed and left for work on his bicycle.

When he reached his tea-stall, the sight that awaited him made his insides go warm. The dogs were asleep on the newspaper, cuddled together to keep warm. He started his daily opening ritual which woke them up and their tails thumping the ground while they yawned brought a smile to his face. They stood up and he fed them two biscuits each after which they ran off excitedly. Every evening thereafter, the man set up newspapers for them beside his stall and they would sleep peacefully. One day, he asked his wife for some old sweaters of his children which he brought for the dogs to sleep on. The dogs kept watch on his stall for him every night and he fed them biscuits and played with them every day.

All I want for christmas is for people to show a little kindness to street dogs. This might be a fictional account but I know of so many such wonderful people who don’t have much but share whatever little they have happily. There has been a rise in crimes against street dogs in the past few months and it breaks my heart to watch videos of them getting thrown off roofs or beaten up for no reason. If people argue that dogs are aggressive and untrustworthy, I have only one thing to say to them – All dogs are loving creatures, if they don’t like you then you need to think about what you’re doing wrong because they don’t get angry for no reason. I think all the dog lovers and even most of the people who aren’t comfortabe with animals around would agree.

Let’s give this small present to all street dogs, just a little kindness.

Thank you!

Dear Mumma & Papa,

I am forever grateful to you for bringing me to this world even though I keep teasing you whenever you scold me for silly things with my pet dialogue, “Toh fir paida kyu kiya mujhe?” (Why did you give birth to me?) You have taught me everything I know and keep me on my toes with your never ending questions, just like I keep you on yours. I am 21 now which means I’m almost an adult, although I know that for you I will always be your little princess.

There is something I want from you, can you give it to me? Please? *insert puppy face*

You have provided for me throughout my life and I know you will do it in the future too without even a hint of hesitation. Whenever I asked you for something, you made it happen. Today, I am not asking you for something materialistic but just a promise. (I can already hear your *phew*) I need you to promise that you will take care of yourselves because I cannot imagine my life without you. You’re the main cogs of my life and if you break, I break too. I see so many people around me who are not as lucky as I am to have both their parents together, safe and healthy. I need you to remain like this.

It already breaks my heart to watch you grow older day by day and it must be the same for you as well. It’s not easy watching me grow more reluctant and stubborn every day. Hehe. On a serious note though, I know you want me to stay little forever just like I want you to stay young forever. I mean not ‘young’ young but in your 40s. 40 is the new young anyway and if you stay 49 it means that I get to stay 20. Too late, I guess. We’re all growing older, I just haven’t developed the wrinkles yet. This is supposed to be a cute letter so I’m not going to make old jokes now.

I love you. Please promise to keep your promise.

Somebody

I am at that confusing stage of my life when I need to make decisions about my career and what I want to do after college. It’s not confusing for everybody, some people have their life clearly mapped out and know exactly what they want to do. This is something that I really admire about humans, some of us are just wandering around from one place to the other without any direction whatsoever and some have their tracks carefully laid out.

As a kid, I always wanted to grow up to become a somebody. A somebody in my dictionary meant someone very important known and loved by everybody. I didn’t know exactly what they did but just that everybody loved them. As the years passed, I kept changing my dream but the notion of becoming a ‘somebody’ didn’t really change. A dancer, astronaut, singer, actor, novelist, filmmaker, cartoonist, teacher…

My definition of somebody has grown up with me during these years. Now, I want to be somebody who is important and respects the fact without taking advantage of it, somebody who has good and loyal friends, somebody who respects that work is important but not more than family, somebody who is socially responsible and somebody who has love, not just for another person but also for themselves. This doesn’t really give me a clear picture of what I want to do in life but it does provide me with the basic rules. Whatever I choose to do, I need to be my definition of somebody.

I think all of us want to be somebody. We all just have different definitions for it. What’s yours?

I am?

I don’t know who I am.

I know what I want.

I don’t know where I am.

I know how I want to live.

I don’t know when I’ll know who I am.

Did you get confused by the above lines? Or could you relate to them? If you’re a young adult like me, you’ll probably say, “Yes, me. Me. ME.”

I’m not implying that every young person feels this way but a lot of us do. If you have everything figured out for you and feel that you can answer all these questions about yourself, that’s perfect! Or maybe not? I’m no judge.

It’s always a race for us, from the beginning we are told to figure things out, that if we don’t decide things we will not get anywhere in life. I remember when I was little, I loved singing and dancing. I joined a dance school at the age of 7 and dropped out a few months later because my favourite teacher left. I joined the dance classes in school and enjoyed them a lot so I continued with those. When I started 4th grade I realised that I missed music and was bored of dancing, that I missed singing, so I left the dance classes and joined the music club in school. I did that for 4 years until I decided that I missed dancing and was bored of music so I left the music club and joined the dance club back again. At this point, I’m sure some of you are thinking, “Oh God. Why can’t you just decide?” or “Why can’t you just do one in school and one outside?”

This is exactly how some people reacted when I kept changing my hobby clubs and I got so frustrated that I stuck with the Dance Club for the rest of my school life. I was bored of it by the time I came to 11th, I missed singing but I continued anyway. Some must be thinking what a fickle I am but that’s okay. Fickle is fun, no? I’m a very indecisive person. I cannot stick to something for very long, I need to renew things after a while. It’s just who I am as an individual, I need new challenges to keep me going.

This is something very small but it makes me think that if we judge people based on such small things then it’s no wonder we judge them on everything. But this is not an article about people’s judgement. I’m writing this to address the individuality in all of us. We’re all different in a very specific way. You must be wondering how this example relates to individuality. You see, when you think in your head about why I kept changing and couldn’t decide on one thing, you automatically put me alongside everybody who is proficient in either music or dance and there I stand, not excellent at any but just trying to fit into each like a mismatched cog. Why? Because somewhere, deep in our roots, we believe that each person is supposed to belong somewhere.

A CEO leaving his company after 10 years to join an NGO or start a career as a stand-up comedian is something that baffles so many people. They start saying things like:

“HOW CRAZY?!”

“How can you leave so much money?!”

“You won’t be successful if you start afresh!”

“Think about your family.”

“You’ll have to struggle a lot!”

It’s okay when people who have been in the same position for so long decide to quit and join a completely new industry. Everybody is different. If you feel comfortable doing the same job everyday, it’s perfectly fine. If you feel comfortable as a house wife or house husband, it’s your choice and only your opinion matters on that. If you feel that you cannot work in a corporate setup, you have tons of other options so don’t let yourself get trapped in the mindset that people will try to enforce on you that corporates pay more so you should work for them.

I just want to convey that individuality should not be lost just because you are supposed to fit into a certain role by the society. Society is made up of us. We decide what society thinks so let’s start thinking and respecting each other’s choices, except if they harm other people.

“Today you are YOU, that is truer than TRUE. There is no one alive, who is YOUER than YOU.”

-Dr. Seuss