By Manash Bhattacharjee
“Ink does not stay on paper in this monsoon”
~ Srajana Kaikini, Postcard 3
Ink does not stay on paper in this monsoon
Such fire escapes the heart in this monsoon
As it rains, someone ponders the fate of love
Is there a lonelier occupation in this monsoon?
The Parliament session is just about to begin
It will drown people’s hopes in this monsoon
Beggars, all wet, struggle against more hardships
This way they will go hungrier in this monsoon
Dogs, bewildered, take shelter among the trees
They lose all sense of territory in this monsoon
Auto rickshaw driver curses the incessant rain
Then breaks into an old song in this monsoon
People are not abusing each other in the streets
Their venoms get some respite in this monsoon
A man is sent to the gallows without substance
The law can’t wash off its sins…
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Even leisure can be a to-do list:
___ get out in nature,
___ pet the cat,
___ listen to the owl,
___ go to yoga,
___ sit silently for x amount of minutes,
___ eat nutritious food,
but true letting go hammers no list.
Health comes in its own time with no terms.
Music is found under layers of clutter, cleared away.
No one was actually keeping score.
The list keeper is happy to turn the reigns over,
as long as she is
by the magic mother once again –
she is stunned into silence by a something larger
that she cannot understand.
She is silenced finally in
open space full of nothing
no calls to make
no bills to pay
no food to eat
no person expecting…anything.
How many years does it take to clear space like this?
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I received the above opening line on Tinder last week. I quickly posted it to Facebook with the comment “Just so we are all clear, “you don’t strike me as English” is not an acceptable chat-up line”. My initial reaction was shock, disgust and disbelief along with a weary resignation. Amongst the 60-odd likes on were a number of comments which were largely jokey. I can play along to a degree, but the thing is: I wasn’t joking. It’s not an acceptable line.
I’m mixed race. I was born in London. I have a non-Caucasian name. I have brown skin and thick dark brown hair. My name and my colouring, two aspects of myself which I have no control over and were mere circumstances at birth, have far too often become the sole distinguishing features that people latch on to. These features single me out as not being white.Though…
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We have an identity crisis. Call it what you will, a post-modern, existential, millennial crisis of self, we are all asking ourselves: Which Game of Thrones character am I?
Ok, in all seriousness. The rash of Buzzfeed, Playbuzz, Quizmodo, etc “Personality Quizzes” that promise to tell you who you really are, in terms of your favorite fictional paradigm, is really just the latest symptom of our human desire to know ourselves, to approve of ourselves. “Ugh, I got Pansy Parkinson? Are you serious? I wanted to be Bellatrix Lestrange!”
For those seeking to understand themselves in less frivolous terms, we might seek to discover if we’re Type A or Type B, or which of the four humors we are, or, in terms of the perennial, inescapable, enduring favorite: What’s my Myers-Briggs type?
I’ve long been a fan of the Myers-Briggs. It’s helped me understand certain aspects of my personality…
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I am so awkward.
Honestly, sometimes things seem perfectly normal at the time and then I just don’t know what I was thinking. This post is cringeworthy, so be forewarned. If you are uncomfortable with boobs, stop right now and go enjoy your weekend.
I have an author page on Facebook. I hate Facebook, but it’s out there and it reaches people and I have to use it, so I do.
I’m supposed to interact, comment, connect.
I love that readers can comment, readers are fun. They are sort of like my small group of sticker trading pals. I write it, they like it, it works.
But I’m also supposed to do my least favorite word in the English language, well maybe not my least because “whatever” really holds that honor, but definitely in my top ten of least favorite words is . . . networking.
It’s like nails on a…
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Seriously? What the fuck is fuckable?? I don’t know if I can answer that question for you, but I can share my own experience.
When I was 19 or so, I was standing in a Starbucks in West Hollywood with a director, talking about the upcoming film we were about to shoot. It had been a long road, but we had finally made it. Waiting for our coffee, I could see that he seemed a bit uneasy. I asked him if everything was ok. He said yes. I didn’t believe him, so I asked him again. He looked at me and said “Heather, I’m sorry, we have to give your role to another actor. The producers don’t want you.” I didn’t understand. I had been attached to this project for two years, and now two weeks before filming, I’m being let go. I asked him why. He looked me dead…
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*This piece has been published with permission of the referenced ex-partner. Other relationships may have been slightly altered to protect specific identities.*
The first time I was sexually assaulted I must have been 9 or 10 years old.
I was violated by two family friends who were brothers and who would have been about 14 and 15.
Or maybe that was the second time.
The first time might have been by an older female cousin around the same time. She pressured me to go into a closet and make out with her. I think we may have done more, but I don’t like to think about that.
I didn’t object to any of these interactions. I was too young for that to matter, of course, but it was difficult for me to make sense of the fact that I consented without having the agency to do so, thus I had…
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One of my closest friends turned 40 today. I’ve been thinking about this one, trying to figure out why we put this much significance on a birthday, why we decorate this particular mile marker with lights and flowers and well-meaning phrases full of pith, borrowed from antiquity or Sex in the City, one of the two. I’ve had this conversation before with friends in their late 30s and early 40s, and we all say the same thing: “I don’t feel 40. I don’t know what it’s supposed to feel like, but whatever it is, I don’t feel it. Does it mean we have to wear longer skirts now?”
Whatever cause for contemplation there is, I’ll take the bait. I know that, at minimum, turning 40 gives us permission to take stock and see where we are, to ask of ourselves: What have I learned (if anything?) What have I…
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