Because You Left!

Baby, come-a back-a, come a-back, come-a back
To the lips a wanna kiss you!
Baby, come-a back-a, come a-back, come-a back
To the heart that learned to miss you!
You never shoulda gone away,
You never shoulda gone away.

– ‘Baby Come-A Back-A’ by The Chordettes.

Have any of you seen Marvelous Mrs. Maisel?

The girl can talk and cause a road rash.

I wanna be like her.
I AM like her!
Only, in my life, there’s no half-wit secretary to steal my dumbass husband away.
My Joel, or Benjamin, or whoever is too busy wiling away aimlessly on tinder, cribbing about smart sexy funny girls being non-existential while swiping on half-wits with big tits himself.

Too much trash talk? Yeah, I’m gonna detour from the classy for a little bit.

My life completely fell apart today… When my prince charming told me he wasn’t interested in seeing me anymore.

Am I angry? Hell yes! Am I sad? of course (a little bit). But most of all, I’m hell confused!

As I re-watch Mrs. Maisel and type away angrily in my pajamas, I remember each date I’ve been through. The good, the bad and the ugly. Some boys were charming, some seemed a little sleazy, but most of them looked like they had NO IDEA what they were doing. The men I’ve met seemed to have this innate drive to chase me till I’m interested or spin the cobwebs of my brain manipulatively, hoping that I’d fall for them. If only was that dumb, maybe I’d be happier! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The issue with me, of course, is that I don’t understand today’s dating culture. Not that I understand any other age’s dating culture. In what seemed like biblical times, people used to trade cattle and land and property for support and survival through relationships. Love was a transaction. An act of convenience and financial security. I’m sure it’s still the same for a lot of people. But today’s day and age of dating is absolutely absurd. All the chummy rom-com movies have filled every young adult’s mind with a distorted version of what relationships are supposed to be. ‘Happiness is not a gem tucked under a mountain somewhere, left for you to find’, I’d told a friend once, wisely. I don’t know if he still remembers it, but I certainly seemed to have forgotten my own musings. What frustrates me most though, is that after the chase is over and their ego is validated, their interest in me seems to simmer down significantly.

I have heard all kinds of excuses such as ‘you’re too much’, ‘If only I wasn’t still hung up on my ex’, ‘If only I didn’t have a girlfriend’ (I obviously didn’t have any idea about the last one until I was told so). I’ve even heard ridiculous stuff like ‘You’re charming and amazing, but I think you’re too good for me!’. What?! Just. What?? If I’m so pretty and funny and smart and sexy and everything extraordinary under the sun, then what is the fucking problem? Is that intimidating? Does it put pressure of high standards on the other person? Is it too good to be true? But clearly, I exist. I’m not a unicorn now, am I? When two strangers meet, people seem to think that they’re supposed to magically click while cupid sticks them with heart-shaped arrows and sings love songs. But nobody thinks about what this seemingly perfect precious person is going through every time they’re turned down.

Rejection may not be my fault, but it brings out in me a deep-rooted feeling of being unloved and unaccepted. I’ve always felt like the loving and adorable person I am. I truly have. But due to certain environments, I did not receive the love and affection I deserved. And that left me feeling quite hurt and alone. It sucks to feel like the one who is more expressive in a relationship. It sucks to be so passionate and empathetic and loving, that you want to be nurturing towards everyone you love in your life. And it sucks to not receive that nurturing back. Love is not easy… I understand! But does it have to be so damn hard?!

So when prince charming told me he wasn’t interested anymore, I went into a spiral of anguish and rage. Why? I did EVERYTHING right!
I looked pretty on the date.
I cracked jokes that were funny.
We talked about intimate things that were close and personal.
I empathized with his hardships while he empathized with mine.
Not to mention, he made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!
I liked him. And I SHOWED him I liked him!
There were scriptwriters from rom-com movies gushing over the adorableness of our first date. And yet, he left…

So, I demand to know! Where would silly men like these find a spectacular girl like me?

Mum’s The Problem.

All of us know the impact our parents have on us. More often than not, their needs become our needs, their insecurities become our insecurities and their baggage becomes our baggage. In this whirlwind of emotions, it is easy to forget that parents themselves have learned these behaviors and are empathic human beings who may be willing to unlearn it for the sake of their children.

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Recently I have met a Professor of Psychotherapy, a Consultant Psychiatrist and a GP – all parents of children lost to mental illnesses. Here’s what one mum says:

“Whenever I have seen a therapist, they have gone straight to my childhood, my up-bringing, my parents and their parents. All my behaviours and feelings seem to be explained and understood based on their behaviours, however ‘normal’, for their times. I am encouraged to think of all the ways in which they could have directly or indirectly damaged me.

By that principle, all of my child’s behaviours and feelings should be explained and understood based on the behaviours of his parents. Half of them is me. I agree. I must be part of the problem. My profession is perceived as a bigger problem. ‘High achieving Asian’ parents are assumed to put a lot of pressure on their children. So much so, the…

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I Think I Want To Be A Therapist

I think I want to be a therapist. Because:

  1. I want to work with people, but in a way that I feel involved with their lives.giphy
  2. I want to have a personal relationship with my clients.
  3. I want to work with them in a way that touches their lives.

I remember when I was a really small kid, one of my aunts(Bebo Mausi) got diagnosed with schizophrenia. I had gone to Delhi for my internship and was staying with my aunt and uncle for the summer. They dropped me off at my relatives as they were going out of town for the weekend. Bebo Mausi was visiting these relatives at the time. I had seen a lot of her when I was younger, and schizophrenia-CARTOON-301863I remember what she was like before she got diagnosed. I was excited to see her and the others but I didn’t really know how to be around her. As we approached the house and kept ringing at the doorbell, we felt annoyed that no one was opening the door. After a couple of knocks, I see Bebo Mausi opening the wooden door on the inside but she wouldn’t open the front door. She kept peeking at us horrified. “Hi Mausi!” I said. “Kaise Ho?” (How are you? In Hindi). “Kaun hai?!” (Who is it?) she says. I look at her amused. She knows me. She’s met me. MULTIPLE times! I say “Shruti!”, she says “Chale jao! Mujhe nahi pata!” (“I don’t know you! Just leave.”)

Now, this was getting ridiculous. After a decade of playing Uno and chit chat, that is NOT the way to treat someone :/ “Are Kya hua! Darwaza Kholo Na!” (What happened? Open the door!). “Nahi! woh log mujhe chor ke chale jaye. Tum jao. Mujhe nahi kholna.” (I don’t want to open the door! They left me alone. Please leave!) Again, I looked a her annoyed at the absurdness. I hung around some more but my uncle had to leave. “Usko bolo jane ko!”(Ask him to leave) she kept yelling at him- which I found really rude and annoying because she’s known him practically all her life! “I think I should go,” sweet uncle says. “It’s okay, I’ll be fine” I reassured him.

Apparently, my relatives had to head out for a family event and had left my aunt behind because she gets angsty around a lot of people. group-therapy_o_4093561As I hung around, kicked at my suitcase and hummed songs, waiting for my relatives to come back and let me in, dear aunt and I got to chatting. It was funny to talk through the netted outer door to her, but I thought it was kinda fun. I started asking her what she was up to and she told me she had been watching her favorite series and making some coffee when the lights tripped temporarily. Now, given her condition, worry for us is full-blown paranoia for her. She was alone and scared and panicked really bad. She tried calling them multiple times but as they were in a function, they did not hear her frantic cries. She was thus really scared and annoyed and couldn’t bear to let anyone in. In that moment of manic, it was hard for her to recognize people and think. I melted slowly inside.

“What other series do you like?” I asked. She named a string of Hindi series that I had no idea about but I smiled and laughed at her descriptions and kept egging her on to talk about things she likes anyway. After a couple of minutes, she says, “you must be hungry right??”. “I kind of am…” I say. “Do you want to come in? I can make you a sandwich.” “Only if you’re okay with that! I would love to eat some sandwich”. She opens the door to let me in as I strut towards the living room with my luggage. She makes a dash to the kitchen, prepares a really nice cheese and vegetable sandwich and makes some of her famous coffee as well! We sit down at the dining table and chat like we used to while I eat. I smile at her fondly as she animatedly tells me about her life, wishing that she wouldn’t have to live with moments of terror and pain like she did. Even though so much has changed, I still love her I guess. She’s my aunt! You know? ❤ And she’s a wonderful person!

Two days later, when my uncle came to pick me up, he asked me how I’d managed to get in that day. Impressed, he says “you’re really good at this. you should do this for a living”. “Be a therapist?” I smirk, amused. “Think of all the people you’d help,” he says. I breathe slowly, wondering how I seem to be talented at everything apart from my engineering degree :/  ALthough, xdownload-3.jpg.pagespeed.ic.7hLXEWUJXbI have been in therapy for almost three years now, in the past few months I’ve experienced some shifts that have felt truly powerful. And for that, I’m grateful. It’s like a change in my lense, and now I can see better! 🙂 Having had some immensely vulnerable sessions with my therapist, I have been grateful to experience the growth I did. People think you need to be ill to go to therapy. Cliche as it sounds, do you need to fall ill to go to the gym? No, right? They why wait for your emotional muscles to wither and strain before you decide that its time to take care of yourself? The mind and body are connected, more than we’d like to admit. In fact, emotional pain often hurts much more than physical pain. It’s a fact! Your psychological health alters your brain chemistry, which in turn is bound to impact your energy levels, sleep cycle, temperament, and much more.

It’s so sad to see that something so basic as emotional hygiene is not taught to us in school. We can learn integral and differential calculus, but nobody wants to help us to understand our emotions better.  They’re there for a reason so that they can guide you towards being true to yourself. Dismissing them or suppressing them does not help. It only makes matters worse. In today’s day and age, there are so many engineers, doctors, writers, artists. But not enough mental health professionals. It makes me sad sometimes. The power of therapy is phenomenal. anigif_enhanced-11293-1449608655-9The healing power of our minds is commendable. Trust me, I know. I’m one of those people who was blessed with guidance and help at the right time. I love working on myself. I’m obsessed with it. My therapist calls me a ‘good student’, cause I study and make notes and hang on to every word of professional advice she shares. It has changed my life entirely. I feel a sense of health and vitality that I haven’t in years. And often in the light of day, when I’m writing or working on a mental health workbook or trying to convince a friend to go to therapy, I quietly wonder to my self: Could this really be my ‘calling’?

Who knows ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

We’ll find out I guess. All ‘I’ know is…

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Hotel Mumbai

I did not plan on writing this post. I’m not going to edit it. I’m not going to design it. I’m going to write because I need to- I’d hate myself if I didn’t. This is not a movie review. I do not write movie reviews. Please don’t read the post if you haven’t seen the movie as it may have spoilers. I’m writing this post because I need to get it out of my system. I’m mourning and I feel a wave of word vomit I can not control.

Almost ten years ago on the remorseful fay of 26/11 Mumbai was subject to a brutal terrorist attack that took a jab at all of our hearts in a way that still hurts. As the survivors and loved ones of the demised mourne and heal from their losses, it still feels like yesterday, what happened a decade ago. Watching the attacks reported live on television was one of the most horrific things I had experienced. Have spent a large part of my childhood in Mumbai, I remembered the busy city for its life and vibrance. Watching it subject to such assault was a painful experience. I exhale slowly as I remember it. My parents spent a large part of their life in Mumbai. We moved out when I was in middle school but still have close friends and family there that we visit yearly. I remember wondering when the CST station was bombed if my creche aunty was there. I was relieved to know that she wasn’t. My childhood friend – Nikita Dabale, who I’ve known my entire life- from the time we learned to walk and ran around in pampers, still lived in Mumbai for years after. Although Santacruz was not targetted, at the time the blasts were happening, nobody knew where the next target was going to be. I was so relieved to know that she was fine. People called their friends and family for assurance.

The movie Hotel Mumbai did a stunning job of showcasing the traumatically gripping events that occurred in the bombings. They concentrated on the three out of twelve coordinated shootings that happened across Mumbai which showed a series of interlinked events. They started with the CST bombing, onto Leopold Cafe and then Taj.

The scene where people rush from the station and cafe into Taj, beating at its doors and begging for entry was the start of a scared shudder. The hotel staff heroically let the people in to protect them and as the shootings proceed the staff tried to call all the guests to warn them to stay in their rooms. I thought this was a very important part to show how devoted the staff felt towards their guests. Since Taj is one of the most exorbitant hotels in India, a vast majority of guests were larger than life public figures, businessmen and international clients.

As the day proceeded, the terrorists moved from floor to floor, luring out guests and brutally mutilating them in the name of vengeance as the staff tried to sneak as many people out as they could. The scene where Anupam Kher, a famous Bollywood actor who plays head chef of the hotel in the movie, collects his staff and informs them of the security concerns, extending them the empathy of staying to help the guests or leave if they wanted instead was a very dignified way of showing compassion and vulnerability in the face of danger. The painful story of the Indian-American family who gets 

separated because of the painful events also got the audience teary-eyed. Armand Douglas Hammer, an American actor who played a lead role alongside British-Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi in this Indian-American pair stole hearts with his piercing blue eyes and passionate valor towards protecting his family. In the entire movie, he and his wife try to work their way out of the hotel with their friend who does her best to protect their baby boy Cameron. The scene where he gets shot right in front of Nazanin while she is screaming traumatically only to look at the shooter in the eye and recite prayers over his lifeless body was the most intense scene in the movie.

This scene with Nazanin and her husband’s shooter was particularly important because: Throughout the movie, they show the terrorist attack being planned by a group which sought vengeance in the name of religion. At this point when the shooter comes face to face with Nazanin, who is Indian and also Muslim, he is conflicted about whether he should shoot her not. In his fight for his religion, the terrorist does not find it in his conscience to shoot her as it would feel like a sin.mumbai-attack-story_647_030616044923 But his mentor, the lead terrorist who has brainwashed the entire troop to believe that this attack has an ulterior holy motive, tries to coax him into shooting her because she is an abomination. In this moral conflict, the terrorist decides to listen to his inner conscience and leaves her alive; showing that he is only human. Another powerful scene when one of the terrorists calls his father in the midst of the bombing attacks to tell his family that he loves them and hopes that they have received the money the ‘lead terrorist’ has promised them shows that at the end of the day, they were the very flawed and misguided boys they were shown to be; They were brainwashed into going to unspeakable lengths for their religion and to provide for their families.

The courage exhibited by the hotel staff that stayed back to help the guests spoke volumes about the bravery and dedication these people had. Both central characters Anupam Kher and Dev Patel played a crucial role in helping the hostages out of the hotel. Anupam Kher is the head chef of the hotel and ensured safe refuge for the guests in the secret harbor. He sported nerves of steel in the face of mass hysteria and panic and consistently strived to keep the guests safe and protected from the attackers.1547091072-csfed He did so by taking them to a secret chamber and keeping their location hidden. Dev Patel, on the other hand, played a crucial role in supporting Anupam Kher by being his steady right hand through the crisis. He put his neck on the line to save injured victims and guide stranded hostages to the safe haven of the chambers. His devotion to the safety of the guests helped pacify the hostages and contain the panic. The sentiment with which he was ready to put his life on the line for his country and people really spoke volumes to the songs of Sikh valor we have heard about. It takes pure passion and patriotism to perform a feat so heroic.

As the movie went on through the second half I found myself covering my face to stop my self from gasping at the apathy within the shootings. I dug my nails into the back of my neck as I felt my self overwhelm and panic at the turn of events so that I don’t let out a terrified scream. As the climax comes around where they gather the hostages into one room I find my self slowing praying ‘Allah rehem’ (Lord have mercy) under my breath (which is odd because I’m agnostic and I’m not Muslim). I broke down sobbing into my friend’s mother’s arms as the hostages were shot down one by one and couldn’t contain myself from the trauma of the events that occurred until the credits rolled in.

Crazy Plant Lady!☘️

Yes- I know the title doesn’t make sense.

No- I’m not going to make it any easier for you to understand :’)

An important thing that you should know about me is that I love decorating my room. I feel like it’s a representation of my personality and I love going creative with my space. I get attached to quirky things people give me and have a hard time throwing them away. That is why almost every decorative in my room has a story behind it. That’s for another time though.

As for the Crazy Plant Lady fiasco, It all started when I was in Little Five Points, Atlanta, walking around with friends. I was going from store to store to find cute decors for my room. In one of the stores, which was cute and creative, I saw a corner filled with small plants in tiny pots. There were all shapes and sizes of containers. Ranging from ones that looked like an elephant, a bucket, a rhino, a dolphin. My eyes fell on this rad looking flower pot. It was shaped like a black cat with piercing yellow eyes and was holding a tiny yellow plant. This cat looked so sassy- it was smirking at me as if it knew something about me that I didn’t. Having always had a thing for odd objects, I immediately made a dash for it and bought it without further ado.

Now, the next question was- How the hell do I carry this plant back to Jersey?! I shrugged and thought I’ll figure it out when I’m leaving for the airport.

*Two Days Later*

“UGHH! NAMINIIIII. I CAN’T FIT THIS STUPID PLANT ANYWHERE”.
“Areee, carry it. Big deal!” NJ rolls her eyes and says.
“Fine!” I frown. As I carry the plant through my cab ride to the airport and security, I notice random amused eyes glance at me. “Cool Plant!” A random person said. I smiled. “Why are you carrying this plant?”, another intrusive stranger asked. “I liked it, so I bought it and now I have to carry it back” I muttered. “Miss! you forgot your plant!” the Dunkin Doughnuts chick yelled. I scrambled back to pick up what felt like an extension of my arm by this point.

plant plant plant plant PLANT!! Ugh!

I kept trying to convince my self that my plant was pretty cool. I still couldn’t help turning an amusing color of crimson red every time someone asked me about it. To make matters worse, the security check took time and I reached the gate a little late. I showed my boarding ticket and the staff rushed me through the gate. I stumbled into my flight only to find it full. “Great!” I thought. Embarrassed I excuse-me-pleased my way to my seat. More amused eyes burned me with their constant staring. I swear, one chick lifted herself up from her seat to get a better look at me. If it weren’t for my plant, I’d feel flattered but I threw her an annoyed look instead.

As I frowned and sat down on my seat, this chill looking co-passenger smirked at me and said: “what’s the deal with your plant dude?!”. I let out an exhausted cry and said: “I liked it, so I bought it and now people won’t stop asking me about it!”. She sniggered and said “yup. you do look kinda odd carrying that around. The flight attendants have already thrown looks at you twice hahah”. I shake my head and say “I bet they all think I’m the crazy plant lady”. “I bet they do!”, she smiled. We laughed and started discussing ideas about how I could deflect people when they ask me about my plant. The uncle in front of me said: “Don’t you think it’s a bit odd that you’re carrying around a plant?!”. I looked to the girl, smiled and said “No Sir, I am a person with high anxiety and have a hard time managing myself on flights. I suffer from panic attacks and need constant support to keep my self calm. This flower pot is my support plant. It makes me feel like everything’s alright. Without it, I’m just an anxious and wailing 5-year-old in the body of a 25-year-old :)”. That’s it. From that moment till the time I reached home, I owned up to my new identity and became the crazy plant lady!

Twas fun 😀

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Pretty As A Picture

Do you know what it’s like to paint?

For most people it’s purely meditative.

I’d never had that experience before. I used to draw when I was a little kid- like most of us did. But after crossing middle school, it wasn’t something I took seriously. I wonder why.

My sister is a fabulous artist! That kid has an eye for the most intricate details. It amazes me how perceptive even a child can be. I think it shows that we absorb more than we think we do… She starting sketching with her Eiffel tower piece below. Me? I’m “different”.
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Have you ever had that feeling that you’re terribly bad at something? Like, significantly worse at it than others? Yeah, Me too.

I’m terrible at sketching. TERRIBLE.

My circles are ovals, my ovals are circular, I do not understand angles and my shading and sense of proportions is bizarre. It’s kind of funny Related image

I literally get nervous when I paint because I’m so convinced of how bad it’s going to be. Below are a few more samples that I really like from my sister’s collection.

 

Just like me,

Millions of adults around the world would break into a cold sweat if asked to draw a picture in front of a group of people. They’d deny any artistic talent, make excuses, and do whatever it took to avoid being on the spot with a pencil in their hand.

But ask a couple of five-year-olds to do the same thing, and within seconds they‘ll be drawing, explaining, and creating artistic masterpieces for all to see.

After a terrifying past with my attempts with art, I slowly mustered the courage to try to stop being silly and try art again. It took a lot of convincing from Namini, my college roommate, who kept egging me on to give it a try. WhatsApp Image 2019-03-16 at 1.01.34 AMShe has gotten into more ‘simplistic art’ recently where she uses watercolors to paint what she finds fascinating. And even though she keeps insisting that they’re nothing great, I think they’re quite deep and hence fantastic. This is a sample from her art collection on the right. She has an array of artwork but I really like this one best because I connect with it on a personal level. This piece symbolizes to me how the dolphin is appreciating the lonely starry night in its peace and calm. I find myself remembering times when I’ve been in the middle of nature during travels and have felt so deeply in love with myself and everything around me. It simmers on me a sense of calm and peace which is almost sedating in a way. Not that I’m trying to say I’m a dolphin, but you get the point.

So what happened between the age of 5 and 15 that makes me terrified to draw? What makes YOU afraid?

For many people, it’s when they first realize that their drawings look nothing like reality. They can SEE the obvious mistakes, but have no idea how to fix them; feeling that if they can’t draw something perfectly, then they shouldn’t draw it at all. I know I’ve felt that way.

Perhaps it came as a surprise when one of my classmates at school laughed at my art homework and said your “family portrait” looked like two giraffes and an alien.

That’s a tough critique for anybody to take, let alone a kid, but it doesn’t mean I’m not an artist.

Most people think artists have some kind of gift, and I suppose that some artists are born with a talent for art. But, if we looked at the childhood drawings of 100 professional artists, I’d bet you’d find that 99 of them made the same type of scribbles and stick figures that all of us did as a kid.stick-figure-blue-shoes

The difference is that they never quit making scribbles, and at some point, they LEARNED to draw, whether from books, videos, teachers, or just on their own with lots of practice.

So why would it be any different for us? In fact, in order to not fall into a few of the potholes, we could be a little more diligent by making sure that we pick a reference before we draw or paint something. This is because drawing or painting something from memory can be pretty hard. Our memories get blurred and obstructed over time and when we draw based on something we vaguely remember, it often turns out to look horrible on paper. This is why many beginner artists get discouraged as well because they set a high expectation of drawing something very close to their imagination. Another reason is that people often have an expectation of picking up quicker and not realizing that it takes time and constant effort to improve this skill like any other. We immediately jump to wanting to draw a caricature of George Bush or a tropical sketch of the mountains forgetting that good art doesn’t happen with the snap of a finger.

The thing is, there’s no need to keep thinking that you have to be born with some amazing talent to be an artist. All it really takes is for somebody to teach you, plus some time and effort on your part. And I think this applies to all form of creativity and skill, not just art.

So while we try to enhance our skillsets and upgrade ourselves or just nurture our talents and learn new perspectives, maybe we should also learn to go easy on ourselves.

Slowly and steadily, we’ll all get there someday 😊❤️

To Gay, Or Not To Gay, Is That A Question?

“So! Is He… in your class??” I said
“Yes,” said Chuddy Buddy
“Is He… from this city?” I asked
“Yes,” she said
“Does He plan on going to the same University as you??”
Chuddy buddy smiled hesitantly and said…
“She. It’s a She.”

“I! Uh. What?! Um. You should have told me earlier!” I gushed.
“I didn’t know how you’d take it” She said. “But now I do!”
We smiled.

True story!

One of my very close friends from childhood came out to me when we were in college. It was a divine moment for both of us. I’d never felt so loved and trusted to be shared such an intimate secret with. And it is a secret that I hold close to my heart with pride.
We were kids when we first met. Watching the same cartoons, reading the same books, spending weekends playing in each others house. Both of us grew up to be potter heads and had a love for arts and lust for languages.

When she confided in me, all I could think about was how incredible this news was!! I was so happy that she was gay 😂 Because gay to most people was a very distorted representation of homosexuality. And I couldn’t think of a cooler person that I knew to break that stereotype. I understand that homosexuality has been a sensitive topic to talk about, but we as a generation are better than that. In our times of information and evolution, we can choose to change these narky perceptions with a little bit of help.

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Being able to say “I’m not straight” is objectively one of the most terrifying experiences all not-so-straight people have. I remember my friend telling me how it would worry her sick that things would just change. Even if your friends and family are accepting of your reality, they might look at you a different way. It is also a worry that one has to carry constantly with every move they make. Every time they change a place or make new friends, they have to come out all over again. It’s tough.

Even though most people are not consciously homophobic, a lot of times we just don’t know what the best way is to react to this new information. Many friends may not be outright aggressive, but passive aggressive comments such as

“There was something in his voice… I just knew he was gay!” are pretty ridiculous.

Not to say, that stereotypes are not completely true! I’d met this charming gentleman who became a fond friend at a workshop. On finding out about his sexuality, I had mentioned that I suspected so, but did not want stereotypical mannerisms to be the basis of my assumption. He then corrected me and said, “Stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason Shruti.” While some gay people do blend with behavioral stereotypes such as dressing a certain way and speaking a certain way, there are others who seem completely… “normal”. You wouldn’t know unless they tell you. Like my friend!

But here’s the catch, right? Who defined normal?

My very smart cousin often says “What is ‘NORMAL’ anyway?!” Capture
As we all hopefully know, sexuality is a spectrum.

Male Female
Masculine Feminine
Straight Gay
Men like Women, Women like Men

That’s a very binary way of looking at things. It’s very black and white. And human beings are much more complex than that. Our minds don’t understand 0s and 1s when it comes to our identities. Which is why we shouldn’t be forced to belong to this “box” that is created for us.

“The world is heteronormative”, she said. Everything is fixed. People have such fixed views of looking at things. When a teacher teases her students in the class, she always asks things like “So, girls.. what kind of a guy do you like?!” or “Guys, what would you say if you met a pretty girl”. Nobody thinks about asking a girl if she’d like to meet another pretty girl. I’m sure there are plenty of us!

Everyone is at least a little gay, is what one would think.

Due to the heteronormative norm, even those who are curious about their inclinations get stunted in their approach. It’s really hard to explore and understand yourself when there is so much stigma around. I had a bi-curious friend who confided in me that she liked an acquaintance. “Ask her out!” I said. She did. And she got shot down with a reply that said: “What would be the point of giving it a try? It’s not like there would be any future for us anyway”. People joke about moving to other western countries where gay relationships are legal. People put music videos of unrequited gay love in classrooms as a joke. It’s sad that we can only imagine acceptance and freedom in humor. I think we need to reach a point where the ‘rightness’ of homosexuality should not be a debate anymore. We should move past it.

Tons of people would benefit from this. And, tons of people would prefer to be gay as opposed to being ‘straight’ as well! I know my friend does. She likes both genders and says:
It’s inevitable! Women are so much better than men, In terms of 0dd920c2b998ccf77c44cd8ae0691c65--lucky-quotes-gay-quoteshuman tolerability and emotional quotient. Women are treated as default as the ‘other sex’ and men as the ‘stronger sex’. It’s not necessary.  Really. Women are so much better than men. It’s sad that I have to be attracted to both. I wish I was only attracted to women.

Talk about Happy and Gay 😀

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