13 Reasons Why – My real life story

I have been seeing so many memes on this teleseries in the past few months. I know it’s just for entertainment. But how about this? What if I say I can totally relate to that girl’s feelings in several aspects… especially the depression she goes through? How would you know if someone near you, someone you love, hate or just know is thinking of awful things in the head? I went through awful things in my teenage years too. But I chose not to die.

I have always tried staying away from this topic. Always thought telling my story makes me show that I am weak. Even today, 20+ years down, I still remember every bit of it. Because these things leave a very deep impression. Really very deep scar for life.

I was like any other teenager in 8th grade, feelings wise. I was fat, mostly unnoticed, few real friends, shy of boys (though always wishing I had a boyfriend like the popular girls at school), not popular, day dreamer, trying to get better grades than my brother. At home I had parents, who were not very strict about my grades, but always strict about my upbringing. But one day there came this happy time of life. I got a real best friend. Or who I thought is one. Till she decided to ruin my life. Piece by piece.

Its funny how I still have her on my friends list on Facebook. It’s just the fraternity of old school buds I guess. Sometimes I think I want to just ping her and reccommend this series and ask her if she relates to any of this.

We had grown very close. I let her into all my secrets – my likes, pet peeves, crushes, everything. Then suddenly started those days when she would avoid me for no reason at all. She would huddle up with a couple of other girls (who I never really liked) who became the extended line of bully-ism. I wish I made some tapes too back then, but they never occurred to me. Because I was just too busy trying to figure out my own life. Then began the close friends Boycott phase. You might be wondering what was the reason. Well there was no reason. Her reason was pretty lame. She said I made rumours, and she hated me for them. The funny thing is I wasn’t even capable of spreading something like that. In her theory back then I think, rumour is telling your best friend a gossip trusting her she will keep it to herself. Rumour is not something that you spread around the whole place like wild fire. The friends boycott phase extended into the rumour phase. My friend started spreading rumours about me. I remember there was this day I come to school and everyone is whispering to each other looking at me, I go to sit on the bench, they ask me to take another seat. I ask my best friend what is going on, and she asks me to get lost, without even giving me a reason. Soon I was boycotted by my entire class and made to sit alone. It took a large piece of me. Thus began the days at home, when I would hide and cry, but my parents didn’t have a clue yet. The rumour phase had already gone into the boycott phase. I had mass haters for reasons I didn’t even know. Actually I don’t know the reasons even today. Then came the Bully phase. I  was being bullied by my friend and her cronies. Some were even ‘paid’ to kick my ass. I was being laughed at everywhere I went. It never got better. It got worse. Teachers saw what I was going through. But not even one bothered asking me what was happening. I tried to get someone to believe me that what was being said about me wasn’t true. But no one believed.

Then came the days when I refused to go to school. My parents asked me what was going on. I was too scared to share. I would shut myself and cry for hours. Then one day I had to let them into the truth. But to tell them what was happening, I had to let them into why these were happening. I was not clear myself as to why, so I had to tell my mother everything that I have shared with my best friend so far. My mother was indeed angry about me discussing some things with my bestie. But she was equally shattered at my condition. Because you see, by this time I was acting like a mentally ill person.

I was sick and scared of school. I would run and huddle myself in a corner when my parents asked me to go to school. Those were the beginning signs of depression. I stopped talking or laughing. My life had already lost color. I was 14 years old, and all this is just too much for a 14 year old. What else would she contemplate? Her life was completely ruined from all angles. No friends, no life, no love, no good grades (by this time). But what I completely overlooked was I still had my family by my side. My mom’s heart was breaking everytime she saw me act a certain way. But the shit hit the roof when the day finally came – I contemplated suicide.

Ending my life seemed like the only best option. I didn’t know how a blade works on the veins, but I did know it can end my life. I was just too innocent and didn’t know a lot of things at that time, not even knowledge on sex except the basic reproduction lesson i learnt in biology. I found myself a blade and locked myself in my room. Mothers are great with their senses. They always know when something is wrong. My mom forced me to open the door. Finally when I did, she saw the blade behind me. This was a turning point in my life, because I began realizing, I still have people who love me. She sat near me and told me that me ending my life will not be a loss for anyone else, only her. She asked did she invest all those years of dad’s and her lives and income to see this day when I decided to end it all at one shot. She said I am her daughter and she will always be there to protect me. Even today, as I write these words, I have tears in my eyes. Because I still feel the pain I went through.

My case was taken to the school authorities immediately by my parents. But little did they know, a bully will always remain a bully. When my friend was called face to face to end all of this, she apologized. But later after everyone left, she bullied me again. She cussed and crushed my feelings so much, that I failed to realize, probably she already knew my weaknesses and was using them against me. By then she had already talked the entire class out to not even play with me when we had games period. I would take a comic book and sit in the corner and just read waiting for the class to end, the world to end, or maybe my life to end.

Her bullying was getting out of control that even had witnesses. I had a few senior girls who felt sorry for me and asked if they should talk on my behalf. But I was too afraid. The story of my bad condition had even reached my  childhood best friend who was in the next class and never knew what was going on with me (because I thought she was really busy with her life and other friends that there was already distance between us. But I was wrong.)She was probably the only one who stood up for me along with the senior girls, that she had to bring her parents home to find out what had happened to me.

Too many things had happened by the time it was the end of school. Counselling sessions, reconciliation, parents and teachers intervention. I really don’t know if her parents really made her understand what she was doing was wrong, but they had decided to pull her away from the school after that year. She did come and apologize before she left. But that was for all I cared. I was glad she was moving. Because you need to remove the bad apple to make sure the others stay good.

Though I would say that incident made me a timid and quiet person for the next couple of years, low on self esteem, low on confidence, drowned in my books making me the class nerd etc. , it did make me a lot wiser. I grew closer to my family more than ever. Lot of things stopped bothering me. I refused to feel loved or hated. I basically had no feelings left in me at all. 10th grade passed by, I did really well academically, but not personally.

But know what, God exists. There comes a time when he takes you under his wings and decides that it’s time for the next phase of life – the best phase. My life changed a lot in high school. I made a whole lot of friends, who are still friends today. I shed the skin of a loser and became a different person. I became a popular person at  the new high school. And then one day I bumped into her, again. This is what I wanted to say – Sorry, I am not even bothered by your face anymore. Half the people around at school probably don’t even know you as much as they know me. It’s for you to guess if did it or not.

But today I can definitely say this to people. Suicide is not an option. You don’t know some of the most beautiful things you are missing. Teenage years are beautiful. It makes you feel what love, friendship, family really are. Killing yourself only makes them stronger. Fighting back makes them look stupid. This part of my life left a great impact of a lifetime on me, but it made me a 100 times stronger than yesterday.

Take that Nicole, Ruvena & Candice. Thank you for all what you did. I would have never become what I am today if not for your bullying.

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The ‘Critical’ Project – Day 1

How many times in a day do you get shamed/ ridiculed/ appreciated by someone? The world has lost its ability to appreciate people more than depreciate them. The positivity seems to be flaking. I feel I keep hearing the negatives. I hear positives too. Sometimes. I am about to take every critique seriously from now. Of course. Write down/ Make note of every word of praise or shame I get in a day, from friends, relatives and strangers. It will atleast let me know what kind of world I live in really. How ‘bad’ am I? How ‘good’ am I? The so called critiques can give you comments, define you with adjectives, sing praises, etc. But my job is going to be capturing these statements and think over them or decide to not think over them.

The adjectives I  received today are – Fat, Old

Hmm. There is also another hidden factor in all the consideration. How close is the person who said these to you to consider them.

The above was from someone quite close. Been getting it a little too often.

Let’s see what tomorrow has for me.

Burning Bridges

We all have had our share of burning bridges. Friends, family, colleagues or even bosses. If you haven’t done it then something is really wrong with you.You are not a homosapien. I had a friend once get suspicious about me, when I said I am no longer in talking terms with some real good friends and am still trying to figure out what went wrong. Those relationships just snapped without me doing anything. While she has never gone through such a time and has a strong network of friends, I reckon she thought there is something wrong with me, I could feel it. She said you actually come across as quarrelsome because of your frankness. I kept wondering how can frankness be deduced as quarrel. Apart from those relationships that fell apart, I had other relationships fall apart only because of other reasons other than me being me. On the contrary, I don’t regret them at all.

Relationships teach you a number of life lessons. Breaking up with friends or anyone else teaches you what you are not supposed to do. But there is yet another very important lesson that I learnt. The universal truth is You came alone and you leave alone in the world. No one is going to be there with you when you leave, not even the love of your life.

So what have I learnt breaking up? These may teach you a thing or two.

Friends – Its ok! Go on and make new ones. It might take time the older you get. But you will eventually make some. The right ones will stick around. I don’t cry anymore when I am leaving a place with all my friends in it. Because I know the real ones will care to keep in touch and will be the same with me even after 20 years. The others well, you know. I don’t feel sad leaving anyone. Dettachment is good. You learn to be on your own.

Colleagues – Remember the ground rule. Workplace is a really bad place for making friends. Even if you do, you need to learn to separate your professional and personal life. I had a colleague I just hated, but I had to be in good terms with her. But once we parted ways after quitting, I simply ticked her off my Facebook list ( yeah she was on my list don’t ask me why) and I don’t give a damn anymore.

Bosses – These guys can make life horrible for you. There are those guys who are nice, then there are the slimy ones. The slimy ones try to get everything their way. Well I remember one of my bosses hiring 2 girls from management school only based on the way they looked. Yes! Lucky women. They are already flying in their careers. Trust me when I tell you their presentation during recruitment was sad. I was on the recruitment panel and we never casted our vote for them, but what do you know. They got hired. Sorry, I can’t take such hypocrites.

Family – If you have burnt bridges with your immediate family, I would say fix it. This is the only relationship even over friendship worth your time and effort in fixing. Parents are the ones who vest their lives in us. Siblings are our first friends. Its all worth it. However if it has something to do with the extended family, it really depends. You can try to fix it but if the cut is really deep its ok to not do so. Really.

At the end of the story, always retrospect. You cannot always be that good. You are human and capable of errors. But don’t live on that string forever. Break it when you have to. For example, I had someone once gift me a bracelet saying I am her best friend. Well in a few days she turns around and attaches a price tag on it saying her husband was asking about it and all her sob stories followed to gain sympathy That’s it. I returned it and broke it off silently. She did come back to speak, but the damage was already done. Did I feel bad. N0t really. I have been through such things so many times that it doesn’t bother me anymore. But I have decided there is no room for such people. So should you, so go ahead, burn it.

A story of a story.

I write stories in my head everyday

Just to tell you everything about my life

I always thought you are a part of me,

You were everything I had.

But you refuse to talk, you refuse to stay

Everyday instead of stories, I beg,

Give me a reason why, give me your day.

But you never have the time, I am never in your mind

Life is always only about you, even when I am just a phone call away.

I ask God, why did man make inventions?

They are of no use to me. 

Lost and breaking a little everyday

Is my heart that I am prepared to throw away.

But I try bring it all back from the bin, bit by bit,piece by piece

Sew it back to live a little more tomorrow,

And write another story in my head

To tell you how I felt,

Again you are not there, yet I say.

Pain is all I feel, tears are all I have held.

Indian Corporates are insensitive to a lot of things

The real problems with corporates are here!

A ground-breaking reality has been highlighted on TV, through an ad. It’s about how corporate companies behave with women and pregnancy. Though I haven’t come to the latter stage yet, I would say that corporates in India still have a lot to learn from the west. Here I will be putting down my experiences with companies I worked with.

For a major part I worked with international ad agencies, which at the end of the day are corporates like any other. But here is the truth about these companies from my experience.

  1. Woman or not, you have no flexibility with time. Often corporates forget that Indian women are people who even have a home to look after. Most of the husbands don’t cook. They need to ready the kids, go to work only to make ends meet and come back to make a meal. In between they are given task of going to a relative’s place or school. They need a couple hours off. But companies expect her to come to office on time, or she will be marked half day (pay cut). She can’t choose to work remotely either.
  2. It’s ok to go late even if you are a woman, especially in Mumbai only for the fact that its safe. I understand safety, but women don’t have stamina as much as men do. Let’s get these facts straight. They have several other things to do after going home. But companies don’t get that. On the contrary, because of the lack of safety in other metro cities, this part is atleast respected and women are let go early or a cab is arranged.
  3. Some male team leaders turn out to be really nice, but there are some who just try to thrust in their superiority. But companies don’t sit up and notice these things. Who complains anyway. Female team leaders, and if you are a woman subordinate yourself, God save you. Women bosses make the world’s most horrible bosses. Period. If you have a woman boss, please keep your eyes open, or switch your team, or simply leave the company. No matter how nice she behaves, her superiority complex will never leave her.
  4. Indian men love white skin, especially white women. No matter how stupid they sound, or how bad they are at their work, people still stoop down to white skin. Dude, come on. We are all human beings. if they behave stupid, please tell them they are, rather than nod your Indian head and say ‘yes, as you say’.
  5. Some companies, no matter how far they are located, they wouldn’t provide official transport. Why not? We will pay for the damn thing, but why can’t they arrange one, damn it?
  6. I have seen lot of my colleagues who have been asked to sit on weekends and work. I have been there too, but these days I just make it clear weekends are not for work. To some of my ex -bosses, this didn’t go down too well. Which eventually led to politics.
  7. Politics I am sure happens everywhere. But people get as manipulative as they can and misuse their positions. But the leadership never really listens to the people down below.
  8. Increments in your pay make your employee love you even more. Companies don’t get it. Infact MNC’s actually think they don’t need to pay the Indians so much at all. If X company is US based, the Indian counterparts get a message asking them to freeze increments, while increments will be on in full swing in the USA. Why nod to this gesture. Why should we take this shit?

Since I realized I am not made for the corporate world, I chose to take a break from the system. For the others, please get a life. Seriously. Corporate isn’t life at all. I am savouring the real life now!

Should prostitution be legalized in India? Someone just had too many answers.

I came across a video being shared by Logical Indian asking people in the city of Bangalore, if prostitution should be legalized.

There were mixed opinions (as usual) but there were many who said rapes will stop/reduce. Okay, what made you all think legalizing will reduce rapes? There was a detailed comment on the comment section of the page, which I couldnt help notice and laugh my brains out, and to which I have answers for. All the italicized sentences were written by the lady in the comments section. Don’t believe, you can check it out on the link yourself.

think it should be legalized because
i) this will help preventing young people/trafficking from entering this profession. (The age limit to enter this field can be 21 years)

How will this prevent trafficking? Say it’s legal, and the you don’t want to get into this profession. But you look so beautiful and young and 14, good enough to be in this by that pimp who is looking at you right now right across the road. He is thinking of whisking you away, and why not, its a legal profession now right? All he needs to do is ask you to shut your mouth or he will burn your face if you open your mouth about how you got there.

 
ii) Prostitution has been going on since many centuries, since it can’t be stopped the Government can legalize it and see to many aspects of the profession.

Even if it gets legalized the mentality of your pimp and trafficker will not change. Government will see to what aspects, like “How they we make more income from this?”


iii) It might help the Government in reducing rape cases.

There again. How the hell will making this legal reduce rapes?? If a pervert sees a girl on the road alone at night, he is not going to control himself and think ‘hey, I feel so aroused. I will go back to the street and pick up a pin up and feel better about seeing you on the road. Prostitution is legal, friends. Yay’ 


iv) People who suffer in this profession due to pimps and mediators need some rights and guarantees hence to protect them it must be legalized.

The only people I see who are suffering are the prostitutes themselves. Government, once legalized, will only assign a few rules and regulations, which will not necessarily be followed by the pimps and pimpettes. Have you seen any Indian follow or stick to rules? This just gives them a better reason to go ahead and do their job with arms wide open.


v) The Government will have proper statistics as to how many tak
e to this profession and how are they brought to the field.

Hahahah statistics? Like there aren’t statistics already going around about how people end up here and have no way out because of no solid evidence! 


vi) Exploitation of prostitutes and also spread of viral diseases (by doing regular check-ups) can be kept in control through this and hygeine issues can also be dealt with.

How does legalization allow regular check ups? Going to the doctor is legal, but do you regularly go to the doc and find out if you have a disease or does the government send you emails to go and get your check up done? Government is a government not an NGO. NGO means Non Government Organizations FYI. 


vii) There are certain people who do not have access to sex (lonely and unmarried people, divorced, widower/widows etc), hence their rights also need to be protected through the legalization.

Huh? What rights of their was questioned anyway? If they are losers they are losers. If they want to go they will go and do what they feel like. What are you even talking about. 


viii) The legalization will help the Government in generating some form of income tax, revenue.

You seem to be damn concerned about the Government income, like you aren’t paying enough taxes to the bureaucrats anyway, who sit away in the parliament with air conditioners on 24/7 and others are dying in power cuts.

Dude, get your head checked before answering with such details. Your reasons are absurd!

Coming back to reality

Hi everyone!!! I found an old poem I wrote almost a decade ago and just forgot! I was fresh out of college, working then. As a matured writer today, I just can’t believe how creative I was back then. Definitely better with a young, wild and free mind. What’s more surprising is, how there is not much of a difference back then and today. This still holds true. City in context is Bombay.(i still love the place though) Anyway here goes!

I wrote a few lines about the moon and sky
Till I hit backspace to think
“Why the hell am I writing abstract
When there’s so much about reality to begin.”

There are just two seasons I know of, where I live
So called, Summer and Monsoon.
Both the times you drip to your feet
And stuff yourself more junk than what you can eat.
One travels all day and work happens for an hour or few
Here temper, work pressure and electricity bills hit the roof.

My home is where your own vehicle can make you poor
As petrol prices increase with your blood pressure,
Where auto and taxi drivers shake heads from left to right
While the janta finds newer reasons to go on strike.
Government loves to decide age limit for alcohol
Who cares? All drink generously till they fall.

I live in a country where people fight for fame.
Film stars and reality shows become the talk of the day
While newer Facebook and Twitter stories make way,
There is always a Anna or a Baba who wins the game.
Write a book that can be banned, or paint a portrait and die.
The Get Famous formula reads “Get into a controversy or make a famous lie.”

I call this place home where society is driven by rules
The sinned are considered outcasts, and the sinners are let loose.
I do wish tomorrow could be better, I wish, I pray
But like every other human here, I am hiding in the shadows, till I see that day.