Pit stop at Ecstasy Boulevard

a rumble in my chest

words failing me as I try

to detail the havoc you caused,

the explosion you set off,

the delicious summer we shared

and the fault lines on our skin

 

it’s a second plunged in nectar

when I imagine your smile

coaxing my ruminations out

and giving them breath

while teasing my haywire mind

and it’s absurd conceptions

 

it’s a minute spent in thought

when we conjure up fables

of intimacy and a song that

could whisk the nuances

of our time together with a

longing to entwine eager smiles

 

it’s an hour dipped in adrenaline

gamboling down a wet street

deeply drunk in each other’s theories

your arms shackling my waist

my eyes devouring your smirk

two renegades with no vendetta

 

it’s a day kissed by a tornado

when our words collide

prancing on the boundaries

of a bottomless rabbit hole

filled with unspoken ordeals

and a trail of grimy scars

 

as I’m probed about your face

and your machinations, I come

up short of stark realities

for you could just be a figment

of my haywire mind and that smile

could be another absurd conception

 

as I retrace my footsteps across

the fables we authored, I can’t help

but think of the nuances tailored

into the song we would dance to

and thinking would you rather

entwine your smile with me or my body

 

as I stumble alone in the puddles

on that wet street, completely doused

without a scrap of adrenaline and theories

craving the shackles and the smirks

turning into a renegade with a heart

I wonder if that was your vendetta

 

as I watch the tornado obliterate

and uproot everything but our words

forcing me down the rabbit hole, I know

better than to shield my body from

your unspoken ordeals as the grimy

scars serve my only memory of you

 

it appears that words will never

fail me when the rumble in my chest

mimics the explosion you set off

but maybe another summer, when

the fault lines are just tasered veins

your havoc my cute, will incite me no more

-antarmukhee_

Pit stop at Ecstasy Boulevard is the product of a high induced by the following tracks Vancouver Sleep Clinic-Someone to Stay & Ursine Vulpine-Wicked Game. For music like this, for an ecstasy like this it goes without saying that it is a wonderful time to be alive despite being strapped on a carousel churning out rush hours, stress wrinkles and heartbreaks. Till we meet next.,

Why you need to stop letting the genitalia decide

I stared at my computer screen for a full fifteen minutes and thought about how I want to write this. Scanned my brain for all plausible, impressionable phrases that could mirror my state of mind but I came up empty. I finally agreed with my lack luster, non creative self that talking about things the way they are rattling around in my mind is the only way I am going to be able to get it all out onto the digital realm of connections.

So what happened on New Years Eve? No. Not justified. I have to admit that I was very oblivious to the lack of sensitivity displayed by the public when criminal responsibility goes haywire so much so that accountability is a moot point. The NYE incident in Bangalore was just one of the many many instances that have become a routine, confined to a blindsided column of smudged words in your newspapers. So I think a re phrasal is in order. So what happens to women on a daily basis so much so that some of them have grown to dismiss it rather than garner spotlight? No. Not justified.

But what caught my attention was how after the NYE incident in Bangalore, the papers looked like magnified confetti bits of sexual harassment anecdotes. Every day since then, the front page and some more have been dedicated to survivor stories, previous encounters and miscarriages of justice. And what was awe inspiring was that the identities of these women were not concealed, rather it was all out in the open for everyone to see and ponder about. This country has been through a lot and so has it’s citizenry. Currently, it is suffering from an exponentially growing attempt at westernization and the reinforced audacity of a few men that is building up raucously with no counter-move.  For an idea to take root and grow and penetrate (for lack of a better word) every level of the society, it will take time. But being foolish at fabricating that idea and aiming it at the wrong demographic is just counterproductive. Whoever you are, reading this now, you know don’t you? You meet people, you’re around them and you listen.

‘What was so important about wearing such a short dress for a night of clubbing, that’s just like asking for trouble.’

‘I just saw her daughter returning home from a trip, apparently with some friends. God knows what goes down when these kids travel. I wouldn’t be surprised if she has trouble finding a suitor for marriage’.

‘Miss, we are going to have to ask you to leave. Your bra straps are showing and there are men present’.

‘Your daughter got her period in class today. There was such a ruckus and it was very difficult to contain the children when they saw her stained pinafore. Kindly make sure she is well prepared in the future to avoid possible inconveniences to the management’. Sd/- The Principal

‘Yes, I know. I think she put up a photo of herself with her boyfriend on Facebook. Such girls are posters of instability. Today she’s with someone and then tomorrow, someone else.’

‘Her marriage just fell apart. Some domestic abuse issue. Back in our days, divorce was frowned upon. Everything is reparable. Giving up like this is for weaklings’.

All my life, I have been around this kind of talk. And whoever is reading this, if you are a parent or a grandparent or someone’s aunt or uncle-your sons are listening. They are imbibing it. All this raw material for them to think about and decide on what kind of men they want to be. And if all this judgement and unacceptability about the free will of the women in your community gives them the incentive to turn into predators, who’s fault is it really?

Attempting to change the thought process of your friends and family is the biggest challenge here. Generation gaps and an unfaltering vehemence to defend the ‘parampara’ that has been passed on for God knows how many years. All this scrutiny and judgement has a profound influence on the psyche of the poor targets but what about the people who are watching you say all this? Years of condemning the free will of women has created a sort of free pass in the minds of predators, current and potential, that the woman was just asking for it. Why? Do you not have a hold on your genitals? The women that are invested in their work everyday are not meat that you just reach out and take as you please. Did she invite you to come take a pass at her? Or do you think that you are entitled enough to not ask and grab at whatever you want and can?

Feminism is a thing for a reason. At it’s root, feminism is just ‘Live and let Live’. In a world where all human beings are treated alike, with no bias and innuendos and disrespect, there won’t be any feminists running around. There won’t be people with fierce thought and ideas trying to oust the blatant lack of respect and acknowledgement for women. It’s pathetic how so many people label feminists as attention mongers, asking them to get over themselves and move on. No. The solutions begin at home. The recovery from this vile disease has to start from your mind. Change your mind. Let it not come as a surprise to you that there is a woman who has traveled solo without ever being molested or raped. Let it not shock you that proud parents are encouraging their daughter to get out more often and reach out beyond borders and fulfill her dreams. Let it not appall you that a girl is working and living by herself away from her family in a bid to be independent and experienced. Let it not catch you unawares when a woman talks freely about her sexuality and her experiences. Because all of this has to be deemed natural, inconsequential. Because a woman’s free will IS natural and inconsequential. No penis does not mean no free will.

The concept of #NotAllMen is nothing short of stupid. Yeah, we get it. Not all of the men living and breathing leer or grope or molest or rape. If you want to be put up on a pedestal for being a good boy, go home. That’s like saying, ‘ Oh! I don’t go around castrating every man I see because I had a shitty break-up. I deserve a round of applause and maybe even a  ceremony for my kindness’. Now these are the attention mongers and people who need to get over themselves. Have a little common sense. You know this is not about you. Then why get trolled for being a naive little piece of shit who doesn’t understand the bigger picture?

All humans irrespective of gender tend to scrutinise and form opinions. But your capacity to form a judgement is not your right to dole out supposed advice when ever YOU think that another person with a completely different mind, body and taste is being out of the line. Instead, teach your children what it means to respect women and why it’s important. Listen to your children when they want to talk to you about their opinions rather than sweeping it all under the carpet like bygones. Try to have conversations with your parents and other family about what they think. Don’t be a bystander when things happen. Reach out. Give the situation your best consideration and have an open mind. Understand the difference between ‘Yes’ and ‘No’.

Women could help so so much by actually making some noise. It is shocking when it happens to you. You’re rendered speechless at the essence of whatever happens. But snap quickly out of it. Throw your weight around. Make some noise. Over-react. And there is nothing nothing to be ashamed of. You did not ask for it. You did not trigger it.Shaming by the society should mean nothing to you. Because you are your own person, your protector. Both genders are at fault here. Women and men are not born weak. Weak are those men that prey. The ones stationed in the dark alleys and behind the shadows. The ones that stand on the sidelines making videos of the whole spectacle and forget about it after the limelight fades away. Weak are those women who chide their daughters to keep their head down. The ones that inflict abuse on their daughters who have been molested and raped. The ones that discriminate and give free reign to their sons because apparently being born with a penis automatically entitles you to be treated like royalty.

The next time you speak reflect on what it means. What importance it holds for both sexes. How it could ameliorate the thought process of your audience. It all begins with the usual conversations flowing around the lives of millions of people but to be honest, it all begins with one person. And that’s you.

Dangal

The best actors instinctively feel out what the other actors need, and they just accommodate it – Christopher Nolan


As Dangal went up on the big screen, a perfunctory chill went down my spine. Happens whenever I am about to savor the warm delight of a carefully researched film over the preceding months. Desperate research fueled by the need to give my brain a much needed orgasm and my body a much needed plexus punch. I’ve been to my fair share of outstanding films that made me want to curl up in a ball and cry out my lifespan while wanting to fly away to a utopian domain at the same time. I live for films like those. I live for art that will put my brain and body through that exact combination over and over again.

And Dangal did not disappoint. There are people who wing their way through life and the curve-balls that it has to offer. These are the people who don’t pause and take stock of what their work is like, what their projection to today’s society is like. Dangal was made by people who did the exact opposite of that. Every person associated with this project has imparted authenticity to making it come alive on the silver screen. I had the honor of watching this beautiful movie a day before one of my boards (devil may care) and every aspect of this carefully nurtured biopic exudes immense hard work. Hard work that fulfills the goal of telling the world an inspiring story and telling it in a way that will tug at your heartstrings.

Mahavir Singh Phogat and his daughters, Geeta and Babita Kumari are part of a legacy that was easily blindsided when they ought to have been celebrated. Clears up a few things about how much importance is given to the glitz and sparkle that lights up TV screens rather than foraging into the lives of achievers and their journey. Aamir Khan invited the sisters to an episode of his famous show, Satyamev Jayate. He opened with a question asking the audience about the plight of a father with four daughters in a village that had made it’s mark for having an abominably high female infanticide rate.

I am very happy that this issue was given a voice, a beautiful platform to reach the masses in the way it did. Because a father without gender bias is a much needed social dynamic in India even today. The film shows how this father shrewdly believes in his children, believes in the strength they are born with. He may have propelled his daughters towards realising a dream he had fostered for eons of time, but in doing so he staunchly stood by his daughters’ needs and fought back every ounce of flak the society decided to shower him with. A father who is proud of his daughters, not unlike mine who takes immense pleasure in caring for my sister and me, nurturing our natural predispositions and flaunts that unimaginable pride when we stand by his side.

The portrayal has been surreal, if not accurate. And the prep for such a portrayal has shown just how important this social issue is for the makers of this film. Rigorous training for more than 7 months to ensure a perfect salad of ingenuity and the raw truth. Sprinkled with quite a liberal amount of amazingly well choreographed wrestling sequences and softened by the every day story of a father-daughter relationship dynamic. Aamir Khan has surpassed himself with this project. The commitment to putting one’s body through such an ordeal and managing it with unfaltering grace is nothing short of brilliance. Fatima, Sanya, Zaira and Suhani have projected equal images of dauntlessness, strength and confidence. We could use some more of that in today’s world.

dangal-audience-review.jpg

But you know what sticks once you’ve seen the movie, any movie for that matter? The amalgamation of the social message and the complementary emotions, cemented by a powerful and supportive screenplay and music. Human beings have always been inclined toward the performing arts. If not personally, but as a mass audience at least. There is always an instinctive routine to watch, judge and relate. And I thank the universe for Dangal. I thank the universe for how it made me feel – beautiful, strong and comfortable in my own skin. I’ve had this rush while talking to my family and friends, asking them to not miss out on such an important and worthy cinematic experience.

Here’s a link to the latest trailer of Dangal that has been a godsend. Heartfelt thanks to Daler Mehndi for lending his priceless voice to create one of the most beautiful songs ever in the history of Bollywood.

Take home advice from Dangal : Kal subah paanch baje taiyaar rehna!

Productivity peaks early in the morning. Make sure you give this movie a well deserved try.

Gallery

Swan Song

It’s been an absolute honour to feature as a guest writer on a blog run beautifully by my baby sister Praya Kamat.

Her blogsite focuses on makeup product reviews, lifestyle, travel and related aesthetics. It’s a surefire medium to lighten your mood because she’s a bubbling brook of happiness and charm!

My next poetry piece meant exclusively for her blog is titled ‘Swan Song’, a poignant tale about the myth that surrounds a dying Swan.

Go check it out at http://prayakamat.blogspot.in/2016/09/guest-writer.html

Thank you!

A rhapsody of yarns

humid and supple

her skin spins a tale

of the minx that’s her heart

enduring many a gale

 

fashioned as a cherub

her eyes chaotic as fire

a devilish smirk in tow

beckoning to frenzy as a lyre

 

a smile, idyllic and crimson

dances on her tasteful lips

blending with eloquence on her tongue

and a fluidity about her hips

 

her fingers, wretched and wild

curl around the sheets in despair

they trace her vivacious fancies

an obsidian parody in her hair

 

dew gilds her calves

fashions a vignette so lithe

she grins, knows no grace

uncaring, unbroken and blithe
mist descends on her belly

a patina of crystals and musk

blood thunders and nerves detonate

burnishing her in shades of dusk

 

kiss her and she’ll burn

she’s a whimsical brace

bare her soul and forage

she’s a harlequin fallen from grace

 

annihilate her and she’ll live

unharmed and at her best

her skin will continue to rhapsodize

endless yarns of her quests

अंतर्मुखी

Inspired by Sagarika Mukund

Cosmos in my head

hapless eyes adorn my face

hoping fervently against all odds…

spent eyes adorn my face

cutting through the dearth, rummaging for the gods

 

trembling hands garnish my stance

yearning respite from the skirmishes of night…

scarred hands garnish my stance

consoling the wrinkles that have been faking might

 

but there is a universe, replete with timeless celestials

gorging on my rumples and my tears and….sigh!

but there is a universe, abducting me from lethal monotony

and catapulting my spirit towards a nameless high

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wandering about, I see a behemoth star

caressing my soul as I drink in its grace

it pushes me to burn, to rage and exude

a brilliance that embellishes my awestruck face

 

just a little further, I chance upon a comet

painting a plethora of visions that stump me

there is no beauty in succumbing, they chant

there is much to suffer, learn, love and see

 

the aurora dances in a circle up above me

I am envious of course, of its freedom and resolve

it falls and settles and picks up and blinds me

restless as it seems to hustle and never dissolve

 

I have seen it, the universe that saves me

a cure and a haven in my head

I have smiled, as the celestials haul me up

calming my unrest and putting me to bed

 

clear eyes adorn my face

smiling and fighting all the odds

elated eyes adorn my face

housing a lifetime of gratitude to the gods

 

deft hands garnish my stance

hungry to triumph the skirmishes of night

tenacious hands garnish my stance

personifying the cosmos and their infallible might

 

अंतर्मुखी

P.s. Posing credits to the beautiful, kind and warm Charuvi Guttal

Image

Silhouette of my dreams

I dream of times past, in gold

Hanging down as gossamer in my mind

I dream of the woven memories, now old

Hidden in crevices for me to find

I dream of colours kissing my skin

Clothing me, as I dance

I dream of petrichor clinging to me,

Subduing my senses beneath a trance

I dream of you, your eyes and your lashes

Lulling me towards spells of sleep

I dream of you, your gaze and your touch

Masquerading the truth buried so deep

My eyes forage and the silhouettes twist

As unsure and bleak as fate

I dream of things, some and some more

As the silhouettes disintegrate 

अंतर्मुखी