Loving ME the most

I think I have said this before and I am going to say this again – I feel that I am absolutely lucky and gifted to have been born to a family with 2 inspirational elder sisters and a wonderfully supportive mother and a father who taught me to hold my head up high. This blog entry is inspired by the fact that someone asked me who bought a particular pendant for me (it had something fairly romantic on it) and I answered that it was me. I bought myself that pendant because I think I love myself and this pendant will be a constant reminder to me.

I think that it is so important for all girls to love themselves before loving anyone else. It makes a host of differences to one’s life and I can safely say that I am speaking from experience. I have been in enough relationships, the good and the bad to know that whatever it is, if you don’t love yourself enough, no one is going to treat you the way you deserve to be treated. Each of us, owe it to ourselves to respect our hearts, our souls, our minds and our bodies and to show the rest how we deserve to be treated in order to garner the respect we deserve.

Of late, I have been in a fair amount of vulnerable situations which I know I for a fact I didn’t deserve. The point is, however that I understand that I really do not belong to anyone and no one should be allowed to treat me in a way that I do not like. Yet, I know that its not easy to avoid such situations and even a person such as myself, who constantly reminds myself that I need to love myself in order for others to love me can easily find myself in such a situation. It truly isn’t easy and day after day, I see girls with broken hearts, girls with disillusioned dreams, girls with their aspirations astrew and girls who are told they are not as great as they think and I wish there was a magic mirror which would show them how amazing they actually are.

I am lucky to be the youngest of my family. However, if I did have a younger sister and I could only teach her one thing, it would be how to respect and love herself.

5 ways to love and respect yourself

1. Respect your body and what you put into it.

I think the foremost thing is to always respect your physical self. This goes beyond just loving your body but also in being careful how you treat your body. I think it is important for every girl to spend time looking at herself in the mirror, to embrace every single curve and mark on her body and to understand that this is her and this is what she will be and this is her being most beautiful. I think that it is also important to eat well, dress well and project a good image. By doing so, you have taken the effort in taking care of yourself and you have attracted good vibes from other people who will take care of you the same way; with great effort (Its the law of attraction folks!) When you feel like a million bucks, you will tend to walk and behave differently and will thus ensure that everyone else treats you similarly.

2. Do not let anyone disrespect you or treat you lowly.

This is a simple rule that I believe every girl should make her personal mantra. Everyone needs to make some clear rules as to how they should be treated. If someone hits you or hurts you physically, that is completely unacceptable and no girl should tolerate that. I have seen women get hit and have their ego beaten down, trust me when I say it is the most degrading experience. Never stay in an abusive relationship regardless of whether it is physical or emotional or any other sort of abuse. Never ever let anyone think its okay to speak to you as if you are not as good as them and most importantly, always take a stand as to how you want to be treated. The moment you feel that someone is undermining you, speak up and make sure you are treated the way you truly deserve to be.

3. Invest in yourself.

I always feel that this is something we tend to neglect completely. We are always so intent on satisfying other people’s needs and making time for others that we forget to invest time, effort and money in ourselves. We are always so afraid to spend time alone with ourselves to truly understand our own needs and desires. We feel guilty when we spend on ourselves. I think that at some point in time, it is essential that everyone of us is a little selfish so as to ensure that we make ourselves feel a little better. This means to put ourselves before everyone else and to take care of our needs first. Make no mistake, I am not saying that we need to be completely selfish and ignore the needs of others. I am merely saying that we need to focus on ourselves just as much and in fact a little more than we do others. This in no way means that we must allow ourselves to advance at someone else’s expense. We must care for the needs of others as well but we must think of our own welfare as wel. If we don’t look after ourselves, who will.

4. Focus on your positives.

I think this is fairly related to point number 2. I feel that we always look at our flaws more than at what our perks and strengths are.  Why do you consider your chubby cheeks your biggest flaw – look at them from another perspective and they will look so adorable. Why do you think your big butt is your flaw – look at it from another perspective and you’re a lot like J.Lo. Why do you think that scar on your face is your flaw – look at it from another perspective and it adds character to your face, it tells a story and it makes you more memorable and more beautiful. When you focus on what is great about you, those qualities shine and those around you will feel themselves drawn to those qualities more.

5. Respect those around you.

This is simple; do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Treat people with respect and they will understand that you are a secure person who loves yourself and is ready to embrace those around you. Behave with poise and you will find that everyone around you will treat you the same way.



Of community and kaamanatis..

I love being Indian and I feel an immense sense of belonging to everything this group of people stand for. I enjoy the cultural elements as well as the simple things that make us Indian, putting aside differences in language, geographical descents and appearances. I always feel proud to see an Indian make it to the top, to see an Indian production or just to see an outlet for potential. Yet, its amazing how in some instances we really become our own enemy. I have two interesting experiences to share; one with complete admiration for some members of this community and another filled with disdain. Ladies and gentlemen, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Sathai/Saakadai – A double bill presented by Puthiya Uthiram (Ravindran Drama Group)

I have always been amazed at the smaller productions organised by RDG (their larger productions are targeted at mass appeal and in my opinion, don’t show the same amount of boldness that the smaller shows do). Puthiya Uthiram represents the junior batch of up and coming artistes and they blew me away yesterday. I went to catch their double bill at Substation theatre yesterday and I was very glad I did. Saakadai was shocking, real and painful. I will not go into detail about the play itself as I truly hope that it makes a comeback to cater to a slightly larger audience, but in a nutshell it revolved around the filth we engage in day after day. This was juxtaposed by a toilet cleaner whose actions were filthy but his mind was cleaner than any one who had stepped into that toilet. Kudos to Mano and Rupbini as well as the director. Their roles were wonderfully executed and made the audience cringe, tear and reflect.

Sathai in my opinion was not as impressive as Saakadai. Funny how I actually went anticipating watching Sathai more but left being captivated by Saakadai. It was nice that they managed to eliminate some stereotypes we have about social escorts and sexual workers as a whole. Both the actresses were excellent in portraying what they were set out to show. I did feel that some elements of Sathai could have been a little better. For example, the play was not very clear in its motive – although it did show that social escorts do have a choice and they may CHOOSE to be in this line, by adding elements of sexual abuse and love failure, it still made it seem like they were somewhat pushed to making these decisions.

In what I have studied and researched before, I know that while sexual abuse, failed relationships can lead to people becoming social escorts or any other sexual workers (sexual workers need not be selling sex, escorts and domination work is also in this list), I know that they do not make the bulk of sexual workers. Many sex workers choose to be in this line because of the money it makes as well as the freedom the job provides them.

I feel that sometimes we are always so set to portray the deviants in a sympathetic light that we fail to understand that they are conscious human beings who do not need our sympathy but in fact just made choices that are different from our own.

If you want to know about some other misconceptions about sexual workers, you can check this link out: http://www.nhchc.org/2008conference/workshops/8docs/Sex_Industry_Myths.doc.pdf

Nevertheless, Puthiya Uthiram’s attempt must truly be applauded as both plays did move me and were very intelligently weaved. The cast were superb and I was so proud to see so many young, new faces who boldly embraced their roles and were not at all afraid.

I wish that there were more such Indians. Indians who want to change things, Indians who want to face things and Indians who want to raise awareness amidst other Indians. Kudos Puthiya Uthiram – I look forward to your next performance.

Now moving on to the BAD and the UGLY (a double bill presented by Dhool 2008) 😛 

DHOOL 2008

Once again, Indians haven’t failed to amaze me. This time for the opposite reason. This is not a post meant to attack Megastar, Dhool judges or Dhool hosts or even the dance groups. This is directed towards the audince. Will we ever grow up? Will we ever start looking at things objectively?

I visited the Dhool blog earlier today and honestly I am just so disappointed at the way we Indians tend to think. Firstly, the comments towards the hosts. Why is it that we can never appreciate when someone takes the effort to present a show. Being on live television is not easy. Apart from memorizing lines, one also has to think about quick comebacks as the show’s schedule is constantly changing. With that many eyes all on you, it is expected that one or two bloopers will be made. I do not have any personal affinity towards Vadi or Uthaya but I do think that people should be a little less harsh on them. People in the blog were asking why hosts like Jainesh and Vishnu were not chosen – Simply put, even if they were the hosts, I am certain that another group of audience will have something to say about them and their hosting. It really is good to see that the hosts take this in good humour and actually add it in their come back lines. And if you really do think you can do a better job than them, then Vasantham is having auditions for hosts – why not go participate and see if its as easy as it seems.

Secondly, comments towards judges. Why is it that we assume that someone is only fit to be a judge because they have danced? Does that mean that we as an audience don’t have the right to make comments about a dance until we’ve performed on television? Does this mean that if someone sings terribly, you’re not allowed to pass a comment until you’ve sung a song yourself? Dance is universal and everyone has a right to their opinion. I don’t think anyone is incapable of judging a dance performance. Vijendran may not be giving on the mark comments but I honestly do not think that he has been rude or crass at any point in the show and as such he should still be respected.

Then there are some who comment about how the judges are looking for stupid things like Taalam – Taalam simply put is the ability for a dance to be in beat with the song. This is definitely not a stupid thing and this should be the basis for judging any dance performance. Then there were those who criticised the judges for saying their favorites so openly. I’m sorry but I just think that we Indians are a malcontented bunch. Last year, when NUS won and the judges openly said they had wanted for Acidhouz to win, everyone was okay with it and criticised SMS voting. This year when SMS voting seems to be outshadowing the judges’ decisions, we are critcising the judges decisions? ( I do not intend to start a spate of debates on NUS vs Acidhouz because honestly both teams are the least bothered by this anymore).

But really, why is it that its in our nature to constantly dispute things especially when its said by a fellow Indian. Why can’t we accept that in every competition there will be winners and losers. Some are favoured and some aren’t. It is impossible to please everyone, and if it did, it will be the most boring show to watch. The judges have been placed there FOR their opinions and I think the only time a judge will be useless is if they were to say “no comments” or something like that.

On the whole, the more you hate or like a judge or a team, the more extreme your views get, the more controversy starts, the more you will watch the show and the more money the production company gets. Congratulations to all of you because your anger has profited another individual.

Remember people, its only in Indian organised competitions that you get to see so many Indians being given the opportunity to showcase their talents and their abilities. If this was an external competition, the proportion of Indians would have been much lower because of the racial distribution in the country. That would mean that you’d hardly see an Indian taking the centrestage. Here, the opportunities have been given, but if we constantly misuse it and abuse our power as an audience – no production company will come forward to organise such a competition and then we can go back to being unheard of.

So please folks, grow up.

21 going on 12…

I apologise, my dear readers for the hiatus. I’ve been having a tough few months and that has put inspiration at level ZERO. I’m back for now.

Do you remember what a rush we were in to grow up when we were younger? Wishing that we would grow that much taller, that much curvier, that much more mature. How we looked up at our elder siblings and wished for a moment, that we were all grown up and facing the world on our own.

Yet now, I wish I could turn back time and be a child again. I wish I had taken it slower and I wish I didn’t have to be all grown up and all facing the world.

Don’t you wish there were no heartbreaks to nurse, no betrayals to bear and no repercussions to deal with? Don’t you wish that if you just closed your eyes and willed it long enough, you would be 12 again and ready to step into the peak of your adolescence?

Don’t you wish the biggest worry in your life would be not bringing your Health Booklet for your yearly medical checkup? Don’t you wish that the most painful thing you go through would be your BCG? That every day you could look forward to writing little letters and which MacDonalds’ to hang out in after school? That you’d have concession and travel anywhere for the same amount? That we could have jogathons, pet-a-thons, make your own things day, bring your pet to school day and even a 24 hour singathon?

I wish I wasn’t in such a hurry to grow up. That I had cherished those moments of playing at the Monkey Bar a little more. That I would have taken part in a few more plays, watched a few more cartoons, done a few more class projects, sang the anthem with a little more joy. That I hadn’t dreaded chapel that much, that I would have pulled a few more ties. That I would have appreciated 40 cents for a plate of food and having hours of endless fun.

I wish I had worried a little less about the future and cherished the present a little more. I wish I could repair old ties and mend friendships that meant so much. I wish I still had the chance to enter the bookshop and buy tiny gifts for friends that would seem to mean the world for the day. I wish I had a schoolbus auntie to make sure I reached home safely day after day. I wish I had teachers to spoonfeed me knowledge and take so much effort to make sure I didn’t go astray.

Somehow, we are always in a rush or a chase for something. We walk on travellators and run through train doors waiting to clamp down on our frames. We are so worried that we won’t make it somewhere by the end of the hour that we let that entire hour pass in anxiety. What do we have to lose by spending a little time to smell the roses? What do we have to lose by turning 12 again?