Scrutinizing Stereotypes

An important aspect of consolidating gender equality includes disintegrating the generalized conceptions of ‘what is appropriate’. Such conceptions often manifest in the society in the form of stereotypical perspectives. Be it, in terms of competency, ability, character, sociability, or other personal constructs, stereotypes are widely prevalent in Indian society. A person’s gender is often considered as a conclusive determinant of their identity, and hence enforces a rigid construct of gender roles. Gender stereotypes often inhibit a person’s sense of self identity, along with their freedom of expression. From infancy to adulthood, we are exposed to a plethora of norms and beliefs that often turn out to be erroneous at best, and discriminatory at worst.

The way to combat stereotypes lies with awareness and discretion. Each one of us, at some point, perhaps unknowingly has expressed or harbored stereotypical beliefs. When we strive to change ourselves, the environment also changes. It is, therefore, crucial to practice inclusivity and acceptance towards others and work towards the collective empowerment of marginalized communities. Let us refrain from forming judgements about other people solely based on a set of predefined ideas, and let us embrace each life, spreading hope and love along the way!

Have a wonderful week!
Warm regards.

What would you love to learn?

“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” Anthony J. D’Angelo

Learning can encompass diverse aspects: Acquiring a new skill, working on improving one’s personality, reading a new book, researching on a new topic, meeting new people, etc. are activities that contribute towards our growth as individuals, and as members of a global society. Whenever we make efforts towards learning something, even something small, it opens up a vast horizon of opportunities for us. We may not become proficient at every single thing we wish to learn, but we certainly benefit from it and gain some amount of experience. Motivating ourselves to become the best version of who we are by making consistent efforts to learn new things, or even explore new things can make us happier, and enrich our lives. And it is never too late to learn something. Every day is an opportunity to start again and every moment is an opportunity to learn something new.

I wish to learn the following things: Taking constructive criticism positively, appreciating the people around me, writing short stories and flash fiction, inculcating time management, meditation and yoga. In the upcoming months, I will do my best to actively work towards each of these things and work towards becoming a better version of myself!

Would love to hear what all of you wish to learn, feel free to put your thoughts in the comment section!

P.S. I’d especially love to hear about the following people because I absolutely love their blogs and have been following them for over two years because their works deeply resonate with me!

http://wcr281.com/

http://bigskybuckeye.com/

http://tellingthetruth1993.com/

https://ashokwahi.wordpress.com/

https://thesoulsearchersite.wordpress.com/

https://fauxcroft.com/

Searching For Meaning

In a span of two decades, a time frame which many (including myself), might consider fairly inadequate as a requisite for forming an insightful and somewhat accurate perspective about life, I have ascertained a solitary feature about the life I wish to lead, namely: a meaningful one. The intricacies of this solitary feature, though presently baffling to my limited years of experience, might (hopefully) display lucidity through the forthcoming experiences I encounter in subsequent years.

My present day discernment of ‘a meaningful life’ incorporates simplistic, yet (as I would like to believe) dependable ideas about character, sociability, behavior, and various other factors which I’m not sure how to explicate in a defined category. A significant aspect of my understanding of a meaningful life encompasses self assurance and confidence, irrespective of the passing opinions of others, along with independence from external validation. I would admit that at present, I am far from inculcating this vision in my life and it would not be erroneous to assume that harboring self assurance is one of the things I struggle with the most.

Even so, I hope to foster a way of life which is based on kindness, compassion, strength, faith and continuous improvement. And if I ever go astray (the likelihood of which is naturally existent), I hope to make steady efforts to stay true to myself.

Self Care (Post Covid)

The entire globe witnessed a multitude of distressing scenarios when 2020 unfurled itself. An approximation of 2.4 million deaths occurred worldwide which led to an overwhelming sense of dread, pessimism and loss in the society. Apart from this, several young adults were forced to face a nascent uncertainty with regard to their near future. The unprecedented loss of life, health and wellbeing is tough to accept, and burdensome to deal with.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and anxious, it’s okay, but remember, you’re braver than you know. It is your strength that kept you going. It is your courage that made you wake up each day. It is your inner resolve that didn’t let you give up. And you know what, there’s plenty more where that came from. Congratulate yourself for surviving this carnival of challenges and hug yourself for being as okay as you could be.

Products that should exist : A creative series

1. Utensils that are washed by men- Despite the widely discussed issue of gender-based stereotypes, we are a long way from manifesting day-to-day equality in terms of work distribution. An activity as simplistic as washing utensils is infested with stereotypical notions, which leads to an unfortunate perpetuation of inequality. 

2. Sanitary pads that do not ask to be wrapped in black polyethene- Menstrual stigma, being pervasive in our society leads to a detrimental belief system with regard to menstruation. Instead of it being considered as a natural physiological process, menstruation is viewed as a ‘hush-hush’ topic. This leads to the manifestation of shame and confusion in the minds of women. 

3. Bodycon dresses that do not size shame- Body shaming, a practice that mocks someone’s physical appearance, can be extremely destructive for their mental health. It is a form of bullying that humiliates anyone who doesn’t fit into the ‘ideal body’ category. Body shaming is often accompanied by the making of negative comments about someone’s attire, thus making it even more problematic. 

4. Makeup kits that embrace men- Makeup is largely (yet wrongly) associated with femininity, and is often deemed to be inappropriate for a man. Such notions cultivate toxic masculinity in the society and promote explicit sexism. 

5. Self-help books that do not judge- The concept of mental health is real and relevant. Stigmatizing mental health issues prevents the creation of a safe environment for those who are struggling with them. Making insensitive judgements about someone’s struggle can be highly detrimental to their recovery. 

rivulets

the rivulet chatters on,

about nothing at all.

the leaf turns over,

unwilling to fall.

Hope

Your high hopes will stay alive,

even though you struggle to survive.

The sun tomorrow will rise,

and dry the tears in your eyes.

If it feels like another nightmare,

remember that the sun is still out there.

I know it’s pouring heavy rain,

but the rainbow will show up again.

It feels like another bad dream,

but there’s courage in your blood stream.

When the thunders fiercely roar,

Know that you too, will someday soar.

Will you..

Carry me through the flight,

Hold me secure at night,

Help me reach to the light,

Sing me to sleep tonight?

Remember

Remember to smile,
Because it is a charming and delightful world up there.
Remember to laugh,
Because there is going to be felicity and cheer in the air.
Remember to cry,
Because you’ll find many gloomy and lonely days ahead.
Remember to yell,
Because there might be much injustice to dread.
Remember to breathe,
Because the thrill of adventure can take your breath away.
Remember to believe,
Because at the end- it is all going to be okay.

Angel#2

This poem, though purely imaginative, explores a connection that I, (and my others) foster with surrealism. When I wrote it, and then proceeded to read it, I couldn’t help but think of it as a children’s poem- with blatant and consistent rhymes, a fairy-like imaginative theme, and an overly simplistic outlook. Admittedly so, I believe in the power and beauty of simplicity. So, here it goes-

Heard footsteps outside my bedroom door,

But nobody was walking on the floor.

Maybe an angel had come to visit me,

And hadn’t found the door’s key.

Dear angel, wake me if you’re out there,

You and I, we could fly away somewhere.

Heard a noise outside my window,

Maybe the angel had something else to show.

Saw a spark flying when I looked outside,

And my eyes- they opened up wide.

I saw the silhouette near the tree,

And I swear I never felt so free.

There was an angel with glittery wings,

And was wearing so many shiny rings.

Suddenly the angel looked around at me and grinned,

I waved my hand at her through the wind.