Nooks and corners

There are spaces in the mind, for thoughts, not yet thought, partially formed, and even those hazily dancing about waiting for that one beat, one rhythm to match it’s steps to and reveal themselves as fully formed out thoughts. There are also thoughts that don’t dance or prance about happily, then there are thoughts that threaten the fabric of your being.

I dont think that’s a bad analogy for our body and being, right? We are like fabric, so many threads weaving in and out, in and out, a steady hand stitching us, quarks, atoms, molecules, cells, organs and systems, anything in excess or less than optimum upsetting the Holon (to borrow from Koestler).

The environment, socio-cultural conditions do have a part to play in determining how we might think, react, our ways of seeing and being. But some might be unlearned? As a social scientist I don’t want to say apriori, I find it difficult to think that something is outside the realm of experience. So I think Holon (that some things are autonomous, even while following some kind of a hierarchy) is more appropriate, so thoughts that come to you floating from one firing neuron to another may be autonomous to the extent that they are thought, but how and when it reveals itself, is that dependent on a chain of command?  If hierarchy is such an intrinsic part of nature and biology, how would we argue with those who think, caste and gender and multiple ways of being ‘other’ are also natural? I think in circles and I maybe confusing a lot of concepts, but I really do think connections can be made when different ideas can be connected or when enough space is allotted/allowed for those connections to be made.

Similarly, patterns of experiences can be mapped out if one takes enough time to sit, sift through the multitude of experiences, and let patterns emerge, after all the fabric of our being is bursting at the seams for us to make those connections, connect those dots, for better worldliness.

When I say fabric of our being, I also include the mind, I am, like most other social scientists and especially feminists, very critical of Descartes’s mind/body dualism. I would never valorise one over the other, which is why the word fabric makes so much to describe us. Just as holon also makes sense (not as much as fabric does). But let’s allow some space, otherwise we would never break the chain of command.




Oh, I heard

The ways of the heart 

Are mighty strong 

Don’t give in to it.

There’s nothing there.
And yet

We live in this world

With expectations laden 

Ours, theirs, everybody’s 

On fragile sets of shoulders.
Can you mourn 

For something that 

Hasn’t happened.

Or are you to rejoice it

As ordained by divine purpose.
A sliver of grief, perhaps

A tiny ray of hope

Both nestled in divine providence  

Or mayhap

Human folly?
When everything is your Grace,

whence came the thought

Cannot be a question 

The thought perhaps

an answer, a grand unveiling?

Trust and attachment

Dear All,

I have been doing good. How have you been?

I have been thinking a lot about the kind of people we become, how we assimilate experiences, and are always in the process of becoming someone.

I don’t think I am a completely cynical person. After all that I have read, seen, known, learnt, experienced, observed, I haven’t learnt a thing about being a total cynic. If you were in  my place, having heard the things I have, seen the things I have, you wouldn’t be the hopeless romantic (in the sense of loving life and being optimistic), ever so positive person that I am. This, then, is a huge dilemma. Do I feel good about the fact that I haven’t let any experiences (mine and others’) affect me? Despite having met my share of scheming people, whose motives one can only guess at, I still tend to trust people without a thought.

Why am I not more cautious? How do people gain this incredible skill of judging a person’s character and motives and all of that? I want to learn that skill.

The other part is about attachment.

You know, sometimes, you are angry/upset with people, when you really don’t have a right to be either of those with them. You don’t have the right simply because they may not really be a close friend/relative/family. They may just be people who message you to feel better about themselves, things or their situation, you know? I don’t mind being able to do that. To comfort them in times of need, many people who meet me, do that. Happens with my mother and brother also. People seem to gravitate towards us when they land in problems.

But when faced with my own darkness, my own limitations, managing my expectations is a fairly complicated process. This is why I really hate becoming friends with new people. I just don’t want to be friends with anyone anymore. I have enough people as it is. I hate that I haven’t learnt about my own boundaries. I remember you told me once, “you don’t know your own boundaries, Amulya.” I don’t. I really don’t. I still don’t. I don’t even know why any of this is affecting me. Nothing major has happened. I got myself riled up over nothing. My mind finds an easy pathway to darkness. Dark.

And the only coping mechanism I seem to know, unfortunately, is crying, or being irrationally angry at people in general. For a few years now, I have become very sensitive, I guess? Urgh, it’s frankly very annoying to feel so helpless about managing my emotions.

Why do we get used to some people? Why do I get used to some people? Why do we get attached to people? I hate this part of being human. These worthless attachments, unnecessary distractions. And it’s not even like something really bad happened. It’s just one of those days, you know. You sit, think about the past, and really feel you lack social skills, what are my boundaries?

But I am tired in general. Of people, of life, of everything. But then I remember my source, my origin, where I will go in the end of the end. And I feel infinitely better. I am trying. I really am. But I don’t know why I get entrenched in similar patterns, every single time. Each time.




Dear all,

Happy (almost over) February.

It has been a while. Life happens all the freaking time, and with that a bout of swine flu, a sudden break from the normal routine, kind of throws you off. So, I have been playing catch up with the work put on hold. And it’s a lot!

I am writing today because, well, I have met my share of guys/men who are, you know, not very nice :-P. But, recently, I had the chance to meet a person so sweet, I kept asking him if he was real. Our meeting felt fated, like we could have met anytime in the last 3 years, and we did, except I don’t remember it, he does. So when we met in August, on my birthday (regular readers of the blog, if there are any, will know I love my birthday. I don’t care a wee bit about ageing, so far, at least), it was a chance but fated meeting.

He is fast becoming a friend. But I am writing because he seems like no one I have ever met. He is a nice person. Nice. How often do you meet nice people? He wants to do his thing for farmers, he does not think women are stupid, he doesn’t think feminism is extreme, he forwarded me a write-up on Vandana Shiva, he knows the struggle is real, and I don’t feel like he has an ulterior motive or something. I feel like life is finally ready to show me that there really are men out there who do believe in these things, like really believe in these things, not just for show. Not just to pick women up or to create a favorable impression, (there’s no point in or reason for impressing me). But because they are hoping for the same thing as you– better worldliness, for everyone.

Is he worth an entire blog post? I know it is presumptuous to think my post would mean anything, but yes. We must, from time to time, be reminded that there is hope yet for people, hope yet for feminists to not give up on men, especially when faced with what we have over the last few weeks with the whole Shamir Reuben fiasco. Although I still think he (not Shamir Reuben) is unreal. Very much so. You cannot take the cynic out of me, I suppose. But if we tried trusting people to show themselves for who they are, would it be foolish?

I should have ended with hope, y’all. So, yeah. Hope!



My little garden 

Dear all,

Since it’s been a while, here are some pictures of my garden. I love the small roof garden I have. Although I am making use of only a quarter of the space available, I have a variety of plants growing. 3 eggplants, Mogra, chamberi, exotic creeper (I forget the name) one each, onions in a round pot, 4 hibiscus plants, potatoes in a pot, bitter gourd, ridge gourd, pole beans… I will share the ones that are available on my iPad. I will share some more soon, maybe once the onions are bigger and potatoe plants have grown in size… 

So enjoy! 😊 I know I enjoy my garden.. it teaches me life lessons I couldn’t have learnt elsewhere.. I think gardening should be made compulsory for all children..  they will get to know so much.

Also following my post on ‘Pruning negative thoughts’
I thought I would add a quote or story or simply a gardening tip from a fellow gardener I speak to or read about in newspapers or blogs or Facebook posts (don’t worry I will always cite the source, so you can always check them out if interested). If you want to be a part of this, please do email me at with the subject ‘Gardening tip’ and I will add your story or quote.

Gardening tip 1: drainage holes. A pot must have drainage holes, if you don’t have/want them, then make sure to add a thick layer of stones at the bottom (at least 2 inches). This will act as a drain layer that will keep your plant roots from rotting. One of my friends, a fellow urban gardener based in the US says, 

“I learned that if in closed vessels plant will drown and wilt also (much like people in suffocating relationship).. so always have holes in your pots” — Mersad (24 July 2017, Instagram exchange [he grows orchids and the one he shared on insta is the prettiest little thing I have ever seen! I couldn’t take my eyes off it]). 



Following are pictures from my roof garden 😊



Monsoon in Himayatnagar

One might think that living in Himayatnagar would mean a lot of pollution and traffic, but the not so tucked away Minerva lane has so much green cover, thanks to CPI building, a Muslim family that takes care of a sizeable piece of property next to us, and the Indian Red Cross. The CPI compound has loads of Asoka trees — which I must admit is sort of a problem. I will discuss this in the next para. The IRC society has loads of shrubs and bushes, any number of coconut trees, and one huge mango tree tantalising us with it’s golden yellow mangoes that they don’t harvest (also problematic, again: next paragraph for details), the property next to us has mango, custard apple, and sapodilla trees. While the green helps us on hot summer Noons, when our house is at least 5 degrees hotter, getting perfectly baked from all the sides, my bedroom which does not get a lot of sun but does receive fresh air because of all the trees is a soothing, balming spot for all of us.Now that it is raining, it seems like all the trees and saplings are grinning, with the brown being shed and shining new growth taking it’s place. Visit the nearest garden/park near you. Believe you me, I am not exaggerating. 

Now because of all the wealth we have, is it any surprise that every morning, just before dawn, we hear so many birds chirping. Parrots (one left it’s feather in a pot on our terrace, so I know they visit or at least used to. Pigeons are a menace, they do not allow other birds anywhere near the area, and all they do is peck their way into delicate saplings. They don’t even eat the leaves, they just like plucking them off), sparrows, koels, a little black bird that’s got the loudest voice ever (pitta koncham kootha ghanam), woodpeckers, bats (thanks to Asoka trees, where they nest away happily) and wowie wow, a snowy owl. I don’t know where it came from, but I suspect it has a nest in one of the Asoka trees as well. When I go up to the terrace, late in the evening, after an early dinner, for a walk I tell myself, but mostly to hunt grubs, I wait for the owl to take its flight. When it takes off, against the backdrop of velvet blue sky (and some stars, where have the stars gone?) It’s a sight to look at! So majestic! 

Oh and we also have occasional monkey raids. I must admit they have never destroyed my terrace garden, they eat what they want (onions and cucumbers) which I haven’t grown for a while now. But the attack isn’t as bad as it is in our aunt’s place in Nallankunta because 1) it isn’t as hot, given the presence of so many trees in summers and 2) they would have already feasted on the mangoes and custard apple next door, and really who can blame those monkeys for not wanting to eat green leafy vegetables and boring cucumbers? This is why I say those trees are ‘sort of’ a problem, they attract monkeys but we won’t have it any other way, thank you! If we have winds, just the winds, right before light thunderstorms, the Asoka trees do a lot of self-dusting, by the time it rains, our sofas and doors are covered with a fine layer of dust that annoys my mother to no end. Just as she brings the duster, there is a power cut! So we retire to my parents’ bedroom which has a large window, with a hot cuppa coffee. It’s the best spot on a rainy day. We sit and look at the trees glistening with rain drops, and those birds, oh those lovely lovely birds hopping from tree to another, inviting the shy ones to join them. Muddy pathways in the IRC compound, dogs barking at monkeys hanging from trees (usually just two or three at a time because a monkey infant was killed three summers ago), and in the evenings, bats have a free reign, I am not kidding when I say a wall on our terrace is a work of bat dropping art. 

This is beautiful. We have butterflies and bees now (bees are a sign of healthy garden). I must remember to grow plants that attract more bees. The monsoons are beautiful in Himayatnagar.

Telugu film industry is creepy 

Chalapathy Rao- one of the creeps in Telugu film industry

Now, the Telugu film industry is the most patriarchal, disgusting industry there is. Imagine, someone like Radhika Apte who has been a part of many regional industries has lamented on the state of affairs in Tollywood (9 Not to hurt the ‘Telugu pride’ after Bahubali and all the records it seems to have broken, so progressive in terms of VFX and CGI, that the regressive turn of events that came in the form Chalapathy (cheapathy from now on) Rao’s words brings us rudely back to our, in colloquial terms, “true colors”. He said, “Girls are not harmful, but they are useful in bed”, this at an audio function of a movie called “Rarandoi Veduka Choodam”. But the tragedy isn’t that the audience laughed, Rakul Preet Singh who seemed to be on the brink of laughter (I can give her the benefit of doubt because she hasn’t learnt the language that well to understand the vulgar comment made), Naga Chaitanya (Akkineni Nagarjuna’s son and hero of the said movie) also happily chuckled, the male anchor completely in agreement with the comment made jokingly reprimanded the female anchor for having gone to cheapathy to ask if girls are harmful. 

The tragedy, however, is that TV9, a regional news channel interviewed cheapathy, almost providing a platform for him to make more such comments for the benefit of.. well am not sure why he was given that space at all? This uncle asked the news anchor as to why women were hounding him when the real issues of child rape, rape, and reality shows are not being addressed but his innocent comment has got all kinds of attention. Anyway, women’s groups in the city, and tweeple made it a point to let cheapathy know exactly what they thought of his comments, for that also he had a reply. He said it depends on how we choose to think of his words, see we can think it is good, because obviously ‘pakka’ (bed) can also mean bedsheet, but our brains are so perverted we chose to take it in the wrong manner.

He also asked why women’s groups are after his life. I wanted to tell him, check Youtube or Twitter, even men have condemned your statements. Anyone with an iota of intelligence would, but this senior artist has a reputation for making sexist statements, he once laughed at the fact he has raped many times… wait for it.. in movies. Yes, that’s right, he thought and obviously still thinks it is hilarious that he has raped many a times in his movies. I regret watching his movies now. I don’t think my ears stopped bleeding from everything I heard in a span of twelve hours.

For those who are unaware of how convoluted the Telugu films in particular are, oh wait, you have seen Bahubali 1, right? So, you must know that industries down South have this disgusting fascination with stalkers. Directors, mostly male cannot conceive stories that do not follow the logic of “a woman will fall for me if I stalk her enough”. Yes, you heard it right, and you have seen it in Bahubali too. But this logic is not for all heroes, read: those that come from “star families” For instance, Ram Charan Tej would never be seen stalking, or even Balakrishna who said, “audience would not want us heroes to run behind heroines, we should just go kiss her or get her pregnant, pinch her”, meaning that consent has no space in our Telugu films, heroes are Gods, and heroines can be on their fours (reference: Mahesh Babu’s shameless poster with Kriti Sanon on all fours, and JBTW Kriti Sanon said Mahesh Babu is a great human being). Balayababu, as he is fondly called, also referred to Shraddha Das in the same speech, who reacted by laughing, or maybe she was trying to swallow the bile rising up her throat. Radhika Apte was unfortunate enough to work with this uncle.

And since I referred to Mahesh Babu, I might as well state here that his movies are not complete without him insulting or slapping (sometimes both) the heroine(s) in his movies. There is no point in bringing fans into the picture, think of Fan Bhakthi by Madhav Prasad. We worship our heroes, and will troll anyone, especially if it is just an actress. Samantha was trolled by Mahesh Babu’s fans for her “provoking” statements (she said that the aforementioned movie poster was regressive, OMG! So provoking–

When you read that the South Indian actresses are done with sexism, and are speaking out, well, not all actresses, just the Malayalam industry actresses ( Given how precarious their position is in the industry ruled by demi-Gods called Chirnajeevi, Ramcharan, Nagarjuna, Balayya, Allu Arjun, Mahesh Babu, there is just nothing to be done. I empathize with the women, really. Not only is their “shelf-life” short, they must pander to the extremely fragile egos of these men who are comfortable with prancing around trees with girls less than half their age. I mean, have you watched Chiranjeevi dance with Kajal in the song ‘Kummudu’? Such cringeworthy moments! Eeks! I wanted to die, no I wanted Chiranjeevi to take a hard look at himself, and reflect on how heroines from his younger days have moved on to playing mothers and grandmothers, but this man is still romancing heroines who probably don’t have the choice to say no.

Of course, we live in times, when someone like Amitabh Bachchan says he loves working with Ram Gopal Verma, so I guess this should come as no surprise at all, eh?

So yes, the Telugu film industry is the ultimate site of patriarchy, sexism, and misogyny, and before you think oh she is just throwing words, please, read the damn article (I am looking at you, fan trolls).