Educated, or not

What a statement – the greatest gift of education is that you know nothing at all! It summarizes, to an extent, my 21 year ordeal (and maybe many of yours)! I always argue that there’s a humongous difference between literacy and education – a few people get it. But a lot of them don’t.

To be honest, although I went to some of the finest institutions to gain my education, I now feel sorry that my parents ended up wasting a whole lot of money on me, for I haven’t gathered much at all. Okay, that would be an exaggerated statement… I’d rather say that I didn’t know until it was too late as to why I went through all those painful formulae, or why the digestive system began at the mouth and ended at the anus. What I never understood till date was the discomfort my biology teacher faced, while explaining what ‘sex’ is!

School was one place I went, to be part of the ever-growing scandals. Mom always told me while braiding my hair in the morning – “Be good to teachers. Be good to friends. Don’t get into unnecessary stuff. Go to school, make friends but don’t forget to do your work!” when I reflect on it today, I understand that she knew I’d never been the wallflower I always portrayed I was. Oops!

But seriously, ‘education’ while I was at school or college, would be those episodes when my history teacher would throw her book aside and just have a casual conversation over why Mahatma Gandhi had to protest against the British over salt tax by walking all the way from Sabarmati to the shores of Dandi.

After miserably failing a math exam, my teacher would tell me, “Look Deepika, it’s simple. If you want to have nothing to do with mathematics, ever, you’ve got to pass in it.” I took that advice and it’s been 6 years since I went back to (a+b)2 = a2 + 2ab + b2 – Oh… so that’s how it works! Damnit!

I never got the concept of “burning the midnight oil” although that’s exactly what I did! I never got the marks I was expected to. I was never known for the answers I write but for the answers I’d give back, verbally 😛

When I’d flunk a social studies paper, I’d have to hear stuff like “So, you might want to consider learning a few current affairs if you want to become a journalist.” Who LEARNS current affairs? I’d stink as a journalist if I had to learn current affairs! See, that’s exactly what I never understood about the education I received – why does everything have to be swallowed in thoughtlessly?

I guess my education, per say, has begun now. I sit all day in front of this screen – read, write – gather so much about the things I never knew at all. Get to know people, their stories and understand that life is beyond those text books and examinations. It’s about novels, about a book of handwritten poems, about understanding why refugees need to scamper out of their own country, their own homes and into the home of another, rather than learning about it.

Before you start thinking that I advocate against education, let me clarify. I’m not against education. Jumping from school to school, I’ve come to understand the different aims of educational institutions. For some, it may be means to be the best school performing at the boards while for others, it’s to provide individual attention to all students. But in the course of competing and giving individual attention, I believe, there’s a distance created between the the literal definition of ‘education’ and the one receiving it. I’m unfortunately, in that category of distanced receivers.

So, in response to Writing 101’s Day 5 assignment, the tweet above is what struck me as soon as I read it.

And I hope someday, I’ll make my peace with the concept of education but until then I’ll have to find solace in knowing that I am indeed lucky enough to discover the greatest gift of education – I know nothing at all! 🙂


Table for one, please!

I wonder at times what’s actually wrong – choosing to be alone, or being lonely, in itself. It’s a little confusing when I’m asked why I’m at a place all by myself… why not? I guess it’s the general tendency to connect absolutely irrelevant dots – “she’s alone, oh the poor thing… she might have had a bad break up” or “she must be depressed about something” or even “nobody might want to hang out with her, let’s go and talk to her so she might feel better…” seriously people… ever heard of the phrase “me time”?

Today’s Writing 101 assignment was to get inspired by a picture. When I scanned through the ones on Unsplash, I came across this picture of a single cup of coffee on a table.


I thought of the days I visit coffee shops or ambient lounges by myself and ask the staff for a “table for one”. Frequently visited spots greet me with a smile and an occasional bowl of complimentary snacks, while I sit down to a cup of hot coffee or a mug of beer, with a book in hand – either to read or to write. I don’t know if they do it ‘coz I’m a really nice person or because they feel I’m a lonely soul.

If ‘lonely’ is equal to being unwillingly alone, then that’s not me… But I choose to be by myself at times, most of the time actually. I love being at my own disposal, not dependent on another, doing what I like when I like and more than anything, not having to explain the myriad shades of my mind to anyone while I stare into space.

Yes, there are times when being alone is the last thing I want. For those days, there are a few special ones standing by to make sure I’m not alone.

But honestly, I don’t get the whole concept of “No one ever wants to be alone” it’s a really sweet gesture by the one who thinks about it but there’s always this need for me to clear my head, to understand stuff, to work, or to just freak out. Being by myself lets me appreciate the little differences made to my life.

From couching at home, to sitting at a coffee shop, I’m never the ‘alone’ that’s perceived by people around. It’s just about having the choice to believe that my life is not defined by the people I’m with but by what I am, whether it’s solitarily or socially.

We love hanging out with those select few people who we call friends. Well, I’m my friend and I know that no one could understand me better than myself. If spending time with someone who understands you, gives you the happiness much needed, then what’s so painfully different about me being the “lonely” one?


<a href=””>Me Time</a>

The Gold and the Silver

It took me some time to figure out my post for Day 3 at Writing 101, not because I found the prompts (Secret, Treasure, Regret, Home, Uncertainty and Love) less inspiring – actually they were a bit too inspiring, and I had to take all this time to narrow down on just one of them!

While hovering over the six simple words on my computer screen, I realized that I always wanted to write a post dedicated to my parents but was waiting for a context to post it (Who does that? I do.).

All good things come in small little packages. And the inspiration to finally write this post came enveloped in one of those words. I swear, these prompts are magical!

I’ve always been asked this question and I’m sure most of you have been too – “Who’s your favourite? Mama or Papa?” – I’d always say, “Both!”, and they’d always say, “Oh! What a diplomatic child!” (Not kidding, but ‘diplomatic’ was probably the first big word I ever learned!)

Today, I’d like to elaborate on that very “Both!”

I’m not experienced at it but I’ve heard that it’s difficult to make marriage and family work if a couple lives at a distance for a long time. For some, there maybe a choice involved. But for Mom and Dad, there have been very few special instances involving choices. The beauty is that they make it work every single time with those limited ones!


I don’t meet my Dad too often. Neither do I talk to him every day. As of this moment, he’s in a different continent, working hard and passionately, maybe for the rest of this and the next month. I see him twice or thrice a year when he comes over for visits that last only for about a week – his bags, stuffed with all kinds of chocolates and elegant bottles with the most exquisite spirits in them!

When he’s not around, he calls once a while to check on me and get an idea of what I’m doing in life and whether or not I’m looking after my ever-increasing weight! He asks me if there’s anything I need – money, clothes, a trip to some place etc. etc. (oh, he can spoil!) Sometimes the conversations end in small little tiffs (typical father-daughter). Sometimes, there’s a smile that lingers on my face, long after that phone call ends! 🙂

As of Mom, she’s here most of the time with me. She used to work a few years ago but left the job so she could spend more time being home. When Dad’s job started demanding his time more, she took a step back and decided to be the dad for the family as well! She’s got to play multiple roles always or else the tree of a family she’s built might wither in no time.

She stresses out every now and then but brings herself back, right after! She’s my coffee buddy, my late night partner, she can spoil as well and the only person who has never, for even a moment, judged or questioned me for what I do. People say, I’m a lot like her in looks but I love it when they say I’m a lot like her even as a person! 🙂

Mom and Dad – the two entities in my life who’ve accepted life the way it came to them. In return, enjoying the joys of bringing up their children – while one does it from a distance; the other, by being around. When they’re together, for however short a period, it’s fun, reunion time. They can seriously bring the house down! 😛

I don’t know if they’re used to it by now or if they just want to forget about everything they’ve worked for and return to a life they dreamt of while they tied the knot, 28 years ago!  I never ask them. They never express it.

Now consider this, everything that goes into a treasure is priceless, invaluable, precious! You wouldn’t want to just have the gold and not the silver, would you?

So, I’m not being diplomatic, but I just choose to keep both the Gold and the Silver in my little treasure!

Ask me again, “Who’s your favourite? Mama or Papa?” and I’m still going to say, “Both!”

I’ve learned to list!

Joining Writing 101 has been an extremely overwhelming experience and Day 2 got me on my feet early in the morning (which practically never happens). With a cup of coffee and breathing in fresh morning air, while watching the rising Sun peep out through the clouds, I began making a list. This list is about the Things I’ve Learnt. Although I feel I may keep editing this list over and over again for the days, months and years to come. After all, there’s no limit to learning! 🙂

So here goes, I’ve learnt that –

Greeting an occasional stranger doesn’t make you a desperate person in need of friendship!

Sometimes it’s not about what you say or how you say it… It’s just about saying what’s in your mind and facing the consequences (good or bad) later.  

Being fickle minded is great! It shows how open-minded one is and how momentary they consider life as!

Being agnostic is not the same as being indecisive! It’s a decision in all it’s might! 🙂

When someone says you’ve changed, it’s a compliment (no matter how they say it).

Among a hundred friends, there’s always one who has the eagerness to get to know you better!

Sleeping through the day and working through night doesn’t mean I’m weird or ungodly!

If I do sleep through night and wake up early with a smile, it doesn’t mean I’ll do it again. I’m just experiencing different things!

We always have those friends in school who try to and want to be our buddies but we just never give them the attention. They’re perhaps the ones who share this plight with our parents as well!

It’s okay to talk about death. When mom tells me, “Make sure you donate my organs after I die,” I tell her, “You better start taking good care of them. Now you don’t want to cause a problem to the poor receiver do you?”

Teachers do remember you even if you were in a class of a 100 and were the most silent. They’ll remember you as “the silent one.” 😛 

Not watching Game of Thrones does not make me a boring, lifeless person!

When you’re a toddler, people decide what you might become based on certain attributes you showcase! You do not necessarily have to become that! It’s your life… you decide!

There’s a thin line that separates Living from Surviving. Once you get to know the difference, you’ll realise how huge that thin line actually is.

Moms and Dads constantly play good cop and bad cop (in no respective order). It makes sense ‘coz cops come across as frightening in the first instance irrespective of whether or not they’re good/bad! 😛

When a close friend says “I think I like you”, creating a formal distance just ‘coz you can’t reciprocate becomes the sole reason for a beautiful relationship to break before it’s even made.

Music does open your mind to newer thoughts, ideas, imaginations. Sometimes music makes me cry but it has something so endearing about itself that I can’t imagine it not being a part of my life or the writing process.

Taking a break right after Under-graduation, before pursuing higher studies can be the best decision ever made!

In our society, we live to please the other. If we start giving ourselves a little importance, maybe the society would give the same to us as well! But again, the concept of Society, I feel, is a myth! 😛

If you’re a good orator, it doesn’t mean you can’t be a good writer!

This exercise by Writing 101 is awesome! Thank you for helping me reflect on my own lessons learnt! 🙂

I write because…

I write because…

When I would tell people that I’m really interested in writing for publications, journals, newspapers etc., they’d often ask me, “But why write? Who reads these days anyway?” Well, if I had to write keeping the so-called ‘majority’ who wouldn’t read in mind, I’d probably be running cause-marathons and protesting over the depleting readership in our society today… what shit!

Writing doesn’t make me feel any different about myself than I actually do. But writing makes me feel different about many things I believe in. I write when I’m in two minds about something. It enables better judgment of ideas when I’m having trouble decide. It helps cry over those issues that make me frustrated. It gives me the power to believe that there’s no one interrupting my thoughts and what I probably cannot put across through verbal speech, I can, through my written expressions!

When I started blogging, I wrote my first post on Idling. I had to because I started despising the fact that me sitting all day at home, doing nothing, had become a reason for people to take some kind of responsibility of me. They kept trying to tell me that I should get out there and find something substantial to do! Well, I did find something substantial to do. I started blogging!

As a content writer, I come across so many different stories to write about, be it technical press releases or just something casual. I listen to people talk everyday and at the end, sit down to sketch out a written piece. I’ve come to understand one thing. When we convert something written into something verbal (like reading a text), we make continuous efforts to add that extra twist or emotion to make the text ‘sound better’. But when speech is put into text (writing), the beauty of those words – even in their nascent forms – can’t be ignored. I love how one’s thoughts can just pour over as words without worrying about judgements!

That’s why, I thank my stars, for blogging is perhaps the single best thing that’s happened to me in a long time!

And now to complete today’s Writing 101 task – I write because… writing lets me speak the way I want to, it lets me get to the bottom of my heart and bring out myriad shades of thoughts. Writing is food for life and life is beautiful when I write!

Cheers! 🙂

Don’t be sorry… Just Take it Back! :)

“Being impulsive is not right!” I don’t say this… but some do. Honestly, I’ve always envied those who just say everything that comes to their mind at the first shot and get over with it. While on the other hand there are people who think and rethink and think again before they’d say anything and in the end, the words just don’t translate their thoughts. They’re the diplomatic ones who keep everyone happy!

Honestly, being impulsive or diplomatic doesn’t matter. We are the way we are and no matter what we do or say or think, we are wonderful! We must never forget that.

But a conversation, no matter how magnificent; can be quite dangerous a concept for mankind. They have this innate quality that allows them to culminate into the most unfortunate endings where there’s hardly any room for an apology!

But there’s always room for one to “Take it Back”!

It happened while I was in conversation with a friend at his office and I mentioned something he ‘should’ have done. He responded in a calm voice, “I don’t believe in what’s not done in the past. Try taking it back and putting it as a suggestion for the future without mentioning the past at all.” As he said, I did. I ‘took it back’ and rephrased it the way he asked me to. I can’t really explain how I felt at that exact moment. But I know for sure that it only made me smile for having spoken something positive. After trying it a couple more times in different situations, I felt the need to talk about it (so, here I am)!


Imagine yourself in a conversation with a friend or a partner. There’s no way you both are ever in agreement with what the other says. But overtime, it just becomes a habit to negate the other even if you later realize that he/she was right. But you’re impulsive and way too egoistic (which is awesome) to accept it ‘coz you know it’ll end up in an apology from you ;-).

It’s the beauty of the human mind. We take some time to process things that happen around us. By default, every human being is impulsive in nature. Being impulsive doesn’t make you any less kind as a person. Instead, it only highlights the most wonderful attribute of our existence – Imperfection.

When you say, “I take it back”, it basically translates into “Okay, so, I was wrong when I said that, it shouldn’t have sounded that way. What I really meant was…”

Now you’re probably thinking, “It’s easy to just keep talking about all this crap!” I agree. It’s easy to talk about it and it’s definitely not easy to just take back your words especially the first few times when you have no clue what went wrong. But once you do, it gives way for ego to pass, for arrogance to no longer be descriptive about us and above all, it takes the burden off the word ‘Sorry’!

I write this blog post with a smile on my face, for I’ve experienced first-hand, the virtue of taking it back. When you try this – and you will – with all your heart and soul, being honest to yourself more than anyone else; make sure you know how you feel. Don’t do it just for the heck of it. There are a hundred situations in a day when we say something we shouldn’t and out of those we are aware of at least 98 of such situations. That gives you enough practice to master the art of taking it back!

Do feel free to share your thoughts on this as well! Make sure you leave a comment!

Stay happy!


<a href=””>Undo</a&gt;


Getting back to writing isn’t that easy, even if it’s after a break of just a couple of weeks. But it’s true when people say that your inspiration to write is all around you and you just need to find it yourself.

My inspiration to write today – I’m menstrual and so, I’m impure!

Yeah, it does seem like one of those already written ones where you’re begged to come out of that inhibition that menstruation is not a bad thing, blah blah blah! Think of this as anything you’d like but let me make one thing very very clear… read this only if you want to accept the fact that a menstruating woman being called ‘impure’ in the name of tradition and long standing culture HURTS! sometimes even more than menstrual cramps!


Yes, in my culture, a menstruating woman is not allowed to touch anything that goes as an offering to God, nor is she allowed to go near a Godly space or even attend a traditional/religious function (even a wedding or a house warming ceremony). Why? ‘coz we’re impure! Wow, with what ease the word’s used to deem a bleeding woman! But look at it this way, the same woman bleeds while giving birth to another life and is then called mother. But she (the mother) isn’t looked at with eyes full of disgust or isn’t pushed away while at a ritualistic ceremony.

When we attain puberty at young ages and our very first menstrual cycle begins, we are loaded with presents that mark our womanhood. We are told that from now on our glorious life begins. But wait a second, what’s so glorious about being called impure? What’s so glorious about not being a part of occasions for the reason that we’re bleeding and SHOULD NOT demean the sanctity of certain rituals?


SHOULD NOT demean the sanctity of certain rituals? What about demeaning my respect by calling me impure? Your rituals aren’t going to catch fire just because there’s a woman present out there whose uterus decides to break down and is undergoing a completely biological process. When someone makes fun of a farting person, we say, it’s natural! Then what is so unnatural about having a period? It opens up a window of possibilities for someone wanting to have a baby, it’s that point when our body tells us to just slow down for a while and rest it out! If this is so hard for everyone to understand then why  show us the empty dream of a glorious life ahead while at the same time shame us in the name of God and rituals?

It’s not special treatment I seek after writing this. I seek understanding towards and acceptance of this concept. I’m not a different person just because I wear sanitary pads for four days in a month. Neither am I impure just because I happen to be undergoing an absolutely common gender related biological process! At one hand if you say that “we’re in the 21st century and we need to change the way our thinking works”, then start that change from here.

I’m a woman! I bleed! I’m impure?

Well, it’s not I who’s impure, it’s your mind!