Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A promise of Unconditional Love

It was a cool late winter morning. I met him on official purpose. I never knew he will become the purpose of my living back then. Never did I even Imagine of it. We started as friends that gave him the privilege to Tease me like a friend. At first it occurred to me only as a friend making fun of the other. Slowly I happened to see his close observation of what I am through those funny remarks. 
He said I was Shy... Which I still Deny...
But my conscience knew he was saying the Truth. The truth I never let myself face for I always wanted to be the shy-free, party-pop person. The truth that only me and my conscience shared and felt bad about during our exquisite lonely times. How did he See it? Has he been seeing through everything about me like this? Has he been knowing me without me saying a word to him? numerous questions propelling from my heart every moment he said something to tease me. 
I tried to prove he was being Judgy, failed miserably, hanging a blushy face right in front of him to see him give that cute smile that made me go crazy. We did not spend hours and days getting to know each-other's history nor did we discuss about future. Endless conversations about things that mattered the most to us. About our cultures, about things that we believed and never believed. Friendship and Professionalism that was the combination of relationship we nurtured, until a day magically I fell for him. 
Was it his cute looks or clear thoughts? Was it his ability to see and admire the real me or Was he matching the Prince Charming in my heart? Even today Its hard to Say. 
On a cold rainy evening, I went to meet him with the usual Joy of being with him. Trust me "Boredom" cant even be near our compounds for his presence and the infectious cute smile kept the air forever lively. He taught me to Shift+Delete 'Worries' and Copy Paste 'Smile'. With him neither was past a hard truth to swallow nor the future a biggest worry. I saw a Man who would see a Woman as his mate as a fellow human and let her have her own world and ready to share it during Morning Teas and Evening Hot Baths.  He made me have a world of my own where I can always feel his presence as an admirer and not the controller of it. 
He walked me into the gates of Joy. It was the day I faced this Hard Truth, that I was Shy and I conquered it. For every admiring stare of his I wanted to dance, for every smile of his I wanted to Kiss. Everything he said made me nod and He brought out the Crazy girl in me by just being himself. I openly revealed him my deep dark secrets and I was, for once being truly myself. It rained heavily washing out all my inhibitions. Dress seemed only an accessory for I learnt the shame was planted in my heart, not in my body. All I saw was him and the Nature merging into me as though my spirit was let free. It took me few more shots of Vodka to tear the Professional Screen I hung between Us. All the more, his jealousy on others who admired me, drew me even more closer to him. I loved it.
He walked out from the room to get something which I don't remember. Leaving him even for a few seconds seemed impossible. I ran to him. It was dark and breezy. Yellow lights to add beauty. I called him by his name and kissed him the moment he turned. A kiss to break all the barriers between us. I kissed him again and again wanting to feel the oneness. "Did my heart knew I may not get one more chance?" He held me like a baby, though he was Shocked. His thoughts all through the evening would have been "Wish I could date her, But she is not ready". Letting the shock sink and passion to take over the moment, He kissed me back. 
We did not know our histories nor plan our future, we did not know each other's stories nor did we calculate if a relationship was possible. All we knew for the moment was we shared a Kiss of Acceptance and Commitment to each other, no matter what. I trusted him with my body and he trusted me with his happy Heart. We made our vows in the silence of love-making. A promise to not make me regret for giving me soulfully to him and A promise to not break his heart that has always been his only strength. A promise to face every situation every difference and get past through it holding the light of love in the Journey we began. A promise of Unconditional Pure Love. 
The next morning and a few mornings after that rose with him and I had to leave to reach the skies of my career and make the woman in me proud. We started our journey in our ways to make a future of better living, to accomplish our goals.
We were away physically, but always near by heart. We may not spend hours chatting and talking in phone and nights on Skype or FaceTime. But I always knew he would give me his time if we were near and he knew I would do the same. Every time I missed him I told my heart It was for better times. It takes an extra strand of Patience and Understanding. However, it is the easiest when you have determined to Accept and then expect. For only then when expectations are not met acceptance takes over to see the person I love and not the moment that that I expected. Yes, I fell Magically in Love with him. 
Kissing my pillow and smiling to myself I wake up this morning to face the hard truth of the Shy still weighing heavily inside me, and the man of my dreams vanish into thin air as I open my eyes. Will I see him ever in my life? Is he around or Is my destiny going to take me to him? Will he come If I slept again? My heart yearned like a child wanting a tofee for one last hug and that mesmerizing kiss for one last time. It is not a cold breezy morning but a Hot sunny day during the Summer in Chennai. Every realization slowly sinking in my heart to believe what I saw was just an effect of the movie I watched the night before and nothing more. Heavy was the truth that it was all a fantasy. For in reality we Expect, Love and Regret. The Prince Charming of my dreams taught me the magic of Acceptance as the key to Unconditional Love. Ahhh! He had been the wonder Love Guru. 

Love Sick Mornings
With Love
SARAH 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

A World of Thy Own

To be in a place which you can't Own
For its bound to the rules of the Master
To not know if you are rightful 
For there is no Right Right
To check the tag 
On every shopping
To train to not want
When even pets have their own territory
She lay there not-owned but dependent.
Every day in Every way
Every month to Every depths..

Dreaming for a day, 
To wait for a world of thy own
To pay thy own bills
To own your ride 
And never miss out on anything Not-so-Trivial
To take ownership of the bed you sleep
To be the designer of the Room you live
To find one rightful person 
To breathe the air of Independence

For the wait has been long
For every-time of feeling Own
There lies an unchangeable truth of Gratitude
When Milk failed to Feed
He never in Need,
She chose to follow a mirage
Hoping for water,
Grew the thirst of Unholding the Hands
Known that than Tears,
Sweat is the only way 
To fill that pitcher with Hope
And to fly to the skies and above
Owning a World of Thy own.


-Sarah

Sunday, December 20, 2015

05. BRAI- “A Mixture of Meaningful Moments”

Being a Teacher...

It was a bright Saturday morning. Unlike other Saturdays where I had an extension of an hour to report to office, this day I had to start Early by an Hour. To fulfill an additional Responsibility. To me it was like an added layer of Cheese in a Yummy Mc Chicken Burger. Yes, to guide a few students on their project at the Woodlands Campus is nothing less compared to the delicious Extra Cheese. I was going to meet New students, expected to be mature than the usual ones as they were Part-Timers, to be easy to work with and most of all the campus located in the Town. Having heard from most people, that the Woodlands Campus in Lusaka is comparatively a better place to be with some green patches and inside the Town area, and having been deprived of view of a colorful sight except for the red sand below and blue clear sky above at the place I stayed, starting an hour early to treat the desperate eyes with some greeneries felt worth it. Above all I wanted a break from the mundane melancholic Faces in my Boarding House and Yearned to breath some fresh air. 
Rushing into a cab early around 06:30 after witnessing the beauty of the Sun Rise from the horizon like a Blue Eye glowing with Orange Pupil, I took a deep breath and sat next to a colleague who was on the same mission for the day. 
For the first time I was out of the Indian Borders into the Zambian land. As my Cab moved out of the gates of my institution I felt a sigh of relief engulfing my heart. I enjoyed the relief by treating my eyes with sight seeing through the cab window, Ears with soothing Music, Skin freshened by the cool morning breeze, taste buds enjoying my favorite toffees, ahh all my senses were elated to heights of Pleasure. 
I was at the most spoken off place, The Woodlands Campus. As I walked into the institution the first feeling in my heart was Shock instead of Joy. A few classrooms not sufficient even to run a Primary School is an University Campus! That was the Shock. Yet my learned mind convinced me by saying only Part-time Courses are run here. Though a very small campus, it was well maintained. I strolled through the garden, it was well maintained by the workers, a few shrubs along the pathways, Mango trees here and there, Flowery plants planted to add a serene effect, and a few more flowery trees. As I walked I stopped near the statue of Mother Mary. So soft and peaceful like Meera bai. Compassionate were those eyes. The agnostic in me did not let me pray, the artist is me led me through a moment of silent admiration. 
The Peace that all of us search elsewhere 
Sometimes ask from her
The compassion that we  expect from others 
All the time from her
Sundays after Sundays we plead for Love
She stood there an Epitome 
To say It is With In!
Like it was in her eyes and words
It is in You.. She stood to say..
Like you Give me Hoping to Get Returns
Give thy Neighbors, 
For the Hope to be reciprocated.. 
Pure as White.. Pure is Love..
The admirer in me was on a hunt for more food. Food for my starving Eyes, Food for the emptied Soul. I was stopped by a bunch of Bamboo trees near the right side of the Campus Compound. It stood to say be that though he was odd in the entire bunch, though he was different, he stands apart, marks an impression of stability and strength. I said to my sinking heart, Never Give up even if you are standing apart in the crowd & prove your strength. 
Every sight I went across was teaching me lessons of Life. I was on a journey to teaching myself. 
Suddenly I heard a voice calling out Loud...Sharadha! The students are here. More than the feeling of sadness for the interruption in the time for my own, I was happy to the favorite course of the day. Teaching! Wow the word itself is like drinking a bucket full of Kheer. I had three students under me to guide them on their final project. 
The clarity the attention the patience the time I expected as a student when I did my Project from my guide, I was making sure my students got all of it. To explain till your throat hurts, take a quick sip of water, swallowing the discomfort and continuing on a lecture to see every nod of your student say yes you are doing it right occasional smiles to say its not boring and a Thank you at the end to express that the ends were met.. Thats the drunkenness of being a Teacher. Every eye and Every Sigh of a student, thats her Performance Appraisal. 
I learnt that merely explaining what you should do to a student is not teaching. To teach is to show both the Pit-falls and Steep-ups. To give direction to someone's thought. To be approachable and apprehensible. Though it was the first and last time I taught them, I gave all I can at my best. I wanna reach the state where I can say At Their Best.  Some day I will. 
Though the Poet in me was left Hungry for the rest of the day, Teacher in Me went Heart-Filled with an un-explainable un-matchable Joy that I would love to have every day of my life.
को गुरु ? 
Who is a Guru (Preceptor)?
(अधिगत  तत्व: । शिष्यहितया उद्यता:सततम् । )
One who has realized the truth and ever strives for the good of the disciple. 
-Prashnothra Ratna Malika 
The words of my Grandpa's teachings popping from a long-lost childhood memory..
I sat aback and rested on my way to Chibombo once again treating my senses to the mid-day breeze and Music..

Love
SARAH 

Friday, December 18, 2015

04. BRAI- “A Mixture of Meaningful Moments”

FREEDOM!
A gesture of Thanksgiving! Its Christmas Season  :)

"The best moments in Life are those that are not Photographed in a Camera but in the Eye of one's Memory"

This part of my experience is something I would cherish forever. It is the best moments of my life in Zambia. I found pure unconditional non-judging love during my period of stay. A love that expects nothing but love in return, a love that doesn't judge or read between the lines of your never ending conversations, a love that is as pure as the streams of water in the Himalayas, Unpolluted, non-corrupted. You must be wondering why I named my archive of experiences in Zambia as ‘BRAI’. 
BRAI in Zambia is a celebration. A celebration of togetherness and friendship. It means African Steak Barbecue. Brai is a celebration that happens occasionally in families among friends, where a Barbecue is set outside the house and steak is cooked. It is a celebration with food, wine and Music. As they get immersed in the influence of wine and the delicacy of steak, the members of the celebration forget all their inhibitions and enjoy the music and express the joy of togetherness by dancing and playing games..
That was my first truly Zambian experience. The freedom to let your body dance to the combination of Man’s and Nature’s Music. To dance forgetting all inhibitions and to not be shy is one great feeling of Freedom that only an Indian Girl can relate to. Having come from a so called cultural society that controls natural feelings of a human to let one’s body loose, dance and feel one with nature out in public during anytime of the day, the day I experienced my first perfectly planned BRAI was exceptional and its something I will cherish as a lifelong memory. 
It all began when I broke the rules of my “Prison” and went out to be friends with my students, Oh wait! They were technically not my students. I never taught them and they were out of school by then. So let me call them my dearest Friends. Yes. The day I started having the best moments with my Friends. The day all my inhibitions were broken. The day all my judgements were crushed down into pieces. The day I felt that I could receive non-judgy Love of friendship. 
I went to meet my friends around 14:00. We had all the ingredients and all participants ready for the Brai. I must appreciate that my friends were skilled in the household chores unlike me. The culture of the land teaches their children to be self-sufficient and do all the household chores on their own. Even during my lecture sessions I have exchanged views about this aspect of Zambia. 
Most of us in India spend time appreciating or criticizing our Mom’s Culinary skills. While most girls learn Cooking before or immediately after Marriage, and most Men learn only the basic cooking necessary for survival and it is the mother of the family who always takes care of feeding each and every person in the Family, even after the Changing trends of Gender Roles in the present scenario this concept of rearing children to be self-sufficient in house-hold chores has not yet come to practice and I sometimes doubt it it will ever be for our culture is imbibed of Patriarchy at all levels. 
My dear Indian readers, please don’t get offended that I am letting you down, lets face it, how often do we help mothers in Kitchen or we take responsibility of the house-hold chores and give her a long holiday to sit back and rest? I can say only a countable hands will raise for an Yes. I do appreciate that changing attitudes of our Millennials. However, it is going to take a whole lot of time for a complete change of attitude. This culture of Zambia literally made go awestruck, especially when I noticed kids of 6 and 7 years making their own Nshima or when they walk all by their own in the roads not expecting Mom to carry which I have  rarely done during my childhood. 
My friends were excellent cooks with almost a decade’s experience. The Brai was set up in the open area outside our room in their boarding house and the coal was added and the fire was lit. The fire for letting my spirit free was lit! It was as if even Mother nature wanted to join us in the Party when it started Pouring. What best combination can you find for a life-long memory? Friends who show non-judgy Love, Non-Veg Food (for a TamBrahm), Wine (or was it Liquor? I leave that to your imagination :P), a combination of heat from the Brai Stove and the Chillness of the Weather, Music, Dance, Games and RAIN. I don't know if my words can walk you through the exuberant experience that I had that day. 
Shots after Shots, Dancing for the music of Rain and Electronic Speakers, Listening to your heart for the best of times, the day was a mixture of realizations of realities in life. I was fully engrossed in the feeling that the day should never come to an End or I am not going back. To add on to the fun, I got Tipsy (Lol!) and broke my CURFEW. The only doors that can lock me back into the judgmental, loveless, barren, lonely, shackled life was finally for once Broken. That was the ultimate of the Freedom. I knew of the problems I would face for breaking rules. I have always been fond of Breaking Rules and Stereotypes. It is a crazy energetic feeling. This day was added to the list or perhaps one of the Kind, in the Craziest things I have done in My life. I look forward for many. 
I was drawn into mixed feelings of fear of getting caught (though I didn't want to be a spoil sport!), the best of happiness, the hard and painful realization of the Temporary nature of life. The bridge I crossed to see the mature me with Acceptance to anything that comes by and Appreciation to the Present Moment to the fullest. I did have a few Brai times after this first one, but this one is something that is special and close to my heart. 
Every death of a friend, relative or a stranger (Especially in the Floods, Accidents or any other reasons) keeps teaching me of the uncertainty of Life, where you have nothing but Hope to see a tomorrow, that also calls for an extreme strength to whatever may happen which is beyond our levels of comprehension, to think of tomorrow and not be too attached to it, not knowing if there is life next minute, or a life after death, all that my heart says is enjoy this very moment to the fullest. If you are not pulled down by guilt or regrets, follow your heart and there you are! on the right track. Just keep it going. Set your own rules and Live by it. Brai is one mixture of meaningful moments that gave me happy realizations of what I want from this Gift of Life. 

Love and Gratitude 
SARAH

Saturday, December 12, 2015

3.0 BRAI- "A MIXTURE OF MEANINGFUL MOMENTS"

I call this part of my realization during my time in Lusaka as 

The Power of "Commitments"

Commitment, this world has an enormous power to rule, restore or ruin anyone's lifestyle. The commitment of a Daughter to her Parents, the commitment of a Son to his Family, the commitment of a Father to his Children, the commitment of a Married Woman to her struggling Family, the commitment of a boyfriend to prove his worth to the family of his love, the list is endless. My time in Lusaka was the best time I realized the power of this aspect of life. 
To stay in a Rat hole like place and eat whatever is put on your plate and work like Donkeys in both shifts without even a single recreation, this can be done only when a person has no choice but accept. As a student, an outsider, I always felt the easiest of all professions, where you don't have to be stressed much, stretch working hours and most of all always be connected to young and energetic people was to be a Teacher. For a person with great aspirations to be an influential and well informed Teacher, it was a Shock to find the Job most stressful than any other. My life pre Zambia and during Zambia was two extremes I felt. 24 hours of WiFi connectivity, Uninterrupted Power and Water supply, No curfews and a loving Family to share your feelings. My Pre-Zambia life was Perfect. 
You may think I was spoilt with a luxurious life, trust me I was prepared for the stay where I may have Load-shedding and limited supplies even before I started for this Journey. It was not a shock to have such discrepancies to me. However, the greatest shock was I couldn't use WiFi during work time after which I can't stay longer near the Modem range of my College as I had Curfew to be back to Hostel and worst of all the library was nothing but a bunch of books in a few racks. Come on! No books, No internet, how can a teacher do her preparation without any Resources? How do you expect that the lecture delivered will be sensible and productive enough? And a compromise on Quality is the Greatest Agony for a teacher who is in Thirst for knowledge and is waiting like a Hot spring to splash out all of it to her students who have Paid and Come to seek the same. Lets universalize Work Politics and Narrow mindedness as a part of any work life. 
The next shock, was Curfew. Lets consider it from the point of view of the Management. Yes, I understand that Protecting the Staff in a completely New land is a Responsible Decision. But we are from a country where Rapes and Murders are Part and Parcel of our life and even after clear evidences and proofs the Judistriction of the country keeps thinking for years to Punish the perpetrator or Not. So, a country where people rob to fill their empty stomach or perhaps with the threat of being trafficked is nothing more frightening than my own land. I chose it and I was prepared for it. How do you think it is fair to hold a 22 year old Major Woman like a prisoner behind the gates of a Hostel was your Right? I couldn't do anything but adhere. I had no friends who could protest with me or who could help me through this. Curse of being an expat, you need worry about your passport and permit before raising your Voice. Was I experiencing Slavary? Capitalism? Tyranny? or combination of all of It? I wondered many times. 
Does it seem more of complaining? Bare with me. All that I wondered during these intolerable moments was where do the rest of those who work with me get the Tolerance from? and there stood the answer in all their Sad Faces- Commitments. Their financial commitments to their families left them with No Choice than to stay back, Tolerate and accept everything that came by their way, so that they can pick the few pennys thrown by the Masters and give them to their Suffering families. I exclaimed with astonishment on the mental strength of those men and women who have sacrificed the most important aspect of life, Time loss of which is irrevocable, to the happiness and peace in their families. Commitments gave them a reason to stay back and never give up, Commitments gave them the strength to accept the odds as a casual part of their life. I couldn't help but pity their desperate hearts that long for a break from that Melancholic Monotonous Life and be a part of the Family that is finding its way through Debts and Discrepancies.
I always felt that I should be responsible person to my loved ones. But that doesn't mean that I shall shun to anything that came by my way. My commitments cannot overrun the right to have my share of freedom and happiness in my life. Forget freedom and happiness, at least the right to live a decent peaceful life. When I see those people around me I was only reminded of the story of a Farmer who was promised to get the land that he ran and covered from Sun rise to Sun set. The farmer aiming for a Fortune and to set all his life straight with one challenge, made his family and child stand at the start point and ran throughout the day without missing a minute. He din't stop even when he felt thirsty and exhausted. By dusk, when he reached his Family, he collapsed. The farmer gave his entire life not living his share of happiness for the sake of his Family and the Family is nothing without the Farmer just with a Piece of Land that he gave his life for. Similar was their life, taken the unpredictability of life one cannot be a Slave to their Commitments. Their inability to fight back pained we within. Sometimes, I was also the Farmer like them. 
But my heart always questioned me. Did you come here for this? Was this your aim? Is this tolerance worth your Time? In search of answers to these I found myself lucky enough to be free from financial Commitments and only bound to Emotional Commitments. I felt that my emotional commitments to achieve, make my family proud, make their efforts count was not in the success path. I found myself looking for temporary satisfaction of their expectation failing on the greater one. It was as though we were getting fooled by a Mirage. Perhaps my decisions seem Impulsive. Perhaps it was too early to give up. But I could only answer a NO to a question Was it worth to Wait? 
I feel even at this very moment proud and gifted to have a family that never thrusted its commitments on me, all they wanted was the same in return. Having provided me the education and ability to be on my own, they wanted me to be independent and responsible for my own bread and butter. The commitment I have is for my own self. Sometimes it made me think that the bleak and emotionless life that they lead is an effect of the unspoken piled up frustrations, for they were victims of familial obligations. 
It took a toll of strength and thinking to break the emotional bond of commitments I had and set myself free to a better future. Better Now than Later as the Latter is Uncertain. It is again the Commitment to my own self that gave the strength to look beyond and see a bigger picture for a brighter tomorrow and a better today.

Gifted I am, for I have this Life,
SARAH

Friday, December 11, 2015

"Home-Coming"

I am going back..
Do I feel home-coming?
After six months of a break
From the usual and happy family life
It seemed all in place when I left
It feels the same now.. All in place..
An impending agony that yearns for a miracle..
A miracle that stops this journey..
Is it because of Unfinished Business?
Or because of the fear to face Faces?
Numerous questions flooding the heart..
Will there be Acceptance or Anger?
Will there be Paradise or Prison?
Will those magical moments come again?

The irony of life... Giving up
You have to give up on Sugar
When you want to relish the real taste of Coffee..
You have to sacrifice a Candle 
To have a room lit.
The boon of life...Change
No place, No situation is Permanent
When the sky is blue and the time is ripe.. 
Flowers will blossom and the spring shall come..
Limitless will be your space 
To fly high and be yourself.

My eyes are drowned, In tears of Love, 
Unable to accept,
For is it an End or a New beginning?
For is it tomorrow or days later?
That I shall be by your side
To be myself.
Will the day come?
Will We Qualify the test of Time?
Will I Sail the Sea of Work?
Will I get to Fight the War of Competition?
Will there be a Chance?
To prove that to Let Go was Wiser..
To prove I touched the Thorn
Searching a Rose..
To find Myself in the World of Judgements.
To find Peace in the World of Questions
To Let Go and not Let Go
To be able to find oneness in thyself. 

Love,
SARAH

Thursday, December 10, 2015

2.0 BRAI- "A MIXTURE OF MEANINGFUL MOMENTS"

The Expat Shock... 

I reached Lusaka at Midnight in half Sleep drained out of all energy with Excitement about the next day holding me up. I entered my Hostel room. My tired body did not let my brain think if the place was sophisticated or not. All I wanted that moment as a corner to lie down and rest my back. The Jet Lag was terrible. Well it was my first Flight experience I couldn't differentiate tiredness and Jet Lag until for the next few days I struggled of adapt to change of sleep patterns. 
The next morning was most exciting. We all know there will be certain amount of Cultural Shock for any expat in a new land. But I expected that the place will not be highly sophisticated or techo-advanced due to the judgements of my learned prejudiced mind. However, I expected the opposite, where I can find serene lively natural environment which will just make me wonder again and again about the whole design of Creativity. To my shock it was the opposite. You never get your expectations met in Life, The whole fun and mystery lies in expectations being broken, facing disappointments and shocks and Moving on. Well, thats exactly the state I was when I saw nothing but barren land with two buildings that were never even close to the Imagination of how my work place or my place of stay would be. Yes it was the greatest shock and hard to accept. I went through all stages of Depression and finally landed in acceptance by the end of the day, for I still had hopes on seeking the exposure and experience that I yearned. 
With heaviness in heart i walked to my Office for the first day. It all seemed falling into right place as i started my work. The first assignment given to me  apart from the induction program was to train students for Master of Ceremony for the Graduation Day. My first connection with students. For the first time I was in the other side of the Table. A few days before which i was one like then standing before my teachers. The perplexed feeling of being a teacher, of a dream job. How could I not talk about the first moment I used a red pen to do a signature. Ah! the feeling was nothing less comparable to having a bucket of Ice-cream and eating it all on your own. My first meeting at the board room, the youngest in the lot given a daring opportunity to prove my abilities. It was an amazing feeling, words don't seem enough to explain. 
I was introduced to five students whom I never anticipated will be such good friends to me thereafter. Well five has always been my Lucky number. Lol. Voice training, Chatting, Bullying, rehearsals, It was never like I was a teacher to them. I was just a friend trying to help with a task. 
Days spent at work, especially moments spent with my friends was making me feel positive and happy about my work life. My first task was completed successfully. Ah a sigh of relief and accomplishment. 
The very interesting part of staying with my students was that it was only those moments I felt like i was outside India in fact Tamil Nadu to be precise. It was only with students I felt i had the freedom of expression. Most of all I was admired and adored by them. Drunk in the wine of Pride about my looks, my accent, my attitude, and never ending questions like Madam Why did you cut your Hair?, You look so different from other lecturers. Madam are you from an upper class in your country? Did you go to best Schools? How is it that your English is so better than others? Did you get your schooling done outside India? Madam will you give me your ear-rings? Madam you look better in a suit. The numerous words of love and innocence. What else would a teacher want than the constant admiration of her students? My days flew like magical moments sunk in that love and adoration. You may think I am showing off, trust me those were the moments that made me shun over my prejudice on them.
Those questions also made me think if I am a stand alone, I for whom the abilities are not that appreciative according to my judgements, for whom exposure has not even just begun and experience was nil, then what is the level of quality that is existing in the place I Work? I cannot but be shocked at moments when a fellow colleague struggles to lecture before her students. Having been inspired to be a teacher by a family of teachers, I always felt that a Teacher should be a role model, a symbol of perfection, at the pedestal of unquestionable knowledge before her students. I don't say that a teacher is someone greater in status to a student and hence she has to keep that pride distance. But, A teacher is a students first inspiration. It is a shame when a teacher cannot carry herself professionally, stand before her students and just go with the flow of her lessons. I don't despise those who couldn't be so, I've been there, stammering, stage fear, carelessness, fear, butterflies in stomach, if not for these you don't learn to become a better speaker. Every first session is nothing less than a war for any teacher. Its natural to not knowing something, perhaps the opportunities were less or never there. But I do despise those who having come into the profession sit back and not develop themselves to the expectations of the profession. It frustrates me to think that the students think that the teacher is not up to the par instead of drawing inspiration from her. It is pathetic to see students who are the dearest to a teacher, receive something of a lesser quality and have to compromise with it. Dear friends I ask you, will you agree if you are paid less for a month? Will you agree if you are given tap water instead of Mineral water for which you paid in a restaurant? Will you agree if you are asked to use windows for air when you paid for Air Conditioning in a car or a hotel Room? Then how on Earth do you expect a student who has paid for his education accept a teacher who cannot put four words together and frame a sentence to come and conduct lectures? How do you expect a student to accept a teacher who has no clue about what he's talking? How do you expect a student to compromise and agree that he receives quality education?  Every moment a student asked how come I was different from others or If I went to better schools, I felt an unexplainable agony of not being able to help the situation. 
I shall never let my student think that I am one in the herd of sheep- I said to myself. 
Other than those pondering moments with my students, the rest of my life was nothing less than a misery. I felt like i was shut in a mouse hole in a remote place in my country. The whole aim of coming beyond boundaries and fighting inhibitions seemed to go out of purpose for most of the times. 
Yet I said to myself, I have a family expecting my success stories, I can't fail them. I have friends who trusted on my abilities, I cannot put them down. My determination boosted engulfing the tears. Had I missed home I would have said myself I can't be a Child. I was missing Life- my freedom of expression put to death by work politics, my freedom of movement curtailed by uncomrehendable rules and curfews, I felt nothing less than a caged bird cut off Wings eating thrice a day and dancing to the music played by the master. For a long time I never got the opportunity to talk to fellow Zambians or a chance to meet new people in the new land. It seemed like I have gone back in ages and I had been staying in my own land when conservatism existed the most. My nights went sleepless engrossed in the feeling of being a Failure. Fear of scornful looks of those who had huge expectations from me struck every cell in my body. That was the only commitment that held me in place. Time and again boosted by the perks of staying with my lads I gave it a hundred thought when I wanted to Give up and Just Quit. 

Owing my liveliness to my students, 
Thankfully 
SARAH

1.0 BRAI- "A MIXTURE OF MEANINGFUL MOMENTS"

A Dedication to Family and Friends 


The First Flight

When I told my friends and relatives that I got a job in Zambia, the first reaction was- "Don't Go Its not SAFE!". I was terrorized about various risks ranging from Witch Craft, Trafficking, Rape, Terrorist Attacks and what not. For many my thirst to seek new experience was a stupid move. Many even warned me that I wouldn't have any support and if I shall be in trouble I will be doomed forever. I appreciate their concern, though they are not going to be the first to rescue if I got in trouble in my own land. 
It took serious determination to take the very first step of my career in a foreign land. Being a GIRL of 22, Single and only daughter to my parents made it even more difficult to just Go for it. Luckily I had my entire Family backing me up. Open enough to understand my interests and bold enough to support their girl beyond Social Stigma.
I still remember the moment when my brother explained, "Everybody is born and they Die in this world. If something has to happen to you, it cannot be stopped even if you are sitting next to us. It is rather better to have an adventurous and different end by being eaten up by an animal in a Jungle or by being a captive to a terrorist or any risk of such sorts. So just be bold enough and give it your best shot". Those excellent words of inspiration from an Indian Brother is rare. I can remember the frightened stares of my Mother and could listen to her blood pumping out from her heart so fast in anxiety and love for her daughter everytime when someone blew the Warning Whistle. The concerned eyes of a Father who had greater aspirations for his daughter's Life. A bunch of friends carrying mixed feelings of pride and sorrow to part from their dearest friend. They gave me the best memories in life that even if I wouldn't come back due to some tragic effect of my stars' alignment, I wouldn't have anything to regret in life. Yes, thats how my journey, my first flight experience, my life in a total new land began. I dint shed a tear, for I was proud and happy to have such meaningful people in my life.
It is indeed a pride feeling when you family listens to you when the rest of the world doesn't. For many days I kept looking at the words "Behind every Successful Woman, there is a family that Trusted Her and Not the Society". They made me feel exalted. 
A family that every Indian Girls dreams to have. A set of meaningful people who value your opinions over their intentions. Who are not jealous but only concerned. The only thought that ran during my entire journey was to return the gratitude by making them feel the same pride. To aim at the skies and beyond. To show them that all those short-comings were worth experiencing. With true aspirations and inspirations to fly greater heights I took my First Flight. 
Sometimes when I am alone or with a group of my Zambian friends, I wondered why all that fear and doubt was even there? There was even a guilt feeling that even I was stupid enough to be Judgmental about the fellow Humans of another land and to have had the slightest thought that it was a RISKY expedition. I sometimes cursed myself for being so Insensible. How did I make the mistake of being prejudiced about the people of a land that I never knew? For days my movements at job was also influenced by this prejudice. But soon the learned mind and social personality in me explored the truth and my idiosyncracies snarled at me calling me a Stupid Prejudiced Woman. 
No country, race or people are to be frightened of, they are also driven by the same values of Humanity like us, they also have an empathizing heart and emotion filled life to deal with, they are nothing high or low to us and not every person in a country is bad just because some calamity is portrayed to us in the Media. We have a common race called "Humans" and we share the same ideas and values despite our differences. A learning worth the Ten thousand Miles of Travel away from near and Dear ones. The guilt disappeared as I slowly started letting myself to be a part of their life. Perhaps this was the exposure and experience I yearned for. 
To let oneself to see thy neighbor as equal, 
To let oneself that the differences of race caste religion are just superficial and is umbrellad under one Kind called "Humanity", 
To let out go of inhibitions and prejudices and to be one with all. 
The question of If I Will regret ended with this moment of happy Realization. This country is a place I would always love to come back. "One YA (ZAMBIA & INDIA- YA Factor) One Emotion- As said by Fr. David in his Farewell Speech in my college". 

Love & Apologies 

SARAH

Voicing for my fellow Brothers and Sisters

Recently i was taken aback by this call for Banning Muslims in the US by the Presidential Electoral Candidate Donald Trump. It lead me to deep thoughts and a feeling of agony as if my kith and kin are denied of their rights. Playing with someone's fear is not a good strategy to win hearts. So here goes my opinion...

Banning Muslims is not the solution to fight Terrorism. FYI they are also the victims of such attacks And even those who attack are mentally manipulated to see life sacrifice as the spirit of a true muslim that they neither mind giving up on theirs nor on the innocent fellow muslims who live a normal life like everyone else out there, which is certainly INSANE. Banning the whole lot is gonna turn even the innocent ones against the rest of the others (Boom! I can Smell WAR) and moreover is not Fair. 

We have been taught to consider every other person as fellow brothers and sisters and chucking them out is like sending a my elder brother for the mistakes of my spoilt younger one. It doesnt mean we have to see Terrorists with peaceful eyes and spare them. If for the good of a family we have to kill one that shatters it its fair enough. However its not fair to deny the right to live in the place you want just because a person belongs to the religion of a wrong doer. An innocent normal Muslim never appreciates a terrorist as a fellow Muslim. So Wait! they are a Different Breed you don't get to put them in the same lot. This world is a gift that we all received from a Power above. This life is a boon that we got for winning the war of millions of sperms with a single ovum, The world is equally mine as its yours and its the same for my fellow Muslim brothers and Sisters. If you wanna solve a problem attack the one that causes it and fight the problem not the people who have just one negligible connection with the term "Muslim", the meaning of which is way too different for the two parties. 
Do not let your fear and use the fear in people, lead to cynicism. Is it a true American spirit to Stereotype people? to close doors on someone's face? I hope the history has no such instances to quote where the US has been so narrow and cynical. The country has always stood as an example to Acceptance, True spirit, Individualism and Unity. Asking for a BAN is just selling the soul of America to the expectations of those extremists. 
Dear America, 
Do not succumb to the fear they want you to feel. Do not give into their efforts of breaking your Unity and Individualism. Do not let your fellow Muslim Brothers and Sisters down, when it is the Time to show you can stay Strong together. 
All of us want this world to be a peaceful place. How different are you than the terrorist who wants to take over your nation and you who wants to deny the people of their land, even if its Temporary? He fights from outside, you do it with your power. Peace can never be achieved with tears and blood of innocent people. Hence, the idea of BAN sucks big time. 
And those who ask for this BAN grow up!

Love 
A Sister from India

THE CRY OF A RAPE VICTIM...

Recently I got to know that a bunch of people whom I thought were my friends, some of whom were barely acquaintances and some of whom I have good memories to cherish had a private conversation the topic of which was me, apparently my Profile Picture. LOL Seriously? I never thought I gathered so many eyes and also that people were so jobless.So here goes a pour out.. 
After a long thought whether or not, I decided to change my profile picture to one in which I felt i looked confident and lively. Yes, my first DP on a sleeveless dress. For some its something casual, for many girls in my country its not. We have moved open to a "larger" extent where we get the freedom to wear Shorts n Sleeveless inside our rooms, luckily in some girls hostels too. Our parents do understand that we have the liberty to dress the way we want with in the four walls of our rooms, some also come up to the level of teaching their daughters to be bold enough, face bull-shit criticisms about dressing and move on the way we want to be. Yet if you ask even those mothers, they have a fear in the corner of their hearts that their daughter has to come back home SAFE. 
I do understand the provokability of a Woman's body to a man. Its natural. I don't deny that. But the same provocation doesn't happen to the majority of men even if their sisters, mother or any person whom the society considers to be prohibited for sexual relationship, are the most beautiful and attractive Women on Earth. The same thirst doesn't set on when the Saree of Mother moves away from her breasts when she's in the Kitchen or the nighty of a Sister which goes up when she is in Sleep. So the whole feel the lust is not 100% biological, we do see that a man can control his primitive animal instincts of his ID with his morality driven SUPER EGO and be in an equilibrium state. Thats is what we call the Sixth Sense. The gift of every human being to control his instincts. 
The tormented caged Woman in me questions Why don't these people use that Sixth Sense and behave Humans? Does it always have to be that the bare hands and smooth legs of a woman being provocative and sensual? Doesn't she have the freedom like the men of her world to feel some air? Cant she give herself the freedom to lift her body with confidence? 
We are Women. It is natural that we find ourselves at heights of confidence when we are attractive be it physical or intellectual. Like you expect a woman to understand your boys world, we expect you to understand that we also need our space and fresh air to breath into.
We don't dress-up to attract so as to get you guys under our pants. We dress up to feel alive. The feeling of breeze in my shoulders, arm pits and legs makes me feel alive and connected to this natural world. The moment that I can get yours eyes on my looks makes me feel that I am admired and that boosts my confidence. Don't you men feel good when you flaunt your well built body before a bunch of girls? or when you wear a nice suit and you get the eyes of the girls in a party? Yes you do. OMG! but you don't have to be afraid of doing so, Coz u don get RAPED, or you don have a bunch of morons making your body a topic of discussion fancying about how to hit your ass. 
Well, is it a woman's fault to exercise her Free Will for which she gets Raped, Physically, emotionally or Verbally? Not just a man who forces a women on his bed is a Rapist, A man who doesn't have the Dignity to respect the Free Will of another women and who goes down to the level of fantasizing sensuality without her permission is also a Rapist. Every woman is a Victim of such rape. 
Raped by a bunch of men over their drunken coversations or by a so called friend who steals her picture to Mastrubate or by a guy who seeks pleasure in feeling her body when she doesn't notice. Have you people ever questioned your conscience of killing the trust she has on you while spending those few minutes? Have you ever questioned yourself for going so low to take any woman for granted? How do you even proclaim yourselves as Virgins or morally upright or even civilized humans?
Okay lets consider, that I be the women of your specifications. I wear a neatly pressed Salwar, Covering my breasts with a piece of Shawl or a neatly pinned Saree with no room for air to enter. Is that going to stop a man from mentally Raping me? Even after giving a part of my entire day adjusting my Saree or my shawl and slit in my salwar, he still finds ways to imagine how big my breasts will be and what shape my butt will be. He still doesn't shut his filthy brain from thinking what is in store behind my drapes and what a pleasure it ll be to have it. Give me a break! Am I a Chocolate to think about how I ll be when opened up or a moving live human being? The problem is not in the way we dress or the way we carry ourselves. Its in your heads douchebags. 
Even animals have the brains to flock only to its pride or partners. Perhaps had they been given the Sixth Sense they would have used it more morally and wise. I don't say Every man I see is a Rapist, but certainly every woman I see is a Victim of Mental Rape.  
I am a Woman, I am a Human. I have my Free Will to exercise my Freedom. If you don't put me into the trouble of feeling ashamed to feel some air, if you can carry some empathy, if you can let your Women friend have their share of fun and happiness, if you can help me overcome my inhibitions and do better things, if you can let me be on my own, Women are equally gifted with abilities that can be put for better purposes. The list of First Women So and So will not just stop with First there-after. 
If you can adopt technology from the western world why cant you adopt some of their Values too? I don't approve that the Western World is equally Gender Sensible, yet they do give Women the freedom to exercise her Free will to a greater extent and they can improve by adopting some of the Eastern Values. 
I ask you to grow up, there are better things to do in life rather than discussing someone's looks or someone's dress. Its so pathetic in a world of Men and Women created at equal pedestal a Woman has to come down to beg for her Freedom to live the life she wants. Its shameful to feel that the person she trusts and spends the most valuable and irreversible element in life- Time, has all the while been seeking pleasure from the piece of flesh in my bare hands or behind my Saree slit or the invisible unto his imagination under my drapes. Its Insane to see even after educating oneself for 15-20 years and spending time with so many people of the opposite sex a woman is made to feel shy by her own set of people. Its to a torment to fear someone would see me in the wrong way or would take me for granted every morning as I dress up to leave into the world and ask my Mother every time, Mom do i look okay? Is my Shawl okay? is my Bum too obvious? Give us a break, the Fear and Loathing Sucks big time.
You may ask me, Why give a damn? I don't have to be bothered if I don't feel insanely uncomfortable with Scanning eyes on my body when I go out. I don't have to give Crap if I don't have to think twice before posting a picture or to check if my Vitals are proper. But Kudos to my Patriarchal Ancestry! The treatment for this feeling is the Change in your Attitude. 
Not all men are completely Gender Insensitive, there are men who are more open-minded than the Women of this age. But for the huge bunch of crappy heads around please change, you are leads to the next generation. I wish at least my daughter lives in an era of Equality and Freedom, that she doesn't yearn to Run away from the Land she was born in search of Freedom Elsewhere. 

Tired of being Raped Mentally,
SARAH

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Journey from Dream to Reality

No: 4

9
After a long awaited Gossip Conversation with a Soulmate Friend
Full of Joy, She retired to her cozy bed..
Walled by teddys and pillows & The heart from her Love, 
She curled into the wool fighting  the cold weather.
Mixed were emotions, 
Kindled by memories and quests from Past to Future,
Her body gave way for tunes to seep through..
In a song or two she transcended to another world 
Which was unusually not her haunting past..                                                                           

8

The days of music by the sea shore,
Wondering what life has in Store!
The wet sands and kissing waters,
Soothing her dancing toes.
Wandering along the ever-changing border line,
Munching on the permutations and combinations of
Wonders of Nature and Thunders of Life..
Days and years can just run by with ease in the breeze..                                             

7
The joyous moments of Windy Rides,
Quenching her thirst to break stereotypes.
Ravishing with pride and Entranced in Love.
Forgetting the thrusted expectations.
Forgoing the barriers, guilt, pain and pressures.
Enthralling, Enchanted, Exuberant moments..
Days and years can just go by with ease in the streets..                                              

6
The ever-refreshing Family Chats and Tea times,
Bullying mom's Culinary Skills, Nagging dad for extravaganzas,
Teasing her sleepy head brother,
Holding on to meaningless chats, so the moment can last-long,
Waiting for a soul-mate love to join the joy, Cursing the fury of Fate..  
Days and years can just go by lost in the scent of Chai..                                                  

5
The five years of heavenly existence, A world once she belonged..
That felt more than a home, an abode of joy,
The world that has and was cared (by) her,
The memoirs of her mixed emotions...
Days and years can just go by lost deep in the woods of learning..                               

4
The pictures of extreme reality, 
Soulful Moments of Pride & Happiness
Soothing the yearning soul with Musical Dreams..
An awakening creek crept into her ears.                                                                       

3
Perhaps the earphones damaged- voices in her head,
With sudden Jerk she opened up, Set aback by the sudden bodily reflex..
A black oval moving object, Sneaked in fear through the Walls of her Cot..                   

2
Speeded her heart with all Panting, An African Rodent introduced fear into the picture, 
The journey ended, leaving dreaded realization about Survival Engulfing her soul.      
   
1
All she could do was Accept, Ignore and Continue the sleep.. 


For the duties of Tomorrow neither Stops
For the restlessness of Today nor 
For the Remeniscience of Yesterday..
For life has to Move on- Silence was restored In & Out.

The Adieu Party

No: 3

On a bright sun Filled morning, At his desk
The old telephone rang, the noise making everyone brisk.
Was it a cal for War or for Peace?

With Peace he went down the stairs- an Hour Passed.
He returned with a Flung-down Face, Tossed. 
A part of him was saying the D-Day has Come.
A part of him questioned was the 'D' Deary or Dreary?

With all joy of accomplishment, ready to bid Adieu,
To that Family he lived with ..
Perhaps the time was too short for the love to grow..
A Fierce Shot on the Trusted Soul

For a Change the Adieu Party was fully Paper Work, 
Conciliations, answering the Pride of Power,
The fierce of Authority, 
Long sessions of Scrutiny.. 

Engulfing the Tears of Disappointment,
Enclosing the Angers of Betrayal in a Smile, 
His restless heart hopped with Hope,
The so So-called Farewell was made Easy, 
A seperation Worthy of being Forever, 

Three days after the dreary war in Life...
He never Looked back, To heed to the fake Smile..
The Rarest of Adieu Parties- THEN & the Commonest- NOW

SARAH

Adieu for NOW and NOT FOREVER

No: 2

There was a Girl, who loved the roars of the sea,
Every morning she sparked words of Joy during TEA
To travel, to babble, to be in all Love
She always dreamt of a life of satisfaction and Jove
Was the pride of achievement- A Key?
Was feeding expectations- A Spree?
Was it the real want of her Soul? Was it a need or a mere want?

Numerous questions piling the Ventricles
The pain of Gasping moments..
Was it the usual Flying experience?
Was it the panting of Separation?

Her learned mind Spake of Universality,
Her moral mistress lectured of Gratitude.
The Pride in her heart Ping'd of Grit
Deep Down in the corner of her humaneness
The Cupids of her heart Quested of Real Joy!

A single moment to conflict the power of her Will.
As she Entered the No Regrets Zone,
Pictures from memories of Sea to Tea,
Moments of Love and Laughter,
Smeared through her Tear Filled Eyes..
To say Adieu for NOW and NOT FOREVER..


SARAH