Blurred

I wish to evaporate into thin air,

it’s just another wish

like the thousand others

that haunts my mind,

To disassociate

To melt

To fade into oblivion.

these invisible battles that I will never win

Will never be able to explain.

To burn myself into ashes

like these cigarettes

who kill me one day at a time.

Shed this pretentious skin

I don’t know why I wear,

to let go of this loneliness,

I don’t know why I feed into.

_nayani

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A ‘good’ university?

I came across this question on Quora, ‘ Is JNU a good University?’. Though I knew the response to this question very well, I did ponder upon the question for quite some time since for the last one year I have been working on the conception of the University in India. Here is my answer-

‘Depending on what is your notion of a ‘good’ University, you may choose to agree or disagree with me, but an honest answer to this question is that JNU is, or at least was a good University, and is unlike any other University in India. I have been studying in JNU for two years now, and though I came here only after my post-graduation from a State University…I have to admit that it is only in JNU that I truly have come to appreciate academics and what value we hold as a ‘student’ in any education system.

In JNU, given aside it’s ‘fame’ of being a communist hub or anti-national institution, I can tell you this that here there are no forces acting upon you to become either. This image of JNU is both mass-media and social-media generated, and to see how it actually is, you are welcome to visit the campus anytime. Unlike, the numerous trolls about us, no we are not out on the streets all the time to protest, it is more likely you will find us in the dhabas or other open spaces, engaged in some meaningful conversation with the likes of our classmates, teachers or seniors, whoever may it be.

Yes, our administration is affected or for the lack of a better word, controlled by the current regime (on the pretext of governance) and we are appalled by how it is attempting to convert the University into a ‘nationalist’ institution. As concerned students, with or without any political affiliation, we have been protesting against this and will continue to do so. As for the eating up of the taxpayers hard earned money, do bother to check into how much is the Indian government actually spending on higher education in the country, and why we appear to be privileged when compared to the right to higher education for everyone which should have been provided by the government in the first place.

The only focus across disciplines in JNU is that you develop your own rational faculties as an individual to read, write, think and engage with not just your subjects/disciplines beyond your textbooks but also relate to the larger social contexts that we are a part of. Of course, not every student will do that and things do go astray sometimes, but the point is that you as an individual can exert your own independence and understanding to learn, acquire and make use of your knowledge.

I didn’t come to JNU and automatically become a rebel. For all I know, I always had questions and the urge to confront what we have been taught to be. But in JNU, I found my space to unlearn and confront myself, and the independence to ask questions. For me, as a student of higher education in social sciences, that is the fundamental concept which has led me to believe that JNU is a good University.’

p.s. This post doesn’t imply that JNU doesn’t have its shortcomings and its own problems, and as its students, we too, believe that it has a lot of scope for improvements.

I don’t expect all of you to read this or agree to me, but do retrospect on the academic institutions you are or have been a part of and try to understand the higher education system of our country before you go on to criticize an institution or its students in the public.

Thank you.

The boy-cut

So, I chopped off my hair, yet again. While the parlour aunty was busy moving her scissors across my. anyway-not-so-long, hair, I remembered my childhood days when I always had boy-cut hair. It felt strange to think of the times when I dreaded a short haircut​ and wished for my hair to grow longer like those other girls, whom I​ did envy at that point​ in​ time. I did get to sport long hair for a good number of years as I moved into my twenties, and despite them being unmanageable at times, I was pretty much able to pull it off. But then, by the time I approached my twenty-five and moved to Delhi, I had gone back to having short hair and the appearance of a school-boy (so I have been told).

Why am I out here talking about my hair? As a female, our hair is such an integral part​ of our identity that is almost impossible to chide it aside. I know of many female friends who keep​ their hair at the length that their parents and significant others approve of. I also know of females who love​ experimenting with their hair according to their mood and occasion. Then there are a few like me, who just wants to skip the hair fall​ and want it to be manageable. But is it as simple as it looks? Sporting a short hairstyle often brings certain unwarranted remarks, ​not just about our sexuality, but also our promiscuity and sexual orientations​. The infamous ‘feminist’ hairstyle also is a common tag attached to females with short hairs. The not-so-subtle but sometimes very hurtful comment on how boyish the girl looks is another, alongside the ‘oh, but you used to look so beautiful in the ​long hair’.

The way I see it, chopping off​ my hair has somewhere ​been about me trying to remove myself from the tag of being called ‘beautiful’. Surprising isn’t​ it, which female doesn’t like being called beautiful? I don’t know why and how, or perhaps I do, I feel afraid of being called beautiful and the unconscious attention I had derived at some point because of my ‘beauty’. Don’t get me wrong, I would definitely want to look presentable but the obsession with beauty in the media, and among ourselves feels so suffocating. I used to want to be beautiful, but to develop the courage to cut my hair short was in some way also my way of letting go of that want of beauty and the attention that our beauty brings. My haircut doesn’t make a statement on its own, nor will it help anyhow in dealing with the obsession of long hairs and its relatedness to beauty among females, but to me, it makes me feel liberated and burdenless of the struggle to be beautiful.

As far as this blog is concerned, I write here to share my words with an anonymous audience, and this is one of those things which I can write a lot about. But for now, I think I will soak in the weightlessness I feel every time I cut my hair short and let them fly free.
_nayani

In the heart of Delhi

I like to identify myself as a small town girl, from the time when Guwahati was a small town unlike the metropolitan city it has become now. I moved to Delhi two years ago, and as willingly I want to call this beautiful campus of mine a home, I have come to realise that I have never been or probably will never be home.

But this post isn’t about the homes I tried to built or I could never reside in. It’s about a particular site in Delhi, a very popular site for anyone who has ever been to Delhi, called Connaught Place or CP. Whenever I visit CP, I feel like it is trapped in time, something so much like me. Fighting its way to be modern and adapt to the twenty-first century while staying true to the Old British ideals that it was meant to uphold…CP is a popular haunt for people from all age groups and from all over the world.As a kid, in our social science textbook, I remember reading about how Delhi is like mini-india. I look at CP and the place singularly signifies a mini-india for me.

It so happened that I stayed in the CP area for the last weekend, and during my stay I ended up walking in the circles of CP at different hours of the day. CP is plagued by people of all shades, shapes, backgrounds as well as pretenses. The shiny showrooms and the big mirrored restaurants and bars downstairs coexist with the broken vintage pillars and windows. The big shiny posters and lights contrasted with the dark dingy corners and alleys, the front of the Palika bazar and the huge array of cars, CP signifies what Delhi is today. From fashionistas to beggars in torn sarees, from people driving Audi and Mercedes to the old man in a single dhoti standing on the corner selling ₹5 pens that no one bothers to look at, I see a CP that exactly tells you what India is today.

As you move away from the inner circle and move towards the outer circle, you gradually enter the posh localities of Delhi. It is here that you have the big shot bungalows and the important people in them. There is a small exclusive Bengali market, but there are also alleys which coexist but do not mark a spot in our consciousness. Then there are the big giant mirrored offices, standing tall at the backdrop of old discoloured buildings which my boyfriend remarked, should be torn down and converted.

I agree to his sentiment, but I am also old-school in the way I look at my surroundings. Though I don’t know what being old – school really means, i just have a thing for old things and think that preserving their values is equally important. CP has thrived for decades and will continue to do so, within the older frames but replaced by new colours and decorations…while the large national flag continues to stand tall and fly on the face of all adversities.

As I smile briefly but choose to not make eye contact with the kids selling balloons to the passerby, I inhale sharply the stench of the city that I have come to accept as my own at the quarter of my life. Holding the hand of my partner, I glance at the smoke filled bright Delhi night sky in the hope of finding some stars to shed some hope for me and this city that never really seems to sleep.

CP, for me , will always be the heart of Delhi.

_nayani

a sad generation

The temperature outside my room is 40 degrees. The temperature​​ inside my room is also the same. but I have a new, little expensive, cooler to my rescue. Its almost 3.30 pm, the afternoon is in its full glory…Delhi summers are excruciating, to say the least. Our hostel still has water though, ​which I feed into my cooler so that I stay alive while a few hostels in the campus have already run dry of water almost like certain cities of my country.

I ought to light a cigarette, but for now, I think I will give it a miss. My friend is taking her afternoon nap, I wish I could too. I can actually, I just don’t want to. I have read a few research papers since yesterday, I should be writing them down, but I have been kinda lazy and a little ‘social media’ distracted. As a research scholar, we still have the luxury to be distracted sometimes, as long as we meet our deadlines. Unlike corporate workers or other professionals, we don’t necessarily have to sit in an office or travel​ to work every day. It makes sense then to pay us the meager​ amount we get as non-JRFs or to ignore our voices in the larger context. We are research scholars of social sciences, like what do we actually contribute to the society or ourselves, right?

I have a dissertation to complete, an exam to prepare for. I also have responsibilities​ towards my people, I have loyalties to keep up with and relationships to maintain. I also have my personal demons to fight and I have to keep up a social media appearance​ as well. And while doing all these, I also have to appear normal the best I can. But so do every person I know. So we are all ordinary people in the rat race of the homo sapiens.

We are living in the twenty-first century. There are no new ideas anymore, or so I think. Let me tell you while I think so, because if you read so far into this blog of mine and have started thinking ‘is Nayani high at 3.30 pm in the afternoon?’, I need to clarify that I haven’t been intoxicated in a while. But I have always been weird, and this is one of my another weird afternoon. And in my weird yet socially constructed notions about our current generations, I have certain observations which​ I am going to share with you. Here it goes-

-You see, we are living in a time where there is nothing new anymore. Every lie has been told before, every truth has been covered by lies before. Every love story has already been lived and every fuck-story, well all the positions have already been discussed. Every thought that comes in our head is constructed by the thoughts and ideas of the generations of the ​human race before us. Every realm of the society have been discovered, inventions and discoveries have been exhausted, we have only ‘innovations’ now. Every experience we have​ is not our generation’s alone…every fuck-up we make has already been fucked-up before. Every research is a compilation and reorganization​ of previous works, ​and every article is based on references alone. Every career choice has​ been made before and well, all the roads too, have been traveled​. Every heartbreak is a reenactment of the primal desires, and every crime a reminder of our tribal instincts. Every drug and all the highs have been around from before we were born, and every new drug is a combination of the old ones our oldies smoked. Every beat of any music you hear has been played before and every dance move you know has been danced before. We have nothing new to discover, nothing new to contribute. All we are doing is living and continuing what has continued from before us.

Am I sad about who we are? Nah, I am as much as a rat in this race that everyone else is. My inability to fit in this crowd is nothing unique to me, my depression doesn’t entitle me to any special treatment, my intelligence or marks doesn’t make me outstanding​, and my writing here doesn’t make me a goddamn exceptional writer either. My beauty is insignificant as every other female we know, and my bluntness and claim of truth are​ as hypocritical as everyone else across the world.

Sitting on the floor, typing on a 50K laptop, sharing posts on the social media to express my societal concern while my lungs scream at me to quit smoking and to lose the extra weights…I can imagine myself as a forlorn writer from some novel or movie. But I am no exception, and neither are you.

A sad generation, that’s all who we are.
_nayani

I

Between you and me,
I am the one who always errs.
The urge to err so inherent in me
to break the given​ boundaries
and to just live in​​ the moment…
to let the impulses rule over me
I dont’t know who I am anymore.

A fight between the urge to fly
and the need to stay grounded
constantly rages my mind…
the reality gets distorted,
metamorphosized into the place
I want to be a part of.
Between what is real and the unreal
I stand perplexed.

I know where i ought to be…
Hell, i know what my reality is
but what if I don’t want to be a
part of this reality
what if I seek for things beyond all
that I know and can have
but I am not supposed to.

Do I even care to exist anymore
when everyday is just another day
I pass on fruitlessly.
A constant loop persists
and I lapse into the mazes of my mind
once again…entangled and defeated!
_nayani

a t-shirt story

On a hot Delhi afternoon,
as I fumble around my cupboard
looking for something comfortable to put on
I tumble onto the t-shirt
that’s supposedly mine
but you wore it more than me.
It still carries your smell,
and I try not to breathe it in
but I do
and my heart breaks a lil bit.
The t-shirt wipes my tears now
as I hold it as tight as I can
And I wish you were here
not just on the phone screen.

Of all the times I joked around
that you stink
how could I tell you
that I know not
when you become a part of my senses.

Funny, a t-shirt could
make me cry so much.

_nayani

feast

Love,
like a well-laid platter in front of you
mesmerizes you
And you feast and feast on it
till your heart’s full..
But like the stomach once full
and you bloat and gloat
like a child whose favourite toy
is no more of any use.

Love,
for you was that meal you had to your heart’s content,
and I was the dish served.
Now, I lay stale
Flies swarming all around
to have a taste of the tattered soiled wound
festering from all the ‘Love’ you feasted upon.

Love,
inch by inch,
minute by minute,
as I was feasted upon
I thought I loved you
And now I know
All that was a sham
There is no love in being a feast
In feeding your ego
In striving to become a person you wanted me to be.
These flies have really shown me my place.
_nayani

Tale of a valley 1.

The curves of the road,

the sheer depths of the river below…

a tired head on my shoulder

and those fingers held tightly into mine.

The city lights fading away,

and the hills welcoming us into their arms,

the vale now holds me in its charm.

As the clouds grow darker,

and the temperature drops minute by minute…

the smoke enters our senses

and the music drowns out in the distance,

the cacophony of voices long gone.

The hills engulf us in its womb

as we surrender to mother nature.

They say this vale, it’s soil, it’s river,

is their god,

present in every human being in their life.

But the vale isn’t sacred anymore…

for us, the humans have taken it for granted for so long.

Sad it is , they’re true.

The vale in its silence,

has entered my soul…

it speaks to me it’s tale,

a tale the same as mine.

_nayani

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