My body, my choice

A few men deciding what we should do with our bodies,

But hasn’t it always been like that ladies?

In school, the shame that comes with blood stain,

The immodesty of breast-feeding your baby on the train.

You want a baby boy,

But not getting one is your fault.

The narrower waists and broad hips,

Orgasms you fake for their sake.

The 9pm curfews,

All the body shame, revert a few.

The virginity tests you fail,

On the first night of marriage.

The fertility tests you fail,

After another miscarriage.

The ease with which they violate your body,

The shame, the child is all yours to carry.

The rules and the dictates,

A 16 year listens and follows, teary words swallowed.

Contrary are many

This is the greatest of any

They say, “Women, raise your voice”

But noisy news rejoice

But who are they to decide our fate?

There is nothing selfish in giving yourself a chance to reclaim.

Don’t unilaterally decide what I should do with my body

Body hair, scars, marks or the baby

I’ll decide alone

I might decide together

What’s for me to lose

And what’s for me to carry

(Photo credits: https://instagram.com/rithikamerchant?igshid=fvu2ev2o1yh8)

Death without funeral

Why do we shed tears

Accuse god to be unfair

Kill the possibilities of another Friday movie night

No more dips on the last cheesy slice

I often wonder why

We lament and cry

To see then quit their fight

They might had every night

Why do we mourn to see our loved ones leaving their soul?

Is it because we are yet too ignorant,

To realise that it is not the only way people are lost?

But then what about those lovers we stopped to kiss,

Friends from another town we forgot to miss,

What about the maid who raised you,

Kindergarten teacher who played with you.

Why do we never mourn people who left our lives in a way other than death?

Why no funerals for them?

Is it because we think we can still reach back to them if we try?

You lose them without them having to die.

Yet you ask me if I’m okay only at funerals

But how to tell you that death is not the only way I have lost people, I once loved.

~H

(Photo credit:https://instagram.com/geraldbrom?igshid=olmgfcg1w3lc)

Fool

I often wonder how easy our lives would be,

if we did not take ourselves too seriously.

Who are we offer all?

Our mistakes or the failures

Or our choices or the victorious?

We have seen it all,

the world remembers and forgets.

In the selfish hypocrisy and capricious convenience,

we spend our lives so carefully.

Polishing the jewels in our crown,

just like we whitewash our secrets, holding them so close

and between plastic smiles and subdued eyes,

we forget what we want may not be sinned

and what if we shined?

So we listen to them for years together as they say-

Don’t love him yet, you should make him wait

Don’t just dream too big, rather get in a uni

Don’t go out with undone hair, that’s not sane

Don’t wear white all the time, what will Aunty Ahuja say?

We start taking ourselves too seriously and

we lose the courage to quit and start again.

We spend our whole lives building glass castles,

while our hearts wane and wither

Only foolish follow their hearts,

it’s sensible to be practical

When we are told all this,

My mind aimlessly wanders..

To what season would it have been when fear begun defining the rational?

All the riches we amass only cause bitter family feuds after our funeral,

Who can guarantee the Brahmin you’ll marry would not cheat on you with his god fearing Christian lover?

I don’t want to be a prophet of doom,

But was all of that ever worth it?

We often assume following our hearts and passion would ruin us

But the world has already plotted and planned its barriers-

of status and religion,

wars and strategies with careful arrogance.

Placed us in neatly measured boxes of

class, sex and caste,

So can think and feel

just as right as much

But where has that gotten us?

~H

(Photo credit:https://instagram.com/rithikamerchant?igshid=102xhkmkiczfj)

Selling hopes and dreams

Before I started believing what was shown,

I wish I knew the unknown.

So what if I might not have been strong,

and tons heft the wrong.

It was just a side of dull sad stories,

complied without worries

Sometimes, a family member is never heard,

advertisements always overheard.

From a body mist alluring women,

youngester are driven.

To a nail paint bossing the headlines,

in the mall, inviting long lines.

A car that didn’t fit the whole family,

has an EMI staring at rupees five thousand only.

A Sea facing 3 BHK flat

unlike before, no rats.

Downstairs a garden to roam,

house with no view still was a home

Who knew confidence and beauty

all came in pills,

the sweaty shaky hands and pimple pits

had a heavy bill.

For insomnia, luxury pillow and bed sheets,

A farmer without none had the best sleep.

It’s funny

Rugged clothes mean trendy

While an old sweater woven by mother

Has dust from the very next day it was ready

Washing powers assuring no stains,

clean clothes with conspiracy in brains.

Cricketers sold to inverter battery,

when did dancing become their cup of tea?

Posters of coaching institutions never heard of,

swear IIT students nurtured with free love.

Spectacle glasses claim for clear vision,

but we still dream without wearing it on.

Marketing for votes in their favour,

tell us how bad days are over.

We are bound to believe,

While surfing internet or watching TV.

Yellow template comes with newspaper,

like a child was planned, but born two

“The best burgers in the town”, they say,

tempted stomach says, “I must go and try it one day.”

Turned on my laptop to see the solutions to my questions,

somehow, found myself scrolling down a clothing website, popped up in suggestions.

So before I started believing what was shown

I wish I knew they tell me what I wasn’t rather than what I could have been

~H

(Photo credits: https://instagram.com/rithikamerchant?igshid=hit1qhsdzvc6 )

Pro-blems

There is little that is unique and special about our problems.

Somehow, the ‘little’ about our problems makes us forget about what isn’t exquisite in a little proportion, ie, our life or the reality for that matter.

The other day, I got a box with ten compartment each having ten sunflower in it. Two days later, the other nine sunflowers of one of the compartments were ruined. Let’s imagine you at my place now.

Unintentionally and of course not practically, from then and there you start to countdown until all the flowers die.

In this case, the whole box is our life and that one little compartment is the problem.

The sunflowers add up to the special elements in our lives.

Rather than emptying that particular compartment, we create a negative mundane aura that the other flowers too won’t survive. Similarly, when hardships or bad times come in our way, for once we forget our entire life and just stress about the could have! That what our problem do to us. That little something unique and special makes us forget about something filled with uniqueness and speciality! Well, that’s the beauty of what comes our way as ‘too little’. We notice it a little too much! This why always neglecting our problems is the best way out of the situation.

So, what if I took that compartment out of the entire box? What if I have one less compartment in my box? What if that little empty space is for something new to fill with, for say roses?

Problems come in our way as an indication that we are constantly moving forward and what we forget is, it is us versus ourselves rather us versus our problems. Mishaps happen to test ourselves if we are grateful for the nine compartments completely filled with flowers or stress about the other nine ones not there.

Not to confuse my point, keeping that little next to empty compartment out of the box doesn’t mean to completely forget about it as it is still a part of the box. To completely neglect is to be delusionally positive. To focus on neglecting it to a point where it doesn’t harm you, that, that is liberating.

(Photo credits: https://instagram.com/denis_sarazhin?igshid=1rg8uft6c6bw0 )

Gold in pieces

Somthings sometimes break

Maybe for it has been to frail for so long,

Maybe because it’s meant to be,

Maybe for it had better consequences in the future,

Maybe because good things fall apart so better things can fall together.

But what I hate is

Hearts don’t break beautifully,

It comes down with endless brook of unsaid words,
Crawling in eyes from time to time,
It’s like the software update,
That continues to spam your mobile’s screen,
Until you accept it and download,
It damages the system for few minutes,
But it’s for a good cause,
It’s like my best friend damaging my sad romantic playlist,
And adding hundreds of rap music,
But how do I tell her that even those songs,
Bring back something from the past,

It’s like the memories will never fade but haunt,

It’s like the rotting bread crumbs in blue melamine plate,

Which holds the memory of me serving him almost burnt pasta,

It’s like the garbage I want to throw out,
but end up locking in storerooms,
Not because I might need it,

But because with the

Sour, it has some sweet

Tears, it has some laughter

Fights, it has peace

Hate, it has love

So what if this breakage wasnt like crack of the glass or bleed physically,

So what if heartbreaks aren’t beautiful,
Your heart is

And so are the imaginary little pieces of it.

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Shall we stop running after food like Red Queens?

Synopsis: We all want to go to the wonderland but only a few of us have the time and the courage to be an Alice who slides down a dark tunnel. In this article, we explore some thorny and latent aspects of food, mood and modern human health state. Based on the ramifications we dig, we interpret the implications of food’s equation with mood and its genre on our health and happiness.

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” 

J.R.R Tolkein

Prologue – An Appetiser:

Yet, gold and cars and smart-phones occupy our minds and thumbs so much today! It is, indeed, such deep despair to see the world wasting all those Darwinian struggles and evolution’s inflection points by making food so hurried and harried. Here’s a thought – what if we could treat food with more respect and cheer? The cavemen may not have had our silver-cutlery and dining manners, but they had an edge over this 21st human in a strong and special plate – the mind.

The Soup – that we are in

We need to rein our indiscreet and irresponsible food-lifestyles. More so when we know that there is less than a 1 per cent chance of halting the rise in obesity and diabetes by 2025, according to Global Nutrition Report 2017.  Could mood be the answer we are looking for?

Ever wondered why food and mood are so intertwined? Many researchers and food-experts across the world, from one genre and geography to another, have scratched their heads on that question. That should mean something.

It has been often, with numerous experiments and schools of thought, reckoned that food can really change one’s mood – depending on one’s bio-energetic system.

In India, one can borrow this wisdom from the quintessential classification of plants and herbs according to their taste, energy, post-digestive effects and specific action. Yes: Rasa, Virya, Viparka & Prabhava as distilled by some Ayurvedic prophets.

A peek at the bio-spiritual aspect will tell us how to classify plants and natural substances according to their running qualities of nature – i.e. Sattava (clarity), Rajas ( agitation) and Tamas (darkness).

This is where the connection between food and our other senses, along with physiological dynamics and health-factors gets so visceral.

 

Main Course – Some Salad to chew over

The Satvik lifestyle has been assessed to be the best for a peaceful life and mood.

The Rajas food has the propensity to releases enzymes that make the body lazy and lethargic. The Tamasic food is the worse – a non-vegetarian meal not only takes up a lot of energy for digestion but also spurs negative feeling in the body.

Experts and sages have often advised to prefer Satvik over the last two categories. No wonder the last two types are what workaholics, obese, teenagers and youngsters are more predisposed to. They do not realize, in time at least, how these food types and habits cause under-nutrition, invoke weight issues and spiral into a host of other health nightmares.

Mood and obesity correspond more than we realize. Among the main cause of obesity is the intake of improper food –exacerbated with no workout. In a normal day-to-day rush, we seldom pause and think about the tons of fat in junk food. The temptation (with all the advertising and packaging frills) is hard to resist but we have to, eventually, pay the price of giving in for a temporary desire that comes at the cost of a priceless, long-term advantage.

One thing leads to another. Some inches high on the waistline lead to more worries and tension and an obese body becomes more hospitable to diseases, thereby influencing our mood.

You see, it is a vicious spiral.

Tooth-picks any one

If we want to align our minds and bodies to long-term outcomes of longevity, health and balance in life; then we would need to wrap our heads around (and stop neglecting) the connection between food and mood.

Good and nourished food enhances the health of an individual which directly leads to good health and body. Surprisingly, healthy food also raises the soundness of mind and spirit; hence, undoubtedly leading to a strong gut feeling.

It is interesting to find how good mood and food are reciprocal too. Healthy food, when taken with a happy mind and surroundings, helps the body to regain more nutrients from the meal as compared to the intake of the same food in a bad state of mind. This highlights how food along with proper thinking, or should we say psychology, helps in curing not only mood but chronic diseases as well.

Proof of the Pudding

I happened to come across a medical doctor in Washington, who cures people by giving them placebo (fake pills for a disorder or disease). The doctor planned a diet-chart that mainly consisted of food items liked by the patient, albeit, cooked in the right way. The new belief and expectation-set of the patient in the pill kept the echo “I will be healed” alive in him which led to a recovery. He keeps eating food as the medical prescription that he originally liked, and has kept the spark going.

The Knife with the Counter-Point

Arguments may pop here- and rightly so- about tapping the same mood-lever with junk food.

Well, junk food, had with the same jolly mood, doesn’t do justice to our body. Intake of acidic, fermented or unhealthy food causes the imbalance in the Doshas (Sanskrit word describing three substances that are present in a person’s body, according to Ayurveda).

Here’s why:

Ancient literature works and Ayurveda in India point that the food taken in our body converts into seven Dhatus (substances) that are-

Plasma (Rasa), Blood (Rakta), Muscles (Mansa), Fat (Medh), Bone (Asthi), Marrow (Majja) and Reproductive tissues (sukra). Our body constantly forms, destroys and reforms these substances with appropriate materials taken from nourished substances from the very time of birth till death.

The imbalance caused in the formation of any of the seven substances or disorder in the destruction or issues caused during the reformation can directly affect one’s health. Any trouble in the functioning of a body, whether major or minor, can harm health leading to an unstable state of mind. The saying, “Happy mind resides in healthy body” explains the rest.

Of course, another moot point to address here is the way food is grown today.

The good old adage of ‘An Apple a day keeps the doctor away’ held well, but perhaps only until 1965. Today, the quality of soil seriously affects the food we eat. All those contaminated or undernourished elements of soil will eventually shape into unhealthy fruits and vegetables. The level of nutrient-intake, too, has changed over the years due to the quality of substances, raw materials of food and other adjacent factors of modern environments.

Epilogue – Some mint before we head on

Indeed, we are fighting an intricate and overwhelming battle. We have to get cogent and cognizant about how we eat; and once these new habits and wisdom are parked well in our mind and lifestyles, we have to ensure that we get the right food.

A proper and a balanced diet is as formidable and difficult in today’s day and age as foraging was for the man in the cave. Nonetheless, we have to be diligent and disciplined about the right mix of vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and roughage. That balance will help in not only curing prolonged diseases but a slew of mental-health related issues as well.

For instance, paying attention to potassium that relaxes the body by calming the nervous system and the heart rate down. Or Calcium, yet another mineral that helps considerably in reducing stress. Vitamins, too, play a big role (mainly vitamin B1) in keeping anxiety and restlessness at bay.  Similarly, lack of iodine can lead to mental retardation. Proteins, in the first meal of the day – breakfast, can be very important for all age groups. The list can go on and on.

Let’s just make sure that we start watching what we eat, how much we eat and most importantly, in what mood and company we eat.

No one could have summed it better than Elizabeth Gilbert in ‘Eat, Pray, Love’:

“I am a better person when I have less on my plate.” 

~H

(Photo credit: https://instagram.com/rithikamerchant?igshid=102xhkmkiczfj )