Be Your Own Super Human!

Have you wondered how it feels to be someone who suffers from mild depression but the symptoms aren’t that deadly so nobody gives a shit?

Image credits: henn_kim, Instagram
Image credits: henn_kim, Instagram

Hold on, this isn’t any comparison or whatsoever. Every type of depression is equal and should be treated with utmost care and respect. This is NOT a competition. 

I have good days and bad. Mostly good days, but the bad ones are bad enough to overshadow the good ones by a long shot. I live a pretty, good privileged life and I should be thankful for it (which I am) but that’s not the point. I don’t cry my eyes out or have trouble breathing at random, but I still “feel” like shit most of the time. A minor inconvenience fucks up my entire thought process and creates indescribable disruption. I fall into pieces which only I can assemble back. I hear everyone say, “I’m here for you if you want to talk.” ; so where do I begin? How do I explain a lifetime of battling with anxiety and “mild” depression? How do I possibly put aside the fear of getting judged while narrating my sob story to a society which constantly disappoints and puts down every human being? Be it shaming a 3 year old for what her mother made her wear or a global female icon for getting shot and making something out of her misery. And mind you, it’s not just my gender that throws me further into the deep, dark pit of depression. It’s much bigger than that. 

I love how these supportive messages begin to pop up at the death of one famous entity. As soon as that fades away, so does the empathy for the dead person. It breaks my heart that people like me who are struggling every day, sometimes just to wake up and gather the energy to live a single day without overthinking, or without having to indulge in small talk, will have to keep on handling themselves because no matter what, nobody else can understand your pain like you do, nodbody gives a shit about you like you do. It’s borderline cynical but if you put some wise thoughts to it only you can save yourself, be your own best friend. The people around you, are all good just for casual encounters. 

Hold them close, but hold yourself the closest. 

Of Nudity & Art

The fetishising of the female body by male artists or photographers is so toxic. For them women subjects seem to exist solely as objects for their own desires or that of other male viewers. This isn’t art. I can’t see how it is.

Artwork: Rohan Rane
Artwork: Rohan Rane

This particular fetish isn’t to achieve anything other than do these three harmful things:

1. Serve as a prop for men to gaze at (understandably, since a lot of these photographers go on to shoot for brands who target men; the economically dominant gender).

2. Tell men that this is the sort of body (aided by the ‘Come here’ or similar provocative poses these models are asked to adapt) that they have the right of access to.

3. (Thus) also promoting toxic body image issues among women.

I wonder how all men would react if we exclusively started making a brand out of naked images of men, gyrating, sticking their crotch out, posing seductively. Nearly naked. All naked. Just one hand, barely covering their penises. Cupping their balls. Staring into the lens with deer-in-headlights, while we shamelessly stare at their genitals.

I wonder how all men would feel like if Instagram or the feed of every single person who puts the word ‘photographer’ in their bios was populated with this kind of nudity. Uncomfortable? Most likely.

I wonder what music videos would look like, with men in the background, wearing sheer underwear and dancing in the shower, so the outline of their organs begin to show; then have the cameras zoom in to examine the details of their ‘manhood’.

I wonder how it would feel like to have your bodies served on a plate for consumption by the opposite genders.

A note then, to the photographers to probably read and most importantly realise:

If you think your ‘art’ would only make sense with naked women in it, you’re only a terrible, repulsive rip-off who wants to appropriate the label of a photographer. You’re looking to grab eyeballs by offering breasts. But, of course, if someone were to ask you, you’d say “you’re against rape”, “against the objectification of women”, “you’re only doing this for art*”, wouldn’t you?

There’s nothing wrong with studying the human body for art, or having women as your muse. But there’s everything wrong with objectifying women and mind you, there’s a very, very fine line between the two.

So, where IS the line?

Gauge your art, what are you making your subject do? Pose to seduce/tempt? Pucker her lips? Put her hand inside her pink, lace panty? Cover her breasts as she lies across the floor, naked? Or giggle naked?

If you were to photograph a man, would your photos show his 5’clock stubble, his brooding eyes or his side profile as he gazes off into infinity? Truth remains, he would be afforded the respect your female ‘muses’ are never going to.

Art can exist in beauty, to make a statement, to be political, to make a point. And while art can also exist to seduce, this bread-and-butter variety of nudity isn’t doing anything productive, really!

And if you’re on Instagram and other photo sharing websites solely for that, you should probably examine yourself and come to terms with the fact that you’re simply aiding objectification and thereby – rape culture.

You’re An Explorer 

You are not a traveller. You are an explorer

Artwork by Rohan Rane
You’re an Explorer; Artwork by Rohan Rane
There are, believe it or not, hardly a few left like you. You are not unhappy per se; but you are not content either. You are always on the lookout to explore life, anticipating its last and final secret. You explore yourself each day, to understand why you behave the way you do and do not. You like long walks on the beaches but also can’t stop brimming with joy at the chance of staying in a quaint cottage in the woods. You feel the rush of your adrenaline at the thought of conquering mountains on your trekking expeditions, but are also drawn by the calmness of the ocean, taken by its power, the uneasing motion, the mysteries that surround it and the magnificent beauty, not to forget. You like the lush green jungles, the hidden rivers, the unconquered mountains, and the comfort of your own home at the same time.. Your sadness is as much part of your life, as is your happiness. 
You are power hungry; for life. And for everything else it comes with- terms and conditions applied. You sure do love and want to be loved, you want a relationship that doesn’t shackle you of your wandering or take from you whatever little is left of you. 
You are a paradox within life, a wanderer, a fantasist and a lover; you are that crowd of lonely men and women who dare to venture out beyond the possibilities of whatever life has to offer. You are that community who look beyond the grays of blacks and whites. 
Believe it or not, the ‘you’ here is in each one of us, guided and strong!

Until next time, love. 

The Flag Theory 

Today I’m going to tell you about my flag theory.

There’s an Indian flag on top of the building a few lanes near my school building. For 5 years, every day on my way to school, I’d stick my head out of the auto/bus and look at the flag. I was fascinated by the way it moved with the wind, the way it folded around the pole, the way it hung low in rain.
Over the years I started to notice a pattern. I realized that flag was an indicator of how my day would be. If the flag was waving away like a mad fool, I’d end up having a very happy day. If the flag didn’t move at all, I’d end up having a sad day. And way back then, a sad day meant not acing some English test (Yes, I was a nerd at that who was fascinated by English and Physics and wanted to become a nuclear scientist. Thank God that changed!) Sometimes, sad days also meant coming back to family drama which would break my heart and make me cry myself to sleep. And in sadness, I wouldn’t be able to study which would make me even sadder (I’m not kidding about the nerd bit). So you can imagine how much I dreaded the flag telling me it was going to be a sad day. But it helped, because I’d be prepared.

Even after my schooling, every time I passed by that building, I found myself looking up to see if I’d have a happy day or a sad day. Because sometimes, a windy day is all it took to heal a broken heart and to calm a confused mind.

Back then, I did not know happiness and sadness and everything in between is what we make of it. Now I know. But I still found myself looking at the flag sometimes. Not as often, but I still did until today when out of the blue I noticed there’s a whole new building that has covered the flag and has made it practically impossible for me to have a glance at it. So that’s the end, I suppose?
I’m sure this is the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard/read because by this theory, every windy day should be a happy day and every cold, rainy day should be a sad day. I won’t argue because it is hard to argue with logic. But I can tell you this from my 11 years of observation, the flag is never wrong!

And just in case you are wondering, today is a sad day. Or so says the flag or maybe it doesn’t, who knows?! =) Oh, I won’t blame you for thinking I’m cuckoo in the head! 😛

Until next time, love!

Purpose of Life

I was once asked to recite an inspiring “What’s your purpose in Life” story for an event in college. 
Truth be told, I feel like I have no written purpose as such. I’m just here to be. At least that’s what I’m learning. There are desires and dreams that are unfolding as I grow older. There’s an undying need to make something a little better for someone. There’s an undying need to share what I have learned through good and bad. There’s an undying need to explore, to learn, to live, to love, to reach out, to get lost and to be everything else life has to offer. Why? I do not know! Call it purpose if you will, but I’ll call it living.

Of Spilled Coffees and Closed Banks

I woke up against my will to go to the bank the other day only to find out the bank was closed. On my way back, I decided to get a hot mocha to go. You can count on me to spill steaming hot mocha on my white tshirt just enough to burn my chest and expose my bra to the general public in broad daylight. You’d think something like that would embarrass me, but no. Instead I skipped a turn and walked through a garbage filled area. By the time I got home, I smelled of coffee and garbage.How in all these movies and TV series and advertisements, these people get their coffee to go and they look all cute and classy sipping on it while walking. Why has the world been lying to me? Why?
So I’ve been on a hot mocha drinking spree because it’s mocha and it’s winter. I compared the mocha at DiBella, Coffee Day and Starbucks price-wise and quality-wise aaand quantity-wise. Yes, I’ve been told I should get a life. Anyway, I did some quick mocha math (mochamatics, if you will) and I’ve come to the conclusion that Tapri wali coffee has the most “value for money and yummy in my tummy” hot mocha. Once again, you’re all welcome!

Travel. Explore. Never Stop. #1

I just read about this Brit man, Graham Hughes, the first person to visit all 201 countries in the world. Without. Using. A. Plane.
It took him 1426 days and all this on a shoestring budget.
Oh. My. God. I’m. Too. Inspired. 
People who follow me on Twitter might know of my constant rants and ramblings of how I’m eager to travel throughout India, so it got me all excited and thinking (but of course!) How awesome would my life be if I saved up some money, said bye bye to my wonderful family and friends and took off for a few months to travel around India, to go to every state. Like seriously, how fucking awesome would that be!
Imagine all the places I’ll get to see, the people I’ll get to meet from all walks of life, all the languages I’ll hear, all the train journeys, the yummy and not so yummy local food I’ll get to eat, all the scary, terrible situations I might have to tackle, all the fights I’ll get into, all the pictures I’ll get to take, all the stories I’ll hear and all the stories I’ll tell, all the knowledge I’ll gain. Imagine the same night sky viewed from different cities, towns and villages. What a truly beautiful experience it will be. There’ll be so much love to give and so much more to take. 
I know I always say so many, many things and do nothing about it really but I hope I will make this happen someday. Soonly. ❤

Until next time, love.