An Open Letter

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Cleanse or no cleanse?

Back in April of this year, I decided to go on a social media break. It wasn’t really a complete break because I was still using Facebook (for memes, obviously), and still replying heavily on WhatsApp because how else will I continously send random gif’s to my brother?  Nevertheless, I did and honestly, it helped me.

I stayed away from my phone, I didn’t spend hours stalking my best friend on instagram, and I didn’t obsessively take selfies on snapchat. Since it clearly helped me tons, I decided to do one again.

This time I went off facebook as well and kept only WhatsApp around.  The first thing you notice is that you spend like 75% less time looking at your phone’s screen. Also, you spend none of your time looking at people’s pictures and wondering about their fancy vacations, or fancy jobs or fancy boyfriends.

During this time however, I’ve started using twitter more. I tell myself its only because I still need to be updated about whats happening in the news world. Its been little over a month of my social media cleanse and I plan on continuing it for another month – mainly because I really want to come back on instagram during mama’s wedding and use boomerang and flaunt my outfits.

This whole time has left me thinking, do I really need this social media break, or am I better off just being updated with everyone’s lives? Over all, I’m a much happier person when I’m not switching on my phone everyday with the purpose of checking the latest facebook update by my ex-best friend; on the other hand, it feels like I’m missing out on whats happening in my classmates’ lives because I’m not watching anything at all.

Recently Watched on my Netflix Account:

Over these months, netflix has started releasing a ton of original content. 90% of the time I’m not exactly impressed by these original ventures, but once in a while Netflix releases a gem and you become obsessed with it. In the past month, I’ve squeezed Netflix shows and movies whenever I could into my schedule and for the most past of it, I’ve really, really enjoyed them!

  1. Queer Eye: Before I actually started watching Queer Eye, I would always see the cast everywhere doing a ton of interviews and buzzfeed quizzes and keep wondering why I wasn’t watching this show! Queer Eye is essentially a make over show where 5 completely and totally gay men, on the request of someone make someone’s life over. Obviously I found a favourite boy (Antoni) and before Queer Eye, I never thought I would be this excited about a reality show.
  2. Seirra Burgess is a Loser: My first thought about this movie when I initially watched the trailer was that this is completely stupid. Why, in a time where girls body shame themselves regularly, would make such a movie? Seirra Burgess is a story of Seirra who’s completely invisible at her school because she doesn’t fit in society’s definition of acceptable. One day, an unknown number texts Seirra (albeit by mistake) and she starts a friendship with this unknown number. I did watch the movie, and despite of being completely unrealistic and a tiny bit of stupid, the movie touches a chord at some points and has a really good soundtrack.
  3. To all the Boys I’ve Loved Before: I read this book before I watched the movie and thus ended up really not liking the movie. I loved the book and the movie, on the other hand felt really rushed and I couldn’t really understand the hype over Peter Kavinsky (However, I do approve of the hand in back pocket of jeans thing!)

What am I listening to?

My brother recently made me download amazon prime music after seeing how much I struggled with Saavn and its unnecessary advertisements and I’ve to say its been the best part of this month! Amazon prime music is a blessing and works brilliantly and it makes it very easy for me to ignore people at work and just listen to music all the time. Over the weeks though, I’ve actually started listening to more and more of Hindi songs, especially early 2000’s songs just because. These are my go-to songs to survive every single work day:

  1. Love Lies – Khalid
  2. Back to you – Selena Gomez
  3. Rise – Jonas Blue
  4. O meri Laila – Atif Aslam
  5. Happier – Marshmello
  6. Dekhte Dekhte – Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s version
  7. Roke na Ruke Naina (Unplugged version) – Amaal Malik
  8. Lie to Me – 5sos

Are you as addicted as I’ve become to this app and these songs to any app?

Priding through the weekend!

Two days ago, our Supreme Court passed a 495 page judgment written by a 5 Judge Constitutional Bench essentially stating this: Gay people can finally have sex with each other and not be branded criminals!

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The first thing that goes through everyone’s mind when you read this is why were gay people having sex even branded as criminals first?

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code unequivocally branded adults having consensual sex as criminals and subjected them to imprisonment and fine, if the same was “against order of nature”. The Section was introduced back in 1860 and has been protested against tons of times.

In January of this year, five different people went to our Supreme Court and asked them to strike down the Section because it denied the LGBT community their basic fundamental rights.
In July of this year, the Supreme Court heard all arguments and reserved its judgement and on 6th September, the Bench passed a HUGE judgement covering tons of different aspects and laying down some very important precedents.

The judgement was passed by the Chief Justice of India (just before he finishes his term on October 2nd) along with conjuring judgments by four other judges, all of them speaking all kinds of sense. The huge judgement analyzed the meaning of sexual orientation, the meaning of individual identity and tied it all together by placing reliance on judgements from various other countries where same-sex consensual relationships have been legal for a long time.

I sat and read through the first 100 pages of the judgment (the CJI’s judgement) and can safely say that it is a very progressive judgement. Some of may favourite parts from the CJI’s judgment are these:

“As sexual orientation is an essential and innate facet of privacy, the right to privacy takes within its sweep the right of every individual including that of the LGBT to express their choices in terms of sexual inclination without the fear of persecution or criminal prosecution.”

“Biologically, the difference between a gay man and a straight man is something like the difference between a left-handed person and a right-handed person. Being left- handed isn’t just a phase. A left-handed person won’t someday magically turn into a right-handed person. Some children are destined at birth to be left- handed, and some boys are destined at birth to growup to be gay.”

The judgement has finally made homosexuality legal in India and comes as a huge, huge step towards progressive thinking. Over the years, the Supreme Court in our country has actually started passing really meaningful judgments, especially ensuring that the rights of the people in the country are not being violated.

 

 

P.S: Almost cried when I heard about the judgment + had MASSIVE goosebumps.

 

 

8 Years?

Look what I woke up to today!

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I cannot believe that its been 8 years since I started writing here! Its been a roller coaster ride with so many different emotions and I strongly feel that more than anything, my writing has grown and there are times when once in while I end up writing really awesome things.

Happy Anniversary to Me!

Saint like;

One of the best things about India (and one of the only things I’m really low-key proud of), is how diverse we are with our culture. India has TONS of people. This truckload of population is completely not ideal for a different number of reasons, however having these many different people in the same space kind of ensures that you end up knowing everything about this other person you’re sharing space with.

The Sikh community in India refers to the people who follow Sikhism. This religion was founded primarily in the 15th Century and follows majorly the teachings of Guru Nanak.

Now, I’ve never been a religious person and thus I’ve never really known much about Sikhism (or any other religion we have here). My interests usually tend to be out of curiosity or because my mother is interested.

For our summer vacation, we vacationed to Leh, a district in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It was beautiful and I did NOT want to leave. Jammu and Kashmir is the northernmost state in our country. It borders Pakistan on most sides and anyone who has decent internet at home would know that India and Pakistan are always at loggerheads. Because of this exact reason, the Indian Army has a gigantic presence in the state, including in Leh.

Now, just like we have Temples, and Muslims have Mosques, Sikhs have Gurudwaras. My mother has been wanting to visit one for the longest time. The Gurudwara Pathar Sahib is located 25 kms from Leh. It is run and maintained by the Indian Army, and this time, it was on our itinerary!

Visiting the Gurudwara, was, by far one of my favourite parts of the trip. I’ve never been to one before and the whole experience was completely new and exciting. After we went around the Gurudwara, my parents decided that we better stay for the Langar.  Langar is the term used in Sikhism for the community kitchen in a Gurdwara where a free meal is served to all the visitors, without distinction of religion, caste, gender, economic status or ethnicity. The free meal is always vegetarian and the people sit on the floor, eat together, and the kitchen is maintained and serviced by Sikh community volunteers.

Thus, we sat and ate in the Langar and I’m not exaggerating when I say that it was one of the best meals I had on this vacation. I couldn’t get over the simple fact that everything there was being done voluntarily. That, army men and soldiers were voluntarily serving ordinary people like me!

The thing with Langar is that once you’re done eating, you’ve to go and stand in line to first, wash your dishes with soap water and second, with clean water and then wash up yourself and deposit the utensils so they can be used again. I fell in love with this concept. I’ve never seen any religion preaching so much of self-service and independence.

My other absolute favourite part was that anyone can eat in a Langar. And by anyone, I mean ANYONE at all. Me, you, a beggar on the street, Donald Trump.