Saala yeh dukh khatam kaahe nahi hota be!

Dear Deepak,(Masaan)

Masaan means Crematorium. You taught me this. You came in my life like death, uninvited, but went back like a realization, always left to be felt.

Shaalu told you that you are honest. But for me, you are everything, everywhere. You are the beauty of Mirza Ghalib’s shayaris, the cheerfulness of morning Ganga Arti, the aroma of the lemon tea and the serenity of the sunrise at Assi Ghat, the chimimg of bells in temples, the power of waves, the coldness of soil, the scent of sandalwood, the fragrance of incense sticks, the passion of the flame on the funeral pyre, the grief of tears, the mortality of white, the black of ash, the futility of a corpse, the taste of death. You feel everything like life yet nothing like death.

You taught me that people cannot come back, just like ash cannot be separated once released in water. You did not give me false hopes that feelings can be controlled or hidden. You cried, wailed, screamed. You did not fear to express yourself. When you said “Saala ye dukh khatam hi nahi hota bey!”, a flame ignited inside me. The only difference was that it turned ash into a person. You taught me that it is okay to be vulnerable. Though you broke down when you wanted to, you again emerged strong, like the flowers used during the end rituals. They know their end is near, their fragrance will turn into smoke, but still they live, with the same beauty, same fragrance because they know that life is more painful than death. They know the art of minimizing the pain.

You taught me acceptance. You taught me that their are some voids which can neither be hidden or healed, nor be filled with love or time. They can only be accepted. The way you accepted your vulnerabilities and life. The way you accepted Shalu’s death. The way you accepted that life is greater than death.

You taught me to live life with all its odds, because moksha(salvation) is not only attained after death, but during the acts you do when you are alive. Life does not come to an end when you stop breathing, but when you stop living.

One day, I hope we will meet at Sangam and talk about our lives.

Yours truly,

A corpse you turned alive.

Adhya Manocha

My parents don’t sleep in the same bed.

My parents don’t sleep in the same bed.

An eight year old girl doesn’t know What an arranged marriage is. But a nine year old does. What a nine year old doesn’t know Is that her parents fight. But a ten year old girl knows That her mother thinks her father isn’t enough And her father can’t stand her mother.

Fortunately, a ten year old girl Doesn’t know About divorces. But an eleven year old girl does. She also knows that the only reason Her parents are still married Is because they can’t get rid of her.

A twelve year old knows That she’s a burden A constant reminder Of two lives gone astray. A fifteen year old young woman knows That whatever her life brings her A sad broken marriage shouldn’t be included. A sixteen years old girl knows better Than to call her friends over for a night out. What if they find That her parents are messed up?

An eighteen year old girl knows That she wasn’t the product of love But of a tradition. Of hate. Of unsaid things. Ripped stitches. Lifeless birthdays. An eighteen year old looks at every other five year old girl And wishes she never finds out.

 

by Kash Sheokand

Dear Kabir Singh

Kabir,

The whole nation is talking about you as your story is unveiled to the masses, and millions of people pool at theory to see your supposed “rage”. A crowd of drunk college boys sit in the first row of the theatre and hoot as you push ice into your pants and slap the girl you “love” and scream in the faces of people and gulp down alcohol like it’s water. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

There have been mixed reactions. Some people are glorifying you as you’re the perfect “depressed” hero with alcohol in your veins and scalpel in your fist. And the second group calls you toxic, and blatantly misogynistic as you threaten your girlfriend with a knife to have sex. I am a part of that group.

Remember, Kabir, Love is many things but not what you feel. Obsession is a better word. It’s not love when you hurt the other. It’s not love when you threaten the other. It’s not love when you mark someone as yours. You don’t own people, you simply don’t. India has been named one of the most unsafe countries and you are speeding up the danger vehicle. Because you’re normalising violence. you’re normalising hurt by giving it the name of love. You’re making depressed people endangered because your definition of depression is violence. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

There’s so much wrong with you Kabir, and with Preeti who accepts. There’s so much wrong with your story. But it’s not you who disgusts me, because you’re someone who is fictional. The people who created you are very, very real. And it’s not you who scares me, it’s the people admiring you.

 

by Saptaparna