STOP! WE ARE NOT FOR SALE

India; especially West Bengal and followed by Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat are known for Human Trafficking. Apparently, it’s a reproductive justice issue because the victims are not just selected on random; rather they are either already exposed to gender discrimination, oppression or economic injustice. 

People of all ages are trafficked through India for commercial sexual exploitation, forced marriage and forced/bonded labor such as domestic workers, servants, and beggars, while others are sold as armed combatants by terrorists and agitators. 

The traffickers lure the parents in the name of poverty, education and a better life for their kids or sometimes use force, threats, lies and other psychology intimidation to recruit, transport and exploit their victims to work or prostitute just to attain a profit. In fact, 80% of people who are trafficked in India are female and 50% are children. They suffer from mental issues such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, lack of control and physical issues like TB, HIV and other STDs. 

Human Trafficking isn’t a natural occurrence, rather it’s a choice that can be immobilized by taking measures such as raising awareness, strengthening the law enforcement system and observing the borders in order to ensure effectual stoppage to the trafficking. 

“You may choose to look away but you can never say again that you did not know.” – William Wilberforce. 

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World Mental Health Day

“The bravest thing I ever did was continuing my life when I wanted to die.”

Juliette Lewis.

Every year, on October 10th, the theme changes for the World Mental Health Day and this year the focus is on Suicide Prevention. It’s supported by WHO and organized by the World Federation for Mental Health, International Association for Suicide Prevention and United Global Mental Health. 

First observed in 1992, World Mental Health Day is celebrated to raise awareness of mental health issues and encourage the sufferers to open up about their insecurities and anxieties. On this day, people voice out their thoughts, open up their feelings and support the distressed. It’s a global phenomenon that not many individuals regard as important and are prejudiced about. 

Although suicide is preventable and avoidable, it is the most common type of death between the ages of 15-29 and is well-known in Asia and Eastern Europe. Factors such as depression, personality disorders, bipolar disorders, abuse, violence, loss, and anxiety are some of the main branches that lead a person to suicide either by hanging, poisoning or firearms.  

We all live in a world full of hate, fear, and shame, but the one who overcomes these obstacles is the real survivor. 

What we can do to prevent suicide.

  • Talk to those who are having a hard time.
  • Make sure to limit their access to any methods that may lead to suicide. 
  • Improve the atmosphere and economic conditions.
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My Grandfather’s Funeral Speech

This is the speech that I wrote for my Grandpa’s memorial…It’s a bit personal, but I just feel like sharing it on my blog, that’s all.

Good evening everyone.

First of, I want to thank you all for being here today to pay your respects to my grandfather, Rev. Joseph Das. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and uncle to all and I’m sure you all had the same level of appreciation and respect for him as I did.

Today, I took this chance to say a few words about him My grandfather was born in Berhampur, Orissa in the year 1935. He studied at International Grace Bible college in Philippines, Manila and completed his theology in the United states of America. Later, he was appointed as a missionary to a tribe in Orissa. However, due to an unfortunate event, he had to come to Vijayawada.

There he married my beautiful Grandmother, Rajakumari and they had two lovely daughters, Rachel Anupama and Beula Nirupama. My grandfather was a loving, caring, helping and selfless man. He was artistic and loved photography. He looked after his grandchildren with much affection and never did he complain about anything in his life.

Me and Cherry used to apply nail polish and give him facial massages and he would just lay there and let us do it all. He would make us laugh and tell us stories about monkeys and crocodiles.

He loved playing with our cats, listening to good old Dev Anand songs, but most of all, he loved spending time with his Grandson, Ponnuanna and looked forward to see Ronu. There are so many great memories of him that I will cherish. I will miss his laughs, his wisdom, his advices and his love.

My Thathiya lived a good and luxurious life. His wife, two daughters and son in laws and four grandchildren were the world to him. He chose to be with us and enjoyed his life to the fullest. He prayed and his prayers were answered. He did not suffer, rather he lived and died feeling content and in peace.

Thathiya, thank you for always being there for us in our good and bad times. Thank you for supporting us, encouraging us and guiding us. We will always miss you and we love you, Thathi.

I love you and I miss you Thathiya…
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Grandpa…I love you.

We all knew that he was going to live no more and yet, when he took his last breath, we all broke into tiny pieces. His memories flashed in my mind and his last smile to me was painted in front of me. It was just that afternoon that I talked to him and told him that I would come. All he could was give a big smile and nod. I thought I would get to see him, whisper my promises to him and serve him more. But just a few hours later, my Grandmother called.

I was filled with guilt and regret that I couldn’t fulfil his last wishes. I cried even more by just thinking about it. However, a piece of me felt a relief because he had suffered so much. So much pain he endured and yet, he never complained. He bore the pain all to himself and smiled. Smiled because he was just happy to see us. It was as though he would forget all his agony by just seeing us move around and laugh and crack jokes.

But what pained me to know was that, in the end, he suffered a little bit more. I wanted to go to him and feed him, talk to him and hug him but our Lord has His own plans and His plans are always Great. Perhaps I wouldn’t have survived if I saw him like that. Perhaps it was for the better that I was away for a while.

I realized that I didn’t do much for him. I didn’t…

Even though everyone is saying that I have done enough, I feel like I have not. I still want to do more for him…I still want to feed him, talk to him and see him laugh at our jokes.

Grandpa…I love you so much. I really love you and I’m sorry for everything…

I feel guilty because I have a feeling that I might have hurt him or caused him to hate me by doing something which he displeased. And no matter how many good memories of him I try to recall, it’s overlapping with his loneliness that he was living in. I guess that’s what pains me…to know that he lived the rest of his life on bed; unable to go to places that he dearly loved or meet the people he dearly cared for.

I keep telling myself that I’m probably overthinking all this stuff and that eventually, everyone has to die. But like I said, what makes me sad isn’t his death but his memories and his suffering.

I just want to hug him tightly and close my eyes and wish that none of what happened is true. But that’s going against God’s Will and with this thinking of mine, I don’t want to displease the Almighty. I don’t want to say or think that it was His fault that Grandpa died because God gives life to whom He wills and takes away the life of whom He wills of His slaves. It’s life and we must move on. Our Lord is Most Knowing of everything and I’m glad that Grandpa died because none of us could see him suffer anymore.

To Allah we belong and to Allah we return.

I pray that our Lord, the Most Merciful admits my Grandfather into Paradise and Forgives all his sins. And I pray that He forgives me as well for my mistakes and shortcomings and for the things I shouldn’t have said to my grandpa and for the wishes I haven’t fulfilled.

Ameen.

Everyone has given me the task to write the funeral speech for him and although I would be happy to, I’m afraid that I won’t be able to because this is the first time someone so close and beloved to me has died…I don’t even know how or what I’m feeling but I pray that I find a way to cope with my grievances and be a support to my Grandma, my brother who is closer to my grandfather than me and my remaining family members.

I hope I do a good job of writing that funeral speech…I also wouldn’t mind a little help so if you’re reading this post, can you help me? What do I write and how do I write…?

Grandpa…I know you can’t hear me or read this article but I love you, okay? I didn’t say it to you before but I don’t regret it because I showed you my love through serving you patiently. I hope you loved me too just as you loved my brother and I hope we meet again in Paradise.

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A Poem for My Grandpa

Just seeing my Grandfather living his last breaths breaks my heart…I wish I could be near him at this very moment; holding his hand, talking to him, telling him that everything is going to be alright. I miss his voice and the way he used to praise me from time to time, saying how patient I was helping him and feeding him. Gosh, I just miss him so much right now. I can’t stop my tears whenever I think about him. I video called him yesterday and he couldn’t even talk properly.

I know he doesn’t have long to live but I wish I could just be beside him. You know, I still feel that I haven’t taken care of him much. I suddenly feel so guilty and I’m overwhelmed with regrets. There were times when I got slightly annoyed or didn’t listen to him much and now those things are kind of getting to me. You know what they say, “You only know you love them when they’ve gone away.”

But I want him to die peacefully. I don’t want him suffering with pain. If he just passes away in his sleep, I think that would make me happy. Here is a little poem which I wrote for him, but I don’t think I can read it to him. Maybe my grandmother would, but…anyway, here I go.

“You held me in your arms,
fed me, played with me and
helped me sleep at night.

You made up stories,
just to make me smile,
You took me to places,
I could never find.

I can’t thank you enough,
for the things you’ve done for me.
You’ve given me so much joy all these years,
that I will never forget even if I’m drowning in tears.

I can’t see you go away,
Grandpa, I love you so much,
but unfortunately, we all get old,
and some day we all must fade away.

I only pray that you are happy,
until your last breath.
I only pray that I get to see you for one last time,
before your silent and blissful death.”

Grandpa, I love you.

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What is Love? (A Poem)

What is love?

Love is when you feel happy for him
even though you are not happy with yourself.

When you know that he will live a good life,
with or without you.

When you realize that you won’t be able to meet,
yet you pray for his good health and life.

When you grasp that you’re sea’s apart,
and you keep on hoping to meet him.

Love is Jongin

When you cry for him at night,
when you think about him all day,
when you scroll through your gallery
and smile at his photos.

When you feel pain by just thinking that
maybe you won’t be able to marry him.

When you feel depressed
because he hasn’t posted anything on his Instagram yet.

Love is strange,
but every love is special in its own way.

To- Kim Jongin

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A Troubling Event…

The thing that has been on my mind since the start of January is…The news about EXO’S Kim Jongin and BLACK PINK’S Jennie dating!

When I first saw the news, I was so devastated. I love Kim Jongin. Like so much that I can’t imagine him being with someone (not that I am a Saseng or something) I just truly love him and I couldn’t accept the news.

I still have my doubts that the news is just a rumor and that maybe they just said it for some kind of a distraction. But still, I just hope the news is false because neither Jongin nor Jennie told anything about them both.

I won’t be able to tell you how much Jongin means to me. I feel that he’s a piece of my heart that has been lost…My soul-mate, you know? I know, you guys might think that I’m over-exaggerating and stuff, but that’s just how I feel and there’s nothing you guys can do about it.

Yes. I am a big fan of Jongin and yes, like everyone else I think of a future that might turn out hopeless, but I’m trying. You have no idea how much I’m trying…

I’m also sad because gosh, I love Jennie so much. She was my second best in BLACKPINK after Rose and now…I can’t even say her name properly because when I do, the dating news just flashes in front of my eyes and I don’t really like it. Saying her name or even thinking about her pains me.

Ugh, it’s just so frustrating! I just wish someone would tell me what really is going on…Jongin recently uploaded his Instagram after like 15 days but he didn’t say anything. He only posted photos of his and his nephew and niece.

I miss Jongin when he used to upload day after day and I just hope he is doing well. I’m worried about him and although he looks happy in his recent SMTOWN Concert, I just feel that he has a lot to say…A lot to explain.

But no matter what, I will always be on Jongin’s side.

KIM JONGIN, 사랑해

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Steve the Seahorse #PlanetorPlastic

So, below is a short story which I wrote for the competition on Wattpad that’s held by National Geographic so that we could help and change this terrible crisis that has taken place. Millions of marine animals are dying because of plastic, isn’t it time to stop? Shouldn’t we protect these beautiful creatures? 

I hope my story will make an impact, if not a 100 percent, at least a 50? even 5% is fine because change starts with a thought. 

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The seahorse wandered the vast ocean in search of a mate. For years, he had been caged by his parents in his little house that was between moss and weeds. All they wanted to do was protect him from the big, scary things out there. Things that would eat him alive like a delicious chocolate.

However, Steve the Seahorse was fed up of their “stories” about big whales and white sharks. He wanted to explore, enjoy his life, and find someone he could spend his life with. He didn’t want to waste his only life living in fear, he wanted to go out there and discover the wonders of the ocean, and see what it was really like.

Steve’s friends would always brag about going beyond their set boundaries. “I saw a dolphin! Isaw a beautiful star!” They would say. That would make Steve listen to them awe, and he too wished he had such memories to share.

One night, when Steve’s parents were asleep, he snuck out of the leaves that hid them from the big fishes and swam towards the fence that would taken him to the other side of the deep ocean. He swam and swam until he was met with a complete darkness. Hebreathed heavily, he was now afraid. He had already lost his way, he was now in distress.

Steve looked around and hoped to find someone for help. He swam a little more until suddenly,he saw something swimming at a distance. 

He cautiously swam toward it and saw a very thin creature silently swimming in the middle of nowhere.

“Excuse me? Can you help me get home? I think I’m lost.” Steve said, but the strange creature didn’t reply. It was quiet as if it was dead.

Steve touched it,but it took a step back. As weird as it may sound, it didn’t have an eyes or a nose or fins that would help it swim. “What are you…?” He asked, oblivious and astonished to see the creature in front of him.

The latter didn’t respond, it kept on swimming.

Steve looked around, and was filled with a sudden fear. He left the creature where it was and swam a little further. He met another weird creation, this one looked similar to a stingray, but it was more flat and thin, it was more transparent.

“Excuse me…can you help me?” Steve asked nervously. This creature didn’t respond as well. And so Steve went further away. He met many more of these peculiar looking things, he asked them for help, but none of them spoke to him. The more he swam further,the more he got lost.

There was no one to help him, which was strange. Because his friend had told him that the ocean was actually filled with lovely and helpful friends. Instead, all there was were transparent creatures, that didn’t talk or help. They just swam in the darkness as if they were dead. 

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If you did like this story, then please vote in the link below~ It would really mean a lot and your good intentions of stopping the use of plastic will affect greatly! 

Until then, peace neighbors,

See you in my next post~

I’M THE WRITER NEXT DOOR!

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Blooming Days (One Shot)

It was one summer day. The sun was casting its bright rays on her head. She was standing alone in the middle of a sunflower field. The sunflowers were staring up at the sun, praising its master abundantly.

She recalled the first time they had met. Right in this dazzling field. Eyes burning with curiosity. Hands itching to touch. Feet hesitant to shift. His scent had overlapped the fragrance of the flowers. He smelled of lavenders, soil, trees, and cinnamon. As if he had lived in the forest for ages. But no, he was just another being living down the street who happened to be out here. Who happened to come across this innocent girl with pure heart and body.

This girl, he noticed briefly, had a pale face, and a mole on the sides of her thin lips. She smiled at him, and although he tried to smile back, he couldn’t. He regrets turning around and walking away as if he saw nothing. As if she was invisible.

Since then, she always came to this field. Looking out for him. Eagerly hoping to see him again. Because alas, it was love at first sight. She had fallen deeply in love with him. Her heart used to thump loudly whenever she would recollect the surprised expression of his. Her cheeks would burn intensely, and she would end up smiling on her own.

She yearned to see him again. She yearned for days. Weeks. Months. Years.

It was one summer day. The scent of lavender and cinnamon wafted through the sunflower field. She saw him kneeling down and smelling the flower from afar. She got excited; adrenaline running through her veins, and although she wanted to run towards him and introduce herself, she stayed behind because she had a feeling that he would leave once again like he did last time. So, she waited with bated breath. Patiently. And then she thought. That simply seeing him from a distance was enough.

She remembered that she didn’t like the feeling when he walked away from her. She didn’t want to feel that way again. And so, every summer day, he would come to the field, he would smell the flowers and she would watch him from a fair distance.

Although one summer day, he had retired from the girl he had unexpectedly encountered. The moment he lay on his bed and closed his eyes, her pale face, her red dress and her smile flashed before him in a pleasing image. Who was she? What was she doing there?

Then one summer day, he came back to the field, not because he wanted to see the sunflowers and smell them, because he wanted to see the girl in the red dress again. Woe, she wasn’t there. Woe again, she wasn’t there.

He came again. And again. And again for those one summer day, but never again did she appear before him. Never again did their eyes meet.

One summer day, when the sunflowers were staring up at their magnificent master, the girl stood in the middle of the flowers, shedding warm tears, breathing with difficulty, and missing the boy.

She regretted the choice she had made. Regretted it so bad that she wished she was as good as dead by now. She looked up at the bright ball of fire, her swollen eyes burning intensely, her pupils fading away into brilliant whiteness. When suddenly, she felt darkness, she felt cold. Her pain was gradually decreasing. Her eyes were cooling down, and then she felt the touch.

The touch of his rough hands that had been created to play an acoustic guitar.

One summer day, he came to the field, desiring nothing but to see the lovely girl that had accidentally captured his heart. He was walking, wandering thoughtlessly while gazing at the sunflowers who had averted their heads away from him. And then, he saw her. Merely standing there like the most alluring statue he had ever seen. She was looking up at something. He looked up too but saw nothing. He walked towards her, slowly.

He got close to her. Closer. She smelled of…sunflowers. Dry, but intoxicating and earthy. He then saw her eyes and they were turning crimson. They were wide and unblinking and he was astounded as to how she could keep them open for so long. It pained him to see her body still and her lips unemotional.

He took another step and placed his hand on her scorching eyes.

She blinked a hundred times, afraid that her sight would never come back to her. But fortunately, the image of her ballerina’s was progressively coming into view. She didn’t understand why she did such an absurd act, but she was glad that someone arrived at the scene at the right time before she could turn completely blind forever.

It striked her pretty late. And she scrambled to her feet from the bench outside a broken down café. She saw a figure sitting on the bench and hastily rubbed her eyes and blinked a few hundred times more. The figure finally came to be. A boy her age. Tall and handsome. But instead, she frowned. She was expecting him, she somehow knew it was him, but it turned out to be someone else. Someone who was watching her from distance too. Someone who had fallen in love with her before he had.

They were still. Silent. Like a watercolor painting. The sun setting into another tomorrow. Into another one summer day.

And then he smiled. He said a few simple words to her and walked away. As if he was fish who had missed the bait. He swam away.

What were those simple words you ask? Sorry, I don’t know because I was and am just an old woman watching from afar. Just an old lady who has no strenght left to speak, and yet I tolerantly open a book, uncap a pen and write this true story of what happened one summer day.

One summer day, they met. The real boy. Her true love.
She confessed. He accepted.
She kissed. He snatched her away from the field of sunflowers.

One summer days had gone by so slowly for me. She was my only friend. My only sight for the sore eyes. But I was happy for her. Seeing her cheeks blossom on her cheeks made me happy. Seeing her heart bloom made me happy. Seeing her not standing there under the sun, burning herself away made me happy.

He was something, That kid. That boy who freed her from an unknown misery.
But the boy who had protected her from the lustrous star was more than something.

I won’t tell his story because he was just a passerby. A rabbit in the background hopping away into the bushes.

You could say he was a supporting character maybe? But, if I began to tell you his story, I would need another book which I don’t have anymore. No more pages left. No more ink left. Poor guy has to die within my memories only.

It’s funny how one summer day, everything changes. Destiny chooses, we follow along.
I have a memory too, of my summer. However, I shall promise to not bore you with mine.

I knew very well, that the escaped boy and girl would come back.
I also knew the hero would come back.
Let me just say that he mentioned me those simple words he had spoken to her that day, and it made me cry. He made this old lady cry and he left with a smile.

The same, pathetic smile.

Sometimes, I wish she would’ve fallen in love with him, but when everything is already written, who am I to question fate, right?

After all, I’m just living in this sunflower field for only a little while.
Soon, someone will snatch me away from here too.

One summer day, she comes back. The sunflowers were staring up at their biased leader. The field was as heart-warming as she had remembered it. But she came alone. She came wearing a locket. She came with a shattered heart.

After all those years, she comes to me. And she cries. She cries hard because he had left the sunflower field as just memories. Leaving behind only the scent of cinnamon and soil. Leaving a fragment of his to linger on her pale, sun loved skin, and to overlap it with her sunflower perfume.

He snatched her away, but in the end, he forgot what he took and went away.

One summer day, she looks out at the field, memories gushing forth like huge tidal waves, when at a snap of a finger, she forgets everything. She forgets those eye moments, those touches, those rushes and those blooming days. She forgets who she was, who she had met, and who saved her from turning blind.

She withered away, just like I will.
Just like I will.

Her story will be told by me.
It’s nothing great. I know.

But every story matters. Even if it happens one summer day.

 

 

 

 

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A Simple Tragic Love Story

Once upon a time, there lived a girl who couldn’t see.
Then came a boy who could see.

They bumped into each other, like any other love story.
Like any other love story, they fell in love as if it was all meant to be.

The boy loved the girl although she couldn’t see.
The girl loved the boy even though she couldn’t see.

Both of them spent some time together, in beaches, in empty rooms, in the park, and sometimes between the bricked alleys; whispering and laughing.

Those days were the best days of her life. She wished she could see him, and perhaps live with him for a lifetime.

But you don’t get everything what you ask for. Sometimes stories have to be left as tragic as they were. To give meaning to their life, to give emotions to their feelings.

One day, the boy hugged the girl. That day she wanted to repeat. She wanted to be in a loop.

Then one day, he kissed her on the cheek. Oh, how she wanted to stop time in that moment and feel the warmth of his lips.

She cried that day. He wiped her tears. She didn’t feel bad that she couldn’t see, but she felt bad for him that he fell in love with her. With a blind girl who would one day eventually fall down and wouldn’t be back up on her feet.

A few days passed, the boy didn’t meet her. She asked the nurse where he was, the nurse said he was resting because of his sickness.

She asked the nurse to take her to him, she refused to do so and walked away.
The girl waited for a few more days. It was painful, her chest was tightening, but she stayed on her bed anyway.

She didn’t know his name. He didn’t know her name. They were just strangers who were strangely in love. Their hearts were stitched.

Like a rag doll they were left aside.

Weeks passed and she asked the nurse again if she could see the boy.

The nurse held the girls hand, touched her cheek and said that he had passed away.
The girl froze in distress, her heart melted away, her sorrows fell down, her body sank below.

She couldn’t believe it, she didn’t want. She loved the boy as if he was a part of her soul, she loved the boy so much that she wished she could die.

But suicide wasn’t a choice. She had to live to keep his memories.
Memories that meant the world to her, that meant the galaxy and the entire sea.

She cried day and night, the nurse became afraid that one day she might die. She caressed the girl’s hair, took care of her really well.

But her tears won’t stop, eventually, like the boy, the girl passed away.

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