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Then she grew older, her boyfriend in college constantly chastised her. Asked her to stop talking to other guys. To pull up her top. To not bend. To hush. Every guy she ever spoke to was a victim of her uncontrollable desire.
2019 is the year in which our beloved writing contest, Muse of the Month gets bigger and better (find out how here) and also takes the cue from the words of women who inspire with their poetry. The writing cue for February 2019 is from the poetry of Mary Oliver, passed away on 17th January 2019, aged 83. This is a tribute to her, and her memorable words, taken from her poem, The Summer Day.
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
The first winner of our February 2019 Muse of the Month contest is Ayushi Mona.
It had been a restless night. She tossed, the sheets on the bed tying in with her unease. There had to be a way around this, surely.
It was puzzling that this was even confounding her. The answer should have been easy come, easy go.
The campus was silent, unsurprisingly so, considering it was a term break. Silence helped her construct her thoughts. Well, it was not working out this time.
She could have gone home but she didn’t want to feel the burden of expectations, the confounding stares of disappointed parents, and the sliver of doubt appearing on her friends’ faces replaced by fake heartiness.
So, she stayed.
Stayed at the not-home that felt more than home. The stale stench that usually emanated from her roommate’s ashtray wasn’t there to bug her tonight.
Well, that’s one good thing, after a day, which had been full of doubts.
She laughed. Why was she even thinking of all of this?
She had directed before. Acted. Written. All three leaps of courage. Well, for most people. For her, they were second nature.
She pulled her drawer open. Took out her notebook. Riffled through the shelf for a pen that worked.
She recalled her Director’s instructions, “Take your personal misery and turn it into a story that all women associate with.”
She’d been amiable to this – she thought of the time her parents fought, or when her granddad died. Eve – teasing. Judgments. Stares. Condemnation. She’d thought misery was tangible. Quantifiable. Understood. Like a root canal. Or three days of staying indoors. Your poison. Personal Hell. Whatever.
But, she groaned, this was too mainstream. Then she thought, and thought and nothing came. Nothing that was her own pain. In its own quintessential way. She kept back the notebook.
What misery of hers could be her protagonist’s larger worry, a definition of something larger?
The little clock on the wall ticked.
She thought of the last time she’d felt upset. She remembered Shreya calling her an ice princess. For no reason whatsoever, she’d found her nostrils flaring. She was not cold! She just, well, kept her distance. It made things easier.
Theatre of alienation 101. In real life.
Keep distance emotionally to analyze a problem intellectually. She stopped.
Was this what she was doing wrong?
Was this why she couldn’t dig deeper, find a common pain that she shared with other women?
She thought of how she even reached this stage of detachment.
And though she could think of multiple incidents, like pollen scattered by the wind.
She remembered that one incident when she had loved someone and she’d been shy. And he’d not been comfortable with her silences. He’d dismissed her as the nice girl, the sort who stayed home, and the ones who obeyed. Docile.
Boring. Fit to be praised. Too gentle to be broken.
Then she grew older, her boyfriend in college constantly chastised her. Asked her to stop talking to other guys. To pull up her top. To not bend. To hush. Every guy she ever spoke to was a victim of her uncontrollable desire. He left. Good riddance to bad rubbish. With a lingering stink of mingled nostalgia and anger.
She could see the sun rising from her room’s window. She stepped out in the corridor and bent her head towards the courtyard. A tiny action, done a thousand times.
She saw, what she saw every single day since she had returned to teach where she had been taught.
And her heart stopped.
What she’d always dismissed as a vintage party girl looked startling different to her now.
The girl in the graffiti looked like Marilyn Monroe.
The red pout, the cropped hair, the tantalizing mole. But she was in a little black dress, poised like Audrey Hepburn.
Eyes closed, in thought, as if she lived in the realms of her mind.
Both, the Seductress and the Princess.
And, then she realized that this was what had to be done to her. To the magnum opus of her life.
Realizing that there could be two selves in one self.
That she was both the Madonna and the whore. That she wasn’t an object a man could pick and choose.
She opened her laptop in joy. She had a story. She was going to write. She would direct.
7 years later.
The annual production was underway.
Ayushi Mona wins a Rs 500 Amazon voucher from Women’s Web. Congratulations!
Image source: pixabay
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Read books and track them on Goodreads (3K+). Podcaster at India Booked. Arming women with knowledge on personal finance. Marketer & Writer-at-large. read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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What I loved was how there is so much in the movie of the SRK we have known, and also a totally new star. The gestures, the smile, the wit and the charisma are all too familiar, but you also witness a rawness, an edginess.
When a movie that got the entire nation in a twist – for the right and wrong reasons – hits the theatres, there is bound to be noise. From ‘I am going to watch it – first day first show’ to ‘Boycott the movie and make it a flop’, social media has been a furore of posts.
Let me get one thing straight here – I did not watch Pathaan to make a statement or to simply rebel as people would put it. I went to watch it for the sheer pleasure of witnessing my favourite superstar in all his glory being what he is best at being – his magnificent self. Because when it comes to screen presence, he burns it, melts it and then resurrects it as well like no other. Because when it comes to style and passion, he owns it like a boss. Because SRK is, in a way, my last connecting point to the girl that I once was. Though I have evolved into so many more things over the years, I don’t think I am ready to let go of that girl fully yet.
There is no elephant in the room really here because it’s a fact that Bollywood has a lot of cleaning up to do. Calling out on all the problematic aspects of the industry is important and in doing that, maintaining objectivity is also equally imperative. I went for Pathaan for entertainment and got more than I had hoped for. It is a clever, slick, witty, brilliantly packaged action movie that delivers what it promises to. Logic definitely goes flying out of the window at times and some scenes will make you go ‘kuch bhi’ , but the screenplay clearly reminds you that you knew all along what you were in for. The action sequences are lavish and someone like me who is not exactly a fan of this genre was also mind blown.
Recent footage of her coming out of an airport had comments preaching karma and its cruel ways, that Samantha "deserved her illness" because she filed for divorce.
Samantha Ruth Prabhu fell from being the public’s sweetheart to a villain overnight because she filed for divorce. The actress was struck with myositis post divorce, much to the joy of certain groups (read sexist) in our society.
A troll responded to Samantha’s tweet, “Women Rising!!” by adding to it “just to fall”. She replied, “Getting back up makes it all the more sweeter, my friend.”
Here’s another insensitive tweet by BuzZ Basket showing fake concern for her autoimmune disease. “Feeling sad for Samantha, she lost all her charm and glow. When everyone thought she came out of divorce strongly and her professional life was seeing heights, myositis hit her badly, making her weak again.” Samantha responded, “I pray you never have to go through months of treatment and medication like I did. And here’s some love from me to add to your glow.”
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