Conversation

Friday 11th March

It has been a while since I last blogged and I guess it’s because life has been moving so fast – at least relative to my past – that I haven’t had time I’ve just been too busy absorbing it all. I was having dinner with an old friend last night and we were at one of those tiny Asian places in Mid City Arcade on Bourke Street, sitting at a shared table, trying hard not to overhear the conversation of the people sitting right next to us although our elbows kept bumping together (side note -Investment bankers phewfff reowr), and they were trying hard not to listen to us. It was a funny moment, because snippets of their conversation that pricked our ears e.g. Tinder, and salsa dancing, set us off on our tangent and vice versa. While we were not strictly dining  – I feel like our separate yet parallel conversations influenced each other in a symbiotic relationship.

It got me thinking about conversation, how it ebbs and flows, how it is orchestrated for a purpose at times, how we can manipulate conversations and direct them towards a certain topic, and how sometimes they just evolve of their own free will, like living breathing creatures. Sometimes a good conversation is simply the silence between two people, the words that are never spoken and don’t need to be.

I don’t want to be one of those couples that finish each other’s sentences – I like talking too much for that and frankly I would get annoyed if I could never finish a sentence because boy this girl can talk. I’d like to think that even 20 – 30 years down the line, I am still a mystery, a force to be reckoned with, and I can surprise the love of my life with the ridiculousness that comes out of this mouth.

Some people are attracted to physique, others to athletic prowess, or musical abilities. I fall in love with words. Give me a guy who knows a word with over five syllables and you’ll have me swooning. There is something about well-read men – well-read people in general – that is really charismatic. I love people who can pick up on the references I throw out there and they get exactly what I mean. I once knew a guy three years ago who was on crutches because he’d torn his ACL, and I casually said ‘Hey Tiny Tim’ and he greeted me with ‘Hey Scrooge’ and it was such memorable moment it’s still stuck in my head. Because someone actually got it and it made my day!

I love conversations. I collect them like some people collect stamps. I love the rapport that builds, the banter between two people who have amazing chemistry and you can see the sparks fly off between our words that are creating something between them long before our hands actually touch hesitantly. I love the conversation that takes on a life of its own and I go over it afterwards in my head, reading words between the words, meaning between the lines and the words in the spaces spoken with our eyes.

Words can hurt, but words can also heal. Words can set a war into motion, they can save a life. I believe words are our strongest asset and I will never stop loving them.

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What I know for sure

What I know for sure

I recently read the book ‘What I know for sure’ by Oprah which is partly based on her weekly Newspaper column of the same title. It got me thinking about what I know for sure in my life – short life so far – and I thought I’d make a list of what I know to be true for me.

What I know for sure:

• I will always love my brother and he will always love me regardless of what happens or where the years take us
• I will be an amazing mother. I will doubt myself later and second-guess my parenting decisions when my children are teenagers, but ultimately I will be an amazing mother to my children
• I will never regret money spent on travelling or new experiences, if they are choices I have made without undue pressure from others. These experiences have only enriched my life and I am sure will continue to do so
• The rules I made for myself and morals I held myself to when I was younger were useful at the time. Some of them are still decisions I continue to adhere to and guidelines I hold myself to. Others are not. Our standards and values change as we get older and that’s okay. I do not need to feel guilty for evolving from the ideals I had when I was younger.
• There are things in life that require closure. Unfortunately, we may not always receive it. In time I must move forward anyway. There are some questions that may always be unanswered and doors always half open and I will just have to accept that.
• Regardless of what I believe love is or what it feels like, I will not experience what truly unconditional self-sacrificing love is until I have children. And I will probably be blown away by how my heart is tied to them.
• My family will always be there for me and love me no matter what. It may take them some time to understand my decisions and choices at times but eventually they will come around.
• Global warming, terrorism and poverty are happening whether we choose to see it or not. It is better to open our eyes to the problems we face in the world than bury our heads in the sand.
• I will always love to read and write because it feeds my soul and I will squeeze out little pockets of time to write because I need it to feel emotionally and mentally fulfilled.
• There are books, places, music and art that will always remind me of people I have loved over the course of my life. It is more beneficial to my emotional health to see them as a gift, a remnant of what as, a token from time to be grateful for rather than memories to grieve over. I need to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

A Reflection on “What I know for sure” by Oprah Winfrey

3/11/2015

3.-What-I-Know-For-Sure

I just finished the book ‘What I know for sure’ by Oprah Winfrey, which I’ve been reading at work during my lunch break over the last couple of weeks and while this is not an ideal place to be reading a truly inspirational book – in a lunchroom where most people are gossiping and reading women’s day magazines, I found that when I was able to really tune out and get immersed in what I was reading, it automatically recharged my batteries, I felt like my energy and been renewed, my soul food replenished, and I could go back to work feeling ready for whatever the afternoon was going to throw at me.

Split into the sections Joy, Resilience, Connection, Gratitude, Possibility, Awe and Clarity, each section is a collection of thoughts, stories and empowering philosophies about how to live your life to the fullest, how to be accountable for who you are in this world and make the most out of your time in it. There are sections I will probably go back and re-read again, with things that I need to work on personally. But what I liked most about the book was the honesty that rang true in it. As someone who makes a living connecting with people and being a good listener and communicator, Oprah’s own vulnerability spills out of her like the love she so obviously has for all living things, and the generosity she is famous for.

It is amazing that after having been through such a hard childhood – knowing that you are the result of a one night stand and that you were unwanted, that you had a mother who hid her pregnancy until the last minute because she was ashamed of you, – coping with the feelings of unworthiness and inability to draw boundaries later as an adult due to the sexual abuse you experienced from the age of 10 – 14, and resulting pregnancy at 14 – how do you live through all of that and still have such a positive outlook on the world? It would be so so hard and indeed, Oprah admits to all these things and the years it took her to come to terms with her past, and know that she had a right to be there, just because she was born, know that she is not her body, that she had to give herself the love she never received as a child.

I think the most powerful thing I have taken away from this book is that I am responsible for my own happiness. No one else can make me happy or complete me or whatever huffpost 20 something year olds are writing these days, but unless I truly love myself and continue to see myself as a child who needs love and attention and tenderness, I will not be happy at the core of who I am and I cannot expect anyone else to fill a void I created. There is a tendency among many of us, to blame our families, our friends, or a lack of resources or a difficult childhood, for the troubles we are facing in our present or our dreams for the future. And unless of course, you have a mental illness, which is not something you can control at all, there comes a point when you have to let go of the baggage that you’re carrying, that chip on your shoulder, and hold yourself responsible for your future from that point on. Think ‘What is the best that I can do with what I have right now?’ and then go do it. It is our job to love ourselves and give ourselves the tenderness we hope to receive from others, and the rest will follow.

Another important lesson I learnt from this book was resilience. I know a lot of strong courageous women, my mother and grandmother are two of them, as cliché as it is, because everyone names their own mother as a female role model. But I actually have friends my age who I truly admire for everything they have been through and their resilience in standing up against everything the world throws at them and making do with what they have. And I think that’s the best that any of us can hope for – is to stand up and make do. Oprah illustrates this really well in some of her anecdotes on resilience, and especially considering everything that she went through as a child, I can only draw inspiration from her strength and hope that I will be as strong against all the trials that I face in life.

I find myself walking away from this book feeling like I need to revisit it in a couple of years, when between working and paying rent and cooking food to feed myself, life has somehow happened and two years have gone by. I hope that by the end of those two years I can look back and say, yes I was resilient, or yes I gave myself the love I needed from others and I filled my soul with affection and tenderness and gave it the strength to be who it is today. I find myself taking baby steps towards achieving these goals. I am doing a lot more reflection on what matters to me, more asking ‘What is my intention’ in approaching a situation – what do I really want from this? Do I want to be fulfilled or do I want – whatever it is I am trying to tell myself I want.

I hope the next two years are a time for me to fill myself with positive energy and give the best of myself to the world in everything that I do, and hopefully what I give will come back to me.

I Saw The Sign

25.09.2015

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how as humans we communicate so much without speaking. We look for signals from others in eye contact, gestures, physical proximity and that ‘vibe’ that tells us if our presence in their lives is welcome or not. Our behaviour and hence our actions and words are all dependent on this unspoken communication which at its simplest is like the game hot and cold. We behave in a certain way and people respond in a way that indicates if it’s welcome or if it’s not. We reinforce the way others treat us by accepting their behaviour.

It goes further than that though. I wonder how all these subtle signs we send influence the course of our lives. For example, if someone hadn’t smiled at me in my first lecture at University, and I hadn’t taken that as sign of permission for me to go over and sit with her, we may not have become such close friends with a strong friendship for three years. It makes me wonder about all the people who may have had an impact on my life if I’d let them, how different could my life be right now, if I’d smiled at someone? If I hadn’t smiled at someone? If I hadn’t asked someone for the time in an airport or had gone up to that girl in line at Starbucks? There is a butterfly effect, a chain reaction. If a smile that I didn’t know would mean anything was a catalyst for a friendship that meant so much to me I wonder how much more the actions I dwell so much on affect the course of my life.

DSCF6026 Socialised to follow gendered norms, we take cues from our peers on how to behave around the opposite gender. As women there is a prevailing fear that if we show someone how much we care about them they will think we are too needy or clingy and get put off. And so we look for signs, for cues, on how much to reveal, on how much the other person cares about us, a safety net before we expose too much about our own feelings. I think men are equally pressured to adhere to gendered norms, if not more so. All this tiptoeing around the other makes me scared that I may not ever show how I feel about someone because I’m too busy waiting for a cue that I won’t be completely rejected, and vice versa. And if I don’t seize an opportunity, will I pass up what could be the greatest love of my life simply because I didn’t pick up on behaviour on their part that my feelings were reciprocated?

There’s an Ace of Base song I like called ‘I saw the Sign’ and it sounds so simple there, but signs are really so much harder to read in real life. It’s tempting to look at the smallest coincidences like music and shared interests but sometimes you really just need a grand gesture, and one person needs to be brave enough to say out loud the words you might both be waiting for someone else to say.

Top 10 Fictional Crushes

Wednesday 1st July 2015

Long before I knew what love was I was falling in love with fictional characters, as most people do. I have always been a voracious reader so it seemed only natural that I would discover perfection, or lovable imperfection in the dream worlds of my favourite authors.

Here’s my top 10 fictional crushes (in no particular order):

1. Sorensen Carlisle in ‘The Changeover’ by Margaret Mahy

With his youthful good looks, powerful charisma and not to mention – magic powers – Sorenson Carlisle was quite the teenage heartthrob when I was 15 years old. I used to fantasize that he would help me ‘changeover’ and then I would become who I was truly meant to be – A Witch. And we would live happily ever after.

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2. Rhett Butler in ‘Gone with the Wind’ by Margaret Mitchell

I watched Gone with the Wind years before I read the book so by that stage I was already in love with Rhett Butler. It had less to do with Clark Gable than the rambunctious charm and silver-fox appeal of Rhett himself. If I were ever stuck in the middle of a civil war with a sick woman and a new-born baby, there is no man I would want but Rhett. I feel like he would accept my wild impulsive nature, and encourage me to be independent and seek my own fate. Maybe he would grab me passionately in his arms and say ‘You need to be kissed and by a man who knows how’. Sigh.

3. Gilbert Blythe in ‘The Anne of Green Gables/ Avonlea etc series’ by Lucy Maud Montgomery

It’s strange that my mum read me a picture book version of Anne of Green Gables when I was 6 or 7 and I thought nothing of Gilbert Blythe. I think I was glad I didn’t have long hair so that no annoying boy could pull it and yell carrots. It did not occur to me that I didn’t have red hair so the insult carrots would have been redundant. Somehow, re-reading it years later, and later Anne of the Island, I fell in love with Gilbert Blythe. I sensed his shy soulfulness and his devotion to Anne and part of the attraction was wanting someone to want me like that.

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4. Gabriel in ‘The Secret Sacrament’ by Sheryl Jordon

The Secret Sacrament was my favourite book in year 8. I lived, ate, breathed The Secret Sacrament. It basically lived in my desk even though we were meant to return it to the SSR shelf in the class. Later when I won a voucher to Dymocks it was the first book I bought. My mum tried to convince me I would get sick of it in a couple of years but I insisted I would always love it and you know what, I still do. Gabriel will always be the face I imagine when I hear the hymn ‘Eagles Wings’, I imagine his golden high cheekbones giving way to feathers and angels wings beating behind his shoulders. His self-sacrifice and his vulnerability, his courage and love for Ashila, will always have a special place in my heart.

5. Rahel in ‘The God of Small Things’ by Arundhati Roy

Forced to witness the death of a man they loved as a child for no fault of his own, Rahel breaks the love laws again as an adult, the only way she knows how. They are the laws that dictate who she can love, and how and how much. Perhaps because I have broken the love laws myself, perhaps because in her I see my vulnerability and hunger for love, perhaps because I sense a connection with her unreachable depths, I love Rahel and want to save her from herself.

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6. Rudy Steiner in ‘The Book Thief’ by Markus Zusak

I read The Book Thief in late November last year and couldn’t put it down. It was such an endearing, heart-wrenching book about the friendship between Liesle and the young Jewish man hiding in her basement as well as her friendship with Rudy Steiner, her ‘Saukerl’. Rudy stood by her when she had no one, he understood her need to drop bread crumbs for the Jews being marched to concentration camps, he stopped her from going out into the crowd and getting whipped, he stole books with her when he didn’t know why she was taking them. Rudy was the boy who was with her no questions asked and would have stood beside her and in front of her if he thought her life was in danger. He died thinking of her and she wished she could have kissed him while he was still breathing. I will always wish I had a blonde-haired blue-eyed Rudy beside me.

7. Dicey in The Tillerman Series by Cynthia Voight

The first book I read in The Tillerman series was ‘A Solitary Blue’. In fact I read it 3 times in a row as it was the only book I had on a one week holiday in Fiji. I was moved by Jeff and his relationship with his mother, everything he had gone through with her manipulation. But more so by the girl who pulled him back – Dicey. Dicey is strong. She is resilient. She is protective of her family and loves fiercely. She is everything I want to be and so perhaps it is my ego that loves her more than my body does. In her I see the woman I want to be one day and parts of myself, parts of someone stronger. It’s easy to see her Achilles heel is her family and in that I want to save her from the hurt this will bring.

8. Sonia in ‘Crime and Punishment’ by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Sonia was also something of a Mother Theresa, role-model figure to me. Forced into prostitution at the age of 17 or 18, she is one of the redemptive figures in the great Russian classic. I read it at the age of 15 and it was a really hard read for me but so rewarding. Sonia was one of the main reasons I finished the novel. She sees the good in Raskolnikov and finally at the end of the book he begins to treat her the way she has treated him all along. She’s an inspiration and an aspiration and I saw something saintly in her, an adulation to someone I could never be.

9. Holly Golightly in ‘Breakfast at Tiffanys’ by Truman Capote

I fell in love with Holly Golightly the moment she walked out of her bedroom in the body of Audrey Hepburn and said she had the mean reds, wearing nothing but a man’s dinner shirt and an eye mask. Audrey Hepburn brought Holly Golightly or Luna Mae to life on screen, but she stayed true to the spirit of the Holly Capote wrote of. When I read the book, I saw her through Frank’s eyes – this tired broken lonely girl who was trying desperately to find some meaning in her life and latched onto anyone who could pull her out of this sorry existence. She looked for love in all the wrong places and like Frank, I felt like maybe I could save her too. I would have loved to sit in the library with her, have parties and escape through fire escapes, window-shop at Tiffany’s and even shop lift an animal mask from a store if that’s what she wanted to do.

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10. Robert Kincaid in ‘Bridges of Madison County’ by Robert James Waller

The Bridges of Madison County was a name I heard a lot as a kid but I never knew the reference, or if people were talking about a movie or a book. When I first read the novel as a teenager, I was swept away by Robert Kincaid, this independent nature photographer who treated a lonely housewife like she was something special, who respected her as a human being and gave her the attention she deserved. Their short-lived romance was one that kept them alive and hoping for a reunion, at some point in the future. I would love to meet a man who could make me come alive like that.

Stream of Consciousnessy Reflection

Friday 26th June 2015

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Today I turned Twenty Four. It’s a kinda scary age. Scary number. It makes me look back at all the things I’ve done, haven’t done. The things I planned to do but changed my mind about or opportunities I wanted but missed by accident.

Twenty Four. Sigh. At Twenty four my mother got engaged. She got married six months later and had me 8 months after that (I was 8 weeks premature). It was something that was normal to do at the age of 24, 25 years ago. There’s a little inside joke in my family – a coincidence – my Grandmother got married at 24, and had my mother at 25. My mum got married at 24, and had me at 25. I suppose it is inevitable, that now that I’m 24 I’m getting a few jokey nudges that I’ve only got a year left to ‘keep up the family tradition’. While this is simply a joke, it does sting a little bit. Perhaps because it is so ridiculously improbable.

There are a lot of things I thought I would be when I was 24. I found a plan I’d made, about 6 years ago, that mapped out my life for the next 6 years, when I would finish uni, start work, get married, have kids. And obviously none of these things have happened in the way I expected and it seems laughable now that I even thought I could plan this out at 16 and 18 and expect life to happen according to plan. In fact I’m glad it didn’t. Some things happened that were much much better than what I planned. Others surprised me. And even the curved balls have taught me about myself – lessons I’d rather learn at 21 than at 31.

I haven’t blogged in a while because I’ve been distracted by a few things, the main one being my Instagram poetry account which has literally been my life since I started it. It has consumed me in a way I never thought possible and given me so much freedom to make my voice heard, confidence to write about experiences that have been raw and painful, and the support that I am respected for my vulnerability and my talent by this community of writers and readers.

Shameless plug – please check out my poet on facebook.com/anushkabrittopoems or on Instagram anushkabritto

I feel like today on my birthday there have been a lot of things I’ve been reflecting on. Moments that have made me smile, moments that have made me cry.

I’m 24 years old and I have just finished two degrees, two internships, lived in 3 countries. I have had 5 Homes and 4 schools. I have had best friends, and ‘enemies’ (as I plotted my revenge with 5 year old glee), and I have been in love and had my heart broken. There have been times when I thought I would never ever get married and hated the world and thought I couldn’t possibly trust another human being again. But I have always risen again and hoped for a space for that in the future one day. There have been times when I have hated my body, my impulsive spirit, and my quirks. When I literally could not look at myself in the mirror or I avoided looking people in the eye because I felt like they were scrutinizing my body.I think it’s a hard place to grow up in, in today’s world, where women are bombarded with images of what they should look like and ideals that are unreasonable. I for one am sick of the body shaming that women inflict on other women.

Maybe it’s because it’s my birthday that I’ve been so reflective on what I have felt for the last 24 years. I look back at myself as a child, when I didn’t care what I looked like, when my greatest wish was to go out and play, to make islands with ants swimming on leafs on a gravel road. The highlight of my day was not getting caught when we played ‘Monster-Monster’ on the Monkey bars. I didn’t know how people were seen as pretty, or hot. I was vaguely aware that I admired women who looked pretty. My mother had a friend with long black hair who used to come over and I liked touching the soft folds of her skirt. I liked pulling out all my grandmother’s saris and covering myself with colourful see through fabrics. But I never encountered the concept of me being pretty or not pretty or unacceptable. I was a child who picked the scabs off my knees, had short hair because I hated it getting in the way and loved to collect snails, slugs, feathers I found on the ground – oh and different types of bottle caps!

I cannot remember at what point I started questioning whether I was pretty or wanting to be pretty, but I suppose it is inevitable in today’s day and age. I remember moving to New Zealand at the age of eight and realising that other kids found me amusing and feeling embarrassed. I would get excited listening to stories being read out loud in class. I distinctly remember being 8 years old listening to The BFG by Roald Dahl and I hadn’t heard the first half of the story, just the second, and I chimed in with my theories of what it could be,my voice bubbling with excitement, and catching the glances of other children my own age thinking I was such a child. How do children in different countries renounce their childhood at different stages? What determines when you think it’s ‘uncool’ to be excited about a story? I remember pretending I knew how to do karate and doing fake Bruce Lee karate chops in mid air and stopping, self conscious. Because girls my age just played those singing clapping games I had no interest in.

Fast forward 5 years of bad haircuts, being extremely tall, hitting puberty and hating it, and suddenly I had long hair finally, I was in High School and had lost my chubby cheeks. I remember being disappointed that there was no playground at Epsom Girls Grammar. I soon realised I didn’t want to play any more though and maybe that was why they didn’t have one. I played netball, ran fast, and regressed to being a kid again for a while with no boys around. But at sixteen everything changed. I met a boy I thought I loved, and maybe given time I would have realised I didn’t. But our abrupt end, meant that it took me about three years to get over him. During that time I planned. I thought I knew what I wanted. Not just then, but for the rest of my life.

I thought I would finish high school, become a journalist, or a child psychologist, I wasn’t too sure on the finer details – but something rewarding and vaguely artsy. It would be cutting-edge, something that pushed me and had me rushing from scene to scene in this movie reel that was playing in my head. I had it all figured out. When I would graduate, get married, have children, buy a house – the kind of house, kids names, the kind of wedding. My imaginary husband would obviously agree to everything. And I would have this all by the time I was 25. Ha!

At the ripe old age of 24, I can say that none of that is going to happen, and neither do I want it to. It’s funny how my perspective on things has shifted so much in the last 8 years. I no longer want to simply be married, have a decent job, and have children. I want so so much more than that. I will no longer settle for something that is just okay.

I never ever thought I would ever get an internship in a Big 4 company. And that happened. I never ever thought I would be able to move out of home and look after myself and actually be a functioning adult that cooks and cleans and does laundry and pays rent. And I did. I never thought I would have the confidence to know what I want and wait for it, that I would stand by my Indian values for as long as I have and to make choices in my life because I want them, not because of my culture. It is funny how when there is no one forcing you to do something, you realise you want to do it anyway.

From the age of 16 to 22, I had a love hate relationship with my body. I grew up being comfortable in my body and then suddenly I hated it. Overnight almost, I felt like I had to compete with this ideal of what I was meant to look like. I felt insecure about how I looked, the way I acted. I believed what guys said about me, and my personality, and my emotions, way way too easily. I think these are things that need to be said. This is a conversation that is not taking place between teachers, parents, young women, and their peers. I was underweight when I believed I should weigh even less. Now at 24, I am trying to gain back the weight I lost as a sixteen year old who cried, puked, and starved off 8 kgs in 3 months.

Who knew, that I wouldn’t finish my degree at 22, that I would take a year off and go to Melbourne, that I would do not one, but two internships, that I wouldn’t ‘enjoy the freedom and independence of being single’ which was the plan, but that I would meet people who interested me, discovering more about my wants and needs, my quirks and boundaries, than I have in the previous 22 years of my life.

The best decision I ever made was to go to Melbourne for a year. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and my confidence increased in leaps and bounds. I grew comfortable in the body I was in as I met people who respected me for who I am and were attracted to the woman I had become. I became driven, ambitious, and resilient. I may wear my heart on my sleeve, but I think people admire me for that. Travelling to Thailand was another brainwave. I came back from a trip to Tasmania, and decided overnight that I would go to South East Asia, booked a trip to Thailand within the next two days. It was spontaneous. It was impromptu. It was hella unlike me but I needed it. I made friends quickly, did things I have never done before, and ate dubious food with local people at street markets. Everything about that year makes me happy I did it – not least the people I met.

I’ve made a lot of choices I never thought I would, but I hope my sixteen year old self will understand. That there are somethings that mean more to me, than I thought they would. Or maybe that I never met the right person at the right time, and life doesn’t always tick those boxes in the order you want them to. I’ve thought about it long and hard and I realised that my top five priorities are vastly different from what I thought they would be at sixteen. The most important things to me right now are my career, my health (physical and emotional), my writing, travel, and lastly financial security for the future. Funnily enough, a relationship doesn’t even feature in there.

Right now I am 24. I am brave, and resilient, and I love the skin that I’m in. I want to travel, work my ass off so that I’m no longer trading time for money, and live a life that is fulfilling. The most important relationship I will ever have, is with myself. I hope I find a love that is foundational and engaging, one that celebrates our differences and encourages us to be the best version of ourselves and pursue our goals as individuals. And if I don’t? That is absolutely fine, I love myself enough without it. I would love to have children one day, but I know that its not likely to happen in the next 5 years. But I hope that when I do, I’m the kind of mother who shows her children that loving yourself is the most important thing you can do. I know with every cell of my being that I was meant to be a mother. I know I was meant to be a mother in the way that people are called to the priesthood. It’s a vocation. But I know now that to be the best mother I could be, I need to try to be the best human I can be. The best version of myself; for me, for them, for all those who love and support me, and the legacy of my life that I leave behind. I want people to look back and say she loved her life and backed the choices she made with every ounce of self-belief and courage, she loved fiercely and tested the limits of what this world could offer her.

Exotic

I am more
Than the coffee- brown in my skin
The lustre in my hair
Anklets tinkling on my ankles
Peeping out of sheer harem pants
You fantasize about.
 
I am more than my high cheekbones
More than the kajal in my eyes
More than the mehndi on my hands
And the poise of my arched eyebrows
I am more than your conjuring
of acrobatics in bed
Getting horizontal on satin sheets
Over a worn out copy of the Kamasutra

I am more than a mirage
An exotic pot pouri
Of turmeric and cardamom
Spices that arouse your senses
And leave you mesmerised
I am more than my dark lidded eyes
And the delicate sway of my hips
More than what is beneath my clothes
More than your fascination of the east
And your desire for the Other
 
I am more than what you reduce me to.