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Empathetic violence.

One of these days, I’m going to grab a stick lying on the road and hit someone for a long time. 

It’s no longer an issue about my personal safety, or about the safety of my friends and sisters. It has now become an issue much greater. Now, it is about my daughter’s well being.

Women have always been depicted as the soft ones, the ones who are tasked with maintaining the balance of empathy with the men’s age-old love for violence. I won’t be amongst those hardcore females who are distorting and shaming the ideals of feminism. I agree that we women, even the coldest and cruelest ones, we do have the gift of empathy.

But I swear in the names of all the Gods; in all the religions, spread across the entire globe, that if I see one more XY chromosome specimen looking at my daughter like she’s a piece of meat which he can have, I’m going to take the law in my own hands.

I’m going to grab the nearest stick lying on the road and hit him. I’m going to beat some sense into him. The sense that his family, this society, or the law failed to do.

Because now, the issue is about my daughter’s safety. And no one in this entire world can stop me from protecting her.

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The actual teacher.

Last month had me looking at the type of teachers out there. And I found there’s this one type in particular that I like.

The actual teacher. There is this one type, or should I daresay the only type of teacher who manages to tickle your senses and reach inside your head and shake you to the core of your mind. I know such a person and this one is about him, for him.

That fine morning, I was running late for class. As I panted after a brisk walk on that chilly morning, my professor smiled at me. That was a smile that would’ve been creepy if he wasn’t a decade older than me. But I knew him too well, he was my older, masculine version. That’s why his smile scared me.

I had straightened up immediately and was itching my feet closer to my desk, avoiding his gaze. Like others my age who have this art down to the point, I had too. The art of pretending that if you don’t look at the teacher, he won’t point you out.

But he did anyway. Not by calling out my name, no; because that would’ve been too mainstream. He laughed instead.  When I looked at him sheepishly, he beckoned me over. 

“Let’s take a walk.”

Walking at a leisured pace, out we went. Out of our class, the college building, to the ever cold and still sleeping garden.

“I’ve been noticing you for a while now.”

 The words were enough to scare the girl in me. My senses went on high alert when he turned around to face me. I had never seen him serious before.

“You’re different.” He said to me. I was ready to bolt by now. “And I don’t like it one bit that you’re changing yourself for the sake of untalented rookies around you. They have nothing on you. You are the real deal.”

I was speechless. He was still serious and clearly not done.

“Don’t let go of who you already are in the quest of becoming who you want to be.”

He had walked ahead and I was still standing there, rooted on the spot. He had stopped beside a rose bush and I hurried forward.

“If I pluck out this flower, the petals wouldn’t survive for long and the only thing left in it would be the thorns. But if it stays in the bush, it would bloom for a long time and nobody would even notice the thorns. And then in its place, another flower would bloom.”

I was looking at him like a child would. And I was a child to him, this discovery made me feel special and a bit regretful of my earlier baseless fear.

“Petals and thorns are equally important, kiddo. But if you let go of your life, they’re of no use. Treasure your hobbies, your lifelines and your thoughts. They define you. You can be anyone in this life, but only if you excel at being a good human. Rest just follows.”

I nodded fervently. His eyes were back to the twinkling ones I knew. The ones that made him seem younger than even the people my age.

“Good. Now you head back and I’ll go through the back door to scare the pants off our H.O.D. He’s been playing the karaoke game since the morning.”

He was off before I could even laugh properly.

He made me learn the toughest subject in my final year so easily that I couldn’t believe it myself.He had such a presence that it wouldn’t matter if Tom Cruise entered the room, he would still own it.

He wasn’t just a teacher, he was the teacher. Because what good is a teacher if he cannot motivate you to study?

You can probably know my devotion by the mere fact that I want to be good in my chosen field, not because I want to be great. But because I want to work with the great.

 Because I want to work with and for my teacher.

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Looking good.

Do you look good?

What kind of a question is that, right?

In today’s world, looking good is no longer difficult. If the makeup on your face doesn’t suffice, the after photograph brush up surely does.

 Everyone feels beautiful, as they should’ve without needing these things in the first place, but who am I to say?But no matter what we do, there will always be those few people who will manage to rain on your parade. So a funny thing happened about a week ago, that got me thinking about it.

My last pair of jeans that still could amazingly fit me, ceased to. I tried jumping up and down, attempting to wriggle my way in, but it blocked my every attempt. So I did what anyone would in an emergency. I bought a new pair, which, after counting my remaining shrunken jeans; as I called them, became my sixth owned.

On returning back to home, I found my aunt sitting with dear mother, sipping coffee. And after the pleasantries were exchanged, the topic soon shifted to my fat cells.

Let’s put it this way, she seemed shocked that I was getting a bit heavier than before. Now, don’t go thinking I’m fat. I’m 5″3 and weigh only 55kgs. But my main problem is my tummy fat. Well, in my defense, it used to be a completely harmless baby fat. I just forgot to stop it from growing. So in a sense, I am perceived as fat.

I reminded her that I work and study simultaneously for 16 hrs a day. I don’t really have time for working out. She cited an example of her own daughter, who is jobless by the way; and searching for a wealthy soulmate.

And that made me realise that you can never win an argument without letting go of your manners. But I haven’t really ever been able to do that so I sat there calmly, listening to every bit of their weight control talks, eating the leftover Christmas cake.

Because when life gives you healthy calories, you eat it.

My new jeans totally rock by the way! They’re the latest in fashion world and I don’t think that I’d have gotten around to purchasing them if the old ones hadn’t failed me.

So, in a way, gaining weight hasn’t slimmed down my opportunities, just increased them.😏😋😜

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The start.

I started out just yesterday, under the huge banyan tree that has permanent residence in a field on the highway, off about a hundred metres from it. Smack in the middle of the field of wheat, the huge tree has a round clear area around it, which though unoccupied by the surrounding wheat crop; is still covered with wild flowers.

I’d been meaning to stop by this place since a very long time now, but everyday, I had to surpass this urge in favor of my work. But today, my feet automatically lifted up from the accelerator and rested on the brakes. 

Now, there’s usually something in a person’s life that leads them to quiet, calm places like these. But there was nothing wrong of those sorts. I was happy and content. I had a brilliant career, loving husband, a three year old son and great friends.

But as I sat there, I thought to myself. Why did it felt so right? Despite of knowing the fact that somewhere deep; deep down, I have always been an outsider, looking in; I was settled and relaxed. So what was I doing here? What was special about today?

I got the answer almost immediately, when the field’s aged owner, a woman in mid fifties; covered in grass and holding a few harvested wheat crops over her shoulder looked right at me. She stared at me for a minute. I must be looking so out of the place, with my formal clothes, unpractical heels, a designer handbag and no company. I make people under me run for cover; and yet I sat squirming under her gaze.

After a minute, she gave me a smile, raising her unoccupied hand and beckoning me over.

I unstrapped my heels quicker than I’d ever before. Such was the feel of my country’s soil. What was special about today? It was the day of my rebirth.

The day I truly found myself. The day I started my journey of truly being alive.