Monthly Archives: September 2019

Meeting My Feminism

I grew up feeling like my life would follow the same path as other people – work and you shall achieve, be and you shall receive. It baffled me when I was attacked or called entitled for this, when the boys I knew, weren’t.

I wrote about this often. I created a comic about a little girl in a green dress, throwing barbs and smiles at a world trying to put her in a gender box (The Idea-toons). Humour became an easy way to deflect the always present horror about the idea that people have tried to impose on me all my life – that I don’t deserve what I am/do/have.

I resisted the label of feminist for too long because I didn’t think I deserved to be categorised with people who ensured that I had a vote, an education, the right to a job, to not be an object of ownership. I didn’t feel that important. It would be years before I realised living that belief is far more important than a label.

I wrote this piece on a whim, sitting in a coffeeshop waiting for a friend. It had easy witticisms and sharp edges because it was only for fun, not craft like my other pieces (Paper Plane, Goddess, Flamingos). I would perform it on my first time at a stage that would go on to be my favourite. The creators of that space would notice me and friendships would be born, bringing me support for my work. I would also get marked as a target, by other people’s misogyny hidden under camaraderie. I didn’t know it then.

In 2017, Simar Singh would tell me about his idea to promote poets and poetry and ask if I’d open his first event for Women’s Day, with this piece. Sure, I’d say, without much thought. Later, they’d find technical glitches in the footage, teething problems for a first-time team and decide not to use it. I’d shrug. There were other battles I was fighting.

In August 2019, UnErase Poetry put up the first ever video they shot at their launch show – mine. It crossed 75k views in a week. 😄 I still don’t know – which battles I can win without even realising I’m in a fight and which ones I’m doomed to perish in. But I am a feminist.

Watch the video on YouTube or Facebook on the UnErase Poetry channels. Have you met my feminism? 

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MEETING MY FEMINISM I grew up feeling like my life would follow the same path as other people – work and you shall achieve, be and you shall receive. It baffled me when I was attacked or called entitled for this, when the boys I knew, weren't. I wrote about this often. I created a comic about a little girl in a green dress, throwing barbs and smiles at a world trying to put her in a gender box (The Idea-toons). Humour became an easy way to deflect the always present horror about the idea that people have tried to impose on me all my life – that I don't deserve what I am/do/have. I resisted the label of feminist for too long because I didn't think I deserved to be categorised with people who ensured that I had a vote, an education, the right to a job, to not be an object of ownership. I didn't feel that important. It would be years before I realised living that belief is far more important than a label. I wrote this piece on a whim, sitting in a coffeeshop waiting for a friend. It had easy witticisms and sharp edges because it was only for fun, not craft like my other pieces (Paper Plane, Goddess, Flamingos). I would perform it on my first time at a stage that would go on to be my favourite. The creators of that space would notice me and friendships would be born, bringing me support for my work. I would also get marked as a target, by other people's misogyny hidden under camaraderie. I didn't know it then. In 2017, @simarsinghtrolled would tell me about his idea to promote poets and poetry and ask if I'd open his first event for Women's Day, with this piece. Sure, I'd say, without much thought. Later, they'd find technical glitches in the footage, teething problems for a first-time team and decide not to use it. I'd shrug. There were other battles I was fighting. 10 days ago, @unerasepoetry put up the first ever video they shot at their launch show – mine. It crossed 75k views in a week. 😄 I still don't know – which battles I can win without even realising I'm in a fight and which ones I'm doomed to perish in. But I am a feminist. Watch the video on YouTube or Facebook on the UnErase Poetry channels. Have you met my feminism? #theideasmithy

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

A Work Of Art

I’m forty this year. I’m told I don’t look that age (though I know other people who look similarly so). But I’ll take the compliment because I understand that’s what is meant, under the assumed ageism.

Because 40 is when I’m liking the way my world looks. It hasn’t been entirely chance (though I’ve had my fair share of them along with the challenges). It has also been hard work, compromises, disappointments, bruises, scars covered with tattoos, messes & crumbs. But when I look around my world – my body, my appearance, the spaces I inhabit, the relationships I nurture, the things I own, the ideas I carry, I see a well curated life. 

This is not to say that my life is a glitzy Instagram (or Facebook or wherever-you-see-this) feed. I know ‘curated’ sounds like filters and fakeness. But it can also mean a carefully thought out, meticulously chosen selection.

And for the first time, I’m acknowledging that I live my life that way – one that I work hard at choosing, every minute, to be right for me. Sometimes a choice is about being brave enough to pursue a path less trodden. But choices are also the patience to stay with what’s available without resentment. Some choices are joyful selections of novelty. Some are eyes wide open acceptance of consequences. Every one is a choice and I’ve done my best to make the right one, every time.

I’m midway through my most likely life. And this is still a work in progress because with every choice I make, I learn better how to live my life better. A more beautiful life, a more loving life (and loved life), a more fun and healthy and passionate and abundant life. Living is an art and the canvas I am is looking pretty good, the brush still in my hands, my pallette full of colour.

I want my life to be an ode to beauty and power and fun and learning and magic and love. These are the things that I value and want to represent. Think of these and think of me when you think 40. I love being a new kind of poster child because this poster is looking damn fine.

Forty is the new hottie. YEAH!

Is your life a work of art? It’s never too early or too late to pick up that brush.

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A WORK OF ART I'm forty this year. I'm told I don't look that age (though I know other people who look similarly so). But I'll take the compliment because I understand that's what is meant, under the assumed ageism. Because 40 is when I'm liking the way my world looks. It hasn't been entirely chance (though I've had my fair share of them along with the challenges). It has also been hard work, compromises, disappointments, bruises, scars covered with tattoos, messes & crumbs. But when I look around my world – my body, my appearance, the spaces I inhabit, the relationships I nurture, the things I own, the ideas I carry, I see a well curated life. This is not to say that my life is a glitzy Instagram (or Facebook or wherever-you-see-this) feed. I know 'curated' sounds like filters and fakeness. But it can also mean a carefully thought out, meticulously chosen selection. And for the first time, I'm acknowledging that I live my life that way – one that I work hard at choosing, every minute, to be right for me. Sometimes a choice is about being brave enough to pursue a path less trodden. But choices are also the patience to stay with what's available without resentment. Some choices are joyful selections of novelty. Some are eyes wide open acceptance of consequences. Every one is a choice and I've done my best to make the right one, every time. I'm midway through my most likely life. And this is still a work in progress because with every choice I make, I learn better how to live my life better. A more beautiful life, a more loving life (and loved life), a more fun and healthy and passionate and abundant life. Living is an art and the canvas I am is looking pretty good, the brush still in my hands, my pallette full of colour. I want my life to be an ode to beauty and power and fun and learning and magic and love. These are the things that I value and want to represent. Think of these and think of me when you think 40. I love being a new kind of poster child because this poster is looking damn fine. Forty is the new hottie. YEAH! Is your life a work of art? It's never too early or too late to pick up that brush. #theideasmithy 🎶: VOGUE – Madonna

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Paper Plane Pilot

I was a diarist through my teens. When I was 24, I discovered blogs which I learnt was short for ‘web logs’. And my diarying transitioned online. Because I wrote under the then anonymous identity of IdeaSmith, I could pour my unvarnished feelings into writing, things I didn’t feel at liberty to say in my daily life.

These were my 20s and I was accumulating new experiences faster than I could process (post-graduation, first job, recession survival, new love, matrimonial pressures). There was fear, worry, anguish and grief for what I’d left behind – things that I was not ‘supposed to’ feel or dwell on. Writing anonymously allowed me to examine each feeling and experience at leisure.

Before I knew it, I had readers and IdeaSmith was a personality, an entity built by me but also by what my readers wanted to read. Possibly because my dark emotions and experiences were not permissible in my offline life (Nobody wants brooding, angry, grieving or annoyed women even in 2019), these writings were more poignant than my cheerful work. Maybe they just suited the mystery persona of an unknown woman on the internet better.

I had a revelation in the early 2010s. I realised each time I wrote or spoke or even read a piece, I relived that memory. So in my dark, brooding words, I was keeping my pain alive. Writing, I concluded, was cathartic, not healing. And in 2014 after abuse, a broken engagement, a nondescript startup, I decided I needed healing. I needed levity & light. Words matter so much to those of us who wield them. It’s hard to bring them to destruction. But the image of a paper plane flew into my imagination.

And from that came a healing philosophy and a tattoo for reminder. This was my first performance as a stage artist, a wordsmith with flight, a new me.

Watch the video on and fly a paper plane with me.


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PAPER PLANE PILOT I was a diarist through my teens. When I was 24, I discovered blogs which I learnt was short for 'web logs'. And my diarying transitioned online. Because I wrote under the then anonymous identity of IdeaSmith, I could pour my unvarnished feelings into writing, things I didn't feel at liberty to say in my daily life. These were my 20s and I was accumulating new experiences faster than I could process (post-graduation, first job, recession survival, new love, matrimonial pressures). There was fear, worry, anguish and grief for what I'd left behind – things that I was not 'supposed to' feel or dwell on. Writing anonymously allowed me to examine each feeling and experience at leisure. Before I knew it, I had readers and IdeaSmith was a personality, an entity built by me but also by what my readers wanted to read. Possibly because my dark emotions and experiences were not permissible in my offline life (Nobody wants brooding, angry, grieving or annoyed women even in 2019), these writings were more poignant than my cheerful work. Maybe they just suited the mystery persona of an unknown woman on the internet better. I had a revelation in the early 2010s. I realised each time I wrote or spoke or even read a piece, I relived that memory. So in my dark, brooding words, I was keeping my pain alive. Writing, I concluded, was cathartic, not healing. And in 2014 after abuse, a broken engagement, a nondescript startup, I decided I needed healing. I needed levity & light. Words matter so much to those of us who wield them. It's hard to bring them to destruction. But the image of a paper plane flew into my imagination. And from that came a healing philosophy and a tattoo for reminder. This was my first performance as a stage artist, a wordsmith with flight, a new me. Watch the video on @kalart.ists YouTube channel. Link in bio. And fly a paper plane with me. #theideasmithy #paperplanes #paperplane #origami #inspiration #motivationalquotes #motivationmonday #motivation #healing #movingforward #lettinggo #lessonslearnedinlife #anonymous #pain #performanceart

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Just Playing Games

Games are just stories we feel we can script. Simulations of a life that we think we can win. Algorithms we run, a part of us hoping for a different outcome.

All the things we wish for in life – love, success, fame, money – every single one of these involves chance. There is some fun to not knowing for sure. Maybe we only feel safe acknowledging that within the boundaries of a cardboard square.

Even the kind of games we pick, says something about us. Empire builders spending Monopoly money. Two-player shooters validating each other’s rage and glorified loneliness. Doing what’s not easy, not viable, not legal, not permissible in the real world, feeling everything that one feels but without the repercussions, only the satiation (which can look a lot like fun). The time-crunched on a quest to build Sally’s Spa. Dieting and failing (or not but it never feels like a victory) and crushing candies in one. It feels like a prize, even if only in consolation. It feels like control, the way moving a clock’s hands around can give you the illusion of moving time. Call after 2 days, disconnect after 3 rings. An illusion of control.

Whodunnits for the ones anticipating wounds, trying to see them coming this time. Because only someone who has been betrayed knows to watch for a knife in the back. Except you can’t watch your back. Or tell what the next dice roll will be (beyond that it’s between 1 and 6). Still, it’s nice to play a game and feel like you’re getting to tell the story. And not be it.

Your turn. Roll the dice.

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JUST PLAYING GAMES Games are just stories we feel we can script. Simulations of a life that we think we can win. Algorithms we run, a part of us hoping for a different outcome. All the things we wish for in life – love, success, fame, money – every single one of these involves chance. There is some fun to not knowing for sure. Maybe we only feel safe acknowledging that within the boundaries of a cardboard square. Even the kind of games we pick, says something about us. Empire builders spending Monopoly money. Two-player shooters validating each other's rage and glorified loneliness. Doing what's not easy, not viable, not legal, not permissible in the real world, feeling everything that one feels but without the repercussions, only the satiation (which can look a lot like fun). The time-crunched on a quest to build Sally's Spa. Dieting and failing (or not but it never feels like a victory) and crushing candies in one. It feels like a prize, even if only in consolation. It feels like control, the way moving a clock's hands around can give you the illusion of moving time. Call after 2 days, disconnect after 3 rings. An illusion of control. Whodunnits for the ones anticipating wounds, trying to see them coming this time. Because only someone who has been betrayed knows to watch for a knife in the back. Except you can't watch your back. Or tell what the next dice roll will be (beyond that it's between 1 and 6). Still, it's nice to play a game and feel like you're getting to tell the story. And not be it. Your turn. Roll the dice. #theideasmithy 📸: @unstable_elemnt 🎶: WAKA WAKA – Shakira #games #game #gameplay #play #playinggames #playing #playa #player #boardgames #boardgame #boardgaming #boardgamer #boardgamegeek #gamer #gaming #gameplay #casualgamer #mobilegames #monopoly #catan #risk #shootergames #shootergame #datinggame

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

A Tour Guide to You

Please don’t ask me to read you
I’ve spent far too long looking deep into other people
Slipping through the gaps in their expressions
Running down the spaces between their words
Looking for signposts in their sighs
And piecing together slices of them
What they say, how they say it
Who they love, who they hate
What they fear, what they crave

Bit by bit, I put together a picture of them
As I think they are under their pretences
Often, I’m right
Sometimes to my dismay
Reality isn’t always nice or agreeable
But it is meant to be experienced
I’m getting tired of experiencing other people’s realities
There is such a thing as knowing too much
And I’m losing sight of myself
From being so many people’s mirrors
All I’m left is feeling like cold glass
Broken and dry-eyed

Talk to me
tell me who you are and what you want me to see
And wait as I learn to close my ears and eyes so
I won’t be a tour guide into you anymore 

~O~O~O~O~O~O~

This is from a blog I wrote over a decade ago (called Behind Cobwebs and if you remember it, please drop a comment – I’d love to reconnect with people I used to talk with in those days).

If you find yourself falling sick or feeling emotionally drained without triggers, maybe you’re absorbing too much of what’s going on with other people. We are in an age of over-sharing and not enough taking responsibility for one’s words. Many people online dump what they can’t/won’t examine themselves. It’s easy to get swept along in the toxicity. Thus the behaviour moves offline too and poisons us all.

I’m working on protective boundaries and also doing my bit to keep the digital streams clean – by only putting up the most positive or only things I can take responsibility for. This means nothing that ‘is just a joke’ or ‘I didn’t know’ or ‘who cares, it’s only online’. Sharing is not the same thing as dumping. Lashing out is not conversation. I’m focussing on being a gardener, not a dumper. The world could use more flowers.

This gardener will prune too.

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A TOUR GUIDE INTO YOU Please don't ask me to read you I've spent far too long looking deep into other people Slipping through the gaps in their expressions Running down the spaces between their words Looking for signposts in their sighs And piecing together slices of them What they say, how they say it Who they love, who they hate What they fear, what they crave Bit by bit, I put together a picture of them As I think they are under their pretences Often, I'm right Sometimes to my dismay Reality isn't always nice or agreeable But it is meant to be experienced I'm getting tired of experiencing other people's realities There is such a thing as knowing too much And I'm losing sight of myself From being so many people's mirrors All I'm left is feeling like cold glass Broken and dry-eyed Talk to me tell me who you are and what you want me to see And wait as I learn to close my ears and eyes so I won't be a tour guide into you anymore ============================================== This is from a blog I wrote over a decade ago. If you find yourself falling sick or feeling emotionally drained without triggers, maybe you're absorbing too much of what's going on with other people. We are in an age of over-sharing and not enough taking responsibility for one's words. Many people online dump what they can't/won't examine themselves. It's easy to get swept along in the toxicity. Thus the behaviour moves offline too and poisons us all. I'm working on protective boundaries and also doing my bit to keep the digital streams clean – by only putting up positive messages or things I can take responsibility for. This means nothing that 'is just a joke' or 'I didn't know' or 'who cares, it's only online'. Sharing is not the same thing as dumping. Lashing out is not conversation. I'm focussing on being a gardener, not a dumper. The world could use more flowers. This gardener will prune too. #theideasmithy #perception #intuition #listen #listening #emotion #emotional #boundaries #protectyourenergy #protectyourpeace #protectyourself #protectyoursoul #empath #empathproblems #empaths #empathsbelike 📸 + 💇🏽‍♀️: @prerna2510 🎶: BRING ME TO LIFE – Evanescence

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

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