Have you missed my micropoetry-with-pictures? I certainly have missed creating them too.
I quit the YourQuote app (on which I’ve been doing the picture-poems) last month. Late 2017, I quit a job I’d had for over two years. Neither of these partings were respectful and it saddened me at the time that the people concerned did not accord these relationships the dignity that I thought they deserved.
But now I think things worked out for the better. One idea I explored last year was forsaking my ‘flinch reactions‘. It was an interesting experiment in self-discovery. I have come to realise that taking action when it needs to be taken, timely action, decisive action is something that works for me. Regret and fear cripple me far worse than the consequences of any bad decision I’ve ever taken has. In both the above cases, I was astounded at how relieved I felt when they ended. I don’t like that feeling. It feels weak, passive and quite unlike me. I’m usually good at moving when it is time to move forward.
But having closed those chapters, I found time and mindspace to dwell on ideas and parts of me that I really am. This has resulted in a lot of interesting work and writing. Because I’m doing these from love and passion and not fearful submission.
I found one of my old favorite apps a perfect choice to create these picture-stories, this time without the crutches of pre-defined templates or a big logo in a corner. So as and when I turn out something, it’ll come up here. Here’s one, a message from a moon-child.
I found gratitude in February. Here are all things that were life last month.
A conversation on safe spaces – One of Mumbai’s performance/art spaces and Shamir’s former employer hosted a discussion on safety in performing spaces. We shared experiences, fears, ideas and some hopes for this landscape that we are all committed to.
SXArena: The Third Wheel, UnValentined! and Digital Dil – We decided to try a new format that included poetry, conversations and some simple games to explore ideas of sexuality and gender. The topics of our day were polyamory, relationships outside the primary romantic one, love in the times of hookup and connections beyond the commerce.
The SXonomics Show: Touch Me Not – We were invited to conduct a gender sensitisation drive for The Habitat. We rolled this out as a series of 1 hour shows that combine comedy, satire, music, poetry and dramatic performance to address hard questions. Our first show addressed sexual harassment. It received a good response and this very encouraging review. We have since done one more show on gender (im)balance and have another four coming up (every alternate Monday at The Habitat, 7:30PM).
We, The XX Chromosome: Women’s Web and SheThePeople hosted a two day Women Writers’ Festival 2018 and invited us to do a show themed ‘We, The XX Chromosome’. Our 45 minute performance addressed gender stereotyping, the casting couch, rape culture, outdated fairytales and consent violation.
I started a new friendship and that person came to one of our events just as a show of support. Their presence and their ideas expanded our world view on gender, sexuality and love.
I wasn’t nearly as good at the old friendships. I think after 2017, I found it hard to remember that there were still people who liked me and wanted to spend some moments of their lives with me. But friendliness came knocking in gentle, sweet ways. I went to another old friend’s birthday party without a gift because I had just had no time to get one. But on the way, I stopped and picked up a lily because it reminded me of her. She thanked me so many times, I felt bad that I had categorised our friendship as needing the commercial validation of a store-bought gift. And yesterday she told me that the flower had continued to bloom and spread its fragrance all across her house. This is so lovely.
Let me just say life is mischievous at times. 😋
There are days when I fear getting carried away and that this will all crash land. I do love how much I’m learning, though. After a recent show, a member of the audience told us that she had seen one of our early performances and we had come a long way from that. That just feels so, so, so very good.
Every now and then, Ishmeet says or does something on stage and I marvel at how a mind can work and how a gesture or a facial expression can be used to convey an idea. It’s like learning a new language and I’ve always enjoyed that.
I am still awkward in my transitions on and off stage. But stage fright does not cripple me as badly now. I’m learning to enjoy even the mistakes I make, laugh at the times I am clumsy. And that’s the same lesson as life itself, isn’t it? Look up at the stars but also find time to laugh when you trip over the stones. And always, make room for the flowers.
Here’s a handful of SXonomics laughs coming your way. This is our first video.
What does the future hold? Well, Aadhar card linkages and income tax returns. But also four new SXonomics shows, SX-on-Mics (our first community event on Women’s Day) and more videos. And a lily or two.