Tag Archives: Instastories

Chasing Sunrises

When I was a student, I invited a boyfriend to share a romantic sunrise on the beach with me. I always liked the cleanness of mornings. In Mumbai, it starts early but it’s still sparse enough for every waking creature to give the other space, physical and emotional. Mornings are the closest to peaceful richness (as opposed to exhausted incompletion of late nights). And beaches have always felt like home.

We sat on the sand and talked and waited. It was nearly 9am when the prickling on the back of my neck made me turn around. There was the sun behind us, high above buildings. I realised, feeling very foolish, that Mumbai is on the western coast of the country. The sun doesn’t rise over the sea in Mumbai; it sets.

Sunsets are a reminder of things unfinished, an alarm bell that it’s getting late, the mosquitoes start biting and traffic piling up. I didn’t enjoy sunsets. It bothered me for a long time after that my favourite time and favorite place didn’t coincide.

Over the next few years, I fell into the Mumbaiker rhythm of chasing jobs, deadlines and corporate goals. I spent my favorite part of the day in crowded trains, busy roads, bustling lanes. I was able to visit my favorite place rarely if ever, and only amid a lot of crowd with the residual noise & garbage.

I have since started making an effort to visit the beach more often. I’ve learnt to tune out noise, managed to make these solo trips in safety and minimal intrusion. They’re never in the early morning.

But then, I also found beauty in the fresh sunlight on a broken window pane. I found inspiration on day breaking over a defunct textile mill. Sunrises are great wherever they happen because they signal a fresh start. Wherever you are, whoever you are. It made me realise sunsets aren’t sad. The sun must set if it is to rise again.

And you know both sunsets and sunrises are illusions, tricks of light & planetary movement. The sun isn’t going anywhere. We are. And it’s never too far away. Just a few hours from the next sunrise or sunset.

It makes me appreciative of my island city, just the way it is.

View this post on Instagram

CHASING SUNRISES When I was a student, I invited a boyfriend to share a romantic sunrise on the beach with me. I always liked the cleanness of mornings. In Mumbai, it starts early but it's still sparse enough for every waking creature to give the other space, physical and emotional. Mornings are the closest to peaceful richness (as opposed to exhausted incompletion of late nights). And beaches have always felt like home. We sat on the sand and talked and waited. It was nearly 9am when the prickling on the back of my neck made me turn around. There was the sun behind us, high above buildings. I realised, feeling very foolish, that Mumbai is on the western coast of the country. The sun doesn't rise over the sea in Mumbai; it sets. Sunsets are a reminder of things unfinished, an alarm bell that it's getting late, the mosquitoes start biting and traffic piling up. I didn't enjoy sunsets. It bothered me for a long time after that my favourite time and favorite place didn't coincide. Over the next few years, I fell into the Mumbaiker rhythm of chasing jobs, deadlines and corporate goals. I spent my favorite part of the day in crowded trains, busy roads, bustling lanes. I was able to visit my favorite place rarely if ever, and only amid a lot of crowd with the residual noise & garbage. I have since started making an effort to visit the beach more often. I've learnt to tune out noise, managed to make these solo trips in safety and minimal intrusion. They're never in the early morning. But then, I also found beauty in the fresh sunlight on a broken window pane. I found inspiration on day breaking over a defunct textile mill. Sunrises are great wherever they happen because they signal a fresh start. Wherever you are, whoever you are. It made me realise sunsets aren't sad. The sun must set if it is to rise again. And you know both sunsets and sunrises are illusions, tricks of light & planetary movement. The sun isn't going anywhere. We are. And it's never too far away. Just a few hours from the next sunrise or sunset. It makes me appreciative of my island city, just the way it is. 📸: @tjcoulagi 🎶: HERE COMES THE SUN: The Beatles #theideasmithy

A post shared by Ramya | IdeaSmith 🎤🌱📚💄🏊🏽‍♀️ (@ideasmithy) on

==============================================================

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.

TOXIC

I hear a lot of complaining about toxic people. The word ‘toxic’ has become a slur to use to attack, rather than a tool to reflect on what one needs. I’ve struggled to let go of people who exploit, abuse, violate me. They began as positive relationships. By the time I realise they’re hurting me, their reasons for this behaviour take precedence over my feelings.

We’re taught to bear whatever is thrown at us in the name of love, loyalty, friendship. Terms like ‘forgiveness’, ‘support’, ‘trigger sensitivity’ make us believe we’re wrong to feel bad about being treated badly. Because we love the person & they’re going through something. Issues (mental illness, fat positivity, feminism, queerness) are campaigned for in a way that allows for “I suffer this so I am exempt from treating other people with respect”. We feel unable to protest any behaviour by someone shielded by a well-championed cause or relationship because we’ll be labelled toxic. Opposing a person becomes opposing the cause or devaluing that relationship. ‘Toxic’ gies from describing a situation to be managed to a crime one may be accused of. We lash out at people who we know will tolerate it because they have to. This is how toxicity is passed on by the very people deriding it.

Toxicity is in behaviours, not people.
1.Having a problem is okay. Not having a solution is fine. Asking for support is great. None of this can be assumed about or from anyone. Entitlement is toxic.

2.Lashing out keeps the person doing it in a corrosive place. It lays the responsibility for their upset on someone else. Using a cause/relationship to justify this, devalues the other person and is toxic.

3. Other people cannot heal me. I cannot heal anyone. Saviour complexes keep addictions alive and trap both people. This is toxic.

Upsets are normal. We can feel overwhelmed by them but we need to find better ways to relate to each other. It should be possible to say, “I am upset with you about XYZ.” and be able to function without poison. But don’t indulge toxic, don’t pass it on.

View this post on Instagram

TOXIC? I hear a lot of complaining about toxic people. The word 'toxic' has become a slur to use to attack, rather than a tool to reflect on what one needs. I've struggled to let go of people who exploit, abuse, violate me. They began as positive relationships. By the time I realise they're hurting me, their reasons for this behaviour take precedence over my feelings. We're taught to bear whatever is thrown at us in the name of love, loyalty, friendship. Terms like 'forgiveness', 'support', 'trigger sensitivity' make us believe we're wrong to feel bad about being treated badly. Because we love the person & they're going through something. Issues (mental illness, fat positivity, feminism, queerness) are campaigned for in a way that allows for "I suffer this so I am exempt from treating other people with respect". We feel unable to protest any behaviour by someone shielded by a well-championed cause or relationship because we'll be labelled toxic. Opposing a person becomes opposing the cause or devaluing that relationship. 'Toxic' gies from describing a situation to be managed to a crime one may be accused of. We lash out at people who we know will tolerate it because they have to. This is how toxicity is passed on by the very people deriding it. Toxicity is in behaviours, not people. 1.Having a problem is okay. Not having a solution is fine. Asking for support is great. None of this can be assumed about or from anyone. Entitlement is toxic. 2.Lashing out keeps the person doing it in a corrosive place. It lays the responsibility for their upset on someone else. Using a cause/relationship to justify this, devalues the other person and is toxic. 3. Other people cannot heal me. I cannot heal anyone. Saviour complexes keep addictions alive and trap both people. This is toxic. Upsets are normal. We can feel overwhelmed by them but we need to find better ways to relate to each other. It should be possible to say, "I am upset with you about XYZ." and be able to function without poison. But don't indulge toxic, don't pass it on. 🎶: GOLD IN THEM HILLS: Ron Sexsmith #theideasmithy

A post shared by Ramya | IdeaSmith 🎤🌱📚💄🏊🏽‍♀️ (@ideasmithy) on

==============================================================

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.

 

Twenty-Twenty Vision

I wrote this post at the start of this year. What a year 2020 is turning out to be.

~O~O~O~O~O~

This is the decade where I lost all control of the plan I made at 17. This was the decade I found myself in a life so strange, I could barely keep up, let alone hold onto my identity.

This decade, I got engaged, got hit and got dumped. This decade I wrote a book and got rejected and wrote other things that got turned into a book without my asking. This decade I stepped up onto stage and I shone. This decade I was silenced and I made that silence my most deafening statement ever. This decade I birthed a community and watched it grow and wither and hit back and die and be reborn. This decade I fought patriarchy and religion politics. This decade my world was ravaged by #MeToo and #CAANRC.

In the last year of this decade, I turned 40. The official onset of middle age. The last lap of my long-term life plan. This year I remembered Y2K after recounting it as an anecdote to slightly bemused Gen Y kids wanting a career in digital.

I truly have no life plan any more. But how well did what I had, stack up against recessions, economic busts, terrorism and wokeness? It kept me calm long enough to deal with uncertainty. It gave me the courage to venture into new things. It allowed me to carry purpose. It was a useful crutch for the lessons I had to learn and now it’s gone.

Maybe I don’t need it anymore. Either way, I’ve already lived nearly half a life and accumulated some things, not the least of all – conviction. Here’s to another twenty years. Share it with me, with dignity, joy & power?

View this post on Instagram

TWENTY-TWENTY VISION This is the decade where I lost all control of the plan I made at 17. This was the decade I found myself in a life so strange, I could barely keep up, let alone hold onto my identity. This decade, I got engaged, got hit and got dumped. This decade I wrote a book and got rejected and wrote other things that got turned into a book without my asking. This decade I stepped up onto stage and I shone. This decade I was silenced and I made that silence my most deafening statement ever. This decade I birthed a community and watched it grow and wither and hit back and die and be reborn. This decade I fought patriarchy and religion politics. This decade my world was ravaged by #MeToo and #CAANRC. In the last year of this decade, I turned 40. The official onset of middle age. The last lap of my long-term life plan. This year I remembered Y2K after recounting it as an anecdote to slightly bemused Gen Y kids wanting a career in digital. I truly have no life plan any more. But how well did what I had, stack up against recessions, economic busts, terrorism and wokeness? It kept me calm long enough to deal with uncertainty. It gave me the courage to venture into new things. It allowed me to carry purpose. It was a useful crutch for the lessons I had to learn and now it's gone. Maybe I don't need it anymore. Either way, I've already lived nearly half a life and accumulated some things, not the least of all – conviction. Here's to another twenty years. Share it with me, with dignity, joy & power? 🎶: BRAND NEW DAY: STING #theideasmithy #2020ready #newyear #lifeisgood #saree #sareelove #lipstick #lipstickjunkie #ikat #ikatprint #jhumkas #midlifewomen #yearinreview #millenniallife #millennials #xennial #lipstick💄 #makeup #makeupartist #sareestyling #sareeblousedesigns #sareeaddict #lipstickaddict #fashionblogger #sareeblogger #lipstickblogger #lookingbackintime #lifelessons

A post shared by Ramya | IdeaSmith 🎤🌱📚💄🏊🏽‍♀️ (@ideasmithy) on

==============================================================

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.

Pockets of Courage

Inside my pockets, I keep pieces of courage, to reach for when I need them.

See, life has become an unpredictable horizon strewn with landmines called memories. An accidental sighting and unfortunate coincidences. We’re so connected, we’re entrenched seamless and a chance encounter, becomes an obituary. Memory, that unreliable narrator always takes you down in the worst way possible.
Courage answers to many names.

Now confidence is a good, solid coat to wear. It’s rainproof and tempered over the years. I had to put my baggage down when I pulled on the sleeves of my coat of confidence. It serves well in new battles and it doesn’t snag on bumps. But memory is a rusty blade tipped in acid. It leaves holes where it touches my confidence coat. The horrors past left seeds of themselves inside me and they rise up in response, in goosebumps under my skin. I lost my baggage but I couldn’t cut out all the poisoned parts of me.

So I keep shots of breath within easy reach. Chewing gum, lip balm, an old worn hanky. Remember to chew, remember to moisturize, remember to breathe. Swallow every fear, dam every allergy.

But women’s clothing has so few pockets. So I find other ways to hoard courage.

I paint over the skidmarks that betrayal left behind, in ink and tattoos. A penned star between the webs of my fingers. So when I walk through somewhere that calls out old memory-monsters, the inked star whispers a reminder of everything that came after. Ink stands sentry keeping new demons from allying with the old.

Bravado carries my stage fright up here and fidgets it into paper planes. And when I run short, inside a pocket, a little piece of magic, a lucky pebble kissed with hope.

Sometimes I can make a truce with memory and it lets me take pieces to call my own. A silver chain, a birthday gift, a memory to remember love, kindness and laughter. Nostalgia can also bear courage’s name.

All my nooks and crevices, my clothes, mind and dimples are packed with hoarded pieces of courage, fortifying and protecting me. I manage my pockets of courage carefully.

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

I’m wearing a cotton newsprint saree in a nivi drape with a red tank top, a denim bolero jacket and red sneakers. Accessories are steel – a chunky band bracelet, steel watch and etched leaves on a chain to add just a touch of shine from under the jacket. The pallu over rather than under the jacket prevents ‘the tail effect’ but needs a little more effort if you want to take off the jacket in public. I wore this to an informal business meeting at a restaurant.

View this post on Instagram

POCKETS OF COURAGE Inside my pockets, I keep pieces of courage, to reach for when I need them. See, life has become an unpredictable horizon strewn with landmines called memories. An accidental sighting and unfortunate coincidences. We’re so connected, we’re entrenched seamless and a chance encounter, becomes an obituary. Memory, that unreliable narrator always takes you down in the worst way possible. Courage answers to many names. Now confidence is a good, solid coat to wear. It’s rainproof and tempered over the years. I had to put my baggage down when I pulled on the sleeves of my coat of confidence. It serves well in new battles and it doesn’t snag on bumps. But memory is a rusty blade tipped in acid. It leaves holes where it touches my confidence coat. The horrors past left seeds of themselves inside me and they rise up in response, in goosebumps under my skin. I lost my baggage but I couldn’t cut out all the poisoned parts of me. So I keep shots of breath within easy reach. Chewing gum, lip balm, an old worn hanky. Remember to chew, remember to moisturize, remember to breathe. Swallow every fear, dam every allergy. But women’s clothing has so few pockets. So I find other ways to hoard courage. I paint over the skidmarks that betrayal left behind, in ink and tattoos. A penned star between the webs of my fingers. So when I walk through somewhere that calls out old memory-monsters, the inked star whispers a reminder of everything that came after. Ink stands sentry keeping new demons from allying with the old. Bravado carries my stage fright up here and fidgets it into paper planes. And when I run short, inside a pocket, a little piece of magic, a lucky pebble kissed with hope. Sometimes I can make a truce with memory and it lets me take pieces to call my own. A silver chain, a birthday gift, a memory to remember love, kindness and laughter. Nostalgia can also bear courage’s name. All my nooks and crevices, my clothes, mind and dimples are packed with hoarded pieces of courage, fortifying and protecting me. I manage my pockets of courage carefully. 🎶: JULY PEOPLE – @ground.control.toons #theideasmithy #courage #memory #nostalgia #sareestyle

A post shared by Ramya | IdeaSmith 🎤🌱📚💄🏊🏽‍♀️ (@ideasmithy) on

Harvest Festival

I’ve moved away from a lot of festivals steeped as they are in religion, the biggest reason for violence & turmoil in my country right now. I was talking to a stranger yesterday when I realised just that this is a good time to remember abundance. But it only feels like abundance when it is shared.

Two days ago, I was complaining about the noise of Lohri revelers when I learnt that a newly married couple usually celebrates it with extra fanfare. I know the importance of the first Pongal to a Tamilian couple. @poeticinventions chimed in telling me Lohri was the one Punjabi festival and again, I could relate because that’s how a lot of Tamilians think of Pongal – as our own, while the religious ones ‘belong’ to everyone. Food is so personal to us and so is fertility.

Festivals serve as such important social rituals in bringing a community together and giving us a sense of common purpose. Someone once told me that the United States of America adopted certain rituals and festivals to bring together their varied population and thus we have Halloween, Easter and an admittedly commercialised Christmas. India, on the other hand, steeped in rich tradition and ancient history is finding itself stuck and struggling to carry a very heavy past.

But this time of the year brings about a special festival that has nothing to do with what name you call God. It’s harvest season in a country that has always been agricultural. Lohri in Punjab, Makar Sankranti in and today, Pongal in Tamil Nadu. Cultures around the world have rituals of gratitude to the Earth for fertility, for productivity, for the food we are all privileged to eat. This is ours.

Especially in the current times of turmoil, harvest season feels especially important even if one is not a farmer. We all have to eat after all. The ground we are shedding blood over, serves us all. Today, I just want to be feel the abundance of being a part of this ecosystem at all. I am not a farmer but my little pot of soil expresses my love of all things living and keeps me mindful of bounty.

Happy harvest season and may abundance always find room at your table!

View this post on Instagram

HARVEST FESTIVAL I've moved away from a lot of festivals steeped as they are in religion, the biggest reason for violence & turmoil in my country right now. I was talking to a stranger yesterday when I realised just that this is a good time to remember abundance. But it only feels like abundance when it is shared. Two days ago, I was complaining about the noise of Lohri revelers when I learnt that a newly married couple usually celebrates it with extra fanfare. I know the importance of the first Pongal to a Tamilian couple. @poeticinventions chimed in telling me Lohri was the one Punjabi festival and again, I could relate because that's how a lot of Tamilians think of Pongal – as our own, while the religious ones 'belong' to everyone. Food is so personal to us and so is fertility. Festivals serve as such important social rituals in bringing a community together and giving us a sense of common purpose. Someone once told me that the United States of America adopted certain rituals and festivals to bring together their varied population and thus we have Halloween, Easter and an admittedly commercialised Christmas. India, on the other hand, steeped in rich tradition and ancient history is finding itself stuck and struggling to carry a very heavy past. But this time of the year brings about a special festival that has nothing to do with what name you call God. It's harvest season in a country that has always been agricultural. Lohri in Punjab, Makar Sankranti in and today, Pongal in Tamil Nadu. Cultures around the world have rituals of gratitude to the Earth for fertility, for productivity, for the food we are all privileged to eat. This is ours. Especially in the current times of turmoil, harvest season feels especially important even if one is not a farmer. We all have to eat after all. The ground we are shedding blood over, serves us all. Today, I just want to be feel the abundance of being a part of this ecosystem at all. I am not a farmer but my little pot of soil expresses my love of all things living and keeps me mindful of bounty. Happy harvest season and may abundance always find room at your table! 🎶: AISA DES HAIN MERA – Veer Zara #theideasmithy

A post shared by Ramya | IdeaSmith 🎤🌱📚💄🏊🏽‍♀️ (@ideasmithy) on

==============================================================

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.

First Deaths

The first time you watch someone die is a surprise because wasn’t death supposed to be silent? In between the wails & screaming sirens, you find yourself bumping into uncomfortable thoughts.   Funerals are for the living. Lavish performances for the soap operas of everyday lives. Maybe some people deserve to die. Some people have better deaths than lives.

The first time you see someone die forces you to the realization that you must be stupid because this keeps coming as a surprise. How long before you get used to the idea that you, me, we are all going to die some day? Because that’s really all mourning is.

The first time I watched ‘Sixth Sense’, I felt myself echoed on screen. Each time he says “I see dead people. They’re everywhere. They don’t know they’re dead.” I want to hold his hand & nod. It’s all of us. I see them, I see us too. We’re all dying and we’re walking around not knowing it. Some go too early, some too late, yes this is true.

The fact that stories end doesn’t scare me. What scares me is the living & how people live. As if we’d never die. As if we have all the time in the world to cut and destroy ourselves & each other. And it makes me cry. It makes me think I’m wasting precious moments of living on other living creatures. And then it makes me realise, this after is preparing for death. All life is.

View this post on Instagram

FIRST DEATHS The first time you watch someone die is a surprise because wasn’t death supposed to be silent? In between the wails & screaming sirens, you find yourself bumping into uncomfortable thoughts. Funerals are for the living. Lavish performances for the soap operas of everyday lives. Maybe some people deserve to die. Some people have better deaths than lives. The first time you watch someone die, teaches you about living. It’s a gift that keeps on giving because the older you get, the more you watch people die. I’ve seen proud deaths, people who lived well, looked doctors in the eye, asked them to be honest. I’ve seen sniveling deaths, clinging to regrets & nostalgia. I've watched life ebb out of bodies, taking a little morsel out of everyone else around. I've been slapped across the face with sudden death & come to consciousness in a blur of legacy Facebook profiles & wills. The first time you see someone die forces you to the realization that you must be stupid because this keeps coming as a surprise. How long before you get used to the idea that you, me, we are all going to die some day? Because that’s really all mourning is. The first time I watched ‘Sixth Sense’, I felt myself echoed on screen. Each time he says “I see dead people. They’re everywhere. They don’t know they’re dead.” I want to hold his hand & nod. It’s all of us. I see them, I see us too. We’re all dying and we’re walking around not knowing it. Some go too early, some too late, yes this is true. The fact that stories end doesn’t scare me. What scares me is the living & how people live. As if we’d never die. As if we have all the time in the world to cut and destroy ourselves & each other. And it makes me cry. It makes me think I’m wasting precious moments of living on other living creatures. And then it makes me realise, this after all, is preparing for death. All life is. 🎶: TEARS IN HEAVEN: Eric Clapton #theideasmithy

A post shared by Ramya | IdeaSmith 🎤🌱📚💄🏊🏽‍♀️ (@ideasmithy) on

Moonlight

A lot of people who don’t know who they are. Does this mean I know who I am? No. I shy away from identity labels because they don’t fit me, they don’t sit right. I make the decision to let go of the validation & security they offer while I’m on this quest to discover who I am.

It is lonely. Our journeys are our own (and I do not mean the collective ‘our’). It is scary because what if we discover that we are not who we wish? What happens when we have to face the ways we are different from the perfection we see outside us? Maybe people who are angry have hit on this and are still hurting because the outside seems perfect unlike the inside. There is no anger when one feels at home in one self. In one’s body, one’s clothes, one’s home & family, one’s profession & life choices and one’s emotions.

Some people are consumed by hatred. They are angry, vengeful, vindictive, violent. These are normal human reactions but when they describe a person more often than the words peaceful, nurturing, healing, joyful, something has gone wrong. When rage defines you, every action, every word, every association, every minute is tainted with hatred of the world. It shows.

Because the quest for self makes you shed all armour (which is what rage, guilt, hatred & fear are). But it also holds you in the light of love and peace. Some days that love is scorching and is vain or thoughtless. But nighttime come around and the light is gentle and soothing and a reminder of slights that must be forgiven or apologised for and healed. Love must drive us all.

Moonlight is a good reminder of the things that can be seen and the things that can be imagined or remembered. And our power to choose between these. Or both. You are not what you choose. You are who chooses.

View this post on Instagram

MOONLIGHT A lot of people who don't know who they are. Does this mean I know who I am? No. I shy away from identity labels because they don't fit me, they don't sit right. I make the decision to let go of the validation & security they offer while I'm on this quest to discover who I am. It is lonely. Our journeys are our own (and I do not mean the collective 'our'). It is scary because what if we discover that we are not who we wish? What happens when we have to face the ways we are different from the perfection we see outside us? Maybe people who are angry have hit on this and are still hurting because the outside seems perfect unlike the inside. There is no anger when one feels at home in one self. In one's body, one's clothes, one's home & family, one's profession & life choices and one's emotions. Some people are consumed by hatred. They are angry, vengeful, vindictive, violent. These are normal human reactions but when they describe a person more often than the words peaceful, nurturing, healing, joyful, something has gone wrong. When rage defines you, every action, every word, every association, every minute is tainted with hatred of the world. It shows. Because the quest for self makes you shed all armour (which is what rage, guilt, hatred & fear are). But it also holds you in the light of love and peace. Some days that love is scorching and is vain or thoughtless. But nighttime come around and the light is gentle and soothing and a reminder of slights that must be forgiven or apologised for and healed. Love must drive us all. Moonlight is a good reminder of the things that can be seen and the things that can be imagined or remembered. And our power to choose between these. Or both. You are not what you choose. You are who chooses. #theideasmithy 🎶: ECLIPSE: Pink Floyd

A post shared by Ramya | IdeaSmith 🎤🌱📚💄🏊🏽‍♀️ (@ideasmithy) on

==============================================================

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 Word Called TRUST

This post was written when a wave of anti-CAA protests swept across the country, college campuses were breached by guns, children were arrested & tortured and still the crowds stood, still the rhetoric continued. At the time of scheduling this for publishing, the protests are still going on while the government shows no sign of ceasing or even reconsidering its actions. I hope by the time you read this, we live in a world that has remembered the value of trust.

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

TRUST. It’s not a word that gets heard much in this time of rage & outrage. How can there be freedom without the trust that it will be a liberating and not fatal experience? What is democracy without freedom?

Politics is about using words well – election platforms, voter wooing, policy campaigning. But words are not much in themselves; just hot air, scratches on paper, bytes on a glass screen. What gives words their power? Benevolence, not bullying. Generosity, not vindictiveness. Inspiration, not threats. Caring. Yes, the truth must care. That is what makes it believable. When the words care, the listener trusts the speaker and is willing to be influenced, even led.

Trust is based on history, else it’s just blind optimism. The latter must be a choice. A promise that things will be different will have to cross the span of doubt and not be enraged. No one can feel entitled to another’s trust. It must be sought, earned, built and maintained. Constantly. Violation of consent (including forcing what is not yet trusted) doesn’t engender trust either.

We are experiencing a time when the letter of the law is being brandished like a weapon. Weapons do not inspire trust. The law is a body of words and like all words, only a net attempting to cover something as fluid as human living.

The policy may be worded in an airtight way. But trust has not been earned or even sought. Violence will never beget trust; only fear. How can one trust a person, a policy or a party that fosters violence on unarmed civilians, students or anyone who says NO? “Democracy, for the people, by the people.” It’s not democracy if the people it’s for, don’t trust the people it’s by. I cannot challenge words being said anymore than voters challenge election promises. It’s not words I protest. It’s the fact that I have seen discrimination and I don’t believe it can be true freedom. It’s the fact that I’ve experienced silencing and that is the exact opposite of  trust seeking. I see my trust being demanded, bullied out of me and because of this, I cannot trust.

No other words matter.

View this post on Instagram

A WORD CALLED TRUST TRUST. It's not a word that gets heard much in this time of rage & outrage. How can there be freedom without the trust that it will be a liberating and not fatal experience? What is democracy without freedom? Politics is about using words well – election platforms, voter wooing, policy campaigning. But words are not much in themselves; just hot air, scratches on paper, bytes on a glass screen. What gives words their power? Benevolence, not bullying. Generosity, not vindictiveness. Inspiration, not threats. Caring. Yes, the truth must care. That is what makes it believable. When the words care, the listener trusts the speaker and is willing to be influenced, even led. Trust is based on history, else it's just blind optimism. The latter must be a choice. A promise that things will be different will have to cross the span of doubt and not be enraged. No one can feel entitled to another's trust. It must be sought, earned, built and maintained. Constantly. Violation of consent (including forcing what is not yet trusted) doesn't engender trust either. We are experiencing a time when the letter of the law is being brandished like a weapon. Weapons do not inspire trust. The law is a body of words and like all words, only a net attempting to cover something as fluid as human living. The policy may be worded in an airtight way. But trust has not been earned or even sought. Violence will never beget trust; only fear. How can one trust a person, a policy or a party that fosters violence on unarmed civilians, students or anyone who says NO? "Democracy, for the people, by the people." It's not democracy if the people it's for, don't trust the people it's by. I cannot challenge words being said anymore than voters challenge election promises. It's not words I protest. It's the fact that I have seen discrimination and I don't believe it can be true freedom. It's the fact that I've experienced silencing and that is the exact opposite of  trust seeking. I see my trust being demanded, bullied out of me and because of this, I cannot trust. No other words matter. #theideasmithy #CAAprotests  #letsbringthekashtaback #slingitlikeitshot #kashtachallenge

A post shared by Ramya | IdeaSmith 🎤🌱📚💄🏊🏽‍♀️ (@ideasmithy) on

==============================================================

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.

Fragile

The idea of boundaries gained a lot of favour in the last decade. For a generation ravaged by economic meltdowns and the cultural volatility caused by connectivity, it seemed important to move to some kind of structural safety. We were (and still are) otherwise living in schedules with no day, week or timezone reference points. We’re surviving cultures caught between outdated traditions and imported, alien rituals. Boundaries are our way of rebuilding the rudimentary structures of our identity, our community, our goals and purpose. I say rudimentary because these are the rough stone pile versions of a need that was earlier fulfilled by concrete tradition, cemented rituals and brick-hard roles. Yes, we need boundaries.

But also, we need to learn how to build them better. I find people militantly imposing boundaries the way they would stockpile ammunition. They ration the time they ‘allow’ people. They hoard empathy, doling it out in strict transactions. How can love, relating or for that matter, conversations flourish in a world governed by wordcount or a metered clock?

Boundaries were meant to be holders, not fortresses. A boundary that is bloodied is a warzone. So lashing out, being harsh or cold is not a boundary, it’s a defense mechanism. A boundary is a line in the sand, not a line of fire.

I think it’s a mistake to tie one’s identity to one’s boundaries. You are not just what makes you feel safe. The comfort zone is a waiting room at best, it’s not your entirety. If you define yourself by the outer layer that carries you, you limit yourself.

Boundaries that are too rigid become the outdated structures that our generation worked so hard to dismantle. Boundaries must be porous, fluid even. After all, we are all evolving and life is ever changing.

Skin is a good boundary. It stretches as we grow and it adapts to new conditions. It is as alive and changing as every aspect of our selves and life around us. Stay safe but also stay alive. You can only do that by letting yourself be touched by air, heat, water, food and other people.

View this post on Instagram

BOUNDARY The idea of boundaries gained a lot of favour in the last decade. For a generation ravaged by economic meltdowns and the cultural volatility caused by connectivity, it seemed important to move to some kind of structural safety. We were (and still are) otherwise living in schedules with no day, week or timezone reference points. We're surviving cultures caught between outdated traditions and imported, alien rituals. Boundaries are our way of rebuilding the rudimentary structures of our identity, our community, our goals and purpose. I say rudimentary because these are the rough stone pile versions of a need that was earlier fulfilled by concrete tradition, cemented rituals and brick-hard roles. Yes, we need boundaries. But also, we need to learn how to build them better. I find people militantly imposing boundaries the way they would stockpile ammunition. They ration the time they 'allow' people. They hoard empathy, doling it out in strict transactions. How can love, relating or for that matter, conversations flourish in a world governed by wordcount or a metered clock? Boundaries were meant to be holders, not fortresses. A boundary that is bloodied is a warzone. So lashing out, being harsh or cold is not a boundary, it's a defense mechanism. A boundary is a line in the sand, not a line of fire. I think it's a mistake to tie one's identity to one's boundaries. You are not just what makes you feel safe. The comfort zone is a waiting room at best, it's not your entirety. If you define yourself by the outer layer that carries you, you limit yourself. Boundaries that are too rigid become the outdated structures that our generation worked so hard to dismantle. Boundaries must be porous, fluid even. After all, we are all evolving and life is ever changing. Skin is a good boundary. It stretches as we grow and it adapts to new conditions. It is as alive and changing as every aspect of our selves and life around us. Stay safe but also stay alive. You can only do that by letting yourself be touched by air, heat, water, food and other people. 🎶: FRAGILE: STING #theideasmithy

A post shared by Ramya | IdeaSmith 🎤🌱📚💄🏊🏽‍♀️ (@ideasmithy) on

==============================================================

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.

%d bloggers like this: