Lust Stories, A breakthrough for women’s sexual desires

Kalindi, an exploration.

What is exploration? How does it work? What happens when we truly leave ourselves free to explore? Does it come with regrets? If yes, how do we deal with it?

These questions are explored by the character of Kalindi, in the first Lust Story by Anurag Kashyap. Kalindi is a married woman who lives away from her husband. It’s a choice not made by her alone but a mutual choice, propagated by her husband, Mihir too. Mihir is an unseen character in the story. He is shown as a dedicated husband who loves his wife selflessly. He is shown in contrast to protective and dominating husbands who sustains Patriarchy. While Mihir, understands the nonplussed outcomes of not letting his wife explore her life, he decides to set her free, might knowing or not knowing the consequences.

Kalindi, on the other hand is not only a character but a personified face of exploration. An exploration that comes with an added flavor of adventure, mistakes, guilt, regrets and fun. Kalindi is completely flawed but she doesn’t mind it. She enjoys it. It is so evident that with each exploration, she feels better and gets closer to herself. She is on a journey of trying to know herself better. Her attempt of finding ‘Guilt’ adventurous is a milestone for freedom that women are striving to attain, since ages. The character of Kalindi is more like a lesson for people to fearlessly learn about exploration. It is risky but a risk worth taking. One might make mistakes, fall down but the one who loves to explore, loves that fall a bit more. Kalindi also represents the confusion and regrets that comes with exploration.

Another character, Tejas, is the medium that leads to the exploration. He is like the silent circumstances that allow people to make mistakes, fall back and make those mistakes again, without judgement. Another perspective of male who is neither judgemental nor creepy but a silent spectator. The last scene is hard core, when Kalindi informs Tejas that she is married, is like digging back to the reality and holding it strong, while feeling proud in exploring herself. It is like choosing not to feel judged about herself and still keep doing what makes her know better about herself.

Maid, the hidden pleasure.

The second story by Zoya Akhtar, is plainly about Lust in its hidden emotions. The mute character of maid is representative of mute emotions and desires that becomes taboo if talked about. There is no way out for settling those emotions and it lay hidden but explored in its naked form. The complexity of sexual desires has been juxtaposed with the relations that we create to fool ourselves to get away from the hypocrite society. Calling the guy maid’s bhaiya is an attempt to restrict those womanly sexual desires by putting it in a guilty bond. This story is to talk less but show more.

Reena, the fearless

The trio of characters – Sudhir, Salman and Reena in the third film by Dipankar Banerjee, makes it an amalgamation of cowardice, tolerance and bravery, all in one frame. Reena is in extramarital affair with his husband’s friend since last three years. She feels no shame in being open about it and want to confess it. This character isn’t guilty about it except when Sudhir as a mirror of society tries to reflect upon her acts. Sudhir as a representative of society, is a coward to accept his clandestine affair with Reena. While Reena bravely accepts this in front of Salmaan and handles it maturely. She is a symbol of woman who wants to think of herself as a woman first, neither as a wife nor mother. That’s when Sudhir as society tries bringing guilt in Reena by referring to her children and she rejects it explicitly. This character is more like a calling to the women of our society who keeps themselves burdened with some relationship tags all their lives, neglecting themselves as the priority. Reena’s smile in the end of the film, is a reminder that it’s time for women to prioritize themselves and believing that everything can fall in place even when they think of themselves first.

Women’s sexual satisfaction.

The last story by Karan johar, is about WOMEN NEEDING SEX. WOMEN DESERVING SEX. WOMEN’S SEXUAL SATISFACTION. The two characters portray the need for sex in two different life situations. One is a divorcee which makes her vulnerable in the eyes of principal who keeps staring and inviting her. Her scene of sexual satisfaction using vibrator is a breakthrough, specifically for the country where even thinking of women demanding sex makes her outright slut. This scene is an awakening for women who tries to shut their desires in the presence of their unfulfilled sexual needs. The another married woman keeps counting for his husband’s ejaculation while he doesn’t seem to care, even know of Women’s needs at all. This film is set on the backdrop of everyday marital life reality. Women are expected to fulfill their husband’s sexual desires and to procreate.

The film also puts on the taboo, showed by her mother in law who see it as a crime, not understanding it from a woman’s perspective. This is what women are supposed to grow up as, restricted, non demanding and submissive. The audience would very relate to how married women felt and it might be an alarm for husbands to rethink their mutual sexual lives. The last line of the film catches the show when she says ‘IT WAS NOT A MISTAKE’,at all. The determination and acknowledgement of asserting her right over her body and sexual needs makes it win the best among all.

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🍃 A Poetical Beloved

You know how am I trying to put myself back?

Drooling over the same dates and memories, I find myself visiting the rough lines of raw love in me. I look this side and that, booze over the loves that we made and the drops of rain that touched me beautifully, having him by my side.

Flawless- is the word, all I tried to keep his love, stooping down to the cliches of my life, I failed, miserably. The eyes that had charm of my love, made me go through the same existential crises of my life and I was put in disdain. Poetically, a flawed beloved.

Limitless-Boundless-Hopeless- Love It was, that is still an astounding limit of my life. I hop over years back and find him there, standing, in the same shape of Love, that I never designed and this time too, It is as hopeless as it was, when I saw him. Poetically, a hopeless beloved.

Rigorous- is the way, that commandments of Love made me feel. A hard word feeling, blocked my nerves, and pushed me into a dark sulken grey shed of sky. Uncertain of moulding it to a silken feather that soak my complexity, I left it free to break me. Poetically, a broken beloved.

Unconditional- is the word that destroyed it all, my hopes, and him, with a thud. I still choose not to look away from Love, my heart takes leaps, pounding over moments, and what scares me, is that I AM A POETICAL BELOVED.
Always!

🍃

Kadam Chhota, Change Bada 🌼

It was the eve of 14th April 18 when I got on call with one of my friends to share my feeling of dejection and hopeless. Those were the hype days of Kathua and Unnao rape case and I was feeling helpless. The constant calling was for revolution, a change, a fight and a protest was killing me inside, that I couldn’t sleep anymore.
(On call)
Me to my friend: “We need a revolution, and we need to tell them, the society, the government, the patriarchy that WE ARE NOT TOYS. WE ARE NOT BORN TO BE SUBJUGATED OR RAPED. We are humans.”
Friend: “How will it happen?”
Me: “It can happen, all we need is to come out of our houses and revolt. All we have to do is to shut our houses, workplaces, shops and come out on roads to tell them that we are not going to tolerate this subjugation anymore.”
Friend: “But this is impossible. It doesn’t happen.”
Me: “Why not? People in other countries do that. Why Indian women can’t do that? Why are we scared? Who are we scared from?”
Friend: “OK. You do something. We’ll support you.”
Me: “Hmm.”
And this “hmm” stuck with me. I could sense what my friend was trying to say, something we all think of. That it’s impossible to bring revolution, to go on the roads and call out what’s not right around us. That we women are structured to be submissive by the society. THAT WOMEN DON’T PROTEST. WOMEN DON’T COME OUT OF THE HOUSES. WOMEN DON’T CALL OUT. WOMEN DON’T REBEL.
In the next evening, One of my other friends who was equally angry about the rape cases, got on call with me. We discussed for few minutes and decided that just showing our anger on social media doesn’t make sense any more. It was not going to stop the hiking number of rape cases. That why only these cases with mutilated faces and vagina infuriate us. That we as society, are failing our women and children.
We decided of calling a PROTEST at Parliament Street. A PROTEST AGAINST RAPE CULTURE named HUNKAR. It was not the general protest that were happening those days. The protest was neither specific case oriented nor affiliated to any political party, nor backed up by any organization and it was inclusive of all social identities .It was to show the rage of concerned citizens, organized by me and a friend with the help of a group of supportive friends.
We decided of holding protest on May 4th, but we chose a different strategy. This protest was to call out ‘Rape Culture’ that is sustained by our society and our motto was to outcast that culture with our art forms. We invited two great theater groups ‘Sukhmanch’ and ‘DrameBaaz’ and the nukkad natak performed by them brought tears in eyes. We were fortunate enough to have Ms. Bharti Ali as the speaker for the event. She is a child right activist and founder of NGO, Haq. Another was Ms. Anushakti who is a feminist writer. We were joined by 5 Young poets from 13-years to 15- years of age who mesmerized the public with their revolutionary speech and poems. Then we had three adult poets whose Poetry was a rebellious call for all the young women. The Protest also had a dance performance by Ms. Gaytri Dey who not only gave art form to our anger but also showed us the post-revolution phase through her Dance.
Certainly, This Protest came as a big realization for me. It ensured that the people are not scared, but they need a leader who can guide them, who can tell them that their effort won’t be in vain. That people empathise with what’s happening around them but hopelessness do not allow them to come out of their houses. The protest turned out to be a success event attended by a good number of crowd but what I loved most, the hopeful messages I received, and one of them was this.
“What hunkar did to me. I was anti protest person and I just came for kids(young poets) but Hunkar changed my perspective about protests. You were inspiration there as you were bold and powerful enough while speaking and everything was very real and natural whatever you were speaking. I really don’t know what we will get in the end put one thing I am sure for all the people who came there went back with something strong which will keep them motivated to stand against rape culture. Thank you for giving a chance to be a part of it. 😊”

After this Protest, I am constantly receiving messages from schools students who wants to learn more about rape culture and LGBTIA. I believe that “Every change begins with a small step, whether it’s a change within your family, or the whole country!
With this, India’s hero, Padman, had its digital premiere on ZEE5, on 11th May. Don’t miss this inspiring true-life story, only on ZEE5. Download the app and subscribe now(https://www.zee5.com/movies/details/pad-man/0-0-movie_2077184162?utm_source=womensweb&utm_medium=all-channels&utm_content=may-2018&shortlink=f96f68a8&pid=Blog&c=Blogathon) For every subscription, ZEE5 will donate Rs. 5 towards the personal hygiene needs of underprivileged women.”

@WomensWeb Contest on sharing story for ‘Kadam Chhota, Bada Change’.

2 days trip to Nainital.

If you’re quite fed up with your daily humdrum and monotonous life, Nainital is the town to look for peace. It is a beautiful town in the Kumaon region of India’s Uttarakhand state. A place that makes you deep delve in your inner self and brings out the balanced and best in you. Nainital, once a British Hill station set around the Naini (Lake), is a popular boating site with Naina Devi Hindu Temple on its north shore.

One can easily figure out 2 days stay in Nainital to get the best essence of the town. Starting with Day 1, there are good options available for stay from Hotels to AirBnB to Youth Hostels depends on the facilities and amenities you demand. For the first day, one can roam around the MALL road enriched with shops from clothing to food joints to toy shops and anything that you might want to have at a hill station. The MALL road has got a big space in the center to take pictures and take a good view of the market. Not to forget, the jalebis at the MALL road is something not to be missed.

After good hours of shopping and eating at food joints, One can go for a good one- hour boat ride at the Naini Lake. It is beautiful to be in the boat and see the huge mountains by your side. While returning back, you can sit by the side of Naini Lake and watch the sun setting down reflecting rays on the water. A cup of coffee, music and a walk by the Lake in the evening sets the tone for the coming months.

For the second day, decide it for the Governor’s House(Raj Bhawan). It is known for its magnificent look and old charming architecture, previously served as summer residence of British Governors. Know, It is the official residence of the Governor of Uttarakhand who stays here only for few months. You can either trek for few kilometers or take a cab as per the convenience. Only a group of tourists is allowed with tickets at a time accompanied by a guide.

The Governor house is a mandatory visiting place if you love historic architecture. The same day you can cover the Churches and Temples around the Nainital and can come back to Naini Lake for solace.

An explored poetry 🌼

I feel like a fallen leaf, picked up by a child(in me) to be kept in her book. I am hidden inside the book, in the pages that sing the glory of love and humanity. The pages that are unread since ages, since ages they’re fighting and have forgotten to sing these glories.

I sing it with the child(in me) hidden among those black poetic words. It’s a privilege to be safe and honored after falling from a deadly distance with a blinking speed. I am thankful to the child who valued me while I could be destroyed in a second.

Difficult is to find a path between how do I feel now and how did I feel then. It was tragic then and unbelievable now. Should I hope if these beautiful pages would make me feel alive again through its poetry?

It makes me wonder,
Will I be the muse or the pen?
Be the feeling or the perspective?
Be the subject or the object?

All I know is to hold on to this feeling and thinking abruptly about my life, where it was and where it is leading to.
To an unknown undecided but always an explored Poetry. I’m always an explored poetry.

5 cafes that you may not want to miss in Pushkar

Pushkar is a town in Rajasthan bordering the Thar desert and is a paradise for food lovers. People come from across the world and relish this pilgrimage with road side food points,dhabas, restaurants that serves dishes from Italian and Indian to Spanish and Israeli. Apart from famous Malpuas and thalis of dal baati churma, here is the lost of 5 cafes that one may not want to miss and regret later while travelling to Pushkar. It not only adds local flavor to the taste but also a color of daily dishes of Pushkar.

Before we go on exploring cafes of Pushkar, let me give you few reasons why you need to holiday in Pushkar :

1. Pushkar Lake: Its origin is attributed to Hindu mythology. It is said that Lord Brahma used his Lotus flower as a weapon to kill a demon. In this war, a lotus flower fell on earth and a spring gushed out from the spot which is now named as ‘Pushkar Lake’. “Pushpa” in Sanskrit means flower and “Kar” means hand, thus the name Pushkar, a combination of these two words.

2. Brahma Temple: The Lord Brahma is worshipped here and the current structure of the Temple dates back to 14th century. There are around 500 temples that surrounds the Pushkar Lake that creates an aura of divine bliss and spirituality.

3. Pushkar Fair: Pushkar is famously known for its Camel Fair, also known as Pushkar Camel Festival. Its a 5-day long festival takes place at the banks of Lake Pushkar. The Fair includes camel races, exhibitions, and stalls selling stuff from colorful trinkets to local food stuff.

The cafes that can’t be missed are:

1.Cafe Nature’s Blessing – The cafe is in between the town run by a sweet middle-aged uncle. The place is serene and gentle in air. One do not only find good food but also good books to read. The dish of Steamed Rice dumplings (Idli) with coconut sauce and Fresh Papaya and Lemon Juice is worth the money. The uncle is friendly and can go on with long conversations about the places and the states in India.

2.Sunset cafe – It is located on the Pushkar Lake/Brahma Lake. The menu is specialized in Indian and Italian and Jasmine Tea is something not to be missed. People generally start trickling before the sunset as the view is worth watching seeing the sun going down the horizon and the most beautiful is to see its reflections on the Lake. The evening Aarti can also be heard while having snacks in the cafe. The sunset cafe is one of the gems to enjoy at the Pushkar Lake.
3.Nirvana cafe and Pizzeria- The cafe is famous for its cheesy pizzas and freshly baked breads that can be enjoyed with Tea and Coffee. One should not miss trying malai kofta from this place. The interior is beautiful and is a relying place for many foreigners. One can always find a group of travellers sitting and making conversations at the cafe.
4.Funky Monkey Cafe – The cafe is to enjoy the exotic view of the city, located near the Mahadev Chowk. A good crowd is always gathered here for food, sweets and savories. Tourists get to enjoy its special Pancakes and the prices are very reasonable. It is to be added with lip smacking coffee and an amazing street view. One can spend long hours here staring at the daily lives of the streets.
5.Laughing Buddha Cafe- It is famous for baked items and hot tea with cookies and sandwiches. The banana bread with homemade peanut butter is the food that most travellers love to have here. One can enjoy evening sitting in its balcony to overlook the city and people. It is located at main market road near Gau Ghat and is best people to offer vegan menu.
These cafes add delight to the days of backpackers and taste to the Pushkar as a tourist place. It has servings for everyone to vegan to vegetarian to non from dishes from almost every tourist place.

Blue beds- A home like hostel

Traveling solo comes with insecurities and fearful walks on the roads specifically for me as I had heard a lot of molestation stories from around the places. Still, traveling solo is fun because it is beautiful to know and explore a new city all alone. However , what I realized is that It becomes an enriching experience if one gets a home like hostel at a new place. I was fortunate enough to have access to a hostel like this. Initially, I was a bit confused while I decided staying in a hostel for the very fact that I take time to open up with people and do not understand how to initiate conversations. Spending a good time on searching about hostels in Jaipur, I got my bed booked at the hostel Blue beds and reached there around 3pm. I had my first conversation with the receptionist over there who was already friendly and I already started feeling good. It was the female dorm that I booked though they have the facility of mixed dorm too but I think I was more comfortable in the former loop. The dorm was clean, beautiful and homely and I found myself at a secure place. They do have Wi-Fi facility, food at the door step is available and what I loved most was the common room. It was great to have an evening tea around 6pm in the common room and seeing everyone sitting together, making conversations, playing guitar and watching NETFLIX. It was less like hostel and liker home.
In the day times, I kept visiting forts, Hawa Mahal, Jawahar Kala Kendra but there was a good feeling while returning to the hostel. I did not have to think once of starting conversations with people over there because the coordinators already made me feel home. I made friends in between the productive discussions and conversations, exchanged perspectives, ideas and expected outcomes.
There are this Nibs cafe just downstairs to the blue beds opens till 11pm.The food is not just good but delicious, in fact the aura would make you sit for hours there. The hostel is very close to the local market and one can buy fruits, juices anytime late in the evening without feeling unsafe and insecure. There is a mall nearby and one can access to it in need. I stayed in the hostel for two- nights and in the meantime met people from Udaipur, Ranthambore, Kuala lumpur and London. I had a short period of stay followed by a conference, so I had to quit my plan of seeing Ranthambore otherwise Blue beds make sure to advise, guide and arrange facilities for all kinds of travels in and around the city.
It is easy to book online, and they make sure of doing constant follow up of our arrivals. I genuinely found it very secures, clean, comfortable and homely and would make sure to visit this place again for my next travel.