Tuesday, 15 June 2021

You Came Like Autumn - A Short Story (Part 2)


The 1st part of the story : Samar and Nivedita come across each other an at old age home after four decades. Although there are many unanswered questions spanning between them, their hearts still beat for each other. Read on to know what happens next. 


Part 2

Our choices govern our life. In retrospect, when we look back at every choice that we have made, we realize how we have lost many precious moments or people of our life by choosing convenience instead of choosing to take a leap of faith.

Samar was unable to sleep that night. Meeting Nivedita after four decades was a dream come true for him. He had always prayed for such a moment. He had wanted to see her once before the sun sets in his life. But today after meeting and talking to Nivedita, Samar felt an uncanny restlessness. Her sad eyes carrying hints of anger and pain haunted Samar's inner peace. 

I have to talk to her. I have to tell her my side of the story. I have to tell her everything. 

Samar murmured to himself before tiredness gripped his old eyes. 

In a dream-like state, he traveled forty years back in time. He could see the twenty-year-old Nivedita, draped in a scarlet salwar kameez and a white dupatta walking towards the main gate of Presidency College, Kolkata. 


"I want to apologize for the debate last week," Samar said, looking into Nivedita's kohl-rimmed almond-shaped eyes. 

"Apology not accepted!" Nivedita started marching forward.

"I know we have started on the wrong foot. But trust me, I respect your views." Samar followed Nivedita.

"First of all, my parents have given me a beautiful name. Kindly don't shorten and distort it. Secondly, you are a condescending London returned person who admires everything English and looks down upon everything Indian. That debate about Rabindranath Tagore and Shakespeare was simply a waste of my time. I will never participate in such debates with you. And I don't need to tell you how great was Kaviguru." 

Samar couldn't say another word in protest because he knew that Nivedita was somewhat right. As he was born in London, he was biased towards English literature. 

He decided to brush up his knowledge of Indian Literature, starting with Rabindranath Tagore. 

He had to prove to Nivedita that he is well versed in Indian Literature and that he is not condescending. He was merely stating facts when he said that no one can come close to the genius of the Bard of Avon. be continued...

Part 3 of the story will be posted tomorrow

This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.’ 

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Why do so many Women refuse to call themselves Feminists?


While researching for this article, I learned that less than 1 out of 5 women like to call themselves ‘feminists' in the USA. I have often seen my closest friends and acquaintances shy away from calling themselves a feminist. When I ask them if they support the equality of men and women, they reply in the affirmative but they do not want to be labeled as feminists.

The Cambridge dictionary meaning of ‘feminism’ is the belief that women should be allowed the same rightspower, and opportunities as men and be treated in the same way.

Then why do so many women refuse to call themselves feminists? The nagging question in my mind made me find out all the probable reasons why most women support equality and yet stay away from the term ‘feminism’. Let’s take a look at all the reasons:

1.     Wrong or Inadequate knowledge


Some women believe that feminism is all about hating men. Wrong or inadequate knowledge is one of the reasons women refuse to call themselves feminists. They think that feminism is only restricted to women which is not the case. Feminism is not against men. It is against inequality and against patriarchy. Every woman should read about the movement called ‘feminism’ and educate herself before taking a decision.


2.     ‘Feminism’ is confused with ‘Feminazi’


Feminism is about the equality of men and women. Feminazi is about the superiority of women. A feminazi can be violent towards men. They blame men for everything and also blame women who disagree with their ideals. Feminism has nothing to do with Feminazi. Often women get confused and think ‘feminazi’ to be ‘feminism’ and therefore, they do not want to call themselves feminists.


3.     Internalizing patriarchy


Some women have internalized patriarchy so deeply that the concept of equality of men and women seems ridiculous to them. Simone de Beauvoir in her book ‘TheSecond Sex’ explained it beautifully why sometimes women trade freedom for security and are comfortable being the second sex.


4.     Competitiveness among women


The first rule of feminism is women should help and empower other women. Simone de Beauvoir has talked about the importance of gender loyalty in order to dismantle patriarchy. Some women simply cannot tolerate the success of other women. There is so much jealousy and competitiveness. They would rather celebrate the success of a man than someone who belongs to the same gender. 


5.     Feminist is often confused with ‘careerist’


Many women feel that in order to be feminists, they have to be career women. They think that stay-at-home mothers and homemakers cannot be feminists. This is not true at all. Feminism is the belief that men and women should have equal rights. Anyone supporting that belief is a feminist. It is not limited to working women.


6.     Stereotypes associated with ‘Feminist’


Sadly, feminists are labeled with a lot of stereotypes by the patriarchal society. Feminists are often thought of as spinsters, men-hating women, lesbians, women lacking femininity, women not wearing makeup and shaving legs and so much more. These stereotypes often repel many women from calling themselves, feminists.

So, these are the reasons why so many women refuse to call themselves feminists. I hope awareness of these reasons helps women change their minds and make them embrace the term ‘feminist’ without any shame or guilt. 

"This post is part of Blogchatter's CauseAChatter"

Friday, 30 April 2021

Zen and Solitude (Magic and Alchemy)


You do not have to
embark on a pilgrimage
to attain self-realization
when the one you are
searching is sitting within you.
Make Zen, your lifestyle
solitude, your ally
faith, your armor
discipline, your mantra
scriptures, your catalyst;
Now embark on the 
magical journey within 
Keep going till 
you have the epiphany~
The Creator is in the Creation
The Creator is in you as
well as in every other Creation of his
You are one with the Universe
There is no you and I
All the rivers, no matter how different
merge with the same Ocean;
We all have come from the same Source
and will merge there at the end of time.

Purba Chakraborty


 I’m participating in #BlogchatterA2Z


Thursday, 29 April 2021

Your Breath on My Neck (Magic and Alchemy)


It's been long
Yet I still remember
your breath on my neck,
erupting constellation of
stars on my body;
your lips close to my ears
kissing my name
enveloped in 
whispers and sighs, 
making me feel I am 
your entire galaxy. 
Yes, it's been long
we are light years away
but a love like that
is like counting stars
on the sky every night
without ever getting tired. 

Purba Chakraborty


 I’m participating in #BlogchatterA2Z

6 Quotes and Takeaways from The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir


'The Second Sex' by Simone de Beauvoir was published in 1949 after the second world war ended. It was the starting point of second-wave feminism.

The essay explores the way in which women have been treated throughout history and how gender conditioning governs the life of a woman. 

I recently studied this essay and felt that the points discussed in the essay are so much relevant even today.

Here are 6 quotes and takeaways from the revolutionary essay "The Second Sex":

1. “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.”

Simone de Beauvoir states that women are not born 'feminine' but are shaped that way by a thousand external processes. At each stage of her upbringing, a girl is conditioned into being docile, soft-spoken, dependent, and passive. Society tries to flatten the girl into an object so that she can accept the life of housework and childbearing without ever protesting. The girl will think that to be her very duty, the reason she is born.

2. ..her wings are cut and then she is blamed for not knowing how to fly.”

Simone de Beauvoir says that the situation of a woman is not a result of her character. If we find a woman who rarely has any material accomplishments, is labeled as lazy, mediocre, and complacent, it simply means that these are the consequences of the way she has been brainwashed by society. Her wings were cut during her growing up years and now she is criticized for not knowing how to fly. 

3. “Women's mutual understanding comes from the fact that they identify themselves with each other, but for the same reason each is against the others.”

Simone de Beauvoir beautifully said that women need to develop gender loyalty in order to dismantle patriarchy. One of the reasons why women's movements lose power is because women do not have great gender loyalties. The biggest proof is how society pits the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law against each other. Women need to recognize these patterns and develop gender loyalty because united we stand, divided we fall.

4. “That the child is the supreme aim of woman is a statement having precisely the value of an advertising slogan.”

Simone de Beauvoir stated that throughout history, maternity has been both worshipped and criticized - the mother both brings life and brings death. The woman is transformed into a symbol of 'life' and in that process, she is robbed of all individuality. It is expected that women are born to give birth, raise children and forget their own individuality to become great mothers. 

5. “And without a doubt it is more comfortable to endure blind bondage than to work for one's liberation; the dead, too, are better suited to the earth than the living.”

Simone de Beauvoir stated that at times, women support their own dependency and accept their second-class status without challenging it. Years of gender conditioning play a major role in it. Some women trade their freedom for security. Some women chose comfort over conquering. Only in work can a woman achieve autonomy and can support herself. But years of gender conditioning pushes many women to accept a life of bondage than fight for liberation. 

6. “Few tasks are more like the torture of Sisyphus than housework, with its endless repetition: the clean becomes soiled, the soiled is made clean, over and over, day after day.”

Simone de Beauvoir said that the difficulty of sacrificing security and comfort for some 'notion' of equality persuades many women to accept the unfulfilling roles in life. And she has beautifully described those roles by comparing them to the myth of Sisyphus. 

"The Second Sex" is a magnificent work in feminism that helps us understand how women have been treated in society for centuries, how women are conditioned, why women make different choices, and how not having great gender loyalty has prevented women from dismantling the patriarchy. 

"This post is part of Blogchatter's CauseAChatter"

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

eXtraordinary fall and rise (Magic and Alchemy)


The garden wears the 
color and ornaments of spring
The sky- a burst of vibrant colors
Messages of ardor concealed
in the pattern of clouds;
The world looks like Arcadia
Everything becomes extraordinary
when there is an explosion of
rainbow within the beating heart;
Feelings that are stars 
form a grand constellation
We realize how deep we have 
fallen in the ocean of love
let the ego burn into ashes
and risen like a phoenix
in the sky of spirituality. 

Purba Chakraborty


 I’m participating in #BlogchatterA2Z

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Wings (Magic and Alchemy)


My father had gifted me
a pair of magical wings~
Wings Of courage 
and determination
when he saw me dreaming
with open eyes for the first time.
I fastened those wings
with the glue of faith
ready to take my first flight
like the Greek craftsman, 
Deaedalus and his son, Icarus. 

My father told me to fly away
from every thing that
chained me  
caged me 
pulled me down
made me doubt myself
stopped me from
reaching my dreams~
rules of society
judgmental relatives
comfort of the known
fear of the unknown
habit of the routine.
"Yes! Fly as high as possible
Do not fear to be Icarus" he said,
"Your wings are glued 
by faith, not wax
Sun cannot melt them 
Storms cannot touch them."

The poem is inspired from the Greek mythological story of Daedalus and Icarus. You can check it out here

The poem is dedicated to my wonderful father. It is his birthday today! Happy Birthday Papa. All that I am is because of you! I love you the most. 

Purba Chakraborty


 I’m participating in #BlogchatterA2Z

Monday, 26 April 2021

Valley of Nostalgia (Magic and Alchemy)


I find my way back again
to the alluring valley of nostalgia
Lit by fireflies of memories
Keepsakes sprouting like daffodils
The petrichor, night-jasmine
and other familiar aromas
inviting me in;
I hear the voice of loved ones
favorite childhood songs and jingles 
combined to form a delectable melody.

The valley of nostalgia
A bewitching, magnificent place
Present fades away
Unreal becomes real
Realm of magic realism.
I lay down on the valley
taking in all the beauty 
until the sun shines brightly,
jolting me out of my reverie.
The valley of nostalgia
is a magical place to be
but I have dreams to fulfill
songs to sing
stories to write
years to live. 

Purba Chakraborty


 I’m participating in #BlogchatterA2Z

Saturday, 24 April 2021

Unspoken, Unsent, Unfinished (Magic and Alchemy)


If only we could hear
the unspoken words,
swallowed just before they
could escape the trembling lips...

If only we could read
the unsent messages and letters
languishing in the draft folder
or crumpled up in a dusty corner...

We could dot the i's 
Cross the 't's
Prevent many stories
from staying unfinished
Prevent many connections
from fading into oblivion.

Alas! The white pages 
have long turned yellow
Yet the ship could not
reach its shore.

Purba Chakraborty


 I’m participating in #BlogchatterA2Z

Friday, 23 April 2021

The Trees and their Hymn ( Magic and Alchemy)


The trees and their hymn
teaches me the art of living;
How gracefully they 
shed their leaves in autumn
and wear new ones in spring;
Watching them, I learn
to cast off old beliefs, 
unlearn old habits
let go of toxic energy
and put on new ones~
clean energy
beliefs that uplift
habits that serve.
The trees and their hymn
teach me to sing songs 
of autumn and spring;
Revel in the gifts that
each season of life brings. 

Purba Chakraborty


 I’m participating in #BlogchatterA2Z