Friday, July 18, 2008

To Be a Woman

To be a woman, to have a heart, and to hurt. Here's something I came across when I was flipping through an old notebook of mine. It was taken from a Nike Ad in a magazine:

Oh, you’re so emotional.

There you are all caught up in your emotions, wearing your heart on your sleeve, wearing your heart on every piece of clothing you own. You cry at the drop of a hat. You cry absolute buckets. You cry me a river.

You’re a woman (you can’t help it); you’re a girl (now, don’t get me wrong); you’re a woman and you’re so emotional about everything and

even at those times when you’re perfectly rational and perfectly capable, somebody somewhere will look at you and say (like it’s the worst thing in the world)

Oh you’re so emotional

And of course, that really makes you want to scream.

And then just as soon as you don’t weep, which is most of the time anyway, and you’re cool and calm and absolutely brilliant under pressure somebody somewhere will say you’re too cool and too calm and then, of course, you’re suddenly and forever called insensitive.

Ah, to be a woman.

Somewhere in the middle of all these assumptions and all these labels is the way you really are. You are kind (that’s why we have hearts). You are strong (or you wouldn’t have made it this far). You are fearless (or you would’ve hidden your heart long ago). And because you wear your heart so easily sometimes

you know how easily it is broken.

So through time, you have learned to protect it. You learn to take it for long walks. You learn to let it breathe deeply. You learn to treat it with respect.

And, through time, you have learned to move it and bend it and make it accountable, because the best way to keep a heart alive is to be unafraid to use it. And you are so very good at using it.


Your heart is beating. This means you are alive. Your body is moving. This means you cannot be stopped. The world and all its labels are calling you. You’d love to answer. But you’re moving so fast you can’t hear a thing.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dedicated to the memory of fellow blogger Azaia, whose untimely demise has left us reeling with shock and groping for words and meaning.

On Death

Than Almitra spoke, saying, "We would ask now of Death."

And he said:

You would know the secret of death.

But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?

The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.

If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.

For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.

In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;

And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.

Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.

Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.

Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?

Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?

And what is to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink form the river of silence shall you indeed sing.

And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.

And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

(From The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese poet)

for more on this amazing writer, click here :

Monday, July 7, 2008


Hey guys, I did it! Thank you for all the prayers and good wishes. Just got the news today, and I felt a little silly posting this, but since I had told everyone of my upcoming viva voce, I thought I might as well pass on the good news. More than anything, it is such a relief... I mean, one had just had enough of all that reading and composing and those late, late nights, staring blearily at the computer. Of course, now that the powers-that-be have seen it fit to bestow the degree on me, I feel a little guilty (is that the right word?), like a little kid caught trying on her mommy's too-big shoes and clothes. I mean I've always had this mental image of academicians as rather ancient and wise, a bit detached from this temporal world, bespectacled and too dignified to even stoop to talk to us mere mortals. Oh well, I guess I should stop kidding myself... after all, I do wear glasses (at home) and i suppose "ancient" would be one way of describing myself.


Speaking of the powers-that-be, this whole thing was a bit of an anti-climax, really. There was so much unnecessary red-tape, blue-tape or black-tape, or whatever the heck the correct term is. Usually, results are declared within a day or two of the viva voce. I actually saw the report being typed out. All it needed were a few signatures and the inevitable file work, which could have been completed in a short while. However, in the way the luck of yours truly usually runs, the people who were to pass the report went 'out of station' one by one, and I had to wait twenty days before the report finally passed through all the hands it was supposed to. The first few days, my family and I (not to mention friends in the Univ) waited excitedly, and then it became a little embarrassing for them to ask me about my result, and for me to respond in the negative. Anyway, it finally came today, after I had resigned myself to waiting for however long it took.


I don't blame those people with lengthy award acceptance speeches anymore. It's amazing how many people it takes to make even a thesis complete; so here's to everyone who's loved me and stood by me and borne with me.

Here are some pictures of NEHU Campus, Shillong. It's a beautiful place. Beautiful places make you do crazy things, they say. So be warned, if you ever get to stay there!

The Library.

My thesis supervisor, Prof. Esther Syiem, and external examiner, Prof. E. N Lall.

The Auditorium

The Administrative Building (popularly known as the A.B) where the VC, Registrar, etc, sit.


Lastly, my PC crashed, and at the same time, so did my broadband connection (whose performance is directly relative to and dependent upon the weather); hence, my longish absence from the blog world. Please to excuse, a thousand and one apologies, all.