What it means being an Empath

I didn’t know that I am an Empath.

woman-cat-empath.jpg

As I move ahead on my spiritual path and discover new things about myself in this journey, I have received a lot of answers to questions that I always had, and to those that I never had either.

I will try my best to share this journey with you, maybe one of you will identify with it, who knows?

  1. Songs affect me in a huge way. I can not bear to listen to some songs (esp from the oldies lot like Kishore Kumar’s) because they make me depressed.
  2. Deja Vu is a common phenomenon with me, because I tend to have the feeling of “I’ve been here before”, or “I’ve seen him/her before” quite often.
  3. Pink skies make me depressed and a bit scared as well.
  4. I am highly highly sensitive and tend to pick up vibes very quickly. (To my deepest chagrin, at work, I am just the opposite..!!!!)
  5. I like/do not like cities or places according to the vibes I get.
  6. I tend to immediately catch the feelings of a person around me if they are sad, depressed or in grief.
  7. I cry a lot… a lot means really a lot. Every emotion results in tears – joy, sorrow, grief, anger, irritation, upset – every damn emotion and the tears flow.
  8. When someone shares their feelings with me, I suffer along with them because those feelings and emotions become me and I become them. This is the worst trait I have.
  9. Hate crowds. Hate empty stores too. Extremes.
  10. These movies disturbed me very badly: Trapped, Life, Alien Covenant – you get the point.
  11. Long conversations, especially with acquaintances tire me out. I can’t sustain long phone conversations either.
  12. Loud noises, loud speakers, screaming people etc. disturb me and drive me to madness. So also, I get startled easily, even by something as small as the ringing of a phone – I jump out of my seat. There have been times when I actually dropped the phone when it started ringing.
  13. I can NOT multitask. Neither physically not mentally. Conversely, I can read two books parallelly – but each a bit at a time, I can switch from reading to painting to crochet to cooking faster than a butterfly switching flowers.
  14. I need time out after social get togethers, not that I go to too many of them.
  15. I have this very strong innate desire to heal others. Like I sometimes wish I had a magic wand to do that.
  16. You can NOT force me to do what I do not want to do. If you force me, I will feel suffocated.
  17. I am always disturbed by injustice. If I see any injustice happening around me, I have to hold the urge to get involved and give a piece of my mind. (My latest anger is directed towards Mr. Modi for coming up with privacy-killing ideas such as compulsory registration of marriages. What will women in our society do? He is so insensitive to women. My second latest is against trolls who want to keep pestering people who have no interest in them.)
  18. Many times, I feel emotions that I have no idea where they have come from. I go down without reason, I am happy without reason… I have no idea what touches me during my course of the day.
  19. You may have hurt me profusely and you may have back-stabbed me, but I will reach out if I know you are in pain. And I beat myself up for it, because it is the most vulnerable thing to do – put yourself up for more pain with people who do not value you.
  20. And of couse, I am drawn to healing modalities. Obviously.

That makes 20 of them.

 

Turning back

She found his sister-in-law walking down the street opposite to her house. It had been 8 years since she had seen any of his family members. Debating whether to avoid or not, she found her approaching. In her heart, she missed the friendship she had shared with his sister. It was an easy-going friendship, one that was without judgement. She called her ‘didi’, and not ‘bhabhi’. She did not want to bring the ‘weight’ of a bhabhi-wala relation into the simple sisterly friendship.

As didi approached, she hugged her, reminiscing the days gone by. Didi took her to her house, where there were a lot of people buzzing around, maybe for a wedding that was planned in the house. She felt amiss. Didi took her to a room and asked her to wait. On the other side of the room, she felt a presence. Ma. She jumped in surprise, went ahead and hugged ma too. Touched feet. Ma was distanced and detached. She handed me a letter. A handwritten letter.

She just took and just gave it a listless glance. No expression. When she went to her room, she found him there. She had forgiven him and had no weight in her heart. So, she greeted him politely.  Apparently, they all wanted him and her to get back together. She thought in her heart, that it was a foolish wishful want. She debated whether to cut this conversation short or see what he had to say. Curiosity took over and she took a seat 5 feet away from him. They spoke about inconsequential things. Then his intention was to move on to personal chat, but she sensed it and cut him short. She wanted to leave, but he got angry. All she said was, “You are still the same. Lower your temper.”

And she went to her parents to tell them to go and ask that family to move on. What did she achieve from that conversation? Not sure, maybe she had the satisfaction of knowing that it was the right thing to do, to walk out. Rather, to accept that he walked out. That a piece of paper with two signatures mean nothing when someone does not want to nurture a relationship. And of course, vice versa.

She thought of the man she now had in her life. Dynamic, mature and extremely loving. She thanked her stars. A small smile escaped her lips.

Track 2:

In her words:

The wedding atmosphere suddenly turned into tension filled melee. She was puzzled. Then people came running and shouting that the groom has halted the wedding celebrations because he wanted 10 lakhs immediately. The bride’s parents tried to ask our parents to arrange for the money. And fools that they are, they way they chose that man for me, they scrambled around, arranging for it.

I asked them to stop the madness. Just. Stop. It.

How dare that girl not stop this by taking a stand?? This for God’s sake is the 21st century. Educated people do NOT blackmail the bride’s family for money on the altar of marriage. What stops her from walking out? Is it okay to see her parents begging others for money? Is it okay to see the elderly couple scrambling around, and losing their wits on something as inconsequential as “buying a groom for their daughter”????

Track 3:

She wakes up with a jolt, angry and upset. Why after so many years, did she see this dream? Perhaps somewhere in her psyche, she expected him to come and apologize to her. And perhaps, somewhere in her psyche, she wants all those girls to stand up for their parents, who feel they are a victim of the society’s demands for sending a daughter with loads of materialistic things, with or without demand.

Track 4:

She thought of her parents who had the strength that ONLY true love could give, to support and in fact, help her in the brave decision she took so many years ago. She smiled as she saw the way her father’s head held high, when she told him of the salary hike she recently got. He is one proud father – he has seen her move from being a meek domestic girl to a confident corporate lady.

She immediately picked up her phone, and dialled Papa.

Smiling Female Business Leader With Arms Crossed

Tears equal helplessness

Why do you cry so much? She asked

I don’t know.

But there must be a reason, right? She persisted.

Do you cry when you are sad?

Yes

Do you cry when you are hurt?

Yes

Do you cry when you are angry?

Yes, i think yes.

OK. Crying is a sign of helplessness. Are you helpless?

No answer

Are you helpless?

No.

Do you think you are so helpless that you can not take action? What could you have done differently, instead of crying?

I have no idea. I just felt so hurt, so dejected that the tears flowed. It was so unfair. It just wasn’t how things are done.

OK. So you felt hurt. But were you helpless? You could have addressed it head on. Right? Maybe you were scared that there would be a confrontation. Maybe you thought you would be blamed of something. Maybe… and there are a hundreds of maybes that I can give you.

End of the day, were you helpless? No. Could you have chosen another way? Yes.

So, next time, before you allow those tears to encroach upon your cheeks, ask yourself, “Am I helpless?” And if the answer is no, just act upon the reason of “No”. 

Female support

National Legal Services Authority (NALSA)

 

logo        capture

Do you know about NALSA?

I didn’t.

When I came to know about it through the advertisements displayed in movie theaters, I was really sad that I did not know about it before.

NALSA stands for National Legal Services Authority and provides free Legal Services to the weaker sections of the society. It was constituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.

NALSA ensures that justice is meted out to all citizens, irrespective of economic or any other problems. It identifies certain sections of the society that may need legal help / are entitled to legal help, and formulates various schemes for the implementation of preventive and strategic legal service programmes to be undertaken and implemented by the Legal Services Authorities at the various levels.

Citizens that come under the identified sections as in link above can lodge an online application and request for legal aid.

However, how many such people know about this forum, and how many have access to online means of sending a request?

I believe there should be widespread awareness of this initiative and we all should make it our duty to inform the weaker sections of the society that we come in contact with, for example, house help, etc and if needed, help them apply if they are in need of free legal help.

Justice is everybody’s right and we must ensure more and more people know about it.

How many of us know that 9th November was Legal Services Day?

We speak of 9-11 in so many ways, but this is something that needs to be celebrated so that a huge chunk of people know about NALSA and the free legal aid that it provides.

In 2015, Justice Thakur, who is also the executive chairman of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) stated, “Over 40 percent out of 1.25 billion Indians are acutely deprived of certain basic rights and opportunities”.

If you agree with me and believe that legal aid should be available to the weaker sections of the society, please forward/share/reblog this post as much as possible so that awareness can be spread.

Source: www.nalsa.gov.in

Movie review (sort of): PINK #IAMPINK

pink

Well, yes it is but obvious that I would go gaga over PINK. Amitabh Bachchan’s movie had me in tears and no, they definitely weren’t tears of joy.

How a woman is treated in our society is brought out beautifully in the movie PINK. We speak of being modern and yet, we are as backward as the monkey era where in, a woman can not even drink out with friends without being labeled with expletives such as ‘fast’, ‘promiscuous’, and ‘prostitute’.

Times may have changed for some, but for many, times remain in a limbo. Women for them are to cook ‘great’ food for the husband at home, stay confined to the kitchen and rear children. Any other role and she is labelled. Forever.

The best thing about the movie was that a point was made, without really making a point. Amitabh Bachchan’s acting prowess was perfect to the role, no one else could have done justice to the eccentric retired lawyer’s character. I have been in close proximity to friends who have dealt with lawyers and trust me, it is HELL capitalized, italicized and spelled out. Good lawyers close a case in 6 months. Those with motives will ensure that they are doing a huge favour to you by fighting your case, in spite of you paying them.

The movie brought out a lot of emotions in me. I have seen women who have risen from ashes as Phoenix, women who chose simply because it was their choice, women who wanted to be different and decided to be, women who carved new paths for themselves against all the barricades of the patriarchal society around them.

I have seen women who have taken a 180 degree turn, and lost everyone in the process because “they have changed”. I have seen women whose independence got rejected because the pitiful needy girl was better to handle. I have seen women who chose to remain single and go abroad for studies because the Indian society does not accept a single woman as a woman of good character. Women who travel are “fast”. Women who have “boy” friends have ill characters. Women who stand up for themselves against the atrocities of in-laws have loose character.

Women, Women, Women – the reason of all destruction, the reason of all fights in the house, the reason why friends got separated, and so on and so forth.  These women have just done one thing. They said NO. They said NO to submission. They said NO to oppression. They said NO because they wanted to say NO. 

Just like any man, who says NO to a BMW because he wants a Mercedes. As SIMPLE as that.

That was the crux of the movie, that a NO, even by a prostitute whom one has paid already, is a NO and that her modesty can not be compromised. That a woman has a right to say no, even if she is the wife, and that women have to be treated equally.

This is going to be the ONLY movie that I will remember in life. The only movie that made sense, makes sense and will always make sense.

Because I am a Woman. A proud one at that.

And I hope all women come out and speak in favour of this movie. This movie is going to be the revolution of the India era, one that will uplift the Indian woman to new heights.

 

Unveiling the ‘dis-married’ on Women’s Day

** Alert: The story might disturb you. Apologies for the same. Please read the prologue to understand the background behind this story.

She looked at the clock in the kitchen.
If the food did not satisfy him today, it would be another night filled with punishment for her again.

This had been going on for quite some time. Seeya looked anything but a newly wed bride. The tradition dictated that she wear the red and white chudis for a year because they signify a newly wed bride. However, her face, her red eyes and her swollen cheeks narrated a different story.

Ram was chosen by her parents from 20 eligible marriage proposals. Her parents had looked at various criteria to choose someone “perfect” for her. They looked at wealth, social standing, the company he worked at, his parents, his family background, etc etc. I wouldn’t even go to the lengths of mentioning horoscopes. Of course, they were the first things to have been matched – they matched “perfectly”. The pandits claimed that the couple was made for each other. That they were “janam janam ke saathi”, couples since the last 3 births.

Seeya hadn’t had great dreams about her marriage. She was nonchalant about the whole affair, as she wanted to comply with her parents and do whatever would make them happy. So, she played along and got adjusted to the new home quite well.

A month into the wedding, all the guests had left by then, and Ram’s parents returned to their home. They were of modern ideology, believing in giving privacy to their children and in nuclear families. Ram had separated from them the day he got a new job. He needed to be “free”.

It was only after everyone left that she got to see the true face of Ram. One Ram was called the maryada purushottam, yet he abandoned his wife to make the society happy. What could be expected of this Ram? He was nothing short of a beast. Sadistic tendencies was an understatement. Unnatural sex. Pleasure by causing pain. Finding the smallest of small pretexts only to punish her – beat her, belt her, thrash her, have violent sex and unnatural gratification.

She was living a nightmare. Every night and every morning. It was rape. Downright rape.

Could she escape? Was there any way she could take him to task?
How could she explain her humiliation to the world? Who would listen to her?

Nobody spoke about rape in marriage.
They all would laugh and call her names, they would call her the worst names a lady could be called, and label her promiscuous.

That’s how it went.
That’s how it goes.

The bell rang.
It jolted her out of her reverie.

He stormed into the house with a red face. He was angry. Seeya’s heart sank.

“Get me some food! I am hungry.” He shouted.
She scurried inside to lay the table, and called him. He settled at the table and filled up his plate, downing the food like a man hungry since a week.

Second roti, and he looked at her.
“Why is this so hard??”

“I am sorry, Ram. It was soft when I took it out of the girdle. But it’s hardened while you have been eating. I will make another one. Just give me 2 minutes.”

“Shut up!! You lousy woman! Your mother never taught you how to cook. It doesn’t matter. Here, eat this yourself” and he hurled it in her face.

Seeya had had enough! She knew she had to put her foot down. She went into her bedroom, weeping uncontrollably, wondering how she was to get out of the mess. He came right in. “Is this all your parents taught you?? To cry for the smallest things? Don’t think those tears will make me feel sorry for you. Shut the f*** up and come here.”

She did not respond to him. This angered him so much that he held her by the shoulders and hurled her onto the bed. And another nightmare began…. Her “Nooo!! Leave me alone!” was muffled as he clamped her mouth.

PROLOGUE:

Even after the Nirbhaya incident in Delhi, marital rape still remains unrecognized in India.
Women, scores of women are going through hell inside the safety of their own homes.
There are single women, and there are married women.
However, there are the ‘dis-married’ women who have been wrongly married to the wrong men and are going through a daily ritual of sexual, emotional and physical abuse.
These women are not given any rights to talk against their husbands. Those who raise a voice are silenced by collective humiliation meted out by the society against them. Society, that judges these women and calls them promiscuous,just because they decided to talk about marital rape.
Society is the biggest failure in this case.
What are we, as a society doing to safeguard our women?
It’s women’s day on the 8th of March. We are miles and miles behind progressive thinking.
Our women are chained to their husbands because their identity is chained to their husbands post marriage. The biggest reason why women going through marital abuse do not speak out is because they fear society. They are let down by society. A woman can go to the police expecting help if she is being battered for dowry. But she can not go to the police for help if her husband is battering her in a way she can not SHOW to the cops. In a way she can NOT prove to the judges. In a way she can NOT prove the existence of hurt and scars.
These scars are inside her body – physically, and inside her mind – emotionally. Just talking about it is painful And then, convincing hundreds of people – from the cops at the CAW cell to the lawyers to the judges, to the doctors, to everyone – each time each iteration kills her from inside. And at every step, she faces eyes that are wary and that look at her in disbelief and mockery.

“Lady, Go keep your husband happy” says one cop.
“I can help you and get you justice. Will you sleep with me?” says an NGO owner.
“Every night is a colourful night. Isn’t it? Then why complain?” says another lady cop.

Seeya wants to give up.
She goes to her in-laws.
“Men are like that only, beta. All men are like that. Your first and foremost duty is to keep your husband happy and do as he says. Go go back ma.” Seeya’s mother in law writes her off.

Seeya goes to her parents.
How can she talk to them about what she went through???? How could she bear to look into their eyes?

She talks to her mother. Cries her heart out.Her mom hugs her and says just two words, firm and clear. “Leave him”.

*****************************

While hundreds of Seeya’s are crying in their bedrooms and wondering why they were even born as a woman, should we be celebrating Women’s Day?

If so, then what should be done to help women like Seeya?

Edited for #WomenInspire
Gratitude Campaign Badge
USC’s Women Inspire Campaign

Every woman should be her own ‘Shero’. There is a hero inside every woman’s heart. It’s that brave voice inside her heart that says, “Don’t give up”. It’s that brave soul that eggs her to move forward even after having been broken so many times.

“I’m celebrating Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day by blogging for the #WomenInspire Campaign sponsored by USC’s masters degree in social work program. Join the blog carnival to honor a woman who has inspired you!”

Updated for Write Tribe – Festival of Words Day 7
I participated on Day 1 of Festival of Words on Write Tribe which fell on a weekend. The post was called ‘The Wall‘.

It’s weekend again. And I am back to blogging full steam.

I'm taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words -3

 

And it’s Day 7 of WT’s Festival of Words – for International Women’s Day. Submitting this post on Write Tribe for Day 7.

She lost. Yet she had the last laugh.

She had tried her best and lost
She had won them all and lost
She had shed her tears and lost
She had granted smiles and lost

She grew too large and lost
She became invincible and lost
She became invisible and lost
She set an example and lost

Yet she had the last laugh
Her losing meant someone’s win.
She stood up for another soul.
And so, she had the last laugh.
Even though she lost.

Introduced in February 2013 on Everyday Gyaan – an invitation, a prompt, a linky. Write exactly a 100 words on the prompt and publish it on your blog – a story, a poem, a mini-essay. The linky will be open right up to next Friday.
100 Words on Saturday will be up on Write Tribe every Saturday.

This week’s prompt: ‘She had the last laugh’.