Body & Sex

Body image, Beauty perceptions & standards, Sex, Sexuality, Reproductive health, Physical fitness

Decoding Desire
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Decoding Desire

Desire puts us in the space of seeing what we need, what we yearn for. And this, right now after a long period of starvation & loneliness & desolation is shadowy. The needs are real but are they deep or transient? Will they vanish like FOMO the minute they are…

Shameless Self
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Shameless Self

A friend’s admission about experiencing shaming made me think. All shaming is bullying. We all know what shaming feels like. We’ve been in the presence of other people’s distress, of remembered hurt, of confusion & fear. We’ve been at the receiving end of people who can’t or won’t manage their…

Watercolours & Words
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Watercolours & Words

Healing is messy. So is art. So is living. With lots of love to @senseslenses and @shaunakde for helping make my life & healing, art.

Bleeding Colour
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Bleeding Colour

When it hurts, and you aren’t even allowed to bleed, turn it into art. When they have encoded hatred into every thing that touches you, every gaze, every fabric, every brushstroke, every word, let the burn power you. If you are a child of pain or even a vehicle for…

The Romance Gardener
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The Romance Gardener

I found my kinship with green things when I was 8, watching fascinated as baby shoots poked out of the mud laid on a try, where I’d sprinkled mustard seeds a few days earlier. About 10 years ago, a doctor having his yard renovated, handed me a sprig of ajwain,…

Certified Weirdzo
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Certified Weirdzo

I’m a certified Weirdzo. Certified by the Confederation of Superficial Judgement on Body, Apparel & Behaviour. They really value conformity. I qualified early, aided by a love of bright colours, fascination with shapes & textures & absolute indifference to social rules. The kid in a neon raincoat when black &…

Living Art
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Living Art

I’ve loved painting since I was young enough to find joy leaving my fingerprints on walls & my own face. That has not changed. Something about the interplay of colour & the feel of pigment in every form just makes me sit right. I feel like I tap into a…

When Shame Defines You
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When Shame Defines You

I’ve been thinking a lot about the different kinds of shaming (including the variations of body-shaming). Shame hides inside you, showing itself only in the ways you distance yourself from others. Condescension. Envy. Snark. Inconsideration. Exploitation. Bullying. Trolling. Shaming. Untended shame breeds more of itself. The ashamed becomes the shamer….

Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby

It could be a lot of things. Commitment. A bribe. A power game. Love? Not necessarily. And there are things that have got nothing to do with sex. Like good looks. Religion. Rebellion. Daddy issues. Mommy issues. Alcohol. Everybody has a problem with sex. This is because everybody has problems….

Sailing The Age Bar
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Sailing The Age Bar

I watched @netflix_in #FabulousLives. I loved Neelam as a kid & even more now. At a self-confessed 50, she exudes the understated confidence that comes from riding life’s ups & downs. But there’s also a vulnerability, the hesitation about her looks, the uncertainty of comeback roles. Unlike the brittle tantrums…

Fierce Butterflies
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Fierce Butterflies

There is something about living your best self that draws in other people. We call its wonderful parts, inspiration. The pleasure of watching someone achieve their dream, follow their passion, be happy. But it also pulls in darker sides of humanity. Microaggressions like insincerity, barbs, sarcasm, condescension. Boundary violations like…

Crossed Connections
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Crossed Connections

I met Scorpio in a chatroom. Reeling from heartbreak, I blundered into a new internet in 2000. We traded barbs, volleyed rock lyrics. When I was all cried out, I wandered back. This time we chatted. Then emailed, a song lyric here, an essay there, a letter then a poem….

Bad Advice
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Bad Advice

25 years ago Mary Schmidt wrote โ€˜Tips from a speech never givenโ€™. It was read by many people including a teen me. I thought some day I’d be able to tell people how to life right. I’m at mid-life crisis because how else to describe someone who refuses to act…

Medical Autobiography
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Medical Autobiography

Reading my medical file feels like a nostalgia trip & a mystery both in one. Sherlock Holmes & the case of falling blood pressure. Nancy Drew & the mystery of the hammers in the head. The Three Investigators & the missed period. Famous Five go on a sonography. When I…

What’s Next?
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What’s Next?

I was looking up sarees online. My mother thought my choices might not look that impressive on video calls. I told her, “The pandemic will not last forever.” Three-fourths of a year into a global shutdown, I can see how it can be difficult to remember this. In addition, the…

Baby Invisible
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Baby Invisible

I hide when we make loveI hide the way refugees hide in their own countryI hide inside my body Itโ€™s a nice bodyIt has the right curves, the perfect inchesIt gets a part in every male fantasy that auditions itBut it leaves no room for me He kisses me hard…

This Body Is Home
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This Body Is Home

The body is a box, it is not me. When you trap my identity in labels of gender, regional feature, skin colour, this body makes me feel like a prisoner. Iโ€™m told I carry the honour of my family. I am custodian, my sexuality its gatekeeper. That men approach this…

Conversations With My Mirror

Conversations With My Mirror

(This post was written in October 2020) I got a haircut! As I navigate into the new normal, this was the first thing I wanted. The pandemic has been full of lessons, many uncomfortable. I’ve liked to think of myself as unworldly, a being of the mind rather than the…

Red On The Floor
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Red On The Floor

I thought about people who hit me. In plural. I experienced enough before adulthood. Yet at 23, when a man I loved hit me, I knew something was wrong. Was it the force of his blow across my face, ears ringing for 6min, long pause to register its wrongness? Or…