Post Number 32: Holi – in the days of Social Media

There used to be a time when Holi meant you wore your rattiest clothes because who’s even going to care what colour and print your clothes are? Nothing survives the onslaught of permanent colours and water. Is it supposed to be a Chikankari kurta? More like a kurta with chicken curry splashed on it. And who even cares if there’s that extra stitch around the waist or near the shoulder to give your clothes the perfect shape? They’re going to stick to your body like a second skin anyway. You might as well wear that old night suit that you’re planning to convert into a pochha (aka desi name for a house cleaning rag).

But lately, Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp statuses have ruined that for me too. Now as soon as I go on WhatsApp, I am flooded with pictures of my friends wearing the classiest clothes. It’s like they’re straight out of the video of “Do me a favour, let’s play Holi!” where they are the impeccably dressed backup dancers for Priyanka Chopra. Their clothes look as if they were gently caressed by a naughty breeze with a little splash of colour.

courtesy – IBTimes India

In between their fabulous Holi celebrations, people make sure to take pictures of these said fabulous Holi celebrations. After all, your Holi isn’t fabulous enough if you don’t have a hundred pictures to prove its fabulousness. Add a dose of carefully choreographed pictures and videos where they are just randomly throwing gulaal into the air and bathing in its disintegrated form. Why couldn’t they just ask someone to smash some colour onto their faces is beyond me. Who even plays Holi like that? Can you imagine me alone on the street and blowing gulaal into the air and dancing around in it? Let’s just agree that my neighbours would preferably stay away from me in the future.

And what is it with people going out to play with seemingly perfectly blow-dried hair? Aren’t we supposed to drown our hair in oil before Holi? You know, so our hair can look perfect once again the next day, saved from the devastating effects of irresponsibly sourced gulaal? Looking at Instagram it’s clear that I am the only champu in Delhi (a goofball), who is glazed with oil all over her body just so it’s easier to get rid of all that colour later. Forgive me if I don’t want to look like “Jaadu” the day after Holi.

Related image

courtesy –

What I feel the most sympathy for, is my 500 rupee, extra-power, extra volume pichkari or water gun that I bought a few years earlier and still worth its weight. Now, that’s something that deserves to be clicked from every angle. I can just imagine the caption that would go with those pictures, “A nozzle to bamboozle the crap out of anybody in a 50 m radius!” or “Is that sweat I see on your face? ‘Cuz there’s fear written All.Over.It!” But in a neighbourhood full of Instagram models, my dorky water gun is no longer a participant.



Post Number 31 : On Sadness and its kinds

Reflecting upon the last few weeks of my epeolatry adventures, I’ve sensed a profoundly universal theme running through the books. Sadness. If asked to define sadness, most of us would spring to the definition of happiness so that we may create contrasts. Would that suffice though? Emphatically not. For in the books that I read, sadness itself was a continuum. In A Little Life, it was unflinching, dark, and encompassing. In The Casual Vacancy, it was an unpleasant presence. In The Bell Jar, it was a looming shadow, following Esther everywhere. In I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, it was deeply entwined with hope. And in The Color Purple, it was slowly receding, giving way to a long-pending and deserving joy for Celie.

Read More

Post Number 30: #Himtoo – A fight against sexual deviants in Academia

A lot of us who regularly use social media might be aware of the Facebook list of people in academia who have allegedly sexually harassed a student. It allows the said student to anonymously add the name of the academician to the list, and anyone can see the list. Here’s a link to an article on The Quint, talking about this – Facebook List Naming Profs as Sexual Harassers Sparks Fiery Debate.


Image courtesy – The News Minute

Read More

Post Number 29: Mental Health (And how it binds us all)

(1750 words ; 7 mins )



Aaron Hernandez. Picture Credits

Aaron Hernandez was an American Football player in the NFL. He played for the Patriots. Signed on for millions of dollars, he was a rising star. Sadly, his career was brought to an abrupt halt when he was convicted of the murder of an acquaintance in 2013. He was sent to jail where, earlier this year, he committed suicide. He was 27. Dr. Ann McKee, a neuropathologist at Boston University, requested to study his brain, which was consented by his family. Her team discovered, in their estimation, “the most damage they had ever seen in an athlete so young”. His brain slices showed signs of stage 3 of CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy), a degenerative disease brought upon by repeated injuries to the brain. Aaron’s brain damage brings to mind, the gruesome double homicide and suicide case of WWE wrestler, Chris Benoit. Benoit’s brain, too, showed a severe case of CTE and resembled that of an old patient suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Read More

Post Number 28 : The Eternal Exhaustion of the Overstimulated Mind

As the constant buzzing of the phone jolts you up from your slumber, you flail randomly to press the snooze button. You’ve overslept. Last night, you were up till 3, working. Sort of working. You started with the intended task but clicks and scrolls later, temptation led you to YouTube and that was that.

Before you prepare yourself for the world, your phone is already prepared to bring the world to you. As you leave your bed, your phone is your loyal sidekick, informing you via its eccentric art of storytelling – who went to what party, who got inexplicably drunk, who’s ‘feeling awesome’ with 15 others, who has a factually incorrect political rant today, amidst other notifications of you being tagged in jokes and posts that are ‘OMG! So you! You can’t even!’. And that’s just Facebook. You’ve still got to go through Whatsapp, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. It used to be a chore. Now it’s so organic. You’ve mastered the art of skimming through this daily information. You even pride yourself at being able to absorb the most relevant of this daily diligence that you pay to the overlords of social media.

Read More

Post Number 27 : Can an opinion be….just an opinion?

A fortnight ago, there was an uproar on Facebook. A website called The Quint had uploaded a video with its team member criticising the viral video ‘Bol Na Aunty Aau Kya’ by (rapper?)OmPrakash. The video by The Quint, was particularly critical of the lyrical content, citing phrases from the song and linking it to sexual harassment, rape threats and sexism and demanded its removal from YouTube. To say that it polarized viewers, would be an understatement. The woman who made the video received a harrowing amount of death and rape threats along with harassment online. The comment section of the video was rife with people divided into three noticeable factions – the ‘pseudo-intellectual libtards and feminists’, ‘misogynistic, patriarchal trolls’ and a bunch of people tagging others to spectate the argumentation. What was clearly a battle of opinions, soon devolved into a battle of ideologies.


The original article that was uploaded by The Quint. It has since been taken down on account of excessive abuse that the website and the journalist has received.


Read More

Post Number 26 : Happiness and Dress Size

Serena Williams recently gave birth to her daughter and the little fan-girl part me of me is ecstatic at knowing that this incredible woman is happily adding a new role to her life. But that is not even half of it. After all, every second, there are four kids taking birth somewhere around the world. So what really has Serena Williams done to makes me this happy?

It’s this open letter she wrote to her mother, Oracene Price:

serena williams open letter to mother

Courtesy – Serena Williams’ Instagram Page

Read More

Post Number 25 : For times when it is just not your day

You walk out of the room where the results were announced minutes ago. You’re disappointed to not hear your name be called out. The test had gone well, in your judgement. The company seemed like something where you could have imagined yourself to be. You wouldn’t like to admit it, but secretly, you had already imagined yourself there, in a cubicle of your own, working yourself to a higher position year after year. You snap back to the present, a little shattered, rebuking yourself for thinking too far ahead. Some of your friends have made it through. Some didn’t even make it to this round. You try to understand whether you’re grateful for having made this far or dejected for not going further. You wish your friends luck and walk off silently.

Read More

Post Number 24 : Tear-jerkers – Tears of joy?

The year is 1997 and Titanic has just released. People are rushing to the theaters to watch it, not caring that the movie, just like the real life incident it was based on, would end tragically. If anything, the tear jerking end became one of the most powerful scenes in the movie. People couldn’t stop gushing over it, even if it meant they were also gushing tears while doing it. In fact, the sad finale became such a huge phenomenon, that it actually landed up in the BBC’s list of “Movies that made men cry.”

Read More

Post Number 23 : Grief in the Digital Age

In the last few days, grief and loss were a recurring theme in most of the things I read. I read Paul Kalanithi’s memoir, ‘When Breath Becomes Air’. Paul was a neurosurgeon who was diagnosed with a life-threatening lung tumour which unfortunately claimed his life in 2015. His memoir shares his desire to leave behind a legacy, in the form of this book. The book deals with man’s never-ending quest to find purpose in life, particularly when faced with mortality. His wife, Lucy, shares how she struggles to make sense of her and her daughter’s life after this tragic setback. It was a sombre read and one that makes you realize how our perspectives and wishes change as we realize that the years we once thought we had, are now mere months or weeks. You can find more about this book here.

Read More