Writer’s Poem: Race

Writer’s Poem: Race

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Its been a long and nerve wrecking week for me. Two more days and I get the weekend to relax, take a deep breath and either catch-up or procrastinate on all the things I need to do. Until then, we have today, a day for me to share a poem I love and I think you’d like as well. Spoiler alert, today’s poem talks about race.

Harper Lee, the author of To Kill A Mockingbird, described the situation of a mixed race child well when she said, “The black people didn’t want them because they were white, and the white people didn’t what them because they had black blood”. This begs the question, where does this leave a mixed race child? The sad thing about this is that it is still happening today, decades after Harper Lee’s books.
The poem below introduced me to the poet, Toi Derricotte. Do take a minute and read the poem below, unhurriedly.

Passing by Toi Derricotte
A professor invites me to his “Black Lit” class; they’re
reading Larson’s Passing. One of the black
students says, “Sometimes light-skinned blacks
think they can fool other blacks,
but I can always tell,” looking
right through me.
After I tell them I am black,
I ask the class, “Was I passing
when I was just sitting here,
before I told you?” A white woman
shakes her head desperately, as if
I had deliberately deceived her.
She keeps examining my face,
then turning away
as if she hopes I’ll disappear. Why presume
“passing” is based on what I leave out
and not what she fills in?
In one scene in the book, in a restaurant,
she’s “passing,”
though no one checked her at the door—
“Hey, you black?”
My father, who looked white,
told me this story: every year
when he’d go to get his driver’s license,
the man at the window filling
out the form would ask,
“White or black?” pencil poised, without looking up.
My father wouldn’t pass, but he might
use silence to trap a devil.
When he didn’t speak, the man
would look up at my father’s face.
“What did he write?”
my father quizzed me.

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Its been 4 years!

Its been 4 years!

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This picture turned up in my notifications yesterday. A reminder that I have been in the wordpress community for four years now. I remember when I first started, I Was 18. I didn’t have any plan for the blog, hence it’s unfortunate name “randoms by a random”, and now that I am… (I’ll let you fill in the gap), i’ld like to believe that as I got older, my writings have evolved.

In the past four years, I have come across some phenomenal poets, I have fallen in love with many amazing poems which I try to share on writer’s poem Wednesday. And most importantly, I got to build a connection with so many incredible people.

And what’s more, many of them have gone on to publish their own books: My girl Rosema published (Between my bleeding lines), my Sister released her book “Soul Unraveled”, Jodi wrote a children’s book (Klaus the mouse and other silly animal tales), Colin chappel has published three books and the latest addition and my very good friend Carolyn , just recently releases her book called “The Odessa Chronicles”, which she co-wrote with Colin Chappel.

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As writers, we support other writers. Go ahead, contact the writers above, get their books, leave a review and show some love.

To mark my four years here, (even though half the time, I am AWOL),  I would like to host a bloggers Q&A. I can’t believe I’ve never done one before. So, drop me your questions below and and I will be more than happy to answer them in a post.

Thank you for supporting. For reading, for dropping your two cents and for always welcoming me back whenever I go away without notice. ❤️❤️

Drop your questions below in the comment section.

Mental Health Friday #29

Mental Health Friday #29

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Today’s Mental Health story entails the journey of Rahul, through growing up battling with a chronic condition- Vitiligo, in a stigmatising society, and its impact on one’s mental health.

“Ladki ka rang saf toh hain na ” (Girl’s complexion is fair, right?) – a question so often asked here in our country (India), even today, by so called well educated ‘to be mother-in laws’ of 21st century. Such is the unfortunate obsession for fair skin in our beloved country. But look at the irony of the fact, when your whole skin is about to turn white, you panic like anything because suddenly, you are being looked down upon for no fault of yours.

Well here I am, presenting my story (it won’t be sad & boring, I promise) spread over 13 long years of my struggle with a skin disease called Vitiligo or Leucoderma, which in layman terms can be simply put as a problem of white patches, whereby melanin pigment of the skin starts fading away and your skin colour starts turning milky white.

Irrespective of how deadly a disease is or for that matter, how adverse the circumstances are, you just need to hold on, you just need to believe that things will eventually turn better for sure.

The reason why I want my story to reach masses is not to glorify my successful fight with an incurable disease, but to convey that irrespective of how deadly a disease is or for that matter, how adverse the circumstances are, you just need to hold on, you just need to believe that things will eventually turn better for sure. Hoping against hope is basically the key.

Coming back to Vitiligo, well the disease in itself is not painful at all. There is absolutely no physical pain whatsoever, but believe me , the taboo associated with this disease just fills you up with so much of inferiority complex initially, that you almost start hating yourself .

The ordeal started one fine evening, when I was about 11 years old. I returned home after having a horrible cricket session with my friends (I was out for a Duck and went for too much runs while bowling, if I remember correctly). I was anyways, dejected because of the day’s proceeding, but suddenly my mom noticed a small white patch on my knees and she panicked –“It’s a white spot! Come here, let me see properly ”, she said, with her eyes already in tears.

This looks like fulveri (another synonym for vitiligo) ”, she said with a heavy heart. And a pandora box of worries & uncertainties started from there on.

My life was never the same after that day. Every now and then, my mom’s panic stricken voice and fearful expressions on being asked by her friends about my white spots, were more than enough for me to know that something huge and something bad has happened to me.

Then started a vicious and unpleasant circle of countless clinic visits to all the dermatologists in the city and in the nearby cities including Delhi. For the initial few days however, I was unable to understand the gravity of the situation (I wish I had never understood, for ignorance is bliss sometimes) and I was more in a confused state but eventually I started feeling a little odd, I started to hide my spots. So much so, that I intentionally stopped wearing shorts at all and trousers/jeans came to my rescue.

I can still recall that extremely uncomfortable feeling of insecurity, that feeling of guilt for the crime that I had never committed, which stayed with me for next 3-4 years during school. After that, though the treatment continued (steroids & all), but this negative intensity started to lower down a bit, not because I made peace with vitiligo but because I changed my focus. I started preparing for IIT. –> #Changing the Focus does help!

But despite the likes of Irodovs & Resnick Hallidays around (my engineer friends can relate to these terms easily), I could not clear IIT and boom!! Vitiligo came to haunt me again, this time more ferociously. It was all over me, spreading like a wild fire.

See the thing is, vitiligo is someway directly proportional to your worry hormones. The more the anxiety levels are, the quicker is it’s spread. That was a horrible time – a career failure after 2 years of rigorous preparation & an incurable disease which I was battling for last few years – just too much for a 17 -18 year old to handle. I started thinking of ending my life. Yes, it is true, I was really low on confidence and was almost hopeless. Had my family not supported me that time, I would have committed suicide. –> #Family Support does wonders!

To find out how Rahul overcame his struggles and lived to tell/write his story, be sure to look for next week’s Mental health Friday post! 

Thank you very much Rahul for sharing your story with us. Do check out his blog at The passportsouls.travel and say hello. 

If you’d love to contribute and share your story on Mental health Friday, I’ld love to have you. Let’s join hands to talk about Mental illness and blur out the stigma associated with it. You can contact me on My email address: mykahani@yahoo.com

 

Mental Health Friday #25

Mental Health Friday #25

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Today’s story was sent in by Ian, touching briefly about his experience in Psych ward and there after,

It’s been a looong time since I was in hospital, the last time. Since then, thanks to government cuts, they’ve closed the psych ward where I had become so regular, I think that I could have earned airmiles from it. That makes me feel weird thinking about that. Places where we were, parts of our lives that no one knows about.

Sometimes I jokingly talk about my time “on ward” in small, self-deprecating anecdotes.
‘I didn’t get to take a phone inside, in my day’ or ‘If I had said that on the ward, they would drug me up’.

No one gets the humour.

There are still some songs that I cannot listen to, even after all of these years. Not that I don’t love them – but because they come balled up with feelings that I know I might not be able to slow down once they start rolling.

Psychosis, Manic Depression, Major Depression, Borderline, Morbid Ideation – these are terms that sometimes crop up on the radio, and every time they talk about them, it makes me want to groan. The people they talk about are either axe-murderers of somehow brilliantly gifted celebrities. I am neither.

Madness did not give me special insights into the world, it did not make me violent, and it did not make me quirky-and-brilliant(TM). It just made me broken, and stuck.

I still take medication, sometimes – although none of it ever seems to work. I take it as a precaution rather than a cure. God don’t let me become like that again, I pray.

And after it all, after my twenties thrown away – literally in the loony bin – where am I now? Am I better? Healed? I’m still stumbling and wondering what happened.


If you’d love to contribute and share your story on Mental health Friday, I’ld love to have you. Let’s join hands to talk about Mental illness and blur out the stigma associated with it. You can contact me on My email address: mykahani@yahoo.com

The WOMAN-

The WOMAN-

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I Love her…
The woman who’s hands
Are calloused,
whose back breaks
From all the placements of babies
Upon it.
Years after years.

That woman who puts on
Various masks through life’s stages.
First of a delicate carer,
Then of a strict teacher,
Then that of an enemy,
Before residing as a friend.
The woman with one thing constant,
Despite the mask-
Her soul:
The soul of a carer,
The heart of a lover.

The woman whose palms
Have grazed various parts of
My body. That woman whose arms
Will always be open to me:
Calling in silence,
No matter where I go, what I do
You are always welcome home.

That woman,
With her luscious frocks
And stout frame….
I love that woman.

Day 8: Where She Lives

Day 8: Where She Lives

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His hand-
Swipes across her face:
Once,
Twice,
Third time’s the charm,
and she crashes.

His hand-
bloodied
From the daughter he has born.
The child,
Who is made up of
Half of his genes.

His foot-
Finds the ground
upon which she lays,
Not gently
-he grazes her.
mama stands and watch.
Not a word is uttered,
Just the groans of a daughter.

His body,
Moves away to rest from 
All the work.
Each woman,
nursing,
The scars they bore.

The guilty eyes
Of a daughter
Piercing,
The tired eyes
Of a mother.
And silence hovers above them,
Into another dawn.


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I really enjoyed doing the december poetry challenge last year. Plus, I found this really inspiring prompt called “30 layers, 30 days” which many bloggers have completed now. So, I decided to use the prompts for December.

Prompt: Where I Live

Mental Health Friday #24

Mental Health Friday #24

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I had a pretty good childhood until around the age of six, that was when I was raped for the first time. I was a kid, I didn’t tell anyone and I didn’t know how to handle the trauma. I turned to smoking at that young age. We had a security guard in the estate and he introduced me to it. The assault didn’t stop at the age of six and by the time I turned ten, I’d been raped two more times by different men. 

We moved from that area to a different state, but I was already hooked to smoking (I went on to smoke for about ten years); maybe it was a coping mechanism for me.
I was ten. I knew I was depressed and became suicidal as well. I tried to kill myself but didn’t go through with it; I guess, despite it all, a part of me wanted to live.

When I got into grade 10, I had a really bad time there, which forced me to look within myself. I realised, my life was a mess but I wanted to be better; I felt that I could do better. I overheard my parents talking about a colleague of theirs who was a psychiatrist, so, I stole his contacts and called him. We talked on the phone and he fixed an appointment for me. All of these, I did, without the knowledge of my parents.

I was diagnosed with depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He put me on medications but I never took them; Compliance to medication is not my strong suit.
Still, I kept on seeing him once every week. It was liberating, talking about everything without feeling like everything that happened was my fault, the rapes were my fault. I was fortunate to have a great psychiatrist.

My parents didn’t know I was seeing their colleague as my Psychiatrist, and so, one time, we met in public and my parents introduced me to him as their daughter. We exchanged greetings and he pretended he didn’t know me. I loved that he did.

I kept on seeing him secretly until I graduated from high school, I never went back after that. (I’ve been thinking a lot about going back now ). Although now, I can say that I learnt what I need to do for myself and how to take care of my mental health.

Still, I have so much anger bottled up inside about our attitude towards mental illness, molestation, child abuse and just things like these- I mean it is right there, happening before our eyes, but we just don’t see it. People think that if you are depressed or traumatised, there’s this somber image you fit into- but I wasn’t. I was the noisy bubbly child, the people pleaser and did not fit into “that image” at all. We are so self absorbed that we never pick up on the little things.

I find it brave of people who put a face to their mental illnesses and the trauma they’ve experienced.
So, this is it, my story. The journey of a child victim to an adult survivor and warrior.


This week’s Mental Health story is about someone who requested to remain anonymous and I respect that. Thank you very much for sharing the story of your bravery and for reminding us once again- Rape is NEVER the victim’s fault.

To everyone who showed up every friday to read these personal stories of our journey with mental, thank you very much for supporting this; with your stories and your emails and your likes and comments and shares. It is a blessing.

If you’d love to contribute and share your story on Mental health Friday, I’d love to have you. You can contact me on My email address: mykahani@yahoo.com.

 

What Not to say to someone going through weight change

What Not to say to someone going through weight change

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I know I speak without filter sometimes, a perk of mine, and as I presume, many others as well. Needless to say, somethings shouldn’t require filter to not be said, common sense should suffice.

If you’ve ever gone through a weight change, either weight loss or weight gain, for whatever reason, then you’ve probably also been a victim of what I’m about to say.

It is so NOT COOL to greet anyone with the statement- you have lost/ gained weight. That is not a greeting; whatever happened to good morning, hi, or even hello. And when you do say it unintentionally (I’m giving the benefit of doubt here), please don’t utter those words as if you’re saying snort or something disgusting.

That being said, now to the main reason I am writing this post. To anyone who knows anyone who is going through a weight change, please (talking from experience here), one of the worst things you can say to them is- “you looked more beautiful before you lost/gained weight“. Because firstly, it is none of your business and secondly, it is none of your business.

You do not get to decide when a person does or does not look beautiful. You have no idea the reason behind the weight change or the effort put towards it. And also because by saying that, you’re endorsing the “ridiculousness” that beauty is measured in scales which is absurd in itself. 

I hope this doesn’t sound as one of those angst rant but rather something tangible. What are some of the worst things you’ve been told or heard, with regards to weight change? 

The above image is courtesy of Cranky fat feminist.