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TW: eating disorders, suicide and death.

Note: I don’t propogate or support or have any of the ideas mentioned in the piece below. They passed through my mind one day and I thought I’d pen them down. If you need help, please seek help. Taboo is nonsense. Mental health is everything.

~

I wonder.

If I had an eating disorder, which would it be? Would I have the will power it takes to stay away from chocolate and cheesecake? I hate math too much to be counting the calories in my meals.

I love food too much to be anorexic.

I can imagine myself bulimic though. I could drink lots of water, shove a finger down my throat and vomit the fries I ate earlier. When I felt hungry, I could eat my next meal. Eat whatever I wanted, really. Then vomit it out. I imagine my purse would be full of mints. I’d suck on one for days.

I wonder if it’s worth it. I wonder if psychiatrists can fix someone who knows exactly what they’re doing to themselves.

Which is a worse way to die? Burn, fall or drown?

I’ve always been a little afraid of lighting a stove. I only learnt enough swimming to not drown, but I don’t think I’d survive over a few minutes. I was never afraid of heights though.

Maybe that’s why that’s how I’ll go. Watching the ground rush at me, forceful like the hug of a friend you haven’t met for ages. Just a split second before impact, would I want to live?

If I was reborn as an animal, which would I be? An ant, because I need to learn team work. An elephant for sensitivity. A lizard, for I am far too proud.

A human, for I must suffer. Are humans the only animals who bring suffering upon themselves?

I wonder which is easier – to live or to die? They say those who kill themselves are cowards. But those who struggle to live are afraid of dying.

Maybe they’re both cowards. Afraid of what’s next.

And yet, which is braver- to die having lived or to live only to die?

I wonder.

In frame: @electriclangoor

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Of Fears and Growing Up

Growing up, I had a singular fear: not winning. It was a fear more intense than simply not having participated or being the top 3. No, I wanted a gold or nothing else. My parents still tell the story of 7 year old Vedanti who ran her first race ever and cried because she didn’t win. A silver or bronze made me furious. By the time I was twelve, all golds of every race of every event were mine. And I never let that go.

Until I went to this boarding school. Such was the nature of that place that every teenager who was admitted was brilliant: a guy who could play at least 5 instruments, a girl who knew over 8 forms of traditional dances, a girl who could solve math and physics quicker than anyone else, brilliant photographers and sportspersons. Most were talented in at least two different areas apart from their academic excellence. By the time those two years were over I learnt:
1) There’s always going to be someone out there who’s better than you, but with them you can learn more.
2) Asking for help doesn’t make you smaller. Not wanting to grow does.

A break up and not knowing why later, I had a new fear: lack of understanding of human behaviour and rationale. Maybe that’s one of the factors that pushed me towards Psychology. I would get agitated if I didn’t know why a person is behaving a certain way. Truth to the point of being rude and loyalty even if it hurts became my personality traits.

Then I studied Humanities, or what Mumbai University calls Arts. I realized that almost everything in life, especially human behaviour is three things: subjective, relative and on a spectrum. A lot of opinions unravelled.

Another break up from a dependent relationship later, I had yet another fear: being dependent. Mind you, it’s not the same as depending on someone. Depending on your family and friends for emotional support is fine. Being dependent became a big no-no. And now my new purpose in life is to become independent. Financially, emotionally, mentally. Of course I slip. I need help a lot of times. I make mistakes. But they’re my mistakes to make and as long as I learn from my mistakes, from people and from Life, I’ll be okay.

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Think

Rant 3 of 3

Thoughts. Probably some of the scariest things in this world. In a world full of screens and continuous content bombarding, our brains are either overwhelmed with the amount of information they have to process or accept ready-made external opinions. It’s not their fault. They just don’t have the time to actually think enough to process incoming information and form their own opinions.

Only a few years ago, most thinking used to happen while bathing, taking a dump or lying in bed staring at the monotonous loop of the wobbly ceiling fan. It is now replaced with watching IG stories the entire time. By the time you fall asleep, your brain is too tired to even dream, let alone process information. Resulting in a considerable population that doesn’t think for themselves and are too afraid to be left alone with nothing to do. A population that’s afraid of their own thoughts. Because left alone, they don’t know the things that will pop into their mind or how to deal with them. What are their greatest fears? Biggest failures? Proudest moments? A population lacking introspection and self-awareness.

Of course, there are people who do think all these things. But they are belittled by being called over-thinkers and are laughed at for doing an absolutely mundane act. And belittled by whom? People who don’t even think. People who don’t stop to stare at a painting. People who don’t wonder why the villain turned out this way. People who aren’t curious about the origins of the phrase ‘Curiosity killed the cat’. I’m here to say that if you think, you’re not an over-thinker. If you think you’re an over-thinker, you’re not. Because if you don’t think, how will you identify faulty thought patterns, work on your shortcomings and learn despite your failures? How will you accept yourself?

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Breathe

Trigger Warning: Anxiety
Rant 2 of 3

Anxiety: a new mental state that has been heralded into the younger generation by the onset of psychological awareness. Suddenly, humanity is plagued by a generation of anxious youth.
How we are dealing with anxiety –
1) We discuss it. Every time someone says I’m anxious, ten people jump on the bandwagon – seven will recount their own stories and three will try to calm the person down. Once everyone’s inner attention whore has been satiated, they will feel better. Until anxiety hits again.
2) We capitalize it. We lace romantic words with it and place anxiety in the spaces between our WhatsApp messages and Facebook posts. Next, we tell people what a huge journey it was overcoming anxiety. Lastly, we package ourselves as the strongest sad poet or writer in the community. Oh, you should read her writing. She has been through so much. She started this hashtag and champions a movement of self-love.

Someone asked me – did our parents’ generation go through lesser psychological problems? No. No, they didn’t. Life happened to them too. Their parents fucked them over too. They had as many reasons to be depressed, anxious or stressed as us. They just didn’t know the psychological terms for what they were feeling. It was considered a part of life – shit happens, deal with it and move on.

You know the biggest difference between both generations? They took their emotions, found the root cause and dealt with it head on instead of talking about it to people and feeling sorry for themselves.

My dad was poor. He decided not to be and over the years, he wasn’t. My mom’s problems were rooted in the thought that she wasn’t doing something worthwhile. Now, she teaches the underprivileged.

What’s the root cause of your shit? Don’t keep talking about how you feel fucked up. Collect those fucks, and do something with them.

P.S. – I’m not talking about people who have real anxiety – people who led fucked up lives, had real trauma and deep set causes feeding their anxiety. I’m talking about people who romanticize and capitalize it i.e. people who think anxious is the new cool.

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Listen

Rant 1 of 3.

Screens. I have come to develop a love-hate relationship with them. Everything broadcasted on screens demands your attention far too much.

Movies, TV shows, advertisements, and even the news pieces all have background music, jingles, people talking, good looking people, transition graphics, display graphics, and extra videos to supplement the topic being addressed. If the could you spray you with cologne through the screen or waft some fragrances over, they would. Because more than one of your senses must be utilized to make the experience more “fulfilling”. As a result, all the senses are overburdened.

I’m so SICK of multitasking and people heroing multitasking. All it really means, even in Psychology, is that your attention is divided and not a single thing you’re doing is being done fruitfully.

What happened to simply reading or listening? I’ve spent days doing nothing but read. Or lay in bed listening to podcasts. Look out of the car window and actually notice the colours of the sky, clothes of the people and even the shapes of tree trunks. Or wake p and lie staring at the cracks in the ceilings. My drawings in school were always different because they stemmed from real memories, not a book. My essays were different because I used anecdotes from books I’d read.

Music? You can listen to in the background, drive AND hold proper conversations with co-passengers. Or do Math. Reading or Podcasts occupy only one sense and all of your mind, but completely. You literally CANNOT multitask. Bring back single-tasking. Give yourself a break.

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Hiravati – the end.

This one’s for my aaji (grandmother). May she rest in peace, at least in death.

Prompt 13: write a poem in ABCB rhyme scheme.

Glossary:
Nath: nose ring made of pearls, traditional to Maharashtra region of India.
Kumkum: a red powder or paste applied on the foreheard at the hairline of a woman as an indication of marriage.

~Hiravati – the end~

Her feet were more beautiful than I remembered.
Pale, white, glowing
against the dark sombre moods around her.
A light wind blowing.
Only a few hairs on her forehead parted limply.
The bright green of her saree,
the fragrant yellow of the lowers around her neck
the nath, the kumkum: a bride to marry.
Except her husband stumbled around her,
his useless eyes shedding tears,
his wrinkled fingers caressing her lifeless eyes and blue lips.
A cascade of fears.
The howls of her sister fell deaf on her ears,
the muted whimpers of her daughters-in-law,
the stone facade of her sons.
I wonder if she saw;
hovering over us
just making sure we’re okay
whispering last words, instructions
before being carried away
by the four sons she had borne strong:
her children in sweat and blood,
in the village which she called home.
Surrounded by all the people she ever loved.

By,

Vedanti.

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Questions and Confusion

To be honest, this one makes no head or tail. At all. If you figure it out, please tell ME.

Prompt: Write an acrostic poem by @airplanepoetrymovement so I used my full first name.

~Questions and Confusion~

Viscous. Venom or velocity?
Eccentric. Essentially or extravagantly?
Dashing. Doomed or dreams?
Adventurous. Am or aspiring?
Nefarious. Nagging or nitpicking?
Tiffany. Trousseau or trademark?
Infinity. Insecure or instantaneously?