I am a diarist


I have decided I am not a writer.

I am not a writer. There is so much pressure to just show up on the page every day and god damn write. I cannot. I am a rebel, and if I have to, I just won’t. Even if the “have to” has been decided by me! I have to trick myself to write more. I was in the pursuit of “flow”. That once when I am done with my world-building, the chapters will write itself. Or at some point, I will be able to write more than 500 words a day. Or some day, I will be so engrossed in my creation that I will forget the world.

Well, that’s not happening to me. I have realised I don’t have the stamina or the self-belief to drown myself in me.

I am not a journalist. I read such good opinion pieces or well-researched articles all the time. People tell me I could do it, or rather, I should do it. But I god damn won’t do unpaid research and write that beautiful essay if it is not an assignment. That kind of work has to be a “have-to”.

I am not a blogger. As in, I don’t blog with the SEO terms in mind, and try to climb my way up to be a respected blogger with followers who read them regularly. I am not topical. I don’t have mass appeal. I am not that committed to this blog in the sense where I want to create my own brand personality. I really don’t see why someone stops by this blog either. If you are reading this, it is because I asked you to, you are curious about me, or already adore me. The only place I publicize it now is on Twitter. So there is nothing I want to make out of this website. It is just a happy feeling to have a website you call your own on the internet.

It must be clear now that I am very unambitious.

I am not a memoirist. I mean that is an art in itself. I don’t really tell you about the people in my life. I don’t narrate it in a way that has an essence driving the story forward. I am not locating myself in this time period of the 21st century and the shit we have been going through in 2020 either. This blog is so apolitical most of the times; it is unlike me!

I am a diarist. This stream of consciousness bullshit is my schizz. This is the creativity I can muster. I journal incessantly as a way of therapy. I definitely recommend it to everyone too. I also write so that I purge the things deep within me so that I can escape the police in my head. I allow myself stream of consciousness writing because this gives me a sense of flow. Not really, flow. But I don’t stop because I have nothing to think about. Because if I have nothing to think about, I will write exactly that. This may not be art. May not be relevant to even me after some time. It does make me cringe after I am past this phase, but I still cherish it. There is no technique to this (except for the basics of structuring).

I am leaving bread crumbs to make sense of who I was and what I have become, and what I want to be. I worry if I ever lose my mind (which is my biggest fear), I could trace myself back. The eternal quality of words…, I value it but I couldn’t for the life of me try to imitate or aspire for it. I don’t expect my writing would be eternal or even useful! I really selfishly do this for me. I am hoping that it mutates into something that is valuable. But even if it doesn’t, it is fine with me.

Writing diary entries have always been life-affirming. I hold on to that.

Signing off like a typical diarist,
tame shewolf.


PS: Stephen King writes 6 pages daily. That bastard.

 

Woman La La La


Prompt:
“I want to hear about how it is to live as a bio woman for you”
~ Jane

Bio woman sounds like a bad word because I don’t feel like a bio-woman most of the time. But there are some physical things that remind me that I have been assigned female due to the body parts that I have. And though I have questioned gendered constructs, I have never really questioned my gendered body. So, writing this felt a bit weird, but I get why it can be important to reflect on this. Women with vaginas have a weird relationship with their bodies too. There is shame/guilt. There is discovery or disassociation.

Brace yourself for some ⚠️super-confessional shit⚠️.  Please skip if you will be embarrassed for me. Confession is my writing style, so…  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Breasts

I think I have already spoken about how I saw my breasts during puberty here. I  am sure there will always be more to excavate if you think about it. I was embarrassed about having small breasts initially, but now I am more intimidated by big breasts. And I don’t know how I would assert being queer with huge breasts. Also, I think about how I like to be a bit invisible and anonymous, so big breasts definitely make you hypervisible and I would hate that. Now, I am much more comfortable with my breasts.

⚠️Superconfessional shit– My breasts were not part of self-pleasure until like last year! I think participating in the #identitty project did help after all. I do not actively still know how to be super proud of my breasts, but it was a learning lesson anyway.

I feel like your parents teach you to be embarrassed about your breasts and always worry about covering up. It is so ingrained this rapey way of looking at your own body. Feel sexy, but not too much. That’s such a weird balance to maintain.

Uterus et al.

Contrary to the majority opinion of women with uteruses, I feel happy during my menstruation cycle. I think I associate it with the relief I feel after the week of mood slump due to PMS. Also, when the period is late, then the mood slump continues for longer which is the most terrible for a depressive person like me. I cannot escape the fatigue of a mood slump even in the most optimistic of mental states.

But I manage the periods well! I feel like I take care of my body and have to monthly because of it. I love to update my period tracker app. I guess, it is a weird joy of gender confirmation for someone like me who feels boyish most of the time.

Menstrual cups have been a huge blessing too. I hate sanitary napkins. I haaaaaaaaaaaaate them. Even when I feel lazy sometimes with the menstrual cup, I remember the rash and the cloth stains that a pad entails. So, to avoid that ordeal, I take up the slightly longer ordeal of menstrual cups. It is great to be on periods when you feel dry and can ignore it for the most parts! Also, for a boy like me, it is the movement of manspreading that I value most that menstrual cups afford. Thank god for its discovery right around when I had control over my money. (My mom’s first reaction to it was conservative and also slut-shaming but luckily, I rebelled and took a risk that paid off).

Vagina

Menstrual cups also fucking taught me so much about my vagina. The amount of research I did on this was crazy. I still couldn’t visualise it but if you told me to draw a rough diagram of how a vagina looks like from the inside, I think I could draw it pretty well. Some people live their whole lives not really exploring their bodies because there is so much shame attached to it. But for the sake of comfortable menstruation, I learned something!

⚠️ Superconfessional shit: This may seem like a weird trajectory but I had had sex first. Then the next year, I started using the menstrual cup. Then, after another year, I started masturbating! This is actually quite reasonable of girls really depend on guys to help them figure out their bodies. That’s stupid because they too don’t know shit. But then after I realised people with penises are on the same boat as me, I took more initiative to discover the secrets of the mysterious vagina. So, menstrual cup obviously is the more scientific, nerdy way to start that journey then. 

Clit

Then, finally, you reach the clit! I have a vague teenage memory of trying to masturbate and the pleasure was so strong that I was afraid to touch myself again.

When I became braver later, I just couldn’t match what I had imagined. There was a disassociation to overcome. I could just keep trying and trying and nothing would happen. I have watched Feminist Youtube videos on how to get into the mood, read comic strips about how to do it. Nothing. I just had to persist. I think by this time, I also had a dildo, but it didn’t help shit. I even thought what if I didn’t have a clit and I will be barred from this amazing experience of multiple orgasms that women have.

Finally, when I conquered the tiny Everest, I was elated. I felt free. I felt like I will conquer sex like a beast now. That didn’t happen. Because it is still dependent on the vibe with the other person. But still, we will be proud of the baby steps we’re taking in getting to know each other’s bodies I guess.

⚠️ Superconfessional shit: Isn’t it the best depression medicine ever? I could have salvaged some teenage sanity if I had pursued this adventure earlier.

I mean, I can write a whole more provocative thesis on the Magic of the Clit but I’ll move on.

XY chromosome

Who the fuck gives a shit to trace gender at that level? Transphobic people, that’s who.

Being seen as female

Again, in the last five years, I must have taken up the label of “genderqueer”. It felt like a better explanation of myself. I could explain why my expression to be not so “feminine” is more than just internal misogyny. It is not just the hatred at being disrespected when coded as female. I also am incapable of performing femininity. I feel like a fraud in a costume who is trying to doll up, which is not a comfortable skin to be in.

I don’t like being seen as female but I know I am because my genderqueerness is not gothic rebellious or confusing. It is just plain. Like I said, I prefer invisibility. It is not trying to be too boyish nor too girly. It is a mismatch of things. So, I feel uncomfortable when somebody reminds me I am a woman. I feel watched and I can’t chill in public spaces, even if I am the only person on the bus or at the station. I am expected to know everything related to household chores, which I have never volunteered to do ever. I will help if you ask. But I refuse to be seen as an efficient expert at it. I definitely can’t dress up so I hate office-HR-celebrations which decide the dress code according to gender. It sucks so bad. I hate dressing up because I have not found clothes which feel like “me”.

I think I know exactly my dress sense is but the world is not nudist enough for that shit!

10 Ways Celebrities Are Wearing a Bra as a Shirt | Who What Wear

I mean, this is my gender expression. Can’t wait for when this becomes the norm and we are okay with all types of bodies in this world.

The truth is I don’t hate my femininity either. I am just uncomfortable to be just one gender. Even if someone boxed me into a more masculine role, I would just rebel against that too. I like men who can be chill about gender themselves bcz there is a sense of freedom in breaking these arbitrary rules of presentation. Gender truly is a performance of self-expression, and that expression (for me, at least)  is moody. So, I just cannot choose one thing as my permanent gender forever and ever.

I am glad that I am not finally confident in calling myself genderqueer. I used to feel like an imposter (bcz I benefit from being coded as cishet automatically) but then life has only confirmed what I already know to be true for myself. So even if someone accuses me of being “just a girl”. I will just shrug it off. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone.

 

Queer Free!
tame shewolf.


PS: The title is a Harry Styles song because I am in love with that boy and the chorus was playing in my head while writing this.

🔎 A fellow ethical slut


Dating culture has gone to the dogs with the pessimism and the need for a quick fix and the pervasive boredom and the sense of directionless that my generation suffers.  I have no problem with no promises attached sex. Been there, done that infinity times. But definitely, there is a person in front of you and not an object. But how we allow ourselves to treat someone as a means to an end will always remain beyond me.

Clearly, it has been very difficult for me to find a fellow ethical slutty person who is as forthright. So, I thought I should just write the things I value so that the next time a guy asks me I will just share a link to this blog and make him run away. 😛

First of all, I think it is important to not slut-shame. I literally have felt abandoned after I have honestly shared my sex-life. But sharing your history is part of a sexually healthy partnership. I am definitely not a risk-taker. I don’t know how to navigate being honest but not shamed or (in the other end of the spectrum) be treated as someone up for anything.

Second, and as important, communicate bitches! You may be an introvert, or a person with few words, but you have to speak up about what you want and don’t want; if you are bored and want to move on, or if you want something more; if you have a particular kink or fantasy.

My dating profile is very clear about what I want and don’t want. I still end up in situations I don’t want. If I ask clearly for what I want, there are still times when my needs are bulldozed over. (It sucks to date men). A lot of dating culture also normalises ghosting. I think, it is important to give the person closure. It will help you practice saying “No” even if it is on text. Then, if they can’t be mature about it, please by all means, BLOCK. Till then, in good faith, communicate your boredom, disinterest, and respect the other person’s feelings.

Open communication also entails, if you are comfortable at entering that level of conversation, to share your kinks and fantasies upfront. You definitely don’t want to be shocked or let down later. It helps you own your sexuality. Being open also doesn’t mean up for anything. So this conversation also helps in setting boundaries and actually being open to safe fun. (Plus, the way the guy talks is kinda a giveaway of how thoughtful he will be about your needs in bed later too. 🤞)

Hopefully, if your communication is free of any pretense, it also means that the chances of playing games with each other’s feelings reduces. So then, whatever the arrangement, there is a chance of both of y’all to reach a middle ground.

Also, I want to add one more underappreciated aspect of communication and that is — care for the person beyond your immediate needs. Be curious of other people and their stories and their daily lives. It doesn’t mean you have to talk everyday, but when you talk it has to be beyond “DTF?”. If you can’t do this, you are not ready to date. Basic human empathy required to be an ethical slut. Make lifelong fuckbuddies, not transactional ones.

Value empathetic consent. Don’t just value whatever has been communicated and agreed on. Be attuned to understanding someone’s discomfort in body language or temporary disinterest. It would requires empathy and also just keep checking in if you are in doubt. Slutty people don’t owe people sex all the time, even if they are up for it most of the time.

Know thyself, bitches– Dating is fun if you are clear about what you want from love and life. If you are with fellow confused people, there is bound to be hurt and confusion, because heterosexual romances are fraught with gender politics and then some more bullshit. Work out emotional baggage to avoid unloading it on others and missing out on good experiences. Don’t use sex as a means to feel better. You will not feel better, and neither will the other person enjoy it.

We deserve a better dating culture bcz it feels like we are doomed to be single in a bad economy. It is better to find a community that cares even if you do not find a single person who you could commit to. Learn from the queer community, you god-damn heteros! (I am a hetero too, and clearly I am suffering.)

Is this a dating manifesto?🦋
tame shewolf.


PS: fuck properly!

The Dream Meal


Obviously, it is night time and I am thinking about food because this is time for my binge. So this is my distraction writing which may or may not help me. But I have realised I am supposed to really pause to enjoy food.

I have been listening to Off-Menu podcast by James Acaster and Ed Gamble. It has got me thinking about my own dream meal. To be honest, I love every dream meal that I have heard on it so making this list is super hard. I actually can’t choose. This is my mood right now, I guess.

Also, fair warning: I am a convenient vegetarian. So my dream meal will be vegetarian only.

Starter

A starter is so beautiful. When my parents allowed for it in a restaurant, it was a fucking treat! In India, it is unnecessarily overpriced and I don’t feel like indulging in it myself if I am on a budget. But if I can, uff.. that could be everything and the only thing that I would eat.

The stupid thing about going on dates is sometimes, it is looked down upon to actually order a meal. Bitch-bois really want me to be satisfied with starters and drinks, and I hate that. I oblige because how can I eat more than the other person in a meal! But I literally know in my head that this ain’t gonna work long term for sure. Men with no appetite or who are fussy eaters piss me off. Never will I ever even tolerate such bullshit.

I don’t mind any starter really, but one starter I crave for is Spring rolls. It is exactly because people don’t order it often and don’t like it, is the reason I crave for it. Yeah, yeah, there is a possibility that it may be a badly made spring roll, not enough filling, soggy even. But, when done right, it is everything I ever need in a mouthful of food. It is fried, flavourful, full of textures. I don’t care if you don’t like the maida taste, I will eat your portion, bitch.

 

HD wallpaper: fried spring rolls in white platter, nem, chinese ...

Look at this beaut.

Main Meal

I am obviously not going to stick to just one cuisine if it is a dream meal in a dreamy restaurant. This is a mess of gastronomic proportions. But hear me out… Creamy Spaghetti Pasta with fresh vegetables.

The point being my main meal would have been noodles. But I couldn’t choose a good one I have tasted in the Chinese variety. But I have memories of this one meal where I ate creamy spaghetti pasta.  Again, the creaminess, the texture of the broccoli and mushrooms with the softness of the pasta, the never-ending looping of spaghetti on your fork.. You literally get to play with your food. Plus accompanied with bread to clean off your plate. Like, it is a thing you can proudly do. Lick that last creaminess with bread but you get to be appropriate about it.

I try to make my ramen noodles creamy by adding cheese just to recreate that memory.

dish food produce vegetable cuisine pasta soup spaghetti italian food creamy pasta side dishes carbonara

Sigh. This picture doesn’t do justice to what I am imagining.

Side Dish

Can I have a bread basket? Could I write a love letter to bread?

Toasted Bread. Garlic Bread. Oregano Bread. Multigrain bread.

Mini bread basket

Will they ever do justice to you in a restaurant, my dear bread?

Bread. Bread. Bread. Love of my life, Bread. You can never be a side dish. These haters don’t value your softness, your ability to soak in all the flavours so beautifully, your ability to provide umami. Bitches don’t love you like I do, bread. You are the star of my life. They can tell me that you are bad for me, but I am never going to give you up. What can I not dip you in? What can I not combine you with? I remain beholden to you. Accept the meek love that I offer you for the joy you bring me.

Drink

I am not a connoisseur of alcohol. I will drink anything, will try everything and then forget their names. When left on my own devices, my safe choice has always been “Whiskey neat with ice.”

It is a drink I don’t chug. I always end up chugging sweet cocktails like it is sherbet. Then it messes me up too quickly than I wanted it. Other drinks need a soft drink/soda mixer. But not whiskey. What brand I drink depends on how much money I have. 😛 But do I care? I am chill if it is chilled but burns down my throat and I can savour it.

Glass With Whiskey Free Stock Photo - Public Domain Pictures

I am not tempte—-

 

Dessert

This was difficult. A complete meal would close with chocolate nutty icecream. But then I thought about what is it that I crave… Chocolate ice cream mixed with nuts is easily acquired by me. But again, a dessert I dream of has been the Cheesecake. Light. Beautiful. Indulgent. Different textures promised again. The three colours have to be prominent. A dark biscuit base, a lighter creamier centre, and the soft glazed brown of the top. You could savour every spoon of the slice. Every bite, if it is made perfectly– like all desserts demand, can make you go mmmmm..

File:Raised slice of cheesecake.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

A dessert that makes you loudly moan is something.

Alright, writing this has help me cross my binge urge. Tell me what is your dream meal, and I think, I would already hop on board because there is no meal that I dislike. Clearly, the whole list is a longing, a craving out of scarcity. But I love food as I have repeated several times over now. Don’t test my love.

I am blessed to be stuck with my mom in quarantine because she loves cooking and is great at it!

Wracked by a relentless passion for food,
tame shewolf.

PS: Thalis are always my dream meal because my stomach is a vortex.

The Best Gujarati Restaurants In Gurgaon | We Are Gurgaon

Look at this and tell me you are not already overwhelmed with emotion by this royalty.

PPS: I could have a food appreciation post for South Indian breakfast food and Gujarati dishes.. but I can’t go down that road without doing injustice to everything else that I love. These cravings are more often resolved thanks to my mom. PEACE!

 

Showing up on the page


Have I become someone who is now focussed on quantity over quality? Yes.

Because this creativity slump was affecting my mental health. I was thinking about how I should be writing, but sitting in front of the laptop and coming up blank. Just distracting myself with some shit or the other. There are too many blocks and naysayers in my head and around me too. I didn’t realise that. But since I have been working on this white woman workbook, it is really helping me. Of course, my “rationality” won’t let me disclose what book I am solving.. but my heart is really enjoying this DIY therapy. All this while, I have Gabor Mate leading me by the hand and helping me be kind to myself and my addiction. I have found some inner-spring and I want to protect it.

I have also discovered that I will always be teenage-ish chirpy or angsty.  Can I escape that voice? I am 27 now. I may be 35 and still like this. So, might as well embarrass myself if I must, if it is an inescapable part of my existence… Also, a lot of my writing is for me. So maybe, I will write a lot of stream of consciousness writing. Many embarrassing confessions to purge from my system. Maybe I will appear more thoughtful and poised than before. I am okay with that. This is not some pristine page of a book. That is clearly so much hard work, as I have discovered.

So since the lockdown, I have delved within without the guilt of “have to”. Deleting all the “should be doing this and that right now”. I am privileged enough to create my island and indulge my underemployed self into creativity and resolving my binge eating disorder with focus.  Week 1 of food sobriety, and I think I am on a high. Or maybe I am on to something and I am going to motivate myself to be in that process.

I have been writing. But just not here. I have three blogs in total now. This one is my projected self. A face for the faces I meet. I have another private blog to rant my heart out in fiction. A mirror to stare back at me. The third blog is public but I usually use it to think and do my writing projects there. More academic. More practice. The function is to be more helpful to others on that journey. So, that’s the persona, heart, brain categorized neatly. I am sure I can split myself further.. but now my task that I have set before me is to help me merge these. Become a bit whole.

Creativity is really indulgent. I am still doubting the capacity of the inner-spring. I am worried about the relapse in the future.  But there is also a thought in my head that wonderfully counters this. Just do. We’ll face what we must when it comes to it.  So yeah, if I am sounding high, maybe I am. I am okay with seeming delusional.

The best part is that blogs are finally out of fashion. Nobody is searching for blogs and the SEO tags, unless it has really contributed and curated knowledge. This is safely my island again. No dream and aspiration attached to this website.  Just exploration. Just showing up on the page to rest, to try, to daydream, to express, to be silly. 

Onwards!
tame shewolf.

PS: See you tomorrow for another 500 words.

Fight your genes


I‌ have always had the fear of becoming my parents.

I‌ hate to think it is unavoidable. I find myself imitating my dad’s body language when I rage. I find myself being awkward like my mom when I am confused. I‌ wish we did not live in a nuclear family where your prototype of human beings are your immediate caretakers. Why can’t we live in a commune where I‌ could choose who I want to be like, or influenced by?

I‌ have been thinking about how maybe I‌ also inherit my family’s tragedies and trauma. I find myself fighting between wanting to set it all right aggressively and running away from it. Both tire me. Family life is such a shit-show; is anyone unscathed?

Don’t make me count the good parts. I mean, I want to flesh out how much I hate them better. This dysfunction is a tragedy. I must have heard it in a podcast, where she said– “Hate your parents better”. For me, that means, hate them for the right reasons. Not a blanket hate, but a nuanced hate. A hate that makes space for their human-ness but also holds them accountable, and respects them as people who can grow.

I continue to argue with my parents to be better to themselves (cue: my mom) and be better people (cue: my dad), but then the non-response or cowardice just agitates me to no end. I wish I could walk out. I mean, why do I have to revisit this bullshit over and over again?

All I ever do is keep walking with blinders on. Not my pain to untangle. Not my pain to grieve.

“ ‘Fight your genes.’ The Big Hoom said to us once, to Susan and me. He did not explain. He did not know how to. But we knew what it meant. It meant that we were to march into the hall and take out our school books and reproduce the slipper-shaped animalcule whose psuedopodia power it through a world without feeling; to learn how to inscribe a hexagon into a circle without tearing the paper; to assimilate the causes and consequences of the battle of Panipat without ever identifying your own enemy because that would be mean identifying yourself.

‘Fight your genes’. Focus. Be diligent. Concentrate. Do”
― Jerry Pinto, Em and The Big Hoom

High-functioning depressives-  r e p r e s e n t  ✌️,
TSW

The perils of online dating


Ugh, I have been online dating for 5 months now. I was never really curious about it for so long because I had a moral problem with consuming “personhoods” like commodities. Then, I realized this is here to stay and my protest is ineffective. I am already in the system reducing my personhood in some form or the other- my resume, social media presence, this blog and any conversation really— because we tend to prepare a face to meet the faces that we meet.. Besides that, I was also damn bored. I do (controlled) reckless shit when I am bored.

Obviously, I have become numb to it now. But I credit myself for handling it well. Still, here are few perils that constantly tug at my conscience now and then.

The classist/racist rigged game

Let’s be real— any social app will reflect the stupidity of real life in its purest undiluted form. It is classist because you’ve to create your profile in English. In this country, it is a fucking privilege. So, getting irritated with someone for broken, strong accented English is just classist. Also, my soulmate could be a person who doesn’t speak English at all, but in this app, I’d swipe left because I don’t have the patience to discover someone.

It is racist, you know, because this works only for good looking people with the European standard of beauty. Also, it bugs me to realize that my match-percentage is highest among white boys, and it makes me reflect— am I a white gyrle with white privilege and white sensibilities and a white worldview? Whhhhhhyyyyyyyyyy.

It hurts me, because I am suspicious that it might be true. :((

The cheap thrill of swiping

Initially, I used to open every message or look through a profile to swipe left or right. Because, again, I don’t want to reject The One just off-handedly. He might be completely opposite of me, right? But now, I know, he is not the opposite of me. Some political views I just can’t take. And if you can only message “Hi” to my amazingly funny profile, then we really have nothing to talk about.

Also, I get annoyed with beard and it acts as a filter and contributes to 90% of the left swipes. I don’t relate to that kind of masculinity. Also, why do men aspire to look like uncles? You’d ask, “K, but a beard can be shaved off? It is a temperory state”. To that I say, “If all your pictures have beard, that’s your self-image; and I don’t want to be the one telling you to shave it off because I prefer it that way.” That’s just mean. So, I save myself that trouble.

Also, like exams and interviews and fame, swiping right on someone is so god-damn arbitary. I might have already lost The One.

Men

I am sure that I would have had an amazing experience just looking at and reading about amazing girls. But with men, the categories are cocky or clueless or innocent. Men have no game. And if you have no game, the least you could be is earnest. And fuck off, if you’re going to mansplain me about something I joked about in my profile.

And because I talk about sex openly in my profile, it was supposed to act as a filter for what I specifically want, it actually has the opposite effect. It invites everyone to imagine that I am in for hook-ups. Please, I am not. I am paranoid about my safety.

With dating apps, of course you’d argue, the game is in the favour of women. But mate, at what cost? Fine, I do not get as many advertisements as guys get. I definitely get more likes on an average, because I am sure the ratio for women to men is super-skewed. But, I also get more weirder messages and an onslaught of alpha-males entitlement. Even after the infinity filters that I have, I still end up having bad dates and bad experiences. Men seriously have no game because they don’t have empathy.

Also, again, do only white guys clean-shave, ffs? When will the beard/mustache/goatee go out of style?.

The fatigue of emotions

Any app where you have to put yourself out there is really tiring! I sympathize with people who are looking for relationships here. Because, it is just as emotionally draining as a job search. You have to go there, smile, say how much about them excites you, what you want and have to offer, and then it mostly closes without any explanation, or fizzles out naturally. And, then the cycle repeats.

I try to be nice about it if it is not working for me. But only, if the person hasn’t been a douchebag.

I mean, why am I still on this app?

Anti-hope

I am still on this app because when you find someone you gel with, that’s the little push that keeps you going on. I found a new best friend on this app, and the emotional care that is needed— the regular check-ins, the venting about daily life, the teasing— that is fulfilled because of her! But guess what. My perfect friend lives all the way in Argentina! I told her that I am on this app hoping to find another strong connection that may translate into a relationship. And she pointed out that that’s exactly the reason I should not have hope. If I do find a connection like hers, it would be someone miles away. The app is an anti-hope app! I have to agree with my new best friend!

Inevitably, the anti-hope app has contributed to me losing my zaddy-cum-trophy husband. Zaddy had messaged me first! He was beautiful and tattooed and he had pictures of him without a beard too! We hit it off. I, in my mindless swiping, saw his profile come up again, and wondered why does he have a different account with which he is sending me a “hey” again; and I swiped left. To my horror, I realized that his old account is not there anymore and he tried to get in touch again, but I have lost Zaddy forever! He is a model (damn yes!) so he is contractually obliged to not be on social media sites. You see my twisted fate!

I hope y’all will empathize as I try to search for meaning again in my life. My new best friend reminded me that I was not going to do anything about Zaddy in the first place but now that I have lost him, I dwell in possibility.

PS: Requested by Rivulet*, the person to whom I bitch about online dating. If you are online dating, please have a friend to touch base with, the app will mutate you!

July Edit: Zaddy was a catfish account. Can you believe it?!

My first time away from home


I was actually pretty excited to leave Mumbai. It’s the year 2016. I remember friends and bf being sad about my departure because they were worried that I will find a new friend circle, grow without them and maybe the distance would break us. That didn’t happen, of course. But it was kind of annoying to think that my friends thought of me as a superficial social butterfly.

My mom was definitely worried that I am going to leave home forever. She didn’t say it and I tried to not mention how I was looking forward to be away and discover myself. She however made sure that I carried enough baggage from home, literal and metaphorical. She came to drop me the first time and the taxi was  stuck in traffic. We decided to race to the next station, instead of our scheduled station. We were running with so many bags in a accessibility-challenged railway stations! Like, we were literally carrying heavy bags on flights of staircases, over and over again. And at that point, I was really cursing my mom and her overbearing love, because I like to think of myself as a minimalist person. I reached that other station on time to catch the train. Boarded the train with rushed goodbyes, and breathed a sigh of relief.

Hyderabad, here I come!

I had to visit my local guardian first, so I got down somewhere near Secunderabad, which was far from the university. Elle aunty* was my mom’s best friend in college, and volunteered to help me out in this new city if I needed anything. I was confident that I didn’t need anything, as I had booked my flat, that I was going to share with four girls from Mumbai itself. But, mom. Plus, it is not really bad to accept help even if you don’t need it. Uncle, husband of Elle aunty, picked me up from the station. I remember that he was uncomfortable interacting with me initially and he served me cold food. I, otherwise a person who doesn’t want to touch things at other people’s household, just decided to warm the food for myself. It was a weird, awkward interaction but I don’t expect much from men anyway. He eventually helped me travel to my actual flat which was closer to the university. He was more than glad to drop me off the next day.

Anyway, that night, I spoke to Elle aunt for the first time about my gender and I think we even discussed god. It was difficult to convince her that I can survive without a god, but she kinda was more accepting of my struggles with gender. I had told her how, for me, wearing femme Indian dresses felt like wearing a costume. And I really detest it. And to think of it now, it is true for anything super feminine. I remember her saying– that’s an interesting way to look at it! And I knew that’s how far this conversation could go.

I moved into my new flat and the female flatmates there were annoying.. They were two office best friends, and one used to literally mother the other. The other was a b*tch. They had strict rules about no guy friends, they’d lock their cupboards with chain-locks for fuck sake, and I kind of lost my favourite windsheeter there. The larger story here is that I had three needs for a house. They were the 3 Ws- Wifi, Washing Machine and Western toilet. Clearly, the common bathroom was Indian- styled and I said that was a deal-breaker for me. They negotiated with me and said that I would have access to the Western bathroom in their room, and I was like– okay. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I finally left the house with stupid dynamics because the dependent other had brought her boyfriend disguised as “cousin”, and kind of locked me out of the bathroom I needed to use. I don’t care about boys coming into flats, because we all need a safe space to fuck, but I was annoyed at the hypocrisy. I told the Mother friend who had gone back to her hometown, and she messaged the dependent other and the boyfriend/cousin left. I enjoyed that. But I decided I must leave because this animosity is not sustainable. And did I tell you, dependent other would not even flush! It was literally akin to using a public bathroom. And the whole fucking point of not accepting a hostel room was to not have to use common bathrooms.

I quickly searched for another flat. Here too I asked for the same 3 Ws, I had it too for a decent price. The woman said that she was going to move to another flat in the same building. I went to see the flat, it was chill! Cool. I had my own room and bathroom. It was a little further from the other flat and my university, but there was a share rickshaw available, and the woman had all her furniture that she was willing to share! I was thrilled, happy! Good riddance to mother-dependent liar, even!

But guess what, the day I moved– this woman’s phone got stolen. So I couldn’t coordinate with her. I reached the building and the lift was not working. So I carried the same baggage again on another flight of stairs. This time, however, few children playing downstairs in the building, volunteered to help me! It was so cute! Maybe they saw me struggling and thought making a game out of it would be more fun. I even ended up day-dreaming about taking tuitions with such cool kids! Anyhow, I waited at the corridor for two hours and she finally arrived. She gave me a long story,and it turns out that the new flat is not ready to be shifted, and I am going to be staying with her in the current flat in the same building. Let’s call this flat, the lizard house.

This woman was eccentric, bubbly, kind of an exhibitionist. To my initial embarrassment, she used to clean the house only in a towel. I got used to her crazy and she would vent about her love story, or almost-love story and I would give her pretty good advice. She had her mom living with her too, but for the time I was there, the mom had gone back to Kolkata. I was having a good stay at Lizard house, until the damn dumb lizards. Literally, three lizards in my room! Dumb because they’d not even be chased away to safety outside the window. They’d just freeze behind a photo-frame or some fucking furniture. The house, in hindsight, had too much furniture. The woman refused to help me because she saw lizards as good omen, and I stopped giving her good advice in return. I stayed perenially in fear of stamping on a lizard, because yes, the lizards were so dumb (or close to death) that they had lost their ability to crawl on the wall. I kept following up on when we will shift to the new flat, and I realized that it is not going to happen and she has no plan. I came back to Mumbai for Diwali vacations, and searched for a new house online.

I did find one! This one was closer to the college! I booked it immediately. I came back and transferred my stuff with the help of a friend, who was excited that my house was so close to the college. Three Ws- check. Happy roommates- check. No lizards- Check.

Of course, lot of weird things happened to me in this flat too– police involvement, right wing idiot, angry moms, happy moms, sneaky neighbour, awesome terrace, lift noise, friends’ sleepover, and just piling dirt… Anyway, I ended up living here for almost a year. I got myself a cycle! (A nice friend from university stole an abandoned cycle for me, I got it repaired and used it till I passed it on to someone else at the end of the year for free! I am the socialist the world needs!) I cycled back and forth from university. That was it’s own side adventure.

Point being, I changed three flats in my first six month of Hyderabad. My diary reads that I was depressed during that time, but it was not because of these external factors, just general rumination I susceptible too. I did become a lot confident because of these misadventures. But the first year, I felt I didn’t make any exciting friends, was living my introvert life, and chilling alone. Which was a necessary healing period for me, because I was healing from the past and was bracing myself for Round 2389 of Hyderabad– living in a hostel.

I wrote this for a friend I met in Hyderabad, Incomparable*, who was curious about my initial stay. For the rest of it, he was present and mixed in the drama! 🙂

PS: A curious thing about Hyderabad is that you have to pay for drinking water. I spend Rs. 30 on drinking water every week. It used to annoy me a lot. People just accept bad governance and find a way to overcome it. Of course, I have more infrastructure and sociological observations on Hyderabad. But I’ll write about it as I get my writing groove back. Fingers crossed.

*names changed for fun