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Monday, 9 May 2022

#MondayBlogs - You are too sensitive!

May 09, 2022 0 Comments


Have you ever been told - ‘You are too sensitive’ by people you consider as friends and family? That you over-react to things and situations?

If your answer is yes, then this post is for you.

If you have said it to someone close to you, then this post is for you too!


I went into therapy after I separated from my husband to be able to manage my depression, hyper anxiety and panic attacks. And man, did that open a pandora’s box. I discovered that I am an empath. That is also when someone told me that it is not good to be an empath because empaths give too much of themselves to and for others. That I should seek therapy to learn how to ‘turn it off’. And seek did I… Not to learn to ‘turn it off’ but to understand it. 

Granted, why I am an empath doesn’t have a glamorous backstory to it. In fact it is downright sad. But what I now say is, Empathy is my super power, and no super hero ever had an origin story filled with rainbows and unicorns, neither is mine.

Being an empath means that I feel strongly and deeply. Not only that, I also absorb the energies around me, whether positive or negative, and often lock it in my body. At first, it was extremely difficult for me to understand what part of what I am feeling is my own and what part of it is something I am picking up from the people around. I struggle with that still, but I am trying to learn to control it, so that I do not have to feel overwhelmed and exhausted all the time.

It took me a lot of therapy to understand that being able to feel deeply and strongly is not a sign of weakness. My feelings and emotions are my own and nobody has the right to tell me what to feel or how to feel or how much to feel. 

In the past have been told that I am too sensitive and that I over-react far too many times. 

Sometimes from a well meaning friend who wished me well, but mostly from people trying to gaslight me (and succeeding) in order to avoid taking a look at their own actions. To the point where I started taking it as a personal character flaw and beat myself over it till I was exhausted. I started wondering if it would be so much better if I did not care at all.

That is, till I was was prescribed anti-depressants and I spent a week feeling nothing. 

When I am happy, I feel that strongly too. I laugh. I dance. I celebrate and I am loud. Nobody complains then or tell me that I am over reacting… because everyone loves to have a good time. Yet, when I feel sad or hurt or betrayed, I am told I am being too sensitive and over reacting because it is too much work to even consider that I am human, I have a heart, may be hurt and I have a right to feel however I feel.



Photo Credit: Brighter Places

If you are someone who has told people that they are too sensitive, take a moment and consider… why does it bother you that someone cares and feels?

Take a moment to stop and think what you are really doing by invalidating someone’s feelings.

I want you to think why do YOU feel the need to invalidate someone else’s feelings and what does it actually do for YOU?

Chances are that you are avoiding to take a look at you own behaviour or statements.
Chances are that the sensitive person in your life is absorbing your energies and putting it back up as a mirror to you.
Chances are that you are the one who doesn’t have the capacity to understand what you are putting the other person through.

Maybe, it is time for you to take a look inward rather than outward. 



For those of you who have been told these gaslighting statements, remember that empathy is not a bad thing. Being sensitive is not a problem that needs to be cured. We need more of it in the world - the feelings, the understanding and the want to help instead of stone cold indifference & destruction.

If someone says these things to you, look at it for what they are. BIG RED FLAGS. The person saying these things maybe saying these to make you doubt yourself so that their actions are not closely looked at. They may even be manipulating you unknowingly - but that is what it is in the bottomline - manipulation.

Being a sensitive person in today’s world is a blessing to the rest of the population. We understand exactly. We care. And we are human. 

So, next time someone tells you that you are too sensitive… own it ‘coz you feel and care when others don’t. That makes you a much better person. We could all do with more understanding and sensitivity!





Monday, 25 April 2022

#MondayBlogs :: Have you ever been a tourist in your own city?

April 25, 2022 2 Comments

 


I was born and raised (for most parts) in Kolkata. Yet, I did not know that Jorasanko Thakur Bari, the ancestral home of the Tagore family, was just an hour away from my home. I have never been to Kumartuli or to the Marble House Palace.

Yeah, we tend to take it easy, thinking we have all the time in the world to explore these places as they are so close to home. Do we though?

As someone who spent a good part of her life in Kurseong & Darjeeling for school & college… The hills are my second home. Yet, the first time I rode the Toy Train was in my final year of college when my group of friends made it a part of our day out. Joy rides on the Toy Train was what tourists do, not locals! Yet I had never been to Gangamaya Park or Rock Garden or Batasia Loop. I had never been to the Dali Monastery or Ghoom Monastery or Tinchuley Village. Till date I have not ridden the North Point Ropeway which a stones throw away from where I lived for 3 years during my college days.


Last year, when I came to Darjeeling, it was after 13 long years and it took a friend visiting from Siliguri for me to finally visit the Gangamaya Park and the Rock Garden. I was surprised how near it was and sad that I had not visited those places before. Since pandemic wasn’t over yet back then, I did not venture out of the town much.

This year though I have made it a point of going out on most Sundays and visit places that I haven’t been to and some places that I wanted to revisit. So far I have been to Lamahatta, Mangpoo, Mirik, Kurseong and finally made a trip to the Dali Monastery and Batasia Loop.

Each of the places I have visited, whether on my own or with someone, has surprised me and I kept asking myself, why the hell I hadn’t visited these places before. Limited finances of student life did come to mind, but we spend hundreds in a day to watch a movie and splurged on cold drinks and popcorns - amount of money that would have been sufficient to travel to these places in those days.

Beautiful eco park, serene little hilly village, and popular tourist traps - but they all had breathtaking views and a serenity that I love but miss in my city life. To take a day and be out in the nature was refreshing.


Now you may say, ‘but DD, I live in a metro/city and it’s all a concrete jungle, where do I find nature here?’

Well, I know I will try and visit the places I have lived an hour away from all my life but literally had no idea of their existence before when I go back to Kolkata. A museum, an author’s birth place, a zoo… whatever it is, I encourage you to go out and be a tourist in your own city. See the places you haven’t been to - unless you do you will not know what you are missing (or not missing). Try to see them from an outsider’s point of view. If nothing else, it will break the monotony of your routined lifestyle. The shopping malls, the movie theatres and the restaurants are not going anywhere. 

Try and be a tourist in your own city/town!




Monday, 11 April 2022

#MondayBlogs #ProductReview :: Wakefit Mattress Protector

April 11, 2022 0 Comments




Wakefit mattress protector protects the mattress from accidents.


About The Item:

The mattress protector is waterproof and protects the mattress against any liquid spillover by a kid, pet, or regular usage. Doesn't contain PVC, vinyl or phthalates.
Terry cotton layer on the top provides a smooth feel and keep the sleeping surface cool. It absorbs all the natural moisture and doesn't let it seep through the mattress.

Material Type: 200 GSM terry cotton surface with TPU film 
Elastic for tucking in the corners. It has a Polyester lycra casing with an elastic strap, making it easy to hold the protector with the mattress.
Easy to care: Wash it gently in the washing machine

Purchase Link: Amazon


Disclaimer: 
This is not a paid review; I have purchased this product with my hard earn money and using it for the last 3 years.




My Thoughts:

This is a real-life saver. I am using it since my daughter was 2 years old. If you have kids, you will automatically know the amount of torture the mattress endures. 

Water and milk spillage is a regular event, apart from that, occasional nature's call accidents.

Any good quality mattress is expensive without any question and getting it professionally cleaned is also a headache and more taxing on the pocket.

Hence this product is really helpful, washing is very easy, washing machine cleaning in Regular Wash.

I got the king size, however, it is big, even if I got the queen size, it would fit the king size mattress perfectly.


Final Verdict: 

Very good product, value for money and long-lasting. Worth buying. 




Monday, 28 March 2022

#ProductReview :: Bajaj Vacco - Roti / Chapatti / Khakra Maker

March 28, 2022 0 Comments


The Product from BAJAJ VACCO has been crafted to make rotis / chapattis / khakras. 

About this item:

The roti/chapati-maker has been made of the tubular element. The Tawa has been made of food-grade Teflon-coated non-stick aluminium. 

Tawa Size = 20.26 Cm approx. 8 Inch, Box LxBxH = 30.48 x 22.86 x 22.86

The roti/chapati-maker is safe having a heat-resistant handle. 

It has a totally shock-proof body and is fitted with ISI marked lead and 6 amp. plug.

It has a pre-determined (fixed temperature) automatic cut-off feature which cuts off the heat supply and regulates the temperature. 


Purchase Link: Amazon


Disclaimer:

This is not a paid review; I have purchased this product with my hard earn money and using it for the last 1.5 years.




My Review:

I do love to eat roti but am terrible at making them. I heard many negative reviews for roti makers in general. I was tempted to buy a roti maker multiple times, but due to the negative review effects, I didn’t buy it.

Finally, one fine day, I ordered this from Amazon, thinking, how bad it could be. Even if it’s horrible, I can return the item.

To my surprise, it is quite good. The process of making chapati is a little tricky, the dough has to be wetter than the traditional way. There are plenty of videos on YouTube, where you can learn it, as I did.

As the roti maker is concerned, it is awesome, it is really shockproof, as in the building I stay in, there is a history of electric shocks. The roti size is decent and four Rotis will easily satisfy one person.

The time required for making Rotis is also considerably less than the traditional way. 


Final Verdict:

If you are good at making Rotis the traditional way, this product is not for you, but for people who are not good at making Rotis, this is a lifesaver. Especially because you don’t have to clean any extra vessels. 

Purchase Link: Amazon




Monday, 21 February 2022

#MondayBlogs - Walk Away... #Gaslighting #Survivor

February 21, 2022 0 Comments

 



What does it feel like?

To be told that what you experienced moments earlier, never happened.
To be told that everything is only in your head.
To be told that you were being too emotional.
To be told that you were over-reacting.
To be told that you were the one forgetting things.
To be told that you were not good enough for anything.
To be told that you were too stupid to ever succeed.
To be told that you were a waste of space and a terrible drain on resources.
To be told that you couldn't take a joke after constant body shaming.
To be told that it wasn't their intention to hurt you while repeating the same thing for the 100th time.
To be told that it was your fault that you were hurting.

Everyday…
For months…
For years…
For close to a decade!

At first I fought. I took it up as challenge. I tried to prove them wrong. 
But how does one fight something that is being planted in their mind and doesn't actually exist? How does one win a challenge that shouldn't have been placed at all? How does one prove something that shouldn't need to be proven in the first place? 
And how long does one have to fight (alone) and keep proving things?

I am sure I knew the answer while growing up. But then I fell in love - Yes, Blindly! - and lost my way in the tornado that my life was. Constantly working. From the moment I woke up, till I crashed into my bed.

Working (from home) a job, handling a household and shouldering the responsibility and welfare of 6 other fully grown adults, day after day… Working up to 18 hours a day to deal with everything (and never less than 12 hours a day) to be able to take care of all the responsibilities that were suppose to shared by your life partner, (yet you find yourself handling them alone) - 7 days a week and 365 days a year is bound to have some effect on a human being. Everyone knows that, right? Apparently not everyone.

Cooking, cleaning, meetings, and promotional activities - constantly laced with comments and rebukes that aimed at reducing the family nurturer, the 'ghar ki Lakshmi' in to something less than a sentient being still happens in the 21st Century.

All that along with intermittent love-bombing!

You go into a shell - the survival mode. Always being prepared and trying to reduce any chances of triggering another round of 'how useless you are tirade'. You start to dim that spark, that is so eternally you, so that every one else is under the spotlight while you hide in the shadowed corner. You do not let the spotlight be ever on you - even though it is your story, your life! Shrinking into a ball, not taking up space and yet making it easier for people to kick around.

And should you dare to question it, i.e., if you still have some semblance of self left, and ask why - the society around you (some even in guise of friends) will gather to remind you that all you are good for is to keep your mouth shut, adjust and compromise. A 'failure of a being' has no right to ask questions. You only get to continue to try and prove your worth in exchange of being 'allowed' to breathe.


Would you consider stop breathing if that is the only way to end the hurt and pain?

Many do!

But there is another way… Stand up, break the invisible shackles and walk away! 

(read invisible shackles as: expectations forced on you by those close to you and the society; the constant self doubt drilled into you; the crippling fear you feel; the unshakeable belief that you cannot make it on your own; the anxiety of how could ever do anything right on your own; the mind blowing concept of what will people say… in short - whatever it is that is holding you back in a life that is slowly sucking your spirit out.) 


It is hard! The hardest thing you will probably do... When you finally have had enough, and realise that staying on will eventually kill you, much before your time; and when other people will reiterate that all you can do is stay and compromise. Try and remember, that there ARE people who will support you and help you... So, keep at it till you find someone who'll throw the life jacket when you are drowning. And then, swim... swim for the shore - your life!


And it starts getting better almost immediately.


Its been over a year since I walked out… And, now all I know is what it feels like…


To be told that you are strong.
To be told that you are a heck of a fighter to have survived.
To be told that you are worth more than ten of them.
To be told that you are loving and caring.
To be told that you have a right to take up space.
To be told that you deserve to have your needs met.
To be told that you are inspiring.
To be told that you have an amazing sense of humour.
To be told that you are a responsible person.
To be told that your are a logical and practical person.
To be told that you are loved.
To be told that you are seen.
To be told that you are cherished.
To be told that you are wanted and desired.



It is good for your body. It is good for your mind. AND, it is the most liberating thing for your spirit.





Monday, 14 February 2022

#MondayBlogs - Under the Moonlight - Part 3

February 14, 2022 0 Comments

NOTE: Anything that you recognize in this story belongs to J.K.Rowling.

This is the third installment of the fanfiction. 



It was in his third year that James and Sirius started acting funny around him. He could tell that they were talking about him behind his back by the way they would whisper every so often and stop talking abruptly whenever he walked in on them. Dread filled him up again as million questions started to seep into his mind once again. Did they already know or were they just suspicious? Should he tell them or let them find out on their own? Would they understand and accept him or would they judge and abandon him. He kept on having internal fights with himself about how to handle the situation. A part of him wanted to confide in James and Sirius. After all they were his best buddies. If Lily could understand, they could too. If she could look past his monstrous side, they could too. Right? But then another part of him was still too scared to open up. Lily was exceptionally compassionate about everyone. She had a way of seeing the best even in the worst specimen of human kind. No one else could be expected to have the same level of compassion. James and Sirius were different and may not see things in the same light. He was sure that he would not be able to handle their rejection. So much so, he was sure that he would prefer the rest of the world’s disgust rather than see them turn their backs on him.

One day James asked him very casually whether he would be going home that weekend. It was going to be a full moon weekend and thus Remus’s fears were confirmed. Pretending to be absorbed in the book he was reading, Remus had to keep a check on his nerves before replying, “No idea. You know it depends upon my mother’s condition. There’s no way to predict it. Why?” James had simply shrugged and said that they were going to have their first Hogsmeade visit that weekend and wanted to make plans. When Remus missed the trip, he was sure that they would confront him on his return. But his fears were in vain because when he returned, all the duo could talk about was the village. They had even brought him some Sugarquills from Honeydukes, the sweet shop in Hogsmeade. When days turned into weeks and another full moon had come and gone, Remus finally started to relax again. James and Sirius had not confronted him and they even had stopped whispering among themselves. He kept telling himself that he had only imagined it all. They must have been planning some prank that he wouldn’t have approved.

On their second outing Remus was able to accompany them to Hogsmeade. James and Sirius took their responsibility to show Remus around very ‘sirus-ly’. They guided him to every store in Hogsmeade that they thought he would enjoy. Even the bookstore! Then they dragged him to the Shrieking Shack which to their disappointment was quiet. They kept on swearing that the last time they had visited on their way back to Hogwarts, they had heard a lot of noises coming from there. Finally, they settled down at ‘The Three Broomsticks’ with mugs of Butterbeer. After a couple of mugs each, when they were feeling all warm and fuzzy, Sirius turned to Remus, “Don’t you have something to tell us?”

“What? When did I say that?”

“It isn’t what you have said, but it is what you haven’t said yet. That’s some big secret that you are hiding from us Remus. But people are talking. You know the Hogwarts grapevine. How could you do this to me, Remus? I thought we were friends,” said James.

“What’s going on? What did I do?” Any other time, Remus’s insecurities would have kicked in, but at this point he was too relaxed and fuzzy.

“Shame on you, Remus. How long were you planning to keep this from us?” Sirius asked.

“Yeah, did you think that we would not even notice?” continued James. He and Sirius had taken to continuing each other’s sentences recently. “That you can do anything behind our back and get away with it?”

Once again Sirius picked up from James, “It is really stupid of you think that, that James would not notice especially when Evans is involved.”

Remus had been staring between the two of them, “I don’t understand. What are you guys trying to say? Did Lily say something?”

James was staring at him dangerously. “Oh! So its Lily now, is it? How long have you two been going around? Does she even know about your ‘furry little problem’?!” He asked, his voice raising with every word that he grinded out. Remus spluttered his butterbeer.

“Calm down James! People are starting to look around at you. Besides, give the man a chance to explain.”

“You… you think that I am going out with Lily? No way James, she is just a friend. We just study together when… Wait! What do you mean by my furry little problem?”

James and Sirius spoke up at the same time. “Just a friend?” asked James.

“You thought that your affair with the full moon would escape our notice?” said Sirius. Remus, overwhelmed, continued to look at his two friends numbly. Sirius leaned forward and continued in a muted voice. “Look, we have known about your situation for a couple of months now. We were not going to say anything about it.” He gave James a pointed look. “This is something that you had to be comfortable about and so we wanted you to tell us when you were ready for us to know. But James here tends to get hot headed regarding Evans. But that’s beside the point now. We just want you to know that we are not freaked out about being friends with you. We have to do something about it though, but still have no idea what at this point though we are working on some ideas.”

“You are not going to Dumbledore about a new dormitory?”

“No you prat! We are not going to run off to Dumbledore for new sleeping or class arrangements and we are not going to tell everyone about how dangerous you are. That’s a shame though! Imagine the looks on those slimy Slytherins’ faces if we told them that you are going to eat them up next full moon! I can almost see it! Precious!”

“So you are okay about my transformation?”

“Okay?! I personally think its cool! Only wish, you would have told us before instead of us wasting three years to find it out!”

Remus couldn’t help but crack a smile. Only Sirius could think of it as cool. But James’s silence bothered him. So he turned towards him and ventured tentatively, “James, I swear there is nothing between me and Lily. We are just friends. We just study together and that’s it. She has been really good about my condition and has been helping me with the school work whenever I miss classes.”

“So, you told her. But you couldn’t tell us?” James looked a bit cheered up but not completely.

“I did not tell anyone. She worked it out by herself last year and has been helping me ever since. Haven’t you noticed how I don’t ask for the class notes anymore? Trust me. I did not tell her. My parents told me that I could not tell anyone. Ever.”

“She worked it out last year? She is brilliant!”

“Yeah, that she is. So am I forgiven?”

“Sure. So, does she ever ask about me?”

Rest of the evening passed by with James grilling him about Lily Evans. Apparently, everything was forgiven and forgotten. It took the three of them and Peter almost three years to work out how one could become an Animagus. Three years of planning, hard work and excitement. Soon Moony, Padfoot, Prongs and Wormtail were found to be running around the Hogwarts ground and the Forbidden Forest every full moon. It was exhilarating and liberating. Remus had to spend his transformations locked up in the Shrieking Shack cooped up, scratching and hurting himself. But it was a thing of the past once they all mastered their Animagus forms. In their animal forms, they could communicate with each other. So instead of being lonely and hurting himself, Remus now explored in the company of his best friends. Even after leaving Hogwarts, they continued the tradition. They would go somewhere away from human habitation, and spend the full moons playfully. When Voldemort’s rule became more and more dangerous, at least one of them, mostly Sirius would stay with him till he had to go underground on Dumbledore’s request. What he had always considered as his curse, his friends turned it to a ‘cool gift’. Where he had been terrified of his transformations before, he started to look forward to them now. His friends kept him company, made sure he did not hurt himself or anyone else while transformed and even managed to turn it to fun! Later he could not even think about why he had been so apprehensive about telling his friends… It only seemed natural that his friends would accept him and his ‘Furry little problem’ and make it their own problem.

Changes in his body brought Remus back to present. He could feel the transformation starting. He desperately wished his friends could be with him once again. Tell him that is was okay to feel and that they would always be together. That they would make sure he was safe. That he had nothing to worry about. His curse turned gift had turned into a curse once again. Padfoot and Prongs would never run with him again. It was just him and his affair with the moon. He thought about Tonks once. What would his friends say about her? Sirius had accepted him without any reservations but would he feel differently about him and Tonks being together? Was it even possible to begin with? Would it be fair to impose his curse on some one else? What would James have to say? Would he be angry with him for not trusting Harry enough? He had failed his friends in so many ways… His last conscious thought before the transformation completed was that his true curse was to be left behind alone. The fully transformed wolf let out howl, into the dark starless sky with only the moon shining through.

The inhabitants of Godric’s Hollow heard a wolf howl into the night sky. They had heard legends about how people had heard a wolf whining throughout the night after the Potters were attacked. But that was fifteen years back and no one had heard anything since then. Tonight, after so many years, everyone heard the howls and the whining. It scared them. Only a little girl looked up at her mother reading her a bed time story and said, “It sounds so sad and lonely.”


Monday, 10 January 2022

#MondayBlogs - Under the Moonlight - Part 2

January 10, 2022 1 Comments

NOTE: Anything that you recognize in this story belongs to J.K.Rowling.

This is the second instalment of the fanfiction. 


As his mother disappeared out of his view, Remus turned to lift his trunk and then drag it along the corridor of Hogwarts Express with hopes of finding a seat. Most compartments were either full or occupied by daunting older students. He caught sight of a couple of students, a boy with greasy black hair and a girl with flaming red hair, leaving a compartment. He picked up his pace hoping to get a seat there. He peeked in first to see only two boys sitting there. “Mind if I join you?” They shrugged and got up to help him with his trunk. Once they were settled, Remus introduced himself. One of the boys said, “I am James Potter and this is Sirius Black. We were just talking about which house we would like to land up in. What do you think?”

“Well, I think either Ravenclaw or Gryffindor would be good for me. But I am just happy to be here and wouldn’t mind which house I land up in as long as I can be at Hogwarts.” Conversation had then flowed freely among the three throughout the journey. When the sorting started, Sirius Black had been the first to be sorted. When he heard his name called, he had turned to the other two and said, “Keep your fingers crossed for me guys. Don’t wanna land up with the rest of my family.” It had taken the sorting hat a long time to declare him a Gryffindor. He had looked both happy and surprised as he rushed off to join his house table. Soon it was his turn to be sorted. He too joined the Gryffindor, soon followed by James. They had been quite pleased to have landed up in the same house as they had already formed a bond on the train.

Quickly they settled down to the daily routine at Hogwarts. He enjoyed his lessons, explored the mysteries of the castle and loved the company of his two friends. Soon they came to be known as the ‘famous trio’ of Hogwarts. All three of them were very good at whatever they did, Sirius and James were well known for their pranks and none of them were ever seen without the company of the other two.  But all the while Remus heard a nagging voice in the back of his mind that kept on telling him that he was deceiving his friends. He felt heavy and tired all the time, as if he carried a ton of lead on his back at all the time. He hated the fact that he not only had to keep things secret from his friends but also that he had to lie through his teeth to them about his whereabouts during the full moon. It was always someone sick in the family or that he had fallen asleep in some obscure part of the castle. If there were too many marks on him, then it had to be from some accident that he had gotten himself into, but never the truth. All the while, letters kept coming to him from home reminding him how important it was that no one should ever have any doubts or suspicion.

Their first year and a major part of the second year had passed without any incident. James and Sirius had accepted that his mother had a weak health and that he was accident prone. Remus had stopped being on the edge all the time until something unexpected happened. It was a Sunday, James and Sirius were in detention with Professor McGonagall and he had been out on the grounds alone. He had chosen a spot by the lake that was out of the way from most of the student. He was sitting there reading a reference book on Potions when Lily approached him. They had gotten to know each other over the time they both spent in the library. “Can I talk to you for a minute Remus?”
“Yeah sure. I was just going through the reference book that Professor Slughorn suggested. I am sure you are already done with it, right?”
“Yes I finished it yesterday. But I wanted to ask you about something else…” Lily drifted off uneasily. Remus noticed that she was awkward and was fidgeting.
“What is it?” he asked soothingly.
“It’s kind of personal. I don’t want to offend you or anything. You don’t have to talk to me about it, but…”
“Come on Lily, what is it?”
“Its… it’s just that… I have noticed how moody and edgy you are before you have to go away. You come back covered in bruises and scratches and that you always have some emergency during the full moon.” Though she had started awkwardly, Lily rushed through her words as if that would minimize the impact of her words. Remus tensed immediately and looked away from her. “I have done some research and everything points to one thing only.”

Finally someone had figured it out. How long would it be before everyone else came to the same conclusion? Or would Lily just run screaming and warning everybody? Eventually the news would spread. First the students would start to avoid him and then their parents would complain and object. Then Dumbledore would be left with no other choice but to send him back home. His parents’ dream of seeing him have a normal life would break. Would they think that he had not been careful enough? But most importantly, how would James and Sirius react when they found out that their friend had been lying to them all along? That they had been sharing their dormitory and living with a werewolf pretending to be their friend?

“Remus…?” Lily’s voice broke into his trance. He noticed that he was gripping the potions book so hard that his knuckles had turned white. He dropped the book as if it was on fire. “Remus, I am pretty sure about my assessment. I just wanted you to know that I know it. You don’t have to carry this burden alone, you know? If you ever need any help, please, do not hesitate to ask me.”

He had been expecting screaming, running and horrified tones. Instead, Lily spoke in such soft and compassionate voice that it took him some time for him to register what she was saying and even longer to actually process it. “What??” he asked bewildered.

“I said that if you ever need any help, you know where to find me,” Lily repeated in a kind voice. “I mean, James and Sirius are not the best note-takers.”

“You know? How long have you known? Don’t you find me revolting? Why aren’t you running and screaming on the top of your voice to warn everybody?”

“Come on Remus, I knew you before I worked out about your problem. I know you wouldn’t hurt anyone, not even a fly, if you can help it. And, when you can not help it, I am sure that the staff members are taking every precaution to keep you and rest of the students safe for those times, aren’t they? “

“How long have you known?”

“I made the connection at the beginning of this year and then did a lot of research. But I have been absolutely sure for a bit over a month now.” There was a hint of pride in her voice.

“For a month? And you haven’t told anyone yet? Why?”

“Obviously because you want to keep it a secret. You haven’t even confided in your best friends. They seem to believe your cover stories at their face values. And I don’t blame you. From what I found out, people are too prejudiced about it. They judge people for something that is not their fault. As long as the concerned people know, who am I to divulge your secret? I know that the teachers know because they try not to attract attention to your frequent absence. If any other student missed half the number of classes that you do, they would be in huge trouble – especially from Professor McGonagall.”

“It really doesn’t bother you that once a month I turn into a monster? That if people are not careful enough, I could end up killing people – even my own family and friends?”

“Like I said, it’s not your fault. You did not choose this for yourself and you cannot be held responsible for your actions after you transform. What matters is who you really are. You are a brilliant student, a loyal friend and you are always so good to everybody – even to someone like Avery! That’s who you truly are Remus. You are an honest person with a good heart. Don’t let other people’s blind prejudice dictate how you look at yourself. You.Are.Not.A.Monster,” Lily concluded with emphasis on the last words.

That was the day that had instilled true hope in him. Hope for a normal life, hope for true friends and hope of complete acceptance. Lily Evans had done that for him. Remus had gone ahead and answered all the questions that Lily had about Lycanthropy. From then on, whenever James and Sirius landed themselves into detention, which was pretty often, he would spend time with Lily. She would always have a copy of her notes ready for him whenever he missed a class. Having even one person he could be completely free with, was a great feeling – as if a great part of the burden lifted off him. He would still feel guilty sometimes for not confiding in his best friends, but at least it was better than before.



To Be Continued...




Monday, 13 December 2021

#MondayBlogs - Under the Moonlight - Part 1

December 13, 2021 0 Comments




NOTE: Any character that you recognize in this story belongs to J.K.Rowling.


It was twilight, marking the end of another day. Once again it was time for the full moon to take its place in the night sky. A man popped out of thin air at the edge of Godric’s Hollow and made his way through a familiar path. The houses lined on both sides of the path showed signs of heavy activity. Everyone was getting ready for dinner and then a night of restful sleep. But the man paid no attention to his surroundings as he kept on walking at a high pace with determined steps. The light wind ruffled his white flecked hair & his shabby worn-out coat. It was only at the intersection with the war memorial that he slowed down. He looked up at the familiar faces of his first two true friends and their child. A pang of pain flitted across his chest. It has been fifteen years since he had lost his friends, yet the pain of their loss was as raw as it was on the night they were betrayed and murdered. He picked up his pace as soon as he passed the memorial and hurried on towards where the ruins lay. He paused at the gate when the messages of hundreds of magical people appeared on the plaque at his touch. A lot of them had wished luck to ‘the-boy-who-lived’. Harry would need it – now more than anything. He entered the premises and closed the gate behind him.

He stood there for a quite some time taking in every detail of the ruins and overgrown garden. He could see, in a flash in his mind, how the place had looked when James and Lily were alive and living here. With a deep sigh, he brought out his wand and started to walk around the boundary muttering incantations swiftly under his breath. He paced the perimeter twice and then came to stand at the same place he had started. He looked at his watch and sighed again. He had a little over an hour before the moon made its inevitable appearance and turned him into a monster. There was a bench nearby but covered with over grown weeds. With another flick of his wand, it was cleared and he proceeded to make himself comfortable. Yet another reluctant sigh escaped him. He had spent the first full moon after James & Lilly’s death here, alone. He had not known where else to go. With three of his best friends gone and the fourth locked up in Azkaban, he had simply no idea about where to go or what to do. So he had come here, where he felt closest to his friends, besides Hogwarts. Like today, he had set up protections to ensure the safety of the people in the town and let the moon take over him.

He looked up at the night sky once again. First James and Lily, then Sirius and now Dumbledore. Everybody, who did not treat him like his infliction was his fault, was gone. Wasn’t this lifelong curse of Lycanthropy enough? Why did he have to outlive everyone he loved and cared for? He would have gladly laid down his life for any of these people. Why did James have to put his trust in the wrong person? If Dumbledore hadn’t sent him to live amongst the other werewolves, he would have offered to be their secret keeper. He would have taken the secret to his graves and Harry would still have his parents. Dumbledore too had trusted the wrong person. Severus Snape, the cold blooded murderer, had betrayed him. Harry had tried to warn them, but no one had believed him them. Remus Lupin shook his head as if to clear his mind of the day of Hogwarts attack and of the day he had lost the friend and mentor in Dumbledore. He looked at his watch again. There was still an hour to go. He let his head rest on the back of the bench, closed his eyes and let his mind wander back to when he was just 11 years old.

His parents had been sure that given his condition, he would not be able to attend any magical school, let alone Hogwarts. So they had been preparing him accordingly. They kept telling him that it was only for the better because he would not have to go away to school and could stay with them at home. Being home schooled would also be a good thing because unlike the other kids at school, he would get special attention and his education would not be restricted by a syllabus. That was until they were all taken by surprise when a letter from Hogwarts landed on their breakfast table one morning. His parents had immediately gone to Hogwarts and talked to Dumbledore, the new headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. They had wanted to make sure that it wasn’t some cruel joke before letting their hopes high. The headmaster had explained them that as long as some precautions were taken, there was no reason why Remus could not attend school with the other kids and like the other kids

The intervening months had then passed in a blur. He remembered visiting Diagon Alley, for the first time since he had been bitten, for his school supplies. His parents had been excited, happy and anxious all at the same time. For them this was a sign that their child could have a normal life. Well, at least it was the first step towards that. But they were also anxious because his condition would have to be kept a secret. Maybe the headmaster did not mind and maybe even the staff had no problem dealing with his condition. But they were sure that many parents would not want their children to associate with him. They kept on reminding him how important it was for him to keep his condition a secret. That no matter how many friends he made and how much he trusted them, he should never confide in anyone. They drilled it into him that he would have to be careful when the full moon neared and that the school nurse would always be there for him. They had come to King’s Cross to see him off but had kept a very low profile. They had done their best to not attract attention to themselves incase anybody identified them. Still it hadn’t stopped his mother from waving at him till the Hogwarts express had turned a corner, taking him towards a new life and the people he would learn to love, trust and respect.


To be Continued...




Monday, 6 December 2021

#MondayBlogs - You Are A Slut

December 06, 2021 0 Comments




“Wear proper cloths when you go outside. You can wear whatever you want at home, but outside, NO.”

Mrs. B said these words with so much confidence and conviction that for moment I could not wonder but thought…

“Is she my master or something, that is telling me what to and what not to wear? At the same time, she is so generous to give me the permission to wear whatever I want to wear indoors.”

Well, my first response was… what do you mean by proper clothes?

Mrs. B said, something which is not revealing.

Again, who gets to decide what is revealing? In Afghanistan, wearing a Burka which does not cover your face is revealing. At the same there are beaches in the world where walking naked is not revealing.

This answer didn’t impress her. Rather it made her only more eager to prove her point that what I wear, I wear it to get negative attention (read sexual attention) from men.

Hence, she came at me with her big guns.

“Somewhere a four-year girl got raped by the milk man because her mom wore short clothes and the milk man couldn’t rape the mom, so he raped the little girl and killed her.”

WOW, I did NOT have a response to that. It is like my actions will cause something so horrible to my daughter that I can’t even imagine it even in my worst nightmare. And someone actually said this out loud. 

Should I cry because of the pain she caused me or tell her to fuck off?

I don’t know what to do. I am numb. I left the premise.

After I reached home, my immediate response was immense anger. After I had calmed down, I realized what she was trying to do. She was trying to SLUT-SHAME me.


Slut-Shaming

Slut-shaming is the practice of criticizing people, especially women and girls, who are perceived to violate expectations of behavior and appearance regarding issues related to sexuality. The term is used to reclaim the word slut and empower women and girls to have agency over their own sexuality.

I know exactly why she was doing this, point to point, but this is not about her, it’s about all of the people who think it’s their birth right to slut shame others, especially girls.

Some Basic examples of slut shaming

Blaming the girl:

The most common way of slut-shamming is to tell the girl, it's your fault. Be it anything, for example someone making vulgar comments, leaking her pics online, raping her, inserting an iron rod through her vagina for far in that it reaches her heart… IT’S ALL HER FAULT.

Mocking someone else’s sexual practices because to you, they are “weird.”:

In the core, belief lies that, it’s different so it’s bad. Homosexual people are more vulnerable to these types of things.

Assuming a girl is only dressing up to impress guys:

The only work a girl has, is to dress up, so men give her attention. It’s the core of her existence. Female bodies exists to be pleasing to men. Although, the fact is, we dress according to the weather, body function, activity and to express our personal aesthetic.

Different stand for Girls and Boys:

A guy who has sex with multiple women is Stud and a woman who does the same thing is a slut. Logic simply committed a suicide here. 

Describing another woman — or yourself! — as being “like a guy when it comes to sex.”:

We have a tendency to describe someone who explore and express their sexual desires as “Like a Guy”. Sorry to disappoint, but Men don’t get to have ownership over the act of “liking sex,”. It’s simply not how its biologically designed. 

Not speaking up for each other:

Not standing up for each other is silent way of telling, you deserve it.

Why Someone slut shame others

At the core of it all, those who engage in slut shaming usually believes that the whole existence of a woman is to please men, and who dress up in certain way, behave certain ways are not satisfied with one man. In other words, a good woman stays covered up and only pleases her husband even if she is not sexually satisfied.



How to stop Slut Shaming

The solution is very simple: RESPECT INDIVIDUAL CHOICES.


Well, after reading all this, if you still wondering what was I wearing to cause such response, please read it again. 

"I use my talent AND my sexuality all the time because I choose to. Women can be sexual AND talented. Naked and dignified. It’s OUR choice," - Ariana Grande




Thursday, 25 November 2021

#ProductReview - Hair Growth Oil & Hair Serum from @deygaorganics #Organic #HairCare

November 25, 2021 0 Comments

I have been dealing with stress related health issues since 2018. It led to lack of energy, metabolism issues and hairfall. In 2019, both my mental and physical health took a bigger hit - to a point where both my kidney & liver took a big hit and I had to be on bed rest for three straight months. 

With control diet, loads of medicine, high water intake and a lot of rest, My physical health recovered. But some things are not that easy to regain and my hair is one of them. The overall quality (and quantity) of my hair took such a hit, that I practically gave up on it and cut it as short as I could. I tried quite a few products and even home remedies that showed no long term results.

When Deyga Organics approached me for a product review, I gladly accepted. But, I must also put a disclaimer here - that I kept my expectations low. I know that it wasn't going to be that easy and I certainly wasn't expecting a miracle cure that would give me Rapunzel hair overnight.




The first thing to know about the products is neither the hair oil nor the hair serum come with any directions on the bottle. So, it was completely up to me to decide how to use it. And after months of trying different regimes that came with stringent requirements - from how to use it to when to use it to how long to keep them on to how to wash it off - it was both liberating and a bit stupefying! 

Anyhoo, after much consideration (like 5 mins) I decided that I would use the hair oil for an hour before shower for a week and then try leaving it on overnight for another week. I also used the serum after shower o towel dried hair throughout. I have now used the hair growth oil and the hair serum 3 times a week for 2 weeks.

Things to note:

- The products use only organic ingredients.
- Deyga Organics doesn't test their products on animals. {Extra bit of love for that}
- The oil smells like medical hair oil. No synthetic perfume.
- The applicator is really helpful to make sure that most of the oil goes directly onto your scalp. I know there are other oils that provide similar applicators. I have not used any of those so cannot provide a comparison. All I can say is that my first experience with an applicator that came with the hair oil is good.
- If used properly, the scalp absorbs the oil well enough not to make your hair feel as oily as in case of coconut oil.
- In case you are planning to leave it over night, apply the oil about an hour before bed. That way the oil will be completely absorbed and it will not stain your pillow.
- The serum adds to the soft feel of the hair. However it can also be a dirt magnet if you go out immediately after application. So, best to give it time before going out.




Here's my overall experience with the products:

- After the 1st week of leaving on the hair oil for just 1 hour before the shower and the hair serum on towel dried hair:  Hair fall reduced from the second use. It also left the hair feeling much softer and silky. 
- After the 2nd week of leaving on the hair oil overnight and the hair serum on towel dried hair: Substantial reduction in hair fall. Combing doesn't cause hair fall anymore. Very little hair fall while oiling and washing. Certainly feels that this oil works better when left on overnight. Overall, visible changes in hair quality. Less tangles, hair is soft to the touch and feels healthier.

Final Take:

From someone who has been trying regimes after regimes, I am impressed with the results that Deyga Hair Growth Oil & the Hair Serum has given me in just two weeks. It's more than I could have expected. I am definitely going to stick with this two products for at least 6 months before deciding whether to stick with it long term.

You can buy the Hair Growth Oil from Amazon or from their Website. Here's the Amazon & the Deyga Website links for the Hair Serum




I would like to thank Deyga Organics for sending me these 2 products in exchange for an honest review. There is no monetary incentive involved.