Friday, October 3, 2014

Scared






Nights; they seem too long, and you still wish that dawn never knocked.  

Enveloped in the silky layers of the night sky, you get lost in your thoughts. Swirls of energy, whooshing noises intersecting, all inside your head while you lay there, eyes closed, trying to sleep. It never comes. 

You think about that time when you were too scared to say anything, and could feel your words fly away with the silence in the air. Or that time when you wanted to cry, but held yourself because you had to remain strong. And thoughts of that time when you forgot how to think, forgot what it was to comprehend, and for once listened to your heart, your nerves and the blood gushing through them. Or that time when you really wanted to write something, but found yourself staring at a blank page for hours because some things are just hard to write about. 

Nights; they seem too long, and you still wish that dawn never knocked. 

You walk into a room and feel like you were supposed to do something, but you can’t remember. You  call her, feel like you were supposed to say something, but there are no words. You pull out the book, knowing you wanted to read, but nothing makes sense. You stare at the sky, waiting for it to rain, but the sulky clouds stare back at you, frustrated.

You wait. You count minutes. You wait again. You count some more. You continue waiting. Waiting for that letter you never received, waiting for that call that never rung, waiting for the train that never came, waiting for the flowers that froze. 

Nights; they seem too long, and you still wish that dawn never knocked. 

The fan is moving too fast, the bedsheets are crumpled, the place smells like dried jasmine and the skies turn to a dirty grey. You’re stuck there, feeling trapped and hopeless and just as you think you’re numb you can sense every hair on your body rise, and every organ in your body pump blood faster than those windmills you saw on your first road trip. Just as you think you’re numb you hear the incessant horns and the blaring beats of the drums. Just as you think you’re numb you see flashes of that time you watched a movie together, and when you sat and spoke about togetherness on that lonely bench. Just as you think you’re numb you can feel that mosquito sit on you. Shoo.

Just as you think you’re numb, you come alive. 

Nights; they seem too long, and you still wish that dawn never knocked. 

You are tired of shutting up. You are tired of not saying anything. You are tired of the explosions in your head. You are tired of the silence. You are tired of the blaring thoughts. And then you say it. Everything you’ve ever wanted to say, unedited, unfiltered. You talk faster than your colliding thoughts, you mumble, whisper and scream, unsure of how to do this. You switch topics, you switch tenses, you switch memories. 

And then you regret it.

Maybe somethings are better left unsaid, in the head. 

Nights; they seem too long, and you still wish that dawn never knocked.

Comfort; you look for it in your home, you look for it in words, you look for it in those songs you’re constantly listening to. Love; you look for it in the movies you watch, you look for it in the people you know, you look for it in the abstract. Safety; you look for it in places others have never tried, you look for it in work, you look for it amidst familiarity. Memories; you look for it in photographs you’ve stored in that old box, you look for it on your phone, you look for it in tattered books.

I know where to find comfort, love, safety and memories. Maybe I’m just scared to go there. 

Nights; they seem too long, and you still wish that dawn never knocked. 



Top: Thrifted -Mumbai, Vest: Stolen from mom, Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington

Photography: Shashreek Shridhar 


Love,
Sonshu

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Paralysis


Do you ever feel like you know exactly why something happened? Like you can chart out specific reasons and be satisfied with the explanation for a relationship lost? Maybe there never really is a complete explanation for why something ends, just as there isn’t an explanation for why something begins. Most times, I feel like you and me, we’re standing unaware of what is going to hit us, it passes by back and forth, and we still don’t know. There’s a sense of looming doom, a sense of looming disappointment, but we choose to ignore it. And then it happens. It hits you, in bits and pieces you find yourself withering away, tearing apart and trying to find something or someone to hold on to. You always want to know why it happens, but you never really find out.

“I love you more than I hate everything else."

So you stand there, being hit by these forces, changing and unchanging as you go. You stand there, raw and vulnerable. Parts of you are being snatched away, creating holes, creating voids and creating distances. And then you gather the courage to stand, broken, bent and bruised. You tell yourself that this happens to everyone, it’s as cliché as cliché gets, it’s normal and it’s ok, but it never really is ok. Even if it’s the 6th time that it has happened to you, even if you’ve expected this to happen, even if you’ve seen it happen to someone else. It’s never the same. It hits you bad, every single time. 

“All of it was good, in every sense of the word. And in this life, nothing good is truly lost. It stays part of a person, becomes part of their character. So part of you goes everywhere with me. And part of me is yours, forever.

And sometimes this might just be a little incident for someone else who is watching. They’ll say you’re a drama queen and you’re over reacting. But no one ever feels like another, so how do you expect them to understand? How do you expect them to understand that you can’t feel anymore. That time stops, internal, external. Everything and everyone else is ticking, but your clock stops. You feel like it’s all spinning around you, everyone’s walking fast, running even, but you just want to stand there. You just have to stand there, because you can’t move. Paralysed by the voices in your head, paralysed by those nasty thoughts you’ve tried pushing away, paralysed by people’s words, paralysed by love, paralysed by intensity, and paralysed by being. 

“As time goes on, you’ll understand. What lasts, lasts; what doesn’t, doesn’t. Time solves most things. And what time can’t solve, you have to solve yourself."

So maybe all those times you looked out, trying to find demons, trying to find flaws, trying to find a catch, it was you. You were the monster, you are the monster. And that makes it worse. Because maybe every time we looked outside, trying to find someone or something that would break us, we knew the answer was inside, inside of us. 

And just as the monster exists within us, we also know that there exists a fighter. History has told us that just as there is injustice and cowardice, there is courage, compassion and justice. And so we wait, till we can the fight that in ourselves, and continue to hope that everything that seems lost and forgone can be found and built again. We hope that time doesn’t take away the fragments of what is left from us. We hope that we can find it, before oblivion finds us. 

“And in the end, we were all just human...drunk on the idea that love, only love could heal our brokenness."

We ask people, we look for answers in words, we listen to music trying to heal, trying to fix ourselves and saying it will get better. But it never does. You wake up, you dress up, you eat and you sleep. But you never stop thinking about it, about how different it could have been. About the things you should have done and about the things you did. You heal, but you never really do. 

“Guilt is the price we pay for doing what we are going to do anyway.

And today it hurts, tomorrow it will hurt and 10 years later a memory of it will trigger hurt. But all this pain will cause something, it will create something inside you. That something will be worth it. It always is. 

Pain changes you, for the better or the worse, but it always does. 

And you know what? The strongest, bravest and smartest of us are touched by pain. The strongest, bravest and smartest of us need someone when we are in pain. The strongest, bravest and smartest of us need something to fall back on. The strongest, bravest and smartest of us can go for days without saying something because their head feels like a tornado. The strongest, bravest and smartest of us are human. 

Paralysis [puh-ral-uh-sis]: A state of helpless stoppage, inactivity or inability to act.



Love,
Sonshu


P.S: Lines in italics are quotes and are not mine.





Sunday, July 27, 2014

Manhattan Winds







We’re difficult. We’re different. Just as we can’t do anything about the strange weather, we can’t do much about our strange behaviour. We love. We choose. We fight. We break. We say good bye even when we don’t mean it. We forget to say ‘I love you’ even if we want to. We walk away, we stay, we make promises and we fail to realize our shortcomings. 

We try to erase memories, and make painful words fade. We walk into darkness and hope to find light, but almost hurt ourselves so much that the thickness of the dark envelops us within itself, failing to let go. We push, fight and sometimes begin to give in to the darkness. We begin to lose hope. We break. But anything that can break, can also be fixed. So, when the dust, the dirt, the darkness and the pain accumulates, piles, refuses to go, it forms a mound. It sits on you refusing to leave till you fight hard enough. And then you break it. You come out hurt, you come out pained, you come out sad, but you fought, you tried and you didn’t lose hope completely. That’s the thing about us. Every time we think we’ve lost hope, we haven’t. Every time we think about giving up, we’re hit with the realisation that we won’t. We won’t lose hope even if we know there is the tiniest chance of a recovery. 

We get used to being alone, we get used to fighting for ourselves, we get used to not expecting. And then we do, and then we take that chance, and then we make that leap of faith. But sometimes there isn’t anything on the other side. We fall, endlessly, hoping we’ll hit ground soon enough, but we never do. We’re in air, floating and falling all at once. Feeling suffocated and alive, all at once. And in that moment life flashes in front of us, every moment that made us smile, every moment that made us cry and every moment worth fighting for. 

We feel foolish for caring. We feel stupid for trying. We feel betrayed when we are disappointed. Some nights are lonely, some nights are quiet. Some nights are so loud that you can’t fall asleep and the fan sounds roar. Some night are for savouring solitude, some nights for relishing company. Some nights we just sit under the clear skies and breathe, thinking about how love touches everyone in so many different ways. We just sit under the pink-orange clouds talking about forevers and never. We talk about last wishes and happier tomorrows, naive and hopeful, yet so infinite.

We are all guilty. Guilty of being a bad best friend, guilty of being a horrible daughter, guilty of feeling like a bad human, guilty of causing pain, guilty of letting go, guilty of holding on too tight. Guilty - the nature of being. Are we guilty because we care too much or too little? Are we guilty because we loathe ourselves or because we love another so much? 

And then of course we all live in perpetual expectancy. We’re crazy. 

We have so much. We have the ability to feel. We can love. We can feel the power of hurt. We writhe with pain. We allow people to touch us even after a chain of heartbreaks. But, we’re constantly dissatisfied, hoping for more, and more. Will it ever be enough? Do we know what it is to be satiated? Can we go on living if we’re satiated? 

I just stand here. The wind trying to blow me away. I just think about ‘we’. 

I can’t see it. I can feel it. 





Love,
Sonshu

Sunday, July 13, 2014

What do I name this?

This post was long due. The lovely people at Aviraté were patient and kind enough to bear with my friends and me for a day while we went crazy with their new collection. This is just a part of what was created that day, more soon, hopefully. 

I love how Aviraté s new collection is a burst of colours, maxis and prints. It’s perfect for summer and the transition to the beautiful monsoons in Bangalore. 








Photo Credits: Sneha Kalra, Aparajita Sahay and Sanjana Sudheer 

Outfit courtesy: Aviraté
Rings: Bought from various flea markets

I feel like I’m not writing enough, and it kills me because I feel like I have so many things to say and it constantly itches, but I never put it to words. Gone are those days when I wrote everything I felt, almost. It was so raw, so real. And now? I just shoot, edit, write for college, research and do everything else but sit down and write my thoughts. 

Have you ever felt like you stopped writing? Does it kill you as much as it does, me?

I’m going to get back to enjoying the beautiful rains and hopefully writing. See you soon. 

Bear with my crazy absence?


Love,
Sonshu

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Dhobi Vibe


When Rihanna said ‘round and around and around and around we go’ she wasn’t kidding. 
I’ve realized that everything does go round and around, it’s all just one big circle with tiny circles in them. Everything is constantly changing, moving and becoming bigger or smaller than you’d ever imagined it to be. And it doesn’t end there because there are pauses in this circle, or should I say breaks? You’re just left wondering if you know where you’re going or what you’re doing and if any of this means something at the end or if there is an end at all? 

Would you believe me if I told you this thought came to me as I was looking at the clothes go round and around in a machine at Dhobi Ghat? 

Errr. 






Can’t possibly think of summer without my top knot-esque buns.
We shot this at Dhobi Ghat during a Photography field trip, thanks Pingu. 

In other news, you think I would be bored with crop tops by now, but NO. 

Love,
Sonshu




Sunday, April 13, 2014

Tales of a Sunday Morning

I’m glad to be a part of the relatively new discourse of women who write, express and constantly strive to change the way we look and are being looked at. I consider myself extremely lucky, to be able to talk about and address such thoughts on the internet, and reach so many people. The last two posts on this blog have been quite different from the usual story based posts or updates about life. While studying material for college, I tend to usually form my examples in fashion for easier understanding. So I thought it would make sense to actually share some of these thoughts on the blog and seriously address them, since they seem to be neglected. I’m glad you’ll are enjoying it. 

The other day, I overheard someone say, “Fashion is expensive, it’s just a tool for our capitalist society.” Of course I instantly made a note of this, not only because of the values it held, but also because it’s not everyday you overhear people talking about ‘capitalism’. Fashion is a commodity and women are being told to dress in a way which seems to belong to a greater scheme of the capitalist society. In the end, all these images that are created are money making techniques. Even if I agreed with that, why are we leaving art out of the picture? This particular person who was speaking is a connoisseur of art, so what bothered me was that if you consider fashion a commodification, then why not art? Isn’t art expensive too? Of course I wouldn’t completely blame everyone who reduces fashion to plain consumerism or commodification. After all, the myriad of stereotypes that have been attached to models, fashion shows, designers and fashion bloggers is explanatory for their thoughts. 

As someone who cares about the connotations of the signs thrown at us everyday, I think it would be a shame if I didn’t exert my power over fashion and influencing ideas that are used in the field. What we choose to wear is not only about capitalism or commodification, but also about what we are trying to say. Whoever said fashion and politics have nothing in common was so wrong. If fashion isn’t politics, then I don’t know what is. Yes, millions of dollars are spent telling women to attain the perfect look or body, but that is never going to change if we push it aside saying it’s a money making scam. I’m not giving up on fashion, I’m not giving up on what I stand for. Today people in fashion probably just say they accept fat people or dark skin because they are forced into saying so, and might not actually believe it. Maybe it’s all just an act. But I know that if not today, someday we can make that change. We can be smart and fashionable. We can be fat and pretty. We can be dark and lovely.

In the 80s women used to wear tailored skirt suits, shoulder pads and basically dress up like men so that they could access economic and social aspects of the society that they had previously been denied. Today, so many decades later, pant suits and skirt suits are back on the runways and everyone seems to be sporting them. Are you telling me that’s not a statement? Haven’t you seen how women always make it a point to add a bit of ‘them’ to those outfits? In the 80s they wore pears and jewels to make that statement, and now they wear statement necklaces and high heels. As Jan Felshin said, “It serves to say that I am powerful, but I’m not masculine.” If fashion bloggers aren’t example enough of the challenge being posed to gendered, sexist, sized and raced messages, then I don’t know what is. 

And talking about masculinity, I’m sure many people are going to find this outfit repelling because “I’m not dressing for my body type” or “I’m wearing clothes from the men’s section” or “Because you can only see my flab”. So go ahead and find me repelling or stupid or whatever you want to. But I’m not going to stop pairing my crop tops with sweatpants and running shoes even if it’s not Anna Wintour approved. Oh, and if you thought feminists were frumpy, unattractive women who couldn’t give two hoots about fashion, you should think again. Have you met Beyonce, Chimamanda Adichie, Tavi Gevinson, Karen Elson and Simon de Beauvoir? 






















Love,
Sonshu

P.S: Still not over crop tops. Let’s just accept it?

P.P.S: Shot these at sunrise

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I love fashion and I’m not dumb.

“A woman using her own face and body has a right to do what she will with them, but it is a subtle abyss that separates men’s use of women for sexual titillation from women’s use of women to expose that insult.”
-Lucy. R. Lippard

I feel like we worry too much. About what people think, about what people say, about what people do, about how they will look at us, about what they’ll tell their friends. It’s a constant cycle, and honestly even I get stuck in it sometimes. But then I have to shake myself out of it because it’s not worth it. 

Over the past few days, you’ll have been extremely supportive of my blog and the post about being fat and I’m so overwhelmed that there are people out there, more than I expected, and they look at fatness the way I do. Honestly, it was like a restoration of faith in humanity in some sense. 

There are people who will say ‘fashion is for the dumb’, ‘dude, seriously go write something serious’, ‘you post pictures of yourself in clothes on your blog?’, ‘what’s the point of fashion?’ and so much more that I can’t imagine spewing. Fashion is not dumb. Nor is it a joke. Fashion is a form of expression, just as any other medium is - be it sport or politics. We constantly seek a medium to express ourselves, and if fashion is mine, and politics is yours, what’s the big deal? I don’t care about the gaze, I’m not dressing up for you. You can’t tell me I’m wearing too little or too much, hell, you can’t even tell Lena Dunham that her nudity is purposeless when you are clearly turned on by all the nudity on Game of Thrones.

Dressing up makes me happy, what’s the problem with it? When Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie talks about feeling comfortable and like herself in a short-sleeve top, cotton trousers and high wedge sandals, even to class, she means exactly that. In her interview with Elle earlier this year, she raises one of the most vital questions: Why can’t a smart woman love fashion? Why am I supposed to be clad in sweats, with messy unkempt hair and look like I don’t care about what I wear for me to be intellectual? Let me confess: for a while after I joined college, I stopped dressing up. Not only because I couldn’t find time to pick out clothes and plan my accessories, but also because people used to think I was dumb because I dressed up. Honestly it got quite annoying, and for a while I gave in to it. I must tell you that those months I went without dressing were the worst, and I not only felt bogged down but also pulled in directions to not dress up in order to be intellectual. And then I started doing this thing: I would dress up on normal college days, but wear ‘intellectual’ clothes on important days. After all, if I had my sartorial choices right, I was stupid. After reading Adichie’s interview, I realised that it was not just people around me. A lot of people seem to think fashion can’t be smart, but now, I just don’t care. 

Recently, I read an article where a Princeton University English professor Elaine Showalter said, “My passion for fashion can sometimes seem a shameful secret life.” For a long time, I’ve kept this blog a secret. Well, not really a secret, but I avoid telling people about it. Why? 1) They instantly assume I’m dumb, 2) I’m not good with compliments (let’s talk about this another day). But no more. I’m tired and sick of people’s assumptions and I just realize that it’s pointless for me to live like fashion is my dirty secret. 

I’m going to start with this:

I love fashion. 
I care about what I wear, and that does not make me dumb. 






 Love,
Sonshu


Chiffon top: Vero Moda, Pants: Commercial Street, Shoes: Pondicherry, Crop top: Don’t remember

Friday, April 4, 2014

I’m fat, let’s talk about it?

I’m fat. 

I don’t have a problem with it, I don’t see why anyone should. Honestly, it’s not frustrating, but stupid when people either try and tell me how I should ‘lose weight’ or ‘think about dieting’ when I’m really happy being fat. When I was in school, I remember the weird things people would call me. And yes, I did get offended. Hell, fat was a bad word in school. But over the years words like ‘thick’ and ‘fleshy’ have been used instead of fat and that is plain annoying. I’m not thick, I’m not fleshy. I’m fat, let’s all just accept it, shall we? Why is it wrong for me to wear a dress? What is so horrid about my legs? That they are fat is a problem to you? Who told you to look? I’ve constantly noticed how people have double standards when it comes to sartorial options. Why aren’t fat people allowed to wear crop tops or dresses? Okay, it’s one thing if someone is uncomfortable wearing it, but honestly, if I’m okay with it, why should anyone have a problem with it. Do we not have the right to wear shorts because it’s summer and we’re feeling hot? And what is with everyone giving free advice about weight loss, I’d really rather not listen to what you have to say when it comes to weight loss. If I wanted, I would have enrolled myself in a gym, okay? 

I wasn’t always this confident about my body. It may seem like it, but I wasn’t. It took me a while, and lot of peace making in the head to reach here. I must say blogging has helped me a lot with it. But apart from that, I just realised that I’m proud of who I am in whatever shape I am. And honestly, my size doesn’t really matter when I’m working. So I just accept and love the way I am. Today, I can proudly wear skirts, crop tops and just about anything without a care because I know that if I want, I can truly carry it off and size has nothing to do with that. Of course I still do have some issues from time to time, but I’ll never really bother when people tell me I should lose weight, because I believe that the joke is on them. I wish and strongly hope that someday everyone will be able to see that such things are trivial, and irrelevant to beauty, but right now, I’m just going to be happy that I know at least 10 people who can think like this.  

I’m fat and I love it. 

You?







Blouse: Custom made, Dupatta: Mom’s, Skirt: Marks and Spencer, Necklace: Stalkbuylove, Earrings: Westside

I’m a teeny bit obsessed with this necklace. #JustSaying

All photographs were shot on a tripod. 


Love,
Sonshu

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ready

Home n. the place where one lives permanently, esp. as a member of a family or household. 
This is the story of she. She often wondered what home was. She never really understood what a family dinner was, nor did she comprehend who lived at home. She never ever felt home, never felt permanence, because of the temporality of existence. She moved constantly, in her thoughts, fleeting from one place to another in search of freedom, in search of happiness, in search of a home that she never knew how to define. She held on to her memories, stained glasses and dirty shoes as she fought the pain, the terror and the tremors. She never forgot those happy moments which gave her hope even when she felt like she had transcended to Erebus. “We have to move. It’s time to go to the new home,” they said. She nodded, but just lay there looking at the curtains shuffling, the photographs that filled the bare walls, the books that were stacked all over. She would carry them with her, to the next place, and the next. Maybe that was her home. The shards of glass that held her tears, paper filled with words of love, trinkets that jingled with memories of sleepovers and cuddles, pillows that smelt like joy and stained glasses with traces of chocolate. That was her permanence amidst the swishes of time, it was her safe haven. Home was not the place or the people, home was the memories. And she was ready to make a new home. 










Black dress: Thrifted, Dupatta: Mom’s, Necklace: Stalkbuylove, Shoes: Pondicherry 

Love,
Sonshu

All photographs were shot using a tripod.