Monday, January 30, 2017

Life of an Immigrant

Not exclusively inclusive in your own home country; barely even accepted as a member of the new country - welcome to the life of an immigrant. Where your whole life is spent filing paperwork to make sure you are legal in the new country (no matter how long you have lived there), paying taxes, explaining what part of the world you originally came from, repeating yourself over and over because of your "accent", and convincing yourself that this will all be over someday.

About 6 years ago I packed my bags and flew halfway across the world with the hopes and dreams of living a well educated and better life. Being renowned for being "the land of the opportunities" I moved over to create some for myself. Never in my life did I regret of that decision until this week. All thanks to Mr. Trump.

Few days into taking on to his new role to run this country, Mr. Trump decided to make some bizarre executive orders and sadly enough a good chunk of population seems to be agreeing with him. Every social media I visit, every one is talking about his ban that caused thousands of immigrants from seven countries to not be allowed to return to USA. I have no idea and do not care about the status of those people in the USA. It doesn't matter whether or not they are green card holders, students, workers, or hell illegally living immigrants. What matters to me is the fact that they are not allowed to come back to the country they have been residing in for so long. WHY? To make America great again!! Sure, Mr. Trump, I bet these people are the only reason USA is not as great as it should have been.

I don't even know how this whole thing is justified? I mean those innocent people went to their home countries to visit their families, or for business, or family emergencies, or something else. I can't even begin to imagine what must have gone through their mind when they got to the airport to fly over to their second home, only to find out they were no longer welcome there. These people I bet have spent their life serving the country in one way or another, obeying rules, paying taxes and living their own life. While those people are being held for no crime they committed, a racist bigot is giving orders about immigration bans and building walls.

I wish Mr. Trump could see the bigger picture here. While he thinks all of us immigrants are taking away jobs and planning schemes to terrorize America, we are spending each day fighting our own individual battles. You have to get health insurance because you are living in America, but if you miss a deadline and would like to apply for health insurance two days late you are not allowed to do it because you are not a US citizen. You can only work 20 hours while you are in school but you don't get any student loans. You can apply for financial loan, but a US citizen has to sign off on it. You are required to pay taxes, but you have to fill out 50 more forms than normal Americans to get unemployment benefits (if you qualify). While rich people are getting richer and poor people are getting poorer, immigrants are dealing with their own crisis being immigrants.

I know we all knew what we signed up for when we left the country. It has its pros and cons but at the end of the day we all have a life here. We left our own home country to build everything from scratch. We spend every day trying to lead a normal life. People always ask you where you are from and "Minnesota" is not a good enough answer because you are too brown and have thick accent to be from America. I bet there are people who have lived in this country over half of their life and still deal with the same problem.

So to Mr. Trump and all his supporters, being immigrant is hard enough, please don't make it worse by coming up with absurd ways to humiliate us. No matter what race, country, religion we belong to we are all human beings after all and nobody is fully entitled to any part of the world. So please don't misuse your power just because you can. Please don't shatter dreams of young men and women who leave their country carrying the weight of big dreams of themselves and their families. Please don't make every immigrant living in this country question their self-worth!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

This too shall pass!!!

Have you ever felt like quitting everything and just running far away where no body knows you so you could start everything all over again? Or wishing something terrible like an attack or anything deadly would happen to you so all your suffering would come to an end? Most people fear death, but have you wondered about the portion of population who fear the life that they are living instead? While some people pray for a long, healthy life, others could just be praying for it to come to an end.

"This is just a phase.. she will get over it!"
"Oh, he is just over thinking, give him 2 days and he will come around."
"She was literally laughing like 2 mins ago, I don't think she is that depressed."
"It's not that big of a deal, you just need a few drinks."

Hitting the rock bottom! Worst feeling in the world. And every person in this planet has their own idea of hitting the rock bottom. Hence, the variations of suggestions and advises. At the end of the day, no one knows the real depth of the pain better than the person going through itself. 

I know this is all a dark-twisty talk that most people like to avoid. But believe it or not, depression is not just a phase. I have never been super depressed in my life to the point where I had to seek professional help, so I won't be able to go that far. But I have definitely reached the point where I was so close to getting into depression but somehow got lucky to manage to pull it together before it went that far. 

I remember the first time I hit the rock bottom. I had never been in that serious of a relationship before. Relationships had always been about crushing for few days, flings for other few weeks, followed by break up. But finally being in a relationship that meant the world to me and then it coming to an end being back stabbed the shit out of myself was the worst experience I ever had. That was a horrific experience for me. Then again, I would feel obligated to be normal in front of people. Having an extrovert/happy go lucky kind of personality just made things worst. But at the end of the day, laying in bed being forced to accept the reality and face the sad demons within would make me the weakest. I would literally find myself waking up in the middle of the night from the nightmares of my ex, or sobbing in public restrooms, or just staring at nothing for hours. This went on for over three months straight. Being completely normal one minute and then then turning into a pathetic soul another became a part of my life. I was so close to going into depression. Somehow along the line, I managed to pull it together and come through. Even to this date, thinking about the whole thing in general gives me chills.

I am not going to bore you with any more of my experiences here. It just sucks to be going through a heartbreak no matter what the reason is. And it definitely isn't always about "boy-drama", if you are mistaken.

I am not even sure why I decided to write about this. My head is a gloomy mix of emotions and I guess I just wanted to spit the words out. To those people straddling along the line of loneliness/depression, please find a way to pull it together and don't quit. I know the feeling when you feel like no one in the world understands you.. that's because it is true, no body does. I have had experience of calling my best friend crying my eyes out and by the time I disconnected the call, my tears would be gone but the emptiness would remain. Because no matter how hard she tried to understand me, she couldn't. And its normal. No one else knows better about the trigger that pushes you into the gloominess than yourself. And there is no perfect word one can tell you to make you feel better. While I was going through this, people around me might never even had slightest clue about it. That is the thing about this, it seems unreasonable because "it seems to be all in your head".

So, if you are feeling sad, down, or lonely, know that you are not the only one. There could be thousands of people going through the same emotions and just masking it with a plastered smile, just like you are. And just like everyone else, you need to be strong too and not quit no matter how tempting it is. Find something to distract your mind. I personally like going for long walks, even when it's freezing cold out. ;) There has to be something that soothes your soul, find it. No matter what the situation is, once it's over, there are glorious days awaiting you. Just keep chanting the mantra "This too shall pass"..

This is a mere attempt of me talking to myself to not quit.. If you are riding the same boat, hope this helped a little! :)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Being Single Sucks?!?

Every morning I wake up, I look in the mirror and ask myself, what is wrong with me? Why is it that I am single. Maybe there is something wrong with me? Maybe it is my imperfect face or could it be my body? Being 20 something, independent, and living a good life, I feel like something is not right. Why? Because I am single. Being single is the new "not-cool" thing and sadly enough, I made it to the list of the outcasts. 

So yesterday, I had this huge craving for Indian food and I wanted to go out and eat. But then, I realized have no companion to go with. After debating for sometime, I decided to go eat in a restaurant by myself. My my, I do own a pair eh? I walked into the restaurant and let the hostess know that I was dining by myself. Well, obviously, she asked me twice and then looked at me like I was some crazy person. Well, yeah I deserved it! Restaurants are meant for only people who have a companion to go with, right? Boy, speak about committing a crime.

As I sat down, the server asked me twice if there was anyone joining me. Then the bus boy also felt the need to come back and double check the fact that I would be dining alone. I just smiled and nodded yes. But inside I was shaking. Why? Because I am single. I should have been at home feeling pathetic about my lonely life, watching some sad movies on Netflix and binge eating junks. After all that's what single people are supposed to do. Feel lonely, sad, and pathetic about life. They should be banned from all the public places and going out and stuff you know. They don't deserve to lead a normal life because they are single, eh?

I really hope you guys caught the sarcasm. If not, here is an explanation. The story that I shared above is true and happens to me more often than not. It's just sad to see how people feel the need to pity single people. I just don't understand why enjoying your own company is an alienated idea to people. I just wish people could understand that "being single by choice" is a thing.

Whenever I have conversation with people about relationships, I always have to explain the reason behind me being single. And its even more annoying when people think that I am trying to make myself feel better by making myself believe that I am happy to be single. Being single is fun. I am not making it up. I have been in relationship before and I know what it feels like. I would be lying when I say I don't have my down days. Yes, some days I do wish I had someone to share that romantic relationship with. But if I am not mistaken, people in relationship do have such down days as well. There are times when you do wish you were single too. It's just the same. Just that few minutes/hours of pondering and then  you're back in your normal life. It's the same for me too, so you don't get to judge me!

This is not only about people who are single versus who are in relationship. This is rather against the idea that "you need a companion to enjoy your life". I am sorry that you feel bad for me but I don't. I honestly enjoy going out to restaurant to eat by myself, going shopping on my own, or long walks, or movies, and the likes. I don't feel the necessity of having someone to tag along with me. I am sorry if that makes you uncomfortable or if you don't believe it but it is what it is! 

This is to all the people who are single and actually making the most out of it - please continue doing so. You are not single because there is something wrong with you. You are single because you want to be. This is to you guys who are not ready to settle down for less just because you think you are among the outcasts for not having someone by your side. Yes, you can be single, independent, happy, and live your life loving yourself and there is nothing wrong with that. Cheers to you all!! :)

Monday, September 14, 2015

The day I felt ashamed of calling myself feminist!!

To (especially) all the modern day/keyboard/borderline feminists (Or however you'd like to address yourself), and then everybody else, I highly encourage you all to read the book "I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced". IT IS A MUST READ. I shall tell you why in just a moment.

I still remember the day I bought this book. It was not so long ago when I took a walk down to Barnes and Nobles and was just browsing around the aisles when I came across this book. Something about the little girl's face grabbed my attention and the look of innocence compelled me to buy it. When checking it out with the cashier, little did I know about all the ordeal that this young soul had to go through and the impact that would leave on me. 

I know I have never done book review before, so please ignore my amateurism. The book (non-fiction) is about Nurjood Ali, a girl who was forced by her father to get married at the age of 9. The struggle that she went through after getting married will make your stomach churn and tear up your eyes. At such a tender age, she is married off to a guy who is three times older than she is. [While reading the book, I had a picture of monster in my mind every time this guy would be mentioned.] The guy and his family members (mostly his mother) make her life a living hell until one day she just decides she can't take it anymore and runs away from her home to the court to seek justice. 

Looking at the title or flipping through few pages will make it seem like the story is straight up obvious. Well, in a way it is, but what stands out most is this little girl's strength which makes this book a must-read! I can never imagine being in her place and deciding to just run away one day to seek justice by myself. Kudos to her. Also to her lawyer Shada Nasser for never leaving her side and helping her get the justice she deserved. This world needs more strong females like Nujood to bring an end to the domestic violence that women face.

I spent many sleepless nights after reading this book. I would just stare at the ceiling and think about Nujood. I really want to meet this girl in person to just observe her, or hear her speak, or even give her a tight hug. This girl is an epitome of strength. In my opinion, this story is a tight slap to all the modern day feminists, including myself, who think feminism has come a long way. (No offense). By that, I am not tying to include all the feminists in the world. But most of us do think we have taken a leap forward when it comes to feminism.

Yes, many women in different corners of the world have come a long way. We have freedom to speech, vote, etc etc and we have fought all along to be able to lead a normal life. But how about millions of other women/females like Nujood who are struggling for their basic human rights? If we go and ask them if they think feminism has come a long way, I am sure they will have a different opinion. I am not saying we should overlook all the positives and focus on the negatives. That is not the message I'm trying to convey. All I am trying to say is, if you are a feminist, you don't get to be fully satisfied by only looking at the progress that women in your community/nation are making. Feminism should include everyone regardless of any boundaries. If even 10 girls/women are going through the struggle that Nujood had to go through, then feminism is still where we started from. There are women who are still treated like possessions. There are women who are still dying or living a horrible life in the name of dowry or various such absurd reasons. There are women who are still deprived of education and married off so young. Just because we are a little ahead in the race doesn't mean we leave the weak ones behind and run towards the finish line.

I know everything is easier said than done. My life just felt meaningless after reading the book. While there are some women living such a horrible life because of their gender, I am spending my time worrying about whether the purse that I am carrying matches the shoes that I am wearing. It's sad that I have not been able to do anything for these women and my reason being, "I don't have enough expertise on it." I just wish I could borrow some of the strength from Nujood and give up on all the luxury that I have access to and impute on my part in making this world a better place for all women.

As the saying goes, "Never say never", I am still hopeful that someday I will also have the strength like Nujood, to run away and hail that life-changing cab which helped her reach the freedom that she deserved.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Last day on planet Earth

"How would you feel if today was your last day?" I have been asking this question to myself over and over for the last few days.. I blame this on Facebook.. Why? Words of happiness or grief, news travel faster on Facebook than any other medium. And I feel like the word of untimely demises has been filling up my Facebook page like crazy!!! Some strangers and some known people. Whenever I see such posts, I always get this urge to go to that person's Facebook page and see what their last post was about. Forgive me if that is wrong but I always do,. Then I sit down and wonder, what would my last post be? Or what if today was my last day on this planet Earth.

Just think about it, none of these people saw/see it coming. If you go to their FB pages you will know. They are just living normal life like us, posting songs, status updates, and may be just blogs, and BAM, in a splits second their existence is gone. How weird is that? I just feel bad for the people associated with that person. Their better half or their loved ones, how will/do they cope with it? 

Us human beings, we are selfish. We always want more. We are never satisfied with whatever we have. More money, more fame, more friends, more power.. more than what we already have. I am not saying all of us don't, but most of us don't tend to appreciate what we already have. You may not have money enough to buy a house of your own or buy an empire for yourself, but hey, you made it through the day. While people out there are grieving over losing someone, you either are intact or your loved one is. That is also a big enough reason to be thankful or happy about. Or look at the things you already have. I am sure there is someone/somewhere out there wishing for the life that you are living.

Nobody gets or deserves EVERYTHING we want in life. Life would be perfect that way. We always have some short comings and that is life all about. Rather than being bitter about what we don't have, why don't we focus on what we already have? After all, there is one life to live, and do you want your last feeling to be something bitter or something filled with grudge?

I know it is all easier said than done, but then again nothing is impossible as they say. We can try by letting go of one bitter feeling each day and embracing a positive one instead. It's like letting go of a nasty addiction - it may be hard but it is not impossible. It all depends on how badly you want to give it up.It all depends on how positive you want your life to be. And it all depends on how badly you want your last post on Facebook to be something positive or full of satisfaction. And, it all depends on how gracious you want your last day on Earth to be.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Well Behaved Women Barely Make History

"Like a compass needle that points north, a man's accusing finger always finds a woman. Always.", Khaled Hosseini quotes in "A Thousand Splendid Suns"[I know I have used this quotation as an ending note on another blog also, happens to be my favorite]. I partially agree with this quotation. No offense to Mr. Hosseini, but I believe the pointing fingers are not only that of men but rather the whole society in general. I know you must be tired of reading, watching, hearing, and what not about feminism. So are we. We are also tired of writing, making, screaming, and finding ways to make our voices heard. We are also waiting for the day when we will finally get to stop all this and be in peace.

When it comes to feminism, there is a misconception that it directly involves men-hating. NO! Feminism is not about men hating. Feminism is also not about wanting more or less. Feminism for me is more about being treated like just another person than someone from the second gender. And I know there are millions of other women like me who can relate. 

I am writing this today on behalf of those women who are tired of being considered rebellious for seeking the freedom that they deserve. Or when things go wrong everything comes down to the conclusion of "because you are rebellious". It is ridiculous how everything can come down to us being "wild" or "carefree". Here is a story that I was debating whether I should share or not.. well whatever.. 

So, I was in this house party. There were a bunch of people, both men and women, drinking and having fun. Typical weekend I should say. So there is this guy that I've met a couple of times, def. not good friend. We are talking and then after a certain point he tries to get close to me to a point where it gets more than uncomfortable. Yes I should have slapped him or even kicked his ass. But I didn't because I froze. It felt weird, unseen, and unbelievable. Well all these details are not very important. What that guy tried to do was disgusting in itself, but what turned out to be more frustrating is how it became my fault for inviting all of it. It happened because I was drinking, or the cloth I wore, or the way I talked. Despite my straight up saying no to the guy, what stood out more was my personality that somehow "provoked" the guy. Hence, I invited it!!! 

When I got response from educated group of individuals going "You need to be careful and calm", I felt betrayed. This is what I don't get at all. What makes it necessary for me to be "careful" or "calm"? Is it just because I am a woman? I am as capable and independent as that guy or most men around. I was born the same way and will die the same way. So is just being "woman" enough for me to stop having fun and living my life the way I want? Why do I have to always watch my steps or my tongue in order to safe guard myself? Why do I have to learn to protect myself? Instead of teaching me to be "calm", "careful", "less wild", "civilized" and the likes why can't we teach these men to be "calm", "considerate", "respectful" and the likes? [Not all men of course, before I get accused of generalizing].

I understand that there are bigger rights women are fighting out on streets for. The recent one would be women asking for citizenship to be issued under mother's name back home. Don't get me wrong here, I do think that it is important. I hope it gets approved, if it hasn't already. But what I am more concerned about is, I may get to get my daughter issued a citizenship under my name, but will I be able to give her the life she deserves? Where she can go crazy and wild as her heart pleases without having all these fingers pointing towards her questioning her every move? She will get to vote for the person who will rule a state/country, but will she be able to walk in the dark alley at night in the same state/country without the fear of being pulled into the corner and raped? To me little things matter as much as the big ones. I would want a position in a political party if I get it with the respect I deserve. I would want equal pay if I feel it's worth the effort I put into it. 

I just wish this world didn't have so much of gender stereotypes going on. The more I think about it, the more depressing it gets. I may have all the rights protecting me in this place that I reside at the moment yet the society that surround keep reminding that I am a woman and just for than reason I need to always be careful and well behaved. But as the saying goes, "Well behaved women barely make history"and I am def. here to make one.. Cheers!! ;)

Monday, June 29, 2015

The smell

The smell, the touch, and the warmth,
All intact for quite some hours.
No sooner you walk out of the door,
I run to the window for one last glimpse
Watch you pull out of the driveway
Till you vanish out of the vicinity
The dust and the rubble, all settle down
Yet I stand frozen, with an unsetteled mind
Your disheveled self is all gone, and yet-
The smell, the touch, and the warmth,
All intact for quite some hours

Your skin on mine, and as you hold my hand
For a splits second, I see our souls align
Day to days, and weeks to months
The same sparks and yet the same cycle
Guilt sorrounds everytime I stand by the window
Resistant to turn around and face the four walls that sorround
Unable to proceed towards the reality inbound
You are a short-lived ecstacy or a nasty addiction
Killing me from within and making me wonder
Your disheveled self is all gone, and yet-
The smell, the touch, and the warmth,
All intact for quite some hours