Too Much Information

tmi

Warning: Contains references to unattractive bodily functions.

Where do we draw the lines at privacy and not fall on the side of oversharing?

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Blogging are just one of the many platforms available for us to share our world and our thoughts. Oh look! I woke up 2.9 seconds before my usual time – MUST INFORM THE WORLD! Or yay! I am having beer/whiskey/wine/water – MUST PUT IT UP WITH A COOL CAPTION! Insignificant, irrelevant and involving absolutely no one else, there is a serious epidemic of narcissism out there.

Flip side now. In private conversations, how comfortable are we talking about morbid topics or where does the line on morbidity is drawn for each one of us? For example, I am totally cool with (and in fact even enjoy) conversations involving poop. Probably because I love to show off my super awesome body clock and timing of bowel movements (all done and dusted within ten minutes of waking up). A bunch of friends and I were comparing notes on how long we take to do our business. And a couple of us shared our mutual joy at the satisfaction drawn when in a matter of seconds, our bowels cleanse themselves. With another group, we drew grimaces with the standard lines of “Gross” “Yuck” yada yada.

Ever done that?? I wouldn't judge you :D
Ever done that?? I wouldn’t judge you 😀

All comes down to the line.

But c’mon! If we are with friends and you accidentally release gas from your rear end, would you squirm uncomfortably or just laugh it off and move on with your life. Is the line drawn the same for all the people or differs based on your relationships? Or if after a long night with your new born who refuses to stop throwing up, would you confide in the stranger sitting next to you on the subway that you were too knackered to change out of your soiled sweatpants? (Actually, I wouldn’t mind doing that just to see the reaction of that person!! 😀 *makes mental note*)

I can understand that when it comes to more serious issues, most of us have set our limits. But for small things, why is there that discomfort? Why do I need to request a female stranger for an extra tampon when my best friend who is incidentally a guy is right there to go and pick it up for me? In such cases, I guess it is not just the personal block but more like a societal norm. But that is so stifling! These so -called morbid issues can work as a real ice-breaker… set the ball rolling at times. And even serious issues – I think most of us have a story to share where strangers have been kind to us in those moments of deep grievous trouble as well.

On one hand, social media has made us virtually naked. On the other hand, in reality there are still major bumps with minor things labelled “TMI” (I hate these acronyms – TMI, FYI, BTW). I cannot think of a cool ending for this post, so okay. And they lived happily ever after.

It is Saturday and Linda over at Stream of Consciousness Saturday is making us talk on “information” or whatever that may lead to 🙂 Take a look!


Talk to me about limits and definition of “Too Much Information”…. Where/When do you draw the line? Feel free 🙂 No squirming here!

It Could Have Been Me

girl

A mad peak time dash to the tube,

A burst of rain leaving her sopping wet.

Yet a rough hand dared creep up her shirt.

Momentary shock. Blistering fury.

It could have been me.

.

A relaxing walk after dinner to unwind,

A silent song of the crickets escorting her,

Yet two more limbs preyed on her footsteps.

Engulfing panic. Anguished prayers.

It could have been me.

.

A social visit full of happy celebrations,

A volley of laughs and drinks kept revolving,

Yet a once fatherly pat became a groping touch.

Sickening grief. Perpetual distrust.

It could have been me.

.

A daunting desk held her dreams together,

A review that threatened to drown it all down,

Yet roving eyes at her cleavage made a proposal.

Shrinking confidence. Appalling disgust.

It could have been me.

.

A weekend getaway promising delights,

A cabin in the woods offering warm solace.

Yet a cordial neighbor turned brutal predator.

Excruciating agony. Numbing senses.

It could have been me.

.

A sacred vow of seven lifetimes together,

A rainbow of dreams seeded for the future,

Yet the trusted husband forced himself upon her,

Devastating heartbreak. Shattered bonds.

It could have been me.


A poem based on true stories – mine and countless other women. This was in reaction to the comments put forth by the Delhi rape convict two days back, “A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy…” Sickening!

Image Source

To Give or Not to Give

Alms

A stony heart is essential if you are living and travelling in India. The hoopla of economic growth and prosperity feels like sheer blasphemy as you take in the sights of streets.

Daily I see destitution drowning to abysmal levels and am beseeched by crippled old men, wailing mothers and children with running noses asking for alms. Sitting along the footpath, at traffic signals, busy bus stops and railway stations – they are everywhere!

From start, we have been instructed to never give money to them. It seems heartless if you have not been exposed to this side of life in India. No harm in giving 10-20 rupees against the thousands that we spend on a single night out, right? Sadly, begging is now a business growing by leaps and bounds. The beggars belong to a ‘chief’ where they handover the day’s ‘earnings’ where a major chunk is retained by those ring-leaders. The sleeping baby in the women’s arms has probably been taken on ‘rent’ from the mother and drugged to keep it docile. And quite often, they consider begging an easier way to earn money than to actually work for it.

I know all this. My brain constantly reminds me of this business when faced with crying women and children begging for help. And even though I don’t hand over money, there is this tightening somewhere inside that makes it difficult to swallow and stomach the plight of these people. They may be a gang weaving a ton of sob stories to soften my heart, but there is no denying that their condition is desperate. And however cold I try to be, I simply cannot rid myself of those images.

Taking a leaf out of my friend’s book, I get children vegetable sandwiches or opened biscuit packets. Now this is where it gets interesting. While most of the kids gobble it down with genuine smiles, twice I have seen them throwing down the food and demand money. A friend got a donut from Dunkin’ Donuts and the kid gave him a priceless look of disdain. Only when he was told the price of the donut did the glee take over. So even though they lament about starvation, some only want money and have no qualms about disrespecting the food.

Which doesn’t help my feelings. It makes me question my beliefs about what is right and wrong. On one hand I find it impossible to turn my back completely, but on the other when I face them it is disheartening to see the callousness. Maybe they have accepted their state of life and will readily turn to shady businesses to earn some dough. The system isn’t really helping them so there is no reason why they should abide and play nice! I try by helping out at municipal schools and with local housekeepers; it eases the conscience to some extent at least. But…


There are thousands like me who want to try and are trying already across India and other countries as well. We force ourselves to not give in to the harsh reality but every day the cries of the streets beckon, beginning a new cycle of second-guessing. Any answers? 

Linking up with JusJoJan and the SoCS prompt ‘most/least’.

Image Source

The Crust of the Matter

You are not alone crust!
You are not alone crust!

I am the lonely outer slice of the loaf.

The ugly duckling in the basket.

Unceremoniously cut off and

Crudely run through with the unforgiving knife.

Treated like the unwanted step-child.

Pray tell me, what sins am I paying for,

That I never get to play with butter,

That I am cast aside for the dog

or strewn to cajole the fishes,

That I lay forgotten in the trash,

Swapping stories of ungrateful parents

With the orange skins and banana peels.

I am the hard shield protecting the softness,

I am the solid cover for your melting bread bowls,

I am the crispy fragrance inside the welcoming bakery.

… yet, I am needed but never wanted!

A discrimination beyond me,

When I am made of the same substance as every other slice.

Is this how it works in your world too?

Discriminating based on the outside

Even while sharing the same core inside?


Grace is hosting a lovely gathering of bread talks and poetry at dVerse. I feel really bad for the outer crust of sliced bread which is almost always ignored, so I decided to show my solidarity through this poem.