Amruthavarshini Halugodu

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People get all dressy and buy Rakhis in counts of decades on this day.

Me?
I stay home in my pyjamas and tie just one to the guy I am proud of. 
The guy who is the Batman to my Superman.
I love you.

For the love of the same song, Need of same last piece. For the fights and tears, Followed by hugs and beer. For all the things left unsaid, Yet reaching from even a thousand miles apart. For the brother, For the sister. Happy Rakshabandhan.

7 AUG AT 21:21

Validation 

"My validation was 36-24-36
Unattainability was not even an option."
(Read in caption)

The day I Took my first step I fumbled. I think I was most afraid about Falling face down and breaking my nose. (No. I don't remember it. I just assumed.) But what made me Take the second step and the third and the fourth Was the cheer! It sounded like a charade of happy music Being played exclusively for me. The Claps ; the wohoos ; The Yes- yes - yes ; the ajaa - ajaa - ajaa. And hence I took The first 7 steps of my life. And fell right into My mother's arms. That day, I experienced stardom. I was asked to smile, Repeat what I did. Cameras, flashlights! Paparazzi surrounded the 11 month old baby Who sat there Smiling foolishly, saliva Dripping down her toothless grin. My cousin sister was 7 days older than me. Yet. I took the first step. And not just one, but seven huge steps. That was the first time I realised the importance of validation. 2 years passed. I tried to smile the same smile. Well formed teeth poking out, saliva dripping. I was given a look, Of disgust. The look you give when you smell Fish being cooked in olive oil. I was told to keep my smile dry. That's when I realised not everything I do would give me The cheers. Unfortunately, I was dull when it came to potty training. Mom tried everything. Colourful potty seats With Mowgli and Chhota Bheem Smiling and encouraging me To do it right. It didn't work. She tried to show me Moving pictures on a small screen That apparently should have made Her life easy. I failed. Trust me, By then, i'd almost recognised The importance of validation. And I craved it too. But no amount of spites Or action could Control my sphincter's relaxation And the oozing out of the brown At the worst of the times. I think I finally got a candy when I was almost four. I learnt one more thing. Validation tastes like candy floss. First day at school was the usual. Every kid brawled through the window Looking at their teary eyed mothers. I was the kid Who usually didn't dwell Into the how and the why of things. I was the least curious. I didn't care. Like the drivers of Ahmedabad Who gleefully drive on Red - yellow - green ; None of it matters. What matters is the man in the white uniform. My man in the white uniform Was my father. Anyways, I cried too. Like how when you don't understand A pun but still laugh To fit in. Then I realised! Oh. The lady in saare, supposedly called a teacher, according to Cartoon Network Was distributing chocolates To every kid that smiled. I immediately gained my composure And stood there, with a magnificent grin. That day I realised, Validation also meant a free Kaccha Mango Bite. A piece of paper Was thrust right at my face. I was supposed to learn. Say it, Every day Over and over again. It was my gospel, my shlok, my Quran That had to repeated till I either understood it Or just knew it by heart. If I chant it out loud In front of a mic with 100 pair of eyes Staring at me Like we stare at the rainbow in this City. An infrequent guest With wide eyes and even wider brows Voice modulation done right I would win. And I won. That day I realised, a piece of fancy paper With my name on it Called the 'certificate' is what Validation looks like. Then began The clutter and clamour Of things and arms and thoughts and activities. It became a never ending abyss. Music Harmonium Chess Squash Dance Quiz Debate I was insatiable! You see, they all did this to me. They somehow successfully Fed, in the depths of my being That validation Will make you successful. That validation Will help you survive. That validation Should be the motto of your life. That validation Will let you die in peace. Peace. Was a far fetched notion In a world ensued in chaos. Chuk, chrrr Aaaa, brrr Tring, click Tak tak tak. Even in sleep, My dreams seeked to make me the protagonist. Seeking for some form of recognition. Like the plant That needs sunlight. Validation was my Raw material for photosynthesis. Just like How summer arrives gradually after The spring and One does not realise till It's half way there. Or like how one half of the ice cream Drips down the cone Because you were taking care of the other half, searching for validation everywhere My eyes could see, Became a natural phenomenon. My validation turned into The number of likes My Facebook profile picture had. Crossed 200 - 'Umm, okay'. Crossed 300- 'This is goood'. Crossed 400 - 'That's definitely my favourite dress'. Crossed 500 - Ego and self appreciation Will go on hibernation for a while. Thy have had enough! Traveling didn't just involve Exploring, living and breathing the place, Or carrying home One or at max two Fuji films. It involved pictures with the same frame Taken a thousand times To find the perfect one To be shown for More validation. It involved showing the world For 24 hours, my paradise and Checking if the views have Reached my mark. It involved Getting more hearts And a couple of more hashtags To show the world that This is the #ootd during my #summerof2017 Which was #epic and #ineedmoresuchdays Because (I need more validation). And just like that, Validation became numerical. The two digits ; beginning with NINE ending with probably a FIVE or more Which ended with a slash with two circles. Percentage - a word twelfth standard Students are too familiar with was all anyone cared, for a while. The spine erect posture My parents took to when the neighbours asked 'The Number' or The new phone I received Owing to the days of erect spine, sans stoop I had rewarded them with Was the my new definition of Validation. A year. A couple more. My validation now, looked like me walking In a pair of stilettos To hide my mediocre height Because the world needed me to be taller. Genes failed me. But I shall not let Such mere errors Scorn me. I didn't care if they Slowly, meticulously Killed every one of the ten toes That my feet possessed. Validation, that day became painful. My validation was 36-24-36. Unattainability was not even An option. The magazines, the matinees The malls, the moms. They all expected it. I needed the 'beach body' validation To satisfy my social media validation. Months went by ; To no avail. The chest and the torso and the butt Had their own equation going on. One of them ended up being too small Or too large! That day, validation became a realisation. I am no Scarlett Johansson. Marriage and the usual shenanigans Came into picture. The Manish Malhotra Lehenga The Bridal Photo shoot The 5 day rasam riwaaz in grandeur The honeymoon in greece passed in a jiffy. Every step taken with one purpose - Seeking to please. Please the eyes that saw the affair, Please the eyes involved in the affair, Please the eyes who demanded the affair. Please the photographer Who would be uploading it all To make it to the 'WeddingSutra'. All of it came down to one fight A fight ignited by the absence of the fuel. The fuel named Validation. That day, I realised Validation also meant heart breaks. My poetry is like Adhrak and pudine waali chai. I brew the words with metaphors Add the perfect amount of Pauses and a tinge of heav vocabulary Simmered to perfection; Poured into the best of the ceramic Served, enjoy ma'am. I don't want my cup to be forgotten In the corner, Layer of cream shrouding the top. Standing here, doing spoken word poetry Because *click click* Validation. Keep going with that. I'll keep performing. Validation was definitely woodoo! It changed forms, evolved Like an animagus. A chain reaction set up Right within me that Denied to cease till it's consumed All of me And all of you. It asked me to want more. I wanted more. If only, I had stopped. When I was eleven months old. If only I'd fallen face down, Broken my nose. If only I was never given The candy floss. Today, I need Validation for survival. It's almost as precious As my breath. The need for Validation Has made me like plastic. It has made me plastic. I AM PLASTIC.

6 AUG AT 20:22