My therapist asked me to redefine love, here is my mediocre attempt at it

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Managing Editor at Moderne Magazine
A former journalist, Ananya specializes in marketing & communications. She worked with a diverse set of firms across the spectrum for six years before leaving the cobwebs of a metropolitan city for a quiet, slow life in the hills.
A depression survivor Ananya primarily writes about mental health, intersectional feminism and society.
When she is not working or traveling, she spends her days in a quaint little town of Northeast India with her husband and two cats, sipping red wine and writing poetry.
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Recently I found myself in an unanticipated, serendipitous encounter with remnants of my past; it had a profound effect on me and for a few days, I found myself questioning my entire reality and foundation of love.

My lovely therapist asked me to do an exercise of redefining love. She asked me to take a pen and a paper and write down what does love mean for me. So, here I am taking a mediocre, confused, and chaotic stab at it and sharing it with you. Ideally, this should have remained in my diary, but well.

When I was younger, love for me was butterflies in my tummy and hot fiery sex that made my bones shatter. Love was the little tingling in my hands when his fingers touched mine and it was staying up till 5 am to talk to him because neither of us wanted to hang up.

When I was younger, I mistook romance and sex for love. When in reality, love is what remains when romance dies.

Continue reading “My therapist asked me to redefine love, here is my mediocre attempt at it”

On being Queer & the Quandaries of “Love yourself”

I am Harsh and currently, I am a student of literature. I am a history buff and I am an avid reader of non-fiction history and political books. I am vocal about gender rights, feminism, LGBTQ culture, and politics. In my free time, I try to do art, poetry and I write letters. A queer man from a semi-rural state of Bihar, I try to do my part of duty by making people aware of their gender rights. When in Delhi I try to participate in queer activism and write about mythology and culture.
Harsh Aditya

Saransh, a history student, lives with his orthodox family who is pretty serious about their beliefs like most Indian families. Every day he leaves home, walks a few blocks away, and finds the washroom in the nearest cafe where he puts on the oversized shirt bought from the women’s section. He also puts on his septum ring, applies nude lipstick, and uncovers tattoos on his collar bone, shoulder, and feet. He then wears his silver rings and anklet and leaves for his college.

He is a freelance writer, a hardcore feminist, and makes art in his free time. He spends his days plotting the murder of patriarchy and actively participates in pride parades and debates for his right in the college society. He aspires to be a historian specializing in gender and sexual history. Continue reading “On being Queer & the Quandaries of “Love yourself””

People who oppose period leaves: Check your internalized misogyny

Divya is an aspiring pet parent with a love for all things animals. A 'Food technologist' by educational qualification, Divya quit the 'sounds interesting' job to switch into the world of writing. She loves writing about things that hold the promise of creating a change, educating the reader, and things that stir her soul. Love often finds it's way into her keyboard, but for the most part, she remains fascinated by the human brain, exploring why people are the way they are.
Divya Uchil

Skipped meals, popped three painkillers (don’t recommend), almost passed out in public places, mortified to ‘Ask’ for a half-day at work – Welcome to a day in the life of a woman on her worst period day. This woman is me.

While every month my periods are nothing short of a terrifying experience, the rest of the days are spent nervously hoping that my period dates don’t coincide with an important work event or meetings. From feeling dizzy in between meetings to slamming my head down on my work desk post-lunch and just not having the energy to get up and function- guys, none of it is pretty. 

So when I read the headline “Zomato offers 10 day period leaves to their employees”, I naturally squealed like a child out of happiness, or wait, I think it was my uterus! Continue reading “People who oppose period leaves: Check your internalized misogyny”

Intimate Partner Violence in queer relationships: A well-hidden reality

I am Harsh and currently, I am a student of literature. I am a history buff and I am an avid reader of non-fiction history and political books. I am vocal about gender rights, feminism, LGBTQ culture, and politics. In my free time, I try to do art, poetry and I write letters. A queer man from a semi-rural state of Bihar, I try to do my part of duty by making people aware of their gender rights. When in Delhi I try to participate in queer activism and write about mythology and culture.
Harsh Aditya

Sameer is an architect. He had been in a few relationships before getting married. He recalls this one particularly abusive relationship which took a huge toll on his mental health.

 “I was in a relationship with a guy who I met during my masters in Zurich. We had the same likes and dislikes and within the next few months, we were together.”

He says, “One day we went out to a party thrown by my friend. I am an extrovert, so I naturally started talking to guys around me. I talked to them, cracked some jokes. We came back to the dorm and to my surprise; my partner pushed me down on the floor. I could sense anger in his eyes. He held me by my collar and said, “Don’t you dare flirt with other guys!” 

This was the first time he used physical force on me. Continue reading “Intimate Partner Violence in queer relationships: A well-hidden reality”

Asexuality is an orientation, not a disorder

I am Harsh and currently, I am a student of literature. I am a history buff and I am an avid reader of non-fiction history and political books. I am vocal about gender rights, feminism, LGBTQ culture, and politics. In my free time, I try to do art, poetry and I write letters. A queer man from a semi-rural state of Bihar, I try to do my part of duty by making people aware of their gender rights. When in Delhi I try to participate in queer activism and write about mythology and culture.
Harsh Aditya

In the term LGBTQIA, letter A stands for Asexuality. A term that has been overlooked and misinterpreted while the people who fall under this spectrum have been subjected to ridicule and sneering. In a country where any kind of discourse & debate around sexual identities is still frowned upon, no wonder majority of us don’t understand asexuality.

There is an evident lack of awareness even among the ‘wokest’ of us. In a society where sex is romanticized and is looked at as the ultimate culmination of love and romance, it becomes challenging for people to come out as asexual. Continue reading “Asexuality is an orientation, not a disorder”

When it comes to therapy, it may take time to find ‘the one’ & that’s okay

I am Harsh and currently, I am a student of literature. I am a history buff and I am an avid reader of non-fiction history and political books. I am vocal about gender rights, feminism, LGBTQ culture, and politics. In my free time, I try to do art, poetry and I write letters. A queer man from a semi-rural state of Bihar, I try to do my part of duty by making people aware of their gender rights. When in Delhi I try to participate in queer activism and write about mythology and culture.
Harsh Aditya

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As Astha stepped into the therapist’s office for the first time in her life, she was nervous and jittery. After a string of abusive relationships, she had finally gathered the courage to seek help. With hopes of feeling better and finding a solution to her many problems, Astha read some online reviews and zeroed in on a professional who met her criteria and budget. The one-hour session turned out to be an absolute disaster as Astha felt judged and not heard. Not only she didn’t feel better after the session, but she also experienced increased anxiety and despair. For the next couple of years, Astha would flinch even at the mention of getting any kind of psychological help.

This is how impactful a single therapy session can be in someone’s life- for better, or for worse. Continue reading “When it comes to therapy, it may take time to find ‘the one’ & that’s okay”

It’s okay if you didn’t learn a new skill during Pandemic

Divya is an aspiring pet parent with a love for all things animals. A 'Food technologist' by educational qualification, Divya quit the 'sounds interesting' job to switch into the world of writing. She loves writing about things that hold the promise of creating a change, educating the reader, and things that stir her soul. Love often finds it's way into her keyboard, but for the most part, she remains fascinated by the human brain, exploring why people are the way they are.
Divya Uchil

You got up one fine morning like every other day, and as dystopian as it sounds, the world shut down. Who knew the song ‘If the world was ending’ by Julia Michaels would hit so close to home, right?

I get up each morning (on time, because you must) and what follows is an exhaustive to-do list, which I also call a carefully-crafted elaborate buzzkill. As I sit to work, I fill up my ‘Productivity App’ across devices to stay on track, to achieve an ungodly level of productivity so that I can pat my back as I go to bed at night for meeting the unrealistic expectations laid down by other people. (Spoiler alert – Never works, I am mostly just disappointed at the list of things I failed to achieve). 

 I, then, switch to LinkedIn and it seems like everyone is up and about with little wisdom nuggets wrapped in the promises of success. ‘How to wake up on time’, ‘What is the 5-second rule’, ‘How to ‘work smart not hard? Continue reading “It’s okay if you didn’t learn a new skill during Pandemic”

Self-Care Or Self-Sabotage?

Brinda's research specialty is in the geopolitical space, but she most enjoys writing about everyday life. She lives with a small army of cats and her husband, swears by the healing power of diet-coke-and-chips, and has never met a Pinterest suggestion she didn't want to try. She collects Archie comics, loves and abandons art projects regularly and is learning to navigate life with chronic illness.
Brinda B. Hamdani
Latest posts by Brinda B. Hamdani (see all)

Self-care leaves me exhausted. There. I said it!

All that talk of bubble baths and scented candles and DIY artisanal food trays make me want to crawl under the covers and never come out. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a pretty salad as much as the next person – but notice how I said ‘pretty’ salad and not ‘healthy’, ‘tasty’ or ‘fulfilling’? Because that’s what our generation gets caught up in – how things look (literally) and how they appear to others (representative of our success at adulting). Self-care, as we’ve come to popularly understand it, has started to feel like an awful lot of work to me. Continue reading “Self-Care Or Self-Sabotage?”

Why do men send dick pics?

Aamna is a writer, particularly passionate about feminist issues.
Latest posts by Aamna S (see all)

As I walked down the crossroads of an exceptionally traffic-heavy location, I noticed that the red light was seconds away from turning green. I decided to make a run for it. As it turned green, it caught my attention that a scooter slowed as I walked. I looked up to see a shabby-looking man, wearing a helmet. 

He asked me “Madam MHB Colony kidhar hai?”, (Where is MHB Colony?). I instinctively raised my hand pointing the directions because it was fairly uncomplicated even for someone as directionally challenged like me.  Unwaveringly he continued to ask “Madam address dekh lo ek baar”(Madam, have a look at the address once). I noticed some ruffling in his hands, and assumed it’s the address. I insisted I knew the direction and continued to point towards the desired location. Continue reading “Why do men send dick pics?”

What NOT to say to someone who is depressed  (A 101 in mental health that you all need)

It is imperative to remember that depression is a medical condition that requires treatment and real medical intervention. While we can choose to be there for our loved ones when they need us, it does not mean that we can also treat their illness. However, listening and responding with kindness and empathy is important. Since we all live in a culture where the mere mention of mental illnesses makes people uncomfortable, it doesn’t come off as a surprise that we are doing it all wrong.

It’s also important to understand this is not about you, so while the phrases you use may seem clear and intelligent from your perspective, the person with depression who is on the receiving end may feel ashamed, misunderstood, or isolated. Continue reading “What NOT to say to someone who is depressed  (A 101 in mental health that you all need)”