The truth is: fitness bods, big booties and thick thighs are now in, and they’re just as much a fad as being skinny once was.

People just conform to the changing norms so easily. I have a friend who once used to dream of losing weight and be skinnier than she already was. Now she wants to gain weight, gain a booty and be a fit chick.

Is there anything wrong with that? No, it’s even healthier, in my opinion, and I wish her the best. 

But seeing how easily people are influenced by the ongoing global trends and the media is a little scary…

Missing Migrants of Nepal

Sujen Man Maharjan

Thousands of families and relatives of the missing persons all over the world continue to wait for their loved ones who have disappeared in course of armed conflict, disasters, migration or other events. They continue to live in ambiguity due to lack of accurate information. The ambiguous loss is one of the most painful, difficult loss to deal with as it is unclear and without closure.

IMG_4415Having worked with families of missing persons (during armed conflict: 1996-2006) in a comprehensive psychosocial program supported by International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), I am thoughtful even more on this day about them and both their suffering and strength of facing such adversity. Nepal government has been trying to address the issues of families of missing in conflict through the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) while there has been little efforts made in search for missing migrants and helping…

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To protect and to serve, they say 

In parts of North India, men have been putting on their uniforms in the morning, pretending to be protectors and guardians, but only to grasp tightly to their prejudice and proceed to arrest innocent students. 

This is a reality. Policemen have been barging into the apartments of African students and taking their valuables without any warrant, and without any right. Why? They believe they are rightfully tracking down individuals who might be staying illegally. 
This begs the questions:

Why only Africans? 

Why without warrant? 

Why with so much prejudice? 
Why without so much of a pinch of common sense and general regard for other human beings? 
This has happened to someone I actually know. He was staying over at his friend’s place when a group of policemen came barging into their house and pocketing valuables. They claimed they were searching for Nigerians but when shown the IDs of students from Angola (the true tenants of the house), they continued their unlawful acts.  They demanded IDs while refusing to show their own. The neighbours themselves protested at the policemen’s actions, but to no avail. When my friend reached the police station, he was returned his wallet but not the money that was initially there. The policemen deined any accusations of stealing. And that was that. 

This occurred a week ago, and my friend has still not received justice for this foul act of discrimination. Once again I’m left fearing for the safety of all my African friends in this country. Will India ever pull itself together when it comes to its treatment of African students, or will it continue to harm and harass innocents? Do these perpetrators not know that these innocent students are also children of parents who have raised them with all the love and care they could give? How would it feel to know that strangers view the apple of your eye as a thug and hooligan, and that they laugh and call him names? These are young adults who’ve chosen India as their home for the first time they’re ever away from their home and parents. To find out that the country one has sent their kids into is actually targeting them based on their skin colour is something no one should have to face. #FixYourRacismIndia 

[Refer to this link to view a much more detailed post on these recent misguided and unwarranted arrests of African students in India.]

My mother

My mother is beautiful. 

She is intelligent, practical, wise, and funny. 

More than that, she is so full of love and care. 

That’s my mother. 
My mother has grown up with her fair share of worries and troubles, and she continues to age with them. The things she has done for us, I cannot even begin to explain. The things she has had to go through, I cannot even begin to understand. 

She doesn’t know how much I appreciate her and how much I love her; yes, she has her flaws as well. 

The way I am now, it is mostly due to her. She has spoilt me and she has pampered with, and I am this strong, stubborn woman today because of the way she has raised me. Unlike the typical Asian parent in my community, she has never spoken of marrying me off, never given me lesser than what she has given my brother. Every share my brother gets, I get equal (even more because I’m younger). She cares about my health, well-being, education, my career, moreso than herself and what she wants. Yes, she complains and is unreasonable sometimes, but I know she’d not do it any other way. 

The way I care for the people I love is the way she cares for those she loves. “Your life is more important than being late to an event,” she’ll tell me when we’re hurrying to cross the road. Even if I’m about to be late for an exam, she tells me the same thing. She gives me the littlest things I like without my asking – chocolates, Coke, French fries, chicken, and whatever not. Gosh, she cares for us so much. She fears my brother’s childhood asthma will come back, and worries over his coughing.

The amount of love, care and dedication she has only makes her truly what a parent has been, is, and should continue to be for their children. 

The sacrifice she’s made, the opportunities she’s missed, she makes me wonder how far she’d have gone had it not been for the way of the world – a woman to become only a wife and a mother. The hardships she has faced, she is so unselfish in not wanting me to face the same. 

My dear mother, you cannot fathom my love and appreciation for you. I only hope to start earning so that I can shower you with gifts and money you deserve, so that I can take you away to a place where you’re happy,  and you can be yourself and not have to worry. 

I love you. And one day, you’ll truly get all the love and care you deserve. Happy mother’s  day. 
[Sorry for this unstructured post; it’s just a flow of feelings.]

Split: Movie Review 

[Spoilers ahead.]

I just watched Split yesterday. I had been meaning to watch it when the trailers first came out, seeing as it involved a patient with dissociative identity disorder and I was an enthusiastic psychology student. I had read people’s opinions on the movie, that expressed their dislike for it, saying that the movie portrayed individuals with psychological illnesses in a bad light. That had me a bit wary of the movie, but I must say, when I watched it, I didn’t have that opinion. 

Now this movie, by M Night Shyamalan, casts James McAvoy as a man suffering from DID, who kidnaps three young girls for a purpose. He has 23 known split personalities, but there are rumors that there is one hidden one, the most powerful of them all. 

I have to say, I was completely taken by this movie. The suspense remained at a crucial level, and at one point in the climax, I was gripping my boyfriend’s leg so tight, pleading for the characters to do something. 

I was able to pick up a few things by myself, foreseeing one of the male figures of the Casey to be a sexual predator, the end toward the end where she faces the Beast that seemed similar to the time back when she as a young child aimed a shotgun at her uncle. Also, when lovely Dr. Fletcher reminded Dennis that she can bring Kevin to the light by just saying his full name, it was clear how that would play a role in the climax. 

So DID itself is a very interesting topic. Studies have shown that the different personalities of people with DID do have differences that set them apart, making it impossible to all be just an act. This movie showed that partly, talking about how one personality needed insulin shots and another had specific allergies. 

Far from portraying individuals with DID in a negative light, it just took a creative spin, conjuring an alternate dimension where one personality would have access to its full power (reminiscent of the poor movie, Lucy). It showed good characters from bad, only 3 out of 23 personalities were slightly negative, and the rest sought help from Dr. Fletcher. Kevin, upon finding out what his personality had done, even asked Casey to kill him before the other personalities took over. 

I also enjoyed the scene where young Hedwig kisses Casey and informs her that she might be pregnant. It was innocent and cute. The way Dennis moves to become Patricia, all wonderful acts done by James McAvoy, who had just been young Charles Xavier to me before. 

Truly, this was a movie done by Mr. M Night Shyamalan, the way it was carried out. The twist at the end, how the climax stopped so abruptly but yet not in an awful manner.

Until I read the plot online again (as I always do  after watching movies to see if there’s anything I missed out), I was under the mistaken impression that purity referred to one’s sexual “status”, to put it so weirdly. Only later did I find out it was referring to suffering, when the Beast looked upon her old scars on her body. 
I was hoping that the world would not think of Kevin as a bad man. 

I loved this movie, although I do think that when Casey smacked Patricia in the head with the chair, she shouldn’t have stopped till Patricia stopped moving, and then knifed her with the butter knife. A bit horrid, but if you’re in a captive situation, make sure they can’t come back for you, or it’s just a waste of effort. 

KR rating: 4/5

People love to bask in negativity.


Once again, as I read through the comments on articles reporting the recent racism towards Africans in Greater Noida, I am overcome by the intense impulse to punch someone.

“That they are not in Africa” – do they not realise that Africa is a continent with 54 countries? Or do they hold the belief that all Indians act just like Chinese pople and Chinese people act like Indonesians? Since when did continents of billions of people all have a rigid set of identity and personality?

For someone who has forsaken the path of religion, I was taken aback by the amount of faith most Africans I’ve met have. Their dedication and love for their god was astounding. Not to say that being religious means one is good, but this means that some of them don’t indulge in drugs or any form of substance, drink to a minimum, and are well-behaved.

I can’t lie though – I have met the Africans who smoke, drink, and do drugs on a daily basis, but what about the Africans who don’t? Why must we have this negativity bias when it comes to Africans?

My friends are well-mannered – they don’t drink (except for some in social situations), they hold the doors open, they are polite, they are generous. Oh, if I were to speak of the generosity of some Africans I’ve met, I’d never stop gushing. Some of them are selfless and giving. Yet no, people are automatically inclined to label approximately 1.2 billion people based on the 20, what, 30 people they’ve met?

The ugly side of Incredible India

We all must agree that India to a large extent has a preference for lighter skin. Products claiming to lighten skin splash the billboards and play on TVs. Potential brides and grooms are advertised majorly as ‘fair’ and children are told not to play out in the sun too long in fear of getting dark. Some of my own Indian friends are terrified of the sun and its ‘tanning’ effect. Now I go could on about this but it’d be a whole other issue I rather speak about next time.

The reason I brought this up is because I think that this preference towards a certain skin colour is the cause of the unfounded negative attitudes that some (if not most) Indians have towards Africans.

On 27 March 2017, four innocent African bystanders were assaulted in daylight by a mob of “peaceful” protesters in Greater Noida. This mob was protesting against Africans.

What happened?

An Indian 12-grader had gone missing in the area, and the fingers were pointed at the Nigerians in the neighbourhood. People BARGED into their house without so much of a care for their privacy to search for the boy. Upon finding nothing, these ignorant people accused the African men of cannibalism. Yes, people, in THIS day and age!

The boy was found seemingly overdosed on drugs and he later passed away in the hospital. The parents still filed an FIR against these men, because the boy claimed to have been kidnapped by a “dark-skinned man”, and also because Indians cannot be dark-skinned, only Africans can be. They believed that these men were responsible behind the boy’s drug overdose. Claims were apparently made that the boy used to spend time with these men as well.

However, the accused had to be released because there were no evidence that it was any of their doing. There was NO link between the victim and these Nigerian men, except maybe that both of them lived in a racist neighbourhood.

People took to the streets demanding justice (wish justice could really dealt) and turned violent upon seeing four African men who were innocentThe Africans in India are also protesting against racism by the Indians towards them.

That’s what happened.

So now:

Let us say that these men were the true perpetrators behind this alleged murder. Why is it that this incident took a racist undertone and generalise the behaviour towards the WHOLE continent of Africa? Why is it that a bunch of Nigerian men, based on this assumption, were held representative of a continent with 53 other countries? Why is it that all Africans must be responsible for the act of some men? This is my issue with many things in this world. Why must I, an individual who is fit to make my own decisions, account for my countrymen, my race and my gender?

But more likely than that, these men were the true victims of a racial attack, and this incident (one of the many) has just been an open window to the mindsets of some (again, if not most) Indians.  This is, unfortunately, not the first act of prejudice and discrimination towards Africans in the country. Many African people have been assaulted in India – last year, there was the infamous case of the Tanzanian woman who was assaulted and STRIPPED (because they have to sexually oppress women, yes). She was forced to take the fall when a Sudanese man earlier that day had been involved in a fatal road accident. Then in 2014, three African men were mobbed in a metro station for allegedly harassing local women, the same year in which Delhi’s former law minister allegedly led a mob to illegally detain a group of African women who were accused of prostitution.

Why must we be so stuck upon the colours of our skins? Why must the colour of our skin dictate our behaviour and who we are as a person? When did a certain ethnic group become lesser because they were darker? When did a whole continent become lesser just because of their skin? My fair skin does not make me less capable of a crime next to a dark skin.

Curiosity is one thing, when you see a foreigner so unlike you (although the issue of boundaries must also be discussed). But it is another thing to assume his or her whole personality and make him or her a representative of a whole country/continent.


Yes, yes, fair skin is beautiful. But dark skin is no lesser. Beauty comes from within; beauty is who you are. A group must not be based on one’s actions.


Sources: Google, Hindustan Times, Times of India, and others

Rape disgusts me.

I’m currently writing an assignment on whether juveniles should be tried as adults and I’m referring to India’s Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act of 2015, which came into force after the infamous abominable 2012 New Delhi gang rape in India.

One of the offenders was just short of turning 18 at the time of the crime, and was on trial in a juvenile justice court. He got away with just three years in a reform home…

I, for one, support the idea of having offenders who commit heinous crimes on trial as adults. At the age of 17, I believe that if you rape a woman so brutally with a bunch of other men, you are a disgusting human being that deserves as much sympathy as you gave to that poor woman.

But, wait, let me rant on about how despicable rapists are, how despicable these men in the New Delhi gang rape were. Rape has always been something I could never take lightly, not as a joke, not ever. The idea of forcing yourself on a person sexually, penetrating him/her is just a lot to handle – that you can look past their tears, be deaf to their screams, be unconscious of their struggles. It is so vile, so inhumane.

How can you not imagine the pain the victim is going through? And especially for rapists who use TOOLS to rape their victims, how is it possible? What is it, that drives these people through the whole process of rape? Are they void of empathy, of any emotions?

This is just beyond comprehension.

When we look this 2012 New Delhi gang rape, the way they assaulted the woman, the way they physically tortured her. What would allow these men to attack her in such a way that she succumbs to the injuries and dies? A 23-year old medical student? I always ask of people who die too young/early: what about their dreams, their aspirations, their hopes of the future? What about their plans for the next day, the next hour? All of that, all of the emotions they’ve felt, things they’ve done, contributions they’ve made to someone’s life, all of that turns to nothing.

This feeling I have of confusion, hatred and disgust fuels my interest in sexual offender. It’s so heinous, but I want to know why? And sometimes, I’m afraid I know why – because humans are selfish, and self-centered. That’s all there is to it. Our own desires overpower other people’s…

How much do I charge for a night?

I wrote this in the moment after the incident. Some statements are just personal expressions due to the frustration and confusion of the moment, but I choose not to edit them to retain its original feel.
I wear a white crop top, through which the shade of my bra can somewhat be seen, and a bodycon black skirt that hugs my hips. I apply a Wine Maybelline lipstick and do my eyebrows. It’s a good morning.
The day I spend in a mutual friend’s house – there are six African men and the lone girl, me. I sit there, a little distant because I am a mere acquaintance to all but one. It’s a small, cozy apartment we are in. The cleaner comes knocking, and enters to take out the trash. He tells one of the men in the kitchen, that I’m pretty and all that. I laugh when I’m told that. Well, I guess, thank you.
Then I happen to venture out the apartment door, wanting to explore and also escape the awkwardness I’m experiencing with strangers. I am just about to return inside when the cleaner comes outside. He greets me with a smile and asks me how I am in Hindi. I reply politely. He then proceeds to ask something I took a little while to register: “How much do you charge…” I’m blank. “… Per night?”
That question takes me by surprise. I am astounded by the audacity this man has to dare ask a young woman how much she charges these African men per night, and just through this simple question, I see several layers of complexities merging.
“I’m not a fucking prostitute!” I exclaim in English, when I finally register what he is saying. I am ashamed to say this, but I am unable to say anything beyond that, unable to confront him.
He, at that moment, asks me if I understand Hindi. I think I just looked at him in anger and shock. He says, “no? Okay, thank you. Bye bye.” He walks away.
Dumbfounded, I enter the room and tell them what happened. They’re also irked by the man’s actions. I want to cry, but I hold it in well. I am able to blink my tears away before they fall. It is all good until my friend asks me if I want Fanta or Sprite – my tears burst out.  Outside the apartment, he comforts me; the cleaner happens to be right downstairs. Upon confrontation, the cleaner tells me that he never said that, that he never asked that, that he was only asking if I knew Hindi. I want to spit on his face.
He grasps the rosary around his neck when he hears the accusation. And I scoff – you’re not a good person just because you have faith in a god. He tells me I am confused and that I misunderstood. I tell him to stop bullshitting. In the end, he offers me an apology that is not sincere and I walk in back to the room.
I feel ashamed and embarrassed, apart from the anger and hurt.
1) My clothes… Could they have sparked this incident? I remind myself that it is not my fault. Despite what some people might say, despite what the society might say, the length of my clothes do not determine my worth or my promiscuity.
2) I am a fair Asian woman, dressed very cutely, in a room with six dark-skinned African men. Most Indians here tend to have a negative view of Africans, and the traditionalist and conservative culture of India ensures that any such woman with several men must surely be a prostitute or engaging in some sort of sexual relations with them. I mean, of course, she must be! They can’t possibly be platonic friends. She must be fucking them all for money, or at least one of them.
The conclusion I came to today: I looked as cute as I felt, and no ignorant man can take that away from me. He is a fool guided by judgmental and inherently sexist views that only draw clear lines between men and women, unable to see them as just people, unable to see them beyond a romantic/sexual relation.
This incident only proves to me the ridiculousness of some people out there.
My point no. 2 may come off as a bit of a concrete statement, but I am well aware that the culture there may not always be like that. Not every Indian is like that, no, I could never say that, for someone who believes in individuality and for someone with a good number of beautiful Indian friends. But I do stand by the fact that a fair-skin-preference does exist in India and it manifests in untoward ways.
I was very upset and taken aback by this incident; it’s the first I’ve ever had that was of this extent. I experienced another one not so far after, however.