We’re all a bit scared of loneliness – of being alone. Of being left. Of not being loved. Or needed. Or cared about. “Lonely” hits a spot of fear in all of us even if we don’t acknowledge it.
Being alone is a state of being by oneself without others around. It can actually be a healthy phenomenon, as everyone needs a little time away from others to plan, to think, and to rest.
However, being lonely is a different matter entirely. We are especially prone to loneliness in the modern society. Social media like Facebook, Whatsapp, or Snapchat may allow more convenient communication, but all these ways of communication neglect the importance of face-to-face socialization.
And at the end, despite many “friends” we have on the online media, they don’t really have anyone to talk to when they need friends most.
We prefer online communication to face-to-face conversation because online communication is less committed, if you don’t respond instantly, it’s okay. But face-to-face conversation doesn’t really need to be stressful. When you’re with someone who you can be comfortable with, silence is precious too.
Audrey Hepburn once said:
“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others”
This quote highlights the importance of helping others, and also highlights the fact that most of the time we are the key to many problems we are facing; in other words, you can cure your loneliness.
Giving others a hand will help you realize your value, as you discover you are capable of doing so. And helping others also open up opportunities of deep friendships, as very often, a deep relationship is forged in adversity.
When we talk about “helping others”, you don’t need to always save others by risking life. You can just pay attention to details.
Write your colleague a card if he or she is unhappy. Read out loud for the old man living next to you. Or help a child to reach the top of a rack
Charulata – Charulata, a beautiful saga of loneliness by Styajit ray himself is based on a story by Rabindranath Tagore, Nastanirh (The broken Nest) and set in Calcutta in the late nineteenth century. Bengal Renaissance is at its peak and India is under the British rule. The film revolves around Charulata / Charu (Madhabi Mukherjee), the childless, intelligent and beautiful wife of Bhupati (Sailen Mukherjee). He edits and publishes a political newspaper. Bhupati is an upper class Bengali intellectual with a keen interest in politics and the freedom movement.
Charu is interested in the arts, literature and poetry. Though Bhupati loves his wife, he has no time for her. She has little to do in the house run by a fleet of servants. Sensing her boredom, Bhupati invites Charu’s elder brother Umapada and wife Manda to live with them. Umapada helps in running of the magazine and the printing press. Manda with her silly and crude ways is no company for the sensitive and intelligent Charulata.
Amal (Soumitra Chatterjee), Bhupati’s younger cousin comes on a visit. Bhupati asks him to encourage Charu’s cultural interests. Amal is young, handsome and is of the same age group as Charu. He has literary ambitions and shares her interests in poetry. He provides her with much needed intellectual companionship and attention. An intimate relationship develops between Charulata and Amal. There is a hint of rivalry when she publishes a short story on her own without his knowledge. He realizes that Charulata is in love with him but is reluctant to reciprocate due to the guilt involved.
As a respect to Satyajit Ray, we will discuss Charulata only in detail.
In Charulata, Satyajit Ray explores the emergence of the modern woman in the upper-class of colonial India. One can not help drawing parallels with Ibsen’s A Doll’s House.
The opening sequence is a piece of cinematic poetry. We see the young wife Charulata moving from one window to another in her house. She observes the activities of the outside world through the window blinds using opera glasses. She is like a caged bird in her mansion. We sense her curiosity and desire to know the outside world.
As she moves to the interior corridor of the house, we see her intellectual husband. He is too engrossed in a book and walks past her without even noticing her presence. She watches him as he walks away and stands reading. Charu raises her opera glasses and looks again as if he too belongs to the outside world. As Bhupati disappears from the view, she is expressionless and lets the opera glasses slip down. The camera is pulled back sharply, “like a flourish with a pen at the end of an essay …” in Ray’s words. Without a dialogue being spoken, we know Charulata is condemned to her loneliness and boredom.
In the final sequence, as Bhupati returns home after wandering aimlessly, Charu opens the door. Gently and with hesitation, she asks him to enter. A wavering Bhupati enters the door and reaches toward her hand. The shot is frozen and is followed with still images of Charu’s half-lit face, Bhupati’s half-lit face, a servant holding a lamp, a mid-shot of Charu and Bhupati and finally a long-shot of them. As the music rises the words “Nastanirh” (Bengali, The Broken Nest) fill the screen. It was ray’s cinematic answer to Tagore’s original ending in which Bhupati has to go out of town and Charu asks him to take her with him. He hesitates to which Charu says “Thak” meaning “Let it be”. As Ray explained later, it was his visual equivalent of the word “Thak”. “The two are about to reconcile and then prevented from doing so.”
Hail Satyajit Ray.
I come from that pre millennial era where having a friend that is boy (not boyfriend) was frowned upon and I hated being among girls. I always thought I am never made of the girly stuff and that’s why for a longer time I never had girlfriends.
But today on Women’s day as I sit to write why I value my female friends over the testosterone counterpart, I get a smile on my face. Even though I say all of this now, around college, I lost almost all of my female friends. Not on purpose, of course, but I met a lot of people who just didn’t function like me.
Gosh they can be exhausting, they need to be updated with your life details every passing minute, explanations for why it was done & definitely for why it was not done, sessions of “what the hell are you doing with your life”, “You know he is interested on you na?”, the fighting, reprimanding, complaining , caring and definitely worth keeping.
Female friendships are so caring in nature that they don’t border on being interfering, they amalgamate into your life smoothly acting as a father of the bride when you date someone, giving a shoulder to cry if you are depressed, never ever make you feel overweight or less gorgeous, doubling up as a bodyguard, acting as a mother when you are sick and noticing those things about you which you never knew even existed( I have a habit of smiling while narrating why I am super tensed, my roomie tells me this).
My female friendships taught me that the I have some flaws and I am beautiful with that, that I can cry if I want to and there is always a hug if nothing else matters, that you don’t only take care of your PMS but of your buddies too, that you gossip about everyone else and dare listen a word about your friend, that what she likes is equal to what you would be liking and whomever she hates enters automatically in your “To murder” list.
They taught me that the first step to a successful friendship is to accept your friend as she is. That means no judgement. You let them be who they are. Whatever your girlfriend offers, take it. Whoever she is, accept it. She isn’t a project. Neither are you.
They taught me that we must be honest and vulnerable. It’s the only way to build a bond that lasts after the granddaughter walks down the aisle. My best friend knows that my birthday is my Personal National Holiday.
My girlfriends gave me an important life lesson- we must celebrate each other’s triumphs. Be a cheerleader. If cheering isn’t your thing, be a boxer. Help her knock out obstacles with words of support, love and encouragement. Use your strengths to balance out her weaknesses.
To all the amazing women in my life labelled as friends. A very Happy Women’s day to all you phenomenal women in my life. Remember when the final chapter of life is about to be closed, I wish to be around you all, taking a shot and saying
“Hell Yeah! That was one fucking lifetime of friendship”.
Ending this post with a beautiful message from my friend whom i never met but really cherish:
This Sunday night, me and my bestie Remya decided to celebrate Friendship Day. I am back in Patna after a brief stint last year working with an organization that’s striving to improve the health care services of Bihar.
So we were going to Hotel Maurya for a coffee on a cycle rickshaw (Please note that Maurya is considered a 5 star hotel) and we spotted two men peeing right in the middle of the road. My friend in signals told them that they should not do this. Yes told them that they should not pee right at the public place. We didn’t make fun of them, we didn’t laugh. We just told them that it’s wrong.
Few minutes later, these men came from behind on a bike and the one sitting pillion tried to hit me or slap. My hair was falling on my face and that is why he missed. But he had to hit me, the plan was to teach us a lesson, so he grabbed whatever hair he could grab in his hand and pulled me off. The first thing that occurred to me after realizing what has actually happened was to look for the vehicle number. The brave duo were smart enough to cover it with a gamcha before coming to hit me.
I was shocked, I was stunned, I was scared. Yes I was scared, for the first time in my life I was hit. I was scared to tell it to my papa who hates the fact that I work in Bihar. I was scared of the fact that what if he had gun and decided to take revenge the other way. I was scared to accept it publicly but when I thought over it, i decided to speak. The first thing that I did was to make a police complaint and thanks to cctv in adjoining shops I was assured by SP Patna that they will be nabbed.
The whole incident is not important in terms of what happened but the mindset behind it. The mindset that’s rotten, that’s disgusting to its core when they think “ Wait, I will come back to teach you a lesson”. How dare you not accept my proposal , Wait, I will come back to teach you a lesson with a bottle of acid. How dare you say a no to my untoward advances, Wait, I will come back to teach you a lesson and rape you. How dare you say a no to sex when I am your husband, wait I will teach you a lesson. How dare you pointed out that I should not pee in the middle of the road, wait I will come come back to teach you a lesson , wait I will hit you
I have been told that Bihar is a wrong place to speak up, Bihar is a wrong place to take a stand. But then if we shut up just because a pervert has the guts to slap me in the middle of a posh road in the capital city of a state, every place is a wrong place to speak up for any woman in any part of the world. I had to speak up so that they don’t think it’s so easy to go off after a show of masculinity. I had to speak up because in my small town called Bhilai, I have two niece who want to be like their bua when they grow up and I don’t want them to grow up in a world where we live in fear. I had to speak up because in Patna women’s college when I spoke at their event, hundreds of girl said they wish to be courageous like me and I simply cannot deny that trust. I had to speak up because I have a conscience to answer. I had to speak up because I share the bond of a friendship with a girl who has no second thoughts about standing up. I had to speak up because shutting up is not me, because I want that shutting up is not the way out for any woman.
For the brave men who ran away speedily after taking that “manly revenge”………..Dude someone needs to tell you that you are fucked up big time and hope you have brushed up your ego and gave it a boost, this very time it has gone wrong. For years, when everyone asked me if it was difficult to be an independent woman travelling alone, going to difficult places, living by myself I brushed them off, saying you needed to know the rules, Don’t fear, stand up, speak loud, and enjoy. Most of the days I am proud of being one of them but one fine day incidents like this strip you of all the mettle that you think you are made of.
People told to always be cautious and to shut up (I myself did that the same day). Others will tell me that what happened to me was normal because we live in a patriarchal society. Others said that I should not get involve in FIR jhanjhat and let the man go. It is bizarre that my options in this situation involved letting go off the perpetrators to release myself of conflict or standing up to them.
Do you really thought that there are any options? I shouldn’t ever be asked to let go, to bhool jao, to stop thinking about it because standing up against an assault on your liberty is not even a choice at all. We owe it to the same society we live in.
Scenario 1: The movie called Waiting where Kalki’s husband has met with an accident and is in coma, a newly wed she is so emotionally shaken that she does not understand why it happened with her in the first place and when she does realize that it has actually happened she breaks down. Comes husband’s bag from the police station and she switches on the phone to find 32 messages with some Kiran.
Comes Day 2, the grief stricken wife who was not able to breathe a day earlier turns into “Were they sleeping together! Was that bitch f***ing my husband!” avatar and gives a damn about the husband that is in coma. Later that kiran turns out to be a man…………:-) yes a man.
Scenario 2 : A friend goes on to meet a school friend on coffee. The guy and his wife have recently shifted to Goa and are columnists with a leading newspaper. This journo couple are known for being “an ideal” couple. So this friend asks his friend “Wow you have shifted to Goa, I can come over anytime if I plan to travel.” To this the male friend jumps and says “ No, don’t even think about it. Shilpa (his wife) is paranoid about me talking to any girl. Marriage sucks, you should know it”. My friend came from the coffee shop and when I asked “How was the meet up”. She replies “BLOCKED”.
Scenario 3 : A friend who is at the one of the most prestigious administrative services and almost got a viral stature for his progressive symbolic act of ending discrimination of a woman by society completely goes offline as soon as he steps inside his home as his wife checks his phone at any random time and he never knows what she may pick up to start an altercation. He does not want to “get caught” and we wonder if this check mechanism is what a marriage has turned into.
These are the educated, rational women we are talking about. Dear women: What the hell is wrong with you? We’ve all most likely been at one or the other ends of this scenario; we’ve either been the worrier or been with the worrier. Chances are, we’ve actually experienced both.But do you realize this kind of insecurity is toxic to the relationship. the very acting out of our insecurities can push our partner away, thus creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because this struggle is so internal and most of the time even independent of circumstances, it’s important to deal with our insecurities without distorting or dragging our partner into them.
Relationships shake us up. They challenge core feelings we have about ourselves and evict us from long-lived-in comfort zones. They tend to turn up the volume of our inner voice and reopen unresolved wounds from our past. If we felt abandoned as a child, the aloof behavior of a romantic partner does not mean he is going to abandon you. If you have witnessed a troubled childhood, it doesn’t mean that acting as a phone or internet police will act as a preventive measure.
Just remember “Prevention is better than cure” is not an explanation for your paranoid insecurities, so stop using them. I am sorry if your husband was once a cheater, if he wants to cheat, he will anyhow do that. So kick that asshole and move out but don’t make your partner’s life hell by “What if he cheats” loop in your head.
There is no “ Aww” relationships nor are their any working model except one key word – Understanding and Respect. Don’t undermine the very fundamental of a beautiful relationship. As hard as it may feel to connect our contemporary reactions with a behavior pattern, it is an invaluable tool for getting to know ourselves, and ultimately, for challenging behaviors that don’t serve us or even fit with our real, adult life
We all have an “inner voice” that says “OMG! I think he is cheating on me”, don’t let it overpower you. The goal of any relationship should not to get into a “S” size LBD to keep his interest intact. You are a goddamn person and not a season of game of thrones to keep his interest intact. People with low self-esteem not only want their partner to see them in a better light than they see themselves, but in moments of self-doubt, they have trouble even recognizing their partner’s affirmations. In other words, we shouldn’t forego essential parts of who we are in order to become merged into a couple.
Snooping through their text messages, calling every few minutes to see where they are, getting mad every time they look at another attractive person – these are all acts that scream of reassurance. Remember this kind of attitude comes from within, and unless we can overcome them within ourselves, it won’t matter how smart, sexy, worthy or attractive our partner tells us we are.
When was a relationship meant to be between equals. It’s marriage and not a voting right.We have to accept that our partner is an individual, a separate individual. We don’t always express our love in the same way. This doesn’t mean we should settle for someone who doesn’t offer us what we want in a relationship, but when we do find someone who we value and love, we should try not to enter into a “I am watching you” relationship.
When we love someone and allow us to be loved, the emotional invest brings with it insecurities but trust is one big word. When we don’t let our insecurities make us do something that we ourselves don’t respect, relationship is one happy journey. What would be the worst possible thing – He will cheat.
No my lovely ladies,”Men are polygamous” statement is just another sentence that says “I have to tolerate his bull shit”. Get rid of that negativity and you will find you growing within. No time is wasted, never are the emotions wasted that taught us to love, that showed how vulnerable we can be and that made us learn a lesson or two.
So have a rocking marriage ladies and men, you can thank me later.
P.S.- The feminist brigade can start an attack on me now.
The whole procedure of finding a perfect match for the son/daughter who have attained the so called marriageable age is amusing. Suddenly sprung up a whole new species called “Shadiraam Gharjode” who drop by every Sunday, suggest some “potential candidates” over heavy breakfast and two rounds of “adrak waali chai” and make your parents guilty of the fact that their daughter is still not married and when this phase ends then starts the real torture; matrimonial sites, profiles, calls asking “Ladki ka colour fair to hoga na, jyada healthy to nahi, koi past wagairah ho to bate de” and of course the compatibility acquires a different parameters, “aajkal B.E.+MBA ki demand jyada hai technical match ban jata hai” (Give me a break dude ,are you planning to discuss circuits all through your life) .When gotra, profession, dowry, family status are matched then they come down to taking the opinions of the future bride and groom
Why does this institution of arranged marriage survive in India in this day and age? The India I am talking about is of the educated middle class where the incidence of arranged marriages are not only high but also considered as a legitimate way of finding a mate The answer lies partly in the elasticity of this institution and indeed most traditional customs that allows it to expand its definition to accommodate modernity such that, today’s arranged marriages places individual’s will at center and parents assume a role where their one hand is raised for blessing and other immersed in wallet.
The arrangement in arranged marriage is clearly a manufactured one, sometimes taking some pseudo forms like a blind date, online meet ups, the reality swayamvar type shows all aim to let one meet a potential spouse. Here the idea of love is not so gently manufactured by contriving a spark or overflow of hormones but rather a well planned robbery.
In the west the idea of marriage has a notion that starts when one proposes and the other can withhold it for an indefinite period of time So we have marriage as a mirage that shimmers frequently but materializes rarely but imagine the same, when venues and the day of Roka and even which car is to be given as a gift have been fixed, how can a girl think over the proposal?
In an era where future and security hold more promise than present, arranged marriages continue to hold their charm. Whether choked in tradition or cloaked with modernity this institution of arranged marriage needs some serious help because sustenance of a long term marriage brings along with it a personal growth
“Wasn’t marriage, like life, un-stimulating and unprofitable and somewhat empty when too well ordered and protected and guarded? Wasn’t it finer, more splendid, more nourishing, when it was, like life itself, a mixture of the sordid and magnificent; of mud and stars; of earth and flowers; of love and hate and laughter and tears and ugliness and beauty and hurt?
“You know daddy, today we learnt about Oedipus Complex in our psychology class”
“Really son, what did you learn”.
“A desire for sexual involvement with the parent of the opposite sex and a concomitant sense of rivalry with the parent of the same sex; a crucial stage in the normal developmental process. Sigmund Freud gave this .Dad this is shocking, is it true?”
“Listen son, there are many theories by many psychoanalysts and someday I wil tell you his criticisms.Just remember you don’t have to put that in your head so seriously.”
“ Hey Honey, can you just pick up his school books from Mrs Sharma’s home and pack some dinner for both of you while returning, I will be late today, product launch today”
“Don’t you realize Smita that it’s always me who is doing Satwik’s work these days, can’t you do what is even basic of your duties”
“I too work Nikhil and he is your son too. Top being a chauvinist every time I ask you to help”
“OK,ok don’t start all over again”.
I just wished I would have listened to Mom and marry someone like her……wondered Nikhil.
And in a notebook Satwik wrote on a fresh page.
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“Today there is no country in the world, not one, where women and girls live free from violence. Protecting women’s rights to live in dignity, free from violence, requires our deliberate, urgent and sustained action,”
Dr. Babatunde ,Executive Director, UNFPA
An international conference to end violence against women closed with action-oriented pledges to end violence against women from 35 stakeholders. Participating UN agencies also launched the landmark Essential Services Package, a toolkit of guidelines, services and best practices for women and girls subject to violence .
The year 2015 marks the 20-year anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the most progressive road map to gender equality. World leaders met in March at the United Nations 59th Commission on the Status of Women and in September at the 70th General Assembly to take stock of the progress made and commit to take action to close the gaps that are holding women and girls back. This year a new Sustainable Development agenda, which for the first time includes specific targets and indicators on ending violence against women, also replaced the Millennium Development Goals.
From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. The international campaign originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991.
To contribute to the #16DaysOfActivism Against Gender-Based Violence, Sayfty decided to start a campaign and asked people to share what makes us feel unsafe. Have a look at what men and women around the world had to say:
The policy makers, the members of society, the men, women and children everyone need to read what makes one feel unsafe, be it travelling alone or taking a public transportation.
Lets make this world a safer place.
Images courtesy- Sayfty.com
Email all submissions to email@example.com. This is an ongoing campaign. Read more about it at