Do you remember?
Remember the days,
when you most wanted it,
longed for it,
wanted to hold it back,
days when you longed for the time,
to stare at nothingness or,
to simply stare upward in the dark sky,
or time for musing,
And now when you have all of it,
you want to flow against it.




Let me cry, please!

I saw her sitting in the extreme corner in the cafeteria, all tired and lost in her thoughts. Her eyes were filled with tears, waiting to fall any second. I stood quietly behind her for a while and then patted lightly on her shoulder. Tears started rolling down her cheeks even before I could attempt to ask anything.

” Let me cry, please”, don’t ask me anything, just let me cry. said Ritu.
    I let her.

After a few minutes when downpour stopped. I softly asked her if everything is fine at home. She told me how her mother in law questioned her for reaching home late yesterday saying “aesi bhi kya job ki ghar pe hi dhyan na do!”

how her son was terribly upset and started throwing tantrums, saying ” why did you come so late? don’t you know I was waiting for you.

how everyone was looking at her suspiciously as if she was coming home after a party while no one questioned her husband. Ritu was sobbing like a child.

” Tell me Shreya, why we are expected to do everything, cook, manage home, look after kids, meet deadlines at work, go home and then start churning again”.At home we are expected to work as homemakers and at work, we are supposed to work in, equality with our counterparts because ” hello! no victim card, please!” the message is stated loud and clear.

When my husband reaches home after work, my mother in law welcomes him with a glass of water while when I reach home, I throw my bag, sometimes don’t even change and head straight to the kitchen. If my husband is working, he is regarded as the breadwinner while my work is seen as my irresponsibility towards my family, I am labeled as an ambitious woman. Okay, I know we have a cook at home but there are so many things screaming for my attention, laundry clothes to be kept at the places, planning for the meal the next day, homework of the kid, putting kids to the bed, placing things back to where they belong and the work doesn’t end here. I have a daughter in law responsibilities to fulfill.
Ritu took a pause and started answering her own question.

You know Shreya, words like ” Feminism, equality, parenting is a joint responsibility” all this is a myth. It simply doesn’t exist.
If I have to stretch at work, I am questioned, there is the guilt of leaving my kid for so long. I am considered as an irresponsible mother. Does my husband also go through this pressure, of leaving on time, of what will happen if he is late, of how the dinner will be managed, of my kid’s homework, of groceries, or other household chores? I doubt.
It’s not that his contribution is less but he is not expected to be a superwoman.
Ritu took a deep breath, left for her work station, leaving me with so many questions.


I am not judging anyone’s role and responsibility. Neither I am undermining other sex contribution. I just want all of us to be little judgmental before passing our opinion. Let’s be a little rational before setting our expectations, be it working women or homemakers. And dear ladies, stop being a superwoman. Remember
                                 “It takes two to tango and a village to raise a child”

That tiny moment of courage

Patriarchy took over much before she came out of her mother’s womb. And while I was listening to her, I was wondering do we as women deserve this?
No, Absolutely no!
but to realize the same she took time. Before that moment of courage, she went through endless sleepless nights in a balcony in feezing December winter, she went through countless verbal, physical, emotional abuse before she decided to take that step.

My words, her plight
As she began sharing, I was numb, to say the least.

They say only women can understand women’s pain. It’s a lie. Because if at all this was true my own mother would have not asked me to stay in that marriage and would have not said: ” Sab theek ho jayega, give him some time”.
If this would have been true, my mother in law would have not been standing next to my husband supporting him.
Born in a conservative baniya family, ( baniya you know, right? we are known for our rich food, business skills, and extravagant marriages and also for our patriarchal family), I always felt I was privileged for my parents always supported in my education, as much as I want to. And the only thing I was looking in my future family was, that they let me work after marriage. Looks, nuclear family, joint family, nothing else mattered to me.
As soon as I finished my Ph.D. my parents started looking for a groom. As per the societal standard, I was already late for the appropriate age for marriage. But soon they found one and I was over the moon, for Shekhar was just the one I was looking for. A chartered accountant running his business and they had no issues with me, working after marriage.
But before my fairy tale could see the light of the day, the dark clouds engrossed my life. As dark as my Mehendi that night.
It all began after one week after our wedding when relatives went to their places and things fell into a routine. It was a usual morning, Shekhar went to bath and I was clearing the clutter in the room when I saw a file on the table. When he came out, I shared my view with him about the balance sheet. Before I could complete, he asked me to shut up and not interfere in the family business. That was the first sign I missed to read.
I told my mother about the same and she ignored it saying ” I might have discussed at the wrong time”. I too didn’t make an issue of it and forgot soon about it. My first mistake I believe.
Just two days after that incident, we went for a movie and while coming back I spoke to him about my work and that I have started applying. In no time he stopped his car and slapped me across the face and told me not to talk about work ever again. Without thinking even for a minute I got down from the car and called my dad. He came after me, snatched the phone and started apologizing, saying he lost his cool and had a terrible day. My second mistake I forgive him, went home, made love and woke up the next morning believing everything was normal. It was just the beginning of my ordeal. Everything was fine if I didn’t give my opinion, I was asked to do daily chores in the house and at night keep him happy as a wife.
After a few months, I went to my home and spoke to my mother about this. Instead of speaking with my husband or consoling me, she blamed me that its the problem of educating me too much, that I can’t even adjust. When I told her I don’t want to go back, she started crying and saying how much embarrassment it will bring to the family and told me not speak about this with anyone and gradually things will work.

A year went by and verbal abuse was a part of my life as much as breathing. Slowly my mother in law too got into this, every now and then commenting on how my parents didn’t teach me anything, how they didn’t give enough at the wedding. If I answered back, she would tell Shekhar about the same and he will find another reason to hit me again.
Years and years went by and nothing changed. I spoke to my family, they assured me things will be fine and that men’s are like that ” gussa aa jata hai, tumhe nahi dikhayega to kise dikhayega. Maar deta hai but pyar bhi to karta hai”. and worst of all plan a baby and things will be fine between both of you and you won’t get time to think about working. My third mistake, I took their words, made another attempt to make my marriage work and conceived.
I was happy for I was seeing good changes in Shekhar and his family. I felt for the first time that my marriage is working that my mother was right.  My first semester was about to get over that week when my mother in law asked me to accompany her to a guruji , who will perform a pooja which will ensure that I will deliver baby boy only.
I denied going there saying I don’t believe in such rituals and that the only thing that matters is the good health of my baby. I didn’t have an iota of a clue what was coming my way. She threw the tea she was having on my hand and I froze there in pain, holding my hand, crying. Instead of accepting her mistake she warned me that if I answered her back, I have to face the worst. As soon as she left my room, I took my phone and left for my parent’s place. I cried , wept and told my parents that I will die but never go back there again. Later in the afternoon, I ate, slept, woke up and was surprised that Shekhar didn’t even bother to call. While I was having my dinner at night, he came to my parent’s house, forced me to come, pushed me hard. I fell down, started bleeding and lost my baby.
A few weeks after my parents asked me to reconcile with him, forget and start my life.
This time I made no mistake, took their advice to start my new life. I packed all my stuff, took all my belongings and left from my parent’s place and Shekhar’s life.
I stayed in a working women’s hostel, with the help of a few friends until I found a job in the same college from where I did my Ph.D. Later I filed a case against Shekhar for domestic violence. Meanwhile, my parents and Shekhar had lodged a police complaint about my missing and later that I am unstable.

Author’s note: Through Richa’s life I learned my lesson that education cannot assure good values and morals but a good education can guarantee survival. All it needs is a tiny moment of courage, to change your life. She could have lived believing that men are like that, that abuse is a part of married life but no she chose to live happily, independent and keeping her self-respect alive.
P.S. In no way this post is written to offend baniya as a caste. Exceptions are there and it is an ordeal she went through. To read my last post on what really matters in society. Click here


What Matters? Society matter

In a
capricious society,
Have you ever stood facing this?
What role did you play?


I was standing at the door, waiting to elope,
a look into their eyes & everything froze
Familia, you see!
my love for him didn’t matter,
our togetherness didn’t,
happiness didn’t,

The god we prayed does,
Our different faith does,
the family honour does.

Will Someone please tell me why? ” Love is the only religion they teach if all that matter is how society tells honour killing is part of it. 

As I turned 23, society reminded me
That my existence depends on
the institution of marriage,
My father was told to look for the groom,
sell his things, lose his self-esteem
Do as you please but
get your daughter married with
pomp and show, please!
No, not for me but to feed the spinless society, you see!

Will Someone please tell me why? a father has to beg and borrow to make his daughter marry, why dowry is believed as a gift, why we don’t practice what we teach?


Three Idiots,
taare zameen pe,
be what you want to be,
however, you want to be
the lessons of self-love, self-care were applauded
Still, we failed in listening to the one we loved
and depression, loneliness clobbered

Will someone please tell me why? we never really understood grades didn’t matter, their behaviour does, that everyone is special in their own ways because god makes no mistakes.




 what matters



An illusion of grandeur

Everything is right
right in place
perfectly as per my taste.
Perfect like those nights where
the sky is filled with starlight and
a full moon by its side
and a gentle touch of the breeze passing through my face
Such a perfection ! or
an illusion you may say.

Its a frosty December evening
windows covered with fog
Our favourite song running in the background
and Oh my ! the voice of Bryan Adams fills the room.


I smile as I hear them now
” Nothings gonna change my love for you”
Silly of me, how I never understood then
that like seasons change, things change
people change and feelings in them too.


And then there is a coffee by my side
just the kind you liked
As black as pitch
as strong as death and as sour as our love.


And I, on the other side
lying on that couch with my heart filled with
memories of our love gone wrong
Hoping maybe just maybe
You are looking at the same night, the same stars and thinking of us in same way !




A decade gone by..

Unees se bees,

So what?,another year

you may say.

And I will invite you over a cup of chai,

and tell you what made us slay.

Self-care was the word of year,

Pilate, yoga, diet,

We did everything to take care.

Sabyasachi made us fall in love with size plus ‘

Nandita das reminded us that India’s got the colour.

Still we failed In listening to voice of the one we loved,

We didn’t hear them well,

Depression, loneliness conquered. When Pulwama , the deadliest attacked stirred the people,

We retaliated


Abhinandan Varthaman’s courage was greeted by Nation.

And then there was another story in making. Article 370 got scrapped and history was created. Jammu and Kashmir as a union territory was born Some loved some hated

but a landmark was created with dawn.

Chandrayaan 2 was launched by ISRO,

we cheered, hold our breathe

when we lost the communication.

But with all our heart, we celebrated the achievement.

Another year, another decade,

Metoo campaigns, flags of feminism, gender equality, we raised.

Pepper spray, self-defense

Everything we tried

still we were robbed

We were erased for we demanded our rights

Nirbhaya Priyanka, Unnao

Countless incidents triggered a nationwide uproar,

Still nothing could control malevolent.

And just when we thought it’s a closure,

we are at the beginning of new year,

Stage strikes, vehicles on fire, blocked street,

Youngsters in clashes,

CAB, CAA divided the nation.

And you Say it’s just another year,

Let’s meet over a cup of chai & welcome the coming year.

With new hopes,

new chances,
same dreams,

Fresh start. How was your year gone by? Do you reflect back or take in stride as it comeLooking forward to know your side of story.

P. S.

“This post is a part of ‘DECADE Blog Hop’ #DecadeHop organized by #RRxMM Rashi Roy andManas Mukul. The Event is sponsored by Glo and co-sponsored by Beyond The Box, Wedding Clap,The Colaba Store and Sanity Daily in association with authors Piyusha Vir and Richa S Mukherjee.

सर्दियों वाला प्यार

मैं सर्दियों  में  गर्मी  वाली  धूप  चाहती  हूँ ,
हाँ  मैं  तेरे  पास  होने  का  एहसास  चाहती  हूँ,
तेरे  झूठे  वादों  को सचा  मानना  चाहती  हूँ,
शायद  वक़्त  गलत  होगा,  ये  खुद  को  समझाना  चाहती  हूँ,
हाँ  मैं  सर्दियों  में  गर्मी  वाली धूप  चाहती  हूँ।

घड़ी की सुईयों  को  फिर मिला  देना  चाहती हूँ,
ठीक  उसी  जगह  उसी  मोड़  रुक  जाना  चाहती हूँ,
तेरी  Kinetic Honda का  हॉर्न  सुन ,
घर  से  बाहर  भाग कर आना  चाहती हूँ,
हाँ  मैं  सर्दियों  में  गर्मी  वाली धूप  चाहती हूँ।

किश्तों वाला ही सही पर  तेरा साथ चाहती हूँ,
Tinder की दुनिया में emotions अभी   भी  tender है,
ये  बताना  चाहती हूँ,
Permanence is the key  ये याद  दिलाना  चाहती हूँ,
टूटे  तारे  ही  सही  पर  गिनना  चाहती हूँ,
खुले  हाथों  से  हवा  पकड़ना  चाहती हूँ।

हाँ मैं दिसंबर में जून की गर्मी चाहती हूँ,
कुछ ज्यादा नहीं बस तेरा पहले जैसा साथ चाहती हूँ,
सर्दियों में गर्मी वाली धूप चाहती हूँ।

When he left me

My heart was heavy, there was a different kind of silence, it was deafening. Everything was spic and span. T.V. remote at its place, shoes in rack, no half drank glasses on the table, mess free study corner, shining upholstery and a pin drop silence as I entered home, which was now nothing more than concrete walls. I went further, kept my bag and keys on the side table. I had a lump in my throat. I wanted someone to call me “ Mummy, meri shirt nahi mil rahi “( I can’t find my shirt ), “ Mummy, “kuch acha bana do” , Mummy aaj pata hai kya hua” but there was no one to call. My eyes were filled with tears that I had been controlling since I had dropped him but it came rolling as I saw his picture.

In all these years I had forgotten if I was anything else, anything other than mother to my kid. I didn’t know the empty nest syndrome was so real. I didn’t knew how to handle the absence of my kid, my home without him, who has now moved to boarding for further studies, for better opportunities. While he was doing his preparations, he often use to pull my leg saying “ Mumma, good times on way, ab apka peech chutta”, no screaming in the house, no calling mummy all day and after listening to him I use to do the fun dance. But now that he left, I was questioning my existence. But this is how one will react if all life, a person would have been is just a mother to her kids. I remember no other thing than nurturing him, feeding him, handling his tantrums, fulfilling his demands, dropping and picking him from his coaching. Suddenly there was a full stop to it. My chick was all grown up now and ready to spread his wings. I knew he will not be in my laps forever, but the transition was hard to absorb. I was a stay-at- home mom, who left her job to be around his kid. And now that he was all grown up and left home to make his life, I didn’t know what to do with mine. When he went to boarding, I use to call him every evening, I went to meet him often, but boarding schools have their own rules and my kid had its own schedule. I was happy that after initial hiccups he was settled there. But I felt like a missing piece. Read More


“Umeed” – Books before bread, identity before lethargy

And sometimes extraordinary things happen in most ordinary way. We come across the kind of people who change our approach towards life forever. One such person is Udita chadha. I got to know about her, through one of my family friends. While having conversations about life and other things we discussed about people who have the courage to believe in their dreams and pursue them rather than living the lives of an average person who goes through the daily grinds of life . One such inspirational story is about Udita Chadha, 30 yrs , who has achieved something at a very young age which most of us don’t even think all our lives .


Udita Chadha is a graduate in Social Entrepreneurship from University of Southern California with over 9 years of work experience in both corporate and development, Udita has an ardent belief in gender equality and women empowerment. In 2014, Udita founded a Non-Profit Organization called “Umeed” in Hyderabad, with an aim to promote women’s empowerment and radically alter the mindsets that exist within society.
Udita’s Journey & how she entered into Social Service –
Being born as the second girl child into an insolently patriarchal society in a small city in India. She witnessed countless instances of physical, mental and emotional abuse against women in her family and around. She started to question such mind-sets from a very young age and grew up to become a fierce believer in women’s right and empowerment.

Working in a corporate for 3 years after her graduation made her realize that she cannot do this for ever as it didn’t provide her the purpose of life she was looking for, something closer to her heart which she believed to be more meaningful. So she quit the corporate world to join Teach For India initiative in order to get exposed to the social space.

Two year of Teach For India fellowship, where she taught grade 2& 3 students in Govt School in Hyderabad, helped her in interacting with the kids and their families. What shocked her the most was how boys and girls, believed that hitting a woman was acceptable! It was not that all the girls knew their life was going to be like their much-abused mother’s but the fact that they had accepted their fate at such a young age made her question the role she was playing as a teacher. Women’s miserable situation in the community was affecting not just their daughters but also their son’s. Most of the boys, aged 8 to 11, had already started working small jobs in the evenings to support the family financially.

During the second year of her fellowship, she co-founded Umeed, in august 2014, with a vision to promote women’s empowerment and radically alter the mind-sets that exist within society. By way of providing skill training, knowledge and exposure to women UMEED aspires to bring about an immediate and lasting difference, one of hope, dignity and security. UMEED is currently working with 30 women from 6 slum communities across Hyderabad.

Through Umeed, She has many stories to shared such as that of Janki Ji. 7 years ago Janki gave birth to her second child, Prashanth, who was diagnosed as a special-abled child. Unlike her family, she took a bold step of taking care of him without any discrimination and took him to a special school every day, religiously since last  years.
Overtime, Janki realized the importance of being financially independent rather than depending on her family. Joining UMEED gave her a sense of happiness and comfort especially in terms of developing her emotional, social and financial independence.

They are trying to bring a change in under- privileged / oppressed women’s by providing training and knowledge to women to bring about an immediate and lasting difference; one of hope, dignity and security in each of their lives. Umeed is a holistic program, for unskilled women from low income urban communities,that will have them learn and grow through workshops and trainings based on 3 focus areas:
-Functional Skill: Programs for building skills that are employable, with a deep focus on bridging the gap between the skills, aptitude levels of women and the local industry requirements.
-Values and Mindset: Intensive awareness programs that develop a sense of self-worth in the women and make them more self-aware,
-Exposure: Programs that lead to knowledge and awareness about fundamental rights, duties, work rights and responsibilities of women along with understanding how to practice these learnings at a personal and professional front.
Umeed is an opportunity for these women to take their very first step towards financial independence in their longer journey of becoming empowered women contributing to the Indian economy. These skills will go a long way to drive their confidence, empower them and, eventually, alter the oppressive mindsets around them to progressive ones. Umeed does not exist only to better the lives of these women; but to better the lives of their whole families and communities.
In Udita’s words “ IMPACT OF UMEED”

The impact of Umeed is reflected in Janki’s unmatched courage, indomitable will and many such stories of each of our women. After 5 years of running Umeed I can proudly say that our intervention in their lives has left a remarkable impact on the women as well as on us. We have failed more than we have succeeded but the small positive changes that we see in our beneficiaries and their families keeps us going

Learn more about our struggles and triumphs of Umeed here :
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/uditachadha
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UMEEDsocialmedia
Website: https://umeedhyd.wixsite.com/umeed
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/umeedforwomen/
YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_BMd-b-L6mcfkBZGoeiVYA

Media Coverage :