Do you have a dream?

A simple question often reciprocated with a common cliche of course, Yes. But on delving beyond the surface, it could be easily understood that in a long way of balancing life between passion and possession, we give up what it was close to our heart for the sake of living a life others dreamt of, not ours. In this hectic schedule, we conveniently forget what we dreamed when we were young and thus the audacious ‘Schumacher’ in the early childhood becomes unenthused office employ. A typical story of most of the people or the reiterated tale of the generations to come.

Once we all had that beautiful vision where everything turns possible. but slowly as we grew up, we lost that thread which carries us to the realm of fancy and imagination as we get caught in more “practical” matters that will take us into that comfortable zone where we no longer needs to be extraordinary but an ordinary  man who follows a bandwagon. Thus burning down our dreams that once formulated the basis of our life. Often, we don’t even recognise the fact that we had a dream once as the world around as started ‘guiding’ in the only way possible.

Is it possible to live a life of our dreams? A query that most of us have, when started our journey on the earth. but quite a few only could realise the true life they were destined to and for others, it is a matter of living for the sake of living. It is not at all easy to follow your heart. The numerous obstacles right from the moment you desire to be different  puts you down in every way possible unless and until you are courageous enough to let go off your  past and furnish a new world of your dreams.

To live the life of one’s dream is the hardest path one ever need to travel. As against the  comfortable path, it’s the most challenging way one had to encounter. Sometimes things got worse and you may get the feeling that nothing is going well and this is the time you need to have immense belief in yourself. Even if, the entire world laughs at you for your fruitless endeavours, no matter what happens, you need to trust yourself ; even when you don’t find anything as remarkable with you. This is the test that destiny has put on everyone who follows their dreams and as you truly believe in your ability, a day will come when the entire world listens to you simply because you are no longer a mere dreamer but a CHAMPION of your dreams.

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” ― Paulo Coelho


Four letters

Four letters

I wished you would have told me

but you didn’t

Maybe I’m not good enough, I thought.


As I failed to perceive

what I should have,

I can no longer blame you.


Slipping through the memories,

Came the day we met

hardly I noted you

Till we were in the same boat.

But you were the same

Until the day I left those corridors

Not once you spoke a word

but it was there,

a Spark!

Awaiting me

in the silhouette of a stanchion,

Staring still.


But one day, you told me; Adieu!

with an utmost regard

and undue respect.

It happened like this…

I have been waiting for the right time to begin. Never did I realize that the proper day is just an illusion until the seasons went out and I was left to believe in my vain dreams. But as I always believed, it is never too late to begin.

I started off as a science student who took up engineering. I forgot the hard memorized formulas once I step inside the campus. Nothing strikes my mind, neither the Jacobian rule nor the basis of civil engineering. I was far away from my true self, wandering all the way around to understand who I am, what I meant to be. I was never happy while I was a civil engineering student, a haunting realization that stripped my soul apart. Slowly I understood my destiny is not doing this course but something other. Though I loved reading literature, I didn’t hold an expertise in the language but still I believed that I have to become a literature graduate.

Life in Arts College wasn’t as easy as I imagined. I was neither a perfect grammarian nor a fluent speaker. But I loved what I did. Except three hour long semester exams and internal assessments, I liked being a literature student. How can I ever forget the truly remarkable, extra ordinary lectures at Subaltern classes? I learned not only about literature but also about life, my destiny. Indeed, I was deeply worried about my future, compelling me to appear for placements which taught one of the most amazing lessons in my life; Never, Ever, Give Up. I failed in almost half a dozen tests /interviews conducted by top brands including Google, Facebook, Goldman Sachs and Reuters. I was crushed, shattered and was torn into pieces when success at door step turned into failure. Nonetheless, I was unwilling to give up.

Everything happens for a reason and there is a time for it. Sometimes you need to be patient so as to understand the ways of Almighty. Many a time, we fail to live in the present. Though the scars of the past will bring us nothing, we happily carry it. I have decided to let go off my past, to embrace the present. I realized my true destiny that I wasn’t meant to be a doctor or engineer. I have a spark; to write, to speak, to challenge the unquestionable aspects. I am truly made to stand for the ones who were denied their rights.

This is the moment and I have become a writer.

An Indian Tale

An old story
Set in India, the land of poets, thinkers and politicians.
Two children,
Right and Wrong
went on a race.
Both began at the crack sound
Not a moment to waste
For a while Right advanced
and then Wrong, then Right
then both,
Who’ll win?
Not a single clue
They go head to head, hand to hand
Alas! The finishing line
Let it decide
When Right is about to finish
It’s Wrong who set his foot
Wrong! Wrong, the laymen shouted.

Oh, Yes. It’s wrong
Right is right.
Give him a big hand dear layman
The white khaddar announced!

Death Sentence

No: 19

Your days are numbered
You are going to die
Is there anything as your final wish?

I want to write a poem.

A poem!
Pen, pad, paper everything was brought.
Date fixed
Time scheduled

Let me seek the world through thy eyes
Let me not fall prey to the evil clutches that undermine my mind
Let the sun shine far across the ocean yet to ponder
Undone my work, if I was wrong.

That’s it?
It’s time.
Hang him, for what he has done
For what he stood for.

Wait, wait
What does this mean?
Thy eyes? oceans?

Saab, it’s over.

( N.B. – Article 19 of Indian constitution)

Published in Stella Maris College Literary Journal 2016

Sex: Unspecified

Name: X
Age: 22

Twice they asked me,
Mr/Ms X?
Startled, confused, I looked back.

Never been asked before
But it was there always
Right from the birth
The Do’s and the Don’ts.

Hold your tongue
Stay calm
Be charming, be lovely
Be the mother Earth.

Cry not
You are XY.
Hold your breath
Be brave.

I was a seed
Beginning to sprout
Undergoing mitosis
They branded me
Before I had a say.

My cocoon was stiff and
I was too fragile
to sprout my wings.

You are a girl, they shouted.
A girl!
Dress up
Be quiet.

Crushed, shattered, wounded
I decided
To plunge into boyishness.
I began to walk like, talk like them
I thought I would be accepted
Nothing but a vain dream.

I questioned my sex
They mocked at my gender

So what?
Judge me not for what you think
But for what I’m.


So what?

Neither a girl nor a boy

I’m what I’m.

Name: X
Age: 22
Sex: Unspecified

Let them learn!

It is the time to break the shackles that undermine our educational institutions

The educational sector in India is seemed to be far more an elitist domain as the recent clamour on equality in education is brought into the spotlight. Though the constitution ensures the fundamental right to education for each and every one of its Indian citizens, caste-based discrimination that grips the society at the grass roots denies equal access owing to the hierarchic order undercurrent in the community. Even the primer institutes of the country which claim to have broken the caste barriers tend to adopt an anti-Dalit approach in the façade of lifting the lesser privileged.    

 “The value of a man was reduced to his immediate identity and nearest possibility. To a vote. To a number. To a thing. Never was a man treated as a mind. As a glorious thing made up of stardust. In every field, in studies, in streets, in politics, and in dying and living…All the while, some people, for them, life itself is the curse. My birth is my fatal accident…” The terminal words of Rohit Vemula, a Ph.D. scholar at the University of Hyderabad who committed suicide following his suspension over the quarrel with the student wing of the elite ruling party points to the casteism that grabs India’s finest Central University. Further, the death of five Dalit students who killed themselves between the period of 2005 and 2015 at the same institute tell yet another tale of oppression. This is not the case of Hyderabad University alone. The suicide of two Dalit students at the Osmania University and the silencing of students associated with Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle at IIT Madras reminds the fact that the age-old Chaturvarna system still exists in our society.    

Nothing has changed much since independence in the matter of mindset regarding Indians. Though appears to be liberal and tolerant, the caste system is engraved in our mind in such a way that we still have temples where Dalits are not permitted to enter. The whole notion of “purity”, pollution and the practices of “untouchability” that began centuries ago based on the caste system still finds a place in modern India. The inability of so-called “upper class” to acknowledge and respect people of other classes has resulted in a series of issues ranging from their denial of basic rights to ill-treatment at the hands of “feudal” lords.

Education is meant for social revival. It is always through the light of the wisdom that darkness evaporates. The educational institutions which are supposed to be the centres of impartial, unbiased learning turn out to be prejudiced and one-sided in its approach, through the alliance with elitism. As a result, Dalits who are downtrodden in the society are plunged further into an abyss as the system which upholds social equality itself paves the way for alienation and social exclusion.      

The discrimination against Dalits has led to the increased number of dropouts in schools and colleges. A survey conducted by the local newspaper shows that about 44.27% of Dalit students leaves school at the primary level. The reasons for this farthermost step include corporal punishment, denial of access to school water and segregation in classrooms. The prejudiced attitude of teachers coupled with their dual mentality towards haves and have-nots aggravates the scenario causing depression and sense of insecurity among Dalit students and thus leading to irregular attendance in the classroom, less concentration in studies, lower performance and ultimately become drop outs!

  The plight of Dalit students at a remote village on the Madurai-Virundhunagar border is tragic as the government school had “systematically” kept the Dalit students away. A. Kathir, founder of Evidence, an NGO working against caste discrimination says that “We found through the RTI act that segregation has been going on for decades though the state administration had failed to identify it. The Dalit students of the village study at a missionary-run school”. Monisha, a final year commerce student of a local city college recounts her school days where she was forced to use the outside lavatory meant for workers and was also pulled up when something was stolen in her class.

The number of Dalit students opt for higher education is remarkably less compared to students belonging to other communities. The recent survey by Times of India shows that northern parts of India have frugal Dalit representation in the matter of higher education compared to the higher castes. Though a number of reasons can be point out including extreme poverty and migratory labour, the “ostracisation” of students belonging to marginalised sections can be regarded a central issue in dragging the students out of the college. As Stalin Rajangam, Dalit writer points out, “explicit untouchability does not exist on campuses these days. But caste has evolved and exhibits itself in subtle ways in terms of access to facilities and equality among students”. Apart from these, there are many social and physical factors which contribute to the lesser number of Dalits in higher education centres.

Many times, a Dalit student was considered the “other” in the institution. Anpumani, a third-year engineering student at a local college in Chennai thinks that people always looked down whenever he told his caste. Even though he got admission through merit, fellow students have a feeling that he was “lucky enough” to get a reservation. Further, he was teased for his “Tanglish” and he was compelled to write senior’s records.

V. Krishna, a Dalit faculty member at the University of Hyderabad, speaks about the “type of ghettoization” he and his fellow Dalit students went through while he was a student there; “There was no choice, but to be in the company of each other”. Quite often, institutional bias towards Dalits led students to kill themselves. Venkesh, a Dalit research scholar committed suicide as the university refused to provide a research supervisor or guide for him despite his repeated requests. Another Dalit student P. Raja took his life as the faculty denied to publish his mark. Mr Krishna confirms the unfriendly environment in primer institutes as he says; “Dalit students find it difficult to get past the biases that surface in all modern academic spaces as teachers, staffs and administrators are not concerned about this”. Moreover, the recent resignation of fourteen Dalit faculty members at the Central University also shows the gravity of the matter. The ill-crafted cut down of budget allocated for the scholarship of Dalit students along with the erratic decisions of the government further pours oil to the fire.

The economic condition of Dalits often acts as a curb to the dreams and aspirations of students. Though the parents wish to provide education to their children, financial position compels them to encourage their children to take up odd jobs. The inadequate basic amenities coupled with the lack of proper guidance hinder Dalit students to carve a path for themselves. Though the reservation system offers better representation in primer institutes, it isn’t sufficient to bring forth deserved people. Further, reservation itself creates a feeling of incapability as the “general category” tends to look them as “less qualified”. Satish Deshpande, a professor at Delhi school of Economics, thinks that admission to educational institution makes “reserved category a de facto identity for lower caste students, where the upper caste identity is subdued and referred to in secular terms as “general category””.

Activist Anoop Kumar notes that majority of students who commits suicide has strong academic achievements and he believes that it is their claim to equal treatment that which upsets the academic establishments. Though claims to be the space for open and liberal discussion, it is the hard time we need to realise the hostility lurking behind smiley faces in our educational institutions.

(With inputs from The Hindu, Times of India)