Why Be "Fair And Lovely" When You Can Just Be Badass?

Own your skin, you queen!

I remember watching Shahnaz Husain on television, with hair as golden as a lion's mane and eyes heavily rimmed with kohl. I must have been around seven years old. I also remember feeling a sense of pride because I didn't need that cream she was selling as I was already "blessed" with fair skin. This wasn't as much of a conscious thought as a sense of validation for my then growing self. The kind of validation that places you a step above the women around you.

Over the years I've heard words being tossed around offhandedly. Words such as "wheatish", "dark", "black"...and along with them a series of phrases that had their roots in normalcy.

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13 Men Reveal How They Show Affection When They Really, Truly Like You

Because love is in the little things.

The language of love is not always flowers and a tub of chocolate (although they are very welcome). It is the little ways in which someone takes care of you that melts your heart more than an OTT date night. From making you a cup of coffee to bringing you a rare edition of your favourite book, 15 Indian men tell us the ways in which they show their affection if they truly like a woman.

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23 Rupi Kaur Poems That Perfectly Express What Being A Woman Is Like

"and here you are living
despite it all."

There's been a LOT of hate directed towards one of the most popular Instagram poets of the day, Rupi Kaur. While a plethora of criticism has found its way to the public eye - accusations of plagiarism, of appropriation, of faking it all - what is undeniable is her contribution to the world of modern poetry. Her voice is now one that is echoed by millions of women. People read words from Milk and Honey while heading to work, they take screenshots of her poems and send them on to lift up a heartbroken friend.

Whatever your feelings about her, Kaur has been instrumental in providing young women of the world with a new kind of vocabulary to express their feelings, to articulate them with artless candour. And if you're not convinced, read these powerful poems that will remind you of what every woman has felt at some point in her life.

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13 Kinds Of Crushes We've ALL Had In College!

They might break your heart, but it's definitely worth it!

Not everyone's supposed to be the bad guy. Sometimes, some people just come in with a plethora of energy that can have you falling in love with them. And most of the times, it's not supposed to be the panties-dropping, butterflies-in-my-tummy kind of love. It's an expansion of pure joy inside your chest when you see these folks walking around in your campus or just coming up to say hello. And let's be honest - we've all fallen in love with at least three of these kinds of people in our lives. People who've made our hearts melt just because of who they are...and then broken our hearts because they didn't even register that we really wanted them. So here's to the 13 kinds of heartbreakers we all meet in college!

(Read this list and tell us which of these folks broke your heart - but in a nice, not-too-sad kinda way?)

1. The one with the really nice smile

Sigh, whoever had a more perfect set of teeth, human?

(And then you realise they smile like that at everyone.)

2. The one who ALWAYS smells good

*When you're wondering if you could bathe in their perfume and laze around like a cat afterwards, each time you're around them*

(And everyone else you know is also thinking exactly that same thing about them.)

3. The one whose fashion game is on point AF

Yes, they look like they've walked out from the pages of a magazine and you don't mind that one bit.

(Too bad they're not looking like a dream just for our sakes!)

4. The one who has that ADORBS vibe about them

There is something about this individual that keeps lighting up the CUTE banner inside your brain, no matter what.

(Hey, cutie, what do I gotta do to impress you?)

5. The one who is always reading

The quiet one who doesn't really talk much but when they do, they always have a very good point to add to the conversation.

(Please, oh please, look up from your book and at me, yeah?)

6. The one who is practically everyone’s SOS

Any kind of crisis and you know that this human will be there to help you through the thunder. And will probably get in a lifeboat to save your dripping bottom!

(And then they're off to save someone else, leaving you with a warm glow in your heart and butterflies in your tummy.)

7. The one who wears over-sized tees with Converses

And has this look of utter comfort about them. Also, they somehow always manage to look pretty.

(Ugh, why do we look too lame to even talk to them when we try to pull off that same style?)

8. The one who LOVES to eat

You'll probably spot this one in the canteen admiring their breakfast/ brunch/ snacks for the day like there is nothing else worthy of their attention.

(Yeah, not even you.)

9. The one who is mostly just happy

That one individual who can light up your day, even when it's stormy AF in your inner kingdom. They seem like a storeroom of good vibes to say the least.

(It's a bit of a bummer, though, that all that radiant energy is directed at the world, not focused on us!)

10. The one who has the raddest playlist

You probably wish you could steal it and make it your own and not have to worry about bad music ever again.

(Hi, music-genius, if I made you a mix-tape, would you even listen?)

11. The one who plays the guitar

Cliche, but true. There is always a person whose guitar-playing skills make us want to swoon like we've been taught by Simran and Raj from the holy DDLJ days.

(Hate that they're always surrounded by an adoring gang of groupies, leaving very little room for us to work our way to the front!)

12. The one who can dance like a dream

Another one we're all guilty of having fallen for and not in the MJ "Beat It" kind of a way.

(Won't you ever ask me to dance with you, and not in a let's-all-dance-together kind of way?)

13. The one who becomes your instant BFF

This one somehow is always the best one, the kind that has you believing in the whole soulmate jazz because you connect with them so effortlessly!

(But, yeah, okay, the friendzone also sucks.)

This post is brought to you in association with Britannia Little Hearts. Because the only hearts you should break are Little Hearts!


12 Signs That Show You're A Total Boss Woman

You're not bossy, you're THE boss.

Since you were a little girl, you were always all about to prove that women can do anything men can. You never believed in preconceived gender roles, you in fact hated them. Why did women have to do the cooking and cleaning while men were burdened with providing for their family? Why couldn't it be a two-way street?

You're still overly-ambitious and have to fight for your rights every single day. As a woman, you have to work twice as hard to prove, you're just as good as your male counterparts. Most people still expect you to quit your job once you're married. Like you're just supposed to give up your life because you got married!

Just hold your ground and don't give up because you're destined for great things.

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Let's Talk About Raya Sarkar's "Cautionary List" And All That Goes With It

When social media becomes a place of justice.

If you've been on the internet, you must have come across 24-year-old law student Raya Sarkar's "cautionary list" on Facebook. Crowdfunded, this list went all guns blazing to expose sexual predators in the Indian academic space, in an attempt to name-and-shame, warn, and create awareness.

As of now, there are 60+ names on the list; a lot of these people are self proclaimed feminists.

The cautionary list had Sarkar asking people to directly approach her with names, which she then published on this status, updating it constantly. In an interview with Buzzfeed, Sarkar spoke about her decision to take this up, saying she did it "primarily for students to be wary of their professors" because otherwise "harassers will continue to hold their positions of power". Sarkar does not publish the names of the victims, but she says she has kept a record of each statement.

While Sarkar's Singaporean nationality and American residence do give her some sense of relief from the possible dark defamation trials and threats from the powerful, one must still understand the gravity of the situation she willingly got herself in just to create a safer space and get the world talking. Following the numerous allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, the #MeToo campaign that shook the internet to its very core, Sarkar was all pumped to do this for the greater good, and it resonated with the public. The miserable state the education sector of the country is in is known to all, but the realization that the compromise is made in areas of safety as well is alarming to say the least. We seem to be caught in the snare, and the more we make noise and talk about the pain, the scarier the situation is turning out to be. The Facebook status is nearing a thousand shares, and above 60+ names. How much is that? That's a lot.

That's 60+ more names than should have been there on that list. Apparently, 60+ people in this country are sitting inside colleges, leching at women (and perhaps men), feeling protected by the walls of institutions that aim to educate, empower, emancipate.

The positives are clear. It is time, time to name and shame. While some (and rightly so) point out that such a step is a sort of social-media trial, and while 90% of the men on the list may actually be proven guilty, even if one person in there is innocent, they've now lost a safe space in society. The method lacks any kind of legal procedure, which exist for good reason - to ensure the best possible delivery of justice for the accused and survivor - this gives the accused no such right. With a few simple clicks of the keyboard, their lives are now, in a way, brought to an end.

But one cannot deny that grave times such as ours demand such rebellion. The fight for safety has been on the speakers for decades now, with certain high-low points, such as the Nirbhaya case. These, however, always seem to fall into a flat line eventually, and we end up right where we started, where we stand right now. The question is simple: if women aren't safe in colleges and schools - then is there any hope for society as a whole? If one cannot stand next to one's teachers and bosses without feeling slightly insecure and vulnerable, are we left with any other choice? And is a social-media trial then entirely unfair? What does one do when no one's willing to listen?

This may just be another viral post. This perhaps too will die out, the perpetrator(s) might manage to escape this too, but the fact that one woman managed to warn a hundred others, and scare the living daylights out of such pigs of men, is a big deal enough. That one woman could do so much in a few clicks makes you wonder why the authorities have achieved absolutely nothing over the years. Are we still wrong to wonder if it does, in fact, not matter? That the treatment of women as sexual objects fits perfectly into the Tetris that is this patriarchal world? How long do we just train ourselves to stand in the corner and hope the blocks don't fall on us?

All we can do now is wait for matters to unfold, but really, the questions today are the same they were yesterday, and I for one, am so tired of asking them.


13 Things You'll Relate To If You Do NOT Like Wearing A Bra

14. Why is the 'B' word such a big deal?

Hallelujah! What's up with humanity and bras, man? Why can't everybody just mind their own business and leave other people's boobies to those other people's discretion? I, for one, really wish we could do away with bras and just let our beloved stack hang as happily as it was meant to. And if you're someone who'd rather be in a world where wearing bras wasn't compulsory, these 13 points with have you saying "AYE!"

1. The very THOUGHT of women wearing corsets makes you feel suffocated.

I'd probably strangle myself if I was a Victorian woman whose entire ribcage was smooshed to look pretty. Argh.

2. You might just want to burn the person who invented the B-R-A.

Well, duh. Thanks for a lifetime of braslavery, piece of sh**t.

3. But then you remember that quite a few people are happy wearing them and you should stop being so selfish.

Apologies, ladies. Whatever comforts your chest-beings should be favored, bra or no-bra.

4. You don’t understand how people could be so cruel to their own boobs.

Most days, I wonder why I even own bras.

5. Freedom = Weekendin' without a bra.

Tell me a feeling that can beat THIS.

6. Best part of the day = Removing your bra once you’re home.

^^^ Exactly my sentiments, every single day.

7. Nothing beats giving your boobs some room to breathe.

Especially in oversized T-shirts. *Self-Love 101*

8. That annoying all-the-time pressure around your chest when you’re wearing a bra.

And that omnipresent clingy feeling.

9. Also, the not-so-needed but 'sanskari' adjusting of bra straps.


10. The bra being treated like it’s SUPPOSED to be a hidden object.

What's with people losing their minds over any part of the bra being seen, or just carrying a bra when you head for a shower?

11. Wanting to punch people who keep telling you “Your boyfriend is peeping out.”

Grow up.

12. Cursing the DAMNED underwire for all those marks on your skin

It feels like a DAILY price you pay just for being a woman.

13. Not understanding what the big deal is if your nipples do show through your clothes.

Haven't we seen enough man-boobs in our life already?!


Poem: After All The Pain, I Will Live On

If I made it through life, who are you?

I remember when I had a thousand dreams

And most of all my dreams believed in me

I was eleven or twelve

Now I don't remember -

I went to school

And did big girl things

But how did it matter to you

That I wasn't yet one.

Your hands did caress

As if I allowed it

As if I liked it

As if I even understood it;

But I went on

Like we all go on

As men what do you do

When your life isn't merely a fight?

Do you actually enjoy picnics and dances

For no one there makes unwanted advances?

And do you know the difference between pain and fear

For I've had so much of them both

The lines are forgotten

Anyway -

I was saying, I cling to hands

And rub dirt on my feet

It keeps me hidden

But I live on

"so it goes"

So life goes

When things go bad

repeat those words

And if you then begin to speak

How horrid those nights!

So loud those screams

They'll tie you to the bed

And set the room on fire

They'll call it love and take photos of you

Then sell them to liars

They'll corner you alone

And break your personal space

Anyway -

It doesn't matter

Because I lived on

Now I am not saying I have achieved a lot

But getting what I get

I did still go on

Its easier for you, for you make decisions

Your life isn't always

a debate of complications

And I do not remember what freedom looks like

The clinging to my mother

Or my father's worried eyes

And yes I do not know how to be warm

But I fought what I fought,

And those are reasons enough

To believe that I'll live on.

It's been a month since I sat down to write this. I kept staring at my screen wondering, have I processed everything that has happened enough to actually write about it?

Then I decided, to hell with that. I've got to get this out of my system.

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