December 25, 2012

Zindagi Bhar Nahin Bhoolegi...

Posted by Divya at 12:05 AM 6 comments

As rare as it happens, I have been inspired by my own writing. I came across this piece of writing on The Darlings of Venus. (Okay, I lied. I didn't ‘come across’ it. I ‘searched’ for it.) 
I wanted the wound to re-open. The deep cut in the heart has dried but the heart that yearned should be purged, washed clean and clear until what remains would be a piece of colorless flesh, drained of blood. The deep cut would still remain like a mark – a mark that would never get erased, a mark that would be hidden beneath the perpetual flow of blood, a mark that would surface every now and then, every time the heart slowed down and pumped a little less blood than the usual.

I might try to pacify the heart, instruct it to beat normally, plaster the wound with new memories, but what about the old ones? What about those missing pieces in the deep cut?  Zindagi Bhar Nahin Bhoolegi…

The attached strings have been cut long ago; reason – Tightened Tuners. I tightened the tuners initially, I didn't stop there. I tightened the tuners more, the strings were pulled apart, the tension increased, and finally a threshold was reached. The strings could no longer hold on to the tuners, they decided to split. Now, they stand cut. No more music can be made out of the Guitar. If I ever attempt to make music out of it, they will only end up making ‘noise’ and not ‘music’.

I might fix the strings, I might fix the tuners, but what about my bleeding fingers? The fingers that cut and bled when I played on the over-tuned strings? Zindagi Bhar Nahin Bhoolegi...

Trust and Faith – clichéd words, so clichéd, that we even know the context the very moment they are uttered. Once the trust is lost, no amount of love and consolation will bring it back. It’s like the missing piece of the cut in the heart, like the bleeding fingers. You will patch the heart, you will set the strings right, but you will always doubt if the heart is still working fine, you will check and test every now and then. You will still feel that your guitar now feels ‘different’ with a new set of strings. You will then realize, that, “It can never be the same.”
And… Zindagi Bhar Nahin Bhoolegi…

P.S : It has been exactly a year, since I went “Away” and penned that post. Exactly an year since the heartbreak. I apologized to the Darlings and ran away. To where? I saw half the country, went places, changed houses, met new people, derived experiences, got some sunshine, and here I’m. Back. Right from where it all started. I’m back to square one. Still feeling hurt even after an year. All I need is one gentle push and truck loads of strength. But now, I’m back home, I’m back to the Darlings. 

December 22, 2012

In a Petri Dish - A Sci-Fi Twist

Posted by Sunitha Vijayanarayan at 4:17 AM 3 comments
If the world was really about to end , it might very well have done so already. Here's my take. This write is totally fiction and any I categorically deny any involvement with Aliens or even Mayans or Mad scientists for that matter.

Amber was walking aimlessly along a narrow winding path to a beach. There had been nothing other than discussions of armageddon and world end all day. She was tired of it all. What if the world ended ? Would she really care?  Should she confess her love to him? Now , that's stupid. What if I told him and the world did not end and he ridiculed her? That would be the end. It really would..

Samuel suddenly realized he was not reading a word of the book in front of him. His thoughts had wandered off in a tangent from when he read that word 'Amber' scribbled across the page footer. May be he should put an end to her suspense. He thought of how he had tormented her , kept her waiting ,secretly rejoicing in the fact that she loved him. He didn't for a moment believe in the rumours of world ending. That was just another myth about to be broken . He tried to call her on her cell phone and got her voice message instead.
The phone connections are bad in Hawaii. He thought wryly.  A television alert suddenly caught his attention.

Adam was working at his usual shift in the meteorological department. They had seen a whole lot of weird things going on this past week . Flash floods, Tsunamis , Torrential rains, large blocks of ice floating around in oceans. Enough and more for a panic reaction if the public came to know. But he wasn't sure if all these were some weird climatic aberration that would go away (may be not without claiming thousands of lives) , but not by ending this world either.

Shekar  was working on a top secret mission at NASA. It needed only one more approval. The space craft was all ready to take off into the outer space. At the first sign of catastrophe , it would take off , orbit the solar system . The name on the space shuttle read 'Noah's ark'.

In another dimension,  two scientists in lab coats were watching the clock. It could be called a clock only in the sense it showed a measure of time. Other than that it was another piece of sophisticated lab equipment. One of them looked into the microscope and sighed,
"You know , there is a panic reaction down there. "
"Yeah , this was bound to happen when we experiment with intelligent beings. "

"Is it time yet?"
"On count of  three ", said the other. 

On count of three the experiment container was destroyed.

"Too bad this one got itself into this state and couldn't be repaired. It will take millions of years to get one half as good. "
"Not if the Noah's Ark makes it to the new culture.I'm 99.9% sure it would ".
"That was brilliant".
The  two men exchanged smiles and  walked out of the laboratory.

December 19, 2012

Let the world end..

Posted by maithili at 5:47 PM 6 comments
              At the beginning of this month, when I put out the topic for the month, I had a plan in mind. I do not know if the world will end anytime soon but I would like to be prepared to face it. No regrets, no unspoken words, no hard feelings and surrender to the mystic fate.
             My average day consisted of
  • Getting up and hurrying through the morning routine and rush to the college.
  • Sit through the lectures, stand through the practicals
  • Rush to catch the train back home
  • Come home and sit in front of the laptop
  • Have dinner and sleep
           In between, the only thought that weighed on my mind was "What do I eat?"
           It's tough to make a choice when the tongue and waist run in the opposite direction. Where every yielding to tongue invites widening waistline. 
           My routine was pretty much mediocre and yet it left me little space to breath. To do what gives me happiness. To have enough energy left to do anything than sit in front of the laptop! 
           The last month of this year, I dedicated to myself :P 
           I joined the library again. I shop more often. I give more time to matching my clothes with my hair clip :P 
       So this month my day consists of:
  • Getting up a little later than before and doing stuff at leisure..
  • Getting into the bus and listening to music
  • Reading my book in train
  • Reaching college half an hour early and chitchatting 
  • Sitting through lectures and standing through practicals (cant change this :P)
  • Coming home and watching Grey's anatomy
  • Checking on mails and reading blogs
  • Dinner
  • A walk alone in the night :P Singing aloud the songs playing on the radio :P
  • Going home and getting the clothes and bag ready for the next day ( that's how I wake up late and still reach college early :D :D ) 

      Besides I made a pact that I will eat all my favorite food by 21st Dec :P So I have been gratifying my taste buds and loving it :D 

     This month has been fun. 
     Meeting school friends and close buddies.
     Going out with the college gang.
     Having deep conversations about matters never talked about.
     Discovering the joy of being shouted at  by my nephew :P 
     On the other hand, I have heard about the gravest crimes being committed in this world which we so fear to leave. 
     A four year old girl molested and penetrated by finger by her autowala (They call it just molestation seriously???)
     A 67 year old senior citizen raped
     A 23 year old girl gang raped and left to die. 
     Women killed for administering polio vaccine.
     Children killed in school by a gunman.
     and these are just the ones that are highlighted in newspapers. What ghastly crimes might be going unreported, I dread to think.

     As I type this post, several worlds are getting destroyed. Not by the fury of nature but by the perverted minds. Suddenly the 2012 movie looks more brighter than the reality. The optimist might think that things will change. I don't. No law can work effectively in a place where a strong punishment to 99% of the guilty will be withheld because of the 1% cases which are fake. Stronger laws yes. What will you do about the 1% where people take advantage of the law and trap the innocent? 1% might be a small number and what difference will it make until that 1% contains your kin? 
     Yes I m ready. Let the world end. 

December 15, 2012

If it does and when it does!

Posted by Keirthana at 9:58 PM 6 comments

Dew, Rain, Sunrise, Sunset, Meadows, Valleys, Rainbows, A child's innocent smile, A helping hand, A praying soul, A loving heart.......

All these drip with the beauty of life, showering us with their blessings. But we don't stop and take a moment to take them all in. That's what life has made out of us. Or rather, honestly, that's what we have made out of our lives. Where we are today is all great and grand but the how we are part is disturbing and we all know that. Everyone kept talking about the end of the world in 2012 for a while and then we got back to our lives. And now that we are here, the buzz is floating in the air here and there. 

No one knows for sure. Will the world really end? But that question doesn't really linger and is side-tracked by "How do I complete this work within the deadline?" or "What can I put in my year-end performance review document that would make my manager consider giving me a substantial hike?" or maybe "What do I wear to the new year's party?". Yes! That's who we are now. Anyway, when I ask myself the question, "Do you want it to happen?" I surprisingly find myself answering yes to that. Hold on before judging me. Neither have I gone crazy nor am I fed up with life. I have a lot to look forward to and all that jazz, but, I could do with a new world. The one which is created by the super power with a certain intention and expectation and not the one one which has been tinkered with over the generations by mankind and molded into what they want rather than what it should be.

In my humble opinion, I feel the existing world has too much of a touch of us to be good. I know if the world goes boom and the cycle begins for a new one, down the lane in some thousands of millions of whatever of years, it might again end up in the same place where we are. Whatever it is, I personally would like a new start. I know when I say new start, I will not be present as "me" to witness or experience it. ;) Still, I would rather have that. My only want is that the end of the world process should not be too painful for anyone. Dragging out the D-day, losing loved ones, being the lone survivor - that kind of stuff. I am OK with the world ending, but if it does and when it does, I want it to take us all away with it without any pain and give us all a new start.

Until later,

P.S: This is just my personal opinion in this regard. I don't have a vendetta with life or anything. I apologize if it hurts anyone's views.

What if it doesn't?

Posted by Akanksha at 7:50 PM 1 comments
12/12/12, 6:15 am

"Yes, Akanksha. I love you too."
"Sonu! Sonu, Sonu. SONU! Wake up.  6:30! College nahi jaana?"
"Haan? Haan!"

Waking up like everyday, I don my bathrobe, step out on the chilling tiled bathroom floor, and start to brush. And as usual get lost thinking about him. Thinking about him sort of helped me learn heightened multi-tasking. I think about him all day long without forgetting to do any of the jobs that I do. He's more like a daily routine now, than a desire.

12/12/12 9:00 am

"AKANKSHA! Where are you off to, man?"
"I'm coming. Need to wish Satya and Shiraz luck. They have their juries."

12/12/12, 9:02 am

"Tambi! All the best man!"
 As usual turning around to exit to the ground floor through my favourite staircase, I see him. I finally saw him, after two weeks. Two long weeks of not seeing the sole reason why my college looked pretty.
That jacket. I'd seen that jacket. On Facebook. His favourite picture of mine. He's the single most beautiful mark I'd ever seen. Of the fear of bumping into him, I turned around, and spent yet another unnecessary minutes with Satya, trying to understand her model.

20/12/12, 2:30 am, Yet another night.

After slogging myself for yet another night, I finally hit the bed.
*sounds of walls crashing, glasses breaking and trees burning*

"Have you seen him? HEY! Have you seen him somewhere? Did you find him?"
"Akanksha, don't go on the second floor. It's all burning."
"Hello! Is anybody there? Hello?"

"Akanksha? Is that you?"
And seeing him I happily flock towards him like a puppy, and jump into his embrace.

"What're you still doing up here? You could have died!"
"I was looking for you. I couldn't find you." Even with the world ending, I could only hear his voice instead of the crackling glasses. I shook my head like a confused puppy.

"Yes. The world's ending. I wanted to be with you in my last few minutes left."
"So do I. So do I. I love you. I always have. Since the day I first saw you in college."
"As I love you."
"Yes, Akanksha. I love you too."

"Sonu! Sonu, Sonu. SONU! Wake up.  6:30! College nahi jaana?"

*Sigh* "Haan? Haan!"

December 14, 2012

A Matter Of Time

Posted by Soumya at 12:44 PM 4 comments

I know most of my posts out here are the ones which always convey one message, "Move on, no matter what". Yes, its because I'm a firm believer of that. When I think about poetry the first thing that comes to my mind is love. Next, life. And I know that nothing triggers beautiful poetry more than love or life.

This is a piece I wrote almost a year ago. I wrote it when I was in the most happiest phase of life. Again, who says we need some pep talk only when we are down?

Pain, agony, more words I can use
A part of life is for getting hurt
How would you know the beauty of fire
If you don't get a little burnt

If there are smiles today
They may not be around tomorrow
No body can peek into the future
And predict their joys and sorrow

Nothing hurts more than love
But what is living without it
Its all about taking chances
Even if you end up hurt a bit

Like the smiles, the hurt won't last
Life is like a wave of sine
Somedays it is rock bottom crap
While at times it is sparkling wine

Hope and faith go a long way
Everything is temporary here
When living gets spent by the day
Why do you want to buy fear?

Paranoia is a birth right
Nobody can escape this one
Dusk always leads to dawn
No matter what, you still see the sun

Count life by the seconds
Look for happiness inside of you
Let aside the shabby past
Make room for the bright new

Time is a healthy medicine
Even if the doses are long
After the struggling battle
You emerge out more strong

Winning is not everything
Its the lesson you take
It ain't tough to sail in bad weather
If not a ship, a raft you shall make

It may be the worst phase ever
Life might be spilt into a scatter
It is all a matter of time
Someday, this will hardly matter

December 4, 2012

To You....... To Them....

Posted by Smita at 8:15 PM 13 comments
To You...
I may mean nothing
But to Them
I mean the World.

You don't love me
But They love me a lot.

You don't care for me
They care for me a lot.

I don't concern You
Am the only concern for Them.

I am invisible to You
Am the only creature visible to Them

Forgive me My Heart
I made you suffer
I am the reason you cry today
Broken into pieces
Broken by white lies
Broken by false promises

Dear Love
I cannot hurt Them for You!!!

December 1, 2012

Birth control options.. Post 1

Posted by maithili at 7:25 PM 29 comments
       A few days back a survey form was forwarded to all darlings via mail and through facebook. As mentioned in that form, the responses to the questions regarding contraceptives were piled and I requested Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan to write a post for Darlings of Venus on the same. I m thankful for the great work he has done and made it possible to put up this post on World Aids Day. I want this post to reach as many women as possible and I therefore request all Darlings to please share this post with your friends. It might do a lot of people good. A document form of the post will be mailed for those who wish to save it for further reference or forward it through mail.Kindly share your email ids on comment or facebook page so that we can mail you. Handing over to the man himself!

     Let’s talk about (safe) sex, baby !

Talk about any controversial subject and instantly, people will add on their cultural, religious and other opinions to it and just drag the discussion away from the original topic. Sex for any reason other than procreation or giving your parents a bunch of grandkids tends to come under that heading sadly even today in so many educated homes. 
It is actually a normal part of a relationship between two people - the culmination of love/lust or maybe even the start of it. However, because of all the taboos associated with just the topic, the one thing that gets totally sidelined is perhaps the most key ingredient in the sexual relationship: The choice of when/whether to have a child and how to prevent getting pregnant till you are ready. 

Unlike a few generations ago, you are now blessed with a lot of options for this, be it physical, pharmaceutical or surgical. However, the biggest barrier to using them tends to still be in the mind. During my postings in obstetrics & gynaecology and even later as an anaesthetist, I have watched doctors struggle over the last decade to get the public and patients to adopt contraceptive measures. Even as they allow their own economic and health issues to be further burdened, they refuse to consider stopping even after 6-8 children. 
The reasons stated against using them are aplenty and even bizarre at times : I want a boy/ I want a girl / I want a sister for my son/ I want a brother to look after the sister who will look after her younger brother/ No one else in my family uses protection / It's against my religion / How to tell him to use a condom / My mother told me not to use anything. 

Sigh. As I said, having children is an important decision in any couple's life. Have them for the right reasons... not because mommy told you to do so or because a condom broke. 
 Now, we all know how and where babies come from, thanks in no small part to our parents and Cartoon Network : storks deliver them when mommy and daddy love each other. While these storks tend to be really busy in our beloved nation, sometimes we would just prefer that the storks took their own sweet time and circled around the block before they visited us. I came across a couple of text books while I was studying medicine that had weird theories about how children were created and how in their 'medical mythologies', people could delay the stork's arrival.   

Before we discuss these techniques, repeat after me : Sex. Vagina. Boobies. Penis. Sperm. Hugh Jackman.
Okay, these are words that may come up during this post so it's important you don't feel embarrassed by them ( Ok. Boobies won't be coming... I just didn't want them to feel left out. )   

Now,  Maithili had sent some of you surveys which you had filled out regarding this topic. It gave me a good starting point on what needed to be taught here. Since the topic is quite vast, I'll give you the main highlights that will help you decide what form of contraception best suits your needs.

Post 1 will deal with :
  1. Calendar method.
  2. Withdrawal method.
  3. Emergency contraceptive pills.
  4. Condom - Male
  5. Condom - Female
Post 2 will deal with :
  1. IUDs
  2. Oral contraceptive pills
  3. Foams, jellies, spermicides
  4. Injectable contraceptive
  5. Male/Female sterilization
Above all else, consult your gynecologist. They are there to provide the best advice to you. They are your doctors and you have no need to feel embarrassed while discussing options for birth control with them. 

1. Rhythm method :
  • Involves you and your partner having sex on days when you are least likely to be fertile.
  • Based on your regular menstrual cycles. 
  • Evolved from Knaus Onigo method to present standard days method.
  • Standard Days method :
    • Day 1-7 of menstrual cycle ( Day 1 - start of your period ) : safe for sex.
    • Day 8-19 : Thou is fertile. No unprotected sex.
    • Day 20 to end of cycle : You may have unprotected sex.
  • Well, this is commonly taught in developing countries ( India included ) where you don't have many alternatives for contraception. It has a average-decent success rate ( 88-95% ) but you can see flaws just while reading the chart.
    • It is not necessary for everyone to have the same fixed cycle every month.
    • The difference in luteal phase after ovulation differs from person to person and based on various factors including use of birth control pills, stress, breast feeding etc. So assuming 20 as the day to 'pop the champagne' may be good for some of you but for others, you may still be in the fertile phase.
    • Not all bleeding is due to menstruation, which is the assumption and hence, starting point in this cycle.
    • Most importantly by this method, the way I see it, if you don't use another form of contraception ( for whatever reason ), you've basically cut down your sex life to Day 20- end of cycle.  Ya, that's one horny bull you've got waiting for you at Day 19 and three-quarters.
2. Withdrawal method / Coitus interruptus
  • Probably the world's most common 'method of contraception', seeing as it's free of pills, packets or prescriptions. So there's no risk of side effects to hormonal pills and latex rashes etc.
  • A very simple yet effective technique, involving the guy removing his penis from the vagina before ejaculation. By itself, it has a success rate varying from 76-96% based on many studies. This number increases greatly if you combine it with other means like wearing a condom.
  • Risk is quite obvious : the guy knowing when his dynamite's gonna blow and having the self control to stop himself long enough to detonate elsewhere. This involves a certain amount of trust between partners as well. 
  • Common question : What about the pre-ejaculate ( aka Cowper's fluid aka the clear viscous stuff that comes out from the penis when your guy is moving from 1st gear to 2nd gear and beyond ) ? Well, the composition is like semen but studies have yet to conclusively determine the viability of what little sperm there is.   
  • More importantly, this will not prevent STDs.

3. Morning after pill / Emergency contraceptive pill
  • Contrary to popular belief, more often than not, you don't get preggies the moment you have sex. Or the same hour... or even the same day usually. Just like men, sperm too do not stop to ask for directions while they go hunting for the fallopian tubes ( their FINAL DESTINATION ) Hence, there is an actual window period between having unprotected sex and fertilisation of the ova.
  • The pills usually contain higher doses of the same hormones used in OCPs ( progestin only/ progestin+estrogen ). They may act by delaying ovulation or preventing fertilisation or preventing a fertilised egg from implanting in the uterus. 
  • Meant only for those 'emergency' times - unprotected sex, a broken condom. You cannot substitute these pills for your regular ocps - higher doses , remember ? If the 'moments of unexpected passion' are bound to be unexpected and spontaneous, consider starting another form of birth control.
  • Most come with packet directions suggesting use upto 72 hours after sex. If there are two pills, the second one is ideally taken 12 hours after the first ( Again. Follow the instructions in the packet ).
  • Side effects : generally mild and short lasting - nausea, vomiting, headache, fatigue, abdominal pain. If you vomit within two hours of taking the pill, you may need to consider consulting a gynecologist regarding whether to restart the dose again. 
  • Will not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases.
4. Condom - Male
  • The super-elastic latex scabbard for your mate's sword. Comes in various colours, flavours, 'modifications' ( ribbed / dotted - we need all the help we can get to find the g-spot ladies, bear with us. ) and even with anesthetic gels to make him last longer. 
  • One of the most easily available, inexpensive and popular contraceptive methods available.
  • Single use. Seriously. 
  • All condom packets come with instructions. Apply the rolled up condom onto the tip of the erect penis and unroll it onto the penis. That tip at the top isn't a snout - it collects the semen once he comes ( otherwise the semen would be forced out of the condom due to pressure. )
  • Does not need the addition of another lubricant - oils make them break or slip off. If at all you do feel the need to use, use a water based lubricant rather than an oil-based one.  
  • There's no need to 'pre-test' : these aren't Christmas lights that you need to test them before you use them. If you're just inquisitive or planning on having fun, then sure fill it up with water to your's hearts content - we've done that for a friends birthday at the hostel instead of balloons. Prepare to be shocked at how large they can get. 
  • Protects you from sexually transmitted diseases. 
  • After ejaculation, he still has to remove his penis and the condom en mass and then safely dispose of said condom once its away from the vagina. Removing the penis and leaving the condom there leaves the risk of the sperm still falling back into the vagina.
  • Double bagging : a condom over a condom. The jury is out on this one - early claims stated that the two rubbers rubbing each other may cause friction and a tear but other studies say it's beneficial. 
  • Risk of pregnancy or STD relates mostly to tear in the condom, which isn't really common. 
  • The guy may complain of diminished pleasure wearing it. The onus of showing his Highness how 'relative' a term diminished pleasure is when he's got the girl of his dreams in bed with him - that's up to you !      
5. Condom - Female
  • The lesser known one - were you even aware you had condoms ?
  • The sheath ( made of polyurethane / nitrile / latex ) has two rings at either end - the outer ring remains outside the vagina and may even cover the labia. The inner ring... goes in.
  • While not fully endorsed, various studies have discussed washing, drying and re-using of the female condom.
  • Protection from STDs.
  • Lubrication rules : no oil based lubes but you will need (water based) lubrication for the guy.
  • Don't use both a male and female condom simultaneously - friction may cause them to break, remember ? 
  • To remove - twist the outer ring gently and then pull the condom out.
  • Advantages : nitrile is safe for guys with latex allergy, can be worn hours before the sexual encounter and doesn't require immediate removal either.
  • Disadvantages : 2-3 times as expensive ( if used once only ), used to be some weird sounds with polyurethane versions when you get down to business, the exposed outer ring can be a turn-off.  

That's it for Class 1. The rest will be discussed in Class 2. Till then, play safe and have fun.

P.S. I lied. Hugh Jackman isn't appearing in this blog post.

Topic for discussion..

Posted by maithili at 12:00 AM 2 comments
So is it time yet to start the countdown? I hope not!
What countdown you may ask if you haven't been taking things too seriously..
Just for a second imagine that its all true..
Imagine that all the talks about the Armageddon is true..
Just think that the world is going to end on 21st December 2012.
Scary isn't it?
Have you lived it up to think of dying so soon?
Heck you haven't!
You have saved it all for a time when the mess, you are currently in, is over your head.
For all the talks of rubbishing the claims of the end of the world, your world might end right away and it won't take 21st December to end it.
Just as you are reading this post on your cellphone and walking by the street a freak accident might claim your life.
Just as you are sitting in your cozy homes and reading this post on your laptop or PC, a long lingering heart condition might kill you.
Just as you are lying the dark bedroom with your laptop and reading this, a mosquito may bite and kill you with dengue..
Life is most uncertain and dying is inevitable. Here I m giving you an imagination that you know you will die on 21st December. How will you live it up?
Do not think of dying.. Think of living it up. Would you regret living up even if you don't die so soon? Or would you regret not living up should you die?
I  once again state that I do not hold the belief that world will end on 21st December 2012 (You got to make such statements lest you spread panic and land in jail :P )  and I think life is more uncertain than that ;)

So the topic for discussion, if you haven't guessed it already, is
If the world is really ending.....

I do not think there is need to go over the rules again.. Still I will add it for the benefit of the new members..
You can write prose or poetry
You can write it under your name or mail it as anonymous
No hateful remarks and no outraging any religious ideas 
Only two posts per 24 hours. If you have problems with this then please use the scheduling option on posts or please ask me to schedule your posts.

The post is your sole responsibility. Please stick to your ideas about living it up than talking about other notions!

November 30, 2012

A word for all darlings..

Posted by maithili at 12:56 PM 12 comments
Hello my darlings,

I have been meaning to write this post in September when our blog turned a year old and frankly I was quite taken aback when none of you remembered. A post to celebrate the first anniversary of our blog would have been worthless given the fact that it is hardly the same blog which we started. The blog which was brimming with countless ideas, blog which gave so many friends to each of us, the blog which gave us all the freedom to write all we wanted and discuss all those issues which were brushed under the carpet, the blog which since its conception was projected as "OUR" blog rather than a blog which would work only with a handful of people.

 The admins have moved on in life and I wish them luck with whatever they have taken up. Some have moved on for higher education and some have started working. I agree those priorities are more important than managing a blog. But simply telling me to kick you out is not the solution. It would rather be helpful that those who are relatively free in a given month pitch in to act as admins. A simple facebook message or dropping a line on mail that you can handle it this month will help me a lot. There isn't much job to do as admin other than replying to mails and updating the pages and it barely takes 10 minutes per day. I m grateful to Smita who has singlehandedly working as an admin for past few months but there has to be atleast 2 admins to manage the blog.

As for the dearth in posts, I see no proper reason for it. I have mailed time and again those members who haven't posted since they joined Darlings of Venus and I think its time that their membership is terminated. This month is the last time I will keep the members on hold. If December sees the same lack of response, then this blog better be shut down or converted to closed memberships.
I have a few ideas to revive this blog but it would be impossible carry forward without active participation.
At present there are 40 writers on this blog and if each of you posts this month atleast once that would mean we have a post almost everyday.

Next thing I would like to ask is, Whatever happened to commenting? Why are the 207 followers not commenting? Like it, hate it, say it! I do not expect that people who read us for entertainment always turn out to comment but the fellow writers who are brilliant themselves can do a whole lot by encouraging the posts here.

I had discontinued the discussions following the poor participation. Its disheartening to get responses like "If only I were not so busy this month" and I stretched the last discussion for 2 months and still the very same people failed to participate.
It is only with the hope that this month will probably get you all back, I m going to put up a new topic for discussion. I cannot force people to write and I cannot plead them to comment. As it is I m writing to people every other day to request for a guest post. This discussion is my last hope to see more writers writing.
The topic for December will be put up tomorrow.

Coming next to topics under the sections. When we started I had delegated some sections to people out here.
Like Fashion to Chandana
Music to Vinati
I was contributing to recipes
I have requested each of you to make it a success. There were sections like craft too. Sections is not the sole responsibility of these people. I know among you many who are good at dressing up, have good music sense, can cook and can paint and can make beautiful stuff. Why the hesitation to share?

The new writers join us and due to lack of feedback stop posting. That is why I put emphasis on commenting if you like their work. Don't make them feel disheartened. Same applies for confessions. It takes a lot to come out and speak what you did wrong. The least we can do is comment and not make them feel like a fool.

Regarding a few rules of this blog,
We DO NOT allow advertising anything. There is DOV facebook page and it is subscribed by all the writers and followers. Post it there if you may!
We DO NOT review anything. Most of our darlings write at A Lot of Pages which is our sister blog and the rightful place for book review. As for movie or product review, it better be done at personal blogs because our DOV mail gets many such requests which we cannot tend to given that we do not advertise or rate anything. A writer doing the same on DOV would contradict our policy so I ask you not to rate a product or movie. If a writer wishes to write on the same line, I suggest she take up the responsibility of the section called "REVIEW" which would have to be started for such requests.

I hope I m not placing high expectations on you all. It would pain me a lot to close this place down but it hurts me more to go about trying it revive it in vain. Please help me build it  back..


November 26, 2012

Most spectacular watch - "Life of Pi"

Posted by Afshan Shaik at 4:55 PM 6 comments

Spoiler alert

This book is in my to read list from long. I couldn't read it till date. I was just thinking to grab the book and start reading that the movie released on Nov23rd . Produced and directed by Anglee and based on the novel by Yann Martel the movie has already got showers of appreciation. The visuals are sheer brilliant. I cannot analyse the movie technically but what I can say in short is “Every one was awestruck by the visuals and didn't turn their heads in the fear of missing the beauty on screen” .All have started comparing this to Avatar saying it well deserves an Oscar! I can’t disagree. The visuals were spell bounding. Director Anglee used the 3D technology intelligently and shrewdly grabbing audience’s attention. The CGI tiger Richard parker which actually didn’t exist amused me a lot. Anglee who made crouching tiger, hidden dragon proved that he will continue enchanting the viewers! The boy who plays the 16yr old pi patel deserves a round of applause for his flawless rendition. Irfan Khan does what he has to . He being the old pi narrates his own story to a visitor who wants to write the book. Adil Hussain and Tabu who played Pi’s parents were a south Indian couple who were natural to the core and made a lovely duo though they played a short lived role.

If you read the book well and good. If you haven’t and don’t want to know the story before you watch give this a miss .I will have to narrate few bits here as I cannot exclaim at the marveling experience I had while watching the movie without revealing the story. The movie starts with Irfan khan narrating the story from the start to the man who visits. Irfan’s Mamaji suggests the name Piscine Molitor  Patel to our Pi which actually is the name of a famous swimming pool in Paris. The name pisses off our young Patel as he gets teased by every one at school who shout “pissing” at him. This role was played by  Ayush Tandon (age : 11) . A boy who is a deep thinker , reads a lot and analyses each and every aspect he comes across.That is the reason he wants to understand and follow good aspects of every religion. He was born Hindu but follows Christianity and Islam as well in contrary to his dad who is a staunch non believer . Tabu plays the role of a sweet mom who gives enough freedom to kids to think and believe. 
Young and Dynamic Suraj Sharma- 16yr old

Adil Hussain aka Santosh patel is a zoo keeper and hence they have wide range of animals when they decide to move to Canada as they feel there is no future in Pondicherry. The 16 year old Pi Patel played by Suraj Sharma enters the screen when the actual movie starts . He falls in love with a dancer Anandi but has to leave her when they decide to sail to Canada !Few dialogues do impact you a lot and the emotions are so clearly displayed like the blue serene water of the sea.

Irfan says to the visitor played by Rafe Spall that he remembers every thing from that evening he met Anandi, the promises and all but he doesn’t remember bading a good bye! I  was touched here :)

The real story starts in ship after the scene where a  rude  cook refuses giving them vegetarian food and they shout and fight and a severe storm hits the ship which leads to wreckage and the only survivor in the life boat is Pi along with Richard Parker (the tiger) , a Zebra , Hyena and a Orangutan by name Orange juice! A tear came to my eye when Pi asks  Orange juice “where are your kids?” the parent Orangutan looks at sea as if giving him answer that they are in the belly of merciless sea! This is the most touching scene to me.

The whole story revolves around Pi’s struggle to survive , to save himself from the Bengal tiger and also to try and tame him or at least act so in order to create a dummy zoo atmosphere. I loved the way the boy acted so intensely. He feels happy that he is not alone and simultaneously is scared as there is a permanent threat of tiger relishing the skinny vegetarian boy! Hence he stays in a safe distance.  

Trying to tame the tiger

In the life boat Pi keeps himself occupied by jotting down all his experiences with a pencil. There is a scene where there are millions of flying fish soaring just above them . I must say this is the most brilliant shot of the movie. 3D just made it more magical. My jaw dropped looking at how the serene sea can become violent too; the beautiful waves can be haunting and life taking too. If titanic was one spine chilling kind of experience this movie also leads to a similar feeling but there’s a ray of hope as the boy is not dying even after he lost his family ! 

Richard Parker is one more marvel in the movie. I absolutely loved this tiger and his natural expressions. It feels bad when the ferocious tiger becomes weak, lean and keeps gazing at the sky as if accepting the fate. The starry nights , the clear blue sea water, the camera showing underwater and the life boat and even sky from there ,stormy waves and the mysterious island where Pi finds thousands of meerkats and discovers that the algae are carnivorous  with a human tooth like thing inside the fruit is all unbelievable and heavenly. The visual effects prove that the movie has a good chance to bag an Oscar !

By the time life boat reaches shores of Mexico Pi is starving, bony and feels more devastated as Richard Parker escapes in to jungle without at least looking back at him. Folks from the Japanese freighter company don’t believe the eye witness story of Pi, so he tells them a different one in great detail with humans on the lifeboat instead of animals , but the visitor feels the initial story with animals was the best among both. The ending could have been much better. I felt slightly bored when Pi narrates the alternate story to Japanese. It was ambiguous. You may understand if you read the book. The fighter Pi cries profusely at the loss of Richard Parker. I kind of disliked this aspect. Being a great fighter he could have fought back the tears . Pi’s spirituality and belief in various gods and  the way he survives remembering each god ,  the way this aspect was dug deep in the book is not done in the movie.

Pi on the bio luminescent sea under the starry sky!!

Nevertheless this one is the most spectacular watch of  this year and for sure a visual treat. I can use many more adjectives like surreal, mystic, and magnificent to describe the movie and bravo to the director and the team .I am dying to read the book now :)

November 24, 2012

A confession..

Posted by Darlings of Venus at 4:30 PM 8 comments
            5 years back..
           "I still can't believe you said no" he told me over the phone.
            I knew this was a mistake. I should have never resumed talking with him. Not when I had broken his heart.
           "Tell me the truth. Did you say no under any pressure? Did anyone tell you something I don't know?" he persisted.
            "No.. I took this decision.. " I replied knowing that he winced on the other side.
            " I refuse to accept that I can be so wrong. I have seen it in your eyes. It can't  be all a mistake."
            "There's no point bringing it up now. I m already in a relationship." I finally told him.
            "What ? Who is he?" He asked in disbelief.
            I told him the name of my boyfriend.
            " I thought you were just getting me jealous!" he sighed.
            " That's not the way to go about it. I wish you knew. Anyway I will talk to you later." I said
            " No need.. I won't bother you again." He hung up coldly.
            7 years back
           He was my childhood friend's brother. We knew each other since childhood. His sister and I played together everyday. He was a few years older to us. I was in that age called teenage now. The hormones were totally guiding my actions. I did not think about the repercussions of those actions then. I was just flowing in the flood of emotions.
           It was apparent that we liked each other. He was one of my closest friends. Someone who always helped me with my assignments. Who shared his thoughts with me and vice versa. We used to stay up late at night talking while he completed his drawings. He was a superb artist. Something which was not encouraged at his home but plenty in mine! He was close to my parents. We bantered together with my family. We shared a lot of our time together although it was in the presence of others :)
           Looking back, there were plenty of hints dropped but a fear of direct confrontation. His gifts to me, although very simple had deeper meanings which he would tell me later. He saw things differently. An artist afterall! He once gave me a gift which symbolised loyalty, something which he told me when it was too late. I on  my part once dropped a greeting card on his birthday through his door. An anonymous card which he guessed was from me!
          We would play songs which we made sure the other person heard. WE would all the time write songs on the books we exchanged. We would never miss a chance to be at the same place.
          Then there came a summer which changed our equation. His parents were away and he was alone in his house for that period. He used to leave the keys to his house at my place and every evening when he came to collect the keys I would wait for him. I would then take tea for him (Which my mother would ask me to do) . I hardly stayed more than that but it was enough to get some tongues wagging.
          One afternoon while we were talking, he told me that he liked my cousin. Now this cousin was older to me and near by his age. He told me, "Her face inspires me to paint."
          I was heartbroken. Not that I was dying to be in a relationship ( I had not even given a thought to it!) but the very idea that he found someone else attractive while all the time I thought it was me was enough ! I made it a point to tease him about it but he thought jealousy was the sure sign that love exists. Sadly for me, jealousy turned me hostile. I stopped feeling the same about him.
         After his parents returned something happened. He stopped talking to everyone. Although my feelings had changed for him, I was hurt to lose a friend. I asked him several times but he refused to tell anyone.
        One afternoon, he came to talk to my father. I had started acting indifferent because he wouldn't talk to me anyway. When my father went into the kitchen, he dropped a chit for me. I carefully picked it up and read it later. It said he wasn't talking to me because of some problem with his family. He has no problem with me and he knows I will support him. He wanted me to keep the act on and talk only when we meet outside. He told me later that his family had heard rumors about us and wanted him to stop talking to me. In retaliation he had stopped talking to his family to let them realise how it feels!
       A new man entered my life. Someone who was a complete opposite to my friend. He thought that now I was the one who was making him jealous. He ignored my attachment with the new man in my life.
       After a few months of this incidence he proposed me. I refused.
       I realised he was not someone I wanted to be with. He was emotional kind of a person. Someone who values people more than money. His attitude is more suitable to be an artist but he got emotionally blackmailed into doing engineering by his parents and after he was done with his diploma he suddenly shifted to business. I wanted to be with someone more firm with his decisions. Someone who could stand his own. Someone who was worldly wise and would balance out the emotional me.
       True that I did lead him on but I could never have adjusted with him.
      A few months after his proposal, we shifted from that place. I could see it in his reddened eyes that he was still waiting for me but I had moved on in life.
      He was the last person to come to my housewarming and the quietest he had ever been. He had questions and his eyes couldn't hide it. I couldn't answer them all. I was a coward. I hurt the person who had gone out of his way to help me in whatever situation I was.

     5 years back when he asked me if I never had any feelings for him I could have told him I had. Substantiated what his heart always knew. But I refused to accept. Agreed to be tagged as someone who just lead him on to nothing rather than point out his faults. The reason was simple. I had done enough damage to someone who had genuine feelings for me.
    Present day..
    I still go to his house. I meet his parents and talk to his sister. He coolly ignores me. I tried to talk but he gives only monosyllable response. I m not  hurt. Ok maybe hurt to lose a friend but not hurt because he ignores me. It only means he hates me. Which is better than seeing the hurt. Which means he has moved on..
I m just guilty that he questioned his own gut feel. Maybe he will always do that in future..


November 23, 2012

Silence !

Posted by Smita at 2:12 PM 4 comments
Hmm….”, he murmured.
Okay…..a little here and a little there…..but will it be okay??”, he asked himself.
It was quiet difficult thing for him to come to a conclusion.
As making decisions was not his cup of tea.
With his girlfriend he had always been on the bad side of making decisions.
The decision to leave her taking the shield that he doesn’t feel the same intensity of love now like he used to feel earlier, was making him to suffer.
She surely loved him a lot.

The colors were flying.
Flowing out of the tubes…onto the canvas….Black….white….purple….red.
Colors make life….Life make colors.
His hands started drawing. Drawing something which even he didn’t know.
He was in good mood. Mood to paint and draw.
He allowed his soul’s freedom to mix with the essence of colors on the palette and the words of his thoughts, trying to come out from the jail of his mind.

Hands were moving.
Structure was being erected.
Confused what it was….he simply kept drawing.

What he liked was her beauty.
Beautiful in all ways that a girl can be.
Body well built, face well suited.
Her hands moving on his face, fingers entangled in his hairs, he lying in her lap…he surely misses her.
Her crystal laugh, sweet smile…endless talks…and loads of love!!! 
Life was life with her.
Meaning, value, spice, aim…everything was there with her to live.

But his irresponsible move made her go away.
He tried bringing her back but a lot late after it had been too late to apologize.
He tried marking her path, jotting her life, to get back to her, but she had closed all the doors.
She was hurt. Her respect was lost.
Her love for him was insulted.
He was her life and life without respect was a waste for her.

Memories flashes are always ecstatic.

He was once again in love with her.
He was having the urge to go back to her again.
He was wanting to meet her, hold her in her arms, kiss her.
He wanted her back no.
He will talk to her, he made this as his first thing to do after his hands will finish their dance on the canvas.

Colors were still flowing in full co-ordination of his hands.
And this continued for hours.
He was not tired.
Not bored.
He wanted to finish the piece and then go and see his love.

And after few hours he did finish it
Startled to see the image….he was thrown back.
He almost fainted to the ground.
He sat In the corner of the room.

What have I drawn?”, he thought in his mind and held hi head.
How is this even possible!!!”.
He had no idea.
Painting has just turned up-to his worst nightmare.

His sense were gone.
No idea about what was going around….he went to pick up his cell phone.
Searched in the contacts for her.
Her name was still there with the name she had saved it with.

He called and some guy answered.
Can I talk to Sarika?”, he somehow spoke.
She’s dead. She committed suicide this morning”, and the broken voice disconnected the call.

His soul was torn.
Torn into a million pieces.
Pieces that just couldn’t be brought together now.

No news of him for 2 days worried his neighbors.
They barged into his house to discover his body hanging from the roof fan, with a painting of  a girl in similar manner in the background in complete Silence.


November 21, 2012

What would you do….?

Posted by Smita at 7:04 PM 4 comments

What would  you do if your expectations are not met?
What would you do if you are left alone to cry in the middle?
What would you do…..?

She had been calling him. 4-5 times. He didn’t pick. She was fast approaching her destination. Steps were fast. A shadow was following.
She turned to see and dog came up to her.
“Madam, You know any shopping centre here.?”, he barked.
She made a face. The approach was clearly not liked.
“Can you suggest any shopping area nearby?” .
She again made a face. Home Centre board was clearly visible from the point where he was standing.
Her only fault was to turn to look for him while going from one side to the other side of the road.
“Yes, there’s Home Centre there.”, she answered in irritated tone.
“Okay, you are from this place? You live nearby? You know this place?......blah blah blah……”, she was not expeting so many questions after the brief irritated answer.
She just nodded and started walking.
He came to her side again.
“Would you like to have a cup of coffee???”….he barked.

Okay..Now this was something totally unexpected.
So she had appeared to him as a Pros******????????
Enough to break her down!!!
How can anybody think so about her???
How can anybody talk to her so???
How can she be harassed at 3 in the afternoon!!!!!
He kept barking......things which cannot be narrated here.
She kept calling!
He didn’t pick!

When he did come, he was happy. He had the company of his friends.
They had to attend a party. She was excited as much as he was!
Just her day was spoiled not his!
He didn’t even ask once.
All that was important was the five star hotel party.
The dog’s ill words were going in her mind while he was enjoying dancing to the DJ there.
She left after the speech. No food. No Merriment. No support. Only tears.
He enjoyed. Clicked fotos with everybody. Didn’t talk to her for next 2 days. No message. No call. Nothing!!!

She only called him. Went to see him. They are still together. What would you do if you had to decide for her?


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