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!


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