This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Parvathy Mohan. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Log Kya Kahenge: 3 Words That Destroy Dreams

Assignments, work, studies and a million other thoughts on my mind, and it looks messier than my table. For the time being, let me keep it all aside, to pen down just this question and perhaps ponder over it for a minute or two!

Did I live the way I wanted it to be? Did I heed what my heart echoed? Did you? If not, then:


As children, we were all perfect. No worldly worries ever marred us. As we grew up, we adopted fears from the world around us. We wanted our parents to love us, we wanted our siblings to adore us. We wanted to be accepted in our so-called friend circle. We wished the society respected us and that our neighbours would hold us in high regards. So, we moulded ourselves to be like what they want, took on their fears, beliefs and false assumptions. In the name of the love we craved, we put to death the life we loved.

We let this LKK syndrome develop in us. “Log Kya Kehenge”, the disease to please others, a desire to seek approval, a disease so acute and chronic that it can rob you of your peace of mind.

Ah! What will they think if I chose an arts subject instead of a professional degree course? Oh my god! I’ll no longer be ‘cool’ to my friends if I reveal to them my love for a piece of classical music! What will people say about my parents if they see me going out with friends in the night?

Let me tell you a story about Mulla Nasrudin. He and his son were travelling with their donkey, with Nasrudin walking, while his son sat on the donkey. As they passed a group of bystanders, one of them scoffed, “Look at that selfish boy. The hale-and–hearty young son is riding on the donkey while his poor old father is forced to walk alongside. What disgraceful behavior!” Mulla Nasrudin and his son felt so embarrassed by these comments that they quickly switched places. But, comments never ended! People abused the father this time. To avoid anybody else’s scorn, both he and his son at together on the donkey. Whatever the two did, someone or the other found fault and made fun of them! Remember, he who tries to please all, pleases none.

Created by Parvathy Mohan

Have you come across this question at some point of your life? "Log kya kehenge?"

At some point in life, we all have to consider the not-so-important, random opinions people throw our way; we must decide our own priorities!

I’m sure that a little poet dies a million deaths when made to choose a professional degree over literature. It’s same way a chef, a dancer, a photographer, a fashion designer or a footballer feels when they’re made to do something else. What would my family say if I revealed my passion for something society doesn’t approve of? I’m worried about what my neighbours would say behind my back if I wear my favouriteshort tops. Am I supposed to save them for a beach in a distant country? And even then, make sure no one gets to see the photos?

It’s time we realise the bitter truth—people will keep talking about you, no matter what you do. We might be bad in someone else’s book, but remember what someone else thinks of you doesn’t make you a bad person!

Dreams, they are meant to be fostered. Not to be slain as we mature! Free advice and comments actually come with a hidden price—confusing you and making you doubt your confidence. Filter them. Listen to the ones that help you grow. The rest is garbage! And the result? Happiness!

As it goes, it’s difficult to find happiness in yourself, but it’s impossible to find it anywhere else. Self love is the key! Life undoubtedly goes out of control if the key to our happiness and peace is with someone else. We turn into puppets controlled by external circumstances. That’s a serious mistake! At many times, it’s nothing but the fear of failure that makes individuals second-guess an activity even before they start.

What would the society think, if I pursue a non-conventional course at college, and, as a result, don’t get a good job? Will I be mocked if my new venture doesn’t take off well? Are they going to make me the butt of all their jokes if I fumble during my speech on stage? A pinch of pessimism might be essential for preparing yourself, but letting it grown any more, and you have to nip it in the bud.

Whether you’re a social butterfly or a lost-in-your-world introvert, it doesn’t matter. The public speaker, the entertainer, artist, the ‘nerd’—be you. Love yourself, endlessly, unconditionally. And most importantly, believe! Believe that we are beautiful just the way we are.

The next time the question “Log Kya Kehenge?” swims up like a long-tentacled octopus in your face, listen to your inner voice, seek your own approva.

Kuch toh log kahenge, logon ka kam hai kehna.”

Writing this article, I myself began wondering what people might say about it, whether anyone would even read it, so on and so forth. But I’ve written it. And I’m just glad and proud that I’m conquering my LKK syndrome 😉

You must be to comment.

More from Parvathy Mohan

Similar Posts

By Manish Agarwal

By Abhimanyu Mishra

By Md Ghalib Hussain

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below