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Poem: “Why Don’t I Look Like The Selfie I Took”

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TW: Suicide

two women clicking a selfie with their phone

Illusion

Why don’t I look like a selfie I took and filtered it
From dark I am transformed into white swan
My nose, too long have shortened
Uneven shape of my lips have shaped up beautifully
My teeth, my chubby cheeks and dimple on my chin
I got them as I want them to be
Yeah, these many likes and hearts I received on Insta and FB
I am so happy so proud with this picture perfect selfie
I have fallen in love with my beauty
Likes, comments and applauses became drugs for her
She found herself sailing on cloud nine

Reality

What if our real world would have been same as we desire?
I don’t even feel like seeing myself in mirror
Ohh! How I hate to see myself!!

How am I going to meet a guy with whom I chatted for long??
He is the one who writes rhymes on my beauty
What if I meet him and he rejects me?
Ohh god!! please… please! Give me a magic wand to change into Cinderella
Or let the miracle happen and this guy loves me as I am!!

Here the date begins!
In a comfortable air conditioned restaurant
He waits for her to arrive
Half and hour passes
He orders for coffee and momos
Another half passes
His patience gives way to irritation
He doubts self, is she a truth or a perpetrator with bad intentions

No ways, I can’t think of her in this manner
Look at her innocence and her beauty!
She can’t ditch me this way
Something must have come urgently

Eight calls on her phone diary
Not one replied by her
She reaches to the restaurant
She finds him sitting, little restless

She was nervous about rejection
He was so handsome and she was ugly and short
Complex builds up in her
Eventually heightening anxiety

What if he insults me!
What if he accuses me of lying then…
Questions hammer her
Still she finds courage to go and meet him
She was in love with him
His handsomeness and long chats tempted her to meet him
With little rays of hope, yet lingering in her heart
She takes steps towards him

Hi! I am Nidha, your FB friend
He looks at her in disbelief
Nidha! Hi! Ohh no! You look so different from what I imagined you to be!!
Seeing your pics I was completely bowled by your beauty
Can’t believe! You are not my Nidha
Anyways! If you like you can sit here, i have to make a move
I have a meet elsewhere

Ohh.. I am sorry for being late
She said
It’s not about being late
You know the reason well said he and left

He is soon out of restaurant
He opens his fb account, finds her and then blocks her.
Blocked her forever

Shattered and rejected she leaves that place
She was not in right frame of mind
Her mind was numb, tears welled up in her eyes
Anyhow she reaches home
She opens her mobile and finds herself blocked by him

Her mother returns from work
Rings the bell but nobody opening
She calls her but no reply
Hour passed, still door was not opened
Neighbours surrounded on the door
Her husband returns from work
Door is broke opened
They enter into the room

Shocked to see their only daughter hanging with a dupatta tied on her neck and other on ceiling fan
Her tongue and eyes out

On the table they find a note
A suicide note written:

I am going to heaven, leaving this world
A superficial place where I had no place in it
I know you both have done a lot for me
I was provided with love, pamper, and whatever I wanted was gifted
But I was not taught to face rejection
You haven’t provided a beauty, I most needed
Look at my pics on FB and Insta!
Look at me in real! You will know the truth about my desire, about my love
This is the last communication I am having with you both
Thanks again for the love I got
But I am the unfortunate one
Missed by almighty for one and only reason; why am I not beautiful
I am angry with him for breaking my illusion
Love you Mom and Dad.

It was end of two people
One dead by taking her life
Other couldn’t come out of the trauma
Delusion robs his happiness
Rejection snatched her life

PS: In the fast growing world of mobiles, this story can be of anyone. ‘Smart phones’, are they really smart? Expensive phones with high pixel camera that enhances the quality of a picture with the added feature of filtering and enhancing beauty, what’s the use of such smart phones? Had they been that smart, they’d have saved the one, or maybe, many lives. Instead, they have built up a superficial world, a fake illusionary world that makes people live in a make-believe world and when that shatters, life too is cut short.

Teach your child to use smart phones smartly.

Kalpana’s imagination

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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