Sometimes when I look around, all I see is apathy. Its like all of a sudden being utterly rude is not only acceptable but trendy. Lately I’ve been witnessing casual body shaming, people calling each other fat or chunky (WHAT!), or commenting on each others bodies (in a bad way), and today reached a peak when I witnessed casual body shaming on a post on instagram, and found myself a bit rattled.

Let me elaborate: Some boy (who probably thinks he’s very cool, but clearly isn’t) commented on a photo (on which I was tagged) which was posted a year ago, and commented on how my friend looked fat and his exact words were “U look extraordinarily fat ni**a“. And since I had just woken up I thought it was a comment for me. I was fully itching to hit the block button. But when I opened the app, I realized that this little creep had commented on my friend’s appearance (keep in mind that this girl is sixteen years old and someone I’ve known from the day she was born).

What bothered me most about this was that somebody had taken the time to scroll past 1 year’s worth of posts and chose to (very deliberately) say something nasty on comments (for all to see). And I wondered would this fool have said something nice on a one year old post, I’m certain he wouldn’t.

Here is the sad truth:

Was this comment the worst I have heard – sadly No.

I’ve been called fat, chubby, and versions thereof – Chubs, chubitha, tubs, tubsy, tubitha, tub-tub, “healthy” (the shade of it!) and many many more, and the irony is I have never been overweight, maybe a bit out-of-shape sometimes, but never over the limit of being overweight.

Will this impact her for a long long time – most likely.

I don’t think I know one woman who doesn’t have body issues, there is ALWAYS something. And that something would’ve stemmed from a casual comment from someone they most sought validation from and more unfortunately random people.

That’s the thing about words, they are powerful enough to stay on our minds longer than we let on.

These kinds of unsolicited comments unfortunately lead to unhealthy habits like skipping meals to full blown anorexia (it spirals quicker than you know), or over-exercising (to a point of injuries) or just general self-hate (the most toxic self-destructive of all). Needless to say (and given some of my nicknames), I’ve struggled with body image issues for over half my life, and sometimes still do, when encountered with people with big mouths and nasty minds.

Here is what I wonder, would this person with his unsolicited comment, have said something nice or given a genuine compliment when he was 52 weeks deep in somebody’s feed. I doubt it. After all, most people don’t even “double tap” on posts for the fear of letting someone know that they liked a picture (does that make sense). God forbid someone thinks of them as nice.

I wonder does it make people (like this) feel powerful when they withhold kindness, or would they be as quick with a kind word as they are with cutting ones. I have yet to find answers.

But here’s what I know for sure, people like this are miserable and deeply unhappy about something in their own lives, and instead of dealing with that, they choose to spread the venom. If you ever encounter an unkind person (which you will), more than fearing their opinion of you, realize that they probably struggle with their own demons. Ask yourself, do you really want validation from someone who doesn’t even like themselves? How can they like you when they probably can’t even like themselves. After all, people mostly see you as they are and not as you are.

And despite all this awareness, its not lost on me the impact negativity has, and its disheartening that sometimes when I look around, all I see is apathy.

Hoping someday it will change!



Un-social media

Image result for should I tape that phone on my forehead

Source – Google images

I’m a fairly late bloomer when it comes to social media, I reluctantly joined the Facebook bandwagon in 2012, only to keep it deactivated most of the time, and be super active the rest of the time (and feel guilty about wasting so much time).  Of course, I’m also on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and LinkedIn.  When I think about it, it is a huge waste of time, but for an introvert like me, it is the most ideal way to socialize with people, limited to our hand-held devices.

One doesn’t have to be a subject-matter expert to notice some of the awful side effects of social media. It has become an accepted norm to be glued to your phones irrespective of the occasion, people use their phones during business meetings, weddings, even funerals, while driving, while on dates, even in the toilet (eewww!).

when you are constantly using your phone in the presence of other people, you are essentially telling them that there is someone on the other end of the screen is way more important than you, who is present.  This has happened to me so many times I’ve lost count.

Its obviously not all bad.  Social media is pretty much revolutionizing the way businesses are conducted, it has opened up avenues and new business opportunities, it makes life easier, information (about practically anything) can be shared with people across the globe.  But unfortunately it comes at a price..

Is social media making us more anti-social??  Maybe I’ll figure it out someday.

Peace & Love


Keyboard Courage

Image result for online trolls

Photo Source – Google Images

We live in the era of Social media, a time when our digital persona is as important as our real-life persona. We often get jobs/job offers based on our online presence. Some even lose jobs on account of expressing their (politically incorrect) opinions on social media. Online bullying, trolling, stalking, threatening, scams, etc., have become almost household terms. Perhaps every single person with an online presence has faced at least one of these issues, once in their lives. Of course, like most things, social media isn’t all bad, it connects people from all over the globe, often in real-time, it has created new industries, and creates awareness via social (media) activism, etc.

The trouble is, online trolls tend to think that their words/actions have no consequences in real life. We hear about victims of online bullying getting depressed and even going so far as to commit suicide too often.

Those who know me, know how much I value my privacy. For the longest time, I was never part of any social media platform. When I finally joined, I took every step to ensure the highest privacy settings. Not only do I check the settings on each of my posts and photos, and set the privacy settings to the max, I also diligently review the privacy policy every few weeks to ensure that the new policy changes/updates don’t somehow make any of my posts public. I don’t accept “Friend” requests or “Connection” requests from people I don’t know, and even go so far as periodically “unfriend” people who don’t constantly engage with me online, this is because the idea of someone lurking and just watching my posts rather than actively engage with me online, creeps me out to no end, even if these are people I know. Not only this, I even operate on most social media platforms on a pseudonym. Some might call me paranoid, but given my general ineptitude with technology, I figured better safe than sorry.

Despite all these general precautions, I have been a victim of cyber stalking in the recent past, and although statistics show that most people face issues like this from people they know, my stalker was a complete stranger. A man who lives hundreds of miles away in a little village. His only access to me was perhaps a chance encounter of my profile on Facebook, when I had probably liked or commented on a public page. This was probably the one thing my privacy practice hadn’t taken into account.

This whole episode has been eye-opening and quite revelatory for me –

  1. I realised that, no matter what we do, and how many precautions we take, trouble can come and find us at any time and there’s nothing we can do to prevent it. Living life comes with that risk.
  2. Quitting Social media is NOT the solution. For me at least, more privacy would mean closing every account, throwing away my phone, and moving into a cave. That, I’m afraid, is just not an option.
  3. If/when you ever find yourself in trouble, the first thing to do is to report it to the local law enforcement. Trolls need to be taught that their actions are not beyond real life consequences!
  4. Living in a state of paranoia ages you, puts a strain on your personality and your relationships. So take action, ask for help from your friends, family (even employers), you will be surprised how many people care and are willing to step up and help you.

My ordeal started on 8 May, 2017, and because I took the incident to my family and the local Law enforcement agency right away, and reported each instance with meticulous documentation, my stalker was finally apprehended, and he confessed that he does not indeed know me in real life and “found” my profile on Facebook. He is currently cooling his heels in judicial custody for actions that he presumed would not have real life consequences. I can’t even find words to articulate how relieved I feel.

Obviously, that is not the end of the road – I am still on social media (at least some of them) and thanks to our dependence on the digital world, seemingly innocuous information about us like our names, our nicknames, our birthdays, details about our jobs/businesses, names/details of family members, our preferences, our political inclinations, our shopping habits, etc., can be mined and pieced together. All that is required is free-time and a fast internet connection. You’d be surprised how much of your lives is already available on public domain. A simple google search of your name will reveal everything that people can find about you with just your name and location. Due to apps like Google maps and uber, our daily routes are documented, not just that people you are connected to can geo-tag you and your location becomes visible to people you might not even know. Due to the ever-increasing target ads, companies can track and know your every activity down to the last key-stroke. And don’t even get me started about the dark web or hackers.

Jokes apart, I do hope that we become more aware about our privacy, or whatever is left of it.

Life in the 21st Century has become an Orwellian nightmare, perhaps even more twisted.

One thing is certain, every action has a consequence. Our online bully/troll/stalker is no phantom in the night, s/he is probably an unemployed person sitting alone feeling a false sense of superiority which is only due to the “anonymity” they think they have. It is very easy to type ugly words which are meant to cause terror in unsuspecting people, this is merely keyboard courage. Take away the security blanket of anonymity, and perhaps their bravado will be as non-existent as their other virtues. Isn’t it an age old saying, the only way to stop a bully is to stand up to them!

Protect yourself always, and if you (like me) are inept with technology, educate yourself, and learn to protect yourself and your privacy, it’s a worthwhile investment of your time.

Until next time, stay safe.

Peace & Love


Monsters in the Shadows

As a child I used to watch Scooby doo – the animated series about a great dane named Scooby and his gang as they go on the adventures in the mystery machine, and at the end of each episode, the monster would be unmasked and revealed as a person – this rings true even today, long after we have stopped watching the adventures of Scooby and the gang. Often, the monsters we fear are people lurking in the shadows, just out of sight, making their presence known just enough to create terror in our hearts.

Image result for monsters in the dark

Image Source: Google Images

Sadly with the kind of technology, connectivity and online presence we have, it becomes easier for these monsters to find us online and then use the information we so happily share, piece it together and find us offline as well. Online stalking, threatening, etc., is more common than any of us would like to believe. Unfortunately platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn gives these malicious elements of the society easy access to millions of profiles including their preferences, geographical location, their photos, their family and friends, etc.

Earlier this week, one of my social media accounts was subjected to a slew of hateful, threatening messages from a man I do not know. I have no mutual connections with this man and I am very sure I have never encountered him in my life, ever. Yet, he had decided that I had wronged him somehow and warned me that I had better answer his questions (if I knew what was good for me) before he was provoked to take more dire steps to reach me. He really wanted me to know that he hates me and can easily get to me or my family members. The tone of these messages scared me enough to delete and block this man’s account. However, the very next day he had created (what appeared to be) a new profile just to send me messages. This time the messages were more sinister and sent me to a mode of sheer panic, enough to file a formal report with the local law enforcement agency.

As I read these messages dripping with hatred, I had an out of body experience, I had to re-read it a few times before the malice began to sink in, my body started to shake involuntarily, I started pacing in my office, my heart-rate through the roof, I thought I was going to throw up. I kept wondering how the words of a stranger on a computer screen could have such an effect on me when I was in the “safe” confines of my office.

It felt strange to realize that we live in such a little bubble, completely oblivious to strangers who are watching us and (apparently) their hatred.

I have been a survivor of stalking even before the era of social media, and I ended up moving and changing my numbers and practically disappearing off the face of the earth, fell out of touch with all my friends because I was unsure of which of my friends was giving my stalker information about my whereabouts. I lived in constant fear for many years before finally feeling safe enough to reconnect with my friends on social media.

Today, this same premise seems to have returned for me to handle, only this time I don’t know the monster who lurks in the shadows, or what he wants, or what he’s capable of, and that probably is the thing that is still making me feel terrified.

I am presently living in a state of fear for the safety of my loved ones and myself.

Social media platforms and their ever changing privacy polices make to our information being accessible to more people than we realize. But being a survivor of such a thing in the past, and being a Lawyer myself, I tend to be quite vigilant of the privacy settings, and yet some monsters find a way. Its up to us to be careful, report such abuse and pray for the best, because after all better safe than sorry.

It also begs the question, what is the true price of having an online presence? Could it be at the expense of our own safety? Is it worth it?

Perhaps the scariest thing in the world is you never know someone’s true intentions with you.

Until next time, stay safe.