• 25 Aug
    Reshma Venugopal

    Size Zero? That was so 2006.



    If you are a fan of watching models stride down a runway on television or the actual show, then you will notice different definitions of beauty. Your definition of beauty may be quite different from someone else's because beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. So now let me ask you, what is your definition of a perfect woman? Or a beautiful woman. Don’t worry, nobody will take your choice against you unless you say size zero is beautiful.

    Perhaps that is your requirement for someone to be termed beautiful and perfect. Perhaps having about 0% body fat is what you consider to be beautiful or perhaps beauty stands for curves and little cellulite for you. Everyone is allowed and expected to be who they want to be, or look in a certain way. However, manipulating and pushing someone into thinking that your way and your definition is the right one for beauty, is wrong. That is what went wrong in 2006 when a 22-year-old Uruguayan model Luisel Ramos collapsed on a runway during Uruguayan’s Fashion Week moments after being applauded by spectators; she later died from heart failure (the size zero debate, 2011). It was later diagnosed that the heart failure had been triggered by starvation, as all she survived on was diet coke and lettuce leaves. A few months later, her sister (18) was also found dead due to a similar event; malnutrition and anorexia. Now just imagine what a terrible example is set for girls who look at models as their role models?

    I'm not saying that a size zero woman is not beautiful. There are some very beautiful size zero models, but their beauty is natural. They are naturally smaller, and that is their natural body. However, it is wrong, when models are forced to become size zero, and consequently forced into starvation.

    The fashion industry surely knows the responsibility they have. They set standards which millions of people blindly follow, especially the younger generation. However, there is some good news too! Ladies and gentlemen, we are now proud to announce that size zero, is no longer a “thing” or a trend. If you still are under some doubts about it, then here are some reasons how the size zero trend is almost over.

    The Size Zero Debate

    Due to rise in the number of deaths of model’s due to starvation and disorders such as anorexia nervosa, and bulimia nervosa, the fashion industry has decided to make some changes. For example, in 2006 September, Madrid fashion week placed a ban on models with a body mass index lower than 18 which was considered a healthy mass for a woman with the height of 5ft. 6 inches. 


    Countries and the size zero ban

    U.K is probably one of the first countries to start the journey of the size zero ban. An initiative was led by actress and model Katie Green, who herself was a victim of the size zero trend. Katie said, in 2011, she worked with an agency for the modeling of Wonderbra. The model, who is 5ft. 10 inches, and weighed 64kgs, which was the ideal weight for her height, was asked to reduce if she wanted more work. They said she was not normal for representing a U.K size 8 for a model. She first agreed, but instantly quit. After a collaboration with a Liberal Democrat, she launched a new campaign for banning size zero.

    Milan and Madrid had also banned the size zero concept right after the death of the model in 2006. This was followed by Italy, as they suspected about 40% of the models had been victims of some eating disorder. Famous designers such as Giorgio Armani and Victoria Beckham had also made tremendous efforts to cut out this deadly fashion trend.

    And what’s the proof?

    From Hollywood to Bollywood, from Jean Paul Gaultier to Vogue and Sports Illustrated, beauty has been redefined. More and more women are becoming confident about their bodies no matter what shape or size they embody. Media which decided to step up and show more curves than bones in its representation of beauty has played a large role in this boost of confidence. One of the most influential people in this matter who has undoubtedly done wonders in this topic is plus size models. With great heights, some beautiful cellulite and lots of curves, these women have redefined beauty in the fashion industry, and have become more relatable to the average working woman who does not really have the time and resources to hire dietitians and gym trainers. With time more and more people are finally accepting this positive change.

    In fact, why look so far away? We have beautiful and curvy women in our very own film and fashion industry too. Take, for example, the beautiful and talented Vidya Balan. From the very beginning, she had refused to listen to the terrible taunts of the media which at that time was so obsessed with having perfect, petite frames for our actresses. Vidya, however, did not let that kind of negativity come in her way. She continued to look the way she wanted, continued doing her work sincerely and most importantly, continued eating her favorite food."Weight issues" have long been the topic of discussion among Bollywood actresses and the media. While some of them decided to get fitter and healthier by reducing their weight and eating right, others continued being the way they are. Now is that not beautiful? To look the way you want to and be comfortable in your skin and alter it when you want to?

    How will this change impact the common man?

    By average man, I mostly mean the viewers and fans and teenagers who look up to models and actresses for inspiration. With a more body positive attitude shown by the women we view and admire, the chances of their viewers to acquire that kind of positivity is higher. This causes a change in the definition of beauty and reduction in eating disorders which are still so prevalent. Eating disorders are psychological conditions that are caused by abnormal or disturbed eating habits (DSM-5). In other words, conditions such as anorexia and bulimia will be occurring lesser among young teenage girls and boys. More women will be more confident with their bodies and not be affected by any kind of negativity.

    To sum up, I would like to share some beautiful curvy women from Hollywood and Bollywood and some of the great ways they have represented curves, cellulite, and beauty together.

    • Ashley Graham: Modeled for Sports Illustrated, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle. She is 5ft. 9inches, and weighs 77kgs. 

    • Kim Kardashian: The famous reality star, designer and fashion mogul stand at 5ft. 3 inches and weighs 66 kgs. She is a fitness freak, and is often found eating healthy and occasionally indulge in some fast food. However, her beauty is known to be her fabulous and ample curves. Please refer to the peach emoji.

    • Vidya Balan: She stands at 5ft. 4inches, with a weight of 60 kgs, which is perfectly acceptable for her height. Now imagine people asked her to reduce her weight more because that’s how ignorant and silly the public can be.

    • Sonakshi Sinha: This beauty stands at 5ft. 6 inches and weighs 60 kgs. She has often been criticized for being “too huge”. But honestly, have you seen her dance? She is as graceful as a swan, and no weight comes in her way!

    • Lastly, a great tribute to Singer Meghan Trainor, the singer of “All about the bass”. The 5ft 4 inches singer who weighs 68 kgs, surely represented curvy and thick women gracefully!

    Of course, the list could go on and on, but that is something for you to do. Don’t forget to go search for these body positive people and their struggle in trying to be themselves and love their bodies. After all, they are all about the bass!


    Responses 2

    • Sneha Chauhan
      Sneha Chauhan   Sep 08, 2017 09:21 AM

      I agree with you Reshma. Women should not be judged by other people and themselves on the basis of their weight. As you have mentioned, they can be curvy and thick and yet rule the beauty world. It's not about how small or huge or thin or curvy you are, it's more about how much you love your body and how comfortable you are inside yourself. If that's the thing you can work with, you are beautiful. Do not let the perception of others on how a perfect female body should be, rule over you. What can be more beautiful than happiness.

      That image of size zero perfect body is now gone, very true. But, it has been overtaken by the curvy and thick image of women. Now the attention has shifted from thin women to thick women; which is equally irrelevant. It doesnt matter still. You can be thin, you can be thick, but it will still be your body. You have to respect that.

      Thank you for the great article, Reshma!

    • Sanjna Verma
      Sanjna Verma   Sep 02, 2017 06:15 PM

      This is a great topic! Thanks for sharing this information. I completely agree with the point you made about standards set by the industry and people blindly following them. Especially for women, they are objectified in every industry on the basis of weight and also, skin colour. This is common in our industry as you gave the examples of Vidya Balan and Sonakshi Sinha.

      It is because of these unnecessary beauty standards set. It is because of these beauty standards that girls have been indulging into eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. But now, it is good to see that things are changing and changing for the good.

      As you gave instances of women who do not have a zero size figure but are still comfortable in their bodies. People should realise that one should be comfortable in one's own body shape, you are born with it. But this does not mean that they should indulge in unhealthy eating habits and be lazy. It means having a healthy diet and being happy always.


  • 22 Aug
    Shruti Gupta Delhi

    Masturbation - Myths and facts you didn't know existed

    India is a land of more taboos and less knowledge, especially when it comes to knowledge related to sex. That is why, before I even begin writing this article, I would like to put forth a disclaimer. The article revolves around the sexual activity called masturbation. Although many of the readers might have already assumed this to be a dirty one, I would like to clarify that it will be in no manner obscene or vulgar.

    The term masturbation refers the act of stimulating one’s genitals for sexual arousal or pleasure, usually to the point of orgasm.

    Even though the term masturbation is not as old, the concept, however, can be traced back to the eighteenth century and earlier. There have been depictions of male and female masturbation in the paintings in the prehistoric era.  Even though the origination of the concept is unknown, the concept of masturbation was familiar to the Sumerian residents, along with the residents of ancient Egypt and Greek, without the taboos. The pieces of evidence for the same can be traced from the prehistoric paintings and artwork, not only in the West but also in India. The temple reliefs in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh have sculptures and artworks portraying the same. The more forward we moved in time, the more backward our mentality tended to be.

    khajuraho temple

    However, with the passage of time, masturbation became synonymous with terms like self-pollution and abomination. People strongly revolted this view and many came forward supporting the same, yet the stigma still prevails. The more the knowledge related to the concept grew among people, the more hateful it turned out to be.

    Considered as a sin and a heinous crime among many religions, many rumors came to be flown amidst the air of revolution.


    1. It is related to mental illness:
      Contrary to a common myth, that masturbation can cause an individual to go insane, it is, in fact, a biological activity only, and can only benefit your mental health. For masturbation is known to have reduced stress, help you sleep better and improve your self-esteem and body image. Therefore, there is certainly no harm that masturbation will or can do to your mental health.

    2. Women don’t masturbate
      Women are as sexual beings as men, which implies the possibility of them having sexual desires as well. Hence, women do masturbate. Only they are not much vocal about it due to the stigma attached to it. Studies revealed that although men masturbate more frequently than women do, about 58% of women admitted masturbating regularly.

    3. Masturbating while you are in a relationship is immoral:
      It has been noted that people who masturbate while in a relationship are often judged and inferred to be sexually dissatisfied with their partner. However, it is completely normal to masturbate irrespective of whether one is in a relationship or not. It is through masturbation that people embrace their own sexuality and become more aware of it, and conveying it to their partner can result in a healthier sex life. Being in a relationship does not, therefore, imply that masturbation is wrong.

    4. It is biologically harmful to an individual
      It has been believed that masturbating can cause biological disorders like prostate cancer (in men) or cause the genitals to shrink. Many people also believe that masturbation frequently can sexually use you up and reduce your potency. While all of it is nothing but a mere lie, excessive masturbation, which deviates one from following the normal routine of work, catching up with friends, etc. can cause one to seek a therapist, as that can sure be harmful.

    5. There is no one who doesn’t masturbate:
      A common belief that everybody masturbates but no one admits it, is, in fact, a lie. Just the way there exist people who masturbate to satisfy themselves sexually, there also exist people who don’t, which is just as normal. If for instance, there are 98% people who masturbate, there also exist that 2 % who don't. The point here is that masturbation is not that big of a deal that should be stigmatized to an extent that people are afraid to be vocal about it.

    To combat the myths, we do have some interesting facts about masturbation that will amuse you:


    • 28 May is celebrated as National Masturbation Day to celebrate the and protect the right to masturbate. The celebration now has been expanded throughout the month, and May is now known as the month of masturbation.
    • Countries like the U.K. encourage their teenage population to masturbate to prevent their youth from engaging in risky sexual behaviors and STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases).
    • Animals like squirrels, walruses, and even apes have been found to masturbate. So, whoever says it’s not that common, is probably, unaware?
    • In 1897, Mark Twain gave a lecture in Paris criticising anyone who thought that masturbation was bad, in a comic way. He satirically ridiculed those who supported the anti-masturbation movement prevalent at that time.
    “Of all the various kinds of sexual intercourse, this has the least to recommend it. As an amusement it is too fleeting; as an occupation it is too wearing; as a public exhibition there is no money in it. It is unsuited to the drawing room, and in the most cultured society it has long since been banished from the social board…"
    • About 1000 people strangle themselves to death while masturbating due to the act of autoerotic asphyxiation. Asphyxiation occurs when the supply of oxygen to the brain is cut down. There is a euphoric high that people feel just before they are about to die. To experience this ‘high’, people have known to strangle themselves in order to take their sexual pleasure to another level, leading to deaths.


    There have been instances of people feeling guilty after they masturbate. While these feelings are generally associated with the stigma attached, some people attach these emotions with morality in the religious context, and many because they had been told during their childhood that it was wrong. According to a survey, people admit that even though they enjoy the pleasure that they receive after masturbating, the feelings of guilt overpower their pleasure.

    It is important to know that masturbation isn’t bad, nor is it unhealthy. People of all ages and sexual orientation masturbate. Yes, you read that right. People with asexual orientation masturbate too, although the nature of their masturbation is usually different from that of those who are not asexual. So, there is nothing to feel guilty about at all. Masturbation is said to have reduced stress among individuals and is noted to be extremely beneficial, not only mentally but physically as well.

    However, an excess of anything has never made things better. If masturbation interferes in your daily schedule or work, you might need to consult a therapist. While masturbating frequently can do no harm to you, doing it excessively can cause you to have psychological disorders like pedophilia, exhibitionism, fetishes, etc.

  • 18 Aug
    Sanjna Verma

    The hype about anonymity - Sarahah





    The internet, especially the social media can be blamed for creating everything out of nothing. Such is the hype created around a few websites which provide you with anonymous feedbacks.

    There is an ongoing trend of anonymous feedback applications like sayat.me and sarahah.com which enables people to post feedbacks for others anonymously. People these days are seen sharing the links to their Sayat and Sarahah profiles on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat so that they could receive anonymous feedbacks about themselves. It has been noticed that people prefer and pay more attention to the qualities posted about them rather than criticism, because who wants people to criticise them anyway, especially from people they don’t even know. The irony here is that even those people who initially claimed that they did not care what other people think of them, that they are confident of themselves and do not seek social validation, end up creating their profiles for the same reasons mentioned above.   


    logo of Sarahah


    Sarahah, the most trending application in today's date, can be considered as a medium towards gaining social validation by teenagers and young adults. But why were these apps developed in the first place?
    Sarahah was developed by an Arabic engineer Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq. The term 'Sarahah' is an Arabic word which translates to 'frankness' or 'honesty'.  He had initially developed the application for office employees so that they can send messages anonymously to another person regarding their strength and weaknesses. The intention behind the 'anonymity feature' was for individuals to speak what they wish without being hesitant, and also to decrease the chances of an individual holding a grudge against the sender of the message. However, he later decided to expand his business and hence made the application available to all. Tawfiq talked about his intention to provide people with a ‘constructive feedback’ about themselves but ironically, the feedbacks that people receive often lack the 'constructivism' aspect in it.


    logo of Sayat.me


    The team of both Sarahah and Sayat suggested an honest and positive approach in giving an opinion about others.

    “ Honest feedback helps you find out how your own self-image differs from what others want to see in you. If you’re lucky you may just as well be confirmed that others think you are the person you strive to be.” 

    I  might agree on the possibility of the feedbacks being ‘honest’ but I don’t believe them to be ‘constructive’ at all. Many people have known to receive love confessions including pieces of poetry for the other person about their beauty in the form of 'feedbacks'.  Because of its anonymity feature, there is hardly any chance for the sender being caught. Even though Sarahah provides the user with the option to block such spammers, one cannot help their malicious intent.

    Recently, a nasty experience was recorded by an engineering student in Chennai who was a Sarahah user:

    "All sorts of messages started flooding in, such as, "You're pretty", "I want to meet you', these were really funny posts. It was great until a message showed up asking what my cup size is, and this anonymous person wanted to sleep with me. I was furious."

    An avid blogger brought up the issue of people's obsession with negative comments and how it can bring down one's level of self-esteem. 

    "I knew what I was getting into when I signed up for an account. I knew people wouldn't hold back. After all, how hard is it to say awful things when you're hiding behind internet anonymity? What I didn't expect was my obsession with the negative comments." 

    The writer stated his own experience of using the application. He wrote that initially, he got quite good comments about himself such as 'you work hard and I respect you'. But as he went on using this app, he began to get comments such as 'your presence as a friend is disingenuous'. He actually ended up texting his friends asking whether he was 'a terrible friend'. Even though everyone denied it, he realized that such statements could actually turn out to be disastrous for someone with a low self-esteem.

    After having gone through various anonymous messages which lose their anonymity (as they are posted on social media profiles), this is how people actually use this app:

    1. These sites are another way of gaining attention for both, the sender and the receiver. Just as people post the pictures of the places they have been to, they post the messages on their profile.
    2. The anonymous feedback game has been turned into a ‘guess-who-I-am’ game. 
    3. Not everyone gets feedback about themselves. It depends on whether your friends on social media know you well enough. Through posting those feedbacks, people get to know how much you are liked by others. 


    Coming back to the hype this application has created. When people saw others using apps like Facebook or Instagram, they complied and followed it. Similarly, when people saw everyone using the application, they also thought of giving it a try. This is a perfect example of the 'bandwagon effect', a psychological phenomenon wherein people are engaged in something primarily because others are doing it, regardless of what their own beliefs are, which they may ignore or overlook. This has clearly emerged due to social media. As far as the negative use of Sarahah is concerned, it is up to the individual how s/he uses it.

    The way people use Sarahah, there are certain messages which are better conveyed personally, and not through the social media. Such applications further destroy the essence of face to face and honest communications which have already been done by other social media applications. So, let us meet up and say it to them. Let us meet each other and provide 'constructive feedback', for that would give our conversations 'real' meaning through 'real' people.

    Responses 1

    • Ayushi Jolly
      Ayushi Jolly   Sep 03, 2017 01:31 PM

      Hey! You have written a really nice article.

      I agree how things have taken a toll towards social validation lately. It is so disappointing to see how things are going so shallow with realtionships going viral. We see how these websites are bringing in fresh concepts about anonymity and how we can describe others without even revealing our identity.It is wrongful in a way to see how things are going out of control. We,as sensible humans,once have lost the confidence to even speak our feelings to someone. We are afraid of even texting or telling our feelings,if not directly,in person so at least through some media platform to someone and we choose these forums to convey them. To look at things from the other side is even worse. Those who are creating accounts and getting good reviews are fine but what about those who are extremely high on social validation and do not get good or any review. I am afraid what psychological impact will that have.Alos,for those who do not post good memories or posts for others,does that not bring back old,forgotten bad thoughts na dinstances and makes the perosn feel bad? It is really nice to see how you have come up with such a topic.

  • 17 Aug
    Reshma Venugopal

    When emojis misunderstand your emotions

    emoji pillows


    Remember the time when emojis looked like a mix of punctuation marks? Something like this - “:-)”.

    I had to space it out because the use of emoji has become such a trend, that as I type this article on Microsoft Word, simple character use automatically turns into an emoticon. What was once a colon, dash, and bracket, now automatically turns into a yellow face, with a smile. Of course, for any tech savvy person, the availability of emoticons (a.k.a emojis) is a blessing in disguise.

    Emojis have long been associated with more fun undertones and Lexis that direct facial expressions and mood. You come to know exactly how a person is feeling through the emojis they use, often found similar to their natural facial expressions, even if you are talking to each other from across the world! All this brought to you by our social media sources and the boom in the texting culture.

    The reliance on texting apps like WhatsApp, iMessage, Twitter, and Facebook, have not only made our lives easier but also allow us to keep in touch more often conveniently, so much, that texting with emoticons has become the base of most relationships. What’s even more astounding is that this 'easy-to-use and handy' facially expressive emojis can also be the reason for various relationship conflicts. Surprising, isn't it?

    However, it won’t be fair if I only bring out the negatives of emojis, for there is some good to them. Let’s first see all the good uses of emojis, and why they are used, in the first place (Selter, 2016).

    1. Emoticons are reacted to in the same way as real life facial expressions:

    Do you want to express your “feelings” to your crush? Do you want to compliment someone on the way they look? Do you want to express your sadness over the death of your friend's pet? Well, emojis have got you covered. The power that the emojis exhibit is that you can express the most difficult feelings through just a touch, and it will be taken in the same light by the receiver as they would if you were physically present with them. Studies show that upon receiving an emoji, the same specific parts of the brain are activated, which make you feel as though someone was physically expressing the emotion.

    1. Emoticons can get you popularity on social media:

    A study conducted by the University of Cambridge presented a strong positive correlation between the use of emojis by an individual and their social power. The study was conducted by looking at a number of followers, retweets and Facebook friends with the use of emoticon use of the participant (Tchokni et al, 2014).

    1. It makes you happier, even in a rough workplace:

    Imagine your boss asking you to pick up coffee for them with just a blunt, straight up use of words and a full stop at the end versus the same message with a smiley face attached at the end of it. You might be a little pissed off about the whole thing regardless, but let’s admit it, a little smiley face can go a long way.

    1. It helps you retain your memory:
      Studies show that text messages with emojis help you remember better. Apart from this, they make you happier. If you go back in time, you will realise that you are likely to remember more texts received with emojis than whose without them.

    Those were some of the good points about the use of emoticons. However, research has shown many instances on how negatively can emojis effect relationships. Most of them were shown to be stemmed from everyone having different interpretations for the emojis used hence leading to miscommunication. 

    • The contrasting interpretations:
      If you are an iPhone user, you’ll very well know that the emoticons on your phone will look different from that of an Android user, or even a Windows user. A study conducted by the GroupLens research lab at the University of Minnesota found that people often misunderstood an emoji sent to them if they were on different operating systems. They found this by asking participants to rate the emoji presented to them between -5 to 5, 5 being strongly positive, 0 being neutral and -5 being strongly negative. (GroupLens, 2017)
      The most mixed answers came from the “flushed face emoji” and the “grinning face with smiling eyes emoji”.

    mixed emojis


    Just imagine you sending your significant other the grinning face emoji with closed eyes after she or he sends you a picture of their new outfit. They might interpret it negatively and end up thinking that they look funny when in reality, you might just only be excited.


    • Translation issues:

    Just like how every country or region has a different language, emojis also can be found to squeeze themselves in the language sector. Believe me, there are people who only text using emojis and the thing about that is that not something everyone will understand. Coming back to the point, language barriers might occur because everyone uses it differently. If you try to translate something from your native language to a foreign language, then you are likely to confuse yourself and misinterpret what the other person needs to convey. The same thing happens with emojis; your intention of sending an emoji might not be interpreted correctly by the other person hence causing misunderstanding.

    Here's a real-life example. I genuinely thought (and still believe because I am adamant like that), that the eye roll emoji was just a cute emoji to illustrate puppy dog eyes. Turns out, it meant eye roll, and that did not end well with my friends...

    eyeroll emoji


    • Overuse of emoji:

    This point pertains more to the overuse of emoji, even in contexts that are not needed. Everyone is different, but there are some people in the world who like to express themselves with words, and others through illustrated emotions. While that is fine, problems may arise when a mix of emojis are put in and at the same time as this causes a mass confusion for the brain since it takes a longer time to process the emoticons and make sense out of them. By the time they actually have figured it out, the time runs out and they end up becoming more agitated because their brain worked twice as hard when they could have just gotten through with it minutes ago. Perhaps this is why your significant other decided to reply a bit late?


    All in all, emotions are both a blessing and a curse. As the texting culture has taken over our words so drastically, the sentences get shorter, the emojis become more creative and realistic, and the more we humans fail to display real and true feelings. Many relationships have been sabotaged by these cute yellow faces (mostly a lack of them), and I personally don’t feel it should be anywhere near the cause of a breakup or fight between two individuals. Henceforth, let’s try to be more direct with our words and not let their charm and beauty die.

    Responses 1

    • Sanjna Verma
      Sanjna Verma   Aug 21, 2017 06:38 PM

      Hey. This is an interesting topic as well as an interesting article to read. All the points mentioned in it would be related by everyone, some point or the other. I liked the point wherein you mentioned about how an emoticon can make you happier in a workplace. I agree to it. If I simply message: I will give your notebook tomorrow, would not be able to have as much impact. But a smiley emoticon with it can bring in more assurance about it.

      The point of the meaning of emoticon made me smile. (no offense) Everyone who has recently been using social media will somewhere or the other face such a problem such as laughing with tears emoticon which can be misinterpreted for a crying emoji.

      It is true that social media has made communication a lot easier but misinterpretation of either a text, a reply or an emoji can play a huge part in deteriorating the crediblity if relationships.

      According to me, it is good either to call or meet face-to-face or use applications like WhatsApp for more formal conversations.

  • 17 Aug
    Aparna Kanmani

    Open letter to a friend who lost a loved one

    Consoling a friend


    From being my partner in crime to acting like an over protective sister, you have always been by my side. I've known you for several years now and I have always admired the bold and strong woman that you are. You have inspired me to be better in ways I cannot imagine and it is the same strength and optimism that makes me believe that you can take care of yourself too. I believe you have the strength and the potential to cope up with the stress that surrounds you and rise above them with flying colors, just like you always have. Whenever I think of you, I picture a happy and excited soul looking forward to explore every new venture through your journey.

    However, this time, I am not so sure. You are keeping your wings clutched to yourself and dragging your feet to take even a tiny step. The sorrows are slowly pulling you down from your best and making each day harder for you to get through. You are quieter than before trying to tape your shattered pieces together. I just want you to know that it is not easy for me to see you this way, either. Each day I wish for you to have a normal day, where you work with enough motivation, constantly planning your schedules in your head, and cherish every drop of sweat that you shed. I miss you being you.

    I know life is not the same as before, and the changes might be too tough to adjust through. There might be times when you are sitting on your swing with the headphones singing the melody of a soothing flute, but the same joy may not sink in for you. When you have a lip smacking scrumptious meal ready, the empty chair at the dining table might not feel so pleasing. When you leave for work in a hustle and just step back for a moment to wave the usual 'bye', that vacant spot might leave you heavy-hearted. I'm sorry that things are changing and you are having to deal with them all by yourself, but I also know that you are strong enough to get through it. It is too big a deal to simply say, “it's going to be alright”, for I know it will take time. I have faith that time will heal but I hope the healing occurs as soon as possible.

    I understand that times are rough and that nothing can replace what you have lost. I probably don't even know completely how it would exactly feel to step into your shoes. But remember, I love you too much to let go. You know I'm just a call away and I would do anything to make sure that you are fine. I am there, whether or not you need me. Sometimes, solitude can sulk you down, so cry it out if you need to, vent till you cannot anymore but find a way to express what you feel. Bottling the erupting emotions won't last long, sweetie!

    What you need now is more than just a tight hug, more than just a shoulder to cry, more than just an eat out to break the stress and I've always been there for you. But this time, somehow I cannot figure out what can comfort you. If only I could do something to make the day easier and lighter for you, I would. For it hurts to see you bursting out in frustration for things that don't matter, it hurts to know how you have been crying your nights alone under the blanket, and it hurts to learn that you don't find spirit in the life you lead. But I'm not here to watch depression gulp you down. No way!

    I know it is easier said than done, but please, make an effort. Take that small step to bring a smile to yourself. Stop by a beach once in a while on the way to work, take deep breaths in the refreshing morning fogs, walk a mile with your favorite song on loop, talk to the child next door who babbles in an adorable manner, listen to the raindrops trickle down your roof, or feel the warm shower calm your senses to a state of trance. Do anything that will give you some peace of mind, and I hope it calms your chaos. 

    Life is too unpredictable and there is not one thing I can do make your sorrow vanish instantly, for I know it doesn't work that way. The void that you feel cannot be filled with the patches of comfort. I am not saying it's going to be easy, but it is necessary. It is the best you can do for yourself and those around you. While you wait for time to loosen the reins, keep the child in you alive. Look around and let the reality sink into you. Brace yourself and move forward towards the goals that challenge you. You will find a new YOU ahead.

    While countless well-wishers buzz around you passing free advice, I do not want to end up being lost among them. However, I share the common goal, to see you smile from your heart again. I may not be able to stop the downpour, but I will always join you for a walk in the rain.

    Whatever happens, life must go on, for even the one who loved you the most, beyond anything in this world, would have said the same thing.


    With love,

    One who can't stand to see you depressed