A time where hashtags like #womensupportwomen and #girlpower flood social media, a simple #metoo took everyone by storm. We talk about uplifting and empowering women but at the same time not everyone believes it off social media. While that happens around the world, India is still stuck in a place where there is a whole other story playing. Here, women are worshipped in temples, but treated like slaves in bedrooms. A society that is equal parts male and female dominated is still suppressing women at the end of the day.
As someone who spent her youth years in both India and outside, being able to understand different cultures helped shaped Origami Birds. We may think women are treated in a certain way in our society, but we don’t realize what is happening elsewhere. Social media very well hides our real life, which in turn makes people believe we are all too perfect to feel stronger emotions like pain or anger. We are all trained to keep a prim and proper exterior, meanwhile our interior starts to rot. By the time you realize you need to let it out, there is no one who is going to listen to you.
When I personally reached that point where I felt like I was going to explode, I used poetry to express myself. Being a private person, it was always hard to share my feelings with people, and I felt like there were more people out there who felt the same way. Over multiple coffee meets and stressful talks, I started listening, and when I did, a million stories started to unfold, which came to be the collection Origami Birds is.
“I feel cold in your warm caress. I feel scared in your security.” This excerpt from Origami Birds shows how majority of poems are written metaphorically between a man and a woman, where the man is the society and the woman is all of us. Through Origami Birds I am not trying to start a pro feminist movement, just simply sending a message out about how easy it is to let it out. The more we keep inside, the harder it gets. As the book begins, I want the reader to understand that we all as humans are just like an Origami Bird. Shaped and molded by the society, but free in the essence.
“Some birds are free,
Some birds are caged.
This origami bird is
molded from a page.
Set her free,
Or let her be.”
By reading Origami Birds, I want the readers to be able to feel lighter. If they relate that’s great, it means they want to get the heaviness off their chest and if they don’t, at least they’ll be able to help someone else out who feels that way.
When someone meets with an accident and starts to bleed, our instant reaction is to stop the bleeding. Then why now do the same when someone feels that way mentally? Our mental health is so strongly attached to our physical health, yet we don’t treat them the same way. If our minds are clear from any stress or pressure, it will show on our physical selves. Once we start to keep both in good shape, our lives will become a lot easier. It’s all about finding that person who will listen without judgement, and just listen, sometimes opinions and consolation are not needed. That’s why I encourage people to reach out to me if they would like to talk, because feeling better by talking doesn’t cost anyone anything.
If only self love was that easy. We spend all our lives showering love on people but we never learn to love ourselves the same way. While the people who do are called “self-obsessed” the others don’t realize the importance of it.
In reality, we only love others to seek approval. The same sense of importance and satisfaction does not occur when we try to love ourselves. We are so hungry for it that we try too hard to please others. It’s not attention that we are looking for, its simply love which we have plenty of. All we have to do is stop looking in all the wrong places.
“Love yourself the way you love her,
and you’ll learn to love yourself,
because it’s right here,
a heart full of it.”
What is about Origami Birds that made me write it? As someone who was overly private and sensitive, people never understood the degree of my disturbance. So here’s why I wrote this book. It’s because I may get hurt easily even if you don’t do it intentionally. It’s not your fault that you didn’t realize what I was going through. Being extremely emotional and private don’t always go hand in hand. I may want to tell you how I feel, but I am too shy to express it. And a piece of paper is just as worthy to be a listener as anybody else it, except the fact that there is no judgement that comes my way. By writing what I felt, it became a lot easier to have a clear mind. As everyday became better, I decided to fill my pages and be somebody else’s listener too. And that’s how Origami Birds was born. A collection of emotions that can’t be expressed easily, feelings that didn’t get full justice and people who were finally heard.