Heart Health

The book club has come up with a new idea about writing for a particular topic. The purpose is to write(duh, I know). This is more like encouragement to write. And I just need an excuse to write and rant.

So what does the health and heart together mean for me? For me, it means happiness. I am not denying the science of the physical well-being. I do believe all those people who tell about right fooding habits are indeed correct, but I am more worried about the emotional habits of the people especially about the people who ignore themselves for happiness of the others. I have seen people giving up on dreams and their own hopes for the one they love, and then I have seen them being unhappy for life. I again do not mean to deny the power of the sacrifice, it is definitely all well and good, but a person should be love oneself as well.

There are times when the sacrifices become too much that they become the life of a person. This is especially true for the women (Indian women at least!) because they have been taught from childhood to mould themselves according to the values taught. All our lives are designed to fit around that mould.

I remember hearing a poem called shrinking women. The poem appealed to me in a similar manner as the topic. The video of Lily Meyers, the poet reciting that poem, is listed along.

Across from me at the kitchen table,
my mother smiles over red wine that she drinks out of a measuring glass.
She says she doesn’t deprive herself,
but I’ve learned to find nuance in every movement of her fork.
In every crinkle in her brow as she offers me the uneaten pieces on her plate.
I’ve realized she only eats dinner when I suggest it.
I wonder what she does when I’m not there to do so.

And this is just an example of how we learn to deprive ourselves. We tell ourselves the same thing over and over again and in the end, start believing that thing without realizing that we have deprived ourselves.

She wanes while my father waxes.
His stomach has grown round with wine, late nights, oysters, poetry.
A new girlfriend who was overweight as a teenager,
but my dad reports that now she’s “crazy about fruit.”

These are the next lines of the poem which talks about the father in contrast. I am not saying all men are like this, but it truly is the fact in Indian household where the difference between the hobbies of women and men is quite pronounced. And then these lines which talk to me in a way nothing ever has

I have been taught accommodation.
My brother never thinks before he speaks.
I have been taught to filter.
I want to say: we come from difference, Jonas,
you have been taught to grow out,
I have been taught to grow in.
You learned from our father how to emit, how to produce, to roll each thought off your tongue with confidence,
you used to lose your voice every other week from shouting so much.
I learned to absorb.
I took lessons from our mother in creating space around myself.
I learned to read the knots in her forehead while the guys went out for oysters,
and I never meant to replicate her, but
spend enough time sitting across from someone and you pick up their habits-

This is what heart health means to me—the confidence to be happy, to not shrink, and even if you are shrinking to be happy while doing it. And this happiness should not be because someone has told you to be so, or because someone has asked you to do so, but it is because one wants to be happy. Happiness and contentment are the things, I believe, comes from hard work and sincerity. And that sincerity should be towards oneself as well as towards the other. Because unless we are happy, people around us cannot be happy. To be happy we need to understand what we need—for our body and for our soul, for our mental and physical health being both. You want to lose weight, fine, go ahead, but do it for yourself, not for someone else. That’s what heart health means to me—when the heart is ready to accept what it needs for its happiness, and when the heart is ready to grab that happiness without being afraid.

Note: The lines here are taken from the poem called Shrinking Women by Lily Meyers. There are a few poets who impact me this much, and she is one of them. The poem is well-acknowledged above, in my opinion, but this note is just a clarification that this poem is not written by me. And you should check out her website; she really writes wonderful poems.

This post is “written for the Blogging Community: An initiative by The Book Club“. You can also visit the book club and link your post at the linky.


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Prathi Rao
    Feb 19, 2016 @ 05:10:40

    It’s indeed true & sad that women in India are conditioned from day one to think of others first. In the process, they lose themselves while caring for others. And the sacrifices made by her is taken for granted & is rarely acknowledged. I liked the lines of the poems you have referred. Good one!


    • parichitasingh
      Feb 19, 2016 @ 23:14:25

      Very true. The sacrifice made by them is not even considered a sacrifice, but their Duty.

      Thanks for stopping by. That poem is a very powerful piece. It appeals to me on levels I can’t even express in words.


  2. Shree Janani
    Feb 19, 2016 @ 22:39:30

    A clean write up. It’s sad to see people, especially women losing out on happiness due to many reasons which is simply nothing short of excuses.


    • parichitasingh
      Feb 19, 2016 @ 23:16:14

      Thanks, Janani. I don’t think they are excuses even. It is like that story of the elephant who is tied to a small tree when he is a child. And later on he himself doesn’t realize his power even after growing up.
      That’s the case with us as well.


  3. Rubina Ramesh
    Mar 01, 2016 @ 14:34:59

    Who made the norms I have no clue but must have been a man I am sure. This issue is very close to my heart. Thanks for writing on this topic.


  4. Rubina Ramesh
    Mar 21, 2016 @ 13:14:55

    Congrats on winning the Blogging Community Feb 2016 Contest of The Book Club with this post. Your certificate and Badge has been sent to you via email.


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