Your Expectations…

I don’t talk much,
Not about the past anymore,
Not about how X hurt me, or that I went through Y,
I don’t speak of all the pain, struggle, the number of times I have wanted to end my life, end it all for good,
But that doesn’t mean I’m over it,
That doesn’t mean I don’t feel,
That doesn’t mean I don’t know your pain,
That doesn’t mean anything.
Stop your mind from jumping to conclusions,
Stop your ego from judging me.
My story is mine, I will share it if I need to,
And I’d only need to, to help lighten your load.
I don’t need it to hold grudges or blame,
To whine or stay stuck in a moment long gone.
I don’t need to prove the tons of things I’ve gone through,
I don’t need your sympathy,
I won’t explain myself for your egos satisfaction.
Free me from your expectations,
Because I won’t, I absolutely won’t live up to them.
– Ramona Arena, 3rd September, 2018.

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Dear Intimacy…

Dear Intimacy,
I heard your name in casual conversation,
So I thought I’d take that step of initiation,
Cuz it’s been a while since we met.

In fact, if I may be honest,
I’ve forgotten what you look like.
Or is it what you feel like?

Do you remember me?
Can you tell me what the colour of my hair was?
Perhaps my favourite song?

I wonder how time shot past
Yet stood deadly still for so long!
I didn’t realise how the absence of you
Had filled up the emptiness,
With the guise of being independent & strong.

Catching your eye,
Holding onto your hand for a few seconds longer whilst being introduced.

A heavy smile laden with a million questions,
On a head that’s light as helium,
Forcing all logic to be irrelevant,
Unnecessary even to ones well being.

Defence mechanisms at an all time low
As oxytocin whips the pulse to race at a deadly pace.

We should meet again soon.
I’d like that very much.
Everything can be said and healed,
When comprehension rests on touch.

-Ramona Arena 2014.

Shut Up Already!

They said the early bird catches the worm.
But who are they?
And why should their truth be my life story?

Words are all we have had to express ourselves.
And despite a million synonyms and such,
We are trapped and bound by how limiting they are.

I’ve come to realize,
Through life as I philosophize.
There is but one reality.

So pure and so true,
Nothing need be named.
Words are only for the deaf
As colors are for the blind.

‘Feeling’ is the gospel truth
Through music, dance & frame.
Touch, glances, moments, chances,
Convey what you can never say.

To feel so deep,
You didn’t see yourself bleeding,
To feel so much,
You won’t care about healing.

This minute, this second,
This smile, this tear
I never want to hear about it,
Just let me feel it’s real.
©RAMONAARENA2014

#justsaying

I said it.
Plain and simple, I did.

You didn’t actually accept that I know myself.
That I know what I want,
I know what I need,
What it takes to make me happy.

So you pursued and chased.
Insisting, you’re on the same page.

Your relentless behaviour
Had me succumb to belief.

Now I’m left standing in a lake of my salt,
While you’re out there laughing.

You’re living the dream,
When did the ‘our’ get a ‘y’ before it?

I don’t like being that low down on your list.
I don’t like it at all.

-Ramona Arena.

Midnight Ramblings.

Sleepless in Ludhiana
With you on my mind.
I ought to be dreaming,
But my mind can’t leave you behind.

Won’t you allow me,
Just a bit of peaceful rest?
Must forced non-chalance
Be constantly put to the test?

How do I get through
All I want to say?
When you sit there locked up
In a soundproof room all day.

I need to stop
I must indulge slumber.
But if you’d like to get to know me,
You already have my number.

– RAMONA ARENA 2014.

Swallow.

Oh but to love you is a balm that soothes my weary old spirit,
Nevermind how exasperating it maybe!

To see new life and oppotunity,
To trust unpredictability.
To know you will lay with me,
When the sun shuts her sleepy eyes,
Leaving us in the capable hands of the moon,
Under it’s cool glittery blanket of the dark, star studded night.

Tracing the outline of your face with tender fingertips,
Leaving your jaw for your smile that has now claimed its curve on your lips.

Silence so heavy, filled with emotions so deep,
Thrust upon our thoughts like a monsoon waterfall.

Can there be any substitute
For the reassurance of your breath on my cheek?
Anything that comes close to this kind of peaceful surrender?

Oh how you alone have the power to exhaust me to my wits end, frustrate me beyond the boundaries of the earth…
But it’s all a part of the deal I guess.
For you are also the only one, that has access to hold me and love me.
Will you please just swallow me whole?
– RAMONA ARENA, 2014

Where shall I point my finger?

‘Congratulations!! It’s a perfectly normal and healthy baby girl!!’
Most people would be thrilled to hear that. But then again many would consider that to be a disappointment, a burden, a result of bad karma, a tragedy or a reason to get pregnant again, hoping this time the Gods’ won’t curse you with another girl child.
I’m not here to judge, I’m just thinking out loud and trying to understand – why for generations, a girl, a woman has been seen as an inconvenience, not just by men but by women too. So this time, I’m going to place the ball in your court and ask you 6 questions. Take your time and think about it. I would love to hear what all of you – male, female, young, old etc have to say. And of course I know I am generalizing here – there are exceptions, but we’re looking at the larger picture.
*Please don’t reply with it’s our culture/tradition/religion; unless you have actually read up on your culture and can send me facts to back up your statement. Facts don’t include what your parents, teachers, guru babas said.
1.     Why is it expected that a good wife will cook, clean, look after the house, bear children, attend to them, to her husband, his family and tend to every need each of them may have and go to work whilst a good husband will go to work – all else is beneath him?
2.     Why is this ‘good’ wife an even better one if she quietly bears the brunt of his stress – be it emotionally, sexually, physically or mentally?
3.     Why is a single woman frowned upon and called a slut if she enjoys sex, but a single man is patted on his back and called a stud if he does the same?
4.     Why is it so hard for single, independent women to find apartments to rent whilst if there are men, it’s no problem at all?
5.     Why is she a bad influence, not a fit candidate to take home to ‘mother’, if she wears clothes that show skin, lives her life her way, has lots of male friends, tattoos, parties, smokes and drinks?
6.     Why is she too much to handle if she isn’t afraid to stand up for and be herself? Why is her opinion not worthy of being voiced?
I know most urban women will relate to at least one of these questions. We have all experienced these situations directly, seen it second hand within families, amongst friends and with house-help too. I know a lot of men who seem very liberal and open minded but when it comes to their own wives, sisters or daughters, something kicks in and everything that was acceptable suddenly isn’t.
If you could help me understand why we as a society (again not just men) discriminate against our own, I would be able to find peace and make some sense out of what we are doing to ourselves. It’s easy to point fingers, bash, blame everyone and the government!
But before I choose sides in a seemingly never ending blame game, I just want to ask –
How many of you mothers have knowingly defended the wrongs of your sons, husbands and fathers; how many of you have oppressed your daughters; secretly favored your son over your daughter – yet she is the one you expect to look after you in your old age; taken abuse silently – verbal or physical; judged other women based on their appearances?
How many of you women have thought it was okay for your mothers to behave this way? And let it continue?
How many of you men have treated women badly even in the smallest way? Accepted parents/ in laws hitting their grown daughters? Thought certain women need to be taught lessons? Told a woman how to behave/dress? Asked for dowry? Expect her to do all the housework? Watched women get teased, tormented, harassed in public and just walked away minding your own business?
I state again, I am not judging or condemning anyone here. But if there is an inner voice that (despite the obvious external discomfort) identifies with an ‘I have’ to even one of these questions, I think it’s time that we remember to look deep within each of ourselves, before pointing fingers outwardly.
There is no denying – A change must begin.  But it only begins within – regardless of religion, education, social standing, wealth and gender.