This is not my story

This is not my story
I am not sharmeeli
with my brown eyes cast to the floor
red lips hidden behind a red veil
quiet and silent and a Savitri
devoted to a man and his family and our family

My brown eyes will turn you to stone
when you and your friends
tell me to smile
ask for my number
follow me where I walk

My lips will shred you to pieces
when you tell me to stay in my place
stay in the kitchen
stay home
don’t come back late
and I will paint my lips red with your shame
when you can’t bear to hear a girl talk back

This is not my story
I am not a doctor
an engineer
a housewife
a bridesmaid (but better than a bride)
a sidekick but never the heroine

Who says brown girls can’t
dress in leather and heels
and wield stakes and slay demons
wield a bow and arrow and lead
a revolution against the empire

This is not my story
I will not confine myself to your boxes
I am not a model
minority
daughter
sister
wife

I will draw on my goddesses
my Durga
Parvati
Kali
and I will stride across the battlefield
and leave a bloodied trail of
your words
your images
your stereotypes
in my wake

© Bhavna Vasnani, 18/04/2017

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enter, stage right

So, here we are. A long-overdue blog – I say long-overdue because I’ve been wanting to do this for a very long time.

But anyway, here we are.

And here you are. So let’s start with the basics.

Hi, I’m Bhavna, but I usually go by Bhav or Bhavvy. I’m an English graduate from Nanyang Technological University, which basically means I majored in bullshit and awesome. Pop culture’s been a very crucial part of my life for longer than I’ve realised, starting from my days binge-watching Charmed and Buffy and Angel as a teenager and reading every single book for those that I could find in the library, much to my parents’ chagrin (“don’t you have anything else to read?!” “why don’t you read a proper book?”). Then with my degree (and with a little help from tumblr, bless that black hole), I started to see the theories I’d read about – colonialism, feminism, Asian stereotypes in musical theatre, etc – play out in the pop culture I consumed. So I did my honours thesis on Buffy the Vampire Slayer – shoutout to Prof Sam for encouraging me!

And here we are today, an unemployed bum freelance writer with way too many thoughts on pop culture and nowhere to put them. So this is probably what this blog is gonna be used for – a somewhat filtered, hopefully coherent place to dump my thoughts on pop culture and fandom and whatnot, probably with the occasional review or recap.

I hope you like what you see, and I hope you stay on!

– Bhav