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Varshini Oct 2019
Something about these flashing lights bring me home
It’s not like I’ve never seen fairy lights before
But somehow with their multiple settings, and the different ways in which they illuminate my house, distract me in the best way and make themselves known

Brings me back to waking up at 4 in the morning
Brings me back to making special food that tastes sharp, sweet and bitter all at the same time
Brings me back to rolling around in my dad’s office chair, going from jumping into the chair and bouncing around to sitting in it, prim and proper, calling myself an adult at fourteen

It’s funny that you make families wherever you go
Even if my parents are half a world away, I have my own little family to enjoy Diwali with.
Varshini Feb 2019
Entelech, never,
Never will romance prevail.
(maybe this winter??)
Entelech, or entelechy, is the idea of a potential finally being actualized. I find my romantic adventures to be a very good space to write poetry about.
Varshini Jul 2018
Most days, you're not a woman developer,
you're a developer.
You work just as hard,
You (try to) talk just as fast
You keep your feelings under the surface (barely)

Actually, scratch that
You're always a woman developer.
you're just so used to internalizing these habits
Trying to have confidence in your skills
despite the impostor syndrome pulling you down each time slowly, like quicksand
Trying to make up for the confidence you never had
compared to someone who always had it all
Trying to not cry in the kitchen because god who
is allowed to have feelings
Trying not to talk about men who made you uncomfortable because oh my god

for the fact that people call women overreacting
most men seem to make every little statement about them, have you noticed?
oh wow, isn't this just reverse sexism?
oh wow, can I even talk to women?

Being so vocal about being queer and Indian but if you make
one noise
one sound
one phrase
about your experience as a woman
because in such welcoming company you subconsciously thought why not

You let down your guard
There goes the shattered glass as the topic of gender-based discrimination is finally broached
There goes the thing nobody ever talks about
There starts the debate you did not want to participate in

"Oh wow you're so harsh to these guys"
"We were just slamming what they were doing, you slammed their actual personality wow"
"I just said they sounded like a brogrammer"
"sure if you say so"
"Isn't that just an arbitrary description"

How do you explain
How do you describe every nuanced experience about
Every male in your life
who have been exactly like this to you
How do you explain the light discrimination
The harsh discrimination
The systemic problem as a whole

How can you condense all this into a workplace environment talk
Where you don't usually talk about this?
Where you don't know if you can actually talk about this
Where you know that you ultimately don't want to talk about this
cuz how can you explain these feelings that they can never understand

You shut up and move on with coding.
But inside, you're conflicted with ideas of presentations to express the fact, or never speak about this again
Because in the end,
You're just a developer, not a woman developer to them.
(Disclaimer: This does not talk about nb people because the main context involved a woman and a man and about their interactions, do not mean to erase nb peeps ily)
Varshini Jul 2018
Yeah, I can do coffee.
It’s a feeling of apprehension, anticipation, and arousal, all rolled into one.

Yeah, I can do this.
It’s dressing up, looking at how your hair lies for once, as opposed to letting it fly all over the place.
People say it looks sexier when you leave it messy, but you won’t let yourself believe that
Oh, today is the day
It’s hoping they don't cancel on you, remembering the last time a date bailed an hour before dinner…

It's nice to meet you!!
It’s a situation of extremes:  an extremely good time, or an extreme feeling of self-doubt?
So, tell me about you.
It’s the dichotomy of getting to know someone whilst also knowing their innermost thoughts through a dating app.

Hey, this is actually nice
but –
Am I attentive enough?
Am I flirting enough?
Am I …attractive enough?

Oh, my weekends look busy.
It’s the same old story.
Rise, rinse, and repeat.
I had a good date and a not so great date this week, but apparently the latter is the only one that leads to poetry
Varshini May 2018
Standing a step below,
I gaze out towards you,
I see you there, with the love of your life,
And I think about how far you've come.

When I met you, you were the same as you are today.
A little shy,
A little nervous,
But ready to make a friend.

Through the months, it almost felt like
We bonded way too easily.
Was it supposed to be this simple, I wondered, or would this be my downfall?
Yes to the latter, I confirmed internally.

But you graduated, and somehow things stayed the same.
I was still wary, but less closed off.
Forgive me if I felt wishy-washy to you,
I'd just been hurt way too many times by then.

Then came a lot of changes in my life,
A lot of uncertainty.
This is the time when it's gonna go South I thought.
(pun unintended).

I moved across the state, then across the country, but somehow things stayed the same.
Maybe this time, I'm lucky.
Maybe this time, you're lucky too.
Because we found each other, and now I'm at your wedding.

I must break the pattern,
I cannot be nervous anymore.
I'm throwing most of my fears to the window
(need therapy to get rid of the rest).

This time, things will stay the same.
Janie, I love you.
Congratulations, my darling.
And good luck, forevermore.
One of my closest friends got married this weekend. I cried 5 times, which also gave me the emotion to write this poem. I love you, J, if you're reading this.
Varshini Dec 2017
You tell yourself, be on your guard
It's a new place, nobody knows you
If thinking everyone is against you is what it takes to succeed, do it.

You fail.
In your defense, it was way too difficult.

Speech is like a pretty snake.
It's beautiful, flowy, and distracts you, but in the end, it's probably full of poison.

So, you start over again.

You keep these experiences in mind,
Like a machine learning algorithm – Observe, Learn, Adapt.

Always remember, be on your guard.
It's when you let your guard down that it hurts the most.
If keeping people at a distance is what it takes, do it.
Just as it says on the carton - misjudged a situation, learnt from it, moving on
Varshini Sep 2017
this feeling of rage enters my soul
I want to be one of those people I see in the news
and irrationally beat up this man
it's not even irrational

how the **** did men get the agenda that they can touch women
get away with it like a kid gets away with food on their face
on one it's endearing, on another it's ******* assault
we're helpless
we're broken down
we're defeated
we shout into the void, waiting for an answer

nothing comes.
you learn to **** it up.
you learn to avoid that devil's company.
you lose faith in humanity.
A person I know recently underwent a certain experience which rattled them, and was clearly assault. Sometimes, you can't just report a person or talk back at them. Society is upsetting.
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