Who is a ‘climate activist’? Come, meet some of my favourites.

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A climate activist campaigns and supports positive change in regards to the global climate crisis. He/she also leads wholesome discussions, spreads awareness and motivates others to take appropriate action.

At present, many young people are contributing to this social cause. What they are doing is simply noble because in reality, it’s not the young people who are the cause of climate change but many of them are still doing everything in their power to improve the current situation.

‘Climate change’ as a term on its own is scary and troubling. Its meaning invites more fear into the hearts of those who understand the dire consequences.

RECAP: ‘Climate change’ occurs when greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide and methane are emitted from the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, etc.). As a result, the gasses become trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere and heat it, thus disrupting the weather patterns in all kinds of ways.

The situation has worsened since the Industrial Revolution and to add insult to injury, it’s a man-made disaster.

Therefore, it’s imperative to read about and become inspired by youth climate activists who have risen as the voice of reason at such tender ages.

1. Tahsin Uddin

A 22-year old climate activist from Bangladesh who fully understands the unfair impacts of climate change on vulnerable groups of people in his country.

He promotes cycling as an eco-friendly vehicle, plants trees and organizes clean-ups.

2. Russell Raymond

A 17-year old reporter from the Caribbean nation of Dominica whose motivation to combat climate change rises from a personal experience.

When Hurricane Maria made landfall in September 2017, he was devastated to see the state of the island he once called home.

Hence, he used photography as a medium to capture grief and highlight the fatal effects of the crisis.

3. Mitzi Jonelle Tan

Mitzi belongs to Manila, Philippines and ardently campaigns for ‘climate justice’ – a term that I came across a short while ago.

Her fight against climate change can also be attributed to a personally-lived experience. Which happens to be the two back-to-back hurricanes that hit the Philippines in 2020.

During this difficult time, she and her organization made it a mission to feed the hungry, ask them in-depth questions about how the storm had impacted them and help them in every way possible.

4. Greta Thunberg

Perhaps, I saved the most infamous climate campaigner for the last.

She is the 15-year old girl who protested outside the Swedish parliament in 2018.

While holding a sign that said “School Strike for Climate”, she demanded that the government meet its carbon emissions targets.

Her small act led to big changes around the world. Students from the UK to Japan emulated her driven actions.

She was also nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for climate activism.

Her most heroic act which inspires me is when she sailed the Atlantic in a solar-powered yacht to attend a UN conference in New York.

At the end of the day, we cannot measure a youth climate activist by the number of achievements but by the sentiment with which they promote climate awareness and justice.

So, if you were looking for a sign to build a cleaner and greener world, this blog is it. 

A Letter To Myself That Will Remind Me To Be A Good Daughter.

Dear Self,

You’ve been so brave this year. Yes, you can applaud yourself. It’s known to be uplifting and pleasing. But have you been loving your loved ones enough? Hmm. That is something to ponder over.

You talk to yourself a LOT. And when the phrase ‘a lot’ is being used, it refers to the fact that you constantly over-think, critique and analyze yourself. It could be in front of the mirror, or while staring at the ceiling of your bedroom or just looking out of the window.

But amid all this, how do you leave out the most important thing to think about?

So think: we always choose to take for granted what is already being given to us. Things such as food and emotions such as love. Like, you feel the swift rush of love in your heart when your Mother says something that is sweet and intrinsic to her maternal nature. But sometimes, you fail to reciprocate and then you end up becoming the worst daughter this Earth will ever host.

You forget what her favorite food dish is.

You forget her shopping list.

You forget what makes her tear up.

And, you forget that apart from being a person who caters to all your needs, she is also a brilliant woman who has desires of her own.

You forget that sometimes when you go shopping, she furtively expects you to come back and surprise her with something she has desperately wanted for a long time. It could be her favorite lipstick that just ran out or the fancy shampoo she has wanted for a long time but is somehow hesitant to buy by herself because she hates Materialism and loathes high maintenance even more.

You forget that your decision to help out in the kitchen should not be born out of obligation but out of compassion.

You forget that rambling on about your life and your miseries sidelines what she is feeling.

You fall. You fall like an ill-prepared solder on the battlefield. And so this letter should help and serve to you as a reminder to not view your mother as your mother ONLY.

View her as this goddess who experienced such visceral pain while giving birth to you that she almost blacked out.

View her as a woman whose mind is filled with drowsy dreams and candid curiosities.

View her as someone with a cerebral mind and a warm heart.

View your mother as a human being and not as a refuge to dump your emotional baggage in.

View her as your everything.

Yours truly and sincerely,

Conscience.

Renovatio. 

Probably the lengthiest poem I have ever written! I hope you like it. Please give me your honest opinions in the comments below! 

P.S The title of the poem is in Latin and translates to rebirth. 

She was made up of words,

They all said. She was meant

To be an author, they proclaimed.

But her mother, Mrs. Smith

Cooked dreams of an early

Marriage and a crawling toddler

For her. Thus, she ran.

 

She ran, leaving a world

Behind only to step into another.

She would paint her own life,

Embellish it with colloquialism,

Flowery words and further,

In her haste, she could only

Collect what her greedy hands

Touched. A toothbrush. A

 

Satchel and not as much a

Glance to the lady who was

Constituted of belligerence and

Hostility for her shaky career.

Betty was the bird emancipated

From a wooden cage. She would

Flap her wings around a strange

 

Place. She would grasp the

Feather and let it sink into

The welcoming ink and let the

Words spill out on an otherwise

Blank page. Oh! The jolts of

The train were like droplets of

Water flicked hurriedly after a

 

Nightmare. She was in a rocking

Carriage with people carrying

The burdens of their own stories after all.

She never batted her eyelashes

At another. Her concentration

Was pinpointed on the leather

Of the ledger she had managed

 

To gather. Her dexterous fingers

Groped the skin of the new diary

And her heart beat faster by

Imagining what would go in it

And which magazines her work would

Travel to. She was the witch and

This diary was her wand. She

Would cast enchanting spells

And thrive from it all.

 

For once, she heaved and a

Bizarre fear settled in the pit

Of her stomach. She knitted

Her brows deep in worry and

Anxiety for the thought of

Starting over. But the word

‘Valiance’ quivered in her mind like

Trees from an arrogant wind

Before a storm and she felt

Bolstered again. Because, she

 

Knew that no matter how harsh

The wind howls at the tress, they

Quiver but they never crumble and fall.

“Ma, I put lipstick on and I feel so pretty!”. 

Grip the brush with the tightness
that a  warrior exhibits while holding a sword.
Dip it in a powdery box much like a king
does after a war. Except his fingers
caress the crimson Tilak and gently
graze his forehead. You are no less than
a king or a queen, for that matter. Spread
the colored powder across your skin,
with the delicateness of your mother
who watches with fascination as her
fifteen-year-old daughter lives out
her dream to look more beautiful
than she already is in her dressing
room. Now, smudge all the sprouting
blemishes that might have bloomed on
your skin, it will cover not only spots but
also your imperfections. Apply
lipstick now. Brush the tip across
your dry lips with the artistry of
an artist who has ample experience to
recreate Mona Lisa in his basement.
You are ready to face the world.
You wear a mask on the outside and
conceal yourself from within.

A lengthier poem, this one.

I have so much on my plate right now and this is why I come bearing some of the contents that are on my plate.

I have devoted myself to the empowerment of teenage girls. This is why I am going around interviewing young girls around India (virtually, of course) to document their life-changing experiences and interesting discoveries.

Check out the Facebook page and hit like-  Teen JWB

For any writing assignments, comment below or just email me-avantikainghal216@yahoo.in

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does it feel like to move on?

It feels like exactly how
it sounds. You move
three steps ahead of
a force that was once holding
you back. You break
away from shackles that
were rooted around
your wrists and ankles.
You had fallen down
and now you have gotten
up-stronger and with
much more vigor. Your
mind can conjure images
of a healthy future. And
you can actually smile
without feeling the torture.
You can look
back now, it’s safe,
because what you will
see won’t be a mistake.
It will be a lesson of a
lifetime. And you will
remember his face
without fear or tear
streaks. You are not
reading these lines. You
are reading between
them because you know
exactly how it feels to
have moved on.
Yes, you have conquered
the art of moving on
and looking back with
courage and not scorn.

I am talking to you. Yes, YOU. The beautiful woman who fell head over heels over someone who does not give a damn. I want to help you move on. (I rhymed here too. Give me a cookie). If you are feeling down for any reason (related to boys), feel reassured after reading this poem because you can do so much better.

Personally, I never moved on because I have never fallen in love, (But does falling for Nutella count?). And, this was only my imitation of a sanguine woman who feels that she is strong enough to forget.

Thanks.
Good night.
I love you all.
Stay blessed.

Indelible.

Her demise shook the world
and left an uprising in its wake.
She was human but the world
obnoxiously called her a Dalit. Her
skin was marred with scars of
the most gruesome kind but
little do you know, they were
her battle scars that she took
to the grave. Her body, a
holy shrine was entered without
an invitation but you are not
aware that her soul is purer
than yours will ever be.
Her cache of memories will
be drenched with flashes of
hungry stares and lustful eyes
but also warm hugs and gentle
smiles from her parents,
something that the
scrupulous media does not want
to reflect upon. She can’t be
a secret anymore; her caste
cannot be a hindrance anymore.
She needs a powerful voice
and we must give her one.
As i recount this tale,
I am suddenly this girl. I
consume her desires. I
am her soul and spirit. And,
my fingers close in on against
each other and I take labouring
breaths. My throat feels like
huge amounts of sandpaper were
shoved into it. My eyes are watery
and blood shot and all you do is
stare. My clothes are shredded
and little rags are my only trustful
companions on my otherwise
naked body. A string of wounds
cover my arms and legs and you
whisper about how sordid a
scene this is. You mutter about
me being a victim but the truth is
I am a warrior who survived an
intrusion that was not supposed
to happen and yet, you back off
from a growing crowd and wonder
what you’ll have for dinner tonight,
leaving me there on the ground,
writhing in more than just pain and suffering.

Women empowerment is such an imperative concept and people often overlook it, thinking change will happen by itself. But no. We need to become the voice. This is a poem solely dedicated to a rape victim who was not represented sufficiently in the media because of her caste. Please read this poem and give some constructive feedback!

Have a great day!

Avantika.

 

 

 

 

The Time Oxford brought out the poet in me.

Incredibly short verses of poetry written by me while doing a short summer course of Creative Writing at Oxford University. It sounds fancy, I know. You can also catch all the highlights of my expedition on Jaipur Women Blog. The blog name will be ‘Velvet Eyes’. 

  1. Of an arm
    Coyly placed on my
    Shoulder and a smile
    Plastering his face,
    He breezed away into
    The arms of another
    After treading on my already broken heart.

2. Teardrops fell
Slowly but surely as the parents distanced
Themselves from their only offspring and
Ventured off to a world of modernisation
And Ignorance alone together.

3. The sun is my continual nemesis
And it destroys me in more ways than one.
Silent questions are raised eternally and
Will not die down until I stop concealing
Myself from my own bright demons.

4. There are pictures sketched on the
Concrete that the law abiders despise. They
Condemn them because the depth of the paint will
Never rest comfortably in their eyes, like it does in mine.

5. Shaky hands
And a sweaty forehead, a heartbeat faster
Than a bullet train’s speed is all that takes me
To saunter over to the podium and spill
Meaningful words that reach every ear, move
Every heart and propel them forward in their life.

Have a great day and don’t forget to smile, Netizens!

Avantika.

My first ever poetry slam! 

Stop.
Did you hear that?
It was the sound of your fear.
In the form of short breaths and tiny beads of sweat.
You are terrified. And you are foolish.
For you binge-watched Criminal Minds for two hours straight.
In the middle of the night.
And now, your primary fear is a fast approaching attacker.
Hidden behind the curtains or huddled up in your attic.
You contrive plans to beat him. Beat him with all your strength.
Until your fist is tainted blue from the punches
And cheeks ruddy from all the rush
But wait!.
All of this is fictional and inside your head.
For you had bolted every door before
you made it to bed.
But some woman out there screams with a
clay tongue as the ingress to her innocence is shattered by someone.
And here you are, lamenting about gender bias, confined within four walls.
I have faith in challenging.
So challenge the age-old convention of casting women as  Mary Janes with doe eyes in those horror movies and drab shows.
The fear that had blanketed you earlier should be gone by now
You should be able to get up and adorn the cape of bravery
And stand up to these loons while spewing profanities at them articulately.

Hi! Did anyone miss me? No? I figured that out by myself. So yes, I participated in my first EVER poetry slam and this was the poem I performed. Like it? Hate it? Tell me.

Read the interview I took of the organizer here-  http://jaipurwomenblog.org/post-jaipurs-first-poetry-slam-vriddhi-plans-to-have-a-comedy-night-soon/

THAT’S ME.
Bye!

Reckless Oblivion. 

Greetings, Internet! 

I hope you all are doing well. I am not. Nevertheless, my newest work. Judge it. Like it. Critique it. 

Aunt Betty drinks her 

Black coffee with infinite 

Patience and talks politics. 

We tell her to cut 

Us some slack and yet, 

She blabbers about the 

Republicans until it is 

Incoherent. We groan and 

Instantaneously become 

Ignorant of her words and 

The meanings they present. 

Aunty Betty becomes silent one day.

 She smokes her hooka with an 

uncanny nervousness.

She looks like she wants to 

open her mouth again to spew 

Trump or Christie in our face.

That doesn’t happen. 

She retreats to 

Her room and the next day, 

we find her dead body, 

submerged in silence, 

skepticism. We lie in 

Mystery of her demise. 

When We Are One. 

The moon’s soft rays 
Kiss the moor ground 
With the delicacy of an 
Innocent maiden of 
Old times. The gentle 
Light caresses my skin 
With a mellow touch. 
I look up to the sky, 
Tainted with stars which 
I am inclined to touch. 
They are silver dots of 
Wonder and they 
Fascinate me. 
The trees around me 
Are silent and still, 
Embracing the moon 
And its pulchritude like 
I do and in that moment, 
The line between 
Human and Nature blur. 
The line is now indistinguishable,
it’s almost invisible. 
We are one. The trees and 
I. There’s no destruction. 
There’s only peace. And tranquility. 

Hi WordPress! How much i missed you.
Now that my exams are over, i can post without  worrying about not finishing my course (believe me, i came very close to that). How have you all been? How has 2016 been for you? I have big dreams for this blog. Give me suggestions and wise words for the improvement of this blog if you want. I am thinking of collaborating with a lot of bloggers this year. Tell me if you are interested. 

(I know, no one will show up. There’s no harm in trying) 

I hope you have a good day, folks. 🙂 

Avantika.