Before The Flood – The Earth Needs Us (To Stop)

Leave clean footprints

The worst thing that this world will tell you and that you have told yourself is, “be practical “, “relax”.
If human race had been so practical we wouldn’t have led our planet to destruction , we wouldn’t have manufactured wars , we wouldn’t have burnt our daughters and wives at stake , we wouldn’t have recklessly fostered greed among our selves chasing money and destroying the earth.

We wouldn’t have fed our children with our own fears and incapabilities to date and dream and achieve and believe that what seems a fairytale , is possible .
Fight for the fairytale , it does exist .
If anyone believes , thinks that the mess of our generation can be cleaned , the earth can be saved , the humanity be restored then YES it can ! And it must !
For we are the change.

And relaxing isn’t a way to escape , the more we relax the more our children will choke in the smoke of our sins .

Rise , shine , be a kid , mad , passionate , clean …. work hard to leave a better imprint on this world , a clean imprint , spread love and spread life , a voice is enough , an action more than enough . But lets act, lets dream and hope .
For that’s the legacy our children deserve !

#sorrytopollute #sorrytoearth #ambikawrites #letstalkchange #climatechange #beforetheflood #letscatchdreams #wearethechange #earth #nature #writer #writeupsandblunts #wordsodinstagram #staymad #letsinspire #write #words #action #environment

Branding Divisive Patriotism


A play by the renowned writer Mahashweta Devi , DRAUPADI , Was yesterday enacted in Haryana University turning it into a battleground between right wing organisations and students. Its a story of a tribal woman killed in an encounter by special forces .

It is amusing how every prime time newsroom uses army as a brand for proclaiming a self defined and proffessed nationalism.
Why has it become a fashion for some to question a civilian’s patriotic credentials?
Your one post on facebook won’t make you more patriotic than every other citizen of this country .

What happened to the unsaid rule that the citizenry of a country stands with its forces no matter what ? While you explicitly try to show that your heart bleeds for all the lives lost , you very cleverly try to divide the masses , infuse in them a sense of hostility and suspicion.

Isn’t it easy ?
Human rights violence , rape or anything else … How subtly you link it to army and divide the nation?
Noone asks the question that needs to be asked . It’s not about the institution , it’s about men. Army doesn’t rape , men do . And no uniform gives anyone a clean chit affidavit of impeccable character.
You make it about pro n anti army ?
No one said …
More than the army its about rape, the brutual dehumanizing weapon in the hands of patriarchy and the State .
How cunningly the real issue gets lost in all the Newshours !
When we can question the legislature , the judiciary , the executive , the bureaucracy then what , what is so sacrosanct about the any nation’s army? Is it above the Constitution ?

I wonder when the pseudo nationalists will attack the Supreme Court for its recent ruling on AFSPA .
And this isn’t about Kashmir . Lets talk about north east a change .

Sometimes uniformity and vagueness is actually oneness . When you implicitly demarcate the invisible boundaries of Us vs Them then lines will emerge , cracks develop and organs severed .


The Cost Of Independence


So its independence day … M sorry i don’t belong to the category of those people who set their profile pic as the tricolour only on independence and republic day …n i doesn’t wish others happy independence day….. I belong to that category of an indian who is happy on independence day , but more worried ….. Worried for this child who was born 68 this independence day i wanna take time out to say something… INDIA – a nation that stirred million souls . A land that produced men and women of the most exalted character. I believe India is not just a nation, its a way of life , an emotion , a spirit … “the spirit of India” that binds 100 million people together, despite having nothing in common. A day to take into account the pains , the struggles, the humiliations and the glories of the world’s LARGEST AND LEAST LIKELY DEMOCRACY . ….. There have been brutal conflicts rocking this giant nation and there have been extraordinary individuals and institutions who have held it together…. despite differences of religion, caste language, festivals , colour , race INDIA EXISTS AND SHINES …… INDIA’S EXISTENCE AS ONE SINGLE COUNTRY IS NOTHING SHORT OF A MIRACLE….. India creates magic with democracy, rule of law , individual freedom n diversity ….. WOW, what a place to b an intellectual. !!!! I wouldn’t mind being born 10 times to rediscover India… We criticize the system , the govt all year long …..but today i wanna say …. As a nation we haven’t failed ….. Our achievements are commendable…. I am not worried about the economy , we have the best think tank. Our soldiers are doin a great job …SALUTES UNTO U ….. what i am worried about is the DEGRADED MORAL FIBRE OF OUR SOCIETY …. OUR GOVTS HAVEN’T FAILED ….BUT WE AS HUMANS , AS CITIZENS, AS INDIANS HAVE FAILED ….. TO RESPECT THIS HARD EARNED FREEDOM , TO RESPECT THE SANCTITY OF PARLIAMENT AND CHOOSE FOR INDIA …. TO RESPECT OUR WOMEN …. TO GET INDEPENDENCE FROM THE SICK STANDARDS OF OUR BACKWARD SOCIETY …… our place in the world is high …our youth is reverred for their intelligence, our golden history is a legacy of glory ….but we are hated …yes hated n shunned at for our HYPOCRISY, INSENSITIVITY, BACKWARDNESS & CHEAP MENTALITY ….. SO let this day b a pledge to get independence…. From all this …coz. IS DESH KA BAHUT KUCH HO SAKTA HAI ….N WE OWE IT TO INDIA ….TO OUR FREEDOM



Raghuram Rajan – The one Indians couldn’t afford

“Raghuram Rajan is no less patriotic ” – Pm on frankly speaking

Mr Modi ,
We don’t want verdicts from you or from any insane goons of yours on the patriotism quotient of Mr Raghuram Rajan or any Indian for that matter .
Stop being a baniya and calculating patriotism on the MODIMETER of yours.

P.s- We don’t deserve geniuses like Rajan.
P.P.S – stop selling nationalism.
Indians with Commonsense

Mr Swamy please go n settle on Mars . We need patriotic sermons there in case you know how to grow potatoes from your shit .

P.s – Watching Martian

Remembering Nehru

On the death anniversary of Nehru ,while his legacy might have been removed from textbooks , if it’s believed that his work shall be wiped away it is but a complete folly of the doers .

To all those who keep asking what was accomplished in 60 years – my sincere request is to read “India after Gandhi” by Ramachandra Guha. The size of the book maybe intimidating but please do not let that put you off – it is quite an easy read.

Here is an excerpt :

“In the first week of November 1949, the RSS chief, M.S. Golwalkar, addressed a crowd of 100,000 in Bombay’s Shivaji Park. The speech waxed hot on the virtues of Hindu culture. As the reporter put it: He had a cure-all for the ills of the nation: Make Golwalkar the Fuhrer of All India.

A week later Jawaharlal Nehru came to speak in Bombay. The same venue – Shivaji Park. A record crowd of over 600,000 stampeded the grounds to hear him speak. His message was emphatically different, for he spoke of the need to maintain social peace within India as well as peace between warring nations abroad.

A hundred thousand people had come to hear Golwalkar espouse the idea of a Hindu theocratic state for India. But in this Maharashtrian stronghold, six times as many came to cheer the Prime Minister’s defense of democracy against absolutism, and secularism against chauvinism”

And to think that this happened when the wounds of Partition were still raw. Plus Nehru faced the major handicap of being a moderate – and the middle ground is generally not conducive to the stirring rhetoric that compels men to act nor does it draw strength from fanaticism. Nevertheless, Nehru had the statesmanship and nobility of spirit to stand for what is right and take the nation along with him.

What would we have been otherwise? If we had had a leader who took advantage of the various fault lines that divided the newly formed country for his own political gains?

Some would say India may have been better off. But I would have to disrespectfully disagree.



An Open Letter To The Reply By Mr Harmandeep (ex ota cadet) .

. An Open Letter To The Reply By Mr Harmandeep (ex ota cadet)

1. I wish you along with all others had opened your mind before reading my article . Show me a single time when even remotely I insulted the organisation or anyone serving in it (refer the closing lines ) .
2. No where sir, did I mention the term lady officers , and a lady cadet is an official term . Right ?
3. About having a choice . My article as mentioned was intended to help many other aspirants to make an informed decision about their suitability for the profession and the life in the academy as the same is kept low profile to the outsiders.
(Do be kind enough to answer how many times were u asked at the academy to not tell anyone outside about the things inside ? Remember ! You are not supposed to say what happens inside . Although that might be for mental strength but then people have a right to know )
4. My utter regard for your success despite so many injuries but the technical faults brought about by the article about the training were not my whimsical dreams . Even the doctors inside the academy told us the same in an orientation prog and I quote ,” the casualty rate of IMA is 3% and that of OTA is 34% . Despite repeated recommendations made by the medical wing to bring about changes and include a full fledged strengthening oriented prog the same has been falling on deaf ears . The weather conditions play a pivotal role in this.”
    (Sorry , but I can’t disclose names )
5. Nobody questioned anyone’s love for the training so don’t think from your heart .
6. If you so keenly had worked on your physical fitness MONTHS before joining ota then why such a long list of fractures ?
7. Mr Ex OTA ‘the statement of making men out of boys is not coined by me ‘ these are the exact words that one of the academy’s highest appointments spoke to me .
8. Regarding speaking to GCs . Again the term eye candy is not my coinage. This term n reason was both given to us day in and day out by our own seniors. FOLLOW YOUR SENIORS RYT??
9. I too have been born and brought up in this environment n worked equally hard sir. And if you say there are negatives then be brave enough to accept the negative and not portray them as my insult to army.
10. Again  , I never judged or questioned if it is right or wrong to shut off one’s mind n follow orders . For your info I wrote IT WASN’T RIGHT FOR ME
11. And lastly to all those who are posses off that I wasted govt resources and the seat of another candidate. Folks , I paid 50k bucks for all the time I stayed there and hastened the withdrawal proceedings (which the academy was reluctant to ) so that the next person can join and gladly she has joined .

And for all those who were chanting the tunes of tradition and that I should have known that traditions are to be followed no matter what. Thank you for at least acknowledging the rigidity that prevails , and hopefully to accept that reforms are needed in tandem with the changing century.
The last time army act was amended was in 1951. This us 2016.

And for all those websites who published a story with a sick headline and half shown info … APPLAUDS to the INDIAN MEDIA .

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Why I Left The Officer’s Training Academy Despite An AIR 2nd In 1st Attempt ?


                 ©Ambika Bhan

In a disclaimer that this might invite the wrath n criticism of many but I think I owe it to myself n my pillars of support to write , write about my life’s biggest decision.
To Quit The Indian Army

I am not here to justify myself or to answer the many shocking voices of people who have known me , admired me , hated me or envied me. And especially those who so genuinely sought my advice n ‘gyaan’ once I got recommended. I am just here to do what I love doing … Speaking my truth in freedom without fear.

A dear friend and also an army man once told me, ” Indian army doesn’t need women.” I was offended by what he said feeling it as a direct blow to my feminist self. But I should have heard him completely.

Women in the armed forces are just the manifestation of an effort by the Indian state to prove that we believe in gender equality and women empowerment.

1. Lets be frank about it women aren’t serving in combats n r not even needed to actually use a rifle once in the services. So to be logical I wasn’t going to be a warrior like my male counterparts would be.
Secondly 70% of the lady cadets inside had some or the other sort of a pelvic fracture, some even spine fractures… aggravated to the extent that they might not be able to conceive or the effects of these injuries shall be visible in later years.
Now my question … what’s the logic of having such a training regimen that results in you becoming a defaulted piece when u aren’t even going be in combat ?
N by this I don’t mean women are weak . MC Mary Kom could win us a medal even after having 2 kids. But an 11 month crash course to become an officer n that too in weather conditions of Chennai with no concept of any strengthening exercises and no sleep given is of course going to lead to such dire injuries.

Ok , i am not supposed to say this or whatever happens inside the academy but when a human body doesn’t get time to heal and restore itself it breaks and that doesn’t make you strong. Well it just breaks you.
Given the modern lifestyles that we live into its absurd to expect the majority of our generation to be a bodybuilder or something.
I don’t think even Olympic wrestlers would be lifting weights 24/7 for an year.
So Why doesn’t the SSB actually check n recommend the candidates who have been agile n active physically not someone who has always been playing in the pages of a book n busy preparing for competitive exams. Or better still increase the duration n the place of training and gradually get the body accustomed to the changes.

What is so peculiar about the training that a lady cadet doesn’t have her periods for 9-11 months straight.

2.For 23 years of my life , I was taught by my father , my teachers n my books to question everything n not to blindly follow. Because in your questions lies your key to knowledge n in knowledge lies liberation. The opposite of this was what precisely happened inside. Don’t ask questions. Don’t give explainations. The cultural and intellectual overhaul wasn’t something I wanted.
I was told that I will get used to it in 2 months . N of course I will because after 2 months what will emerge will be an entirely different person with a perfect ability to take orders n mechanically respond to them. And I wasn’t ok with it .

3. I was despised n slammed by everyone inside for taking this decision. And I was told,” this is a prestigious academy and people like you ‘topper types’ ‘lawyer types’ with heads filled with ideas of rights , freedom , etc etc are always the ones who leave . We are creating men out of boys here !!! ”
Great … but
What are you creating out of girls , certainly not women ???

In a subtle discourse on equality please observe I am a woman. You can train me to become a warrior . But you can’t turn me into a man and then tell me that ..look ! We have empowered you !
The identity crisis that ensues is idiotic.
And on top of that any contact or even having a basic conversation with a GC is prohibited . Because lets admit this , “For them you are more of an eye candy since they haven’t seen a woman in a long time” .
So what’s the difference in n out ? When a girl is told ,” behave properly, don’t be friendly with guys they’ll think you are available ”
Is it implied that a man’s sexual appetite and desires should guide a woman’s way of life.
Ok for some , but not for me !

I have a body shape and curves.Trust me , I am not interested in inviting or exciting anyone sexually but don’t expect me to magically flatten my cleavage just because the sepoys n the jawans n other GCs are there.

4. If the training at the academies explicitly wants me to shut off my mind and follow orders ( which by the way is necessary for the armed forces) then why did you choose a person who is rational.
I didn’t fake anything at the SSB. My entire interview revolved around me being a Kashmiri and the politics of my state , my take on that. With the zeal n creativity I answered those question my IO complimented me saying,”you know how to play with words”. So how am I being expected to crush and kill that creativity and the love for freedom of speech and expression.  I am a lawyer and a writer on top of that . The last thing I can do in this world is to lower my eyes and say , YES SIR , YES MAM to even the things that are absurd n illogical.

You know it would take more than 2 stars and a uniform for me to justify my purpose and meaning in this world.

5.There is a term called being in DOPE that means your body n mind are exhausted to such a level that your motor skills become weak and you are like those slum dwelling kidnapped drugged children. To quote an example , if a national level debater like me can fail to introduce herself before 30 people then there certainly is a problem.
And for someone who used to study for 12 hours a day I am not able to read even 10 pages at a stretch and understand anything.

6.So another set of taunts that I heard was ,” what will you do outside ? Wear bangles , a saree and have kids ?”
And all this from lady officers .
I was enslaved there , I couldn’t question u back but today I can .
“Our mothers wear a saree , she gave birth to us , does it make her weak ? ”
Oh , and Indira Gandhi wore a saree , did that make her weak?
Doesn’t almost every girl want to be a mother someday? To bring a life into this world .
Its hysterical and almost funny that their notions of strength have skewed to such a level that someone who can’t do 500 pushups is ‘mentally weak’.

7.And , why the showbiz for god sake ? Why ds the cupboard have 2 sets of uniform hanging , just like that n not to be worn.? Why is a harpic n colin issued to you but u aren’t supposed to use it to clean ur bathrooms n buy ur own?

8 .a captain’s wife almost my age and I have to wish her , even if I see her 1000 times … N later maybe even welcome her to a party n click her pictures while she joyously sips her drink. WHY … Rightfully boasting about myself I studied so hard , cracked the ssb , topped the exam to reach there and what did she do ?
Marry an officer ?
Well if that is the amount of respect that an army wife holds , I think its time I should get married to my boyfriend .

9. I had an injury and the doctor advised me that had I continued my both elbows had 90% chances of getting fractured as the angles were too much.

10. And to all those and to my own demons who might lead me to believe that I was a loser and a quitter .

It takes a lot of guts to kick a job of almost 70k bucks , to kick a job that shall give you a class 1 Gazetted officer status in GOI , to kick a job even though you got an AIR 2nd and you were a mini celebrity , to kick a job despite knowing the fact that LOG KYA KAHENGE …

It takes a lot of strength to give up on things as well as people who can’t give you happiness and satisfaction despite of having to bear the taunts of the world.


© Ambika Bhan (Athena )

P.s- my utmost respect to army n all those who have undergone or are undergoing the training to achieve their dreams. It is awesome and great but it wasn’t right for me ., so please  don’t judge .

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WHAT NOT TO DO AT SSB – A fresher’s perspective

Three months before , I was just me , an individual with a voice and a pen. Well today , I am the the same individual 😉 , with just 15 days left to join the prestigious Officer’s Training Academy , Chennai

Since messages , requests have been pouring in for congratulations , for tips , for advices from so many defence aspirants , it’s impossible to separately respond to all . Trust me when I say this … repeaters , hardcore repeaters n then the recommended candidates can enlighten you more about the tricks of the trade , not someone who got an all India rank of 2nd in the first shot.

But still an earnest attempt from my side to share whatever I gathered from this wonderful experience called SSB .

SSB as per me is a game , not just of what you are but how well you are able to express what u think , say and do. Although the 15 officer like qualities are the benchmark of what they check and some of them are just ingrained in some yet some others need to develop it over a course of time.

To cut the long story short I would just get to the point .

1. Screening – The ppdt … No one wants to see or read a flamboyant story . Make sure a simple one with the picture fitting in your story . Don’t go about singing over road safety the moment you see a road in the picture . Make it realistic yet unique
– Since u have just a minute to narrate , get straight to the point . Be crisp , be clear with your pronunciation , speech and the way u present it. Don’t stammer, keep hand gestures in control
– GD –  Its more of a luck wrt your position in the group , but make the best of what you have. After the initial chaos settles , u will notice only a few speak . Take advantage of the 2 seconds and give your points. Ennumerate them if you want. Its better if you try to moderate the discussion by first urging everyone to decide onto a common theme . And then the actor , followed by the action of the story.

* Don’t contradict anyone’s point
* Don’t be adamant upon trying to force your story onto everyone
* Don’t be too aggressive onto the group
*Try to cooperate more than contradict .

2. Psych Test
Day 2 of the ssb , if you make through the screening.
This is mainly a rest of speed and the quickness of your decision making.

TAT – * same as the screening , make sure the picture fits the story .
* Make the story positive .
* Write nearly and DON’T CUT OR CROSS ANYTHING on your answersheet , even if its wrong , try to avoid it .
* have mercy on the psych officer and give him something fresh to read rather than the same old road safety , pollution and awareness camo stories .
*read newspapers daily especially the new govt schemes , you’ll get a lot of ideas .

WAT – *Don’t miss a word , it shows u r confused as u took time to think over a word
* try to avoid preaching, advices , should , must , can , universal facts , general knowledge facts as all this shows u r trying to preach what u can’t do
* prepare beforehand , think , innovate and then write trying to frame positive sentences even out of negative words.
*keep up the speed . Attempt all

SRT – *Don’t assume a problem. If its not implied then its not there
* Don’t write long sentences . Finnish off with crisp phrases showing the subsequent steps in your reaction.
*Don’t showcase your fears . They are checking your courage .
*check what the srt is asking for , which olq , and respond accordingly.
*where u find a conflict between reasoning and courage , ignore the reasoning .
*attempt as much as u can . I did all 60

SD – Self Description
Don’t write a thesis . Just 4, 5 lines are sufficient. The interviewing officer  is gonna ask u everything from it so do a PhD in whatever u write about urself , yourfamily , friends, teachers etc . Prepare atleast 3 examples of any and every quality that u r mentioning in the sd.

3. Interview
* prepare ur piq well in advance and prepare any possible question that can arise from it . Your hobbies , your family , friends , teachers , etc , your own qualities .
* be confident , but not overconfident .
* Don’t show off unnecessarily , the one in front of u is smarter than u r .
*Don’t lie if you can’t justify it. Simply , justify anything and everything you say .
*be to the point . Answer as much as is asked . Don’t be a chatki .
* The most important thing : try to maintain a cheerful atmosphere in the room. Smile often. If you stay serious , he ‘ll make sure that you feel a dementor has sucked all happiness out of you (harry potter fans would understand the pun) .
*your knowledge will help u a lot. Don’t appear a fool . Although a personality test but highly advisable that you be well versed with the current happenings of the country atleast. Read The Hindu . For god sake don’t pick up a glamour coated TOI .
* not just for the ssb , I would strongly advise you to have a balanced opinion about things and issues as a rational person. This country is already filled with fanatic fools and they are doing no good. Atleast the army needs to be cool headed .
* In the wake of the anti national , fake nationalism drama this country is witnessing , for god sake refrain from showing your patriotism in the ssb. We don’t need martyrs but more enemies dead.
* Don’t show your stupidity by glorifying your caste n creed. “Hum rajput hote hain and we don’t keep calm ” . The answer will be a polite Fuck Off from the army .
*strictly speaking … no bhakts ( modi bhakts ) and pseudo intellectuals , etc needed . Keep it all in your pocket.
*Don’t discuss any negative personality issue with the io. Especially when the negative qualities of your parents n friends are asked.
* lie if u have to , but be diplomatic and confident enough to justify it with rational grounds.
*KEEP SMILING and don’t succumb under pressure .

* the only 3 things u need to focus on are
– the military planning
    ~ Don’t contradict the one who gives the group plan. He is the commander and u have to trust and agree to him.
   ~ write ur plan in points or small paragraphs , include all your resources n men .

– the lecturette
  ~think ur ideas well , while u hv time.
   ~atleast 5, 7 . And then just expand them
   ~ be clear and confident about the way you speak , don’t stammer , don’t use hand gestures , don’t choose those My favourite teacher , my favourite actor topics . Grow up please.

– Group Discussion
  ~ the same points as in mentioned in the screening above .
  ~ your knowledge will help u here
  ~ Don’t repeat points
  ~ give innovative points , try avoiding the routine stuff
  ~ speak well , trying to include the non speakers in the group.
  ~ exercise your right to keep silent as well . Speaking 4, 5 times is enough . Let others speak as well.

– Group tasks
~ Don’t stand in the background to just preach ideas , if u have it , implement it. Be a doer
~ if you don’t have any idea , help out the group with executing the ideas . Make urself useful .
~ Don’t try to be bossy and shove everyone out of your way .
~ your group dynamics are being tested and eventually the leader amongst u will emerge .


*during all the other physical tasks , especially snake race , help all the group members to cross over , don’t act selfish .
* doesn’t matter how many individual obstacles u do. Chill n do as many as you can. I did just 5 . Didn’t want to cut my hands n all so no tiger leap for me. Hehe … but yes if you fail while doing a task , don’t give up . Do it again till you succeed .

That’s all about it and overall Euro g the ssb

1. Make yourself indispensable . A humorous , jolly person is like by all and helps you to bond well with ur teammates .
2. Don’t show Off unnecessarily.
3. Try to help your fellowmates to de stress . I kept on making them laugh resultant of which they themselves were marketing me in front of the GTO.
4. Enjoy yourselves . If you worry too much about the outcome your performance in the process would show your nervousness.
5. Enjoy being bored with no technological connectivity. Being bored means being innovative.

© Ambika {Athena}

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Hidden Patriarchy


I would have been glad had he addressed her as a daughter only. Don’t take me wrong but just observe , he is reinforcing the claims of patriarchy that sons can achieve , he is superior thereby proclaiming …ye beti nhi , mera beta hai !!!
Please let woman stay woman and achieve not lose their feminity for being tagged as an achiever .

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A Tribute To The Mentor


In the world of deceit n loneliness ,
In a world where ur failures appear bigger to everyone than your virtue,
Where ur own blood doesn’t flinch from doubting ur hard work ,
In such a world I was blessed with a guru ,
Not just a guru , a messenger of god to carry me in this vast sea ,
Showing me the light , watching my every step , in darkness enlightening me ,
And today I bow down to you,
In reverence, in gratitude , for u urself don’t know what you have done ,
Even if I wash your feet with my tears it won’t be enough ,
For you have lifted a tormented child , a troubled adult ….
From the depths of darkness to the heights of lights …

Thank you so much
I will forever remain indebted to you for helping me give my mother her life’s only and biggest happiness

– Ambika

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