An Open Letter To Saloni Chopra.

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Dear Saloni Chopra, why I fell in love with you.

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What does being a girl mean to you? 🌻🌻🌻 When @converse.india asked me to be part of their Girl Campaign and define what being a girl means to me and gift a pair of Converse Shoes to a girl that matters to me – I knew this was going to be a campaign that’s in line with everything I believe in! I chose @hathiparinda because of how important she’s been in my life for the last few years. She’s been a sister, a daughter, a friend… and with every passing day of our relationship, she’s unintentionally taught me the Do’s & Dont’s of parenting. Though this journey is one where you never stop learning… I guess the best part was sharing some quality time painting a pair of @converse.india shoes and writing down the things that define who we are. We talked about life, and what it means to be a woman, and in the end painted our shoes Pink & Blue – to defy the stereotypes we set as a society where colours are allocated to genders, because at the end of the day, colours identify with how we’re feeling and not the gender we’re born in. Boys wear pink, and Girls wear Blue. We wrote down phrases and words that we believe in, in hope to inspire you, to find yourself, and be whoever you want to be… just with conviction 🙂 I think sometimes, it’s important to step back, sit down, and talk about what you believe in… share it with the people you love. Which is what this campaign was for me – a whole lot of time to reflect what being a woman is to me 🙂 Leave a comment and tell @converse.india & me what it means to be a Girl to you? And what would you paint on your converse shoes? #InMyConverse #converseindia #girl #beyou #ichthyosis

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You are everything I dreamed of while I was growing up, bold, strong beautiful. And you recently won feminist voice of the year and I think it’s a victory to every women ever out there. Of course, I wouldn’t be happier for your success, but this is not only the reason why I love you.

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Dear Future Daughter:⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 1) When you’re at some party, chain smoking on the roof with some strange girl with blue hair and exorbitant large dark eyes, ask her about her day. I promise you, you won’t regret it. Often times you’ll find the strangest of people have the most captivating of stories to tell.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 2) Please, never mistake desire for love. Love will engulf your soul, whilst desire will emerge as acid, slowly making its way through your veins, gradually burning you from the inside out.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 3) No one is going to fucking save you, anything you’ve read or heard otherwise is bullshit.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 4) One day a special someone is going to come along whose touch feels like fire and whose words taste like vanilla—when they leave you, you will want to die. If you know anything at all, know that it is only temporary.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 5) Your mental health comes before school baby, always. If it’s midnight and you have an exam the next day but your hands have been shaking for the past hour and a half and you’re not so sure you want to be alive anymore, pull out that carton of ice cream—afterwards, go the fuck to bed. So what if you get a 68% on the exam the next day? You took care of yourself and, at the end of the day, that will always come before a high test score. To hell with anyone who tells you differently.” —Abbie Nielsen ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Via @theartidote ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #ToBeVulnerablyHonest ⁣⁣⁣#theartidote #deardaughter #girls #phiphiisland #mentalhealth #travel #phiphi #women #girls #futuredaughter #educategirls #thailand ⁣⁣⁣

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I love you because you make me believe that the young girl inside me who was curious and unafraid is right. The young girl who would call out to men urinating in public, the young girl who would scream if someone threw garbage on the road and later clean it herself. The young girl who was not afraid of getting her hands dirty and her knees scraped because they would leave marks. The young girl who would beat any guy in cycle races and eat 10 mangoes because she was hungry. Is here. Still here.

I love you because you make me believe that the young girl inside me, who questioned everything from god to religion to politics to what is harassment, was not wrong to raise questions. The young girl who did not care where her dress was going or how she looked as long as she was comfortable. The young girl who was so generous, who would give her toffee to her friend because she fell. The young girl who wanted to study (before exams), who would dance almost anywhere. Is here. Still here.

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Now on IGTV: Here’s to the misfits, the crazy ones, the best friends, the people that don’t care what the world thinks of them… the dreamers, the Sapna Chowdhary’s of this world, the Yash Nirwan’s, the Saloni Chopra’s, the You – that often wishes you could dance like crazy and do the shit your heart desires without caring a f*ck about the world – you can, and you should! I feel like I’ve been living under a big fat rock because I had never heard this song EVER till 5 days ago, and then I saw her dance in that video surrounded by people not caring about anybody, and I thought… OMFG – how much I love people that just follow their god damn heart, because who cares what the world thinks of you?! … So this one definitely deserved a tribute. @yashnirwan @itssapnachoudhary X #TeriAakhyaKaYoKajal #dancevideo #india #breakingstereotypes #weekendvibes #beyou #becrazy #dance #sapnachaudhary

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I love you because you make me believe that the young girl inside me who was not afraid to love or punch. To go topless in summer, who did not remove her body hair, who did not put on makeup, who put on makeup when her mum went out, who did not care what the aunties said, who wrapped herself in saree by stealing duppattas and who also fashioned a mini dress out of it, who sang, painted, loved, hurt, got insecure, got angry. Is here. Still here.

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When I first moved here, I was a young, naive girl that didn’t really know who she was. Words like empowerment, privilege, equity, feminism, patriarchy – didn’t exist. I was blissfully ignorant. Which is when I see young girls today write poetry & talk about women’s rights, poverty, education – I’m blown away by how fast this generation has grown up. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I – took a while to get where I am today. Lots of conversations with maids, some with eunuch’s at traffic lights, the occasional ones outside Inorbit mall with a sex worker at 2am, many with young girls in orphanages, plenty with friends I made along the way… got me where I am today. I couldn’t put my journey into words even if I wanted to – this city gave me life, & also often sucked the life out of me. It made me grateful & hopeful – it shattered my reality of the world as I knew it. I’d always say Bombay was like quick sand, it slowly sucks you in… you can’t live with it, can’t live without it. Bombay, my love hate relationship. Bombay, my heated affair. You forget if you’re in bed with this city, or it’s people? The close proximity with which conversations take place on the corner of a street at 2 am… when dreams are discussed & questions have no words to form because answers find their way up to you in a dark auto with a wallet full of cash & a face, covered in shadows – when women you talk to have answers your heart can’t seem to digest without breaking you into little pieces… when people, despite it all, never give up, never lose up, & never let go. If that’s not as intense as sleeping together, then what is? ⠀⠀⠀ Bombay, is where I found me. It’s where I met the women that told me what being a woman was. Their struggles, and their strengths. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Bombay, where I fell in love & lost myself to the toxic society that creeps into your bed in the name of love. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Bombay, is where I fell in love with these women… & their desires to fly, like it were my very own. Here – is where ‘I’ happened. No other place in this world could‘ve broken my heart the way it did, but no where else could’ve healed me with this love either. #india #bombay #loveaffair #everydaymumbai @haram_khor_

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I love you because when I see your posts, I see the young girl inside me turn up and look at you with glistening eyes. I love you because you make me believe that the young girl is right. And she is still here. I love you because you love yourself; I love you because you make me love myself.

– Just another feminist.

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