I thought of not saying anything at all. Then, I figured maybe I should blog about it.
Anger doesn’t help me. It probably doesn’t help anyone else either but the one thing I find best to calm me down is writing. It’s always been the case and I pray it continues to be so.

So, no. I am not happy with the outcome of the elections in the United States of America. Even as I type that, I realise the irony- ‘United’ States. Every outcome from this election has showed us one thing very clearly- the visible divide that exists in society; a divide we didn’t think existed deep enough to separate people the way it has.
I’ll tell you why this result has affected me personally, despite being far away from a country that I have nothing to do with as a voter or otherwise. And you may sneer, scoff at or mock my feeling, because it is a free country and a free world and I won’t begrudge you that. I just ask that you allow me to feel what I should.
If you’ve read my blog, you’d notice that I steer clear of political commentary. Why? Because, for one thing, I don’t consider myself qualified enough to say anything much on the subject. Secondly and more importantly, I don’t handle confrontations very well- online or offline. I tend to withdraw into my shell when people attack me through words. I am a sensitive person, which is both my strength and my weakness and changing that today will be well nigh impossible.
The one time I did speak about Trump on my blog was after those tapes were released that spoke of his utter disregard for women. Writing that post was cathartic but also very painful because it raked up unpleasant moments from my childhood.
Yesterday’s result did the same thing but magnified it many times over. Things I have not shared with the world or even my close friends, all of it surged to the surface in a giant lump of post-traumatic stress wave, when I realised that a possible child molester and a self-confessed misogynist is now in office. And I panicked.
Panic and stress manifest very clearly in my life. Urticaria.
My skin broke out in rashes all over yesterday and early today as I realised the magnitude of what has happened.
For your sake and mine, I hope we are wrong about this man. I hope that all his blustering rhetoric was just that. I hope that he doesn’t actually follow through on any of his outlandish affirmations.
But since I don’t know for sure, at the moment, I just suffer in silence.
So I retreat under my purple umbrella. This umbrella is symbolic of my friends who support me through my rough times. It signifies the splash of colour I so desperately need in a world that looks gray and far more dark than bright. It also represents the support I will unabashedly extend to the ones I love- my friends of colour, my minority groups, my wonderful, splendid blogging and writing friends- who are coming to terms with this event.
All I ask is that you be my purple umbrella and I will be yours. Even a silent support is better than none.
We need each other today. We need each other everyday.
*Image via Shutterstock

33 thoughts on “Be my purple umbrella

  1. The results were undoubtedly shocking… Makes you wonder at the collective sanity of the nation. But don’t think about it too much. Seriously, there’s no point. And I can be any color umbrella you want… Matching your saree 😉

  2. That is such a comforting thought – that there are people out there who will be my support system when I need them. I’ll gladly be your purple umbrella Shailaja.

  3. It is so horrifying to think that such a man is on power. When I first came across the result online, I was wishing over and over for it to be a false news. Let’s hope for the best, for there’s still goodness in this world…and a lot of purple umbrellas out there for us.

  4. I so relate and understand Shailaja. I steer clear of reading too much news for this reason too. But this election, the result, the aftermath – big time anxiety. Thank you for extending the purple umberella to me last night – I hope I can extend it to you next time you need it. ☂💜

  5. I’m as dismayed as you are – in fact too horrified to write about it. But, having read your blog post and another by a feminist in the Washington Post I do feel we have to speak up and write. Thanks for that and yes, I’ll be your purple umbrella.

  6. The outcome of the elections have been shocking, indeed. So much is at stake now. Wonder how the people let themselves in for this doomdom. Purple is an uplifting color and yes, I can gladly be your purple cover. 😃

  7. Everyone is telling me that Modi’s purple umbrella will get us (India) through this. I’m holding on to that straw now. As for the citizens of the US, my heart bleeds for the minorities. No one should feel unsafe in their own country, nobody deserves that </3

  8. Whatever be the outcome good and bad things exit in the world…always have..
    Humans cling to the negative, we always have…. Our dna s are like that…. What to do? …..when u read this comment take one deep breath and experience a few seconds of calm….there are rainbow umbrella s around too

  9. Shailaja, I loved your purple umbrella and would be happy to be yours. The whole world is watching with bated breath, only time will tell if people’s choice was right or wrong. Here’s hoping it was the correct one 🙂 Keep writing and sharing…

  10. Love the purple umbrella symbol, Shailaja. You are welcome to come under my purple umbrella anytime.

    You summed it all up so well about the shock and confusion we’re all feeling that the US could vote for such a horrible man with such questionable values.

  11. I’ll be your purple umbrella, Shailaja. You can feel, write and say whatever you want. I wear my heart on my sleeves and I don’t intentionally pick fights with people unless dragged into. Even then I think I’m the one who keeps feeling bad. I care deeply about a lot of issues and when I see the muck thrown around by people, the wrongs, it hurts me. And then writing comes to my rescue. I guess we are similar in many ways. Let’s share the umbrella then 🙂

  12. I think that acceptance speech had a very good writer. Yes, I do wonder who he really is. Sigh. No easy answers. Thank you, Shilpa. I know I can count on you.

  13. Thankfully his acceptance speech was sane and positive. And hope that this positivity continues. But that makes me wonder who he really is!
    A big hug to you, Shailaja, stay strong and know that I am your purple umbrella too! Cheers ♥

  14. I feel your pain Shailaja! Just hoping that his bluster will not translate to action, and that all minorities in the US, not to mention women would remain safe. I am seriously rethinking on even holidaying there in the next few years :(.

  15. Good morning Shailaja ji.
    Many of my American and non-American friends are suffering due to this outcome, and it’s so heartbreaking to see them hurting. It came as a shock for the entire world, and the only thing that comes to my mind is that we must support each other. Irrespective of what country we live in, this is a big message being sent out – we all must stay united for humanity, love and kindness. I have been praying for my friends and humanity. Please know that you are in my thoughts too. Stay strong!

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