Akeli Awaara Azaad
अकेली आवारा आज़ाद - On Her Own, Unapologetic, Free
Hum Sab Akele - Every one of us is on her own
Hum Sab Eksaath - We are united
What do the three words Akeli Awaara Azaad mean to women and girls across India and the world? What does it mean to be on your own, and autonomous? In what ways are each of us negotiating the given (and shifting) environments of patriarchy?
The Akeli Awaara Azaad campaign invites lived interpretations to the three words, and brings a country of women to unite in its plurality, in solidarity.
450 Action Sheroes reaching in across towns, cities across India have stepped in to build Akeli Awaara Azaad.
We unite asserting our right to live free from fear, warnings, blame.
Ongoing Blank Noise interventions such as Meet To Sleep and I Never Ask For It have enabled the Akeli Awaara Azaad voice to grow, and resonate.
In phase 2 of Akeli Awaara Azaad, Blank Noise invites women to articulate Akeli Awaara Azaad in different languages.
"I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers." Khalil Gibran
This tee has my heart. Because it has described my spirit way better than I could ever have!
Akeli: I am and will always be my own person. I am comfortable, joyous, empowered in my aloneness. And interestingly, it's being Akeli that has helped me connect better with my fellow earthlings. After all, when you realize hum sab akele, you learn to marvel at how we're together even in that!
Awara: I revel in the sheer delight of being a footloose, free spirit. I believe in having fun, following my heart, and throwing caution to the winds every once in a while. To me, being Awara means to be bound by neither geography, nor the dogmas that divide us everyday. I walk my own way through this world, learn my own lessons and make my own decisions. All the while keeping the playful, wild and awara side of me alive!
Azaad: This perhaps is what I aspire to be the most. To be free, in the real sense. Free from the years of regressive societal conditioning. Free from the subconscious shackles that we women put on ourselves, every single day. Free from the need to explain, justify, plead for our choices. Free to walk down any street in the world, at any hour, without having to look back with anxiety. Free from always being at the receiving end of the blame, shame and guilt. Free to be an individual, with her own mind and opinions and choices in a society that respects her for it. Just...free to be me.
Thank you Blank Noise Action Heroes for this amazing tshirt! And for reminding us ladies of the strong, irreverent, playful, fierce and free spirits that we actually are!
Being Akeli does not mean being lonely. It means having the freedom to be unaccompanied, yet safe. Being Awaara does not mean being wayward. It means having the freedom to do what I like without the fear of violence and attack. Being Azaad is having the freedom to study, freedom to work, to travel, to take political stances, to make my voice heard. Remember, we didn't have to fight for the freedoms that we enjoy today. We are merely beneficiaries of past struggles. Let's remember to expand these rights for our daughters and younger sisters.
Akeli: I matter because I am me, alone, not because I am somebody’s sister or daughter or (someday, maybe, idk, idc) wife or mother.
Awaara: I can wander off the path prescribed to women, drift away from what is accepted and closer to what is authentic.
Azaad: I can push myself, every day, to break out of the cages built by gender, in which we all live. Hopefully by living that process publicly, including all its pains and confusions (menstrual cups and leg hair and rap lyrics and more), I can help some of you break your cages too.
I feel safe at night. My safe space is under the moonlight and starlight, especially under the golden glow of Bangalore street lights. It’s ironic because I’ve been brought up in a house that speaks of the night as inherently unsafe. The night is magical to me, perhaps because of my tendency to romanticize the unattainable. When I think of freedom, I think of the crescent moon.
Why does the word aawara have such negative connotations? Whether it’s a bonfire in the desert in Dubai or 2AM chai in Koramangala, being aawara felt pretty fucking great. Ladies, reclaim the night! Wear the word with pride! Go out, make memories, laugh out loud, fall in love, live your life!
As unusual as it may be, my nighttime adventures have taught me more about myself than all my years of being told that I am at a disadvantage because of my vagina.
Akelapan is my Superpower.
It sets me free where I find myself!!
Dil ki buri nahi hoon, bas lafzo main shararat rakhti hoon!!
Uljhe khwabon mai zid ka thoda swaad hai,
Sab gagan main kaid... Main pinjare main azaad hoon!!
A present to myself to exist, discover and celebrate being Me, three decades in this world. To being Akeli Awaara Azaad. The incessant need to discover your passion, cave your own path and in the process, find yourself Akeli. To explore the wonders of this universe without inhibitions Awaara. To be a Person who chooses to live life without prejudices and on her own terms Azaad. Thank you @blanknoiseactionheroes for this campaign, movement and revolution in the making.
For me, Akeli Awaara Azaad is a state of mind. Being the master of your own fate and the captain of your own soul.
In love with this tee.
Stepping out with feet as my only guardian. Placing one foot in front of the other, without worrying where it will land. Feeling at ease on the street, to be watching not watched, to become a part of the scene, to stand tall, not just stand out. To find solitude in the crowd. Unapologetic and loud. To move comfortably in my skin, to move between spaces on my whim.
I love to loiter. I also love to dance. In both scenarios, if I let myself be, my body enters a space where it is free from fear and shame. Where I am unperturbed by looks and stares, where I feel no obligation to justify my presence or movement.
Being Akeli, Awaara, Azaad means embracing the wildness I have suppressed inside me. Wildness: connecting with my impulse, not giving a damn what people think-- doing, wearing, saying what I want because I feel like, no filter, no defence. Wildness: preparing to be seen as a threat. Wildness: being visible and visibly expressing myself. Nothing is more dangerous than this, because expression comes from self-love. To be Akeli, Awaara Azaad: to be wild: to center love and pleasure: to overcome fear and shame.
Another source of pleasure for me: language. I often think how it is used to contain us, to make us shrink, whether in public or private, so I like to overturn these containers and release the same words that are used against my body, draw instead upon their wildness as a source of power: I say this loudly and without apology: Haan main awaaragard, haan main suttaybaaz, haan main ‘loose’ aur ‘fast’, haan main akeli, aur aashiq bhi, aur lafangi, nautanki, fahaash, haan main beizzat, gunahgaar, Azaad.
Life is indeed made of these small things which bring us joy. Like early morning jogging, long drives on those empty roads, late night visit to the ice cream shop, the dusty road to the treasured isolated spots for sunset, rescuing the puppy on a lonely road after finishing workout, hopping on your bike hoping the liquor shop is still open, watching a too “intellectual” movie as labelled by others....ALONE.
If you have experienced these, you know what it smells like. It’s addictive and invigorating. It smells like freedom.
So walk alone together.
Being a dentist, I kinda have an unconventional approach to life so AAA has added a lot of meaning to my life!
The idea of being Akeli Awaara Azaad gives me an idea that "I was born strong, and I’m sculpted to be my own hero"; it’s given me wings.
अकेली आवारा आज़ाद
अकेली—Be powerful enough to be with yourself.
आवारा—Be aawara in the thoughts
आज़ाद—The real happiness.
Freedom. Some of us have it in varying degrees, some, none at all. If the women in the eras of yore had not spoken up, had not broken taboos, had not stepped up BEYOND their everyday routine, we would not be here today. Heart swells for knowing a woman of today, Jasmeen Patheja, who in her quiet unassuming way is going ahead doing more for our kind than you and I can dream to imagine. This tee that represents a large part of her statement, says it better than I can.
Akeli! Aawara! Azaad! Here's to every woman on this earth, may we be able to wear our freedom openly.
As a human, I have the right to go where I want, be where I want to be, wear what I want, have my own opinions and be as expressive as I like, and I shouldn't have to owe anyone an explanation. I have the right to be the person I want to be and that is my freedom. Being akeli awaara azaad to me means being able to actually feel this freedom in reality not as a human but also as a woman. Not just in thought or in speech, but in my everyday.
What does being akeli awaara azaad mean to you? Share it with Blank Noise Action Heroes and be a part of change! 🙃
If there is a hard, high wall and an egg that breaks against it, no matter how right the wall or how wrong the egg, I will stand on the side of the egg. Why? Because each of us is an egg, a unique soul enclosed in a fragile egg. Each of us is confronting a high wall. The high wall is the system which forces us to do the things we would not ordinarily see fit to do as individuals . . . We are all human beings, individuals, fragile eggs. We have no hope against the wall: it's too high, too dark, too cold. To fight the wall, we must join our souls together for warmth, strength. We must not let the system control us -- create who we are. It is we who created the system - Murakami
Found the perfect T-shirt for every 'inappropriate' occasion.
Being akeli for me means not having the need to be escorted and still being safe.
Being awaara for me means to be able to use the public spaces the way men do without being called a 'loose' woman.
Being azaad for me means to be able to make my own decisions without having to think 'log kya kahenge'. Thank you Blank Noise Action Heroes.
I have joined Blank Noise Action Heroes in their fight against sexual/gender based violence. The news of the rape and murder of one woman, and murder of another back home in Australia in the past week has again confronted and re-awakened me to the fact that rape culture and violence towards women is in fact, EVERYWHERE and is happening ALL THE TIME. (1 woman is killed in Australia every week). We shouldn’t have to live in fear/keep ourselves safe/restrict our lives, because of our GENDER.
I Never Ask For It is a campaign, uniting to end fear/victim blame. One part of this mission is to empower + engage women to share what Akeli Awaara Azaad means to them. I feel exactly this wearing these words across my chest, so I'll endeavour to do the same + Korean transl.
Akeli 혼자 (honja) ALONE
I was often asked while traveling alone, ‘Are you traveling alone?’ I would choose to respond in different ways depending on how threatened I felt, ‘Yes’ or ‘No, I’m with a friend/partner’. Sometimes it seemed all my convos were exclusively w/ men, who visually dominated the streets in many places. “Where are all the women”, I wondered. I remember in India for 2 weeks deciding to look into the eyes + smile at every woman that I walked past… Perhaps it was a kind of rebellion, a way to connect, alone/together.
Awaara 방황 (banghwang) WANDERING
I like walking. Not walking anywhere in particular, is hard though, as we are conditioned to have a destination, to not stray. ‘Text me when you get home’, is a saying often repeated, (mostly to females) when leaving alone late at night. I remember running down my streets in Melbourne, Sydney + Seoul returning home. I enjoy wandering slowly, through urban landscapes, fields, temples and markets w/out being asked where am I going/what am I doing. We exercise curiosity through wandering, a vulnerability, a presence. Traveling is my wandering, and I prefer to take my time.
Azaad 자유 (jayu) FREE
Free to be alone, wander, heal. Free to be defenceless, yourself. Free to help others be free. Free to be FREE.
I believe I've always been Akeli Awaara Azaad ... In a system that questions your freedom, your choice, your voice, your very being it is essential to stand on the tallest building with the loudest drum and beat your own tune. Thank you @days_of_the_raj for my drum
In my words - freedom is breaking the shackles of stereotypes of all kinds. Reclaiming space, life, body and our time. Each requires persistent battles of the personal and the political. But each battle gives us, and those around us strength. Because only when we keep negotiating on an everyday basis, we create more like us, better than us.
Living for the moments I can’t put into words...
They’ll stop. They’ll stare. They’ll judge. They’ll talk.
Make it worth their while. Or NOT.
Don’t owe anything to any of these passers by. Coz that’s exactly who they are : passers by. You stand your ground.You do you.
The ones who matter will adjust. Don’t spend sleepless nights blaming yourself for not fitting in. That’s not what you were made for. That’s definitely not what my mother educated and empowered me for.
Here’s to living the Akeli Awaara Azaad zindagi and empowering others to do so as well 🙌🏽💙
Love the feeling of being independent😍 ❌No Nagging❌No Curtailment❌
it's just ME
ME AAHE EKTI-AKELI🅰 SAIRAT-AWARA🅰MOKALI-AZAAD🅰
State of mind… forever
अकेली - क्योंकि इन रास्तों पर चलना बोहोतों के लिए मुमकिन नही। इसीलिए यहाँ भिड़ कम और लोग मनमौजी है। आवारा - क्योंकि मनचाहे रास्तों पे भटकनेके लिए किसी साथी की जरूरत नही लगती। जो चल पड़ते है साथ उन्हें अपना रास्ता मिल जाता है। आज़ाद - क्योंकि आज़ादी है मनचाही खुशी पाने की, सफार में बाल ना सवारनेकी, खुदसे मुहब्बत निभानेकी। आज़ादी है जिंदगी जीने की।
Akeli Awaara Azaad forever 💙💚
The woman behind me is from my series of paintings. She's gonna stare you to death 😈👻💩
Akeli Awaara Azaad for me has a deep meaning which lies in the freedom to be alone yet not lonely. Moving together yet standing your own ground, signifying that I alone am the creator of my destiny and reality.
Awaara signifies for me the feral/ wild nature of our beings as women that is so much like the wolves. We work the best when we honour the Awaara nature of our being.
Azaad has to be my most cherished feeling that is must for every human especially females. The freedom to study, dress,eat/ drink, play, move, read, work, drive, choose their partner, get married or not, have kids or not have kids, divorce, move in or move out. Breathe! Let us be. We have to find and fight for our freedom and then maintain it and we will find people along the way who support us in this fight to freedom and equality.
In the words of Estes who wrote “Women who run with the wolves” we as women need to live our life according to our wild and instinctual nature wherein we need to establish territory, to find one’s pack, to be in our body with certainty and pride, regardless of body’s gifts and limitations, to speak and act on our behalf, to be aware, alert, to draw on the innate feminine powers of intuition and sensing, to come into one’s cycles, to find what we belong to, to rise with dignity, to retain as much consciousness as we can.
With my girl @laikathesiberianhuskyindia
अकेली अवारा अज़ाद, Alone wandering and free. How liberating are these words?
But do they have a similar impact on our society? I don't think so. For the very same purpose, I… a Proud Action Hero Mayisha joined Blank Noise with the desire to learn the true meaning of these words. For me these are not just mere words anymore. I found the true meaning of Akeli Awaara Azaad when I moved out.. Moving out for a girl is a life altering decision.. Well at least for me it was. "How are you gonna live alone? Have you gone bonkers? Who is gonna marry an 'overly independent' girl like you?"
These and many heart wrenching comments and questions was what I was bombarded with. But after a tedious process.. Brink of dawn had arrived upon me and I did move out,
My independence had a completely different and a literal meaning to it now, I no longer had to live under someone's terms, I had the liberty to take decisions for myself.
Being part of this movement अकेली अवारा अज़ाद by Blank Noise did teach me a lot of things but most of all I learnt to enjoy my solitude and unleash the power of speaking up against things I did not support.
I'd like to conclude this little piece about being अकेली अवारा अज़ाद by quoting one of my favourite dialogues from the movie 'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.’
''Dilon mein tum apni betaabiyan leke chal rahe ho toh zinda ho tum, nazar mein khwabon ki bijliyan leke chal rahe ho toh zinda ho tum ... hawa ke jhokon ke jaise aazad rehno seekho, tum ek dariya ke jaise lehron mein behna seekho ... har ek lamhe se tum milo khole apni baahen, har ek pal ek naya samha dekhe yeh nigaahen ... joh apni aankhon mein hairaaniyan leke chal rahe ho toh zinda ho tum, dilon mein tum apni betaabiyan leke chal rahe ho toh zinda ho tum''
“Awaara” a term used by the society for every girl, who lives life on her own conditions… because society can’t gulp the Azaadi of the girl…
Thank you Blank Noise for making me wear my thoughts… Proud to be a AKELI AWAARA & AZAAD
Akeli because nothing is more precious than learning to be alone with oneself and listen and converse with the soul within. I have been petrified of the word akeli, and loneliness has always meant negative to me and so I would surround myself with as many voice to remove the blank beep that keeps playing it's melancholic tune.
But today I realise no matter how many voices speak to you and give you answers, you will never settle unless you get the answer yourself And when you don't let yourself be alone, you would never question yourself or seek the answers and break the monotony of the blank noise.
Awara and azaad I always was and I hope they compliment my soul searching ahead :) Thanks for this shirt that makes one think so hard...
I hope that as many women like us come of age and carve their path we don't forget our own voice amidst the many.....
Being Akeli Awaara Azaad to me is having the courage to be my own hero. To be fearless about saying no to limitations set by the society for an average Indian woman. To be high on life and enjoy being single at 34. To travel solo. To be unapologetic about what I wear.To be able to choose what I want and what I don't. I am my ownself, built up on my own, by respecting and recognising my abilities to be there out in the world. Standing proud to my choices, good or bad and being responsible for them as well. Thank you Blank Noise Action Heroes for this encouraging movement.
‘Akeli, awaara, azaad’ is a notion that speaks to my heart for it represents my right to exist as a human being.
Akeli - is my right as a human being to exist alone in this world without the constant fear of experiencing violence. It also represents my right to travel alone, take public transport and still be safe, irrespective of when or where I am going.
Awaara - is my right as a human being to live my life unfettered, and on my terms without the fear of being judged or controlled.
Azaad - is my right as a human being to live in a world free of sexual violence or physical/mental trauma.
I purchased this tee the day I was moving from Bombay to Bangalore, to start a new chapter, a new job and live my Akeli Awaara Azaad life.
Taking this selfie from the streets of the beautiful city, Bengaluru. Simply wanting to walk through them with no fear, just being my Akeli Awaara Azaad self.
Akeli : I am alone and happy and I matter even if I don't belong to anyone. I am more than a sister , daughter I am me. There is nothing wrong with an 'Akeli' naari.
Awaara : I am awaara because I defy the patriarchal authority and question them about equality and age old notions about masculinity and feminity.
Azaad : I don't filter myself in conversations because I am a woman I will talk about uncomfortable , unconventional hence that makes me Aazad !
Akeli Awaara Azaad to me are not just three words or just a Movement, a Revolution, a Phenomenalon ... but for me its a ‘Way of Life’ that everyone must recognise! There is no other way I would want to live! For me its a great message to send out to all the girl folks - that dude you are complete on your own and your choices matter!
As a participant who is attached to this movement I will try my best to share with the girls I meet at home, at work, social settings, friends -of -friends -of -friends parties, holidays or wherever I go that we are capable of being on our own. Period.
It is very important for the girls to first realise this and accept it because that’s the first battle to be won! To have that confidence that yes we can do it.
The need to truly believe:
- That we the girls have the right to live this life on our own terms - without any if’s or buts!
- No-one is or should be responsible for us as we got our shit together and in most cases better!
- Its OK to try anything and everything and decide for yourself if it’s for you or not, rather than being told “ladkiya ye kaam nahi karti/ yaha nahi jati/ ye nahi pehenti”. Stop being told what to do or not to do!
If I have to summarise in just one line, it will truly be - “Apni sharton pe jeena - Apne liye jeena!”
इतवार सोमवार बुधवार हो
महिला दिन हर रोज़, हर बार हो
एक हाथ लेना एक हाथ देना
सीधा साधा इज्ज़त का व्यापार हो
दुपट्टा संभालती, दामन ढकती
हर मिनट ना लाचार हो
महिला बेबाक बिंदास बेफिक्र
हर दिन, हर बार हो
"Unstoppable & Unapologetic"
Akeli Awaara Azaad
That's what I want to be.
That's what I wish to be.
That's what I am!!
**The very first day I came across this campaign, I decided to be a part of it. Thought birthday would be good to start with a cause, wearing this tee which describes my true spirit while nurturing my passion for travelling as well.
I want to thank #blanknoiseactionheroes for this wonderful initiative. Hope you get success in this and reach out to the deaf ears.
AkeliAwaaraAzaad -- To live free from fear. Wild Independent and Happy.
Akeli - is not that I m alone or lonely, or I don't have a partner, or no one to support me or m depressed. Akeli doesn't mean I m vulnerable & you have the opportunity to chance pe dance. ..
Akeli .. I am my own entity, I am strong, I am me, alone and fearless. Being akeli give roots to my existence.
To be safe on the road at house on a trip at school or office at pub, in a metro, at midnight, inside a cab or anywhere. Even when I m with my husband/boyfriend, or the regular electrician, pool car driver or that so called uncle or any passer by.. from all the lecherous eyes.
Awaara - Wanderer for life! Unapologetic loud and powerful. To think out of the box. To be wild and outgoing. Something beyond being stereotypes. To be bold enough for change. To speak out against right and wrong.. Not to take shit or remain suppressive. Being awaara doesn't have to be a lafanga, it means freedom to do what I want without the fear of threat violence or attack. I love to follow my heart. I love being a wanderer.. If that makes me awaara then I am!
I am frequently told by my well wishers-- if an average middle class girl tries to be different, don't do right things at the right time, take challenges with life (rather don't compromise with life) , live life in their own terms ..then SHE has to face consequences, SHE can never be happy, it will be troublesome life for HER etc etc. .. "coz she is a girl after all !! "..
I am just curious to know how does one define a perfect life and how it is different for a girl and a boy!!??
Azaad - that's my favourite.. Azaad.. Free, independent, wanderer, freedom, self confidence. Free from being judged or categorised. Free from the mindset of #logkyakahenge. Free to dream, have opinions. To love yourself. To take care of oneself is not selfishness. It is equally important just like to take care of others. Free from fear. Not get scared and plea for something not worth doing. To find pleasure in lil joys of life in my own terms. Freedom to speak, work, study, travel to be an entrepreneur or maybe a homemaker, to marry not to marry to have baby or not to have baby or adopt or be a single parent despite of gender biasness, and so on.. Freedom of choice. To be the person I want to be as a woman more importantly as a human. Free to be an individual. I want to dance cry laugh wear what I feel like, do what I want .. to ride bike or sleep whole day. To have sex or not to have sex, to be an introvert or extrovert its my choice.
Ability to fight for self and others at the same time . Free to be free.
I love to travel. I live to travel it's my passion.. that's my choice of living. but that doesn't allow you to judge me.(OMG.. from where she is getting so much money, how she manages so much of leave, who is her boss?? Achha that's why she is still unmarried.. Ohh this is the reason her boyfriend left her.. her parents must be careless.. she is so desperate.. etc etc..blah blah blah!!) Whatever!!!! 🙄]
Akeli awaara azaad .. wild enough to express. Kind and polite but not weak. No means no. Sorry not sorry. not suppressive to knock down with your decision. To love to be loved without the fear of discrimination of race colour caste creed gender religion societal norms political knowhow. Not to be a spineless coward to stand for what is right and give bullshit excuses. To take decision of my own, make mistake, willing to learn from it, have courage to overcome and being responsible for that as well. Heal.
I might not be someone very important neither have a very lucrative career nor any successful relationship, nor very sound health or anything extraordinary rather everything below ordinary. My count of failure in life is much more higher than my count of success. I have nothing perfect, still I love to embrace my flaws, learn from the mistakes, get up and move on .. And that's My strength. Whatever little I do like for instance to obey traffic rules or greet my office security dada daily morning and evening, take the stairs instead of lift (not while climbing a skyscraper tho) or grow a few plants, conserve water, help mum in household chores etc. can actually make me happy and validate my worth. Coz I m not here to compete with you.
Feminism is not about hating men as our #patriarchal society would believe. (How can I deny the contribution of men in my life. From my dad to my family members my brothers, my teachers, my colleagues, my neighbours and my male best friends or even that tour guide or the rickshaw wala who helped me somewhere someday.)
Feminism is about equal opportunity, having equal rights in every aspect .. be it socially politically economically legally and most importantly as an individual human being!
As I manage to pass 2nd year of my 3 decades successfully, thought of sharing a bit of my mind while I came across Akeli Awaara Azaad campaign as this is totally relatable. You read or don't read, like it hate it your choice ... I am not here to justify you or me either. Its true Nowadays this type of posts are quite cliche and common. Someday or the other, someone or the other will post something or the other like this. As social media is the most common platform. But still somehow I felt maybe it's a lil step to expand these rights for our daughters sisters our house help or the roadside cha wali or some air hostess or a widow, divorcee or just someone who is struggling everyday to survive or even that unborn female foetus, or the 3 yr old baby girl who got raped, and the newborn girl child who was dumped in the dustbin or the mother of that girl child... !!!!!
Taking Akeli Awaara Azaad and the Blank Noise Action Heroes overseas. Walk the streets here, there and everywhere and to do it without having to worry.