Just to share…

I don’t know what I’ve been doing with myself of late. Everything’s just the same, but there’s always some or the other thought that keeps nagging me. I find myself getting tense and worried over the most trivial issues. It feels like there’s a hollow and it is pulling me inside.

I do all things that have to be done, but there’s a detachment, like I’m doing it only for the heck of it. There’s no reason to feel this way. I did what I wanted to do, have what I wanted to have, then why? I feel like I’ve lost my faith.

There comes a time in our life when we need to retrospect and re-evaluate our actions and decisions, to accept our mistakes and try to correct them.

Is this my time for it?


Fiction and Reality

We’ve heard of films that are fictional or realistic. What do we call those films that are an impeccable concoction of both? Realistic fiction? Fictional reality?

It happened first, and then it happened again. First we saw him dressed in dhoti carrying a lathi in his hand and giving us those signature quotes on ahimsa, then we saw him dressed in quintessential regal attire with the unmistakable Maratha king dialect. Know what I’m talking about?

It was first seen in Lage Raho Munnabhai. We saw our great national icon the late Mahatma Gandhi (Dilip Prabhavalkar) come to life on screen giving his, now world-famous, quotes to a notorious but lovable Munnabhai ( Sanjay Dutt) to help him ensure a date with his muse, Jhanvi( Vidya Balan). What came to be termed as ‘Gandhigiri’ in the movie went on to become a nationwide craze. The scenes in which Munnabhai has illusions of Gandhi rendering him tips and guidance are handled well. 

It was a one-of-a-kind story, when a real-life character was incorporated in a film and was shown conversing and giving advice to a character of the film. And, when the real-life character was that of Gandhi, it couldn’t get any bigger or better than this. What I liked most about the movie was that although it attempted to remind us all of the teachings of Gandhi, at no point did it seem preachy or boring. It was all there for us to see, understand and implement on our own. Hats off to Rajkumar Hirani!

Then came another one, Me Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy. This movie was made on the lines of Lage Raho Munnabhai, but the movie was in Marathi and indeed had a vernacular flavor to it, that of the ‘Marathi Manus’. Here we saw the great Maratha king, Shivajiraje Bhosle(Mahesh Manjrekar) come to life and advise in the imagination of a Marathi manus(Sachin Khedekar) living in Mumbai and who’s presumably exploited by anyone other than the Maratha clan. In the end he develops immense confidence and is ready to take on any challenge!

This movie too went on to become an instant hit.The unique point of this movie has to be the necessarily stressed point, to safeguard and cherish the valour and pride of the great Marathas. Whenever the common man faces any adverse situation, he visualises Shivaji giving him encouragement to stick to his roots and take on the world. Wish we had someone like this at hand 🙂

Both movies have a bound script, and great performers to back it. This whole idea of bringing up an influential historical character to life to help us solve our current problems arising out of low self-esteem, and show a focussed way to a confused generation seems very matter-of-fact. Though the movies did have a good impact, I hope no other such movie is made anytime soon or the ‘novelty’ factor will be lost.

By the way, if asked for an opinion as to who should be seen alive on-screen next, what would you say?

Err…Its Human

When we were in school every day in the morning assembly one student had to give the ‘Thought of the Day’. I loved this part. I felt elated when there was some thought I knew and committed to memory the ones I didn’t.

There was one thought that I failed to understand completely, then and even now. It was:

To err is human, to forgive is divine

With all respect to the person who said this, it’s not illustrative. Divine here means the act of being divine or the Almighty? In any case, I would like few answers:

1. A person can make any number of mistakes, may be serve a full term in jail or be hanged till death, but be forgiven by the Almighty?
2. What are these so-called mistakes that can be categorized as human? If a person robs someone for gambling and the other for some philanthropic reason, who will be forgiven since they’re both human?
3. Does this ‘forgiving’ come with a validity period? Say after some 100 mistakes God withdraws his discount offer?
4. What about those people who strongly believe in God, but know that at the end of the day no matter what they do, the Lord’s going to spare them?

We were taught that there’s one God, the forms may be different. No religion teaches you to hate or kill. Still we find people being killed every day in some or the other part of the world, in the name of religion, power or just plain rebellion against something. Was this the world that God had created? Can these people, who think killing people’s going to prove a point,be forgiven in any court of law?

Today is 26th November, 2009. The first anniversary of the scary human massacre that took place in Mumbai. The incident that had shaken the very foundation of safety and security in our country, when three top officers lost their lives only because of sheer negligence.

The government must’ve come up with a count of the number of people who lost their lives, but what about their families? When one person of a family dies, the whole family gets affected, more so if he was the only earning member. The compensation offered may go into the tune of a few lakhs, but nothing can cover up the loss of one person.

We can make demonstrations, condemn the whole act, light candles, may be even stand and observe silence for 2 min, but nothing’s going to undo the damage caused to the hearts of all Indians. We’re indeed sorry for what happened, but aren’t we secretly thankful that we weren’t one of them?

I loved ‘A Wednesday’ and have seen it many times. I loved Naseeruddin Shah’s dialogue, ‘We’re resilient by force, not by choice. Hume ghar chalana hota hai saab!’ Its about time we wake up and own up to our responsibilities, or tomorrow might be our turn.

The tag of eights!

Reflections had tagged me yesterday with this tag of 8’s. I was amazed at how fast I could come up with the answers! It indeed took a lot of imagination and hair-pulling but I managed to get all of them!

8 TV shows I like to watch:
1.Friends, Seinfeld – All-time favourite, love Jason Alexander. Absolutely!
2.Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai
3.Boston Legal/Criminal Minds – anyone that I can catch up
4.Balika Vadhu (though I’m fast losing interest)
5.Any channel playing old songs (preferably Mohd Rafi, but nevertheless)
6.Movies on Zee Studio, Star Movies or HBO
7.Any documentary on aquatic wildlife on Discovery or National Geographic
8.Any channel like CNN IBN or NDTV for about an hour in the evening for daily news update.

8 favourite places to eat:
1.Ofcourse home-cooked food made by my mother or mother-in-law, they’re both effortless experts, simply superb.
2.Lemon and Chilli, Mumbai– I love the ambience of this place. Perfect for family getaways. The food is overpriced, but once you’ve tasted it you won’t mind shelling out those extra bucks, anytime.
3.Golden Chariot,Mumbai– We’d been here for my birthday. We ordered Chinese food, and it was delicious. With some vodka on the side, it was the perfect recipe for a perfect evening!

4.Vihar, Nasik– Here you get the best Missal Pav in the world. Being a lover of spicy food, it was a treat for me. Our gang of friends used to hit this place very often. I miss it a lot now.
5.Everyone knows that the favourite snack/diet of every Mumbaiite is the famous Vada-Pav, and I’m no exception. Every time I’m in Dadar, as soon as I get out of the station, the first thing I do is, have the Jumbo Vada-Pav.
6.There’s this unassuming place in Indore that’s very famous for its ‘Ghamandi Lassi’. You have to taste it to know why the ‘ghamand’, if at all! It’s thick, very creamy and served in a big glass. I bet you can substitute it for a full meal. It’s just too good!
7.Dosa Plaza, Vashi– He serves the widest variety of dosas I’ve ever seen. They are innovative and very tasty. We frequent this place.
8.Natural’s Ice creams– The real taste of fruit in them makes them an instant favourite.

8 things I look forward to:
1.Immediately, my Aunt-in-law’s visit in January. Great bonding time for the whole family.
2.Getting our own dream flat in Mumbai.
3.Spending some quality time with my husband.
4.Doing anything in my capacity in the field of education, teaching in schools or taking tuitions!
5.Having at least one day when I won’t have to do any of the domestic chores.
6.To fit in and look good in one of those elegant and flowy party-wear evening gowns!
7.Participating in and winning a Sudoku championship.
8.Having a worry-free old age, with good health and enough money to go by.

8 things that happened yesterday:
1.Performed my daily pooja in the morning.
2.Had a heart-to-heart almost hour long chat with an old friend, after ages!
3.My son, Arush threw the TV remote in the water. Obviously, every time I needed to switch the channel or adjust the volume I had to parade to the TV set. Sigh! 😦
4.Talked with Mom on the phone for around half an hour to make plans for my visit next month.
5.Watered the plants. The rose buds will bloom in a day or two.
6.Our neighbour’s kids came to our place to play with Arush, and needless to say, turned our home into a battlefield look-alike.
7.Arush just won’t sit in the house, so I took him to the balcony and enjoyed the cool breeze. It was lovely.
8.Lots of pending laundry, took up a lot of time!

8 things I love about winter:
There are no winters in Mumbai! Before I shifted here though, I’d experienced very cold winters. So I’m writing from that point of view..
1.Of course, cuddling in the blanket and refusing to get up!
2.I loved to create that smoke when our breath frosts in the cold morning air.
3.Enjoying that hot cuppa coffee or tomato soup in those chilly evenings.
4.Getting to take out and wear all those stuffed away woolen winter wear.
5.Those endless family chats at night since everyone’s at home!
6.Warming up our hands on that fire we lit up with those dried leaves and paper in the veranda.
7.I had a bad cold every time, and I loved the pampering I got!
8.My mother made those laddus to be eaten in winter, full of dry-fruits and very tasty.

8 things on my wishlist:
1.Learning at least one classical form of dance.
2.To write a book and get it published too!
3.I want to try rock-climbing and bungee jumping (tough, since I have vertigo, but it’s exciting even to watch!).
4.Going for a world-tour with my husband.
5.To learn swimming and go for diving in the sea during my world-tour! 😛
6.Getting lifetime supply of custom-made diamond jewellery for myself, for free 🙂
7.A place in the heart of people I know and love, now, and even after I die.
8.To see the newspaper free of news on global terrorism, religious extremism and child abuse. I worry what kind of life the next generation’s going to have 😦

8 things I am passionate about:
1.My family (quite predictable :))
2.Reading( books, editorials in the Sunday Times..)
3.Writing (poems, articles, blogs, anything..)
4.Dancing (I left my Bharat Natyam class halfway, wish I could complete it)
5.Music (it has a magical mood-altering effect)
6.Creative ideas (I get a creative attack and I just HAVE to focus my energies there. Making a frame, embroidery on a sari, decorating my home or just rearranging furniture, just about anything..!)
7.Husky voice! (I remember I used to deliberately have cold drinks during winter to have a sore throat) I’m crazy about Brendan Fraser’s and Johnny Depp’s husky voice 😉
8.I absolutely, completely, madly love the chocolate flavour of the gelato ITALIANO ice creams, especially Dark Chocolate. I can hog on it endlessly and shamelessly, without caring about my weight.

8 words or phrases I use often:
1.Actually I think..
2.Yeah right/ Very funny…with the same sarcastic tone 😉
3.Bas chal raha hai
4.I know/ You know
5.Bechari to main hoon..
6.Chal re..
7.Shut up!
8.That non-stop baby-talk with my son..

8 things I learnt from the past:
1.Never say never, you may need to eat your own words.
2.There’s nothing called lasting relationships, with friends or foes.
3.When in doubt, don’t let people clutter your mind further. Trust only your instincts.
4.Patience is a virtue. Always remember.
5.Learning to let go is easier than holding on to unpleasant memories.
6.If used in moderation, aggression too can do you good.
7.If anything happened against your wish, it was God’s way of telling you that you wished for the wrong thing.
8.Go to shop in malls only when there’s a sale or you’ll end up buying one thing in the price of two 😛

8 places I would love to go, visit or see:
1.Swami Vivekanand Rock Memorial, Kanyakumari
2.Louvre’ Museum, Paris.
3.Rome and Venice,Italy. (Just to see the fascinating architecture with my own eyes)
4.A month long trip to Kerala backwaters.
5.The view from the top of Eiffel Tower, Paris.
6.Disneyland! Want to take my son there, enjoy the rides and myself become a child again!
7.One of those underwater aquariums. Minnesota, New Zealand, anywhere…
8.Any of those typical Buddhist maths, I want to see how they are from inside.

8 things I currently need or want:
1.Lose weight, badly.
2.A separate bed for Arush, he keeps pushing me off the bed in sleep!
3.My skin needs immediate attention, a good facial or something.
4.A full-fledged course on ‘Art of Living’ or just meditation!
5.I’m trying for a freelancing or part-time job, hope I get one soon.
6.Huge backlog of movies I’ve missed, want to clear it up.
7.A house-maid who won’t crib and complain, and would actually do some work.
8.A break from my mundane routine, which I’m going to get soon 🙂

Now that was something!! Don’t be surprised if you don’t see a blog from me in a longgg time!! We never really give so much of thought to all these things.

Now, lemme see, who else I want to go through this?? I tag..





5.I scribble here




Wanna know your Rashee?

There was a time when I was hooked to the Linda Goodman’s book of sun-signs, and every time I developed a liking for someone I’d use it as ready reference to check our compatibility! I’m a Virgo, and it gave me a high when I read something good about myself…practical, perfect, caring, compassionate and all. Wow!

I had memorized what sun-signs I’d get along with and very foolishly and blatantly I sometimes asked people their birthdates before being friends with them. I made it a point to read my horoscope first thing in the morning, and would actually shift my plans, if I could, if the day didn’t have my best interests in store for me.

Over the years my obsessive nature has drastically changed, thankfully. I’ve witnessed over and over again that this whole ‘astrology’ business is good for fun, but when taken too seriously, it can take the better of your judgement. Judging someone on the grounds of his sun-sign is not just incorrect, it’s unfair to that person. There are other things like the birth-time, family, genes or the surroundings that have a bearing on the kind of person someone is. In that case, why bother?

With due respect to the science, I’d say it’s rather far-fetched and artificial. I’ve seen people go to extreme limits to refurbish their dangling careers or save their dying family members by falling prey to the gimmicks played by so-called learned men and astrologers. It is childish on our part to put our faith in this make-believe story, and I’ve come to detest it from the core.

What would’ve happened had we paid any heed to the advice of that astrologer who’d suggested a different career option for us? Would it do us any better to add or remove a letter from our name, or change it altogether? One need not ask these questions and muse about what our future holds for us. It is more about what you can do yourself, than what your stars up there can do for you.

I’d read that Virgos and Arians are not the best match. It’s amusing since my husband’s an Arian, and we’re doing just fine! Evidently, it’s indicative, but not conclusive. It can show you the way, walking on it or not should be your call.

What’s your take on this??

A Haunting Episode

Sometimes there are certain incidents in your life that leave a permanent imprint on your mind. More often than not, they’re not very pleasant. It’s easy to forget something that made you smile, but difficult to forget something that sent a chill down your spine. I want to share one such incident in my life. It had happened a few years ago. It had scared the hell out of me and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get over it.

It was a normal day. I had to go out for some class but realized at the eleventh hour that there was no petrol in my bike. Cursing myself for forgetting to refill the tank I went out on foot, since I’d get an auto only on the main road which was a few minutes’ walk from my place. I was already running late, this was the last thing I needed. I was pre-occupied with my own thoughts, I’d be late for the class and the professor would sarcastically comment that I’d overslept or I had more important things to do and the class was not my priority.

With these thoughts running in my mind I started crossing the road. I  was properly scanning the road for any traffic. I was in the middle of the road when I felt a violent whiff of air on my face. I was wondering what it was when I saw an auto speeding in one direction. The auto-driver was cursing me. Then I saw some people standing on the other side of the road also looking at me and shouting. For some time I didn’t understand what happened. I quietly crossed the rest of the distance and went to the other side.

It was then that reality dawned upon me. It was a one-way and I was checking for traffic in the wrong direction! The whiff of air that I felt was ‘se of the auto which had missed me by just a few millimeters. The driver had been honking all the time, the passers-by had tried to warn me, but I’d heard nothing!

For some time after that I felt that I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t stop thinking what would’ve happened of me had the auto as much as rubbed against me. But God probably had different plans for me than to take my life at such an unguarded moment. May be he wanted me to live the rest of my life with the haunted memories of that day and being thankful for what didn’t happen.

I live in Mumbai which has very busy roads.I need someone to walk with me or I take an eternity to cross the road even now. Somehow after that episode I’ve lost that confidence. My husband calls me ‘accident-prone’ and takes extra care when I’m with him.

I must say, however, that I have a new-found respect for life after that. We take so many things in our life for granted that we fail to see the importance attached with each one of them. Had anything happened to me that time there are so many things I’d have missed. After I came home that day I hugged my mother and cried and apologized for not being the best daughter in the world, and promised that I’d try to be one.

I somehow wanted to get this out of my system. I’m sorry for the emotional atyachaar today……..!

Getting Hitch(ed)

I saw HITCH yesterday, yet another time. There’s something about this movie that I can see it over and over again, and still never get bored. The movie is by no means a masterpiece, and like any other rom-com, it’s very predictable. What sets it apart is the ‘freshness’ element in it.

After seeing him save our earth from those filthy aliens it was strange, but refreshing to see Will Smith play the modern-day cupid. I’m not a big fan of his or anything, but I must admit, the guy’s got style. He manages to look his smartest best even when he’s dressed in simple khaki shorts and an open shirt. Well, coming back to the movie now…:P

Alex “Hitch” Hitchens (Will Smith) is a ‘date-doctor’ who’s job is to help unassuming men get the lady of their dreams. He gives them tips on how to woo her and find their way in her heart. His biggest challenge comes when a loser like Albert Brennaman (Kevin James) asks for his services to get the love of his life, a high-flying celebrity Allegra Cole (Amber Valletta). Alex on the other hand finds himself smitten with a gossip-columnist Sara Melas (Eva Mendes), who’s hard-to-get.

There are many funny moments in the movie. The parts wherein Alex is trying to teach the goofy Albert on how to dance, how to kiss or even how to behave, or when Alex has a fish allergy and his whole face swells, are good.

It also has its share of dramatic scenes. Sara misunderstands the date-doctor as someone who’s only trying to help men have one-night stands, when a guy dumps her friend and takes his name. This leads to a humiliating situation for both Alex and Albert.

What I like most is the way the dialogues are written. The conversations between Sara and Alex are crisp and intelligent. The scene in the bar when they meet for the first time,or when Alex tracks her to her workplace and sends her a walkie-talkie to fix up a date, are good. Towards the end when Albert tells Alex that he wants to ‘feel miserable inside’ and which Alex repeats to Sara, is cute.

Although she plays like a guarded fort all the time, he has a new plan for her every time. It’s harder for him to taste his own medicine though! In the last scene Alex faces the camera and says.. ‘Basic principles…there are none!’

The movie is worth your while. If you’ve seen it already, I’m sure you’ll agree with me. In case you haven’t, well, go see it! 🙂

A piece of seamed memories #1

Taking inspiration from Titaxy, I’d like to share few lines that I’d penned during my graduation years. In these lines I’ve tried to show the thoughts and desires of a romantic and dreamy eyed teenager. I think all of us would be able to identify with this:

Whenever I’m lonely I think of you,
And all the beautiful moments that we’ve spent too,
Amongst the crowd of a hundred men,
You’re the one who made my heart’s desire come true.

Alone lying on the bed,
I remember the time when you had said,
That I’m the one who enlightened your life,
That I’m the one for whom your heart fled.

Your memories make me feel your presence,
They bring back the moments of love and happiness,
The cool breeze that touches my face,
Brings along with it, your charming essence.

Can’t you see…I’m busy!!

The other day while I was enjoying my rare and leisurely afternoon nap I received a tele-marketing call from some girl who was trying to sell me an add-on card on my number. Highly annoyed though I was, I couldn’t bring myself to get rude with that poor girl who was just doing her job. With as much politeness as I could muster, I told her that I was busy and hung up.

It then struck me, how often do we use the excuse ‘I’m busy’ or ‘I’ve been busy’ or ‘I was busy’ to find our way out of a tricky situation? This sure has happened a lot with every one of us. Most of us will agree, many times this expression is used as a euphemism for ‘F*** off!!!’

With the increasing popularity and use of social networking websites it has become quite simple to find, connect and bond with your long-lost friends. Along with them even the ones who you hated back then. Imagine when such a mind-numbing creature from your past finds your whereabouts and contacts you and complains that you haven’t been in touch. What do you say? ‘I’ve been busy mate!!’

So, there was a wedding at some relative’s place and your whole family went for it. You didn’t have the slightest care or inclination to attend and after a lot of heated argument you were allowed to stay back. After few days you meet that relative somewhere and for not showing up in the wedding the excuse you give is, ‘Uncle, I was busy preparing for my exams’.

This is not used or meant only as an excuse every time. Remember the time in college when we hung out with our gang of friends? Whatever the situation or time our friends were always there for us. As we get older however, everything changes. Even if we need to talk to our old friend now, we need to consult the calendar first, if only to make sure we’re not disturbing him. And more so, it breaks our heart when he does pick up the call but before we can even say ‘Hi…’ he says he’s busy and will call back.

This also is sort of a fashion-statement. It does not feel stylish to let people know that you’re not doing anything and have all the time in the world. So just to keep up that rep of yours, you don’t pick up your ringing phone quickly even if its right next to you, or better still, let the call go into missed calls! What, are you just sitting idle to take people’s calls? Didn’t the caller know? That time of the day… ‘YOU’RE BUSY!!!’

Butterflies in my stomach :)

Every one of us has heard about the phrase ‘having butterflies in one’s stomach’ and undoubtedly experienced it on various occasions in our life. It is that uneasy feeling we get in our stomach when we know that something wrong’s happened or is about to happen. It may be nervous apprehension due to an unexpected turn of events. I have tried to list few instances when these butterflies start fluttering in our stomach 😉

As a child:
1. You broke the glass of your very irritating, loud and belligerent neighbour’s window. Unfortunately before you could reach home and butter your parents with your sugar-coated excuse he’s already there!
2. This one’s happened with everyone. You completed your homework (really?) and forgot your notebook on your study table. Your strict teacher will be very upset and punish you.
3. You accidentally broke your elder sibling’s favourite toy/doll while he/she was away.
4. You drew your most imaginative doodles on dad’s important papers.

As an adolescent:
1. You steal your dad’s car keys and go out for a drive with your friends. You break signals, get caught speeding, but the worst part comes when your dad’s friend spots you.
2. Your sibling calls you to inform you that your mom found that hidden pack of cigarettes and magazines in your closet.
3. Engineering students can identify with this. The day of submissions and you realize there’s one full sheet you forgot to make!
4. You bunk classes and go for a movie and bump into another professor there.

As an adult:
1. You have no money on you and the ATM swallows your card.
2. You mistakenly tell your khadoos boss the wrong time for a meeting.
3. You’re enjoying a cup of coffee with your girlfriend when incidentally another one turns up there.
4. For some people this one sure is, proposing…!

This is indeed an inclusive list. There are many many more such situations. Inputs are valuable and welcome 🙂