Friday, 28 December 2012


So she’s dead. Yes, she was a fighter; yes, she was brave; yes, she wanted the culprits to be caught and punished; yes, she wanted to live. But she didn’t. She was beaten, raped and stripped, and then she died a painful death. Why, you ask? Because she had the misfortune of being born a girl. She was 23 years old. A good bit younger than I am. She was studying to become a doctor, a doctor like the ones who tried to save her life in vain. Call her a brave fighter; say that her death will not be in vain; announce that this incident has awakened our nation—but the truth is that this 23-year-old girl went for a movie and died.

And what awakening are we speaking of? Have men stopped raping women since this incident? Have they stopped leering at or pinching or molesting girls since this particular heinous crime was reported? No, far from it. Perhaps they are being reported more often now. Perhaps this has given more men across our country ideas on how to show their power over women. Will this bring about a change? Will this make my country a safer place? Hah!

Just this morning, as I was walking through a crowd to get to work, a man took advantage of that crowd to keep bumping his hand into my ass. He only stopped and walked away when I gave him the look of death. Safer, you say?

Today, I am ashamed to be an Indian. For many years in my life, I always said that I never want to leave India, though my family has travelled and lived far and wide. But I wanted to be in my own country, be home. I loved my passport that proudly showed that I’m an Indian citizen. Today, I want to run away from this country, I want to move away, take everyone I love with me and never look back.

I don’t trust that there will be change. I don’t trust that the laws will be made more stringent; I don’t trust that the judicial system will indeed quicken its pace; I definitely don’t trust that the mindset and value systems of men and women across the country will change. I no longer trust my country. I no longer feel safe in my own home, in my own city. I no longer have the faith.

Call me pessimistic, call me a coward, call me what you like. But this is the truth. This is my truth. The truth that this girl is dead, and that her family and loved ones will have to live with it. The truth that the friend who was with her that night will have to live with this terrifying incident. The truth that every single day, I still get letched at, and feel scared to go home alone or stay alone in my own home. The truth that sometimes, I wish I was not born a daughter. The truth that I am completely and utterly helpless. The death of this girl, my friends, is my truth. 

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Rape punishment? Oh puh-leez!

What is the big deal about this Delhi gang rape? I mean, it’s just one more girl who has been assaulted, physically and emotionally. Look around, these things are happening in our country ALL THE TIME. We will protest, be angry in our statuses and blogs for a few days, the news channels will piss us off a little more, sympathy will be garnered for a week, and then life will go back to normal.

The news channels, as they already are, will go back to reporting on far more important things, such as the Gujarat elections. We will go back to our far more important lives, which includes planning our Christmas and New Year’s parties. Will we not go out for a drink this evening because of this, and the other innumerable incidents of a similar nature? Nope. We may discuss the issue and tsk at it for a while, before quickly moving on to far more pressing personal issues—boyfriend problems (I didn’t say girlfriends because boys rarely discuss their love-life problems) and who’s the bitch at work.

We will wake up the next morning and go back to work and do what we do every day, and soon, this 23-year-old medical student will be long forgotten. Just like Pallavi Puryakayshta has been along with the various girls in Haryana, who get brutally raped, humiliated and killed every day. They’re too far off—some random women the media is creating hype about. I mean, why would any of this bother me. More importantly, why would any of this bother the democratic government that we voted into power? Oh puh-leez! Be realistic.

I have better things to do than sign petitions and light candles for some girl who is dying a slow, painful death in a hospital in Delhi. Besides, the doctor said she has an indomitable spirit. I mean that’s good enough, right? She and her broken, shredded body and soul will figure it out. Just like the other rape victims, dead or alive, and their families, magically figured it all out—obviously, since we haven’t heard about them at all anymore.

Please let’s not waste our energy and space on our facebook walls to show the world just how much we care. We would rather post photos of our winter vacations. In fact, soon I’ll be blogging about my trip to Goa.

Let’s just continue with our lives, as everyone does, and ladies, take the advice of our leaders and try not to get raped ok? Because it is your fault for dressing provocatively; being out late; mixing with men too freely, etc. So pull up your socks, till your neck, preferably.

As long as it isn’t me, or someone I love getting raped, I’ll just stop at clucking and writing a bbm status about how justice has died in this country we live in. And then will change it quickly to tell mah frenz where I’m drinking tonight.

All this continues and will continue while this girl—a 23-year-old medical student(younger than I am)—suffers silently in pain and tears in one corner of Delhi. Slowly she will suffer till she will have no breath left in her. She will die and someone else will get raped and killed, and life will just go on and on. 

Monday, 10 December 2012

December blues

Sigh. Yes that’s how I’m feeling for the last few days so I will start this blog post on this melancholic note. Sigh.

It’s December again, which is usually my favourite month of the year (apart from my birthday month , of course; except that my birthday is on the first day of the birthday month, so it’s over as soon as it starts, you know?). Every December, I start counting down to when I will be heading home, to Calcutta, to party with my childhood peeps. No such countdown this year. My feet seem to be rooted firmly to the ground. In Bombay. Sigh.

Well to be fair, I am going home for mere yaar ki shaadi in January, which is why I can’t go now. But my heart is set, right now, on Goa. I *really* want to go to Goa for Christmas. Firstly, I need to get away from Bombay for a bit and away from my regular routine, and I want to reconnect with lots of things in Goa. So Goa is on my mind.

It’s been a confusing time. Not so much for me, per se, but because some of my closest friends are going through some trouble, and I feel... like I’m a part of it too. I mean that’s natural right? If you’re best friend is going through a heartbreak or family stress, you are there for him/her and hence are a part of it. Actually, my bestie has also been a part of my recent confusion lately, and I absolutely love her for that. She’s one of the few people in my life (and in anyone’s life she is in) who doesn’t think twice before going out of her way to do something for someone she loves. And she’s proved this over and over again. The beauty of what she does is that, to her and in her mind, she’s not doing anything out of the ordinary at all! If she loves you, this is the only language she gets. And I love her for that.

I am at a stage in my current ‘confusion’, where I am and want to be happy, but something is holding me back. A fear of something, I suppose. Recently I’ve been accused of being more pessimistic than usual, and although my initial reaction was to be on the defensive, I realised later that that indeed, is true.

Another friend, who happens to be a pillar to me, explained it to me like this. My pessimism is a personality trait which helps me (apparently) in my career, since nothing pleases me and I always want more; but it harms my personal relationships because often I don’t give them a chance. My mouth was open as I listened to her because honestly, it made perfect sense.

Right now, I feel stagnant again, and I feel the tickle beneath my feet to do something to get rid of this stagnancy. Go somewhere and get inspired. I feel most uninspired right now, partly because my work, though I love it, can be unfulfilling. I even started working on my book—yes, the one I’ve been talking about for a few years now—and stopped again. Lack of time, inspiration, ideas and creativity. Sigh again.

The one pretty good thing is that my new place has worked out pretty well. I love the apartment. After the cute, cosy but matchbox-ish apartment I used to live in, the big windows and breezy nature of this one makes me happy; very happy. All my friends have liked it, certain someone has liked it and most importantly, the mothership liked it. She is NOT easy to please.

It’s December and I want to party, relax, let my hair down. I miss those days when all of us would coordinate all year round and be heading back to Cal at the same time. Squeals of laughter and giggles would fill all our houses, and many times, we would have to keep each other warm since our skimpy clothes wouldn’t do it. I feel far away from that time, in more ways than one. Sigh.

I hope my December gets better and more exciting, and in case I can’t write again—Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year! Please please have a super awesome December; that’s the least the month deserves—especially if the world does end this year! 

Monday, 26 November 2012

A tribute to Yash Chopra

Something I wrote for Sterling Holidays -

A scion of love; a veteran filmmaker and a man that could make any place on Earth look gorgeous. In his wake, Yash Chopra leaves a void in the Indian film industry.

She stands amidst a field of yellow sarson flowers, pristine in a simple white salwar suit, staring intently at him—gauging whether he is real or a mere figment of her imagination. He stands afar, gazing at her. Then, ever so slowly, he extends his arms and she breaks out into a smile. Without a word, without a thought, she runs towards his open arms and they become one. Tujhe Dekha Toh…
dilwale dulhania le jayenge shahrukh khan

Courtesy: Yash Raj Films

The opening scene of one of the most romantic songs of all time is etched in our memory, as it is. That was the magic that only the scion of romance and veteran Bollywood director, Yash Chopra could create. Oftentimes, he didn’t need words—he wrote epic tales of love expressed on celluloid of gorgeous locales.

At the risk of unbridled posthumous flattery, Yash Chopra was to Indian films what Martin Scorcese is to Hollywood. At a time when heroes were the prime focus of Hindi films and the action genre was being lapped up by the masses, Chopra delved into the world of love. He redefined love and romance for Indian cinema and used beautiful backdrops to do this—the valleys of Kashmir; the snow-peaked mountains of Switzerland; the sarson da khets in Punjab; the field of flowers in Netherlands. Fascinated with femininity, he made his heroines look beautiful, with the white sari, or gorgeous chiffons in lovely pastels becoming a signature of sorts in his films. How could you not fall in love?

Contrary to popular belief, Chopra did not shoot his films only in Switzerland. Yes, he loved the country deeply—so much so, that the Jungfrau Railways in Switzerland named a train after the director and a suite in the Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel was also named after him.
Coach named after Yashji in Jungfrau Railways in Switzerland

Courtesy: Yash Raj Films
Suite in the Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel

Courtesy: Yash Raj Films

Nonetheless, despite the soft corner he had for the world’s neutral country and a fondness for European locations, Chopra did not miss the beauty his own country offered. Kashmir, Punjab and Jaipur were some all-time favourites. Like any other filmmaker, as director and/or producer, Chopra too shot a fair number of scenes in studios created in Mumbai. But those aren’t the one you associate with the man, do you? It’s the love that blossoms in the open meadows, amid the thousand swaying flowers and pristine settings that stays with you, long after you have left the theatre.
chandni Flim

Courtesy: Yash Raj Films

The thing with Chopra’s films was not that it was a mere show of budget, but it was a medium to carry the story forward; to make the viewer connect; to make the audience fall in love—he was offering a whole package, an experience of Indian cinema. The man had vision. He even managed to make Delhi look picturesque in Chandni. Time and again he shot in the beautiful locales of Kashmir, as seen in the song Dekha Ek Khwab from the movie Silsila. He even made The Span Resort in Manali in the film Mujhse Dosti Karoge look like a home.
Dekha Ek Khwab in Silsila

Courtesy: Yash Raj Films
mujhse dosti karoge movie location

Courtesy: Yash Raj Films

Today, the man who made magic on screen is no more. No more will he be weaving unconditional love stories against sigh-inducing locales. No more will we see our own love stories on celluloid told by the King of Romance.
It’s almost like he knew. Jab Tak Hai Jaan, he said, would be his last film. And last film it is. Despite Kashmir’s war-torn landscape, Yash Chopra went back there to shoot his last film. Shah Rukh Khan said that though he was sad that he wasn’t able to visit the valley with his father, he was glad he went with his father figure.
jab tak hai jaan shahrukh khan and anushka sharma

Courtesy: Yash Raj Films

In Chopra, the country has not only lost one of its finest filmmakers, but also the foremost champion of love—something much-needed in this hatred-filled world. But Chopra leaves behind a legacy of love, which we can only hope will inspire the violent, love-starved miscreants we read about every day. Rest assured that your legacy will live on, Sir. Rest in peace.
jab tak hai jaan yash chopra romance

Courtesy: Yash Raj Films

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The *Finally!* day

I want to write today. I feel like writing today. In fact, I’m exploding to write today. I’m not sure what I will write about and yet, I want to write about everything. Everything that’s happened lately, in this city I live in, in my life, in my head. Tap tap tap...

So we’ve heard, read, watched and discussed enough of what happened last weekend. I will not comment or air my views, lest I get arrested (something I really don’t need in my life right now) since clearly democracy is a word used fast and loose in our country.

Anyhoo. I have *never* seen Bombay the way it was this weekend. The mothership of course, has impeccable timing and decided to land just a couple of hours after the announcement was made. So obviously, she had to be picked up. I stepped out of the house and a chill ran down my spine. It was positively eerie. Empty, dark streets with a few people here and there desperately trying to get home. Thankfully, I had company, very supportive, generous company who had my back, to get to the airport with me. After two long walks and two short bus rides, we were dropped off right outside the departure gate at the domestic airport. After picking her up, after just about 30-45 minutes, the company managed to flag down a cab to take us home for a mere Rs 400 (a meagre amount compared to the Rs 1,000 upwards demands the other cabbies were making). We made it home before 10pm—sheer luck or God’s blessing. Who’da thunk!

The weekend was spent in a pretty familial setting with the mothership cooking and us eating and sleeping (and the other two going ballistic without the television). On Sunday, I felt like we were living in the times of the Emergency. We stocked up on food and supplies, all bought surreptitiously of course, and enough to last us at least two weeks. And lo and behold! All was back to normal the next day *facepalm* Oh well, this *event* was something every Mumbaikar was prepared for, and I suppose every experience is a new memory registered.

Yesterday was a day of finalies. Kasab was finally hanged and the victims, martyrs, their families and every Indian were given justice and redemption. Yes, I know there is much debate amongst us armchair politicians sitting in the ivory towers of our laptops and desktops, logging into facebook and twitter, discussing the demerits of capital punishment.

Frankly, I’m not sure which side of it I am on, in general, but in this case... let me put it in this way—never have I been more pleased to hear of someone’s death. Yes, he was a young life and no one (perhaps) has the right to take away someone else’s. But he had. He had taken away the lives of scores of *innocent* people after meticulous planning and thought. Yes, maybe he was naive and in need and therefore, easily brainwashed; but this *brainwashing* should have worn off in the four years he spent on Indian soil behind bars made of our hard-earned tax money, no? Sorry, can’t condone something like this. More importantly, I was lucky and blessed that I did not lose any loved one in that terrorist attack. But for those who did, this was the only way of getting some sort of closure. It will not bring back those who died, but they may now feel that their lives were not lost in vain. Or something like that.

Yesterday, I also finally got my hands on Fifty Shades of Grey. Yes, I’ve been dying to read it and I’m sure I will love it, so sue me. I’m on the third chapter and I’m already hooked. One of my besties and I plan to go through all three books, though she wanted to start from the last one. No!

Jab Tak Hai Jaan was also *finally* watched yesterday. I had tickets for mothership and myself for Sunday, but well... read the above.

I know, the movie is crap; how can a 43-year-old SRK pose as a 25-year-old; which 21-year-old in 2002 would, in her right mind, make such promises (especially of not having sex :-o) to God, such a loose premise, etc. etc. But it’s a love story, and if you’re reading this post, you either know me or have read my other posts and therefore know that I am a hopeless romantic. Even my own love life is a Hindi movie storyline in my head. So! I left my brain at work and enjoyed the timepass movie. But I gotta say—I didn’t feel the passion and extent of their love, like I usually would, especially in a Yash Chopra film, simply because Katrina Kaif canNOT act to save her life. Which is such a pity, because she’s so pretty. (Ooh that rhymed!). Anushka Sharma was good, yes, but isn’t she getting a little typecast? This whole bubbly, energetic, mufat Delhi girl—bit much now, yes?

Anyway, what really did make me senti was the end-credit. Yash Chopra is dead, it’s sad. He really did know how to build em love stories. Sigh. Also, there’s just one line in the film that I totally got—(translated and paraphrased) the memory is a darned thing; when you want to forget some thoughts, feelings and well, memories, it will not let you, all your life. And sometimes, when you want to remember something, no matter how hard you try, you will just not be able to. SO true! I totally want an invention like a memory delete—Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind types. Someday maybe, someday.

Ok, I think I’m done for now. Sorry for the random rambling. But... no, there is no but. I might just post some more later today ;)

Thursday, 15 November 2012


It’s been a hellish week. Hellish. Moving is tough, no doubt, but I, of course, have carried my crap luck along with me, so managed to invite hajaar different, unbelievable problems into the new place. It’s such a nice apartment and yet so tainted from the word go.

To top that off I’m being an idiot—raking up my past and unsure about my future. Women just don’t learn, supreme idiots we are. I’ve reached a stage where I am just exhausted, of myself and of my life. I’m tired of fighting a new battle everyday and of being strong. I’m tired of putting up a brave face when I feel anything but that. I’m tired of living in fear and in discomfort. I’m lacking purpose and vision and no one can give this to me but me. I’m tired of Bombay. I no longer feel proud of myself and the life I’ve made for myself. All this, for what? Is it really worth it? I know the answer and it’s no.

I’m tired of being there for people, no matter whether they’ve been there for me or not, no matter what they’ve done for me, or only when I’ve fit into their scheme of convenience. I’m tired of being treated like a yo-yo ball. I’m a decently good person who’s just exhausted. I’m tired of being tested day in and day out. This isn’t how it was all supposed to pan out.

I’m grateful for the handful of people who have got my back, but everyone has their own life to lead and deal with. Maybe it’s time to take a call on my own. No I’m not happy, so isn’t it time to cut any possible umbilical cord that may be holding me back, and make a move that will perhaps make me happy? Chances need to be taken, right? How will I know if I never try it? I mean, can it get any worse? I doubt.

I spoke to my best friend’s mother today, and she made perfect sense. She said that after a certain stage in life, all you really want is peace of mind. That’s so true. At this point, that’s all I yearn for, that’s all I desire. Too much to ask for, eh? The power of prayer *really* seems to be working, since the last time I did a little puja, a couple of days ago for Diwali, the incense stick attacked me and burnt my hand. Are you serious?

Home is where the heart is, right? I definitely do not feel at home and don’t get me started on my heart. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to listen to my instinct, and pack my bags. Maybe it’s time.

Home is where the heart is, and that’s on my mind. 

Friday, 9 November 2012

Life is a rollercoaster... NaNa Na Na

I’m writing today on popular demand. Yes, I actually have people asking me to post on my blog :-o. I’m so thrilled, overwhelmed, flattered, humbled etc etc etc. My body and brain have given up on me, but it’s ok, I write from my heart, so here it is! (Profound and filmy, innit?)

Manic is how I will describe my life. When it rains, hurricane Sandy hits. So in short, I haven’t slept in days, weeks possibly, and there’s no sleep in my destiny for the next few days either. But on to more fun stuff.

My friends and I went for our first-ever Bacardi NH7 Weekender last weekend in Pune. Whatte fun it was! Open air, six stages with myriad music, alcohol albeit in enclosed, restricted spaces, long drives, more music, and the company of some of the people I love the most. In fact, even my friend from Chennai flew down to spend a week with me, and luckily, ‘twas this weekend.

Well, I’m sure most of you have already heard enough about NH7; i.e. those of you who weren’t there, so I won’t harp on the things everyone else is talking about. I’ll just talk about my favourite gig. Well, actually I think the Dewarists stage was a unanimous favourite for all those who went. And of all the gigs performed on that stage, my heart bled experiencing Kailasa. Now I’ve always loved Kailash Kher’s music and voice, and generally him too—he’s really sweet, cute, etc.  

But standing in front of that stage, swaying along with another 100 people, listening to him belt out one heart-wrenching song after the other... Sigh. See, so strange, as I’m writing this, I can feel the same welcome, sweet ache I felt while watching his concert (I am listening to one of his songs now, but still).

His songs are all about unconditional, inconvenient, painful and wonderful love (a little of this is borrowed from Carrie Bradshaw - Sex and the City). Basically the kind of love we all want to feel, we all want in our lives, we all want to never lose. And then we do, lose it that is. And then we listen to Kailasa. And our hearts bleed. And ache. You get my drift.

NH7 was a first for me in many ways. It also fell on a significant date for me, so I was definitely fuddled up through the weekend and most of the music hit home—far sooner and deeper than it may have otherwise.

What would we do without music in our lives? Sigh. I’m one of those who, once obsessed with a song, listen to it on repeat, all day, every day, for days. I write, work, pine, dance and do lots more to music. Thank God for it!

I came back from my fantastical weekend only to dive straight into a pile of work, with a huge side of lots of stress to go with it. And most importantly, I’m moving homes—unfortunately still in Bombay. Right now I can only hope and pray that the next time I shift, it will at least be out of this city.

Tonight is my last night at my current house. It’s been a good house, this. Yes, it’s been a home. Almost like my first real grown-up home in Bombay. And almost all my friends have loved it here too. We’ve had some great times here. Over a year ago, two people took great care to set it up, making it a lot more than just functional. It was small, it sometimes got lonely, it saw lots of fight, but even more love, many tears but so many more bouts of uncontrollable laughter. It’s sheltered us, opened its arms to my friends, family and just about anyone else. It’s been a good home, this.

Till a few days ago, I was thrilled at the prospect of leaving this apartment. I was devoured by the frenzy of packing, booking movers, and generally other stuff related to a shift. And suddenly, two days ago, with most of my life packed up in suitcases and cartons, I looked around and felt incredibly sad. Sad that I had to leave this place, sad that it truly marks an end, and sad that it is the end of an era. This is harder than I thought. Harder than either of us thought and I think our tears have stained the walls. But I hope whatever good karma this home gave us, rubs off onto the new tenant, and that I carry some with me onto the beautiful new apartment I’m about to make a home. Vagabond, I am in this city, and forever will be.

Forgive my rambling and if this post hasn’t been as entertaining as the ones before, or if you don’t relate to it at all. Life has been a rollercoaster the last few weeks—emotionally and physically. I have no idea what lies in store ahead; yes I’m at crossroads again. But for now, all I truly want to do is sleep. 

Friday, 26 October 2012

Lotta love to give

The last few weeks have been rather crazy. And the next few weeks promise to be equally so. Between work and a little too much of partying, I’m exhausted. But more importantly, there have been revelations and realisations galore.

These have been weeks of making new friends, reconnecting with old ones and losing some older ones. This ‘balance of life’ business is odd. On the one hand, I meet new people who tell me how fun and interesting I am, while on the other, I have people I’ve spent years, even decades, with, choosing to spend time with others rather than me. And unfortunately, no matter how flattering a new person can be, it’s when those who you’ve spent your best and worst with, decide to walk away that it hurts the most.

In these last few weeks, I reconnected with a special friend only to say goodbye once again; I spent time, and lots of it, with people who still matter; a friend who had walked away for a while has easily and gladly slipped back into my life; and I also lost someone who I’ve grown up with. Sometimes, even the most invincible relationships are brittle. You’ll be shocked, you’ll be hurt, you’ll be angry, but then you’ll know—nothing is forever.

Yes, every relationship has its phases, every friendship loosens grip every now and then, despite having been cemented for eons. What do you do in cases like these? Do you give up on your friend, who once upon a time, used to be an extension of your own being? Or do you fight for it? Or do you simply let time do its work? I have no idea. Right now, I’m doing nothing about it.

Yes, priorities change in life—who knows this better than I do? Your daily life and the people who feature regularly in it take precedence over those you rarely see. That doesn’t mean you have to choose, does it? The one thing I pride myself in is that I’m a good friend. If you ever need me, I’m there, baby. I’m also damn good at keeping in touch. I don’t know how and why, but I just am. So I don’t understand why people decide to choose only a few people to be in their lives, at any given point in time. The human heart is endless, we have so much love and fun to give—why would you restrict that?

In these last few weeks, I have been told I’m fun, and at the same time, been told that I’m stubborn and mufat to the point of being unbearable. In the last few weeks, many have asked for my company, while at the same time, I have been cast aside for someone else. In the last few weeks, I have loved, nursed a broken heart, strengthened myself, perhaps almost loved again, and then returned to my senses.

But the most important thing that has happened in the last few weeks is that I’ve rediscovered myself. In the last few years, I had become a different person—someone I thought I wanted to be. Maybe that person is within me, but not yet. I tried to be this someone for someone else, who, funnily enough, never even *really* asked me to be this someone. And yet I thought, I’d be more appreciated and loved, and I’d be doing the right thing by being this someone for this someone else. Well, that’s just crap.

In these last few weeks, I have done things, said things, been things that I haven’t for years. I have learnt to live for myself and by my own rules. I have stopped tiptoeing around anyone; I have stopped expecting anyone to call or show up; I have stopped waiting for things to happen—as clich├ęd as it sounds, I’m making things happen for myself. I’m going out, I’m working hard, I’m continuing with my fabulous yoga class, and *wait for it*, I’ve started a kathak class. After seven odd years, I feel the passion zinging through me again as my feet slap the floor and my hand does a graceful curve. I’m a dancer and a writer, and today I’m actively pursuing both. I’ve never been happier with myself.

Yes, I’m mufat; yes, I’m stubborn; yes, I love passionately when I do—friend, lover, family or dance—; yes, I am uber sensitive, especially with those who matter the world to me; yes, I daydream; yes, I diet and then break my diet; yes, I love sleeping; yes my friends mean a lot to me, but that doesn’t mean I’m a pushover. Yes, I’m all this and more. If you can’t accept me this way, then maybe I don’t deserve you in my life—yes, I take it all on myself. And yet, despite it all, I love myself.

We all go through changes in our personalities, behaviour, etc. It’s but natural. At any given point in time, some people will *love* you, while others will find you annoying, and still others will not be able to breathe the same air you are. But do yourself a favour and don’t change for someone else—speaking purely from experience. If you’re trying to be someone else for your girlfriend/boyfriend, kinda defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? I mean, your significant other fell in love with the person you truly are, not the one you’re trying to be. Most of all, love yourself and the world is bound to love you. I love me; do you?

Thursday, 11 October 2012

The power of a word

I met someone the other day for the first time ever, and somehow within moments, we were talking about the power of words. One word actually. How one off word slipped into a conversation can change how the other feels. Sounds complicated.

For example, A likes B but B cannot be with A, for his/her personal reasons. A knows these reasons but still decides to tell B how s/he feels. And while doing so, A tells B that s/he understands B has issues, but wanted this off his/her chest anyway.

Issues. Ouch. B is obviously not pleased that A thinks his/her constraints or circumstances are ‘issues’. Hence, in a moment, whatever doubts B had about rejecting A’s proposal dissipates and his/her resolve to stick by the circumstantial decision made strengthens.

Isn’t it funny how something spoken, sometimes on the phone or online, not even in person, can hurt more than if you were to beat the person with an iron rod? How odd is it that one word can change the way someone feels? Sometimes one word misspelt or mispronounced can really put you off a person. Wait, maybe that’s just me, aka the Grammar Nazi aka the Grammar Gandu. But I digress.

Is it fair that a few alphabets strung together can have such a strong impact? That I can say something and inflict some serious pain on someone else, or cause some serious anger, or even potentially seriously jeopardise a relationship? Words and language were created, developed and nurtured over centuries in order to enhance communication, help people connect with others. And yet, these same words can destroy bonds and create uncrossable bridges. See—‘uncrossable’ isn’t a real word. Does it annoy you or does it do the job, since you understand what it means?

The point is, yes, it may be annoying, it may be unfair and it may be extremely frustrating to have to measure your words and tiptoe around people so as not to offend/hurt/anger them. But the truth is, words are far more powerful than any WMD can be. Ok a tad dramatic but you get my drift. The pen is mightier than the sword and all that. Say one nasty word to your mother, and she’ll be crying rivers; say a word too honest to a friend and expect the cold treatment; and say a hurtful word to a lover and forget about any action you were getting or may have got in the near future.

I have no advice here. Yes, one word-just ONE goddamn word- can change things—many a time for the worse. But sometimes you just gotta say what’s on your mind. You just have to decide what is more important—unburdening your already heavy heart/mind, or the person and the relationship in front of you.

P.S. In other, completely unrelated news, after seven years of not having any Bong friends in the city, I suddenly find myself surrounded by them. Much like I was inundated with Goans when I first moved here, and I know how important they turned out to be in my life. Hmm, God, is this some sort of a sign? If it is, some lightening or a vision of Ma Durga’s glowing face would be much appreciated. Thanks. 

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The one that got away...

Break-ups are annoying. Apart from the usual drama, heartache, stress, loneliness, they are seriously just annoying.

I say this because a break-up, no matter how long you've been with the person—three weeks, three months or three years—pervades every aspect of your life. You don’t agree? I’ll tell you how.

Firstly, there’s the obvious anger, hurt, resentment and awkwardness with the person you've just broken up with. From speaking to and seeing each other every day, you now have to go days or weeks or more, not speaking to each other. You suddenly find yourself free on holidays and weekends, and have to make plans so that you don’t drown in your abysmal hole of depression.

Then there are all these common friends you both must have had. These common friends now have to pick sides. They either have to stay friends with you or your ex. Rarely are they able to maintain normal friendships with both parties, especially if the break-up is bitter. And let’s face it, rarely is a break-up not bitter. One side is always more hurt and pissed than the other. And in case your families were involved, then be prepared to discover all new levels of awkward much.
There’s also the whole ‘putting up a facade’ thing. No one likes pity. There are very few people who you can cry to and be honest about how hurt you are. And fewer still for guys. It’s not macho to cry about a girl, so guys will put on their brave face and drink their livers out. The rest of us, have to go about our lives, go out, meet people, party, etc. a) to show the world that you’re ok, and b) to prove to your ex that you’re doing just fine without him or her. Which even he or she knows isn’t true, but we’re cool like that.
You also don’t want to become annoying to your friends by whining about your broken heart all the time, so you eventually quit doing that and deal with shit yourself. The least fun thing that is.

Then there’s music. And oh man, how annoying is this. Most of us, connoisseurs or not, are addicted to all sorts of music. After a break-up, listen to any song, and you will think of your ex—guaranteed. Even if you had never heard the song while being with your ex, you will suddenly put new meanings to every syllable in the song and think of the good times you’ve shared, or better still, what an asshole/bitch the ex has been. Sad songs made you sadder; happy songs make you miss him/her so make you sad, party songs make you want to party with him/her again so make you sad again. See! Annoying! Can’t even listen to music in peace.

Then of course, there are all the places you two have been together. Going there now is beyond annoying. The longer the relationship, the more places you have to strike off your list. And if you’ve shared an apartment together or spent a considerable amount of time together, say in the same office, then you’ve had it. Bloody memories are a darned thing. And don’t even get me started on dates. The date you first met, started dating, kissed, etc. etc. now all etched in your mind forever. Urgh.

And of course, with the overflow of social media in today’s world, it’s not even that you can put the person behind you and move on. You’ll see updates, pictures, comments, etc., everywhere you go. And deleting the ex or yourself from the social networking site just seems a tad dramatic, even by your standards.

One of the few good things that does come out of break-ups is creativity. Sorrow makes for great inspiration. Musicians make their best songs after a break-up (greater still since so many people will relate to it), writers produce some heartrending poetry and prose after a heartbreak, and artists can create magic on a canvas.

The thing about a break-up is that your friends can help you get through it, your family can be supportive, but only you and the person with whom you have broken up or who has broken up with you, truly knows what you (both of you) are going through. Cos the truth is, that despite being surrounded by friends et al, it was just you and him/her in the relationship, so only the two of you know what you’ve lost.

It’s easy being angry and resentful after a break-up. It’s natural to blame the other person. You’re bound to go through phases—shock, denial, anger, sorrow and acceptance. But it’s important to remember never to be cruel or treat the person you once dearly cared about, loved even, badly. Because honestly, that just makes you a jerk; and always remember, karma is just waiting to come bite you in the ass.

Clearly, heartbreak is normal as it is widespread. With the number of break-ups happening lately, this is evident. So don’t try too hard to be strong or don’t try to move on too quick. One-night stands and rebounds do NOT work, trust me. Take your time, especially if the relationship meant something to you—if you had, at some point, believed that this person was the one, your soulmate, etc. etc. Sometimes it’s ok to mourn the loss of that special someone, of ‘the one that got away’.

And remember, whatever doesn’t kill you, will make you stronger. Once you get over all the above annoying points, you’ll be good as new, and ready again to take on the world, fall in love again and get your heart broken all over again. Till then, find a break-up song and listen to it on repeat. Once you tire of the song, you’ll know you’re on the way to closure. 

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Saying a little prayer

I’m not a God-fearing person; I’m a God-loving one. I was initiated into God, pujas and all things that are holy even before I gained consciousness. My family is super religious, and though the extent of their religiousness may not have rubbed off on me, I still am fairly. I go to the mandir when I can, I visit the church when possible and I bow my head in reverence while passing a mosque, synagogue, etc. I follow a vegetarian diet every Saturday, but that’s more for my folks than myself—I really don’t believe that my eating non-veg can piss God off or that it would prove my lack of devotion to or love for him. But I love my mom, so I do it. My friends have repeatedly asked me to change the day, since Saturday is the most exciting one of the week, but I’d rather not. I do not perform pujas or other holy rituals on a daily basis, but I love any kind of religious festival—it makes me genuinely happy when the streets are lit up and there is an idol on every street corner.

I love God—He’s my friend. I’m sorry if I offend some people by calling God ‘He’, but it’s not a sexist thing—I’ve just been conditioned with it and so am used to it. Thankfully, we Hindus have plenty of She Gods as well. :D

Anyhoo. I love God; I talk to God; I chat with Him; I smile at Him; I get angry with Him and stop talking to Him for days on end—stop praying at night. I also know when God is mad at me or is laughing at me, or listening to me, or even just smiling back at me. Call me crazy, but I do. But yes, God makes me feel at peace.  There’s a particular mandir I go to, not as regularly as I’d like, but definitely when I’m feeling agitated or anxious. I sit there for a while, and I can almost feel the calmness spreading over my being.

Incidentally, an ex had taken me to that mandir for the first time, despite the fact that my mother had discovered it much before that on one of her trips here. When the said ex and I broke up, I asked God why He held his hand and brought him to me, if He was going to take him away anyway. Sitting in the mandir one day, it came to me, the answer. God did not bring the said ex to me; said ex brought me here, home, fulfilled his part in my life and moved on. We broke up over three years ago and I still go to the mandir regularly. And I’ve never bumped into said ex. Divine intervention, for sure.

I also believe in fate, destiny and ‘buri nazar’ (jinxing). Never proclaim to anyone, perhaps not even to God (though He knows, damn it) when you’re happy. God will smirk, and then make something happen that will take that happiness off so that your feet remain planted firmly on the ground. And that’s exactly what happened to me a few days ago. I was feeling good—about myself and my life—and then something happened to put my insides into turmoil again. Unbelievable. Khud ki nazar lag gayi!

Anyway, there isn’t much of a point to this post. It’s just that, despite what happened recently, I’ve been feeling a lot of love coming for God. So wanted to share it. I ask God to protect and be with my family and friends, along with me—I think it works; I feel safer myself and calmer about others. Say a little prayer about that special someone—He’ll promise to look out for him/her. Love God, I promise He’ll love you back. 

We went trippin'

One of the best things about living in Bombay is that it is in the state of Maharashtra. Given how large the state is, there’s plenty to see and do here. If you’re eager, rich and enthu enough, and not belonging to the media, and therefore may have weekends off, you can take off to a new place every weekend.

Well, after months of grumbling and planning, thanks to one of my closest friends coming to town, my *gang* and I decided to take that long-overdue weekend out of town. And whatte weekend it was.

After a few initial hiccups, we set out for a place called Bordi, a little ahead of Dahanu—hence a two to three hour train ride away. After years, we got into the general compartment of a train with many shady, smelly people. It was awesome—reminiscent of our poor college days when we had no choice but to travel like this. And back then, travel we did. I told my friend that we’ve all moved on in life, we stay at better hotels, but we still have somehow not learnt to travel in luxury—at least not when we’re travelling together as a group. He laughed and said, “But that’s just not us.” And I couldn’t agree more.

We went in batches, since we’re adults now and everyone has different priorities. For the boys, the main purpose of the trip was to drink and unwind. Unfortunately, I can’t drink that much, thanks to my herculean (enter sarcasm) capacity *rolling eyes*. So I made do with the beautiful landscape of luscious green, the sparkling blue pool (even though I can’t swim) and the company of my extended family.

In the evening, after we waddled in the pool for a while (which is mindblowingly relaxing) we sat down with some hardcore, refined alcohol (again, which I don’t drink, sigh) and chilled. Yes, we just chilled. By about 9pm, everyone who was supposed to come had arrived and we just sat and talked, laughed, drank, ate, took photos and were just being us.

Then after everyone was suitably ‘happy’, someone threw the idea of playing Taboo. Now before I get into this, I must warn you that my friends are exceptionally competitive (read: violent) while playing games. To top it off, we were playing the boys versus the girls. Before long, everyone was screaming at each other (really, throat-scratchy yelling), trying to cheat, sitting on each other to save a point... you get the drift. I was scared, as I always get while playing with them. Of course, the girls won, though in their drunken stupor the boys thought they did—teehee—and we humoured them.

The night ended on a balcony overlooking the pool and the darkness of the hills. Picture it. You can’t, because it’s indescribable. Not just the view. The feeling of happy, being there and with whom.

We went back into the pool the next morning with no sunscreen, so expectedly, came back burnt to a crisp. Oh well. This pool was just beautiful. It was clean, a bright blue, with the sunrays kissing it, making it sparkle as the teeny waves ebbed and flow. And it was surrounded by hills, trees and lot of green.

Later, after a filling lunch, we took a train back to Bombay. Of course, we had to run to catch the train since it was already at the platform and spent a claustrophobic three hours—but hey, where’s the sense of adventure without it, right?

The day and a half passed way too fast. Unfortunately, real life beckoned us back and we grudgingly returned.

Life gets to us all, doesn’t it, what with work stress, personal lives going topsy turvy, getting too fat or too thin, among many other things. But when you have a set of people you know you can count on, you can fall back on, and most importantly, be your own stupid self with, you gotta re-evaluate life and think—not too bad, eh?

To my extended family in Bombay—you guys mean more to me than I can ever express. Cheers to *many* more trips and awesome times together. 

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Barfi and other things about love...

Contains spoilers on Barfi!

I’m pretty sure that mine will not be the first and definitely not the last of blog posts on the recently released Barfi. However, I’ll try not to harp on the usual fare. That the film was directed and shot beautifully, and the performances were fantastic cannot be denied. In fact, this has only been emphatically endorsed by everyone who has watched the film. Ranbir, without saying a word, has proved his mettle beyond belief and Priyanka, once again, proves that she is much more than just eye candy. Her poignant portrayal of an autistic girl perfectly complemented Ranbir’s prowess. Ileana too, makes an impressive debut – she really is very pretty, but oh-so skinny!

It’s the story and the finer nuances of the film that got to me. That it was shot in Kolkata and Darjeeling was nostalgia-inducing for me. After watching the film, the desire to go home for the pujos has skyrocketed. But alas. However, it was the love story between Barfi and Jhilmil (I’m falling in love with that name) that has struck a chord.

This comes in the wake of a tsunami of break-ups and heartache. Speaking to a friend, who is unfortunately facing a similar fate, she told me that the count of casualties in the last few days is up to seven. Seven pairs of people ending relationships for myriad reasons. Fourteen people who, at some point, could not get enough of their better halves, missed them sorely, and felt incomplete till they heard their voice, have all decided to go their separate ways. Some have got their closure while most others, I suspect (including myself) have not.

After Jhilmil thinks Barfi has fallen asleep, she quickly hooks her pinky with his. She can then sleep at peace. Even on their death bed, she hooks their pinkies together again and off they go, into a new universe of their own. This is honestly the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in a while, on celluloid and off. Lame as I am, even as I’m thinking of it, I’m tearing up. Haven’t we all done this, or a form of this at some point? Waited for him/her to pass out and then quietly wrapped your arm around his/her waist. Or lightly entwine your legs. Or fit your hand into his/her, which is around you anyway. Human touch. So powerful. Hugs, kisses, hand-holding, etc. Often words are not necessary. And even I’m saying this, despite the fact that many state (I’m not sure I agree entirely) that I talk a lot. Yes, I do believe in open, honest communication. I also believe that it’s important to say that you love a person out loud—it’s not enough just to feel it. And yet, if I can’t sleep without hooking my pinky to yours, or if I wait for you to start snoring to bury my face in your back, do I really need to still reiterate my love for you?

Such a strange word this love is, no? Do you think Jhilmil even knew that she was in love with Barfi? But she too felt jealousy. When he finally finds her at the end of the film, they do their little forehead-to-forehead thingy. But then suddenly Jhilmil sees Shruti behind Barfi, and quietly comes and stands in front of him, marking her territory. Second most favourite moment in the film.

Some of the recent reactions I’ve received for my blog posts are “brave” and “you wrote what I’ve been feeling” (regarding Girl interrupted, everyday). People wonder how I can write about such personal stuff on such a public platform. But honestly, isn’t it what we’re all thinking or feeling? Don’t we all suffer from homesickness, heartbreak and fear? Haven’t we all, at some point or the other, been so crazy in love that we wanted to die in that person’s arms? I’m a writer—not just by profession but seriously, this is the only thing I can do, the only thing I’m vaguely good at. How can I not write about this stuff? If you enjoy reading my blog and feel a connect, then half my battle is won.

Barfi made me realise that no matter what the circumstances are in your life, it is possible to fall in love. No matter how many times your heart has been trampled on, you can still feel butterflies in your stomach. And that, although in the real world, you need communication, compatibility etc. etc., to sustain and maintain a healthy relationship, sometimes, honestly, at the risk of sounding extremely lame and filmy, all you need is love. I’m just a girl... standing in front of a boy... remember?

Watch Barfi. Really. Watch it.  

Friday, 7 September 2012

If only I could turn back time...

When you’re ardently and excitedly looking forward to an event, occasion or day, often when the day finally arrives, your expectations aren’t quite met. Sometimes, things fall short, something goes wrong, or it simply just doesn’t feel right. This is exactly what I did NOT experience in the month of August. My sister coming home after five years and our family reuniting at home was something I had been looking forward to for, well, five years. And every moment of it was blissful and even far exceeded my expectations.

We travelled, we ate, we shopped, we talked, we cried, we laughed this August. Eight flights in one month—though I’m tired of aircrafts, if I was asked to jump on a flight to be with my sister and family right now, I’d be on it in a Mumbai minute.

From Bombay to Calcutta to Bombay to Goa to Bombay to Calcutta to Chennai to Colombo to Kandy to Colombo to Bentota to Colombo to Chennai to Calcutta and back to Bombay. Phew. I took my sister eating and shopping in Bombay; we relaxed and strolled on the beach in Goa; we took in the sights and sounds of beautiful Sri Lanka, and we were home in Calcutta. Home. One of my biggest realisations this month was that blood is indeed thicker than water. People may promise to always be by your side, but after these people are long gone, it is only your family (and a few friends who are family) who will stick around, no matter how turbulent or dysfunctional familial relationships may be.

Sri Lanka is a wonderfully gorgeous country – a must-visit for all. You will be impressed before you even touchdown at Colombo. The people are warm and friendly, the streets (and bathrooms) are clean and spotless, and there’s much to see and experience. Our stays both in Kandy, the hill station and Bentota, the beach destination, were luxurious, informative, exciting and super fun.

It’s not that the month of August was completely blemish-free. There was a downer, but perhaps the blow was softened because I was around the people who loved me unconditionally. I met some interesting people, too – inspirational even. I also came back with a fuller wardrobe of clothes and shoes.

Back in Bombay for a week and the depression hasn’t quite lifted. I keep thinking, if only I could turn back time, ten days ago, this time I was with...

All your life, you expect it to take a certain direction, and you make choices that will push it further in that direction. And then, most often, life will take a complete detour, with you realising only too late, and then you wonder, where the hell am I? Something like that, this feeling.

There were certain things I wanted, I thought would happen—I thought I’d be happy. But life has its own way of showing you who’s in control. Yes, point taken. The mind understands and is willing to concede, but yaar, iss kambakht dil ka kya kare? All the heart wants to do is, what if...

Monday, 13 August 2012

Girl interrupted, every day.

I wonder why young parents-to-be ever want to have baby girls. Why people don’t want a girl child is fairly obvious by now in our country, what with the extreme sexism and female foeticide. But really, would you want to bring a girl into this world, who will then turn into a woman, and thus the sexual object of desire for many? Hundreds and thousands of lustful eyes following her, trailing down her body, stopping about eight inches below where they should. The occasional bump, the intentional elbow, the malicious grab. If you live in India, pray tell me, why would you want to bring another woman into this disgustingly filthy world?

I must have been 10 or 11 when I first got the ‘unintentional squeeze’. Unfortunately, it was from someone known and trusted. Since then, the count has become innumerable—both from those trusted and the unknown. Seven years ago when I moved to Bombay, all alone, knowing not a soul, I was told by many that I could roam around the city in a tank top and shorts, and no one would even give me a second glance. I took that comment with a bucketful of salt, and thank God I did.

Still, I did feel more at ease in Bombay where many other girls dressed like me. When I say dressed like me, don’t let your imagination run away with you; I mean in jeans, well-fitted (not necessary tight-to-the-point-of-exploding) t-shirts, skirts, etc. I could travel alone till about 1am and feel like I would reach home without being molested, raped or killed.

How things have changed. Today, even if I step out of my house at 11am, I wonder whether I’ll come home alright. And even if I come home, will there be someone already there, waiting for me? God forbid I travel late at night alone—I am, of course digging my own grave.

At 26, I am decently proud of myself. I am fairly settled, financially independent, with a good job and great sets of friends in the city. Yet, every day I live in fear. Yet, every night I wonder what I will have to tolerate tomorrow, who I will have to yell at. Will the girl in the news be me next time? And believe me, no matter how many friends, boyfriends, etc., you have, you’re on your own on this one.

No man—not my father, not my protective guy friends, not my boyfriend, not my husband (whoever that may be)—will ever understand the pain and fear that goes into being a woman, every single day. They will look out for me, and try to protect me, but after a point, they will tell me that there is no point in over-stressing and that whatever is meant to happen, will. They will never understand the disgust and frustration and helplessness I feel when someone grabs my breast or my crotch, or leers at them, or tries to take a picture of me. For all of this, I am alone.Single in the city may sound fun and cool, but many times, it’s far from that.

Last October, two boys were killed for trying to protect their female friends from the lewd gestures and unwanted advances of a hooligan. A few days ago, a girl was brutally murdered in the comfort and so-called security of her home for trying to resist being raped. And let’s not start on the number of rape cases. It’ll take all day and then some.

In each of these cases, all I can think of is, what if that was me? These incidents are simply too close to home. And when I tell my friends or those close to me, they will nod sympathetically for a while, give me an understanding hug and then carry on with their lives—even at the risk of putting me or some other woman in danger, unintentionally, of course. It’s always, ‘going out just for a few minutes’, ‘you’ll be alone just for tonight’, or ‘dropping you home is too out of the way’. Well, one man’s convenience is another’s lust fulfilled. 

I pray every night, thanking God for everything He has given me, and to keep the blessings coming. And in the same breath, I beg Him to keep me and those around me safe and healthy. And I beg for Him to stop these atrocities. Because, thanks to the internet, I always put a face and life to the person killed. And then I can’t get her out of my mind. Because I think, how much pain, what fear she must have felt to die alone. What if...

No, I don’t think I want to have a baby girl anymore. I’d rather have a baby boy, who I will raise to protect the women, no matter what, and not maul them like the rest of the male race. No, I don’t want to bring another girl into this world, into this country, to be disrespected and tortured. No, I really don’t want to. 

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Sissy gum-gummy!

So this might be my last post in a while. Although, my last post before this was a while ago, too. So that’s a long while. Anyhoo.

August is the month I have been waiting for all year. August 2 is the day I’ve been waiting for months now. And it has finally arrived. The day that my sister arrives, comes home after five long years. You’d think that after a five-year long wait, the last few months would pass in a jiffy. Nope. Slowest months, weeks, days and hours of our lives.

My sister and I have always been close; when we were young and she bullied me, when we were living together and fighting, when I would bully her, and even with miles and oceans between us. Super tight, touchwood. To the extent that, sometimes, mom gets jealous of our tightness. She’s my best friend, the one I spill all my beans to, the one I turn to for advice, the one I complain to about my parents, my friends, my get the drift.

Being away from her has been hard, though we eventually got used to it. But we still speak on the phone at least once a week and online almost every day. I love technology. And I am still her baby, so you can imagine how berserk she’s gone shopping for me.

The plan is that if we’re still single when we grow old, we’ll move to Miami (or was it the Bahamas?) together and sip on cocktails for the rest of our lives.
She also gets to finally meet my marad, so I am rather thrilled. It is a big deal for me, for them to get to know each other.

This month promises to hold lots of love, laughter, fun, some tears, and a decent amount of travel (finally!). Everyone who knows me knows how excited I’ve been, and in a few hours, that excitement will finally pay off. I will return and update y’all about my shenanigans of August, but till then, have fun and love your siblings. You gotta, right?

P.S. I am grateful for this blog. Because of my work craziness, I haven’t been able to write a single article or see my byline in any magazine for months. I met my friend (who happens to be my former editor) and she told me to keep writing every few days. And I realised, hey, I do that with my blog! Once a writer, always a writer.

P.P.S. This post is mucho appropriate. Today is raksha bandhan! Happy happy to all of you!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Time's up!

Yes, it has indeed been a while. In fact, I’ve noticed that lately, even the bloggers I follow have not been updating their blogs regularly. Is summer a busy period for everyone?

Well, work was up my bottom, so I really did not have the time. I said bye-bye to my social life as well, and promptly fell sick. Sigh. The perils of being an independent adult.

Unsurprisingly, I’ve been feeling a little all over the place lately. Various reasons, of which one is that my vacation and reunion with my sister is so close and yet so far. I’ve waited five years; why is this last leg so difficult? My best friend also happens to be in Cal right now, partying it up, and I so want to be doing the same. And of course, people are getting engaged and married all over the place. Some serious, solid relationships around me have had their foundations shaken, which upsets me greatly. When the ones whom I can bank my faith in love on, seem to be on shaky footing, I freak out, yes.

The marriage bit is good, fun, happy, scary and sad all at the same time. You realise when your school friends start going down that the time has come. Or rather, time is up. You have now reached that age when people you grew up with, scorning marriage and these regular social conventions, are asking you to take leave for their weddings and prepare song lists (for the sangeet of course). And then all eyes, one by one, start turning to, when are you going to be sharing the good news? Erm, I’m pregnant. Oh wait, that wasn’t the good news you were looking for? Oh, I skipped a step? Oh well, oops. Now get off my back.

Doesn’t mean that I don’t want it. I have succumbed to the social conventions too; I mean it is finally my turn for a normal, regular, human family life, right? I’d just be much happier if people, who are just going to come to my wedding to eat and later diss the food, would lay off.

Oh well, we can’t always get what we want. And you have NO idea how true that is. But today I shall not whine publicly; I will deal inwardly. Profound stuff. Till then, dreaming of dancing at mere yaar ki shaadi! J

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Boy oh Boy!

So apparently my little bangla poem was a premonition. Or something like that. For the last few days, I’ve been having  to deal with men whipping out their phone cameras trying to take a picture of me, along with, of course, the good ol’ following. Yes, I’m used to it—happens almost everyday and it doesn’t matter who I’m with or how many men are surrounding me.

We went to Sula Vineyards in Nashik last weekend and boy, was I daydreaming! I just stared out into the greenery, the beauty of an intoxicated Mother Nature accentuated by the drizzling rain, making the green even more luscious. I was so caught up in my dream of ‘I want to live here, right here in this house’, that I was ignoring my company of friends too. I was so caught up that I didn’t notice a bald man and his cheap shit friends (his head was shining) staring at me and, no points for guessing, trying to take pictures. I didn’t notice, that is, until suddenly my boys had made a wall in front of me, between me and my scenic view. I was about to throw a fit when I finally realised what was going on. And my friends refused to go let me yell at the baldy myself. The boys of either groups were on the brink of a fight by the end of the evening, but it was all wrapped up with “We are sorry, we are sad”. Lame and pathetic, much like the perpetrators (dramatic, yes, do I need to reiterate that I indeed am dramatic?). 

Not even a day back in Bombay and the same shit happens at the railway station. I get off at my destination station and someone else starts following me. Of course, I yell at them all and off they go with their... tails between their legs—if you know what I mean.

So freakin’ tired of this. Have these men never seen women before in their lives? What do they intend to do with the pictures? Well, I have a few guesses. Yuck. And though the volume of this happening with my friends and I seems to have increased lately in Bombay, it happens everywhere, across the country and the world.

Of course, men continue to annoy me in various other ways. And after a perfect weekend like the one I had, I seem to be crankier and less tolerant. A world without men. Hmm.  I know every woman has, at some point or the other, considered this and sighed a blissful, wishful-thinking-sort-of sigh.

For all the creepy men out there—I’m gonna stop yelling and start using my hands, feet and knuckles. How does castration sound to you?

Monday, 18 June 2012

I believe I can flaaayyyyyy

Can anyone of you reading this post right now, admit to understanding yourself completely? Like know what exactly you are, how you are, how you will react in certain situations and what you want from life? I can tell you this much—sometimes, I definitely cannot understand myself. It’s like my mind is speaking Hebrew and my ears only understand English.

When I left home for Bombay, seven years ago, all I wanted was to get out of Calcutta and start afresh somewhere else. I made it happen. And once I moved, for a while at least, I was convinced that Bombay is where I would settle. Settle. Ick.

See now, most people who know me would think that I do want to ‘settle down’ – you know, stable job, family, home etc. – all in one place. At various points in time, I believe so too. That I’m the ‘settling down’ kinda gal.

And then suddenly, out of nowhere, or sometimes out of somewhere, an itch will begin. To get out, move out, move to someplace where no one knows me or the baggage I carry with me, and start afresh, unfettered. Payer tolaye shorshe, as my mom would say.

Almost every year, as if on an alarm, I start whining about Bombay and the urge to get out and move on starts butting its way into my consciousness. Which is weird, to say the least. I get so attached to people and places. Saying goodbye, though I have done it countless times, remains one of the most difficult things for me to do. Ever. And yet this feeling persists.

Of course, I did move once, but I genuinely believe that the place and circumstances were all wrong. Hence all I wanted to do then, was to move back to Bombay.

Lately, I was getting obsessed with buying a house in this city. Over this last weekend, and much thinking later, the obsession is dying down. Do I really want to be tied down to this city forever with a house and the ginormous loan that comes with it? Isn’t that why I didn’t want to go abroad to study? Because I didn’t want a lifelong debt hanging precariously, like a sword, over my head? Then why the need to buy a place in the most expensive city (at least in terms of real estate) in the world?

Anything that ties me down to something or someone has always scared me. I believe that you should be somewhere or with someone because you want to and not because you have to or because a piece of paper says so. Hence the big, fat M word always freaked me out. A girl dreams, so I did let go of my fears and dreamt for a while, of that ‘perfect settled’ life. But now—now the tickle beneath my feet is back; the itch to spread my wings and soar away has returned. Unfortunately, unlike others, my work doesn’t take me too many places; yet. But maybe someday, I’ll be able to fulfil that itch and I’ll be flapping my arms so hard and with such conviction, that I will fly away, far far away. 

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Joy Bangla!

This is specially for all my bong friends out there. The inspiration came out of nowhere, but I tapped it. And out came this profound poem. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

Jodi aamaye dao gunto
Marbo aami tomaye junto
Dekhcho oi je gondho nala
Debo phele ote tomaye shala
Mathaye ekta chanti mere
Tomar haanshi nebo kere
Deene dekhiye debo tara
Jodi aar dekha dao re banra.

:D I think I dedicate this 'profound' poem to any man who dares to look at or touch a woman inappropriately.

I can almost hear the applause. Thank you thank you! I, proud to be Bong!

Monday, 11 June 2012

This is just a bonus :P

I want to do something with my life. Like really DO something. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my job. When you find your passion, your calling after quite a few hiccups and bumps on the way, it is relieving to be home.

But lately I’ve noticed, that many people I know (many younger than me too, sniff) are doing stuff besides their jobs. Like something big that they can be proud of and can talk about and tell their grandkids. In this category, the ones who are my friends, I am uber proud of them. The ones who are not, I am actually a little jealous and depressed. The only thing I’ve done lately besides my job and social life, is join a yoga class. I was and still am super kicked about it, but meh.

I’ve ALWAYS wanted to write a book. Silly, isn’t it? All writers want to write books, duh! I mean, having a book you’ve written published, is the ultimate. When it’s more than one, even better! It’s like the adrenaline rush you feel when you see your byline or your name on a masthead for the first time, ever. Inexplicable joy. A book, yes.

I have NO clue what’s holding me back (please God, let it not be laziness). Well, partly, it’s the fact that I’m not sure what I want to write about. It will definitely be inspired by my life and the lives of those around me, but I need to bring it down to a definite theme, story, idea, brief, etc. Sigh. But I promise (I think), I will at least start making a list of possible story ideas. In the meantime, please do help! ANY suggestions will be welcomed with open arms. You all know how bad I am with decisions! *batting eyelashes*

Apart from this, I’ve also started getting obsessed about buying my own, nice house in Bombay. Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it, given the real estate rates in this town? But recently, I’ve been going to friends’ places and having a peep into their homes, and all I want to do is buy a house (read flat, obviously) and set it up with my marad. Yes, that's what I call him. Yes, all the friends we’ve been visiting are married and older, but still. Slight obsession happening. I need to get really rich, really quick. Maha sigh. 

Something something happening...

Over a 1000 views in less than three months – phew! I’m overwhelmed! I definitely did not expect so many people to read my blog, but now that I know, I shall forge ahead! Thanks guys <3

So I’ve been feeling some stuff lately (well, obviously right? Why else do bloggers write?) I’ve realised how, as you grow older, your life trims out many friends, so that by the time you’re an adult (or as old I as I feel) you have a handful you can count on your fingers and whom you can count on. I’ve lost quite a few friends on the way. Some were inevitable I guess, distance et al. Some were for the absolute wrong reason.

I watched Kuch Kuch Hota Hai when I was just about stepping into my teens. Yes, I still love the movie and still cry when watching it. The eternal question of “Can a boy and girl ever be ‘just friends’?” was raised and practically the whole country (or at least my whole little world) was debating this fact. I vehemently argued that, yes, of course a boy and girl can be ‘just friends’! I’ve grown up with boys and there were no romantic liaisons with MANY of them. Just good ol' buddyship. 

Now here’s the sad bit. Some friends I made did turn into something more—in the sense, either they developed feelings for me or I may have developed a soft corner for them. But of course, not all feelings are reciprocated and can be taken forward (which is where the term unrequited love comes from, I guess). But does that mean you no longer care for the person at all, or vice versa? Can you cut the person out of your life just because she doesn’t feel the same way you do and your ego (even for men post the adult age of 27) has been bruised?

Unfortunately, the answer to that is yes. In the last few years, I’ve lost a few solid friends because of this. While with some, I knew their intention all along, and emotional feelings weren’t really a part of it, if you know what I mean, the loss of others were real blows. You finally feel like you’ve found someone who gets you, perhaps even more than your significant other does, and he has no ulterior motive, and then bam! It all changes once the truth is out. Which is why, today, the guy friends I can count on and be 100 per cent comfortable with, no matter what, are the friends I made when I was a child—in school and college (trust me, most of the growing up happens in your college days). Those who fall in the abandoning category (yes, I know it’s a tad dramatic, but I’m sticking with it), if they’re reading this, know who they are. And the ones who are my fwendssss for life, also know exactly who they are.

And at the end of ALL of this, your girls will stand by you, no matter what. The ironic thing is that when I was growing up, women didn’t really like me. I barely had any female friends and sometimes, that was embarrassing. But today, all that has changed. I wouldn't last a day without my girls. <3 (flying ones ;) )

Friday, 1 June 2012

Spilling my guts

Why is it that the people who are the closest to you, can hurt you the most? Why is it that sometimes, no matter how much you do, it’s never enough? How is it that six members of one family can be so diabolically different from each other, that often it’s like they’re speaking different languages? Why is it easiest to hurt and be cruel to the ones we apparently love the most?

Many people tell me that they like my blog because it’s honest and simple. Others have told me that they are surprised I can bare it all on such a public forum. Still others have accused me of using this blog for personal gain. Well, to the people who enjoy reading my posts, thank you. And I will continue to be honest and spill my heart’s contents out. That was the intention of the blog, to begin with. And those who believe that I’m using this blog for personal gains, well, either you can stop reading, or keep reading knowing that that is probably true. It’s my blog and I’ll do whatever the hell I want with it.

People say, and I harp on this most often, that the secret to the success of any relationship, be it with your partner, parents, friends or siblings, is communication. If you’re upset, talk about it. Discuss the issue as soon as possible and move past it. Dwelling on it simply hurts more and increases the distance between the two people.

And yet, as I grow older, I find that I am no longer able to do this. Partly, I think, because talking or telling the person when and why I am upset, has yielded no result whatsoever, and partly because it becomes an effort to deal with these situations. When you have to travel a good deal to work all day and shoulder all sorts of external stress, is personal duress really welcome? Not at all. So what do I do? I avoid. And so does the other person, because clearly I’m not the only one opting for this easy way out. Does it help? No. Do I feel better? Obviously not. Does it make a difference? I doubt.  

Sometimes, the people you want to look up to, or those you looked up to as a child, have the strongest ability to crush your spirit, like a parent or a guardian or even a teacher. Sometimes, the support you were looking for all your life in one person or certain people, that you believe you have found, turns around and slaps you in the face, hard, reminding you that you are but alone. (Woe)man up!

I had a dream about my grandfather yet again last night. Don’t think that I never got mad at or annoyed with him. We fought plenty. But the truth is that he was and continues to be the only man ever in my life that I could lean on 100 per cent. That is, till he fell and I fell with him. It’s been almost nine years and I’m still trying to get up and find my bearings again. I think whenever I get lonely, sad or angry, he pays me a visit, to remind me that he still is there, somewhere, somehow.

I’ve gotten very good at taking care of myself. What choice do I have? It’s easy to pay up, day after day, year after year, in ‘support’ of someone you apparently love. But being by his or her side, and providing the kind of support that they actually are looking for apparently is near impossible. Or perhaps I expect too much. Or maybe I’m unreasonable in my demands. The man spoiled me, what can I say?

Advice: If you love someone, talk to him or her. If you’re angry, yell at him or her. If you want to be cruel to someone you love, hold back. Cruelty may make you feel better momentarily, but it will drive a wedge between you two forever.