Sunday, December 9, 2012

MENSTRUATION. There, I said it again.

It was the eighth or ninth grade in school. I was 14 or 15, and trying to fit in (and failing miserably at it). We had an SUPW project and the teacher made us into random groups of 8. We then picked chits and had to do our project on the chit our group picked. My group had some of the most intelligent, talented and 'cool' girls and boys in it. And since that rarely happened to me, I felt confident our project would be a hit. Our chit said "Women's Problems".

So we started working on this project. We met at a group mate's house and started listing down different issues faced by women - right from foeticide to discrimination at work, to dowry and female genital mutilation. 

Then one boy asked if we should cover women's health problems. I don't remember whether it was me or somebody who brought up 'menstruation'. The boy kind of dismissed it as a 'problem'. So I said, "It hurts! I would know!". 

Everybody froze. The boy managed to mutter out, "I hardly think you should be talking about it like that", horrified that I actually talked about my periods in front of everyone. 

There was an awkward silence - even the girls didn't know what to say. That was the moment everyone just alienated and ridiculed me for making such a statement. At school, even girls ridiculed me for talking about it and I became the outcast. In subsequent projects, boys would whisper in each other's ears about 'what I said' and then gasp in surprise.

I couldn't understand what I did wrong, except know that it was something unacceptable among my school mates. And their mothers, it turned out. Some mothers who LOVED me began to ignore me. And I need hardly say that they were the ones their sons told everything. 

But here's the thing. I never once thought I did something wrong. And because I got ridiculed for it made me realise how far ahead I was, not how uncool. Sure I hated every minute of it. But I knew there was nothing to be ashamed of. It was disappointing that one of the most elite schools in Mumbai had such backward thinking about a very natural, very normal, human process.

I probably wasn't conscious of it then, but am now -- it was one of pivotal moments in my life when it hit me that the bubble we live in during school isn't real. It doesn't matter if the popular kids like you or not. It doesn't matter if you were the prom queen or the teacher's pet. What matters is who you are and being true to that. I was a 14 year old girl, who had hit puberty two years ago and wasn't afraid to talk about it. Hell, the project was 'WOMEN'S problems'. Ask any woman on the street around the world and she will tell you that menstruation is a big one. And although I had no support till the end of school, I want to thank those boys and girls for doing what they did.

It is their ridicule and shock and condescension that made me realise that I wasn't the one who was inappropriate or abnormal. I simply accepted nature and wasn't afraid to talk about it. Had they marveled at my boldness I would have lost the importance of it and thought I was 'cool' and not understood that it doesn't matter if they accepted me or not. I would have gone on another train of thought - far, far away from where I am now.

Where I am now is critical to this past experience. I work in a slum on the periphery of one of Mumbai's biggest dumping grounds. The communities that live here are small and conservative. The children that I work with are between 8 and 18 years (and growing). When I came here, the girls found it difficult to even tell me they had their periods. Because they had been told periods are 'dirty' 'unnatural' and 'unspoken of'. It's just a time of the month you bear silently and try not to stand out. The girls wouldn't even help each other and ridiculed first-timers when they didn't know how to deal with it and didn't have sanitary napkins (which I provided). Seeing this shocked and hurt me. After talking repeatedly with them and explaining how natural a process it is, after two years, I have finally reached a place where they can openly tell me they don't want to come to class because they have their periods. And my colleague is the only male they have indirectly communicated with about this. Probably the only male in their lives. Now they ask questions. They want to know more. And knowledge is the best friend one can have.

They finally have taken one small step forward in understanding that menstruation is a woman's time to bleed and shed the food her body created for the egg which wasn't fertilized. And there's NOTHING to be ashamed of.

Had I not understood that last statement back when it was most important to know, in school, I wouldn't be able to inspire women today to speak up and be open about this beautiful but god-awful process we go through every month.

So thanks, guys and girls of the batch of 2002, for making my life miserable. Because I love what it made me today.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Thinkage on the Brinkage

Endless roads I travelled,
Dark corners, abysmal scorn
I reveled and reveled till I could, no more
And left the land of thorns.

Aboard a raft, I have set sail
For sunny thoughts and good cheer
The sea is beginning to calm down
And gladly take me there.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Myths for the Season

I am 26. I'm invincible!
Makes me want to laugh, how many young 'uns have fallen prey to this mythical monster of disillusionment. While I walk around my house like an arthritic old bird, weak knees and all from jumping around with leetal children at work, my friend An0 nurses an injured lower hip from neglect and overzealous sudden exercise, which she thought she could conquer just by being in her twenties. And Dancer Boy Jaggi nurses an overly abused knee from BBoying - I think he's avoiding the doctor in fear of knowing what's really wrong with him this time. According to my physiotherapist the mid-twenties are the prime age for injuries to befall the least-expected places of this age such as the knees and back. You'd think that's reserved for 40-pluses; it makes a good cocktail with mid-life crises and menopause. But noooooo, it happens when we are overconfident, unfit and out to prove to the world: "Yes, even if I never really did it my whole life, I can do this because I'm in my 20s. And that's what 20-somethings are meant to do."

With Age Comes Balls
No pun intended (except, maybe, for the few that the pun really applies to. I wouldn't know anyway). Today I spent my afternoon convincing my physiotherapist - who is almost 40 - that it is okay to stand up to your parents once in a while and take a holiday that is not approved by them i.e. going on your own to a place of your choice, domestic or international. The idea sent some shivers down her spine which she almost perfectly hid. But she was inspired. She lives in that typical South Bombay, conservative Gujju family setup, where you listen blindly to your parents and even though you're educated and experienced professionally and are financially independent and probably running the house, if your dad says 'no' to your going to Leh-Ladakh even after you've booked your tickets, you cancel your trip without a question.

Men and women can be just F.R.I.E.N.D.S
Okay, I knew this one a long time ago, but the ever-hopeful that I am, I keep trying to prove it wrong. But I've come to accept this and now I have a 'que sera sera' kind of attitude. I still do hope for male friends who will remain just that, and they do... for some time. That is enjoyable. But I have begun to trust my instincts much more now. For e.g. when I was with in a relationship, there was a time I felt that Best Friend liked me. I was getting the vibes. But because I wasn't sure of myself and didn't trust my instincts, I asked Boyfriend if he felt it too. He didn't and thought Best Friend was just friendly towards me and nothing more. Besides he liked Tree Spirit Girl... and then Cat Woman. So I was safe. Still, the doubt lingered and I was careful. After Boyfriend and I broke up, during one soulful conversation, he admitted to me that he was in love with me and liked me since the time we first became friends. He never said anything because he thought I was happy with Boyfriend and that was enough. But now he needed me to know because I felt that no one would ever desire or love me again. It was a sweet thing to say and I admit I was flattered. But more than that I was happy that I was right all this time, and I have begun to trust my instincts more. He later on asked me if there was any future between us of a romantic nature. Of course, I said no, because I really don't look at him like that. And I still don't want to lose a friend -- because I do love him. Just not the way he does. And I'd never want to lead him on. Now when I look at my new male friends, I know somewhere deep down, and a very primal and carnal level, there is a level of chemistry and attraction that brings us to each other, and whether we admit it or not, it is never, ever platonic. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Vintage Whine

Here's the thing about life.

No matter how successful you are, you will always fail at that one thing.
No matter how much you are loved, you will search for love where you won't get it.
No matter how happy you seem, something saddens you.
No matter how many friends you have, someone despises you.

Knowing this truth helps. It does. Then you can accept it and see that those exceptions really don't matter. And you can go back to living.

But every once in a while, you need reminding.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Undercooked Pie for the Cynical Soul

I'm sure every single person I've met has been in that uncomfortable situation where you meet someone and it causes a stir inside you. You feel a connect or vibe so instantaneously and intense, that you wonder what you're doing apart. But as Murphy (Cupid's dirty prank on the world) would have it, that someone is someone you just can't have. Heh, I'm sure some of us have been here more than one time. Me? Every other day, it seems like.

Either he/she is in a relationship - the most common reason. It warms your insides but also breaks your heart a little - to see that person committed to a stable, happy relationships with someone they love, just not you. But you try to be the bigger person and let go. But the worst is when you find out they're in a relationship, and the better half is also someone you know. Man, that's a direct steamroll over the senses. And you tend to act awkward around them when you meet them 'cause they have a way of looking at you and it just completely disarms you and you melt into whale blubber on the spot. You meet at common hangouts and see them be all 'couply' and try to wonder if they're really happy or there's a chance they're headed to splitsville and there's an opening for you.

You thought that was pathetic? What's worse than that? I'll tell you. What's worse is when you like someone, and they are not in a relationship with anyone but they're just not that into you. The connection is there and it feels like your auras are having waaaay more fun with each other than you  two are. And you wish you could join your auras, however that someone just.won' They'll tease you, provoke you, joke with you, be cute with you, at times 'harmlessly' flirt with you, be genuine with you, be vulnerable with you. But nooo, they won't do that with you. Because you're 'F.R.I.E.N.D.S.' *Cue in The Rembrandts*

And if Murphy's in a really naughty mood, then he'll make that someone be in love with someone else you know. And just for fun, it'll be a friend who's close to you. And that friend won't like them back, so your someone is pining for someone who doesn't want him/her. And you'd think they'd understand what you're going through and piece the puzzle together. But no, the friend is fond of him/her so they'll prolong the wooing and tell you all the gory details. As if the FML sticker on your forehead wasn't apparent enough.

But the heart-wrenching one of them all is that someone you love, who loves you. (Or did, anyway). And at some point you just fit each other like autumn and red leaves and the chemistry was so hot you just sweat at the thought of each other. But you just can't be together. Because if you do, you'll kill each other.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Ode to the Night

The clock has struck eleven,
The birds have fluttered home 
The night is come
To bed I go.

The last pee 'fore sleep,
Turning off the telly.
Lights - one, two, three - they're all switched off.
There, I slipped and felly.

My glasses fly 
Into an abysmal black
But lo, colours return
To my view, back.

Neon orange, pink and blue.
Electric pipes and dots askew
A scary face, a hungry cat,
The outline of a frilly bat.

I scrounge around 
For my glasses. Dear me!,
They've been eaten 
By yonder busybee.

Stuck in its throat:
My glasses, methinks,
For it's buzzing echoes
Shabbily through chinks.

I freeze, horrified,
Curled up silent-still,
Hoping I can make it go 'way,
By my sheer will. 

But the colours form a mocking dance
The stripes and flecks swish and prance
Leaving mine eyes in a dizzy-do trance
Hypnotising; survival hath no chance. 

Lo and behold, there is a song!
The colours ask me to sing along.

"We do not come out in the day,
Night-time is our time to play.
We like to shine and bounce about
There's no way to throw us out!

We can be the best-ever dream
Or the Nightmare Great of all you've seen.
So open your eyes and join the tide
And you'll have a most unforgettable ride."

The murky rhythm casts a spell,
And I begin to shake abnormally well
I sing along their chant of the night
And do away with my night-time fright!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Toast (with butter)

Here's to you,
My friend of the night.
The song I love to dream about.

Here's to you,
The voice that saved me
And sang away my doubts.

Here's to you,
My field of fairies,
For the tickles and the smiles.

Here's to you,
Dancer extraordinaire,
For sharing your inner child.

Here's to me,
The strings that binds
You all to one another.

This is the way I've smiled most lately.
And I would have no other. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weekend Blues in E major

Ever feel that the pouring rain outside is secretly compensating for the tears that refuse to flow from your eyes?

Crying seems to be beneath me these days - as though I musn't waste tears on what bothers me. I can waste anger, yes, but not tears. Because tears make you vulnerable and bare. And I've run out of my quota of both of those quite early in the month.

Again, the friend circle changes. And the new circle is very welcoming... too welcoming, for my taste. I suspect. I doubt. Can people really like me that fast? While I ponder on that, I'm being 'smothered' by the new friends, because they know that company is what I need. So whether I like it or not, I will have to swallow the Friend syrup in one big gulp like a good girl, even if I retch for five minutes afterward.

I like the show, New Girl on Star World, with Zoe Deschanel. Some people said the main protagonist is 'so me'. And it's quite interesting actually. I do identify with some of the quirks. Also it makes it so much easier to explain how I see things to other people (Why don't you check that episode out, so you know what I'm realllly thinking?).

This part of my life, as my younger cousin rightly put it, is 'DULL'. My clothes are dull, the weather is dull, my art is dull, the photos I capture are, in my opinion, dull. I suppose your state of mind does portray itself into your daily life. And for a long time, I have been dull. And I can't wait for the new butterfly wings to break out of the shell. I just can't wait.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Um. Excuse me, Sir, but where am I?

Ever had that feeling of sudden realisation that the place you've lived in all your life isn't what you thought it was? Sure I live in an underdeveloped country - but even then I would have sparingly considered moving to any part of the country than within my own, current city. 

But after I stepped out of this city for merely 6 days, to a purer, cleaner and cooler clime, where the only sound one hears in the morning are the chirps of birds, banter of cicadas and mating calls of frogs in tandem with the pitter-patter of rain; I came back completely displaced. 

The moment I entered the airport I knew where I was, and already I began to miss where I'd been. Forget leaving the airport, I had a rude awakening in the 'car-pickup' spot, where impatient drivers screeched their horns, while passing travellers paid no heed, as though they are were deafened eons ago by this cacophony. Every time a horn honked, I jumped inside and my ears hurt. 

I also, for the first time, choked upon entering the city -- the cleaner part of the city, mind you. Not until now, did I know how humid it really was. And coupled with the pollution, it was a nasty cocktail for my throat to swallow. I missed the mist; I had been in the clouds with my mouth wide open, trying to gulp the tufts of clean cool air. 

I suppose this is what we call the 'holiday hangover'. But ooooh, how I want to go back to where I was. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

*Paaarp!* "Ahh, that's better!"

I wonder if there is a laxative for all emotions and poison that brews within. How exhilarating that would be - to shit your problems away. Initially. of course, it would be very debilitating; overwhelming, even. But imagine, once it's over and you recuperate, you are empty! Your mind is clear, emotionless, hurtless, and it's ready to be filled again with new feelings.

I think the pills should be candy colours and flavours. You should feel good taking it and feel good after it's had its effect.

Suggestions for names:

Emodrain 25 mg
ShitTOX 500 mg

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Things I Miss

February 22nd, 2009

Endless summer holidays, where the days are a happy Aqua Blue and the nights a fuzzy olive brown. And Swat Kats was on Cartoon Network at 4:30 pm and was watched with a snack in my parents bedroom.

Paddle Pool that fit in four children. But eventually only two fit in (My brother and I, because our cousin sisters were too fat and sensitive to cold water)

Playing Holi with all the different bright colours and the water pistols and buckets of warm, coloured water drowning everyone in unending laughter and euphoria. Back then, girls were girls and boys were boys. And then were no creepy men. And no beer.

The bell ringing to announce that the next period is BREAK, when hot hot samosas were bought from Dave's Farsan Market opposite my school and were sold to select classes who could afford maybe more than one at a time (since they were limited). Since I was in the senior class, I got preference.

The poisonous looking Pepsi ice thingies that I wasn't allowed to have, but had every other day (if not everyday) at the end of school, in my school bus. The black and red lips that followed were scrubbed clean before I met my mother after getting home. Often my lips would turn red anyway, and my mom wouldnt bother cos I always had some colour or paint on some part of. I was clean and well groomed, but scruffy-at-heart as a child.

Elephants on Sunday morning walking by the street. At that time, they were exotic out-of-city creatures, carrying stories of adventure and magic and prayer. back then I didn't see the reality that the poor animal walked miles and miles and hardly gets any food or sleep.

Horse rides at Breach Candy. And the flaming orange sunset. And the smell of the sand and the sea. And the Breach Candy park where I played on the Jungle gym (which isn't there anymore). I used to feel I was in that movie :"Swiss Family Robinson" when I went up that Jungle gym. Like I was stranded on a faraway island full of wild beasts and abundant greenery.

The sewage/drainage holes in the wall in my sister's building's playground. I was told not to go near them because snakes lived in them. I never saw any snakes but was seriously seriously afraid to go near them and if we were playing with a ball which ventured there, I would be on the point of tears if it meant I had to go fetch it.

Wondering when I'd grow up and finally pass out of STD 4.

Painting my arm green again n again in nursery instead of the sheet given to me.

Playing with the stray cats in my schools playground and the feeling of kittens nibbling on my finger.

Collecting caterpillars and putting them in bottles with leaves and watching every morning how little by little the leaves are being nibbled away, the caterpillars are getting fatter and eventually they freeze into this morbid looking web (cocoon) and then eventually bloom into butterflies one day, which I set free outside my window.

The wasp nest that was made on my favourite soft toy. Which I did not destroy, until all the eggs hatched and one by one I let the wasp babies fly out of my window every morning.

The mangoes I stole from a tree of the neighbouring building late at night. We built a contraption with a long stick with a hook at the end and a net at the bottom and stole the mangoes.

The mosaic tiles on the terrace and how the moon glittered on them. Broken shimmer

The first time I fell in love. In the Second grade. with my friend's brother. Who played the piano. I couldn't say a word when he was in the room. I couldn't look up. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't move. I froze. And turned into stone. And blushed a deep maroon.

The first time I played music on stage. It was a tiny white CASIO keyboard. We had singing and music assemblies every year in school. I never sang, always played. And everytime I played "Chariots of fire" or the Top gun theme song.

How we never found out whether Angad would go out with you or not.

Walking from College to colaba causeway and walking up and down it till I was so bored I walked back to college and sat on marine drive with a friend and begged all our friends who passed by to buy us red bulls, in return for singing. Naturally, noone bought us red bulls.

All the red bulls I had before the band competition at Malhar every year. And how it gave me wings.

College. College. College

My first bus ride. When I was 17. From Wilson college to Churchgate. I think I sitll have my first bus ticket somewhere...Only maybe I wont be able to identify it.
My first train ride. When I was18-19.

Nobody knew about my first bus or train rides until much later.

My first ride alone in a taxi--when I was 16. And although my driver had warned me to check, I was too shy to argue so I paid the Rs 15 he asked for when I only had to pay Rs 13.

The time you socked me in the head with your leg when you were in the roda.

The times I made the mistake of being a goalkeeper when we played handball.

the time I practiced the basic amazonica with you.

The time me and dyuti were teaching harsh how to dance.

Gloria Jeans. Ronnie. Shridhar. Berry chiller. The doors. The friends. The smiles. The dancing. The silliness. The awestruckedness. The exhaustion. The excitement. The adrenaline. The coffee. the jokes. the taunts. The fun. The connection. The Bond.

The intelligence. The humour. The brains and the heart. The sarcasm and the tenderness. The artistic fingers and the long legs. And the injuries. And the money. And the honda CR V Truck. and the Toppers list I never saw, which you claim to feature in. (yes, I believe you....if you really want me to)

The on cue laughter.

My little pekingnese dog who recently was put to sleep. I remember his first day. He came into the house. Peed in the garden and sat quietly in my grandmother's room for a long time. Back then he couldn't bark or whine. Too young. and we kept him in a big blue balti, which he could climb out of then... and his attempts at barking sounded like a man with asthma laughing.

all the little sparrows who got hurt that I kept as pets and tended to till they were ok or died. I named them all Nell after the one I really was attached to. And all the goldfish we kept. We named them all Tang. After the first one that I was attached to. We buried all the birds inthe garden. With little crosses.
I think the fish were flushed away though, now that I think about it.

My childhood dream of owning a cat. And watching in glee every october at the fresh litter of adorable kittens that the compound cat always delivered in a corner in my garden. So cutely they were piled up on one another and fast asleep.

The fat rat in my garden, that my brother once tried to shoot with his rifle. But he couldnt get out of his seat or move towards his rifle, because he found that when the fat rat came as close to him as his feet, he was terrified of it and froze in fear of it knowing he was there. He never tried to shoot the rat again.

My walking shoes when I was a kid.

My riding boots my Grand aunt gave to me.

Amateurs Riding Club. And the big, tall old trees that my brother and I climbed. With ants in our pants, but at that age we dont care about such things. I dont think i ever grew up in that respect though.

Dinners at china garden. And how i HAD to have those hard, fried crunchy noodle things with my food. And I almost ALWAYs had to be taken home early.

Car "Trips" from my house to Parla. Taht's a town trip to suburb trip. I took my pillow, blanket, archie comics, (my mom packed food and water) and I fell asleep at the back of our Tata Estate.

My father driving me to the edge of nariman point at full speed in his olive green gypsy. At that time there were no railings, no traffic and no speed limits. And then feeding the pigeons.

Watching the rain from my special spot in marine lines. without my spectacles. and with a friend.

Making music on my keyboard.

Playing with wet squishy clay and creating beautiful models that would harden up in ten minutes. The smell of wet clay on my hands. Something very natural and earthy about it. I find that smell very comforting.

Swimming in a pool of muck during the monsoons while we played football in our PE class. And getting jaundice three days later and missing three weeks of school.

Being a child, and nothing more expected from me.

My mother holding my hand TIGHTLY (pronounced TIGHT-TELL-LEE when I was a kid) when we were walking through crowds. The physical closeness to someone I love. Being held close and tight. The ultimate ultimate ultimate form of security. Being held Tightelly.

Sleeping with my ears covered by someone's hands. So that they stay warm and evil spirits dont enter my brain through them.

Drawing on my wall with my fingers while I tried to go to sleep at night.

Drawing on the ceiling with my toes.

Eating cement.

Drawing on everything. Walls, paper, furniture, clothes, sewing machines, toilet seats. Drawing with anything. Felt pens. Ink pens. Paint. Crayons. Ink. Blood (this is when i'd scratch a scab out and the blood would ooze out and the colour was mesmerising), tube paint, glitter glue, vegetable curry.

Chem class. I love playing with chemicals and fire and the scary acidic smell scared ande xcited me at the same time. I love the Chromatography experiment where we played with colour.

Art class.

March Past.

Sports Day.

Singing "Im horny" without a care.

Sleeping knowing that the day is over, and the next day is fresh, without any of yesterday's rubbish (except the Homework i hadn't finished)

Working as the youngest, newest employee, with the worst category and making it th ebest category, smartest employee and most loved employee

My short hair.

My cheeks (they werenn't so sharp and thin always)

my butt (i know it's fitter and tighter now, but I liked it when it was bigger)

My long hair when I was growing up. It was so long and had flecks of red in it... (i guess it's still there only when it's long i can make out better)... and how I left the house without making my hair. even after a shower. and dried it in the sun or on the bus. And looked like I had been hit by a hurricane.

Sleeping in the AV room during understanding cinema class.

Being asked to leave the AV room for sleeping in class

Finding a better way to sleepin the AV room class without getting caught.

Christmas. The magic that surrounded it every year. Decking up the tree on the 23rd. Making caramel apple candy. The turkey/ roast chiken. The Pink champagne i got to drink in a small bowl. The carols. The Salvation army and their routine. The feeling that angels were dancing around me as I sang to them and that someone magical would come in the night and see my decorated tree and leave me presents. I could never sleep that easily on Christmas Eve. the house would be brimming with magic. And I was in another world for those few days of Christmas celebrations. And all the countdowns to the new year on TV. Each channel having a different countdowns. And my grandmother slipping of her chair, tipsy on Tia Maria.

The idea that this is how life will always be.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Immortal

I have grown in a very spiritual and religious environment. Followers of Sanatana Dharma, my family brought me up on a regular dose of spiritual discourse, poojas, mantras and kirtans. Although when I grew up I went further away from religion and embraced my own version of spirituality, I was left fascinated by one aspect of my childhood. Lord Shiva, to whom my family offers prayers.

I have been afraid of the divine as a child - this great entity with insurmountable power and energy, from whom light shines and radiates to all corners of the world. This great person who both gentle and fierce at the same time. This person whom I cannot see, touch, feel, encounter unless I am of divine soil myself. In short, this entity that surrounds me but is intangible.

As I grew up, and my own thoughts took over, the image of the 'divine' changed for me. Gods became people that once existed. Their energies are what set them apart - what make them divine. And all the Hindu deities have their special energies for which they are revered and famous.

Lord Shiva, to me, has remained the humblest, simplest and least assuming. He was powerful but vulnerable. He could create and destroy. He was supreme to all gods but lived among the dredges of society - he loved all the unwanted, rejected, ostracised 'vermin' that others spurned away. He protected the weak, sided with the underdog, and on several occasions, has been the underdog himself. He absorbed the poison of the world and maintained the balance of live and death. Yet, he does not come to the forefront.

And it is rare to find people like him among us now. My fascination with this divine existence remains.

Perhaps that's why I'm latched onto this new TV series called Devon ke Dev Mahadev. I'm not one for Hindi TV serials, what with the current melodrama that's been churning out over the years. But as of late, mythology has become a prominent theme across media - The Immortals of Meluha has a very interested take on the story of Lord Shiva. Even more interesting still, is the TV series DKDM. I didn't think anyone would do justice to this divine existence, but actor Mohit Raina seems to have done hardcore research and hours of method acting to get under the skin of his character, which under normal circumstances can prove to be quite a challenge. Under these circumstances, chances are negligible. But I'm overwhelmed by the depth of him.

Perhaps he is a very good actor. But I like to believe, that somewhere deep down, he has connected with this entity. And for all we know he may not be that religious or even believe in folklore of generations ago, but the intensity of his emotions indicate a deep spiritual connection with hisself. I don't mean he is god, or otherworldly. He is Mohit Raina. It just takes a lot of inner strength and calm to be able to portray such a strong and difficult character. And for that, I respect him. And he is supported by an equally dedicated cast and crew. The graphics are phenomenal, especially in the Indian telly scenario. The music is intense. I can see this show has been created with passion from every person part of it. And I'm a thriver on passion. I am an avid watcher of this series, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in a very refreshing and believable depiction of the life of Lord Shiva.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Love Story

There lived a boy named Boy 
Who frollicked wild and free
Jumped o'er trees and mountains climbed
And cooked and ate in glee.

Boy loved to meditate
At times shine and others hide
But fate would have it differently
So with whom should he collide?

None other than Girl who shone
As brightly as the stars
Sparkled like a diamond
Told stories of afar.

She lit the darkest corner
Undid the tightest knot
She dreamed like an undisturbed child
Made music from seeming rot.

Collision was hard but numbing too
Before you know it, eachother they wooed
A million sunsets, a trillion stars
They talked and talked for hours and hours

The poppy seeds emitted scents
The bubbles made them float in the air
Violins serenaded while
Fairies ruffled their tingly hairs

They kissed one night by the sea
No commitments no treaty
Just the sand and waves that flowed
The sea of uncertainty on which they rowed.

Years went by, the bubble thinned,
The poppy seeds lost their charm,
The lovers were left with the real world,
Their love was left unarmed.

Boy grew distant, Girl was sad
They knew not each other like they had
Each ached for freedom
But feared the unknown
They were not used to being alone.

They tried very hard, but soon they knew
Their happiness lay in bidding 'Adieu'.

With love in their hearts
And memories in tow,
Towards a new horizon, 
Their spirits go.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

You know that your love life is at an all-time low if:

1. You spend a Saturday night watching The Sexiest Man in America Pageant on TV.

2. You buy an overload of (delicious) chocolates and pastries to satisfy your sexual urges.

3. You want to spend more time at work then at home.

4. You look at other men in committed relationships and briefly fantasize what it would take to steal them and make them your committed partners.

5. You pass comments like those of a cynical old spinster at the age of 26.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lunch and Laughter at Ling's

Today is my grand uncle's 74th birthday. And the family was invited to the customary lunch at Ling's Pavillion - our favourite Chinese cuisine haunt since many years. As it turned out there were only two of us representing the grandchildren category. My grand aunt, her two sons were there. My grand uncle's son and grandson were there. His sister's son and his wife were there. My grandmother and parents were there. And it was actually just right. The family sat across two long tables in the same corner as always, and the conversation evenly laid itself out.

We are a jolly bunch. Eating and talking is what we do best. And so there were many topics, jokes, exclamations and touching moments shared through the lunch. And the spread included peppered prawns, steamed prawns, crab, pork, Mandarin fish, another-kind-of fish, chicken wings, Chinese greens, dimsum, three types of rice (including bacon-rice), and pot noodles. The lunch started with Chinese tea and ended with delicious Dutch truffle cake with vanilla ice cream on honey noodles. I didn't overeat, remembering how I suffered the last time, being the glutton I was. It was a hearty meal and great company.

My grand uncle is old and slightly 'not there'. So even though at first he did not recognise me, when he did, he expressed his gratitude again and again for my being there on this day. He was thankful to everyone and very emotional. He didn't speak much through the meal, and kept mostly to himself and his glass of beer and coke. But I think it was comforting to having the friendly banter of familiar faces all around him, for him. There was laughter all around, and I think he enjoyed being cocooned in it as a silent observer.

I enjoyed being with my family. Lately I have become very close to everyone and I want to know all my relatives all over again. I suppose as we grow up, we all become different people and the people who were around you when you grew up, also change in perspective. I enjoyed discussing relationships and my boyfriend with my grandmother and grand aunt. I enjoyed sharing jokes with my parents and uncles. I cherish those few minutes I had alone with my grand uncle when we both arrived earlier than everybody else.

On the way back my uncle and his wife were kind enough to give me a ride. And we talked and talked and talked. It realy does help to have that sense of humour such that when you are in a conversation, the on-cue jokes just happen and even a long, long ride home doesn't seem like one, and everybody's in peels of laughter. We have decided that we are going to promote my aunt as an Accounts Tuition Coach and we are going to make an enterprise out of her so that they mint money and can move to town. And they will arrange for a special cable car that transports me back and forth. Just For Me. :) And of course, my brownies are an integral part of this plan (since I made mention of my baking talents). My brownies will be given in small tokens to students when they give their fees or pass their exams -- whichever hooks them onto the class faster. Also, while she is teaching I will be baby-sitting her two kids, along with my uncle, who will be cooking as well as counting the fees that come in. Infallible plan, no? I think it's going to be a hit.

Besides that, they would love it if I came over anytime and spent time with them, whether I'm low or simply want some good company. I will definitely take them up on that.

Cheers to more hearty times :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happily Now or Forever After?

My friend told me that his relationship is experiencing a roller coaster phase right now. They are hanging on by a thread, between mistrust and exasperation. They love each other, but now are reaching a point where they wonder if it is enough. I asked him why he was in this relationship. He said because he sees this going somewhere and the relationship having a bright future.

In love, we often reach a point in our relationships where we question where we are. This is the station way past Poppy Fields and Honeymoon Ville, a few kilometres after Conflict Junction. We finally step out of the whirlwind romance and take a moment to actually consider the present and its various possibilities.

Present: Am I happy? Do I love her? Do we laugh together? Is this good for me? Are we having fun together?
Am I unhappy? Is he not satisfying me? Is it insecurity I am feeling?

Possibilities: Will we get married? Is he The One? Will we move in? Could we have children some day? Will we buy a house and have a family? Will we be rich and content? Is this going downhill? Will she cheat on me? Will I be enough? What more do I need to complete the big picture?

All these questions are very important. But then I wonder what we're really focusing on. Are we happy with what we have or what we may have in the future?

Are we okay with weathering the unhappiness now, in the hope of having a 'happily ever after'? Or are we happy being with each other, irrespective of the 'ever after'?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bandra Diaries


For a Bandra-ite, that seems a very reasonable and plausible answer to any question. With specific locations within, of course.

Q) "Where can I buy a set of pink feathers and magic wands for my ballerina class?"
A) "Sona store, of course."

Q) "Where can I get crockery and a cake knife for my leetal boy's birthday party?"
A) "There's Cheap Jack on Hill Road"

Q) "Dude. My iPod is messed up I need to fix it. Where can I go?"
A) "Decent, man. Just go there but make sure he does a good job. Go with someone from Bandra, he'll know them."

Q) "I need some *insert any kind of food, beverage item*."
A) "Patel's, dude."

Q) "I feel like walking by the sea."
A) "Carter Road, men. or Bandstand."

Q) "I think I'm falling in love with you."
A) "Bandra."

Q) "I have the flu. My mother sprouted peach feathers."
A) "Bandra."

Q) "12,456 + 563?"
A) "Bandra."