Thursday, January 31, 2008

What makes you Happy!

Yesterday we had a long chat on what we want to do in life. I am happy with the way my life has turned out. I’m happy with everything about it. Broadly. But what next? I can’t be just passing each day, without thinking about where I’m going? I am like that I need to have a feel about what next?

He, on the contrary, is not looking for any unknown territory. He’s happy with life’s little, unplanned, unexpected joys—a funfilled evening, an unexpected sale, some good time with friends; it could be anything. I think that’s good too!

He made me think what would make me really happy. Honestly, seeing my name in print, as in getting an article or may be a Book published, would be my ultimate dream for now. I have always had this dream. I remember when I was in Class 8th or 9th, I had sent a letter to a youth magazine called SUN (as “letter to the editor”) and it was published as the Best Letter. It was the most momentous occasion for me till that point of my life! Then when I moved to Chennai and Bangalore for few months, I used to write a lot and had my letter published in The Hindu, The Times of India, The Indian Express, India Today, Outlook and more recently Femina. All my letters have got published, which I have ever sent. So, after seeing so many of my Letters in print, now it does not give me a high any more. Now I’m looking for something more—my own article published. But what do I write about? I don’t have a story to tell. I like giving perspective to events or things. That’s what I do here.

I have applied for Diploma in Creative Writing from IGNOU. I’m yet to receive my Acknowledgement Card. I would really like to explore this avenue and know more about writing. I have been reading novels since I was in Class 6, but now when I read, I keenly observe the writer’s style of narration and writing.

Just yesterday we were discussing about our favourite subject in our entire education. There was this course in the last Trimester of my MBA called “Individual and Indian Society”. If I have ever enjoyed any subject thoroughly, this was it! Most of the time we had to watch documentaries and write our opinion on those; or interview a slum-dweller or read a book and review it. That’s so my kind of subject. Really!

So, the underlying point is what I’m looking for right now in my life is an opportunity to write—either to find one or create it!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Halla Bol: Review

After much reluctance (thanks to the bad reviews) I finally saw “Halla Bol” this Saturday. If I were to define this movie in one word, it would be “engaging”. I did not feel bored for one moment. It has pace, story and situational songs. It was supposed to be another Rang De Basanti, but I don’t know why it did not go well with the critics. I admit it is filmy in some sequences, but that’s what films are for and that’s what we expect them to be. We have to have our happy endings. Films are not supposed to change the system and correct all the wrongs; rather they are supposed to induce certain thoughts, which we never care about. Films are supposed to make us think for sometime. That’s what “Halla Bol” did. I totally loved it. In fact, I am quite surprised if critics can give thumbs up to Om Shanti Om then why such step-motherly treatment to Halla Bol? OSO had neither entertainment value like Main Hoon Na, nor it had an original story, so why? Ah, life was never supposed to be fair. Nevertheless, I give it at least 3.5 out of 5.

I think Ajay Devgan (as always) did justice to his role. Vidya Balan had nothing to do. Pankaj Kapoor shines even with a miniscule role. . He makes every role credible and memorable. Unfortunately, he remains to be one of the most under-rated actors in the industry.

The movie was certainly thought provoking. It was something which would raise several questions inside you and you would like to hold them for long, to find out the answers. Let us take an example, all of us have read about so many cases involving ministers or big personalities or filthy rich people. What happens to those cases? What happens to the witnesses? Why do you think the witnesses change their statements every day? It is the fear of losing everything that one has ever earned and cherished. We are conditioned to value what we have, to value materialistic things. May be the importance given to materials is over-rated but we are like that only, one cannot change overnight. I know it is easy to say hundred things, when you are watching things from a distance, but you lose your voice when you are confronted with life-threatening danger.

Second thing which struck me about the movie is how unjustified is to expect our public figures to behave righteously. Why do we expect actors to behave in a certain way? They are actors; they are not custodians of truth. Spare them please. It is easy to lose yourself in the crowd, to raise your voice as a crowd; but it is difficult to be in limelight continuously and be questioned for each and every act. It is plain unfair.

I liked the movie and I think Mr Santoshi did justice to the story. We have been OK with Santoshi’s earlier movies and Sunny Deol single-handed goon-bashing, so what’s wrong with the story getting filmy now? We still love our happy endings, otherwise what’s the point in watching a movie? The good guy should always win.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Art of Reviewing

Well, as I have sufficiently claimed on my Blog that I’m a writer at heart. Of late, I’m trying to learn different kinds of Writing. To begin with, right now I’m on writing Reviews—Book Reviews. I have read a lot of Reviews and when I come across an interesting sounding book, I first search for Reviews.

Although I have yet to learn that art but in my opinion Book Reviews should be an individual’s perspective on the thoughts that a particular book evoked in the reader. It should be completely a reader’s perspective about how the book came across. I hate those people who go on and on about story of the book, come on, leave something for the reader. OK you might like to give a basic idea about the plot, but please do not tell the story.

Same goes for the films as well.

Taare Zameen Par - an experience beyond words

Taare Zameen Par” was an interesting experience. I don’t know if I can review it impartially because I’m a big Aamir Khan fan. I mean I appreciate his dedication and commitment to film-making, as an actor and as a director. Now it has become cool to like Aamir Khan and his movies but I have always liked him. I loved his Dil Hai ke Manta Nahi, Akele Hum Akele Tum, Mann, Rangeela, Lagaan, Dil Chahta Hai, Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke and of course Taare Zameen Par. But yeah, I hated Mela, Parampara, Fanaa, Mangal Pandey and a few others. There would be a handful of movies which I haven’t seen yet!

Even if you are not an Aamir fan, although chances are miniscule, you still can’t ignore the fact that his directorial venture is a very brave effort on his part. Had it been any other person, a movie about a dyslexic child, would have gone to the so-called “off-beat” or “multiplex” genre. But here it is, and taking everyone, even an out-and-out commercial flick like Welcome by surprise. Come on, you gotta give it to Aamir!

All of us had our special moments in the movie when we got emotional and nostalgic—sometimes we cried for the child and sometime for ourselves. When I look at kids around, I genuinely feel sorry for them. When we were kids, there was only school, home works and hours of outdoor games, fun and playing. But now, there is school, tuitions, tennis practice, dance & music classes, voluntary work for the under-privileged, athletics and obviously the home works. If there is any tiny-winy time for games, it’s only computer games or play station or net-surfing (yeah, it is the most loved sports of this century). In fact, parents start buying books for their kids even before they have celebrated their first birthday, so that their child does not lag behind in the competition. As if all your life, right from the time you are born, is devoted to make a perfect CV. I feel so scared sometimes, what is going to happen to our own kids, who are yet to born? What kind of world are we giving to them! Why such mindless competition! It is really very scary. And it’s not even parents’ fault, look at our education system. Sometimes I feel, if I could give a free and liberating atmosphere to my child, then that would be the biggest gift which one can ever give.

Talking about parenthood, I strongly believe that we take parenthood very lightly in India. Children are born just like that, without asking yourself whether you are ready for it, whether you are ready to nurture a life from the scratch! Why do we never ask such questions in life?

It is truly surprising that in a country which boasts of World’s second largest population, we are yet to learn to nourish one life which we get in our hands. I think, you should choose to be a parent, because you are ready for it and you want to be one; and not for any other reason. The interpretation of “Taare Zameen Par” is actually your own terrain; you translate it in your life, in your own special way; which depends on your own upbringing, your values and your understanding of issues.

Talking about myself, the song “Maa” was my most emotional moment in the movie. It was too endearing and sensitive. I salute Aamir for making such a wonderful movie, and for making a difference.

Lyrics of "Maa" from Taare Zameen Par

Main Kabhi Batlata NahinPar
Andhere Se Darta Hoon Main Maa
Yun To Main,Dikhlata Nahin
Teri Parwaah Karta Hoon Main
MaaTujhe Sab Hain Pata, Hain Na Maa
Tujhe Sab Hain Pata..Meri Maa

Bheed Mein Yun Na Chodo Mujhe
Ghar Laut Ke Bhi Aa Naa Paoon Maa
Bhej Na Itna Door Mujkko Tu
Yaad Bhi Tujhko Aa Naa Paoon Maa
Kya Itna Bura Hoon Main Maa
Kya Itna Bura Meri Maaaaaa

Jab Bhi Kabhi Papa Mujhe
Jo Zor Se Jhoola Jhulate Hain Maa
Meri Nazar Dhoondhe Tujhe
Sochu Yahi Tu Aa Ke Thaamegi Maa

Unse Main Yeh Kehta NahinPar
Main Seham Jaata Hoon Maa
Chehre Pe Aana Deta Nahin
Dil Hi Dil Mein Ghabraata Hoon Maa
Tujhe Sab Hai Pata Hai Naa Maa
Tujhe Sab Hai Pata Meri Maa

Main Kabhi Batlata Nahin
Par Andhere Se Darta Hoon Main Maa
Yun To Main,Dikhlata Nahin
Teri Parwaah Karta Hoon Main Maa
Tujhe Sab Hain Pata, Hain Na Maa
Tujhe Sab Hain Pata,,Meri Maa

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I have already proclaimed sufficiently and strongly that I just love buying books and yeah, reading them occasionally. But till now I had not ordered anything online. I would visit bookshops, look through books, read the back covers and mostly I felt that I just needed to own it. So that was my usual practice. But now, I have discovered the world of online book shopping. What I do is first find out the latest or famous books in the genre which I want to read or in case I have discovered a writer, then find out about all the books he / she has written; then I check about prices offered by various sites. I would say is good in that respect because they do not charge delivery charges, so you are sure of how much you are paying for that book. I have just bought two books from there—Love Story by Erich Segal (for Rs 125) and Entry from backside only by Binoo John (for Rs 95). Although one generally gets better deals off the shelf but the sites are really helpful when you are looking for a particular book, not available in your regular bookstore. Also, the online Bookstores have various versions of the same book in different prices so you can take your pick.

But, anyways, what I really wanted to talk about was getting introduced to an altogether new genre called “Chic-lit”. Actually, I have always read and liked chick-lit novels but never knew that this genre had a name. The Encyclopedia on defines "Chick lit" as “a term used to denote genre fiction written for and marketed to young women, especially single, working women in their twenties and thirties. “ It was when I read “Shopaholic & Sister” and tried “Googling” for other books by Sophie Kinsella that I bumped onto this word. There are several sites devoted to chic-lit or literature for women. The last chick-lit I read and absolutely loved was I don’t know how she does it by Allison Pearson.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Orkut – the Social Networking Phenomena

You may hate it, you may love it, but you can not ignore it – I’m talking about Orkut. God, everyone’s on it. If you are looking for an old pal, a former neighbour, even a pen-pal—just about everyone is there. When I was first introduced to it, including my friends, we just lapped it up like anything. There were “Hi’s” and “Hello’s” to all the old and new friends, and then there was a lull for a considerable time, because you didn’t know what to do now. Besides, there was always the question of just how much information one should be posting on a Social Networking Site because there were several cases of misuse and abuse. But, most of us have just gone ahead and used this site to share our life with friends

After so many years of surfing internet, it still continues to amaze me. With a click of mouse, I am taken to a world of possibilities. Of course, now there is problem of too much information and one gets lost in that, but still you have an option. Coming back to Orkut, it has really become a rage. Of course, now there are other, more refined versions of Networking sites but still Orkut truly pioneered the trend.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dedicated to the institution called Marriage

To Be One With Each Otherby George Eliot

What greater thing is there for two human souls
than to feel that they are joined together to strengthen
each other in all labor, to minister to each other in all sorrow,
to share with each other in all gladness,
to be one with each other in the
silent unspoken memories?

To My Dear and Loving Husband” by Anne Bradstreet

If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee.
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole Mines of gold,
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that Rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee give recompense.
Thy love is such I can in no way repay;
The heavens reward thee manifold I pray.
Then while we live, in love lets so persevere,
That when we live no more, we may live ever.

From "Gift From The Sea" by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.

The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.

From "The Irrational Season" by Madeleine L'Engle

But ultimately there comes a moment when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take…It is indeed a fearful gamble…Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together we become a new creature.

To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take…If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation…It takes a lifetime to learn another person…When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected.

Ruth 1:16-17

But Ruth said, "Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.

"Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me."

All days are nights to see till I see thee,And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me. (Sonnet 43)

Friday, January 04, 2008

Daily ramblings

Today, we successfully completed a month of our marriage! it’s India, and here it’s perfectly normal to complete 25-30 years of marriage. In fact, we still believe in “together-for the next seven- lives”.

Nevertheless, it’s difficult to imagine that I’m married now. And add to that, we are still in my old place and the location is same, so I did not have to re-locate. It’s great in several ways, so I’m not really complaining. In fact, even though my in-laws are here, it does not feel any different than having my own parents visiting. And my husband is also very, very irritating, like his old self. Just kidding!

There are few things which I want to do before turning 30. Marriage was one of those. So, who said plans don’t work. They do; at least you will always move forward with a definite plan. Without plan, you don’t know where you want to go and what you want to achieve; so how would you know whether you have been successful!

Yesterday, my brother told me that this year the top 3 resolutions of people generally are – time management, healthy lifestyle and knowing more about investments / financial planning. Well, read my last post, I’m on the right track already. And frankly, I love resolutions, I love making “to-do” lists and planning things. I hate being not in control of things. When I have everything written down, I’m at ease that at least I know what all I have to do. Now whether it gets done or not, is a completely different issue.

Right now, I’m in the process of organizing all our pictures and put in CDs, which I want to send to my family and all our relatives. So, that’s taking a lot of time. Our video would also be ready soon. I’m waiting for it. But, I prefer snaps more than videos. Pictures freeze your moments forever, which you keep coming back to and re-live those precious moments again and again. For example, marriage pictures. They are priceless. I keep looking at them every day. Actually, I think I looked good on my marriage (thank god!), because my resolution to lose some weight failed miserably! But anyways, I’m not fat, so it did not matter.

Soon we would start shopping for our new place. I’m just waiting for that because I love shopping and I love decking up my house, though both of us have very contradicting views on everything. But, you know, either it is my way or no way!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

It is that time of the Year again

New Year is a time for New Resolutions. Yeah, I know we seldom keep our resolutions but that does not mean we give up. I think my Resolutions are going to be more or less same as the last year. As I said, 2007 is going to be a special year for me for the rest of my life.

I would really like to practice a spiritual relationship. My biggest problem is my expectations from others. In fact, a whole lot of heartaches would not happen if we stop expecting too much from others. It’s a fact that love / friendship / affection / concern for others eventually become something else. We start measuring how much we got for the love / affection we gave to others. Not done. If I love somebody, it’s me who cares for somebody, which should be independent of what the other person feels about me, right? But blame it on our up-bringing or the way we are conditioned, all relationships are evaluated on “give-and-take” basis.

I had been waiting to get married, to be able to think clearly what I want to do with my life. What next? Where do I want to be in next 3-4 years? This is the question which I keep asking myself. I remember, during our Advertising class, there was an exercise—imagine yourself on a magazine cover and then think about the caption written next to it. What would you like it to be? This is what you really want to achieve. And then plan your journey to reach that position. Amazing! Suddenly it becomes so easy and clear, isn’t it? Our problem in life is we keep fighting it out in the corporate world for better salary, for bigger Brand name; when what we actually want to do is Dance! So why not just Dance? Why do we complicate things? Besides, if you are really good in something, you would anyways make enough money. But nobody wants to take risk in life. So resolution number 2 is think about that Magazine Cover.

I have almost a library of books now and a whole lot of magazines. In fact, now a days, I am unable to find books in the Bookshop to buy, because I have got most of them. I mean, which I would like to read! I love my books. But yeah, this year, I am going to read them. I mean, I read them but not at the pace I would like to. I don’t know, it is just that I am too fond of them. And once you finish a book, it’s just gone. Ahhh…how do I explain? But anyways, let’s not be too emotional here and get on with some learning this year. Besides, my interests are not only in the content but also in the writing style since I am a budding writer.

I would like to make more time for family and create some of the best family memories for the rest of our lives. I have always felt that my mum and dad are world’s best, in every sense—the way they have brought me up, the way they are, the things that they have taught, etc—but after I got married I felt as if I’m losing a very essential part of my life. It suddenly felt too soon. The learning is not to wait too much for the right time, celebrate togetherness whenever you can. And yeah, click loads of pictures, all the time, everyday. These are memories which stay on forever with you, a proof of how you lived!

I would like to travel to all corners of India and then abroad! I have traveled to several places in India but I would like to explore the rest with more frequency. India is just amazingly beautiful. The most fascinating thing is the variety you find in India—from hills to seaside, from sand to backwaters, from tea plantations to wild life safari, whoa!

I would like to write more this year. I want to be a writer, and for a budding writer the most obvious thing to do is write, which I seldom do. I don’t have a story, I just like to analyze and narrate things. There is no tale, there are just instances of life! I plan to make it a career some day. Let’s see! I never planned to be where I am. I feel blessed that I got more than what I ever dreamt for. I narrated a beautiful story long time back. If I need to put it in one line—in the end, everything falls into place. You may not realize that when it happens but they are all there to complete your story.

I would like to invest more wisely this year. I have just started investing but I don’t know much. I think I’m intelligent enough to understand the market and basics of investment, so why not use it? If so many people can do it, why can’t I?

I would like to buy and create the most beautiful home for my family. I’m a creative at heart, I just know when things match and don’t match together. I always know what I want for my home and how to make even the worst corners of any house, beautiful and appealing. So, this year I’m going to put all my instincts into good use. I believe, a home should be a cozy and comfortable place, where one would love to come back to everyday.

This year, I want to give my best to my job, do some really good work. I want to feel proud of my work. I believe when you do something, you should leave your mark on that. I just know one thing, if you really want to do something, it is always possible!

I am going to learn something new this year, may be driving a car, anything! But chances are that’s what I would do. Driving really liberates you. It makes you feel powerful and free. It’s exhilarating and incomparably joyous. And add to that the happiness of doing something new!

And, yeah, losing weight and exercising is my everyday agenda (read resolution), so this year I’m going to be thinner and more healthy. Anyways, I’m not fat but I want to tone up and feel better about myself. I acquired several healthy habits last year, but this year what I really want to accomplish is getting up early, before the rest of the world does, to enjoy solitude and tranquility; to enjoy my own time and feel good.

So, with that I’m all set for the Year 2008. Wishing all my family and friends a more healthy, a more joyous and a better Year. May everyone be happy and content. Contentment is very important, otherwise there is never enough. If you know how to be content with what you have, you have known the essence of life!