Pink

Aerosmith said pink was everything from the color of passion to love at first sight, even “Pink it’s like red but not quite, and I think everything is going to be all right…”

All these thoughts hit me yesterday on what I can call my own promenade set along the Arabian Sea in this part of the bustling city of Bombay (Mumbai for most). The serene waters when the ebb was low transported me into another world just as I realized how blue I had been all these months. It wasn’t a moment of finding myself, but it was surely a step in that direction. Find myself not ’cause I feel lost or aimless, it’s just the fog that’s been thickening which needs to clear sooner than later, so the strong beam from the lighthouse doesn’t misguide the lone ship on unknown waters.

To put this feeling in a few words, I’ve seen red, I’ve felt blue, but it is the pink hue that makes me want to make my dreams come true.

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Nina Paley’s Sita Sings The Blues: A Film That Deserves Your Time, Sensibility And Sensitivity

The first thought one gets when having watched Nina Paley’s Sita Sings The Blues is that she is a dreamweaver and this story can indeed be termed as the greatest breakup story ever told. With the simple use of 2D animation, Sita Sings The Blues is a tale you just cannot get enough of. Speaking about life and love from a woman’s perspective, every woman who watches the film is ought to feel moved yet very inspired to move on from ever being bogged down by the blues. Eventually a woman must do what she must, as long as it nurses and heals a broken heart. Chronicling her real-life via this animated film, the writer-director-animator draws inferences from Goddess Sita’s tale as written in the many versions of the Ramayana. The most noteworthy point – the revival of The Blues sung by Annette Hanshaw, a popular singer from 1920s America. As stated by Nina, the stories that she read in books got more meaning with the songs by Annette Hanshaw, as they truly set the essence of the film.
With three sets of characters taking centrestage (so to speak), this re-telling of Ramayana is one by Sita – wife of Ram, object of affection of Ravana and point of inspiration for many women thereafter. She loves with all her heart, devotes herself to her husband and her one true love, faces dejection, weeps for days on end, and finally emerges strong from her plight of being the woman who was frowned upon for no plausible reason and hence, decided to move on, and move on like a boss she did. Most of us who’ve watched the film already know the complete story of the epic tale, but what we may not have understood was the pain our central character felt. Her voice, her emotions, have given many distraught, sometimes destitute women a voice of their own. Sita gained her Goddess stature because she proved herself to be the epitome of womanhood and this film reminds us of this.
The three narrators have the face of ancient kings (and queen) who are discussing this story like a group of individuals would make intelligent conversation of the topic of discussion. Kind of like the ones you’re likely to see at social gatherings, theatres and literature events around the country. (some views are usually borrowed tilting towards pseudo-intellect unfortunately, but we’ll get to that part later).
Nina Paley has masterfully ‘re’-created each of these characters to tell everyone about her own breakup (and how she probably moved on from it) which happened via email, and most certainly left her befuddled, without a clue as to why her husband/partner found such an innovative way to let go of the relationship. Once you get into the skin of this 2D character, you too, may find yourself empathizing with her, and perhaps, feeling what she felt. If a heartbreak causes the person at the receiving end to walk onto a path of greatness… then this is it.
When you walk into your room at the end of the day, and kick off your shoes, read a book, before you curl up and sleep, remember that there is always a better tomorrow and one partner’s choice or the ill-fate of a relationship doesn’t alter your life. Feel every bit empowered. Having said that, it’s not just about the women eventually, it’s likely to reach out to the men watching it and ensuring that it tugs at their heart-strings as well.
So, hear Sita Sing The Blues to you while she narrates her story in a span of 81 minutes. This is a crowd-funded film and every frame of it deserves to be watched repeatedly, and likewise, shared with one and all. Not to mention the beauty with which Annette Hanshaw’s classics shall become timeless through this apt usage.
*A version of this has been published under my author profile in July 2014, during my professional stint at BookMyShow*

Behne Do

… inn aansuon ko

Yeh duniya tere dard se anjaan hi rahe toh accha hai. Aakhir tu kisse sahanubhooti ki umeed lagaye baitha hai? 

Yaad rakh ki tu khud hi apni taqdeer likh raha hai, kabhi apne karm se, kabhi apni choices se. Toh phir iss kahaani ki dor kisi aur ko kyun diye jaa raha hai? 

Kuchh diggaj sajjanon ne kaha hai ki teri khushi ka faisla tu khud hi karta hai, aur phir inhone hi kuchh aise rules bana diye ki khushi aapke bank balance ke size par nirbhar hone lagi. 

Aise mein jab jigri doston se comparison hone lage, insecurities badhne lage aur frustration hoti rahe toh tu kya hi kare? Isliye inhein behne de, behte rehne de… lekin yaad rakh ki isse apni uss kahaani ka ek chapter hi maan kar chal, kyunki chalte rehna hi teri kismet hai, tera karam hai. Yehi iss duniya ka sabse pehla ‘rule’ hai. 

Maa Ka Phone, Papa Ki Call

Apni rozmarrah ki zindagi mein humne kitni hi baar apne maa-baap ka phone ‘miss’ ya ignore kiya hoga… apne aap ko samjhate hue ki “hum kitne vyasth hai, hamare parents nahi samajhte.”

Hum roothte hai toh woh hamein mana hi lete hai, fark sirf itna hai ki bachpan mein jo kaam khilone ya chocolate se hota tha, umar ke saath saath wahi stakes badh bhi jaate hai… jaise ego jo aapke bank balance se directly proportional hoti hai, in most cases. Khair yeh kabhi aur ki baat hai, par baat yehi hai ki jahan hum apne aap ko hi bhool chuke hai, wahan Hum kisi aur ko kya yaad rakhenge. Aur phir hum proudly kahenge ki “main itni busy rehti hoon ki mahina bhar apne parents se baat nahi karti.” 

Every relationship is a matter of setting priorities. 

And all said and done, woh phone call kab aana bandh ho jaaye, aap anumaan bhi nahi laga sakte. Jis call/duty se aap door bhaag Rahe the, usi ek feeling ke liye aap ab shayad apna poora schedule change kar sakte hai. You know how they say, act before it’s late and especially take a cue from someone who craves that attention from their parent (s) long after they are gone. 

The Wrong Piece Of The Puzzle

He fell off from amidst the other pieces kept together in the box of puzzle games when the bag that carried this puzzle was stored along with other of its own type. He was always told by the wiser (and other) pieces that he was unique and would always find his way back, even though his uniqueness, oft misunderstood as his peculiarity, would make him stand out wherever he went.

In his journey to go back to where he came from, he had several encounters, some good, some unpleasant, some that left scars deep enough to make the already indecipherable picture and letters on this piece more unidentifiable. One such meeting was with The Ugly Duckling and as we all know, the duckling too grew up to be a beautiful white swan, giving his story a well-deserved happy ending. As far as the story of this piece goes, he befriended many like himself, the ones who seemed to be the ultimate misfits at the outset, yet went on to find themselves by just following the path either they or the puzzle-solver so to speak, had chalked out for them.

The piece did find many puzzles thereafter, but his memory had soon started failing him about who he really was, where he came from and where was he headed. He tried his best to fit in wherever he felt he belonged but alas, the problem with being the misfit is that being sure of where you belong is an unsolved mystery, and usually remains one.

This piece, unique once, with a questionable status now, wants to find solace in the next best crevice or gap he can fill, find a middle ground from being the perfect fit and the complete misfit. He doesn’t seek to be The One, he doesn’t seek to be The Wrong One too. His past experiences have taught him one important thing about trying too hard, it won’t be long before the bluff is caught and that’s the time you can neither run, nor hide. That’s when he would go back to starting at the beginning of this vicious circle which, in his eyes, was meant to be linear. However, one can easily deduce that this process like an attempt to find a corner in a circle. Perhaps there will arrive a day when he is that piece the puzzle can’t be complete without.

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7 Types Of Men You May Fall In Love With

Love is… a great feeling

Love is… figureoutable

Love is… the most favorite topic for anybody and everybody remotely attached to writing and expressing themselves

In reality, Love is… a waste of time. And I am not the only person saying it, FYI!

If it is this and so much more then why is it also the most-difficult feeling to sustain in a world where emotions seem to have taken a backseat, forever? Have we reached the point of not being able to recognize oneself in the mirror any longer? The ones who just breathe, but have forgotten to feel emotions, especially those of love?

A few days after turning 30 and being unapologetic for most things I am, I thought of putting together a few lists from the few experiences I have amassed in primarily the last decade and a half. So, to begin with, here’s a short list of the kind of men you may fall in love with in your lifetime. This is somewhat a collective database gained through experiences and lending my ear here and there hence, no names will be taken for the mere purpose of protecting others’ privacy:

  • The heart is stupid, it decides it has fallen in love, when it is just the hormones acting up. Try and stop the catastrophe before your unintentionally dilated pupils tell a different story altogether to the one who is definitely not ‘The One’. He’ll mostly be the person you knew one time, and you know what to do with these memories.
  • When you are what I like calling a ‘dil-phenkh aashiq’, you can’t decide how many men you can like/love/lust after at the same time. Most often than not, these feelings get mixed up instead and your prospective (insert feeling here) has already run miles away from you, with no intention of returning. Of course, we must discount the fact that after having run so far and long, his shoes must have worn out as well, so there is no chance of him returning all the same. Once again, don’t feel bad you told him how you felt, he just chose to make it a marathon, probably one where a few others will be following him, while women enjoy their peace without them.
  • He comes and goes, and every time says something different to you, in the process baffling you. There is nothing more to explain on this point, this is the most important lesson in a relationship and we’ve come to call it the He’s-Just-Not-That-Into-You feeling. Time to wake up from the illusion of the dream he’s probably been showing you.

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  • He once said he loved you, or just didn’t say the words, yet made you feel special in some way or another, and you being you thought this is it, the one you must move mountains for… and what did you find instead? He decided to hole up somewhere because he couldn’t bear the intensity of your feelings for him.
  • He seemed to be around you all the time. You felt he is right there waiting for you to realize his potential as the perfect boyfriend/significant other, but the moment you make your move, he decides to ‘open up’ to you to tell you how you and he were ‘just friends’. Guess what you feel at this point? Let me help, nothing but anger at yourself and regret of letting go of someone else who was probably more forthcoming when you were waiting for person of interest in this case to overstep the boundary he created in the first place. What a bummer!

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  • You’re in love with this one. He too says he is in love with you. But did you read the fineprint where there were umpteen conditions apply written? No? You’re not wrong, most of us don’t. Him loving you back comes with the baggage of spending all your weekends and other waking hours with him and obviously not talk and get to know each other better in these hours… but just exchange body fluids. Easy, isn’t it? You have sex with him till he gets bored of you and a few years later, especially if you’re lucky, you get invited to his wedding as well. Voila! 
  • This one’s going to be your most special – love interest, friend, mentor etc. You tell him everything about yourself, you call him your best friend and you expect almost nothing in return, except that shoulder to cry on from time to time. But should you EVER fall in love with this kind, all hell will break loose. In a worst case scenario, you may even lose face amidst the others in this ‘society’ we live in. But you’re going to be the girl who has her head held high at all times. Remember, we give much less importance to ourselves than we do to the men we are involved with but when you realize your first priority and your forever is you, most things will find the right crevice to fit in. 

7 seemed a bit less, but they should do their messaging bit to all of you reading this. Of course many of our experiences will differ, so it would be amazing having you share them with me. If nothing, then let’s just drink to the feeling of being headstrong, independent women even if we live in questionable circumstances, yet carry on doing what we’ve been doing all our lives thus far, and will continue doing so in the future too. Kudos! 

​Of Broken Hearts And Pricked Egos

“No”, he said rather vehemently to her constant pleas of asking him to be with her. He was practical enough to know where he had to draw the line. 

She, on the other hand, felt shattered and internally battered, and found herself crying loudly with his name not leaving her senses. She had been broken far enough to not tread this path again. 

Thus, the mind and the heart haven’t seen eye-to-eye and often have contrasting opinions about things big and small.

How Not To Give A Fuck…

… When That’s All You Really Know.

My current internet God, Mark Manson has inspired me write something I had been dwelling on for several years now and hence after reading The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck, a simple way into understanding basic behavioral aspects in most human beings, this idea finally found some bearing. You know how they say that you will only truly ‘understand’ something when you are in a particular situation, thoughts like these, however, will facilitate the understanding, mostly because not everyone can, should and must get their hands dirty to learn about life and its marvels.

The question that arises is if wanting to Fuck This and Fuck That the solution to anything concrete? The answer is a simple “yes”. However trivial it might sound, there are really no two ways about it because through learning how not to give a fuck you achieve what some may call “unfuck” yourself. I call it a level close to having achieved urban nirvana, with no offense to any person or any faith. So the next time you feel mindfucked about issues at work, with parents, school, teachers etc., remember that it is important to address the issue if it bothers you because like Mark says, you don’t give a Fuck how the relationship building goes, it is the issue at hand that is bothersome and if the person at the receiving end of your wrath really cares, the line will not be crossed. This, because, it doesn’t matter how closely connected you are to someone, there always is a line that mustn’t be crossed.

At the beginning of this piece I spoke about having dwelled on something for the last few years and have been able to carry on despite being in the doldrums, mostly ’cause I would, and sometimes for no reason, give a piece of my mind to people on the other side, my parents. So this year, with the sudden passing of my father, I was angry, at him, at myself, at everyone who was bullying my generally gullible mother and before long came to realize that despite the very difficult 5 months, this perpetual I-will-smash-your-face-anger had fucked me up furthermore. So should I then be on a cleaning spree and become aloof to everything? Would it help, I am sure not. This, I must elaborate, wasn’t because I had run out of people to give a fuck unto, but because in this process of no self control or anger management, I was losing my peace of mind (obvious that there wouldn’t be any pieces remaining thence – you know, piece/peace homonym).

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Following Mark’s teaching, being indifferent and not giving a Fuck to something are different concepts where the former shows a large portion of cowardice one is made of. Of course, just by reading a few articles, books etc. doesn’t make me a know-it-all, even though a friend of mine has rechristened me Vanity (I am, okay with that, bleh). But I can say one thing for sure, from the heart, I am on the path to learning how to not give a Fuck to everything. In a day comprising 24 hours, we make ourselves much too vulnerable to almost everything. It is like getting affected by the water cooler because it pours down on you (or into your water bottle), I am certain you get the drift.

And like we have discussed, it isn’t about learning the art of enduring everything, no, for that you have to join a gym and do some endurance training. It is just knowing where to stop giving a Fuck because they don’t care about us hence we have to step in and be our own Superman/Superwoman. Agree? Since the essence of the article is inversely proportional to your thoughts about this supposed philosophical piece, I am going to stand by the stand I have taken *the boss has now left the building*

Here’s a powerful meditation that instantly brings you peace:

UPDATE: This process is still loading… getting there in no time (as of August 19, 2017)

“Jaa Simran Jaa… Jee Le Apni Zindagi”

Jaa simran jaa… jee le apni zindagi [sic]

Nothing, I assure you, could’ve sounded (and felt) more liberating than these words spoken by Simran’s stern, principled father, Chaudhari Baldev Singh (Amrish Puri) in Yash Chopra’s landmark film, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge (1995), the film that continues to be a favorite amongst all romantics, 21 years hence.

When Simran (Kajol) dreamt of finding her Prince Charming, little did she know that she’d find this guy who was a stark opposite of who she was as a person – an introvert, a dreamer, family-oriented and so much more. Her eventual Prince Charming, Raj (Shahrukh Khan) is, on the other hand, a rich brat who lives with his father in a sprawling mansion somewhere in London, chills for most of his time and voila! finds his lady love, on yet another holiday when he is travelling on the Eurail with his friends, who happen to be (soon-to-be) directors, Karan Johar and Arjun Sablok, respectively. Of course, what you do notice is a 360-degree difference in Raj & Simran’s standard of living.

Save for three girlfriends from college and her mother (Farida Jalal), Simran doesn’t have many friends, she writes poetry and shares them with her mother until one day, her bubble bursts when she realizes the irony of her life; like most girls from an Indian family, her marriage has been fixed with a family friend, without her consent, of course. The decision, sealed by her father.

Raj, who doesn’t face pressures of any kind from his father lives a complacent life comprising holidays, drinks while he wears his heart on his sleeve. This, until, he falls hopelessly in love with a simple Punjabi girl, whom he fondly refers to as Senorita (because of a certain Spanish girlfriend who didn’t like Indian men).

Cut to the chase, the two realize at two different intervals in the film that they both love each other immensely, and then starts their ‘struggle’ in the relationship. Raj decides to take the hard way out of this ordeal. For what could be the first time, he chooses the hard path and decides to fight for his love instead of eloping with the love of his life. His fight for love is so appealing, that it steals many hearts, especially of a woman’s. After all, a dimpled smile and soft brown eyes are difficult to ignore! Raj’s strife comes to an end when Baldev Singh realizes what has been transpiring all these days, insults the deeply-in-love boy, and separates the inseparable couple that Raj and Simran are.

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Simran must have felt so caged in her superficially normal life till she found true love in this man named Raj, her only outlet being her dreamland where a voice often beckoned her to join him in his para-paradise…

The challenge was not to admit her true feelings to her beau but to be able to get her conventional-thinking father to accept an independent soul, Raj and let her take off with him than get her to live a stifling life with the decided fiance, Kuljeet. If you look deeper, you would find that beneath this hard shell of strong ideas, lives a man who believes in love and would want his daughter to breathe and spend her life with her Prince Charming.

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The original post, written during my stint at BookMyShow.com features here: https://in.bookmyshow.com/entertainment/jaa-simran-jaa-jee-le-apni-zindagi/19740

And if you’re looking for reasons to watch Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge, here’s a list of trivia for you: https://in.bookmyshow.com/entertainment/reasons-watch-ddlj/38916

Save ‘Em Boys

… for they are the ones who are the most in danger, from girls, women, society and the world at large, especially the ones who stand by their women.

Every time a woman wears a dress, jeans, shorts or a skirt, she is putting every man ogling at her in mortal danger. This loose sense of dressing causes men to lose their minds and the power to rationally think through any objectionable action like an attempt to rape or even going all the way. The woman has obviously asked for it. It’s all her fault. These poor men will be men, what wrong have they done by not evolving with the years?

If you’re a woman trying to co-exist with them men in the society today, you must know that you’re hurting them men. So if you go out asking for it, you shouldn’t feel offended when he makes his move and shows some swag, right? Infact take this piece of advice, you’ve probably read all the wrong books all your life. Even in fairy tales every damsel in distress needs saving and what’s better than being saved by her Prince Charming? In this case, it’s all the men who are merely unsuspecting onlookers, so if you provoke them to bring out their otherwise latent carnal desires, whose fault is it then?

Because you are a woman, you are SUPPOSED to be well-dressed, well-behaved, show how you come from good families and a few other easily doable steps that determine your safety. Should you fail to do so, should you decide to drink, smile at men, joke with them or even agree to have dinner with them regardless of how ravenous you may be at the time, you are only inviting these poor men to come closer, touch you, and show you your place (aukaat).

So wake up, ladies. You have to stop living, just so men  can live. You may be the reason men are alive, but you can’t have the same rights as them. It’s wrong. Do the society some good, save ’em boys, be their Dame in Shining Armor because their facade of being the Knight in Shining Armor has now been proven wrong, they are just douchebags in tin-foil.

P.S. Some creative liberty has been taken in switching between boys and men, it’s after all a matter of age and maturity. Although some boys love to think they have a little bit of Peterpan in them.

This post has been written post my thoughts after watching Pink this evening. The film’s concept was relevant then, is now and will continue to be so.