The Inclusive Scenes in Indian Kitchens After the Pandemic Can Be rewarding

As a child, I always felt it fascinating whenever there was a disruption in our daily routine. Days when my school bus services were closed, and either one of my parents had to drop me off in school; days when our house-helps would take off, we would get the exciting opportunity to work together in the kitchen!

My mother has been a disciplined woman. She set strict regimes for us, and we longed to break free from her rules. My blog name ‘A Rebel’s Diary’ reflects my childhood attitude towards her! As I have already mentioned, my mother never liked me or my sister entering the kitchen when we were in schools. She always tried to manage everything on her own. Even though I always had a knack to try out adulting tasks, my mother never let me take up any serious roles in the house.

Growing up, I find it absolutely mind-boggling how she managed everything so perfectly as if some computer or robot ran our house! The woman was so obsessed with running her house perfectly that she even packed her hospital bags before her second delivery and ironed and folded her daughter’s school uniforms as her water broke! Honestly, me or my sister can never be so perfect like her. Nor we want to!

My mother is carrying generations of trauma and deep-rooted psychology that tells her that she has to execute everything on her own. As a woman, it is her primary duty to look at her children, even though she might not get an opportunity to look in the mirror for days. Thanks to our current circumstances, she realizes how a woman should not burn herself completely while caring for her children. For now, she looks at her children and her grandchildren!

Nevertheless, the days when our house-help took days off, it used to be such memorable days in the kitchen. Apart from the sense of pride that our mother has entrusted either of us with an adulting task, the most important thing was the quality time we spent together!

As I am born and brought up in a joint family, the sense of inclusiveness and team work was always there inside me. It’s always fun when we have ten hands and ten brains around to execute a task! The holidays felt like that, and food always tasted better after our fair share of hard work! I realized it was not an easy task and started complaining less about my imperfect sunny side up eggs to my mother! Some days, I even told my mother to rest; it was just an egg!

Post the pandemic; many Indian kitchen scenes went through a drastic change!

With the house-helps gone, and irregular work from home schedules, many couples felt it evident to share their responsibilities, mainly due to circumstance where they had no one but the Virus to blame.

I think, for many Indian couples, the lockdown turned out to be a boon, as more people realized how difficult the regular house chores could be without any help.

As I scroll through the romantic kitchen selfies, my heart fills with joy! It’s finally happening! People are finally learning to not take people for granted and approve that it’s okay for the person (who handles these tasks regularly) to take a break!

The inclusive kitchen scene can ease a lot of burden from all of us. Honestly, every time I see the couples working together in the kitchen, my little nephew and nieces helping their parents out, it makes me happy. Because that’s a scene I have been longing to see, that’s a scene I never got to see in my childhood. But that’s how things should be, right?

As I also believe that cooking or house chores can also be therapeutic for a person. It has been so for women for ages. For me, I always get to release my stress by kneading dough or structuring my story in my mind while I involve myself in the physical tasks.
If you are mindful, you can find peace through anything. At least, the Virus taught us; it can be so much fulfilling to sit in a clean place and have a stomach full of food!

However, even today, many women need someone to tell them that ‘it’s not just their responsibility to carry all the burden! It’s their home too!’ Be it a daughter or a son; responsibilities can always be shared, which fetches bigger wins for the family. It’s not wrong to take a break (irrespective of age) without feeling any sense of guilt or resentment!’

It’s the deep routed trauma and denial that our elders unknowingly tries to pass on to us. And we need to resist, to stop this from passing on us or to our next generations. I know resisting is the most challenging part! But, we have to find our safe ways and methods.

Perhaps that can stop the random comments from strangers, like ‘What are you doing? Your baby is crying! Take care of him now! Can’t you see your husband is busy with his ‘office work?’

‘You don’t look married enough! How do you find so much time?’

Whether they are settled in India or abroad, I know this is a reality for many women even today. Because many of them are repeatedly compelled to carry forward these ideas, with the whispering of the three magic words ‘You are a woman!’

Although the wounds and damages caused by the virus are beyond my contemplation, and the world still waits to heal, I think there is still a positive outcome of the event. As they say, every event is meaningful, and it impacts us in both ways! I think it’s time to embrace these positive impacts and remember the lessons, the new habits we have picked up.

Nothing Changed Much Since the Day I Learnt How to Make Perfectly Round Rotis!

Recently, I stumbled upon a video clip of the Kapil Sharma Show, where a husband shamelessly appeared in front of the world to complain that he has issues with his wife because she doesn’t know how to make round shaped rotis! The husband feels embarrassed every time someone visits their home because his wife makes rotis that look like India’s map. The husband took immense proud in the fact that he knows how to make perfectly round rotis. But why would he cover up for his wife? It is her duty, after all!

And then I saw an infamous clip of a crime show, where a husband measures the diameters of roti and slaps his newlywed wife because it was less than 12 and 1/2 centimetres! Her mother-in-law comforted her saying, that she will ‘teach her’ how to make the perfect rotis as per the standards set by her husband!

Honestly, nothing changed much since the day I learnt how to make perfectly round rotis!

Since my childhood, my mother never taught me to make perfectly round rotis. She always told us cooking is easy! Nowadays you can easily learn cooking by watching a video! Focus more on your education and jobs! Financial independence is the ultimate key to building your dream life. She barely let us enter the kitchen, even though sometimes we wanted to help her willingly. Every time her opinion was crisp and clear, ‘You will get to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and it doesn’t require any additional skills or talent to get in here! Once you start doing it, you will pick it up naturally! Right now, you focus on your main job-studies, and let me do my job of taking care of you! Don’t get distracted from your goals wasting your time on all these.’

When I moved to a different city, I eventually learned how to make round rotis, but did it change my life a bit? Certainly not! But, my University degree did! It played a vital role in building up my confidence, shaping up my character, and creating my life the way I wanted. And I realised what my mother meant, years ago!


Thank God my mother never apologised to me like Simran’s mother (DDLJ)! She never agreed to give up on her dream of raising her daughters her way because of the patriarchal society! She decided to play stronger roles to raise her daughters. She decided to set new rules and raise a voice about them proudly to relatives and neighbours. As they say, charity begins at home; I learned the basics of feminism from my mother, even though she learned the term years later from her daughter! She just knew she wanted a different life for her daughters, and she made it happen in reality. And I couldn’t be more greatful about the fact that my mother is way different from Simran’s mother, and I am optimistic that my future husband or in-laws will definitely not choose me for my roti making skills!

Unfortunately, many Indian women are not so lucky as me. They are literally forced into focusing on these life skills as they grow up, even more than their professional skills!
In my case, this additional skill didn’t seem to be any useful in my personal life. My loved ones never bothered much whether my rotis were round or square, thick or thin! They gladly ate them as long as they were edible or ordered online! For me, it did add a sense of pride and happiness, as if I have learned a new art. But, it is nothing more than aesthetic satisfaction.

Perhaps, the new age Simran too needs to hear this out ‘Jaa Simran Jaa, poori karle apni padhayee aur bana le apni zindagi’ from their mothers!

Why I Have A Problem Being Called ‘Sexy?’ Call Me Classy Or Sassy, Never Sexy!

Do you know when you compliment someone as ‘hot’ or ‘sexy’? When you think they are desirable or worthy of attracting (preferably the opposite genders), right?


While many women enjoy the compliments, a section of us gets offended by the term!
Want to know why?


It is all about your perception, your mind. When people see Nora Fatehi dancing on screen, some see desire; some see art. How can she be so flexible? Many others giggle every time they see her performing. So, you see, it’s not all about our bodily desires! There’s a world beyond that.


Yes, I do not enjoy being complimented as ‘sexy’ because it reduces me to a mere object-a plastic or inanimate object. While I consider myself very much alive and full of emotions, I feel it’s difficult for me to face a person who doesn’t recognize my emotions or intellect.


Why do they assume that a woman must be obliged or delighted about the fact that she can attract someone physically towards her? She might be interested in connecting with someone intellectually or emotionally or through art!


Why do they assume that women are ‘asking for it’ if they show up in a short dress in her profile pictures? There can be a hundred reasons for a woman to pick a dress or pose for a photo!


Many women perceive themselves as independent thinkers, leaders, change-makers, artists, creators, authors, or poets. Many of us don’t enjoy being complimented as ‘hot’ or ‘sexy.’ It hurts our emotions or self esteems, that our creative capabilities have been reduced to zero in a go!

We enjoy compliments about our works, our sense of humor, our IQ levels, our analytical skills, and so on! The list is endless if one has the eye or desire to look for it!

Talking About Sex: Is She Comfortable?

When I was 16, I often received the compliment ‘sexy,’ while my sister was always the cute one. While I was too young to discover the meaning of the term and explore my sexuality, many found me capable of attracting the opposite gender. I sang ‘sexy sexy sexy, mujhe log bole’ and brushed it off my mind, though it haunted me for a long time. I had other important things to focus on on-films, fiction, and my career!


Growing up, I found a lot of people interested in my virginity and sexual interests. I realized many people find it a pleasurable fantasy to decode people’s personal lives and write the script inside their heads. But, the worst part is when they play ugly mind games to decode your personal experiences, and you become the living character of their pleasurable fantasies!


Under many circumstances, I found people making an excuse to step into my personal life and space. Sometimes, they even tried to manipulate me to talk about sex.
“Being sexy is not all bad and talking about sex is not negative”-quoting a recent user’s comment from Linkedin, and most of the time, I heard similar comments. I agree with them, but stepping into someone’s boundaries with any excuse is ugly and negative.


While I know that talking about sex is not regressive, even without the poor demonstration skills on social media, I am not comfortable playing a role inside people’s heads! I might be comfortable to write a pleasurable fantasy for the world, but I might not be comfortable to chat about sex or sexuality with a specific person!
I believe today what really sexy is to respect the personal boundaries and individual choices, without being judgmental! If I am not comfortable to talk about my sex life, please don’t lure me in doing so! That is regressive and doesn’t make you an attractive person. Come on; you are not Lucifer

Shakuntala Devi: The Human Computer

After a super hectic week, when I turned on my laptop for an inspiring content, I accidentally came across the newly released ‘Shakuntala Devi’ on Amazon Prime. The content is so refreshing and inspiring, that I now have at least five fresh blog topics to write about!

There were many aspects of the film that touched me. Starting with the real-life character and her quirky puzzle books, the titles she earned, and her unbeatable world records- Shakuntala Devi has been a pioneer in her field. Any person who aspires to score a decent percentage in the CAT examination or secure an MBA degree in the future can hardly ignore her mindboggling practice books!
The unapologetic ‘Devi’ has been entering the male domain unhesitatingly and beating even the fastest computers in the world to claim her crown!

But, the depiction of such a genius female character on screen, with her insecurities and dilemmas is fascinating, because it can set up a benchmark for the aspiring Indian writers.
As a hardcore feminist film critic, I have always complained about the portrayal of women on Indian screens.

Even as a writer, I wondered, why can’t there be layered characters? Why can’t the female characters be more humane? Why can’t we peep into their brain and reflect upon the complexities?
My seniors told me, it was always better to remove a few layers of the characters I created, because otherwise the content would be too heavy for the audience. The Indian audience can’t handle too many complications on screen. As they walk into the theaters, most of them are looking for entertainment, rather than intellectual or emotional satisfaction. They want either a role model or a dark evil character whom everyone condemns-in short, flat characters with limited options.

But, there are always two sides of a coin! How can I turn my character into a complete badass without justifying the reason? Maybe a little hint at their background stories might help?
Every time I said this, I was told, ‘that won’t be necessary. You just need to build the drama.’

But what about their internal conflicts and dilemmas? ‘The audience will get confused whether to like or to hate the character, and in the end, they won’t be able to relate with them. It would be best if you created the conflicts or touched upon their external challenges. Forget their mind, focus on the external challenges.’

I always used to wonder how a film can attract a broader set of audience. ‘Shakuntala Devi’ has very well articulated the way of connecting with a broader audience, with the sheer art of storytelling and emotions. Not to mention, the wider their outreach is, the more capable they are of creating an impact or initiating a change in the mindsets of people.

With this new age Indian content, I feel we are slowly getting there. This is no less than an achievement that the Indian content creators are finally interested in depicting the genius women characters, and a 41-year-old female actress is still capable of driving the narrative with her maximum screen timing, compared to the other young, vibrant actors. Even though she has repeatedly been body shammed and questioned over her appearance, Vidya Balan continues to rule over large-screens and OTT platforms with her effortless performances and quirky characters. This further reaffirms the fact that content is king after all!

In ‘Shakuntala Devi’, the writers and the showrunners have successfully created a balanced character- the badass ‘Devi’ who rules the world; yet there is a vulnerable side of her you can’t ignore, and you can’t help falling in love with!

Birthday Wish For A Long Lost Friend

Have you ever been accused guilty of something you never did? Isn’t it painful?

As for me, I often get a déjà vu sort of feeling about this. Being blessed with a genuine misfortune, I decided to take up the writing profession. As a result, I am often misinterpreted or misunderstood.

And, it takes me ages to contemplate and clarify people that I meant something else!

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(Detail from Theo Ellsworth’s contribution to the expanded edition of my Wonderbook, out in July.)

I never claimed to be a perfect person. In fact, I never tried sincerely to be perfect in stereotypical sense of the term. I have my own imperfections. All I ever wanted was someone, who could just accept me with my imperfections the way I accepted the close ones in my life. I know they are not perfect either. But, I am okay with the fact, that two imperfect people can create a perfect life with consistent hard work.

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Most of the men (I have come across in life) are self-centered. It is almost their inherent quality since they are brought up that way. In a way, they feel that they need to date the fairy tale princesses or the reel-life girlfriends. I am not sure, whether they read as much fairy tales as women, but the classics seem to impact their lives sincerely. They visualize a life where a swish of wand would make the dishes get done by themselves; the dust particles and leftovers will march towards the dustbin by themselves. And their maidens will sit quietly in front of the window, singing ‘Lavender blue dilly dilly’ in their melodious voice, doing their hair with their manicured pretty hands.

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She needs to be naturally pretty, or she could just hire a fairy grandma to stay beautiful and young forever because the salons are highly expensive these days. Getting chores done is something women carry in their genes, while men carry their ego, self-centered and chauvinistic nature.

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Life is really difficult without besties. They are like oxygen for us. As soon as adulating hits us, our BFF turns into our besties, our  secret keepers.

We lecture around that whining and complaining is something kids do. Adults have a problem-solving attitude towards life. They cannot afford to waste their time, complaining about their lives.

But, truth be told, that is only partially true. Even the adults whine and complain about their lives and anticipate how their lives might have been, if they existed in an alternate dimension and followed their hearts at some point in their lives. And herein comes the role of our besties!

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They emerge not only to give us a reality check or bring us back from their alternate spaces but to lend us the problem-solving attitude towards life. They make us realize, that whining and complaining will only make things worse. Ignoring or escaping from the real-time problems can never be an effective solution. We have to be braver and stronger to endure the bad phases, and the bad times will pass. It is almost like an alternative healing method for many of us.

The unpaid consultant, the therapist we can’t afford to pay always turn out to be our besties!

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I consider myself lucky, to be surrounded by such therapists who have been backing me up so far. Unfortunately, I lost some of them, and some replaced others. In the gradual process, even I became a therapist for many. But the sad part is, my bestie gave up on me too early.

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It is sad, that people often judge a book by its cover. They pick a flower from the stalk even before it has blossomed. They nip the possibility of life in the bud. They kill the talents, instead of nurturing it. Unfortunately, we fell in the same trap. My bestie gave up on me, and I gave up on her.

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But, life goes on. The Universe hasn’t stopped rotating ever since the day I was born. And so, it is only better for us to move on with the best memories we share together- of whining, complaining, shedding tears, and of course, the endless laughter sessions.

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It has been her second birthday this month since we parted ways and I can’t help feeling incomplete without wishing her, all the happiness of the world.

PS: Honestly, I strongly believe that somewhere in an alternate dimension, me and my bestie are now celebrating our back-back-birthdays and living our dreams together! Happy Birthday, dear bestie!

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To My Friends…With Love

Ever since my childhood, I have been overly enthusiastic about friendship day. Blame it on “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” or SRK, but somehow it acquired an essential role in my life, ever since my third standard.

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As an optimistic person, all my life, I believed in ‘live, laugh and love.’ Honestly, I am an introvert; but I have always been good at networking and finding the like-minded people. So, I never felt the fear of missing out anything or anybody. I believed in people, and they believed in me. Our party always began when we all stepped into any random place together. Forget the party gears, props, or even the locations-we always had the best time together, even when we were broke.

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Often, I loved to boast about the fact that I have collected such amazing gems all my life, whom I called friends. I had carefully handpicked each one of them and invited them to step into my world. It is worth mentioning here, that I always get turned on by ‘innocence.’ This was the primary trait, which my friends needed to possess, to enter my beautiful world. The rest were variable factors.

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Two years back, as I shifted to Mumbai from Kolkata, my life changed dramatically. Mumbai has taught me to value people-the real, genuine people (not only friends or family members), who care for others, rather than the ones who fake it. As I grew up to be more mature and wise, I started distancing myself from the toxic energies around me.

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I no longer wish to exist in a place where I am not wanted or accepted. I don’t want to be judged for my acne scars or the pimples I have grown; my repetitive outfits or the age-old handbag I carry. I have my investments, but those investments might not be jewelries, matching sandals, handbags, expensive makeups, or lip shades. I like to invest all of myself (also my hard-earned cash)in love, or intellectual satisfaction.

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However, I am an adjusting person. I can deal with all sorts of people unless they try to misinterpret my intentions or hurt my weaknesses deliberately. These two cases leave me heartbroken and tormented and make me want to disappear from the world altogether. Also, I often find myself clueless about the fact, why would someone feel contended to belittle someone and to crush their spirits? Why would someone make fake promises to someone and then leave them unprotected and alone, on a chilly winter night, during her vulnerable phase? Yet, they do this, only for showing off (people who feature in their priority list) that they really care for all and they are kind-hearted purest soul, residing in this planet. But, does that make any sense? I mean, who cares about that?

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Being a straight-forward person, I have always been clear about my intentions. Either I care for a person, or I don’t. There is no middle path. I don’t believe in fake promises or commitments, just for impressing or convincing anyone. I am equally committed to Jaime (my cat) because he is a part and parcel of my beautiful world, my family.

But, people change in due course of time, and their priorities shift too. No matter how much you love someone, you fail to comprehend their daily challenges or measure their personal growth. The same thing happens at the other end as well. So, we distance away from our friends, our extended families, loved ones, and plunge in our daily struggles. We forget the good times, and we judge them for their momentary behavior or attitude, and we choose to walk away from their lives silently.

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In the last two years, I have lost many valuable relationships of my life; and the sad part is, I was neither too demanding nor self-obsessed! I was merely seeking acceptance and a comfort zone so that I could take a momentary break from adulthood. I was yarning for a friend, who could take me back to my innocent student life when I had no responsibilities, no tight deadlines or toxic people around me. But, my friends have failed me, in the same way as I failed them. I couldn’t embrace them with unconditional love.

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People change; after all, “change is the only constant in life.” All we can do is, accept the changes, and filter out the negativity and toxic energies from our lives.

Nothing is permanent in life, so we can hope that someday we’ll reconnect again, and embrace each other with love, positivity, and good vibes. Till then, take care and save your smiles. I wish a very happy friendship day to all my lost gems!

#beingqueerbychoice: A Tale of Love and Friendship

As a child, I was wise beyond my age. As a true Capricorn, I always believed that I had a greater purpose in life. I always tried to go out of my way, to help people in releasing their burdens and making them happy. Fortunately, none came on my way. Or I should rather say, I made sure that nobody entered my private world, my mind realm? :-p No matter how desperately she followed my every action, with a fixed pair of eyeballs, my mother failed to enter my secret world.

What we do, learn, share or experience in the school, is entirely our own narratives; and it stays with us for the rest of our lives. As for me, I loved to dwell in my own world, my school world (even when I was at home).

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It was an English exam in the second or third standard; when I was too busy cooking up my own stories all over the paper because it was my favorite paper. I saw a thin puzzled girl, with teary eyes staring at the paper. She looked at me and almost burst out in tears. I dropped an eraser under the bench and found a way of communicating with her. I gave her a tiny hint. Her eyes lit up. She looked at me with a bright smile; and that smile, melted my heart right away, forever.

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Throughout my primary school days, I had only one friend, with whom I shared several moments, hours, days and years. I called her my “best friend,” but, was too afraid of acknowledging her the important position publicly. Yes, she is right about me, even today as she calls me “risk averse” person as a professional business adviser, founder of SheQu Group Inc. based in Sydney. I was too scared, of losing her friendship because she was the only person who noticed an introvert girl and made her feel special.

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We exchanged not only Archie’s cards, letters, and diaries, but almost every single moment of our lives, without any technology involved. Back then, we were so innocent, that we needed no long Whatsapp chats, endless selfies, or late-night Face-timing to stay connected. We stayed perfectly connected to each other spiritually, through poems, artworks, and performances. I felt confident and beautiful when my best friend was around. No teacher could separate us, even for an hour. No matter how many times they made us sit apart from each other, we always found a way to be together, all the time!



 

One fine morning, in the seventh standard, the English teacher decided, that enough was enough. We were by then marked as the most notorious batch of the entire school. The teacher decided that we should be punished. Our seats were changed, and I found a crybaby sitting beside me. She was extremely pissed, and upset and had little interest in conversing with me. I found my next project, the Sagittarius friend.

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I started drawing her attention, by pampering her a bit, with my tiffins and chocolates, and she turned towards me. She was a brave, ambitious, open-minded, fearless creature, who believed in getting everything and every person she needed in her life. Yet, she was a little crybaby yearning desperately for love and friendship. The way she looked at me, made me feel even more special and complete as a woman. She unleashed the other side of me, the caregiver, the nurturer. I couldn’t turn her down, for I wanted to be the one she visualized. I wanted to be the pretty, poised and intellectual person, who could engage my Sagittarian friend in meaningful conversations and make her feel better, in every possible way.

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Blimey! She emerged to be a dynamic Sagittarian, riding her own Unicorn in her own world (that she herself has created around her).


 

But, that ended my friendship with my best friend. I thought my new Sagittarian friend, needed me more, and I needed her. She was a gifted writer, an Ocean of emotions, a maverick poet, and a selfless lover, who knew how to cast a spell on the people. Throughout the school, she was known as the charmer. And at our homes, she was the most feared girl. (Thankfully) Unlike my own, many parents were scared that their daughters might turn out to be brave, bold and fearless like her and smash the idea of a stereotypical woman. Many teachers considered her to be a bad influence on the other students, because she was just too wise, mature and an avid reader.

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She was a lot more sensitive child than others; and so, they wanted to punish her for no reason. Yet she smiled, with a brave heart and convinced everybody, that life is too short for hatred or disgust. Yet I saw the vulnerable little child, the insecure baby, who was scared of being left alone in the dark. She just knew, how to connect with souls through words or emotions; and she tied my soul, with her soul forever. How could I not love her? She evoked multiple emotions in me. As a writer, she wrote several letters, poems and diaries to me and those words revealed, how deeply she understood me.

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But, my Sagittarian friend is a free bird. She flies off to the Neverlands and shows up only occasionally to stir my emotions. I never saw her, during my high school days. She left for Kurseong, and I fell in love for the first time in life. When we spoke for the first time, after two years, we were both heartbroken. She stood by my side for an entire night, and vanished in the morning to Hertfordshire, like a pleasant dream.

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Our friendship was limited to a Skype call, a few text exchanges during special occasions and Birthday wishes. And then, out of nowhere, she emerged one day, in Jadavpur University (I was pursuing masters in Film Studies) for a crazy ride. She made me realize, that I was limiting myself too much, from doing the things I love. I realized I need to open up more, meet new people and gather more experience, rather than being scared and over-protective about myself.

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Finally, in 2019 I see my two genius secondary school friends, living their life, their way, and killing it. I scroll through their social media pages, wondering if they were my two lost gems. Two of the most important people of my life-the expensive Archies cards category friends? Are they the same people, who used to be a part and parcel of my everyday life?

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It took me around fifteen years, to get two genius minds on the same page. And I got the answer, this year as my Birthday present, as they both say that they are the same people, my third standard best friend, and my secondary school crush! Sure they were ahead of their time, and even the reputed English medium school was not ready for their awesomeness. I always admired them both and waited with a peace flag to come together and celebrate life.

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Their friendship is perhaps the best thing that ever happened to me. I feel glad, to be blessed with such real friends, who are creative, immensely talented, compassionate and sensitive individuals, who can read me like a magazine. I am an open book, but not everybody is educated enough to read me. My friends can, and yet the society calls them ‘queer?’ Well, I choose to be a queer then!

And as we reconcile today, with the hope of being better human beings together, we also pledge to make the world a better place for everyone!

 

 

#gettingyourduescleared: Before The New Year Sun Starts Shining Brightly

It’s the last date of the year! The Year is waiting eagerly at your doorstep, to be embraced with love and positivism. It’s time, to drive out all your negative energies and indulge in celebration! However, if you are not already out in the Sun, enjoying the festive vibe or singing carols and Instagraming, then probably you are also broke like me!

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Image: VectorStock

Despite being immensely talented, passionate and workaholic, you are broke. The reason is that you too needed some time to realize that you deserve to get paid in the first place. A workaholic writer brain is constantly hunting for creative juices, more than anything else in the planet. Once we find that, we take the deep plunge into creative Ocean, forgetting all about reality. Alas, creative juices can only satisfy the intellectual thirst! What about the other hormones and enzymes of our body? What about our energy levels?

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Image: Twitter

Well, a writer can forget everything. They can suppress their appetites for long hours; they can not only be unsocial but can also very rude and protective about their own world.

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Image: 123rf.com

They can be generating ideas in the bathroom as well 😉 (you never know). You bet writers and designers are quirky people. Their minds never rest, and they are constantly planning how to execute something! So, if you are dating or living with us, or are planning to sign up lifelong deals with us, you better prepare yourself ;-).

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Image: Clipart Library

Keeping aside, the jokes part, my point is for how long do we need to do this? I mean suppressing our appetites, killing our desires, shattering our tiny dreams? What about our emergency expenditure? We have worked for ages, and we felt happy only because we have been appreciated and our morality has been boosted up a little bit.

The companies and the business enterprises grew strong, enjoying the fruits of our hard work. I am not saying that it is a single effort. Of course, it is a collective work and the effect of a smooth collaboration. But, the business owners will deny that. They will convince you, that you have zero contribution to their growth, and it is only the result of their smart moves and incredible brains.

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Image: 123RF.com

Dear writers, please don’t trust them. They are lying. They are cool with paying the artists and entertainers (the known faces), even by selling their own clothes :p. But, when the need to pay the brain behind this amazing creation, they hesitate. They are scared of experimenting, of losing money, even though nobody knows the secret spell of creating a successful film!

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Image: Cartoon Motivators

Even though the film industry is one of the most lucrative industry, it is always similar to gambling. For every writer or director, whatever outcomes they generate are obviously the effects of their best inputs. Even then, a novel fails to generate the desired emotional response; or a film fails to make its way into the Hundred Crores Club. That is because; nobody actually owns the success spell. They are able to touch it, only occasionally!

Does that imply that the writer or the filmmaker is incapable? Of course not! Everybody is talented, and are working hard to find the spell, and they need strong finances for that. It’s high time, that the companies and the business owners realize this. Otherwise, if the writers or designers start backing out, they will find themselves in deep holes, shortly!

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Image: Myth Understanding

As for the writers, who are yet to receive a huge lump sum amount from a media company or a production house, go ahead and make your claims, because it’s the year end! He or she is just your partner or boss, not your master. Before the New Year Sun starts shining brightly across the sky, let’s take a pledge, to focus more on ourselves, the coming year.

Let’s stop hurting ourselves. No more skipping meals, no more sleepless nights. We deserve a better life and a constant flow of creative juices in the New Year 2019! As for me, I will continue to blog, ceaselessly, with these friends of mine :p

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Image: Lifehacker

I have already started making claims. When will you? Please share inspiring stories with me, if you have succeeded in achieving your targets in 2018. Sharing is caring, and it really motivates everybody 🙂

PS: The last image is from  the 2015 Disney Pixar filmInside Out.” These folks represent the emotions inside our head :D. Do catch it in Netflix, if you haven’t yet.

 

 

#couplenametags: And They Lived Happily Ever After!

The year 2018 is nearing its end. The New Year is waiting patiently at the door, with fresh hopes, dreams, and achievements. It’s the time, to release all your negativity and all the things, that have been holding you back from being yourself! I offer my best wishes to all my friends, who have found their soulmates this year, and are enjoying the Christmas with their loved ones. A lot of my friends entered into final commitments this year; a lot of promises have been exchanged; a lot of dreams have been fulfilled already, while some await patiently at the door, for the New Year!

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Image: Pngtree

The year 2018, also saw a lot of Bollywood celebrities tying knots with their loved ones, and entering into lifetime commitments. For many people, the term ‘lifetime commitment,’ however, sounds like an oxymoron. And if they are from the entertainment industry, they find it rather funny. They think, that majority of the people from the entertainment industry prefer flings over long-term commitments; which is a very mean and judgmental assumption, for me.

Astonishingly, the same group of people are over-enthusiastic about the big fat Bollywood weddings, like Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh or Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas!

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Image: The Indian Express

I realize, they dwell in the world of glitz and glam, in their fantasies. They are less realistic and humane, about feelings. Celebrities are more of showpieces or models for them (not role models though), and they need to continuously present their lives as fairy tales, no matter how difficult times they might be going through. Common people equate money and fame, with heaven (maybe because they have none).

Unfortunately, the grass is always greener on the other side. In their dire attempts to protect their public images, and to present their lives perfectly, the celebrities go through hell at times. The case is pretty similar to that of Princess Mia, of “Princess Diaries. ” She has to portray herself as perfect, even though she is actually a flawed person, unlike her perfect grandmother, the queen of Geneva!

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Image: BoredPanda

Whether a person is born with a talent, or they have earned it through their hard work; the main point is that they are in that position today, and they have all been through hell, to be where they are. Financial problems (no matter how poor or rich a person is, this problem is unavoidable), fear of being left alone or unable to fit in; maintaining the fake smile all the time (no matter where they are dwelling in their mind), and the list goes on.

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Image: Thrillist

And if they find a decent friend or a helping hand, to support them emotionally, they turn into topics of gossip! So, basically, it is the celebrities of our country, who are living a very hush-hush lonely private life, that I call “darr darr ke, marr marr ke jeena.”

Yet, some of them, rebel against these age-old traditions and customs and try desperately to be themselves. And I really salute these two Bollywood actresses, for being bold and fearless divas, amidst the stereotypical society.

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Image: dailymotion.com

In a country like India, it takes immense courage to come up, in front of the world and talk about mental health. Through her film, Dear Zindegi, director Gauri Shinde tried her best, to make it comprehensible for the ordinary people, that mental health of a person is equally vital as their physical health. Unfortunately, the film could generate a desirable impact among, only a handful of people, who actually watched the film patiently. However, a powerful iDiva or Vogue video featuring either of these two divas could have easily generated a lot of impact among the youths, because they are the faces of Bollywood! They mean sheer perfection!

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Image: Kelly Abeln

I completely encourage worshiping any celebrity, artist or anybody who inspires people. But, what hurts my eyes the most is when I find cheap memes, and posts highlighting the celebrities or a detailed post-mortem of their personal lives. That seems so jobless to me! Take for instance the recent name change of Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra, to Priyanka Chopra Jonas on Instagram.

The day I heard that she has tied the knot, I saw her gorgeous wedding images and I forgot about it. I also read the news, that she has changed her name in her Instagram profile. I somehow didn’t feel odd. I mean what’s wrong in adopting my husband’s name if I consider my husband to be the valuable asset of my life? Maybe they found their soulmates in each other, and are now celebrating their union in a grand way! How does it, matter if she is ten years elder or younger than her spouse, as long as they are happy, and killing it in the trendy wedding outfits? Okay, she had some other plans previously; the recent experiences have been so overwhelming for her, that she couldn’t stick to her previous opinions! Maybe, the couple is so exhausted in the process of finding each other, that they just want to stay with each other a little longer, than forever?

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Image: The National Psychologist

As they have tied knots recently, they too have their #couplegoals!

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Image: cheap-neckties.com

They too, are humans, full of emotions; (and you can trust me with this), they are truly humans made of flesh and blood. Even they feel bad or low, no matter how stunning they look on the magazine covers, ramps or sets! The greenrooms and makeup vans are ultimately the places, where they spend hours, dreaming of a vacation with their loved ones. When they meet their loved ones after ages, they often go overboard, like Instagraming cute images with their husbands or boyfriends, swapping their names, or creating a new hashtag, with their names! Technically, that’s how we have invented Jalena (Justin Bieber-Selena Gomez)! (Think about it ;-))

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Image: Twitter

Point is, how does it matter, why they do it! They are doing whatever makes them happier because they are already happy; unlike the losers, who point fingers at them! So, instead of behaving like the local CCTV aunties (as my friend posted on Facebook), it’s high time that the Bollywood enthusiasts start acting sensibly! If you don’t have positive vibes, please ignore the ones who have it!

As for the Bollywood Celebrities and all my friends, who tied their knots this year, or are planning to tie knots soon, as well as the ones who have entered into new commitments, I wish them good luck, with all my heart, because the real-life romantic tales inspire me the most!

Oh, it’s the New Year! I am sure; my country can do better, in 2019!