The Way He’d Make Me Feel

I’m 25, I’m single and everybody except me is wondering why and quite a few have decided it’s their personal responsibility to set me up with the dream boy. Especially at weddings and family events, cupid sports a saree, big kumkum and comes smiling and ask fondly about my career, education and blah blah. “What are your expectations?” that question my friend, comes out to me in slow motion and I wince at every syllable that comes out of that heavily lipsticked mouth.

The question, in my humble opinion, is pointless. Which girl would ever say, “Yes aunty, bring on a drug addict, who looks like shit, doesn’t earn much and yeah the meaner the better.” Okay fine, I said it once to an aunt of mine but hello that was sarcasm! We all want the best!

But none the less, I want to think it out. What do I really want? Does he have to be rich, does he have to be a stunner, should he be funny, should he be a cook, should he blah blah blah!

And yeah, I don’t care about his profession, caste, complexion or whatever. I still wonder how those parameters help me decide if i want to spend the rest of my life with someone. So then what am I looking for?

I want a guy I can’t wait to see every day (yeah clichéd, i know!), somebody I can be myself with, somebody who understands why I do the stupid things I do, somebody who gets annoyed with those silly things and yet loves me enough to roll his eyes and put up with it. I want a guy who doesn’t make me feel like an idiot for being a klutz. I want someone who will catch me when I have my bizarre falls and then laugh about them with me. I want a guy who knows if I’m going to laugh or scream from the way my nose flares up. I want to be able to tell from his voice if something’s bothering him.

When we go out, I want him to know which table to pick, so I don’t crib. And I want to be able to order his dish, perfect to his taste without him having to say it. And once we place the order, I just want him to hold my hand and smile. I want to be able to sit with him, not say word and still feel content. I want to love his madness, his stupid ways and I want to love each and every one of his flaws. I want to crib about them, I want us to fight. I want us both to feel miserable after the fight, but still be eager to bury the hatchet.

I want all of that and I want to feel all of that for my man. Ab bolo, hai koi nazar mein?

PS: I’m singing ‘The Way You Make Me Feel‘ an old old song by Ronan Keating… ‘yeah, you somehow make things right :)

Dear Santu

It’s a bond stronger than the first friendship or a memory sweeter than your first relationship. What you share with your first car, is always special, memorable and etched in your heart forever. And you know what’s funny? You don’t realise all this until it is time to say goodbye.

There was talk of buying me a new car, but then suddenly the father announced that there was a buyer for the Santro and that he wanted it ASAP. That hit me right in the stomach. Sell the santro?

The Santro was a gift on my 18th birthday from my grandfather. He knew I didn’t dream of diamonds or gold. I only wanted to drive and my dream was to be able to go to college driving my own car with music to keep me company. Santro was every bit a part of that dream. She and I made so many fun trips, to so many places.

Dear Santu,
This is not a parting letter. It is just a revision of memories, so we always remember what we shared.
Do you remember, Santu?
Do you remember missing the rights and lefts cause we were in the wrong lane? Do you remember me being too proud to ask for directions and getting lost in the bylanes of Malad? Do you remember our first accident and do you remember that night when K confessed his love to me? Do you remember when K and I parted ways? Do you remember the trip with the girls to Pune? And do you remember that 7 hour drive to Alibaug? And of course you must remember swimming through the roads on 26/11 and you must remember the time we drove Nimmai and Anna around town, making them proud of you and me. You might remember that time when we stayed out all night? And do you remember hitting all the bumps on the road, just to annoy Pannu? Oh what fun it was singing besura as we went to college! You remember the time when…. I am running out of words.
There are too many memories, Santu. And I lived my teenage years with you. A new car just can’t excite me as much as the thought of parting with you bums me out.

Those memories, that bond, it symbolises who I was. Letting go of you symbolises the end of an era. Which is why, me and Pannu hugged you and tears welled up. You will always be my Dhanno, Santu.
Yours,
Basanti

Twittering Upto A Revolution

26/11 has changed many people forever. Those who have survived it, those who escaped it and got lucky, those who lost loved ones, those who came face to face with the terrorists, those who were reporting on location and then there were those who monitored the news closely and kept contributing to an online newsfeed with timely news reports, analyses and opinions.

I was on twitter and I sincerely want to thank the community for using this unique medium to create awareness about the situation across the globe. The phenomena brought forth the power of citizen journalism. Of course, it had its pitfalls too. Rumors can spread quickly etc. But then, think about it. Those living abroad and concerned about the situation in Mumbai could constantly keep in touch via this medium.

These twitter feeds were being used by the international media as well for the speed and precision with which it functioned.

Unfortunately, the one thought that hasn’t been letting me rest is that the terrorists’ aides could have been monitoring twitter too. The TV channels couldn’t stop giving out key information about the NSG operations at the three locations, which I am sure was being conveyed to them. The terrorists were equipped with SAT phones and blackberries. Did I unknowingly help those b*stards?

But I think some people on twitter deserve a mention here.

Right from the list of emergency contact numbers to the victim names, Asfaq was constantly mobilising info to help out concerned individuals across the globe. Your contribution is immense. Thank you

www.twitter.com/asfaq

He heard a blast like sound in his south-Mumbai residence and immediately put a question on twitter. His tweets on my phone made me realise the magnitude of what happened at 10.30 pm on the night of 26/11; thank you, Gaurav.

www.twitter.com/gsik

Lives abroad, but didn’t lose touch with the city while it withstood the worst terror attacks ever. Used to be a student at my Uni. Thanks for interesting reads you put up, Shriansh.

www.twitter.com/shriansh

I don’t know this person, they followed me and I followed them. They’ve been putting up amazing articles that give you an indepth read into the situation.

www.twitter.com/crypticvalentin

This person has been speaking of communal harmony and just been supportive of the sentiments of the Mumbaikars. It didn’t matter that they’re far away in LA, US.

www.twitter.com/goldenheart

He got together with his friends and organised a candle light vigil at Carter Road. Thank you.

www.twitter.com/ajeshh

These are just a few of them. There are a lot more. These guys make me believe that our country has people who think and will not be scared to run the country if they need to.

At a time where me and billions of Mumbaikars were distraught about the terror struck in their city, seeing these guys constantly putting up info, selflessly, was heart warming. I am glad I could put in my two bits. And as I write, there are about 20 tweets going up under the #mumbai tag every minute. Bravo guys! Bravo!

We’re Just Good Friends!

‘A man and woman can never be friends!’ Harry tells Sally who staunchly disagrees. They prove the point by sharing an awesome friendship, but the inevitable happens. They fall in love! 

‘I am so lucky! I married my best friend,’ says Naina in Kal Ho Na Ho. Some of us do fall for our best friends and don’t get as lucky as Naina.

Take Reema’s case. She was very close to Varun who shared a lot of common interests with her. Both spent a lot of time together talking about anything and everything. ‘I guess nobody around us could understand that we were just good friends. They kept brainwashing us to realize there was something!’ finally Reema developed feelings for Varun and he wasn’t sure. They took their friendship to a new level but it was a disaster. ‘We were great as friends but our relationship sucked. I knew too much about him and expected too much too. It just ruined our beautiful equation!’ Reema admits sadly.

Sometimes, two individuals connect on a level that takes them beyond their gender differences. In fact, this male female mixture brings a newer and a fresher perspective to the relationship. ‘I love getting serious advice from my best friend. He’s a guy and sees things practically!’ Sandhya always tells me. I adore her relationship with her best friend but quite a few of their friends have tried and nudged them towards ‘the next big step’. They both know that their compatibility is limited to friendship and nothing else. But not everyone can sustain this friendly ‘advice’ business.

Both the friends have to be extremely clear, matured and focused to sustain the societal pressure. ‘People can easily manipulate your thoughts and create unwanted complications,’ says Sameer whose best friend refused to understand that two people loving each other as friends does not translate into being ‘in love’. He believes that we watch too many films and believe what they have to say.

It’s like a huge plan to make sure the friendships across genders do not remain where they are. I used to go to a school where every girl tied a rakhi on her guy friends’ hands. This prevented the teasing, winking and elbowing. I thought getting out of school would change that, but it still exists around me in a mutated form. Labelling your friendship with ‘brother’ tags might be super sad, but at least it shuts the people around you up.

‘It’s a very treacherous situation. If you feel the passion and stuff, sure go ahead and take the plunge. But if you’re just getting together because people suggest it, and there’s nothing better to do, think again!’ says Payal who’s fallen for her best friend and has been enjoying a super fun yet mature relationship for quite some time now.

Everybody’s story is different and you have to let friendship be. To quote Miranda Hobbes from Sex and the City ‘Only the two people in any relationship know what’s really going on and nobody else!’ So, while it’s awesome to be best friends with the love of your life it may not necessarily mean that your best friend is the love of your life! You may still take that step but remember it’s a huge risk. It works for many but if it doesn’t, you stand to ruin your relationship.

Let Harry love his Sally and let Rahul and Anjali live happily ever after. Don’t let films or people around you dictate the course of your relationship.

PS: I’ve changed names to avoid any old stinky sandals flying at me. Also, this is no ‘Dostana’ inspired post. I was working on this for two weeks, and now that I got the weekend to look away from CampusJunkie, I have put it together! Watch out for my own review of Dostana, tomorrow!

June Songs

So June has come and gone. I have been blogging heavily and just reading through the past posts makes me realise that I can revisit my life anytime. So I am going to put down stuff that needs to be maintained (Remember my worry that my memories might go?)

So here’s how my past month was:

Mood: more or less mad

Work: it was a busy month. Had the CJ contest and a whole lot of other stuff to organise

Happiness: I appreciate the lovely time with the sister while the parents were on vacation. The sister has finished her Ogilvy internship and we’ve had a whole new wardrobe courtesy parents’ trip to UK.

Music: I was into a lot of radio, but I also managed to organise the 9000 songs on my computer, so there was a lot of Simon and Garfunkel. I love listening to happy and mellow love songs. The monsoon called for it. Also, absolutely tripped on Kabhie Kabhie Aditi from Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na.

Friends: Sneha, Jugal came over to eat food cooked by moi. Om joined us too… a lovely evening J Pannu started working with Kuku and man I am excited about the fact that she’s working with someone I thought was hot on screen…. Hehe… I am so filmy! Satam has had a rough patch with her Dad being unwell, but she will bounce back and uncle will be up and about soon.

Reading: I read chick lit through June. First I endured How Opal Mehta Got Kissed… and then I read Salam Paris by Kavita Daswani. They were a good brush through. But right now, I m right in the middle of The Secret by Rhonda Byrnes and I am loving it.

Dreams: There have been mad dreams, some feel good, some shocking and some just about forgettable.

Movies: Sarkar Raj, Sex and the City and Indiana Jones are the movies I saw at a theatre. I revisited many movies through the month on telly. I revisited Bicycle Thieves in the last week of June and it touched me just as deeply. Me and Nani also caught Sideways, which too the meaning of ‘wine’ to whole new level. Of course, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was revisited too.

Disappointment: I was very excited about my BIGFlix membership but their service has really let me down. I hope they pull their act together, so I can watch more movies and be happy J

Hope: I’ve learnt to enjoy my family’s indulgence in the idea of my wedding. It gives them joy and I think the joy’s rubbing off me too…

Love: I want it but whenever it comes on its own… Meanwhile, I am in love with the idea of love…. *smiles*

Achievement: I saw my pictures from a couple of years ago. I’ve lost a lot of weight, I definitely dress better and I am happy about that. But I m happy knowing that I was happy with the tomboy I was too! Nanu, thanks for inspiring me to kick the fat off…

Favourite place: Five gardens. Walking there soothes me. I owe it to the iPod

Food: I have indulged this month. Right from chicken hot n sour soups to tuna subs… I ate it all. Loved cooking the squid ink pasta and totally loved eating at Open Affair at Bandra. The food was strictly okay but it was a windy day by the sea… Wonderful ambience.

I am a sucker for meat but I have enjoyed vegetarian food through most of the month and I’m loving it.

Dance: Banana Bar, random music with Om. Thanks for coming back to Mumbai brother…

Talk: Sneha and Nani- heavy discussions about life, people and more… Love them both…

Wanted to: Spend more time with Pannu… July will be the month  

 

 

Taking stock

It’s the 30th of June! I didn’t think much of it until I read this blog post: http://mysistersjar.wordpress.com/2008/06/30/june-thirtieth/

I realized after reading this post that it is indeed the half year mark for the year. Usually, I sit down in a quiet corner on New Year’s Eve, in the midst of all the chaos and wonder what the year has been like, what I have achieved and how many resolutions I have broken. I make promises to myself that the coming year will be different.

I decided to find that quiet corner right now, today. I want to think about how the year has been so far and I want to decide how I want it to be from now on. So I can just smile and spend the last few hours on New Year’s eve celebrating a year that I had.

So far, the year has been very kind to me. I brought it in with my close friends, my bond with my sister has gotten stronger, my cool brother moved back to India, I lost a few more kilos, I gifted my parents a small trip, I got a job that makes me happy, I got my act together and finished my novel and I have nurtured and been nurtured by some very wonderful friends.

It seems like it didn’t bring any problems with it. Not true, it did bring in a fair share of problems. But despite those I want to be happy about it. I have decided to overlook the problems because I’ve been surrounded by love and loads of it.

Love has come to me in abundance, but have I given back the same amount? I don’t think so. I wish I could be a better sister to Nani, a better daughter, a better granddaughter and I want to be a better friend. So yes the coming bit of the year will be all about giving back to my universe what I got from it- Love, kindness, special moments and the reason to smile.

Daddy Cool

Hey! Its father’s day. Well we as a family don’t believe in the concept of mother’s day or father’s day, but since my parents are away travelling, I decided to write something for my Dad. The newspapers are talking about celebrity Dads, gifts for Dads, memories of dad and blah and blah. None of this made me get up and hug my Dad. (He hates hugs and all that but I love them and he has to endure them!) But one particular newspaper had listed 20 phrases all fathers utter at least once. And this piece made me want to hug my Dad. Nah, not because those phrases reminded me of him, but because he had not said any of those things ever to me or my sister. So here is a list of things that make him that cool dad who doubles up as a friend. Thanks dad for:

1. Always answering our silly questions! Be it why do aeroplanes fly to where do babies come from. He answered them all without shutting me up

2. For putting together a list of CDs on our trip to Goa in 2000, to ‘educate’ me in music. He got me hooked to Phil Collins, Simon & Garfunkel, Dire Straits, Guns N Roses (you read right, my Dad introduced me to the concept of head-bangin!), Foreigner and many other cool bands. That trip changed the way I perceived music.

3. Always letting us have whatever we wanted right from music systems to video games, but always making sure we earned them by performing a task.

4. Buying me all the movies I wanted!

5. Buying me books that’d make my day! Right from Single in the city to collected plays of Neil Simon to Kurt Cobain’s biography.

6. Letting me dream big and supporting me through those mad dreams I’d try to realise.

7. Supporting me emotionally and financially for a Creative writing degree in UK…

8. Not giving me the classic ‘What do you want to do with your life’ gyaan

9. Not cringing when I decided to not work and write a novel.

10. Not cringing when I gave up a job to write, yet again

11. For singing sweet child o mine for me on my birthdays!

12. For taking me to my first rock concert! Jai Rolling Stones :-)

13. For being a Dad who gives me an infinite list of things that make him a rocking Father!

SATC movie- my take

A newly acquired LAN connection which enabled me to be online 24/7, a restless mind that refused to wait until the popular American television shows came to Indian television and the newly acquired DVD writer introduced me to the world of Carrie Bradshaw and her friends. Day after day, I soaked in the hip New York culture, the high end luxury brands, the love affairs and Carrie’s wisdom and insight into the world of relationships. Before I knew it, Carrie had broken up with Big, hooked up with Aidan, broken up with Aidan and hooked back up with Big and broken up yet again and blah blah. And there she was, on a bridge over the Seine kissing Big as he finally confessed his love for her!

I couldn’t get enough of the show, and there it was- the finale! Somehow, I had come to develop a deep connection with Miranda, Charlotte, Samantha and Carrie (yeah! I hear you men chuckling…)

So when the talk about the new SATC movie reached me, I was super excited. And there I was Saturday night, dressed in capris and a sweatshirt but wearing my brown wedges despite the torrential Mumbai monsoon on my way to watch the movie version of one of my favourite TV shows (a close second to Friends)

And yes, I was mesmerised. The movie was much more dramatic and very animated (Try counting Charlotte’s shrieks and you’ll know what I’m talking about) but, it lacked that connection.

Something was missing. And I know for a fact that if I were to buy the DVD, I won’t be watching it over and over again like I do with the series. Another fact is that in these three years I, like the many other SATC fans, have grown up. We’ve changed. We can’t relate to Carrie and her friends the way we did once. Without that connection it’s just another story that ties all the loose ends, and gives each character their happy ending.

I remember how one of my friends had judged me for liking the show (inviting a furious argument and a silent period of 3 days for him!) He was surprised that I like the show and said that he didn’t expect me to be so shallow. I couldn’t believe he was that shallow.

After the movie, I could understand where he came from. He had no emotional connect with the series. Without that emotional connect, the series is just a memoir of a socialite. The success of the series was in its ability to develop a unique relationship with every viewer, beyond the boundaries. Its intelligent humour, realistic romantic situations and many other things made every girl or woman ask herself questions she had never asked. I doubt if the movie can do that. After all, when Carrie apologises to Mr. Big for putting him through the ordeal of a ‘Big’ wedding, you start seeing a sacrificing Indian woman in her. Something she taught me once, I didn’t need to be to be happy…

Pain

Pain

Pain you are my truest companion,
Physically, you come rarely,
But you torture me through emotion.

You never left my side
And I too keep coming back to you.
In every happy moment of mine,
Somehow you are there too…

Sometimes you come to my eyes
And come out as a teardrop,
And sometimes to feel you my heart cries,
You always bring me to a fullstop.

No, don’t you think I am complaining,
Because I have no right to.
It’s because of you I am living
And helping others to eliminate you.

They all are crazy,
Because know not how good you are,
We’re meant to be together,
Because I am not me without you…

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