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.

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Sister Factor

The sister is my anchor. She holds me down when I’m flying high and keeps me from straying. But she’s so much more than that. She’s a reflection into my soul. And she’s probably one of those few people whose advice I take seriously.

Most weekends, we go out for a Tuna subway sandwich followed by a walk by the sea at Worli. And of course, there’s a lot of talking, joking and discussing that happens in these couple of hours.

This entire weekend ritual pacifies me, de-stresses me and puts my mind right back on track when it is straying or supressed. Talking to her is like soul searching; talking to her is like looking into my own self.

She knows the little things and she knows my mind’s intense churning of thoughts. She knows the books I ought to read and the films I should stop watching. She knows what I do wrong and she appreciates what I can do right.

The bond I share with her has gone through the test of time. She’s my best friend, and the elder sister I always wanted (she is 4 years younger than I)

It is bonds like these that add meaning to your life. It is bonds like these that make you want to live on despite the troubles around you. It is bonds like these that make my life.

 

 

Freewriting a dream

The dream keeps coming… And you’re in it. You talk to me and I hear your voice. It sounds familiar but I hear it differently. Taking in the slight modulations, the way you twist certain words around. I look at your face, it looks familiar but I look at you like I’ve never done before. Observing the contours of your cheeks, the softness of your mouth and slightly creased skin next to your eyes. You take me away somewhere, within the dream. I try to tell myself to wake up. I don’t want to hear it, but I can’t resist indulging in your existence in my dream- so clear, so tender… I’ve never looked at you this way before. You talk and you talk and I listen. I finally wake up. All alone, no beach in sight, no you in sight. I wake up alone. I sit a moment and take in the feeling of that dream. Cozy, comforting, warm… And then I realize, I am never going to look at you the same way again. My mind has played the game… You’re right there… You don’t even know you came visiting in my dreams. You don’t even know, you held my hand. You don’t even know, you touched my heart in that one dream. It’s all my imagination, but you, you are real. Or are you?

Fame or shame!

Radio in Mumbai is pretty bland. They all play more or less the same kind of music, and every now and then an RJ pops up with some gossip (yawn!) some random callers and sometimes some crazy games.

However sad it may be, I still listen to radio when I can. While driving back from work, my de-stressing ritual is singing along to random songs over the radio. Today, I was too tired to do that. In fact, I was so tired that I didn’t bother changing the frequency when an RJ started talking about something I didn’t care two hoots about. And then he said something that made me go, “Uh, what?”

Apparently, he had dared one of his listeners to give her boyfriend’s number and the radio station would have someone call the guy and flirt with him. She, like any naïve girl, said that she completely trusted her guy and gave the number. Now, a girl in a very pretentious sexy voice calls this dude up and starts ‘flirting’. The guy tries to figure out who it is and with a few giggles plays along. She says he’s cute, she says he looked hot when he went down for a smoke earlier and then she asks him what he’s wearing. The guy chuckles and actually answers.

The mad woman then asks him if he wants to know what she’s wearing. The dude says yes!

The woman says, ‘I’m wearing nothing.’

Now correct me if I’m wrong but that does not qualify as flirting- its seduction and a very lame attempt at that!

Anyway suddenly the male RJ comes into the conversation with a creepy voice and announces that the dude’s girlfriend is on air too. The dude panics, the girlfriend is in shock and the RJ is trying to laugh at this situation.

Huh!

I couldn’t believe it. Firstly, I couldn’t believe the girl actually gave some girl the license to flirt with her boyfriend, all for 2 minutes of fame on radio and some sad gift vouchers. Secondly, how can a radio station take the liberty of playing around with people’s relationships like this?

My sympathies are with the guy. He genuinely seemed to be playing along to what he thought was a prank and he wasn’t wrong. He wouldn’t expect his girlfriend to be party to this prank. He still apologised profusely, while his girlfriend just hung up. If I was him, I would be mad as hell.

We seem to put everything, right from our joys and sorrows to our relationships, on the line for a little fame. Are we seriously that hungry for fame?

Memories and more

I’ve decided to write down memories as they come. Because I’m scared I might lose them someday. There are memories about people, memories about places, memories about everything and anything. I have even decided to put down all the random ideas that come to my head. Reason: I think I forget them and I truly believe that they’re rocking (of course, they rock because they are MY ideas!) Also, I genuinely believe that when I am older and I look at my ideas and memories, it may give me a chance to know myself better. Let me start by explaining how I realized writing it all down is a good idea.

Flashback 2001: A hot summer afternoon in April. A girl is frantically making notes as she speaks on the phone.

“So you know someone who can do the interview or what? What’s the name? Okay, number? You sure this girl is good na?”

She picks up her cell-phone and dials another number. “Hello, is that X? Oh hi I got your number from Y. See there’s this rocking opportunity. Have you heard of Akashvani’s YuvaBharati? Ok they want two students to interview this publisher about his college days. Are you interested? No??!! Okay!”

She calls another number. “She is NOT interested! I mean, I would jump at such an opportunity!”

“I can’t do that, na. How weird will it sound, me interviewing my dad. Nah! Give me someone!”

“What’s the name you said? Rohan? Okay!”

“Hello, could I speak to Rohan?”

The voice on the phone- “Just a minute.”

After about a minute a gasping voice- “Hello, let me catch my breath! Who’s this?”

And with those words she met a soul just as excited as her. They’d meet almost every day, and would think out loud. They dreamed big and truly believed that they could rule the world one day!

They planned to colour each others’ hair, cook and eat grand meals, open an ad agency of their own and of course, there was a book in the pipeline too!

They studied hard to get into a mass media course at the college of their choice. While doing so they shared their literary, music and film interests and matured beyond their years. They shared happiness and pain, agonies and joys. It was a friendship meant to last for life.

Back to the future:

I used to write a weird journal of sorts back then, which I had stashed behind a couple of unused books and all that. Recently, while clearing out some clutter, I came across this book. I smiled, I cried, I sighed! It was just the best thing to read ever. I couldn’t believe that I was that girl. I was so naïve and yet so ambitious.

There was so much I wanted to learn and there was so much that the friendship with Rohan taught me. Right then it was all about the fun, but today when I look back, I realize that if it wasn’t for that relationship, I wouldn’t be what I am today. There are so many people, who contribute to our growth as an individual, who enrich our lives and we never even realize it.

That’s why I am going to write about them. That’s the least I can do to appreciate them…

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…