Who? Me!

Don’t you just love it when you wake up from a lovely dream? When you wake up and snuggle, delving your head deeper into pillows. When you savour the aftertaste of the lovely dream and a faint smile caresses your lips? Don’t you just love such mornings? Today’s was a morning like that. I stepped out of bed, full on, like a typical ‘Yashraj’ heroine! It was raining and the sky was cloudy… Perfect.

It’s a different story that my life came crashing back to reality. No sir, there was no ‘Lazy Lamhe’ nor did life break into a song n dance in Switzerland. It took me 20 minutes to transform from the dreamy wannabe Yashraj babe into a 25 year old girl, who works bloody hard to prove to the world she’s awesome and independent. Sigh! But yeah, I did savour the memories of the morning during my coffee breaks. My little guilty pleasure. My life!

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Women’s Day Followed by Barbie Day!

Yesterday was International Women’s Day (8th march) and quite a few people wondered what the relevance was. But that’s not what this post is about. You can read about the origins of International Women’s Day right here.

In short, on this day we remember the women who stood up against oppression, fought for their rights. It’s a day you acknowledge the contribution of these women to the freedom we enjoy today. And yes, one mustn’t dwell in the past too long and therefore, we must also celebrate and encourage the dreams of the modern woman.

I received a long list of SMSs wishing me ‘Happy Women’s Day’ because the message told them, ‘pass this along to every beautiful woman you know.’ To me this is pointless. I haven’t done enough to be celebrated on this day, in fact, I want to do something and say thank you to women like Savitree Phule and Iravati Karve who made sure women in India got a right to education. It is thanks to these women that I can dare to go out there, support myself and look the world in the eye.

So anyway, this whole Hallmarkisation of women’s day was kinda getting on my nerves. Newspapers carried guest columns by women, and yes some of these women were actually women of substance but many of these were socialites, industrialists’ wives. The modern day Indian woman who struggles with a career, home and social pressures got a rare mention.  Her struggle continues, whether or not its 8th of March.
She is given the education and the liberty to work, but time and again she’s also reminded that her responsibilities towards the family are greater. Where does this start?

A small girl proudly displays her ‘bhatukli’, Marathi for toy kitchen sets. She makes her first cup of imaginary tea, and she’s praised. She starts to make believe she’s cooking and serving, and she starts enjoying the process.
Speaking of play, another thing that subconsciously reinstates a woman’s role in her life to come is a doll. The doll, very often brings out a maternal side of the child. They care for it, they dress them up, they cook imaginary food to feed the doll.

I couldn’t help but wonder. In play do we start defining her role for her? That said, seeing one of my toddler friends take keen interest in ‘bhatukli’ despite being boy, made me feel awesome. I relished the tea he served me. So what if it was imaginary, we have a dream!
Being a total tomboy, I rarely played with my tea-set and almost always beheaded my Barbies. But I still enjoy cooking (occasionally :P) and can tackle kids much better than many people my age. So I’m not saying playing with dolls or playing bhatukli make you a better home maker or anything. I’m just wondering if the fact that Barbie’s birthday falls the day after women’s day symbolizes something. What do you think?

Eccentric Saturday!

After a hard week, one always enjoys hanging out with the family. I do immensely because I rarely get to see them. So, yeah W, RK and family are in town, and as usual RK was super excited about going film shoot observing at Film City. His enthusiasm is awesome, actually the whole family’s enthusiasm is like awesome! So three Mumbaikars, two Punekars and a whole bunch of Londonkars packed themselves in two cars on a bright Saturday morning and headed straight to film city. It was hot, humid and all sad shootings were happening. But that did not deter RK who hung around a few sets and spoke to a few people.

I was standing in the shadows wondering why do we have such a low quality tv industry! The actors look anything but good, they can’t act and the stories are the same, nonsense. There’s no variety.

And to top it all, there is no infrastructure as such within film city. WK couldn’t help but compare it to the awesomeness of Universal Studios. That’s exactly when I thought, hey, there was this talk about making film city a Bollywood tourist destination. Whatever happened? Just another government plan that must have fizzled out!

Of course after a lavish seafood dinner at Gazalee, I wanted to curl up in my bed and nap before I headed for my dance class and that’s when Sneha’s SMS shook me up. Yet another blast! I mean what is going on with our country. I can’t help but think, what is the terrorists’ goal in blowing places up and killing innocent people?

Some say they want to make their presence felt and want the government to take notice especially while making some policy decisions. But what does it achieve? Yes people are terrified, the government starts to act responsible (literally acts) and a few arrests and encounters happen.

All a Hindu hears is that a Muslim was behind the bomb blasts. All a Muslim hears is that he is being racially profiled and the government is after their race. It creates a wider rift between the two communities that are trying hard to overcome riots, fallen Masjid and Mandirs yet to be erected. The political parties, meanwhile, use the terrorist attacks to condemn each other or to further their chances of getting votes in.

The government remains unfazed and we, the citizens, get shaken. In our country, which is home, we cannot leave home and be sure we will come home safe. We cannot help but be petrified about what’s to come next.

I hate watching the news and seeing a blast or an act of violence in the name of religion. And what I hate even more is the fact that these incidents are becoming a regular feature in news. I dread switching on the news these days, because it tells me that our society, the Indian society, is crumbling.

PS: after I sorted these thoughts out, I went out with family, and then went drinking with Omu and Nanu. It was after a long long time that we got to hang out. The chaar chand on our get together was the sighting of an UFO! I’m not kidding, we saw random lights flashing in the clouds late in the night…

Why?

I am wondering…

Why do we trust film critics? We all know they are moody, erratic and have odd favourites…

Why do we let other people decide the course of our lives? They end up hurting you more often than not…

Why do we make long lists about what we want? We tend not to know what we really really want unless we lose it…

Why do we obsess over what makes us look good or bad in front of people? What matters is what makes us feel good about ourselves…

Why do we always try and be much matured? It’s nice to have a touch of childhood in everything we do…

Why do we fret and fret about getting what we want? It’s nice to want and appreciate what we have…

Why do we always worry whether the dress is too tight or the shoes too simple? One smile can make you look worth a million dollars…

Just a few passing thoughts…

Sanity in insanity…

Have you ever told a lie and enjoyed it? Have you consciously tried to harm yourself knowing well what the after-effects would be? Have you created a make believe world to keep yourself from the insane reality?

Forgive my memory, I am trying to replicate a few questions Susanna (Winona Ryder) asks as the film, Girl Interrupted, opens. Through the film, you travel with Susanna into the asylum, feeling like a misfit. And soon enough, along with Susanna you start thinking that these girls are normal. They have their quirks but what’s wrong with that?

She has Lisa (Angelina Jolie) to keep her cosy in the walls of the asylum, far far away from the world. Just as you begin to realise Lisa’s game, you begin to realise that we’re always surrounded by numerous Lisa’s in our own lives. We resist change, criticise it, only to get cosy in its shadow. We deny ourselves another change, we deny knowing that it is not right to get comfortable. Few of us recognise Lisa’s game and still consciously make a change and confront the Lisa.

The truth is all of us are insane. But we’re hypocrites. This hypocrisy protects us from being labelled ‘unstable’. We unleash our insanities in the safety of solitude. We lean obsessively, eat compulsively, exercise compulsively, get abusive on ourselves and out in the open world, we are just normal, smiling as if there’s not a spot of worry in our lives.

But then there are those innocent victims of the society, who accept and live with their insanity, they aren’t scared of being insane to the outside world. They do what they want, and live how they want and we, we hypocrites label them ‘unstable’, segregate them and send them away. Their minds are highly receptive and they can sense that they’re unwanted for being truthful and they further degenerate. They lose control of their sensibility and become a magnified version of themselves. And to us, they are just MAD, mental, insane, crazy…

I am almost comfortable with my madness, but are you?

PS: This post is an after effect of intense conversations with the brother, 100 repeats of Comfortably Numb on iTunes, some walks along five gardens and a late night viewing of the movie, Girl Interrupted. Excuse the lows of the compulsivewriter!

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?

Foodie Files

Something I saw while surfing blogs. Being a foodie that I am, I couldn’t resist filling it up myself.

1. What’s your favourite table?

The coffee table

2. What would you have for your last supper?

I might kill myself with the buffet at BBQ Nation or just gobble up seafood platters at Britto’s with a nice white wine…slurrrrrrp

3. What’s your poison?

Depends on the food and mood. I love Diet Coke on ice, fresh watermelon juice, Ice-teas. If I am indulging in a nice Italian meal, I enjoy a glass of wine.

4. Name your three dessert island ingredients.

Chocolate sauce, muesli and ice-cream

5. Which book gets you cooking?

Frankly, I don’t know what gets me cooking, but books don’t really do the trick. Sometimes, I just need to whip up that pasta! But yeah I love Jamie Oliver’s Italy. Most of my recipes are from Nigella’s show.

6. What’s your dream dinner party line up?

There are many. But I would love to serve some nice spicy kebabs with some nice summery cocktails followed by a nice Biryani, kachumber and more kebabs (current obsession of this gourmet is marinated BBQ meat!) Dessert would be a nice and simple barfi with mint tea.

7. What was your childhood teatime treat?

Cream biscuits and Naankhatais… I love the way they soften up when dipped in tea. I still relish digestive biscuits dipped in chai… Yum.

8. What was your most memorable meal?

Many of them. Right from homecooked grandma meals to delectable meals at dhabas. But one of the best meals I have eaten is at BBQ nation.

9. What was your biggest food disaster?

None really… Food is all good!

10. What’s the worst meal you’ve ever had?

The first time I ever cooked pasta… I didn’t drain it, I added the veggies to it and it ended up being a soggy porridge… Yuck…

11. Your food hero/food villian?

Many food heroes. Rahul dada, Mom, grandmom, Jamie Oliver and of course Vivek kaka, as for villains none. When there’s food, nothings negative.

12. Nigella or Delia?

She might act seductive with food, but the woman knows her ingredients and she knows her way around tedious cooking methods. So yes, Nigella.

13. Vegetarians: genius or madness?

Vegetarians are considerate, healthy. Non-vegetarians live life for the moment…

14. Fast food or fresh food?

Both have their beauty, but I enjoy fast food just once in a while. I love the crunch of a fresh off the farm carrots, radishes and cucumbers.

15. Who would you most like to cook for?

I love cooking for my sister and Pannu. Mind it, if I want to cook for you, you’re special…

16. What would you cook to impress a date?

I’d cook up a story! I wouldn’t have to try too hard, I am a good cook…

17. Make a wish.

Let the food crisis be resolved fast…