Metaphor For A Metaphor

Metaphor: it has defined much in life. It has complicated things and yet simplified so much. Metaphor is what I hide behind when im too cowardly to be in your face and one such night, I tweeted about my love for Metaphor.
Metaphor became the soul of conversation that night. Metaphor was the flavour of that night and metaphor came screaming back to me. He made me choke up with emotion and made me poetic. And here is a poem I ended up tweeting:

Metaphor is an empty perfume bottle I remember you by,
Metaphor is a supressed old flame…
Metaphor is an old T-shirt I hold dear,
Metaphor is the warmth when Ur here.
Metaphor: that’s all I have…

Metaphor is that teardrop that fell,
Telling my heart to bid you farewell.
Metaphor is that batting eyelid,
It captures the memory before it spills…

And then, magically, the poem became interactive.

@ashumhatre: Metaphor is that stain on the old shirt, metaphor is our relationship and its dust. Metaphors : That’s all we had! 😉

And the sweetest  replies came from @baxiabhishek:
I’ll be the jeans to that tee, i’ll be there where calls thee. 🙂
I’ll be the tissue to wipe the tear, you called me, so i’m here.

This entire metaphor talk made me think. We don’t hide behind metaphors. We use them to enhance what we have to say. Being obvious isn’t very charming, now is it?
Metaphor gives us the license to beat around the bush and it connects two things perfectly well. There’s nothing clever about metaphor. Metaphor is just natural…

And while I’m on metaphor:
Metaphor is a friend that tells,
All, in due time, will be well.
Metaphor is a friend, who understands,
What is hidden behind your metaphors so grand.
Metaphor is a friend who knows,
Exactly how a metaphor grows…

This one’s for all you metaphor tweeters: @baxiabhishek @ashumhatre @unitechy @mriganayanika @fossiloflife @menonhari @archisM @avgs @ideasmithy @simplymalyalee @aalaap (who’s too straight-froward to use metaphor, we understand!)

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!

Turning 24

At the age of 12, I often thought about how my life would be at 24. It’s a random age to pick but I was very curious about how my life was going to be at this age. I had a dream about all the things it was going to be.
The age that I couldn’t wait to be, was 18. Every year I was glad to count one more candle on my cake. It brought me closer to 18.
I couldnt wait to drive, vote, be allowed to sign MY cheques for MY bank account. On the parental level, I was promised permission for rock concerts, stay overs and a CAR!
For a girl like me that was all that I wanted, at that point in time that is. On my 18th birthday I was exhilarated with anticipation. I got all that I wanted. But I didn’t feel fantastically independent like I’d imagined. I still was chubby and I was still my parents’ little girl (they wanted names and phone numbers everytime I went for a stay over or a concert)

But I had two fab friends, a super enthusiastic group of friends in college and a fabulous life in general. After 18, every additional candle felt weird. It took me away from my fabulous age. Being 18 then meant a license to be a baby when you want and be an adult when you want (Eg: Mom please please buy me that new watch! or I am going yaar Mom, I’m old enough to take care of myself) I didn’t want to move away from that age. There came a lot of stuff after I turned 18 which toughened me up but at 18 there was a magic about the crises even. In fact, crises were  adventures. Sigh

My Cake courtesy colleagues who are more like friends

My Cake courtesy colleagues who are more like friends

This week, I blew 24 candles, and suddenly remembered the dreams I’d had back at 12. I am nothin like that girl was supposed to be an yet everything I want to be. I am not a hotshot MBA who has a fancy car and an awesome boyfriend. I don’t sing and write songs for a rock band in my free time.
In fact, I am no different than the girl I was in college or school. I still cry in the movies, I still sing along to my favourite songs, I still love my friends and go out of the way to be there for them and happily so. The friends are different though. I still ask my parents for their opinion before I make a decision. I still love my sister but I have learned to love our crazy fights.I still like to eat but I have found joy in exercising.
I am still me. A slightly different version, but the soul remains the same.
How stupid was I to have wanted to be all that was not me.
And yet so lucky to have found the people who love me and people I love. People who’re not blood relatives but thicker than ever with me. They love me for me and not because they have to. And some that I am just glad to have as family…
Nani, Om, Pannu, Satam, Lathi, Shefali, Shetty, Mariam, Sneha, Jugal, Parnil, Urvashi… A treasure trove of love I have scouted and will preserve for life.
After all someone’s already said ‘the only real difference between you now and you back then is the people and circumstances around you.’

You may say I’m a dreamer!

The Indian news channels couldn’t stop carrying animated reports of how the big bang experiment by CERN in Switzerland is going to lead to the end of the world. Yes, the reports were complete with deadly music strumming in the background. Of course, my mum and me couldn’t stop laughing at all the possibilities of good that come out of this big bang thing killing the world.

So I had a few things on my mind as I traveled to work today. This was my to-do list before 2 pm IST when we would all start gravitating towards Switzerland!

  1. Eat all the forbidden food that’s on my favourite list without worrying about the weight I’d put on
  2. Say the things I’ve left unsaid for the sake of social decorum to all nosey relatives, pesky colleagues, brattish bosses and the snooty friends I have had. I have the right to let them know how I felt (I rarely suppress these urges but if I were to let go completely, God help them)
  3. Create a memory capsule that can survive everything and leave my novel in it. Whoever comes looking deserves to enjoy the masterpiece I created (my last hope for surviving after my exit from the universe.
  4. Admit to loving Shah RUkh Khan just as much as I did back in 1998
  5. I’d like to confess to Mom that I haven’t been the good girl she thinks I am. I have taken a drag of a cigarette, tasted alcohol and seen porn. I am not addicted to these but I have tried it Mum, and I am not sorry I did.
  6. Scream from the roof of my terrace
  7. Buy a pair of Manolo Blahniks and strut in them all day. Who cares about savings anyway!
  8. Try and enter the terrace and blast the building manager for accusing us of suicidal tendencies.

Just realised that this list won’t end soon! Anyway, I also relaised that if we all were to be erased it wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

Think about it. The Big Bang is successful but it destroys us all. But the process of generating life has started. The living things coming into existence through this cycle go through their own share of struggle.

They’d walk small distances, eat only what they grow.

There’d be no food crisis.

There’d be no energy problems.

There’d be no global warming.

There’d be a straightforward relationship between people. No treachery, no vested interests.

There’d be no religion.

There’d be no borders.

No countries to fight with.

No oil, no water to fight over.

There’d be no pressure to succeed in material things.

Surviving the day would be equated with success.

Ah! I think it would be a realisation of John Lennon’s Imagination!

Changed for good

Diwakar had tagged me ages ago on his blog. I decided to write it out today… These are the things that changed me… Looking back at all these things made me realise that many things touch you and you don’t even realise what a transformation they bring about in your personality.

A Writer and two books: Each book I’ve read made a difference to my life. Be it a book like Single in the city or a novel like The Kite Runner or even The Secret. Each book taught me how to feel, how to understand, how to think…

One book that changed me remarkably was Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. It made me realise the power of wanting, the power of my heart. Same goes for The Secret by Rhonda Byrnes. It made me realise the power of things that I already knew. It reduced my pessimism, it made me believe.

Khalid Hosseini and Margaret Atwood taught me how to look deep within characters. The Kite Runner and The Blind Assassin are two books that made me realise that I want to write more, and I want to write better.

A Movie:

I eat, sleep and breathe cinema. I enjoy most of it including ultimate dreamy bollywood melodramas, to bollywood classics a la Sholay to Hollywood romances, action. There’s also been a lot of World cinema on my DVD player.

A movie that made me want to contribute in some way to cinema is You’ve Got Mail. The film is brilliantly written and plays forward with the characters. Recently, watching Khuda Kay Liye and The Dark Knight put a lot creative wheels in motion for me.

Having said that, I must say that I have written a novel, which might make a great film someday. Only if Karan Johar would have it! Wishful thinking, but then, I believe in destiny.

A Person:

There have been many people who have made a big difference in my life. But one of the most important among them is Nilu Niranjana Gavankar. She is a woman who’s lived her life on her own terms. She worked in the US with Bechtel, and then she came to Mumbai to make a film! She did it, she made the film. But she also touched my family’s life in that period. She taught me how to look beyond the obvious. She made me believe that I was special. She taught me how to value what I had. She made me believe in the power of stories. She made me.

In my teens, if there was one person who decided where my life would go, it was Nilu. We haven’t been in touch for a long time, but somehow I remember her everyday.

My sister. She came into my life and transformed it. She is the voice of reason in my life. She is someone who I can depend on. I cant imagine life without her.

Its hard to think of just a few people…. Raj Kamble, Shashikant Sawant, Javed Akhtar (through his book and his lyrics), Warsha and Rahul Kale, Avinash Paranjape, Bharat Kaka… I have been blessed with these wonderful people who enrich my life each day…

Events:

My school life. It was extremely dorky, weird and I don’t think I can ecognise the person I used to be back in school.

My college days at KC. I realised that loving someone along with their flaws is the most staifying feeling ever.

My uni days at Sussex. They taught me how to be on my own. They made me love solitude.

My days at Yuva: I met very special people while I was working here. The friendships still exist though I have moved on from Yuva.

Nimmai’s death… Dealing with bereavement was the hardest thing. To deal with the fact that I won’t ever see my grandmother again just took days… Even today if I pass by Poonam Baug, tears well up…

I tag: Vishesh, Yashshri, Sneha, Jugal, Pooja and Mruns

Follow the sound of silence

There’s something about Simon&Garfunkel that makes you think think think. Here’s a story.

Saturday evening. An exercise addict who had decided that this was going to be a day of rest has ventured out. The grey clouds covered the setting sun and a cool breeze rustled the leaves. The dogs in the park barked playfully and children cooed and shrieked with glee. She did not want to listen to them; she plugged her ear phones and started walking. The radio was playing songs that didn’t mean much. She was restless, flipping through the radio, skipping to the walk. Suddenly, she heard a familiar tune. “Hello darkness my old friend,” and she stopped for a minute. The line just connected with her. The sound of silence breezed through her mind.

‘Hello darkness, my old friend,
I’ve come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence’

Sang the duo to the arpeggios in the background, just as a huge group of women passed her, their lips moving frantically, but the girl heard only the sounds of silence. She looked up at the swishing trees and the numerous ongoing cricket games on the ground. She wanted to be alone. She turned into a lonely street and walked in the sound of silence.

‘In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone,
’neath the halo of a street lamp,
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of
A neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence’

The light nearly blinded her and reminded her she wasn’t alone. She couldn’t be alone in this city, bustling with people at all hours. Solitude is a luxury here. And yet, people surrounded by people are lonely within, helpless and lonely. They have forgotten how to long for a friend or a companion. Friends are people who might help you in your career. Every relationship is a result of a vested interest. And yet, you are never alone.

‘And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence’

But she felt a fierce need to belong somewhere. The fancy cars, with fancy lights failed to excite her. She pitied the guys flashing the fancy mobiles and gizmos. She can’t belong here, so she seeked Silence. Solitude. Sobreity.

She walked alone, locking herself away from the world. She ignored the calls flashing on her mobile. She wanted to catch the sounds of silence.

‘Fools said I, you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach you.
But my words like silent raindrops fell,
And echoed
In the wells of silence’

She jacks up the volume on her ear-piece, and drowns herself in the song. She only wants to listen to more of it. For a moment, she closes her eyes to see what the sound of silence feels like.

In the world outside her earphones a loud screech and a honk, and she falls to the ground, the headphones separated from the phone, it continues to play the song she was engulfed in and a mob gathers around her.

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon God they made.
And the sign flashed out its warning,
In the words that it was forming.
And the signs said, the words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls.
And whispered in the sounds of silence.’

And she’s still listening to the sound of silence…

Yet another memory!

Birthdays are a whole lot of fun! But most of the times, I end up forgetting the birthdays right on the day of the birthday. Jugal popped up on my Gtalk and asked me how I was. As one would with very close friends, I began to rant about how stressed I was and all that. The gentleman that he tends to be, Jugal continued to talk to me and just when I was about to close the window, I remembered it was the 14th of July!

It was Jugal’s birthday and I was busy cribbing to him. That’s that. I wished him, he said thank you and there was no cake… What non-sense! Anyway while I figure out how to get kanjoos Juggy to part with some cake for me and Sneha, you guys read the story ahead.

It was a rainy day in June. I was driven all the way down from Pune to appear for my personal interview and a group discussion at Vivekanand College. I wanted to get into BMM at Vivekanand even though I had secured my admission at KC. As I took my seat in the classroom, I looked around me. There were absolute strangers and some of them were potential classmates. All of them seemed pretty quiet and reserved. Most of them were science students who were in a limbo with their medical or science admissions. The fellow next to me had the most curious questions ever. We struck a conversation, and soon when the group discussion started, we had a heated debate. ‘This classmate would be fun!’ I thought.

Much later, when the time came to make a decision, I chose KC. I graduated from KC, did my MA and then joined a Yuva. I was pretty excited about being a part of a newspaper launch team. “The initial team is always close knit,” is what the editor said to me. It was true. We spend 10-12 hrs a day together. And suddenly we were told that a new dude from Mid-day was joining us.

Now, our team was already pretty friendly and this guy, was not exactly the friendliest creature on earth. He came and kept doing his stuff and asking us questions and answering ours exactly to the point. We brushed it off thinking he’s just another ‘khadoos’!

Slowly and steadily as we approached the launch, all of us worked closely and got chance to know Jugal better. One day he just asked me casually. “Were you very fat in college?” Yes, I could have smacked the guy right on his face, but I tried focusing on the fact that he was indirectly asking me if I am thin now. He continued. “I think I remember you attending a GD in Vivekanand, but wasn’t sure it was you.”

Wham! The realization struck me. I had met Jugal before and he was that inquisitive and possibly fun classmate. Now we were team mates. As time passed, we realized that our initial impressions about Jugal were wrong. He was very reserved but when he considered you a friend, he was right there for you.

He will crack the silliest joke when you’re talking to him about a ‘dharam sankat’, he will be brutally honest and he’ll ask questions to which you may not have answers. That’s Jugal. I, Sneha and he hung out back in our ‘Yuva’ days, and we continue to hang out together today. We discuss human rights, politics, sports (sneha and jugal talk, I listen) or films with a passion. We plan trips to Matheran (though they are cancelled at the very last minute). We are the trio- and sometimes I do wonder if I’d have ended up in Vivekanand BMM and Jugal and I were classmates, would we still be the thick buddies we are today? I don’t have the answer but I have the buddies, so who cares anyway!

PS: Jugal… Now can I have that cake?