Dangal- Movie Review

Dangal- Movie Poster

Dangal- Movie Poster

That gut-wrenching soul-chilling scream of the father to his daughter when she is about to lose the qualifying match once again, will always echo in my mind.

HARNA NAHI HAI GEETA…

And it is my take home message.

Though I do not identify with the gender stereotypes shown in the film because I come from a fairly gender neutral society but I realised how fortunate the girls from North East are. And that we should make the most of it (by pursuing our unconventional dreams and passions) because we do not have to fight with the society for the choices we make in our lives.

Since Aamir Khan competes only with himself, it was hard to pick any negatives from the film. I could only feel that this movie contradicts his earlier one ‘Three Idiots’ in terms of how much a parent should interfere in their children’s dreams for their future.

The newcomers have got the best of out of it, learning the art of perfection from the master himself. The charm, enthusiasm and freshness of the Fatima and Sanya will remain in people’s mind for long.To be able to portray the characters as wrestlers would not have been an easy task. It’s a treat to watch the passion and thrill in the girls’ eyes every time they are onscreen. I particularly liked the character of the cousin brother who sticks with them till the end and isn’t it lovely to have a brother who stands by you in all your fights.

Its normal for Aamir Khan to make a brilliant movie but what next…!

Ab Perfection ko kaise improve kiya jaye?

Advertisements

Crush

220px-crush_strawberry_soda_austin_calhoon_photograph

Because I was not allowed to have a boyfriend in school and college, I had quite an emotionally stable life. Come to think of it, not being in a relationship had been a bliss actually. But then, I had my share of crushes so to say. This guy, lets name him ‘M’ ,was in my class with same elective as mine so we almost attended all our classes together except the practicals. Even though , having an affair was a strict no-no from mom, I thought , having a crush was not a big deal as it did not have any strings and also mom would never come to know about it!

Slowly but steadily, the crush was getting harder and one of my closest friend decided to take some charge. She asked one of the other guys to ask M if he had a girlfriend and that I liked him. I was not very happy with this situation now because this was being forced on me and I was kinda happy in my cocoon and really didn’t want to know if M was interested in me or not. Also, M was quite oblivious of my feelings for him and I didn’t want to jeopardize , whatever minimum talking terms that we were on.

Anyways, the news reached me in a week , that M had a girlfriend already, back in his hometown and hence no further questions were asked. It would take quite a few days for me to come out of coma and I felt terribly guilty. Guilty of god knows what….! For the rest of the semesters, I chose not to tell any of my friends about anything personal and of course the equations with M changed for the rest of the years in the university. I avoided to look at M or talk to him anytime during the classes and non-class times that we classmates would get together.

About 12 years later I met almost all my school mates and college-mates on FB except M. It would take another 9 years for M to get into FB.

Just a couple of months back, one day I was looking through the probable friends FB suggests and when I found M’s profile in it, I found myself smiling. Since there were no pictures in the profile, I sent a message asking if he was the same guy that was in my college. In the reply , M just said yes and that he was roll number 54. Well, after a few weeks , he uploaded some pictures of him and his family on his account for all to see.

I was horrified to see what had become of a handsome lad in a span of 20 years. Here was a middle aged stout man with a beer belly ,his hair was all orange because of henna and I assumed it must have all gone grey and I was staring at a face which looked about 20 years more older than our age. I could not sleep that night…wondering about what must have gone through his life that he grew old so fast. Then I wondered , if I have also grown that old….then I also wondered why was I wondering about him. I had always maintained that age was just a number and its our attitude which actually matters but a look at M told me , may be it was not the case. I remember seeing him as a 20 year old guy and I saw him now 20 years later, I was ready to see some changes but not such drastic ones. I realized, if we abuse ourselves by smoking or drinking or by taking too much stress , it does take away years out of our lives. One has to keep fit and make sure we rally against nature by staying fit and happy.

M looked old to me that day and I felt as if I was looking at some ancient temple in Bali. In a flash, I was in the morning classes when I used to look at him during the first class of the day and felt cheerful for the rest of the week!! As I smiled and remembered the old times,I  took my jacket out for my evening 5 km walk.

Bali- Google images

Bali- Google images

 

Confused

Google images

Google images

Some people are perennially confused about the decisions they have to take in life. Some are momentarily confused while others remain firm on their decisions, having clearly seen the outcome of their decisions long before they make it. I come in the third category, although I make my decisions spontaneously but I do not regret them at all. I make peace with the bad outcomes beforehand , if any and move ahead with them. Most often than not, I tend to be happy , more so because I have had already made up my mind not to fuss or sulk even if things do not go my way.

I guess, my secret of making decisions promptly is listening to my heart rather than the mind. I do get confused about which flavor of ice-cream to choose or which shade of red lipstick to apply but then these are insignificant issues. I, then take 2 or 3 flavors of ice-cream scoops and choose a pink lipstick instead!

Some of us are confused about whether we have gotten over our ex or not . They believe they do, but then, invariably they mention and think about their exes in their everyday activities, conversations and often write about them in their blogs too!

I think its an unnecessary exercise to keep your past in your present especially if there is no hope of getting back to it at any point of time say if the ex has been really bitter about you and left in an awfully disgusted manner from your life.Why are people confused about important things like life, at all?  Don’t we all know that whatever happens , happens for good and the best way to move ahead is to look for a clean slate and begin all over again!

Being confused also states a vital fact about oneself – that one has not been taught to be firm while growing up and that one has fears of losing things and hence is scared to make firm decisions. Well, time to adapt because , its the survival of the fittest after all.

All the best!

Caught and shot- AR

Caught and shot- AR

Obsessed

pic07

Well, I consider myself to be obsessed with freedom, straightforward communication and honesty. I have never come across anybody like me but yes, everyone, I’m sure is obsessed with something or other and if you aint then you lack spirit of life. Excessive obsession when hinders normal life, is termed as OCD but who cares as long as one is enjoying his life! Being obsessive about a certain thing in life gives you reason to live, to persuade one-self and to relish the joys of achieving that perfection which one craves for.

Some people are obsessed about health, some about neatness, some fuss about their loved ones and some really worry too much about being organised. Some women I have met, have been meticulously obsessed with keeping the house in a very certain way like pillows and cushions upright, tumblers sparkling clean, beds made 24/7 with curtains drawn or pulled apart at specific times of the day, some of them have been crazily involved in the lives of their husbands and kids (even when they are in their late teens).Some are crazy fashion addicts as they have to dress in a certain way for every occasion formal or informal.

Obsessions are involuntary thoughts, images, or impulses that occur over and over again in our minds. These obsessive thoughts are often distracting and when you turn them into a routine behavior and ritual and are considered harmful, they become compulsion and they then classify themselves as Obsessive Compulsive Behavior.

There is a line between healthy behavioral routine and an obsessive behavioral routine and we need to identify it so that we do not get trapped into a vicious cycle of obsessiveness which is alarming for us and people around us. Although the behavioral pattern of each individual is different and may have massive margins of variations, say for example, cleanliness for one person could be just sweeping or vacuuming once in a week but for another it would be like every time he sees dust on something he feels a need to wipe it clean. Both are healthy habits but it becomes dangerous when the later would put aside important jobs and would spend major time in cleaning the dust because he just would not be able to concentrate on other chores until he gets rid of the dust. To me, that is obsession.

Also,one of the major things that qualifies as obsession and is totally unhealthy for our mind and body is the inability to get over an ex. When one stalks, thinks, imagines so much about the ex that he does not live his current life, its obsession….dangerous obsession!

Obsession is good when it is used positively to get a goal in life such as a career goal or a health goal or simply when a goal for a social cause is set in one’s life. For me, I’m obsessive about having greens every day, going for hikes once a week, going real out of the way to help friends and setting day-to-day goals to get a most productive day.

Okay I missed it, some people are obsessed with food and others making money…!

PS- I’m obsessed about Mathew Mcconaughey and that’s because he gives 100 % to his work. He inspires me to work harder for everything that I undertake.

matthewmcconaughey

Broken ties

Aai Google images

Aai
                                    Google images

The first time Aai came to stay with us was for 2 months in January 2016. Because her son had stayed out all these years after school she never could stay with him.It had been more than 15 years that she had ever stayed with her son for so long. her son would come over to his mother a couple of times in a year or on a special occasion like diwali but had never stayed for more than a week. Aai longed to live with her last borne and hence as soon as her son arrived in India after a year of staying abroad , he sent for her. this time it was special, he had been blessed with a baby boy and Aai was more than ecstatic.

Aai was not keeping too well this year. she kept sleeping at odd hours and was tired all the time. she would not get into the kitchen for any purpose even to make goodies for her son nonetheless she tried playing with her grandson. Later on she would know that she was misdiagnosed for thyroid and was taking wrong medicines for a long time. after a couple of weeks of staying at her son’s place, she confided that in spite of her health, she liked staying in Hyderabad. She also started to confide in me. The bond between two women had started to begin and we would sometimes talk late into the night. Most of the times I would be asking for her secret recipes and the ones that her son loved while he grew up, sometimes the conversation would lead to people. people who were no more there in Aai’s life, her husband, her previous daughter-in-laws. Aai had 2 sons and unfortunately both were divorced and fortunately had remarried. She said at times she got concurrent nightmares about the divorces of her sons . She confessed her fear of her sons being cursed for their marriages.I would quietly would listen to the never ending tales of her and would encourage her to get out for morning and evening walks more often. She mentioned that she had one major regret in her life, that her younger son would not share much with her unlike her older one. I attributed this trait of her husband to the fact he had mostly stayed away from the house after school. Aai said , her son had been seeing his first wife for more than 5 years but he never mentioned it to her or anyone until they were ready for marriage. Although there were disagreements in the house about his choice of girl but eventually all agreed. Aai said , she had told everybody that she does not want to lose her son and its better that everyone accepts the girl and it really does not matter even if she was from another religion, caste, creed or state. Their family belonged to the upper caste in Maharashtra, the Patils, the warriors from the clan of Shivaji and were staunch believers of caste system since time immemorial. It was actually a matter of great disgust to everyone in the family that her would-be daughter-in-law was from another religion and caste. Somehow the family gulped it down with a pinch of salt as they didnt want to lose their son who they already saw so very less.

Aai’s health and the bond between us started getting better, she started confiding more in me. It seems , she never liked her son’s first wife for she dressed like a man and had no mannerisms of a daughter -in-law. She was totally overweight and would do nothing about her health. Aai also mentioned how she would make beef and meat disrespecting their family values of being vegetarians and that she would argue with her son about how she cannot leave eating meat ever. Aai resented these arguments between her son and his wife and knew she could not help the bitterness everyone in her family was facing whenever her son and his wife were visiting them. Aai resented the fact that her daughter-in-law never put Bindi or Sindoor or wear a Saree even on festive occasions and that she was always in salwar or jeans even if people came visiting them. On their first diwali after the wedding,Aai said her daughter-in-law went to sleep at 6 in the evening when it was time for lighting the diyas. All the relatives who came to wish for diwali were surprised why the bride was sleeping on the eve of diwali.

One time, Aai had been visiting them along with her older son. Both the sons were sleeping in the hall on a makeshift bed as Aai was asleep on the double bed in the master bedroom. Her daughter-in-law was supposed to arrive by an early morning train from Mumbai. When Aai got up in the morning she was shocked to see the daughter-in-law sleeping with her husband even while he was asleep with his older brother. ‘She does not have any sense , she is not of good character’ , Aai had concluded to me.

It was very difficult to comprehend why would someone hurt everyone in the family at one go. Why someone would or could slap their spouse, or even why they would carry on their ego trip when it was supposed to be a love marriage. Sometimes, when there are no answers , time decides to deal with the unwanted things. And so whatever had happened, did happen for good, I told Aai.

Aai visited us again this month for we were traveling abroad to settle down once for all. She looked good healthwise and mindwise. She told me to take care of her son and grandson. As I held her in a tight embrace, she got all her answers and I was content to see her equally content face.

Peace Google images

Peace
     Google images

Lessons from Punjab

Vill 1

This post is for the amazing people from the fabulous state in the northern part of India- Punjab

Since Dad was in Air Force, I always had Punju schoolmates. And then best of the lot  came along while in Fauj for next 15 years. They taught me to work hard and party harder. Slog in the kitchen making breakfast-lunch, take care of the kids and then wear your best dress and stilettos to get out for an evening drive at 80km/hour in whatever car you have! Go to Gurudwara every Sunday and do seva and then get in the party mood in the evening with your close friends.

canal

People from Punjab are known for their sheer hard work, honesty and happy go lucky personalities.So much so that the entire race can be generalized for these characteristics! I had a chance to be in this lovely state for a few days way back in 2000 and I really saw what I had heard. The crops are grown almost whole year. Rice is followed by wheat, and I’m sure, my state where the staple is rice, cannot grow as much rice as they grow in Punjab. Punjab essentially being in an arid region,  is capable of only growing wheat, bajra, maize, sugarcane, barley etc , but it produces Rice like a subtropical region would do. Its only because of the people and their capability of putting up hard work through the year.

Punjabi_jutti_at_Dilli_Haat

The colorful dupattas and jutties hung in the small shops, the sprawling canals for irrigation, mercs and limosines zipping down every now and then on the country roads and the jovial spirit of the people taught me a lot about them. Unlike most of the states in India, Punjab has managed their water well by Bhakra Nangal, the dam.The canals have been neatly drawn from the dam and  integrated within the fields to give continuous supplies of water.There are mall like shops in the middle of villages supposedly made and owned by NRI’s which caters to the young and young at heart!! The younger generation have been indulging in music and singing from a few decades now and they are doing really well. Come to think of it , I think only bhangra music goes with rap and pop like no other regional stuff does. They have been blending it really well- I really love listening to the foot tapping numbers by Honey Singh!

And of course the food which is yummy! From Makke di roti to Chole Bhature , from Amritsari Fish to Tandoori chicken, from Lassi to Dal makhani…they have been world’s favourites! Punjabi kudis have dominated Bollywood as well as the woods of the south and lets not even talk about the handsome Punjabi hunks! From time immemorial Bollywood has been boasting of some good looking people that only are bred in Punjab!

saag-roti-punjab-food

I started to think about  writing this post when a particular incident came to my mind from last year. Riaan was about 5 months old and we went to visit the San Jose Gurudwara one day. Its perched on a hilltop and is amazingly made, as all Gurudwaras are. There were 2 weddings going on while we visited the place. One seemed to be of an affluent one, most likely of some well settled business man’s daughter as the bride and the groom were getting their pictures clicked with a bunch of bridesmaid wearing purple dresses. Another seemed a simple one where the ladies were taking the bride to the main temple for the rituals. Having enjoyed all this we went to the inner part where the Granth Sahib is read and spent sometime there. After that we went to the Langar section where food is served 24 hours a day. Just when Riaan started to get restless, an old lady sitting next to us offered to hold him as we had our food.

20150725_151532

As the conversation started she introduced her grand daughter to us, a girl of about 14 or 15 years. She told us that they drove about one hour to be here and that they make it atleast once in a month.To me they did not seem to be from a much affluent status, but they were here in California to realize their American Dream. I’m sure they worked in some southern California orchard or vegetable farm because they still spoke in Punjabi and were dressed still like farms folks do back in Indian villages. And while visiting Fresno a couple of months later I saw a Punjabi family getting back from the grapes orchard, and hence I could relate. As we drove back from the Gurudwra, I was forced to think about this family who must have left everything that must have been owned by them back in Punjab and though they didn’t know even Hindi (forget about English) and they were here. The faith that they must have had in their hard work and mental/physical capabilities were way too high for anyone from any other state in India. I could foresee the kids and grand-kids of this family doing well in coming years. And by another 30 years, the generation would be affluent in all senses!

So what is it that make Punjabis so strong and sturdy? Do they have it in their genes? To rough it out and get the best of the life possible for themselves and their kids? Oh that’s not a question really !! They have it all…whatever it takes to live the life to the fullest.

Lessons from Punjab- Work hard, Eat , Pray and dance to live life!

20150725_153053

Gurudwara San Jose

 

 

Movie Review :Udta Punjab

Google Images

Google Images

Udta Punjab : Shahid is his usual self, well-balanced in every act. He plays the role of a spoilt and narcissist popstar from the current generation and he sure rocks in it! Kareena lacks grit and intensity in a role that ironically, is the voice of the film. Diljit Dosanjh more than makes up for her and other loopholes of the film which are,of course just a few. Kickass performance by Alia as she shuts her critics up and gives a tight one across the faces of all the Morons who troll her for nut’s sake. She has undoubtedly got the legacy of her father in terms of understanding her character in this film. The otherwise sophisticated, Alia breaks out of her comfort zone and flaunts her prodigious potential. The impact of her powerhouse performance stays with you long after you leave the theatre.

The story is appallingly beautiful which is set in, apparently the most fertile, culturally rich Punjab, a state which can also boasts of the most hardworking people in India. The film shows how drug menace has seeped deep into the system and has sadly taken away generations of youth who, could have been the best entrepreneurs, farmland owners, businessmen or simply musicians. The movie shows how the pillars of the system who are supposed to take a state ahead have corroded it dangerously and how it has affected thousands of families in Punjab.

The Bombay High Court has done a marvelous job by letting us watch the movie, that is , the way it was made. Abhishek Chaubey has done a commendable job, again.

PS- An ASI has never looked as handsome ever 🙂

A 4 out of 5 and a must watch!!

Erased Memories

Google Images

Google Images

Year 2002 to 2009 :I had a lot of wonderful memories of this city. This city, which was my home away from home for more than 7 years .Having left my home just after school was very unnerving. But before I could know, I was doing my graduation, post-graduation and M.Phil in this city. Hyderabad started to feel like home also because I met my guy here. Although we had met online, it felt like we had met in this city. After I finished my M.Phil, I picked up my first job here. My boyfriend studied in another city and he would come to see me every once in a while and we would spend some good time around the city, eating, watching movies and just seeing places around the city. I still remember my Mom and dad had come to drop me when I was just 18 and now 7 years down the lane, I was on my own. I had made some good friends here during my college days and later when I was working. Some of the most important memories of my life have been made in this city. I learned to cook, travel and be all by myself in this city. I learned to love ,write letters/mails and read in this city. I learned to be independent in this city.

Year 2010 :Fast forward 1 more year. I had a perfect life.Married to my boyfriend, I was now living in a metro and was pursuing my doctorate from a prestigious university, had made lots of friends, had a husband with a decent job, a lovely all-furnished flat and ample time to write and visit restaurants to write reviews of the food I ate. The humid weather and travel time to university was a bit cumbersome but nonetheless I enjoyed it because for a moment in life I had everything. I realized, I didn’t miss my city as much now.

Year 2013: It was when my marriage broke down and my husband left me for another city, that my world came crashing down. Suddenly I was all alone in a new city again. It felt like I was once again a 18 year old, left in a new city to fend for myself, study and live my life all by myself. After 2 years of living in another city and country when my husband finally told me that he wanted a divorce, I sat in the shower for long. My mind raced back to the memories of Hyderabad where I had met him for the first time. All the lovely memories I had of that city including my college days came flashing in front of my eyes. They were fond memories and I had spent about 10 years of my life there.

Year 2016 : Fast forward 3 more years. I hate the city that I grew up now. I cannot stand if someone even mentions the name of it. I have tried chucking out that part of my life from my memories. 10 years is not a small time to forget but I could not live with those bitter memories anymore. It is strange how the fondest memories of a city can turn so indifferent now. It is strange how a city can take half of your life and then gives you so much pain in return.

I cannot forget this place even though I hate it so much now.Life is a quicksand, I was not prepared for it.
Lesson learnt: Appreciate what you have for you may lose it anytime.

PS- Purely fictional work, any resemblance to anybody living or dear is purely coincidental!

Google images

Google images

Y for YOLO

DSC04830

After all, you only live once. Might as well live it up while you can, right?

I have been a rebel, right from my childhood days. I like to do my things and do not like any resistance. Having been brought up by working parents and very strict ones, I still managed to rebel out and do things that I wanted to do. Back then there was no mantra for living life that way. It was simply called bad behavior and that I must learn to listen to elders. Slowly and steadily my behavior was accepted and I was allowed to decide for myself. Why, because I would simply not bow down for anyone.

A friend of mine recently posted a picture on social media of the supermarket shelf while she was shopping, and it contained only one box of a certain yogurt her kid eats. She and her husband both commented on how they now have to get this box. This is consistent with psychology indicating that as things become more scarce, they become more desirable. And indeed, this is the case with life as well. Research shows that when reminded of death, people become more aware that life is scarce. In turn, this causes people to believe that life is more meaningful.

While I was on the crossroads of deciding about my divorce , my childhood friend told me, “If you don’t do something then you will never know what you would be losing out in your life”. He had a point and I realized how could I be shackled by something I was utterly unhappy with.

Somehow, I have been a recklessly-impulsive-heart on the sleeve person and I have never looked back once I have decided something. Life with Ani has calmed me down a bit I still remain the same person. I always advocate- “Go by your heart” to all my friends, colleagues and siblings and kids.Mostly because , its your life and no one else should be deciding for it. And also because You Live Only Once. And there are no second chances here !

Cheers for this beautiful thing we all have in common- LIFE!

Google Images

Google Images

A for Ani

Goa 2014

Goa 2014

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

Ani is all rolled into one. We both had to kick our ex’s out and that was the reason! It was the beginning of a wonderful summer and we both were kinda sure that it wont last beyond the season.However time proved us wrong and 5 years down the lane we are soulmates and have made a baby. Surely when life threw lemons, we made delicious lemonade together!!

On a serious note, Ani has been my hope, strength and sunshine all rolled into one. A meritorious student right from the beginning , he teaches me to make my life perfect each day. Be it helping hand with the baby, running errands or giving tips on a regular basis on just about any topic, he teaches me to be selfless, honest and give your best shot in everything that one must lay his hands on.

His vast knowledge , experience and his ability to live a disciplined life is a boon for me. I follow him blindly and pledge to love him eternally.

So A is for Ani and A is for Angel !

Sunset in Goa 2014 Shot: A&R

Sunset in Goa 2014
Shot: A&R

He and She

fat-duck

He loved spicy food and she loved non-veg. He loved romantic Bollywood numbers from the 70’s, she loved random stuff. He was fond of business news and she loved cricket. He valued family relationships outside the immediate family too, she was born and brought up in a nuclear family. He loved home made food because he had lived on ordered food for a long time, she loved to go out and very often because she gave food ratings on a regular basis for restaurants. He was a health freak, she loved to eat, read, sleep and repeat. They were poles apart in diversities yet they clicked. Or so they thought. Opposites do attract but not necessarily for longer periods in time.

They had met on internet when it was new. Just chat and mails in those times. They grew fond of each other over next 5 years. Little did they realized that the charm was superficial. It was mostly because they were still in college and were not committed to anyone else at that point in time. Coming from different religious and ethnic backgrounds, their relationship was doomed from day one. But they managed to overlook the red signals, defied their common sense and went against their families.

The marriage went kaput in just a couple of months. They realized it soon but they dragged it for a year somehow. She took a decision to pursue her studies instead and he took a travelling job and a transfer to another city.

Rest is history.

Lesson learnt from other’s mistake: Do not jump into a relationship just because you are single and never take your marriage for granted.

Duck-Amazing

PS- He loved being with nature, she loved being inside her cozy room, reading and cooking!

Talent and A Hobby

1c

Well…. undoubtedly it has to be playing with colors….that is, on a sheet of paper. The pleasure of watching the colors mix and match and create something new is eternally blissful to me.

Its been sometime now that I have held my brush and colors because the newest member of the house needs my undivided attention! But I did take up another hobby. Something that I just tried one fine day and since then it has kind of become a passion.

3c

Crocheting. It is fulfilling and rewarding when I finish a project and it fits in correctly. Its fascinating to see my crochet basket full of various colored yarns and needles. Its amazing to know that I have the choice of picking up any beautiful color and start making something. Be it a cap, booties, sweater, baby blanket or a pair of cup cozies…. I have tried them all. I love the Adrenalin rush when I start a project and I cannot believe myself when the passion remains unruffled until the last day, when I finish it!

7c

So from painting with oils and water I have moved on to crocheting….I cannot believe just a few years back I was manager, Customer Service for a leading Telecom group. The decision to quit work and travel with Ani was a quick yet conscious one. This gave me more time with my guy and of course I indulged in my hobbies more than ever. Playing with colors initially and now with colored yarns has a lot to do with my childhood. Painting was something I picked up when I was about 10 years and I saw mom knitting whenever she could get time from her job. Hence the transformation was not a difficult one.

4

Currently , I’m crocheting a granny square blanket and a dungaree for my baby. I’m wondering if I should crochet a sun-hat or an infinity scarf for myself one day. I consider my hobbies to be a talent because I can spend the whole day doing them and the project turns into a useful product!

My husband proposes that I should turn my hobbies into a business. Initially the idea was not appealing but now I think, why not create a business out of your hobby.

6c

And work would never be boring then…!

The Roseman Bridge

 

                                                                      Caught N’ Shot- A&R

It was after lunch and Francesca sat on the porch sipping iced tea.With Richard gone for more than a decade, thoughts about Robert came to her mind more frequently.As a usual chore,she got dressed up for her walk to the middle river across the Roseman bridge. After the walk she would pick vegetables from her garden and cook while listening to radio. Then she would read all the letters she wrote to Robert.
She stopped her car about a mile away from the bridge and started to walk. As the gravel road turned, the bridge started to appear.The memories of that sultry August afternoon started to flash in front of her eyes. It seemed just like yesterday, when she had come here with Robert .It was a good 15 miles from her home nevertheless she was glad she took the decision.
Today she saw a truck parked by the side of the road. Her eyes danced like butterflies all around.It would be stupid to look for Robert after so long, she thought. But she had kept his memories alive in her heart.She almost ran towards the bridge, when she saw a figure leaning over the railings, looking down at the River.She felt like this person had been standing there since eternity.Francesca called out his name and he looked back. He was an older, frailer version of her tall and husky Robert.
He smiled and looked for her hand. As she moved a step closer to hold him, he murmured,”I knew you would come” .Closing her eyes she hugged him tight and said.”Let’s go home Robert…”

Alter Ego

purple-flowers

“I’m sorry , I will not do it again….I want to have kids with you…come back home please…” Hopelessly, she had said on the mail. She had finally realized, it was their last fight and she gave her last shot. He didn’t bother to reply to this mail either like all of her previous mails and texts. He had enough of it already.
Last year when they were at her place and had an argument she had slapped him hard on his face, in front of her parents. That was the last bit of humiliation he could take. He remembered how he loved her truly and had married her in spite of everyone in his family being against it. He stood by her in her difficult times. Was she worth it, at all ?
The boarding had been announced and he smiled as he took out his boarding pass. He was leaving for Turkey and this time never to come back.

DSC04833

Soul- Searching

bluebells-blooming-hallerbos-forest-belgium-4

Sitting in the coffee shop, Neha’s life flashed in front of her eyes.They knew each other for a decade now.She was all of twenty and he, an engineering graduate. He doted on her and visited her every year before he finally took a job in her city just so they could spend more time in person. After initial hiccups of religion, caste and parents’ disapprovals, they had got married. They were best of friends, lovers and souls-mates, she had thought. She trusted him blindly for he had pursued her for several years before she said “yes”. Neel’s job made him travel all across the world and last time he was home, she had stumbled upon some texts on his cell phone. They were from a wrong number, he had said.

Holding the coffee mug, she remembered the red roses and the chocolate cake he received on his birthday. Apparently ,she had flown to be with him on his birthday that year. He would also sport new shirts every now and then. He had a new watch and a cell-phone. His calls and E-mails to her had reduced drastically. Neel, when cornered, would at times try to justify the situation and sometimes go silent. In the longer interest of their relationship, she had shoved these little incidents under the carpet. But in the end, they had piled up to create a boomerang.
All her fears had come true when she saw a picture of them in his wallet, this time. She was shocked, broken and dismayed when he walked out on her. He had left , just the way he came into her life.
Quietly.

bluebells-blooming-hallerbos-forest-belgium-14

Those 7 years

A New Dawn

A New Dawn

He had pursued her for seven longs years and it was a fairy tale marriage. They were married in three different ceremonies and they believed to have found ultimate happiness.The trouble started brewing in the first year of marriage itself. Tempers ran high at the drop of a hat.There was no room for patience and respect, now that they were married. “Please”, “Sorry” and “I love you” were long forgotten words.

Her attitude, ego and immaturity turned every issue into arguments. More often than not,arguments turned into nasty fights. He seemed to have lost his most prized virtue , patience. Sometimes, he would not come back home and sleep at a friend’s place. To him, home never felt like a home at all. She would rage back to her parents after every little fight. The frustrations took over the fantasies of a happy life.
It seemed , the love had flown out of the window…literally. She stopped waiting for him and he started working extra hours.
Then one day he picked up his stuff and left for another city. She would not join him citing her studies.

Distances made them grow even more apart. She lived in denial of their failing marriage for next 2 years.
Meanwhile, he met another woman. One quiet lunch brought them together. Subsequent dates healed them to a great extent. She was bruised, abused and frail but her soul was alive. With her, he gained his hopes ,dreams and his life once again.

She promised to never take him for granted.
He promised to nurture her back with his love.

And they lived happily ever after.

Free to be Me

Free as a bird Shot by – Me (Big Sur CA)

Independent, fiery, ambitious, conservative, determined, practical and faithful. That’s what I’m. A  fervent mix of funky and conservative. Just the rightfully delight-able Margarita on the Rocks !!

So what is the quality that I admire most in myself? Undoubtedly, being determined wins the crown. When I decide on something, I move ahead and do it. Whatever it is, whoever it is and wherever it is.

Generally it takes your entire childhood to know who you are. When you step onto your adulthood, the confidence is not much to exercise yourself even if you know who you are. The toll of studies, working for a career or even for that matter working for the relationships is just too high. So , it took a couple of decades for me, to be me.

For a long time, I felt like a caged bird, struggling each day to fly out. It was inspirational to see other people being able to do their own thing. At times I hated myself for not being courageous enough to break free and at other times I would just flow with the time. But at all times pledging myself to swap my wings and fly out one day…

When finally that day came, I literally took a flight out of the country….far away to the Americas…! A sabbatical of  6 months from the humdrum of so called life. And I became the original me !!

I can be fearless. I can be ambitious in all senses, determined and fiery. I can be me now. It will be unfair not to mention the motivation I got from my loved ones. Angels who kept telling me to move on and get my peace. My rocks, who stood by me during the toughest years of my life. However, if I did not fall while I hit rock bottom, it was only because of my grit and endurance.

So, here it is for all the strong souls, who have lost their way. Get up and get going. If I can do it, everyone can!!

Tuscany

Peace

A Name

btn5

I was born to  soldier and his working wife. My dad met my mom when she had just joined Airforce in a civilian capacity. He was a Parachute Jumping Instructor and was posted at my mom’s city unit. He fell in love with this independent girl, working with the soldiers and proposed to marry her. All of 18, my mom directed him to her dads’. Marriage fixed in about 6 months time and they live happily ever after.

3

Oh wait…I was born the following year after the marriage. Since mom returned to work after 3 months of maternity leave, I was taken care by many people while she worked. My granny, my aunt (mom’s sister), her cousin and one lady who was a neighbor. This lady had 3 teenaged sons and she happily proposed to look after me while my mom worked from 7 in the morning until 2 pm. She would feed me,change and tuck me in as and when needed. Her sons were grown up and she missed having a baby around, she said. Also she loved having a girl for herself ! My mom sometimes would leave me at my granny’s and my aunt would take care of me before she picked me up on Saturdays. In between some of these days mom decided to have me named but she wanted the lady who looked after me, to name me. She wanted to thank her in her own way. The lady called me “Rinku” and that was put in the records. Rinku is a common name from the state she belonged to- Bengal.

4

I’m one of those people who didn’t like their name initially. But as I grew up and Mom told me this story of naming my name, I was filled with gratitude towards that lady and for my mom too. That lady for her unconditional love and Mom for being grateful to her and showing it in a unique way. As I grew up, started to like my name, short, sweet and crisp. It means ‘Sweet’ or ‘Sweet Thing”.

They say, a rose is a rose is a rose. Does not matter if it was not named as rose. But I’m glad that my name is a tribute to a good lady for her kindness and love. I have never met her or tried to find her ever but now it looks like I must.

Yes after writing this post , I’m going to call Mom.

most_popular_female_names

The Other Woman

Love

Love

How does it feel like to be the other woman? To be the woman who broke a marriage of two years. Well, there is always another side to a story…!

Initially Ria started spending only evenings with Andy. Soon she started staying over weekends and then before they realised, it was the entire week. Andy seemed to be in pain, a lot of pain. He said that he recently had a break up with his girlfriend and it had caused him lot of heartache. Ria did everything to ease him out. He was fine a few months later and thats when he confided about his marriage which had broken down. Ria loved him even more. She made sure they were together all the hours after work.He would see her off for work everyday and anxiously wait for her return after a tiring day at work. Together they made several escapades to nearby places, discovering and knowing these places and also each other. All this while, Ria was kind of worried how would they ever end their marriages and subsequently be with each other. Andy , on the other hand was more of a “live-in-present” kind of a guy. He was soaking up each moment of happiness that he could get from life.

Ria sometimes wondered why there were so few calls from Andy’s wife over the week or even on weekends for that matter. How can a newly married couple live so far away  from each other in different cities with almost no communications, she would wonder.  When a guy does not respond to his wife’s calls, texts, mails….there is nothing much left in the marriage.

Somtimes Ria would feel guilty about being the other woman. She could feel that Andy’s wife was still trying to save their marriage. But without his help, it was an impossible task. He had gone far away from her, their home for 1 year and her food that she so felt had captivated him. After all  a marriage is supposed to make you feel secured, comforted and loved. All thse 2 years, Andy had felt none. In fact , he asked Ria why women change after marriage. She said yes they do, only they start loving their men more, his eyes had glistened.

Ria told Andy to give one last chance to his marriage. She didnt want to be that “other woman” and she also felt, the wife was still trying to be with him as much as possible, of course when she would get time from her studies, her friends, her parents and her hobbies. Andy was never her first priority after marriage. And that was precisely why the marriage had started to crumble. She visited him once a year and would join him for Diwali when he went to his parental house. All the other inbetween months , Andy was supposed to be happy, in love with her, be faithful to her and believe in their long distance marriage and be all by himself.

It was a October that year, when his wife stayed with him in their house, went to his parents house with him and then came back with him for a few more days. Ria does not know what went on between them during those days. But Andy would call her every night and tell her that he loved her. After another couple of months, Andy was on his way out to another job assignment in US, he stopped by her city and stayed with her for a few days.  He confided that he has given his last shot and it didn’t work. That he is done and its not going to work and that he wants to stay with her rest of his life.

After this , it was just them. They still didnt know how would they go about their respective divorces nonetheless it was quite a relief for Ria that she gave Andy some time to decide. Ria now knows how Andy’s marriage had already disintegrated when she came into his life and that she never forced him for any of his decisions.

Truth is , a marriage cannot be broken down if there isnt any crack in it. Ria also feels that Andy’d wife had left him alone to fetch for himself. He had instead fetched- a girl who loved him just a bit more and never took him for granted.

In such cases , the wife was, in fact the other woman who had taken so many years of their lives before the actual soulmates could live happily ever after.

Sometimes we need to change our perceptions, those which are created by society.

Hope

Hope

Favorite Physical Trait

Red rock

Well this one is tough…I do not want to judge people based on any of their physical traits. That would not be fair….

But when it comes to talk about the most important feature in our body , it has to be the physique. I like to keep fit and in shape. I have been using my size 28 jeans since 2 decades now. Okay I was size 26 then!

I have been walking like 3-4 kms five times a week since last about 15 – 20 years. That has kept my body and health in check. You really cannot do anything about other features that we have as per our genetics. Some people may complain about small eyes or thick lips, some may cry over fuzzy hair or a big nose.What can you do about it really? But physique can be altered as per your wish. You can put on decent weight if you are too skinny or reduce if you are on the heavier side. And then feel good about yourself!

I really detest people who are consistently overweight and feel no qualms about binging and being overweight. They do not realise that apart from being looking unpleasant and unpresentable , they also are in the process of harming their health. In due years, they would have numerous health issues. Fat and overweight people may be merrier or happier than their thinner cousins but are in immense health risk. They also are not able to inspire people to eat healthy. They really do not promote working towards good health.

So here we go….eat healthy, go for a walk and have a body to kill for ! You will inspire people, make some jealous , age slow and most importantly be happy in long run.

Cheers.

***I write this gratitude challenge following an inspiration by a fellow blogger Day-9 / week 1 – 52 Weeks of Gratitude | Me and My Random Thoughts by Bikram.

A Friend- Week 7

Aditya Clicking pics April 2013 , San Francisco

Aditya Clicking pics
April 2013 , San Francisco

My first memories of Aditya is of middle school back in Agra, in the 90’s. An irritating, lanky, weird, bi-spectacle d teen who had poker straight hair. He was in a different class but always was trying to meddle into my group of friends. I didn’t like him much because of his bitter straightforward attitude and his silly talks. He would not allow anyone else to talk when in a group and surprisingly even engaged teachers with his nonsensical philosophies! Nonetheless, he was well into my friends circle in a couple of months! He lived away from where we were staying but he would bicycle his way to play with us almost every evening.

Fast forward, 20 years, I come to live in Delhi and just when Facebook was invented. I got to be in touch with so many friends including Aditya. And because of the sheer coincidence of living just a few miles away in the same area of the city, soon we decided to meet over lunch followed by a movie. Aditya was not a crazy teen anymore and we both sat and chatted for several hours sharing each other’s live’s happenings over last 2 decades. He had become a Human Right’s Lawyer and was an active LGBT leader in India. He travels around the world to speak in seminars and meetings for the same.

Since then he has been there as a dear friend, helping , supporting and guiding me through the most difficult times of my life. It was he who made me finalize my decision when I walked out on my marriage. I remember very clearly when he said, ” Rinks if you never leave this rotten marriage of yours, you will never come to know what you could have gotten on the other side of this.” I’m so glad, I understood what he meant by his one sentence. I’m so glad that I have my soulmate by my side now and my life could not have been better. For me, life has taken a complete 180 degree turn and words like love, trust, faith, care, pamper, appreciation, affection , adulation, respect and fair has become meaningful.

From time to time I turn on to Aditya for advice, suggestions and to tell him how my new life is shaping up. He is happy for me and we catch up every once in a while whenever I’m in Delhi. He too is glad that I have found my peace and that his advice and efforts to reinstate my dignity has paid off. We may have grown up and lead our own individual lives making mature decisions and being good human beings but in our hearts we still remain the teens the way we were, in school !

I’m so glad that I met Aditya again after so many years and that life has completed a full circle since we were in middle school. Aditya helps me in soul-searching and like always has answers to all the things that I throw at him. Though sometimes the answers are silly , nonetheless it teaches me to take life less seriously at times.

He has been a thorough gentleman, a dear friend and wonderful human being.

Here’s to fun, friendship, school-times and gratitude!

 Aditya at Barbeque @ Parag's April 2013 ( Palo Alto)

Barbeque @ Parag’s
April 2013 ( Palo Alto)

***I start this gratitude challenge following an inspiration by a fellow blogger Day-9 / week 1 – 52 Weeks of Gratitude | Me and My Random Thoughts by Bikram.

Quality Or Quantity

Last Autumn leaves - California, Jan 2015  Shot by A & R

Last Autumn leaves – California, Jan 2015 Shot by A & R

What’s the point in mindless chatter if you cannot prove your point? It’s akin to mindless blogs we write just to be able to prove ourselves ( and others too) that we have been writing everyday!

People who are intelligent , serious minded and are thoughtful, prefer to remain silent in more occasions than not. I wasn’t a chatterbox ever and considered myself to be more towards the silent types of species. I realized later in my life that there were people even more serious and quieter than me! Of course I aint saying I’m intelligent…I’m probably an average mind with an average IQ.

So why would people choose to remain silent even when there’s scandalizing things being said or stupidest matters are being discussed? Simply because they do not want to waste their energy on mindless chatter and would rather conserve their energies for more meaningful purposes. I understand it so much better now….guess it comes with age and experience!

Coming back to the actual topic that I want to write about. I remain a novice as far as blogging is concerned but I know for sure that I should be be penning down my thoughts only when I have something very concrete,useful and substantial to say. I should also use precise words , complete sentences and that by the end of the blog, the reader should clearly get I wanted to say and take back something from my post or my experience. Okay, sometimes I do write a personal experience and vent out my emotions but I make sure there is still a take away for the reader. After all, I’m writing more for someone to read than for anything else.

I do not believe in writing mindless blabber leading to nothing, just to put a check on a daily blogging schedule. It’s better to write a short poem or just put some creative self-taken shots rather than writing such stuff. So there are days that I might write two- three posts and sometimes weeks may pass and I may not feel anything strong to write about. Sometimes it happens that I’m busy enjoying my present that I instinctively realize that at that point in time, absolutely nothing is more important than experiencing and soaking up those moments of life. Everything else takes a back seat then.

I’m sure its perfectly alright to miss a few days catching up with life and to take a break from writing every once in a while without feeling guilty about it !

Cheers for meaningful posts and poetry. And for even more meaningful pictures!

Can you !

Can you !

Return to Delhi

Love Speaks... Shot- A & R

Love Speaks…
Shot- A & R

Nostalgia of sweet memories of 2011-2012 will always remain in Nina’s heart. The year long stay with Andy at The Maidens and at Crown Plaza was too good to be true.

Even though both of them were struggling with their issues in their individual lives, they managed to stay positive and look forward for their life together. There were days when they had no answers at all for each other’s questions.

Life is full of surprises and most of them come at a time when least expected. When you are going through a tough time , when you cannot see your future clearly and hence cannot plan anything, life would surprise you with most beautiful gifts. The key is to hang on , have faith, keep loving unconditionally and be positive always.

All the thoughts about those years became fresh in Nina’a mind when they visited Delhi this time. They were married this time and had worked hard to make their dreams of being together. Nothing is impossible as it seemed 3 years back. Happiness is being together, staying together….each moment.

 

Happiness Shot- A & R

Happiness
Shot- A & R

Determination

Pigeon Point Captured by A & R

Pigeon Point
Captured by A & R

Decisions are always meant to be made by believing in your gut feeling, at least for me. My heart has always had a say in all the matters of my life. Even before I realize whats going on, my heart seems to have made up its mind. It coolly tells me….which way to go dear! And somehow I have always ended up listening to it and going by my instincts.

It took a long time before this inner voice became active and started telling me things and hence making my life easier. Until I was in my 20’s I used to rely upon mom and dad for their sound advice on just about everything. Things went awry in the marriage which was arranged by my parents when I was all of 20. I realized that I had been not been listening to my heart all this while. It dawned upon me that I only have to do one thing in life- go by my instincts.

2

We all make mistakes in our lives. Its only when life goes out of control that we get in retrospection and consciously invent the formula to live, happily. Some take a few years to realize the power of their own heart some take a lifetime , depending upon the way their life is genetically and socially influenced. It really does not matter how many years we have lost, because once you choose the direction at the crossroads, you eventually lead a better life. One, because you follow your instincts hence pull in happiness for yourself. Two, since you do not depend upon others or listen to your logical brain giving you some inconsequential argument about what would happen if you do this or that, you are happy listening to your heart because it tells you what to do to make it happy. So you just are happy in the current moment without thinking about the ill -effects of the decision you are making.

4

Its been almost a decade now that I listen only to my heart. Yes I do lose out sometimes but without any regrets. I trust my heart to make decisions for me and I simply go with the first thing my heart tugs in!

I also suggest my friends to go by what their heart and really not listening to any non-sense from any other source even if its their own head.

Life will be on a roll….just take a moment, listen to what your heart is saying and go by it!

One Love- Beach @ Santa Cruz Captured by A & R

One Love- Beach @ Santa Cruz
Captured by A & R

 

 

 

Archives

Categories

Exoticrinku

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 21 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 2,389 hits