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?

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Baby no- 2

Dear Daddy...

Dear Daddy…

Just when I thought, I was done with making babies in this lifetime, I had to rethink ! As next 2 years of my life fast forwarded in front of my eyes, I could not help smiling, watching this beautiful Coke ad. Life will be chaos just once again. Messier, crazier and sillier….nonetheless I’m enjoying the smile I see on hubby’s face every now and then. Riaan does not know yet about his threatened position in the house…but I’m sure he will learn to be a good big brother soon!

Meanwhile, enjoy this lovely ad from Coke. They always make them awesome !

Trust

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Small word , big responsibility , bigger repercussions if broken.

The only people who would carry on believing in us even when we break their trust, is immediate blood family. Rest everyone will, at the most will give you a second chance and then would either leave or chuck you out of their lives.

Trust is a huge virtue , being ‘true’ is the biggest portion of it. When young, we are being told to be truthful, honest and keep our promises. When we grow up, apart from these we also need to know the unspoken words and sentiments of the people we love, lest we hurt them unknowingly. This get complicated in today’s times.

A vast sea of promises, emotions and words play games between two people. It is up to the hard work of these people if they choose to go that extra mile to keep their friends, mates or partners happy. One of my friends casually mentioned a few years back, that its all about performance, professionally and personally too. Until then I had not known the value of the performance in personal life. I took all my relationships a bit casually and I didn’t know, I could work hard on it.

For me, all my relationships were equal and I didn’t treat anyone differently. I believed in equality but little did I know that each person is different and they ask for different things. Some need space, others security. Some are vocal about their feeling other are not and one need to know them better through their actions. Some would make you feel special and expect the same back, some would be just plain honest and simple, others would be diplomatic still be honest.

Trust in all cases cannot be broken, for it leads to a damage that cannot be mended ever. I still believe , if the core of our heart is honest and we make some extra effort to know the other person inside out, we would always see that thin line which we should not never cross.

Respect the trust that the other person has put on you. Leave before you have to break it.

Google Images

Google Images

Apology

Sorry....

Sorry….Its not so hard

Small word but the most powerful one to make or break relationships, personal or professional. One word ,which if you genuinely feel , would change you forever towards some event or person or you.

Sometimes we make mistakes and sometimes we don’t, in either case when things go wrong one of the persons need to step back so that the relationship is not damaged. Most of us are caught up in out sweet little ego trips and are unable to render an apology, whether or not it is due. Over  a period of time and experience I have also realized that people forgive and forget easily if you apologize even when it was their mistake. Most of the times , its our ego which stops us from bending down but then why not if the person is an integral part of our life.

Sometimes I do remember the people I have lost because I burnt the bridges after crossing them. At times I miss them and wished I had apologized , they would have still been there in my life….

Life is short and crisp….no time for any ego trips really, lets just try to hold all the good people rest of our lives.

sorry handwritten

 

Lessons from Punjab

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!!

Z for Zoroastrianism

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“Zoroastrianism is the oldest of the revealed world-religions, and it has probably had more influence on mankind, directly and indirectly, than any other single faith.” Mary Boyce.

The religion was founded by Zarathushtra in Persia .It may have been the world’s first monotheistic faith. It was once the religion of the Persian empire, but has since been reduced in numbers to fewer than 200,000 Zoroastrians today. With the exception of religious conservatives, most religious historians believe that the Jewish, Christian and Muslim beliefs concerning God and Satan, the soul, heaven and hell, the virgin birth of the savior,resurrection, the final judgment, etc. were all derived from Zoroastrianism.

Zoroaster lived in Persia, modern day Iran. Legends say that his birth was predicted and that attempts were made by the forces of evil to kill him as a child,a common theme found in many religions of the world. He preached a monotheism in a land which followed an aboriginal polytheistic religion. He was attacked for his teaching, but finally won the support of the king. Zoroastrianism became the state religion of various Persian empires, until the 7th Century CE.

When Muslim Arabs invaded Persia in 650 CE, a small number of Zoroastrians fled to India. Today, the group in India is the largest concentration of Zoroastrians in the world. Here, they are called Parsis. Those who remained behind in Iran have survived centuries of persecution, systematic slaughter, forced conversion, heavy taxes, etc. They now number only about 18,000 and reside chiefly in Yazd, Kernan and Tehran.

Zoroastrian places of worship are called Fire Temples. In the temples, an eternal flame is kept burning with sandalwood and frankincense.

Zoroastrians do not convert and consequently Zoroastrians are born to the faith. If a Parsi woman marries outside the religion, her children cannot be Zoroastrians, but if a man marries outside, his children can become Zoroastrians, although his wife cannot.

There are three basic moral principles that guide the life of a Zoroastrian:

  • Humata, “Good Thoughts,” the intention or moral resolution to abide by Asha, the right order of things.
  • Hukhata, “Good Words,” the communication of that intention.
  • Havarashta, “Good Deeds,” the realization in action of that intention.

Zoroastrianism places great emphasis on purity and not impair any of the elements of Zoroastrians’ creation. Hence traditionally, neither burial nor cremation were practiced by Zoroastrians. Dead bodies were taken to a Tower of Silence and laid out under the sun, where vultures devoured them.The doctrinal rationale for exposure is to avoid contact with earth or fire, both of which are considered sacred.This ritual is still followed and dedicated tower houses are constructed away from the cities.

According to the Zoroastrian tradition, after the death of the body, the soul remains in this world for three days and nights, in the care of angels. During this period, prayers are said and rituals performed to assure a safe passage of the soul into the spiritual kingdom. On the dawn of the fourth day, the spirit is believed to have crossed over to the other world.

Parsis’ are the actual minority of India as their population is decreasing by fast. They are concentrated mostly around Mumbai and a small percentage is present still in Gujarat where they initially landed.This is due to people getting married late, not wanting to have kids and also due to their ritual of marrying within their own community. Something needs to be done to protect them not because they are a religion but because they are peace loving , hardworking , industrious and not-crazy-about propagating their religion people.

Raja Ravi Verma: The Parsee Lady

Raja Ravi Verma:
The Parsee Lady

Y for YOLO

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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

U for Unconventional

Unconventional-TraitsGoogle says,” Unconventional” is not based on or conforming to what is generally done or believed.

The first thing which comes to my mind is the protagonist of The Fountainhead. Second, is of course myself and of late I cannot help but think of Kangana Ranaut being the most unconventional person of recent times.

For one, she is a small town girl from Himachal Pradesh unlike a city bred person who has been there and done that and also does not have godfather in the industry that she works in. Then, she has unconventionally famous truly curly hair which she has always loved to flaunt (she had turned them into a bob now , again unlike long tresses of rest of the Bollywood girls!) Her body is like a ramp model unlike conventional Bollywood actors. Third, when everyone had written her off and critics said she had been type-cast doing neurotic roles, she proves everyone wrong by giving hits like Tanu Weds Manu and Queen. Fourth, in a male dominated work place she has got the guts to take the bulls by his horns (read Hrithik Roshan), fifth, she is not ashamed of having relationships or of any other stuff which are still a taboo in a patriarchal society…..this list would be long I guess! The best was when she went on to wear an off shoulder gown to receive the National award for best actress from Mr. President. This occasion, until her had been reserved for wearing one’s best traditional Indian attire. Kangana broke all traditions at Rashtrapati Bhawan and thereby confirmed that you can be unconventional and successful and in that order.

The stuff that she talks about on national television with Barkha Dutt speaks volumes about her unorthodox attitude. She rubbishes everything that has been said and done against her. Success and sarcasm are the two great tools to work around with , she mentions. She dares to unfurl the curtain on this actor when he had been playing a good-old-mamma’s-boy all these years. Kangana may not be a conventional Indian beauty but what makes her outstanding amongst others is her being unconventional. Paradoxical yet a very amazing situation which confirms the fact that we should not be afraid of being different from others.

Just stay focused and enjoy being what you are!

Kangana-Neeraj-Priyadarshi

 

If they are sincerely seeking an apology then they must help me understand their perspective because blackmailing or threatening won’t work with me. Though my legal team is taking strict action against blackmailing and threatening me but as a girl it doesn’t scare me. You won’t get a sorry by threatening me or circulating my love poems, letters or images. I am not ashamed of anything, not my past, not my affairs, not my body and most definitely not my desire. So slut-shaming won’t work either.”- Kangana Ranaut

R for Romance

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                                                                             Google image

For a die hard romantic like me, R had to be for Romance!

That it was something which was taught in Masters was quite a news for me! Romance, I always thought was what was being shown in Bollywood and Hollywood and of course college teaches you all kinds of things related to it.

Wikipedia says : Romanticism (also the Romantic era or the Romantic period) was an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe towards the end of the 18th century and was at its peak from 1800 to 1850. Romance is defined as, “Love emphasizing emotions over other things.”

Romanticism is :

  • Imagination
  • Intuition
  • Idealism
  • Inspiration
  • Individuality

No other period in English literature displays more variety in style, theme, and content than the Romantic Movement at the turn eighteenth century.Romanticism, is a large network of competing philosophies, agendas, and points of interest. In England, Romanticism had its greatest influence from the end of the eighteenth century up through about 1870. Its primary vehicle of expression was in poetry, although novelists adopted many of the same themes. Contrary to the English , American literature championed the novel as the most fitting genre for Romanticism’s exposition. In a broader sense, Romanticism can be conceived as an adjective which is applicable to the literature of virtually any time period. Hence anything from the Homeric epics to modern novels can be said to have the stamp of Romanticism.

Romanticism is concerned with the individual consciousness and especially the individual imagination. “Melancholy” was quite the mantra for the Romantic poets and altered states of consciousness were often sought after in order to enhance one’s creative potential.  Nevertheless, writers invested more in social causes as the period moved forward. Due to Industrial Revolution, English society was undergoing the most severe paradigm shifts it had seen in recent times. Early Romantics poets yearned for an idealized, simpler past. In particular, English Romantic poets had a strong connection with mythology and medieval times.

The styles and values of Romantic period still exist for example:

  • Feelings ,emotions and imagination take priority over logic and facts.
  • Belief in children’s innocence
  • Nature as beauty and truth
  • Outsiders as representatives of special worth (excluded by rigid society or irrational norms
  • Nostalgia for the past
  • intensification and extremes
  • Common people idealized as dependable source of true common sense and sentiment
  • Idealized or abstract settings; characters as symbolic types
  • Gothic as nightmare (world of intense emotions and complex psychology)

Any of these qualities can be associated with Romanticism, but none of them defines or limits Romanticism absolutely. Sometimes they may contradict each other.

So much so for actual Romanticism or the beginning of Romance. By the turn of 19th century , with the invention of films, Romanticism took an entry to show itself live on screen. Since Romanticism makes you think as the protagonist, or as the creator of the romantic piece (Poetry, art, movies or prose), it made people to be imaginative or be creative . The Romantic poets were regarded as innovators in their own imaginations as opposed to realism. The real problems of life in the world seemed to be pushed aside and hence in coherence with the romantics of the present age.

Nonetheless, its is absolutely necessary to be a romantic even if you are a scientist because only then you would imagine and create things which would let others to look into your thoughts/innovations. Romanticism gave birth to think differently and produced protagonists as heroes of the society who would bring about the much needed change. Falling in love in contradictory situations is a small part of romanticism as I observed while reading about Romanticism at large.

Thanks to Bollywood for such an ample dose of romanticism at all times and for giving us heroes, winners and pragmatic thinkers who believed in changes!

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                                                                    Google images

NB- Knowledge extracted from Internet sources.

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

Talent and A Hobby

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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And work would never be boring then…!

Lunch on an August Noon

Lunch

“Why don’t you come over for a cup of Coffee?” he asked.
“May be sometime later…” she had said. She had been avoiding this rendezvous for more than a month now.He was new and alone in the city and had been looking for a friend to talk and spend sometimes. She too, was lonely in her life.They hadbeen talking on phone  all this while and he seemed to be a kind person to her.They would generally talk about their work, hobbies and life in general.
It was a Friday morning and she had been in a rather traumatic state of mind,thanks to an early morning fight with her husband.As he called her on work, he had quietly listened to her sobs and imagined the nasty weekend she was going to have.
He asked again, ” Come over for a cup of coffee, you will feel better”. This time, she had said yes to him. Around noon, she took a bus to meet him at his place. He kept calling her to ensure she does not lose her way. She got out of the station and called him on his cell phone. They could not find each other for about 10 minutes. She wondered if it was too good to be true. But then she saw him waiting under a tree just outside the station with an umbrella. It was a hot August afternoon and as they walked down ,he kept the umbrella up over her through the entire way.

She looked up at him and wondered what took him so long. He looked at her smiling and asked,”What will you have for lunch?”

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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.

Serendipity

Everyone has their serendipity moments. For some its food, results of an exam they took, sports event, stumbling upon a  buy-1-get-3-deal, bestie turning into a lover…

My serendipity moment has to be the way Ani came into my life. It was the summer of 2011 and my on-the rocks marriage had exasperated me to no end. I used be irritated, angry and upset all the time. My work was suffering and I had difficulty maintaining my all other relationships. Perhaps , the time had come to quit. After several attempts of online dating , I took a break as it was not at all a good feeling meeting awkward, funny, stupid and sometimes outrageous people.

I kept delaying meeting Ani and he kept asking me out for a coffee. After a month of chatting and talking on and off, I had finally agreed to see him for lunch. I had no hopes from this meeting, like I said, I was put off by the kind of people who were on the dating sites.

One meeting led to another and before I could realize we were seeing each other on every weekend.

But it was still a regular date and not a serious relationship. It could not be because I was not going to get into a serious relationship so soon. The scars of my abusive marriage were deep and I was simply taking time-out to re-organize my life. On the other hand Ani had left his wife of two years and was seeking a temporary relationship to spend his lonely weekends. So either way, we were just hanging out, giving ourselves some time and did not really want a relationship.

But before we could realize, we were thick into love and could not live without seeing each other. The temporary relation seemed to have done its first job- healing the scars. I felt that we were spending crazy amount of times together, hence I thought we needed to talk and give the relationship a direction. So, there we were discussing the possibility of a serious bond together just 6 months after we had met. Ani said ,he wanted to be with me , rest of his life but did not know how would we go ahead with so many complications around our lives. I admitted my feelings for him and told him,”Let’s go with the flow of time”.

Surprisingly, things got sorted out by themselves and both of us were divorced by the end of next one year.

My man is nice and kind by nature and that’s the most basic quality of a good human being. I could not have asked for more and we became man and wife soon.So a casual date turned into a pleasant relationship and then took an even more pleasant turn when we realized that we could not get a better spouse than each other.

So here is to unpredictable things, risk taking abilities, intuitive instincts, having fun, faith and loving life. Most important of all , is to give your best shot at all times and enjoy each moment of your life.

I would say, never forget to dream and things will work out for sure!!

Cheers!

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Dreams coming true…

A Challenge I have overcome

 

I belong to the category of people who are straightforward , painfully honest and extra sensitive. That mak244654-1es me lose people , good and bad equally. I have realized and have been taught over and over again that one needs to be diplomatic,learn to give a silent treatment and insensitive to lots of things in life. While learning the tricks of the trade, I have hurt myself many a times and am left to question myself- Am I being fair to myself?

So what is the challenge that I have overcome in my life? Being outspoken. My core nature is being that but I have learnt to be quiet and give some time to things that I don’t understand and situations where I feel the urge to speak up and sometimes revolt. This independent streak to speak my mind has been genetic and comes straight over from dad’s. I have understood that, I don’t need to react and speak up my intentions in every situation. But at the same time, stand my ground and ultimately do the things the way I want and perhaps explain it later with logic.

I have been practicing this, for an year now. At times I don’t feel like being myself but I have to admit that it saves me from unnecessary discussions, most of which leaves me frustrated and without any viable solutions and to top it up I lose relationships because after that I give up on people. I don’t get worked up and hence save lot of energy. At the end of such episodes of restrain, I feel glad and say to myself, ” whoa…I would have racked my brains out on this….”

No, you don’t have to be painfully honest and speak your mind. You need to be quiet and explain logically why you think so and do that way…in a very few words. I’m glad that I don’t cause pain to my loved ones now and really don’t waste my time with general people anymore ! Just that sometimes I miss being myself…!!

Try it?

outspoken-quotes-8

 

Something we take for granted

Love Cloud

Love Cloud

Being loved is the most precious thing in the world and I think we all take it for granted. The love by the parents, siblings and then by lovers is something we should be always grateful about. We usually never realise that parents love by our parents is like a gift from heaven and it never ceases comewhat may and hence we take it for granted all our lives. We realise when they are gone and then we repent rest of our lives. The sooner we realise the importance of parents love, its better. Because there is nothing like it and and we should enjoy each onet of it and try to give them the same selfless love.

Similarly , siblings, most of them love us unconditionally. Partners, lovers or spouses who love us like we were born in the same family and who nurture us are the best thing to happen after parents. One should consider himself lucky if they get such a life partner because in current times its rare. Once lost you will never get it back !!

Let’s vow never to take love for granted, never to demean it, never to be ungrateful, if we are lucky enough to have it. Let’s learn to appreciate and nurture the love that we have in our lives.

Love from parents, family and partners is to be rejoiced, respected and returned in the same intensity if not more.

Cheers!

Sunset @ Goa

Sunset @ Goa

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

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.

Ringing in 2015

Sunset by the lake Shot- A & R

Sunset by the lake
Shot- A & R

Its already late to write on this topic nonetheless…better late than never!

The new year eve which coincides with my birthday is usually spent dancing,shopping and ends with a dinner of my choice. Of course then a cake cutting session in the middle of the night! This was happening since last 3 years, thanks  to my sweetheart and this year I wanted it to be a quiet evening. Because I was expecting , I wanted less noise, less people around and a quiet dinner. So we decided , we shall go camp in our favorite hotel a previous day, spend the evening there and ring in my birthday and the new year from the quiet room overlooking the lake of the city.

With 2 bags , we drove into the hotel and took a room at 10th floor. Down from the window, the preparations for the New Year Eve’s party on the dance floor was on full swing. I just wanted to relax on the sofa and listen to some soothing music and watch the sun go down the lake. The year had been pretty hectic with lots of good things coming in. There were a few incidents which caused a bit of heartaches too. Nonetheless, I wanted to decompress and unwind and create a still better beginning for the coming year. Dinner was sumptuous -Palak Paneer, tandoori chicken and Rotis with a green salad and Ani disappeared from the room to hunt for a birthday cake! We went down and had a look at the hotel bakery. It was sensible to buy the cake from the hotel then driving down to another bakery through maddening traffic of people getting out to celebrate new year’s eve. The traffic was bumper-to-bumper , the parks were crowded, the hotels were brimming with people….my goodness, India is exploding with people!

I convinced Ani to get just a chocolate pastry as cake would have become too much for two of us.

The ceremonial cake was cut at the stroke of 12 midnight, as the people down the dance floor started hugging each other and the hotel sky was lit up with a string of firecrackers!  Three years of togetherness and much of bliss and peace. Next day was spent quietly lazying and taking stroll along the pool.2nd of January saw me doing some shopping for husband, baby and some essential items for the trip to US. And by evening we were at our home sweet home.

Im glad this new year was quiet with lot of time for introspection and retrospection. There should be days in our life when one can sit back , relax , do nothing, feel the life go by, moment by moment and just live in the moment. Life is short and we have lot of aspirations.If we do not sit back once in a while,we will not realize and life will zoom past us.

This one is for everyone to take a break from routine, if its on the birthday, its all the more great!

Chocolicious... Shot-  A & R

Chocolicious…
Shot- A & R

Something Someone Gave You- Week 5

Time is a Gift - by Ani

Gift of Time – by Ani

Giving is always a bliss. Receiving is a pleasure too. Long time back my brother told me to never go by the price of your gift. Gifts are bought for you with some thought, money and energy and that is what should be appreciated. I have always valued the gifts I have received and have treasured them all.

Friends , parents, colleagues always give you gifts with or without occasions. My sweet hubby has been showering me with gifts since we met and some of them are totally invaluable. The most precious would have to be the gift of my life that my parents gave to me. I would certainly thank them for having decided to get married and have me as their first born ! For its’ because of them that I’m able to see this beautiful world , live and love it in all senses.

One that I would never forget is a hand made birthday card my kids gave me when they were very young. It was for “The World’s Best Mom” with lots of scribbles and colors inside! I treasure that and keep it close to my heart always!

Gift of Love

Gift of Love

***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.

Family- Week 3

Love Forever

Love Forever

When we say family…the first thing which comes to my mind is Ma and Papa. The people who gave me the gift of life , brought me up, made me good enough to be independent,self reliant and dignified. We do not appreciate our parents until we leave our nests. A few years in college hostel or another city for your first job make you realize their importance. You start coming back to them, along with maintaining your study or job hours. Then you get married  and the parents take a back seat in your life , again. It almost a decade before you get out of your husband/wife/kids/career (read – a vicious cycle) mess that you are a bit relaxed to pay attention to your parents- your first family !

Ma and Papa are the epitome of love ,discipline and integrity. In the best years of my life that I have spent with them, they have molded, guided and loved me to become who I have eventually become as a human being. They, my family has played the most important part in my growing years. The fact that I’m able to live this beautiful life as I should, is because of them. Parents are and should be an integral part of our family.

Parents role do not end once we grow up and get married and start our own families. They remain in our lives as grandparents to our kids. They help them grow with their intense love and care. This time , may be they are a bit relaxed about disciplining them! But that’s okay, that bit is left for us to do.

I cannot imagine my life without my parents.They are and would remain my first family because I know even at this stage of my life, every heartbreak leads me to them and they do everything to get me out of it. Always giving and never asking for anything in return….isn’t it what a Family actually should mean?

Given the fact that there are no schools to learn parenting, I guess all the parents do an excellent job by making their family happy and by providing for each one of its members. Raising a good family is not an easy task however it remains the only way to know what our family has done for us and to carry on the tradition forward.

Family

Family

***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.

The Capricorns

220px-Capricorn2

Symbol : Goat

Ruling Planet : Saturn

Constellation : Capricornus

Zodiac Element : Earth

Zodiac Quality : Cardinal

Sign Ruler- Saturn

We, the Goats are very independent and believe that to depend on others is a weakness. Our stern exteriors can be misleading. When you get to know us better, the picture becomes rather different. We avoid taking risks, and would stick to the tried and tested ways, but we also have a fun-loving streak! It is just that we take more time to open up. Security is important to us so we pursue monetary goals with dedication, but material pleasures are never our priorities. We command respect, but never try to dominate others. However, when the Goats slip into negativity, which we often do, we become rigid.

Capp

The women born under the Sign Capricorn are simple and pursue their goals aggressively. They are meticulous women who have full knowledge about their strengths and weaknesses. They do not get carried away by fantasies, but when they set their hearts on something, they will go after it with determination.
They are both conservative and outgoing. They succeed in managing both domestic and professional work easily.

cap

The most exceptional quality of a Capricorn is that we are practical. However, we lack spontaneity and all our moves are planned in advance. We can’t tolerate defeat, and all our efforts are geared towards making sure that we get the success we desire. For us, seeing is believing. We will only believe the things seen, touched or tasted. We are realistic and cannot appreciate what is idealistic. And, it is exactly because we are practical that others value our opinion highly.We are fair and have a strong sense of justice.

zodiac-capricornus-1575-granger

The Capricorn-born people are the most determined of the entire Zodiac. The most prominent qualities of the Goats, as they are called, are that they are ambitious, conservative, determined, practical and helpful. They make good team leaders and organizers, because of their single-minded focus on their work, sense of responsibility and sincerity. They are perceived by others to be workaholics, unemotional and detached. Sometimes their negative qualities – stubborn, suspicious, pessimistic, resentful, inhibited  – are seen clearly, but deep inside the Goat is a humble heart. They are soft, and their hard outer shells are meant to guard themselves against the hurt caused by rejection.

capricorn-wallpaper-11496-hd-wallpapers

Nothin’ But A Good Time

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After 18 long years duties , responsibilities and obligations,  Roslynn quit her life that failed to move her anymore. A life which was only full of commitments. Commitments to several other lives except her own.

Now every single day life taught her new things. She traveled to new places and met new people. The sun welcomed her every morning and challenged her to live up her life happily. Now she could look at the moon and the dark sky with glittering diamonds for as long as she wished.

So there she was…finally quitting for being someone she was not supposed to be! With her knight in shining armor Roslynn was living life in her own terms. Each day is a celebration of her independence. She can get up anytime in the morning, she can do anything she likes to do as the first thing in the morning. Roslynn never liked cooking but now that she is not forced into it, she likes to experiment with food and has started liking cooking for her guy. This guy thoroughly enjoys whatever she puts together for a meal.

Roslynn loved the colors on a canvas…she loved to paint. She can now paint whenever she wanted and it really soothes her soul and makes her calmer,  quieter and happier. Morning or dusk are reserved for taking a walk across the neighborhood. She loves to explore the wild, the forests, birds, wildflowers, dogs and the hillocks Hyderabad has to offer.

She also wants to explore with her lens. Capturing the timeless moments in her camera so that they remain intact in her memories of good times in the years to come. There is more to come…in the coming days. As of now Roslyn wants to spend time painting, cooking , photography and just do nothing sometimes. She wants to sleep and get up on her own, she wants solitude and peace doing her own things.She does not want her life to be driven by other people’s life.

Last but not the least, she wants to have a wooden cabin by a gurgling stream near a mountain so that she is a bit more away from the mad rush of life cities offer. She does run to such getaways every once in 3 months. She would love to own a pet dog ,a birdhouse in her sit out and do some farming. She would love to go for an early morning walk up in the meadows and watch the sun rise and flowers open up with the breaking of dawn.

Roslynn has achieved most of her peace in life….it did take some gruesome years nonetheless the wait was worth it!

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