Dear Zindagi!! A Review

#DearZindagi #KissaKursiKa

dear-zindagi

Firstly, if someone promises me  that the psychologist\psychiatrist ( the movie makers seem to swing to n fro with the job description) is going to be as dishy and as dimpled as SRK and the healing touches/sermons/life jazz/comparisons would be dished out on the Goan beaches, I am game to go all design distressy, with untold, unresolved angst to boot. Aint that peach, really?

But hey, life happens to all, threatening to scar and singe. Making you stumble and fall. No one is spared from it’s heft. Nada!

Bas, you gotta pick yourself up and keep walking.

I may suck at whole lot things but allow me this gloat – I  am a good…nope a Great MoM.

Hence I could pretty much fathom the raison d’être of the conflicts which shaped rather stunted Alia’s relationship curves.

Still! One tends to get puzzled as to why, when these protagonists that Bollywood rolls out for us, have it all, they aren’t happy yet? Why does the new-gen fret and flounder? Have the paradigms of happiness changed all around or is it hip to trip and crib till eternity?

Is life, a game of perfect IKEA musical chairs?  Aren’t most of us just happy to get one decent chair to settle in?

All said and done, go see this movie for Alia! How effortlessly she holds the movie together, even in the most banal of situations! I love her spirit. Also for Shah Rukh’s pop treatment of the trauma. Did I forget the sweet tall lads who flit in and out of Alia’s life or her constant girls?

Catch this flick before some MNSish outfit discovers, this has the adorable Ali Zafar (way better than Fawad 😉 )

If only it was that easy to embrace your debilitating demons, slay them swiftly and walk out with a spring in your step, filled with gossamer hopes.

Lastly don’t go expecting an English-Vinglish wala standards

That was Sridevi! They don’t make like her anymore…

Do remember to hug your child real tight tonight

Let us Mock, Stalk & Quarrel

15111089_1167050083364261_1330858925931304118_oA wikipedia would define Satire as a genre of literature in which the vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings of individuals, corporations, government, or society are held up to ridicule, ideally hoping for an improvement. A feature of satire is strong irony or sarcasm. Although satire is usually meant to be humorous, it’s greater purpose is constructive social criticism, using wit to draw attention to both particular and wider issues in society.

We are seeing some solid society churning. In such times, a true writer uses the pen to echo the turmoil around.

When the mere wax figures  masquerade as role models to the ignorant and fawning believers, 

when goddesses mull over festering sores of deep-rooted gender inequalities, 

The domestic drivels or the mismanaged familial relationships or the idiosyncrasies of our daily humdrum,

When knowledge acquisition suffers a collateral damage as you go chasing degrees, 

When even after 70 years of independence, an MP has no Locus Standi, 

When a death in search of fame doesn’t even merit a footnote in the daily rags,

When the age old biases exist to debilitate and stunt,

When it becomes a herculean task to find a noble prince or a malleable maid,

When Gods are slotted, reservations are resisted and blood needs to be proved,

When it is not fair to be dark and the government becomes our matrix,

When miracles or god-(wo)men defy logic or a tail becomes a frenzied tale …

It is then time to get to work, wield that acerbic pen and whip up a torrid storm.

These are the prevalent, pertinent issues, screaming for a platform to be showcased so that there could be a change, albeit slowly.

There are two ways to go about this.

Either one pontificates or playfully delivers a sledgehammer.

The second option is always,  in my humble opinion, more effective because it softens the blow while making one chuckle and also circumspect.

Sarcasm always works because humor helps you cope, think and if possible…act!!

Edited by Indrani Ganguly, Mock, Stalk and Quarrel, a collection of satirical stories,  pokes fun at all the seemingly insurmountable, deep-set issues of today.

Short story format is apt for such an endeavor as the restless world around expresses the feelings in 140 characters. Everything is insta and happening!

So short and snappy is catchy.

It is our way of wanting a tangible change.

Together, we could and we did.

I’m extremely proud to be associated with this ‘Must-Read-One-Of-A-Kind-Satirical-Anthology’ and invite you to pick your copy at this URL.. 

http://amzn.in/7AQZ2VW

Abide with us -The Magical 29 

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-12-50-47-pm

maid

It was past seven, way past the time, Mona was supposed to be home.

Each time the bell rang, I went running to the door, only to discover it was someone else. With a sinking feeling,

I rang up the neighbors, security.

Nobody had seen her. I was stricken now.

I was down in the dumps when the bell rang again..

‘kya ri Mona? subah subah itna der kar dete ho. Sab ko tayaar hoke jaana hain, sink bhar ke bartan hain!’

I let go at her.

She walked in with a cheeky smile, confident that she would be pacified later with malai masala chai.

I followed meekly with a silent prayer on my lips and a song in my heart..

Yippee its a great day.

Go Green? Makes me see red really!!

These days I am constantly told that conserving the environment and protecting our planet must be a civil society’s number one priority, people should want to make a difference and live greener lives.

However ‘Go Green’ is always a scary slogan for me. It kind of rhymes with Mo-clean and makes me scurry around with mop and mope till I drop.

We keep hearing that we are but caretakers of this legacy of mother earth, that we need to pass it on to our children.

As they say, child is the father of man and the children have it taken it upon themselves to educate us all about green earth. The amount of poster work that gets done to ram this singular point across is no one’s business.

Err about the numbers of trees that went into making those papers.. Well, never mind. That’s a different point

Mind you, I have done my share of home work, finding all about sustainable living and the ways I could reduce my carbon imprint. Here’s what I found.

Wise ones have already laid out few commandments for greener lives

1) Think and shop – Whoever said Sale is a four lettered work, couldn’t be more wrong. NCR with its unpredictable seasons needs constant wardrobe update. How does one think green in such cupboard defining moments?

2) Taking care that the big electronic purchases are environmental friendly and have enough star credentials – To be frank, the first and foremost thing, I worry about is how wallet friendly is my purchase. The government should make sure that India doesn’t become the dumping ground  for iffy and dated technologies.

3) Ditch the plastic – If I do that, how do I line my trash can? How do I store stuff in my fridge or carry my drinking water?

4) Pay attention to labels and boycott products that endanger wildlife and me – Easier said than done that. Have you seen that tiny minuscule print at the back? Impossible to read without an industrial scale magnifier!

5) Green your home. Choose renewable energy – All right where is the sunlight ? The match boxes that we live in, have been specially designed by the architects to make sure that hardly any light comes through. The tiny homes have fewer spaces for greenery too. We need greener homes at affordable prices.

6) Be water wise. Bathe with buckets. Wash clothes less frequently and use less water for dishes – Yeah right! If and when water does come out of those taps, these diktats could be followed. Itches, rashes and dysentry be damned.

7) Then the segregation of waste – By the time the maids understand and implement, armageddon would be here.

8) Drive less, drive green – Public transportation? Ok show me a safer mode of transportation, than my own car, where I wont be pawed, gaped at. Alarmed with the smog levels, the Delhi Government did come up with the 15 days of odd even vehicles experiment. Women didn’t feel the heat as they were exempted. Next time they aren’t going that lucky. There are  no safe cycle tracks if one needs to do short distance travel.

9) Have a Green Diwali – Just imagine this festival without the ear splitting noise of crackers or smog inducing Anars!! Only simple diyas and no more ‘De Dabba Le Dabba’ drives. Cuts down vehicular pollution you see. Eeks! fie on these green monsters

10) Choose to have a smaller family. I like this the best !  Amen to that!

On a serious note, people would love to lead greener lives. It’s just that, it is too time consuming and there aren’t enough services that help people make the right choices.

As technology becomes more user centric, there will be a difference.

PANO_20150621_193859

Early Morning Blues – Nothing Funny about this! But(t) Seriously!!

anupama lores-44

Every Sunday, without fail, in TOI, a GyanGuru will enlighten us on how he/she kickstarts the day/week.

Eternally thankful to be alive and one with the God wala jazz

These pieces set me thinking, “What about me?”

Here, the day kicks me to start and fire up.

Precisely at 6:12 am, a zillion alarms go off, creating a racket enough to wake up an army. Except me ..

After the repeat of the same aforesaid cacophony called alarm, which sounds like an armageddon afoot somewhere, I manage to arrive in this wicked world away from my comforting snooze land.

By this time, precious fifteen minutes have simply vamoosed away.

I do end up remembering God, but definitely not in so many flattering terms.

My weakened and dull brain cells then remember that darling dotty needs to go to school and there are hardly thirty minutes left. And that hits me and now I’m a woman on a murderous mission.

I shake my zonked out dotty, simulating an earthquake. She peers through one eye, turns and snores again. I yank her out of the bed and push her into the bathroom.

She bawls, I holler.

Milk is split. Bread is slathered with some whitish spread.

Water puddles are formed while the bottle is filled.

She manages to wear the skirt while I push the banana down her throat.

We zip up, comb, tie laces while we make the 100 meter dash to the bus stop.

Who said there is no olympic talent in India. Catch her ilk and train them hard.

Bolt ki kasam. Saare medals hamare!

We finally arrive in a single huffing piece and she boards the bus, flaunting a beatific smile.

And I am bushed beyond compare

But Mission Accomplished!

Oh yeah! At this moment, I feel one with the God!

You Betcha!!

AnyunI

When the Exam Season Tests You and the Child!!

anu

Exam season is upon us in NCR.

A season when some mothers go absolutely ballistic, wanting to make sure that their children become the shining super stars! Aka toppers of the class!

The sad thing about that position is that usually, there can only be one topper. The rest have to settle somewhere in that triangle of abilities.

But being the second best is no good you see! 

“We only remember Neil Armstrong, the first man on moon! Who remembers the second man on the moon?” goes the argument..

Agreed, a loving mother would always want the very best for her child. In their endeavor to see their child topping the heap, sometimes, committed mothers go all out.

They plan the entire day’s schedule, including the time allocated for loo breaks. Mobiles are confiscated, power meals are planned. Internet and TV suddenly become out of bounds. Playtime becomes highly restricted. Exam timetables are whatssapped in triplicate to tutors and teachers are hounded with unending mails.

It is a mission, you see!

As an educator and as an admin of an academic forum of Facebook, I have seen the lengths the parents go, to make their children, super winners.

While all this is very heartening, it is actually a very fine line not to cross!

When we cross that, we forget the damage we cause to those little hearts.

Sometimes to escape this never-ending, minute scrutiny, the children take to lying. Not at all a happy situation because trust should be the underlying factor for any thriving relationship.

A heartfelt request to all moms out there –

Please do not criticize/berate/make fun/discredit your child in front of his/her tutors/teachers. Put yourself once in their shoes and see how small you would feel, if someone were to do the same to you. Please boost their confidence and become the wind beneath their wings. Please do not give them the spiel about the enormous monies spent on their education or the comforts you provide or how hard you had to work to reach where you are now. And that deadly sibling comparison? About a sister/brother doing much better? The scars it leaves, are for life. 

This discourse almost never has the intended effect of making them feel guilty, thereby responsible. The children just shut off, after awhile, to this Gyaan.

Instead, explain to your children, the necessity to do well, to the best of their abilities, in this competitive world. Have a realistic opinion and expectation of your child. Each child has one or more wondrous talents. It is up to you to figure it, ferret it out and polish it. Who said parenting was easy?

A good, solid preparation to ace the exams is needed. And this process should be enjoyable and not a hellish burden on the child.

Acing the exams shouldn’t be life’s only aim. Marks are not the be all and end all of life. A good character with an ability to face life is more important than anything else. 

Because Life is a continuous Test requiring a courageous demeanor and constant updating of combating skills.

It all starts with you mother! Groom them! Make your children, Life Ready!

So I cook – Not only stories but Food too

Seriously? Do you cook yourself?”

“No! I cook by myself 😊!”

“Haan vahi! Same to Same. So you must having a live-in help. No?”

“Nope, I have just one part-timer to pitch in..”

“Seriously? So what do you exactly do in life?”

“Well I do loads of interesting stuff, I teach kids, I blog across parental forums, I also write short stories..”

“Oh Oh… (life must be tough! Poor thing, That’s why!!)”

Living where I live, these are some existential dilemmas and perennial questions which you cannot counter saying “I’m doing Ok, Thanq. That’s not the reason I’m slumming really!”

Plus given my OCDs…The time I take to wash spinach or pre soak the lentils, the cook would have finished her routine in 3 houses. And I haven’t even talked about what I do to cauliflower’s florets. (“You see, those tiny florets can be presoaked in warm saline water or…”)

So even for the cooks of the Condo, I am a taboo

To add colour and to keep peace, I trawl the food channels

What I have understood after losing countless hours and many non-regenerative cells, is that…

1) Indian food per se is unfit and is fully loaded with fat!

2) Oatifying n BellPepperizing, redeems the said offending dish

3) Anything is garlic addable including Gunjiya🤔🙃

4) Throw in some exotic leaves like Arugula, Dill or even the humble greens of onions…the fit meter simply zooms up. Don’t forget to olive oil it 😀

5) Everything is baked (standard 170 C 15 min) or Non sticked. 2 drops of Olive oil does the trick!     

6) Those spotless Blingy kitchens, top of the rack accessories! Enough to induce agonizing ennui

7) Who cooks at home with that blinding Pepsodent Smile and Designer Threads, hair all intact?

So I have been thinking, how about Olive oiled kaddu sabzi with baked pooris with bell pepper filling for this Diwali?

My guests might surely vamoose!

Phew. Khana Khazana Tha pehle. ab Smart Cooking Ho Gaya!!

AeDilHaiMushKil – A bloody Honest Review

ae-dil-hai-mushkil

#AeDilHaiMushKil Kill Me Now!!

Dear Karan Johar,

Here I am back, writing an open letter, yet again. Kya kare Aadat se Majboor!

I have just spent 3 hours 45 minutes 54 Seconds of my rather ordinary life watching ‘Ae Dil E Mushkil’. Which can never be recovered ever again!! And at my station of life that is precious resource really!

Enough Puns have been made on this title and I won’t try making more. Suffice to say KJo, my limited precious non-regenerative brain cells have been masticated beyond repair. I was so traumatized, that like the rest of Junta that scooted the moment the credits rolled in at the much awaited end, I tried doing the same thing – Pulling the arm of a scantily clad auntie with puffed up hair and leaving my one and only daughter behind.

Bahut Kuch hota hai Karan Tum na Samjhoge

You must have seen Imtiaz Ali’s ‘Rockstar’ one evening nursing a large No?

Complex ho gaya Nahin?

Yeah! after a while, when all the Moolahs have been raked in, Manva craves  for dollops of respect.

So you decided to make a hash of it while you filled in your floating characters with oodles of designer distress. Added to it your Childhood Fanzie moment with Ash!

When one walks out with a feeling that she was the best of the pile as far as killing black is concerned or pouty reds spouting incomprehensible poetry ( Aren’t Shayars supposed to be lean, mean hungry? Show me the money Da, or I’m in the wrong profession) or simply doing a scene as it is supposed to be! Tells one a lot about the movie right?

Par Logic bhi daalna tha na! Koi Na! Mixer sahi se chala nahin Aur Thodha Khushi Bahut Gham Ho gaya

By the way, stalking is aint cool KJO! A No is a No even if it is Ranbir

And Ranbir Honey, how many times can the lady repair ya? Just asking! Leave them be!

Just Imagine Karan Johar – What all could be done with Rs 1500/-

A meal at a decent restaurant, some gas in the car, so many colas or chips, metro recharge!

But your ilk doesn’t stoop to these normal things right?

As it is they don’t have to worry about existential dilemmas of monies as they go pub hopping, clubbing and private jetting.

Those are for lesser mortals.

Faltu ka MNS se lad rahe the, ban utarvaane ku…Fawad ko Bhagane ku ( I’m still trying to figure out his X factor!)

Isse kehte hain Khaali peeli BhomBhat.

One Last Question – What exactly happened here???

Accha Chalta Hoon, Dua mein Yaad Rakhna

Phew! You killed that song forever for me Bro.

Weary Viewer AJ

Disclaimer: Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risk. Please read the offer document carefully before investing’

Na Na Readers! Don’t go by this review! please go n see.

Everyone has to go and do their share of ‘Penance’😄😜

kya pata you might love it and you might think I’m crazy 👻

ki kitna bakwaas likhti hai

ash-effect

Rupa and her 500 rupee notes

marriage3Rupa hummed the latest chart buster as she stir-fried the bhendi, with one hand, while she rolled out the thin crispy parathas. Beer Singh, her husband, busy on the phone, came into the kitchen, tapped angrily at his watch. Rupa smiled apologetically and handed him his plate of food. She could hear her mother-in-law, invoking all the gods while she screamed at Rupa for her tardiness and her father-in-law demanded another cup of chai.

Nothing could faze Rupa. Not today. When long awaited happiness was in sight.

Tomorrow, her in-laws would leave home to visit her sister-in-law and her husband had appointments all through the day.

So she would…

In a flash, she was back to that point where it had all started.

Rupa, true to name, was beauty born between many sisters, into a wealthy family steeped in conservatism. She was also bright with stars in her eyes and big dreams to chase. Her family let her study provided, she learnt all the ‘girlie’ talents. As one by one, her sisters were married off, much against their wishes, Rupa knew what fate awaited her but she hoped against hope. And sure enough, one fine day, as she came back from college, the elders gave her the news of her engagement with Beer Singh. Since the wedding was only a week away, her education was stopped. Wearily, Rupa got busy with the festivities.

On her wedding night, Rupa discovered what a monster her husband was…which continued. She tried complaining around. Her family said, their responsibility was over the moment she got married. It was up to her, to set her marriage straight. Her in-laws fumed, how dare she find fault with their precious son?

Enough ways were found to break her into submission, to break her spirit. Weary Rupa, trudged along with life. Luckily there were no children and in-laws began hinting at another wedding. Totally broken, TV would be her entertainment, once she was done with her daily chores and the Mother-in-law retired for her siesta.

One fine day, Rupa happened to see, ‘Sleeping with the Enemy.’

A plan began to formulate in her head.

Beer Singh was a property dealer. There was always cash around. Rupa began to whittle away tiny amounts of cash from the sum she received to run the household, hid it in pantyhose, tucked it away under mattress, stashed away in the dark corners of closets. Mooched some cash away from the money given for safe keeping. Did whatever she could. Slowly this money grew into a significant reserve over time. It was her treasure, to be used as and when she decided to bolt, to set up life new in the remote south, where nobody knew her. She had it all planned.

And the D-Day was near. She was about to fly the coop the next day when all were busy.

Rupa finished the rest of the day very cheerfully. She cooked Beer Singh’s favorite food. The wretched bloke deserved one final kind gesture.

Beer Singh came back as usual, sozzled to the gills, demanded the TV be switched on while he ate his dinner. Suddenly, all the news channels started airing the PM’s address to the nation.

As of midnight, tonight, all 500 and 1000 notes will be demonetized. And…

Two people fell down simultaneously to the ground, though for different reasons.

Would Rupa get a chance to fly away? Tomorrow surely knows!marriage1

On a Smoggy Day, When Cash turned to Ash

Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya Glanir Bhavati Bharata

Abhyutthanam Adharmasya Tadatmanam Srjamya Aham

Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion — at that time I descend Myself

It was the same old chaotic status quo in the Great Indian Ancient-Modern Democracy.

After the day made it’s believers break their bones to earn their daily bread, Night had quickly descended upon this dichotomy of a nation.

Some villages welcomed it with flickering candle lights and while the hustling and bustling metros brought in a kicking night life.

Nation’s Conscious Keeper and Primary Carper was at it, screaming his guts out on the satellite waves, demanding that the nation needed to know at that very breathtaking instant about some double hashtagged designer distress.

The men in various families while wolfing down the hot yummy food cooked by their wives, vigorously and vociferously nodded in agreement to this rabble rouser’s bordering-on-jingoism exhortations and the poor neglected wives quietly mulled over divorces and hefty alimony.

And older gen stared vacuously at the buried in 15th century style serials beamed across the idiot boxes. Talk about mass movement!

If this was the situation with the earthlings, the skies above had their own story.

Sri Krishna, the Lord of seven skies, after a sumptuous nine course dinner, decided to hold court with his beauteous wives, Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jambavati, Kalindi, Mitravinda, Nagnajiti, Bhadra and Lakshmana, on the simmering state of his kingdom.

The very holy land where he is deified eternally.

Sri krishna set the ball rolling with a very cryptic “What gives?”

Rukmini being the eldest of the wives, always went first.

“You are becoming famous again. In fact as the earthlings say, you are going Viral honey!”

Krishna “When did I not trend? Am I not the Eternal Alpha male? I am Aspirational and Inspirational. Who wouldn’t want to be in my shoes? I knew how to lead a great life. I had a whale of time, at each stage of my life and…”

SatyaBhama (You could never shush her really!) “And married and remarried as if marriage was going out of style. But I have to agree,You are back in the limelight, thanks to the simmering discontent. Thy name is uttered when all fails. Demonetization, has grabbed the eyeballs of the whole country and has got the pulse of intelligentsia racing. Social Media is going berserk. Most of them are shedding copious tears over downtrodden, the daily wage earners, while some are changing their cover photos in support of the earthling Alpha Male. Cash heavy BBC, has even made a film on Cash crunch”

Jambavati “Blah! Paytm them. Ban Chinese Lights  but use Chinese Gateways. Cheques and Balances are the focus of the day! Proves the great Indian obsession with Notes. Degrees of stashing is a tough nut to crack. Mr. KrazyWall’s videos and their truths have made people roll their eyes and drawl” IITians’!” Sometimes I feel that the extended usage of cough syrup does Irreparable Damage.”

Kalindi “Trust you ladies to focus on irrelevant topics. Yes we are married to the God of Great times and greater lines, but can we please focus on the ATMs? Achieve The Mission ! No Coldplay this. Nothing much to Beef about while we Chicken out”

Mitravinda “These are the days of inclusion, Woman Empowerment and gender equality. Can women be far left behind? We have sisters and mothers competing too for the rolls of dough. And where is the Mother of all Sops? She induces the cape fear in the opponents. Cash Trash was to be her wake-up call from slumber.  The Bengal sister wants the courts to intervene and a rollback. Seriously! And what happens to the torn, flushed and burnt currency?”

Nagnajiti “Huh! Not quite in the Gandhian Mould, I say. It’s all about loving your family, no matter how stupid the progeny is! Ditch the brighter daughter, Pitch in the Dim Bulb on the wary public. Mommy’s crown prince often belts out fault notes. Pappu’s RaGa of finding the pain of the Common Man while trying to withdraw 4000/- was painful to say the least. Could have been a LOL moment, had the circumstances been better. ”

Bhadra “Some say the big fish already knew and they have made their arrangements. This step was to put the cow belt in the Alpha Male’s Kitty. And some others say, what a fish, for the Swiss set, Gold and Land is the real deal. So catch them if you can. The intelligentsia has been divided into Rationalists and Nationalists, Bhakts and Bleeding Hearts and more. It is a terrible time for most with worst yet to come. Some are predicting famine, economic spiral down”

Lakshmana “The country is churning my lord. The honest man works and hopes to make a living, in spite of the overwhelming odds against him, hoping for ’sweeping’ reforms coming his way, while the bhakts and carps sledge it out. But the sloth of Governance! delays the good days that were promised. The aftermath that this Political Hunger game has unleashed will be known eventually – whether it was shortfall or windfall. Deal breaker or a Destiny Changer… Taking your name helps to tide over.”

Krishna “I gave them the Gita. Do your work to your best possible ability, don’t hanker after results. You have the right to work, but never to the fruit of work. Whatever happened, happened for the good. Whatever is happening, is happening for the good. Whatever will happen, will also happen for the good. Change is the law of the universe. I also…”

And thus while God got busy gossiping and leaders got petulantly busy squabbling, citizens got busy plundering fellow citizens, somewhere in India, a poor farmer sat in his parched field, too tired to even look up for that elusive drop of hope. The cadaverous cow was his companion, willing to be his next meal, if need be, if it came to that…

Heck, That’s now illegal

paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam

dharma-samsthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge

In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I advent Myself millennium after millennium.

May be its time for Him to make an appearance for the promised deliverance. Many wax ones have faltered only to deceive.