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

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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 

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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!!

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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!!