Archive for March, 2014


2014 has been a reasonably good year so far for Indian cinema in terms of box office collections. Starting with a low budget Yariyaan to recent Ragini MMS 2, all have done good business. There is no stopping to producers and financers from minting money and that is why Hindi film industry has enough reasons to celebrate. Going back to my title of this post, what exactly is a common thread between Highway, Queen and Ragini MMS 2? Before all Alia Bhatt fans stone me to death for comparing her movie to Sunny Leone’s movie, let me spill the beans on this one. Apart from the fact that these three movies have done noteworthy business and shown some excellent performances from the lead actors, these movies cleverly dealt with saga of women liberation.

If Highway brought the issue of sexual abuse under the layers of a self-discovery and journey across north India milieu, Queen was a tale of internal misgivings followed by dramatic epiphany towards the end. Now, coming to Ragini MMS 2, I don’t have much to say about the story as it offered nothing more than cheap thrills. However, it cannot be ignored that even it has been shown thumbs up from the Aam Janta, and it –just like Highway and Queen–spoke of women emancipation (though in a sexual way). Is it an indication that Indian audiences are now open to women-centric movies that talk of empowerment, freedom and sexuality? Of course, Yes! And trust me it is a very good sign. Not that we didn’t see women orientated films earlier; films like Dirty Picture and Kahaani boasts of outstanding scripts. But, that was way back in 2011-2012. After that there was a dull silence for a long time. Soon theaters were flooded with multiple cores films and I thought that the judgement of Indian audience is clouded permanently. But, when this year started with the debacle of Jai Ho, I was confident that the era of meaningful cinema is back again.

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Gone are the days when women were only supposed to act coy, dance around the trees and share 5 scenes in a multi starrer film. The success of these three movies is, for me, iconic and epic. To start with, now our minds are gradually conditioned to see free women who live life on their own terms. She is the woman who can take all her decision on her own, including the sexual ones, without fussing over them. She challenges the Indian mindset and breaks out of the mould at every step. She can waylay an ordinary situation with her humour and quick thinking. She doesn’t beat around the bush; she comes straight to the point regarding her needs and thoughts.

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Secondly, we symbolize these movies more with the actresses rather than any A list hero. So, Highway is Alia Bhatt’s film, Queen is Kangna Ranuat’s film and Ragini MMS 2 is promoted completely with the brand name of Sunny Leone. These are feel-good films that make you walk away from the theatre feeling authoritative as a woman. Millions of people flock to Leone’s porn site on a daily basis, but no one has the impudence to come clean on this in public. But, the year 2014 changed every bit of this notion. Now, movie goers are letting their presence register at the theatre unabashedly even for a movie that was touted as India’s first Horrex (Horror+Sex) movie. I am not surprised that Leone’s movie earned 32 Crores in just 5 days, which is even more than the total budget of the film. I am not surprised that Queen is one of those rare movies whose collections kept escalating in the second week instead of dipping down. I am not surprised that despite the absence of any Jhatkas Matkas Highway earned more than what was expected from it. It is certainly a momentous step in the right direction for Hindi cinema.

Thirdly, these movies are encouraging the new as well as the established filmmakers to think out of the box and take a road less travelled. Earlier, armed with sense-deprived clichés, the filmmakers set out to make a so called 100 Crore masala movie that would break all records. But, today, thanks to movies like Highway, Queen, Gulaab Gang, Ragini MMS 2, people are ready to take challenges and pen down thoughts that are filled with ingenuity, strength and has a female protagonist.

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I am sure we will continue to watch the release of many trashy movies in future too, and the fate of creative cinema will trudge up and down the ladder. But at least for now, my intellectual appetite is burping after a hearty meal of good, empowering cinema.

Disclaimer: All photographs used are result of Google search.

 

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Oh yes! I know what I am talking about. Don’t think I am writing this one in an inebriated condition. While writing the closing lines of my last blog ‘unrequited love can only make you stronger and a better person’, I thought of digging deep into this topic and let a new streak come out. Now, you would be thinking that how can unrequited love be of any good? How can the uncanny feeling of rejection and loneliness bring any positivity to your life? Actually, as per my observation and experience, it does only good to you.

When you get into one sided love with someone, your heart beats faster than it normally does. During those koochie-kooh days, every cell in your body is more alert so that you appear eye-catching and desirable for the other person. The sappy moments will keep you awake at night, and encourage doing certain things that are more than your competence. No wonder you take that extra 15 minutes to get ready, take care of what you eat, and turn fashion-conscious overnight. You crave for the other person so much that you try to be an improved version of yourself with whom everyone would love to interact. Your first thought in the morning and last wish before sleeping is only that special person. You find bizarre excuses to talk to them, and figure out ways to ‘accidentally’ cross paths with them. And of course the never ending ‘let’s impress’ sessions persist till every person in your vicinity comes to know about it. In a way, you do everything under the sun to get the attention of that one person.

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You tend to see both negative and positive points of your partner when you are in a relationship. And that often breeds resentment, arguments and fights. However, in a situation of one-sided love, you try to see that person in the best light possible, and thus you gradually learn to see only the best sides of people. You just want to make sure that every path they walk on is rosy. Practically, there is no likelihood of power games or ego clashes in this case. So, in a way, you remain peaceful and satisfied! Even though no one prays for unreciprocated love, I believe, it does turn us into a strong, controlled and well-behaved human being.

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If you see, majority of the world’s greatest filmmakers, moguls, poets, writers, and actors are people who once failed badly in love. It is those agonizing rejections that make them so creatively inclined to their craft. Rejection stimulates a burning fire inside that makes you change, improve and think. This is what makes unrequited love so extraordinary. Nothing in this world can stir you so much from inside and compel you to have an insightful analysis of life. In short, unreciprocated love prepares you for struggles of life. You try to make peace with the fact that life is not going to be easy and every botched situation has to be handled in similar way. At a young age, you understand that no one gets everything they wish and yearn for. Also, failures and rejections are part of life just like success and happiness. Over a period of time, the longing for your love makes you emotionally stronger and bolder. Consequently, you will never be afraid to face any criticism as the worst is already behind you.

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That is why I strongly believe that lucky are those people who experience unrequited love early in their life. Rejection in love is said to be the biggest teacher in the world. After the initial rage and annoyance, you feel insanely passionate, productive and happy. You learn to exercise self-censorship and move towards your goal of emerging successful in every other sphere of your life. You feel this is the best thing that could have happened to you and now you are strong enough to battle anything and everything. As for my association with unrequited love, ummmm……I will save that thought for some other day. 😉 😀

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Disclaimer: All photographs used are result of Google search.


Dear Stalkers,

I am sure by now you must have tried umpteen times to check my ‘last seen’ on Whats app and tried to analyze whether or not I am reading your love-filled messages. Well, to begin with, I have deactivated my ‘last seen’ feature thanks to the logically-challenged attention showered on me by you. No, please don’t make a teary-eyed expression. I am done with that. This letter is for you and several other stalkers like you in different states of India who keep on forcing their love and undying attention on girls in spite of showing an exit door more than ten thousand times.

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I can vouch for the fact that every girl, somewhere at the back of the mind, yearns for a partner who adores and pampers her till the end of life. However, there is a thin line between mutually falling in love and vehemently making someone fall in love by reminding the other person day and night about your ‘true’ feelings. I am glad you have gathered the courage to be upfront about your feelings, but hey, you must really learn to leave it at that instant only. Once you are open about your feelings, your only job should be to wait patiently for things to fall in place. If, god forbid, your love get unrequited then don’t take it as a prestige issue, and embark on a new challenge of life to make her yours by hook or by crook.

You stalkers need to consider a hypothetical situation. Imagine a situation when someone, for whom you are yet to have any feelings, starts pinging or calling you after every 30 minutes; goes through your Facebook pictures–regardless of your Bradley Cooper or Kamaal R Khan type looks–and keeps ‘liking’ it followed by praising/asking you about it; keeps a track of everything, for instance, at what time you come online or go out of your home; threatens to end his/her life every alternate week if you do not reply, and eventually does nothing substantial to prove the suicidal threat. How does it sound? I will tell you.

At first, you will feel cajoled with everything, and then slowly you will get an ego boost about your desirability. Ultimately, in the course of 3-4 months, the feeling of getting stalked and suffocated grows on you. You experience an emotional tug of war wherein you realize that you do not want to be with this person and yet cannot ignore him/her directly fearing that something bad will happen post the pseudo ‘friendship’ break-up. That’s it. This is what millions of girls like me feel when they are stalked physically, mentally and even virtually.  Don’t you get it dude that you do not hold that significant position in our lives? If there was actually something tangible then certainly we would have shown some sort of compassion in our behaviour by now.

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I confess that there are some women who would take advantage of your weak position and give you false hopes in return of expensive gifts and dinners. But, that is entirely your call whether you would let anyone take advantage of you or not. However, there are also many women who do not follow the ‘use men’ formula. If a woman is completely ignoring you then it is your duty to give her space instead of drilling into her mind that you love her.

It is understood that no one sets out to do something that would hurt others, but on many occasions, your one-sided love can insidiously come in the way of happiness of others. Thinking that talking to someone 24 hours will get you unconditional love from someone is completely your short-sightedness and unwillingness to go to the root of predicament. The recipe of so called LOVE is always cooked willingly by two individuals together. You need not serve love on a platter and compel the other person to have it anyhow.

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No one can pull a farce for long.  So, why you want to be at the mercy of someone? Instead start leading your life with added self-respect. Even if someone rejects your love, be moderate in your practice and take it in your stride. You have to move on because at the end of the day you have many other things to do in life. In larger scheme of things, unrequited love can only make you stronger and a better person.

I hope after reading this there will be some kind of enlightenment in your otherwise passionate mind, and you will not leave your goodness behind at any cost.

Lots of regards (if you decide to leave me),

Indrani

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Disclaimer: All pictures used are a result of Google search.


Before I start with something, I would like to share a quick narrative of two friends whom I have seen very closely. Let’s give them imaginary names ‘X’ and ‘Y’ as I don’t want to step into any derogatory domain. Both the girls first met in class 10th standard and gradually their like-mindedness and breath-taking sense of humour propelled them to become the best of friends in the coming months. For the next two years, both of them were inseparable. Fast forward a couple of years, ‘X’ moved to a better city and started working in banking sector. Her initial career stint proved to be very successful. With her go-getter attitude and hard work, she positioned herself as the epitome of accomplishment at a very young age. On the other hand, we had very little say for Y. She graduated from a mediocre college in the same city and sat at home for two years preparing for government jobs. Every alternate month she gave some sort of exams and waited eagerly for the results. However, luck does not favour anyone so easily.

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Although the terms like late-night parties, booze, boyfriends, business meetings, and apple-flavoured cigarettes were totally alien for Y, she lived this kind of imaginary life with the Facebook pictures of X. She thought that even if she is unable to a carefree life, at least her best friend is doing what she wants. The only respite and source of entertainment in her life was talking to X after every 2-3 days. In the meantime, X saw new heights of success and financial independence. She was what everyone wanted to be. Every friend of her school and college envied her except Y. But, over a period of time, X started getting irritated with frequent calls of Y. She felt there was nothing common and intellectual to talk with her now. However, Y did not feel any kind of bitterness; instead she was jubilant that her friend is climbing new hierarchy of achievement every day.

Now the stage had come when X started ignoring her supposed best friend’s call. The daily/weekly phone calls got modified to monthly conversation, and an occasional SMS or Facebook pings became normal. Y was adamant to not let her soul sister go so easily from her life. So, she used to email her what she used to find ‘cool’ at that moment. A girl working in a banking sector and living in a modish city would certainly not find ‘cute baby pictures’ or ‘forward lord shiva’s 50 names’ stimulating. One fine day, she shot back with a reply to Y as- r u normal, girl? Please stop forwarding me these kinda stuff. Okay. Bye tc.

Y still took the reply sportingly and replied back with an understanding ‘LOL’. Getting no reply from X became a norm with every passing day. One fine day, Y called up X. At first she didn’t pick up, but after getting 8 missed calls from her end, she picked up with a bad taste in her mouth.

“Hi, how are you dear? I saw your last week’s Friendship day pics. Amazing yaar.” Y started the conversation like this.

“You have called me just to say this. What’s wrong? At 11 in the morning all you can think of you is party pictures. Grow up yaar. We are working people and we have many more things to do. For god’s sake, I am not sitting idle like you.” X did not realize what she was saying in a fit of rage, but she continued her aggressive remarks for few more minutes.

Finally she was interrupted by Y. “Hey, why are you shouting like this dear? I did not call for a chit-chat because even I understand how much you are serious for your work. I just called to ask for your dad’s new number. Today is 3rd Aug. His birthday. Don’t know if you remember or not but I wish him every year. Since his number was not reachable from a long time, I thought of calling you. Anyway, won’t disturb you ever again. Sorry.” With this X was left dumbfounded. What made her more restless was the fact that Y disconnected the phone before her. This was something unusual in their almost decade long friendship. But, X did not really bother to call her back again for many months. Even Y did not see any reason to tag along and feel unwanted in this friendship on a regular basis. Many months passed and both got to know about each other only through Facebook updates.

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Today, X was very frustrated as she was denied a much expected promotion at the last moment due to some internal politics. She wanted to howl but controlled herself till the time she returned home. She took out the keys and made her way into a swanky apartment. Unlike other days, the first thing she did was calling up her mom. But, at 1 in the morning every mom is expected to sleep. Next, she opened her Facebook account and started going through tsunami of fresh updates. Her eyes stuck upon something that read “Having a gala time at Clovelly Beach Sydney”. The update was none other than from Y. For a moment, she thought that may be her account got hacked because expecting something like this from her was out of question.

She immediately took out her phone and dialed her number, but alas she did not even have her new number. How come I went so far from her that I don’t even have her phone number, let alone any info about her personal life? She kept repeating this in her mind in a loop. Finally sent her a message- ‘Hey, how are you? Long time…I need to talk please share your phone number if possible.”

In 15 minutes, she got a call from an unknown number. She picked up.

“Ya, who is this?”

“You wanted to talk to me. Tell me what happened?” It was none other than Y.

“Oh my god. Is this really you? I mean…I know it’s been too long and you are too far away, but at least I deserved to know something about you. What are you doing and how the hell you landed up in Sydney? I never ever imagined seeing you even out of your locality”

“Well, I applied for PHD in bioinformatics here and luckily got this opportunity. In couple of months, hopefully I would start earning. My parents are really happy with this development, but the real reason of their happiness is something else.”

“What?”

“In the first few months I had no place to stay so I stayed at our family friend’s house. Something clicked during that time and guess what I am getting engaged to their son Amit next month. Life is good and -as you put it- life is ‘rocking’.”

X burst out laughing“ Oh yes. I always used to say that. You still remember that. Great. But, hey I still don’t understand what went wrong between us. Perhaps I was too occupied with my official life. But you were always special and will be special. “

With a cordial yet stern voice Y said, “I know what went wrong with us. Actually work never came between us. Everything would have remained the same if you had accepted your new happening life and success with humility. Being humble is not about weakness, it’s about showing your strength of holding back your first memories even when you are enveloped in a new world of triumph. I wish I could tell you this directly at that time.

“Ahhh..No, I was not really pompous, but maybe I was rude. “ X was trying to be defensive, but she was truly embarrassed at that point.

Y continued, “I was always the ordinary friend for you who had no aspiration in life. And it is no surprise that you thought of pinging me when you saw something extraordinary in my life. It’s okay. Let bygones be bygones. But, I will tell you one thing that if I had been in your place I would not have turned back on you in the blink of an eye. I am still in touch with all my school and college friends except you. How many old friends have you treasured all these years? May be one or two. Or maybe not even that. I don’t want to lecture you, but always remember that success is temporary but your deeds are permanent. Chal I need to leave now. I have some work. Take care and I won’t compel you to be in touch. But, as you said, you were special and always will be special. “

This time X had really learned her lesson. “I don’t know what to say, but I will think about it. Bye and please be in touch.”

“Bye”

What happened to the friendship of X and Y can be a familiar story for many of you.

On many occasions, it is important to keep in mind that no matter how talented you are, there are many people who pushed you to this level. Though you have indisputably worked hard for achieving what you have today, it would be foolish to think that you have “earned” it all on your own. Sometimes it is important to reply some messages, sometimes it is important to pick few calls, and sometimes it is important to show gratitude to people who have been part of your journey or want to be part of your journey. There is no harm in stepping into the subsequent stairway of success with a humble bowed head.  Whenever you are praised by someone, never forget to add “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without….” or call up a significant person and say how they helped you to reach this stage. Share the love.

I understood this point quite early in my life, and so when I got promoted, the first thing I did -after calling up my parents- was dropping a message to a senior from my previous company with whom I parted ways on a bitter note and had no contact for more than a year. I showed my gratitude to her for whatever effort she put in to sharpen my skills. I was convinced that I did something rightful when I received a reply from her in few seconds that read

“Woow that’s great. But, your efforts count too. I am really happy to hear this. Congrats and God bless! 🙂

We never spoke before and after that day, but I laud myself because I think I made at least one person smile who was in some way accountable for my betterment. 🙂

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Disclaimer: All pictures used are a result of Google search.


It’s been 4 days since I have seen the Kangna Ranaut starrer ‘Queen’ and I am just unable to take it out of my head. I don’t remember walking out of a theater feeling so charged up and cheerful in a long time. It’s as if somebody has forced an additive drug down my throat and since then I can’t stop smiling thinking about it. Writing has always been a cathartic process that makes a strong attempt to liberate you from all your internal conflicts and contemplations. This is why I thought that until and unless I bring that overwhelming ‘Queen’ feeling on paper, I won’t be able to put a halt to my wandering mind.

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By now you have must heard or read rave reviews about it. So, I won’t dwell much into the story or the fact that how fabulous it is. But, surely it was a metaphorical ride from vulnerability to potency for several under confident girls like me. The fact that I saw it on International Women’s Day makes it even more special and blissful.

Her awkward dance moves, gauche crying after few drinks, her modest Kurta with Jeans, carefully putting the Cardigan in the handbag while dancing madly in a pub, her disappearing Mehndi, selling Gol Gappe, bonding and staying with three boys irrespective of language barrier…….the list is infinite. My heart was just brimming with joy every time I saw the character Rani–played flawlessly by Kangna Ranaut.  It is easier to tell a melodramatic heart break story where the character oscillates between white to black shades. It is easier to tell the cruelty of a cold family. But, who would have thought that the story of an ordinary girl from your vicinity will be caught so brilliantly by Vikas Bahl (the director).

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Even though Rani is dumped by her fiancée just two days before the wedding, she does not linger on that murky mood for long.  In contrast, she decides to visit her pre-booked honeymoon destinations Paris and Amsterdam alone. When Rani starts with her journey she was incapable of many things- lifting her bags properly, speaking confidently, walking boldly, crossing road without holding someone’s hand, and mostly importantly she was incapable of figuring out her own potential. A chance meeting with a free-spirited girl Vijay Laxmi, almost getting mugged by a thief and succeeding in not letting the bag go, drinking and dancing on the streets, living with three unknown people from different countries, selling Gol Gappe and earning money, helped Rani to regain the self-confidence that was concealed in her for so long.

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For telling a tale of internal doubts and reservations so precisely, Queen deserves a standing ovation from everyone! I am sure there is something of every girl in her story. You will indisputably find an unsaid understanding with every nuance of Rani.  For the past 4 days, I am just wading through my photo albums of old trips and thinking that how travelling can bring out the best in you; it is like a poetry which helps to open your mind, step out of your problems and understand the deeper meaning of life. 3 years ago I got acquainted with something similar as Rani.

I was working in Kolkata in the year 2011 and what a miserable year that was! A dissatisfying job you want to puke on, a Hari Sadu type boss who always wants to prove that you are wrong, and the long-hours devoted in just reaching your office on time. By the end of the week I was never left with any enthusiasm to go out, read or write something. How I wished this frivolous torture ended somewhere. But, alas again the next Monday embraced me into its venomous arms. I was just reduced into a machine who worked daily for 10-11 hours, travelled for 3 hours and came back home just to sleep. This would have continued for eternity if one day I did not get a call for job offer from Baroda, Gujrat.

Initially I was skeptical to relocate to a new city just with a mere phone call and email, but then I convinced myself that I had to start somewhere. I gave an online test, followed by telephonic round of interview and in no time I had the offer letter in my hand. A wave of gloominess captured my house when I broke the news to my family that I want to shift my base in the coming month. Defying all the warnings and potential odds, I packed my bags and set out on an exhilarating expedition of finding myself.

This job was an embodiment of everything that I was looking for –nurturing of talent, a team of people motivating you every second, brain storming sessions, weekend parties, cricket matches, financial independence, and above all a feeling that you have arrived! However, I was adamant in my thought process that I would not get into any kind of emotional attachments or friendship in professional life as it always leads to mess. Moreover, my reclusiveness and lack of confidence was also related to the kind of setbacks I had seen previously. I was never even confident in what I was wearing. But, luck had some other plans for me.

One month after joining the office, I received a New Year party invitation from a colleague called Sakshi and her friend Avichal. At first I was averse, then I gave in thinking that what will I do anyway sitting alone and watching TV. I asked her what we are supposed to wear on that day. She mentioned very calmly “dress, aur kya!” I almost choked listening that. How can a girl like me -who wears nothing besides jeans and tee- think of even wearing a dress? I had made up my mind that this cannot happen at any cost, but with little bit of pestering I went ahead and bought myself a dress. However, eventually I made a fool of myself when I wore white jeans beneath the dress just because I was not comfortable in showing off my legs 😛 But, that was the start I guess. I had shed my emotional inhibitions by the end of the party and was out of the mental blockage that had gripped me for all these years.

In the following months, I shared a great rapport with Sakshi and Avichal to the extent of staying together as a family. I saw a completely new Indrani who was buried inside for long. I was more confident in my approach, be it interacting with anyone, wearing anything I like or being at ease with myself. For some time I went through a very low phase in my personal life and that drew me back to my shell again. After some days, the brooding vanished and I stepped out on a travelling riot to different places.

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Yes, I had actually realized my worth; the worth of the precious gift called life. Having been to Diu, Daman, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar and all crazy amusement destinations with just my friends (on a bike) instead of parents made me a stronger and independent person. My mother now gets astounded to see me packing my bags unaided, boarding a flight and going all the way to Dehradun alone just to attend a college friend’s wedding.

When I look back I absolutely have no misgiving about anything. Today, I am so passionate about travelling to new places that an annual vacation is always on my to-do list. Like Rani, even I discovered myself through travelling. No wonder even my name has a (Ind)‘Rani’ embedded in it. Watching Rani on screen was like going on a flashback trip.

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The purpose of writing this long (I hope not boring) article is to tell all you women that for the love of yourself, please take your foot off the paddle for a while and take a lone journey to somewhere where you can transform your fragility into strength and stay away from things that do not make any difference to your life 🙂

And yes, I love you Kangna Ranaut for talking, smiling, crying, walking, giggling, singing and dancing like no one could ever do ❤

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Disclaimer: The queen stills are a result of Google search


It is said that communication is the only thing that sets us apart from animals. But, I beg to differ. Going by the current societal standards, an ‘eloquent’ communication is the only thing that sets the demarcation.  Even animals can communicate with sounds or body language. Sms-ing, Whats App and several other chat messengers have inscribed an undeviating spot in our lives. We are in awe of this infectious device that lets us write to our friends and get reply from them in fraction of seconds. However, there is something that is blurring the demarcation between communication and cohesive communication.

Imagine a situation when you are engaged in a text conversation wherein you are seeking an advice or sharing something insightful, and then suddenly your chat window is at the receiving end of something called “K”. So what is it exactly? Apparently, the tech savvy “busy” people use “K” as an easy replacement for Okay or OK. There is no harm in using short-cuts because at the end of the day anything that serves the purpose and saves your time is considered user-friendly. So, for many people like me –No Problem becomes NP, Time Pass becomes TP and By the Way becomes BTW.

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All this while we have exchanged so many series of text messages in which the vowels disappeared, words got eaten up and sense of correct spelling took a backseat.  Often we r plunged into this pseudo wrestling territory where our mind has to grapple for guessing and understanding the word/sentence that is received in the chat box.  Recently, I got a reply as 2G, and after a curious inquest I got to know that 2G meant too good. Even though I lost my appetite after learning it, still, I would say, it is acceptable as long as it is not crossing the periphery of intellectual capacity. However, I have a serious issue with getting reply as K.

I can deal with almost every kind of SMS lingo, but somehow when I get a reply as ‘K’ my mind becomes numb and blood boils. To begin with, it seems outright offensive. It appears that the sender is unable to spare even a microsecond to add an extra O before K or type a short word like Okay. This has become a trend either because people are too sluggish or find it too Kool as they see even their friends using it. When someone types in a message to you, he/she is looking for your complete attention or at least a stance that proves that you are paying heed to what they said. It is very similar to looking into the eyes while talking instead of staring at the wall around you. In this way, you give value and respect to the person with whom you are having a conversation. But, “K” defeats that whole purpose straightaway.

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If this was not enough then the last nail in the coffin is using “KK” in place of just K. If you can actually dash off two letters at that moment then why not reply with a polite and decent OK instead of KK. Can anyone please explain what is meant by KK? Most people have this pretence of being busy and always being immersed in texts, which they feel gives them the liberty to use a flippant letter as the mode of communication. Some people, on the other hand, use it unintentionally because it is fashionable to reproduce what others are doing. You will certainly not want to subject your friends and acquaintances to this dishonour.

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As described above, K can mean Killing, K can mean King, K can mean Kidding, K can mean Kiss, K can mean Potassium scientifically, and oh yes K can mean Kinky too. So, if next time, any of your friend replies you as K ask them immediately what they meant. C’mon people it hardly takes a second to precede your K with the letter O. Make the person on the other end feel special and wanted. There is no need to separate O and K in the pretext of sounding contemporary and hip. 🙂

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Disclaimer: All the pictures used in this article are result of Google.


Regardless of the lack of logic shown on regular events, I inhale and exhale Bollywood cinema. You pay money and walk into a theater not just for good quality visuals, but also for the ambience so that you can take a break from the daily hullabaloo existing in your life. In fact, a movie theater is the only place where it is allowed to contradict the reality every minute and get charmed by it. If you are really fortunate, then the movie unravels a good story as well.

In the past few years, the film industry had to bow down to Indian health ministry to pop in a disclaimer that reads “Smoking is injurious to health”, followed by a voice over that says that the actors in the movie do not support any form of tobacco or alcohol consumption. This message takes a repulsive spin when it is accompanied by horrific images of supposed smokers who now suffer from oral cancer. Clearly the intention of this disclaimer is to get smokers thinking that even they could stumble upon something similar if they continue smoking.

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However, the entire purpose of the message is defeated in the first slide itself when you see a visual of the amount of tar found in the lungs of average smokers. A sponge -symbolizing your lungs- soaked in a tar-like material is squeezed into a beaker to show how much damage is being done to your body. This segment is then followed by an eerie voiceover (giving tough competition to the background score of Zee Horror Show) saying “This much tar is adequate to make you sick – terribly sick.” The viewer will consider the voiceover holy and reform himself at that very moment, at least the Indian health ministry department thinks so! Any kind of logical or scientific clarification can go out and enjoy popcorn.

Just when you were wishing that this bizarre torture is going to end here, baaam, the tar visual leads you to a doctor who starts narrating you the case of a patient called Mukesh who apparently died due to the menace of oral cancer. Mukesh admits his condition in front of the camera, and ultimately the doctor notifies us in a grave tone that he could not be saved. Although it is intended to evoke compassion and ethical values, all it could do is leaving audience irritated.

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What is more irritating is the feeling that a judgment is being propelled down your throat. Besides, do you think the smokers are already not aware of the ill-effects of tobacco? Even a cigarette packet contains the message that ‘smoking is injurious to health’, but smokers are so thick skinned that such messages are hardly going to get any reaction from them. Alternatively, I would have appreciated such messages if they actually made some sense to the proposed viewers. But creating a message cum advertisement with gory visuals and stereotype confession of smokers is not going to be of any help. On the contrary it ends up ruining the movie experience of so many people who came in just to have fun and enjoy cinema with their loved ones.

A cinema hall is a place to relish a spectacular world of movies. No one comes expecting to learn the side-effects of smoking. I wish the anti-smoking lobbies understood that there are many other places where this vital information can be strewn. Even before the start of the film these visuals put an unpleasant taste in your mouth. The audience may enjoy ‘leave your brain at home’ kind of Movies, but that does not connote that they do not have the ability to think on their own. Seeing a disclaimer like ‘Smoking is Injurious’ whenever a movie character lights up a cigarette is certainly not the ideal way to get your message across. Furthermore, it seems, they are encroaching in our private space and distracting us with needless reminders.

Last year when filmmaker Anurag Kasyhap filed a petition in Bombay High Court against the anti-smoking disclaimer, I was pleasantly surprised and thought at least someone had the guts to speak his mind. He clearly stated in the petition that “This warning destroys the aesthetic value of a film. I don’t want my audience to get distracted and my film is not an advertisement hoarding for social service messages.” Such is the impact of this disclaimer that even Woody Allen’s Oscar nominated movie ‘Blue Jasmine’ could not see a release date in India since Woody refused to insert a pointless disclaimer in his movie.

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The Indian health ministry can assert that teenagers pick up habits from movie actors, but keeping in mind the current scenario of the country, do you actually think that way? No one glorifies rape in our movies, yet they happen every day and every minute. Despite airing these disclaimers for so many years, people continue to smoke. Are you actually so naive to envision that such short films/disclaimers will help in any considerable way? I hope, in the near future, the censor board allows us to come out of this smokescreen and enjoy our films.

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Image courtesy:

http://www.bollywoodlife.com, www.in.com, www.telegraph.co.uk, http://www.outlookindia.com


Friendship is one of the few relations not created by god or parents, yet it gives us the much needed exuberance and redemption from monotony. Good pals are privy to the kind of life you lead, the kind of expectations you have from life, your likes-dislikes, and everything under the sun. However, I have always observed that there is something extraordinary about male bonding and friendships. Right from the way they are projected in movies to the way we actually witness the strength of ‘bro love’ in our daily life, there is always something to look forward to when it comes to men and their friendships.

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Earlier I used to wonder why there is less or almost negligible movies based on female camaraderie. The reason is simple; our movies are, to some extent, manifestation of our society, and where on earth do you expect to see two or more females bonding over a drink without observing closely what the other girl is wearing or without getting envious of the achievement/love life of her “friend”? I think the most extraordinary aspect of a male friendship is the kind of space and liberty they endow each other. So, you will never see men pestering each other for ‘opening’ their heart out during a boy’s night out. You will never see them bringing up things that don’t need their attention at that moment. You will never see them with an urge to know or discuss anything about his mate that is beyond relevance. It is perfectly fine if he is not aware of the favourite colour, biggest fear, emotional quotient or the current crush of his buddy. Their rapport is more about road trips, drinking beer, a game of pool, watching movies, hitting gym together, dirty jokes, and conversations laced with passion and bike rides.

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I was recently talking to a guy friend about this subject and he instantly pointed out the basic difference between Mars and Venus. “Even if one of us breaks down during a weak moment, we will just tap his back and let him be for the moment. Next, we will make sure that the incident is never brought up ever again.  It may seem shallow or insensitive, but we do not like discussing things like women even though the intensity of care is same”, he said. And this summed up many things. Principally the only thing that matters to them in their friendship is living for the moment. Their conversations may not be intense or open, but it is always interesting to see that male bondings are actually more stable as opposed to volatile female friendships. Men refrain from indulging in any unwarranted cynicism, and that is why there is no excessive rivalry or subsequent bitching about each other.

 

Another friend added, “When we go through a tough time, we may counsel each other but will not end up sharing everything with each other. We share only what is needed and it works for us. I have received financial help from my friend umpteen times and likewise I have filled up forms for the MBA colleges he was applying to. The best part is we do not keep counting what we have done for each other”.  But, as they say, no relationship is 100% perfect. Even men feel the heat of competition when a woman enters their group, and this perhaps could be considered the only weak link in their dealings. Barring that flaw, they are pleasing as a pal.

 

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Women may be gritting their teeth after reading this article, but hey lets confess, we can learn so much from men in terms of being generous and affable in friendship. It is not that being a woman I do not have loyal friends, but it is more to do with my carefree and tom-boyish nature. I can boast of some very good female friends just because I have this innate quality of side stepping the urge to compare –or even observe -what my female friends are wearing or doing and later get covetous about it, which is remotely close to the fellowship shared by men. Not many women can claim to get along with each other.  Having a mind without emotional inhibitions will not only lift your level of benevolence in the eyes of others, it will also earn you some good companions in the process. In conclusion, I presume friendships are more likely to be subjective. It is not really gender driven, but it mostly boils down to your instinctive nature.  At times, it is fun to step into a rare territory which is not at all explored by you. So, ladies nobody is asking you to transform yourself completely, but for a change you can try to avoid being cagey and not stick out like a sore thumb 😉

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Hey you wonderful woman!

How are you doing? I know it’s been long since you have heard from me and no explanation will justify my unpardonable absence. Nevertheless, the purpose of writing this letter is getting in touch with you again just like earlier days. Every year on 8th March we celebrate our anniversary and I promise to keep your viewpoint intact and guard my vulnerability, but somehow I tend to forget everything once the anniversary week is over.

A lot has gone by from the time when you did not understand the connotation of freedom and yet had a longing to stand on your own feet, to a time when you got confined to manipulated meanings of freedom which subdued the lamp of desire and smudged the shades of social equality, illuminating the self-absorbed drive of people.

I know tears well up in your eyes when your womb is checked to know whether or not you are going to produce someone of opposite sex. You get filled with self-doubt when your choice of attire is questioned. Every inch of your mental bandwidth gets dismayed when you get constant updates of bastards making forceful entry into someone like you either through their third erect leg or metal rods. Since you are expected to be a personification of empathy, you try to salvage your marriage which was left in the dust of disrespect like leftovers in a dump yard. When you are promoted in office, I know, the constant allegation of being deceitful to your moral character rattles the breath out of your body. You have to draw a lot of flak if you speak your mind or someone sees you with a bottle of beer in your hand.

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Oblivion is the new freedom, assurance is the new consistency, patience is the new food, court cases are the new infidelity, brutality is the new mode of communication, and –after all atrocious acts—a Facebook update is the new mutiny. Something is really nibbling your beautiful heart every moment and even though there may not be a magic potion for all ailments, but a ray of optimism kindles when at least some steps are taken in the right path.

On this International Women’s Day 8th March I am going to celebrate my anniversary with you woman i.e. my inner self. I am going to rejoice being a woman. As an anniversary gift, I vow to hold you whenever you are wavering. I promise that I will give you the opportunity to blossom. I promise that I will not let anyone take you for granted because of your compassionate nature. I promise that I will put up a brave front and retort whenever unwarranted tsunami of accusations is ousted over us. I will not shove any topic of discussion under the carpet just to please everyone. Needless to say, I love you woman and the intuitive understanding between you and me will only grow with years.

Yours lovingly,

Indrani Singha

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