Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category


Tobby was hopping from one spot to another nervously in an attempt to escape those prying eyes. Perhaps he had overstayed on the generous bits of bread crumbs. Being surrounded with so many people, in a way that he was meant to perform, was not his thing.  Tobby, my accidental balcony-visitor pigeon, injured his leg a month ago. After applying antibiotic ointment and bandaging the injured area loosely, I called the security guard to take and hearten him for doing what he does best- fly! It was more than 2 days but he was still not able to take the plunge. Every morning when I crossed the parking lot I could see his struggle, twitching from one corner to another and perching himself besides the morsels of bread.  The fight was real.

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What made it worst was the assumption of callous overgrown kids that he will launch into the air with constant “Shooooo’s”. His strident cry was clearing stating that it was not pleasant to be reminded that, now, he is incapable of something which is supposed to be his only talent. Of course he was trying, but every time he was missing the dart.  The next day, two more pigeons followed him and this made him flutter aggressively. May be the pigeon buddies were trying to up his morale but it alarmed him more. That was it. I brought him back, housed him in the balcony with enough food and left him on his own. No pestering. No clapping. No prying eyes. And definitely no shooooooo’s.

Next morning he woke up different. He glanced at the balcony edges, slithered himself across the old bean bag and started moving his legs in unison. Look at him! I shrieked in excitement. Next thing I see is he confidently clamped on the balcony railing waiting for the ultimate moment of freedom.

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Tobby was done with trying to fulfill everybody’s expectations; he was done with seeking validation from others; he was done with being exposed to judgments that were dime a dozen. He realized that mob has no face, just unidentified screaming heads who do not wish well for anyone. He didn’t want to figure out anything more. He just wanted to be happy and embark on a journey whose pace was determined by him, and only him. He rose to his feet, started flapping wings and finally gained the thrust for his maiden undogmatic and enjoyable flight.

Possibly Tobby’s story is the inspiration somebody with broken wings needs to hear today.

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P.S: All pictures are a result of Google search and I have no copyright over them.

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Has it ever happened to you that you feel completely out of place in an outing or a party? Did you deduce ideas in your head to make an exit quietly but feared that someone would sense the awkwardness? Did you ever find something forceful but continued anyway just to tag along with others? Congratulations, you are perfectly normal. We all have been there at some point in our lives. Having been in the corporate sector for nearly 7 years now, I myself have been part of those “movie outings”, “pub hopping “or “widespread lunches” that are supposed to be fun. But, not always they turn out to be as expected. This is when your mental clock starts ticking. Tick Tock. Tick Tock; looking desperately to make that exit in no time without hurting anyone’s sentiments.

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You nod along, order one more beer, fake a smile and steal a glance to your watch. Yes, we all do. You have to, because since childhood we are made to believe that these cultural hobnobbing is an essential part of our existence. Anything less than that would be inadequate. Worse, you would be tagged as an introvert who has nothing to contribute. Lets address the beast first- the larger than life functions. Despite not having anything common to talk about, you strike a conversation, ask them what are their plans ahead, and there you go, the uncomfortable silence incarcerates the environment again. I am not saying that you would never hit it off with anyone, but this article is specifically for people who run out of words after 15 seconds of eye contact.  And then, after a strenuous night, you come back thinking there is something wrong with you.

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I will tell you where the basic dilemma lies. You are not one of those who pine for shallow talks; or artificial laughter’s; or forceful acquaintances. Anything that is quickly forgotten doesn’t excite you. You look for soulful connections and conversations that have some depth to them. There you go! Did it sound complicated to you now? I am sure no. The theory is simple; don’t tag along masquerading as a people-pleaser if you don’t want to. Just look confident and then you will be able to pull off anything. Don’t wait for those forceful attempts which start as “you are wearing a nice dress” and then go completely downhill after 30 seconds. There is nothing to talk, nothing to share. As a grown up, you need to learn how to make that exit without offending anyone! Whether it is breaking away looking for your glass refill or showing your wit and walking away casually- you need to cover the hesitation in your eyes cleverly.

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That said, the same goes for your life as well. Cultivate a circle where nothing seems forceful. Choose people who choose you. And whenever a friendship or relationship seems going downhill after the “30 seconds” familiarity, where there is nothing to talk and nothing to share anymore, you understand this is the time to make the exit confidently and gracefully. Understanding that you don’t belong there is the most important entity. This is how we grow, this is how we evolve.  This morning I was reading something that it made perfect sense to me.

“It took me an incredibly long time to realize there was too much water under a bridge that had burned years ago; that I was, in fact, drowning in it. There is a beautiful peace that comes with letting go…either you fall, or you fly. You life, or you die. Either way, at last you are finally free.” – Anonymous

Next time, when you feel out of place, don’t feel bad.

You are different. You are healing.

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P.S: All images are a result of Google search and I have no copyright over them.


“It has been with me for ten years now.”

“So?”

“Umm.. its been very long. It’s a part of my identity now. Well, kind of.”

“How can it be your part? Why can’t you get rid of it?”

“Well…I don’t know..Let’s just say, I am emotionally attached to it. I can’t let it go.”

This was me trying to explain my reasoning of sticking onto dual SIM cards, one of which –now on national roaming–was older than a decade now. Sobha, my unusual friend at work place, was tossing questions at me with full pace. The reason I call our friendship unusual is because we were poles apart from day 1; we belong to two different generations, our idea of relationships, food preferences, temperament, working style, lifestyle choices are as different as between a mom and daughter. Yet, oddly, we bonded like no one else did. She is like a Ballad and I am a grating item number. Sobha is nearing her 50 and I am about to hit 30 so naturally there are loads of conflict of interest, but once in a while I get to taste the old world when I am made to stand in her court room. In her words it’s called discussion about ‘life’. Today was one such day.

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“Repeat what you said.” She asked. I was jolted out of my thoughts.

“I said, I am emotionally attached to it.”

Her eyes became wider. “That’s it! This is what I wanted to hear. Emotional attachments! This is the only reason you have held onto a number that is of no use to you. Otherwise there is no logic to it. Good you understood.”

Trying to defend my standpoint I responded, “Of course there is logic as well. Tomorrow if any of my old friend or acquaintance tries to reach me, it should be easy enough for them.”

She laughed. “So you mean, you call even those people friends who you have not spoken to for years or vice versa! Okay, chalo lets assume hypothetically that they want to connect to you, even then you think they would need your ten years old number to reach you in this era of Facebook, Emails and common friends.”

I stared down for a while in discomfort. “You do not understand!!  Not necessarily a friend, but I may need it someday. Who knows what situation I will be in tomorrow and I need to contact them or someone wants to contact me on this very number”, came the reply from me.

“Fine. Yesterday she –pointing out at one of our teammates– forgot her phone at her desk and went for lunch to Pizza Hut with you guys. I was the only one near to her desk at that time. She wanted to call and ask me to keep the phone with me for safety. What she did?”

“She took my phone and called you.” I said.

“Yes. She badly wanted to reach out to me and she found a way to that, through you. At least the message reached to me. Likewise, if anybody needs to reconnect with you they will do that whether after 5 years or 50 years. And in case you are wondering that what if you need the help of 2000th person stored in this SIM, consider another situation, what if you need the help of 2001th person whose number you don’t have anymore? In that case, you will find him/ her out anyhow, just like she reached out to me yesterday.”

Twiddling fingers on my head I replied in restlessness, “I don’t know. It’s all very complicated.”

“Life is never complicated. We make it. We refuse to see what is very obvious. Just like a tree sheds its leaves and gets festooned with new leaves, we too keep moving on in life. Those who are important to us emotionally or spiritually or by whatever means, we take them along. Similarly, we are picked up by people who deem us important. It’s as simple as that. The day your generation will understand this they won’t need to carry dual SIM or triple SIM. Or at least they should just start accepting that it is purely for emotional reasons.”

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She was right. Most of us carry the baggage of past expectations and memories for a significant time and conceal it under the name of sentiment, need or emotions. What Sobha wanted to make me understand was not the usage limitation of my phone numbers, but showing me a mirror that somewhere we all are living with a baggage, if not SIM card then something else. Happiness is the basic pulse of the universe. But, the underlying happiness of the soul gets covered up with ambiguity and paradoxes. Faded jeans, old diaries, chocolate wrappers, torn shoes are all a part of it. I still have an empty perfume bottle at my dressing table because the smell still reminds me of my first international holiday and I refuse to let it go.

If we all could master the art of living baggage-free then life would have been so simple indeed. Just embrace whatever comes in your way, care for people who still are with you, forgive those who are not, show genuine warmth and chart a path that is cheery.  Strangely, its only when we are striving for something badly falls into dust, we feel liberated to fill up the vacuum again with good spirits of joy, something that is a fundamental display of human ability. This conversation was one that kept me awake for long. Having said that, I still have many of my old stuffs intact, including the SIM card. Not sure if I can ever muster the courage to get rid of them, but at least I have identified the reason for now—a baggage 🙂

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P.S: All pictures are a result of Google search and I have no copyright over them.

 

 

 


The place that I am going to write about today already has massive worshipers. In fact, it is touted as one of the best destinations for travelers. Nightlife, amusement park, tranquil sea sides, desert safari, shopping, exemplary man-made structures…it has everything. You name it, you have it. Dubai is one place to reckon with. It’s almost mind-boggling that how this sprawling desert has urbanized so much in the past few decades, and yet has held onto its novelty. But, don’t worry this is not going to be one of those travel blogs guiding you about places to see in Dubai. This is one place where most of us must have heard a lot of, if not visited till now. Thanks to Google, we already know the iconic landmarks of city.

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Sunset cruise- check; Burj Khalifa- check; Fountain Show- check; Gold souk- check; Desert Safari- check; Sheikh Zayed mosque- check; Yas Island –check; Ferrari World- check.

So, what’s new to write about this fabulous city?

You know your vacation is a success when on the last of the trip you suddenly start wishing if there were few days more…at least few hours.  As I sit down to write this I am experiencing massive toothache because of my erupting wisdom tooth. Even then, my spirit for writing about this city was not letting me sleep. Yes, that’s the word- Spirit. This is what makes a desirable destination different from others.

Travelling is my passion and I had sworn to myself that I will never visit a place more than once. Only because there are many more countries to cover and there isn’t much time. But, this city changed my viewpoint. It made me obsessed to its spirit. Apart from pouncing on the scrumptious and widely-liked Dubai chocolates and loosening my purse strings for gold and perfumes, I was phenomenally refreshed to meet some new people and breaking out of the monotony that we often get trapped to.

I happened to once share cab with a mother-daughter trio. They were originally from Egypt but are now settled in London from a significant time. They too were on a vacation. I befriended them during my trip and, as expected, our first topic of interaction was Bollywood and Shahrukh Khan.  They couldn’t stop praising Dangal and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, the 2016 blockbusters. They wanted to visit India only for Taj Mahal, but I made them understand that India is much more than that. I introduced them to the gamut of soul-pleasing places here and was feeling very proud and content at the same time.  I believe I made some good acquaintances and would like to keep in touch with them.

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Next, I met a very chirpy and frivolous man during my desert safari.  He was driving the Land Cruiser that was accountable for giving us the lifetime experiencing of dunes bashing. Prepared for a unique adrenaline-pumping adventure in the colossal orange-red dunes, we started with our journey. God bless his sense of humour, because his opening line was “Do you have life insurance madam as it is going to be my first attempt.”

I almost underwent a heart in mouth situation in those few seconds. I gulped my fear and voiced my concern timidly, “What do you mean?” He started laughing and didn’t reply. I didn’t know how to react until my husband whispered, “Don’t worry. He is joking.” “Are you sure?” I snapped immediately. “Let’s hope for the best.” I don’t know what that meant, but we started seeing the vivid orange dunes reluctantly. In the next 5 minutes I was sure that he was joking in order to keep us on our toes because he was exceptionally skilled and had expertise in what he was doing. The roller coaster ride in the desert was exhilarating. We were sliding down the slopes; sometimes egging him to stop, sometimes gasping and most of the times giggling. The beautiful desert shimmering like gold is a marvel to capture. As the evening stretched to night, we were guided to enthralling belly dancing and fire show. Later that night, on our way to the hotel, he introduced himself as Mohammad. Apparently he had enacted a negative role in a Tamil movie long ago. But, now it’s been more than 10 years he has been rendering dunes bashing pleasure to all tourists and also giving training to all amateur aspiring drivers.

He kept joking about having multiple girlfriends and how his increasing weight is scary or what would happen if I start driving his car. God knows, when was the last time I met a fun-loving chap like him!

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The conversation that followed that night once again opened my eyes to appreciate the gift of life. Sure, the heart is pumping blood inside but that is not enough to keep you alive. We are not born to lead uneventful and mundane lives. We are work in progress and the only way to keep growing is meeting new people, becoming better each day, inspiring others, taking things lightly, defining yourself and in the process get enriched with a feeling of purpose and happiness. He waived me goodbye saying “Never take life seriously and always be happy. Carry your binoculars along.”

Today I was going through my old e-mails where I had drafted one with the subject 20 things I want to do before I die. It was the year 2013. Interestingly, the 20th point clearly stated ‘Visit Burj Khalifa’.  I didn’t even remember that I made a list like that or I should strike that off now. But, what remained with me is the expression of leap of faith. Nobody knows whether what we dream today may come true or not, but sometimes leaping off the edge will let go the fear of falling. Whenever you start feeling comfortable anywhere, start questioning yourself is this the time to break the pattern. Who knows you may end up soaring high like never before. Just like desert has a dual trait of being hot at daylight and piercingly cold at night, life too is waiting to show you its many faces. You just need to be ready with your binoculars.

UAE, thank you for such a lovely time! I felt affectionately welcomed, with a sense of coming back to you again and again.

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It was only yesterday when I celebrated my silver jubilee with great elan. Or at least it seems so now. Its been 3 years to that. I was about to turn 28 and contemplating whether it is really the time to sluggishly crawl into that “mature” age group. Suddenly it occurred, why not flag off my late 20’s at a place that is embodiment of youthfulness, fun and unending entertainment. So, yes I started my journey for Thailand.

The only apprehension was that Bangkok and Pattaya are mostly associated with adultery and no strings fun. By any stretch of imagination I didn’t know what I was embarking into. But, who cares! I only knew one thing. The best memories of life come from leisured conversation with a stranger, feeling the wind on your face, dipping the toe in sea, getting lost in the distant roar of ocean, and holding the hand of your loved one.

It took me just a week to realize that Thailand is much more than adultery. Picture this, a place to get soaked in nature, strolling wearing your flip flops to beach cafes, sea walking and para gliding in clear blue seas, unspooling your body with a traditional Thai massage, holding a tiger in your hand during wild life safari, and posing reluctantly with your favourite celebrity in Madam Tussaud. And if you have time left after all this then it doesn’t harm to opt for a pole dancing show as well.

Walking Street, Pattaya

On our first day we went to the famous Walking Street at Pattaya. If the craving of grooving to discotheques keeps you awake at night then this is the place for you. Famous primarily for the neon lighting night life, you will find plethora of live music venues, discothèques, go-go bars, and of course nightclubs in this long stretch. Frankly, I was awestruck with the accessibility of so many things at one place. Regularly you will be approached by marketeers with menu card (its actually like a restaurant menu card) that has options of different types of adult sex shows going whole night. You can have your pick or else you can politely say no and enjoy the night at a bar.

I had a gala night. More so, because my birthday was just couple of hours away now. I dropped my guard and danced until we got drenched completely in sweat. This was one night I am never going to forget.

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Noong Nooch, Pattaya

Nong Nooch Garden is landscaped park that is the biggest botanical garden in Southeast Asia. It can easily fall in your all day trip. This 2.4sq.km. area is a theme park that gives you a peak into Thai cultural shows, elephant shows and you even get to sit besides a royal tiger. Taking a nonchalant stroll in this park will remind you of French garden and European Renaissance garden. My soul and spirit got significantly uplifted with the presence of orchid nurseries and topiary garden.

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Traditional Thai Massage

You go to Thailand, and not have a full body massage, is that possible? Me and my husband resigned ourselves to this 2 hours long full body traditional Thai massage. Howbeit, beware when you think of going to any random spa or massage parlour there because most of them adhere to the concept of providing adult services along with massage. Nothing wrong in that, but if that is not your interest area then you have to be careful in picking your destination. We had our hotel receptionist guiding us to one of the most trusted and popular parlours practicing ancient art of Thai massage. The gentle massage had a magical healing effect on our mind and body. It calmed my nervous system and displayed a meditative quality that I am failing to describe in words. Its a thing that has to be experienced, not explained. Do include this in your to-do list whenever you are in Thailand

Underwater World

You do not want to get wet and yet want to get a glimpse of thousand varieties of marine species? No problem; Underwater World in south Pattaya bring you an exclusive slice of marine life. It is one of the largest ocean aquarium in Asia. Stroll around this 100m long underwater tunnel and enjoy the panoramic view of marine life. From shark, starfish, turtle, Guitarfish to Butterfly Fish you will see everything here. If you are willing to shell out some money and have a diving certificate, then you can even go inside the tank and feed the sea creatures with your own hand. The natural light is ideal for having a clear view of species and also for clicking pictures. This is one experience worth all the money!

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Gems Gallery, Pattaya

Girls pay attention. This one is clearly for you. Visit the world’s biggest jewelry store, the Gems Gallery. Before you dismiss this as yet another jewelry store then make sure that you know that the experience here begins by taking you on a toy train ride wherein a computerized system gives you a 3D effect of bursting of a volcano into lava, making of mineral rocks and finally the cut precious stones. Once the toy ride is over, you can proceed to the store and shop till the day ends.

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Madam Tussads, Bangkok

Well, what to say on this. The name itself is self-explanatory. The photography fanatics can let themselves loose and get themselves clicked with each and every famous personality in the world. You name it, you see it! As expected, even I didn’t give my camera a rest even for a second till the time I was inside.

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Pole Dancing, Nana Street, Bangkok

We were extremely fidgety on experiencing the night life in Bangkok, particularly going to a strip club for pole dancing. Two individuals from India to an unknown city exploring a world that is denied in our country seemed fear-inducing. But then something happened. Now there is a flash back story on this. On our first day, we were waiting in the queue for visa on arrival when my husband pointed out that a celebrity couple was exactly behind us. I shunned him saying he was hallucinating. The couple must be in their 50s. They started talking to us about their itinerary and asked about ours. It was a casual half an hour talk. We waved goodbyes and headed to our respective hotels. Turns out, the couple was actually a known face in Kolkata. The woman was 90’s Doordashan news reader, now a successful dancer with her own dance troop performing all over the world. While her husband owns a production house in Kolkata. My husband was unable to recall their name, but then while scrolling down his Facebook account he saw one of his friends had liked a post from the woman. From her account, we got to know his husband’s name. My husband sent a friend request to him and in couple of minutes there was a message from him. “Hey where are you today?” Lets meet up. You decide the place and let me know.”

Honestly I was not keen for this meet. I tried to justify my reluctance with points like generation gap and dissimilar interests. But, my husband insisted. We decided to meet at Nana Plaza, which is like the Walking Street of Pattaya. After the formal greeting, the couple immediately sprang up. “C’mon why are we wasting time here! Lets go for pole dancing. It’s not that we are here all our lives.” I was choked for a moment to listen that from a man who was my father’s age. But, frankly, I was happy too that finally I got the nudge that I was waiting for.

We entered into AngelWitch Club and within minutes were engulfed into this world of pole dancing. One good thing about these places are that no one is a rambler here. People know what you are here for and they give you that- Entertainment. We went club hopping the whole night. My legs gave away after midnight but the other couple displayed a level of energy that we failed to match up.

Inquisitive enough by now I asked, “Aren’t you tired?” The reply cemented my faith on the saying, age is just a number. “Tired? Guys you are in your 20s. I have a son of your age and my age doesn’t stop me from living life-like a big party. There is no monopoly on feeling young. It is just a state of mind. Its been 25 years we are married and we still feel the mad passion we had for each other. We have next Krabi Island and Kashmir in our list. You are still too young.”

Believe me, I never felt that young and energetic ever in my life. Next day the couple excitingly took us to the Baiyoke sky hotel, the tallest building in Thailand. I was in awe of their child like vehemence. We enjoyed our cocktails at the 84th Floor and had the whole city laid in front of our eyes like house of cards. This night completely nullified my fear for heights. Directly or indirectly, this couple injected a new dose of power in me.

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At the end of every trip my husband has a habit of promising something. Last time, he promised that he will ring in my 28th birthday in the most happening place of Thailand. Today was our last evening at Bangkok. I asked him, “ so what are you promising this time.”

“That I am going to be your best friend always and no matter what numbers tell us, we are never going to be old,” was his reply.

And we burst out laughing. No body knows how your life would pan out so no point living in the fear of doomsday. Thus, the idea of sluggishly moving into the “mature” age group has taken a backseat for now and I came back humming the lyrics of a popular song.

“Let’s go crazy, crazy, crazy ’til we see the sun
I know we only met but let’s pretend it’s love
And never, never, never stop for anyone
Tonight let’s get some and live while we’re young”

🙂

 


“Happily ever after is not a fairy tale. It’s a choice.” – Fawn Weaver

What this simple quote brings to table is pure logic. Although the bestselling author said it in context to marriage, I feel it applies to every facet of your life. Being happy is not a rocket science; you cannot wake up one day, read some philosophical quotes and arrive to the conclusion that you are happy. Problems are ploy of life to make you squirm with insecurity. This inescapable concept, in every run of our lives, germinated long back. However, in wider domains of human lives, it does ring a bell. Is there really any secret or magic potion to be happy? Is happiness really a matter of choice rather than destiny?

I may not be able to render you any stand-alone concrete evidence, but- over a period of time I have realized-there are some things that if you let go today then the likelihood of having a regret later on in your life can be evaded to some degree. As for me, the result may not be a 100% happy mind-because that would qualify to living a life full of mockery- but at least I have started enjoying an extension of peaceful and calmer soul. In this article, I would like to discuss some of the prominent things that I have tried to overcome in the past few years.

Letting go the fear of travelling: For some years now, I have made constant efforts to move candidly like a bird, listening to the vast unexplored world that beckons me. I have conditioned my soul and spirit to lead life –on some lucky weeks in a year-without a compass. These are days that let me learn breeziness and unlearn a monotonous routine life. The consequence- I am able to come back and embrace my personal and professional life with more passion and energy. There is always something you learn at the end of every vacation, and after letting go that fear of travelling and habit of leading a tedious schedule, the one thing that is unvarying in me is my longing to keep moving. No matter what you do, how much you earn, and what kind of responsibilities overpower you, once in a while it is good to pack your bags and set off to an unexplored location. Trust me, when you will be in your 50’s managing to eat without some of your teeth’s, you will never regret this in your life!

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Letting go the apprehension to come out of a bad relationship: We all love and foster our relationships, don’t we? Contrary to popular notions, not every relation is intended to bring out the best in you. It can be your lover, a bad-ass friend or a nagging relative, whoever it is, if any relationship is not letting you grow individually and not making you a better person or hampering your emotional equilibrium, just bid adieu to it as soon as possible. No matter how difficult it may seem at first, when 20 years down the line you would be sipping your favourite cola and thinking about your guts to stand up for yourself, this will only bring a smile on your face.

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Letting go the anxiety of limiting yourself because of gender: When was the last time you were told things like “You need to learn cooking as you are approaching a marriageable age” or “Being a girl you should leave your office by 6” or “You are a guy and you need to start saving money” or “Why are you always game for pink shirts, you are a man “. The modern dynamics of civilization is different and thinking on the same lines mentioned above can severely impede your journey of being consumed and happy with yourself. Do not let your gender define what you are capable of- instead just go out and clinch things that make a positive difference to your life. 10 years down the line when you would be bogged down with additional liabilities at least you won’t say the most remorseful lines in the world—I WISH I HAD DONE THAT!!!

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Letting go the practice of holding grudges and not expressing to people you love: The exponential amount of hard work that you do everyday should not be an excuse to feel irritated and lose out on quality time that you could spend with your family and friends. Remember in the long run, these are the only people who would prove to be your most precious investment. Sure there are some who were close to you at once, but now are as good as strangers. Nevertheless, the least you can do is refraining from holding any grudges against them. In this way, you will take away the power from them to hurt and occupy your mind anymore. Never hesitate to express your feelings towards people who mean something to you. You never know your small gesture could end lighting many faces. Three decades later when some of these people would help you out to plan a surprise birthday for your granddaughter, you would just wink and feel good with what you have achieved over the years.

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Letting go the urge to sleep “10 minutes” more and skipping gym: Yes, this one is equally important as all the points discussed above. What’s the point of earning money and being good to others if your body is not in a condition to support your impromptu ventures? A healthy body signifies a healthy and relaxed mind. The routine of working out should seamlessly seep into your daily life. Do anything- a brisk walk, running, rope skipping, or anything that can contribute towards shedding those extra kilos. But, avoid that urge to sleep ten minutes more. Some years later when everyone would startle at your robust personality, you would exude nothing else but positivity.

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Happiness is a delusion. With my experience, I can just tell that happiness is inversely proportional to regrets. The less number of regrets, the more happiness prevails. Pour all your desires and in a glass and make your soul drink it. And yes certainly- “Happily ever after is not a fairy tale. It’s a choice.” 🙂

P.S: All pictures are a result of Google search and I have no copyright over them.

 


Perfection. Innovation. Novelty. Excellence.

You can be a corporate professional, a reality show participant, an artist or a creative person in general. But, there is one thing common between you all. You are striving to find something innovative with your skills. In short, all the nouns mentioned at the beginning of the article is your daily source of motivation to something different; something that will make you stand apart from others; something that will make others laud your unique control over the proficiency; something that will not make you look like you a replica of your opponents.

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As much as I want to appreciate this approach of life, I would also like to add that this should not be the sole driving force of every move of your life.

Imagine if every time a painter picks up his brush to draw a masterpiece, a guitarist pulls the string of his favourite instrument only to create the melody of the century, a call centre executive rings every consumer to trade by any forceful means, a writer starts writing only with the objective of winning the Man Booker Prize. If it starts happening with everyone then a voice of conscience will gradually hit you saying that is not an ideal situation. You will start getting fatigued exploring that “perfect” part of yourself persistently.

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The hunger of doing something new should always be there, but it must not empower the thoughts so much that you start losing sight of what you actually loved in the first place. You are a painter because you love to paint, not because you want your name to get inscribed as the best painter of the century; you are a writer because you are a worshipper of words and you love to weave stories with those words, not because you are aiming for the best novelist award. It goes same with other professions and creative fields. I have wasted many precious hours in just finding that one innovative piece of story. Until I realized that my passion should be about writing and showing my expression instead of bottling up ideas in the search of exclusivity.

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If with regular practice you come out with a masterstroke then that will be your day my friend, but until then keep nurturing your skills even if it means toiling in a pool of mediocrity. Do not negate all the hard work you put for the madness and passion for innovation. In this era of cutthroat competition, it will mean being unkind to your talent if you start sinking under the weight of uniqueness and innovation. Truth to be told, it is very important to create something out of your skills without the angst to leave others behind.

It takes lot of courage to get out of the cyclical clout of negativity and stand the test of time. The catch is, chart your own course, enjoy what you are good at and rip your heart out to do your best. After all, building confidence is more important than building anxiety.

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P.S: All images used are a result of Google search and I have no copyright over them.

 


Working in a commercial environment and investing most of your time sometimes turns out to be so brutal that you want to seize the higher ground by hook or by crook. Amrita was one such enthusiastic girl who was gradually paving her way to the epitome of success owing to her uprightness and the tendency to speak her mind without fearing anyone. However, the one thing that set her apart from everyone was that she was too mature as opposed to her real age. She could not only grasp official things easily, but could also uncover all the intentions enveloped under the sweet talks or activities of a person. There was nothing that could percolate to her inner self and make her think from heart, especially when was at work.

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Once she went out with her set of friends and one of them coyly started throwing queries at her. “So, what kind of guy are you looking for?” At first she tried to ignore the prying coming her way by replying-“Haven’t thought about it. Don’t even want to think now.” But, the guy was adamant that day to dig out some kind of compassionate talks out of her, and thus kept the persisting on. Finally Amrita sensed what she is good at. She immediately retorted, “well, there is no point in trying because I am not interested in you so let the game end here.” And with this everyone started hooting and clinking their glasses. The boy seemed awfully mortified, but he tried to compensate with a feeble smile.

This was Amrita for everyone- smart, brash, uninhibited and someone who lacked the level of innocence prevailing in girls of her age. Innocence is when we try to understand the compassion of a person instead of being judgemental. Amrita, however, did quite the opposite; she judged a person first and then thought about the sensitivity involved. No matter what you share, do or say, she will always succeed in lacerating your ‘real’ objective behind it. So, someone inviting her to a party meant an attempt to get confidential gossip from her amidst the party; someone trying to help her with an office project meant trying to show others that she is worthless; her mother asking about her impending promotion meant she is supposed to contribute more to the family expenses. Compromising on her office timings just to help a road accident victim on the way or making a child feel good with a smile was certainly not her agenda. In short, according to her, there was a reason behind every action that surrounds her. Being unaware of someone’s intention and acting innocent was completely a quixotic situation for her.

Perhaps losing her father during her teens and being ditched badly twice in love was the reason behind it. With every passing month she could realize it even more that there was a crucial thing missing in her unlike girls of her age. Yes, that was Innocence! She had developed an unusual defence mechanism to safeguard her innocent sensitive side. Cut to office, today was one of her monthly report submission day. She hurried to her cubicle but was traumatised to see that the report which she prepared the previous day and saved in her folder was deleted due to some system problem. She spoke to some IT department and they started working to recover the file as soon as possible. She did not have much time left and the only thing she could think now was calling up her team mate-who was on leave- and see if he has some traces of the last month’s projects saved in his office system. If yes, she could refer his computer.

She opened her handbag to take out the phone call him. She felt that someone pulled the pin out of the grenade. To add to her deflated self confidence, she had left her phone in the cab which she hired to reach office on time. Indeed an awful day to begin with. She shook her head and tried to whiz by without showing the panic on her face. Ultimately she dialled her colleague’s number from the office landline phone. He picked up in the first ring itself. “Hey. Akhil here. Tell me”, he answered the phone.

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Amrita was feeling bad to ruin his first day of holiday but continued, “Hi Akhil. This is Amrita. Sorry to disturb you. I need to ask you something. Do you have any record of the projects we dealt last month? Actually I had, but my computer turned back on me at the last moment. I was wondering if you could help me with something.”

Akhil was quiet was few seconds and finally spoke. “Umm..Actually Amrita I am sorry to hear this, but you know buddy I have a flight to catch exactly at 2 and for the security check in and other formalities I need to leave exactly two hours from now. I have some material with me, but I doubt whether amidst all the last minute packing I could be prove to be as hospitable as expected. Sorry dear.”

“That’s perfectly fine. Enjoy your holidays. Will see you soon.” And she dropped the phone with a gloomy tone. She thought may be a cup of tea would make her feel better. Leaving all her prospects of quarterly increment in the hands of IT department she headed towards the cafeteria. With a cup of tea in her hand she was thinking hard to recall some official things when she saw the taxi driver-who dropped her this morning-coming towards the reception area. Her curious mind commanded her to hasten straight to that area. As soon as she reached there the man looked at her and exclaimed, “There is she is! Madam I was talking about her. I wanted to meet her.”

Amrita was puzzled but then took the matters in her hand. “What happened? What work you have?

He put his hands in his pocket and started looking for something. In a split second he took out Amrita’s phone and signalled her with a smile. “This is yours na. You left it in my cab. I was trying to reach you since 20 minutes, but these people were not letting me talk to you. Please take it and let me go.”

Although she was stunned for a second, she tried to analyze what must be the purpose that he wasted 20 minutes of his life just to return a misplaced phone. Unable to think of anything else she opened her bag and tried to repay his helpful gesture with a note of 100 Rs. “A thank you was enough madam. Getting 100 Rs from you was not my intention. Good day madam”, he replied with a smile and started walking away.

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For so many years the theory of practicality and logic that Amrita believed in was contradicted today. She just couldn’t stop and screamed a big “Thank you” and waved hands to the taxi driver. He returned the gesture with a waving hand too. She felt as if she was acquainted to a strange truth today. Suddenly her phone beeped. It was none other than Akhil. She picked up immediately.

“Ya Akhil. Tell me.”

“What’s wrong with you? This is the fourth time I have called you. Anyway, just wanted to say I have mailed you most of the project details you need and that too in a systematic way. You just have to edit it. Have done it in a hurry, but I am sure you will manage.” He said in a single breath.

“Oh my god! That’s so thoughtful of you. But, you didn’t have to do this. I mean you are going for your honeymoon and instead of doing last minute packing you ended up doing this. I am so sorry and thankful at the same time.” Amrita was completely swayed by the two incidents that happened with her today.

She was interrupted mid way by Akhil with a chuckle, “Don’t think I did it expecting something in return. I did it for myself because I wouldn’t have been able to leave with a peace of mind. I am leaving for the maiden holiday with my wife and I don’t want anyone to clench teeth due to my absence. You have a great presentation Amrita and always remember there is a difference between being stupid and innocent. You just have to know when to bring out that side of you. Today, I was not stupid in helping you. Good luck lady. See you.”

His wordings touched a raw nerve it seemed. She looked outside where the taxi had left her and realized that if the attitude and perspective is right then even the brickbats can be converted into bouquets. As per the situation, you just need to oscillate between logic and compassion because that’s how you can purge out the deep-rooted social attitudes and tick all the boxes for bringing normalcy into your life.

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P.S: All pictures are a result of Google search and I have no copyright over them.


The idea of writing this new post struck me when, out of boredom, I was watching a telemarketing program this morning. I don’t exactly remember the product’s name (and thank god for that), but it endorsed a “life-changing” skin cream that could make you fair in just 10 days. Strangely, this head-banging ordeal did not stop just there; the ad further depicted a life situation where a “sawnli ladki” walks into an office for the purpose of giving an interview, and in parallel to her, a woman with a flawless “fair” skin comes too. No prizes for guessing who got the job. The girl with the amazing “gorapan and nikhar” had the offer letter in her hand by the end of the advertisement.

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The admakers made it more attention-grabbing by taking the help of a fairness meter! Oh Yes, you read it right? There is actually a magic card to measure the fairness of your skin because it has got the different skin shades embedded on it. Irrespective of the technological advancement, it is heartbreaking to see, we fall prey to these plastic cards and magic potions on a daily basis. It becomes more offensive when I see celebrities endorsing these fairness creams and continuously drilling a theory into our head that it is easy for fairer people to win a beauty pageant, woo a girl, get a job—in short achieve anything in life.

All my life I have been an ardent worshipper of Shahrukh Khan because I admired the way his willpower and determination shaped his career path despite not having a godfather. However, now when I see him giving all the credit of his success to a fairness cream just for earning some quick money, I get annoyed and baffled at the same time.

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According to these people, all the potential achievements in this world are stored in a small tube of Rs. 5. What an amazing theory, isn’t it? Going by this theory, working hard for success is an old-school concept now. All we need to do now is buy a fairness cream. It is really a time to ponder where our advertisement and marketing industry is heading. People need to analyze that if there was even an ounce of truth to these claims then all Indian women would have turned fair by now.

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In fact, truth to be told, none of us have come across even one person till today who got married, cracked a job interview or achieved success because of his/her skin colour. Surely our stupidity is paving the way of luxury for many admakers. The lives of Nelson Mandela, Obama, Oprah, Bipasha Basu, Nandita Das, Rajnikanth are an overt testimony that fairness is nowhere related to accomplishment. The feeling of being beautiful and self-confident comes from within and no product can ever bring that out for you.

Sadly no one is willing to understand that love is devoid of any skin colour and so is success!!!!!

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Disclaimer: All pictures are a result of Google search and I have no copyright over them.


We love wearing jeans, isn’t it? It not only makes us feel comfortable, but also let us slip our wallet, phone or any other essential item into it peacefully, eliminating the need to carry a bag separately on most occasions. Of course it assists to elevate your trifling fashion sense as well. Of late the purpose of wearing jeans has gone several steps beyond style and has led to the advent of a fashion blooper called Baggy Jeans. For those who are unaware of this term—though have seen its effect everywhere around them, Baggy Jeans are wide leg jeans that are relatively loose and relaxing around the waist and thighs.

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Sporting a Baggy style is considered one of the most trendy things today. All style is good with me until, in the ploy of getting a fashionable look, your baggy jeans starts sliding down to reveal your butt cracks. Oh! This is the most nauseating view I get these days, and unfortunately the frequency of such sights are escalating by leaps and bounds. Wherever you go–a shopping mall, restaurant, theater, pub, office–you are likely to bump into at least one person who is ready to show you his vital assets via his low-waist jeans. I think by now I can recognize any lad of my city with his butt type!

I never knew that now the time has come when fashion actually means wearing a low waist baggy jeans and bending everywhere at the drop of a hat, and baaaamm showing your out-of-shape hip bone. These low waist jeans clad men are always a topic of discussion amongst girls. Well, don’t get excited because we just wait for you to bend down while getting a snooker shot, and—controlling our giggles—count the seconds/minutes/hours you take to get back your sanity and pull them up. If the lady luck is on our side, we can also witness your jeans touching up to your knee with élan. Whom are you kidding dude? Do you actually think girls would get impressed with such an outrageous fashion sense and those crude views? If yes, then I really need to surprise you with a reality check!

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Try to analyze yourself that whether the floral underwear is classy enough to be flaunted. Moreover, in any part of the world you go, JOCKAY, NOIKE, GAEP and POMA will never get the recognition of international brands. If you are so fascinated to flaunt your underwear then for god’s sake wear an authentic brand like JOCKEY, NIKE, GAP and PUMA, and please spare us the horror. I am never against the idea of baggy jeans, but sweetheart you need to understand that showing butt cheeks is not even remotely close to being sexy. Irrespective of your good physique and charming face, butt crack in public is always looked upon in pure disgust.

If you want to justify your ‘flasher’ approach with air space and comfort then opt for the desi Lungi next time. At least you will get enough air down there and, thanks to Honey Singh, you may also break into a Lungi Dance whenever required. Next time, kindly pull up the pants and keep your underwear out of sight before your manhood comes out in public with a powerful gust of wind.

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If you can’t afford to get rid of this so called Cool Style Quotient, then please get a BELT!

P.S: This post is issued in public interest.

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Disclaimer: All pictures are a result of Google search!

 


This was the first question my father asked me after my last exam of final year graduation. This was not to clip my wings after my studies got over; instead he wanted to check whether or not I have any ambition left in life. No matter how much peculiar it may sound now, but the conversation followed something like this:

Dad: What are your plans now?

Me: Ummm..nothing I will wait for the graduation certificate. I am supposed to get it after two months.

Dad: No. I mean what do you want to do after your graduation? Any particular plans? Do you want to work after marriage?

Me: Ohh that! Nothing much Papa. I am already 20 so I will wait for 1 or 2 years more, and then get married.

Dad: What NONSENSE! What are you saying?

Me: Hey Papa. Don’t get angry. I will get married only to the guy you approve for me. Bas, khush?

Dad: What is wrong with you? I am not annoyed for the kind of alliance you would be gifting me with! I am shocked to hear such regressive thoughts from your mouth. After a graduation degree in biotechnology and a decent percentile in all board exams, all you could think is MARRIAGE! Shame on you.

Me: But, what’s the big deal Papa. I don’t have any plans and at least marriage will make my life more happening. Who would want to slog in an organization from 9 to 6? At least not me!

Dad: Do whatever you want! I can’t think of anything at this moment.

Yes. This is what exactly happened in the summer of 2008. Many of you would be giggling after reading this. While many of you would be shocked that how can a girl talk so idiotically to her father? I still have to come to terms with the fact that it’s been 6 years to that conversation. And today 7th of April 2014, I have completed my four years of professional life. Even though it is not a noteworthy time span for many professionals, but for the kind of person I was, this is something huge.

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I don’t know when and how this career-inclined revolution happened with me, but it undeniably brought out the best in me over all these years. Though I have no right to say this, but today when I see many of my classmates sacrificing their career after their marriage I feel very gloomy and stressed. In their own words “Marriage brings responsibilities. Besides, I have no paucity of money to struggle in office for 7-8 hours.” This sounds quite familiar to what I used to think some time ago. But, I refuse to believe this today. Because I know one thing that you cannot associate a job only with money. It would be a downright insult to an establishment that has plethora of things to offer apart from money.

How many times do you see a woman talking about her career, new found job, challenges faced at workplace, or the perks/recognition that comes her way during her tenure at a company? Certainly not many times! The only thing women know, now, is endlessly updating pictures of their kids. Of course putting up pictures is not a crime, but one must know to think beyond that. Women are unquestionably capable of much more. We have a life of our own–an individual identity.

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Our life is an anomalous fusion of different moments. Some days are going to be bad while some days are going to be bad. Apart from providing an inner creative satisfaction, your job saves you from the regular monotony and boredom of life by giving you an outlet. You do not sit back thinking the new designer salwar kamiz, for instance, purchased by your neighbour and what can you do next to be at par with her fashion style. You are able to put your energy into better use. Fallow energies tend to divert us from the real purpose of our lives, making us feel miserable at every stage. The idle time hangs on our mind pointlessly in the absence of a work.

In addition, a job shapes your personality by helping you to learn new skills and things. You keep challenging yourself to better your previous work. And a polished and busy mind is far more active and dynamic. Even the people near you get infected with your full of zip kind of approach to life. What’s more, the learned skills can be used by you as a contribution to society and community. Every person who is working in a particular field is a productive citizen who is doing his/her bit of duty to help the society with their knowledge.

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Last but not the least, a career gives you the much needed dignity and self-respect that you require to survive in a world that operates more on identity and recognition. You will no longer be just called as the daughter of your father, wife of your husband or mother of your kids. It forms a solid foundation of your individuality and makes you more responsible of your actions. I have too much respect for women who single-handedly take care of their family, but with little dedication if you are able to channelize your energy and extra time to more productive things, and ultimately support family by paying your bills, then isn’t it a good idea to balance our focus on the household chores with the real challenges of life?

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Those who are already working, try to respect the line of work that gives you so much more than money. I wish people understood that every profession comes with certain demands and it is futile to sulk about it day and night. May be the work you are doing now is not something you thought of, but the idea is not to lose hope and gradually find something that you are truly passionate about 🙂

Disclaimer: All pictures are a result of Google search!


Recently I was having a healthy discussion with my juniors regarding the upcoming elections, latest movie releases, and their reviews. I didn’t realize when the course of the discussion took a perceptive turn and I ended up coming up with some profound details and possibilities. Suddenly, a girl told me “Are all writers like this or you are an exception?” Another one added, “Arey aap to creative type ke ho. These people are like this only.” I didn’t realize whether that was a flattering remark or a spiteful comment at that time, but later when I sat down to think, I was quite pleased with the conundrum that was attached to it.

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I am not a self-proclaimed creative person because personally, I believe, everyone is born with a creative streak. Howbeit, while growing up, some hone their creativity by thinking out of the box, and some forget that they had something like this in the first place. Creativity works in mystifying and often contradictory ways. Although creative thinking is a constant, significant characteristic, it may suffer a setback based on situation and perspective. On some occasion, inspiration and thoughts crop up out of nowhere, and when you need them the most they refuse to show up. As per my observation, creative personality types are highly complicated people because they do not tend to get attached to a fixed habit; one day you would see them talking a lot on almost every subject, and the other day you would find them seeking solitude desperately. Some days you would find them highly alert, and some days you would be baffled to witness their daydreaming episodes endlessly.

Even though there are no typical ‘creative type’ characteristics, you can distinguish a creative mind from a normal mind by these standard traits:

Observation and Curiosity

People who tend to think differently are greedy with the notion of knowing each and everything. They have an inclination to understand human psychology better so they want to know every why, when, how and where. For them, there is never an end to learning. So, they try to satisfy the complexities and contradictions of human mind by grasping whatever comes in their way. Not necessarily every time, but if you have a colleague or friend who has a habit of questioning, observing and writing down on a notebook or laptop after a new experience, you must know that you are dealing with an imaginative mind.

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Solitude and Peace

One of the most unique traits of a creative mind is fearlessness. They are not afraid to stay alone. In fact, they find their own company very uplifting. In order to open the mind to constructive things and think profoundly, creative people make perfect use of solitude. It is very difficult to listen to your creative voice amidst all the daily chaos of life. Loneliness is one of the few ways that let them get in touch with their inner self.

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Traumatic events acts as a catalyst for them

It is a proven fact that the majority of success stories came into existence only after pain and heartbreak. An artist takes the hardships of life in stride and uses them as a catalyst to show a considerable creative growth. Their spiritual thought process and personal strength allows them to sense new possibilities in life. In fact, their passion for a particular art becomes a cathartic process to take out the cynicism and have a different standpoint on reality.

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Not afraid to take risks

The ‘creative types’ are always enthusiastic to take risks in diverse facets of their lives. This is because sticking to a routine will make their judgment monotonous and stagnant. They always have the guts to tread paths that not many have explored before. As a result, they will always have exclusive ideas under their belt even if it means going out of the way and defying the standard norms. They know how to downplay a situation and wiggle their way out it.

Contrary to what people believe, nurturing a creative mind requires a lot of hard work, dedication, meditation and conviction. You cannot demean it by simply calling it a God’s gift. They are normal people like us, but creativity is an unusual liberating and idiosyncratic process. In retrospect, it is better to let them have a soul-searching analysis to harness the congenital power of mind and keep their mojo up.

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Disclaimer: All photographs used are 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