Friday, March 31, 2006

NEVER cheat on your friend

I know we live in an age where living in is "in", having a child out of wedlock is "cool", wife-swapping is "necessary" and infidelity is a "way of life". But I am still a prude, still very "narrow-minded" and forbid such "new-age" rules, especially if it means to stab a friend in the back.

Yes, friendship is sacred and cheating on one's friend is equivalent to rape or murder. It's a crime of the highest order. If friends fall so low they will even put enemies to shame. Or are they enemies camouflaged as one's friends? Such breach of trust calls for the highest punishment.

I write this blog with a heavy heart. I just checked my mail to see one of the most disturbing pictures. A picture of a 'supposed' friend, with his new-found love, the girl who dumped my best friend. The picture is of the "new" couple, shamelessly posing at another friend's wedding reception.

Shouldn't such men be ostracized? Many may forgive and accept the "new" couple, reasoning (foolishly) that each one to his own and we have no right to impose our values on anyone. Then, by that logic should we pardon all rapists, killers, terrorits and give them the benefit of doubt. Have we become so indifferent that we don't find the need to react to such brutal acts? Am I the ONLY one who has been hurt? Or do we react only if it directly affects us? I ask all those men who have turned a blind eye, would they be okay if he had taken away their girlfriend?

On retrospect, let us accept the argument in favour of the "new" couple -- like they didn't mean to hurt anyone and it was just a cruel game of fate. So will this be justified if the girl (in question) goes on to dump this guy for another friend of his? Where does one draw the line? Shouldn't "the" friend have restrained from having such a relationship when he knew it meant breaking his friend's relationship? The girl (whom I have the least respect for) is not even worth my writing space.

A curse be upon such evil friendships. Don't be fooled my dear "so-called" friend, it would come back to haunt you. It will hit back... in time my "friend"..... in time....

We need more theatre ethics!

I'm just back after watching one of the most sensitive gay love stories on celluloid. A slow, but moving story of how two cowboys fall in love and struggle to keep it going. Unfortunately I was unable to appreciate Ang Lee's Oscar-winning, picturesque film and was distracted (many a time) by a giggly audience. Some of the intense dialogues of love, heartbreak and passion were lost in a crowd that failed to accept that two men could be actually in love. Both men and women, alike, laughed, giggled and nudged eachother every time the men kissed, made love, hugged or caressed eachother.

It's but obvious that we, Indians, may claim to be open about homosexuality but we haven't matured enough to understand and empathise with the emotions of homosexuals. We would rather ridicule their emotions by laughing and believe that such relationships are fictitious. So while I was straining to listen to some of the most beautifully written dialogues, people sitting around me, chomped their snacks & chatted with their friends on cell-phones.

So why didn't these people just walk out of the hall if they didn't like the film? Is it -- a. because they had no where else to go; b. because they didn't get tickets for another film; or c. they'd watch any film that wins an Oscar. ? Do these people actually come to the theatre to watch films? Or is film watching just another form of socialising? Aren't coffee-shops, restaurants and parks meant for that? On a more serious note, do people read about the film before entering a hall? Well, if they did, then a 'narrow-minded' crowd wouldn't ruin my ride on the Brokeback Moutain.
This is a humble request from an ardent fan of cinema, the next time you go for a film, find out what it's about before venturing into the hall and if you can't then walk out if you don't like/understand a film. Don't sit around and ruin it for people (like me) who genuinely enjoy good cinema.

Mixed Doubles is absolute trash!

It was definitely the cast that tricked me into watching this film. And what a let-down it was! I would have rather watched Kyunkii on TV than waste my time and money on some 'silly' sex comedy. Firstly I feel that Indian cinema has to go a long way before making fun sex comedy like Something About Mary. This one, however, was a complete turn-off!

The first half deals with Sunil (Ranvir Shorey) and Malati (Konkona Sensharma) living a normal, middle-class lifestyle -- complete with an irritating kid! And for this middle-class family, the washing machine plays a central character -- Malati gives a realistic approach... if not shown cooking, this one is definitely shown cleaning clothes. In fact, most of the conversations occur over a bunch of dirty clothes.

Mixed Doubles then moves to how Sunil wants to sex-up his love life through wife-swapping. How that would spice up anyone's lovelife is beyond me, but that's clearly a 'me' problem. Anyway, moving on. Mixed Doubles may aim to create a realistic approach to wife-swapping but it does not! It starts out perfectly but drops momentum half way through.

Director Rajat Kapoor fails to spice up enough feel for the characters, and more importantly, the issue on wife-swapping. The way Sunil convinces Malati to be part of the whole plan is silly and highly unconvincing. Legendary Naseeruddin Shah is absolutely wasted in the film. Why shove him in a corner is beyond me. As far as the rest of the cast goes, Ranvir is a killer. He's smooth, convincing and a treat to watch. Konkona is average. Koel Purie is convincing. And Rajat continues to play the stone-faced man! It's difficult to wash away the 'child-molester' tag he acquired from Monsoon Wedding. On the whole, it's a complete waste of time and energy.

Like someone rightly said, the moral of the story is 'never rub a woman's back'. Go figure!

'Unconditional love'

Unconditional love is what sums up my relationship with my dada.

He has been a constant force of support and encouragement throughout my life.He has always been my pillar of strength. And for him, I will always be his 'little girl'.

I remember when I was little, he used to carry me to bed every night. And when I grew as tall as him (or nearly as tall!), he'd walk me to my bedroom (and sometimes even insist on carrying me!). But no matter how tired he was, he never failed to tuck me into bed. Even through bad dreams... one yell and he'd rush to my bedside... stroking me and holding me till I fell asleep in his strong arms, wrapped tightly around me.

Over the years, he's transformed from a strict father to a close confidant.I recall his 'special' punishment for me when I was in school. If ever I lied, he would make me kneel in front of a picture of Jesus Christ (which is placed in our living room) and ask me to pray for forgiveness. This may sound a little weird, but I must admit that it has helped me grow stronger, cemented my faith in God and above all, stressed the importance of truth in my life.

All fathers are protective and mine is not any different. So in school, boys were kept out;) I was banned from even having a telephone conversation with them. But after I moved away from home to pursue my career, my dad accepted my freedom and trusted my judgment in men. He never questioned my friends (whether boy or girl) and accepted them all. I was even given permission for sleep-overs with a couple of old school friends (both boys and girls).

He has showered me with unconditional love and I only hope that I am able to give him at least half of the happiness he has given me....

Zee TV's big fat reality show

I am no exception when it comes to killing time in front of the telly. And, I admit to enjoy the masala and silly reality shows. From sleazy couple problems to the more recent talent shows, I am entertained watching contestants cry, sing and laugh for a mere TV channel contract coloured with a huge price money. Be it Indian Idol or America's next top model, I am mesmerised by all the hungama or even the lack of it.

However, one reality-talent show struck a sensitive chord inside me.After watching a couple of episodes of Zee TV's Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, one would be reminded of the British colonial rule. Where divide and rule cost our country her independence. The episodes were not only crass, but it glorified the North-South divide, which has widened over the years. It is appalling to note the extent to which TV channels go for getting high TRP ratings. Do they realise that it is violative of people's sentiments?

In one of the final episodes, contestants were pitted against each other based on which part of the country they come from. Compere, Shaan, proudly observed votes divided geographically.
And this too after reports on ULFA's alleged threats to the TV channel, ordering other contestants to bow down in favour of their hometown boy Debojit. The channel should have been more tasteful in formulating rules for the contest.

I hate regionalism and would NEVER waste any money SMSing for this show. Talent shows should at least try to bring to the forefront talented individuals and not create a rift between states. Besides, the show also lacks professionalism. With judges who talk in the most distasteful way and play cheap gimmicks to support their students, this show is a complete disgrace to the genre of stupid, but harmless reality telly.

Zee TV, please buck up. Your team has left me with a bad after-taste!

School friends

They are for a lifetime... they sure are!


Initially it's the 'most important' day you wait for the whole year round -- the gifts, the party, the thought of wearing new clothes to school, the food... everything attached to this day is exciting! But as you grow older and (maybe) wiser... the excitement wears off.

Birthdays are no longer fun because of the simple reason that it drills home the point that you are growing older!

At 26, I might still be 'young' but I know that 'old' is soon catching up. Apart from stocking on anti-wrinkle and anti-aging creams, there isn't much I can do now. I simply have to accept that 'I am growing old!!!' I remember beaming with joy when I turned 23, it was a 'cool age!' But since then birthdays have been extremely depressing.

Friends who celebrated my 26th birthday with me had only one thing to say the whole night -- 'You are in your LATE-20s now'. Hmmm... soon... very soon... I'll be 30, then 40.... Maybe the excitement attached with birthdays would attain more meaning then... Maybe this dull point in the graph of life will vanish. Maybe, after I turn 40, I'll be able to enjoy my birthdays again!!!;) I sure wish so...:)


From the minute we wake up to the minute we go to sleep... there are millions of decisions we have to make. From what to eat for breakfast... to what to wear to work.. to when to slot a particular writing assignment.. to which bus to take... it's a vicious cycle. Every minute accounts for making one decision or another... From the small decisions, we move to the more grilling decisions in life -- 'So... What have you decided to do in life?' -- I can't even count the number of times people have asked me this... 'What have I decided to do?'... Is that all it boils down to? And what if I choose not to decide what to do in life? What if I let life make the decisions? What if I make no plans? What if I take life as it comes? Am I then called a loser? Does living translate only to making decisions?

State of Mind: Confused!

NEVER date your best friend

Chances are if you guys don't click, you end up losing your best friend.Most people end up making this mistake... even after being adequately warned about the consequences. So why do they end up doing the forbidden? Well, the most obvious reason being -- it's forbidden, so you have to try it out.

Others read the wrong signs -- comfort zone is often misinterpreted as 'he's always been there for me'. What many don't understand is that good friends don't have to transform into good lovers. Once you are in love, the equations change drastically. Your position moves up from a friend to a lover. And with the promotion, your responsibilities increase. This is where most people crack -- unable to tackle the new responsibilities. Simple situations become complicated -- as friends there might have been days when you didn't talk to eachother, but once you start dating, you HAVE to talk everyday... you forget to give enough space to the other person.

We need to be more daring in our love pursuits. And not compromise for a caring hand in our friend.

Go out... look for your perfect partner!

Watch your weight!

What's this sudden obsession with weight? Everyone you meet today are either following a diet or planning to follow one or discussing which diet plan is the most effective. It's like the world is suddenly filled with fitness freaks.

I remember how when we were in school (which was not so long ago), we'd eat anything and everything that came our way. And no one made us feel guilty about it. But today our body and mind have been conditioned to reject anything remotely fatty. The diet bug has bitten the old and the young alike. Today you hear 11-year-olds discussing how carbs (short for carbohydrates!) make you put on weight!

Some even take to drastic steps like smoking (which apparently cuts down your appetite) to reduce weight. And for the rich, the beauty clinics offer surgeries for instant weight lose. Even super-markets stock fat-free/carb-free products -- everything from milk to cream to pasta!I fail to understand this weight obsession.

Why can't people appreciate the inner beauty? What's the big deal about looking skinny? Maybe it would be a good idea to send these 'weight-obsessed' people to Somalia in exchange for those hundreds who are actually starving. Guess they would appreciate a good meal without checking the fat content!