Friday, November 11, 2016

"Dear Zindagi"

Dear Zindagi,

How are we doing so far? Since the writing bug bit me we both are interacting in one form or other, sometimes on paper , some times  on blog and some times by telepathy. So what is it like, is it carpe diem till now or did we totally waste some  moments? Hand in hand we surely have come a long way! If I have to write a letter to a 15 year old you, I would like to write that I miss you. I miss the innocence , the purity of thoughts and  the bigger dreams. Nevertheless I just want to tell that I am proud of you for dreaming big, for believing in yourself, for being in terms with your conscience always. I just love you more as your heart was less complicated and demenour was more sweet. Time and things have changed you for good and sometimes for bad. But that is how dealing with you is no?  The issues which seemed like mountains are like molehills now. I hope the mountains of the present day would be molehills tomorrow. I still remember how some things seemed like burning issues years back. 

The social studies exam paper which always gave me shivers and the memory of how I just wanted to tear the pages off the civics or economics text books after the exams is still fresh. But later in life I loved few concepts I learnt. I mean just think about law of diminishing marginal utility--- The first unit of consumption for any product is typically highest, with every unit of consumption to follow holding less and less utility. Consumers handle the law of diminishing marginal utility by consuming numerous quantities of numerous goods. I still remember how my wonderful social teacher explained this law and the supply and demand theory using the banana fruit as example. You first eat a  lot if you are hungry, then if supply keeps increasing and you are no longer hungry , the demand for banana reduces. The study of demand and supply and law of diminishing utility got etched in my mind and I even applied it to my interests in life. When something is in abundant, we never love it. When we lose it, we miss it and start craving for it, we all know this fundamental principle. I realized every thing I study can be linked to life in one way or  the other. I started enjoying whatever I was taught or whatever I learnt all by myself. I realised that the feeling of learning something new is so liberating.

Years kept moving on and the things I love kept changing with time and happenings. If I loved drawing at  8, I loved writing and reading at 17. If I loved motichoor laddu as a kid, I loved barfi more as a teen :) Some loves  remained constant and some didn’t. While  racing with you I realized nothing is constant. The things which felt may kill me didn’t seem so harmful later. The day I broke  up with my best friend due to some silly reason seems  funny today. The day I cried because  I thought I would fail in the annual examination which would be the end of  my life  sounds stupid now. Some  friendships stayed with me, some were seasonal , some were there for a reason but every sort of bonding  taught me what I need to know. My love for reading started some time in high school when I finished the English non-detail book, Great Expectations – a novel by Charles Dickens. I finished it even before the school term started during a train journey and I was super excited by this colorful world  of books I entered in. My imaginations got new wings and I got new friends in the form of books. To all my friends it is a common  sight to spot me sitting in a corner, sprawled in the hostel lawn or sofa or sleeping on my bed holding a book. Harry Potter books were my best companions  during  my college life. It is not an exaggeration if I say that these books helped me get over my home-sickness , only difference is, I  was not in Hogwarts but was just pursuing graduation like every one else!

Many books influenced me in many ways and I evolved. Anne Frank’s – The Dairy of a young girl left me teary eyed  during an industrial trip in college. Life of Pi taught me how to face adversities and Tuesdays with Morrie is the book I will keep near to my heart. The Alchemist has every thing you need to know in a nut shell.  Great poets  like Robert Frost , Maya Angelou,  Oscar Wilde, Kahlil Gibran, Kabir and so on so forth influenced my thoughts and made me pen down many poems. Their wisdom is contagious! I am a bibliophile but a slow reader. I don’t read everything on which I get a hand on but most of the things I read stay with me . There is so much to read and so less time. I am still catching up with my reading list and I hope to read more and talk only when there is a  need!

My love for books has surely changed me and you for good! This  letter is an ode to all kinds of books I read, be it in curriculum or outside it, which influenced me. Thank you books for filling less non-sense in my head and for being there  always no matter what! Hoping that the mountains always turn to molehills in the end I sign-off!

Source: here

With love,


“I am writing a letter to life for the #DearZindagi activity at BlogAdda".

Dear Zindagi - Take 1: Life is a Game

Saturday, November 5, 2016

"C'est la vie"

Dear Zindagi,
I remember writing letters of this sort in my personal diaries or journals. Now that the habit of writing a diary is a thing of past, this is a wonderful opportunity for me to thank life and fall in love with it all over again. C'est la vie in French means  "That's life" in short. It is what you say when something happens that you do not like but have to accept because you cannot change it! Life is a mixture of events, some may give immense happiness and some leave you stranded and teach you the much needed lessons. How much ever hard a phase may seem in life, it passes too. This  is the biggest lesson I learnt, that time heals the wounds and always gives a chance to begin afresh! In my 20s when I was struggling, figuring out my actual ambitions in life and fighting my body-weight issues, I  started hating and cursing my life. I do have many hate letters written in my personal journal , cursing life and God for the life I got :-).

I know "being slim" was and will always be the in thing. How much ever attractive or smart you may be, you know for a fact that looks matter and mostly the first and foremost factors which attract a person to other person are - good looks, physique, the debonair way of dressing and so on so forth. It takes lot of maturity to actually know a person and like him or her. Due to my obesity I used to shun from any kind of relation-ship even if life gave me some fair chances!  The same life gave me few great memories and friends who made me feel good. I realized I am good looking, no matter what. I slowly came out of the shell of self consciousness and mingled with people who can hold an interesting  conversation for more than 15 minutes atleast. The life which made me feel like a  loser due to turbulent graduation years and body image issues made me feel like a star when I cleared job interviews effortlessly and got a wonderful opportunity in a reputed organisation.

It was always a roller coaster ride as I sailed through my adolescent years.  Which major subject to choose? Maths or Biology? Which choice has more career options? What do I actually want to do? Do I like that boy? were the questions which strangled me for long. All I wanted to do was "have fun" and let time decide the best for me. I was a topper, rank holder all my life but YES I never actually had clarity on what I want to do and neither do I have a clarity now. I love this suspense. When life hits me head on I feel prepared as I faced many uncertainties by now and have come out of them in  flying colors. Education and career-wise, I transitioned from being a full blown Biology student who is quite  attached to the subject, to a Bio-Technology student, to a Software Engineer , to a Technical Writer and I am quite happy on the podium I am standing today with no idea of  what future holds for me. 

I am at that juncture where I feel happy by my acts and not the place or people. This made it easy for me to live even when I am surrounded by some folks who can pierce me like a prickling cactus. I bloomed like that brilliant flower in mid of cactus spines.Years of life have taught me how to respond to cacti or just not respond to them. 4-5 years back it would have been an impossible scenario to me, but thanks to life which taught me to bother about things which actually mean something to me.

Crossing all my 20s , now after a decade,  I feel like a winner at 31 when no one's shit matters much. I have outgrown opinions of others about me but I don't like to announce my victory to the world because when did world actually care about it? 

When I remember my 20 year old self and when ever I am facing life as my opponent I recollect Baz Lurhmann's powerful sunscreen song shared below. This  holds good for me till my last breath and summarizes days of my life!  Listen to it carefully! Concentrate on all lyrics. If it didn't relax your nerves and change your perspective a bit, let me know!

Once out of my la la land where day dreaming ruled my hours during my teen years, I realised life is not a bed of roses. There is not  going to be a knight in shining armour or a dewy eyed Shahrukh Khan waiting for me at the end of the tunnel :) The real need to work on self-love and on things which made me feel better and happy dawned on me, some time immediately after my graduation and I sensed that things will slowly fall in place when I love myself. Losing body weight felt good , not for any Tom, Dick or Harry but just for myself. It did boost my confidence , when I started wearing clothes I liked, which earlier were not available in malls in my size . You know how the best attires are made for skinny people :) I  danced to myself on my achievement but I understood I may gain weight once in a while and free advice would always be dispensed by anyone and everyone regarding all aspects of my life!

There are funky people like Aunty Acid and so much humour embedded in universe in so many forms which come to my rescue when I feel like dispensing an advice to folks around. Having some inbuilt humor in me helps in overcoming the biggest obstacles or the nosiest  people around!

Source : here . hahha . Joke is on u ;)
"The next best thing to solving a problem is finding some humor in it." --- Frank Clark

All in all I feel content with the life I am living. On this day if I get a time machine and travel back in time, I really can't think of editing something I have done already because how much ever you travel back, life is always full of surprises , challenges, smiles and tears and it always lifts you up after making you fall down. I am trying to take life as it comes and make it less complicated because it all depends on how I react to life and its happenings and I will always remember to count my blessings! Ending my post with a beautiful quote by Abraham Lincoln!

Love you Zindagi,

source : here
“I am writing a letter to life for the #DearZindagi activity at BlogAdda“.

Being a die hard SRK fan I am quite intrigued by 
Gauri Shinde's Dear Zindagi, in which the talented Alia Bhatt acted too. I just can't wait for it to hit the screens on November 25th. Watch the teaser below.

Dear Zindagi - Take 1: Life is a Game

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

For the Love of SRK!

Some call it madness, some are in sync with me. Some think I am still stuck in teens. Some say I should move on! (but why??

I say that this love is unfathomable and irreparable. My unconditional love for SRK cannot be explained clearly to 'others' . I dont even remember the exact moment, when it started. I was 7 years old when Baazigar was released and was clean bowled by this man with captivating eyes. I didn't know the actual meaning of words crush, mush or love then but one feeling I had was I could easily get drowned in those eyes, get arrested by that stare and keep staring at that adam's apple. Those contact lenses Vicky Malhotra  uses to look different from the good SRK aka Ajay, make him look almost vile and some one like me cannot stop admiring every shade or color he shows! The song ye kaali kaali aankhen (though both hero and heroine do not have black eyes :) ) is my heart favorite till date. Baazigar is one of its kind. There are many movies where hero goes to any extent to take revenge on the villain but baazigar has an interesting plot, two charismatic new comers (Kajol and Shilpa) with our very own heartthrob SRK. The movie has many factors to make it a good watch, also it is the first movie which earned Khan a Filmfare Award for Best Actor.  The sweetest Fauji who enchanted the audience on small screen, acted in many more tele-serials like Circus, Dil Dariya, Waghle ki Duniya  and has just spread his charm quickly in all directions!
Young lad from Fauji- source here
SRK as Deewana
His intense acting in Darr and Baazigar won my heart. I became an instant fan in Kabhi haan kabhi naa. I mean look at how he looks at you. Can you escape the charm? The innocent Raju from Raju bangaya gentleman who travels to city to establish himself, again made me fall head over heels for him.
This wonderful song is quite inspiring

The role in Raju Bangaya Gentleman is very near to SRK's real life. Juhi and Shahrukh made a cutesy couple though it never felt like there was hot chemistry between them, atleast to me. The movie shows the struggle of a man who wants to succeed. Two more good movies, where the duo showed their charm are Yes boss and Duplicate, with a slightly similar story line where a talented young man is trying to establish himself. Each and every movie done by SRK and Juhi is enjoyable. Their comic timing is perfect and they both complement each other well! Then came 1995 ... The first movie I went out with friends, the turning point of my life when my eyes couldn't dart off from RAJ MALHOTRA on the screen is Dilwale Dulhaniya Lejayenge. I mean just see how he turns around and looks at you ;) . My heart was gone that moment and it goes on and on even now and the hotness both the actors kick started continued for years :) ! Even after 21 years I still see people arguing on Facebook that DDLJ is a bunch of crap , quite unrealistic and totally non-feminist (this part I never can comprehend even though I am a feminist myself). First and foremost thing for which movies are made is - entertainment. There are different genre of movies , some are hardcore romantic , some are real , some have senseless comedy and so on so forth. How much ever unrealistic some haters may have felt  while watching the flick, it is not an exaggeration if I say, it made many people believe in love which can happen like an accident, not necessarily in a train or in Europe but the belief keeps a person get going. The hope that there may be a guy or a girl  just there who can love you as much as Raj and Simran love each other is good. The words, "Mai aaraha hu Simraan" or the way they both wait for the elders' consent overcoming all challenges may be unrealistic but life can be unreal and magical once in a while right?

source : here

A different angle is shown in Bachna Ae Haseeno where our protagonist Ranbir Kapoor goes to apologize to Minisha Lamba who blindly thinks Ranbir is her Raj but finally starts feeling may be her husband who has overseen the shortcomings and accepted the challenges in the marriage may be her real Raj? The point here is, Raj has set a benchmark which sometimes may be fulfilled by the most unexpected person in your life! YES. This can happen. Even though many guys say they hate the movie and SRK and curse the movie makers by cribbing that no one has shown what happens after Raj and Simran get married, I know that secretly they adopt a pinch of SRKism to woo a girl. The magic of DDLJ still is intact in my heart and many hearts like mine and my belief in love is unflinching no matter what!
source: here , Sarson ke khet became the most romantic place to hangout for me after the movie ;)
No one can romance like this man does. It feels like he is romancing the mind and not just the body! After all these years even in his 40s when he played Suri Paaji in Rab ne Bana di Jodi, I was clean bowled. Such a cute, innocent common man who puts a sincere effort to win his wife's heart will make any one feel good and dreamy. The story line may seem silly and the comedy at times may seem monotonous but the premise of the movie and the sweet nothings can make your heart warm! If a fighting couple goes and watches the movie, I am sure they would cool down after the movie :) "Aapka dil chahta hai ki uska dard kam hojaye!", these words work like a balm when told or just calmly implemented! There are many more movies where SRK showed his magic of wooing / romancing a woman. If friend ship bands became famous after Kuch kuch hota hai (which almost feels like the famous Archie comic- with Archie, Betty and Veronica), valentines day became a hit-celebration after Dil to Pagal hai. For the unromantic in you, if the rugged looking SRK boiled your blood and made Chak de an overwhelming watch for you, I am sure you would have liked him just for once though you may not want to accept it. 

With Swades he ignited my patriotism. As the detective in Baadshah or the reporter in Phir bhi dil hai Hindustani or journalist in Dil se, he made me smile and feel good. His exuberance and energy levels are unbelievable. He is quirky and will make you laugh no matter what! There are many more good movies done by him which influenced me in one way or the other. Every one talks about Kajol and SRK but there is a movie Chalte chalte, which shows the much wanted after marriage-love and struggle of Rani and SRK who effortlessly heated up the screen with their chemistry. The song pyaar ham ko bhi hai pyar tum ko bhi hai makes one muse a lot ;) 

When the topic of sad songs has come, how can I not talk about Hamesha tum ko chaha - from the epic movie Devdas? Dilip Kumar may be the best Devdas but SRK is the most adorable Deva. Paro and Chandramukhi weaved their own magic and make this one of the most memorable movies of Sanjay Bhansali that exudes grandeur!
The song which once upon a time made me cry!

Coming to his quick wit and humor, I am sure there is none in Hindi film industry who is as witty as him and who talks to his fans with so much ease! His fandom is unmatchable. I have heard and seen the stories about people waiting outside Mannat (his residence) for having one distant glance at their super star. Recently after watching Fan, I wanted to write on how I felt connected to the movie but I was at loss of words. Though there were elements in the movie which were not much to my liking, I loved it for many other elements. I may not be a psychopath like Gaurav Chadana but the intense passion and love of SRK's 
fans is so aptly shown in the movie. Going to the movie with another fan was an exhilirating experience for me . I went on first day first show and there were people in theater who were as mad as me, screaming during the opening scene where all bits and pieces of his journey, interviews and awards are shown! I loved fan for the very Jabra (something extra ordinary )factor and the words, "Rehende Tu nai samjhega!" is what I tell to many who question me how can I like him ? and exclaim that he is a old bag, he has no talent and is just lucky or this or that! 

Seriously this feeling can never be explained...

Some of the many witty quotes told by Shahrukh Khan are here .  
When asked if he is bisexual - Source: here
Just like there are many memorable movies done by him, there are some poor choices too. I  did not like watching him in Happy Newyear, Chennai Express or Jab Tak hai Jaan or Dilwale and some other movies. Even if I play the songs in loop, these movies made me feel bad as the work done by him doesn't suit his skill set, humor or mettle and the movie may not always work when a guy is good , acts in all his glory and gets what he wants or the love of his life no matter what. I would be lying if I say, I missed his good movies and started craving for them.

 I had my fingers crossed hoping that he strikes back with some thing different, something which will mark as a new start! May be he listened to his fans' hearts, he came up with the apt film - Fan ! Even if the movie has minor loop holes it was blissful to watch him play both roles of Aryan Khanna and Gaurav Chadana. All the fans were taken back to the Baazigar and Darr era. I am eagerly waiting for Nov 25th, for Dear zindagi and for other upcoming movies- Raees  and Imtiyaz Ali's romantic film (still untitled). I am sure with better directors, SRK would be able to deliver better performance and mesmerize me like he usually done! I can write  many sequels to this post but for now I want to stop  here, and wish him, a very happy Birthday! The hope to meet him one fine day is still strong and inshaallah it will happen :)

Dear SRK,

Thanks  for making me an absolute romantic at heart :) May this year give you great health, more success , more awards and many more good movies - 
A post, straight from the heart of a Jabra fan!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Lives On!

When Graham Norton  exclaimed on his show that "Friends Lives on" I wondered what is all the hullabaloo about Friends which I keep hearing. I never gave Friends a chance and when I finally gave it , I regretted just after two episodes thinking how come I missed it all these decades. In school days I may not have understood it much and in our small town we did not have many cable channels as well. However I felt uber glad that I gave in to the temptation of Friends!

From the first episode of season one, I realized this  is just not any other show and is going to be etched in my mind till I want to forcibly push it out of it ! Thanks to Comedy Central for introducing me to this series. I was on job break for 3-4 months and I got friended in the best possible way :) My day started with it and ended with it. I just couldn't shut up about Friends with my husband, friends or  any one and every one I come across. What I felt deserves a place on my dear blog and hence this post. The strongest element of this show is the way, day to day mundane things, emotional and even heartbreaking happenings are shown in a lighter tone which gives the feeling that nothing's gonna stop the ongoing life and the way every one's demons, personal and professional problems are shown is so realistic!

You feel good by just seeing how Chandler gets bored in his office or how Phoebe sings whatever may be her lyrics, how Joey just enjoys all his food or how Monica makes her passion her profession and can go to any extent to please others, how sensitive Ross is or how beautifully Rachael progresses in life. However for a normal person like me in India or to that matter any person in any corner of the  world, it is very tough to live for a decade with the bestest friends and to not give a damn about the  rest of the world. However fictitious this  set up may be, it is uplifting. It helps you sail across your sea of emotions. It is not an exaggeration if I say F.R.I.E.N.D.S. changed my life for good. I want to discuss all the leading characters, one by one in this post.

Monica Geller: Monica's (Courteney Cox) apartment is the hub of happenings , the center stage for everything, the best host and a best friend one can have is Monica Geller. They all do jobs for a living whether or not  they like it, and like my favorite Monica Geller says it  is true that, "We all have jobs! Thats how we buy things." To most of us job is majorly a necessity which pays us enough to do things which we actually want to, and this fact is highlighted by Monica who always steals my heart with timely dialogues. After Rachael runs away from her first marriage, the way Monica consoles her like in the below image just soothes me every time I think about it. Almost a virtual Monica hugs me saying this whenever I am in soup! Monica is a magician. She can conjure food in no time and she is so big-hearted that  I always feel bad whenever I watch her as I never had such a great girl friend. I could have really used the company to stay rooted and balanced. I have some great  girl friends but I never had an exact replica of Monica. If I get such sensitive yet practical, such logical yet silly, such warm yet curt friend I would never let her go!

source : here
Rachael Green
Rachael's (Jennifer Anistonstory starts with a marriage from which she successfully exits but is confused as to where to go and what to do. Monica accepts though initially she has her doubts. Rachael becomes a better person and a great friend and seamlessly blends with the group. Rachael gets a job and becomes independent only after getting inspired by her friends. The best quality of Rachael is that irrespective of whatever shit she says or happens to her, she would stay the same emotional person she is. There are few qualities in her which don't suit my taste but just like all fingers of our hand are different, all our friends cant be same too! I love Rachael for the way she is passionate about her fashion career she chooses and the confidence with which she decides to be an unmarried mother to Emma. Tells me a lot on how a woman can mould herself and take up bigger challenges. Infact I appreciate both Ross and Rachael for being ready to raise the kid.The natural flirt that she is brings a smile on my face. She has a quirky sense of humour. I love her for being straight forward and transparent about her feelings and her natural reactions and frustrations which she expresses with out holding anything in heart. Well, in real life it may not always help but it does relieve you. All is well that ends well and Rachael's story and twists accelerate the audiences' enthusiasm in watching the Friends sitcom.
Image source : here
Ross Geller
Ross's name automatically comes when you write about Rachael. Because they are Lobsters right ;-)? I simply love this man. Sensitive men around you is a rarity and finding one who can be loyal , caring and can wait for you for years to make it work is something any girl can fall for! Ross has failed marriages but he still accepts things as his fate and tries moving on, ofcourse with the help of his friends. Ross's expressions steal the show. The way he says "hi" in a dull, dragged tone always makes me laugh loud but I feel a tinge of sadness and want to hug him at the same time. Ross and Rachael's on and off love story and his epic dialogue "We were on a break," can never be forgotten. Ross's mind blowing words like, "Unagi," "Pivot," his passion for dinosaurs, the way he fights for his sandwich in office and anything and everything is hilarious. David Schwimmer a.k.a. Ross Geller actually directed some episodes too. Ross is uber cute in the young college videos shown in some of the episodes and his restless pursuit for achieving Rachael just steals one's heart. They never really moved on but still stay friends always which is extremely refreshing and some thing to learn for all the viewers. Ross's expressions and innocence are in sync. Ross and Monica make the perfect brother sister duo. The common fights they have which all brothers and sisters have in life is adorable to watch  and I can never think of any other person playing Ross Geller!
We were on a break :) source: here
Joey Tribbiani
Joey (Matt Le Blanc) is a pillar to the series. Be it being funny due to his dimwit or just being the magnet to all kinds of girls, he aces it. Joey's food intake is unmatchable and I often use his famous line- Joey doesn't share food. Joey's iconic "How ya doin?"  seems like a cool opening line for any guy and just makes me smile broad whenever my husband uses it :-). He stands next in line to Phoebe when the crazy-quotient is measured. The conversations Joey and Phoebe have are extremely fun to watch ! Joey Tribbiani is the hottie of the series and he still is hottie. Just because of Friends, I started watching his new series - Episodes , which did not grab my attention but Joey didn't fail to impress me. Even at the age of 49 he is super fit and mesmerizes me! Joey even if dates multiple women and cannot even recollect their names has a sensitive side to him which makes him do anything for his friends and also makes  him develop a sudden soft corner for Rachael! Read 21 Joey's best lines on buzzfeed. Joey makes me smile no matter what. His struggle to be an actor looks so real and it is a fact that he had his last dollar in pocket when he was selected in Friends audition. The struggle did pay back :) Just the tone of Joey leaves me smiling broad sometimes. He is like the stress buster of FRIENDS and Chandler-Joey combination is a magical treat for viewers!
source: here
One of the many howlarious lines by Joey - here

Chandler Bing

Chandler is my heart favorite character  ! Who wouldn't love a frivolous personality around them? His famous dialogue that  he uses humor to come out of embarrassing situations really works for me many times! When you cannot solve some problem, finding some humor in it, always lessens the burden and Chandler has reaffirmed my belief in that. It is shown that to cover up his awkward childhood episodes (of his mom and dad) he relies on humor.The way he wants to stick around Monica and fears commitment but ultimately realizes its LOVE is the best moment for me in all the episodes! Chandler is not as bad as he thinks with women and romance. In reality if there is a person like Chandler around me I would give no second thoughts before having a crush on him :). The bromance word would have started after Friends, after the unconditional bond the two friends , Chandler and Joey share! Chandler is a friend on whom you may not depend for solutions but he can interest you in some humour! The way he handles the situation when he knows that he and Monica cannot have kids, just gives courage to anyone. Nothing is tragic enough to spoil your life is Chandler's funda which everyone badly needs to follow. The climax scene is so moving , where the couple are blessed with 2 adopted twins. I was actually in tears looking at the vacant apartment. Some of the iconic Chandler Bing dialogues can be read here. Chandler (Matthew Perry) is so iconic that the makers have included his original lines many times in the series!

Source: here
Phoebe Buffay
Last but not the least meet Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow), the star singer of Friends series. I cannot pick an actual favorite in this group of 6 friends but Phoebe's unconventional sense of humor and weird imaginations are just so unique that they place her in a  special category where she competes  with none and just raises the crazy-bar every time you watch her. I love Phoebe for her selfless acts (bearing the 3 children of his  brother and the way her brother says it to others is extremely funny),  her empathy , easy going  nature but getting  all emotional when situation demands or when she just feels like, are some of her impressive traits. On the first night she meets Rachael, when asked if she could spend time with Rachael, the way she frankly replies as in the snap shot below just made me her fan instantly. Frankness is needed to an extent when you dont  want to do something :)
source: here
Her style of singing to her heart's content and feeling  extremely good about her talent fills immense confidence in any person! The iconic smelly cat smelly cat will always be remembered by viewers. Phoebe's lyrics are so fun to listen to and the way she sings make the lines  more hilarious. Phoebe Buffay as Regina  Phalange and her very usage of Phalange in the climax scene made me ROFL. Phoebe's identical Ursula though enters the series occasionally doubles the crazy quotient. I so hoped for Phoebe and Joey to get hitched but it would have been a routine end and of course we wouldn't have got a chance to see the ageless Mike:). Janice with her "Oh My God!" is another memorable character. The celebrities who used to come on and off in various seasons made the series more special!

A glimpse of the song

The unconventional ways of giving birth and raising kids (phoebe to brother's triplets, Rachael to Emma with out marriage, Monica and Chandler adopting twins) gives hope to viewers that life can be moulded to make  your self happy. If you really want to do something there are  multiple ways. FRIENDS influenced me in a way I never could have imagined before watching the show.

Three cheers to all of them and thanks to the makers David Crane and  Marta Kauffman who created this amazing show from which there is no escape. Truly, FRIENDS lives on!!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Half Baked Head - (19) - Proactivity and Productivity

When you bump in to corporate assholes, creativity gets churned and Half-Baked Head is reborn :) The long forgotten series of , has a new cartoon by me today.

Women employees are patient, can be creative and they can handle multi tasking, can be mothers , manage house hold work and still love their jobs. There are many such women specially working in Indian companies who are denied promotions or hikes and progress is hampered due to reasons like conceiving , pregnancy or other sickness issues or any other minor/major glitch in personal life which may have temporarily disturbed the office hours! Same applies to men too but as this is about some one I know, there is a woman in the cartoon!

Click on the image for better view

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Alone Vs Lonely!

When I am sitting amidst the green pasture holding a cup of tea
When there is  no one around me and I feel solemnly free
When I talk to myself and enjoy my own company
That is  the  moment I am alone, sensing absolute glee!
Image source : here
Amidst the buzzing crowd full of activity
When I shout, and there is no one to hear my plea
When I talk to myself as I see no silence in the vicinity
Those are the moments, which make me feel lonely!

When I hear to music and can dance like no one  is watching
When I whisper my secrets to myself and do not feel like sharing
When I rule my time and around the clock, can plan anything
Those are the "alone" moments which feel so fulfilling!

When I want to share my thoughts and express what I  am feeling.
When there is no soul in reach, who is actually listening
When there is havoc around and every one is talking
Those are the "lonely" moments when I feel like sulking!

When I write, vent it out and I am at peace with myself
When my write up is not getting rotten from ages in the shelf
When I feel there is someone protecting me, like an invisible elf
Those are the  lonesome moments which keep me get going.

I am a crane,  who is living  with a flock of pigeons
My skill or the beauty of my pen go unnoticed, for eons
I am a fish, trying to swim with frogs around me in tons
I feel like I am surrounded by a mob with many guns!

Lonely and being  alone are  two similar words but are universes apart
One is the forced zone for me to stay, another is chosen by my heart
One is a blissful experience and the other comes with a price
Being alone is  a dream come true and being lonely needs firm practice!!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

FOMO - "Fear of Missing Out" and Facebook Deactivation

Originally published at Viewspaper

Few days back, I got this below forward message in whats app and it got me thinking. Actually it got me in a deep self introspection mode.

"Do you know FOMO? Psychologists coined this term recently... It is the feeling that some one else is having more fun or doing something better than you.This fear is often aroused by seeing exciting posts on social media of what other people do!"
FOMO - Fear Of Missing Out

Every word in the above forward message stands true. It stood so true for me that I had to deactivate my Facebook account. In the crowded social network with millions of updates per day, I am sure no one would have noticed that I was missing from there. Other than a couple of friends who actually would have noticed due to missing tagged pics or some posts rest all stayed oblivious to the fact that I was Poof from face book. Even my blog gets unnoticed with out FB. No FB means no readers , well almost no readers in my case. That is the only aspect of my social networking which I deeply miss but as I am blogging at a tortoise's speed, it doesn't matter much for now. But I must say, after I deactivated my FB , a good 40% of my brain got empty and I enjoyed the emptiness. It is up to me whether or not I use it to fill with knowledge, books, news, music, talks, or simply nothing.

The term "FOMO- Fear of Missing Out" exists from quite some time but these days it is mostly triggered by social N/W. I am not saying I have a chronic FOMO but my condition did get severe at some juncture. I forwarded the above message in a whats app group where I have a close knit group of 4-5 girls, and we joked around how we have FOMO syndrome when we compare each others' lives :) Every one who received that message gave a positive affirmation that they are suffering from it. It didn't make me feel better because "COBH - The comfort of being in the herd " is neither soothing nor can work as an antidote to FOMO. Before talking on how FOMO can actually impact and what we can do to subside it, I want to talk on the factors which may lead to FOMO!

FB can actually be considered as the 8th continent of the world. Seven is a magical number, but when something like facebook intervenes our lives with an intrinsic energy and power ,  and changes the math, it sure may lead to imbalance. It is an integral part of our lives. There are many things to do there, like Check ins, check outs, opinions, counter opinions, verbal fights , verbal abuses, pages and posts to like, and now posts get the privilege of getting subjected to other emotions like anger , happy , surprise , being thankful etc. We have walls to be climbed and browsed , walls to slide down in a sea of posts which are not appealing to you and walls to stalk, walls to block, walls to hide, walls to unhide, so on so forth. Facebook gives so many options to customise your features and increase or reduce the buzz around you. It is definitely nostalgic when old photographs, memories and age old opinions posted are reminded, which makes one feel how their opinions, thought process and appearance have evolved for  good or for bad! 
image source : here
Facebook gives a free peep in to every one's lives.  The peep is free and it always will be, the way they state it on the login page :) Every thing is glittery and you feel happy go lucky till you see something posted by someone which you might be wanting badly. You can do anything to get it. If you get the power of  navigating through the laptop / mobile screen and be in that place and enjoy exactly those events, you will do it without a second thought but alas, you don't have such power. All you can do is mindlessly check the updates and move on! When these updates exponentially increase with each day, that my friend may take you to the first stage of FOMO! The fear of missing out is the worst possible fear. Whether you really need the thing you are actually missing or not is an open question! You may be needing it but not so badly. The intense feeling you get about possessing it whenever you open facebook is sometimes irreparable. Yes I shamelessly admit that I am a victim of FOMO. I thought I never was and never will fall prey to such diseases but I realised for every human being a point comes in life when controlling all the senses seems too hectic. A juncture comes in life when life attacks you head-on with out giving you a chance to get stable!

I deactivated facebook for a month and I must say I felt calm. With less buzz around me I felt relaxed. I could read more, be creative, did my work-out more efficiently. A person should be strong enough to not get bogged down by the rest of the world and its happenings but it is OK to not be so strong at times. It is not always possible to carry yourself and feel alright every minute. Before the advent of twitter, FB and all kinds of social web pages we were less exposed to others' lives. It was easy to just live and let live as the updates were minimal and conversations were not perennial. But now FB is the only place where people want to discuss most of the happening moments, add life events , dump hatred or love, do any thing and everything. I am not saying social sites should be banned and I am not saying some one should take the ownership to streamline the process. I am just saying it is tough to not get effected. In my case, I am facing a difficulty in conceiving and I already have a hard time explaining to neighbors and people in office or any one who asks me whether or not I started planning in an exclamatory tone! I am at loss of words, when people ask questions so easily  but questions are guaranteed in life, answers are not. During such moments, when you see hordes of baby pictures on FB with various captions, discussions and mothers and fathers discussing their parenthood at length, you do feel slightly unhappy. It is not easy to dance in joy or party at every one's success. People who take the minimalistic approach are the best but there are many whose emotions and expressions never get stalled. You first congratulate, then you take part in one or two conversations and later you forget but when mountains of updates surround you, it gets tough to forget. It gets confusing as to how much is too much ? How much desperate you are for something gets directly proportional to how much others are achieving it :) It is like Murphy's law!

Recently I activated FB and below is my status update which got many responses from people who are sailing in the same boat. Some responses are shared here!
PS: Identities are purposely hidden

My FB Status: Top three questions posed in INDIA, affixed with the wonderment which generally is served as a combo along with the Question and this is not a scenario just on facebook. It happens inside and outside the virtual network!
1. Are you married ? If you have crossed a mere 21-22 this question is like a bulldozer which clears your patience in no time. If you reach a age of 25-26-27, Public expresses wonder as to why you are still not married ? What actually are your requirements ? If you have some issue? In the case of men a doubt on performance (You know where!) - Strangely women are exempted from this as if having sex and consummating the marriage is just the MAN's act .They will always put forward a helping hand to bring you out of the trauma which clearly is created by them.

2. Do you have kids? Immediately followed by Are you not planning for them? Do you have kids--- this question is like a tight noose around your neck. When you choke , catch a breath and try answering with a funny expression- "No. Not yet!" then the round of questions start, When were you married? When did you start planning? Why you should plan asap! With some ground work done on your DOB, your age and after thoroughly collecting all necessary statistics linked to your sex life, a careful analysis is done and rays of enlightenment are inserted in your head about pregnancy, motherhood, the beauty of it and so on! By the time a person crosses the age of 28-29, 30-31, 32-35 or 40 I think he/ she knows very well about child birth, causes, symptoms , analysis, pregnancies, and all the technicalities or complications of it and can decide when to have it or whether to have it or not. A 25 yr old and a 40 yr old are given tips with equal fervour and enthusiasm. Just because you are a mother or father to two toddlers or may be four, do not behave as if you have decoded all answers of universe! Universe is huge , leap out of that well you dwell in and get a brain enlargement. May be it will help before you get permanently stuck in the coils of the QUESTION MARK!

3. If you are divorced or have broke up with your partner, people around you are extremely curious, immensely sympathetic, behave as if they totally understand you , where as in reality they don't have a frigging idea how it actually feels. What all a person has to go through, the turmoil, the reluctance, the memories, the self-introspection, sleepless nights--- all these are absolutely known only to the person and his dear ones who are facing the brunt of it. If at all you have some dignity or have seen someone closer to you going through this, then you will also have the heart which makes your brain and mouth shut up. Trying hard to make a person open up is the worst decision during any break up! Added to that analysing the situation, pointing out the faults of the sufferer and suggesting rectifications when the wounds are fresh proves you can be nothing but a pain in ass. If he/ she wants to open up he/she will. It is totally up to the person as to what ,how , why and to whom he/ she wants to disclose. Do not cash on the vulnerabilities and do not behave like a prick!

There are many other questions which make rounds in my country or any other country where some of the fellow INDIANS reside! If you are in the vicinity of the questioner, equip your self to give the best possible answers because there is no escape and there never will be. People take offense very personally and strongly here if you are not married or want to stay single or get divorced or have no kids. Beware of the hoodwinked sympathy/ empathy. Save your ass from all the Crass. JAI HIND 

Some of the replies to the above status update were like below.
tongue emoticon
XXX  I face it on regular basis......i feel irritated all d time but can't help..we can't change people's perception in India

 XXX So true... 

XXX True. And if the answer for the second question No , they will suggest so many remedies , like go to this temple, go to this doctor , etc. I was also bugged off.

XXX Haha Indian mentality, can so relate to it,people leave no stone unturned to make you feel guilty for the life you are living and the supposedly wrong choices and decisions they think we make by delaying certain things !There is no escaping the questions and the scrutiny!

XXX I've faced the last two many many times..ughh

XXX Story of my life - the child part

XXX Some people shamelessly ask 'What's your salary' too! 🙈 Slighlty off topic but yeah this also falls under such questions one should never ask people...!

XXX Almost torture how they keep insisting on a 'good' answer!

XXX Well!! Been there! Still not married? No kids yet?? Are you planning your second child? The first one will learn how to share only if there is a second one and all that crap! However my point is this is not restricted just to India - when it comes to uncomfortable questions, it is universal! After living in USA for about 6 years now, I can say these questions have no regional bias!  and yea - to me the questions are not a bother! Who asks them is what matters! If the one asking is a concerned parent or a friend , I will be very glad to elaborate! If it is a nosy freak, I can give an equally apt reply! 

When I activated my facebook account , many said they were glad to see me back and that they were missing my updates . It did feel wonderful to hear that .I don't have any animosity on FB. It is a great medium for people like me who write. It gave me some wonderful friends whom I can never forget but but but ... the big problem which all FB users face is FOMO! It does attack you once in a while, when you are putting all your efforts for something and longing for the same and not getting it. A psychiatrist may articulate your thoughts but self help does work wonders. In my case deactivation helped a lot. I am back after a break but would deactivate again when I feel like! I realised that distance makes you miss or like or enjoy something. Same happened with me and facebook :) I do have FOMO now and then but I redirect to JOMO- Joy Of Missing Out like in the below oatmeal cartoon and make myself happy by reading a book, watching some thing I love, surprising the people I love, exercising or any thing and everything which erases FOMO! Have a good day!

source : here

source : here

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