Between Pages and Places

Since November – time’s just swished passed by me. One day I was excited about moving to Pune and the next day – I was to continue here in Chennai. You dream things, sew them in a fabric with minute details leaving space for the things to come. And sometimes you don’t get to complete it, just yet. So you fold it and keep it in a trunk for another time, perhaps and pick up a new piece. Its been some time since then and many good-bad-crazy things have happened.

I’ve begun reading again, writing bits of poetry, sketching in odd corners of journals, walking to places I’ve never had time to give a second look, stalking beautiful buildings with gardens and things like that – things I’d lost touch with. And sometimes that messes your head up. I went back to college for the viva and got to get back to the good times  with the girls. Its interesting how we change – within a couple of months. Some looked different but were the same; some looked the same but were a changed person. Towards some I felt the same warmth and towards some – I just began to see them in a new light. I spent an entire week in Bengaluru – soaking up the winter sun, binge-watching horror movies with my cousins, riding under the night sky with the winter breeze blowing against us and making plans that never quite materialized. And just when I thought I was having a great week-off, things happened that I can’t quite elaborate upon. Things like these really show you who you are  and where you stand. Unnerve you. Tear you enough for you to breakdown behind trees and sit on steps before thresholds wondering what to do next now that you don’t want to go inside. It passed. I understood things and learned that I needed to accept some realities.

The most beautiful things happened, too. I’ve begun reading like I used to before but the books are different. Galadriel’s chants have been replaced by Abeer Hoque’s poetry, dragon-riders no more reside on my shelves – there are letters of love exchanged by an artist and a poet sitting atop Jane Austen’s finest. More Indian authors than fantasy-fiction. More depth, more tears, more black and white photos of things of the past, more feeling, more originality, more questioning, more understanding, little vanity, more secrets than messages and well, more insight. A lot more and yet, a lot less.

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(I’m listening to Whitney’s No Woman and have discovered these new bands called Oh Wonder ; Hibou; Foxes in Fiction and Low, as I write. Yes, that’s a lot of distraction, I know but its music, come on.)

I’ve made correspondence with some delightful people. Friends from my childhood, friends from college who I never got a chance to know better and a friend with a mind so beautiful that I want to pique it tirelessly. Their stories, my stories, our stories and everything else around us have kept me pleasantly busy. I’ve come to realize that there are really people who love things I love and see them in a way that tells stories that others can’t hear. People who see the way I do, even deeper, I believe. How I’d wish to get lost with them and go to the places we only talk about. Collecting antiques, savoring moments spent walking by beautiful street- scapes, gazing at old-houses endlessly – just being. Its wonderful to hear similar stories from a mind that’s different from everyone else and yet so familiar. When you think a little differently from others around you it so happens that you either feel a tad bit lost or try to be someone who mixes with the crowd. Either ways, you’re missing out on being yourself. But when you meet someone whom you could tell what you think knowing they’d understand – you’re liberated in a way. You’re being yourself. Alas, time makes sure I don’t pester that mind too much.

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Of course, I’ve been narcissistic here. My city suffered deep blows this entire past month. From standing in queues, penniless, to being blow away by a cyclone and losing a gem of a Leader. All said and done, the city is beginning to frown upon Decembers because of all the ghastly surprises it brings with it year after year. But then the clock never stops and we still stand in queues and stock up on candles and instant-noodles at the slightest spotting of dark clouds. We move as does the year.

Hopefully, in my next post I’ll share with you some poetry I’ve under-lined (I used a pencil so don’t frown at me) in my new books and a more interesting read. Christmas looks promising and so does New Year (Family-friends are throwing a bash at their place – a home I love because its got certain spaces that I can’t stop talking about). And there is the Birthday on the first Saturday of the year (is that somehow supposed to make it more cheerful? Or is this just a sly reminder to all you, readers?)

Hope you’re all doing well, so far. Give 2016 a chance – there’s still a week left. Great things can happen, yeah?  Happy Holidays!

Arrividerci.

One Mind, Many Dreams.

Warning : Reading this may upset people I know personally and who may have said things that I quote so please be kind and use discretion. I love you all, anyway.

I know people, like my best-friend from school, P who did his engineering while I did Architecture – he got a job like everyone else while I still did Architecture because its a longer course (and is still not over – for those who think I’m chilling in Chennai). He just knows he wants to work for the forces. He left his corporate job and is preparing for SSB. I recently (read, July) had the opportunity to act in a Short Play (Short + Sweet, Chennai, 2016 ) and this was, by chance – because I went against my usual habit of ignoring messages and actually replied to a friend who was the director of the play.  Okay, coming to the point, I got a chance to meet other actors, writers and directors. To us, the lay-folk who only enjoy cinema and read gossip blurbs or the Times of India – actors just happen to be and earn big bucks and splurge it on controversies that we can use as ice-breakers at work. But the truth is, getting a job as an actor for a somebody is really tough in a country where every third person wants to be one (Okay, you knew this). I think you can become a politician, more easily, if you’re erudite and tactical enough. SO – I met all these people who just KNOW that they want to be an actor – regardless of where they are right now – they’ve left jobs, homes and families for this. Every text, every expression, every meeting – they only talk about their passion and I’m left aghast. Like, ‘sapne mein aaya kya tere?” (did it occur to you in a dream?). It probably did.

Such crystal dreams don’t occur to me. I’m usually in morbid situations in dreams- running around with people I may/may not know in strange set-ups that may/may not exist.

Every month – I have a new ambition. I get influenced by movies, books, people, magazine articles and of course, social media. Its not easy. They say – trust in the magic of beginnings. I do – but then it fizzles out. And something new takes it place. Its not easy – when you’re pursuing a degree; want independence; super-fast WiFi; good food; social life; a job which feels like a holiday; security – it just doesn’t all materialize in one night on a platter – much like how we’d like it to. Some people just get stuck in the grind of everyday mundane jobs to support themselves and a family. Or run behind their passion – a train they may/may not catch. Or live in the delusion: ‘Aayega – Don aayega”.

Don gaya tel lene.

No parent/well-wisher/aunty/uncle-ji who owns a shop/dhobi-wallah/already-established-friend/Data-scientist-cousin-in-the-US  likes it when you tell them you want to become a Screen-writer or Casting Director – Art Manager – Art Director – Critic – Media Producer – Shift to another city – Get a flat- Buy a dog- etc:-

“Does it even pay well? What – I’ve never heard of it. Its just tricks – to scam your generation into doing odd-jobs no one else wants to do. Are you crazy? Interns are unpaid labor – even the dhobiwallah knows that. Pune? Tomorrow you’ll go to New York also. Pehle na you lose weight and leave that Facebook wagera. Some Hunky Dory became a screenwriter – doesn’t mean ki you’ll become one, too. Please keep your room clean, first. And what about the five years you spent cutting cardboard to become an Architect (or whatever you studied)? Who’ll pay for rent? Accha, leave all this blogging about movies which some other person made and share serious views on your blog. Get married before 25 – movie mein dekha na – that actor also said that only. Kya? How many degrees do you want? PINK dekha PINK? Yahi hota hai  outside world mein – go, go get your flat ab. Accha jao – sab karlo – Director bhi ban jao. Artist bhi ban jao. Go ask your Michel Gondry’s mother if he spoke to her in this tone, ever. Remember Ankita? She’s working in that advertising company – she’s getting married in November. You’re still sending in CV’s to these funny companies. What do you want to do with the rest of your existence? Ja, main nai poochti.

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You got my point. And its all in our best interest. No parent wants their kid lying broke in some dingy corner smoking cheap cigarettes regretting why they didn’t take up that Accenture wala job. Neither do they want you as an added attachment to the house (unless of course you’re a boy, in our patriarchal country). And I agree with them. This is not a rant as much as it looks like one.

Its a dilemma that I realized, more recently, a lot of us are facing but because we want to maintain the status-quo of being happy – we don’t share it. We just write poetry because its a hobby. We don’t tell people that it gives us more pleasure doing than data-entry because poetry doesn’t pay – unless of course you write something that goes viral on scoopwhoop. No one writes Facebook statuses about how they fought with someone who thinks their dreams are worth nothing. No one tells you how much it hurts to lose a job because you could’t focus on your work. No one tells you how bloody scared they are about life, itself. We blame our social status, lack of money, parental pressure, etc – and continue doing what we do best – nothing.

But all that is when you have some tinkering clue about what you really want to be. Thomas Zacharias (okay, I not-secretly have a crush on him and he Instagrams as @cheftzac) knew he wanted to be a Chef. Though it looks like he’s always smiling as he grills salmons and posts pictures about inspiring local cuisine – it took him a hell load of effort to become the Executive Chef of the Bombay Canteen (believe it or not, one of the many reasons for me to want to work in Pune is so that I can go to Mumbai to see this place designed by a firm called The Busride – where I will work, one day.). A snippet of that effort (posted with permission aka DM that he may/may not read, on Instagram) :

On the contrary, another person I got introduced to, thanks to all the weird research I do – is Shanoo Sharma (@shanoozeing on twitter) who is the Casting Head at YRF Films. And she didn’t just land up this job in one year or even two. She has the experience of working as a hair-stylist, bartender, waitress, singer – and pretty much everything she wanted to try. She has no degree to her name and at one (or many) point was tagged by well-wishers as someone who could not stay in one job for more than a year. And look where all that has lead her to. She now gives actors their breaks. She calls her job a holiday and has the authority to work from where she wants, when she wants. She does a job she’s obsessed with and this didn’t occur to her in a dream. She is India’s top Casting Director. Ranveer Singh, Parneeti Chopra, Arjun Kapoor, Alia Bhatt – and many more happened because she thought they could happen. And her story which I read is here .

Closer home, in Chennai, someone I actually know did something out of his dreams. Shyam Renganathan just gave his first TEDx talk in VIT, Vellore – and why? Because he didn’t just sit around moping (okay maybe he may have done that at one point) – when he believed that he could be funny. He didn’t want that engineering life – he stood against joining a B.E course and went ahead to do what he loves doing – he’s now a Standup Comic, RJ, Web Series (Black Sheep)  Actor and I don’t know what more he will do. It was definitely not easy – or fun, when he decided to take a step back and change course. But he made it. Its not an easy world for dreamers but then again, people make it.

And these are just some examples that I’ve stumbled upon. Okay, let’s take Sushant Singh Rajput – for those who are living under a rock / From another country  – he’s a Bollywood actor who recently acted as M.S Dhoni in his biopic. Besides that, he has starred as Byomkesh Bakshi and as a lead character in Kai Po Che, the movie based on Chetan Bhagat’s Three Mistakes of My Life. He didn’t become an actor bas aise hi kyunki sapna aaya. He was first an AIEEE Topper with AIR 7 – then a student in DTU – a dancer in Shiamak Davar’s Dance troupe – a theatre artist with Ekjute – an actor in Hindi Serials – and finally, an actor. This journey was a long and strenuous one. I haven’t interviewed him but I sure as hell know that he didn’t know he’ll be acting as M.S Dhoni in the year 2016 – when he was giving his AIEEE. Not everyone knows for sure. And you know what, its okay.

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You can thank me later.

I say this to myself whenever I get a new idea – that’s daunting – that makes me look jittery and unsure – which I agree I am. But what’s wrong in that? I’m afraid that I don’t know. But at least, I accept that I don’t know and I’m trying to know. I’m giving my everything – I’m working hard and looking at prospects- I’m applying to places which resonate my beliefs, somewhat. I’m looking at originality in a field dominated by trends and popularity.

But that doesn’t stop me at marveling what Michel Gondry does with a few colours, a paper and a video camera. It doesn’t stop me from reading scripts written by Woody Allen and Rebecca Miller. It doesn’t stop me from thinking what Greta Gerwig thought before signing up for Frances Ha. It doesn’t stop me from watching Wes Anderson movies back-to-back noting down things I like – joining FTII forums and discussing Bollywood – watching Anurag Kashyap’s speeches on Film-making – noting down email addresses of Production houses I would like to intern with – sending my CV to Art Management firms just to see if I fit the bill. I’m trying. I don’t know if its right – I don’t know if job security is the secret to success. I don’t know if I’ll ever end up in Mumbai writing films like Juhi Chaturvedi and Gauri Shinde. I also remember promising my best friend, Sarkar, that we’d write scripts for Korean Drama together, when we were in college. Maybe we should have done that.

Its all a bit unsettling when you see your friends going to pursue their Masters in the US, UK and Singapore – or when they post “FMS / IIM – Life be like” pictures on instagram – and you’re still here sitting before a screen.

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Being afraid is normal and so is stalking celebrities on Instagram. Reading Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (by Mindy Kaling) instead of Lean-In or Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (or whatever its called) – is absolutely OKAY. Crushing on celebrity chefs who don’t even know you exist is OKAY. Reading never-ending tumblr posts on inspiration is OKAY – as long as you don’t lose yourself in another person’s world and come back to your own to build yourself up. You’re not alone. You never will be. Talk to people and get to know things instead of being shy and apprehensive. Throw yourself at opportunities and learn things that can’t be learnt on lifehack or buzzfeed. Get out of your shell and give yourself a chance to feel vulnerable.

It doesn’t matter where we are as long as we know we want to try harder and make something out of this opportunity we call life.

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Theatre : the stint

I still remember sitting in the balcony seat with Mom as we saw Shreekumar Varma Sir’s play : Ganga at Rishikesh being performed by artists from Stray Factory in the Hindu Theatre Fest. Madras Players performed, too. At that time, it was another world. Even while riding out of the venue I remember being completely taken by the lights, the laughter, the excitement and the people. It was so much more than cinema – and yet it works on you the same way. Only, its so much more real and absorbing, in the sense that at a certain point the change-overs begin to matter less – the opinions you form and performers keep you riveted or well, looking around, instead.

At college, I worked with a small yet very enthusiastic team of actors – whenever we got time, with roughly-edited plays; depending more on improv than real emotions, subtle details and strong scripts. We performed to thoroughly entertain the rest of the college – with cheap props and makeshift sets. Nobody had the upper-hand, the director was usually the script-writer who may or may not have understoodd his/her own play, completely. Casting was based on availability and the capacity to bunk extra classes that were held after 5:30pm. Performances only happened alongside college fests, the odd culturals in another campus or as an opener to an event. Practices led into flat-made dinners and night-outs intended to work on scripts usually turned into a lot of laughter and tom-foolery. We would collect a hundred bucks each to buy the odd prop or paint – we even had an account and a manager of it. There was one designated person (usually a bright child with a good pointer) who would be in-charge of getting the Principal’s signature in permission letters. Well, now that college is done, I can tell you the story of how Eason, my senior and the Captain of our troupe – Black Pearl (what did you expect?) – sneaked in my name in the medical register to get me attendance. Well I’m sure the resident doc found out because the name had no serial number and was scribbled above the margin but he let me go, anyway. That was for Survey and Leveling, I guess. I hope you don’t go tell on me, now.

But after college, things changed (in the past month, that is, not some major past) – and I got the opportunity to play the part of Julie in The Blind Date at the Short & Sweet Festival – South India Chapter. I knew about S&S before – I’d seen Stray Factory perform in the East and win accolades. I knew this was something very different. Well things got real the day we (the cast and the director, Charan Saravana) met at Alliance Francaise which was also the venue of the shows.

Introducing the cast:

I played Julie, yes. And she had a Grandmother : J.J who Sharada played (who is a fellow blogger who writes poetry, erotica and is an outgoing woman who is currently writing her next script, perhaps) and a date, Dave played by Prakash who is also an actor in Tamil Cinema and you should see him when he speaks about how much he likes acting. My favourite character though is : The Waiter (Sravanth – a mime-artist and fabulous performe who is equally funny, if not more, in real life) who started out to be a witty American but then transformed into a Mexican and then an Indian (Tamil, to be more precise) immigrant who fakes a Mexican Accent.

Practices lasted weeks together and I’d drive to the venue which is a nice spot under bel and mango trees and has so many other artists practicing and frolicking about that you’ll never spend a dull moment there. Eating at the bajji stall and the nearby sweet-shop – practicing lines, putting up with tantrums, being difficult, eating up lines, cracking unbearably stupid jokes (mokkai or blade jokes), talking in my incomprehensible Tamil and well, just spending time with a bunch of dreamers and performers is what I did until the show week arrived.

We had two technical rehearsals and then it all happened:

Ten plays- with mixed genres and actors coming from all backgrounds and walks of life – some hoping to compete and some, like us, just wanting to be a part of the theatre festival. I met so many people and interesting is an understatement.

Back-stage is where all the drama really happens with the backstage staff comprising of Char-less and his boys trying to find props on time and keeping actors from smoking in the toilet and maintaining decorum. Well, what do you expect if you put three dozen performers in a small, dark room along with adrenaline and make-up? But it was in no way horrible – it was pure fun. Every person was upto something, if not unusual, then funny. So much comedy. From props getting lost to lights being turned off when actors put make-up to people losing their costumes to actors going missing a minute before their play! Its a party in there.

The silent minutes in the small ante-room next to the stage which is the actor’s entry spot – where you await your turn to perform. You can see the other play from the tiny window. You can hear the audience and yet you’re not out there. The lights haven’t caught you . Do I remember my lines? Will he remember what to do when the cue is right? Will the spotlight light up at the right moment? Will the audience get our jokes? Will we exceed the 10  minute limit? And the the stage goes dark and the blue lights turn on – your props are being set and the audience knows you’re next. And then your fellow actors go out there and do their part while you await your entry cue : and at that precise moment you enter – pretending to be unaware of the two-hundred odd pair of eyes watching you and listening to your every breath. The show goes on – you play your part. The light is so bright that all you see before you are silhouettes but you play your part. And you’re exhilarated when the audience responds to your performance – they did get the joke! That feeling on-stage is a big responsibility –  towards the time you’ve spent gearing up for this, the people you play a part with and those who have come to honor your effort. And then the lights go off and you walk back to the ante-room where you wish luck to the other performers hidden in the dark – and escape into the green-room which is bustling with silent activity and you see smiles. A quick exchange of comments and then you go downstairs for the scrumptious chocolate cake and lemon tea at the canteen. I think I also had a keech and chicken-rolls (if that’s how you spell it) one day.

I met a lot of people – some great performers, some good-nature’d folk and I had some friends come over to watch my play and that felt quite nice – them seeing another side of me. The last day, I just absorbed all that energy and looked at all those smiles before I left with my Mum who watched all of my shows and probably knows every play by-heart.

I may or may not do theatre again but this chapter in my life has already been written.

Arrividerci.

 

 

I’m in Chennai

Enslaved by internet speed and storage-space in mobile phones and devices such. That’s what life has come to. Office got over a while ago but here I am waiting for In Which Annie Gives… to buffer. Yes, that’s what its come to.

So, I thought I’ll visit the space I’ve been meaning to but not getting time (mind frame, actually) to attend to. There’s 8 hours of office and two hours of travel along with 7 hours of sleep. To add to it I joined a short play with well-meaning friends some of whom are serious thespians and actors. I’m just learning, really – experiencing, rather. I was always drawn to the theatre- well, now I’ll really get to know if I make the cut or whether theatre makes the cut for me.

Well if you happen to be in Chennai (or live here) – come catch us live at 7pm  (be there on time because we perform first) – Alliance Francaise, Nungambakkam. Its made with love, really – the other kind, you know. It has a lot of laughter and goof-ups, bajjis and lemon tea behind this play being performed. For me, maybe because of the people I’ve been around with – architects and writers (of sorts) – the Process is always more meaningful than the end. Well that’s what I believe in, for now, because I haven’t really completed anything of importance. Perhaps if I ever get a project (writing, art, audio or whatever) done – I’ll tell you.

Damn, the internet is slow. I’m still here. The office is almost empty.

Well, I hope to see you at the play should you drop by – do say hi. And, I miss my leisurely days, really. And I long  to go back to my hostel-mates and do the things we used to do. I miss my single-bed and the best room-mate, ever who loves cats, books and strangeness alike. We could exist parallel-y, peacefully and interact at a comfortable wavelength without any awkwardness and in these times, that a real miracle, you know. If you happen to read this : I miss you Gurangutan and all our erratic, crazy and lovely times. Making videos, playing with Peter, walking walking walking, eating together, watching favorite movies. You will be my best friend forever – without definition. I hope we stay in touch like our mothers and their best friend in college did. I hope to come there and meet your cats and little brother – go with you to all the places you mentioned. Someday. I have another set of special friends apart from my classmates – the Chicchar Gang. No, I will not translate. Its best left like that. They hailed from Meghalaya, Ranchi and Jamshedpur. And they were my closest friends by the end. I can’t even start telling you our stories. Because, well, not all of them are mine to tell.

Ah, well, Dad inquired why I’m still in office. And its getting dark outside. I must leave now and leave you with patchwork-memories.

 

Kaalai Vanakkam

Its the last Sunday of the semester (cheers) and its a sunny morning. Yes, I’m sounding like a Radio Jockey (which I’d love to be if I could). In 48 hours I will be home. Saamraani pogai mixed with the fragrance of home food…sprays of different perfumes as the elders get ready for work. RJ Balaji or some religious music playing on the radio…Sun TV news running somewhere. And I’ll be missing Hostel and its lazy timings. By 7AM the entire family is out and about. We wake up before Dawn and wind up breakfast even before most people brush. And that’s the trend of most people in our city. Earlier I was run-in-the-mill with the timings because there was school to go to. And now…I’m the vacationer who just wants to sleep-in; watch TV; read books in silent corner; draw on innocent-inanimate objects lying around the house; Whatsapp faraway friends; make plans that don’t materialize, watch more TV, write a few lines and well, wait for dinner. That’s the time the entire family is back again.

‘So, how was your day?,’ they’d ask.

‘Pretty good. I washed those sneakers you asked me to wash last week,’ I’d reply with a proud grin. My sister would cluck at me while the rest of them nod.Yeah, well, come to Tumkur and see my swagger, family. Running behind buses; shouting and singing from autos; eating in the craziest places; dancing  (Or at least eyeing) random wedding processions; making elaborate plans of gate-crashing parties; midnight coffees- what-not. But at home, I’m a cat curled up in a basket. Or that’s what its been like during the college vacations. And I’ve used them all up. No more breezy vacations – now that I’m at the verge of being a grown up – with a job and professional identity (and all that stuff about being busy all the time). At a funny palm-reading session my friend said I’ll be the types who studies a lot in life. Well, if that’s the case I hope there are vacations too(no strings like internships etc attached) because this unwinding is so necessary after grueling semester-ends (please notice I didn’t say semester).

Anyway. Its the end of my last odd semester. So bidding farewell to the oddity of semesters. And hoping this winter break has a lot of good stuff. Let me give you a quick preview. Kolkata is definitely happening for 6 days. Then I’m meeting all (At least most) of my CBC members; visiting galleries throughout Bangalore-Chennai and going to be in conversation with a lot of artist, performers and writers.. so yeah, praying it all goes well 😀

Love journeys.

Hope you’re having a great Sunday.

Arrividerci.

 

In Mahatria’s Words… Mastermind Class (12 Sept 2012)

 

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The first thing you notice about the Hall where Mahatria organizes the Mastermind Class, is that there absolute Peace and high Vibrations in that region. You feel it , in a way that your eyes turn moist and you almost become a part of the community that has gathered there to receive the Valuable Discourse from Mahatria, himself.

You may have read his magazine, Frozen Thoughts or his work in Alma Mater, but it is only when you see him Live, with his High spirit, humor , intelligence and Knowledge… and a humble, selfless yet stark belief in bringing about a change, do you Actually realize the magnitude of faith and spirituality that this one man instills unto us.

Especially his words and quotes,

ON NON-DOING , RITUALS AND PREPARATION

Today he quoted the Bible, ‘Be Still and know that I am Your God’. He says, all God asks of us is implicit faith and a clear state of mind, where-in we are PREPARED to receive what God has to offer us.

You may make all the preparations, do all the fasts and pilgrimages… but finally, if you do not enter the state of ‘Non-Doing’ , it all amounts to nothing.

There is a process to Praying and Oneness with God.

First you need to have the faith and respect the place of Worship. Of couse, God is omnipresent. But Mahatria reasons this out really well, he says,

‘Oxygen is everywhere around you, but it enters your body only through your nostrils and no other channels. Just the same way, Temples, Mosques, Churches and other Places Of Worship act as a Channel where the Vibrations are so high that they bring you closer to your God.’

You may then ask, what is the necessity of Rituals , Darshana Queues, the Choirs ,Chanting, the Namas?

His Answer to that is… When we travel to our Place of worship we have all sorts of things running in our mind…. office, work, school, family and a whole Myriad of things… in such a  hustle and bustle your mind is like a raging ocean and cannot receive anything. But when you’re calm as a pond, the littlest of pebbles create large ripples.

These rituals and Choirs are a way to cleanse your mind and bring you to the Present Reality so that you are in a position to Gain.

Then comes the Praying, the Belief and absorbing what your Master says, the Priest says,whatever it may be. Here you concentrate … but the most important part is, you do this with your mouth shut and with the belief that what they say is right. Because, if you’re questioning everything He says, then you are absorbing nothing. You have all the time in this world to think about it later and ask your Master the questions. But right now, you need to Focus. 

What Mahatria says and spreads are not Experiments… they are Experiences…he Knows what he says and thus, when you receive these words, you need not doubt them, but apply it. Why? Because what he says is Satya and he has all the explanation and proof right before your eyes. 

Once that is done, comes the main part… the ‘NON-DOING’… now this may seem surprising. But it is the reality. Here you just close your eyes and shut your mind to everything else. You need to lose yourself to Gain and accumulate everything you have learned, in Peace. That is when it will remain with you.

Mahatria gives an example,

‘When you dip a piece of chalk in an ink-pot for a while and write with the, now blue, chalk… only the first few words will be blue but later, its true nature will return. But when you dip the chalk long enough, then that blue colour sticks on to it until its very end.’

The NON-DOING is an essential conclusion to your Prayers or Satsang. Without which, this whole process has been futile.

Even Yoga displays the same… at the end of all your Asanas, you conclude with the Shavasana where you lie flat on your back and breathe deeply and DO NOTHING. It relaxes you and clears you. Which is exactly what is needed.

 

ON JUDGEMENT:

No matter how hard you try, you can never make a person happy, if he/she is not happy in life.

‘Your judgement abut someone, expresses a lot more about you, than the other person.’

DO NOT JUDGE ANYBODY.

A person judges the world based upon his own outlook. So when someone comments about a certain aspect, his/her own perception and qualities are expressed via his observation.

So, if you keep wondering about others’ judgement you will never get a chance to appreciate yourself and value your own capability.

This does not mean Feedback is completely unnecessary… but it is not the conclusive answer, either.

So accept remarks with discretion. Do not get carried away.

 

TOUCH : The Language Of Love

The first sensation a foetus experiences in the beginning, is touch, in its mother’s womb… and as it grows, it somehow begins recognising a sense of love and security with touch. This is why a crying baby calms down when it is in the mother’s arms or when you tickle it, pat it gently or hug it.

But as the child grows and his/her parents get busy with their lives, this priceless connection is lost…and this leads to a phenomena called touch deprivation. The child begins to feel estranged at times and now, he/she begins to start expecting this love from the external world. This is what leads to perversion and waywardness in kids, at a very tender age.

And that is why Mahatria advices young parents to spend time with their kids… associate their love by touch…hug them, cradle them in your arms and hold them. Do not let the connection sever . Make the child feel home.

Family and Relationships :

In India… the unit of the society is not an Individual (as in the USA, etc)… it is the family and hence, when culture clashes take place, this balance is crushed and thus there arises the need of disputes.

You cannot lead a selfish life, for whatever reasons, and expect to be happy in a Family-life.

You need to care, support, love and appreciate… nurture the family… to experience true bliss.

CONSCIENCE :

A clear conscience is the softest pillow you can easily sleep well on.

You have to be loyal to your post… be it, as a family member, a CEO or even an employee. Live with your head held high.

Correct people (in the right manner) if they stray from their duties… as you are loyal to your chair. As a parent, take your stand and don’t give-in to every want of your child. As a CEO, do not reduce targets and give your employees a false success… it will not help the. It is your duty to guide, then do so.

Deviating from sudharma, is Adharma

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theatre Review : Four Plays (The Hindu Metroplus Theatre Fest)

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The Tickets

It had been an amazing at the Hindu Metroplus Theatre Fest 😉

Here’s my take :

The Temporary Matter : Though the actors did a good job, the storyline failed to capture the interest of the viewers. It portrayed the deterioration of Metropolitan couples nowadays.

The Purification Hunt was a raw and original take on the Naxalite-Government’s brutal relationship though I found it like a monologue. Yet, it was powerful and played well.

Now, The Flatulist reduced us to laughter! The actors were simply fabulous though the sets could be Jazzed Up. Greg is finding his light in the Theatre with his ‘special’ talent but is turned down by all abd finally lands up in his Father’s Friend, Jack’s Office where he displays his ‘loud n toxic’ talent and overwhelms Jack teaching him a lesson for controlling others’ (His Father and Eva’s) lives.

Ganga At Rishikesh :

Saved for the last, it was the best. It shows four different characters and their lives all connecting with the Ganga. But the Father-Son’s Retrospection of Incidents of The Past where the ‘perfect gentleman’ of a Father ends up in a Yogic Mani’s room raising the son’s suspicions in a comical way, had been the best. The Saint with his ‘high’ state and his ‘Maya is here and Now she is gone’ at hilarious bits was funny. The set was amazing and so was the music. The actors did great justice to the play, as well. The only let down was that the Ganga could have been potrayed a little more ‘alive’. Great Performance and loved the Namma Chennai flavor!

Thank You for the experience and Opportunity 🙂

Dowry << Some speculation on that!

IN INDIA:

Pretty much everyone knows what DOWRY really is… its a (crazy) custom where in the Groom’s family DEMANDS certain riches like jewels, money, automobiles, houses, land, etc:- from the Bride’s family… as a sign of prosperity (Bullshit!)  …. more likely, SERVICE CHARGES taken by the Groom to look after his wife for the next how many ever years… though the poor Bride will be treated as no more than a servant… doing all the house-work, raising a family and acting according to Her husband’s whims and fancies.

I do not approach this topic as a feminist… I’m not one…I’m more pro towards a proper society. 

But the true fact is,  that not all families treat their brides (daughter-in-law) as a daughter or Ghar Ki Lakshmi (Goddess Of Wealth and Prosperity) …they are unpaid servants literally… from cooking for a Joint Family of perhaps ten to maintaining the house… house-keeping, raising a family… at least three children… preferably a Boy (another social inequality issue)…looking after her husband and bearing any domestic abuse that he might take part in, AGAINST her…

Some families are amazing… they look after their bride like their own and that’s perfect… both in Rural and Urban families. And that’s the brighter issue. The lady is allowed to pursue higher education, go  to a job, hang out, raise her kids according to her norms…a LOVING family.

But we look at the darker side today, where in, SHOCKING things happen…. 

 

Women are burned alive! And that’s not even a myth… it began from Sati… a practice where in widows were burned along with the carcass of their dead husband in the funeral pyre! And nowadays (mostly in rural areas) it happens as a form of punishment.

Of course, a lot of reforms, government intervention and an aware society … are improving matters.

But DOWRY still is prevalent in more families than we can count. And its wrong.

At a party I went to,  I asked a woman about the dowry she took from her Bahu’s Family…

The lady (mother-in-law) gaily says, ‘Its the charge we take to look after our Bindni (daughter-in-law). Its pride and honor… you should not question this, girl. ‘

So can I ask something?

‘What is the price you pay for the three grand children she gave birth to? And all the years of domestic service and office salary she splurged on you? ‘

The lady was gobsmacked… gave me a ‘You’re a complete ghat (fool)‘  look and hid away.

Wonder what goes around in their head when they give such lousy replies to such hard-hitting questions.

But that is the reality. And it needs to change, RAPIDLY!

Or all these desi Indian sons will be bachelors for the rest of their puny lives!

Open your EYES! See clearly… BE FAIR ! 

Best Night At My Book Launch !!

Most amazing night at the British Council , Chennai where the book Inspired By Tagore was launched by Shreekumar Verma and Guy Hutchins ! Two of the most enigmatic , humble and talented personalities ever 🙂 !! I was awarded for the Most Outstanding Contribution … A silver Memento and Certificate!

The amazing guests asked for MY autograph on their copies of the novel and a photo with me 🙂 !! So humbled ! And they spoke such inspiring words that have strengthened my confidence in myself !!

I also got interviewed by The Hindu 😀 (National Newspaper) so excited !

I got to speak to other writers and made friends too 😉

Mum was so proud when. Shreekumar sir read out my poem before everyone and said that my description of Tagore’s work was the best ever !! I was so proud 😀

Before leaving I was lucky enough to get Guy Sir’s visiting card ! Doubly happy now!! It was a dream night , I tll you ! Hope you enjoy the photos ! Thanks 🙂

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The Rumblings In My Mind… Love , Priorities , Choices and Studies !

A new story has picked up speed in my Head and I know I should start writing it… but, I got exams strewn like magazines on the floor… all through May until June! So I’m in a fix… your heart always wants you to do what you like but listen to your mind sometimes, because it analyses pros and cons better and right now its shouting at me to leave my Computer …. and sit in my Study. I know, my heart groans and is reluctant… tells me,’Just a lil’ bit longer. Maybe another video of Hazza or some tweets…  then go and study all you like, darling.’ 

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And I’m stuck on Crossroads!!!! Listening to Paul Collier’s Most Relaxing Music (haha…)

So, yeah… leaving for Bangalore on the Second of May. Fun. But for an exam and probably re-celebrate Rhea (my sis)’s Bday there too because Dad might not be able to make it on the 30thApril…

But he’s coming for the award ceremony I’m glad. All I REALLY want is that my Parents and I got there together…

But, um, there might be issues, you see. … and choices to make between people you love. That hurts.

But my parents are coming and my sis. The oly issue is… some other people I really care for as they’re my family… but they cant come because of reasons and choices I made (Not wrong, I can assure you).

Well, then I think maybe its not so complicated after all if we kill the emotions and just live in the moment. Like, now, I wanna go make some cool Mango Squash and gulp it down. Yummy. But here I am, writing at the speed of, if not light, my fingers. Haha.

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Well, I’m gonna give fangirling a rest. And I despise my Twitter account because of all the 1D fans I’ve clogged up. Hell, they cant call themselves Directioners. Truly. Really. They love the boys, criticize their relationships, then send love again. Come on, those 5 sweet boys cant marry 3 million chics, can they? Sorry for the language… but I’m angry.

Despite for my throbbing liking for Harry Styles and the hopeless despair I sometimes drown into when I think what if I dont get him….

I still believe intruding their privacy is wrong.

If he wants to marry or date a girl (and its not me) then fine.

But he’ll never find someone like me.

Maybe My future is brighter. Maybe Ambassadors (of love as in the Book Juliet Immortal by Stacy Jay) are trying their best to get us together. I like to believe that. 

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Hazza As He Is In His True Elements

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He's telling me To STUDY too !

As for the PRESENT reality, my only priority is Studies….

Yes, it is.

Last night we had gone to the Cinemas (Escape in Express Avenue, Chennai) Some funny pics!

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