Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Patriotism, really?

It was then; during the British Raj that patriotism was truly ubiquitous. Today the ideologies stand inter-mingled. We have nationalism, secularism, liberal mindedness, anti-feudalism, the right-wing, left-wing and what not! But the fundamental feeling of being in love and faithful to the country is misconstrued and almost absent.

India has always stood for peace. It had conquered the 200 years of British Raj through one of the greatest influences of all times - Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation. 

The worldwide Satyagrah movement and non-violence promoted peace. Our country stands for these virtues. So when there’s a war cry, it’s a temporary euphoria, an emotional vulnerability that we are exhibiting to the world that’s anything but patriotism.

Charles De Gaulle, French army officer and statesman who led the French Resistance against Nazi Germany in World War II
 puts it, "Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first." 

Here’s to glorious, gorgeous, deliciously united Akhand Bharat that stands for peace and not war!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

My first introduction to humour as a child was the jokes my mom used to read out from champak to me and my sister..

Then I grew up a little, I teased my sister all the time…

Once I gifted her a greeting card saying, 'happy birthday my SWEETHEART LITTLE SIS'..and down on the card I wrote a note in brackets ('you know what mom told that me you were an accident..hahaha') and she didn’t speak to me for two days..though I got reprimanded for it, I truly enjoyed it and even she did eventually; getting teased..Today I think that it is the best relationship I have ever had with anyone..My sister is far away and I miss her like an idiot misses a point!

Wikipedia defines these two perspectives of humour we all have experienced with precision –

Humour is, it says – the quality of being amusing
Two – a state of mind..
So it works inside- out..

The term humour also has its roots in the humoral medicine of the ancient Greeks, which taught that the balance of fluids in the human body, known as humours, controlled human health and emotion.

It’s backed by hundreds of researches that people with a strong sense of humour were found to live longer in spite of illness, especially cardiovascular disease and infection..

Some people think that humour is encoded in their dna..researches say humour is encoded in all of our systems but then we have to learn to use I’ll tell you..

British prime minister Margret Thatcher was very rude with her colleagues. Media too criticized her behavior urging her to be more empathetic but it only offended her. Then a comedy show using puppets called Spitting image started on tv and it showed the prime-minister as a psychopath, whacking her naughty colleagues with a stick..Obviously this wasn’t how Margret Thatcher actually behaved but it was a tenfold exaggeration about a real and painful truth about her. The prime minister saw the show and could then see the point, was able to laugh at herself and she acknowledged that she needed to change her behavior with her colleagues..

We too can use this tactic of humour which can be a little exaggerated to bring about change in someone’s behavior.

I can give the example of Saikiran (indian comedian) who would make fun of his own dark he talks about his mother who is obsessed with her son’s dark skin and would desperately try all sort of remedies to make him look fairer, like she would spend more money on almond milk to rub on his skin than on buffalo milk to feed him. She had also pasted a Michael Jackson pic on the wall saying – if his mother can do it. I can do it too!

That’s how exaggeration or hyperbole works with humour as a satire!

So humour is just a way to express your perspective in your own unique way..
It keeps the conversations easy and light improves our health
Who doesn’t want to be hilarious and smart?

Here are the tips offered by alpha m – a humourist..first tip of being funny  - if somebody thinks that your joke was not could be just that they have a different sense of humour..or it could mean that your joke was actually not funny, maybe out of context..
Pewdiepie has millions of subscribers but there are people who do not find him funny..So don’t get disheartened cuz you can still have fans!

Second tip –

Watch more comedy and take a note about timing and more with people who are humorous..yeah humour is contagious and you are going to release more endorphins!

Another great tip to develop a good sense of humour is to look for humour in everyday situations..the other day I got a glass of warm milk for my son..and he asked me to make it warmer..and I was about to lose my temper when he said, "lo aap bhi garam ho gaye!" And it made my anger disappear in seconds!

So that’s what we  can do to have more fun in life with the seasoning of wit or comedy …the famous French cartoonist George Walinski said – 

"Humor is the shortest road from one person to another.."

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Heart.. set... go!

It was my audition in Times Now, the TV news channel (yes! The echo-chamber of Arnab. The audition was for news anchoring.

I had a friend who helped me pitch my audition. She was somehow super-confident about my performance; probably even more than I was myself.

I reached the office in Lower Parel in Mumbai looked like a humble entry what with a reasonably sized wooden door and an areca palm plant welcoming on its side.

Quite contrary to the entry, the reception was chaotic. People ran haywire giving the feel of a news house.

I was asked to wait till the time my friend went inside to call the BC – the bureau chief.

The camera rolled..take 1..cut..take 2..cut..take 3 cut! It was a hat-trick! I did not speak a friend nervously walked up to me and said “hey what’s wrong…don’t ruin it please..there are people dying to sit where you’re sitting right now..”

I gave another take and as the Teleprompter rolled, I moved my lips and spoke..but I stammered, I fumbled and I ruined it!

When I was walking back with my friend we didn’t speak..she just said as if to console..”but you have a very good screen presence”..i felt sorry.. for her more than I felt for myself because she had to go back inside hiding her face..

8 tears since..I’ll tell you how l remember this small incidence very clearly..obviously one who gets embarrassed so badly would remember it but I have another diary..

Back home, I took out a diary and sat to analyse what really went wrong.. was the situation too intimidating? was it that I didn’t deserve to be there? Definitely not. I wrote a lot that afternoon and I concluded that a situation cannot define me..what happened has happened and the only solution is moving on..

It was writing it down in my journal that helped me move forward..a habit that I developed in school, lost in college and resumed after this episode..i get up and I write into my diary every single day since then..

That gift of this simple habit helped me sail through the times when I gave 20 more auditions in the next 15 days finally landing up in a national channel as a host called Care World TV with not very great TRPs but a great learning platform..the network that I made is still helping me..the gift helped me when I got married in a huge joint family of 20 people with a common kitchen, it helped when I was seeing someone very close battling through brain cancer and most important of all it makes me lead every single day ahead with a preparation, a mindset with balance!

My diary is a place where I speak to myself..i express gratitude and reiterate, I write down my worries, guilt and diary is my altar ego and my best companion..and I make sure I keep it out of reach of my mum-in-law..:)

I highly suggest you to please embrace this habit and while it might not change your life but it would definitely keep things easy on your heart.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The bereaved, specially the ones who have seen someone extremely loved, inch closer to death till the doom, develop a diffrent gratitude for every little thing..i mean, unless someone is dying evetything else is 'good enough', 'can be dealt with'..this strength is our empowerment, our discovery against the dark days!
God answers.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Feminism like true love empowers and liberates..
The neo-feminism or the 'femenazi-wave' places women against women.
 It's not about some women who choose to attend seminars and meetings, also go to the gym and never miss son's tournaments and saying they are the real feminists over women who CHOOSE to stay at home or even those who CHOOSE to settle for a blue collar job. And by the way, as Barkha Dutt puts it, misogyny is truly one thing that is gender-neutral!

We can't go on categorizing an already divisive society on farcical parameters like these because if it is a matter of choice, then it is simply that - a matter of choice! 

Feminism is not about division, it is about making world one, it's not about being judgmental or showing pity - within or outside one's gender- but about respect and equality.

And so it becomes imperative to take our thoughts back to the original wisdom of the term.

Feminism as we have known it, allows to choose and gives power to own up those choices..

And so it doesn't belittle any decision fully owned by its woman, doesn't question her opting for a marriage format or career, gives her the freedom to idealise, stamps modernism in her creative approach of processing the decisions. Just like it doesn't question men. So it's not even women vs. men.

As Chimamanda Adichie, the famous Nigerian novelist and an international voice for feminism feels that the ultimate goal of feminism is to become redundant and to reach to a world where nobody needs to be labeled a feminist, a world which is gender equal! 

Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister of Scotland chose to challenge all the assumptions made about her 'cold and calculative' decision of not having children in order to pursue her political career. And though she feels there's nothing wrong for a woman to choose career over family, she chose to declare the actual reason  (which was miscarriage) so people understand that women can have varied reasons for not having kids and not just career!

Justin Trudeau always promotes teaching young boys to respect women and about gender equality as starting early helps. This is particularly important for once the male ego takes over it is difficult to shed.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The beauty of pain

He could admire her body
Resplendent with naked beauty
Soaked in fairy-dust
But he could not give eyes
to the devastation inside

While she was afraid
of the painful heart
That she hid within

She lay there in a false glory
 in apprehension of being judged
of the ugliness
and the pain that would follow

Saturday, January 14, 2017

It’s not in the materialistic,
worldly coffee that causes to experience spirituality..
it’s in every sip of it that is savored and made rich with experience..
it’s in that one look at the sky and smiling at the prospect of a rain
before entering a Rolls Royce..
It’s in the glances exchanged of a bride and the groom of a lavish wedding..
It’s in every simple, laughable, crazy,
moronic, child-like, present,
intangible thing in life of materialism that we suspect spirituality.

Monday, January 9, 2017


Totally with NDTV for its decision of one year now not to broadcast fairness cream adverts   

Yes, I too agree that the thought at work behind the fairness cream is racist..

Years back on a personal chat with Alyque Padamsee for his Fair and Lovely campaign when I objected to its theme, his stand seemed practical as per the statistics but even then I couldn’t comprehend how media’s role as a responsible institute can be overlooked.  It really can’t get away with promoting prejudices in the name of marketing strategy of endorsing a product. The very fundamental concept behind birthing such a product itself is ethically flawed.

The British raj has long been over..but the obsession over a fairer skin tone is just an inkling of the mark the rule has had over us! But both the society and the media as a part of the society need to understand that we’ve come a long way out of the shadows since then and already created a global identity..
Mass media has the potential to define the popular culture and change the mindsets of millions but it has also long been associated with trading prejudices.

Obviously enough, the sector has to grow economically and sponsorship plays an important role for its commerce and so does the marketing gimmick but we cannot overrule the ethical objection.
Statistics might say that a good number of population associate beauty with a fairer skin but do the media intellectuals need to fuel the notion? Can’t the right strategy be to promote the original color of the skin and the products as tan removing ointments, because that’s exactly what they do?

I have never taken anything said about my skin tone as a compliment and I am not being modest.  The obsession of beauty that is skin deep has long been overturned by Asian women and even men for that matter.. 

Sadly there’s a good lot which still loves to judge people by the color of the skin and the media would play the culprit to propagate this attitude if the content stays unfiltered ethically.

And it’s not about intolerance; it’s about being a responsible and morally appropriate public institute.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

So these little ninjas can be extremely good life the real authentic ones..they teach you to push the envelopes, try patience some more, manage time better, boomerang your ego back on you, show you the mirror of your forgotten self! Children are your true mentors..