Monday, March 27, 2017

2000 ka chutta hai?

Are you still struggling to find change for this piece of currency that looks like monopoly Martian dollar from the movie 'Total Recall' (the Arnie version, if you please!)? Then welcome aboard the journey called, "Life after demonetization is awesome". By the way, that was pun intended, point obscured. And for those bhakhts who didn't get the joke, here's the straight line: Life still sucks post demonetization, especially if you are looking for chutta for INR 2000. Get it!

The other day, I booked Uber using cash option, because guess what, finally I was able to draw some money from a functional ATM, which however, only dispensed 2000 rupee notes. So, if you only had 1000 in your account and desperately needed money, the ATM just showed you, well you know what. I mean your aaukad, and what were you thinking?

So after that funny digression, let's come down to the main mudda. I thought in my naivety that this guy would have chutta, and didn't choose the option to pay through PayTM. However, mayhem began once I reached the destination - the upmarket and swanky Cyber Hub. I mean, dude, what have you done to yourself. You look fab. The last time I saw you, you were a barren dessert. Now, you look damn sexy. Nah, I am not referring to anyone with the Adam's apple stuck in his throat, I am talking about Cyber Hub! 

Post another funny digression, let's focus on my desperation to find chutta. The driver didn't have any, and there wasn't really a nukkar dukaan that would have given me any change. And let's face it, 2000 ka chutta kaunsa dukandar deta hai yaar. So, I started my expedition to find some working ATM. Oh! Yes, that's an expedition dear, because none of the three machines that were 'displayed' in a row worked. If this goes on for a few more months, we could actually put the ATMs on display at National Museum with the descriptor - "This is an Automated Teller Machine, popularly called ATM, that once dispensed money."

There you go, another funny digression. After unsuccessfully punching, pin number mind you, at another 'dead' ATM, I finally gave up. I decided to take the 'dukandar' route, only this time, it was to a trip to the Cafe Coffee Day. As I told the guy at the counter to give me a cold coffee and waved the 2000 rupee note, he, I kid you not, opened the empty drawer and showed me that he doesn't have even a single note! He has just opened the cafe. He directed me to another cafe, and it was the same story there as well. Just when I was about to make an embarrassing call to the client for chutta, I was saved by an immensely sweet cold coffee at a hangout that had teenagers! I am still wondering what were they doing at a corporate hub that only had office-goers with patta around their necks. Sorry, guys couldn't help the pun. 

As I handed the chutta to the harassed driver, who by now thought that madam must have run away with his hard-earned money, I breathed a sigh of relief, and finally proceeded for the meeting at [Social], a very bad choice for a co-working space, unless you just want to hangout in a pub and drink using the money of your investors!

Oddball

The oddball rolled by
Gathering no moss
Smooth and round
It reached a lake
Crystal clear and blue.
Curious eyes spotted it
And picked it to inspect
Round it was from end to end
With one dent in the middle
Which was enough for the oddball

To be thrown into the lake.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Doppelganger

We do get this question a lot of time: Which character do you think you associate yourself with the most? While I didn't really put my head into it, but off-lately while trying to figure myself out I realised that there are these two famous people/characters that come very close to defining me.

Who are they? Carrie Bradshaw from ‘Sex and the City’ and Twinkle Khanna.

While I associate the most with Carrie, Twinkle gives that desi flavour to my character.

Carrie is like my soulmate, my image in the mirror. A writer, and an independent woman, she is funny, goofy and often lost in her own world. She tries to see good in everything, and yet has a threshold for bullshit too. When she says enough is enough, she means it. Her brand of humour is mine too. Funny, sarcastic and with loads of intelligent puns. And, she knows what to filter out and how. Then there is Mr. Big in her life, someone she often runs away from because he clearly challenges her to face her fears and emotional needs. But when she loves, she loves with her whole heart and goes all out, but is goofy enough to turn even Big's life upside down. She looks mature, acts mature, but only her close circle people know how 'mature' she really is! I can totally get that.

Twinkle Khanna, however, is another story. I really took notice of her after I saw her on ‘Koffee with Karan’, and I went like, "She is just like me." Not in appearance, but her opinions, thought process, craziness. There had been a lot that I could identify myself with. And then there is her brand of writing, I absolutely love what she writes because I can associate with the way she must have observed things to write about them. Though she is a bit brash and unfiltered, she defiantly is me when it comes down to being opinionated.

But it's not just about them being my doppelganger. These successful women also inspired me to really look within myself, to tell myself that I also have such similar qualities that I can explore to reach at the zenith. And that's when I started to really go for what I wanted to do – whether it was about fulfilling at least one crazy goal each month this year (which included remaining single for a whole month!), working against deadlines, starting with my book, speaking my mind, or being on my own – I went the Nike way – Just Do It. It did require a lot of courage to push myself from my set boundaries, but there has always been this motivating factor that if Carrie and Twinkle could be household names, so could be I become one day. Yes, there are still 'miles to go', but my journey has begun thanks to these wonderful women – Carrie Bradshaw and Twinkle Khanna.

Friday, March 24, 2017

I am a Hindu.

I am a Hindu, brought up on religious texts and epics - Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana, Mahabharata. As a child, I used to go to the temple in our alley almost every evening to take part in the aarti. I believed in the almighty and prayed with all my heart. I did all that not out of compulsion, but because it gave me peace, grounded me.

I still swear by Bhagavad Gita, and pick it every time I am in doubt. Interestingly, I get all my answers from it.

Over the years, I realised that these are the essence of Hinduism:

1. Karm (work) is the only thing that a human being is supposed to be bothered about. "Karm kiye ja, phal ki chinta maat kar." This made sense to my impressionable young mind, and since then, it is the duty, the work that I focus on, without bothering about the result. And, it so happens that if you put your heart and soul into the work, you will get the result invariably.

2. Karma comes biting. And that too instantly. Sometimes, you don't really need another birth to see the consequences of your acts. Sometimes, it just happens at the next moment. Keep your acts clean, that's what I learnt over the years.

3. Serving humanity is the biggest service one could render. An ardent follower of Swami Vivekananda, I truly believed in his words, "Jibe prem kore jei jon, sei jon sebichhe Ishwar." It literally translates to, "People who love fellow human beings are the ones who serve God." It became the core essence of my life too. Kindness, charity and love, that's what Vivekandanda's Hindutva taught me.

4. God is formless, omnipresent and non-judgmental. Over the years, the religious texts and spritiual figures taught me that you don't need to necessarily go to the temple to pray. You could find the God in the inner 'you'. Each one of us has a divine spark, which makes each one of us 'God' as well. And, if we want to explore our divinity, we got to love ourselves and each other. Lord Krishna taught me that the beautiful nature (mother Earth) we have is what translates into God. As humans, we need to preserve it. He also taught me to love. Don't we still celebrate Raas Leela? Lord Shiva taught me that it is okay to be in your own skin, be a madcap, imperfect. After all, he smokes weed!

5. Creation is nothing without women. The divine feminine is revered and worshipped. Shiva is not complete without Shakti, nor is Narayana without Laxmi. In fact, at times, Hindu mythology taught me that women have superior powers than men, and only she could defeat monsters like Mahishasura. On the other hand, the concept of Ardhanarishvara taught me about the perfect combination of opposites in nature, creating a cosmos. One is incomplete without the other.

'Strangely', none of my learnings from Hinduism taught me to hate another religion, be intolerant to someone else based on their choices, think of women being inferior to men, consider romantic love as sin, live as per the dictum of the society, and many other 'modern-day Hindutva' principles. Wondering, if all that I learnt for so long was futile or should I hope that someday they will understand what it really means to be a Hindu!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Reclaim your life!

There is a core you, a you that you can't live without. The core you that you should never give up on. Your entire existence is based on that belief system that you have. And, that's something you should never compromise on.

Life takes you through myriad lanes, some are narrow, some broad, and some super highways. You cross these lanes at different juncture of your life, sometimes stumbling, sometimes at a new high. This journey is never the same, at each turn you learn something new, you find something unique.

But what happens when all of a sudden you decide to sit on a milestone, not to rest, but to let life happen to you? What do you see? What do you find? Do you get to see something new every day? My guess, No. You see the same old mundane life passing you by, you fall into a pattern, which in the beginning seem comforting, but gets claustrophobic slowly.

You try to compromise, you comfort yourself by saying, give it time, it will get better. But does it? My guess again, No. In fact, it gets worse.

And why does that happen? Simple. Because, you let it happen to you. You sat on that milestone for too long, waiting for life to happen to you. That's not how things work. You need to move constantly to find a new facet of yourself at each turn, and embrace whatever comes to you with open arms.

So, if you are still sitting on that milestone, get up right now and reclaim your life. And, hey, take that left turn, because let's face it, how long will you take all the 'right' turns in your life ;)


Thursday, March 16, 2017

You would never lie to yourself...

I have a fundamental belief in life: When nothing makes sense, don't do anything about it. Never take decisions when you are confused or anxious. Calm yourself, let the storm pass by. Thereafter, access the situation, understand point of views, talk to your friends and family, listen to what they have to offer.

But, by the end of the day, do what you want to do. The answer is always there within you, you just have to listen to yourself. Because, you would never lie to yourself.

And, when you find that answer. Don't cheat on yourself. Have the conviction to follow through it. Whatever it is, be brave enough to do what your inner self is asking you to do. It will lead you to the path you are meant to walk. Remember that, always!

Begin in new...

As I shed an old me
And close some chapters forever
I stare at the blank page and wonder
What should I begin here
The empty spaces
The hollowness
The rawness of my self
Makes me me
That one true self
I had never been able to be
I know I will stumble
I know I will fall
I know I will make mistakes
But walk I must
Walk the line
With courage and faith within
And along the way
I will find everything
I truly ever deserved
A new beginning I am writing now
And I am writing it only with love.

Monday, March 13, 2017

What should I believe in? What should I do?  Never been this confused. While the legacy suggests I should trust but the latest events point to contrary direction. Should I move on or believe...Maybe, it's time for another test...

Monday, March 6, 2017

Life happens in pieces...

Often life happens in pieces, there is a certain upheaval all of a sudden and you keep thinking what the hell just happened. Sometimes, emotions erupt in pieces too, and so does your propensity to evaluate and take decisions about certain aspects of life. Where is this post going, you ask me. Frankly, even I don't know, but all I know is that the storm within that was raging for so long is calming down. The monster that had reared its head so often is now pacifying. The mist is clearing. Though not everything is transparent, it is definitely not opaque. But things are still translucent, reason why it is better to hold it till it becomes crystal clear as to where this is heading. And maybe, life would take a twist and turn towards a happy future in some orchestrated piece soon. Who knows? But, it is always better to keep your fingers crossed, isn't it?