Saturday, November 28, 2009

Born a woman- is it a bliss or a curse?

I always knew I was a this social structure and sensibilities!
Somehow I am bad at differentiating between people, whether on the basis of caste and religion or even on genders!

" You are a girl, you've to take care of yourself!".... everyone told me, but I could never get the meaning right!

I am a girl... is this a boon or a curse?

All sorts of rules and limitations enter your life the moment you are born a girl!

I think a lot of times, that I should have been born a boy - for I love nights and hanging around at nights- I am a nocturnal!
I love adventure and moving around alone, all by myself!

But I love my body, my long soft hair, my soft hands and perfect bosom! I absolutely love everything that makes me a woman!

My discontent is not with my maker but my fellow beings who treat me differently only cause I am a female!

I look around at the nature and find all other females enjoying a much better freedom! Whether a female dog, cat or any other female - They are never treated differently by their species, they are never raped, never controlled!

Then why we, the superior race is treating our women like this?

Maybe it is safe to conclude, god created a bliss called "a woman" ,
Man turned her into a " curse"!

Painting at :

Speech by Chetan Bhagat at Symbiosis

Following is the speech by Chetan Bhagat given at the orientation programme for the new batch of MBA students at Symbiosis, Pune.

Good Morning everyone and thank you for giving me this chance to speak to you. This day is about you. You, who have come to this college, leaving the comfort of your homes (or in some cases discomfort), to become something in your life. I am sure you are excited. There are few days in human life when one is truly elated. The first day in college is one of them. When you were getting ready today, you felt a tingling in your stomach. What would the auditorium be like, what would the teachers be like, who are my new classmates – there is so much to be curious about. I call this excitement, the spark within you that makes you feel truly alive today. Today I am going to talk about keeping the spark shining. Or to put it another way, how to be happy most, if not all the time.

Where do these sparks start? I think we are born with them. My 3-year old twin boys have a million sparks. A little Spiderman toy can make them jump on the bed. They get thrills from creaky swings in the park. A story from daddy gets them excited. They do a daily countdown for birthday party – several months in advance – just for the day they will cut their own birthday cake.

I see students like you, and I still see some sparks. But when I see older people, the spark is difficult to find. That means as we age, the spark fades. People whose spark has faded too much are dull, dejected, aimless and bitter. Remember Kareena in the first half of Jab We Met vs the second half? That is what happens when the spark is lost. So how to save the spark?

Imagine the spark to be a lamp’s flame. The first aspect is nurturing – to give your spark the fuel, continuously. The second is to guard against storms.

To nurture, always have goals. It is human nature to strive, improve and achieve full potential. In fact, that is success. It is what is possible for you. It isn’t any external measure – a certain cost to company pay package, a particular car or house.

Most of us are from middle class families. To us, having material landmarks is success and rightly so. When you have grown up where money constraints force everyday choices, financial freedom is a big achievement. But it isn’t the purpose of life. If that was the case, Mr. Ambani would not show up for work. Shah Rukh Khan would stay at home and not dance anymore. Steve Jobs won’t be working hard to make a better iPhone, as he sold Pixar for billions of dollars already. Why do they do it? What makes them come to work everyday? They do it because it makes them happy. They do it because it makes them feel alive Just getting better from current levels feels good. If you study hard, you can improve your rank. If you make an effort to interact with people, you will do better in interviews. If you practice, your cricket will get better. You may also know that you cannot become Tendulkar, yet. But you can get to the next level. Striving for that next level is important.
Nature designed with a random set of genes and circumstances in which we were born. To be happy, we have to accept it and make the most of nature’s design. Are you? Goals will help you do that. I must add, don’t just have career or academic goals. Set goals to give you a balanced, successful life. I use the word balanced before successful. Balanced means ensuring your health, relationships, mental peace are all in good order.

There is no point of getting a promotion on the day of your breakup. There is no fun in driving a car if your back hurts. Shopping is not enjoyable if your mind is full of tensions.

You must have read some quotes – Life is a tough race, it is a marathon or whatever. No, from what I have seen so far, life is one of those races in nursery school, where you have to run with a marble in a spoon kept in your mouth. If the marble falls, there is no point coming first. Same with life, where health and relationships are the marble. Your striving is only worth it if there is harmony in your life. Else, you may achieve the success, but this spark, this feeling of being excited and alive, will start to die.

One last thing about nurturing the spark – don’t take life seriously. One of my yoga teachers used to make students laugh during classes. One student asked him if these jokes would take away something from the yoga practice. The teacher said – don’t be serious, be sincere. This quote has defined my work ever since. Whether its my writing, my job, my relationships or any of my goals. I get thousands of opinions on my writing everyday. There is heaps of praise, there is intense criticism. If I take it all seriously, how will I write? Or rather, how will I live? Life is not to be taken seriously, as we are really temporary here. We are like a pre-paid card with limited validity. If we are lucky, we may last another 50 years. And 50 years is just 2,500 weekends. Do we really need to get so worked up? It’s ok, bunk a few classes, goof up a few interviews, fall in love. We are people, not programmed devices.

I’ve told you three things – reasonable goals, balance and not taking it too seriously that will nurture the spark. However, there are four storms in life that will threaten to completely put out the flame. These must be guarded against. These are disappointment, frustration, unfairness and loneliness of purpose.

Disappointment will come when your effort does not give you the expected return. If things don’t go as planned or if you face failure. Failure is extremely difficult to handle, but those that do come out stronger. What did this failure teach me? is the question you will need to ask. You will feel miserable. You will want to quit, like I wanted to when nine publishers rejected my first book. Some IITians kill themselves over low grades – how silly is that? But that is how much failure can hurt you. But it’s life. If challenges could always be overcome, they would cease to be a challenge. And remember – if you are failing at something, that means you are at your limit or potential. And that’s where you want to be.

Disappointment’ s cousin is Frustration, the second storm. Have you ever been frustrated? It happens when things are stuck. This is especially relevant in India. From traffic jams to getting that job you deserve, sometimes things take so long that you don’t know if you chose the right goal. After books, I set the goal of writing for Bollywood, as I thought they needed writers. I am called extremely lucky, but it took me five years to get close to a release. Frustration saps excitement, and turns your initial energy into something negative, making you a bitter person. How did I deal with it? A realistic assessment of the time involved – movies take a long time to make even though they are watched quickly, seeking a certain enjoyment in the process rather than the end result – at least I was learning how to write scripts, having a side plan – I had my third book to write and even something as simple as pleasurable distractions in your life – friends, food, travel can help you overcome it. Remember, nothing is to be taken seriously. Frustration is a sign somewhere, you took it too seriously.

Unfairness – this is hardest to deal with, but unfortunately that is how our country works. People with connections, rich dads, beautiful faces, pedigree find it easier to make it – not just in Bollywood, but everywhere. And sometimes it is just plain luck. There are so few opportunities in India, so many stars need to be aligned for you to make it happen. Merit and hard work is not always linked to achievement in the short term, but the long term correlation is high, and ultimately things do work out. But realize, there will be some people luckier than you. In fact, to have an opportunity to go to college and understand this speech in English means you are pretty damm lucky by Indian standards. Let’s be grateful for what we have and get the strength to accept what we don’t. I have so much love from my readers that other writers cannot even imagine it. However, I don’t get literary praise. It’s ok. I don’t look like Aishwarya Rai, but I have two boys who I think are more beautiful than her. It’s ok. Don’t let unfairness kill your spark.

Finally, the last point that can kill your spark is Isolation. As you grow older you will realize you are unique. When you are little, all kids want Ice cream and Spiderman. As you grow older to college, you still are a lot like your friends. But ten years later and you realize you are unique. What you want, what you believe in, what makes you feel, may be different from even the people closest to you. This can create conflict as your goals may not match with others. And you may drop some of them. Basketball captains in college invariably stop playing basketball by the time they have their second child. They give up something that meant so much to them. They do it for their family. But in doing that, the spark dies. Never, ever make that compromise. Love yourself first, and then others.

There you go. I’ve told you the four thunderstorms – disappointment, frustration, unfairness and isolation. You cannot avoid them, as like the monsoon they will come into your life at regular intervals. You just need to keep the raincoat handy to not let the spark die.

I welcome you again to the most wonderful years of your life. If someone gave me the choice to go back in time, I will surely choose college. But I also hope that ten years later as well, your eyes will shine the same way as they do today. That you will Keep the Spark alive, not only through college, but through the next 2,500 weekends. And I hope not just you, but my whole country will keep that spark alive, as we really need it now more than any moment in history. And there is something cool about saying – I come from the land of a billion sparks.
Thank You.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Kurbaan- Some love stories have blood on them

It's a well made film! No doubt about it!

Great performances by everyone -(minus) Vivek Oberoi who doesnt stop over acting!
Great background score!
Great cinematography!
Nice Screenplay and direction by Rensil D'silva.
Good music.

Its a must watch.......I dont understand why the intimate scene is so hyped as it passes you by within seconds!

The film has been hyped too- just because of Saifeena ( we dont stop copying the west, do we? After Brangelina, we've our own version! LOL)

There's no interval point as such in this film , I would've preferred to watch it in one go,. The point at which it goes for an interval- doesnt do anything to the narrative.)

The love story, set in Delhi, isnt that great , but the music,cinematography and the background score elevates the film to a new height!

I didnt feel much pain seeing Kareena suffer, probably cause the love story was rushed....We dont get to know her character too well to sympathize with her, to like her and to really get that attached to her!

The film is seen from Kareena's perspective! The events unfold as she sees them! I would have loved to see and know more of her character as she's the one who's cheated and trapped in the film!

I liked the film, but given the storyline and the capacity it holds- I could've loved it!

New York is a film on the same lines....... and (story wise) Kurbaan is no better or worse then New York!

I dont get attached to 'goras', that's the reason I dont like these Indian films based on foreign incidents and locales!
India has enough problems and emotional drama happening that can be captured! We dont need a Danny Boyle to do that!

2 states- The story of my marriage By Chetan Bhagat

I'll try as much as possible not to make this one into a book review!

I bought this book because:

1: It's cheap! priced at just Rs. 95/- ( Mr. Bhagat- A IIMA student definately knows what sells at what price in India! Indians love all those things that are priced under Rs. 100/-. No wonder he's the best selling author in India!)

2: I've a Reader's Block these days. I dont know if any such thing exists, but I think its almost been 4 months since I read anything useful! Partly cause my life is too exciting at the moment- that I find any book or any film boring in comparison! yes! I havent watched a single movie for the past couple of months too!

So, in order to beat out of this block, something light and funny was needed- so started on this book!

3: I am a big fan of his 1st book " 5 point someone" . I like his funny style and use of language, it runs a smile through my face and I love smiling!

4: He says it's a story of his marriage- I wanted to know if everybody suffers in marriage, or is it just me?

While reading the book:

1: It's funny: Mr. Bhagat has kept up his funny style and similies! I especially love all those times he makes comments and describes his in laws, like this one " Ananya's mother looked as if she had fallen into a drum of golden paint" - she wore a Kanjeevaram sari!

2: It brought me out of the block, now I can start reading the more serious books!

After Reading:

1. Not a great book- nothing compared to 5 point someone!

2. Mr. Bhagat , enough of IIT- IIM......! No more please! It started getting on my nerves, I dont think the smartest brains make it into IIT-IIM! I think the most boring and geeky get into those institutes! Ok, let me not generalise, I know you need to work damn hard to get through, but I am of the opinion that you cant judge a person's intelligence merely with the kind of paychecks they get!Mr. Bhagat is right though, in describing his citi bank job as one of the most boring!

3. This story is about his journey till his marriage! Which is usually fun! :) So, it did not clear my doubts fully!

4. Will I buy his next book?

Yes! Yes! Yes!
A. Because I've bought and read all of them so far!
B. The 2nd was bad, 3rd was ok, the latest being better than the 4th.......but I'll always keep loving his style and
C. I am his sincere fan!

So, if you need a good laugh, or just a casual read, please go and buy this book! It's worth the price!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Can you ever love me for me?

Komal always sends me some of the best fwd's! Today she sent me this poem and I just loved it! I bet you'll love it too!

Written by by: Miriam Campo

Can you ever love me for me?
For the me that I am true and true
Can you love me with my imperfections?
Can you see me as I am and not as what you want me to be?

Can you ever love me for me?
For the me that makes mistakes and speaks without thinking
Can you love me even when I am unreasonable?
Can you see me as I am and not for the Angel you seek?

Can you ever love me for me?
For the me that cries when a stranger child is hurt
Can you love me when I am sad without me having a reason to be?
Can you see me as I am not as what I once was?

Can you ever love me for me?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Life is too short to be anything but happy

"There comes a time in life when you have to let go of all the pointless drama and the people who create it , and surround youself with people who make you laugh so hard that you forget the bad and focus solely on the good . After all, life is too short to be anything but happy! "
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