Gloomy Rantings

Every year, the month of December finds me in my gloomiest of moods. I’m snappy, I get irritated very fast and it’s basically an entire year of crappiness stuffed into one month.

Why you ask? Well because every year in December, I turn a little older and a lot less wiser.

With every passing year, I realize that there was so much I had to do or achieve but I’ve barely done anything and end up cribbing. Not that I do nothing all year round. It’s just that my expectations arise from a fantasy land far-far away and it’s hard to fulfill them on earth.  :-/

So basically, I dread December. I love the winter season it brings with it, but anything other than that is just crappy. I find some solace in Christmas, but since that’s really not a big deal in India, so it’s basically just stuffing myself with plum cake and reading ‘A Christmas Carol’.

I try and find ways to just slog through this month and I’m at my happiest on New Year. An entire new year to make resolutions and then forget all about them within the first 24 hours is pretty exciting for me.

Every year, I make a long list of stuff I want to do and then end up doing everything exactly opposite to that list. Like last year I had solemnly swore that I will, no matter what, learn to play the guitar. And now, as this year is counting its last breaths, I realize that I didn’t even bother to get the damn thing out of the storage room. Forget about playing it.

So for eleven months I’m at my happiest, optimistic, craziest best! But come December, and all I want to do is go up on my terrace, with a blanket and lie all day in the sun, light a bonfire at night and not come down till January.

The worst part about December is that I get a year older every time it rolls in. And I don’t like getting old! If it was in my hands, I would have stopped at four. But since that’s not an option, I end up being a year a year older in age even though in my mind I’m still a toddler.

So here’s to another age milestone that I’m about to cross. I have no hopes from this month but let’s not bum out everybody else.

Happy December everybody!

Live long and prosper.

 

P.S- ‘A Christmas Carol’ was first published in London on 19th December 1843. So today is the 171st birthday of this classic novella !

‘I Saw Death So Close’

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                                                                   I SAW DEATH SO CLOSE

 

This post is probably just a way to vent out my anger but I have absolutely no words which could describe the anguish and pain I feel when I hear all this news about the Peshawar attacks. I mean in my country every time there is a terrorist attack all you hear is “These Muslims want to kill all Hindu’s”, or “It’s all Pakistan’s conspiracy. It wants to ruin India.”. But after what happened yesterday, I believe it’s high time that we stop blaming the Hindu’s or the Muslim’s for such cowardly acts. These people have no religion. For that matter, they are hardly behaving like humans!

And for all those who keep saying that Pakistan is to be blamed for every terrorist attack, well there you go. These cowards went out and killed innocents in Pakistan.

The majority of causalities yesterday were kids! Innocent children who went to school. This is NOT about India or Pakistan anymore. It’s about humanity.

These terrorists apparently wanted to take revenge from the army. Well if you want to revenge the god damn army then fight with the army! Killing children does not make you brave or in any way makes you superior. It shows what lowly living beings you are.

And I’m sure Islam DOES NOT in any way tells you to kill innocents in the name of god or religion.  This is not Islam. It’s not any religion. It’s just inhuman.

If you read the article that I’v linked above, you’l see just how barbarically these bastards went on and killed children, aiming to kill maximum. And no, I’m not going to mind my language on a public platform for such mother f******s.

A video clip of a father wailing and screaming that his child left home in the morning in a uniform, and is now coming back in a kafan (Shroud)  is forever going to be etched in my memory.

I express my heartfelt condolences to all the parents and family members of the kids who lost their lives yesterday.

May their souls rest in peace.

 

1000 Weeks Of Falling In Love

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Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaenge is a movie that every Indian has watched at least once. I on the other hand have watched it so many times that I’ve lost count, simply because it has everything a masala bollywood flick needs.

It has illogical scenes where the father is proud of his son who has failed the university exams, an entire family that moves to India from London within a matter of 24 hours with no consideration whatsoever to packing, visa’s and tickets. And since this movie is 19 years old, when there were no online bookings, I wonder how the hell they managed to pull this off.

Also, this movie has song sequences shot in breathtaking locations in the Switzerland which is like a Mecca for the Indians. I’m pretty sure that all Indians who can afford it, would visit Switzerland once before they die.

It has the heroine, Simran who wants to elope days before her forced arranged marriage but is stopped by the hero, Raj, because he would rather face her dictator dad and convince him to change his choice of son in law, making this movie a blockbuster. Yes it is completely impractical, but that is what you should expect from the majority of Indian movies. :D

It is the longest running movie in the history of Indian cinema, completing 1000 weeks of successful run on 12th December 2014.

Yes, this movie is a mixture of romance, family drama, beautiful locations, comedy, customary songs, and illogical script. And all this makes it a classic Bollywood film.

Till date people flock to the ‘Maratha Mandir’ where this movie is screened and enjoy it just as much as they did about two decades back when it was first released.

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I love everything about this movie, and I blame it for making my heart beat rise every time I see a “sarso ka Khet’ (Mustard field). That is because the heroine runs towards the love of her life in a mustard field surrounded by those bright yellow flowers.

And I fantasize about doing the same to the future love of my life at least once. And if he refuses, I’ll just have to tie him up to a pole and make him stand in the middle of the field while I run towards him. :P

I might never be a romantic but this movie turned me into a filmy crazy girl who believes in the “Ja Simran, Jee Le Apni Zindagi” (Go live you life Simran) philosophy.

 

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A Hijra in the family : Coming out as genderqueer to parents.

sainiurshita:

One of the strongest and most powerful post I’v ever read. It takes courage to accept who you are. And something more than courage to let go of everything you believe for the sake of your family and loved ones. And somehow, I can feel the pain of the writer because I understand how our society works. My country still needs to go a long way before it can accept the fact that rather than the family honor, it’s your child’s happiness that should be your first priority.

Originally posted on leylashah2014:

I was just another boy wanting to be a girl. Now, I’ll be just another boy. I have not complained, nor do I complain now. I only tell a tale, for that’s all I’ve got. A tale, some could relate to.

This is for everyone who sees the queer movement as a superficial rich kid’s tantrum. I hail from a deeply religious middle class family with strong roots in a place known for its gender based crimes.

One of these days if I stopped existing the world wouldn’t know but I don’t want to be just another lgbt person. I don’t want to be just another statistic, just another note. I want to see the light, I want to be able to  hope but I don’t know where to look for hope, where to find it.

There was someone who told me, that maybe I should get my career sorted…

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Silver Linings

Arrange marriages always befuddled me. The thought of spending your life with someone you don’t know seems weird. And though I belong to a country where arrange marriages are still a pretty common thing, I tend to be a little apprehensive about the whole concept. Not that they are bad in any way. It’s just that when you meet someone, they will obviously show you their good side. Who knows what creepiness hides behind that smile.

My parents just completed 25 years of their marriage and all my life I’ve been fascinated at how these two, despite being poles apart in personalities and temperaments, have managed to stay together and sane. These two are probably the perfect example of opposites attract.

They were set up by their parents through a newspaper matrimonial column. They met a couple of times and god alone knows what they talked about cause these two agreed to the match pretty quickly.

Though in those times people rarely allowed the girl and boy to meet often before the wedding, my grandparents were pretty open in their thinking and these two often met at ‘The Host’ in Connaught Place for tea. Those were days when there were no Starbucks or Café Coffee Day’s. So meeting over Chai and Pakora’s was their date.

There was no phone at my dad’s place so he used to call my mom from work. They couldn’t have talked much because my mom tells me that in those days, call rates were quite high. In this age and day we have Skype and Whats app and endless other ways to communicate with someone. But 20-30 years back, when there was barely a landline phone in every home, getting to know the other person was a humongous task.

After 6 months of courtship, they got married with much pomp and show.

Over these 25 years, I’ve seen my parents going from a simple middle class lifestyle to luxury cars and Rado watches. Not that I was there for all these 25 years. But this is what I remember. They’ve worked together and built a solid foundation for me and my sister.

I still don’t understand how these two have over the years maintained their sanity. I’ve never seen them fight. I mean yeah, they argue about stuff, but I’ve never seen them scream at each other or bang doors. And that is because strangely, every time one of them is in a bad mood, the other one makes himself scarce. Like they avoid each other till they cool down and then have lengthy discussions.

And when I say lengthy, it means I could have a round trip to the moon by the time they finish. These two just looooove discussing things elaborately.

I know I’m too going to have an arranged marriage, because believe me no normal person in his right senses would date me. If in these 24 years of my life I couldn’t find a guy, despite there being more guys than girls on this planet, I can very safely say that my parents would have to make a huge effort to find that one guy who can handle the craziness that is their daughter. :P

And though this arranged marriage thing scares the shit outta me, I find solace in the fact that if these two could be together and make things work and celebrate a silver jubilee, then maybe it won’t be that hard to make place for a person in your heart even if you don’t know much about him.

Life will be like a mystery then. Unfolding new things about each other every day and making it work together towards that much dreamed about happily ever after. Despite all the thunder and clouds, maybe I too can find my silver lining.

Loving My Job

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Let me start by clarifying the title of this post. When I say job, I don’t mean my day job. Oh! No sir. My day job is a boring desk job which requires me to stare at a computer screen for hours at end.

The job I love is the one which I do after I leave office. And that is running off to a wedding and capturing memories.

I’m a part time wedding photographer and I love every part of that job.

And this love comes naturally to me, simply because I adore weddings. Not the cheesy kind of adoration like “Oh! I wonder when will I get married”. No. I mean yeah I think about my wedding. Every girl does. And if you see any girl saying that she is not interested in her wedding or has not thought about it, believe me when I say this, is lying. And my thinking is mostly about the poor guy who would end up with the craziness that I am. :P

Anyways, coming back to the point, if you’ve ever been to an Indian wedding, you’ll know how electric the entire atmosphere gets. There is madness and chaos everywhere. Men running around arranging that perfect tent and getting stuff for the halwai. The women being all bothered about the arrival of the mehendi wala, their clothes, their jewelry and gossip.

People running around the place, bumping into things and getting all flustered while trying to get ready for the big fat Indian wedding.

And in all this chaos, I find my happy place. Where I can stay somewhere in the background and capture memories for them which they would cherish for decades.

Though let me tell you, it’s not easy for me being a wedding photographer. There are so many people who appreciate what I’m doing, and an equal number of people who exclaim at my choice of career. And the questions they ask me are always baffling.

Like, “ Beta, aren’t your parents worried that you come home late at night?” To which I reply, “Umm…No aunty, I’m never out alone and I try and reach home a decent time.”

Or, “So why are you going for law degree when all you want to do is click pictures?”  Here all I can say is, “Well, I like law. And besides, in this country you’re pretty useless if you don’t have a degree to show off even if you have no intentions of using it.”

And the cherry on the cake was, “Isn’t this camera a bit too heavy for a girl to carry around all day?”. To this date I have no answer for this question. I mean if it was too heavy for me to carry it around, why would I be doing it??

But all these inquiries about my life choices from random strangers just adds to the insane fun that I have at each event.

I come home drop dead tired from every wedding
and sleep like a baby knowing that I’ve done a good job.

And even though going through thousand of pictures, short listing them and then finally editing them is a humongous task, I still love doing it.

Because the look of appreciation I get from the people when they see the pictures for the first time is priceless.

And no pay check in this world can ever give me the happiness that I get from knowing that people appreciate my hard work. (A Ten Million Dollars check might come close, but let’s be realistic shall we!) :P

 

Picture : Clickaholicks

It Goes On

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I’m pretty sure everybody has one incident in their life, which shook them so bad that surviving beyond that point seemed impossible. That one point when life seems to come to a dead end and even breathing seems to be a task.

A bad break up with somebody you thought was your soul mate can be crushing. Or maybe a poor score in a test for which you had studied day and night. Or any other horrible incident that happened and it seemed like god was punishing you.

At that time it seems so hard to get over it; to find that inner strength to move on and turn a new page.

I myself have been through horrible phases in life. A couple of years back, I was walking to the metro station from work to attend a class. It was a super busy road due to an upcoming festival. I had earphones in my ears and I was walking down pretty much not bothering about anybody around me.

Everything was fine until the time I felt a hand trying to touch me indecently. It was sheer reflex on my part that I turned around and caught hold of this pervert’s collar and slapped him hard.

Seeing that people around had stopped and were looking at what was happening, he pretended to be innocent and became defensive, shouting at me saying what the hell did I think I was doing.

I swear to god every fiber in my body burned with rage. I slapped him again and screamed at him as loudly as I could. Looking me screaming like this, a few men who were standing at a nearby shop buying sweets came up and asked me if this guy was bothering me.

When I told them what happened, they caught hold of that man and boxed his ears so bad that I’m pretty sure he saw stars in that glaring daylight.

I’m not in favor of violence as such but if you personally ask me such perverts need to be kicked in the balls. Which is exactly what I did when a policeman came up and tried to calm everybody down.  I was so angry that I screamed at the policeman as well and he took that man in custody.

I literally blessed my starts that somebody came up and helped me. I have heard countless cases when nobody comes up to help a girl when she is in such a situation.

I thanked those men who came up and helped and believe me, for nearly a week I walked around with such suppressed fury in me that even sleeping became impossible.

Although I was unharmed, but the very thought that somebody can actually do something so disgusting in the middle of a busy street made me furious.

The shock took some time to wear away and at that time I actually thought that I would never be able to walk down a street without being touched by some pervert.

It took time, but, I finally got over the incident and was able to move on with life without any anger seething inside me.  (Though I still hope and pray that all such men who think that a woman’s body is like a public property which they can touch in any way at any time should burn in hell.)

Every such incident in your life will bring your life to a halt. I pray that no woman should ever go through any such harrowing experience. But I’v learned that time can be the best balm for any wound.

And life I’v seen will always move on. No matter how much you think that it is not possible to get on with it. Believe me when I say this. It is not always possible to get over something quickly, but give it some time. It will seem difficult but you need to find that strength inside you to fight every demon that haunts you.

Life can be a bitch sometimes, but it will move on, bringing to new experiences and many more happy opportunities.