Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Festive Mumbai

Six years in Mumbai and I have developed a kind of love hate relationship with this city. There's a lot that I hate about it, the traffic, pollution, heat, noise, stress and a lot more. Despite all this I love being here during this time, the time when all the noise and traffic seems justified, the time when the roads turn into carnival streets, when there's light and joy everywhere, the time of festivities. Starting from the festival of dahi handi followed by Eid, rakshabandhan, Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri, Diwali and Christmas. This festive season of the city makes me forget all worries. This is one time when you go out on the streets and feel happy.
My favorite period is the 10 day Ganpati festival. Roaming on the streets and watching the most lovable Lord Ganesha fills me with great happiness. I am sure this happens with a lot of people. You might be stuck in the traffic, fuming but one glimpse of Ganpati calms you down. And when its time to bid farewell you are all ready for the next season. Some people might even shed a tear or two.
I have been bringing Ganpati to my house since past 3 years. But this year I regret not being able to welcome him due to some reasons. So now, when its time to say goodbye i would like to say, "Ganpati, please come to my home next year." PURCHA VARSHI LAUKARYA!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

A new phase

Had been away from blogging since a long time. Not that I din't have anything to write about, was just busy trying to put things in order. and now when everything is set and things are turning a lot more positive, I am back.
Started a completely new phase of life. After a lot of pondering over pros and cons of leaving Bombay, better said Mumbai or the city of dreams, finally took the decision of moving to Pune. Dreams could be smaller here but life is better for sure. With no negativity seeping in and no frustration building up the work is turning out to be a lot better. Although the conveniences are a little less than Mumbai like no malls in close proximity and load shedding, life here is still fresh and better.

I hope that things only get better from here.... for now thats all I want to say.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

मेरी छोटी सी होली की कविता

कुछ रंग हो, कुछ भंग हो,
और अपनों का संग हो....
अबीर-गुलाल और गुझियों वाली,
आपकी होली रंगारंग हो।

Sunday, 21 February 2010

अठन्नी सी ज़िन्दगी .....

आज बहुत दिनों के बाद कुछ लिखने के लिए कलम उठाई तो समझ में नहीं आया कि क्या लिखूं, तो खिड़की पर जाके बैठ गयी। मेरे घर कि खिड़की से ज़िन्दगी के दो पहलू दिखते हैं। एक तरफ ऊंची असमान छूती तीस-पैंतीस मंजिला इमारतें और दूसरी तरफ कचरे के ढेर में फँसी, दूर-दूर तक फैली झोंपड़पट्टी, और इन दोनों के बीच में फँसी मैं और मेरे जैसे लाखों-करोडो लोग, मध्यमवर्गीय लोग। जिन्हें आप कौमन मैन यानि कि आम आदमी भी कह सकते हैं। कौन है ये आम आदमी? ये क्या करता है? क्यूँ करता है? किसके लिए करता है? ये आम आदमी वो प्राणी है जो टैक्स भरता है, कानून का पालन करता है, सरकार पर भरोसा करता है और डरता है, पुलिस से, नेताओं से, गुंडों से। यूँ तो वो ये सब इसलिए करता है, ताकि अपनी ज़िन्दगी शांति से बिता सके पर जब बाढ़ आती है, बम फटते हैं, महंगाई बढती है तो मरता ये ही है। जो बड़े बड़े बंगलों और ऊंची-ऊंची इमारतों में बैठे हैं वो जेबें भरते हैं नेताओं की ताकि नेता खुश रख सकें उन झोपड़ी में रहने वालो को (वोटों के लिए)। आम आदमी देखता है सब कुछ, चीखता है, चिल्लाता है और फिर चुपचाप वापस चला जाता है अपनी ज़िन्दगी में, बसों और ट्रेनों में धक्के खाने, नौकरी करने, टैक्स भरने, रोज़ तिल-तिल मरने और एक दिन एक धमाके के साथ भीड़ में गायब हो जाने के लिए।
गुलज़ार साहब के शब्दों में कहें तो उसकी अठन्नी सी आधी ज़िन्दगी कभी पूरा रुपया नहीं बन पाती।

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Don't 'buy' love this V Day

So, its that time of the year when everything from flowers to food (even the air) suddenly turns pink. People in love, running around to find gifts for their partners. People out of love or never been in love, envying people in love. And not to forget, people not able to find love all their lives, thrashing people in love (by now we are so used to it that we don't give a damn).
In the midst of all this there is one more kind of people.... people selling love. Sounds odd?..... no its not. They are all around us, luring us with all kinds of V day special sales, Valentine special strawberry cake for your lover, diamond jewellery for that special someone..... You know, those 'Do you love him/her, tell him/her in style' types. All these marketing gimmicks makes us ask ourselves 'do we love them enough if we don't buy them these expensive gifts'? Come on.... since when love started coming with a price tag. We don't need that expensive platinum ring or lavish dinner in 5 Star to know that we are loved, at the same time they (men) don't need that Tommy Hilfiger wallet or a useless diamond cuff ling to know that they are important to us.
Love is too big a flash in itself to need all this flashy stuff to prove itself. All it needs is a quiet walk, nice talk, a red rose and a pani puri treat. Or if you wanna spend more then maybe a McDonald's burger or a pizza (totally depending on her waistline though).
Well, don't take me wrong. I am not one of those anti V Day ones'. I am pretty romantic myself. It's the whole commercializing thing that agitates me. The time we spend looking out for the gifts, why can't we spend that time with them?

Have a happy, marketing free Valentine's Day....

Thursday, 11 February 2010

The lost stardom

So, there i was, about to fall into that deep deep slumber and the phone rang. I picked it up thinking that since it has disturbed me it should be at least worth it, may be its a call from Vividh Bharati for the training schedule.(was expecting a call from them) But it was someone I wouldn't have thought of in my wildest of dreams. A call from, lets call him 'Mr. Filmy'.

Me: Hello.....
Mr.Filmy: Hi, is it Shirin Mehrotra? (with a heavy and totally FAKE US accent)
Me: Yes....
Mr.F: This is Mr. Filmy from so and so media agency. How are you?
Me: I am good (yea rite...thanks for waking me up u lil...!@#$)
Mr.F: Shirin, are you an RJ?
Me: Yes, I am under training with Vividh Bharati. (wow...could it be a job offer for radio jockeying?)Mr.F: Shirin, do you want to mold your career to be an RJ do you wanna be an actor? (aha...sounds like a hot chick,lets show her some starry dreams)
Me: Sorry?
Mr.F: What are your goals in life?
Me: I am an animator and graphics designer.
Mr.F.: Don't you wanna be an actor?(omg,not one to be trapped easily,ill have to try harder...)
(the fake accent kept getting annoying)
Me: NO (what the !@#$ ???)
Mr.F: Why? acting can give you fame and money. (c'mon why arent u falling for this one??i was told chicks would fall head over heels for this)
Me: But that needs struggle,n im very lazy (back off dude...i mean it !!)
Mr.F: Not these days. If you know the current trends of bollywood you can be a star in a very short time. (am i smart or am I smart?)Me: (So here comes the eternal gyan 'Trends of Bollywood') But i am not interested in 'Bollywood and stardom' (even i threw an accent this time)
Mr. F: But why? are you scared of struggle and meeting a lot of people?
Me: (God he's getting on my nerves) I got my own studio to struggle for.
Mr.F: Where are you from? (time to get a little personal ;) )
Me: Bombay
Mr.F: But your name says mehrotra?
Me: ??(Alright alright you nosey sonofa!@#$) I am from North india.(lets see where he goes with this)
Mr.F: which part of north India?
Me: Lucknow
Mr.F: Do you live alone in Bombay? (Potential shikaar)
Me: No, with my husband (haha googly)
Mr.F: Oh, that's good. (wtf)Me: (oh really, is it?) i know
Mr.F: Anyways, I'll email you. If you have that 5% instinct and dream in you of becoming a star give me a call. (still trying hard)Me: Sure

Phone disconnected......
Me: Asshole.....
Mr.F : !@#$%^!@#$^&
What.................? did I miss out on a prospective chance of becoming a star?........... u bet.

The 'S' word

Standing in the midst of The Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, I was wondering, is this the same country I live in? Is this the same India or Bharat or Hindustan? whatever you call it.

The same country where walls of ancient temples are carved with nude Gods and Godesses, where one can see cave paintings depicting humans indulging the sacred act of reproduction i.e SEX. Why has this 3 letter word wrecked such a havoc in this country?

In India where population goes around 1.2 billion, we can't even utter the 'S' word.

Is it the same place where the famous Kamasutra was written? where people so openly worship the Shivalingam (for those who don't know, Shivalingam represents the male and female reproductive organs). So why is it that a filmmaker has to struggle forever to get a kissing scene passed through the censor board? why does a painter gets thrashed for painting nudes?

Do we have any idea where all this hypocrisy leads to? A confused generation. Can't we just accept the fact that people have sex in our country, before marriage or after marriage and then educate the younger generation rather than keeping it under covers and letting them explore it on their own. Be it the right way or wrong way?

Monday, 8 February 2010


Munnar, a beautiful hill station in Kerela was the second destination of our South India Trip. This place is mostly visited for its lush green Tea Estates, Dams, rivers and of course the most famous Ayurvedic massages (by now if you are thinking that this is going to be a 500 words' essay on Munnar..... then no it's not)

After visiting all the tourist spots, clicking photographs, spending (read wasting) some time and money in the Tata tea museum, our (my husband and me) quest to find something that's hidden and not so famous took us to MUDRA, a small platform for the local Kathakali artists (for those who don't know, Kathakali is one of the most famous and ancient dance forms of Southern India). So, we reached this small (actually very small) theatre. It was a small room with a very small stage and plastic chairs to accomodate hardly 50 people. Tickets for the show were priced around Rs. 200 per head. So, after a short discussion over, whether the small place and plastic chairs were worth the money and BLAH... BLAH.... BLAH.... (won't go into details) Vishesh (my husband) and I decided to go for it while the rest of the group left.

After half an hour of makeup session (which we could actually see), the performance started. I can't describe the whole experience here as you got to see it to experience it. but trust me, it was worth every single penny and even more than that. I was amazed to see how such a small stage and merely 25-30 people in the audience could fill an artist with so much enthusiasm.

No place or stage is bigger than the artist himself. All he/she needs is a few claps and smiling faces.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Just something I scribbled once

Don't wake me up, let it be a dream;
don't wake me up to reality,
let me live in my lovely dream.

Don't block my thoughts,
get out of my way;
let me live my life,
it's each lovely n bright day.

Don't try n show me things,
i have eyes to see;
what comes to you as ugly,
might be beautiful to me.

Stop telling me what i am not,
try n find out what I've got.

Let me scream let me shout,
let the me within me come out.

In God's Own Country - Kerala

Came back from a vacation in Kerela a couple of days back. It felt like I was floating in a dream and was shaken back to the harsh reality.... Mumbai. The mere feeling of being away from the chaos of the city as soon as you step in the God's own land rejuvenates you. So much green, so much peace and so much nature filled me with a new life. The beauty of kerela reflects in people as well. It seems as if they inherit their calmness, sweetness and honesty from their land.

I remember one incident when we booked a houseboat on the day we reached Alleppey. We were offered a price of 12,000 Rs. The next morning when we were loading our luggage and ourselves on the boat, the manager of the Houseboat company asked us for 13,000 Rs. After a brief and a little hot discussion the manager realised that he mistook us with some other client. I guess for him it was the most embarassing moment. He had apology written all over his face and tears in his eyes. He said sorry to almost everyone in the group and send Nariyal pani (coconut water) for each of us. It might not have cost him much but the sheer gesture left a mark on us. By that simple act of his he gave us a piece of his land.

Small incidents make your travel experience worth remembering.... and this is one of them.


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