Fest, Feast and all the Fuss

meme12I, for one, love the second half of the year. It is so full of festivals, celebration, and of course holidays!

A few days back we celebrated Rakhshabandan- such a beautiful festival with such a terrifying name, I used to think as a little girl. All this week, I have been busy in looking for feminists, wondering how they missed the chauvinism in this one! What do they mean my brothers taking care of their sisters? Do they think, we can’t take care of ourselves?! What the….oh, but gift! I think I will pass my feminism card this one time! After all, everyone needs some pampering some time or the other, you know! Touché.

No, but seriously, festivals are so much fun! There is such good food, get-togethers, dance, music, sweets, delicacies, celebration, holidays, parties, and the whole pomp. Oh, did I mention food? (I know now why my weight never shifts in the direction I wish it did!)

And before long, I realize, they are oh so noisy!

Last week we celebrated the birth of Lord Krishna. One minute silence to all the teenagers who thought that celebrating birthday at midnight is so today’s thing! Uh huh, you have no idea about the #swag that Krishna is all about- and that hashtag was important!

Cowboy, lover, fighter, philosopher, politician, practical humorist and great friend – which other God can match Krishna? Some bits of Krishna’s life are so relatable, but then again, he is the one responsible for Bhagvad Geeta – and how does one believe in a book that is a by-product of a story, in which there isn’t even one natural birth, to begin with!

Anyway, I love the other by-product of the same – Dahi Handi! Oh my God, so much fun! I mean who said people standing on people, amidst a large crowd, with loud music, and splashing water, just to break an earthern pot with not even enough “makhan” for all in it, is not fun! Of course it is, if you rule out traffic, noise, and safety and Supreme Court orders.

Yeah I mean, when the orders are not in our stride, who the hell is Supreme Court to stop us from celebrating the way we always do! It’s not like law is applicable to all – it is as per our convenience. With the way things are these days, one doesn’t know if it’s the lord’s devotion at play, or commotion create by politicians!

There is actual celebration, and then there is virtual celebration. And lo, with my phone beeping all day, it felt like it was my birthday, and suddenly I am dreading the many festivals aka “good” wishes slated ahead in the year! There were more photos of Lord Krishna on my WhatsApp than Mathura-Vrindavan put together!

Anyway, I think Janmastami is well-placed – a perfect warm-up for the upcoming Ganeshotsav, or as we like to call it – a systematic display of who gets a better DJ – singing songs with lyrics rebelling religions – till they irritate the hell out of us!

Phew! Brace Yourself!

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Jeeto Rio

“Padhoge Likhoge Toh Banoge Nawaab,

Kheloge Kudoge Toh Banoge Kharaab”

It’s cute when a country, which teaches and preaches this and instills it into the young impressionable minds of their children, criticizes without batting an eyelid when we are not at par with other nations playing at the Olympics happening at Rio right now. And I have a problem with this attitude.

So the Olympic Games have been happening for the past two weeks, and everyone here in India are wondering why kho kho is not a part of it – after all tagging someone else to do the work is our forte! But how does it matter? I mean one could say its a widely seen event, after Euro Cup, Cricket World Cup, IPL, Sultan, Girls’ Hockey team in Chak De, and NPL. What? You have no idea what NPL is? It is world famous Nashik Premier League. And I am not even making this up!

Some of our players have put up a great show this year! The Olympics for us started with very talented Abhinav Bindra, Dipa Karmakar, Sania Mirza, Rohan Bopanna missing the medals by a whisker, but made our country extremely proud nevertheless. Amid all the hoo-ha, a certain Ms. Ashubh De, who I render wouldn’t even pick up a toothpick by herself, had a problem with players “wasting” all the money to go to Olympics only to click selfies. Ma’am, don’t worry, however much they try, they won’t take you on in your own game! *pout*

Sakshi Malik and PV Sindhu have made India so proud! It was a women’s year for India altogether! On a side note, contrary to what Virendra Sehwag tweeted (Sakshi Malik is an example of what can happen if you don’t kill a girl child) – Haryana, you do not “need a reason” to save a girl child. I can talk about Sakshi Malik only when I find my jaw I dropped. Fun Fact – PV Sindhu was born after Hum Aapke Hai Kaun was released! I feel so old. And useless. Well, nonetheless.

Even as the Union sports minister, Vijay Goel, and his unruly cohort bring disgrace upon the nation by bullying their way into prohibited spaces at Rio, our sports persons have brought us glory. There are many more that I haven’t named, but the fact that they all made it this far – despite the our beloved government’s best efforts to ensure otherwise – is no small feat. If only hypocrisy was one of the sports at the Olympics, we would have been effortless gold-diggers.

The reasons for this apathy are plenty, and everyone knows them. We need to improve our infrastructural facilities, we need better coaches, we need to stop making sports an extra-curricular activity – only to get “grace” marks, we need Rakhi Sawant to promote sports so that more people take interest, and blah. Alas, after they have had their share of fun without doing their share of work, all I hear one minister, say to the next is – Kho!

dipa-karmakar-achievements-indian-gymnast

Writing Changes Life; Life Changes Writing

Now, that is a powerful heading!

Exactly one year back, on this day, something changed! Something I had never foreseen happened in my life. It was an accident, and what a journey it has been post that! It was last year on this day I started writing this column.

phucket-listWell, someone who knows me from before knows that the bond between me and writing was as strong as that of Hrithik Roshan and Kangana Ranaut. I had never written anything post college – and “writing” in an Architecture College was as negligible as it could get! And then, before I knew it, I was sucked in the “bucket-list” phase, and somehow “starting a blog” made it to that list. Unlike most other things on it, I did manage to do this – either I was in I-need-to-get-out-of-my-comfort-zone phase or this was the easiest of the lot.

To cut a long story short, this blog led to this column and before long, I started producing 500 words/week. Today, in retrospect, I realise it has affected me in many ways – Not saying this because it sounds fancy, or it is like the thing-to-say – but it has.  I don’t know how much has it “changed” my life, but it sure does have an influence over it – just like my life has an influence on my writing. From being a complete socialist-activist in some weeks, to a naïve 20 year old experiencing quarter-life crisis, from being a dreamer of achieving unattainable goals to a wannabe humour columnist, my writing has seen it all – and so has my life.

There are a few things that I could really learn from the writing experiences, and apply them to my life, and voila! May be I get better at living as well.

  • Create a lot of garbage.

And I am not talking about the galore that we have on our streets. But the only way of writing better is writing more. Sometimes most of it is crap. But somewhere in the 1000 words of bunkum, you find gold, which goes on to become one of your finest pieces. Similarly, somewhere along trying and failing, falling and getting up, you learn to do life right. Or do you ever?

  • Re-create history

One event, and so many versions of it! Writing enables you to have the flexibility of changing your interpretation of any topic, situation, and occurrence. And such a beautiful thing to actually live by! I feel Human Beings have a special power of re-creating their past- just by changing their perspective. Such an easy way to make peace with our most daunting memories!

  • Simplify:

The more you simplify the way you write, the more everyone connects to it. Complexity breeds confusion – in you, your article, and the reader. And also in life. We love complicating it, but the simpler thing to do is to simplify. Principle for life – Keep it simple, silly!

Before this starts to seem like my self-proclaimed best-debutant award at one of those paid award shows, I should stop here.

PS- This column is an expression of my philosophical mood. #OhYeah

Random Marketing Opportunity

Roses are Red,

Violets are Blue,

I will never find a friend,

As amazing as you!

Woah! Those were the days. Oh, how I thought only Facebook’s memories feature could remind me of how lame, silly, and astonishingly ludicrous I was at 17– just like 17-year olds are supposed to be! Ouch. But, I was wrong. Friendships’ day does a better job of that!

Every Friendship day I am reminded of celebrating Friendship day as a teenager. Do you even know how humiliating it could be to share the same body with a person who at some point celebrated Friendship day, and sent all those cheesy messages (one night before, because Marwaari). To make it worse, I even meant them then! *cries like the rejected cocoa from Ghana*

And tomorrow, some of us are going to ensure that they feel like me when they grow up and find more mature things to do like finding Pikachu. By us, I mean people who watch Splitsvilla on TV but are friend-zoned in reality. The first Sunday of August – Friendzone Divas.

The concept of Friendship Day was first promoted in 1930 by Joyce Hall, the founder of Hallmark Cards. This was followed by International Fitness Day by makers of Diet Coke. The concept lived on thanks largely to the efforts of an organisation in Paraguay called – and this is true – the World Friendship Crusade, who introduced the concept of World Friendship Day in 1958. Their idea was to make this world into a Pharell William’s Happy video – for every living second. I am not making this up! It’s absolutely, one hyndred percent true.

And crusade? Really? I mean the word crusade stands for friendship in the same way Salman Khan stands for Being Human. So basically how UN works is that anyone can form a “crusade” and demand to celebrate anything on any day, and they agree. No wonder it is such a well-respected organisation in the world! Going by their history of catering to unreasonable and naïve demands, I guess Arvind Kejriwal should start a “dharna” there. May be something will come out of it, and someone will go out of our country.

And then I guess, they didn’t have to do anything, because Bollywood took over. It taught me to celebrate Friendship Day by losing at basketball, and then marrying her when she gets hot. Which was closely followed by social media taking over and a gazillion “Will you do Fraandship with me?” messages. The poem escalated quickly to a brand new mantra-

Roses are red

Facebook is blue

No mutual friends

Who the hell are you?

768b919fa22206ad0360afc9e99e9a8eFriendships work differently now. The older you get, the harder it becomes to make friends, mostly because everyone thinks everyone else is weird. The loneliness eventually leads people to take extreme steps, like arranged marriage. Consider yourself lucky if you have more than a handful of these around. Keep in touch and if you’re feeling extra nice – Happy Random Marketing Opportunity Day to you!