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!

A writer’s block

There are times when I know exactly what I want to write about, and then there are times when nothing appeals to me, there are just no new ideas, and an entire week goes by without me even deciding what I am going to write about. What works best in this situation is the last minute panic, and when you don’t know what you must write about, the best thing to do is to write about exactly that!

The only thing to note in this whole confusing paragraph is that I have blatantly called myself a writer. Oh yeah!

So, let’s explore how to unblock this block, and what things may help one do that:

  • Spend a morning at a coffee shop:

Well, that’s the solution to every problem we face. From not being able to concentrate on studying to not being able to get that girl. After all, as the famous café claims- A lot can happen over coffee. NOT. In reality, nothing happens over coffee. Four hours later, you still have no new ideas, and you are broke from paying a bomb for not-so-good coffee.

  • Carry a notebook:

Right from Kinder Garten to Undergrad College, this is by far the most popular advice given by teachers to students – beyond all courses and regions. Note down your idea as soon as it strikes. If you have never worn a pair of skinny jeans, you know what I am talking about. We barely manage to fit our thighs in there, let alone a small notebook and pen! Even if one does, it is highly optimistic of us to believe that they will get “ideas” in such uncomfortable situations! Phew.

Well, I can hear my sister screaming – TMI bro, TMI!

  • Break your routine:

One syndrome that our generation is facing right now is leave-your-job-to-travel-the-world kind of bucket lists. That’s one stop solution to this monotonous life, and one of the most romanticized answers for this daily humdrum. Well, if you know me, I need a break from all the breaks I keep taking all the time…umm, I hope you have not taken this very seriously, papa?

  •  Watch people:

Ride the bus. Take the train. Watch people in their natural habitat. Watch them run, watch them eat, watch them at a busy street, watch them at a mall, at a concert. Observing people, their actions, and their outlook is one of the most effective ways for self-growth. While you are making your way into the crowded trains smelling various degrees of sweat, don’t forget to get inspired and learn!

  • Do something creative.

Create. Create anything. Draw, paint, sing, dance, bake, play with clay dough, teach, inspire, do some community service, create knowledge for the poor, electrify shelters. Just about anything that interest you, and helps someone else.

“Are you telling me that one the ways to counter me not being able to create an article is to create something else? Are you even listening to yourself?” Sigh. Trust you to kill my glamourized sentiment.

Well, until next time, you will find me at the closest coffee-shop, doing a research on my next “break”.

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WeMen

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Happy Women’s Day, Ladies!
That was last week, I hear you say!
Ain’t it our day any other day anyway? I can hear some laughter. Oh those are from the men, women giggle! Some of you are agreeing. Some don’t mind it, since you are anyway availing to a weeklong women’s day offer almost anywhere you go! While others so busy calling themselves WeMen that they forgot to celebrate their womanhood! Wohoo to you, feminists!
Which of the above are you? Or are you like me, who wonders how can people not see the hidden mock that women’s day is all about? All round the year we cry about feminism, want to be equal with men, but don’t see how off the track women’s day is!
Anyway, there are various ways in which people celebrate women’s day! Apart from the fact that it is a very corporate way of approaching something to hide your views about the same (that you practice all round the year), it also formulates a great marketing strategy. Amidst various rallies, get-togethers, kitty parties, award functions, felicitations, and discussion, I was a part of a women’s day program held at NEC, Nashik.
The program constituted of various panel discussions around the plentiful hassles and numerous aspects in the life of a “working” woman.  It is just sad when even today we have to classify a woman as per her daily schedule, and there is not even an ounce of acceptance of the fact that they are at par with anyone or anything, and that this discussion needs to rest for a bit!
The topic of one of the three panel discussions was Work-Life Balance of a working woman, or a working “mother” so to say. As if a working man is not a working “father” at all! There was a lot of discussion, ideas, and life-hacks, et al. on how all of them on the stage and a few people from the audience tackled this society-induced problem! Few of them insisted on prioritizing, a few spoke about marrying a “supportive” husband (ha!); some were of the opinion that “one cannot have it all.”-which, by the way, is saddest and the most oh-I-am-so-victimized kind of a response that I know of!
Amidst all this mumbo-jumbo, I couldn’t help but think how all these women couldn’t notice what the real issue was and who the hidden culprit was:
It is WE WOMEN as mothers, or as grandmothers, who have raised our sons to succeed in life, and our daughters to multi-task housework while succeeding in life!
Isn’t it?
If we have taught our son to differentiate between “worldly” responsibilities, and “household” responsibilities, how can we expect the husband of our daughter to have an open mind about it? A few recent advertisements on TV have really tacked this issue well, and I cannot emphasis more! It is only when we change our teachings, our upbringing, our lifestyle, can we imagine living in a place where there is no different concept of a “working-woman” and a “house-husband”! I hope to see that day. Amen.
P.S. – Happy Left-handers Day today! Point-less? So is Women’s day!

Dear 16-year old me,

Hey!dear16

Listen up. I need to talk to you. I know you are going to have to put that giggly conversation on hold for a bit, but then I assure you, you are not going to regret this.

“It’s okay!”- These are two magical words. Always remember, whatever is happening – right or wrong, happy or unhappy – it is okay! It’s a phase, it is going to change. Nothing lasts forever. Nothing. Not even the things you want to last will last – which also is okay!

Board exam is probably the easiest exam you will take in your life. And it isn’t as big as you have made it in your head. Relax.

At 16, you are a good kid. But remember, you miss the point if you start feeling the pressure. It definitely is not worth the effort, only to make every-single-one you know, like you. You are going to disappoint a few people now and then, but that’s how it works. It’s important to maintain honest relations, than fake densities. You are going meet some incredible people in a few years!

That perfect guy you think you are going to spend the rest of your life with…uhh, you are not in touch with him anymore! The only guy that is perfect is your father. So deal with that heartbreak and put it behind you.

I can see that the straight hair-do is what is really doing the rounds these days. But you are going to fall in love with those curls eventually. They look absolutely stunning!

I know you are afraid, afraid of unpopularity, afraid of not fitting in, afraid of not being cool-enough. But, you know what, being cool is anyway overrated. Being yourself, loving yourself exactly the way you are is really the thing. I know this sounds like a boring lecture right now, or you are even embarrassed of me doing this but only do things that you really enjoy doing!

One great news is you are never going to need trigonometry in your life. But, pick up that brush, and brush up on your art skills. You are really going to need that a lot.

I know the sister is nagging, and no one seems to “get” you. Step back. Calm down. And you will realize it is so insanely silly to even think that way!

Break some rules. Not because they will make for great grandparent stories, but because a little bit of rebel in you always helps. ALWAYS.

Everything changes. Sometimes too fast and too sudden. The only thing common to all these changes is- it is always for the better. Just don’t let the whole optimism go anywhere. Take it all with you, you keep needing it more and more every year! Stock it up.

Life only gets better from here. I’d be lying if I say that it’s all rainbows and sunshine a decade later, but that’s what makes it all worth it. So hang in there! The trick is to keep breathing. Head high. Aiming at the stars.

Also, like Baz Luhrmann says it, wear sunscreen.