Dear Zindagi,

Why do you do this?

Now, every girl with a recent heartbreak, is on streets looking for her own Shah Rukh Khan. Do you know, you have spoilt psychologists for us, like forever? Humph.

Gauri Shinde is a lyrical story-teller. For someone who could make such a local concept so universal in English Vinglish, something went amiss while making a fairly universal concept local with this movie.

I think ‘Dear Zindagi’ was a nice, feel-good, 2-hour pep-talk, but rather too naive for the subject. Having said that, I am not even sure if the audience is ready for a movie minus Katrina’s thumkas and Honey Singh’s..umm..words. It is probably not made for an out-and-out box office success, because a lot people struggling with getting their payday from the banks are a little too busy sorting their life-struggles out ( or “real” struggles as they are called) to wonder about their emotional sickness. But, at least the conversation has started – someone is finally talking about emotional well-being, and it is out there in the open for discussion. This movie is about everything that you have said in your mind, but never aloud.

It happened to remind me of a word that was doing the rounds a few months back – Urban Poor. It was a concept that only these “urban poor” understood, and for me, was a slightly romanticized notion for a situation that millennials had put themselves in. Theoretically, I always understood this concept, but I could never accept the dumbness of it all. Just by giving a label to something quite silly, doesn’t make it valid, you know!

Well this movie for me was like “urban poor well-being” – I am not saying that the struggle is not real. All I am saying is with what was shown on screen, theoretically one could understand Alia’s pain, but it failed at making me live it with her, and hence the very reason for therapy is somewhat shaken.

dear-life-not-a-challenge-wititudesHaving said that, I encourage everyone to see the movie – especially, people in tier II and tier III cities, where ‘modernism in thought’ is yet setting in. It is a great ice-breaker and conversation-starter between young adults and their parents about older taboos, et al. – which is pretty important. While it took some time for my mum to wrap her head around Alia’s choice of life, she was reasonably happy with Shah Rukh’s role of Krishna-right-out-of-Geeta-kinds.

Well, like SRK puts it in the movie – Genius is the one who knows when to stop. In my case, it’s at 500 words. So ya. Bye.

Genius, I say.

Google The Doodle

There is this campaign that Google hcartoonFace0olds every year for school children, wherein the competitors have to doodle the Google logo with a given theme. All the people who have seen the advertisement on YouTube, congratulations on being unemployed! *Fist-Five*

Anyway, so this year’s theme is – If I could create something for India, what would it be? 
 Since I can’t take part in the competition (They don’t know my brain is only 8), but I am stubborn and will list my entries here! (In your face, Google!) Here goes it:

Sketch-up block for toilet: Firstly, everyone who knows what sketch-up is – hahaha, stop cursing the moment you took the decision of getting into Architecture! But won’t it be cool, if we could just make one toilet block and click, click, click – Tada! Sanitation problem solved!

Flying Vacuum Cleaner: Yeah, I know this one is a part of the ad! But imagine, a giant vacuum cleaner in the clouds cleaning away all the dirt in our country (yes that includes likes of Sharad Pawar). Or even better, a flying car which doesn’t pollute, but in fact runs on pollution! This is one thing that everybody, EVERYBODY has sometime wanted – just to get away from ever increasing traffic on the road. I can only imagine if this was ever made, and all of us had one, what would happen! The only thing I am sure about is, ‘Fast and the Furious’ will return with some awesome sequels!

Avengers in Parliament: Well, this one is my favorite. Imagine being governed by Avengers – it is the best way for us to avenge for all those years of bad, irresponsible governance, by replacing them with these cool superheroes who will S.H.I.E.L.D. us! And of course, what can get better than having Robert Downing Jr. in our parliament! Sigh.

Vending Machine: Vending Machine? Amidst all that India is going through, and all the things I could actually wish for, all I am wishing for is a vending machine? Really? Actually yes. Not the kinds that gives out pretzels and cola, but a machine of happiness. They say happiness cannot be bought, but what if it could be! Won’t it be cool if you could trade all the anger, frustration, sadness with a machine for joy? More than anything else, we just need to be happier people! The only side-effect will be that Radhe Maa and Nirmal Baba will be out of work, but who is complaining?

Neuralizer: While I know that if Neuralizer (from Men in Black 3 fame) gets into wrong hands, it could be disastrous- but I couldn’t stop thinking about how great it will be to have one for real! This device can erase memory of a person from past couple of hours, to weeks or even centuries. We need it to forget and erase all evidence of a few of our collective memory- like women inequality, dowry, or even feminism etc. Let’s just forget what has happened in the past, and create a new past for the future, where this world is neither of any one gender or specie!

Woah! I could get quite demanding if I wanted to! Co-incidentally, while I am writing this article, my 4 year old nephew here is talking about inventing a band that will shoot all mosquitoes! And well, that is the best idea of this list!

50 shades of Ban

No one told me when the Make in India was replaced by Ban in India. It is not even funny the number of things we have banned in the last one week.

The only thing that is common in all these bans is our inability to tackle sensitive issues. Banning is running away from the scenario. It is a reflection of our hypocrisy, narrow-mindedness, bias, and cowardice. It shows that we have no faith in our thousands of year old culture and value system, that we are questioning its sustenance.

Having said that banning does not deter the fact that we are what we ban.

I mean if we have to ban anything, implies that it exists, that it is our value-system, a trend now. And banning a video doesn’t change that! Whom are we kidding? Do the policy makers really believe that banning products, actions, videos, and words really curbs their use?  In fact, all it does is people looking for more illegal ways to do “it”, eat “it”, watch “it”, and all this while saying “it”.

Seriously, don’t we all know where to find alcohol in Gujarat? And by now, beef in Maharashtra? Don’t we all use cuss words? Haven’t we seen the AIB Roast or the documentary? In fact, banning the video gave it more popularity, and all the people who did not even know AIB exists, have access to the aforesaid video. And don’t even make me question banning 50 shades of grey.

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I think this simply shows the power of the words don’t, no, ban has. We just have to do it. Cannot explain the psychology more simply. That exactly is how it works, government! “Ban” is not the solution.

There are 50 shades of our mentality to be tackled, and putting even a fraction of our energy in that direction will get a lot more achieved than banning these things.

PS – Let me know when we Ban Janata Party!