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In Praise of Pessimism

Sorry to bring in a sinister mood on this rose- tinted day like today. But whilst we are rejoicing in name of Love, Hope and Optimism, let us also take note of our most frowned upon term called Pessimism. I am not really for the good morning, motivational Monday quote.If you love the job, you would do it even on Sunday afternoon! Generally I appear to be this happy, sunshine soul but I am also somewhat a defensive pessimist or a strategic pessimist. Well, to start with I have studied accounting and law. So forward looking statements rule my life.Tighten the wording around a clause in contract. Have sufficient provisions been made?I am definitely the ant who saves for the rainy day. I usually have plan B’s up my sleeve as I check off my to do lists.What is a strategic pessimist? Ok, IT wizards and problem solving engineers, take a back seat. Here it is:1. Always assume for the worst : Health or Relationships, Exams or Career.2. Lower your expectations: He is going to forget that gift, anyways! Or, I think I may just make it to a Pass grade.3. Over prepare: Yes, three desserts as options. ALWAYS.4. Take calculated risks: Common sense over complicated maths. So Pessimism is not really all doom and gloom, but when in England, carry your umbrella. 14 February 2020

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Nirop- A Farewell

I have a geeky confession to make. I have practised writing numerous essays as a preparation for the 10th board exams. One of the most annoying topics, which I found then was one called “Shalecha Nirop Ghetana” (Saying Goodbye to School). My version was definitely one of the plagarsised ones with some heavy words of losing the safe place and entering the big bad world thrown in for the special effects.I was too under equipped emotionally to understand what it truly meant. I was simply excited to get an opportunity to dress up in Mum’s sari, click pictures and have a day off studies on the Big day.But since then, I have been a party to so many ‘Nirops’.The ones which we left unsaid,And the ones where we all cried in turns consoling each other.There were some where I had sworn not to see that person’s face again.Whereas some were only temporary, restless ones even though knowing that I would see the person the next day yet again!The Wedding Bidai is losing its place in the modern world.The workplace ones are indeed interesting. You have a gut instinct on who exactly is feeling the loss and why.The airport ones are most genuine now. There is an annual ritual of those for me.What about the ultimate farewell called the funeral? How would a 15 year old know about this constant heartbreak? 31 January 2020

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A Shoutout to Sisterhood

Gone is the era when a “Female Boss” meant Doom and a devil in disguise. A group of women could be united only to belittle someone. I have grown up in an era where real women were portrayed as goddesses or monsters on screen. A mother is an epitome of all warm, sacrificing Martyr of the war whereas the bad woman wore skimpy costumes, danced with a glass dangling around the villain. On the silver screen, the bad woman could be the evil mother in law or the scheming sister in law. Move to 2019, I am really pleased at the moment with wave of strong women lead films and TV shows. I am madly,deeply, obsessively in love with Vinaelle, as much as Eve could be. My ears paid all attention when the woman entrepreneur consoles Fleabag…”It gets better with age, I promise.”Sobhita’s character Tara in Made in Heaven had deep shades of grey, she was flawed yet unashamedly ambitious, a savvy business woman yet deeply ethical in running her ventures. I haven’t seen such an unapologetic woman painted on mainstream Indian media since Tagore’s Binodini. Another gem, is Lipstick under the Burkha. A movie finally showcasing Indian women’s desires; to be heard and not just seen, to be felt, understood and not just used.Although, Panga seems like a formula film, I would still score it for its attempt on the sisterhood camaraderie.But the movie, which had me in tears recently […]

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A Recipe for Love

Have you ever looked at a person and wondered who is this person?As in, who is the person really? That little toddler who is trying all antics to grab your attention. When he wobbles to give you his ‘pretend tea’ and gives you a toothed smile.And you pull him towards you to give him a hug? A friend whose sense of humour encompasses the room. Have you paused in the spree of laughter for a second and wondered what makes her so funny? Or simply sang along in an impromptu duet with an acquaintance in a party with a knowing smile and awkward glance at them? Have you gulped down bowls of your favourite food which your mum has painstakingly made? Then wondered, how could she do it all? Have you fallen in love those moments? Look more intently, give your attention. You will be in love, yet again! 15 December 2019

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Of Museums and Mortality

Recently, at the Museum of First Nations in Whistler, someone remarked how a civilisation was left for a museum as it had fallen mercy to another powerful one. I easily submitted to this argument as I couldn’t deny these two popular theories:– Change is Constant– Black Swan theoryBut something about the place or the experience had left me in tears. (It wasn’t PMS trust me).I wondered if 100 years later, my own mother tongue would vanish, that some age old recipes which my Aaji would have cooked be a copy in a Musuem! These very things which I hold so dear to my heart. Perhaps, I should try researching more about new Marathi Sahitya or try my hand skillfully folding boiled rice flour (That is Modaks, you Mudbloods).Now. Soon. Love fiercely and forgive easily. That the Deccan Plateau would shake and swallow us in or we would be attacked by Martians and a whole population of Marathi speaking adults would be wiped out.Humbling indeed, that I am mere speck in an unknown scheme of things. That we all are at mercy of cyclical forces and mortality was certain. Whether we made it to a Museum or not!

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Belief is Death of Reason

Belief is Death of Reason Currently, I am on a wonderful journey of Mindfulness practice. I heard this guided meditation today about seeing things with a new set of eyes, beginning to notice every day objects very carefully. I couldn’t agree more, when it pronounced that over years and years we have analysed and labelled things in our mind. It […]

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Magic called Friendship

Yes, I believe in magic. Yes, I believe there are genies, wizards, pixies and fairies. They live with us or sometimes even far, far away from us. But they will make sure you are dazzling on your first date. Sometimes they will be upto no good and make you drunk till you puke.They will hold you high on your carpet to make sure you dont fall. Their one look is as good as a dose of vertaserium, you will spit out the truth quickly.For me my two best friends are magical creatures, with me since good two decades. Miles apart, sometimes paused with silences between us. But always being there when I need them. If this is not magic, then don’t know what is? 4 August 2019

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For A Strong Mind: Challenge 2019

This challenge has truly taught me the importance of a strong Mind.We were probably the only Indian family doing this together at the event. It’s a day which I will definitely narrate to my grandchildren. Here is my story:The first 30km were achievable. But the last 10km it was 75% mental battle and that made a difference!! The Plumpton hill ( last 10km) killed me even though I had prepared there only two weeks ago. Whilst training, I had wondered if I should move from London to that lovely part of Sussex. Last Sunday, when I was almost alone on that stretch, with barely any human interaction, I wanted to get out of there!I still can’t believe I have done it but I know for certain that I won’t hang my boots yet. For those of you know me, I was always a ‘ Bhatukli Samarat’, always taking solace in imaginary worlds and books.If you asked me when I was 10, if I would walk a long distance, you would have heard me cry!As a teenager, I did enjoy going for walks but academia took over. There wasn’t ‘E’ for Exercise in my dictionary.The walks which I usually did were upto Shivaji Park or Worli Promenade with a pit stop at local pani puriwala. Or as Adi would say, in a Mall.Marriage to Mr Sports Charming and family meant, exercise and sports were at Dinner table.Its only when I arrived in […]

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Tram Line 28

We boarded the famous route on a busy Sunday evening full of christmas shoppers. The driver asked everyone to move down and make room. The tram manuvered its way through the steep and winding streets of Lisbon. Sometimes, the tram had to halt with the load of passengers. I sat in a corner looking out, admiring the 1930s tram line […]

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#MeToo

#Metoo, Me three, Me fourLet the silences unschackle and make a way for an outpour. That brutal gaze, that unwanted touch, those lewd remarks,With a sly smile, mock laughter or those numerous fake pleas. In dark alleys, on morning runs,in a broad daylight bazaar, amidst ganpati processions. That builder in slippers on the train , the whats his name lad drowning in perfume at the bar, the man in a suit with a fancy car. Empty promises, emotional blackmail or unwarranted threats,Sober or drunk, in isolation or crowded streets. My chiffon sari, my friend’s floral dress, my sisters short skirtWill tell you the same story of vulnerability,Of burning rage, of unspoken words, of moral guilt trips, of repressed shame.Ofcourse, the person responsible wasOnly Me. With no safe place to disclose, hush your tone, what will They think, it happens, you will fall flat on your nose. Time we address a change and create an uproar.Because it has been MeToo, Me Three and Me Four. 17 October 2017

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