Would You Choose Passion Over Stability?

I keep hearing the story of an older family friend.

He must be in his 80’s now. He has never been married. As per the legend, he used to be a handsome man in his youth. Romantic. Desirable. Rumour has it that he looked just like like Rajesh Khanna.

He wanted a “love marriage.” Whenever any “ladki walas” came home for a rishta, he would pretend to limp. Or something else.  He was filmy. He was very clear that he would not compromise on his partner.

Years went by. The perfect one never came along. There were some rumours of an alleged brief fling with another lady who also never married.  He remained single.

He is currently in an old age home. His siblings’ children do visit him. His story has been passed on to my generation by parents as an example of what happens when you are too dreamy! You end up alone!

“You marry while you can!” is what elders tell us. Or even older cousins who married someone without falling in love. I do not want to make this post about arranged marriage vs love marriage. I have written enough about it.

Would you marry someone who are not even attracted to, or have a connection with because he can provide you a stable life?

Or would you marry someone with whom you have a spark yet you are unsure of stability in the future?

What if you don’t even have the second option yet. Would you wait? Or would you go ahead with a secured life?

We have not seen the future. Someone who seems stable today may not be so in the future. So what are you left with then?

And if you marry for “love”, then well if the love doesn’t last?

Can chemistry be developed over time?

But should it be so forced? Isn’t it easier when you already have it?

Elders love to say “You should marry someone who likes you. Not someone who you like.” I think only Indian elders say this!! Is it too much to ask that BOTH should like each other?

I remember talking to a friend of mine who is older than me. She is also a practising counselor. One of the girls was complaining that she was being pressurized for an arranged marriage. But she did not find the guys her parents were seeing for her interesting. But the guy she was seeing was not interested in marrying her. My counselor friend said to her, “You are looking for a man who can be a friend, plus you should have chemistry, plus commitment, all in one person!”

“Well, isn’t that what a relationship is supposed to be?” I immediately jumped to her rescue.

Ideally yes. But it may not happen. You have to pick what matters most to you.”

The answer is never so simple. People who have been married will tell you what matters. Or even what is missing.

Just a thought. A random one.

Source

 

 

 

 

 

To The Geet Without Aditya Kashyap And the Queen Without The International Vacation – Part IV

This is my fourth article in the series. The first one was very general. The second article was on divorce.  The third article was about getting over a relationship that never quite existed (to the other person). This article is about moving on. No nothing drastic happens here. I will never preach something that is not doable! She will not find Aditya Kashyap or go on an international vacation. Moving on to me is not a decision. Just like falling in love is not a choice. It is a feeling.

____________________________________________

Move on!

He has moved on! You should too!

It has been seven months!

Geet had heard this so many times. It was embarrassing. She thought of herself as a strong woman. People around her thought she was strong too.  Anshuman had made her weak. Desperate. Desperate to have him back.

Time is the best healer, they say. How is this true? It is not just the moment he left that is painful, but every day and moment after that. When he is not there. At least the day he had left, she had hope. Hope that they would meet again. She had imagined conversations. Things she would say to him. Things he would say back. They would bump into each other somewhere. This is what happens in movies, right? People always came back. Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.

Something else would happen. It could not possibly be the end.

But it was. It was over. It had been seven months. She had not seen him. He never called. He never texted. She never bumped in to him. His going away seemed so permanent now.  It was not just the loss that hurt, but the experience of watching him leave. The memory of him saying that he did not want to be with her anymore.

Geet would look at other couples at restaurants. A guy with his arm around his girlfriend. Anshuman always did that. Whenever they would enter or leave a restaurant he would put his arm around her. He wanted everyone to know she was his.  She used to wear pretty, sexy dresses while she was with him. But the moment they would leave to reach the car parking, he would say, ‘Wear your jacket’. ‘It is called shrug, not jacket!’ She would tell him. ‘Put on your shawl’. ‘It is called stole!’ She would say. ‘You are against women’s freedom!’ She would say. ‘You feminists, have no common sense also, this is the road not the pub!’ He would say. But it was a lie. She loved how protective he was of her.

Now there was no one to hold her. No one to  hug her. No one to bring a smile to her face. She would stare blankly at those couples. Was she ever like them? It seemed like a past life in which she and Anshuman were together.Every morning, she woke up with the feeling. The same feeling. The awareness that Anshuman was not there. Where was Anshuman?

Geet was trying her best to distract herself.  Every Saturday she would leave for Starbucks. Morning to evening she would sit there with her laptop. She could not bear to be with herself at home. Evenings she would spend with her friends. Geet was a pretty girl. She got attention from men. It felt good. She felt like she had options. I can find another man easily, she would tell herself. She did go out with a few. The dates were okay. She tried to smile. Have a good conversation. But on her way back home, she would cry.  This happened all the time. She would go out, meet people, but the moment she was alone with her thoughts she would cry her heart out. She had stopped taking care of herself. She had stopped going to the parlour. When was the last time she got her eye brows done? When was the last time she went to gym?

She met one of her friends for dinner. She was telling her friend how every night she tortured herself with the thoughts of her last few days with Anshuman. She kept replaying those events again. Blaming herself. She should have said something else. She should have done something else. He would have still been here…

You need to love yourself, Geet. Be kind to yourself. Every night instead of thinking about Anshuman think about yourself. Just say these words to yourself, – I am such a kind human being. I am beautiful inside out. I am intelligent. I deserve the best things in the world.”

“That’s crazy! Who says that! I don’t even believe that!”

“Just try it! Instead of thinking about your times with Anshuman, or what could have happened”

Geet went to bed that night. Invariably her mind drifted to Anshuman.

“I am beautiful and kind. I deserve the best.” She forcefully said to herself. She continued to do this for another three days. It did not help. Anshuman was still the first thought of the morning and the last thought at night.

A week later, Geet went to watch a play. She had asked her friends to join but none of them were available. So, she went alone. The play was a lot of fun. She laughed. She enjoyed.  After the play, she met the actors back stage. She told them she wanted to write an article on their journey. They were happy to be interviewed. They were all getting together for a party. They asked her to join. She did not know anyone. Should she go? She was so modestly dressed! They were all looking so glamourous! She decided to go.

She spent the next two hours with them. They talked. Geet was a very reserved person. Socializing was a lot of effort for her. But someone she gelled well with them. They all seemed impressed with her, and genuinely liked her company. They would be performing in Mumbai next month. They asked her to come. She said she had work, but she might. They exchanged numbers and said goodbye.

That day, as Geet was in the cab back home, something happened. She was smiling. She was thinking about how she spoke to these new people who belonged to a completely different profession. She was so confident. She was charming. She looked at her pictures. She was looking good. Her kohled eyes, her curly hair resting on her shoulders. She felt beautiful again.  She felt confident again. She felt charming again. It was the feeling of falling in love. Where someone seems so wonderful. So unbelievably amazing. So very perfect. Magnify their qualities. Ignore their flaws. The feeling of being lucky to have found them… Except that there was no man. It was Geet feeling lucky to be herself.

You are so kind and amazing. You deserve the best things in life. The thought came to her mind. This time naturally. Without any effort.

Something changed that day. Geet did not want to cry anymore. She wanted to be happy. She wanted to be happy in the present. Not in some distant memory. Not in some uncertain future. But today.

Anshuman was not gone completely. He used to come back in her thoughts every now and then. But he did not make her cry anymore. He was not the first thing on her mind when she woke up. He was not the last thing on her mind when she went to sleep.

Whenever he would come up in her thoughts, she accepted that she had not forgotten him.

But she chooses herself over him. Anshuman was important to her. But her life is much more. She is so much more. He was just a character in her story. Yes, it was the end. Of a chapter. Not her story.

She is the story.

From DDLJ To Piku: The Hindustani Ladki Ki Izzat Has Come A Long Way

From DDLJ To Piku: The Hindustani Ladki Ki Izzat Has Come A Long Way

Please click on the above link to read the full article on Women’s Web.

To The Geet Without Aditya Kashyap And the Queen Without The International Vacation – Part III

This is my third article in the series. The first one was very general. At that time, I did not know that the series would get popular and I will be asked to continue with it. The second article was on divorce.  This article is about getting over a relationship that never quite existed (to the other person).

Times have changed. Relationships are no longer well defined. People have also become more willing to explore without any commitment (not judging).  When exactly does a relationship starts?

When one person says I love you and the other one reciprocates?

Texting all day and talking through the night?

The moment a physical involvement begins?

I have had friends who have got to know a man through a matrimonial website, talked over the phone, met maybe a couple of times and got emotionally attached. One fine day, the person just leaves and they have no idea what they did wrong. In dating terms it is called “ghosting”. (I don’t think there is any term for it in Indian arranged marriage set-ups. I have written more on dating in this article).

Then there are women who get into a fling or a short-term relationship.  Except that they did not know that it would be short term. They were probably looking for something serious. They just realized after getting dumped the other person was not serious.

The women in the above scenarios feel heart-broken and depressed. The man may not feel anything because he never made a commitment in the first place. Was it really a relationship? Who gets to decide that? But does it really matter? The fact is someone got hurt. When you feel hurt and sad, nothing else matters much.

Such non-relationships should be easy to get over, right? But trust me they are not. There are some unique aspects to it that are painful. If you tell someone about it, here is what you are told:

It was not even a relationship! Doesn’t count! Get over it!

How could you be so stupid to fall for it in the first place!

While you are already dealing with the loss of not having someone with you anymore (no matter how brief it was), you also have to deal with your feelings being invalidated, by the guy himself, and probably those around you.

At least when a person gets divorced, or breaks up from a long-term declared relationship, they get some empathy. You get none! You feel a certain sense of shame for being so non-existent. Your friends secretly think you are weak and stupid. The best they can say is ‘forget him, not worth it.’ You did not gain any long-term benefits of a relationship, yet you got a very real sense of pain and loss? Not fair!

Somehow Bollywood has always romanticized unrequited love.

Ek tarfa pyar ki taqat hi kuch aur hoti hai … auron ke rishton ki tarah yeh do logon mein nahi bat’ti … sirf mera haq hai ispe” – Dialogue from Aye dil hai mushkil. There was a beautiful song in the movie, also the title track which was all about being in love with someone who does not reciprocate. There are millions of other examples.

Yesterday, I watched a video of Matthew Hussey that made me smile. A lot of us try to hold on to the idea of someone, after they have left. Something to fill the void.

But think about this. There is someone of the opposite gender who you may find interesting. But they seem too hung up on someone from their past. Would you want to date them? Even if you try you will feel frustrated.  Do you really want to become that person?

There is nothing attractive about “unrequited love”! Human beings have the ability to adapt! You become unattractive the moment you show that you have no ability to move on and you are stuck in the past! Even if you meet any decent potential partners, they would not prefer to have anything long term with you.

You don’t have to be ashamed of anything. You tried. It did not work. People who try eventually succeed. If you are looking for a serious relationship, you will probably find it. You are closer to finding it that most people, as you are trying for it.

I remember a girl who kept saying that a guy she met once who had shown a lot of interest in her, and suddenly disappeared was “perfect” for her. She mourned for him for a long time. She said she would never find anyone that great again.  It is natural to feel this way when one day someone dreamy walks into a life only to leave making us realise that the dream was not real.  But here is the thing. Someone who is right for us is someone who wants to be with us, not someone who fits the checklist. He is a great guy, and he spent some great time with me does not equal to he wants to be with forever. Harsh, but true.

Being sad and bitter will only make your personality less appealing. Less appealing to someone who may actually want to be with you. 

“You must make a decision that you are going to move on. It wont happen automatically. You will have to rise up and say, ‘I don’t care how hard this is, I don’t care how disappointed I am, I’m not going to let this get the best of me. I’m moving on with my life.” 
― Joel OsteenYour Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential

Image source

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To The Geet Without Aditya Kashyap, and The Queen Without the International Vacation – Part 2

This is my second article in the series, ‘To the Geet Without Aditya Kashyap, and The Queen Without the International Vacation’. This is dedicated to the women who are going through a break-up, or a divorce. They may not have necessarily found someone else, or have the luxury to travel to discover themselves like our Bollywood heroines. How would they heal? You could read the first part here.

******

I was waiting in the family court.  As I looked around, I felt like I was the youngest person to be here. I probably was.

‘Why me!! Why does everything happen to me!! I don’t deserve this!’ I thought to myself or was probably screaming to God.

An older lady wearing a silk sari who looked very strict pointed towards my legs. I looked at my legs. Then at her. What was she trying to say?

Don’t cross your legs. It is considered disrespectful to the judge!” said a slim, pretty looking young girl sitting next to me.

“Oh ok.” I uncrossed my legs, embarrassed. “I did not know that!”

She smiled.

“You are here for…”

Yes.” I nodded. “You too?”

“Yes.”

“You have kids?”

“Oh no no! We were just together six months. You?”

“I have two daughters. Nine and seven years old!”

“Wow! You look so young”.

“I am 29!”

“Oh! Just three years older than me!”

“Yeah I got married very early.”

“Love marriage?”

“No Arranged. You?”

“Same! You have come alone?”

“Yeah. My father used to come with me.  But he has not been keeping well since last week. Ever since I separated, I moved in with them. My mother passed away from cancer last year. Since then he has become weak. He was hospitalized. Low BP. Past four years have been like hell.”

“Oh my God! You are going through a lot!”

I watched my parents outside the room, looking out for me protectively.

First time, during that day I did not feel like a victim. I felt grateful.

“Do you work?” I asked her.

“I have started teaching. Completed B.Ed. I was not working earlier. But since we separated I had to. Two children I have to support.”

“Was he giving any child support?”

“No nothing. That is why this process getting delayed. He is not agreeing to give a penny.  I have been struggling like anything just to survive!”

A man in a fluorescent coloured shirt walked in and spoke to my lawyer. The lawyer then came and said something to me.

“Is that your…?”

“That’s his brother!”

“What a bright coloured shirt he is wearing! Who dresses up like this in a court!”

“He is a very moronic person. Maybe he thought this is a wedding.”

She giggled. I giggled too. The lady in the silk sari gave us a sharp look.  We felt like two school girls being scolded by a teacher.

A hefty looking man entered. He looked very aggressive.

“That’s my…”, she said.

“Oh! You both look like a mismatched pair!”

She smiled. “Yes, you both too” – She said, looking at another man looking equally aggressive. “He looks much older than you too!”

After a moment, she said, “You know the Judge should grant us just by looking at their faces! They look like they will start hurling abuses here any minute! I mean just look at them! ”

We both laughed again.

“No they won’t. They would not take such a risk here. That behavior is reserved for the wife.”

“These idiots don’t realize how they ruined our lives. They deserve to be alone because of their behavior and actions! It was our horrible fate that we ended up with them. They will grow old and regret everything! We will find someone else!”

“They will too!”

“Isn’t that scary?”

We laughed again.

Doesn’t matter to us. We have to focus on our lives. You will be fine. You are a strong woman! And you have to live well for your kids. Have faith in yourself”

Yes dear. Everything will be fine! You too be good. We are getting our freedom today. This is day to celebrate!”

“Yup!!”

After the hearing, I stepped out of the room to have a discussion with the lawyers. It was time to leave.  I went back to the room to look for my friend. The stranger who had made the day light. Who made me laugh on a tensed day. With whom I shared hope. Who took away the loneliness.

Her hearing was about to come up. She was standing in the queue. She was also looking out of the door, probably looking for me. I smiled and waved. She waved back.

******

To all the Geets and Ranis out there, my two cents and non-expert yet tried and tested advice:

  • Count your blessings. There is no end to suffering in the world. Look around you. There are always people dealing with so much more. I get annoyed when people tell me the same thing. But it is the truth. It is also the only way to go on.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of small joys in life. Little moments help in healing. Be greedy for them and grab them all. Sharing a lame joke with a stranger, going out with friends, watching an old comedy movie, downloading the latest Punjabi number and playing it in gym, ordering brownies, binge-watching Friends and Seinfeld for the nth time, 2 am Maggie, playing with your niece. Do it all. When you laugh, you laugh. It does not matter if you were sad the moment before.
  • Remember why things ended. Either someone was not good to you, and you had to make the choice to leave or someone left. Either way, they choose not to be with you. And there is nothing you can do about it.
  • Keep loving yourself. Your relationship with yourself is the most important. Keep working on it! Only you can nurture it!

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes The Best Closure Is……. Complete The Sentence

I was 12 when I had the term “closure” for the first time.

At that time, I was living in the United States. A 17-year-old woman had gone missing after her morning jog.  She was a high school student, ready to apply for colleges with her whole life ahead of her. There was an extensive search initiated to find her. Everybody was praying for her safe return.  After some 15-20 days, her decomposed body was found in some forest, with her throat slit.  The murderer was already caught, and he was the one who has led to the body.

The news reporter broke the news with a solemn face. She added,

“We hope that this has given some closure to the family.”

I hated the term. How could knowing that their daughter was dead, killed brutally, and finding her body bring anything positive? The reporter was trying to say was that were in trauma for the past weeks by not knowing what happened to their daughter. Now at least, they knew…

At least. Another term I despise…

As I grew up, I came to know that the term closure was used in the context of relationships very often. My next encounter with it was in an episode of Friends. Rachel falls in love with Ross but only after he is with Julie. Rachel is now at a restaurant on a date with a new guy but all she can think about is Ross.

Michael: Look, I’ve been through a divorce, trust me you’re gonna be fine. You just can’t see it now because you haven’t had any closure.

Rachel: Yeah! Closure. That’s what it is, that’s what I need. God, you’re brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that? How do I get that?

Michael: Well, you know, there’s no one way really, it’s just, you know, whatever it takes so that you can finally say to him, “I’m over you.”

Rachel: Closure, that’s what it is. Closure.

She then borrows a phone from a reluctant man and dials Ross.

Rachel: [on phone] Ross, hi, it’s Rachel. I’m just calling to say that um, everything’s fine and I’m really happy for you and your cat who, by the way, I think you should name Michael: And, you know, ya see there I’m thinking of names so obviously, I am over you. I am over you and that, my friend, is what they call closure. [hangs up and tosses phone in the ice bucket]

By the end of the episode, Ross realizes he is still in love with Rachel, and they end up kissing.

Bollywood loves closure too. Lovers almost always come back. They apologize. They repent. They want to be taken back. The heroine either takes them back and they live happily ever after or she find another guy who is so much better! Pyaar to hona hi tha, Queen,  to name a few.

The best example I can think of is Jab we met (I loved the move like everyone else). I have blogged about it before in To The Geet Without Aditya Kashyap and The Queen Without the International Vacation. Geet calls up Anshuman, and showers him with abuses. He hangs up, looking traumatized. He also realizes his mistakes and comes back to Geet. Meanwhile, Geet falls in love with Aditya Kashyap. She gets to reject Anshuman, make him feel like an idiot and then marry Aditya Kashyap. What a wonderful closure!!

But real life is so messy. If someone actually says the things they want to say in an attempt for closure, they will get to hear an earful, and end up feeling worse. It could be a chain that needs to be closed for our sanity. Maybe we reach out but get no response. Maybe we decide not to call in an attempt to savor what is left of our already damaged self-respect. I don’t think we get that many closures in relationships, (unless we are a fictional Bollywood character). Quoting from my own article:

What about women who don’t necessarily find another man like Geet? What about the ones who don’t get to travel like Queen but continue their routine life feeling worthless after getting dumped? Living each day with a spout of misery with the most cherished moments of their lives becoming mere memories  and evoking mixed feelings? How do they ‘get over’ someone?

Maybe closure is overrated. It is still as absurd as when I had heard it for the first time in my life. When someone is gone, they are gone. There are no ifs, buts, what ifs, how, why. There are no answers. At least not answers that we will get from another person.

The harsh truth is there may be NO closure. We have to somehow make ourselves understand. I did research to find the best thought to complete the sentence – Sometimes he best closure is…

But I did not like anything I read. So here is my list. Please feel free to add to it.

Sometimes the best closure is knowing that I tried.

Sometimes the best closure is knowing that there is nothing else I could do.

Sometimes the best closure is accepting that I may be hurting, but I am not broken.

Sometimes the best closure is knowing that I have survived the biggest pain I have ever known.

Sometimes the best closure is closing the door to the negativity within me, and I alone have the power to do it.

Adding a good one sent to me by a friend, after reading the article:

You have to accept that some chapters in our lives have to close without closure. There’s no point in losing yourself by trying to fix what’s meant to be broken. – www.stevemaraboli.com

And finally the one from ‘He’s just not that into you’ , the dating Bible for women (along with Mathhew Hussey’s videos)! It is not on closure, but it is on happy endings. Isn’t that what we are all looking for?

And maybe a happy ending doesn’t include a guy… maybe its you, on your own, picking up the pieces and starting over, freeing yourself up for something better in the future. Maybe the happy ending is…just moving on. Or maybe the happy ending is this… knowing after all the unreturned phone calls, broken hearts, through all the blunders and misread signals, through all the pain and embarrassment you never gave up.” 

Image source

 

 

 

 

 

 

Difficult Daughters And Loving Mothers

Some time back, my sister and I were having a discussion on marriage vows.

“For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish”

We said how difficult it is to commit to another human being like this – for better or for worse?  Is it even possible to love another human being so unconditionally? Our parents teach us that it is.

I do not know what makes my mother continue to love me when I get from bad to worse! What I do know is that even at the age of 29 I can throw tantrums because mothers can’t break-up with their children.

Few years back, I was crying about something to my elder sister. She tried to console me with reason. It did not work. She tried to give some positive examples. I got even more angry.  No matter what she said, I continued to be hopeless. Finally, she said that I need to STOP, because it is very upsetting for her and my parents when I cry like this.

“This has happened to me! You won’t understand! Only I can understand! I am the victim here! Not you!” I snapped.

“Nothing can happen to you alone! Whatever happens to you affects the rest of us! And maybe I cannot understand. But you don’t understand either how painful it is to watch someone younger than you, who you love, suffer, and not being able to help them!”

How tough it must be for parents?  I don’t know what it must be like to constantly worry about a grown-up child. To keep telling them that everything will be okay when in your heart you are too scared to imagine that it may not? To feel like it is your primal responsibility to protect them and make them happy, and yet feel powerless because the universe does not care. Or because God does not listen.

How do they deal with it? How does a mother feel when she cannot really make things right for her child? Maybe she can solve the manageable problems first. She can cook her daughter’s favourite dish. Or tidy her wardrobe. She can still do whatever she can in her human capacity to make life easier and better for her child. And the thing with mothers is that they keep doing it. For adult children. Then their children. How exhausting it must be! Both physically and emotionally!

I have blogged about this before:

Just a couple of days back, my mother had packed my tiffin box with fruits and salad. I got busy with work and brought back the food home, untouched. After dinner, my mother started eating the leftovers.

“How come you are eating the pomegranate, I thought you didn’t like it. Never seen you having it.” I asked.

“It’s not that I don’t like it, slicing the vegetables and fruits is a pain. I give it to you and your father, but don’t bother slicing for myself.” she replied.

There are small (big) things that our mothers do for us. Sometimes it may be having the leftover rice for dinner because she is too tired after making rotis for the rest of us. Or maybe buying that ridiculously expensive dress that I was drooling at the mall, and then claiming that it was on a sale.

We notice that they do all of this. We just don’t thank them enough. If we did, how many thank yous would we owe them each day?  And who says I love you and  thank you every day anyway?  

P.S.

Today is my mother’s birthday. She does not check Facebook regularly. On her last to last birthday, I had to tell her that people have wished her on her timeline. She is supposed to reply or at least ‘like’ their post. She had asked me if she has to comment on their timeline or hers. On her last birthday, she had requested me to respond to all her birthday posts because what if she makes typos! I had refused. I told her she should learn. She will comment just fine. And she did. Perfectly! She has not subscribed to my blog because she does not check her emails. I doubt if she will read this post today. But I hope she does! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mera Kuchh Samaan

<img src="https://mrandmrs55.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/screen-shot-2015-09-05-at-11-10-15-pm.png" width="1035" height="700" class="alignnone size-medium"

Mera kuch samaan tumhare paas pada hai…

I don’t know what made me want to watch Izaajat now. Maybe because all the songs from the movie are on my pen drive, and I listen to them on my drive to work every day. Or maybe attending Gulzar Sahab’s poetry session at the Poetry Festival recently. After the session, I had looked at some of his books. There was one book that had the lyrics of all his songs. I could just read that book forever.

I knew the story of the movie though, despite not having watched it earlier. I usually do not like knowing anything about a movie before I watch it. But it is hard to not know the story of a classic movie that was made three decades ago. I had even read the story online few years back, probably in the context of ‘mature cinema’. I already knew that Rekha’s character was already remarried, and her husband would show up in the last scene. I also knew that Anuradha Patel’s character would be dead. How? Because every time a motorcycle song scene comes on television, my father says,

“Woh kaun si film thi, jismein heroine ka dupatta gale mein fas jata hai, bike pe?”

And my mother responds for the nth time, “Ijaazat!”

Woh shakh gira do, mera woh sama lauta do

I loved Hindi songs even as a child. My knowledge of old Hindi songs was much better than my peers. One time I was playing Antakshari with a friend. I must be nine, she would be around seven.

“Shuru karo Antakshari lekar Hari ka naam, Ma,”
she emphasized pointing to me.

“Mera kuch samaan”, I started singing, but was interrupted by her laughter.

“This is not a song!” she said.

“It is a famous one! You have not heard!!”

“But how can it start like that?”


“It does! I have seen it too! A lady leaves some of her stuff at a man’s house. So, she is asking him to send it all back!”

“Okay. Funny song! Why can’t she just pick it up herself? Why sing a song?”

“She has a long list of things. That’s why.”

Weren’t those years blissful when that was all these songs meant to us?

Patjhad hai kuchh… hai na

But a few days back, when I started watching the movie late night, I could not watch beyond the song. I was in tears, and had to stop. After a couple of days, I continued from where I left off.

The movie is poetry on screen. I cannot think of any other movie that has handled a love triangle so beautifully. I sympathized with all three of them, though Naseeruddin Shah’s character probably only in the last scene when he looks like a lost, lonely child. All three characters were respectful of each other. Sudha (Rekha) was a self-respecting woman who would not tolerate her husband’s adultery. Maya (Anuradha Patel) was passionate, independent and impulsive. She never really got over Mahendar (Naseeruddeen Shah).

Ek sau solah chand ki ratein, ek tumhare kandhe kaa til

No amount of sex scenes in our contemporary movies can show love and passion the way this movie did without showing anything. It made me cringe all the more at the current movies, which do not put any thought into the characters. In Ijaazat, it is very difficult to blame any of the characters. They were all so well defined and developed. I felt for all of them.

The songs are absolutely mesmerizing. Katra katra, Chhoti si kahani se, Khali haath sham aayi hai, are all awesome though Mera kuch samaan is arguably the best.

Mera woh sama lauta do

Ultimately that is what life comes down to. Time passes. Relationships end. The only thing that is left is memories. Cruel, stubborn memories that are like a disease that refuses to go. I don’t know how a haunting song like this can bring pain and comfort at the same time. But it does.

It is magic.

To The Geet Without Aditya Kashyap and The Queen Without the International Vacation

Image source

I watched the movie ‘Jab we met’ again over the weekend. This time it made me think very differently. It reminded me of the movie, Queen.

These two are my all-time favourite movies.  The protagonists in both movies are women who have been ditched by the men who they thought were the ‘love’ of their lives. After the initial shock, desperation, and pain, both woman move forward in life, becoming better versions of themselves.  Here is what happens:

  1. Geet meets Aditya Kashyap who she eventually falls in love with him. Aditya is not a cowardly idiot like Anshuman. He cares about her and likes her for who she is. Aditya literally rescues her.  They live happily ever after.

2. Rani (Queen) ends up going on her honeymoon alone. There she sees life outside the confines of her life in Delhi. She makes friends from different walks of life, including a boy who has lost his family in Tsunami yet tries to be cheerful in life. She discovers an identity for herself, as she meets people who appreciate her culinary talents, increasing her self-worth.

3. Anshuman and Vijay, the respective exes of these women realize their mistake and come back. Geet and Rani get to dump them this time.

I completely support the endings, and like the way they were empowering for women. But do all men actually realize their mistake, regret their actions, and come back? The world would have been a much more perfect place.   In reality, people dump somebody for good. They may not come back.  What about women who don’t necessarily find another man like Geet? What about the ones who don’t get to travel like Queen but continue their routine life feeling worthless after getting dumped? Living each day with a spout of misery with the most cherished moments of their lives becoming mere memories  and evoking mixed feelings? How do they ‘get over’ someone?

I am not a therapist, but still that would not deter me from expressing my thoughts on the subject.

  1. The world is a big and weird place. There are all kinds of complicated people. Anything can happen. Stop torturing yourself with ‘Why,’ and ‘What ifs’. There is nothing you can do to change things.

2. Try some kind of fitness regime. Whenever I have done any form of exercise on a regular basis, I have felt good about myself. Set a goal. For example 30 minutes on the treadmill. When you achieve it, you will feel like you are in control of at least something in your life. Aspects of your life like relationships that involve another person may not be controlled. But this is something you alone can accomplish.

3. Get out of the house. I don’t mean to go and date. Focus on your interests other than men (I know I have used this line in my previous articles, I guess I just love it). You may not immediately wish to travel alone or with friends. The thought may make you feel sorry for yourself (as you would have rather gone with a significant other). Then don’t do it. But go for a movie, play, poetry recital anything that you find doable and affordable. Then keep doing it regularly.

4. Try working towards self-growth. You must have heard that ‘Living well is the biggest revenge’. Resist the urge to immediately find someone else to spite your ex. Do not be the other extreme  either –  Swear to ‘ruin’ your life by staying single to make him feel guilty. Instead, try to become better (eventually more successful) in whatever you are working on.

5.  Take care of yourself. Go pamper yourself with a spa or a facial. Look good. When I was younger I used to think that being good looking was a pre-requisite for looking good. But over the years, the definition of ‘looking good’ has changed.

My friend’s mother is undergoing chemotherapy. She has lost all her hair. She sent me a picture of the mother recently, bald and lean. She was a very beautiful woman, and it pained me to her this way. But there was something lively about her picture. She had put on a dark maroon lipstick, enough to brighten up her face.

‘Aunty is looking good’, I had texted her.

Was I saying something inappropriate? Is it okay to say that  when someone is suffering from cancer?

She had replied, ‘Yes, she is better. Thanks’.

Another woman I knew lost her husband unexpectedly few years ago. She was unhappy for the longest time. Her daughter posted a picture of her from one of their recent vacations captioned, ‘Mummy wearing salwar suit for the first time’.

It was a very natural picture. She was not even smiling. She looked consciously at the camera, squinting her eyes probably because of the blazing sun. The salwar suit was also very ordinary. She looked more graceful in her saris. But everybody had complimented her, including me.

What made her look good? Maybe the fact that she had put in effort to do something different. She had hope. Hope that although she had lost the most precious part of her life, she was still trying to make the best of whatever she had left.

So finally to all the Geets without Aditya Kashyap, and the Queens without international vacations, your life is still  big and potentially beautiful.  Look around you. Everyone is struggling with something or the other. You may not necessarily get an opportunity to ‘dump’ anyone the next time around like these women, but you can dump your negative thoughts for the time being. Life is a series of mundane days with some temporary highs, followed by longer ‘low’ phases. Give it sometime. Things will fall in place.

 

How to Keep A Man From Losing Interest? Seriously!!

I open my Facebook newsfeed everyday with the morning cup of tea (Yes, I know it should have been the morning newspaper, but it has somehow been Facebook instead).

I came across articles over the past couple of days that really spoilt my mood:

10 Ugly Mistakes Women Make That Make Men Leave!

Catch and Keep Him! (It is apparently a website).

Why Men Pull Away: 3 Easy Ways to Stop a Man from Withdrawing!

How To Make A Man Commit To You!

Reasons Why Men Cheat and What You Can Do To Prevent It!

The above articles were part of the many women-centric blogs I have subscribed to, and some well-known international publications, written by dating and relationship experts to “help women”.

I am obviously no expert on the subject, but having been writing regularly for over a year now on relationships, here are my thoughts:

1. I find these articles extremely offensive to women and men. It very unfairly puts the responsibility on women for the behavior of men. As if a man is a helpless, pre-programmed, genetically disastrous creature who has no control on his feelings / behavior / actions. A man will lose interest, cheat, disappear, it is an inevitable phenomenon that we should be prepared to prevent? I would like to believe that there are far better men…

2. Why should we try to “catch and keep him” (Seriously that is a website!) if he is not interested? Are we that desperate? Do we really have a future with someone who wants to leave us in the present? Wouldn’t he eventually leave causing more damage?

3. Wouldn’t it better if these articles were worded differently: 10 Ugly mistakes that ruin relationships, Reasons why people cheat on their partners, Why lovers drift apart?

4. Are there so many articles on dating advice for men on what they could do to keep a woman? Is it because of chauvisim, misogyny or simply because women read more and analyse relationships?

Anyway, since the intention of these articles was to “help women”, I would also like to give my two cents to the women who are struggling to “keep” dating the men in their lives:

1. If somebody wants to go, it may not be such a bad thing in the long run. One day you may thank God for saving you.

2. Take care of your health, fitness, skin and overall appearance. No I am not asking you to be shallow. But don’t neglect yourself just because somebody does not care. Everything becomes harder when you are not well physically.

3. Yes, you deserve better. But I don’t know if you (or I) will necessarily find someone (better). Focus on yourself, your goals and interests (other than men 🙂 ) .

I have a friend who says that when you are happy with yourself (and that happiness comes from doing things that you like), you attract better things (people?) in life. Maybe it is true..