Let it go…

…even though the cold bothers me terribly.

Bad joke, moving on.

2017 comes to an end as well. With it the realisation that I’ve been out of school for a decade now, but somehow, I don’t seem to have learnt much since. Meh.

So, I do these year-end notes fairly often, where I do a round-up of everything I have learned/been forced to learn that year, and then basically have it as a testimony of all the growing up I did. But this year, I am shaking things up a bit. Why? Because I can.

Here goes nothing…

One of the toughest parts about growing up that everyone warns you about, yet you never believe it (or think it won’t happen to you) is letting go. Letting go of dreams, of beliefs, of your values, your unshakeable faith that you’ll be the exception to the rule. Just about everything.


This past year, for the first time in a long while, I didn’t read as many books as I planned to. Well, boo-hoo you might say; but that’s actually a very big departure for me. And frankly, I didn’t care too much about it. And that’s what bothers me the most. I read one series in its entirety this year, and probably 40 more books by themselves. While that does seem a lot, my average for the last 3 years is 56 books. In the previous years, by September, I’d be making up a list of everything I read and then flaunt it in everyone’s faces. This year, I couldn’t care less.


My resolution for this year was to upskill – learn to ride a bicycle, learn to drive a car, learn to swim, and learn to bake. Guess how many I learnt? None. And that’s not due to lack of trying, it’s plain and simple not having the will/motivation to do so. Yet all of my resolutions from the last few years? All perfectly done.


We moved houses this year. Our childhood home of over 23 years was sold-off and we upgraded to a new and improved bigger house. Thankfully, I wasn’t around for the day of the switch. It was extremely overwhelming to not see the same walls the first weekend  back home after the move. But I guess, we just have to make new memories now. I’ll miss the walls that Nishu and I wrote on though, afterall, they bore testimony to our growing years and changing handwriting. 😛

However, all was not lost this year. This year (technically from the last quarter of 2016) I moved out and lived with a flatmate. It was a struggle – financially and emotionally. Yet, when the lease ended two weeks back, it was very difficult to let go of the house. That house, and my flatmate were good to me. In fact, when the going got tough, having my own space got me through a lot of shit that would’ve otherwise been one more issue left to be dealt by a therapist.

That was my first try at adulting, and though I didn’t crack it perfectly (at a given time I can do only two out of cook, clean, and work), I do think that cooking breakfast for myself every single morning did bring about an unexpected change in my schedule. Letting go of my freedom, my space, and the massive weight of taking all my decisions was perhaps one of the tougher things I did this year. Not the toughest though.


Which brings me to the tougher change of this year. I quit sugar. While health has been a struggle, bringing in some form of physical activity into the mix helped me massively. Up until October, I stopped eating sugar after 5pm. And post Diwali, I basically quit on all artificial sugar in general. I do occasionally enjoy the one-off iced tea or a bite of a chocolate, but my sweet cravings are gone. Completely. I’ve lost weight and fit into old jeans (yay me!), I’ve been more active than I ever was, and most importantly, my blood sugar levels are optimal. Plus I found a diet that 100% works for me. So that’s a win.


My politics has changed and so have my opinions, and yet that’s not what has caused this change. For a while now, I’ve struggled with movie-watching. For all practical purposes, I think, I am done being a theatre-goer. I always found the experience of sitting in a dark room, and watching movies with a hall full of people in their own bubbles, very isolating. And I am nothing if not a peoples’ person. (It’s true!) In fact, one reason my movie watching experience was warped towards the ones seen on the big screen was because of the tumultuous emotions I went through in a dark space. After all, emotions have to be felt acutely in a movie-hall – that’s the point! Therefore, if you went movie watching with me, there was a 9/10 chance I’d cry. Sometimes bawl my eyes out, and at most times, simply be overcome by this vast sense of sadness. Thanks to Prime, Netflix, and probably Vodafone Play, I am just letting go of the immersive experience. Maybe someday, I find my way back.


The toughest thing I did this year though, was coming to the realisation that I have to have my back. Literally, and figuratively. Your family, friends, and mentors can do only so much for you. In the end, it’s your dream, your life, and so it’s not going to matter to anyone, as much as it will to you. It’s easier once time passes, and you get used to it, but when you’ve been dependent for a very long time and then are forced head first into reality – the sting takes a while getting used to. Everything that I’ve let go of this year, has forced me to learn something new about myself. And in turn challenged notions I had about myself. I thought I had thresholds, but they were pushed. And how! In the end, there’s no choice but to deal with whatever is dished at you. I wish there was a choice though… how I terribly miss having a choice.


Hopefully, I never have to let go of this blog.


PS. I got my first (and second) tattoo this year. Some very serious, long-term commitments have been made.

PPS. This is a rather drab to end the year on/begin a new one on. And so I must add something that I am truly thankful and privileged to have had this year – my travels. This one’s from Kinderdijk, arguably the best day this year was spent under these windmills.


Hope you have a happy new year!


Red… For Hadia

SO we enter the abstract domain. Hadia, the inspiration behind this activity has herself asked me to write on “Red”.  This is what I feared. For me, anything that isn’t particular to the tee becomes nauseatingly close to psychoanalysis. And that scares me to pieces.

Yet, these are some disjointed thoughts that I associate the colour to.


Mohabbatein was an all-round snooze fest. And as in every desert there blooms a cactus, yours truly took away a key message from the movie. Red Flower = Love, and Yellow Flower = Friendship. This of course was a part of the ever elusive Rose Day celebration in the cool college. And then the college I studied in had its own Rose Day celebrations. The only red roses I received that year were in a bouquet from a girl *cue confusion*. To her I remain eternally grateful for opening my eyes.

On a side note, I justified to myself that one offers red hibiscus to Ganesh idols because it’s “love”.


I owned a red salwar kameez once which was just as gaudy as it was loud. It was bought for a school annual day event where the women were all “wives”. Of course the red was to be synonymous with married women. And that dress I wore whenever I felt like dressing up as Indian. I did the whole shebang with a bindi, and earrings etc. This phase went on till I realised the dress was suitable only in the context of “Ye Desh Hain Veer Jawaano Ka.” The only red I’ve worn since are a sporadic kurta here and there. Associations with choodha-wearing brides make me too conscious.


I had an allergic reaction last year to who knows what. My face was swollen and was the shade of tomatoes. I ended up in the Emergency Room and then the ICU. But when I looked myself in the mirror, I realised this is what it must look like when an author says “he/she turned a brighter shade of red with embarrassment.” For me embarrassment is felt in the stomach, seldom shows up on my face.


I remember my mother crying when I first started my period. I was 10, maybe 11. And she cried when she shared the “news” with her mother, then with her best friend and finally just cried every time she mentioned it to anyone. I didn’t get it then as to why she was crying if specks of blood showing up every month were normal, as she explained. A year later, the cramps began. Now, I cry every month yearning for the first decade of my life when I wasn’t bending double over my stomach.


Marilyn Monroe looked like she had it all when she wore red lipstick. I think it was one of the late-night movies I sneaked a glance at oblivious to my parents. And then I noticed almost all of the “English film women” wore red lipsticks. At a discussion with peers (fellow preteens), I think one friend said it looked better on screen while another said it looked better on their skin tone than Indian actresses’. I bought my first red lipstick last year after a hijra woman I was interpreting for told me it would make my eyes stand out. Boy was she right.


Priya Wal looked so damn cool in her red highlights in Remix, that Anwesha was my ultimate idol when I was in school. I wanted flaming red hair. Till I discovered naturally red hair. I realised I could never have those, or carry it off as confidently. The last time I was envious of the same was when I saw a senior colleague who carries off the red curls with better panache than Katrina Kaif in Fitoor. In my head, whenever I rebel, I have red highlights.

Day 15: Mere Jeevan Saathi Pyar Kiye Jaa

Movie: Ek Duje Ke Liye (1981)
Song: Mere Jeevan Saathi Pyar Kiye Jaa
Music Director: Laxmikanth-Pyarelal
Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
Singers: S.P.Balasubhramanyam, Anuradha Paudwal.
Actors (in the song): Kamal Hassan, Rati Agnihotri

This is the most effort I have put in a post, EVER. Appreciate it!

If you’re a Hindi film lover, this is the dream song. It’s entirely made up of songs and the lyrics have a flow to them that may seem like a normal song to anyone unknown to Hindi movies, but the brilliance of Anand Bakshi is revealed when you analyse how many movies had to go into one song AND had to make sense. (The only other time this was attempted, in part, again was in the song Hum Hai Rahi Pyar Ke movie Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. It failed horribly.)

On a side note, this is also the movie that inspired a lot of couples to commit suicide, or so I hear. Really, the movie has such beautiful songs – Tere Mere Beechmein, Hum Bane Tum Bane, Sola Baras Ki Bali Umar etc, why not sing, dance and be happy instead?

The choreography of this song is the most random that I have seen to this day. Both Kamal Hassan and Rati Agnihotri (she’s so young!) seem to be enjoying themselves. I love the end where they both sit down and just go lalalalalala! 🙂 Did you also notice how them dancing in the lift attracts the kids from the rest of the college and then finally how some guys dance outside the lift? It’s hilarious to watch them do that!

Once again, SPB strikes! Though I honestly feel that his voice suits Kamal Hassan a lot, I always imagine him singing for Salman Khan. Also did you know this movie is a remake of the Telugu movie Maro Charitra? Idle musings aside, here’s a tribute to the genius lyrics. Some movies are so obsolete/obscure that finding the links have been tough, but I’ve done it to the best of my ability.

So how many movies in this song? My count- 64+2. (The movies in Bold, the +2,  are the ones that released post 1981, so obviously they were not the ones intended by Bakshi, but  see how many movies are a part of this song as of April 2014.) Analyse them yourself, yes, I have a lot of work to do, but I am counting and tagging Hindi movies in the lyrics. Yes, this is pretty much what I do in life.

For best results, listen to the song while going through my list! 😉

  1. Mere Jeevan Saathi
  2. Pyaar Kiye Jaa
  3. Jawaani Deewani/Jawani Diwani
  4. Khubsoorat
  5. Ziddi/Ziddi/Ziddi
  6. Padosan
  7. Satyam Shivam Sundaram
  8. Jhootha Kahin Kaa
  9. Hare Rama Hare Krishna
  10. Char Sau Bees (Links to the movie Shree 420)
  11. Awara
  12. Dil Hi To Hai/Dil Hi Toh Hain
  13. Aashiq Hoon Baharon Ka
  14. Tere Mere Sapne/Tere Mere Sapne
  15. Tere Ghar Ke Samne
  16. Aamne Saamne/Aamne Saamne
  17. Shaadi Ke Baad
  18. Humare Tumhare
  19. Munna
  20. Guddi
  21. Tinku
  22. Mili
  23. Shin Shinaaki Babulaa Boo
  24. Khel Khel Mein
  25. Shor
  26. Johny Mera Naam
  27. Chori Mera Kaam
  28. Raam Aur Shyaam
  29. Bandalabaas
  30. Ladki
  31. Milan
  32. Geet Gaata Chal
  33. Pyaar Ka Mausam
  34. Besharam/Besharam
  35. Ishq Ishq Ishq/Ishq
  36. Naughty Boy
  37. Bluff Master/Bluffmaster!
  38. Ye Rastey Hain Pyar Ke/Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke
  39. Chalte Chalte/Chalte Chalte
  40. Mere Humsafar
  41. Dil Tera Deewana
  42. Deewana
  43. Mastana
  44. Deewana Mastana
  45. Chhalia
  46. Anjaana
  47. Pagla Kahin Ka
  48. Aashiq/Aashiq
  49. Begana/Begaana
  50. Loafer/Loafer
  51. Anari
  52. Badhti Kaa Naam Daadhi
  53. Chalti Kaa Naam Gaadi
  54. Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai/Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai
  55. Sanam/Sanam
  56. Jab Yaad Kisi Ki Aati Hain
  57. Jaaneman/ Jaan-e-mann
  58. Bandhan/Bandhan/Bandhan/Bandhan
  59. Kangan/Kangan
  60. Chandan
  61. Jhoola/Jhoola
  62. Dil Diya Dard Liya
  63. Jhanak Jhanak Paayal Baaje
  64. Chham Chhama Chham
  65. Geet Gaya Patharon Ne
  66. Sargam

P.S. I was very tempted to put in the English movie Wah-Wah into this list everytime Paudwal says it. 😛

P.P.S. Also, if you think I am useless, look at this post. He actually gathered most of the posters of the movies mentioned in this song. Some people I tell you! 😛

Enjoy the video here and YES do comment: