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Not so young Fashion Graduate From National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Delhi, India. Aspiring journalist. Amongst other eclectic hobbies, she likes writing and has written several poems and articles over her school and college life and now for a living. She would someday like to be be a more popular writer than just on her blogs. 'Tis a lady of grand splendor, who waketh in my bed every morning while the sun beckons her towards night...

Saturday, July 04, 2015

The fantabulous achievements of FTII chairman Gajendra Chauhan!

Protests over the appointment of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) chairman are still going on. Students have come together to stand against the decision of the seat being taken by a certain Mr Gajendra Chauhan; as it is perceived that he was given the privilege of being at the helm of affair due to his political leanings and not experience in the world of cinema.

While the general consensus on this issue is that it was done to 'keep an eye' on the institution, its students and faculty--there has been no move as such from the Information and Broadcast Ministry regarding the matter. It seems that things stand at a stalemate.

Chauhan's experience has been questioned in this entire affair, but should that really be an issue?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Frida - The yoga dog

Every morning frida does her morning stretches...
Forward, then backward.... Pulling her legs together to turn her spine...
Then curls up to catch her tail... She does it, defying all norms... Every time.
Then it is time to lie in her back... And stretch all four paws as far as possible... Time for morning ritual number 2. With that much yoga my dog should never have a bowel problem.
Move over ram dev.. Time for sadhvi frida

Frida's morning ritual

After a good night's sleep who doesn't like a little cosying up and cuddling in the morning?
Frida, it seems, has taken a special liking to cuddling.... Right in the morning she sneaks up between me and stupendous man.... Finds a sweet spot where she buries her head... And catches a few more hours of sleep right on top of my covers...
You move and she moans in agony of how she is being disturbed....
The tragedy of having a baby is that you know that she is comfortable, you are not.. And yet you don't move an inch so she could lie in a lil longer

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Leonard Nimoy obituary: Adieu Captain Spock!

Pointy ears, upturned eyebrows, a smile that reached his eyes – Leonard Nimoy's spock is perhaps the most known and loved screen character of all times.

His death means an end of an era for so many in the world.

'Star Trek' is the benchmark of all science fiction work on-screen since its first season on TV and subsequent movies. People have grown up on it. We have cheered for Spock in his many adventures.

With its huge influence on pop culture, time and time again we would see Spock and his 'followers' pop up. Whether it is the animated series 'South Park' or the sit-com 'The Big Bang Theory' – his well known hand sign of spread out fingers would keep appearing. Often reminding us the need to be logical in this world of chaos, amusing us with his social handicap.

Spock became an icon for the nerds, inspiring the social misfits to use their intelligence to advance science. His words and his logical outlook pushed generations to science. Spock and his team made human imagination go far into outer space, looking for answers of the universe.

Nimoy definitely was perfect for the role. He made the character his own. He became an icon unto himself. But that was not all he was. A multi-talented actor, Nimoy also ventured in direction, photography, singing and poetry. He also was a champion in philanthropy, supporting The American Cancer Society as well has encouraging the work of artists through his own organization - The Nimoy Foundation.

The death of Nimoy will be devastating for many who considered him and his cult character as their life's motivation. Leo however will make sure to keep coming back to our lives through his various appearances and references in works of science fiction.

It has been an incredible trek seeing Mr. Spock go places, gallivanting in his adventures and the journey was as 'fascinating' as it can be. His life outside the universe of 'Star Trek' was in fact even more interesting – inciting you to try new things to push yourself to your creative limits.

His last tweet is as inspirational as his life had been.

The greatest tribute one can give to Nimoy is live by Spock's words – 'Live long and prosper' and possibly more so by his own words "I think it's my adventure, my trip, my journey, and I guess my attitude is, let the chips fall where they may."

Let the adventure continue...

This article was first published on Zeenews.com

Fair and handsome Hritihik Roshan? Not you too!



It is so disappointing when an actor you have liked and respected for so long goes to the dark side. Well in this case the 'light' side.

Indians have a racist streak in them. They all like fair people.

First there was a demand for fair girls. Now, the advertisement industry features girls who are so pale that they would give Bella of 'Twilight' a run for her money. They not only look so fair that they reflect sunlight, they don't even look as if they are from the Indian subcontinent. Neither with their golden brown skin, dark eyes and dark hair, nor with their size zero figures (that is a rant I have already gone on, so I shall spare me the trouble here again).

Then came a controversial whitening cream for 'those' regions. Now, it seems that even dark men cannot get good wives. Even the men who could do anything before, (despite their skin colour), are now struggling with 'womanly' problems like dark, dull skin and colognes that evaporate too quickly.

One of the problems Hrithik seems to have set out to solve. The superhero of India, Hrithik 'Kkrish' Roshan has been roped in by Emami to be the 'fair and handsome' face of the brand. Because obviously stars don't go to expensive skin treatment clinics to make their faces camera ready, they resort to cheap gimmicky fairness creams for their dermal needs. Or so we are being made to believe.

Now, the fair skinned Jr Roshan is going to attribute his success to a skin whitening face wash that leaves him glowing and fresh after a dusty day in the studios. I wonder if his assistants are going to be offended by this - since his well-groomed look is the combined hard work of his nutritionist, make-up men/women, gym trainer, and the designers who dress him up in his suave style.

First, it was the 90s boy-next-door turned king Shah Rukh Khan telling the boys how his natural charm was a waste compared to the super powers of skin-whitening cream. Now, here is Hrithik on the verge of saying that women all over the world swoon over him not for his style and poshness, but more for his fair skin. His otherwise dull face till now has only managed a million fans – now his 'renewed brightness' is going to put Sirius (the brightest star in the sky) to shame.

Why do stars have to do this? Why do they endorse products that should have been banned decades ago? Why encourage this blatant racism and negative body image? He surely does not lack product endorsement offers. Why not take the high road like Kangna Ranaut or Ranbir Kapoor?

We in the subcontinent already face so much insecurity, added to this has come the pressure of being fair. The fans of these stars worship the ground they walk on and they just help the big companies capitalise on this gullibility. Being fair in a country that already faces so much bias is being encouraged by these stars, despite there being countless stories of how such products are actually harmful for the skin. What is unfortunate is that the country ends up consuming products that have chemicals like hydroquinone, mercury, unprescribed steroids, bleaching agents which will not make you fair but only expose you to skin diseases and rashes.

This kind of irresponsible advertisement plays on our insecurities and only increases societal pressures on young men and women who idolise these big screen heroes/heroines. More and more men and women are under pressure to use these products as the markets are flooded with them. Not only that, this adds to the underplaying discrimination that the country is plagued with.

These stars have no excuse today to not know the repercussions of the role these products play in the society. That being said, Hrithik is a star for whom endorsements are easy. But backing a fairness product may just be the low that his fans never expected him to get down to.

Coming from Hrithik who has been a strong supporter of good health and keeps posting about body work-outs and fitness, this is just sad. I wish he did stand up against this vile discrimination instead of joining in it.

Today, I lost respect for a man I always thought was great because of who he is. And not because of the colour of his skin!


This article was first published on Zeenews.com

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

When Frida met the horse

While walking in the park today, frida saw a horse carriage passing by.

Now horse carriages have a unique sound in india. A mix of the rhythmic trot and bells and an occasional 'hat hat' that encourages the horse the move forward.

Frida kept staring at the horse trotting by. No stick, toy or even food might have moved her from her position then.

Fascination glowing in her brown eyes, she suddenly realised she needs to bark at this big thing that is swishing its tail at her... And bark she did. So much that the entire neighbourhood joined in the chorus. It was almost as of she was informing them about this new animal she has discovered...

The only problem being that most of the other dogs had seen horses before, since there is a community centre doubling up as a wedding hall nearby... So they got bored and decided to bark at frida instead. Who got pissed or scared, said enough is enough and hid behind me...

Horses aren't worth it...

Untitled

तलाश करो कुछ जाती हुई 
जंगल की पगडंडियों पर पड़े हुए पत्तो पर 
मेरी परछाईयाँ !

अब शायद सिर्फ गीले घास की बू  होगी। 
बारिश के कीचड पर नंगे पैर तुम्हारे गंदे होते होंगे!

अब रोमांस के दिन कहाँ रहे?
अब हम बड़े हो गए हैं!
अपने इद् के धुन-ताल पर थिरकते हुए!


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Nirbhaya Rape Case: When a documentary becomes national shame

“A woman is to blame for rape!”

“They provoke men with their short clothes!”

“They wouldn't dress up if they didn't want to be raped!”

“Don't resist rape– it would be simpler for you!”

Is the mentality ever going to change? Every few months we hear these statements from the perpetrators of rape in the country, and then the politicians follow. Even god-men have their opinions about how the woman should have called the rapist her 'brother' to avoid rape.

Two years after the horrific December 16 gangrape, here we are, debating whether a documentary on it should be banned or not, while one of the men who was responsible for the atrocity is still up and about giving us 'gyaan' on film, with not a shred of guilt in him. Apparently imprisonment hasn't changed a thing in him.

I wish I could see the documentary before I outraged over what he said. But snippets of it have already shown me the hopelessness of it all. But why, I ask, is anyone surprised? Isn't this what many of our leaders have said time and time again? Haven't political leaders threatened to rape and murder people in their opposition, as if raping and murdering someone is not a big deal?

'India' is more ashamed of a documentary on the Nirbhaya Rape case than the rape itself. Yet, steps to change laws, make their implementation faster have not been taken. The tragedy is now that the convict has said that she should not have resisted – the men with the sick minds will glorify him and use his statement as an excuse. And no amount of death penalty and stricter punishments will deter these would be criminals unless justice is guaranteed – and fast.

The documentary, from what I perceive, presents the harsh truth that most people in India think like Mukesh ( the convict featured in the documentary). Educated, modern men and women have said that the girls need to understand what they wear makes men 'excited' – rape, it seems, is the obvious next step for these men. Obviously, we human beings have not evolved enough to keep our carnal desires in our pants.

If there is an outrage on social media and in parliament – there should be. Not to ban the Nirbhaya documentary, but to take all steps necessary to stop these crimes. There need to be support groups to help and rehabilitate women who have been victims of these heinous crimes and don't get accepted by their own families. There need to be fast track courts, and not just in name. We need to immediately take action against leaders, men and women who decide to blame the victims instead of taking responsibility.

The film needs to be seen by as many people possible – simply because we need to know what depraved minds such as these think and the people who defend them can be made to shut up once and for all. The glorification of the convict however could be curtailed if the media just uses a little bit of self censorship. A fact that we all know for a very long time, but can't resist sensationalising of a brutal crime.

The focus has shifted again. The film has been banned. The culprit still sitting and smiling inside the safety of his cell. For once, to my mind, public lynching of this sick sick man doesn't seem like a bad idea. Once again, all we are doing in outraging and wondering what happened to all those promises of women safety.

Celebrating Woman's Day this week with all this looming over our heads is a mere farce. It is a lie that we want to weave around ourselves that everything is glorious in this wonderfully beautiful country. The reality is women are not respected here, and a few flowers and making your wife/mother/sister feel special by making her breakfast is not going to change that.

We women are all just subconsciously living a life of fear. Every day when I walk down a dimly lit street, or when I see some guys loitering around and talking, or a guy walking behind me – all I can hope is I wouldn't be next.

This article was first published on Zeenews.com

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Talai, Himachal Pradesh: Travelling into the cloud factory


When the cottony clouds overcast the skies, remember wanting to reach out to them, plucking them out and eating them like cotton candy? Remember lying on the grass and looking up with your friends trying to plant stories, finding bunnies and dragons in the shapes of floating clouds? What if you could touch them in real?

Driving into a village called Talai, near Fagu was like climbing the stairway to heaven, and reaching paradise, sitting on the clouds.

A few miles from Kufri (the famed ski destination in Himachal Pradesh), this little hamlet is straight out of a Ruskin Bond book. A total of five houses strewn around the mountain top, in the middle of an apple orchard, a family with little children who walk down to school every day and a big mountain

Friday, April 17, 2015

Which animal is Frida?

My darling dog is Gemini on the inside. She has multiple personality disorder and can't decide which animal she is on different occasions.

When she is eating, she is a shark.
When she is running, she is a horse
When she decides she wants to come and meet you she becomes a bull charging you and hitting you right in your gut. In case of the target being stupendous man, then it is his balls she decides to punch.
She easily shifts to being a cow around soft juicy grass
And she can laze like a slug ( as she is doing now as I write this)
There are other animals inside her... Will keep writing as they appear.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

When Frida decides she needs petting

Having a dog is immensely satisfying. After a tiring day, you come back to someone who looks as if you coming is a party.

Apparently not a good thing with dogs. It increases separation anxiety. But once she calms down and I pet her, she licks me all over the face. Delhi traffic craziness forgotten in a second...

She still follows me around till I give her a nice belly rub.... The cute thing is how lately she has realised that lying down as soon as I get in is the easiest way to catch my attention... She is smart...
Already knows the sit, down, and come commands. Trying to reach her rollover... Let's see how long that takes... Rest of them were easyEsteban Guitar

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Ganga

सदियों से बाँध रखा था,
और इन्ही सदियों में,
सब ही सहा है मैंने। 

भागीरथ ने जब बुलाया था,
तो सिर्फ साठ हज़ार थे। 
आज लाखो को निर्वाण देते देते,
सिर्फ मैल रह गयी हूँ। 
माँ थी,
लेकिन सबने सिर्फ सीचा है। 

जहाँ देखती हूँ सिर्फ जलते शव हैं। 
आज खोली हैं तूने जटाए,
आज आखिर बाँध को उजाड़ कर बह जाऊं मैं। 
बुझा दूं इनके स्वर्ग आने रास्ता,
बहा दूं इनके सारे प्रायश्चित  
धो धो के मेरा उलंघन सदियों से करते आये हैं। 
आज निष्कर्ष निकले इनके पापों का। 

तेरा  यह एक अंधा प्यार, 
आँखें मूंदे कैलाश पे मौज से चीलम में मग्न है। 
'ध्यान' है वो तेरा। 
तू भूलाता रहा इनका हर वो व्यभिचार। 
तू बस पड़ा रहा इन्ही उचाईयों में। 
धर्म 
मैं हमेशा बस एक बंधक ही रही। 
अब खुली हैं जटाएँ...



Had written this when the Uttarakhand floods had taken place in 2013. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Meet Frida Kahlo!

For those who know me in RL, they would know I got a dog recently. She goes by the name Frida Kahlo Kukur (named after the painter and the fact that she is a black dog -Free 'da' Kalo Kukur)

We adopted her from this lovely couple who stay in a farmhouse near chhatarpur. A gaddi pup, she is going to be massive. But a big dog for big people like us is I guess apt.

Beautiful as she is – this one does behave a quite a lot like a cat much to my frustration. But also that gives me the kind of space I could not have hoped for from another dog. Ram milaye jodi for us!

It is fun to see Stupendous man take up responsibility. He tries really hard. Most of the time getting annoyed after she refuses to eat vegetarian rice and pumpkin (partly also because she is teething), or when she munches on his bathroom slippers.

Even more fun when he gets jealous of me, after Frida follows me around the entire house like a tail – no matter what I am doing!

My friends have started coming home to meet me and stupendous man (but actually we are just an excuse to meet madam).

I will have a section called the adventures with Frida soon. Maybe keep updating them as they happen.



Saturday, March 14, 2015

Aamir Khan on AIB: Taking the high-road or hypocrisy?

All India Ba****d roasted actors Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh as they sat and guffawed at all kinds of abuses being hurled at them. An incident that has grabbed the headlines since the last two weeks made everyone have an opinion about it.

Some loved it. Some lodged an FIR saying it hurt Indian sentiments. The end result – the show was taken down from YouTube and later an unconditional apology was issued to (specifically) the Christian community.

While the entire film community has supported Karan, Arjun and Ranveer's stand for the show and said things that amounted to 'don't like, don't watch', Aamir recently said in a press conference that he found it abusive and violent. The result is that now Aamir is being criticised.

Aamir Khan is one Khan in Bollywood, I have always been fond of. As a child I used to like him because he was cute. Now I like him because of the causes he supports and that he has grown a conscience. Perhaps, something that irks me at times that he acts 'holier than thou'. I personally think that his tone at every press conference has been a lot more condescending.

In an episode of 'Satymeva Jayate' focussing on 'When masculinity harms men' they showed a clipping which also featured Aamir himself. He also said that he now understands that the scenes he has acted in were in poor taste and harmed the community. Hmmm...so a man actually accepted that he has done movies in poor taste – he had showed something that was against 'Indian culture' and was willing to take responsibility for it.

In the press conference Khan said 'I WAS deeply affected by that (AIB Show)', 'I didn't find that funny'. 'I PERSONALLY have a problem with what they have done' He said that he felt there was a lot of 'violence' in the event in the form of abuses – and since he is not 14-year-old anymore, he did not find it funny. Notice how in every statement he talks about himself and his opinion and not of his 'community' and 'culture'? Or have we all just learnt to ignore the context? His right to criticise the AIB show is as much a freedom of expression as AIB's right to roast Ranveer-Arjun.

Or can't the 'liberals' who support AIB's 'freedom of speech' take anyone's opinion that differs from theirs? Or have we all just decided that you must support our stance or be called either 'libtards', 'sickular' and 'against Indian culture' or be called 'uncouth', 'right wing extremists' and 'hypocrites'?

What most people seem to be saying now is that since Aamir acted in 'Ghajini' (a very bad violent copy of 'Memento') he has no right to criticise the verbal abuse of AIB. Also, since he backed 'Delhi Belly', an adult comedy featuring the famed 'Bhaag DK Bose' he now has no right to say that he did not like the blatantly racist or sexual jokes.

Incidentally he also said, 'I believe that there must be many youngsters who would have enjoyed the roast and they have a full right to their opinion.'. May be many did not really reach this point of the press conference before outraging and venting on Twitter. Because that seems to the newest thing with all of us. Most people would happily abuse a star because he said something differing from what the herd is saying before even hearing him through because he 'deserved it' and he's shielded by the fact that he is 'rich and famous'.

What he said about AIB – I don't fully agree with that. I, in fact, quite enjoyed the roast. The humour was not in the abuses but the fact that here were a bunch of 'superstars' bearing the brunt of some really clichéd jokes on themselves and joining in the 'roasting'. Sanjay Kapoor stood up and cheered himself when one of the roasters indicated that he was the worst actor in the Kapoor dynasty. Alia Bhatt, Sonakshi and Deepika all joined in with peals of laughter when all kinds of nasty things were being said about them. I loved most of it.

All the classless humour was directed at people willing to take jokes on themselves. If Aamir is not happy with it – it is his opinion.

As far as the teams’ apology is concerned – I wish they hadn't but I am not at the receiving end of the death threats they must have been receiving from religious extremists. I am no one to judge.

The 'lynching' AIB and the stars are receiving is also something that Aamir condemned. He said there was nothing wrong in telling people if you didn't like something they did. But one should limit their interference there. Why is this point being ignored?

One thing must be said– Aamir is being attacked today because there is no other scapegoat for the social media outragers right now. Give me a new star who says that she doesn't want men to say sexist things about her and front pages of leading dailies will again tell you about the last movie she featured in where she played a belly dancer showing off her midriff and say that she is an actress who deserves sexist attacks.

Note to Aamir: Even if you did not want to watch the entire video you should have watched the beginning before saying that they did not give a public warning before airing the roast (like you did “going out of your way” for 'Delhi Belly') – they did. You could have stayed away from this with just scolding Karan and Arjun. Be careful, Shah Rukh and Salman may be offended by that. It is a season of taking offence.

This article was first published in Zeenews.com

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The fatmospheric existence

Have you ever been approached by a random person in the Metro and told how you are unhappy? Has some child just randomly been rude to you and called you names because you were walking by? Have you by now turned a bully after years of being tormented as the fat one because you figured out that life is a 'jungle raj' – you either bully people yourself or they mock you till you want to curl up and die?

I have.

In the three decades of my existence now, I have come to terms with it. I have also started getting used to the people around who sometimes stare incessantly till you actually raise your eyebrows and ask them whether there is something wrong with them.

It has taken some time – most of it fighting the loopy loop of exercise, diet, failure, misery, self pity and back to exercise.

I like to eat – and I have given in to making it as healthy as I can.

The truth is being fat in this world is worse than being a member of the biggest terrorist organisation.

This is not a rant – it is simply a fact that from the time I gained weight during my puberty I was told how I would never get a good guy. Then I ended up in a bad relationship because of low self esteem where the guy knew how to take advantage of it. In hindsight I wish I had more supportive people around me who did not let my body image decide how I dealt with relationships. Things became so bad that I clamped down and went on a spiral of depression in my college days.

Time and time again many experts reiterate - being fat is different from being unhealthy. Fat and obesity contribute to a lot of diseases, no doubt. But a healthy lifestyle is so much more important than berating a child (or anyone else) for being overweight. Instead, try introducing your children and yourself to a nutritious diet and daily mild physical exercises to keep diseases at bay. It is so important that you let your child know that looks should not be the scale by which your peers treat you – and no amount of bullying should be taken lying down.

My coping mechanism was getting apologetic or joking about it myself before others could. There are many who can't and suffer even more.

It is sad that more and more people now adhere to the western image of beauty, health and beauty magazines all promote the thinnest of people. India, where a woman with girth was always in demand has now become a term of 'abuse'.

Sonakshi Sinha, Parineeti Chopra and Vidya Balan are criticised by the fashion police for looking fat at events. Some of them fight back, some choose silence and then feature in photoshopped covers of popular magazines where they look all skin and bones. The heroines of movies have started looking like clones of each other and more and more people are following that trend.

A movie like 'Dum Laga Ke Haisha' featuring the very real and overweight Bhumi Pednekar may just be the refreshing change in that image. But I am not very hopeful. After all Vidya, Sonakshi, Parineeti have been the leads in some really good flicks and I don't see anyone backing down with their insults when their 'fat' shows through their designer clothes in award shows.

Their careers, their work, their talent get overshadowed by the weight. Something that is splashed across page 3 every few days. These talented ladies face the wrath of the very people they are trying to impress.

Bollywood continues to mock overweight characters in their movies, and very few manage to stay away from that stereotype. The fat one in the movie is always alone, stupid and mostly just shown lying around in a sofa unable to do anything other than getting joked about. And in a country that worships their movies – that is indeed a sad image to portray.

People, who otherwise won't move a muscle to save a dying man on the road come looking all concerned trying to sell me the latest weight loss technique their fat cousin used and how has had a makeover a la Hrithik Roshan in 'Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gam'. Some just openly laugh.

Most are so insensitive that they would stare and point as if I was a caged animal in the zoo. I mostly take it with a pinch of salt and laugh it off. But, I can imagine how it must be for those who can't laugh when they are at the receiving end of constant prodding and interference from people who say they care about them. Things would not change – most of us live with our prejudices and pass it on to our children.

There is no reason why my weight should define who I am. I have a career, I am intelligent (so one hopes), and pleasant – yet the first thing most notice is my weight.

Not caring about what people say is the best way to take them off guard. As long as you are comfortable with who you are – life becomes like sprinkles on a chocolate ice-cream. Which reminds me I am hungry!

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