Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Love Guru Advice: Husband Ignores Me.

Dear Love Guru
My husband refuses to pay attention to me. During the week, he's busy with work and on weekends, he either plays golf or sits and watches TV. Please tell me how to break out of this rut.
Deeply Disappointed

Dear Disappointed,
It seems your husband has not transitioned from bachelor life to married life. He still feels it’s his life and you need to adjust to it. What you can do is start getting involved with his life. Take the initiative to go out for dinners and movies. Pencil in sex every now and then. There are two types of men in the world, the silent ones who like doing things, and the talkative ones whom you can sort issues out with. If your man is more the silent type talking to him about your feelings is only going to piss him off. Plan vacations when you know its holiday time for you, drag him for the movie that you want to see, treat him to a nice hearty dinner without asking him to eat healthy. However, let him be some weekends to sit on his couch and watch TV or play golf while you do your own thing. Individually you need to grow as human beings as much as you need to as a couple. He might never take the initiative. It does not mean you need to give up on it. Think of yourself as the man in the relationship. Then what would you do? Now go ahead and do it!
http://dc-epaper.com/PUBLICATIONS/DC/DCC/2011/12/19/INDEX.SHTML

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/lifestyle/relationship/%E2%80%98get-involved-his-life%E2%80%99-793

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Love Guru Advice: Boyfriend dating best friend

Dear Love Guru,
I broke up with my boyfriend and now he is dating my best friend! I just want to kill them both. How could they betray me like this?
Sincerely,
Double-Crossed

Dear Double-Crossed,
Anger is ok but revenge is sweeter. There are two ways of going about this. One you can give them your blessing and be thankful that you’re not with such a jerk. You know he will make the same mistakes with her as he did with you and soon enough she will come running back to you to ask for advice on his stupidity. Then you can gloat and maybe even giggle with her. ALTERNATIVELY, you take revenge on them and satisfy your evil streak immediately. Here’s what you do - you need to date your best friend’s brother or someone very, very close to her just for a brief enough time for her to be enraged. You are not allowed to fall in love with this person otherwise you’ll be stuck with an ex- best-friend- but- now- mean- step- sister- in- law forever! If she doesn’t have men in her family whom she is attached to, you need to sabotage another area in her life like at her workplace where you can bribe a co-worker to lose some of her important papers. The point is to give her stress! Be warned though, that you will feel guilty later. Then it might be too late! So it is safer to go with ignoring and moving on. SURELY, you will find a man who loves you and another best friend soon.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Love Guru Advice: Boyfriend Still in love with his Ex

Dear Love Guru,
My boyfriend still hangs out with his ex. I am very jealous and don't know what to do. I don’t want to lose him. Please help!
Sincerely,
Annoyed Anita
Dear Annoyed Anita,
If only all of us become so understanding, the world will be a much better place! As I see it, you can do two things. One you can rave, rant, and tell him he can never see her again. This might result in him going behind your back and seeing her or anyone else. Alternatively, you can let him know that you know about it and leave it at that. Then you can go into a plan B where you rope him back to you. Start behaving less like a wife and more like a sex goddess. Go out partying with your best friends. Make calls in front of him to your male friends. Wear your best clothes and some amazing perfume. Let him walk in on you watching porn but walk away before doing anything. Show him new lingerie you plan to wear but don't wear it for him. Make plans and cancel dates. After a few days, you can show him the wild yet loving side to you. Then you ask him how his ex is doing in a very caustic manner. If he still insists on seeing her, I suggest you take a deep breath and pack your bags. He is the loser and you shall emerge stronger and better. The world is full of eligible sensible young men.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Kaveri Love Guru - Plump Vs Thin

Dear Love Guru,
I’m a little on the plump side and my husband keeps telling me to lose weight. I have been trying but it’s getting harder with him insisting every day. What should I do?
Completely ,
Miss Piggy

Dear Miss Piggy,
Oho! Is your husband George Clooney? If he isn’t then he has no right to tell you how to look. Tell him to get to the People’s magazine of Sexiest Men and then you’ll really be on that diet. Men really need a long, hard look at themselves. WE give them too much importance and put them on a pedestal in every sphere of our lives. If we stop asking for opinions and ignoring their advice, they might treat us better. Tell him a few of his flaws. Actually, tell him ALL his flaws. Then tell him you’re with him despite all of them. If he still insists, tell him you won’t have sex until you finally get a word of praise in for how you look and who you are. Be confident. Men flock to women who are self-assured and have self-respect, with all their flaws. Oprah used to weigh 250 pounds and she was the most powerful women having topped the Forbes list many times! Never let your self-esteem suffer for the sake of a man. In the meantime, go for a walk every day for half an hour. It will clear your head and do wonders for your body too!

 http://www.deccanchronicle.com/search/google?cx=partner-pub-0807768744011217%3Ansp3iv-vyie&cof=FORID%3A11&query=Madhuri+Banerjee&op=Go&form_build_id=form-141b7300df34efb998588007889830ff&form_id=google_cse_searchbox_form

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Kaveri Love Guru Column: Leftover Presents

Dear Kaveri Love Guru,
I’ve broken up with my boyfriend but I have all these presents that he’s given me in the last two years of our relationship. Should I return them or burn them? I just don’t know what to do with them!
Yours,
Baggage

Dear Baggage,
Have you lost your mind completely? You keep them! Especially if they are expensive and come in a nice velvet box. Returning gifts to a boy who doesn’t want them will only mean he will give it to another woman or throw them out. You might think that by giving them back you’ve let go completely and “cleaned” him out of your life. For him, it’s junk returned. If you have to remove all elements of him in your life, take the stuffed toys, cards and other cheapie stuff and donate it to an orphanage. If you are still feeling guilty, you are most welcome to send the expensive presents to my address. Just remember you have also invested your time, effort, and energy into a man for the last two years. That’s far more valuable than any present a man can give. You gave him love and understanding. That’s equivalent to the gifts as well. So if you choose to keep the things, let it just be a pretty thing you deserved. It need not be a reminder of a beautiful or sad time with him. By the way, all the stuff that you gave him? Yeah, he doesn’t even know where he kept it! Enjoy what you got. And next time, get more!

 Printed in the Asian Age. And Deccan Chronicle.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Kaveri Love Guru - Advice Column : Mothers -in-law!

http://epaper.asianage.com/login.shtml


Dear Love Guru,
I've been married for some time now but my problem is not new. My mother in law insists that I cook for the family. On top of managing a job, a child, a husband, and a house she wants me to cook! Pl tell me how I can kill her and make it look like an accident!
Yours,
Full Time Stress

Dear Miss Stressy,
I completely relate to your problem. My mil also wanted me to make hot, hot rotis for her son whenever he came back from work saying a cook can never do things with love as a wife can. But the husband hardly cared as long as he got food to eat. It was only the mil who bothered. I could never master the art of rotis but one thing I learnt was making breakfast. A few diff types of eggs, two or three chutney and cheese sandwiches, potato rolls, poha and upma. I topped it with lassi, cold coffee or a hot cup of tea and it was a new breakfast everyday or at least on the weekend when I was free and felt like making it! You could try that as well. That way you can tell your mil that you make the most important meal of the day for your family and your husband will vouch for the fact that you know how to cook! No bloodshed needed!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Art of Dating

Dating in India is very different from dating in the West. In both cases, there is a 5 Step Process. The West is more; meet each other often, fall in love, live together, meet the parents, and then walk down the aisle.
In India it is more like; parents meet, grown children feel shy, a week of wedding celebrations, finally fall in love, and then go out for dinner.
However, things have been changing recently and the new generations have been pioneers in bringing about the new rules of dating.  Here's what they are!

Rules of Dating:
1.       How to Meet:  Now while in the west, there are many places where you can meet single people, in India if a man goes up to a woman in a bar, it is considered excessively `forward’. That is why there are wedding sites. Under the guise of looking for the correct person, wedding sites gives one the opportunity to meet several people while checking up on their profile and background. People also use Facebook, chat rooms, dot coms and friends of friends to hook up. Somehow, it is easier to type it out than talk in person for the new generation. And everyone loves it.

2.       Where to Meet: Everywhere. Earlier people were found in secluded corners of the park or in dingy little restaurants where they would not be caught. Nowadays couples not only hang out in restaurants, pubs, ice cream parlours and movie halls, they walk freely down public roads, hang out at each other’s houses and even have sleep over at friends’ places. The old clandestine meetings gives way to the new brazen, if you are in love, flaunt it in style.

3.       What to Do: Not many people have time anymore. With college, work, or parental pressure, couples find it difficult to pack in fun and meaningful activities when they meet. That is why all dates are now whirlwind affairs, a quick lunch, a movie, shopping for a few essentials, a quick stop over at a friend’s place that is out of town and back home for dinner and TV with parents. Sameness does not mean boring anymore. Because if it gets boring with one person, you move on to the next. You don’t need to change the pattern. You just need to change the person.

4.       What to Talk About: You know there are a few interests you have in common since you have seen his profile on that dot com site. Date conversations go from getting to know a person generally and then getting to know him deeper. The general questions can be about the “favourite” things in the person’s life, their school and work experiences. The deeper ones would be about love, marriage, kids, parents, fears, desires, and habits. Stories make a man. The more the saga, the more interesting the man.

5.       How to Break Up: It is not working out. You know and you really hope he will understand. Nevertheless, you do not want to hurt each other. Once you are sure about your decision you need to start maintaining your distance. Unreturned phone calls, random messages of “I’m busy” and “I’m looking for something else” might give the other person a hint. While people used to meet earlier to break up in person, changing your status to single on a popular website might have the same effect today, even though it is crueler. New age breaking up is all about texting saying it is over or blocking a person from their chat room. It might not be the best way to get closure, but it is the most effective for becoming thick skinned.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happy Diwali!

It's Diwali already!
Can you believe the year is almost over? How quickly it has passed and I'm still wondering about my New Year Resolutions. The ones I made in the beginning of this year.
Have I done anything worthwhile? Have I made a change? Can I still start today?

As I see the houses lit up with diyas and lights, I wonder if we have all made an attempt to light up other people's lives as well. I'm not talking about the poor and charity and all that. That's all an individual take and I hope each one of us is doing something for it. I'm talking about if we've been nice to people. If we've become a little wiser, a little more patient, a little more tolerant and a little more caring. Do we smile more? Or do we brush people off.

Why do we wait for an occasion to celebrate people in our lives?

I hope this Diwali, we all do something more than just play cards and gorge on those sweets. I hope we find light in our hearts to love, forgive and give to people who have touched our lives in some small way.

Happy Diwali to all my friends and family all across the world. I'm not there in body with you but I love you with all my soul.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Are we all just Corrupt but don't know it?



“What do you do?”

We have all lauded Anna Hazare’s efforts, supported the movement through blogs, tweets, facebook updates and the more intrepid amongst us have attended rallies, candlelit marches and chanted slogans while wearing the “I am Anna” cap. We all want corruption to end and hope that India truly shines. Corruption is the bad word and we support all means possible to eradicate it.

But sometimes the choice to eradicate it is easier said than done. In the middle of the night, if we lie in bed can we truly say that we are not “corrupt”? Are we as pure as we think we are? And can we now stop being who we are and stop doing what we did for so long? Can any one of us say we have not done at least one of the things to get our way?

1.       Jumping Traffic Lights – You are in a terrible hurry. The bus moved ahead of you and you did not see the light changing. You will have endless excuses when the cop catches you. But both of you know the truth. The important question is “What do you do?” You can pay the fine, get your license confiscated, go to the court next day, and get it released right? Alternatively, you give him hundred rupees and are set free. After all, you do not have time the next day. Your life is already busy.

2.       School Admission: - Giving the best education to your child is something you feel you have to do. But the most prestigious schools will not let your child in if a certain fee is not paid. It could be called a deposit, a security, or a miscellaneous expenditure. The truth is you are not going to see it again and your kid won’t get in without it. “What do you do?” Yes, it is still a bribe. Is corruption then justified?

3.       Foreign Shores Beckon:- In a once in a lifetime opportunity, you need a passport. You immediately think “Tatkal”! But even the fastest process to get the passport renewed takes two weeks and you need to fly out in one week’s time. “What do you do?” Time to call the friendly neighbourhood tout? After all, it’s ok if it’s an all expense paid trip right?

4.       Rail Travel: - The “Great Indian Railways Family Vacation” with the family is a once in a year experience. But the seats are all over the place. It’s very easy to just stay put where you are. After all, you will be spending the remainder time of the vacation with everyone. Then, what is a little money to the TC for that window seat or the berths together right? What do you do?

5.       IT returns: - Run to the IT consultant, pay imaginary rent, claim rewards (drivers are such a help in every sense) avoid the Tax to the maximum possible extent. Hey, you are still paying tax, so why so serious? In other cases, spend a little on the people who will help clear the fake IT bills. Does a justification that it’s all going into the politician’s pockets make it still ok?

6.       Cooking Gas: - Arrey Bhai, just get hold of the friendly ‘Gaswalla’ give him a little “Bakshish.” Just get this done quickly, it is all right. After all, it’s not your fault that you did not know both your cylinders had finished. Right?

7.       The DVD Walla: - It’s absolutely all right to buy the pirated DVD, which you are dying to see, or to download from free U-torrents. What the heck, everyone does it? The movie guys make a lot of money anyways right?

8.       Buying Property: - Reason it out. As such, the property costs are so high, pay a little “black” money, and pay lesser in registration, stamp duty and all the other things that can save you just enough to buy that new stove you need in your kitchen. Your builder is actually doing you a favour, isn’t he? But “What do you do?”

9.       Commission Fees: - The hand that feeds can also be fed. If the situation is changed “what do you do?” You know you can get the work done as soon as possible and take your “cut.” After all, it is your contacts and all your networking that makes the company what it is. Hard work should be rewarded in commission right? No one will know and the missus is happier. A little reserve to dip into always helps with the luxuries of life.

10.    Add your own. You know what.



Morality is a choice we make every day. Can we still stand and say we are with Anna?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Traffic Woes (of Mumbai)


1.       Time = Distance x Potholes. No matter how fast you go, which short cut you take, and how much Power fuel you put in your car, you are always going to be stuck in a jam. It’s really not your fault. The 10,000 potholes on every road will make sure that you will take the same amount of time every day. Everyone in Mumbai has a game plan. They figure, if they leave at sharp 8, they will make it by sharp 9 to their destination. Or, if they beat the traffic by leaving from wherever they are at sharp 5, they will get home by sharp 6:15. It does not matter if it is AM or PM. And the best word they use is “max.” As in “Max, it will take an hour and a half.” Alternatively, “Max, I’ll be 15 minutes late.” However, be warned this is not the case. No matter what time you leave, no matter how much you pray, you will always take the same amount of time to reach from point A to point B as you did the day before, and you will tomorrow! You see that tempo to your right? It was there behind you two signals back.

2.       The Man With The Hand – No matter what speed you are going at, no matter if there is a signal or not, no matter if there are a million cars at different speeds on a highway, there will be a man who will cross the road right in front of you and show you “the hand”. Then several people will cross all together. As soon as you start moving, a few more random jaywalkers will cross the road all showing us the symbol for “Stop,” the hand. By the time, you reach home, you would have seen close to 4.6 million hands that day.

3.       Band Bajaa Protest – We all live in small houses but our hearts want to celebrate with many, many people of Mumbai. So the logical thing is to celebrate on the streets. From religious functions to weddings, Mumbaikars love to dance on the streets. So what if it causes a jam, how are they concerned if people are stuck in the car for 5 hours! Alternatively, if they are outraged and offended at something, they will again come on the road and stop traffic. It is the only way they can show their indignation. Traffic means the other person can feel for them as well. After all, the people in the car are not going anywhere anyway.

4.       Where Have You Reached – Only in Mumbai will you find people who will say “Not bad!” to someone reaching his destination in two hours. In fact, they’ll gloat about how “lucky” that man is to be actually reaching his destination at all! Mumbaikars have a completely different language when it comes to traffic that no other city does. When they are describing where they have reached they will probably say, “The KBC sign on the highway” and immediately the spouse back home will understand that it will take another 45 minutes before their entrance! Mumbaikars can also give directions in the same manner, “take a left at the red fruit wala, go straight till you hit KFC, then take another left, after 17 speed bumps, the house that is flooded on the left is mine.”

5.       Honking, Sulking, Steaming – It is a known fact that the urgency of a meeting or getting home is inversely proportional to the traffic. Still people will honk as if their life depended on it. It doesn’t make a difference. We all know that. It is only a way of showing aggression, frustration, and helplessness. When a person has completely given up hope, he will stop honking and sulk. Have you ever noticed the people’s faces in the jam next to you? I am sure these are the people who have taken the poll on the world’s happiest countries where India has emerged not so happy! When you’ve finally taken your mind off the road and reconciled to the fact that Final Destination wasn’t a movie but a reality, your bladder will want a leak. And right then the tempo, truck and donkey pulling the cart on a main road will break down right in front of you. Because it is such a natural thing that at peak hour, the slowest of all vehicles should be moving cross-country, right in front of you. It is known. It is given. This is Mumbai. We welcome all.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

How To Keep The Mystery Alive in a Relationship

All women want to know everything about a man but the minute they reveal everything, the women find him boring. It is also vice versa. That is mainly the reason why so many marriages break up. Soon enough both partners crave the excitement of something new. The trick in every relationship is to keep the mystery going. Once the spouse has revealed everything, there is no mystery. The fascination dies. There is no point in flitting from one relationship to another to find mystery. The success of long and happy relationships is to find mystery in your relationship over and over again!

How To Keep the Mystery & Romance Alive:
1. Secret Rendezvous - You want to find another partner to date because you are bored of the current one. But why not just ignite the spark again? If you live in a joint family, pretend as if you are meeting a new person and you are very excited about it. Only you wife and you will know that you’re meeting each other. Let the rest of the family keep guessing. Even if you are a nuclear family, set yourself up for regular dates. Meet your partner in a beautiful, fancy place that has dim lighting and excellent wines. Wear clean attire and look crisp and fresh rather than just rushing there post a meeting and being harrowed through traffic. Arrive early and wait for your partner with some flowers. When you partner arrives, compliment him/her on how they’re looking. The conversation through the entire date should be casual and breezy. Do not talk about the repairs in the house or what your boss did that day. Staying away from conversation you can have at home gives you an opportunity to discuss new topics and explore a different side of your partner. Recollect when you first met and what was said. Ask questions as if it is your first date, no matter how cheesy they may sound. Bringing the romance back in your relationship every month will go a long way in securing the relationship with your partner.
2. Mystery Destinations – A long vacation oversees or to an exotic destination can definitely spark the romance. However, with time and money being a main problem nowadays mini breaks are also a good way to reconnect with each other. Make reservations before hand and whisk the missus away on a Saturday morning without her knowing where you are going. Drive somewhere close by and stay in your room the entire time talking, eating, and enjoying each other’s company. Do not put on the TV and couch out as if it is your second home. The idea is to get away from what you generally do. She will definitely be surprised and enjoy the break from the daily domesticity.
3. Sudden Brunch - Ask the secretary when the spouse shall be freer from important commitments and make them pencil you in for two hours. Make sure there are no important deadlines for him/her to meet. A nice leisurely lunch on a Friday can help bring in a far more cheerful weekend than one ridden with chores and spats. Both of you can even go to your favourite restaurant where you’ve made a prior booking or to the place where you had your first date. Statistics have proven that a good meal with the one you love will definitely increase the love between the couple.
4. Unexpected Gifts – Gifts are not something that should be reserved for birthdays and anniversaries. Gifts can be given at any time of the year. It is proven that parcels in the mail increase your heartbeat and release endorphins, the happy hormones. The best way is to pick up something small and nice and have the store courier it to your house instead of you taking it home to your spouse. Leave a small card with the gift and make sure it’s packaged in bright colours. When the spouse opens it, they will be most pleased to get a present in the middle of the week!
5. Surprising Spice – Learning about new things on the internet (not porn sites) or reading a little about how to please your partner, buying new toys, new lingerie, etc can spice up the activities in a bedroom. It keeps the spark alive and keeps the mystery going. You never know what your partner will do next and you look forward to sharing more time with them. Of course, conversation, much cuddling, and a lot of respect prior go towards a happy and healthy relationship in and out of the bedroom!


Do Successful Women Turn Off Men?

Grazia August issue quotes me and Ira Trivedi on our conflicting views.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mediocrity Rules

Every day you try to do something great with your life. You try because you think you will become great if you could just do that one thing that gets you noticed. It might be a ppt that you made in office. Or that idea you thought was brilliant. Or whatever it was. And then you look around. And no one is applauding. Wtf. Wasn’t this supposed to be your moment? So you either shrug your shoulders and try better tomorrow or you convince people that it was a good thing in the first place. You go around thinking you ARE brilliant. Then you start doing the same thing again and again. Until people realize that wow – that is some cool shit. And the people who are opposed to you even though they might think differently will say, what the hell, let’s just say it is cool shit! And soon you’re known for it. Soon, people start recognizing you for it. Soon people start believing in it. And it is awesome. Because soon enough other people start doing the same thing. And it spreads. The same thing goes on and on until a new generation breaks it with something different. Not great, but new. And then an entire era is remembered for that one thing. Even if that thing was simply MEDIOCRE.

Stop.

Don't let mediocrity rule. Do better or give credit to someone who does. You don't always have to be the centre of attention. Your work might not always be the Best, even if you're the Boss.

Excel.

Or at least try to... in every single sphere of you life. Mendacity seeps through our bones. Don't let it rule your life.

Be better today. Otherwise we'll just be a generation of average, ordinary and unremarkable people patting each other on the back.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Money = Power in Relationships

Relationships are not always about Love. Most times, they are about money. Whoever has the Money has the Power. It is the reason why mothers raised their sons to think that they need to earn to “provide” for their family while with their daughters they were more lenient as they assumed the daughters would be like them, homemakers. Subconsciously it is also the reason why mothers wanted their sons to have the power in a relationship rather than someone else who might take it away from them.
Money and power are also the reason why women work. Yes, it gives them satisfaction. Yes, it makes them more than a housewife or a mother or a daughter and whatever other labels that society chooses to force on them. But most importantly, when they work they feel powerful. Money gives them independence. Independence gives them an opportunity to be in or out of a relationship, if at all.
Times of India front page on July 27th stated that divorce in Mumbai has risen to 86% in the last 10 years with a spike of over 13% in the last one year.
The lower rate of divorce in Indian societies ten years back as compared to Western societies was not because the Indian woman loved the man any more than the western woman loved her husband; it was only because they had no option to leave. When they had no money, they had no choice. Where would they go? How would they support themselves? Therefore, they stayed in marriages because their husbands looked them after monetarily.
However, today things have changed. Most women have a job. They can earn their own income and with it comes the power to choose. They can now choose whom to love.
Men need to be on board with this. It works for them at two levels.
One, if the woman if treated as an equal to work, earn and even go higher than him in her respective career; she will eventually give back to the man. He needs to respect her and communicate with her about her dreams and her life while simultaneously managing his career. Once she learns that she does not need to fight the system of proving herself and trying to be an equal in the relationship, her “nurture self” comes out to find a balance.
Two, it makes a relationship uniform since the burden of providing for a family need not only lie with a man. Having eased off the pressure of a “bread winner” the man is free to pursue other activities and devote more time to the home and hearth. If the woman is working and playing homemaker, it is only reasonable to assume the man does so as well. Subconsciously, it benefits the man tremendously to be able to do so.
Relationships are precarious but understanding them is easy. It is easy to say, “We have nothing in common anymore.” Or “He doesn’t understand me.” It is far more difficult to find the balance to stay in a marriage or a relationship. The play between love and money needs to be like the steering of a ship. It takes very slight movements to go in a particular direction otherwise the wrong equilibrium could sink it.
This does not mean that the man should not pressurize the woman to work. It only means he needs to respect the decision she chooses for her profession even if it is a stay at home mom, which is a full time job.
Money, power, love, and respect are the harmonious elements of a successful relationship. You need to give some, to get any.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Much Affair About Nothing

When is it ok to have an affair? Now the majority here will say NEVER, but think about it for just one second. Do you think we have one life to live? Do you think that in this life it is important to strive for happiness? Do you think that if we are not happy, our souls will eventually rot, and we will need therapy? Do you think if we do our duty to society and our family, we still need happiness? So if you answered YES to any of the questions, here’s a last one: Do you think happiness to yourself is the most important thing we need to strive for? What if the “affair” was the only solution to happiness?
Scene 1:
Married at 18, Kaaya was bored with life by the time she was 30. She had two children and she ran a business from home making children’s clothes. Her husband worked in a bank. Late hours and many silent nights later, they had nothing left in common except the children. But the children had now grown. And there was barely any conversation left. She met a widowed father online. He had ordered some clothes from her business. He seemed interesting. She stayed away from him. She knew what it would do to her marriage. Soon enough she started following him through social media sites. He was fun. He seemed to share some interests she had forgotten in her. Soon they were on chats and then they started meeting. It wasn’t as if one thing led to another. It was consciously kept away. The affair didn’t start until much later when one night her husband came home drunk and smelt of another woman’s perfume. Having never questioned her husband, Kaaya felt it was the last straw on the rotting marriage’s back. After much struggle and depression, she left her husband and married the widowed father. All ended well that started a long time ago. But there was always a niggling feeling, was it right?  
Scene 2:
25 years of marriage is a long time. After the silver anniversary was over and the kids went back to their respective continents, Ashok went back to being the art collector he was. But it bored him. He had everything - Cars, foreign trips, a yacht, expensive art, and a beautiful wife. Even the wife had everything - Diamonds, Louboutins, Birkins and houses all across the globe. They had earned it. Hard work and a little luck had given Ashok pretty things, early in life. Now in his mid 50s, he had no challenge left. He wasn’t even interested in the women who were throwing themselves at him in parties. But one day, it happened. He came across this beautiful, intelligent, and completely unattainable woman. She was almost like Holly Golightly from Truman’s book. She was single. That was good. She was young. That was not so good. But he didn’t care. He hadn’t felt like this in 25 years. After all, what can you discuss with your wife every single night for 25 years? How many more whims of hers could you fulfill? He did not intend to leave his wife and he told Holly so. His standing in society was far more important. She understood but she still fell in love. His wife eventually came to know but didn’t care. The sex between them had died long time back. The wife got her diamonds and he got a little affair. No one got hurt. And love grew between Holly and Ashok. She never wanted to get married. She just wanted nice things and some companionship. If no one got hurt, was it right?
Scene 3:
They were both married. They both had kids. They never planned to leave their families. It was all too messy. Besides that, they were both from different backgrounds. Who wanted new in laws, new responsibilities, and new kids in their lives? They only wanted some fun. It started in the office. They both knew it would be transient. Rules were that no weekends were allowed together. Weekends were family time. It suited them both perfectly. High-pressure jobs and the same boss brought them together. Spouses were kept at a distance. Of course, the affair was a secret. An open secret. Everyone in the office knew about it. The whispers behind their back eventually caught up. One day one of the spouses suspected something and confronted the other. It was the moment of truth. He could have either walked out and married “the other woman” or stayed and kept the balance. He chose to stay. Therefore, he denied it. The affair ended in a while when he moved his job. It became difficult to continue the life he had. She understood. It broke her heart for a very long time. At least she had a husband to go back to. Moreover, she was an adult. She knew what she had gotten herself into. Affairs were never easy. Was it supposed to be right as well?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Empty: A Poem.A Life.

The sounds of the night are lonely
They creep in to the crevasses of life
Till nothing, nothing remains.
And makes you conclusively hollow.
You try desperately to connect to a world beyond the real
There is no one.
There never was.
There is no one left.
Where did they all go?
No don’t! Don’t hope.
Hope is a dangerous thing.
I dare not dream of a better tomorrow.
What if it’s like today?
Forgotten time
Lost souls
Heartbreaking memories
A maze, a race, a quest.
Let it stop
The energies have changed.
I refuse to be strong.
Let me cling to my loneliness.
In the death of night.
It is my comfort.
It resonates deep within me.
Even when the dawn breaks…
I am the Queen of Solitude.

Monday, July 25, 2011

LET IT BE


I can see the wrinkles on my face now.
The laughter lines are more prominent.
The creases, the extra ness and the spots.
 It’s not who I was just a year back.
How things have changed.
You made me change.
 Less looking after myself.
And more attention to you.
The worry lines became more prominent.
The anger lines a little more defined.
Let it Be, someone murmured.
I couldn’t.
I wanted to be the BEST.
The competition killed me.
You didn’t make it easy.
We were all vying for your time.
You never had any.
It was a heavy burden.
It killed me.
It made me bitter. And sad.
And then you left.
And chose another.
But I was always “me”.
The one you said you loved.
How can I change now?
I’m still me.
The laughter has frozen.
And the lines have set in.
My face shows my burden.
The etches of a torn past.
If Only I had listened.
If only I could have…
Let it be…

Saturday, July 16, 2011

RAGE AND FEAR

Anger and Fear are the predominant emotions of our times today.
We are a nation of scared people. The generation above us was scared for economic and social reasons and our generation seems to be scared of change. Contrary to what we might say, many people do not want the system to change. They hold on to things and claim it in form of tradition.
I asked a Hindu friend of mine at a dinner party, “Would you be ok if your only daughter fell in love with a Muslim?” And she smiled and said, “I’m sure that won’t happen.”
I asked another friend of mine, “What if your only son told you he was a homosexual?” And the man turned to me and replied, “Why even think of such things?”
I asked family members who had attended Anna Hazare’s fast, “Have you ever given a bribe to get off a speeding ticket? Or to get your passport done early? Or to an `agent’ to process your license?” And they laughed and said, “Everyone does that.”
So why are we not changing? Why are we not progressing? Because it is easy and blissful to remain in a state of unawareness. Our parents were fearful that their kids would marry different caste or religions. Somewhere we’re still fearful of that. Otherwise why would there be so many matrimonial ads slotted into a person’s religion, caste and region? Let us stop doing that at least.
Our parents were fearful that they would not be able to save up enough to give their kids a secure life. We are fearful that there will be no security.
Lawlessness stems from fear. Fear stems from anger.
If we don’t get our way, we have no faith in the system to provide help. We help ourselves. That is what we are being taught now. A boyfriend murdering a girl’s ex lover, spouses shooting each other, bomb blasts, rapes, theft, and burnings. It stems from anger at not being able to get what they want and an impatience to want it right away. And it is not only in urban areas, the rural villages are imitating what they see and hear from the urban centers. There was a recent incident in Karwas village, 20 km from the Jaipur-Delhi highway that shocked the entire village. Two teenage girls watched as their lover slit their parents’ throat because they were not allowed to have sexual relations with him.
Where does this come from? People are asserting themselves but in the wrong way. Everyone has an attitude. Adolescents’ mottos are “I don’t care” and “I want it now!”
We fear “What will people think?”
We fear “What will our neighbours say?”
We fear “What if we make a mistake?
We fear “What if it doesn’t look nice?”
But it won’t be. Uncomfortable situations will arise. Delays will be imminent. And feathers will be ruffled. So what?
We need to do the right thing for our country. Not just for ourselves.
We need to stand up for the greater good and not just for economic benefit or cheap publicity. 
We need to start believing that it is ok if Big Brother USA does not like what we do. Once we start believing that we will not take a single bribe or that we will not care if our kids marry Pakistanis, or that we will not fear the hand of the UN, we will rise above the pettiness of everyday and become a stronger nation.
And it needs to start today. With each and every one of us. We have to believe in the right things. We have to have an attitude of caring for a stronger future. We have to demand answers. And ask the right questions. We need to elect the right people. We need to work together.
We have to stop being angry. With religion, caste, creed, sex or a system. And channel the energy into being productive.
And we have to stop being afraid of the outcome.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

How to be a celebrity…for cheap.

Today I was at a coffee shop and I saw at least 4 people entering at different times, all looking like celebrities, but weren’t. So I figured that it doesn’t take much to be a celebrity nowadays. All you need to do is follow the pointers and even you can become one. Ok, not as big as SRK or Pa. But someone cool enough for laymen like me to turn around at a coffee shop and notice you. Here goes...
1.       Always wear sunglasses. Even at night. Even if you’re indoor. If this is too hard, at least wear one on top of your head. Always.

2.       Practice your walk. Shoulders back, stomach in, one foot ahead of another in a line. You may trip and fall at home while doing this, but NEVER trip in public.

3.       Try and be slim. The thinner you are, the more fame you’ll get. Remember Kareena in Yaadein? No. Exactly. Now remember her in Tashan? Aahhh! You get my drift.

4.       Never eat in public. Even if you’re invited to the most exotic parties with food flown in from Milan and Paris together, do not eat it. It will look as if you’ve never eaten before. If however you are caught eating, wave your hand and say, “I’ve had better stuff at the Rue de Rivoli in Milan last month.”

5.       Read. Really. Not fat books if you can’t do that sort of thing, but a few internet sites that might be good in cocktail conversation. Like stuff on art if you’re breaking into a gala. Or stuff about the directors and producers’ works if you’re breaking into a Bollywood party. The news might also help but don’t be too involved with politics, sports or international debates. They may make you sound too intelligent and hence will give away the fact you’re not a celebrity.

6.       When you don’t know what to say, smile and look pretty. And nod your head a lot.

7.       Every 10 seconds look at your blackberry or an iphone. You do have one of course. Right? Right?

8.       Never get into an argument. If things are heating up, suddenly become vacant and walk away as if you are going to greet a guest at the door.

9.       Leave your hair open for girls and gelled for boys. Do not be caught with ponytails unless it’s been done professionally.

10.   Get an enormously expensive bag that you can carry all over the place. Hire it online instead of buying it. It’s way cheaper and makes the same impact. Please don’t buy a fake from Bangkok. The real celebrities can spot a fake and then you’re in trouble.
11.   Don’t be too happy or too sad. Be ambivalent about any relationship. Never commit that you’re in one.

12.   Have a lackey. Sorry agent. Sorry manager. Sorry, whatever they call it these days. It makes you look good for you to order someone around and then be nice to them in front of someone else.

13.   Have the lackey give out your card. Oh, get a few cards with your alternate mobile number so your lackey can pick it up if the offers do come pouring in.

14.   Research exotic places online in thorough detail Talk about your vacations to these places so you sound as if you’re a world traveler and not someone who take the Virar fast home every night.

15.   Wear black. Always. It never goes out of fashion. And match your sunglasses with it. You’re still wearing your sunglasses aren’t you? Aren’t you?????

16.   Don’t worry too much about an expensive car. You can hire one if you think someone will see you get in and out of it. But otherwise not too many people at parties, events and meetings notice you getting out of a car.

17.   Be seen everywhere. Do not be shy. Be bold. Go to all the functions you read about in the papers. The more you’re seen, the more people will remember you and recommend you to someone for something. Which then you can turn down.

18.   Be hygienic. Have a shower, with soap, twice a day. Brush your teeth. Wear deodorant. But not an overpowering perfume. It scares off everyone. Wear freshly washed and ironed clothes. Oh they have to be ironed. All this nonsense of crushed linen never works. Think Italian Armani and not bedroom khadi.

19.   And lastly, smile. But not before you have got your teeth whitened. Skip the pricey dentist’s chair and just buy a few whitening strips to use everyday. It’ll do the same trick.

20.   Did I mention the sunglasses? Ya. Put them on.
And now that you know the tips to be a celebrity, go be one now!
Also printed in the July 2011 issue of MARIE CLAIRE magazine.

Friday, July 8, 2011

TOP (ABSURD) EXCUSES TO BREAK UP:

In a fast track world, it is easy to be in and out of relationships. However, the excuses for breaking up are getting old. It is no longer “I need space,” or “It’s not you, it’s me” that are doled out anymore. The excuses need to be creative, modern, and semi believable! The top ways of breaking up are:
1.       The Astrologer Told Me –In ancient times, parents checked horoscopes of the couple to see if they matched. If the `kundalis’ didn’t match, it could be ominous. In modern day scenario, men have learnt to use this to their advantage. Instead of waiting for the last minute to get their astrological charts checked, they claim to their girlfriends they have already got it checked! This they will announce after a few dates once they’ve realized that this girl is not working for them. The woman has no choice therefore. No woman would want to go through a relationship where if something went wrong, he would blame her by saying,”See, I told you! My horoscope said I need space!”

2.       You Saw The Movie Without Me –Most couples love watching films together. It is a date that they enjoy while believing it is time well spent towards building a future. When there is a particular movie that is eagerly awaited for a long period, it is understood that the couple will go together. The plan has been made weeks in advance. At the time of release, a sudden incident in the life of a partner has left the plans in the lurch. One partner is at home. He is busy with work and will not be able to watch the film with you for another week or ten days. Your best friend buys an extra ticket. So you think, “I can see this film again when he’s free!” Wrong! The partner now has a fabulous excuse to break up with you. You have broken the pact! It was sacrosanct that you watch this film with him. He is hurt and angry. It was like a test God gave for your relationship in which you failed. The man now has the right to say, “We need to break up because you saw the movie without me!”

3.       I’m Travelling – No one knows where this person is going or when he is coming. He seems to be “travelling” all the time. From day trips to Delhi to longer stays in Bangalore. Urgent meetings in Hyderabad to pacifying clients over weekends in Pune, the man is travelling. And when one’s boyfriend is travelling, the phone is off, the messages aren’t delivered, and there is a high chance that you will be hearing a prerecorded woman who becomes your best friend. It is the new way of saying “I need space.” The space needs to be the air 30,000 feet above the ground. Men are using this excuse perpetually but saying with their sweetest tone, “Baby, I would love to meet, but I’m not in town!”

4.       I Have To Focus On My Career – Now this has been tried and tested and can never get old. The career trick in the book lets the man be in office until late, go out with clients, and even unwind with the boys because his job is getting stressful. Whether he is up for promotion or needs to prove himself, the man will use his career to avoid the woman in his life like the plague. This is a double-edged sword since the woman wants to support his career but would like more time with him. So instead of breaking up with her since it is too `delicate’ a matter to be done so bluntly, he leaves her with a choice. His parting words, “I really need to figure out where my career is going and I won’t have time for us. I’m just letting you know now!”

5.       It’s in my Genes– Commitment phobia is not new to women. However, men have started using it differently. With parents who may or may not have separated, the man claims that he’s seen his parents fight and believes that it’s in his blood to do so as well. While most women are not daunted by this idea, it does leave a bit of a dent if after some time the man starts repeating it. He also starts speaking about how his idols are Hugh Grant and George Clooney. The act continues right up to the point when he walks out one night and does not call for a few days. When he does return, he says, “Darling, I didn’t mean to, but you see… it’s in my genes!”

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