Sunday, December 29, 2013
Thursday, December 26, 2013
I flew to Bangalore a few days before Christmas. My grandmother had a stroke that left her bed ridden and without the ability to speak clearly. It was horrible to see her like that. A shock that left me wondering what Christmas was really about.
Throughout the years I've put up a Christmas tree in my house and presents underneath for my family and especially my own daughter. Every year they open it with a small smile, a polite thank you and keep it aside to go back to doing what they were already doing.
Then everyone would go out for lunch and we would see massive decorations around the city with people shopping, eating and admiring the festivities.
This year I understood what a genuine smile was, an amazing present is and what festivities really mean.
I decided on Christmas morning that on behalf of my grandmother and I, I would go buy chappals for street kids and distribute them. I went to a store and asked for the best kind with cartoons on them, soft soles and great quality that would last at least the winter.
I picked up around 50 to distribute and went to the basti.
The kids went mad. They loved the chappals. I saw a few mothers snatch the boxes from my hand and a few boys pushing to get them. So I made a few girls wear the chappals on their feet instead of handing them over.
The children came and hugged me later and said Merry Christmas. I knew that it really was a special day.
I'm going to make this a tradition every year so my daughter starts giving as well and can pass on the legacy.
Needless to say we had yummy home food that day and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves without opening any presents.
I wish you a Merry Christmas! Be with the people you love, but love giving to the people who need it.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Madhuri embodies today's women by speaking her mind and boldly expressing her thoughts through her works. Get to know her more this month as she'll be #ChoicesbyRevlon's relationship expert.
Monday, December 16, 2013
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Are you married?
Monday, December 9, 2013
The evening panned itself out. I met Dolly Thakore, Ashok Banker, Aftab Shivdasani and Aastha Atrey. I sat on a panel chatting about romance, men, relationships and how society needs to change the way they read.
I remember the evening because:
1. The panel was scintillating. The audience was even more fun.
2. Aftab agreed to pose for a cover of one of my books.
3. Ashok revealed that he was a true romantic at heart. He also said he came out with 8 books last year and 3 this year which means he writes ALL the time and I can take a leaf out of his book and start working harder!
4. Dolly Thakore still has spice in her to be blunt and scandalous.
5. The Sula white wine was chilled and really amazing. Could take on an Australian wine any day.
6. I met several new people who loved my books Losing My Virginity And Other Dumb Ideas as well as Mistakes Like Love And Sex.
7. My lovely friends came to support me.
I felt honoured and privileged to be part of this. Hope many people will read more romance. We need more love in this world!
|Aastha, Amrita, Aftab, me, Dolly, Ashok|
|Stepping out with a smile on my face.|
|You shd be on the cover of a book. Sure, anything for u M! ;)|
|Sitting down after a long evening. Loved the ambience of Olive|
Friday, November 15, 2013
Madhuri Banerjee: I love being called Carrie Bradshaw. I loved every episode of 'Sex And The City,' and I am greatly influenced by the strong, powerful, independent women it depicts. Carrie is fun, sassy, striking and remarkable. If that’s how my writing is portrayed then I am over the moon with that compliment!
Mills and Boons India has signed you for a book. How did that happen?
Madhuri Banerjee: I am writing a Harlequin Romance kind of book with Rupa Publications. They saw that I enjoy writing love stories and approached me to write the book.
Do you think erotic novels are well received in our country? Or is there a double standard with people wanting to read erotica but at the same time they do not want to divulge that they read these books?
Madhuri Banerjee: Erotica novels in India still need to be openly accepted. People will not buy and read it in a train. Even book covers that are a little risqué become a huge no-no for readers. So erotica writers will be labeled as the women who “think like that” rather than writers who tell a good story. There is definitely a double standard because everyone would have read '50 Shades of Grey' but they will rather say they’ve read a Kamala Das. They disconnect erotica from India. Indians are pure. We don’t indulge in sex or sexual writing!
In your latest book 'Mistakes like Love and Sex,' are you Kaveri the protagonist?
Madhuri Banerjee: Not at all. I’m more Shyamolie. But all the characters are real people with an exaggerated figment of my imagination.
You have dabbled in a lot of things such as being a producer for Zoom, assistant director for eminent directors, and writing a relationship column. Why did you turn to full-time writing?
Madhuri Banerjee: I’ve always written wherever I went. I wrote and directed many things. I was always there for script readings to change the tonality of the scenes. So writing has always been in my blood. Full-time writing came when I realized directing takes me away from my daughter too much. And since I wanted to be a hands-on mother while she was young, I started writing 100 percent instead of splitting it with directing.
You have written a relationship column. Are you the much needed agony aunt for your friends? Does the experience of giving advice to people come in handy now while writing a book?
Madhuri Banerjee: Of course. Every experience, every advice, every story leads some way into my writing. Whether it is in thoughts, scenes, character growth, climaxes, plots or dialogues. Real life is more exciting than the imaginary world. But the imaginary world gives a new perspective for real life.
In your latest book 'Mistakes like Love and Sex' a character 'Shy' says a beautiful line about love and how people interpret love their way, not leaving space for the other person's interpretation. What according to Madhuri is love?
Madhuri Banerjee: Love has no adjective. It’s not true, unconditional, pure, deep, absolute, or unwavering. It’s either there or it isn’t. And when you accept that, then you give yourself to it. And love cannot be mistaken with a relationship or a marriage. It’s a presence in your life, a part of your soul that’s happy, fulfilling, and peaceful.
While reading your book there was an undercurrent feeling that arranged marriage is not something which you feel highly about. Do you feel it is a dead institution?
Madhuri Banerjee: I know of many arranged marriages that have worked. But they all have required tremendous effort. Just like love marriages. I honestly feel that marriages will (somewhere in the distant future) be redundant. When people realize that they love each other and they want to be together, it will not require a legal system and the approval of a family to keep them together. Love requires nothing more than two individuals who believe they can work anything out. A marriage is about two families coming together. When people realize what they want, they’ll have the strength to pick the correct one.
As far as handling relationships is concerned how has India changed from yesteryears?
Madhuri Banerjee: We still see relationships defined in the old way with the man as the provider and the wife as the nurturer. And all relationships leading to marriage. With Bollywood on screen couples, everything is about “living happily ever after” and off screen, the press does not leave two people alone until they get married. So it’s not evolving. I hope that a new generation will realize that you don’t need a bond with an entire family to be complete. It’s wonderful to be in a committed relationship and figure out your own rules and not just blindly accept the society’s norms. Then have a wife as the provider and a man an equal nurturer.
Do we have among us a Kaveri, Shyamoli and Aditi, who is confident enough to lead a life on their own and get into a relationships on their on terms? Don't you feel all these characters are idealists and not so much as realists?
Madhuri Banerjee: No, they are the future of India. They live amongst us now but we don’t pay heed to them. They are not idealists. They believe in themselves. And as an author I can only create strong female characters that can be an inspiration to people as well as have an identifiable quality. Each woman today is an Aditi, Kaveri and Shyamolie put together. All you need is to find the strength deep within. And even if you falter and make mistakes, believe in yourself and carry on!
Karan Ajmani The concept of marriage was invented to establish civility of society. Imagine a world with no marriages at all. The result could be that in a live in relationship, without the commitment of marriage, people can act according to their whims and fancies. They shall act irresponsible towards bringing up a child and looking out for each other. They could simply walk out at any given time, infidelity being a reason, leaving the partner and child to fend for themselves without a sense of duty towards them. Another reason, marriage as an institution was created when the issue of whom to pass on the property title of a deceased person arose. It began when the concept of property ownership was created. Earlier land was commonly used and there were no personal boundaries of occupation by an individual. People began fighting for dominance on land resulting in divisions. I know there are bad marriages. The good ones need to be kept alive to prevent the world from entering chaos caused due to absence of responsibility towards spouse and family. We are basically nest builders and intelligent emotional beings.
Madhuri Banerjee - Can I just say I love weddings. The ceremonies, the colours, the bling, the oily food and noisy relatives. Hopes of people entering a world they will make together. The trepidation of the bride as she walks beside people she loves one last time and the groom who stands in anticipation wondering if he can live up to her dreams. Simply beautiful. Now let's get to marriage. Where those dreams are shattered because you are forced to be with each other. A committment is when you choose to be with each other every day. Some marriages are great because they make that choice everyday, every week and every year. Those people didn't need a piece of paper or a fire to tell them to stay together in any case. And people who love their children will always be there for them, even if they're not married. Responsibility doesn't come whether you're married and have a legal heir. It comes from deep in the heart where you know that child is dependent on you for time and love and you will put everything aside for him/her. A parent is one who raises a child with love, not one who has biologically given birth to it or got married. Infidelity happens in most marriages. If you truly love the person, you will be loyal irrespective of a marriage. And when it comes to property, money and jewellery, you don't need a marriage to be able to give it to the people you want. You just need a lawyer to write it out. These are not the olden times. As emotional and intelligent beings, we must move towards a progressive society where we respect, understand and love each other without the institution that binds and gags romance. We must find partners that enrich our souls, not ones who we tie down in marriage. We must find people who help with our spiritual upliftment, even if they're not there forever. WE must give to the other as much and as deeply as we can. The commitment then happens within us, without expectation. And only then it will be forever. And you will get back as well. With or without being married.
Sunday, September 22, 2013
I hope you are feeling better now. Health is wealth and you must not worry and ruin it.
This mail has been confused with someone else. Your sister has not spoken to me and my daughter is not the person who she or you have in mind for your son. Please recheck the email Id and send the mail again.
However, on a separate note - Your son sounds quite the catch! Which girl wouldn't want to move to Sydney? After all it has The Sydney Opera House! What more could anyone want?!
Please do not worry if your son takes time to settle down. I'm sure he will find the perfect match and have lovely children one day. In the meantime, do know that marriage is perceived differently for youngsters. It is highly overrated. Pray that he finds love, happiness, success, and peace in his life rather than just a wife. Who might actually take away the other things!
Aapni bhalo theko.
All the best.
The Wrong Madhuri.
Anyways, thanks for your well wishes and hopefully we find a girl who brings happiness to our family and above all leads a peaceful and happy life with the family.
I hope you find a girl who realises the value of your son. And I hope your son puts her on a pedestal always. It's the only way a marriage will be about love and not about the piece of paper. Then it won't matter if she's Indian, Bengali, Brahmin, Dark, Fair, Short, fat, tall, loud, or otherwise. the couple will have found the one thing that will always keep them together and you will never need to worry about your son again.
Yes, you're right. It is simpler abroad than here in India. Doesn't make us less Indian if we imbibe the traditions of something simpler if they are not from our land.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
|Bombay TImes 17.9.2013|
I'm looking forward to writing fiction from now on for my books and leave the non fiction truth to my blog here. I am truly happy with the Gitanjali Group who covered the one book launch I was invited for and put my photo in the papers. I'm gonna save up money and buy my jewellery only from them now. Cos they showed me how important I was in front of Shobhaa De and Karisma Kapoor. Made me feel so special.
I hope all my friends will buy all the books and let me know which part they liked the most. Fiction or non fiction, we should be inspired through books and hope they help us in our daily life.
|Midday Mumbai 17.9.2013|
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Friday, May 24, 2013
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