Sunday, May 26, 2013

Flashback. Mumbai Mirror Article

My destiny was set when I was six months old.

At my annaprashan ceremony, I sat on my father’s lap and reached out for the one object that would define me today. A pen. Later, when I was trying my hand at filmmaking, my father reminded me that I was wasting my talent and my future was already fixed. How I embraced it, and where I went from there, was my choice.

The annaprashan ceremony or `mukhe bhaat’ that we Bengalis call it, is the first time a child is fed rice. The six month old sits on an elder’s lap, is first blessed and then fed solid food like kheer. It’s followed by a game where the child has to touch one of the symbolic objects placed on a silver plate. The plate has books – symbolizing he’s going to be a philosopher or a very learned man, jewels or coins representing he’ll be a businessman, a pen – signifying wisdom through writing, and grass or soil indicating he’ll be one with the people or a politician. The plate is held up for the child. And his profession is determined by what he touches. 

I didn’t know it at six months, but what kept me sane throughout my life was a diary I penned every night for twenty years. I wrote poems and articles in spiral bound notebooks, my pen being my precious possession. But, I was too inhibited to publish anything. When I finally embraced my destiny, I wrote my debut novel Losing My Virginity And Other Dumb Ideas. The opening chapter I wrote with a pen, sitting in a cafĂ© and understanding that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

There are some Indian traditions that need to be passed from one generation to another. I’m glad my daughter touched the book at her annaprashan ceremony. I’ll remind her to be wise later!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Love in The Digital Age: The Dos & Breakups

You would think that with all the technology available, it would be easier to find love in the digital age. It’s not. Here are a few tips to get it right.

3 Facebook Rules –

·       Do Not Friend Him First! If you’ve identified someone you like who is a friend of a friend, first ask your friend to mention you offline. Let him send you a friend request. Moreover, even after that, you need to wait for about 24 hours before you accept. Let him know you’re “considering” it.

·       Tagging, Commenting, Liking –If you comment, like or write on his wall every day, he’ll lose interest and run away. Why? Because he will think you’re a stalker who could be more dangerous in the real world than the virtual one. Tagging him in all your photos saying “wish you were here” is screaming hopeless. Comment on birthdays or promotions with a simple Happy Birthday or Congrats. Adding extra exclamations, smileys and “When do we celebrate” makes you look desperate.

·       Statuses - Be careful of adding single, complicated or in a relationship if he hasn’t put it up. Let him take the initiative. Otherwise, you will have to change it soon enough and save face.

Break up Rule: Un-friend him before he un-friends you. Let him know who’s boss! Besides, you don’t want to see him with new women. It’ll only hurt later.

3 Texting Rules –

·       Short and Sweet – If he asks “Wat’s up” you honestly don’t have to give an entire history of your day starting with your maid hasn’t turned up or your mom screamed at you. The rule of thumb is to answer in as many words as he does, or less. The appropriate answer here would be, “Chilling.”

·       TTYL – Always end a conversation first. Be so super busy that those precious moments you gave to him should be a privilege. Always be late for something. Have a spin class in a few minutes, or be attending to some urgent work. After you say the Talk To You Later, don’t specify when. Soon is a good enough answer to make him want to talk to you again.

·       Landline Theory – If you had a landline and were working you would probably chat with the person once if you were in office and once when you finally got home and had finished relaxing. Now since we carry our phones everywhere, people expect to receive answers immediately. Don’t seem eager. A 10 am text means you can wait till 1 to say, “Hey. On a lunch break so cd reply.” Time makes the heart grow fonder!

Break up Rule: Don’t send him angry long explanations about how much you gave in the relationship while he did nothing. It’ll only add to your bill. He’ll probably delete it after reading the first 3 words!

3 Twitter Rules

·       To Follow or Not to Follow – Cute guy. Interesting bio. Seems to follow a few people you know. Still, you need him to follow you first. Make sure that you tweet the correct things to get his attention. You know the common people who he follows will Retweet those things. Make sure he notices. Once he does, give it a few days before you follow him back.

·       DMing – So you’ve started a chat. Now he wants your phone number and email id. Take it slow. Get to know him better. You can learn a lot about a man by his daily tweets. Ask him questions about his tweets to know him better. Wait a few months and then give your number.

·       All the World’s A Stage – Unless you want everyone to know personal details about your life, keep your fights on Watsapp. Making sarcy comments on each other’s timelines means all those who follow both of you are privy to this little drama. Doesn’t show either of you in a good light.

Break up Rule – Un-follow and do not comment about your relationship. It’s nobody’s business to ask you on your timeline. You are not obligated to answer them. Be classy while being digital!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Relationship Advice: Money matters in a marriage: Husband is stingy!

Dear Love Guru,
My husband is very stingy. He refuses to take me to dinners or buy me anything. He gives money to run the house but refuses to splurge on anything else. How do I make him a little generous?
Dear Pallavi,
Money matters are always sensitive in any relationship. Approach this carefully. Ask him about the EMIs he has or investments he has made for the future. Maybe a large chunk of his money goes into savings. Figure out if there is a way you can cut down on the household expenditure in any way. If you save from your end a little bit, you will have enough to splurge on yourself or the family later. Have a frank discussion with him about what his dreams are and what are the short-term goals you both have. If he wants to save for the next twenty years, let him know the things you need on a regular basis to last the twenty years with him. Don’t be too demanding. If you need a vacation, make it a small, budget friendly one. If you want to buy clothes, make sure they’re not designer. If you want to eat out, you can still have romantic dinner with your husband and friends at reasonable places. Also don’t let your peer group pressurize you to live large. Start working and contributing as well. Even if you get a small income, you can spend it on the things you desire instead of continuously asking him. Remember, materialistic things fade with time. A strong relationship remains forever!

Reserved for One: A poem

We don't trust enough We don't pour out our hearts  Telling all our secrets, our fears and surrendering to each other. Comple...