Saturday, September 29, 2012

Do we live?

We breathe, we eat, we walk, we laugh, we cry, we feel euphoric, we go through despair, we want people, we want to be alone, we win, we lose, we love, we hate and yes sometimes choose be in between. And thus we survive. But do we live?

This question has been hovering around with me for so many years. At the age of 6 I asked my mother, “Why was I born”?

“To be my daughter and give me company” was my mother’s reply. I was in total disagreement with her as I thought I was born to become Miss Universe. (You can read about it here). I was living to become Miss Universe.

Few years later I again asked myself the same question and left it unanswered. The woes of having an inquisitive mind is that once it goes on seeking an answer, it will rest only after finding. You can try to subjugate it, try to ignore it, try to crumple it but it will not stop bothering without meeting its goal. And when it does find its goal, life becomes more blissful and beautiful.

Few days back while coming back from office, I was feeling unusually intrigued about my future prospects. So much that I began talking to myself, going to and forth on every nuances and facets. I was completely unaware of the world around me. Two children walked past me. One was around 3 and the other 6. The younger one was in a bad mood with tears welled up in his eyes, face turned red and steps refusing to go ahead. I took few steps back and turned to them. The elder one kept his gaze fixed on the ground and whispering to the little one to move quickly. The younger one looked straight into my eyes and suddenly my whole being smiled.

The eyes gave u tears and acquired a tinkle, face left the redness and lit up while the kid gave away the smile I had not seen and felt earlier. I kissed the kids and went away. The kids unknowingly taught me something which my books could not. I truly lived in that moment, the moment of pure happiness, happiness that is not conditional and dependent. It stems out from your own being, your being which is devoid of any kind of materialistic values. It gives away the notions of worldly love and tells us to not just survive but live.

And yes, we do live.  

Sunday, September 23, 2012


There are so many emotions that dwell in me, some come and go, some have a permanent base and some just like to amble around a bit. They make me feel complete and close to being a human being who is flowing and not monotonous. But I dread the coming of one, “Helplessness”. Though it doesn’t come often but when it does, it leaves so many unanswered questions, unfilled voids and a dreadful silence.

Last night I went to the living room to find some magazines needed for reference for an article. I was taken aback to find my family teary eyed in front of the television. The show “India’s got talent” was being aired. A girl of no more than 5 was balancing herself on the rope without giving much attention to the audience or the judges. She was determined and gritty, much oblivious to whatever was happening around her. After completing her act, she stood silently without any change of expression. Her face was cold and devoid of the child like free spirit. The whole audience burst into applaud but it did nothing to bring even a faint smile on her face. She was just there to do her work like she has been doing it since she began to crawl or speak in every nook and corner of the country.

My heart was silently weeping watching the little girl lose her childhood. If you ask any person that which period of their life is most memorable to them, a lot of people will definitely point out childhood. The time when we are carefree and have the liberty to believe and dream anything without planning about the money that would go into it. We can live without worry yesterday and tomorrow and just be in present.

Every day we see thousands of children on the streets living a life which even animals don’t deserve. We ignore it and become naive about the reality until one day when it comes face to face, leaving behind nothing but Helplessness. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sailing Over Lives- Absence

Iti didn’t remember when she met Neil for the first time. She thought she knew him from the day she was born. And it might be true too since they were just two days apart. He was her family. She vividly remembers the time when both of them were about 6, they had gone to a nearby church to get married when nobody was in their. And they did get married. Only their wedding vows were different. Till the time Iti was 15, her life revolved around Neil and cooking up stories about their possible future together. But the possibilities came crashing down when she saw him kissing a girl of her class.

Soon the whole school was talking about Neil and his girlfriend. He was not the most handsome boy around but definitely the most charming one. The one who would make a puppy face and get away with a murder. Iti began to see less of Neil and drowned herself into her world of books. For several weeks she cried herself to sleep imagining Neil with the other girl and Neil completely forgot about her existence until one day when he came running down her room.

“We are moving to turkey within a fortnight. Dad has been transferred” Neil exclaimed. He sounded excited.

“When are you leaving?” Iti asked trying hard to control her tears.

“After few days may be.”

Iti stood up and left for her lawn tennis practice without asking anything else further. Down the road she again tried hard to stop the tears rolling down her cheeks but nothing would stop them. She skipped her lawn tennis practice, went to a nearby park and cried for more than an hour.

When she came back, the house was quiet and the only sounds were of cutting of vegetables. She went into her room to find Neil still waiting for her. He stood up and handed her a envelope and left without saying another word. Iti tore the envelope within seconds and sat on the floor with it. It contained several of their photographs. The ones she always wanted to have but Neil would never give them to her. She now had them all but happiness of acquiring them eluded her.

Madam Airport”, Auto driver said loudly.
Iti was woken up from her thoughts. She paid the driver and made her way to the airport.

Shit Happens

You are not a saint. You have told this yourself over and over again. after months of drooling over her, fantasizing, always turning up in the middle of her perfectly planned date, plotting to get the chance of dropping her home, taking advantage of every trivial argument to lead it to a break up, you are now gearing up to admit that you are in love with your best friends girlfriend.

Shit has happened!

Bur now what? You cannot possible tell your best friend. He will either kill you or leave the girl right away to make you feel terribly meagre. You cannot go and confess to the girl. You stand the chance of losing both your friend and the girl. Also you might not want to get into the melodrama and become a character straight out of a Hindi daily soaps.

There is nothing you can do. Trying to date your best friend’s girlfriend is like evading another tiger’s territory. You will either win or lose but both the catastrophes will come your way with loss and guilt. Do it only if you want to enduringly acquire the territory otherwise the effort will turn out to be worthless. Save this effort for something more prolific than this mere upsurge of adrenalin.

But wait; there are still things which you can do without harming the cat.

  1. Continue to drool over her and keep dropping hints that you completely adore her. She will not leave your friend for you but you might get lucky for a coffee.
  2. Plan a double date. You can ask your most entertaining friend to join you and keep your friend busy while you keep his girlfriend.
  3. You can also make your friend a little more drunk than usual while you become the responsible guy next door who ends up driving her home.
  4. On days when you have nothing better to do, you show up at her workplace and get your share of moments with her.

You may get several chances of being lucky while you try your hand with these tips. But you should never give in as no girl would be worth cheating your best friend.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Girlfriend versus Best friend

We all remember how valiantly Julia Roberts fought to stop her best friend from marrying because she realised she is in love with him or is it so that she has always been. If it was a Hindi flick, the guy would have easily left his bride to be just a second before uttering, “I do” but it was not. Julia is left behind to find the second perfect for herself. Sigh.

I know a lot of people believe in the notion, “a boy and a girl can never be best friends, sparks will definitely fly’. But I don’t. They can be and they forge bonds which are beyond the sibling or the lover phenomenon. But are these bonds life long?

There is no definite answer to this question but they definitely are much tenderer and become vulnerable with the presence of the Miss Right who suddenly takes up all the attention in a man’s life which was previously enjoyed by our now quietly sidelined best friend.  This obviously doesn’t go down too well with her. She begins to feel cynical and lonely. Her days will start and end with the fickle hope of his call and after two days he does call, but only to ask where should he take her for date? The girl would want to scream ‘Hell’ but ends up uttering several options. He picks up one and keeps the phone down.

End of the world.

She may or may not cry. She may or may not sleep. She may or may not eat. But she will definitely fall in love.

But is she really in love? Not really. She is just too lonely to feel any other emotion. And she would not feel anything else until she manages to get the new toy out of his life.

Relax girl. Just because you always completed his assignments and got him his favourite jersey, he will be enslaved to serve you. It will hurt in the beginning and you too will succumb to the gloom but you will end up fine. Don’t take refuge watching dumb Hindi movies in the hope that your might turn into one. It will not. Instead go guy hunting.

And the boys even though you have got a sexy new thing to flaunt the whole day, you will need the old pillow to hug and fall asleep.

Monday, September 17, 2012

What Not to Think About Women

  1. Women feel safe with men who smoke
Though I have seen this statement being used extensively by Cigarettes companies to promote their brand, safety and smoking are completely oblivious to each other. For some it may turns out to be a turn off. So from now onwards don’t make women another excuse for your habit. We may like you but certainly not because you smoke.

  1. Women have no sense of humour 
Just because we didn’t laugh at a third rated joke you just cracked about your teacher it doesn’t mean we are deprived of humour. We like to laugh and have fun but are not heartless and shameless creatures on a hunt to rip and mock almost anybody out there.
Men out their have to take it easy, get out of the hangover of impressing the girl in 5 minutes and be himself.

  1. Just because she is out with you, she is available 
You asked her out for a coffee and she said yes without giving you a run for your money. Life is bliss and you start rolling the film a step ahead. But wait a minute. There can be a thousand other reason for that one yes, why anticipates anything further? Take it easy.

  1. Only you have to pay the bill 
We are living in recession hit times and money is hard earned so don’t think and dread about the bill you have to pay when out on a date. You can ask her the woman to contribute something too. And if still your male ego doesn’t allow you as her, don’t take her to a brutally expensive place. Places don’t make a date, people do.

5. Women are not good listeners

I know most of you will not agree to this but yes women can be good listeners provided some intelligent talk. But if you think that they will listen to the endless ramming about the ongoing EPL or the new Ferrari on the block, take a break. Tell me will you listen to a woman sighing about the limited edition Jimmy Cho she was not able to buy?  No you will not. So put down the judgemental hat and initiate on the grounds of common interests.

Written for Dateiitians

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Purple Colour: Book Review

I generally don’t read books after watching the movies based on them but here I made an exception which I don’t regret. I picked up the DVD of the movie just by its title,” The Colour Purple”. Purple always fascinates me. Also the back of the DVD cover said. “Directed by Steven Spielberg’. And I could not resist.

I laughed and cried through the movie and bought the book the next day. The Colour Purple is the story of Celie, a black woman in America. She lives with her mother, her stepfather and her sister Nettie in shacks of poverty. Her stepfather repeatedly rapes her and fathered her two children whom he takes away. He furthers marry her off to Albert who treats her worse than a beast, let alone love or respect her. Albert then forbids her to meet her sister, only love of her life. One fine day Albert brings Shug Avery home, his love of past so many years. Shug initially shuns Celie but slowly a bond is formed between the two. A bond made in heaven. She finds her lost spirit back and courage back through the charm and magic of Shug.

What makes this Pulitzer Prize awarded creation by Author Alice Walker being hailed as one of the greats is its narration. Celie writes to God her story in her own broken English which is some times heartbreaking and sometimes relishing. The characters bring in every nuance of human behaviour. The book brings out the greyscale of all the character so seamlessly that they entwines with the shambles of good and bad perfectly. At the end you just leave the book with a smile, sigh, and utter astonishment at the ordinary characters and their extraordinary struggle with life.

P.S It doesn’t matter what you have read or not in the past, this book is definitely worth a read. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Love in the time of Facebook.

50 years ago it was easier to define Love without tagging the “it’s complicated” status. Love meant secret courtships, clandestine meetings, long letters, even longer melancholic periods, and of course every reason to be together. Phrases like “breakup” and move on” would not have found any takers. It was love, it was true, and it was forever.

Fast forward the time and here we are. In words of Megan Fox, “we live in the times where losing our phone is more dramatic than losing our virginity”. No raising the eyebrows please. It is certainly true. We meet, we sleep and we forget. What happens to Love in this vicious circle of sleeping and forgetting? Well, it happens but it has happened before, and before and before. And we let it go. But believe me it will haunt you back. And it doesn’t matter how many times you have laughed and shrugged the mills and boons romance, called Danielle Steel boring, mocked Yash Chopra for making yet another romantic tale, the whole world will croon to violins when you will fall in love. It’s just that you have to keep the earphones off.

But what after the violins? We date, we romance, it gets complicated, careers take over love and we decide to move on. We will unfriend each other on Facebook, delete each other’s phone numbers unfollow on Twitter and will vow never to meet again. Has it become that simple?

No it hasn’t. Love and cannot be unloved. We all know but never admit it. We take refuge under the neon lights of Pubs, Bloody Mary and a reloaded Ipod full of old classic melancholic numbers. But do we have to it?

Not really. 50 years later when we will be too old for sex and too old to update our Facebook status. All we would require is someone you have loved all your life and want to live more to love that person more and more and more.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Letter to Yourself

So you turned 21 this year. Though I know you don’t feel a day older than 12. you still imagine yourself dancing with Tom Cruise in some Mission Impossible x, you still want to take every stranded puppy home, you still dream of wearing the Miss Universe crown, you are still Blossom of the Power Puff Girls, you still make notes and keeps journals and of course you are simply awesome.

But I know you don’t feel the awesomeness in you all the time. You get bogged down; feel defeated, purposeless and useless. The 21 years weigh on your shoulders like they were 40. You feel sad that you still don’t have written a book, people are not running into you to get autographed, there are countries left to travelled, books left to be read and written, coffees to be smelled and life to be lived.

Relax girl! You were good, you did well and you will do better.

Think about the time when you first stood on the stage, cried and ran back. You were three at that time. Did you think about it again? Did the thoughts of quitting flood your mind? No. you just went on it again only to capture it for the rest of your years. How proud it was for your parents to see you command the attention of everyone in the opening sentence itself.

Think about the time you fumbled in maths and algebra refused to form a way with your understanding. You hated mathematics for five years of your school life. Still you managed o score a 93 in your board examination and fought the phobia making maths a dear subject too.

Think about the days when you were going to start a new life away from the safe cocoon of home. You spent days and nights crying yourself to sleep. But that did not let you sway away. You worked hard and proved everyone of your worth within a few days.

Think about the time when you won your first national prize and followed the legacy with two more within a year. Remember you and your friend were up against the whole world and you guys won. You guys even started your publication “Skyline”. Though I agree it died a silent death. But you tried and created!

Think about the time when you edited a national magazine and unveiled it in front of more than 3000 students from all over the country. Aren’t you proud of it?

Think about the time when you handed your grandmother her first flight ticket from your own salary.

Think about the time when your father proudly tells his friends, “my daughter has my genes. She will never give up. She is a tigress.

And do remember what your grandfather once told your father when they were going through bad times.
“ Falak ko chaah jahaan bijliyan girane ki,
Humein bhi zidd wahin hai aashiyan banane ki.”
There is so much more to you girl that you yourself can measure let alone fill this letter with it. All I have to say in the end is

Embrace life with open arms, live every moment, love every soul, believe in your worth. Be you. Because you know what?
You are Bhawna Jaimini;-).

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sailing Over Lives: This is How It Is

The sun was shining hard on her head. The partly cloudy sky did nothing to sieve the heat. Iti laughed at her judgemental self after recognizing the events of the morning. The moment she met Shiv, she was clear and she knew what lay ahead of her. But here she was; walking back astonished and amazed and shamed at her outlook towards the less privileged people than her. Lost in her thoughts she continued to walk. Walking without knowing the destination was something new. A part of her was enjoying it and another part was sceptical.

And she was listening to none.

Iti spotted a Costa Coffee outlet and made it her momentary destination. Although she often complained about it being brutally expensive, she loved their outlets, the pristine white cutlery, the cappuccino mug kept at off centre in the saucer served with a cookie, and their policy of employing deaf and dumb people. She somehow felt as if she herself is contributing to their well being after paying for a highly over priced coffee.

The café was sparsely crowded. Iti was seated on the table next to the window. She always preferred to sit and watch the world go by. And she suddenly realised she was doing this after a long time. Whenever she needed a coffee outside her home, her laptop accompanied her and she too was smitten by his loyalty that she never deprived him of her attention. But today she had ditched him.

And she was not guilty.

The coffee arrived precisely after 15 minutes. The rich aroma was soothing to her senses. She poured half the packed of brown sugar into the cup and sipped the coffee and her phone rang. “It might be from the office”, Iti thought. She fumbled for few minutes in her larger than life bag before getting stuck to its screen.

“Neil calling”
The screen flashed the name. Iti gazed at the screen in excitement and horror and despair. Her last few years of life ran in her mind in mere seconds.

She pressed the ‘Accept’ button without even knowing.

“Hello? Am I speaking to Iti?
“Yes Neil you are”
“So you have not deleted my phone number?”
“What do you want?”
“I want you to meet me?”
“I need you here.”
“Where are you?”
“In Gangtok.
“What the hell are you doing there? Are you alright?”
“Yes I am all fine here. Can you come here?”
“When do you want me there?”
“Are you nuts?”
“Yes I am! I want you to take the next possible flight and come here.”
“Fine I am coming.”
“Call me after you have booked your tickets. Bye”

Call disconnected.

The last time they have met, she had vowed never to see his face again. And now was she was ready to fly miles just because he needs her. Perhaps he was the only one who ever needed her.

Iti took an auto and headed to the airport. Her morning became hazy and melted into the physical form of Neil. Perhaps this is what life is. She just was living it.
P.S those who are new to the series find  the earlier parts  here
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3