What are you doing these days??? This is a question that is asked at least 5 when times I meet people. My answer these days usually is “Nothing” or “I take pictures…… The answer usually varies depending upon the person I am talking to. Some years back when this question was asked, I would launch onto a rhetoric monologue about the challenges of the industry to survive in the present economy…… to my current predicament of having no time at all or the current job market….. but these days my answer usually stuns people. Over a period of time I have realised that this question is usually an ice breaker to a conversation and people in general would rather speak about their professional lives. The other alternative is usually gossip or serials which is something I steer very clear of. I have been in the career rat race since a very long time. Having started working at the age of 16 and been working ever since, independent, self-reliant et al…….. somewhere down the line I realised that I didn’t have any life apart from the professional life. I was very ambitious and at that point I wanted to change the world and do awesome stuff.
But all I did was wake up in the morning do my regular household chores rush to take the train or drive myself to work, where I battled the traffic then the office politics and all the paraphernalia that came with it only to return home to do more work cooking and cleaning and then fall exhausted to sleep only to repeat all the things all over again. Holidays were dreaded!!! Because it meant a whole day of marathon cooking cleaning washing and more cooking cleaning washing. Well I was disillusioned. Being independent self-reliant was a joke because I was a slave to my job and the monotony my master. Don’t get me wrong I loved my work like any other person was even very good at it and also kinda loved cooking, but the monotony of the whole thing finally got to me. Striking a balance was unquestioned because I was miserable in what I did. I didn’t have time for anybody not even for myself, just an isolated sad self-pitying case…… I was just a nameless spoke in somebody elses well oiled machine.
So when I happened to break both my ankles at the same time and was confined to bed with my feet in the air I took another look at my life. I was standing on my own two feet one day and the next day I was literally off it. I didn’t like what I saw!!! I was another piece of a huge machine which was just that….. a piece of machine. I didn’t do anything besides being a very miniscule part of the machine. Also my health was suffering and when I saw my wardrobe I realised that all the clothes I possessed were stuff that I went to work in. So basically that meant that I didn’t have a life, I was unhealthy and I didn’t know where I was going and most important……. I was not happy. So I took the forced medical break and decided to make the most of it. I realised that I loved painting and took to it in a big way. My love for the camera which had been present ever since I first held my dad’s Agfa and my sister told me to stop my breath and press the shutter for that perfect shot became the highlight of my life. My love for plants and flowers. Experimenting with cooking and inventing and innovating in the kitchen. The biggest surprise that came to me from nowhere was that I loved teaching. It hit me hard because I always thought of myself as a hard-nosed corporate person. I belonged to a family of teachers but I always believed that I was the odd one out. This was a surprise that hit me hard.
I took to all of these with the same focus that I put in my job. The result was that I didn’t go back to work. I won’t say that I am the best photographer or the best painter or the best chef or best gardener or the best teacher…….. I am all of these and more and these are things that make me very happy. I wont lie about missing the Gandhi factor in my life which I got at the end of each month. But the compensations in comparison are far more immense…… my professional degrees are put more to use today than it has been when I was working full-time. My brain can think from angles I had never thought of before. I feel I don’t have any limitations and can do anything and everything. I find new things to do at every turn in life and I enjoy all of them and the perfectionist in me gets them done to the “T”. I have learnt to improvise and accept things and today I realise that I have much much more to achieve than I have till date. I have more time for my personal relations as compared to before. I have to acknowledge here that if it hadn’t been for hubby I wouldn’t have been able to do this. But since he is taking care of the monetary aspects of life I have the liberty to do stuff that I like. And I am very thankful to him for that. Today I am no longer a corporate person but I am so much more…… I am a better wife a better daughter a photographer a teacher a temperamental but still….. a painter, an ok cook, a gardener………. also a very happy person and much much more………
I saw Queen yesterday. The movie where Kangana Ranaut plays Rani, the main protagonist. The story is of a simple and “GOOD” girl who gets dumped at the altar by her bf of many years….. only to embark on a journey to her pre arranged honeymoon to Paris and Amsterdam all by herself, meeting people who are totally different from her, beating thugs in paris, selling golgappas in amsterdam and finding herself in the process.
The character of rani is so beautifully balanced. Though she comes from an orthodox indian background….. where at every juncture in life she is told what to do by her parents or her fiancee or her friends……. she totally accepts the other people she meets on her journey without wanting to change them. Yes she is scandalised on more than one occasion. Be it when she finds her new friend sleeping with lots of men or when she meets the stripper at amsterdam or when she has to share a room with three other men at a hostel. But her journey to discovering independence for herself is beautiful.
Her non judgemental attitude stands out. Be it the waitress who has a child out of wedlock or the stripper in amsterdam who is waiting for a package from her mother from home or her mother in law who thinks she shd join the kitty party. She takes people at face value. People are the same world wide. People from all parts of the world whoever they are….. are scared of lizards….. i think tht is what we need to realise. Color language sex dont really matter. The humor in the movie is totally not lost on the audience infact it is superbly timed and keeps the audience glued….. asking more. The total lack of melodrama and the punju crass makes it more appealing to me. The simplicity of the main protagonist is outstanding….. it makes her more endearing to u.
For me the movie is about finding wings…… every girl needs to find her wings and shd know to fly….. every guy needs it too but girls need it more than them. Because at every juncture in life they are forced to prove themselves and at tht time it helps to know your true potential. Nothing can beat the independence of soaring high and feeling you can do everything and achieve everything.
The movie was also about finding goodness in the seemingly worst situations. The best part of the movie was not making a love equation between the main protagonist and the guys she meets on her journey. She lets them be for what they were. Friends on a journey who share moments of time together and help each other close traumatic chapters of their life and discover themselves….. and then move on with a promise to keep in touch…… you really dont need to marry everybody u come in contact with u no. It was a fresh breath of breather from the other bollywood movies where getting hooked up is soooo necessary.
I personally think every woman shd take a trip like this one atleast once in her life….. without the cocoon of protection from family and relatives. I loved the last scene where she hands back the ring to her fiancee and thanks him. I had a smile for all the 15 kms ride back home. I think i am inspired enuf to go to a trip like that one.
I would give the movie a 10 out of 10…… full paisa wasool.
When people cry “exploitation” or say that they are being exploited and complain and cry about it to others. I don’t have the patience of feeling bad about such people. If you think you have been exploited you ask for an explanation from the exploiter and rather than playing victim and crying over it, you fight for your rights. And if you wish to continue the existence of the one exploited you should cry over it at your convenience at your own abode.
My new pet project these days is “HOUSE Hunting” and man………. is it tiring or what??? I am either on the field looking at potential apartments or researching them on the net. At other times I am thinking about them…… another very very tedious process. I haven’t touched my camera since Diwali night. None of the flats I see fall into the Mc Dream Home category. Finding a dream house is like falling in love with the dream person. I am sure you think I am gross comparing these two things but seriously…… its like you love somebody’s eyes or somebody’s smile or somebody’s dimples, somebody’s sense of humor, somebody’s ……… I’m definitely getting soft in the head!!!!
Just to clear the air I meant a mixture of Shahrukh Khan, Hritik Roshan, Amir Khan (not the dead singer), Salman Khan, Khalli…….?????? (now where did that come from???…… soft part of the head…… I guess!!!) whatever…… Coming back to the point….. Mc Dream Home!!! Every house I see has a certain feature that I like sometimes it is the living room sometimes the spacious bedroom sometimes the kitchen, sometimes it is the terrace or the view etc only you never find all of them in one single place.
Just like in the case with LOVE…….. even if you do find McDreamy and fall in love with him…… he should love you back….. here comes affordability. So the search is on as I scour the streets of my city braving the cold evenings and the dry and hot afternoons. Result I am down with a bad throat infection. Sometimes when I speak I have to look around to make sure that the broken creepy croaky voice is mine and don’t even make me start as to when I am laughing….. I sound like the creepiest chudail (witch). I used to look like one now I even sound like one…… Any fancy dress shows coming up???
Coming back to Mc Dream Home…….. the construction companies are so sly that what they put up on paper and what they actually give are two different things. The built-up area and the available carpet area differs from what they put up on paper. Most of the under construction apartments that I saw are so tiny that I had to change my mind and go for the ready possession flats. Here I can buy what I see. So much more comfortable!!!!Plus the waiting period of the possession of the flat and the builder’s tantrums are something you wont have to endure. Most builders delay possession and charge an escalation plus the amenities mentioned in the brochures are grossly over rated for eg: Landscaped gardens, children play area, Relaxation benches, senior citizens’ corner, lawns, open air fitness area and jogging tracks are actually a small little teeny-meeny grassy park with a bench and some winding lanes. Gymnasiums are actually areas in the club house where a little treadmill and exercycle is kept.
The only disadvantage at this point of time is the affordability. Finance is one hell of a competing sector. Since I have posted feelers about my intention to buy a property I have been totally bogged down by brokers selling properties and finance guys offering various schemes so much that my earlier silence loving and never ringing phone does not stop ringing and there usually is somebody waiting on the other line. I have got so confused that I agree to meet somebody and hand over documentation to another….. I negotiate details with one and end up asking no demanding loan features offered from a completely different bank. It is so confusing!!!!
To top it all the brokers have been offering me everything from heritage buildings to pigeon hole homes. Just today I was offered to view a home that was older than me !!!!Most of these flats have an array of single working people or students staying on rent. The reason……. they pay more money and vacate immediately. I recently saw one house where there were four burly unshaven less clothed men lounging in the living room and when I entered more and more men seemed to keep coming out of woodwork……. so many that i completely lost count of them. As I walked around to see the house more and more men came out. All of them looking at you as if you walked into the “never seen a female” male section of Tihar jail with very very HUGE eyes. I immediately was on my toes because the house was dirty and I rejected buying it. All I could think of was : RRRRRRUUNNNNNNNN!!!!
The female students/working professionals on the other hand are better they are really neat and clean but again most properties in the market for resale are not really worth an investment. The smooth talking brokers take the cake. They make the properties on resale seem like it is the next thing after Taj Mahal and the usual all it requires is a fresh coat of paint. What they mean is pull down the walls and the plaster and also re-tile the entire floor and change all the electric fixtures and bathroom fittings and install new woodwork……. THATS ALL!!!
So my basically hunt for McDreamHome is still on but now I am armed with lots of between the lines reading knowledge and clear specific requirements about what I want in my home. So I’m ready……. bring it on!!!!!