My mind a warp and woof. How izz tat! I borrowed the lines on the whim of the grey cells and totally randomgiri. Ain’t being apologetic for fuck sake in weaving Hinglish, Engish with Hindi lingo to spice it up with the starting lines for this post! Just made me delusional for fleeting seconds that could’ve been a street singer and earn dimes for myself!
Check one, two and three! Move on with this wacky, tacky and horrible start! See! I ain’t that cool nor trying to be one. Just be me. Cool ka school master is being true to the self. Officially, I am off Facebook and after dilly-dallying umpteen number of times just deactivated the account that makes the break for the sixth consecutive year. I shall be off for a sanity month. We all need it, ain’t we! Ok, not everyone but declutter from social media works for me. I love myself, plain.
Blog has created fortune for many folks who work their asses to curate content and making them the brand they deservedly become. In for some inspiration, read this quote:
“People often ask me how to become a rich and famous blogger and I have a simple answer: Don’t start by wanting to be a rich-and-famous anything. Step back, close your eyes and imagine the one thing you’d want to do for the rest of your life even if nobody paid you to do it. Find a way to make this your life even if nobody paid you to do it. Find a way to make this your career, fame and fortune will surely follow. I believe the universe will have no choice but to help you succeed. And, hey, you’ll enjoy the ride no matter what right? The passionate pursuit of happiness, THAT’s what it’s all about.”
Cracked the code! Hurray! The best advice someone could give on blogging with so many of us hell-bent to make money as if its instant maggie and coming from one of the most amazing brand blogger name, Miss Malini, make some fucking pro-tip. I am reading, To the moon: How I blogged my way to Bollywood by Malini Agarwal, the most successful blogger and brand name on entertaining, read Hindi cinema and celebrities. How I hate the term ‘Bollywood’! People find me stand-offish!
I am unlearning and learning new things Miss Malini way. Blogging is finding a voice in conversational tone how you’d speak to a bud. No air of pretense! The book is fun and quirky, a fast paced tale that everyone in love with the movies would identify with, speaking a youthful language. One book I can’t wait to review here and stay tune.
Amazing week it’s been and thrived without internet for 2 days. No Facebook or social media and WhatsApp. Blissful. The cousin visited from London and plenty of catch up for three weeks, speaking unabashedly about so many things in life and what we make about it. ..lemonade. Of course, got two cool Tee as gift and amazing Kouros, Yves Saint Laurent Perfume. Blessed and grateful for the moments of happiness. It’s no dint of self-fulfilling prophecy about existentialism the Jean Paul Sartre way. Just saying, you see!
There are days like that! I revel in the plentiful and no racing against time. So what it’s Sunday! Take chill, breathe easy and go slow. Phew! This post feels so much like a diary entry and having so much fun writing with this Miss Malini vibe. Relatable writing can do wonders to you in being easy and as I read the book, the palm itching to jot fun-filled tales like a magician and overlooking writing rules or style font. Grammar nazi can take a chill pill for change, you see!
I should try making this kinda quirky posts a regular affair to have more fun and bring it on. You know why? Adulting sucks and hate being one on earth! What I am blurting! Nopes, ain’t on dope or shit like that it’s just gotta carve fun days, go happy-go-lucky!
Just created a quote out of thin air like tube light effect. My Sunday gyaan, Stop editing and be an unedited jazzy version of yourself. Go figure and Chalo, let me go back to Miss Malini.
That night she whipped a storm. Dotted lights spangled on the dark road and glittered spots flitted like ants in the scorching heat and horns splintered her ear. A fag was lit and smoke held inside the parched throat, blown like strewn leaves curled in the air. She stood alone on the sprawling balcony and gently unlaced the golden bra, untied the white pyjama, traipsing naked on the icy cold floor. An air of comfort engulfed her slim body and hands caressing her long legs, moving slowly on her breast, to pinch the nipples. She was unmoved by the pain and sensation of a piercing needle. She smiled and cupped her hand on the upper lip.
The wind blew in intermittent ruffle, stroking the curly hair ensconced in her hand and spinning in the form of a hairy ball. She emptied the soul and lit a second cigarette, “Fuck the world.” Legs flailed on the steel handle at the edge of the balcony. Thoughts wiped off. Memory lulled. She gently turned her round body and seductive walked inside the apartment, stopped brusquely to wade out on the balcony. The night was still and haunting. The shiny black eyes bobbed towards the Queen Necklace at Marine Drive. She chucked him out of her life.
A heavy and light night witnessed mad, intense love. Lips curled and swirled at the tip of tongues lashing. Rolling on the bed, she bent and pressed his knee, unzipped his denim and hand flitted inside his underwear. He became hard and moaned. He panted and pulled her white skirt, pressing the boob. The skin male body sat like a force on her and the face cupped on the white sheet with hands running on her back. She moved swiftly like a warrior and lay on top of him in the stormy night. Naked skins smothered like foams and caressed each other like feather. Horn! Thunder! Screeching! Splinter of glasses! Windy chime! Moaning! A crescendo reached and the waves crashed like steam. Ferocious heartbeat. Thud! Thud! Thud!
Hands lay still on the steel bar. Head slouched on the speckled white tiles and jolted out of her reverie. She fixed the deserted dark road and a large wry smile surfaced on her face. Inside the huge hall, a male naked body slouched on the red sofa. Blood dripped on his forehead and lay cold as drop of red clotted stain pierced through the hairy chest. The lover was shot point-blank on the head and chest. Seduction and satiated expression flashed on a fresh face after consuming the first night and last night with the bride.
A light-hearted story set against the background of Rajasthan’s rich heritage, the old forts and palaces and the common folks make for a magnificent tale laden with promises. Author Zoe M whips a story of love, conflicts and surprises, lending it a lyrical intonation made believable in a fashion where the commoners come alive. The element of revenge is inimical to the plot that lends credence to it but, somehow, the missing cue with half-baked characters slows the pace in parts. Let’s analyze.
Call me Saaya is no flawless tale but works for its sheer simplicity and the flowery language injected by the author in depicting Rajasthan making it unique, delicate and delectable at the same time. It could have been the perfect answer to Suketu Mehta’s Mumbai ‘Maximum City.’ The intention is laudable in telling the countless tales of the unsung people and the commoners cut off from urban life, be it yearning for Kadak Chai, a burlesque crowd occupying every space in an overcrowded train that could’ve been a pack of wolves or the small roadside eatery taking readers into an unexplored world, which is a rarity nowadays.
The language unravels in an effortless manner by taking readers on a visual trip of rural Rajasthan and the depiction of the Indian wedding, gold embroidery, expensive sarees and opulent jewelry is overstretched but the author scores through her knack for description. The sequence where Saaya takes Shamsher to the farm, giving him a unique taste of a farmer’s life is depicted in a thought-provoking and humane manner, evoking empathy.
The novel carries all the ingredients to make it a page-turning affair with two well-defined characters, Shamsher and Saya whose first encounter is done in a rather unique fashion. The stage is set for a great romance, somehow diluted by the sub-plot of revenge which happens too drastic and making it a tad unconvincing. Of course, the book has many interesting layers bearing a searing impact, right from Saaya longing for Shamsher after she realizes her mistake and the ‘bond’ with her mother Sumitra Devi. The latter portrayed as a protective angel throughout the book and emerges as an important character pivotal to the story.
The narration is unique, pacy and gently strokes the senses, a rare quality in the author’s style who has the perfected the art of sucking her readers right in the center of the story. The sentences are alluring, ‘Padharo Bai-sa!, ‘Khammaghani Hukum’, the traditional Rajasthani dialect makes one fall in love in the sequence where Zoe M portrays Shamsher working in the field among men and women, cutting crops with a sickle, laid harvested grain bundles, ‘Bend, cut, straighten. Bend, cut, straighten.” Beautiful description sounding like the gentle tapping of water to churn music. Of course, the meal…Jowari (millet flatbread), Ker-Sangri take this Rajasthani tale to a subliminal level.
Every aspect of relationships is touched right from the bonding between Shamsher and Mann Singh, Saaya and Roma, this aspect should have been explored further by injecting conflict and added complication would have made the narrative more edgy and thrilling. Humor pops right on the face when the reader least expect it and the imagery of the ‘Knife’ is concocted with ingenuity. It serves to break the monotony in a hilarious manner.
Like I discussed, the story appears too simple at times and there are several characters right from Saaya’s treacherous father Ravi Kumar who disappears after being confronted by the daughter to Roma that could have been made more lethal. Ravi Kumar could turn into an interesting villain playing spoil sport to the love angle between Saaya and Shamsher towards the end. The idea of Saaya’s revenge was central to the plot and the spate of suspense escalating lacks the impact and could have been weaved more intensely.
On the whole, Zoe M makes a fairly interesting debut novel with ‘Call me Saaya’ by tapping into the carefree young audience but by giving them direction and a sense of responsibility. This where the author scores by making her central protagonists not clueless but young people with the heart in the right place and grounded at the same time. It makes for an interesting and refreshing read.
You can click on Amazon to buy the book and connect with Zoe M on Twitter.
Ganesh Chaturthichya Hardik Shubheccha! Happy Ganesh Chaturthi and may Bappa sprinkle blessing, showering abundance of love, wisdom, wealth, intellect, health and peace on everyone. Ganpati has always been my childhood friend and as a kid, grew up to venerate and praying to the adorable lord. The eyes would never leave the Ganpati idol that wore a tremendous impact on me, revelling in the story surrounding the legend of the courageous warrior and protector standing to the mighty Shiva while his mother was bathing and doing the round of his parents while his brother Karthik’s raced around the world. There is not an Indian child who was never told the story of Ganpati by parents.
Over the years, I stopped believing in rituals and my belief verges more towards agnosticism but Bappa represents a powerful energy drawn to as a friend, loved by millions not just in India but across the globe. It’s my personal equation with Ganpati. I sorely miss the celebration in India and particularly, in Maharashtra, Mumbai and Pune, the dholak, wild dance and loud music till the wee hours in the morning. The endearing quality surrounding Bappa celebration is unique in the way it brings the people together, irrespective of caste, class, race or gender echoing One identity, India. Ganpati is a symbol of unity and One nation-theory. There is a certain political symbol behind Ganesh Chaturthi in India and the era when the country was ushering into its Independence and the celebration was a protest against the then rulers.
There is something beautiful about the grandiose celebration in India, the countless pandals splayed in every nook-and-corner, sprinkling of colors and the massive crowd adds to the ubiquitous charm. The ten days fervor in Maharashtra is forever captured in the heart and soul that afford us the opportunity to relive in the memory, something to be experienced and lived with grandeur, if you’ve never been to Maharashtra. The belief in Bappa is something very personal. A moment to wait with bated breath and welcoming the Lord in the house for ten years before swirling one’s way to the Visarjan. Girgaon Chowpatty, in SoBo always comes to the mind.
Being out of India and based in a country with a large Indian population made the Ganpati celebration endearing and though done on a small-scale, people welcome the Lord in beautifully decorated pandals in their homes which devotees visit during the festival. This time, I went with Mom to two homes to pay my respect to Bappa and guests are welcomed with sweets, the favorite Modak and meal to the visitors after the prayer arati. One pandal which stood tall to my eyes and beautifully carved with decorations, flowers and offerings surrounded the idols reverberating with the glitter of divinity, owing to the amount of hard work, dedication and passion. For me, this is pure energy and one doesn’t need to be believer to feel the powerful vibes flowing. You will always find a Ganpati idol on the home desk of this agnostic!
“Johann Wolfgang von Goethe had said, ―I am what I am, so take me as I am”
-Quoted by Chief Justice of India, Dipak Mishra
Sexual orientation is a personal choice. Over decades and years, the archaic Section 377 criminalizing homosexuality has loomed large over our head as a sword stirring passion destroying lives among the LGBT community. It has been a real shame for India considered to be the largest democracy in the world to live with the law that makes sexual love a crime. Human beings who are homosexuals, transgenders and lesbians have suffered a lot, albeit, moral ostracization and was a sore sight to see bigots or extremist groups using verbal, psychological and physical violence coupled with the gay community deprived of basic rights such house renting, owning property, marriage, Adhar card, passport, ration card, driver’s license, education, employment and the list goes on.
“But society has now fairly got the better of individuality; and the danger which threatens human nature is not the excess, but the deficiency of personal impulses and preferences.”—John Stuart Mill
To call it an aberration would be an understatement. The worse crime a democratic society could commit is turn the door on its citizens, depriving them of basic and fundamental human rights or the choice to freely love andexpress. I was watching TV when the judgment led by a panel constituted by Chief Justice Dipak Mishra decriminalized homosexuality led to euphoria and couldn’t be more proud on being an Indian, the India that many of us have always wanted. The lawyers and social activists who fought tirelessly to put this outdated law on the bin or oblivion deserve all our respect to ensure that human rights and dignity prevail. The celebration is a human triumph or what one would call justice for a country, restoring constitutional rights and democracy.
At an age where India is plagued by rising intolerance, hatred, prejudice or violence, this judgment comes as the harbinger of hope and reminds us about the birth of a New India. As an Indian, it’s a moment of both pride to see Independence being protected by the Supreme Court which is the commoner’s last resort, gateway, and sanctity of justice giving hope to millions upheld. Courts have always been the gateway of justice and equality. The fight doesn’t stop at the historical and landmark judgment. The biggest challenge for India as a country remains an attitudinal shift and becoming more acceptant to people with different sexual orientation from us, meaning, heterosexuals. We can make efforts to be more human towards each other in society by leaving religion behind, letting Adam and Eve to peacefully enjoy their apple.
Sadly, fringe elements will keep making noise, blurting out brainless statements or debilitating crap by hiding behind religion or provoking violence which is the resort of spineless cowards. Belonging to different sexual orientation should have never raised a single question in the first place. It’s about choices that we make as a human being. Anybody discriminating against someone having a different sexual choice or making love would already commit an unconstitutional act, as the panel of judges have clearly remarked in this judgment that will go down in India’s history as a major landmark.
To see what the LBGT community suffered, it stands important to take real-life examples and this testimony is a shame to all of us as Indians. I have a Mumbai based friend in the creative arts who was subjected to verbal violence by drunkards staying in ‘her’ locality when she was coming home late night after work and was threatened with assault. She was a victim but was thrown out of her house by the landlord. A blatant example, one would say but the worse was the ridicule doled out at the police station.
To make matters worse, she was in a relationship with a man who not only used physical violence during the sex act but also suffered burns with cigarette stubs. Ultimately, the man married a woman to get away with everything. This friend of mine suffered. I dedicate this post to millions like her, men and women suffering in the worst manner like an outcaste.
Like Judge Indu Malhotra pointed out, history owes an apology to those people and their families who suffered at every end of the social spectrum. The biggest question is can we give them back their lives? Will an apology suffice? What about politicians and fake gurus like Baba Ramdev claiming to find a cure to homosexuality? Little do we realize how much it hurt those humans beings whose only fault seemingly is to have a distinct sexual orientation. It’s a basic right and not a demand. This begets the question: What next? Will the ingrained prejudice in our psyche stop? Will we keep faltering as a ‘rainbow nation’ beyond the moments of pride?
Our biggest problem is the attitude that we have as human beings by throwing this whole religious argument to condone crime against homosexuals. The right to live and love with dignity is enshrined in the petition filed by the Naz Foundation, “The right to sexuality”, “The right to sexual autonomy” and “Right to choice of a sexual partner” lies in the Indian constitution. High time for the Government to come with a legal framework imposing severe punishment on anyone who uses force or police refusing to take statement of victims facing harassment or for that matter, being driven away from their homes. The Centre has a golden opportunity to make history after this landmark judgment, showing their seriousness and sensitivity on this issue. How about political parties across all streams imposing sanctions on members making unfortunate statement? Food for thought! High time to pull down this lid of hypocrisy.
The judgment has put emphasis on denying self-expression amounting to death, identity equals divinity, individual autonomy free of discrimination and privacy representing the ideal of the constitution. What natures give is natural is an over-aching statement for all of us to reflect on as a truly inclusive society.
“A person belonging to the said community does not become an alien to the concept of individual and his individualism cannot be viewed with a stigma. The impact of sexual orientation on an individual‘s life is not limited to their intimate lives but also impacts their family, professional, social and educational life.”
The right to live without fear and expressing choice as a unique individual had to be validated by a court of law. It’s the biggest tragedy but at the same time, it has ensured that rule of law prevails in quashing an archaic law good for the bin. In the aftermath of the homosexuality being decriminalized, high time for the Hindi film industry to stop with the numerous cliché churned in the not-so-distant past that has done more bad than good and lacked sensitivity to sending a strong message across. Enough of Kanta bai or the famous ‘Bobby Darling’ acts in funny sequence.
India is making a new start as a democracy. It’s the true message of India Shining ideology and the onus falls on each and every one of us, right from the Government to the Opposition, corporate houses, civil society and NGO. Changes whittle down to the roots. Can we be this change? Only time will tell. Till then, we can breathe free as a truly inclusive society taking pride in the justice system of our country to ensure that the rule of law prevails. Let’s salute the Supreme Court, well-meaning activists, lawyer Menaka Guruswamy and citizens who fought tirelessly for human dignity. We are truly a rainbow nation.
“No one can escape from their individuality”—Arthur Schopenhauer
The entire Supreme Court judgment can be accessed here.