Hello world!

24 Nov

Well… the title looks deep and complicated. It indeed is!! I am a creatively intelligentt person as the name of blog suggests; although you will wonder about the spelling of intelligent… but if you are here for meaningful stuff… kindly get out… i totally suck at that stuff…

But if you are here for sarcastic jokes,  3rd class humor and timepass… stick on… 🙂

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The Feminist Side of Gulabo Sitabo

18 Jun

Recently, I saw the movie Gulabo Sitabo which premiered on Amazon Prime. Thanks to quarantine period and Amazon membership of my brother (almost 4 parasites including me are using his account 😛 ) that I got the time and luxury to ponder over the movie and share my views on an aspect of the movie which seemingly no one is talking about.

Gulabo Sitabo is directed by Shoojit Sarcar and projected as a movie of a Priceless Jodi of Amitabh Bacchan (Mirza)  and Ayushmann Khurrana (Bankey). The story mainly revolves around a dilapidated haveli, its owner and the  tenants living therein. There is a constant fight between the two as both want to reap their personal interests from the property. But the twist is that it belongs to neither, but the wife of Mirza who is 15 years elder to her husband and seemingly on her death bed.

Now, the movie was in no way projected as feminist but the three main female characters that we find in the movie are certainly badass. The characters do not cry out loud for their rights nor do they play victim of situations, but they take charge when they find it necessary and do not blow it like a victory. They treat themselves equal and do  not even realise it. I will take up those three characters and tell you why and how I find them empowered and free.

Fatima Beghum played by Ms. Farrukh Zafar. She is the wife of Mirza, almost 15 years elder to him and the owner of haveli named after her(Fatima Mahal). Since the start, she is projected as a detached character. Some might find her ‘I don’t give a damn” attitude towards her husband and tenants, cold. The fact that she loved her house the most was revealed towards the climax of the movie and that was the beauty of this character. Unlike the feminine characters that we have recently seen in our movies and many Web Series, she did not need to shout out loud what she wants, what she has and what she does. She lives a quiet life. The characters around her think that she is in her last years and is devoid of things going around her. It is revealed that she loved a person but did not marry him because he went to London and then she married Mirza because he was ready to move in at her place. Despite the 15 year age gap, she accepted Mirza only because he was ready to accept her first love, the Mahal. And she left Mirza also because she sensed that her husband had only married her for the property. By selling the property to her former lover, she indirectly slapped both the men. Mirza for not being a faithful husband and also her former lover by selling the same property due tow which she left him. Now a question arises. Why did she sell it for Re1, it is of no worth, why did she not simply gift it to him. The answer is that she was intelligent. She knew that gifted properties can be disputed for claim of title, but with a sale, such ambiguities can be avoided. But being feminist does not mean that you don’t give devil his due. And so she also gifted her husband a two room property along with an antique chair. If we compare it, she actually gave her husband more than what she sold to the former lover. In the last scene, she comes again to the Haveli to celebrate her birthday and sees her former husband outside but sitting in the car, her smile indicates that she has moved on.

Guddo played by Srishti Shrivastava is the sister of Bankey. She is in college and very much active in the house politics. Unlike the characters that we see or have defined for the hero’s sister, she is vocal and stubborn. In the 80’s or early 90s, if there was a hero’s sister in the Hindi cinema it was presumed that there will be a rape scene. But Hindi cinema has changed for something good too and now the hero’s sister is not timid or conscious of her izzat. She is bold, has pre-marital sex and is ready to negotiate things for her future. She is not the sati savitri, everyone wants but a real person whom everybody knows. She is not dependent on her brother to take charge of her life. She has full control of her life and also wants to support herself and the family by working. The character has been shown to be a real person with whom this generation can connect as though sisters are still tying rakhis on brothers’ hands but gone are the days when they wee relying on them for anything.

Fauzia played by Poornima Sharma is the girlfriend of Bankey and constantly displaying her dissatisfaction over Bankey’s problems in the least screen time she was given. She does not give him false hopes or promises to be with him forever. She speaks her mind and gives Bankey many hints that she will not stick through thick and thin. Towards the end, seeing that Bankey is not going anywhere in his life, she marries a well off person. She has zero regrets on her life decisions. She shows the practical side of love and why only love should not be necessary to be together.

All these characters show that feminism is in subtlety. What we have been fed through the so-called ‘women centric’ movies nowadays is that its cool to bitch around about other men or women; its cool to abuse men; its cool to get frustrated or nervous and call off weddings at the last moment, leaving the boy at the altar and creepingly going out on a road trip to exotic locations with literally no money; its cool to have sex with any random guy you met at the pub and then wasting the other day ranting about it with your girlfriends; its cool to spend off your parent’s money and then have zero accountability towards them.

What if found cool in the female characters of this movie was their intelligence, their hidden charm, their clarity to chart out their lives, their will and determination to keep the control of their lives in their hands and their boldness to strike at the right time.

With this I end my blogpost and hope to see more of such feminist characters in the future too.

 

84 [BEST] Virginia Woolf Quotes (About Life, Writing, Feminism...)

 

Beliefs Fail Us

16 Jun

Sushant Singh Rajput, an actor, a dancer, a philanthropist, an entrepreneur and an astrophysicist. A person with expertise in so many diverse fields that its believed that only one can be true.

 

Depression | NGO Pulse

Our beliefs fail us.

He should have been dealing with such belief of others throughout his life. “You are AIR 7, got admission in reputed Delhi College of Engineering, why do you want to drop out in the third year and go for an acting career?” People might have asked him. People might have commented “maybe he is not good at academics”.  But he was also a National Olympiad Winner in Physics and our belief failed us.

When he decided to become an actor and came to Mumbai, he might have been rejected numerous times. His hard work paid off and he became a household name with one of the most popular daily soaps of those years. Even before he started acting in movies, he was more popular that many of the existing Bollywood actors. His acting was always praised despite the movie collection at Box Office and I could not find any movie review of his where he faced negative review.

And then our list of parameters to judge a person’s life ends and we wonder what went wrong. Why was he in depression? Even if he was cornered by some big names in Bollywood as alleged by many, a person like him could not only depend on his acting career to survive. He was a rank holder. He could have left the industry and resumed his studies, maybe got a regular job. But then we believe that actors are insecure. They are afraid of being rejected and left out. Going by how many and what brands of films he rejected, again that belief is failed.

The world needs and has always needed a one liner answer to every question. The one liner answer to Sushant’s death is ‘he was in depression’. The why and how remain open ended.

We cannot believe why an intelligent and successful actor like him would kill himself. No body kills himself, the world around kills, its only in some cases that the person himself inflicts the last blow, which we call suicide. Some are alleging that he was weak, he could not fight against his insecurities. These things are said when we don’t understand depression because we don’t truly understand that parameters of happiness may differ for every person. We have confirmed ‘jar joru and jameen’ as the three basic parameters of happiness since times immemorial for one and for all. And thus we have classified the parameters of who can go in depression and who can’t. An unemployed youth, a person who is unmarried or divorced, a person who is facing financial downhill can conveniently be taken under the umbrella of depressed. But people having the so-called ‘full lives’ are just bragging and having depression because they can afford to.

Depression may not be as contagious as Corona but it is equally fatal. Shows no symptoms but gets into your head and health before you even know it. The earlier we as a society identify depression as a clinical health problem, the more lives and talents we might be able to save, otherwise our beliefs will continue to fail us.

 

Padmavat… More than poetry, a little less than reality!

27 Jan

Padmavat, an epic poem written in 1540 by Malik Muhammad Jayasi… is not only a poem which is sung and narrated in Mewar kingdom of Rajasthan, but is also a life which people of the great Rajput clan still live. A simple poem about a fearless hero, a charismatic heroine and a dreadful villian is unusual, enthralling and extraordinary.

Lately, there had been violent protests all over India about the release of a movie based on this poem. People who are still living in that era of 1300, and call themselves Rajputs held monstrous protests so violent that 4 State Governments decided to ban the screening of this movie in their States, including the one of which this movie tells gallantry stories of. They allegedly had two objections to the movie: a dream sequence of lovemaking between Alauddin Khilji and Padmavati, which turned out to be completely baseless; and the other being the song “Ghoomar” wherein the waist of the Rani was visible. The protestors forgot that today Rajasthan’s infant mortality rate is 41 per 1000 births and sex ratio is 928 per 1000 males. Thousands of Padmavatis living today in Rajasthan are in deprecated situations. But who cares; the honour of a queen whose whole existence is a gift of a poem written 200 years after her so-called jouhar is indeed important than any other issue in the 21st century India.  After much ado, the movie has finally released and more than being a courageous tale of Devi Rani Padmavati, it became a subject of heated discussions in media. Surpassing Winter Session of Parliament, Prime Minister’s visit to Myanmar, declining sex ratio and increasing pollution level and farmer’s suicides, this movie became the top-rated news for about 6 months.

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Today, I went to watch the movie with family and found nothing offensive. As a woman, I think I hold some right to judge if Rani Padmavati’s honour was in any way nullified in the movie. The movie presents a saga of love, obsession, hatred, and war. This story has every element of becoming a blockbuster. The story of a king obsessed for every “nayab” thing in the world, fails to win the so-called most beautiful woman. The mania is fixed so deep in his mind that he waits for two months to get a glim glance of the beauty. After hatching all the conspiracies, he did reach her to find her ashes in the jouhar kund. The battle was won, but the war lost for him. Padmavati did not even allow the Sultan to reach her shadow. And I feel it pertinent to mention here that Khilji banned prostitution and alcohol. His wife Malika-e-Jahan was a short-temper lady and never happy with her marriage with Alauddin. She used to mock him and show open jealousy towards Alauddin’s other wives. And Alauddin died of a disease that may be termed “nayab”, for that period. He was not that a bad guy as shown in the movie but he was definitely one of the worsts that we have in Indian history.

The whole movie, in no way dishonours Rajputs. On the contrary, it at sometimes seems to favour the clan, for example the last war scene, and the scenes where Maharaja Ratan Singh got two chances to kill the Sultan but did not, as it was against ethics to kill a man whose is weaponless. The movie shows the ultimate valour that Rajput legacy has created that wars should be fought fearlessly, fiercely but ethically. This is the same valour which defeated Ghazni 11 times and this is the same valour which was appreciated by Akbar after his victory over Haldighati. Jo sir kat jae… fir bhi dhad ladta rahe wo rajput (whose head may be beheaded, but body keeps on fighting is Rajput) is not only a dialogue but a reality in the form of Gora Badal.

The only narration where the film’s story deviates from folklore is when Alauddin abducted Raja Ratan Singh and demanded Padmavati as ransom. The folklore goes that Rani Padmavai sent 50 palanquins with skilled warriors under the leadership of Chiefs Gora and Badal. Badal was sitting in the palenquin meant for Padmavati. When the troop reached Delhi, it demanded acquittal of Raja Ratan Singh. Raja was given a horse and sent back to Chittor. When Badal reached in front of Khilji to kill him and removed the veil, Khilji put forth his concubine before him, and Badal being Rajut could not kill a woman and these few seconds were enough for Khilji’s guards to kill Badal. This is where a question mark on Raja Ratan Singh’s valour may be put, but no such scene was shown in the movie. Instead, its shown that Raja goes to the private chamber of Sultan of Delhi and invites him for war.

The last scene of Rani Padmavati committing jouhar with hundreds of women, including old and pregnant is in no way disgustful, but subtle. Here, I would very briefly like to define what jouhar is. Its an act of giving yourself to the holy fire to save oneself from enemies. This act was specially done by Rajput ladies after a battle was lost by their husbands. To save their honour, they would jump in the fire and chose to embrace a heroic death over a shameful life. A subtle message of Rajputs that they can get the heads beheaded but not bow down. If you have ever been to Chittorgarh, they still have that pyre spot where Rani Padmavati allegedly committed jouhar and I dare you to see that kund in one go. You will not be able to because the tourist guides hype the things so much that you don’t dare. You feel disgusted. But in the movie, you don’t. Instead, you feel proud of the girls. And that, I think the whole intention of the filmmaker was.

However, our Karni Sena has made a complete fool of themselves by shouting such hue and cry over a movie commending their own courage and golden past. The so-called Rajputs of today called out bandhs, protests and violent demonstrations for a woman who died 800 years back and whose actual existence is also very doubtful. In the name of pride of Devi Padmavati, they announced a reward for cutting another woman’s nose. With the release of this movie, Karni Sena has laid back and the protests are seemingly over. Meanwhile, the creators of this movie be like:

Ajab jalwa hai duniya ki mehfil ka

jiski izzat badhane ka kaam kiya

wahi abroo le ude humaari!

Independent India@70

15 Aug

 

Chale the badalne nazare sheher ke,

Nazaron ko aisi nazar lag gyi…

Nazar me hum apni swantantra ho gye,

Khayaal-e-azadi nazar me utare!!

Today, India is celebrating its 70th Independence Day. The golden day on which Britishers officially left India, the bright day on which this country inhaled the air of freedom, drank the water of self-respect and dreamt of a new India. And today, after 70 years of this great day, we as citizens of world’s oldest civilization feel proud. But today, the dimensions of expression of this proud feeling have undergone great changes. I see people on facebook changing their profile picture to tricolour. I see people hoisting the national Flag which they got for a bargain and sleeping after the celebrations are over. Well, if that in any way patriotism, I don’t know what hypocrisy is.

But the real question is… are we really independent?

In my opinion, we are not. With times, the only thing that has changed is the way of slavery. New masters, but the same old slaves. During the British period, we worked under the rules made and implemented by an alien government. Paying them a big part of our income as a tax was a necessity and not choice. But, a large part of our misery was warranted by our own rulers. Rulers, who became secret and after that open allies of Britishers. The big and the small, all harassed this land and its common people. The land was barren and people were starving, this was the period when world’s golden bird was left featherless. Then, the struggle for freedom started and eventually, we got it too. But, in my opinion, although we got the independence, freedom is still left behind.

Coming back to this day of 15th August 2017, we are still paying taxes for everything. But this time, it’s not our necessity; it’s our duty. A duty imposed forcibly. And if you evade tax, you are definitely a traitor, but if some politically and economically powerful person evades tax, he lives a good life, flees to another country to never returns and that person is only a tax evader, not traitor. And if he shows himself at some international cricket match where India is playing, he may again become a patriot. Today, we are the slaves of religion, caste system, dowry system, regionalism, red-tapism, corruption, untouchability, black money, and many more. We are slaves of the system wherein we are born, live and die; we are slaves of our own weaknesses and faults and we are all same in the sense that we do not even want to get out of our misery.

A person employed any profession or employment faces harassment on a daily basis from his superiors. Those superiors are being harassed by their superiors and so the never- ending chain continues. It reminds me of Viper Chain Gang Jail. You might not have heard about it before. On the islands of Andaman and Nicobar, is a beautiful island called Viper Island. It was used by Britishers to keep the most dreaded criminals, freedom fighters and others as punishment. The peculiar and horrific concept of this jail was that all the prisoners were locked into a single chain and were forced to do work in such circumstances. So, if anyone would bend, others were affected. Excess bureaucracy in various departments has resulted in this similar condition, where any positive or negative act of one, affects the whole system.

The common man’s sufferings are still the same. People who go for some work in hospitals, tehsils, courts, police stations, etc, are still being harassed and are being forced to pay extra money as bribe in lieu of the work they should do as a duty. But, duties are meant to be fulfilled by starving bellies and naked bodies only.
In a country, where a two-hour movie is needed for people to understand the importance of toilets, it will take another 70 years to make them realize that “na to wo pagli aur na hi hansne se use pyaar ho jaega”.

A great man once said, “We are all, the prisoners of our own mind and creations of our own imagination”.

Happy Independence Day, by the way!

P.S. The post is co-authored with one of my friends Mr. Shubham, working in Ministry of External Affairs. He is one of my earliest and limited friends at the workplace and I am thankful to him for shaping this blogpost by giving valuable ideas. 🙂

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From here…

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To Here…

 

Toilet: The Most Disappointing Reason to Divorce

14 Aug

Last night, I watched this new Hindi movie, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha starring  Askhay Kumar, Bhumi Pednekar, Anupam Kher, and  Sudhir Pandey.

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The story based on a problem that everybody knows about but no one wants to talk and has very beautifully captured the city of Krishna, a love story and a larger social message.

The opening scene shows women in a small village going to defecate in open fields with water in one hand and light in another. A man on tractor comes, throwing light and passing lewd comments. The opening scene itself covers a whole lot of problems which people, particularly ladies, face every morning in our country. It shows the problem of open defecation, the safety of women and assault by men in the very first five minutes of the movie. The story goes on to weave a love story which ultimately reaches the halt of marriage. And the real story starts when the girl finds out that there is no washroom in her new house and she was forced to join the other ladies in gang (lota party). The movie is well scripted and screeplayed, but the real message seems to get a break after the interval. The love story is given more importance than the cause and the hero who very later understands the pathetic condition of ladies as a result of open defecation has been glorified as a social worker. In real life, Akshay Kumar has been made the Brand Ambassador of Cleanliness in Uttar Pradesh, while in my opinion, it must have been Bhumi Pednekar whose character mobilised not only her husband, but also other ladies in the village to be the change. Also, the way the character of Mr. Kumar, Keshav initially stalks the girl seems quite unhealthy. Like, that is proper stalking and in no way romantic. Taking a girl’s photo and using it for own commercial use is both a civil and criminal offence. The movie impressively takes you to a village in Mathura in terms of  dialect, location and the way in which many scenes were filmed (the wedding scene and the Holi scenes).

Overall,  this movie has succeeded in giving a much-needed lesson in the most entertaining and direct way. No hidden meanings, no use of complicated words to address anything. The characters are vocal and say things as they are. Calling a menstruation period, a period; calling assaulting men “haramkhor” and other subtle but powerful references make the movie worth watching. The way in which this serious problem of open defecation and its allies have been dealt in the movie is commendable.

Personally speaking, the scene just before interval was the best. I would say that it’s a Bhumi Pednekar’s movie.

Before the Big Day…

25 Jan

Helllooo… after a long time 🙂 Tomorrow is one of the biggest days for the Indian republic. We got our independence on 15 August, but we got the rights to enjoy that independence on 26th January. The big day… and bigger celebrations. The world can see the Republic Day celebrations but what many don’t know is the amount of preparations that go into making it a gala day. Here are some snaps of the preparations:

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The girls’ scout

 

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To sit on road in 2 degrees… and you thought only your life sucks

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Ok… don’t look at the camera…

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No caption !

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Band masters… but not bittoo band waale 😛

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The mighty tanks and mightier soldiers

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Odd one going out 😛

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Men at rest….

 

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Desert safari in town!

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Resting and waiting for their turn

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Ok… don’t look at the camera… focus on the parade pals

 

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In the background is my office (not subtle :P)

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The view from office… (again not subtle :P)

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The cars are not part of the parade… they are just a reminder of technology 😛

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But these cute jhankis are indeed adorable 🙂

 

 

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And a colleague outside the office… you see… absolutely not subtle 😛

 

So, that’s what I had on the Republic Day. So, tomorrow, sleep tight because we all know the Republic Day Parade is repeated almost four times on every news channel. Till next post, Happy Days and Sleepy Mornings :p 🙂

A Death… Celebrated

18 Jul

“Fauzia Azeem, popularly known as Qandeel Baloch killed by her brother in the name of honour killing.” The news did not come as any surprise. A world where girls are banished from society for using mobile phones for their own safety, this girl’s case would have been no different. “Might have run away with a boy or married with her own consent” were the first few thoughts that came to my mind.

But as I read more into it (thanks to FB posts flooding the news in the newsfeed), I started relating to her. To a person who never existed for me. To a person about whom I had never heard before and would have never known about , if she had not met such dramatic end. But I related to her. An Indian girl having a decent nine-to-five job with supporting family and a company of liberal people both inside and outside the family related to a Pakistani girl known for the bold and sassy avatars, having no real family (although on papers having two) and a company of conservative idiots. I related to a girl accused of filthing the society and culture. I related to a girl who was being continuously shamed for what she did in her personal and professional life. I related to a girl who boldly made life choices. I related to a girl who was married at 17, abused by her husband, with a mother of a child. The society made her Qandeel Baloch and then it wanted her to become Fouzia Azeem again. I related to the Kim Kardashain of the East and the Poonam Pandey of Pakistan. I related to a girl on whose death, rejoiced many including women. I related to a girl whose acts were condemned by the same people who would have watched her “uncultural” videos behind closed doors. To criticize an act, after all, you have to witness it.

But, I related to her brother also. I am nowhere justifying the killing. But, he is not the only man in this world to have such a mindset. He is the guy we all have met. He is the guy we might have been friends with. There is nothing inherently wrong with the guy. He is just the mirror of our society. How many times have you been stalked on social media and did not tell your family, just because they will interrogate you first and put the whole blame on you? Many a times, I guess.  This girl did not let anyone rule her, but in our society only a man can rule. The problem is not with the man, its with the society. Many would say that his sister made a choice to bring dishonor to the family and he chose to teach her a lesson. He could have left her, disowned her, but he didn’t. Instead of accusing him blatantly, we have to observe his state of mind. In one of his statements, he said that it was like choosing between suicide and her killing. The societal pressure he was facing should be taken into consideration. He is not a murderer. He is a victim of society’s hypocrisy.

 

You came as Fouzia Azeem, you left as Qandeel Baloch. Your life made a point, and death made many. You are a true celebrity because now even after your death, you are taking over internet by storm and the haters still cannot ignore you.

Rest in peace, wherever you may find it.

 

2015 in review

30 Dec

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,100 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 35 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Celebrity Talk

15 Dec

In Indian society, the level of youth being motivated to make it large in his life, is directly proportional to the fact as to how the celebrities in the society are treated.

If I even talk about inter- caste marriage in the family, I would be either beheaded or banished from the society. But if a film star performs inter- religion marriage, it becomes the unique precedent of cultural and communal integrity.

Recently one ‘superstar’ of our nation was acquitted of the charges of rash car driving leading to death of one person who was sleeping on the footpath. The whole nation wanted to know why the homeless was sleeping on the pavement. But if I mistakenly even pluck a flower from roadside pavement decors, I would be fined Rs. 500. A celebrity can go out in public, become grossly drunk and vomit, but I, the common man, cannot even spit in the dustbin without people gazing at me.

All these things indicate that as one rises up on the ladder of success, he goes out of the gravitation force of rules, laws and society.

There is one more thing that these Celebrities can do, but common man can’t. It’s hypocrisy. Recently, one Bollywood actress whose only claim to fame was her so – called oversized body has shed off that ‘over’ with the help of gym. Now, she is considered to be outspoken and previously she always advocated that beauty is not in body. You don’t have to be in shape according to society. Just wear your own shape and decide yourself. It is to be noted that she inspired many girls to be comfortable about their looks as it is and not to be slim for anyone. The same girl now released photos from a photo shoot where her extra pounds are nowhere to be seen and now she advocated fitness. Well! if it would have been me, I would have been annoyingly disturbed about my size by even my parents. Then when I would have tried to shed it off by going to gym or being on a diet, I would have been equally demotivated and after all this if I would have been successful in achieving the loss of some kgs, it would be said that I am jealous of my cousins who are slim or that I am preparing myself for some boy so that I could get married. In my case I would be doing it for anyone but me and in her case, she can’t do it for anyone else. NO!

Oh! There is one more thing that society teaches that if some celebrity does good deeds, his previous bad acts should be forgotten. Not even forgiven, but simply forgotten. So, this means good deeds are like gift vouchers that can be used in bad times. In this era of capitalism, the economic angle of these vouchers need to be studied carefully. It has to be kept in mind that the Gita gyaan should be a little amended. According to Gita, only focus on your work and do not worry about result, but now before you do your work, focus as to if it would fetch you any of those vouchers, so that when result is out, you can use them if needed.

So, for example, get drunk and abuse people, if anyone asks, you may say that you had fed dogs the previous day. That dog would never know that by feeding him, the man just bought a policy to secure his future.

In the end, if you ever come across a news stating that Harshda, a blogger from Delhi is caught red handed for stealing pencil and pens from office, please forgive me, as writing less on the blog nowadays, I am also kind of doing a service. 😛

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Interviews- The One With Madhura- II

15 Nov

So, the interview with Madhura is here. Madhura, there is no character named Madhure in Ramayana, but I didn’t lie. Madhure is the past life name of Mandodari, the wife of Ravana and mother of three illustrious but ill- famed sons.

She came down on earth to answer the queries which generally come in mind when her role in the saga is discussed (which is rarely done).

Me: Hello

She: Namaskar

Me: So… why have you chosen me for taking the interview?

She: My husband and son told that there are plenty of dumb people on paatal, and so don’t waste time on finding the right kind. They suggested your name and made my job easy.

Me: If I am that dumb… why is it that your family encounters only me.

She: God punishes in different ways.

Me: (Ignored :P) So… Mandodari… tell us about something about yourself.

She: You are taking my interview… what do you know about me?

Me: Well… We don’t find much about you in Ramayana… but in other texts there are stories that you were the daughter of Mayasura and Hema. One day Ravana visited your house and fell in love with you and they you two were married. Is this true?

She: That depends on what you believe. You believe what you heard and read or what a demon’s wife is gonna tell you?

Me: Well… I will believe what a sage’s daughter tells me.

She: I am a married woman… I am no longer anyone’s daughter. My only accountability can be drawn through my husband.

Me: Aah… talking about your husband… some say that he abducted Sita as Rama had dishonored Supranakha, his sister. How was that an appropriate conduct for one who is considered to be the biggest devotee of Shiva?

She: Get your facts right. He did not abduct Sita because of his sister. He had already heard about Rama’s victory over several demons. He had the knowledge that this is either Vishnu or just a common man having extraordinary skills… in any situation he knew he would win.

Me: But he lost…

She: How? In the battleground, it was proved that Rama was an incarnation of Vishnu as no other being in the world had power to destroy my lord. He was killed by the God himself.

Me: If that was the only motive, why would he abduct Sita? He could have waged war against Ayodya or against Rama itself.

She: Wouldn’t he then be looked upon as a fool? Why would the keeper of Kuber’s treasure need to invade anyone? He had power, authority, money… everything… what would have been the explanation to invade Ayodya? And about challenging Rama.. well… that is even more amusing as to why would the greatest king be interested in a forest dweller.

Me: Ok… talking about Seeta… how was her conduct in Ashoka Vatika?

She: Well… she was a serene lady. I was very much impressed by her faithfulness towards her husband, and the belief that he would come to rescue her was applaudable.

Me: What was your reaction when your husband told that he has abducted a woman.

She: I was not at all surprised at first as similar incidents had occured in the past, but when I came to know that he had taken the guise of sadhu and fooled Sita to believe him I was a bit disappointed. He did a sin henious than forcefully taking a woman.

Me: We read in Valmiki Ramayana that when all the great warriors of Lanka died, Ravana organizes a yajna (“fire sacrifice”) to assure his victory. Rama sent a troop of monkeys headed by Hanuman and the monkey prince Angada to destroy this yajna. The monkeys created havoc in Ravana’s palace, but Ravana continues the yajna. Angada dragged you by your hair in front of Ravana. The enraged Ravana abandons the yajna and strikes Angada with his sword. Is this correct?

She: You will find gruesome descriptions in Krittivasi Ramayana and Bichitra Ramayana. Well.. I would just say that my husband was no less loyal than Rama and protected me whenever needed.

Me: Ok… last question… what did you learn from Sita?

She: What was the need? Instead she learnt quite a lot things from me.

Me: Oh..

She: Like… how to put on makeup… I gave her many of my secrets… and yeah… she learnt a thing which she actually had to follow in later life… when Rama abandoned her and sent her to forest where she gave birth to her two illustrious sons… it was my conduct that she followed.

Me: And that was?

She: To be with your man… always. If I was with my husband, when he conquered the world… it was my duty to be with him when he failed at the hands of a forest dweller. If I was with him at his best then I had the duty to be at his worst too. And I did that. Sita also did that.

Me: Panchakanyas…. the one among the five virgins… thank you for coming over and chat with me.

She: Well… I was so bored in heavens… but still don’t call me back.

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So, the interview is over. Will meet you soon after I make up something else to publish. 😛

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