We travel away from strings that hold us back

In the dark spaces between
breathing and living
Rhythm and chaos
we all are puppets of a ticking clock
while time has no scale
it runs in anticipation
of danger
of nightmares
of an untimely call
of a scary unknown
of a sorry that has waited long
of a love that is lost and blurred
of letting go that was yours
It stays still and freezes
and watches silently
the becoming of a new life
the unbecoming of a yesterday
the moment before a hesitant kiss
an embrace when you feel the breath
 3 am nights with crazy friends
the travel that sets you free
the sun that paints the sky red
the starry night on a mountain top
In the dark spaces between
when life melts and
when life happens
we travel, travel away
from strings that hold us back

To a Super Hero who raised my Hero

This is not an obituary nor a condolence message (that’s one thing where my words fail me, I don’t know what to say, I have no idea what to write) So I just decided to write this to a person I never met but truly loved as a second daddy.

Dear Achan aka Super hero

Plans, plans, plan………….life exactly happens when we are busy making plans. I planned to join you all in Kerala on your family trip but “we will see next time” ruined it and believe me your chirpy picture at the beach still makes me smile. Your happiness was contagious in that picture; it could brighten anyone’s day.

 

I am writing this today to thank you for raising such a wonderful daughter. I have lived in Patna listening to your stories of how you would not whitewash your home because your daughters played a game that involved writing on walls. You gave them their freedom to do whatever they want and whoa what strong girls your daughters are today. I wish I could meet and tell you that your iconic stories about you explaining Puberty to your daughter always, almost always stays with me and this is one thing I want for my daughter too- Let  her father discussing everything that is a taboo. making her one unapologetic and fearless woman. There are your numerous stories I have heard over the year, that shows that you were one kickass daddy.

When I heard about your leaving away, I was sitting there at my room and I said to her in a regretful tone “I so much wanted to meet him” to which my friend replied “You have seen me, you know me and I am just like him, so practically you have met him.” And there I was startled at her poise, her strength to handle the toughest situation that life can throw at someone and the way she dealt with the most personal of a loss, I love you uncle for the strong-willed woman you have raised up.

You know, I am sure that the moment we would have met, we could have become best of buddies and joked about everyone else in the room, i guess we already are. But let me tell you my dear friend, you have gone nowhere. A figment of you lives in my room and is a person who is adored by all, an extension of you lies in that midnight reminders about taking my medicines, a fragment of you echoes in the laughs that break without any reason, an figment of you lies in the eyes that have a tinge of care in every matter big or small, a part of you lies in the hug that says “everything will be okay”, a fraction of you lies in the angry stares that she gives to every guy that tries to woo me, a piece of you fits into the amazing doctor she is, an extension of you is when she says “No” to everything that is wrong and the whole of you stays with us in our things called life.

And you will live on, you will live on in every moment when life is not taken seriously and his enjoyed to its core. You will live on in various lives you have touched in your own beautiful way. You will live on in every inspiring female who is a daddy’s girl.  You will live on in every decision that is taken on the lines of “Do whatever your heart wants”. You will live on in coolest hacks of parenting, you will live on among dogs that love you unconditionally. You will live on in your daughter that is not only my bestie but also my hero.

Have a party up there with all your favorite dogs and people.

We will miss you because not all superheroes wear capes, some are called Daddy.

Love you

Bon Voyage

Pooja.

No Country for old men

Population ageing is a global issue, which has been recognized to have implications on the health care and social welfare systems. The process whereby the proportion of children in the population decreases and those of old persons increases is known as the “ageing of population”. The global population of elderly has constantly been increasing during the second half of the last century. This has been possible due to easy availability of life saving drugs, control of famines, and various communicable diseases, better awareness and supply of nutrition and health facilities and comparatively better overall standard of living. These achievements have resulted in drastic reduction in mortality rates and substantial increase in the life expectancy at birth and the overall span of people.

Ageing is a continuous, irreversible, universal process, which starts from conception till the death of an individual. However, the age at which one’s productive contribution declines and one tends to be economically dependent can probably be treated as the onset of the aged stage of life.With the rapidly increasing number of aged compounded by disintegration of joint families and ever increasing influence of modernization and new life styles, the care of elderly has emerged as an important issue in India.

The common psychological problems that most of the older persons experience are : feeling of powerlessness, feeling of inferiority, depression, uselessness, isolation and reduced competence. These problems along with social disabilities like widowhood, societal prejudice and segregation aggravate the frustration of elderly people.

#SpeakingCinema

We start our Speaking Cinema with a movie that is winning critical acclaim all over for its  tale  of emotional depth and understated paradox, Hotel Salvation (Mukti Bhawan) describes the tragicomic ordeal of an over-worked modern son who is forced to set his job aside and accompany his elderly father to the holy city of Varanasi to, presumably, die.

Driving Miss daisy is about an old Jewish woman and her African-American chauffeur in the American South have a relationship that grows and improves over the years.

The Bucket List features two terminally ill men escape from a cancer ward and head off on a road trip with a wish list of to-dos before they die.

The bolywood movie Baghban was a tell tale of the ignorance and loneliness that ensues after a family betrays its old ones.A love story of an elderly couple resonated with many.

Cheeni Kum was one standalone movie depicting the emotional and sexual desires of an aged man who falls for a girl much younger of his age.

Perhaps the greatest portrayal of one’s final years is Kurosawa’s Ikiru in particular the scene where Takashi Shimura unexpectedly sings in a crowded nightclub, the boys and girls around him silent, reminded of their own fleeting mortality.

As a standout portrayal of the elderly in film, Tatie Danielle stands out. for its delicious subversion of the kindly old lady role. At 82 years old Danielle is not sweet, considerate or cute, she can be smart, cunning and deliciously bad, non- angel types.

 

Being alone is not the same as being lonely #L #Loneliness #AtoZChallenge

We’re all a bit scared of loneliness – of being alone. Of being left. Of not being loved. Or needed. Or cared about. “Lonely” hits a spot of fear in all of us even if we don’t acknowledge it.

Being alone is a state of being by oneself without others around. It can actually be a healthy phenomenon, as everyone needs a little time away from others to plan, to think, and to rest.

However, being lonely is a different matter entirely. We are especially prone to loneliness in the modern society. Social media like Facebook, Whatsapp, or Snapchat may allow more convenient communication, but all these ways of communication neglect the importance of face-to-face socialization.

And at the end, despite many “friends” we have on the online media, they don’t really have anyone to talk to when they need friends most.

We prefer online communication to face-to-face conversation because online communication is less committed, if you don’t respond instantly, it’s okay. But face-to-face conversation doesn’t really need to be stressful. When you’re with someone who you can be comfortable with, silence is precious too.

Audrey Hepburn once said:

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others”

This quote highlights the importance of helping others, and also highlights the fact that most of the time we are the key to many problems we are facing; in other words, you can cure your loneliness.

Giving others a hand will help you realize your value, as you discover you are capable of doing so. And helping others also open up opportunities of deep friendships, as very often, a deep relationship is forged in adversity.

When we talk about “helping others”, you don’t need to always save others by risking life. You can just pay attention to details.

Write your colleague a card if he or she is unhappy. Read out loud for the old man living next to you. Or help a child to reach the top of a rack

#SpeakingCinema

Charulata –  Charulata, a beautiful saga of loneliness by Styajit ray himself  is based on a story by Rabindranath Tagore, Nastanirh (The broken Nest) and set in Calcutta in the late nineteenth century. Bengal Renaissance is at its peak and India is under the British rule. The film revolves around Charulata / Charu (Madhabi Mukherjee), the childless, intelligent and beautiful wife of Bhupati (Sailen Mukherjee). He edits and publishes a political newspaper. Bhupati is an upper class Bengali intellectual with a keen interest in politics and the freedom movement.

Charu is interested in the arts, literature and poetry. Though Bhupati loves his wife, he has no time for her. She has little to do in the house run by a fleet of servants. Sensing her boredom, Bhupati invites Charu’s elder brother Umapada and wife Manda to live with them. Umapada helps in running of the magazine and the printing press. Manda with her silly and crude ways is no company for the sensitive and intelligent Charulata.

Amal (Soumitra Chatterjee), Bhupati’s younger cousin comes on a visit. Bhupati asks him to encourage Charu’s cultural interests. Amal is young, handsome and is of the same age group as Charu. He has literary ambitions and shares her interests in poetry. He provides her with much needed intellectual companionship and attention. An intimate relationship develops between Charulata and Amal. There is a hint of rivalry when she publishes a short story on her own without his knowledge. He realizes that Charulata is in love with him but is reluctant to reciprocate due to the guilt involved.

As a respect to Satyajit Ray, we will discuss Charulata only in detail.

In Charulata, Satyajit Ray explores the emergence of the modern woman in the upper-class of colonial India. One can not help drawing parallels with Ibsen’s A Doll’s House.

The opening sequence is a piece of cinematic poetry. We see the young wife Charulata moving from one window to another in her house. She observes the activities of the outside world through the window blinds using opera glasses. She is like a caged bird in her mansion. We sense her curiosity and desire to know the outside world.

As she moves to the interior corridor of the house, we see her intellectual husband. He is too engrossed in a book and walks past her without even noticing her presence. She watches him as he walks away and stands reading. Charu raises her opera glasses and looks again as if he too belongs to the outside world. As Bhupati disappears from the view, she is expressionless and lets the opera glasses slip down. The camera is pulled back sharply, “like a flourish with a pen at the end of an essay …” in Ray’s words. Without a dialogue being spoken, we know Charulata is condemned to her loneliness and boredom.

In the final sequence, as Bhupati returns home after wandering aimlessly, Charu opens the door. Gently and with hesitation, she asks him to enter. A wavering Bhupati enters the door and reaches toward her hand. The shot is frozen and is followed with still images of Charu’s half-lit face, Bhupati’s half-lit face, a servant holding a lamp, a mid-shot of Charu and Bhupati and finally a long-shot of them. As the music rises the words “Nastanirh” (Bengali, The Broken Nest) fill the screen. It was ray’s cinematic answer to Tagore’s original ending in which Bhupati has to go out of town and Charu asks him to take her with him. He hesitates to which Charu says “Thak” meaning “Let it be”. As Ray explained later, it was his visual equivalent of the word “Thak”. “The two are about to reconcile and then prevented from doing so.”

Hail Satyajit Ray.

Just go to hell……….Ae Dil #J #AtoZChallenge

Let’s talk about one factor that leads to anxious days, sleepless nights and depressing moments- Toxic Relationships.

Courtesy- EliteDaily

Relationships turn toxic and because that’s how addiction is, trying to find comfort in the same thing that’s destroying you. But you still fight for it, you fight for same thing that has destroyed you.

This poem is for the toxic relationships:

“You grow up with the tales that fool you

the karmic relationships

The happily ever afte

The beautiful families that go on vacations

The kiss under the stars

The love that never fades

Walking on sand with hand to hand

Comes an emotionally unavailable man

You wake up to his texts

And nights that say “i miss you”

They aren’t toxic at first

and that is how you fall

Comes the anger, the desire, the shame

the outbursts, expectations and the pain

You knew that was not normal

Screaming, fighting and just fucking

The fact is

Nothing will work

That expensive hair cut in a posh saloon

Books that tell you to move on

Shopping spree that makes you broke

TED talks that friends suggest

Eat pray and love never exists

Love happens when you least expect it

and so does shit

 

Don’t act normal when you want him back

Don’t say you have moved on when you have not

Don’t date men and still look for him

You still want to make it work and don’t deny that

Just take your time and shake yourself up

Remember the expensive heels that you

never wore but regret buying anyways

Love happens when you least expect it

and so does shit anyways”

So if love is, being there for another person while things are good and then sprinting, the minute things get bad, that is not “Love”

Courtesy- TinyBuddha

 

 

How to speak about your mental condition #H #AtoZChallenge

OK. We have made a lot of hoopla around mental health and the forms of illness and we will continue that.

But the question that i was asked by a reader was how to speak about it. And gosh, that is important and we completely missed it.

If you recognize symptoms of any common mental health problem and are worried, or if you feel that something isn’t right but you can’t put your finger on why, we recommend that you speak to someone in family, someone who cares and then therapist.

Some of the most frequently experienced symptoms include:

  • loss of apetite
  • feeling low or constantly anxious or worrying
  • thinking negative thoughts about yourself
  • irritability or moodiness
  • finding it harder than usual to concentrate
  • not enjoying your life as much as you once did
  • finding day-to-day life difficult (not feeling up to washing or eating, for example)
  • trouble sleeping, or sleeping too much
  • seeing or hearing things that other people do not see or hear

One thing is important- You may be generally sad and not depressed even with these symptoms, it’s the persistence of these symptoms over a period of time that is crucial.

It can be daunting to speak to someone that you may not know well about your mental health, but most people find that speaking  can make all the difference to their lives.

And this “Speaking Up” is not a cake walk and we know that. Make some pointers before you speak to your therapist:

  • Be patient, the treatment mat take time.
  • Communication is the key- Your doctor is not a mind reader or an astrologer, communicate clearly about your life events or thought process so that he/ she can come up with proper diagnosis.
  • State your expectations and understand his limitations
  • Be a good person with timely follow back.
  • Remember that diagnosing and treating depression takes time and expertise, so if your goal is to make your symptoms disappear immediately, you’re likely to be disappointed
  • Treat him/her as a friend rather than a doctor.

Speaking Cinema

One movie that hugely impressed me with a patient- therapist relationship is Dear Zindagi. This  exploration of the inner life of a young successful, ambitious woman confused with relationships (Sounds familiar……Na?) is fairly unprecedented in Bollywood. In Tanu Weds Manu 2, we do get a chance to see Tanu’s  bipolar struggles. But the shabby treatment of the movie and a predictable attempt to make it comedy with punchlines like

“Tu Kaun hai be?”

“Main kandha hun”( I am that shoulder on which girls lean). ………….Oh please, give me some better jokes.

Instead, in the opening scene, Tanu manages to turn marriage counselling into an opportunity to get her husband locked up in an asylum.(WTF) In Queen, Rani needs the trip to Paris to transform herself into this confident avatar (But we ain’t geeting Paris dear ladies)

It’s soothing, therefore, to hear Khan tell Kiara that she doesn’t have to forgive her parents or confront them for abandoning her. To hear Khan tell Kiara that she is not “cheap” but “superfine” to not settle for the first man who comes down the pike. Kiara has  nightmares about society judging her for being unmarried and unloved. (Happening with definitely me).It’s even more soothing when Khan tells Kiara that no society — no matter how judgmental — doesn’t have to think well of her, as long as she thinks well of herself.

The best part about this movie is how Gauri shinde doesn’t create any love angle between therapist and Kaira. And that is how it should be, we all are left crushing over Shahrukh and a rocking chair. But what we leave behind is :

When Kaira confesses about life being an interminable musical in so far as the new singer guy in her life is concerned, SRK’s Dr Khan is quick to retort with a good humoured jibe: “Aur tumhein to dialogue pasand hain (You like dialogues)”. Or when he himself says “we are all our own teachers in the school of life” and then comes back with “ye kuchh zyada heavy ho gaya (it’s too heavy-handed)”. Oh, we love you Shahrukh.

Dear Zindagi is a breezy change in the rare movies pertaining to mental health. I will leave you with a beautiful deleted scene of Dear Zindagi.

 

Postcard from P: I am there for you

Dear younger ones

Today in this postcard i will not be talking about relationships. The first postcard of 2017 and it’s about those magical words. 2017 had a rocky start and somewhere i now know that life can never be perfect. It throws not lemons but stones and boulders and you definitely can’t make a lemonade out of it. But between those panic moments, teary eyes, anxious breaths at one end and i am there for you at other………..life happens.

We all pretend to be strong, we all pretend that we can handle but believe me nothing is more reassuring than a word of solace. a hug that says i am along, an embrace you want to melt into. a tap on head that says don’t worry, a bar of chocolate left on your table saying skipping meals don’t help,and when a best friend says “You want me to come along?”, you feel protected, you feel secured and you know that you have earned two things-

  • Lesson that life can always have a sudden turn and you are never prepared for it.
  • You have earned something more priceless than a message that says salary has been credited to your account, you have earned relationships.

So this new year say this to anyone who is facing a tough time.They will find the strength and inspiration they need to make the first step towards the better day. Everyone is fighting a battle, You can make it easy, you really can.

Love

P.

And that’s when I knew that I was going to be okay.

 

Thank You 2016 #GratitudePost1

 

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I am planning to write a series of posts as a gratitude to 2016. Before the calendars turn and we have 2017 right in front of our face, i want to say a thank you to 2016.

“Here goes another year

Leaving behind

A bucket full of memories

And a high tide that blew some away

What I learnt this year

We are never ever prepared

For what life has in store

But we deal with them anyways

Thank you 2016 for teaching me this

That I may not have answers and it’s okay

I may stumble and be on ground for a while

And that’s completely okay

What I learnt this year we are never ready for a yes

Love scares the shit out of us

And we still want to fall again

We never grow out of the idea of love

So Thank you 2016 for teaching me

That there is no perfect time, no perfect name

That you meet assholes on your way and that’s okay

That you fall in destructive love all over again

And yes that too is okay

What I learnt from this year, that it’s dirt all around us

And we should dust them often

To meet people that really should matter

That I don’t have to pretend a yes when I mean no

So Thank You 2016 for teaching me

That When you love yourself and say a no

You fucking care about if it’s rain or a snow

You just pick up an umbrella for a beautiful picture

And then soak in happiness and yay reach a juncture

Thank you 2016 for teaching me this

That I have a shot ahead like everyone else

And even if things don’t fall in place

It’s okay

And even if this does not score a boundary

That’s also okay

At least you have some words to write

And in december you think that this poem is going right

The Paper Boat

We strive to give it a shape
Of a boat
A paper boat
Ready to sail
Against the winds
In the rhythm of flow
Swaying and smiling

Just like life
Folding todays
Shaping tomorrows
Tearing yesterdays
Ignoring the rough edges
And there it goes
In a stretch of emotions
Towards the vastness called relations
Silently observing from a distance
As it sways and smiles
Sigh! We gasp!
It is not that smoother
We could have made it better

1

Postcard from P : You are not there to fix someone

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Dear little boys and girls

It’s been a long gap that i wrote a postcard to you. Sometimes i feel i have said it all and sometimes it occurs that i have said nothing. You will read these postcards even after i leave because words stay back.

So, in your life you will always find a person who would seem perfect in so many ways and you would put him/ her on a pedestal instead of looking for the cracks.Cracks, everyone of us is broken but do remember no one is there to fix you up.

You may have your bad past experiences but that’s past, that’s gone. Everyone is a completely different person. You can not compare one with another, you can not stop living for the fear of dying. No one can set conditions for you, they have to accept you for whatever you are…….Period.

If someone tells you that you should rather fix the broken parts or love you in the boundaries created, say a sorry and move on. I guess that’s what love does to you, it makes you reckless and stupid. It makes you confirm to some bullshit preformed idea of attachment.

Every love story is different, treasure people not ideas: Detached, surrender, no strings attached, crazy, madly are just words. In the end it’s all about how badly you want to be with someone.

If terms come up and not you, free yourself. Believe me, it may seem that it’s you who is in pain but its you who is free, that’s something the other one willl never be able to.

Love people not the idea of what kind of love someone wants.

Take efforts, Life is too short to loose someone who created a spark.

Happy Loving, Happy Living

Love

P.