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He-Man And The Masters of The Universe

20 Aug

While I was mindlessly scrolling for what to watch next, I wandered off to the kids category in Netflix. And, I was overwhelmed to come across ‘He-Man And The Masters of the Universe’! Overwhelmed because I used to watch He-Man when I was probably five or six. It brought a flurry of memories that made me smile. As I was about to hit play, Mom called for her daily dose of ‘whats-happenin-with-the-daughter’, I told her about He-Man and she was like, “Woh abhi bhi aata hain?”, to which I informed her that it’s not a running show, but is an archived show on Netflix. To which she said, “Junoon aahe ka? Get that for me na.” I coughed out loud and said I would call her later.

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My eyes and senses transfixed on the TV screen, I saw He-Man, my first superhero screaming ‘I have the power’ and my first villain Skeletor cackling all the way. As a kid, I was terrified of Skeletor. Mom made me gulp down a glass of milk, kyunki toh bhoot yenaar’, and that trick worked.

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Now that I watched few episodes, I realised how I didn’t really get the episodes back then. Because my knowledge at five was limited to vowels, I only watched it because it was a ‘cartoon’. Also, it was fun to see ‘light’ coming out of swords, hands, eyes that made its opponents disappear.

He-Man, if I remember, used to come on DD Metro at 4.30 pm. It was tea-time with some Parle G biscuits for me. If lucky, a steaming plate of Maggi made the watch quite pleasant. The fandom was reaching its peak as He-Man bag, toys, stationery were demanded and were guarded more than life. I  vividly remember that I had a He-Man sword eraser that I never let anyone touch it.

Since I am rewatching the series, it dawned on me that I had missed the most basic of the plot that He-Man was the alter-ego of Prince Adam of Esteria. And that there was always a ‘moral of the story’ at the end of every episode. The breakup of the name ‘Evil-lyn’ was also missed, so were some epic insulting lines by Skeletor.

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It’s an unexplainable joy to re-visit your childhood cartoons. Especially, the ones which you only watched for the sake of watching. I am currently on episode nine, where there is a dragon invasion in Esteria. There are some 65 episodes, which I am going to relish only with a cup of tea and some cookies, when I get some free time. Till then, I will marvel at the fact that nostalgia is a sweet MF!

P.S- I am blogging after 3 years, I guess. If my blog were a human, he/she probably would have been a tormented ex who would say ‘who are you? I don’t know you, I am already  married, I have two kids, I don’t need you, you go away!’ after meeting me. Hah!

When Tired People Go On a Vacation

20 Mar

There comes a moment in your life when you tell yourself, “enough”. Enough of following the routine blindly, enough of working like a robot, and enough of taking shit from people. And at that moment, my friend, you must listen to that inner voice. You must take a break. You must surrender to isolation, where the foursquare check-ins seems futile, and the ‘last seen’ doesn’t bother you. You must go on a vacation and let the exploration heal your past bruises and give you a new perspective towards life.

I chose Kashmir, or let’s just say Kashmir chose me. After asking people, if they want to join me for a vacation I gave up hope. All I got was ‘maybe’, ‘no’, and even ‘why do you need me, ask your boyfriend no?’ replies. Alas, a ray of hope came in the form of a Delhi colleague who said she would meet me at Srinagar directly, or else it would have been a solo trip.

SNOWWW!

SNOWWW!


It was partially a solo trip since I travelled from Mumbai to Srinagar and back alone. It was my first flight trip and I was a bit nervous, but eventually everything went smooth. My first flight experience was smooth. I was flying Indigo and I had all the three seats to myself, so I was quite lucky!

Now planning a solo trip is not easy. Choosing a destination, booking packages according to your budget, booking tickets requires research. Safety is something, which you also need to consider since you’re going alone. I had those “why are you going there to meet terrorists?” conversations all the time, where I tried to explain that there is more to the place just than violence. But all in vain. People were very discouraging. Only handful of lovely people who encouraged me saying, “Oh you’re going to have a time of your life.” And they were cent percent correct.

The night I returned, I took my diary out to document my stay. And you won’t believe I couldn’t come up with anything. Kashmir was well…beyond words. To recall, all I do is close my eyes and the vision of me seeing snow for the first time appears. I can still feel the numbness in my hands when I first immersed my hand in fresh snow. The hop when I first sat on a pony. The smoke released from my mouth when I spoke. The beautiful people who looked very much at peace; contrary to people here who have a constipated look on their face all the time. The serene Dal lake which has a calming air of tranquil around it. The simple food which satisfied our hunger and taste. The painful day of departure, where I shed copious tears at the airport.

The serene Dal Lake

The serene Dal Lake


Kashmir taught me how all my problems are petty in comparison to the problems its residents face daily. And, that there is a place which can make you forget your incompleteness and your failure. That, there lies beauty in your wretchedness, which is superior to your materialistic happiness. That, nothing, absolutely nothing is important than Mother Nature.

Kashmiri Kids are cute lil buttons!

Kashmiri Kids are cute lil buttons!


It also made me realise that I should travel more often. I don’t know when and where my next vacation will be, but I have started saving for it already. But, let me tell you one thing, if you want to go somewhere then just go. No two minds. No listening to people. No ifs, hows and buts. Don’t keep waiting for people. Just go. And, then come back feeling all triumphant. That feeling, my friend is something which you need to experience every now and then.

Away from home

27 Apr

A month ago, I took a giant leap. I decided to move out from Sopara and stay as a PG in Worli. Why? Because, enough is enough. I quit the horrendous train battle. After 7 years of being a sheep in the huge flock which gets pushed to die in a compartment of Virar local, I now decided to put an end to the nightmare. I should’ve done this long back but you know you can’t pay peanuts for rent in Mumbai. It’s not that I can afford it now, but now I am in a position where I can at least make ends meet.

New place

New place

Fortunately, I did not run from pillar to post to find a place. Thanks to father’s BMC contacts which helped us to get a decent place in the city. What I discovered was, these BMC officials have the entire city on their speed dial. What enviable contacts. Superb. So finally moved in. Roommate is sweet but very conservative. Does not drink, hates maggie and pizza, makes excellent tea. But very cordial. Drags me to Worli Sea Face every night for a 45-minute-run. In short, everything is fine.

New place

New place

What sucks is bus travel. I loathe the bus travel. The only good thing is that I reach work in 15 mins flat! Reaching work so quickly is a dream. Imagine an hour and half time cut down to fifteen fucking minutes. Also the largest numbers of jerks are to be found in bus. God those deliberate dhakkas and irritating stares is what women who travel by bus has to face every day.

But I miss home. I miss Mom and Dad like crazy. Though I am just an hour and half away, I still feel that I am in a whole new city. I miss talking aloud, making a mess at home. I hate how dad gets teary-eyed when he leaves me at the station every Sunday. I miss making fuss over a vegetable that I hate. Here, I eat everything without questioning the cook why she made it. Also, I have started cooking. Horrible chapatis and tea is what I make now, but I think I will improve.

The other day, I forgot to close the windows as I was in a hurry to catch the daily bus. You won’t believe what happened! Pigeons came in and shat on our clothes which were kept for drying on the clothes line! Also once I opened the cooker immediately after I closed the gas to see whether the rice was well cooked. Boom! I ran out of the house, praying the neighbours shouldn’t come running. A lesson well learned.

So yes, this is how I am living these days. The new found freedom is liberating but sad at the same time. But I am going to listen to Darwin who says, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

Sir, you will be missed

21 Feb

I vividly remember the morning when an old man in a crisp white shirt and trousers entered our class. ‘Great old Dumbledore,’ is what we students thought of him unanimously. His first question to us was what newspapers we read. He spoke slowly and was quietly gauging his pupils’ knowledge. And, I am so proud to say that we did not disappoint him. From there on, every class was a story telling session, where he recalled his renowned stint as a journalist. PK Sir was the doyen of journalism. We respected him. If you get respect from media students, you’re a unicorn.

This guy was a ‘no nonsense’ man. You can’t make up shit and present in his project. Your conscience would prick at the simple thought of Ctrl+C, Ctrl+Ving his projects. We got to learn what ethics were. He taught us everything with his prominent experience.

Great teachers are great if their teachings remain with their students forever. PK Sir was beyond greatness. I will remember him. If I ever have kids, PK sir will be the ultimate example for them, of what an ideal teacher should be. His ‘Indian Regional Journalism’ and ‘Slice of Life’ will always be on my shelf.
ImageHow I miss him today. How I miss those classes where we paid attention to every word he said. And, how shameful that I was never in touch with him after I got out of college. I will never forgive myself for that.

Sir, you have inspired many like me. I hope someday even I do the same. Rest in peace Sir, you will be missed.

Rest in peace. I will not disappoint you.

29 Dec

This morning when I got the terrible news, I just hugged my mother and cried. She was like me, she was like you, and she was like us.

We will forget her, protestors will go home, and government will keep producing nincompoops like Sushil Kumar Shinde and Sheila Dixit. The adage ‘life goes on’ is a fact, we move forward, we forget. But not this time. Don’t know about you, but with me she would always stay.

How will she stay with me? Why won’t I forget her? Why? Well, I travel alone in this city late night. While passing railway stations, streets I get those stares everyday. I do nothing about it. I am ashamed to say, but I am quite used to it. But, now she will always ring the bell. Even when I am buzzed and returning home, I will hear her voice saying something like, “No, don’t look there. Look down and walk, they are watching you.” Or she would say, “Take out that stole from your bag, wrap it quickly.”

The least you can do is, keep this with you and learn how to use it.

The least you can do is, keep this with you and learn how to use it.


I know I am not safe. I chant ‘Shree Ganeshay Namah’ everytime I pass this lane at night. An innocent hope is always with me hoping that I might escape an unwanted encounter. I am not always lucky. A whistling mother***ker or somebody singing songs like ‘O O Jane Jaana’ is always there. What do I do? I ignore.

What am I suppose to do everytime something like this happens? What do you do when somebody from a parallel train winks at you? I know, you are feeling helpless by this question. But this is something we face everyday and therefore should not be ignored.

What am I going to do? Well, I do not expect anything from this government. I mean, whom are they kidding? It’s me who will find all my answers. I feel foolish for spending on a Spanish class, because the need of the hour is a karate class or anything that teaches self-defence. Also, I am going to keep a knife. I don’t know if I ever use it, but I am not kidding. I will.

She will always be with me, telling me to be safe. Well, hereby I promise I will not disappoint her.

10 songs you can strut to

1 Dec

I love Leo-strutting to work, regardless of the stares that I get on the subway, railway-stations and on the streets. All you need is a good song to walk with, to kick start your day. Here is my list, also the reason why I don’t look at people while I am on Shanks’ pony.

Raindrops keep falling on my head – B.J.Thomas


I feel like a sunflower swaying in the breeze when this is on the loop.

Highway to Hell – AC/DC

I always stand on the train footboard while listening to this one.

Badal pe pao hai – Chak De India


This song from ‘Chak De’ is very sweet. “Ab toh bhai chal padi, apni yeh naav hai” makes you smile.

I like to move it, move it – Sacha Baron Cohen

OMG this song! OMG, OMG

Aaj main upar, aasman niche – Khamoshi

The small-town girl that I am, this is what I feel when I cross Borivali 😛

Crazy in Love – Beyonce

I am in love, and this is how I’ll walk bitch.

Roobaroo – Rang De Basanti

This song clears the fog of self-doubt, and then everything is crystal clear.

4 Mins – Madonna ft Justin Timberlake


You, the Madonna. Hot guy on the subway, the Justin Timberlake. Quick, you’ve got only 4 mins

Why don’t we do it in the road – The Beatles

The face goes into a smug mode with this song.

Joker and the thief – Wolfmother

I remember how crazy I went on the quiet Sopara streets at 1 am.

My family is modern family

13 Oct

The ‘Schooled’ episode from the latest season of Modern Family made me hug my folks while they were peacefully snoring. Do not hug sleeping people, it’s kinda awkward. Now my folks are not as cool as Phil & Claire who will buy their daughter a box of condoms, but they are cool enough to discuss how flavoured condoms are pointless. To which, I say, “How would I know?” To which they laugh and say, “Barobar aahe” (Correct)!

Never underestimate the strength of a family. My family is just me, father and mother. But, when it comes to the food, clothing, noise parameter, we match the house of 10, say 20, heck even 30. Chaos is what we love. Yap yapping is what the Borkars are known for.  Also, we sigh together every time we get a ‘Bore-kar’ taunt. We all have various reactions to the ‘bore-kar’ mock. Mom will say, “You mean to say Borekar, or the fruitwala bor-kar? I will roll my eyes and say, “how original!” While my dad would laugh and say, “Ok this joke was boring, wait for the next one.”

The Dunphys

The Dunphys

Ah, my family! Always loud and boisterous. Once we tried to introspect why we are such a noisy family, well that ended with a big fight where I blamed mom, mom blamed me and dad blamed us.  So we have just stopped and accepted that we love noise.  Each morning starts with Mom’s shrill “GET-UP-OR-ELSE-I-AM-SLAPPING-YOU”, every night ends with, “what are you going to wear to work tomorrow?” Now my mother is concerned about my wardrobe more than I do. I hate this. I HATE THIS. “Going for a date tomorrow? I think, you should wear that blue top.” No mom, I think I should go in my pyjama that is just about fine.  She disapproves all that I wear. Curses every time I buy dangling clothes. She tells me that’s the reason people don’t take me seriously.  She spews venom but is right all the time. She is right every friggin time.

I get over breakups because of my mom. Yes, I discuss my relationships with her which makes me uncool among my peers. I get, “how can you tell this to your mom?” all the time, but you know what screw you! She has to know. She just has to know. After a breakup, her “why only you get such retards?” calms me down. Her, “I told you so” keeps ringing in my head when I reach a dead-end. Her “jaasta udu nakos” keeps my feet to the ground. She is my worst critic. She is my rock of Gibraltar.

And now Dad.  I remember when a guy from my class came home for notes Dad would always ask, “match dekha kya? Kya solid batting kiya na Tendulkar ne?” If the guy gives the match report correctly, he is a “husshar mulga”. If not, he is ‘bindok’. What is bindok, you may ask. Well, it’s one of our many words that I don’t know how to explain. Hear us say those words. It’s hilarious. I used to take Dad for our ‘open house’ aka result day at school. I preferred Dad because Mom would eat me up for bad scores. On the other hand, Dad would try to pacify me with, “Your teacher has a moustache or the XYZ’s mom is SO FAT man!”

We have just one picture together.

We have just one picture together.

Dad is annoyingly funny. Annoying, I say because that man can’t stop joking ever. That’s the reason he has many friends. He knows an entire train compartment; his fellow passengers love him so much that he gets phone calls if he misses the train. Takes an hour to reach home from station because he has to inquire about Joshi’s new TV set and Patil’s aquarium. Watches movies before me. He still is 18, and will be 18 forever.

Modern family reminds me of my family. The gaffes and goof ups that makes us smile. Those bonds, that love which keeps us together. We belong to a modern family that accepts us for who we are. And mind you, only they accept us for who we really are.

Lessons learned from a trek

7 Oct

I felt the need to put this down, because I don’t want another ‘oh-my-god-i-am-dying’ person while climbing a fort. I went with my office colleagues this weekend to Karnala fort which is about 55 km away from Mumbai. While, I thought that I was going to have a merry drinking, eating easy time with the colleagues, but I had no idea what was waiting for me. I thought, we were going to the Karnala bird sanctuary, where we would do some ‘bird-watching’, spot a peacock, sing some songs and head back. But, here I am rubbing Iodex to my entire body. But, but, but. It was an ecstatic trek. Though, I huffed and puffed my way towards the fort, but I did get the ‘oh-my-god-i-did-it’ feeling at last. And, I think trekking is about that feeling. Now, I have put down some points that I think you need to do before or while on the mission.

Karnala fort

Karnala fort: The movie ‘Jait Re Jait’ was filmed here, btw.

Never be sceptical about a trek: It is either you are going or you are not. Like, I was unsure till the last minute. But then I suddenly decided to go. Make up your mind the day you come to know about the plan, and then prepare for it.

Always google the place: I did not do this. It’s absolutely necessary. We are not kids anymore who tug along with our dads who take us to places. You must know things about the place.

Treks are not for dieters:  I realised this when I was panting like a dog during the climb. It’s been a month and I am only on brown bread. Also, I had not eaten enough the previous night of the trek. If you ever plan for a trek, do not, I repeat do not diet. At least a week before the trek, eat everything healthy you can get your hands on.

Sports shoes are sport shoes, and trek shoes are trek shoes: I skidded innumerable timesbecause of my shoes. There was no grip at all. The trek guide kept on saying, “wrong shoes, wrong shoes” all the time.

Always carry a cap: Though, you will look like a monkey, but it’s ok. I remember how Sun God was punishing me for not carrying a cap. Next time, I will.

Do not climb alone: Now you are not some Aron Ralston who would survive a deadly situation. Always climb along with your group. Do not meander alone.

Warm up is necessary:  It is a no brainer. You cannot decide to jump out from your cubicle to land straight away on a mountain (which I did). You need a plan. Like a proper fitness regime that willprepare you for the mission.

Never quit: I was about to quit right when I was 10 minutes away from the fort. It’s terrible, this feeling. Never succumb to this feeling. Take your own time, but do finish the climb. Reach on the top. There is something special waiting for you there.  Keep pushing yourself. Reach to the top.

P.S: I would like to thank my colleagues who helped me to get through this. Yoshid, Chille and Sunil, it would have been very difficult without you guys. Also, the trek guide Sanej. A big big thankyou!

Barfi! is love

15 Sep

I have stopped expecting anything good from movies. The fact that I review movies that nobody wants to watch might be the reason behind this. But then I watched Barfi, it made me open that word doc. I used to hate Ranbir Kapoor. Hate, hate, hate. I had no reason to justify my loathing – it was that kind of hate. But, then I saw him in Barfi. Not that I love him now, I respect him. He reminded me of the great Raj Kapoor. That’s all I will say about his performance.

I am not reviewing Barfi. I am putting down what remained with me after I left the theatre. Barfi reminded me of times when I have backed out after realising that I am not good enough for someone. You know, that feeling when you realise that the person you like can be happier with somebody else than with you. Yes, that feeling. The shittiest feeling ever. But, once you accept that reality, you accept life.

We judge people. We pay attention to what they wear. What they say. What they listen to, what they eat. With whom they hang out with. What slips our attention is what they go through, how they deal with crisis. How do they contact people, do they respect them? How do they cry, how do they hide their tears?  How do they make you feel?

I have tried changing people whom I love. But, time to time I have realised how flawed that is. Love is about accepting an autistic Jhilmil, making paper planes for her, and doing funny things to make her laugh. It is also like Shruti’s mother. Watching your ex quietly, but moving on with your life too. Basically, it’s about accepting people for who they are. There should be no selfish intention behind loving someone. If it exists, then it’s trade not love. If it’s boobs, it’s sex, not love.

Ask yourself why you love that person. Smile if your answer is ‘I don’t know.’ Also, go watch Barfi!.

My favourite Game of Thrones characters

26 Aug

That I finished watching the two seasons of Game of Thrones now, I will tell you why it took me so long. I usually take episodes of my favourite sitcoms on my Ipod, so that I have something to ignore the frustrating train crowd. I have watched many movies and episodes on my iPod while getting crushed in the corner of the compartment. With Game of Thrones, it was not that easy. This fellow passenger who was a Gujju aunty saw the Tyrion scene where he is in a whore house of Winterfell. She looked at me and said, “Sharam hai sharam aise sab dekhti hai” (Do you have any shame that you are watching this?) I was dumbstruck; I myself was scandalised because I had never seen a midget in action. I shut it down, because the aunty was about to narrate the scene to the other passengers. However, she stopped. Maybe she didn’t know what they call a midget in Gujarati. So, yes it was pretty embarrassing. I stopped watching it on my iPod. I had to watch it on weekends which took me forever to finish!

Well, Game of Thrones is mind-bogglingly awesome. Imagine a tv series shot so magnificently. I pity myself for not reading the books. But I think the tv series has made justice to the books if locations and characters are concerned. I sometimes wonder what George R.R. Martin was thinking when he killed Ned Stark. When I was telling a friend how shocked I was with his death, my friend said, “GOT ain’t bollywood, babe”. That’s so true.

So, I decided to write about some of my favourite GOT characters. We all love Ned, Tyrion, Jon Snow, Daenerys, Arya.  But, I will tell you some of my favourite supporting characters that I love from the series.

Khal Drogo

I am sorry, but I thought Khal Drogo was the WWE wrestler Khali. Jason Mamoa as Khal Drogo was a terror but a lady killer. How I envied his ‘shendi’. I wanted to see him more. Damn you, George R.R. Martin!

Osha

Remember she was Nymphodora Tonks in the Potter series? Osha was about to kill Bran, but later she becomes his confidante and protector.

Samwell Tarly

Aww, this one is a teddy bear no? Sam is the rotund steward of Night’s watch. He loves Jon Snow and considers him as his best friend.

Bronn

Tyrion’s friend Bronn is sarcastic and funny. “There is no cure for being a cunt,” is from him.

Dog aka Sandor Cleagane

I loathed Joffrey for treating Sandor Clegane like a dog. Though his face is charred, Sandor Clegane impresses with his modesty.

Jorah Mormount

I love the way he says, “Yes Khaleesi”, “Please be careful Khaleesi.” K-H-A-L-E-E-S-I

Hodor

The very tall Hodor is a bit dim-witted, but he is adorable.

Petyr Baelish

The shrewd ‘littlefinger’ is a mastermind. He owns a whorehouse in the King’s landing. Also, he was seen in ‘Dark Knight Rises’ in the opening scene.

Tywin Lannister

I don’t know why, but I find this old man very very sexy. Father of Cersie, Jamie and Tyrion, Tywin is the new king’s hand after Tyrion.

Jaqen H’ghar

Member of the ‘Faceless Men’, Jaqen H’gar helps Arya Stark by killing people for her. I also want someone like Jaqen H’ghar, I have many on the list. But alas!