A letter to you…

Dear Brother,

This letter may come to sound weird and you may even ask me, ‘What I need?’ (Like you did when the only time I called you ‘anna’ after getting a lecture from an uncle on why I call you by name 😉 ). Well I don’t need anything, as amma and you have given me much more than anything I would ever need. Appaji is someone who is inherently in us all the time. But today I write you this letter to say thank you, rather express as I would never tell you this in person and neither would you take me seriously if I ever did. I know you’d say, you didn’t have too and you knew but I wanted too. So here it goes.

Thanks to amma and appaji to have brought us up with such wonderful values and always been an inspiration to be better human beings than anything else. But thank you for always, silently giving me all the love, support and care. Treating me as an equal and listening (irritated or to just amuse me) to all the opinions I had about everything we spoke about, whether it was asked or not. For always making sure to show me that I had a voice, I had a say in any important decisions, that was to be made at home or in your life. It’s more than in one way, moulded me to be this confident, young woman I am today and to take the reins of my life, riding it in the direction I wish to take it in. Being proud of who I was and taking pride in telling people about me. It made me stronger of who I was and happy knowing you were proud of me. Never once throwing at me, ‘you are a girl’ logic on anything that I did or wanted to do, but always had a practical logic to throw at me.

I am proud to have a brother like you, more so I feel blessed to have you. I watch you everyday, noticing the little joys and the big worries that you go through, making me smile knowing, how much you can say to the people around you without using any words. Someimes I see you as the brother of a younger age, as I looked over to see if you were there and the innocence doesn’t seem to have diminished, the love you have for people around you, soo pure and straightforward but unspoken. Your dedication to work or your loved one is commendable, know that you have great heights to conquer and your hardwork will soon lead you to success. There sure are and will be elements and people in your life who will try to pull you back, put you down but move ahead, as you are beyond them for the sole reason that you won’t treat anyone bad no matter what they do to you. It’s a quality I adore and something that makes all of us, very protective about you. Move ahead, the treasure is right there, don’t give up and don’t give in.

You are a wonderful father, I see it as you play with the kiddo everyday or look at him. I at times, see appaji as you talk or amuse him and know appaji is as much in you as in me, always reminding us of it as we look at eachother. When I chose a partner for my life, I appreciate how you took time to know him, understand him and fully accepted him when you felt it, genuinely. This was way better than you doing it for my sake, but taking time to ensure the emotions were real. I see you and amma, work tirelessly now to give us a great wedding, I want you to know how happy it makes us feel and thankful for all the thought, hardwork you two put in.

You truly are an example for every brother out there, of how they could treat their sister equally, respect her and more so encourage her to have a voice of her own, to be herself and achieve a lot more. I do wish one other thing, that you worry less and enjoy ‘today’ and ‘now’ much more, because things will work out but the moments lost may never come back. Look after yourself too as much as you want to look after others, you need to be good to do good for others. Lastly, know that we are proud of you, of everything you have done, achieved and the dream you are working towards. We are with you.

Lovingly,

Your obnoxious opinionated sister 😉

A brand that shows us, ‘It’s all about relationships!’

Chocolates are something that is loved and enjoyed by everyone(age no bar of course). But add the name Cadbury’s to it and nostalgia seeps in as we reminisce of our childhood. How we pestered our parents and guests(more than parents 😉 ) whenever they asked us what we liked or how we ensured to check grandpa’s pockets and gradma’s purse to find that Cadbury’s chocolate, they always ensured to buy when they came to visit. It’s as though you could close your eyes and remember the first bite.

We crave chocolates when happy and even more when sad. They have always been our comfort food. It’s also something that we love sharing with our loved ones (only the ones who we really love 😉 and sure not as kids as chocolates are much more than anyone. Right?). Remember the old Cadbury ads? The iconic ad of the girl dancing in the pitch, as she celebrates her man’s success or the one with different generations just having fun. Women have been integral part of each one of them, celebrating a success or sharing a happy moment with a loved one.

The clichés around saas-bahu relationships are growing with great influence from the tele sagas, which seem to show more drama and competition than it may exist in reality, only making you wonder if these shows take inspiration from reality or are looking to be an inspiration to the audience watching it. The recent ad of Cadbury’s breaks just this cliché, taking a fresh take on the relationship. The daughter in law and mother in law bonding over dancing and a piece of chocolate is adorable.

It’s true isn’t it, that love resides in every relationship but in different forms and only awaits to be recognised. It’s about time you moved away from the ancient perceptions of how a relationship should be with mother-in-laws. After all, she’s a mother too, with just an ‘in-law’ attached to it. Wouldn’t you agree?

If you really see, doesn’t enjoying a piece of chocolate quite similar to a moment with a loved one – a warm and a happy feeling? It’s great when brands move away from just selling a product to being much more. Who could have imagined a chocolate to stand for so much more than just being an eatable. It’s even better as Cadbury’s embraces new generations and try to do their bit to show how different relationships can be celebrated with the tiniest of things.

Does this depict the power of marketing? No, not just that but the power of branding too, when a ‘name’ doesn’t remain to be just a product but much more. In this case, not just a chocolate but a memory, a feeling.

All this chocolate talking does make one crave for a big bar of it. Would you want a piece too? 🙂

Why are you soo afraid to be ‘you’?

A phase of confusion, sometimes even an agony you go through somewhere in your life, as you try to figure who you are or who you want to be known as. This short film reminded me of just that.

Identity. Some look for it. Some have already found it. But many refuse to  identify it. The society sure plays a very prominent role in it. Every time you start to identify with yourself, there is a finger waiting to be pointed at you and to tell ‘What do you think you are doing?’. Everything seems to have a preset definition and rules that should not be violated. Beauty is defined in a specific way – thin, fair and good clothes. Being a good friend is defined in a specific way – who’s nice, there when you need them and don’t change anything about you. Not to forget being a good girl – who doesn’t speak a lot, is charming (read smiles for everything but says nothing) and is likable  (read won’t mind being said anything and is always ready to help at her own cost too).

With this pressure and the confusion of not knowing who we want to be, we glide on through life wearing different masks, being different with different groups, blending in the crowd, trying hard to be likable but never satisfied and with a feeling that’s always nagging at you. Then you learn from your pain, from the let downs, from the disappointments and the insults. You learn some more as you realize there shouldn’t be an effort to have people like you, especially at the cost of yourself.

Then…you break free. You understand yourself better and know what you stand for , what you believe in and who really matter. You start to shed each of your masks and feel the weight diminishing too. You are FREE now! From the society, the rules and the demon in yourself.

Be YOU ! Because nobody can do that better than yourself.

I wish you were here…

 

IMG_20160615_185859.jpgDearest Appaji,

How are you? It’s been a while since I have been thinking of writing this letter to you. I know it’s quite unnecessary as I talk to you almost everyday and it is weird am writing it in English and not in Kannada, sorry about that. Maybe someday I shall learn to and yes start to read kannada books too. 🙂 I am sure you would have made good friends there, discussing books, literature and us. We miss you as much too and know you are always around us, looking after and guiding us through.

There is soo much I want to tell you appaji but more so want to hear you back. It’s been soo long but it seems like yesterday, you went on to make new friends in another world but with an assurance to be around us always. Thank you for always being around. I am to step into a new journey in my life and I can’t tell you how much I wish you were here. In real. I want to tell you, how thankful I am for this life and how happy, proud I am to have been born as your daughter. It’s amma and you, because of whom I am the way I am. Not blaming you two for how stubborn and irritatingly outspoken I am at times ;), but for the confident, independent woman that I am today and with the ideals, principles I have inbuilt in me.

You have taught me soo much appaji and continue to do so even now, like a guardian angel who stands over and applauds for every success of mine, picking me up every time I fall down. The way you introduced me to books, stories, words and eased their existence into my life making them such a strong part of me. You showed me how important family, relationships are by not really saying it out but showing it in each of your actions. As I watched you read, speak passionately about a subject or hear you giving a speech, I realized the power of words, of a person and how they could inspire someone, change something. How humility and kindness are two wonderful traits a person could have. By being an amazing father, you taught how to love children and I think of you as I play with adith. How we could teach him everything but not really telling it but by showing it and being all that ourselves.

This new phase of life is around the corner and I wish you were here to celebrate it, enjoy it and not to forget, take all my tantrums that amma takes it now. Things would have been different know appaji, were you here. I am sorry we aren’t taking care of your wife as well as you did. We love her as much but just give away our childishness at times. I wish you could meet ‘him’ appaji. Am sure you would have loved ‘him’ and happily given me away, knowing he loved and cherished me as much. But you know am a bit glad you can’t give me away because I am going to take me with you. Would you be there all the time during all these functions and everything that is going to happen, holding my hand and maybe laughing at me for all the things I would be made? Also ganging up with amma as she teases me on everything? Would you support me as I fight to get my way in things? I remember as a kid, I would play this game, where it would be like I am leaving and hug you tight enacting to cry and say bye(yes. All the time we had guests at home in hubli, this is why I hugged you 😉 ) Would you tell me this time that all of you are coming with me and am not leaving anywhere?

Am sure you will. I love you appaji, more than I can ever say to you or to anyone else. I shall always be the kid who loves to cuddle up on her father’s tummy and hear it make all sorts of noise. I am excited about this new journey appaji. Stay with me…

Lovingingly,

Motu..

Melukote – A visit to history!

The travel bug bites you sometime during your life and when it does, the itch just doesn’t let you be. Well, this happened to my cousins and me (Surprisingly around the same time. Thankfully to be true!). It was not just a I want to travel different countries but the want to travel to every place there possibly can be. Because travel is not just about the stamps on our passport but more a learning journey you take with yourself and others to discover and rediscover things within you and around you.

With the travel bug was the hunger for history and trust me, this is one of the best blends ever. The rendezvous to discover your surroundings as far-away travel needed vitamin M(read money) which none of us seemed to have when needed. (everyone’s story you say?I don’t deny that, as we all sail in the same boat sometimes). My sister with the help of Google God discovered Melukote (Yes our families seem to already know and wondered why we had a sudden interest in it). The reason being, we had started seeing the world differently and that travel meant a lot more to us now. The structures and the history beckoned us to go visit and explore.

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With time, this travel also became a sister’s day out(that’s another thing which made it even more exciting I must say). Travelling by car is totally fun but can be tiring,would suggest to have atleast two people who can drive (my poor sister had to drive all the way back and forth as the rest of us are waiting for a sign from god to learn driving. hehe). The path is filled with lush green fields and not to forget the never ending blue sky.

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Reaching there the first thing I did was google the history. I am a sucker for history and Indian mythology with curiosity that can make me talk and listen to it infinitely.Click here to learn the history as I am going to skip that part considering you can get it off a lot of other sources. Another thing I did, much irritation to my sisters is click a lot of pictures(no not selfies ;)). Am an aspiring phone photographer you see.

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Melukote is more a temple village as it is the home for the deity worshiped by Mysuru Wodeyars. Many a temples is what you find along with kalyani (a holy bath pond) near them. Melukote is also the infamous shooting spot with many bollywood and sandalwood movies/songs shot. But none of it can describe the beauty of those structures.

I stood mesmerized by the temple structures, the intricate detailing of the pillars and for that matter just the air of it. I felt transported to another era, where maybe I was this small kid dressed in traditional clothes ran along the temple touching the pillars laughing as I ran to escape my chasing friends. Historical places do that to me and I live day dreaming as I discover.

We visited Cheluvanarayana Swamy temple first. Our intent of going to Melukote was just this – to see, to feel, to admire and to cherish. We soaked in all of it. The stone used to build the temple was cold and soothing giving us some relief from the scorching sun. We sat there for a while admiring the pillars and the various deity sculptures on the top of the temple depicted the various incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Each pillar is carved differently and intricately, which sure would make you stop and admire it.

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Akka (elder sister) and tangi (younger sister) kola/kalyani is a little ahead of the temple and is as lovely though the water was pretty dirty I must say. Not complaining though, as the steps that led down also had a story of it’s own, where many a tourists came by to freshen up before going to the temple. I raced down to the water jumping the steps, only to sprint back before the pandit took note of my chappal glad feet. 😉

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We made our way to the ‘Pancha Kalyani’, the biggest pond in Melukote which sure did take our breathe away and we didn’t want to move from there at all. So there we sat admiring it. Due to heavy rains, there was a fallen tree which had resulted in parts of the mantap(the structure around pond) and the barricades to break. To be true, it added a charm to the whole place, making us speechless. There was a bigger mantap on the other end and I was curious to explore. The heat had taken it’s toll on us and yet I could not resist. It didn’t dissappoint me at all. I could spend a whole day there. All that was missing was a book. How I wished I stayed at Melkote, where in I would walk to the kalyani everyday on afternoons, lay on the cold stone in the mantap and read myself to sleep only to wake up to see the sun setting, only to return home as the moon rose to shine.

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A day etched in my memory and which will stay along with me forever. One of the best things to do is to travel and it’s always even more fun when it’s with your sisters. So the next time you need a break, take a look around and explore your surrounding cities and your country before you jump in for a stamp on your passport. As they say, beauty lies in many a things around you and all you need to do is…open your eyes!

So where are you travelling next? 🙂

Abish Mathew – So glad to have discovered him!

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PC: AIB

AIB (All India Bakchod) shot to success in 2013, when they entered YouTube and came up with a video collaborating with Alia Bhat. This video went viral and it sure had too. Here was Alia, making fun of herself. These guys since then have given us some pretty amazing sketches and not to forget India’s first ever roast, which we totally enjoyed. More so, we were glad that the roast was sure taken in it’s true sense. (Except a few who were just meaning mental – the case, FIRs and everything else. God knows when they’ll grow up!)

Well the point is AIB introduced us to some very talented people, not to forget the power of social marketing. 😉 The ones I love the best in their team is Ashish Shakya(This guy is on sidelines most of the times but his expressions. You can not not laugh). But then Abish Mathew is the star for me. I absolutely love this guy! He’s not the ‘I make jokes about sex and curse’ (not just that 😉 ) but also on many other things you never thought were funny. It’s his acting skills, his writing skills and not to forget the cute expressions he comes up with. 😉

download  PC: YouTube, SonOfAbish

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Consistent – something I always stayed far from

I am passionate about work and the things I love. Always dreaming of doing what I love to make a living. Everyone dreams of that you say? Yaa..well I agree with you but you what I and most of you all out there don’t do? Do things consistently. Well yes! I have magically figured (read known all along) the secret to happiness and success. It’s about BEING CONSISTENT!

download   Remember that fabulous home remedy you found to clear your face up like TIDE(washing powder) does to your yellow clothes making them clean. Or that super exercise regime that made you feel great in a week but didn’t give you a makeover. Or that painting you soo much wanted to try. Well you know why, none of them worked out? Of course it was a rhetorical question. I wonder what is soo hard to be consistent, when you can get it all by just being that.

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Finding my way back to writing…

Everyday just catches up with you doesn’t it? Day in and day out.. The same work, same things to do, like a never ending routine. There sure are moments when a smile appears
on your face out of nowhere as you hear a song that touches or watch a bird fly across the sky or as you breath in the wet smell of rain with a gentle breeze caressing your face. You close your eyes and remember.. the dreams you wait for to come true, the things you let go, the friends you miss having around and wonder as you slowly move back to reality, where is that girl or the guy I am and who is this now!
The society,  the world that pushes you to be normal because that’s the way it should be. The way you are meant to do things or take certain roads that lead to nowhere but you sure to go that way,  because hey that’s where the world is going right? Respect, responsibilities  and everything that you may not care off. There sure are times, when ‘The You’ comes out and the world seems like a beautiful place. You feel it in everything you do and the boundless joy you feel. But then lost again, confused again. What are you to do?
I would say love yourself, spend time yourself and let nobody take away your smile, because nobody can stop you from being happy unless you let them….

What about the ones you love? Well.. What about the ones you love…..

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Sisterhood, blood and boobs at the London Marathon 2015

Originally posted on Madame Gandhi | BLOG:
Check a revised version of this piece on Absurdist – https://medium.com/absurdist/going-with-the-flow-blood-sisterhood-at-the-london-marathon-f719b98713e7 The marathon was everything. I trained for a year and then it happened. And truly it was one of the most profound experiences of my life. I ran with two of the most important women in my life, and we…

My my am I getting old?

A question am sure we ask ourselves, at some point in life due to an incident, an interaction or plain realization ;). I experienced one such incident. Here I was finally taking the step to be a part of a NGO, attending a recruitment drive(one thing I always wanted to do from school, but never thought I had the personality or the guts to be interviewed and then selected eventually 😉 )For the first time in my life, I felt out of place and it didn’t quite bother me(yes, working instils you that confidence especially when you love what you do 😉 ) I said to myself, ‘You are the oldest bloody person here!’ Of course the people recruiting seemed somewhere my age or older, which made me feel better. My bubble burst, when someone in the line ahead of me, decided to talk to me.

I was baffled for a minute and tried to catch up what she was trying to tell me, all I heard was ‘Oh my God! I can’t believe it!’ a couple of times and all I could offer was a smile. Then I discovered, she studies in the same college that I did and it got me excited we had something in common to talk about. After the initial bitching on the principal, the college and the lecturers, I found myself telling her to do internships, be part of fest organization etc,. till I had to remind myself to shut up and not be all advicy. She discovered I work and then again after some more ‘Oh My Gods!’, she decided she would ask me about the TV series I watch and I was blank, my series ended with Sherlock/ HIMYM and am still stuck up with them. I said ‘Sorry! I don’t watch much’ and continuing this I said I seem to be the oldest here and she gave me the ‘Oh like you didn’t know look with Dude you are old, like I was an old granny in between this teenage folks’. Quite frankly it amused me and reminded me why I didn’t like some of the girls in college. 😉

Well the drive went on, there were people like me who felt out of place but none the less tried to be as enthusiastic and excited, jumpy like the college folks. I met another girl who would end up asking me questions and answer it herself before I would open my mouth. ‘Do you listen to music? Do you see series?’ ‘Oh you must be busy with work and may not have time!’. At one point I wanted to tell her, I work a little more hours than she attends college, have evenings free and also weekends off unlike her. Not only did I have time to do whatever i wished too, I also had the freedom and the money(I know this was mean, so I shut up!’. I just told her ‘You will grow to like different things and I have passed that phase way before, travel and read and write is what I do in free time.’

Moving to another incident, we had some tasks to do and all the nervous guys around kind of made me feel more confident(quite unlike me or maybe I had turned to be this way) and I looked around them praying, wishing, discussing that the person to interview them would be sweet and calm and nice. It made me smile and I pondered, why wasn’t I feeling any of it, had I really grown old or was it just me confident. It was a mix of both.

I smiled to myself, ‘I like growing old, because am more content now, happier and at peace. I am glad I grew old like this because I love what I do and I do what I love, it’s a bliss to have discovered it. I know what I want off my life and am not trying to be anyone but just me.’ I felt a light glow, a halo around my head on that realization. So yes, I love growing old. Are you guys wondering why am not fretting over it, because most of them there felt I was another student just like them, making me wonder, is being happy and content making me younger, atleast I feel so. 🙂

Don’t fret over getting old. I am a cat on the wall now, not a college student neither a lot of experience working, but not a fresher either, but trust me, don’t fret on getting old. Instead, do everything you wanted to do, dreamt of doing and thought of trying. Live your life and do things that makes you happy from the inside and it’ll show on you as a glow.

Live passionate!Love yourself…

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