If granted one wish, what will you ask for?

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by disintegration of thought processes and of emotional responsiveness. It most commonly manifests itself as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking, and it is accompanied by significant social or occupational dysfunction. The onset of symptoms typically occurs in young adulthood, with a global lifetime prevalence of about 0.3–0.7%. Diagnosis is based on observed behaviour and the patient’s reported experiences.

Source – Wikipedia

Most of us would have played this game where we ask our friends, ‘what will you ask for, if you are granted one wish?’ Well, my answer to this question is simple -Schizophrenia! I came to know about this disease first when I saw A Beautiful Mind. (Sorry for revealing the suspense if you’ve not watched it yet. Please stop reading this post right now and watch it, it’s more interesting!). I was actually amazed to notice such a wonderful disease where our mind imagines the existence of people who do not exist in reality. I didn’t understand what is there to cure! I mean, all a human needs in his/her life – obviously apart from Roti, Kapda, Makaan aur Mobile – is friends who never drift away no matter what. Mostly, due to some unavoidable ‘practical’ reasons, you cannot stay with your friends forever. Because of practical reasons like social obligations, career aspirations, family pressure or saving the Earth from Martians, they cannot be around for more than 2-3 years. You cannot blame them also, they are human, and the priorities of human beings keep changing from time to time. It’s just that we don’t get an update every time it changes, the way we get one in Facebook.

The worst part is that, it happens at the time when you’re completely addicted with the habit of spending time with these friends, enjoying each and every moment and sharing all the happy, sad, crazy, freaky, scary and embarrassing memories, which you think you’ll laugh at with the same friends when you get old. But alas! The ‘practicalities’ of life do not allow one to realize these dreams. So the best option is, if you can’t have them forever, you can at least imagine them forever. Just have Schizophrenia and start imagining all the friends you always wished to stay with forever. They will never have these practical reasons to go away and reduce contact, you can talk with them whenever you’re low, they will always be there for you, and most importantly, their priorities will never change.

I know we should be happy for friends who get married, or are successful in their career, but that doesn’t make you stop missing all the unforgettable moments you had together, be it the tea at 2AM, the senseless debates to decide if India should use nuclear warhead if a war takes place, the ‘window shopping sessions’ in malls, the crazy leg-pulling sessions till 5AM on weekends, analyzing/criticizing/ranking/discussing pros & cons of all the girls you know, watching utterly senseless RGV movies in theatre or the cheap, oily, spicy yet tasty Punjabi food on birthday treats. And there is nothing you can do about the reality because it bloody sucks and has to be painfully sarcastically Practical! So better ‘use’ your brain, make friends who believe in what you believe, whose priorities do not change with time, who can stay around forever and never leave you when you’re addicted with their company.

I’m pretty sure about my wish. It’s going to be Schizophrenia. Not only does it not impact anyone else’s life, but it is also convenient and more effective than any other solution to this problem. I know this sounds pretty lousy, but with friends leaving you one after another, you are anyways a loser; as having lost them – the only treasure you could have claimed in your life you always deserved – there’s nothing else really left to lose, is there?

Happy Blogging!!!

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Do you want to be remembered??

Immortality. If God promised to fulfil just one wish to mankind, I guess this will be the demand of majority of us. People have died fighting for glory, just to make sure they are remembered after they are dead. I guess this is the only way one can gain immortality with dignity. Even the mighty Achilles was lured to join a war against Troy (and eventually lose his life) for the same reason. But I always wonder does it really matter ‘in the end’? I mean, once a person is dead, no matter how many people on earth remember him, no matter how many statues, buildings, memorials are built on his name; how much will it really matter to him if he is dead? And even if, for once if we accept the theory of rebirth, isn’t there are a huge possibility that his reincarnated self also doesn’t know how great sacrifices he made in his past life in order to be remembered? Cant it be possible that he himself becomes one who hates the ideologies represented by his past-life character?

Chinese Symbol for Immortality

I have been pondering on this issue ever since I saw Zinagi Na Milegi Dobara. I remembered while watching the movie that once I had received an SMS by one of my friends asking me ‘If I was allowed one wish to be fulfilled, what it will be?’ My response was: ‘I want to do such great deeds that the whole world cries when I am dead.’ This again, in other words, is asking for immortality. But lately I’ve been wondering, even if the whole world mourns my death, how exactly is it going to benefit me? Why should one waste his life doing great deeds for people who may not even remember how many sacrifices he had to make? The golden time which we could have spent with our friends or family, we spend doing things which would benefit the society. The opportunities you let go, which could have gotten you all the comforts of the whole world, just to make sure you make the world ‘a better place’, are never recognized. In turn, they build your statues, name some streets or buildings on your name and then simply forget about everything. Why should one be concerned about something after his existence? I mean, fine if one wants to secure a good life for his children and his dynasty, but the great race to get your name in the books of history just so that some people might read it and remember you (positively, if you are lucky, or make fun of your bald head, skinny body and less clothing even if you happen to be Mahatma) is something I am not able to digest. Or if not by the way of nobleness, people try gaining immortality by acquiring as much of wealth as possible, toiling hard their entire life for building an empire which others can worship after they are gone. Won’t they be thinking on their deathbed why the hell I wasted my life gaining something I was never able to relish?
I’m not sure if I’ll be holding the same opinion in a longer run, but right now if I am asked how I want to live my life, I’d just say that I want to make the maximum of today, make sure I have ceased the day and didn’t repent why I wasted it behind silly things which don’t matter or behind senseless arguments, ego-clashes, quarrels with people who are not going to matter to me anyways. I would want to spend time with my friends & family whom I care about a lot, whom I miss every second of my awake life and dream about when I am asleep. I would want to see as much of world as possible, have as many varied experiences, meet as many diverse people, see the wonders of the world and enjoy the beauty the nature beholds. I firmly believe that we have got only one life, I’m fortunate enough for surviving 26 years and want to survive for at least equal number of more years to satisfy this ambition of mine. I’m not sure what will happen tomorrow, whether even the world will exist or will a meteor strike the earth and no one will be left behind to remember me by the ‘great deeds’ I was planning to bestow on mankind! But if the worst is to happen, I surely want to die thinking: ‘Whoa.. now that’s a life I want to relive!’
Happy Blogging!!!

Pyaar Ka Panchnama – A Review

Remember the relief of watching a really great movie after wasting money on a series of disastrously bad movies? I felt the same when I watched ‘Pyaar Ka Panchnama’!! It all started may be 3-4 weeks ago when I saw the trailer of this movie and felt that this might resonate with my thoughts about relationships. Though I had this doubt in my mind about the impotence of Indian directors for not being brave enough to stick to their promise when it comes to criticize love & relationship when it becomes illogical, and making the protagonists fall in love in the climax, no matter how much they’d have criticized it in the whole movie (e.g. I Hate Love Stories), but Pyaar Ka Panchnama is an unbelievably pleasant surprise in this case because the director is not only bold enough to show almost all the drawbacks of being in a relationship, but also has a climax which resembles a hell lot with reality. Not everything needs to be rosey and ‘Happily Ever-after’, some relationships do end up in disaster, and Luv Ranjan has the balls to show it boldly and convincingly enough.

Without wasting any time on the storyline of the movie, (which you can read on any other review or I’ll suggest you to find out on your own by watching it in a hall!!) I’d straightly get to the point of how I liked the movie, or more simply, adored it! It basically shows how three totally Santa guys (bachelors – this is 301 Sita Towers lingo) become almost pet-dogs in a relationship and do all the things they’d have never done otherwise and then go through a loads and loads of suffering because of it. I’d give a standing ovation to Luv Ranjan to be able to capture all the things which can possibly go wrong in a relationship by just taking in example of three couples, and getting such marvelous job done from 6 new-comers. All of them have made their characters alive on the screen, and totally justified the segment of population they are representing. Many times I was reminded of my days in Hyderabad how we used to chillout together, have tea at 2AM and pull eachothers’ legs indefinitely, how we used to get frustrated of job and swear to quit it every Friday evening, just to find ourselves dragging our asses out of the bed every Monday morning at 7AM!!

Many people might say this movie is anti-woman and it portrays women in a purely negative, or rather, inappropriate way, but I totally disagree. This movie is not at all about women, it’s about loser guys who just give up their self-respect when they enter a relationship and do WHATEVER their female partners ask them to do, just to ‘make it work’. Women just accept it as their normal behavior, but get flabbergasted when the guy retaliates suddenly after the sufferings become unbearable. There are many moments where the committed pool of guys will be able to correlate themselves for making some or the other sacrifice (mostly related to their friends) and then their friends frowning upon them for giving up! This movie is like a red signal to all guys who are stuck in a suffocating relationship, who are not being themselves, who are not sure if what they are doing is right or not and the outcome of it. It not only brilliantly (and obviously most humorously) brings out the possible repercussions of such immature commitments, but also poses a very valid question: ‘Is it totally necessary for all relationships to just WORK??’ or rather ‘Why are we so afraid of admitting that our relationships CAN fail??’ None of us are superman (even he had a screwed up relationship.. you see!) and being realistic & practical is the least favor we can do to our dignity and self-esteem. It’s for all guys who have locked their self-esteem in a distant safe just to satisfy their girlfriend/wife’s ego and make their relationship work. It never works out in a longer time my friend.. choose a companion who respects your individuality, your priorities and all those people whom you respect. Until you get this straightened out, no amount of sacrifice will suffice.

Take this movie with a pinch of salt, enjoy all the comedy, slangs and funny sequences; but don’t forget to get the lesson out of it as well. I liked the whole movie, but the best parts were the 5 minutes monologue by Rajat (Kartikeya Tiwari) and excellently delivered punch-lines by Liquid (Divyendu Sharma) in a rarely seen fluent Hindi accent in Bollywood nowadays. The movie does make a lot of sense at the end of the day than just being a time-pass comedy. Waiting eagerly for the next flick of Luv Ranjan. Hats off to you dude!!!

PS: Such a wonderful feeling of coming back to Blogosphere after such a loooooong time.. I know you didn’t miss me at all.. but I missed your criticism and backlash a lot!! So here I am.. let it flow!! 😉

Happy Blogging!!!

Who Will Pay???

Imagine a situation: You are standing on the roadside along with your friends and desperately waiting for an auto as you don’t want to be late for the movie. It’s almost 9PM and this is the time when all auto-drivers in the city officially get the licence to loot you since they also know you do not have any other option. You negotiate hard and decide on 80 Rs and happily enter the auto with your friends. But as soon as you settle down, the happiness of catching the auto vanishes and the fear of “Who will pay?” suddenly appears on the Silver Screen of your mindscape! Now the smart-ones of you will have played their ploy even before you’d have realized this fact and would have entered the auto even before you. Now since Indian autos religiously follow FILO (First In Last Out), the one who gets in first has the highest leverage when it comes to time needed to take out the wallet and search for a 100 Rs note. Now since you are doomed as you are sitting right on the edge of the entrance of the auto and your destination is also nearing, you are almost chewing your nails and thinking “Why the hell I should pay 80 Rs when the movie itself cost me 100 Rs and why these guys get a free ride????”

Now from my similar experiences, I have noticed some really intelligent moves of some of my co-travellers when it comes to smartly avoiding the payment when getting out of the auto in spite of sitting at the entrance. Here I am listing some of them, which may help you save some money:

  1. If you are aware of the route, patiently wait for the destination to arrive. Right before 2 minutes, call up a friend and start talking about anything at all in the world (you can discuss the failure of GSLV mission and what strategy ISRO should adapt in future as well!). Make sure your conversation lasts till you get down safely from the auto. As soon as you get down, go as far from the auto as possible (you know the Mobile-etiquettes, we should go to a distance to talk on cell ;-)…). See to it that some of the others pay the auto, safely close the conversation and join your group happily. As this point, you can also request the person to take your share of the payment promptly (if you’re sincere, please present it to him/her on the spot.. it forces others also to do the same and saves that person from unnecessary expanses).
  2. If you are unaware of the route, then also don’t worry. If possible, wear a tight jeans from which carrying out a wallet is more difficult that plucking out a paining tooth and make sure you carry a 500 Rs note in your wallet. When the destination arrives, get down and try to go away from the auto pretending that you are making space for the others to get down safely. Now catch the second person who is getting down and enter in a conversation with him. He will also be relieved since this gives him also an excuse not to pay. Make sure the other friend has paid and then repeat the ethical procedure of paying your share as noted in point 1.
  3. Now let’s say your friend is not interested in having a conversation or the second person is not your own friend but a common friend someone has brought along. In this case you cannot strike a conversation. But here enters the usefulness of our tight jeans and 500 Rs note! As soon as you get down, enter your hand (in which you wear a watch) in your jeans pocket and try to carry out your wallet. Now since the jeans is very tight, you do not need to over-act that the wallet is not coming out easily, and the fat watch helps you make it look more difficult! Now still if your friends are looking anxiously to you, don’t worry, bring out your wallet and proudly present the 500 Rs note! Ask if anyone has change or not. This will surely prompt them to search their respective wallets and one of them will come out with a 100 Rs note. Again, repeat the ethical procedure of paying your share as noted in point 1.

Now frankly speaking, these all are escapist approaches and your friends are not such fools who cannot see what you are doing. If the money really doesn’t matter to you that much, do insist to pay for the auto as soon as you get down. Not only this sends a positive vibe in your friends about you but also makes the escapists feel ashamed of themselves and later to pay voluntarily, if not for all, at least their own share. Also you can have an understanding to share all the expanses after the trip equally amongst all so that no one ends up paying more and no one gets a free ride.

Hope the suggestions were helpful to you and choose the ones wisely. Remember, friends are more important than money and learn to differentiate between true friends and so-called friends, the later breed is very dangerous, can betray any time and there is no point being generous to them and pay on their behalf! 😉

Disclaimer: This has nothing to do with my recent trips with my friends in auto so please do not draw any misleading conclusions. These are mere observations which might help to the readers and no other interpretations can be confirmed as a fact.

 

Can we plan Friendship?

Probably this happened when I was browsing through my friends’ list in Facebook. While organizing them, I started wondering ‘How did I meet this guy/girl firstly?’. For most of them, I couldn’t really find the answer. I tried even harder, started back-tracking as much as possible, but no result. I could remember all the great moments we shared, all the fun, masti and enjoyment we had, but hardly I could recollect that first moment where I broke the ice with them. And then I started wondering, what could be the reason behind this?
The same might be the case with you also. Do you really remember how you met the best of your friends and how did you happen to be such close friends? All you can come up with is ‘It just happened, I never realised it!’. I guess it’s mainly because we never (I repeat, never) can plan for someone to have as our best-friends. In fact, many times what happens is that some characters we hate initially end up being the best of the persons we ever came across in our lives, and the people with whom we started talking initially (probably because they come from the same city as yours, or speak the same language as you do) don’t even bother to ask for your health when you’re not well.
Many times I hear people saying that we should make only those friends who are having good influences, who are good at something which we can learn from or who is having a good status in society. This all seems such rubbish and totally nonsensical. You can try, though. But mostly, such relations start suffocating you. It’s a fact, if we do not enjoy someone’s company, we can’t do it no matter how much we try, and in fact we shouldn’t even force ourselves for it. And our best friends, what to say about them? They might not be very influential, very rich or hail from a royal background, but they make us feel so special, cared and the best thing is that the time simply flies when we are with them.
I really miss my friends who are away from me today. They are the reason why I am sometimes forced to believe that there is something called as ‘destiny’, else nothing can explain how I could have the honour to share a deep friendship with the greatest of people existing on Earth (don’t worry.. you also might be having the same notions about your best-friends!)!! Its only because of them, I am what I am today. And I am very much proud of that fact. It’s true, we do not get to choose our relatives, but I’ve also seen that we do not choose our friends either, we can only try. But the friendship which sprouts out of nowhere and blossoms into something which you cherish for your lifetime can only begin as a pleasant coincidence rather than a planned one. I am proud of my friends, no matter how I happened to meet them and what lead me to interact with them more often than others, but it’s because of that string of coincidences I am blessed to have you guys as my friends! Thanks…. Destiny!!

 

The Fake Santa – My Experience at Lakshmi Baal Mahotsav

Do you remember, in your childhood, how much excited you were just to have one glimpse of Raam at the Raamleela? Or how eagerly you looked forward to meet Santa Claus at the church so that you could claim your gift first? At that age, we never realized that the person, wearing the rob of Santa or holding the Teer-Kamaan like Raam, are not actually those characters. I always felt so very blessed when I got to touch the feet of Raam and always got delighted when Santa used to shake hands with me. I experienced a similar déjà vu on the day of Lakshmi Baal Mahotsav, the annual event held at our campus where we invite children from various NGOs, spend time with them, have loads and loads of fun and distribute gifts as well as useful items.
The last part of the event, where we see-off the kids, we had one of our senior batch students, Sourabh Magdum, to dress as Santa Claus and distribute bags to each of the child who came to our campus. My duty was to hand over bags to Santa as he gave them away to the kids. While doing the same, I noticed something really remarkable, yet touching. When Santa (read Sourabh) shook hands with the kids, the kids were really happy and there was a shine in their eyes, like they have just shaken hands with a celebrity. Now we all know what celebrity stature Santa holds in the eyes of children, but the sheer innocence of the children lies in the fact that even they know that the person in front of them is not Santa actually. But do they really care? Did we care when we were kids? Of course not. All we were concerned about going back to our gang and flaunt in front of them how we accidentally bumped into Santa and what gift he gave us in return of our good behaviour throughout the year!
The whole point behind conducting the event was not only to spend time with children, but to give them a reason to smile. We did all kinds of activities, from drawing competition, greeting card competition, putting up game stalls where they can win gifts to conducting a magic show and talent show. They all got to win something at some of the events. But in the last part when each one of them received the bag full of goodies, and that too exclusively handed over by Santa, the joy and delight in their eyes and expressions was simply amazing. I’ve seen many times that many people, being “officially” grown-ups, ridicule demands of kids labelling them as illogical. What they fail to realize that they also had similar requirements when they were kids. They also wanted to have the same kind of sharpener with 3D display on it like their classmate had, or the same doll with all the decorations like their neighbourhood girl had. Now we get surprised when kids are amused at things trivial to us. We wonder what joy can possibly they gain out of a stupid marry-go-round ride or how can they enjoy a fake tea-set which cannot even hold enough amount of water to be gulped for a person. To all such people, I would request one thing; if you have kept the window to your childhood open, just peek at yourself 15-20 years ago and see what kind of demands you made to your parents, and more importantly, how happy you were when they were fulfilled. Look at the happiness of the kid, who is making such demands and look at his/her happiness when it is fulfilled, right now. If you think you can correlate to it, you can also enjoy it today at the same level you did then. And if you can enjoy it, there is no reason why you should not believe that the Santa, who has just handed over you a bag full of goodies, not only exists, but also has given you blessings! I was delighted to see each kid being happy after shaking hands with Santa and am thankful to the Samarthan team to give me a chance of experiencing my childhood once again. It was a feeling which will always stay close to my heart!

Guzaarish – A Review

After recovering from the tremendous shock of Saawariya, I had almost sworn that I’ll never watch an SLB movie again in theatre. When I was going through some social networking portals, I came across these really favourable reviews of Guzaarish where people praised the direction and acting so generously that the SLB fan inside my heart suddenly woke up and I started wondering if I should try this one and see if SLB has returned back on track or not. I gave my gut-feeling a chance and went ahead to watch the movie in a fabulous multiplex nearby. Here’s my review of the movie:
The movie is a mixture of notions the director “tries” really hard to convey to the audience, one being Euthanasia (mercy-killing).I believe that the success of Black, Taare Zameen Par and Paa must have lead SLB to conclude that if he keeps a disease as the base of the plot for the movie and tries to convey the story through the emotions attached with it, he might be able to be successful in it. The story in brief can be read at Wikipedia. The crux of the whole movie lies in the logic behind the argument that who should be considered for mercy-killing and who not (if at all the consideration is possible) and how can this be justified. When I went to the hall, I expected SLB to convey the same to me so effectively as he successfully did in Khaamoshi and Black (albeit for different issues), but I was thoroughly disappointed. There isn’t even a single conversation where the director proves that Euthanasia is an ultimate solution for a certain cases or why should this issue be entertained at all by any sane person.
The protagonist, after advising the whole world for 14 years to love their lives and enjoy each moment like you never did before, suddenly feels that his life is of no use and he is going to die anyways. Even though he cannot feel anything below his neck, he wants to get rid of some so-called pain by applying for mercy-killing to the court. There is not logic put forward by the director to convince the audience what kind of torture he was going through; and if at all he did, it never convinced me even an ounce. Another fault I found was that he goes for a stupid poll on his radio show where people denounce him in totally expected way, but suddenly they all turn in such blind supporters that they gather in front of his house with banners to express their support for his mercy-killing plea when the court is going ahead with the hearing. To make the issue further emotional, SLB tries to mix the Charlie Chaplin story in it. For those who are unaware of it, Charlie Chaplin spent his childhood in utter poverty and his mother was a singer. She faced an embarrassing situation when she was unable to sing on stage and Charlie Chaplin entertained the crowd by his funny gags, which lead him to be the best comedian on earth later on. SLB tries in vain to ditto copy this emotion and also hint to the audience by using the Charlie Chaplin hat, which by the way, doesn’t suit Hrithik’s masculine personality at all.
The music and sets of the movie, which are considered a speciality of an SLB movie again disappoint big time and are nowhere in comparison to his previous flicks. I at least appreciated the sets and music of Saawariya but Guzaarish fails to score on that front as well. There are so many flaws in the movie that after a point, I felt like I should personally call up SLB and tell him what was the hurry to roll-out the movie without having a close look at it. Small-small mistakes like Hrithik using a hi-tech wheelchair in the beginning and then the chair suddenly forgotten and he needs help to move out in his manually driven wheelchair, a frustratingly high amount of cheap comments which Hrithik makes on his nurse Aishwarya just so that he may look cool, but instead looks like a fool, none of his magic tricks are justified as a trick but look more like a miracle where he does impossible tasks without any help of any instruments at all and the instance where in a bar, Aishwarya suddenly starts dancing and singing without any evident reason (probably SLB might have thought that its time for another song!).
The instance where Hrithik gets a chance to convince the court about the justification behind his plea where he is supposed to give a closing-speech (a scene where only SLB has the mastery be it Khamoshi or Black!), is also ruined big-time and there is no sensible explanation why he should be allowed for mercy-killing. Also without any reason, the uncalled-for love between him and Aishwarya enters the story and makes it even more intolerable. Before that, I at least appreciated that the nurse-patient relation had maintained its dignity in the movie after so many allegations but once the love aspect enters, the whole respect for their relationship simply evaporated from my mind.
To sum-up, and as you might have concluded if you have reached this para of the post in case you are courageous enough to read, I was even more disappointed to watch this movie and expected a far better treatment to a touchy issue like Euthanasia where there was so much scope to touch the hearts of audience and make them cry, a field where SLB can claim his ownership any day. I sincerely wish he returns to the wonderfully crafted musical emotional stories and makes me proud to be his fan, once again!