Turning back

She found his sister-in-law walking down the street opposite to her house. It had been 8 years since she had seen any of his family members. Debating whether to avoid or not, she found her approaching. In her heart, she missed the friendship she had shared with his sister. It was an easy-going friendship, one that was without judgement. She called her ‘didi’, and not ‘bhabhi’. She did not want to bring the ‘weight’ of a bhabhi-wala relation into the simple sisterly friendship.

As didi approached, she hugged her, reminiscing the days gone by. Didi took her to her house, where there were a lot of people buzzing around, maybe for a wedding that was planned in the house. She felt amiss. Didi took her to a room and asked her to wait. On the other side of the room, she felt a presence. Ma. She jumped in surprise, went ahead and hugged ma too. Touched feet. Ma was distanced and detached. She handed me a letter. A handwritten letter.

She just took and just gave it a listless glance. No expression. When she went to her room, she found him there. She had forgiven him and had no weight in her heart. So, she greeted him politely.  Apparently, they all wanted him and her to get back together. She thought in her heart, that it was a foolish wishful want. She debated whether to cut this conversation short or see what he had to say. Curiosity took over and she took a seat 5 feet away from him. They spoke about inconsequential things. Then his intention was to move on to personal chat, but she sensed it and cut him short. She wanted to leave, but he got angry. All she said was, “You are still the same. Lower your temper.”

And she went to her parents to tell them to go and ask that family to move on. What did she achieve from that conversation? Not sure, maybe she had the satisfaction of knowing that it was the right thing to do, to walk out. Rather, to accept that he walked out. That a piece of paper with two signatures mean nothing when someone does not want to nurture a relationship. And of course, vice versa.

She thought of the man she now had in her life. Dynamic, mature and extremely loving. She thanked her stars. A small smile escaped her lips.

Track 2:

In her words:

The wedding atmosphere suddenly turned into tension filled melee. She was puzzled. Then people came running and shouting that the groom has halted the wedding celebrations because he wanted 10 lakhs immediately. The bride’s parents tried to ask our parents to arrange for the money. And fools that they are, they way they chose that man for me, they scrambled around, arranging for it.

I asked them to stop the madness. Just. Stop. It.

How dare that girl not stop this by taking a stand?? This for God’s sake is the 21st century. Educated people do NOT blackmail the bride’s family for money on the altar of marriage. What stops her from walking out? Is it okay to see her parents begging others for money? Is it okay to see the elderly couple scrambling around, and losing their wits on something as inconsequential as “buying a groom for their daughter”????

Track 3:

She wakes up with a jolt, angry and upset. Why after so many years, did she see this dream? Perhaps somewhere in her psyche, she expected him to come and apologize to her. And perhaps, somewhere in her psyche, she wants all those girls to stand up for their parents, who feel they are a victim of the society’s demands for sending a daughter with loads of materialistic things, with or without demand.

Track 4:

She thought of her parents who had the strength that ONLY true love could give, to support and in fact, help her in the brave decision she took so many years ago. She smiled as she saw the way her father’s head held high, when she told him of the salary hike she recently got. He is one proud father – he has seen her move from being a meek domestic girl to a confident corporate lady.

She immediately picked up her phone, and dialled Papa.

Smiling Female Business Leader With Arms Crossed

Truly Befikre

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‘Befikre’ is a Hindi word meaning ‘Carefree’.

When I watched this movie, I was really impressed by the story line and the way the romance bloomed between the key protagonists despite all resistance to love.

An absolutely fresh movie, the story revolves under a couple in a live-in relationship who decide to break up. After their break up, they become thick friends. However, both share the ideology that love does not exist. As the lady decided to marry a supposedly “tall, fair, handsome rich” guy after discussing with the lead, both of them realize that they are in love. Everything else ensues, but I did not like the ending, which was turned into a humorous confusion ending with the lead couple just running away from the chaotic scene. The movie also touches hearts with its absolutely fresh and melodious songs with liberal use of French. I didn’t know French is such a beautiful language until I saw this movie. (Maybe I will learn French some day). My personal favorite songs are Je T’aime, Labon ka Karobar and You and Me.

I decided to write about this movie because some moments in the movie touched my heart. There is one scene where the lead heroine is upset with the hero and turns and walks away from him. That is an amazingly acted out scene, as the way she walks away, her head high, her steps confident, is outstanding. It’s a rarity, especially in the Indian society, where that kind of self-assuredness and headstrong attitude is seen as a negative trait, and women are mostly expected to be submissive and meek.

For me, a confident lady is the epitome of the ‘perfect’ woman.

She may belong to any walk of life, but she is to be celebrated for the sheer determination that she displays in leading a respectful life.

She is the successful lady that sits in the cabin and runs her business.

She is the lady in the white suit inside the VP Cabin, devising a strategy for her company.

She is the lady who sits in the cubicle, churning out thousands of lines of code to complete a client project.

She is the lady with dignity who is the pioneer of the small weaving industry in her village.

She is the lady who topped her IAS examination and is now making a huge difference in others’ lives.

She is the lady who plays the roles of a police officer, a sexy siren and a dumb babe with the same degree of poise.

She is the lady who chooses to stay with her partner without worrying about society rules – how does a marriage certificate stop a couple from tearing the relationship apart, and how does the absence of a marriage certificate stop a couple from leading a life of together forever?

She is the lady who expertly counsels individuals and couples with no inhibitions on any issue, and no judgments whatsoever.

She is the lady who decides to walk out of a relationship that’s marred by abuse.

She is the lady who says no to emotional manipulation.

She is the lady who starts life afresh after being ‘abandoned’ by her husband.

She is the lady who paints her heart out and wins accolades in her first art exhibition.

She is the lady that left a high paying job abroad to help poor and abandoned children lead a respectful life by training them on vocational courses.

She is the lady who….  need I say more?

These women are truly ‘befikre’ and I salute them. Do you?

Who is your She?

She finds her wings – Water Color Painting

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First glance, this painting will remind you of an angel.

But I see it as the WOMAN who found her wings and is ready to fly.

The woman who breaks her shackles and escapes to freedom land

The woman who fights back and leaves her past behind

The woman who became a man and took all onus on her shoulders

The woman who decided to give life to uplifting of souls

The woman

The invincible, unstoppable woman.

Dedicated to #IAMPINK and #PARCHED. 

Movie review (sort of): PINK #IAMPINK

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Well, yes it is but obvious that I would go gaga over PINK. Amitabh Bachchan’s movie had me in tears and no, they definitely weren’t tears of joy.

How a woman is treated in our society is brought out beautifully in the movie PINK. We speak of being modern and yet, we are as backward as the monkey era where in, a woman can not even drink out with friends without being labeled with expletives such as ‘fast’, ‘promiscuous’, and ‘prostitute’.

Times may have changed for some, but for many, times remain in a limbo. Women for them are to cook ‘great’ food for the husband at home, stay confined to the kitchen and rear children. Any other role and she is labelled. Forever.

The best thing about the movie was that a point was made, without really making a point. Amitabh Bachchan’s acting prowess was perfect to the role, no one else could have done justice to the eccentric retired lawyer’s character. I have been in close proximity to friends who have dealt with lawyers and trust me, it is HELL capitalized, italicized and spelled out. Good lawyers close a case in 6 months. Those with motives will ensure that they are doing a huge favour to you by fighting your case, in spite of you paying them.

The movie brought out a lot of emotions in me. I have seen women who have risen from ashes as Phoenix, women who chose simply because it was their choice, women who wanted to be different and decided to be, women who carved new paths for themselves against all the barricades of the patriarchal society around them.

I have seen women who have taken a 180 degree turn, and lost everyone in the process because “they have changed”. I have seen women whose independence got rejected because the pitiful needy girl was better to handle. I have seen women who chose to remain single and go abroad for studies because the Indian society does not accept a single woman as a woman of good character. Women who travel are “fast”. Women who have “boy” friends have ill characters. Women who stand up for themselves against the atrocities of in-laws have loose character.

Women, Women, Women – the reason of all destruction, the reason of all fights in the house, the reason why friends got separated, and so on and so forth.  These women have just done one thing. They said NO. They said NO to submission. They said NO to oppression. They said NO because they wanted to say NO. 

Just like any man, who says NO to a BMW because he wants a Mercedes. As SIMPLE as that.

That was the crux of the movie, that a NO, even by a prostitute whom one has paid already, is a NO and that her modesty can not be compromised. That a woman has a right to say no, even if she is the wife, and that women have to be treated equally.

This is going to be the ONLY movie that I will remember in life. The only movie that made sense, makes sense and will always make sense.

Because I am a Woman. A proud one at that.

And I hope all women come out and speak in favour of this movie. This movie is going to be the revolution of the India era, one that will uplift the Indian woman to new heights.