Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Is the Society Becoming Intolerant Towards Single People?

These individuals can sense that feeling of being ‘misfits’ especially at weddings or get togethers. Or, even at party held at a friend’s place. Yes, I am talking about a special species here known as the single individuals. As if the caste hierarchy in our Indian society was not enough, this is another type of casteism. It won’t require those extraordinary wings of imagination to understand what I am talking about here.  Here, those who are married are at the top of the ladder. If they have children, even better. The next in line are those who are engaged to be married (the most adored category). The next is those who are in a serious and committed relationship with the opposite sex (same sex is somewhat okay, but beta, marry a Brahmin only). The last ones in the hierarchy, who almost do not feature anywhere and are looked at with pity and sympathy, are those who are single. They say that actions speak louder than words. In this case it comes across prominently. At any gathering or the likes, people do not say anything to those who are single. But their expressions speak a thousand times louder. Their expressions echo their feelings like – ‘Oh, so sad. Don’t you feel lonely? Aren’t you missing anything sweetheart?’  Then the next (unnecessary) piece of advice is ‘why don’t you do something about it?’ Why hasn’t a girl like you not found someone till now? ‘tu niit shodhat nasshil’ (you are not looking out seriously and are not out there).
And if in all this, if you are in your late 20’s or 30 or above, hell breaks loose. Missiles in the form of questions and exclamations of amazement come hurtling across. A testimony to how deeply ingrained this idea that a girl or guy has to be with someone or else there is something wrong with him or her is the fact that people start doubting your sexual preferences. People don’t even hesitate to ask if you are a gay or lesbian if you do not have a girl friend or a boyfriend. You are constantly bombarded with this brilliant idea that there is possibly something colossally abnormal with you if are single and have not ‘gone all the way’.
I have been wondering since the past few years that has our society become intolerant towards single individuals? Is it like your existence as a single individual who is not in a relationship or married does not count? Why do people think it is their birth right to make these single individuals feel undeserving of happiness and that they should be morbid and miserable? Is being with someone your ticket to the so called nod of approval from the society?

I don’t know when this mentality will change. I hope it does. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sex and The City, Carrie Bradshaw and More

Many of us, including me fantasize visiting the ‘Big Apple’ or New York City once in our lifetime.  Well, I have not yet got a chance to actually go there till now.  But hey, along came Carrie Bradshaw and her girl pals and introduced me to New York City with the show Sex and the City. I was immediately taken in by the basic premise and charm of the portrayal of the journey of these 4 girls. I adored all the quintessentially girly stuff in the show. (It is another story if I myself would ever be able to carry those Blahniks and D&C’s with such elan J).
The character I can most relate to and love is Carrie’s (apart from the host of relationships). She is a columnist and is not afraid to speak her mind. Whatever happens in her life, she has her girl friends whom she can bank upon for support. Although she loves all the other 3 – Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda, I think, Miranda is the first one she calls or goes to in troubled times. Yes, be it New York or Paris or London, you need one friend like that who would be there for you, anytime, anywhere, beyond the limitations of the clock or geography. And atleast in the show, fortunately, this has not changed, despite a decade of their friendship. Carrie’s change of tone while speaking is immediately noticed by Miranda and vice versa.

What strikes me the most along with all this is the fact that all these 4 have a fetish for fashion. However, it is in their distinct way. Yes, these could be the typical women stereotypes, but still there is something remarkably different about them. They are not pretentious. It is refreshing to see that. They have a lot of things common between them; still it is easy to what renders them different from each other.
Goof ups in the company of your besties are where I think memories are carved and etched in our minds. Nothing else gives such unbridled joy. Carrie Bradshaw’s adventures and travails and her switch on and switch off with Mr. Big and how she deals with it with the help of her three friends is interesting to see, atleast for me. And that is the proof of how goof ups in life can be fun too, when your best buddies are around.

Watching this show for some time now, I realized that be it the Pink City (our very own Jaipur) or New York City or any other, the hopes, desires, aspirations, challenges and bonds of friendships are the same everywhere for women. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hang on Bengaluru, It is James Kingston!

From climbing London’s iconic Southbank Tower to an under construction sky scraper in Bengaluru, this real British Spiderman can give the Marvel Comics’ superhero a tough fight. We know this Spiderman better as James Kingston. A professional adventurer and free runner, he needs no introduction. Climbing the Southbank Tower is a part of Kingston’s journey around the globe wherein he seeks to get the better of world’s tallest buildings. Following the immense popularity and unprecedented viral reach of the Southbank feat, EpicTV, online extreme adventure channel based in London, recently released the third leg of Kingston’s travels. The adventurer’s trysts with tallest buildings have been documented by EpicTV in its 'On the Edge', a web series.
The third leg involved Kingston travelling to the Silicon Valley of India, Bengaluru and pull of an unimaginable stunt. Do I need say that this was an instant hit on the internet and went viral like crazy? Well no! But what he did on 19 August 2014 definitely needs to be described here. Disclaimer: Please avoid reading if you are weak hearted, this is sure to drive you out of your wits! He ran up a tall skyscraper under construction and pulled off an almost ‘heart-stopping’ act by hanging off the end of a 100m crane by just one hand. As he hung precariously from that crane, early morning Bengaluru was unveiled like never before beneath his lean body suspended mid air.
Image Courtesy- jameskingston.co.uk

 Calling that view which was captured by his camera breath taking will be an understatement. The early morning sun could be seen lighting up the Bengaluru horizon beautifully, with a warm golden glow. The view was almost a reflection of a Google earth depiction of that area. The buzzing Bengaluru traffic involving vehicles seemed like a blip. So one can imagine the height of his perch! However, Kingston does not find hanging by one hand at such a height the most difficult part. “The craziest bit was when I was coming down and the workers were starting to come to work. Nobody even said anything! I just walked out. I even said goodbye to one of the guards”, he mentioned.

A humdinger of a podcast, we cannot wait to see what this amazing Spiderman does next! Till then check out this link to get amazed! -Epic TV James Kingston

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Queen of Hearts!

Okay, now this has to be one of the most endearing films I have seen for a while. Yes, and that has to be Queen, of course. It was an absolute delight to watch that film. It made me realize the phrase totally- ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’. Queen did seem to be completely non descript to say the least. But, voila! It had all that a film buff like me could ask for – drama, emotions, comedy and most of all, a realistic touch. I haven’t stopped thinking about the film and what lies at the core of the film ever since I came out of the theatre the other night after watching it.
What got me thinking was the sensitive, yet funny and non preachy yet a deep message which the film put across. It spoke about empowering women in a very subtle way, at the same time it was not like a bunch of overtly enthusiastic feminists breathing down your neck. It was all about a simple, naïve (Delhi girl (rare species) Rani (Queen) who has a desire to visit Paris from the bottom of her heart. She even has her honeymoon booked there with her future husband. Alas, destiny has something else in store for her. She heads for her honeymoon in one of the most romantic cities of the world alone. She is a girl who has never left her mohalla, in an area called Rajouri Garden.
Now the story gets interesting. It is simply a story of how a butterfly wrapped in cocoon comes into its own and spreads its wings and finds its way in this world. It is the saga of how Rani is exposed to an entirely unknown world and how she evolves as a girl, as a human being. At the same time it is amazing how she manages to retain her innocence and vulnerability. Yes, that, despite the fact that once she is forced to drink alcohol through a tube in a pub in Paris and she witnesses pole dancing by her friend’s friend in full glory. All this while soaking in the myriad of experiences  as calmly as possible she gets being in different continent thousands of miles away from home. 

It is heartening to see Kangana Ranaut in this film. She strikes a chord right from the word go. She is totally in sync with the story and her character Rani. Looking every bit vulnerable, naive she is simply oblivious to a life beyond Rajouri Garden and saddi Dilli. Yes, she goes as Rani and comes back as ‘Queen’ but that metamorphosis is very believable. It is not shown to be like magic, like she transforms into a hot ‘phoren return’ chick within a day of reaching Paris. No, folks. That doesn’t happen. She pines for her fiancé almost till midway of her trip. One sees that difference in her mindset and her overall change in the personality just about at the end of her rendezvous with Paris. She finally finds herself, her freedom there. She goes with a heavy heart like it has tons of burden on it and comes back with her heart as light as a feather.  I am sure all the single girls out there could identify with Rani and her quest for finding herself, her freedom, as a woman, as an individual. That is aptly reflected in the scene when she tells her half French half Indian friend – “hamare yahaan to ladkiyan dakaar bhi nahi de sakti”. Or in another instance where she kisses an insanely handsome Italian guy purely on an impulse and physical attraction. And she comes out of the situation without feeling morose and guilty about it!
Kudos Vikas Bahl, and loads of love and Congratulations to Kangana for pulling off such a charming film!