Monday, October 8, 2012

Don't Worry, Be Barfi!



कभी न रुकता रे..
कभी न थमता रे..
ग़म जो दिखा उसे खुशिओं की ठोकर मरे..

These lines from the title song of the film probably best describes the feeling that I think I will be having in heart forever for Anurag Basu's Barfi. From watching it first time on the release day among a packed audience in a single screen theatre in one of Delhi's oldest market to watching it 3rd time on screen and still feeling an affection rare to exhibit for a cinema lover like me does spells wonders about a film, I truly believe.

When I first watched the film, it was 'The Notebook' (I strongly believe that you ain't romantic if you have not watched it) and few Chaplin inspired scenes which I had instantly jumped upon. However even less than a minute from the scenes, I had moved on to be again immersed in the beautiful film. As the scenario stands today, because of modern mass media everyone is exposed to the numerous scenes in the film that are unoriginal and a little search on youtube is enough for more truth. Plethora of debates have been conducted on the worth of the heaps of praises that the film received on its release, especially after its selection as the official entry from India for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards next year. The angst voices are stronger by those whose films lost out in the selection race. Sour-grapes or genuine objections, it is a matter of another debate - one that must be strictly done by those who have watched the entire 19 films sent to selection committee for consideration.

There is also an INR 100,000 fee for submission to the selection panel set up by Film Federation of India, a topic of another debate by many news mongers. Some say it badly restricts small and independent film-makers which is really true as India with its bevy of film cultures in almost all major languages produces some great gems that goes unseen because of the dictats of promotion and marketing budgets. However, the monetary standing of such films can not be ignored as the real challenge begins after the selection. The huge costs in the promotion, distribution and exhibition for audiences, critics and academy's selection panel in the required multi-global pockets can be just estimated by the fact that while at present crossing a INR 100 crores earning is being considered a stamp of Blockbuster Status in India, this amount is way less than the stand-alone production costs of major International films and many bigs stars and even directors charge a fee more than this amount, which is equal to a little above $19 million. So its completely futile to talk about selection of small films, unless the Government of India lets loose its purse strings of the taxed money for an Academy nod.

The hugely multi-billion dollar modern-day capitalised entertainment industry is still considered as a thing of 'time-pass' by government machineries at various levels to get them to promote it as a medium of global exim trade. The various film related association still as "Chai, Biscuit aur Gupshup and some family photo-ops and free movie passes for premiere whenever big names come knocking.". The government machinery is not be solely blamed, also. We never see any influence building exercise by the movie-moguls using their big political contacts, the way the top industrialists across the country lobby the opposition to agree to passage of a favoured-bill by the ruling government at both centre and state levels. Even the hungry crow had to put in efforts to drink openly available water in the clay pot by putting stone pebbles to raise the water level.

With the sweet concoction of BARFI being enjoyed by some and turning too sweet success for others to digest, the film has nevertheless crossed all expectations. It released in a meagre 800 screens worldwide when big productions in the country are crossing 3000 screens mark on release date; has netted more than INR 100 crores it is worldwide business and is running almost housefull even in its fourth week of release. In spite of all the inspired scenes in the film, what can just not be ignored is that the film has a story which is original and heartwarmingly rendered with bravura performance by all its actors in rarely seen dedication in the presentation of the characters in depth. Even the inspired/copied/lifted (whatever one might prefer to call them) scenes are so amazingly gelled in the screenplay and essayed wonderfully that they never seem to irritate, even for a staunch critic like me who watched the film this time after having seen the all original scenes in the month passed since its release.

There is a genuine honesty that seems to have gone in the making of the film by one and all involved with it. The music soundtrack of the film is one of the best in long long time with lyrics that really spells poetry and great imagination. Even the  background score (and not the soundtrack) for the movie, composed by Pritam, which is borrowed heavily from the highly acclaimed soundtrack of the French film Amélie, carries the movie forward so fluidly that not once does the audience feel the lack of dialogues for many long durations. In fact, had the film not told in a narrative format by its characters, the film would have been almost dialogue-less with its deaf-and-dumb title character and an autistic female-lead character.

Regardless of assessing the chances of the film's selection for a a nod in academy nomination which is more dependant on the promotion and marketing of the film than its merits of a 100 percent original film (as seen in the shrewd business acumen of Harvey Weinstein in recent years over better films by his apparent nemesis Scott Rudin), at least we can learn to enjoy the little things that we work for and no brood over the big benefits we are too lazy to act towards. And accept that UTV's national clout along with its partner Disney's international clout is probably the best for the academy market.

This season and every season of life and movie awards... Don't worry, Be Barfi! :)


Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Marathon Affair to Remember

There are times in one's life when no matter the time passed of a life memory, it's not easy to forget it. A beautiful and important day of life, a chance encounter and an exploration of a sweet crazy childish personality trait that was never known or thought to exist. All being presented in a silver platter during a dream work. I feel blessed to have a cherry on top time of my life. :)

Working at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon was something I have been wanting to since quite a few years. Not that its something out of the world but just that I always wanted to be part of big event's PR and Event Management team, especially after being introduced to the scenario at Commonwealth Games's Media Centre while I was also super enjoying and loving my work at International Broadcast Centre as Archive Logger.

ADHM has been a regular annual event, so I took the chance to dream of working here as a Volunteer at the Media Centre. Last year, during the time when applications were being seeked for the runners at the event, I browsed through ADHM's facebook page and official website and got to know of the openings for Volunteers. Having build up my résumé on a pretty good note I applied for the PR work post, which apparently required maximum days of work and thus maximum experience. I was confident about my application and I got called for the interview.

It was a November last week event last year and so the interview date was scheduled for 6th of the same month, which apparently was the date I was flying with my friend Karan to Mumbai for a leisure trip at Gullu's place. I replied back instantly and requested for a date reschedule one daye prior and good thing it got accepted. The interview went really good and it made me really happy when the interviewer, Mr Priyesh Sanghvi, told me that with a résumé like mine I can chose any of the available post for work. I obviously chose 'Public Relations' and he told me that I will be called again for another interview session for work briefing with a Media representative and I will also be paid for the work. The pay thing was something unexpected because, honestly, I was there for experience and work for free. I was proud of the my interview and even let go for a paid 15-day internship opportunity at a media house I had come across. But...the call back did not come.

I replied back on multiple e-mails without success. My angry post about the 'unprofessional attitude' on the event's facebook page was even deleted by page administrators. My mumbai trip went fabulous but the time following the return in delhi till the end of the event was indeed depressing, apart from the personal challenges in my professional and personal lives.

However, somewhere at the back of my mind I had promised me that I will try the next year again and make sure I take some contact number from the office. The subsequent interview day this year had lots in my mind therefore and I even mentioned to Priyesh about the turn of events last year. He specially noted on my key information form to specially give me a call but politely refused to give any contact number. However I did not want to go home this way. I spoke to his assistant outside and ask her for her number. On seeing her bit hesitant even in refusing me and also her holding a blackberry, I quickly jumped at the chance and asked for her BBM pin. I had turned Blackberry Boy just a few days back.

Staying connected with Swati through BBM paid and she called me for the media briefing. And the rest is now history; a beautiful chapter of my life that taught me a lot of the professional work ethics and also brought a lot of fun memories with new wonderful contacts I made there in the PR and Event Management team.

I still have to work a lot on my patience level on lazy co-workers as I did snap twice during the entire week, once on a guy (who openly confessed that there are 2 people at any work - one who works honestly and the other who dont work but know how to show/act in front of seniors that they do work) and the second time on a girl (the most irritating co-worker ever for patience-less person like me who used to do very little but make it a hue-and-cry about that like the event was running on her shoulder). Mixing work with fun in the appropriate ratio is an art I am inculcating every moment in me but when I was there chiefly for WORK, it was really tough for me to put on back-burner and have fun on its pretext.

Nevertheless, they both are good and nice people and everyone has their own way of working. So I am no one to judge. If at all anything, it is I who should be more flexible to any type of person in my workplace. A lesson to remember all my life.

The event went great and the best part being the compliments on my work by my immediate incharge Deepak and by Zzebra PR's Bhavisha for being really efficient in my work. The latter's compliment on her liking to see my sweet face in the morning was ultra sweet.

On another note, the Final Day or the Race Day brought a major surprise for me in the form of a Bollywood Superstar. I won't get into my definition of a 'Superstar', and just talk about the experience of coming face-to-face with the very beautiful and sexy and athletic yet feminine Bipasha Basu.

Dressed in a Black sporty dress, apt for the event, I was stunned the very first time she passed by. Her height and hairs made her truly desirable for the straight guy in me. :D And every subsequent meeting with her, be it at the Escalators outside the Procam Marquee while escorting Pantaloon Femina Miss India Hasneet Kaur or while entering the ultra-restricted Grand Stand area for VVIPs (I had infinity access, something even many celebs at the event did not have) or at her Press Conference with 2012 London Olympic Gold Medalist David Rudisha at the very end of the event day... It was a marathon affair that I will remember all my life. :) :)

This post will be absolutely incomplete if I leave the mention of the very work-ethic principled me taking my phone finally out to click Bipasha's pics for memory, something I never thought I will be doing in my life in clichéd fan-type manner. But such was the effect of Bipasha on me that even after many days since the event, I created a content post on her on the Bollywood gossip website Pinkvilla.com and also got myself to blog this one too. Restraining myself from mentioning the same things as on the other website, I have finally opened myself for a life event - a memory so amazing that it meant to be documented before time runs away in just thoughts.

Now RUN for other DREAMS. Dreamum Wakeupum. :) :)

Post Script:- My Post on Pinkvilla.com -

Bipasha Basu at ADHM - My Experience and Views

Monday, September 10, 2012

India 2012 Mayhem Story



About 9 months down the line into this year and the one thing that can be said cumulatively about India's 2012 story is ANARCHY in about everything that one can think off..from the ever favourite contentious Politics to Parliament Machinery to Elections (both Assembly and Central) to CAG to Reservation Issues to Food Security to Anti-Terrorism to India Inc to Development Issues to Sports to even Crime and the once-smile-inducing-sarcasm-filled Cartoons.

Getting into facts will be tedious and nevertheless..the great India has risen way above the Factuality of  Life to even Care for that. Apparently Facts are just numbers and its the Subjective Arguments and Orator-ship that wins respect and seetiyan from even the Intellectuals and Pseudo-Intellectuals. After all it's all about Entertainment, Entertainment and Entertainment.

Sadly I don't see anyone learning from anything...forget about the politicians..even there is ANARCHY in the manner we the common man jump on roads for everything wrong (it's rightly so, though) but don't take much long to have every such GRAVE issue wiped put of our conscience for an effective follow up. We have started taking PRIDE in talking about the CORRUPTION issues..when it was supposed to mean RESPONSIBILITY!!

As I think about it..I feel why at the end of the day then blame MEDIA..when as a(n) (apparently) tormented citizen we all ourselves have a short term memory for every so called "MODERN DAY FREEDOM STRUGGLE" that we super cheerfully and courageously love to DECLARE!! Media is after all a MIRROR to the society..run by the society..for the society. Jaisa bowgey..waisa paogey!

Maybe a person like Raj Thackery is RIGHT after all..for at least no matter the sharp tongue he wiggles and unleashes, he at least knows for whom he wants to work for! And to damn with Godhra Riots, maybe Narendra Modi is indeed modern day Revolutionist; for whatever be the horrifying past the growth story that he has given to his state even after being Communal in his lifestyle, it is way better than the growth story of a combined so-called Secular India.

Being lenient on phrasing.. If not ANARCHY it is my very personal belief that India's 2012 story is all about being SHAMELESS about its own faults and shortcomings - whether its the power class of politicians and business kings or the middle class or even the seemly suppressed who together love to show off their week position to gain the highest without having to perform any constitutional duty!!

Now..Where in all this do I stand - PERSONALLY - after making the above analysis??

I am selfish and ambitious about my goals and life, my emotions are high but I am ruthless in being practical when ought to be; and am definitely no saint to not be jealous of those who better me. Principles?? There's only one I follow now - WORK!! And I also know that my work is not that fickle stuff that will have me do things to hurt someone. BUT WHY EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!! I am in Media..I am Mirror to the the society I live in!! JAI HIND!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

'Shanghai': Movie Review



Think about it - A film that is so meticulously crafted by a fine filmmaker that you feel disgust while you praise the film; disgust at actually having known what type of country you living in without doing anything for good and just being part of the herd. This is exactly the feeling I had running in my veins as I came out of Dibakar Banerjee's masterstroke 'SHANGHAI'.

The film's story idea is nothing that we have never known; in fact it is almost like our every day life acceptance of the murky political and greedy life scenario we living in and happily being a part of it so as to not be left behind in being the smarter one among the crowd. However, it is the execution of the script that gives it scores to be completely free of the clichés known with every Hindi film. There are no overbearing and long dialogues, the awesome soundtrack score by Vishal-Shekhar was mostly chopped off the final edit as its inclusion would have definitely made the film's impact week, there is no acting but only characterization, the characters don't imitate any real person but only real India and the politics in the film has no mention of religion - something which we expect as must in every scenario.

Adapted from the novel 'Z' by Vassilis Vassilikos, the film is set in a bustling Indian city of Bharat Nagar which has a ruling party backed huge infrastructure project. A premeditated shocking road accident of a socialist professor opens up a can of political worms engulfing the main characters essayed skillfully by Emran Hashmi, Kalki Koechin and Abhay Deol. As days go by, those involved discover a hidden secret in the government's sector: a vision of a new metropolis, a pie dream, a dream called 'Shangahi'.

Just like its carefully sketched story, Dibakar has amazingly picked actors whom he knew he can make his characters and every actor justifies their presence in every frame their director has put them in. So it will be unfair of me to pick up any single actor.The screenplay moves as the pace is required - slow when it needed the people to think incident's as 'it's so common, tell us something new' and fast when it wants to create a tension about the situation of the nation we praise as our mother and how to smartly be a part of the system to change the system. The camera work lingers to your mind with every scene and the soundtrack and background score are to the point effectively utilized. However its the script and film maker's control on his vision and craft that are the real winners for this political thriller.

Regardless of the reception that this film receives in terms of box office collection, it is important that it be seen by every Indian. The film actually comes out as an exposé that is not meant to shock the audience but just be a slice of shameful life we are merrily living in. It's full of staggering irony that makes you smile yet cringe with shame.

A definite 4 out of 5 rating and a two thumbs up for film-maker Dibakar Banerjee. It's a fine, nuanced film that serves its purpose with a kind of fluidity we don't see enough on screen. Please watch it!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

CNN IBN's India @ 9

Thomas Griffith had said, "Journalism as theater [is what] TV News is." Like a vintage wine, this quote has only grown more profound with every passing day in shaping my life ambition.

In a fast paced life of constant travelling and innumerable professional and personal engagements, the socially active individual in me is always eager to be updated about he recent news happening in and around the world. It's not of absolute importance that one must have complete knowledge but whatever amount one possesses, it should support us make an opinion which is always welcoming of new inputs and free of preconceived notions. This is what makes Theater of TV News.

In a plethora of TV News channels claiming to be one above the other with their reporting (and sometimes misreporting), there came only one TV News show in my mind when shot with the question about my favorite and it remained the same even after major thinking and comparing with few other really good ones - INDIA @ 9 on CNN IBN.

It's not the format of presenting all the top stories of the day in one show that intrigues me but the perspective with which these top stories are presented. The show provides a judicious mix of the understanding of the common man as well as the editor's take. Mostly hosted by the channels Editor-in-chief Rajdeep Sardesai, the show relies on ground political awareness supplementing it with academic awareness of the issues that confront the nation. The presentation of the stories and the views of guests on show provides a process of understanding the ever changing face of India and the world, without disrespecting the knowledge of the viewer. However, what really makes the show stand out for me is its ability to grasp things at micro level and present it at macro level.

For a TV show that never keeps me dull even in my non-viewing time; a show that gives me the power to make my own informed opinions; a show that keeps the socio-political-entertainment alive in the theater enthusiast in me - I know I have got my favorite TV News show.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dream On!

It is interesting surprising how the year 2012 is turning out to be for me. Marching over from previous year and the experiences it blessed me, my resolution this year are more focused and to a certain extent, extremely demanding. I will like to say that I am going full out with the phrase of "the greater the risk, the higher the returns." Not to forget, it is more scary with every height. Not that I am scared of falling, but I am definitely not going for any more blind-shots that may lose my focus.

Nevertheless, one of the most intriguing and interesting fact of our life is that even for the focused and carefully analysed steps, one has to have dreamed about the inception of the basic idea. The 'surprising' part of new year like I mentioned being how even my past two blog posts was related to my dreams. Every new invention or even a new discovery requires a vision which is full of faith in achieving success and patience to keep the belief in self-assessment of one's goals in life, both short-term and long-term. A crazy paradox, but definitely what keeps the adrenalin running to live the life in full.

This brings me to my dreams; dreams that have at recurring times woke me from my sleep. I have this peculiar habit of remembering most of my dreams when I wake up in the morning. The dreams I have are very often than not easily traced by me on what/which previous day event might have transpired it during my unconsciousness, i.e. they are all life related. So a positive dream is easily constructed back on the positives in my life, and so is a nightmare to my negatives or wrong actions or (mostly) regretful events.

One of the nightmare that has all my life woke me up with a body full of anxious perspiration is being chased by bulls in places I love and want to visit after getting success professionally. I realize that I am in the spot of the event, realizing the angry bull with high pointed thorns. Its always dark night time and I am surprising all alone, even in a place like Times Square in NYC or similar place in Shanghai. It is after the fist apparent angry sound of the bull I realize having worn something blood-red. Every time I am running from the havoc they create to the surrounding while chasing me untiringly. Why do I see this?? All I can think every time is bring out a new metaphorical meaning to it and hoping to improve myself and my life, as I always hope, wish and work for.

But it was different last time, good different as I could analyse it. Now the place is the lane behind the one where I live. The bulls are now street dogs, though they looked more like wolves to me with huge teeth and saliva dripping out their jaws for their hunt. Indeed I am running again from them this time with the realization of bloody-mary body clothing only after the first stop for breadth, but for the first time I actually did remove the sweat-shirt and I could very well notice one vicious hunter going bit mellow on his ferociousness towards me. The dream however continues at me then realizing wearing another clothing in the same color, and about to turn to look around the ferocious sound coming from my back when I am sitting on the boundary wall of a house painted with pink color and am still holding the sweat shirt I have taken off. Before I could turn full, I am in the reality of my bedroom and my sweaty blanket.

Another notary mention to my nightmares will be me standing in front of a gathering after being called by name to speak up and me left all their on stage with out of control heart-beats and sweaty body as everyone attention not showing any sign of getting of me. This one in particular has always been responsible for my lack of self-confidence in a public gathering, no matter the gathering having known or unknown faces. The change in the last dream involved everything similar with sweet change of an extension to this dream where I finally do speak up and get a unanimous applause after I end. However what I could stop noticing was that I was called to speak some self-written shayari. After going through the sweating and heart-beating phase when I did speak, I started by saying that it is something I don't do. I, however, continued speaking just as it, apparently in philosophical manner but I don't remember what I spoke. It was as if the screenplay of my dream had a quick fade transition to the end of my speech where I could just the applause from people and being told by someone known that I was really good when I tell him first that I had no idea of what I was going to do.

The person I am, I can do make up meanings to each and every incident of these two dreams. Their is growth in self-confidence and self-acceptance, their is more clear vision in what I want to do, there is indeed a maturity in how I am following what I really am in my personality and talent and not paying heed to other people's perception of me. In all, a definite positive change.

I am happily blessed with this life but still very scared of the level of patience I am keeping. It is getting tougher every passing day but I also know that I have come a long way and will not give up after such positivism. I have dreamt all my life for my future, I am still dreaming for the right focus and I will continue to DREAM ON.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Instinctive Reality

Remember the 'Totem' from the Christopher Nolan's masterpiece Inception? The movie told us that a Totem is an object that is used to test if oneself is in one's own reality (dream or non-dream) and not in another person's dream. However what the movie, which is undeniably one of my all time Top-5 films, did not really tells is how this Totem can actually be of immense importance to our every day life.

Going through the preset phase of my life, the phase of undeniable self-search war inside me, I just realized how Nolan's 'Totem' is something more than the brilliant script of his. It can so very well be the metaphor for our life. Something that can be used to test if we are living the reality that we should be, that is meant for us or we are just (unknowingly) sheepishly living the perception of ourselves which is expected of us who may wish the best for us always but simply don't know what really goes inside our mind and heart.

I don't want to sound philosophical but then again anything and everything about life will always be so, even when it's about the philosophy of being practical in life. To protect its integrity only a totem's owner should ever handle it, so that the owner is able to tell whether or not they are in someone else's dream. Similarly, the totem of our real life, i.e. our instincts, should be handled by its owner individual only. Life is not about good or bad, it isn't also about black or white, it is not about habits too; genetics can only affect our physical attributes but what we think, what we perceive and what we believe is entirely dependent on the life only we as individual live. Life will always be grey. This grey is a normal thing. No matter the motivational thoughts we read, we only do what our impulses tells us, how our instincts allows us to act.

When we were little kid we would just say the craziest of things. It never mattered to us why we tasted mud or followed butterflies or even tried to catch the laser-light beam. When it rained, the first thing that mattered to us was to have our hands stretched in front and catch the rain drops, and not to save our clothes or bag from being wet. The infectious jump in the water puddle was more exciting than having our clothes squeaky clean. Playing with the powdered duster in class and then cleaning the very hand on a friend's blazer by giving him a clever pat on the back. Running for the bus on the ring of last bell to catch that very privileged, very cool second last seat next to back-door. Or even the chase to have the swing to yourself in the games period, something which caused me my denture problem but the thought of having got the swing that time is still priceless childhood memory. Those were instincts that speak the matters of heart and happiness.

As we grow up, these very instincts cease to getting weak for importance to be given. Our decisions and questions take a beat from what we want/need to do to what is 'perceived' to be done as per the norms. The sad part is that the norms will always be static as there will never be many people who bend the rule. And even if there are such people, it will always be 'perceived' those are exceptions and one needs to see the bigger picture instead. However we forget that every norm was actually made when one person did something exceptional and others followed it.

It has never been easy for me to understand my own instincts, one reason because of the lack of documenting of my own activities. It surprises me time-and-again how every time I try to write something about my life (read, philosophical), I invariably get to revisit a memory from past which never occurred to my clear memory. This is what is instinctive. Our instincts never change, it is just that we loose our focus and belief in them because of the concentration on the 'perceived' part, because of the fear of failure we develop - the fear of being falling behind to the ones we have grown up. I know I do fear the same.

We all dream a future for us, it starts always with the instinctive but mostly takes the perceived route because of our fears. However we forget that we do dream that future to make it a reality. It depends on our perseverance whether we actually achieve that instinctive reality we dreamt in first place or fall behind because of our fears to accept the safe path. This is exactly like the concept of totem which feels correct in owner's own dream only. All we need to determine is which is that ordinary object that we can in some way modify to affect its balance, weight or feel to make it work as a totem in our lives.

I, for one, have finally understood that my writing is my totem. However it is still in the process of attaining that right balance/weight/feel; something that will depend on how much confidently accepting I am of my true self, something that I am working on each and every day with regular bruises and fears. Losing my instincts is a fear too. Thankfully the courage in me is more that this particular fear. *ameen*

Monday, January 2, 2012

Reality Check

It never really occurred to me to actually have a reality check of my own growth over a period of time in my eyes, unless there has been moments I am not able to recall or maybe I never ever really wanted to do so because of the huge unsatisfactory my life always meant to me. There are always so many things of the heart that at times even threaten to be considered in an uncontrollable manner, for probably an easy blame game to hide the unachieved resolutions. But new year's day was unlike any other day I have ever experienced, especially one which will always count as a precious and motivating memory.

Bringing in the new year with friends is always special. Last year was a revelation because attending a new year's party was the first ever for me. It was a house party and I had accompanied my friend Gagan. The shy yet super-excited kid in me was going all bonkers just with the idea of attending a cool party and I remember myself smiling all along seeing the party proceedings. It was like a little kid's dream come true to have a night over party, that too on a new year's eve party full of dance, masti and booze.

However, there was a scared feeling in me too. I kind of wanted to make a really good first impression on everyone. I did not know anyone before but my vanity of being liked by all does have its trickle-down effects on me. What to talk, how to greet, whom to bird-watch (I was total fattu to approach anyone) and how to actually get myself involved in my own thing without giving an upper hand to make discreet fun of the new guy who just stares others with a smile while they talk. No doubt I had wonderful time. Gagan quite understood the thoughts stampeding in my mind and Mithun was a fabulous host to the new guy.

Circa New Year's Eve 2011 and I was visibly a more self-confident man I have ever felt in the party circuit. I may have gone to a club (the second in my entire-life) but I was with friends, though I did missed Gagan. The moment of catching the sight of your friend, the greeting with an affectionate hug which long missed, the comfortable manner of me buying the passes for all while we chatted all along, the easy carefree entry and movement in the club and the easiness of dancing without being cautious of having others like you. Moments like these were the beginning of a wonderful night, highlight of which will always be the super pleasure of showing the stag-entry maker Amit his true position in his world of no-real-friends. He still can not let go of his bloated fake ego and that me me feel absolutely zero-sorry of him losing his true friends for his more loved back-biting-party-hungry-apparent-biyatches.

Amit aside, the fabulous drive along time after the party. The Delhi weather was like perfect for that fun, as if it really wanted good things and wonderful new memories for us. The chat time at the Nizzamuddin station (outside and inside the car), the coffee time at Comesum, the romantic cold breeze that followed the fabulous drizzling at 4 am and the drive to Gul's place. It was all super good and becoming of super-special cherished moments. Adding to the taste was the early morning bed chat, the tea time in noon and the biryani for lunch. Simplemente perfecto, for the guy who just wished a lovely time to celebrate.

It was on  my way home in metro that my gazing of Delhi weather outside the window made me feel blissfully happy of my self. There indeed are lots to be achieved for a self-confidence, but I again had a reason to not forgo my quest for my life through patience. If I can not be confident of who I am, I will never be able to achieve the dreams I have - and mine are quite the wishful ones, though definitely realistic with every passing day. Happiness always begin from within and I am starting to feel like one. The reality check with open eyes is the best I could have asked for.

On the flip side of life, I am still not able to have it sink in me the realization of Achint passing away because of a cardiac arrest. The hour long something conversation with Miti mam on the same had my mind full with the fickleness of our lives. The term mortal seems to lose its dictionary meaning when someone known to you presents an example of same through his/her life, no matter the age. And then again I know even this phase of me in-memoriam will do phase away for most with life's other moments. Mam's words and stories about Achint and the whole incident leading to the loss of his life make me respect my life, family and friends even more than ever. Its scary to even think about losing someone close to you, even though you that this is all written in destiny. Maybe it was Achint's good karma that had his destiny written that he will talk to his parents and girlfriend on phone before his last breadth when he was just feeling uneasy for himself since his morning walk; and the thought of his mom and younger brother living their life now not just without him but with the truth of them not being able to even see Achint lifeless body before his last rights because of them being able to get only one flight ticket from Ahmadabad to Delhi because of the new year rush.

There is no bigger player than time and life. They provide the reality check for each one of us like nothing else can even think of - sometimes we love it and sometimes it kills us like anything. All we can do is treasure every moment and make it good with our karma. May God give the strength to Achint's family in this really trying time. I am sure that guy will be making even the Heaven laugh on their toes with his wits; the almighty is seemingly fast having his kingdom full of everyone who is irreplaceable.

The Comfort Zone

All Progress takes place outside the Comfort Zone Over the past few years, I have realised that the more closer we get to someone, the...