Saturday, August 29, 2015

Happy 'Thanks-for-having-my-back' Day!

It's that day of the year when you go scouting for a brother. That day when you meet a brother you haven't met all year. Or if you're lucky, it's just another day to celebrate a really strong, solid bond of friendship. But is it really a relationship of protection and security any more? Nope.

I have brothers whom I love and adore. And I have a sister who is my life. Why isn't there a day to celebrate that relationship? She is not only my best friend, she is my mentor, my guide, my support system. And it's unfair that there is no day to celebrate her. So ever since last year, I tie my sister a rakhi.

I know a lot of people do this already - and how heartening is that! Rakhi should be a day to celebrate an amazing bond, not of protection from evil - as an independent woman, why should it be drilled into my head that at the end of the day, you still need your brother to take care of you. Let it be a celebration of a sibling relationship as it is - friends for life who have each others' back. Sis, I love you, and if ever I need a 'protector', that person is you. So happy Rakhi to you all. And happy 'Thanks-for-having-my-back' day to my amazing siblings.

Friday, August 14, 2015

On Being Free and Pet-friendly

I was free. Finally, free. Free to live the life I had imagined. No rules and chains to tie me down. I could live life the way I wanted to. I had imagined this moment so many times, I couldn’t believe it was real. Living in shackles had made me so servile, it took some time – not much – to stop following those invisible orders. No reason to come home before 8 pm. No need to argue in muted voices. No need to hurriedly change into something ‘decent’ before stepping out of my room in the morning.

It was liberating. And yet, suddenly, I didn’t know what to do with my life. It was a blank slate. It felt great to not know what has to be done, but now what? I felt myself twiddling my thumbs, as I sat in my empty living room. I looked around at the bright white walls – so new, just like this new life of ours. What would you do if you could do anything? It was, at once, an overwhelming thought!
Once I realized the massive possibilities of this teeny-tiny question, there was no turning back. This is what I wanted – a life to be lived on my terms. An utterly selfish thought, but who cares. I didn’t have to care anymore. This was my life and I was its God, its creator. My life was my oyster for the first time in life. What was overwhelming a minute ago, turned into an empowering thought. Yes, my life. My rules.

We got a dog.

We weren’t dog lovers. At least not in the traditional sense. Neither of us had ever had a pet, so we didn’t know what it meant to have one. But the hubby had this desire to have someone he could call his own. A loyal friend, I guess. Someone who needed him – but I knew he needed him more. And I went along with it (okay, I was not as free as I would have thought). Our little puppy came home on an assuming day and we called him Dexter, after the serial killer in the TV series ‘Dexter’ (yeah, what were we thinking, right?). Hubby, instantly became the nurturer and I became the distant aunt – you’re so cute but keep distance pliss.

World, meet our sleepy pup, Dexter Kapoor

So let me clarify this. We’re not that couple. You know, the couple that replaces having a baby with a puppy? We’re the ‘we’re so not ready for a baby, but let’s experiment on a puppy’ couple. So Dexter is our experiment. And each day he tells me more about us, than we know about him. Isn’t that a scary thought?

So I went from being tied down to responsibilities I didn’t much care for, to being tied to a responsibility I care for deeply. Freedom then, is a myth. Or it is a series of choices. Freedom is choosing what will be the guiding principle of your life. And I’m convinced my life is led by one principle only – love. Selfish-wala love. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

#10CreativeDays: Day #3

Theme: BANK

Bella Puri

Be a Tortoise

The  tiny seed struggles to sprout against all odds, the little fledgling leaves its nest to brave possible failure of flight.
The slow tortoise with a load on its back challenges the sprightly hare to a race. They bank on themselves to win…

Natasha Puri


An outburst, a breakdown,
Unsolicited debits from my account
A heartbreak, an angry shout,
A cash withdrawal at every pout

Here's a game that two can play,
One of these days, I'll make you pay
I'll go shopping to the Lover's Mall,
Your tiny betrayals, I don't have change that small

A smile here, a laugh there
That balance sheet looks highly unfair
I wonder, every time my heart goes ka-ching
Why are you so into emotional banking?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

#10CreativeDays: Day 2


Bella Puri

My father had a yellow Vespa and as a child I used to wonder why did he not go for a  green or a blue one, those were my favorite colors.
He drove it with great pride and took great care of it. Looking back  I think that  in between the dullness of retired life and the strain of court cases, his  yellow Vespa was like a slice of sunshine. 

Natasha Puri

"I like it, but for the yellow walls. Makes the house look old and dirty." 

"But yellow is the colour of history, baby. Just think about the many lives lived here, how many like us called this their home."

"And we need a constant reminder, because …"

There was nothing very appealing about living in a rented house in a society that was probably older than us. But this first conversation about finalising this particular flat, stayed with me forever. Someone’s home once would be where our life together would begin. And even though I would have wanted it to be prettier, cleaner, more shapely, I wouldn’t complain. I just desperately wanted us to begin our lives.

As I stared at the empty house with the yellow walls, I relived a little bit of our two years here. Our first joint attempt at cooking a dinner which ended with us ordering pizza; our first sofa, which came after a reasonably long wait of hosting people on a well-decorated mattress; our first painting on the wall, that I insisted brought out its yellow-ness even more. And then slowly, our first fight … sleeping in separate rooms, me being slightly happy that we had the option of another room.

These old, decayed walls had housed us out of our infancy. Some moments spent in love and others, not so much. On some days the yellow shone as brightly as our day and mood, and on others, it signified the dullness, the gloom.

Suddenly, the empty house seemed so full of memories. Yellow is the colour of history, he had said. And so, one room in our new house – with white walls – would be yellow, for all the memories of our first-ever home, our own little ray of hope.

Monday, June 1, 2015


My mom and I have started this collaborative art project for the next 10 days. This means, based on a common theme, I will write a story, poem or haiku and my mom, an artist herself, will visualize the same. The themes have been set for us by Prema Govindan.

Day #1

Theme: Glass.

Bella Puri

A Little Glass Window

Amidst  formidable stone walls and towering ceilings we can so easily miss out the existence of the fragile little window of glass.
But for it  would we be able to perceive the beauty that lies beyond these impermeable walls?

Natasha Puri

I was in a hurry to grow up. I wanted to feed myself, wear what I wanted, comb my hair and do other grown up things like wear make up. But being ambitious, is not a quality they like in two-year-olds. They label us obstinate, indisciplined, whereas all we really want to be is independent. 

For all my life, I believed that the English language had only one word: No. Can I watch more TV? No. Can I have a toffee? No. Can I play some more? No. But the one no that bugged me the most was when I asked to drink water from a glass. That ‘no’ was accompanied with a heartless explanation about how little I was. I watched as my elder brother drank his juice, water, milk and other ordinary liquids from Mother’s crystal glass. I swear he held it in one hand to taunt me. Often, I found myself fantasising about it, it beckoning me, as the light hit its beautiful curves and shone with rainbow colours of the spectrum. There it stood on the dining table, always out of my reach, my certificate of adulthood, my trophy.

One fine Sunday afternoon, I devised a plan. During a busy family lunch, I nudged my mother for water. I pointed fervently to the crystal glass, she didn’t have to go to the kitchen to get my ugly plastic bottle, I gurgled. I cried, it was right there! Hand me the glass! My harried mother lifted the glass and placed it back. It was the longest three seconds of my life. I could see the hesitation on her face – one more howl and she would give in. I let out another loud one and as predicted, she poured the water in the glass and as it travelled to me, I could feel myself growing up. I was inches from adulthood. I held the beauty in both my hands. It was heavier than I had imagined, and I swear the water tasted better. I felt my legs growing taller, my words had become clearer and my baby fat was slowly but surely receding. I lifted the glass many many times, and asked for many refills. I would never stop drinking water! Impressed glances made the rounds, I saw nods of approval all around the table. I had arrived.  

Monday, May 25, 2015

Letters to My Niece #4

Pretty Girls

May 25, 2015

Dear Niece,

Much to your oblivion, your family, often breaks into a debate about how you will be perceived when you grow up. We all know you'll be pretty, but will you be smart enough? Unfortunately, for girls, these two are often mutually exclusive qualities.

You are a girly girl, Niece. You admire yourself in the mirror, love to "fix" your hair (which often means you are making it worse), you have "dress" days and "shorts" days, you love to pose when the camera is on you ... and you're not even three yet. It is unbelievably adorable. But some of us worry that you will only be a pretty face. You will be narcissistic. You will have to bear the burden of being a pretty girl who always has to prove that she is smart too.

Like all grown ups, we've already started thinking about what you will be when you grow up, and a common consensus these days is that you'll become a model. Yes, we grown ups are steeped in stereotypical thinking – something I'd love for you to not pick up from us.

So the lesson for today's letter is actually a thought – what does it mean to be a pretty girl?

Here's a definition that works for me: Pretty girls are strong, smart and aware of their good looks, little one.

Don't let anyone tell you it's vain to be aware of your beauty. Be proud of it. Being pretty is not a burden to carry to your workplace – and pretty and intelligent are not an either/or choice. Don't be afraid to be gorgeous because you were made that way, enjoy that, cherish yourself in all your glory. Love yourself – what you see in the mirror and that which you don't. And when someone tells you, you are beautiful, know that they mean you, all of you, because only happy people are truly beautiful.

My pretty girl, also know this, that 'pretty' is only an adjective and you, little one, will never ever be limited to just that. You will be a hurricane of words, so choose wisely how you want to be described. So be pretty, be wild, be affectionate, be kind, be wise, be all of those things but most importantly, be happy.

Beautifully Yours

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Letters To My Niece #3

May 10, 2015

Dear Niece,

I did something stupid today and I'd like to explain why I think it was a stupid thing to do. Now, you may think it's a small, tiny mistake really, but in the larger scheme of things, what I did today could be disastrous for us both. Got your attention? Good.

I made yet another useless attempt to get you to shower your affection on me and I said something I shouldn't have. I believe I may have tried to bribe you to give me kiss? Something like, "looks like Janya doesn't want any gifts from masi," she recalls in shame.

Today's lesson is to not confuse love with gifts. What a silly thought, but in the grown up world, this happens more often than you think. You start counting the presents you got on your birthday instead of all your friends who took the time to wish you. You start counting the louder expressions of love, and lose count of those softer blessings that are uttered for you.

Take the time to be grateful for wishes said and those left unsaid.

It's easy to confuse these things with feelings. Mixed messages from silly aunts don't help, but I do hope you are always able to see the invisible hugs and kisses and prayers that come your way ... These will be many many more than all the 'things' you will ever receive. Countless, innumerable, endless! Like you would say right now – Wooooow!

Having said that, come August, you're getting a car on your third birthday and that's because masi is the best.

Your Confused Masi

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Letters to My Niece #2

April 28, 2015

Dear Niece,

You know how much we enjoy your free-spirited dance performances, right? Well, today's letter is about dance, and the songs we choose to groove to. 

So the other day, we were in the car together. You occupied the space between me and the dashboard in the passenger seat, while Masu drove. You turned up the radio when you heard a song you liked, (you do know you are only two years old?) and we couldn't stop laughing as you jiggled your bum and started turning both hands as if changing imaginary bulbs. Here I'd like to confirm your Punju-ness, just for the record. The lack of space didn't bother you much – hear a good beat, must dance. 

My darling niece, my concern is the Yo Yo Honey Singh beat you can't help moving to. Beta, the lyrics, they are despicable! But you are Punjabi, and all our shoulders are under the hypnotic control of YoYoNess, so I guess I don't blame you. Just try to avoid listening to the words for as long as you can ... 

I love your spirit, little one. Your determination to filter out the noise and listen to what matters. As you grow older, practice this. Focus on your song and dance to your music and you will be unstoppable.

Your mother is a dancer. She can't help but dance. And when you see her dance, you feel free, energized, like nothing in the world matters. We all go looking for this in different places, this feeling. One day – it is inevitable – you will find that you don't have to look anywhere, this carefree happiness begins at the twirl of your fingertips, your ever-so-graceful fingertips. Don't forget this, monkey. Be like your mother and dance like no one's watching. You don't need to care about what others think.

Of course, there's the song. Choose the rhythm that feels right to you. This rhythm will be unique to you and no one else. And it will make you soar ... You're lucky to have that choice, practice it wisely. 

So don't listen to me when I tell you not to dance to a Yo Yo Honey Singh song. Pick a song that belongs to you. Or better yet, write your own. For you are one of the warrior women, and you only dance to your own tunes.  

Your Admirer

Friday, April 24, 2015

Letters to My Niece #1

April 23, 2015 

Dear Niece, 

I'm writing to you today to tell you that you are growing up way too fast. I want to know, what's the hurry?

I know the world of grown ups probably seems very exciting and interesting to you - they can communicate easily, can poop all on their own (potty training is not a worry) and seem to have the world at their finger tips. You now pretend to talk on the phone, pretend I'm your 'beta', 'betoo', and you my 'mama'. You tell me 'main working kar rahi hoon, na,' so that I don't 'disturb' you. It's unbelievably adorable but also a bit worrying. Will I lose my 'mama' to this big, bad, crazy world someday? I'm not ready, mama!

So please, slow down. Be two a little longer, my little one. Let us feel our hearts pound at your giggles and melt at your silly games. Please, just stay this way.

Having said that, the lesson for today's letter is – change. It sucks, little one, but the sooner you start embracing it, the easier life will be. Change is awful, inconvenient, overwhelming, scary. It's terrible. But only for a little while. Then things get easier. You know what's unnerving though? Change happens again and again. The only way to live happily is to become friends with it ... To surrender to it ... To change a little bit of yourself with it. 
So, my banana, it sucks, but I love to see you change. And as much as I want to hold on to you right now – playing your 'horsie' games with me – I honestly can't wait to see you grow up into the thousand versions of you, you can be. 

But just do this one thing ... Don't ever change. 

Your Crazy Masi

Monday, July 14, 2014

5 Ways to Know You're on the Path to Greatness

I'm a late bloomer. Well, not exactly, I think a better way to put it would be: a late realizer. If you're familiar with Indian slang, you'd call me a 'Tubelight' (it flickers and takes some time to come on). Yes, I'm a tubelight. But when the light shines, it shines and how.

I have started to think that people at peace, can't reach their full potential. This is contrary to what I've been thinking most of my life. Being content is good, status quo is just right. I'm no rebel, but I find myself rather restless these days. This feeling is accompanied with a sense of slight panic. Is it a nervous breakdown? Nope. It is just a feeling (sometimes overwhelming), that I'm running out of time. And this is good thing. How do I know I'm on the path to greatness, here are some signs:

1. I'm restless: I don't have the time to patient right now. I need to be somewhere in my life, and till I get there I'm not stopping. If you (person or organization) can get me there, I'm listening to you, but if you can't, then please step out of the way (or I'll bulldoze you).

2. I don't care what you think: It has taken me twenty-five years to get here, and does it feel good. Oh, I can't put in my papers because what will my boss think? Or I can't say I disagree with her point of view, she's senior to me. Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say.

3. I'm not here to make friends: Sounds mean, I know. But I'm focussed on getting somewhere and I can't afford to be distracted. I don't mind working with unbearable creatures as long as I am moving ahead. It's time grow a thick one and 'keep calm and carry on'. Or 'suck it up' for now and soon you can 'hire' the kind of people you want to work with.

4. I learn something new, everyday: I don't. I'm lying. I should and I'm getting there, but I haven't implemented this one yet.

5. I'm selfish: You know that by now, don't you?

Most importantly, I know that I'm going to be great because I remind myself everyday. I'm not giving up till I'm the best I can be and ordinary is not an option.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Unleash Your Inner Presenter

They make it look so effortless, those suave presenters. They look so relaxed, even when addressing a conference attended by a billion world-renowned experts in their fields. A casual wave of the hand on one occasion, an inspiring stare at another - what is it about these so-called natural presenters that keeps the audience wrapped around their fingers? How do some people manage to capture their audience better than others? What is it that they have that others don’t?

If you’re the kinds to avoid every opportunity to present, this post is for you. If you think you can’t speak in public, and you feel that’s a job better left to the ‘natural’ presenter, this post is for you. If you're 'the reluctant presenter', this post is for you.

Give it time

I’m just going to say it - no one is a 'natural’ presenter. Presenting effectively, to a room full of people isn’t easy and surely doesn’t come without practice. What we see for thirty minutes on a stage, is actually the result of hours in front of the mirror, or several debates and speeches given in college. Some of the best speakers have acted in theatre. All these activities have worked collectively in instilling that confidence in the speaker. Can’t really call this ‘natural’, can we?

So what this means is, all we, the lesser presenters have to do is, catch up on lost time. Don’t even think you can leave it all for the last minute and pull it off. Sure, you might manage a decent performance, but will you be living up to your true presenter potential? One word - Nope.

Find conviction

Get busy and start with your homework. Read, read, then read some more. Try to get as many points of view on the subject as you can so that your final content is comprehensive and informative. Don’t give up on your content till you are convinced by it. How will you go out there and speak effectively about this product or idea if you are not convinced by it? Question and counter-question. Find all the loop holes so that you are ready to answer any possible questions about the subject of your presentation. It’s all in the mind much before it is in front of an audience. Conquer that, and half your battle is won.

Once all your content is in place - wait for it - cut it by two-thirds. Yeah, you read it right. The art of presenting is effective editing. So chop, chop, chop. Delete repetitions, simplify everything, avoid jargon. Become one with the audience. Ask yourself, what would be the simplest way to communicate to someone who knows nothing about it? Now do that, in thirty seconds.

Become best friends with your presentation software

Now that you know what you’ll be presenting, look for a suitable presentation software to help you simplify your presentation further. Don’t think you don’t need one. No, don’t make that mistake. Everyone needs some help, champ! Presentation softwares are like aids - they add the visual impact to your speech (not that you’re not gorgeous enough). You’ll be surprised how much these tools will help you to edit your presentation further. Just remember that the slides you create are only part of your presentation and not the whole presentation, so no reading off the slides, please. Let the tool you choose become your best friend, be familiar with it and let it help you through your presentation.

Mirror, mirror on the wall

There is no alternative to practice. Rehearse the words you’ll say, rehearse the pauses, even rehearse the jokes you plan to say. Notice what your limbs are doing while you talk. Are you hand gestures adding to your presentation or distracting people from it? Did you just put your hand in your pocket? You don’t want to seem too casual. Listen to your voice. Listen for the fillers - the umms, the stammering, the overuse of a pet phrase. Do you have a nervous word or phrase like ‘you know’ or ‘like’, or ‘sort of’? Become aware of these distractions and then consciously do away with them.

A word of caution here: don’t over-rehearse. Rehearsing should enhance your confidence and allow you the presentation to flow naturally. Sounds like a contradiction? Strangely, it’s not. How do you test whether you’ve rehearsed just the right amount? I know I’m ready when I start focusing less on what I’m about to say, and am fully aware of what I’m saying in that moment. When I’m in the present and I am aware of what’s going on around me. This kind of calmness only comes when you are 100% sure of what you want to say.

Request feedback

Trust your colleagues and friends to give you feedback. Notice I say colleagues and friends and not or, reason being the perspective your colleagues will give you will be a lot more educated in terms of the knowledge of the subject, your friends will tell you what they derived from your presentation from a layman’s perspective. This experience will also give you a feel of what it would be like to present in front of an audience.

Use your nervous energy to energise

Nervous energy sounds like a terrible phrase but I have found that it’s not a bad thing. If you use it well, it can help you, your presentation and your audience. For instance, movement cuts the excitement and helps your nerves calm whereas standing still, in one place can make you even more nervous. Presentations are even more interactive when the presenter claims the space on the stage, moves around a bit, instead of standing behind a podium like a statue. The audience immediately relates to the presenter more, and is forced to be attentive because of the movement.

Nervous energy can bring a great amount of energy into your presentation. Just visualise your success and let the good times roll. Your hard work and preparation will find a way to calm your nerves. But energy is not the enemy, energy is good, it shows you’re interested in talking to the people, it shows you’re passionate about the subject and it exudes enthusiasm from you, into the audience. Just get out there and smile your widest smile and let the energy flow.

It's not magic!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Twenty-five Lessons - One for each Year

I know this is a bit late in the day, but I have spent many-a-day mulling over the wisdomness that I have gained, now that I am all of twenty-five. Yes, I have grown pretty wise over the years.

So here it goes ... Twenty-five lessons, one for each year.

1. Todo Para La Familia (Everything for the family)

2. Keep your innocence alive for as long as you can. It sets you free, give happiness and keeps things simple.

3. Know your nature and be true to it. It is NOT a cliche.

4. Be open to people and experiences.

5. Being afraid, is the only thing that can come in the way of your growth and happiness.

6. Give it time. Nothing ever happens before it's time.

7. Teenagers are dumb. I wish I could tell my teenage self not to take life and myself so seriously.

8. It is NEVER as bad as you think. And it is only when things get tough that you know what you are  made of.

9. Have a sense of humour and don't take anything too seriously.

10. Nothing is permanent. Especially unhappiness. It is not permanent at all.

11. Have a selective memory. Forget what you don't need to remember, like heartbreak or loss. Hold on       tight to wonderful memories, like a final moment with a loved one.

12. Click photographs. Drown yourself in happy memories.

13. The power of love exists and it can move mountains.

14. Love for love's sake is the best kind of love.

15. Loving selflessly is greatly empowering.

16. Happiness cannot be given.

17. Sibling love is the purest form of love there can be. And for that, everyone should have two kids.

18. Forgive. There is nothing in the world important enough to hold on to.

19. Have faith. Even if you don't, know that there is always a reason.

20. Be grateful. Be considerate.

21. Don't let anyone make you cry.

22. Cry. Cry your heart out. Be a drama queen. Get it out of your system and then bounce back. Fight.

23. Keep your eyes on the bigger picture, and everything will be surprising clearer.

24. Take time out to have a vision for yourself and your future.

25. You may believe you are chained, but you are always free and there is ALWAYS a way.

Can you imagine the levels of wisdomness five years from now? I'll be like God, like. Like oh my god.

*You can quote me on these, these are 100 per cent original (they only sound cliched). Copyright of Natasha Puri Kapoor.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Queen: A Review

A movie that stays with you.

I happened to watch 'Queen' this International Women's Day, and I'm glad I did. I loved it from the get-go.

I don't want to give much or any of it away, because 'Queen' is such a fabulous experience to be had, but some context must be set...

This is story of a West Delhi girl, Rani. A day before her wedding, the bridegroom calls it off, even as Rani says, 'Aap joke kar rahe ho na?' and her stubby younger brother peers threateningly at 'Vijay' through the coffee shop window. What follows is Rani's trip to her honeymoon - alone - and a wonderfully warm journey to finding herself.

That's it, I'm not saying anything else.

Each dialogue, every scene, is an experience in itself. Kangana has played Rani so well, that there is a fondness you feel for her - and other than the first 10-15 minutes of the film, never again do you feel sorry for 'bechari' Rani.

The most defining scene for me is the one where Rani is caught in a broil with a thug in the streets of Paris. This scary-looking guy is trying to snatch her bag, but the fiesty 'bechari' Rani, refuses to let go. This defines Rani for me. She is a fighter!

Kangana ensures your eyes stay glued to the screen the entire time. She is hardly wearing any make-up, which only makes her beauty more obvious. Rani is such a loveable character that I hope there is a sequel to this one. I couldn't get enough.

Another defining moment in the film is towards the end. Queen is at the concert with her friends, they have just reunited and they are thrilled. In the course of the song, it is time to say goodbye. They don't know if they'll ever see each other again. And then Rani is suddenly alone again. What will she do now? And then she smiles and gets back to enjoying the concert. In the background, the song's lyrics say, 'Kinara tu he hai'. I'm sorry if I've given too much of it away!

The story is as much about the friends she makes. The 'loose' hotel waitress Vijaylakshmi, whom Rani befriends and who opens Rani's heart and mind to the so many other ways of being a woman. That reminded me that a woman can be the best companion to a woman - in a way no man can. And the three adorable boys Rani meets in Amsterdam. Okay, I'm not saying anything else. My lips are zipped.

Queen is a journey that every woman must take. I haven't been able to get it out of my head. Is it really that easy?

All we have to do is be open and fearless and let the universe transform us, guide us.

Thank you, Queen! For reminding me :)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

V-day Special: Get Out of the Friendzone

If this can't get you out of the friendzone, we're going to need a tow truck to tow you out of there.

It's your favourite day of the year and you're pretending it's really uncool. It's valentine's day, and you're telling everyone how cheesy it is. It's so uncool, man. So sappy, desperate and pathetic. Well, stop pretending because you are all of those things and deep down, you know it.

Now that we've established what miserable, lovesick fools we all are (you all are - I'm just being nice), let's get down to business. You need to get the hell out of the friendzone, this V-day. That's right, the time has come.

1. Get a haircut.

Grow a moustache, I don't care. Just look different, huh? Let him/her look at you in a new light. Now don't do something stupid and tattoo your forehead or something. I mean different good. Not different creepy. There's a fine line. Can't see that line? Then this blog is not for you. Move along.

2. Let's play.

This is the oldest, most effective play in the book. I mean, it is the Rigveda of plays (may my Hindu gods, rishi-munis of great wisdom, forgive me), it's time to play hard-to-get. Ignore her. Talk about another guy in front of him. Don't laugh at his jokes (this is going to kill him). If you see his/her behaviour changing at this point, then, mission successful. Your car is slowly but surely making its way out of the friendzone. You may no longer be the citizen of Loserville. You may not be sleeping on a wet pillow tonight, for you may not be crying your eyes out on Valentine's Day.

3. Compliment.

Now that he or she is simmering with anger like french fries in a deep fryer, it's time to (sprinkle some chaat masala and bite into a handful - sorry, wrong blog), play nice. Exaggerate a bit, maybe compare her to Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt, if you like. I don't care. Compliment him in a way that isn't friendly. Be sincere. Or fake sincerity, sincerely. But please don't get carried away and write her a crappy poem. Not yet. At this stage, if he/she is still smiling at you, I almost have respect for you.

4. The Winning Touch.

Dogs mark their territory by peeing. It's your turn now. Take some ownership give him or her a protective, a 'I'm there for you' kind of hug. This hugs lasts a couple of seconds longer than a friendly hug. Now, don't be creepy. A small gesture will help you establish two things: you'll know if the other person is interested and they'll know you think of them as more than friends. If she doesn't slap you, you're okay. If he is looking at you creepily, you're sending him the wrong signals, girl. Stay away.

5. Welcome to Lovers' Point.

Congratulations, you're out of the friendzone! Never thought you'd make it, but you did, and I'm proud. Now's the time to make the final move. Ask him or her out. If you've read all the signs right, you're never going back to Lonerville. And if he/she's the one for you, I'm expecting a box of chocolates.

Five years later...

Now you can write him/her a crappy love poem. They're going nowhere.

Valentine's Day, 2014 - Make it a happy one.

P.S.: I have nothing against single people.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Hasee toh Phasee: A Review

Anything but 'Cucking Frazy'

Okay, I can't get Hasee toh Phasee out of my mind. I think I'm still trying to make up mind if I liked it or not. No, if I liked it a lot or not. I mean, I guess it's a good movie to watch, it's better than a lot of Hindi movies I have seen recently, but is it awesome? Not sure.

So here's what I liked about the movie: Parineeti and Sidharth.

These guys are naturals, and I mean quite literally. I don't think Parineeti had any make-up on throughout the film, except for kohl during the wedding scenes. That's pretty cool, isn't it? I like her. I'd like to be friends with her.

Sidhartha Malhotra is relatable, very much the boy-next-door, and at the same time really really hot. Really hot. He has played the good-guy so well, I'm afraid Ranbir has some serious competition. Sidharth's character wasn't commitment-phobic (like most male characters in most movies these days). He was not a casanova, a playa. Bad boys move over, commitment is sexy. And thank you, dear writers of the film, for making that point.

Here's what I'm not sure of: The Mind of Meeta

Parineeti seemed so down-to-earth and fun. Meeta, her character, confused me a bit. She clearly was depressed, had issues dealing with emotions, had a high IQ but a low EQ, but at the same time, she was extremely normal. One would think, a depressed person would be, errrm, depressed? What happened there?

It felt like the writers started off with a Sheldon-like character but changed their mind, mid-way. That's what bothers me a bit about the movie. But an interesting attempt, nevertheless.

And finally, if you want to know what misleading marketing is, just look at the posters of Hasee toh Phasee. They got the name wrong. It had hardly anything to do with the story. And the tagline 'Cucking Frazy' has to be the lamest thing I have read in a long time. And it had nothing to do with the story. Why would they want to make it look like a brainless comedy when it is so, so much more? It sounds like a movie starring Govinda, Raveena Tandon and Mohnish Behl (not that I have anything against this starcast -  I am quite the Govinda fan).

Overall, if a movie makes you think so much, it's a good movie. Kudos to Parineeti - please don't conform to the bollywood standards of body image - you are beautiful; Sidharth - don't disappoint with the next film (like Ayushmann who did Vicky Donor and then went on to do Nautanki Saala! - really?); and to everyone else, go watch Hasee toh Phasee to laugh, cry and for two characters that stay with you, long after the movie is over. And to believe in 'lowe', now that V-day is approaching ;)

P.S.: A special mention to the song 'Ishq Bulava' featuring Sanam Puri, who has a distinct and beautiful voice. That song is stuck in my head. Also 'Shake it like Shammi'.