Rahi turns Twelve :)

53900810_10158227190917802_8658080999839629312_n

It was this day around 12 years back when I was cut to part a piece of me from my body and my soul.

Yes, every mother would understand when I say this because the ten months attachment which grows like a part of you and then are placed in front of you as a specimen – here’s your baby!

Even though the umbilical cord is cut, and the baby is separated from the mother, the child is never separated from the soul of the mother. It is that connection which always makes her worry for her child in every thick or thin times.

Thinking that it is 12 years feels like yesterday and the handsome young man that you have turned into is really amazing because my eyes have seen you changing from that infant to this young man Rahi, that you are today.

Your naïve nature and innocence have always worried me because I always feel you are in a dream world and it is true that you’re a dreamer as your stories are also related to a world which we all dream to be in. But the reality is much far from that and hence, sometimes I worry how you will cope-up with the insensitive world.

But this morning when you were telling me the incident that occurred in your class with your friend Mahnoor, where some kid was being naughty, and they were treating other kid like a slave and Mahnoor raised her concern with that kid as not to do but still he did. This made Mahnoor upset and hence she went to tell her teacher about it. Class Teacher took it as kid’s game, and she said if they are fine then you shouldn’t bother. This made Mahnoor feel sad and angry. You as a good and caring friend went to make her laugh and with your silly gesture she did laugh!

When I asked you why? what made you do so?, And your answer was that when Mahnoor gets angry she gets headache and she was holding her head, so I figured something is upsetting her.

No matter how insensitive this world may be my dear Rahi be who you are and never change. Because this is what we need more, and I am sure with your generation things will change.

Wishing you loads of love and wishes for your dreams to come true. The way every day you say, ‘I love you Mom’!, without any reason like a song, each time I thank for having you in my life. We only planned to have a baby, but we had no clue when you will be born and how you would be, but it happened to be on Women’s International Day – March 8th and you a Feminist by nature what can I ask more!!!

Happy Birthday Son, enjoy and yes, eat less sweet hon!

~ Dawn

Advertisements

Effort is the oxygen for talent – Pu. La Deshpande

The other day I went for a Marathi movie : Bhai – Vyakti ki valli, directed by Mahesh Manjrekar, Pu. La’s role is done by Sagar Deshmukh and many other talented actors have played their part in it. When I say many, it really had many known celebrities of those days and everyone of the actors have given their 100% in it. It didn’t take time to recognize who that character is and for that the selection of artists, their make-up and the performance by these actors is something unbelievable and the entire team gets credit for this package.

I really would like to thank Mahesh Majrekar specially for doing a tough film based on Pu. La. Deshpande. Pu. La. Deshpande is larger than life as in what he has contributed to the Marathi literature and for Maharashtrians overall. To make a biopic of such a personality where controversies can also climb in as you portray his life and yet to make a clean movie where you bring main moments from his life is a tough balancing act.

While I was growing up in NDA- Khadakwasla, Pune, TV was a main part of our life those days and the moment Doordarshan starts its channel (5:30 pm), our TV used to be on. My Dad would watch Marathi programs as the evenings are for regional television program and at 9 pm the national program starts with news and then music and dance or other soap opera would go on but those were more educational from literature for kids and everyone.
After finishing homework or sometimes I am doing my homework and the TV is on where Dad must be watching the regional news, after that regional drama and classical music program must be going on and I used to multi-task and hence, Pu. La. Deshpande is a normal and casual name in every house. He is part of every Maharashtrian in one or the other way.

When I came to know about the movie, me and my friend planned and went to watch this one. To be frank this movie just glued me in for every inch of story, place and then recollecting from those days as what we heard or read and even watched him performing. Pu. La. Deshpande can be briefly introduced via Wikipedia as this has more detailed information. But to me it was reliving the moment and the characters such as Pt. Bhimsen JoshiVasantrao DeshpandeKumar Gandharva, it was an amazing amalgamation of musicians and talented people coming in one frame and jamming and singing – it just took me to a different world. A point came where I felt jealous of them as how they could sit anywhere and just start jamming and enjoying the music which is not an effort but like a flow of river.
This movie was covered in two parts and I was watching the first one which was released in January 2019 and I liked the way Mahesh Manjrekar planned to release the 2nd part immediately in February this way people will not forget the first part and will continue to the 2nd. But let me tell you, the way part 1 ends abruptly that itself, will tempt the viewers to watch part 2 and so, I did go next day to watch the part 2 of this movie.

Believe me, I was high and my thoughts were all about where I grew up and the time and those moments which I was reliving in my thoughts and suddenly I said to myself, human beings are so much rooted to their childhood and truly it really makes so much sense that one must have good childhood because that goes with you till your end.
I was excited to watch part 2 and believe me part 2 is more or less later part of  Pu. La and it has some political flavor too and hence, I didn’t enjoy as much I did the part 1. But the best was when Pu. La comes to know his friend Kumar Gandharva is not feeling well and is not singing these days, he takes all his friends and goes to Kumar’s house and they all sit and start jamming and singing and out of the zone Kumar starts singing too. That jamming session and the singing by each one Champa Tai, Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, Vasantrao Deshpande, and Pu. La who is on the harmonium – it was a treat to the audience.

In this world, “who is saying”, is more important than “what is being said” ! ~ Pu. La

I came out of that movie with feelings: one jealous for the musical time they had and the second proud for Pu. La and his friend circle which was never about show off. They all had talent and they all respected to that level and enjoyed the talent by sharing. Also, Pu. La. being the open and unbiased writer and thinker didn’t get scared of Balasaheb Thackeray either though everyone was scared of him.
When you see the simple life that Pu. La and his wife lived with the bear minimum and still they were sufficient and giving to the needy ones. We don’t need much to live happily, and its we who define what is happiness and live along those lines.

Another good part I would like to mention was about Baba Amte and the song that Pu. La. performs for the children who are taken care by Baba Amte – that song – naach re mora,  brought tears in my eyes not only for the song which connected with my childhood where my brother had this for his elementary school syllabus and he used to sing at home but also the way those children participated in singing with dancing around Pu. La, brought tears of happiness.
5 star to the Director of this movie Mahesh Manjrekar!!!

Life is so simple and yet we make it so complicated – Why?

“In a letter, all we own is the address on the envelope. The contents are a matter of fate.” ~ Pu. La.

~ Dawn

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…..!

It’s been a long time when time when I was looking for a book by Manto – Saadat Hasan Manto. I had read about him through my browses on poets from Pakistan and his name used to pop-up here and there and when I read about him and his nature of calling a spade a spade, my curiosity grew.

Whenever as a family we go into book store (which these days are diminishing due to all these online shopping), I look for books by Manto or for Manto and no luck! It was last year when we went to India for a family wedding and happen to go around in Bangalore where we were actually looking to hangout at the old Bangalore side which I love it even today as it reminds me of the days when I went to Bangalore in 90s and it makes you feel you’re back in those days where everything has its own pace and there is a peace. No one is racing, we went to Blue Frog and spent some good time eating food, drinks and music…it was heaven.

After that we wandered around and saw this book stall and we just got lost inside. My husband as he was collecting many books, I was looking for two books… one by Manto and the other by Nathuram Godse!
Luckily found both and I am glad that I was able to finish this book as I started reading Manto only after coming back to San Francisco. In between I saw the move on Manto as that got released as well in 2018. The movie I felt good as I had completed 80% of the book and hence the stories were reminding me of how it was written and how those were shown in the movie..!
Now comes to the actual book, yes as I was reading the book from the beginning each story gave me the insight about Manto and his keen observations to smallest things – it could be the wind but how the wind was blowing the curtain or the hair of the girl in what direction and how – thats how detail he is in his description which takes a reader to experience as if its happening to the reader!

“The face is the mirror of the mind, and eyes without speaking confess the secrets of the heart” 

I was very impressed with his writing style and as I was reaching each story made me think about Manto. How detail he is? How much he thinks of women and writes about them everywhere it was about Manto in my mind. His language and vocabulary, I was all high with Manto until I started feeling every story is about prostitutes. He used to write for movies but still his story is all about them and how rich people enjoy and what not. At one point to be frank I felt Manto has nothing else to write about other than women who are prostitutes.

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it” ~ Edith Wharton

But as you read next stories at the end, you realize whether its rich or poor people, women and her status in this society is what he is trying to show – a mirror!
This book actually not only made me curious through out but it also made me to think after I finished the book. I did think about those women from Manto’s stories and also those men and I wondered life at that time and I compared to today and I felt nothing has changed. May be the standard and living styles might have changed based on the generation but ultimately society looks at women as an object, nothing has changed even though time has!!!

I also realized one thing that a point where I felt angry with Manto that he is only writing about prostitutes is also a skill of Manto to bring that anger in me for the women’s sake and I give that credit to Manto. I wish there were more like Manto.

A good read and if you have ever lived near Bombay and Pune and have been close to Indian film industry then definitely it will touch your memories in a way to give that nostalgic kick to you.

I give 5/5 for this book and I want to read more of his books!

“…and it is also possible, that Saadat Hasan dies, but Manto remains alive.” ~ Saadat Hasan Manto

~ Dawn

And though she may be broken, she is not defeated. She will rise unfettered, unbeaten, unimpeded..!

Heard a lot about #MeToo movement in America and around the world. People came up courageously to share what happened with them and pointing the culprit irrespective of their position in the world.
Everyone said, lets hear it and lets investigate it and then punish the culprit. Nothing wrong in that statement.
I feel everyone who have gone through this sexual abuse irrespective of gender, should be heard. Because it is indeed tough and ruthless to a point where they are ready to share about their traumatic life with the world which is like going back and re-living that moment and that is very hard on themselves. For someone to come and share that with the world really needs courage. One must listen to them.

“A stare, a proximity, a smile, a touch – oddly familiar. He knows you wouldn’t speak, he knows you don’t understand enough to speak; me, too!” ~ Nipunya Panda

I feel this era is of awakening for many and I like it when I see people across the world irrespective of which industry they belong, they are coming out and sharing it and pointing the culprit by calling their name and sharing specific incidents, so the world know whats going around behind the big name and fame. This also helps others to be cautious and aware if they are in similar situation. This also many times helps the person whether they are experiencing it as many of them don’t know what is considered as ‘sexual abuse’.

No one has any rights to abuse anyone, irrespective of what relationship they have with the individuals.

Last year the awakening happened in India too when Tanushree Dutta brought Nana Patekar’s name under the #MeToo movement and how everyone supported her and encouraged women to speak up. In fact there’s a committee also they created to protect women’s rights in film industry where thorough investigations will be done on the accused until then they will be banned from the industry etc. I think this is a positive moment and that is what need to happen, we must encourage people to speak up and not suffer in dark.

“There’s going to be a violent awakening we don’t want. The question is, can we wake up?” ~ Anna Deavere Smith

I know Indian film industry is such that many idolize the actors as their god and so, it is difficult for some to even think of such allegations that is made because they see these people through the characters that they create, or they act and hence in their mind, its a lie!
But then who are we to decide that? We were not there while the survivor was actually experiencing the torture or abuse and hence the fair judgement would be to listen to the survivor and do an investigation on the accused that has been called out.

Recent allegation on Rajkumar Hirani by one of his assistant director came up and what a twist in the game. Everyone speaking about how can he be? He is so good, innocent, too good to do anything wrong and he has no flaws and what not.

I mean, I can imagine he did some great work in the film industry by brining great movies but that doesn’t give a certificate for his character.
More over, he can be so good that he may even know how people will trust him and not the survivor!!!
A person’s character cannot be always judged only by his work.

I would have had more respect for the Indian film industry folks- who are supporting Rajkumar Hirani, if they would have said- let the formal investigation take place as things can happen to anyone.

Not every talented person is a saint and I agree not every talented person is a criminal mind either. But it would have been better if this was left to the necessary officials to take care of in the right manner than giving character certificate to Rajkumar Hirani.

“He scrolled through the social media, his fingers lingering on the keyboard, “me too” *pause* Delete Delete Delete. The fear of his #MeToo being judged differently from the others stifled yet another cry for help.” ~ Srijan

My take on this, even though I don’t know this person personally other than watching his movies, he should cooperate with the investigation and then let the result prove whether he is innocent or not.
Entire film industry is kind of stuck on his fame since he is a big shot in the industry, everyone is trying to save their future by being good in his book, I guess!

By defending him people are blocking the avenues of investigation.

“There’s more to our species than we see in the mirror.”

~ Dawn

There is always some madness in love …!

Love is a very beautiful word with a beautiful meaning, isn’t it?

Whether the love is for your beloved, your parents, siblings, friends, animals, your children and so many more they differ in the sense the expression of each type of love can differ.

I remember when my daughter long back went for her science camp for 3 days and as usual I told her to enjoy this time. But she says I cried when she came back…! Well, even today she teases me for that and I make joke out of it that actually I cried because you came back!!!

“The moment we cry in a film is not when things are sad but when they turn out to be more beautiful than we expected them to be” ~ Alain de Botton

All that is fun and now after many years my son went for his science camp for 3 days. I have not let him go alone anywhere until this time. We never encouraged sleepover for our kids as parents. It’s not that we don’t understand that or know that kids enjoy but thinking of other issues we always avoided. Kids have done sleepover with friends where we as parents are also present there.

Hence, when my son was going for his science camp I had all the typical motherly worries, will he be able to find things out there, will he be able to manage himself etc..! But then I said well he has to manage no matter what because I can’t go and help so why worry and get stressed!

“In order to move on, you must understand why you felt what you did and why you no longer need to feel it” ~ Mitch Albom

Though at home everyone missed him, we as parents and his sister but it was only our dog Reyna who actually expressed it by holding on to his clothes and sleeping on them.

He had left on Tuesday and today he came back. Me and my husband were waiting for the time and also the school notification about their arrival so we can go and pick him up.
The wait was done after couple of my meetings and then when I got the text message from my son’s school, we both went to receive him.

I was really not sure how my reaction would be because I was normal and eager to see him and hear all his stories. The moment I saw my son’s face in the middle of his other schoolmates, tears filled in… is this love? The moment he came to me and I hugged him I started crying more.

When they are far you miss them because you love them but when they are with you then? Then also it’s an expression of love through tears conveying that, I missed you!

“There is nothing as powerful as mother’s love, and nothing as healing as a child’s soul”

~ Dawn

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. … !

happy-new-year-2019-with-gold-3d-number-png_227790

I want to wish everyone a very happy new year 2019!

This is my first post in this year and I hope I can be more active this year as last year I changed to a new job and it needed more of my attention from process implementation and leading for team to adapt it. Hoping this year things will much aligned so I can spend time in writing and doing my exercise.

As the year was ending, things seemed like working for me as I thought so… with related to work, colleagues and at family front. New job didn’t make me stressed in fact I enjoyed the way I could give my sincere time to the job that I chose after 6 years of comfortableness. It gave me a change of experience with work, new learning, new beginning and meeting different people from different domain. I am enjoying this change, one should always be a student only then we will be open to learn and accept that we don’t know everything and even if we know something based on our learning and experience, it should only bring humbleness.

“You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call a ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.” ~ Mary Pickford

One thing is clear that for new beginnings you don’t have to wait for new year, you can make new beginnings anytime and its all up to you and your willingness. If there’s a will there is a way- and I do believe in this quote.
Since my new beginning started last year…by the time Christmas holidays came up I was totally exhausted and this break was much needed. Visiting Vegas was more or less a relaxation as there was no set agenda as I have been making frequent trips to Vegas previously and this was after a five years gap.

“Food is the ingredient that binds us together.” 

Santa Barbara was something I was looking forward with some more relaxation and more time with nature. Exploring different restaurants was one of the key activity, and so did visited different cuisines such as Indian restaurants Tamira and Bibi Ji – I won’t say they are Indian restaurant but it is more or less a fusion for West. There was another place which I found it cool called Public Market, initially we thought its a grocery shopping place but we were looking for Empty bowl gourmet noodle bar and it took us to this Public Market place which has many different cuisines serving food and I felt that was the best place where all kinds of people came together to eat different food under one roof – I loved the food and the concept of this place, something worth visiting at least for once.
I am a foodie and hence this was an amazing journey to explore some of those things.
New Year is here and frankly speaking I have no new plans and resolutions because I don’t believe in those. If you need to make a change you don’t have to wait for the year to start, it can be done anytime and that You can decide!
For me, this new year is more to be cozy and be home and I blame it all on the weather and the holiday times… where it spoiled my routines with late nights and late waking up and breaking all rules…! I know I will roll-up my sleeves but will wait until next week.. 😉

Until then I wish everyone a good day, month, and year with new hope, aspirations, love and peace!

“Live, Love, Eat”

~ Dawn

Time moves in one direction and —> memory in another <—

I had this opportunity to watch Tamil movie – 96 and much thanks to my hubby who actually put up a review about this movie and that’s when came to know about the existence of this movie.

This is a story about school-time crush and how we move on in life and that crush still remains in your heart but they never get together in life, at least in this movie its like that.
The movie is good and what I liked about it is that in this the crush or love is from both sides and hence the loss of being together in life is sensed more and as an audience you feel sorry for them because no matter how many years have gone, at the reunion the love or crush is still at the highest intensity and yet they go back to their lives respecting what they have committed for.
This movie actually brought lot of my school-time memories and hence I want to write this post in remembering all those boys who had a crush on me and some I don’t even know at that time and some I came to know later in life when they got connected with me on social media.
Actually, I never had any crush or love in school or college time. But I do remember one which came in as a proposal in life later and I came to know very late about it.

“Some memories are unforgettable, remaining ever vivid and heartwarming!” ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

This was when I was in 10th grade and I was visiting my Grandma from my Mom’s side. I remember I used to be more hanging out with my Aunt, who used to visit her friend’s place who was a widow with two boys. One was way older and the other seemed like in college or high-school. The boy I will call here as Madhu, who would silently gaze at me when I used to visit their house with my Aunt and he would never utter a word with me but would talk to my Aunt. I used to be a shy and scary as I used to find it a bit awkward visiting from different state to this one.

The visits were more and so I happened to meet Madhu more often and his stare would make me a bit awkward and I used to ask my Aunt about Madhu. Slowly things started getting in such a way that when I am at my front door at my Aunt’s place or my Uncle’s place he could see me through his front deck, that’s the house was close.
I remember once I was walking down the road with my cousin and he waited for me till evening until I returned home.
He used to sometimes follow us when I am going with my Aunt and used to engage my Aunt in talks. As much praise I have heard from my Aunt about him, that much I felt good about him as he was serious about his studies and he is sincere and well behaved.. all this only made me think of him as a good person.
That vacation went by quick and I remember the last day he ran after my Aunt asking about us, if we have left and my Aunt said they will be leaving tomorrow morning and he just came up with some excuse to come to our home. He was there for long time staring at me and I was kind of smiling as I think I felt that he will miss us.

“Time flies, but memories last forever.”

Things moved on and after couple of years when I came back again on vacation, I didn’t see him at all. I got curious and I asked my Aunt about Madhu and she said oh, he joined Army so he is not here in town. That made me miss him but I felt good that he is focused on his career and life.
Time was flying like a kite, I got busy with my high-school and then college and so forth. On my every visit I used to ask my Aunt about Madhu and I used to get news that he was tired of Army life and he escaped from there and so now cops are looking for him. I used to worry, now what? And my Aunt would say they will take him back and he will be completing his Army training as one shouldn’t be running away from the training.
I used to worry and think about it when I used to visit my Grandma’s place but when I used to come back to my home the usual life kicked in and I got busy with my life.
Dating concept was not something that we had and hence, there was nothing like that I could think of him or any other guy during that time. Anyway, I got busy with life and after many years I went back to visit my Aunt with my 4 year old daughter.
This was the time when I was asking about all the people that I have known since my childhood and my Aunt would give me all the updates about the neighboring people and I brought his name…where’s Madhu? How is he doing? Did he go back to Army? What is he doing?

“Good times become good memories and bad time become good lessons..”

The answer that I got from my Aunt was painful and shocking too. My Aunt said, they left this place as they sold their property and moved to a different place. His elder brother is married and he lives somewhere close by but Madhu had come here with his mother to ask for marriage with your parents. This was something I initially couldn’t believe. Because, even though I thought he liked me when we used to see each other during my visits, but I never thought that he was so serious about me. I got curious and asked, when did they meet my parents?
My Aunt said, during the time when your Mom and Dad were visiting here and you were busy with college, during that time they visited here and said their son Madhu likes their daughter and would like to marry with everyone’s blessings. I was shocked but was sad and it was a mixed emotion.
I said and?
Aunt said, your Dad said we don’t intend our daughter to get married to an Army guy. And even if we do want to then we don’t want to send our daughter to this place.

I was completely shocked and felt like a Bollywood movie where the girl’s father is always playing the villain role. All I could imagine in my mind was Madhu’s Mom because she was a very respectful woman in the area and she had raised her two sons without her husband. She was well educated and was working in a good government establishment. I was really feeling sad. I looked at my Aunt and said, is this real? How come then no one said anything about this till date?

“Sometimes I just wish that I could fast forward time, just to see if it’s all worth it in the end.”

My Aunt looked at me and said, well he loved you since school time and I even asked him that have you ever talked to her and his answer was – no!
But he loved you and he thought when the right time comes he would ask your parents permission as he felt you are not the kind of girl who would love and write love letters and continue the relationship..!

That incident made me feel very sad and I feel for Madhu even though it was not love from my side, but the sincerity of him killed my ego. I don’t know if meeting with him and talking to him could give a closure to this but …this has left me with those painful moments yet when I walk through the memory lanes, the moments of visiting his home, his stare, he bringing stuff at home for me and all those opportunities where he wouldn’t miss to see me, even if it was a glance… have tickled my heart at the same time.

I feel life is full of surprises and yet you never know who would come to rescue when you are in need… it could be someone from your past life… or someone new?

“The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you”

~ Dawn