#FakeNews

‘You look so beautiful.’ ‘ I am soooooo busy. ‘ ‘My marriage is perfect.’ ‘Of course I eat… yes… real food silly!’ ‘ The holiday was amazing!’ ‘My kids are awesome!’ – every lie we ever tell each other now becomes firmly stuck in the forever world of the internet. With filters and instagrammable hashtags it’s like we’re all living the perfect life…except we’re not! The picture perfect fairytale that we all seem so keen to show off is often anything but…

You don’t realise this till you get off the screen and actually meet your ‘friends.’ You don’t realise they’ve been up all night not partying but because their kids are sick. You don’t realise they are having lunch with you and not doing a double date because they want to talk about their marriage. You don’t realise they don’t eat because they are being fat shamed at the gym… You don’t realise a lot of things.

And yet you stay ‘friends.’

So what I have done is started meeting people offline… meeting and connecting and realising that everything may not be perfect- not for me and not for them and that’s ok. That’s what differentiates us. We can all have photographs with the same filters but life doesn’t come with filters and every photograph may not be perfect but it’s our experience and our lives and like my grand father used to say if life doesn’t have ups and downs how would you know you’re alive…

The meetings have been amazing. They have been real. They have been flawed. They have been perfect. And I gotta say I’m hooked! I’m more social than I have been… I’m making more real friends, having better conversations, caring more and feeling more and I’m actually connecting… not the Fb connect… but actually connecting and now the photographs we have at parties and get togethers don’t need the filters – cos they have memories attached … and that’s the coolest filter of them all.

P.s.(Palat says) #FriYay #NightWithFriends #ConnectInRealLife

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I’m ok.You’re ok.

In a world of comparisons and insecurities , it’s often mind numbing to compare achievements- personal and professional with one another… Just looking out of the window, the grass always seems greener… but once you get to that garden you often realise, the grass is not as green, covered with manure and far less exciting than you envisioned!

And yet it’s human nature to compare… to want more…to covet more and to therefore feel ‘less than.’

In the joy to get more things, climb more ladders, are we actually losing out on what we most seek- joy and happiness?

I’ve now started to look at people and things more plainly. You have stuff. I have stuff. I have problems. You have problems. May be without comparison we can both dream, create, be better and be happier… I don’t need your stuff to be happy…and you don’t need mine.

I say this as I enviously look at vacation pics… :)… then again my vacations are pretty darn good too no?

We’re all on the ride of our lives. And it’s absolutely fair to wonder ‘what if..’. But I’ve realised its far nicer to make the most of your life, your day, your people and your things and the minute you treasure them, you’ll start being amazed at how much you actually have.

The couple you envy may actually be in counselling. The vacation you wish you were on , may be the first someone has taken in years. The mom who has it all may be crying at night. And the perfect dad may be drinking him self to sleep at night.

You don’t know their journeys and they don’t know yours.

Life is hard. For everyone. But it’s up to you to just focus on yours and make it the best life that you can live.

P.s. (Palat says)-: It’s never about how much you have, it’s about what you do with what you have. Quality always beats quantity.

Fear, MRIs and 5 ams

The stress of or the fear of something often is far larger than the actual task itself. This was at its clearest this week. With the planning of a surprise party, the visit to a new doctor, yet another (though each one is as stressful as the next) MRI and the travel and return travel on 5 am flights made for a memorable week.

The surprise party had to be perfect. Everything had to be planned without the inquisitive Birthday boys’ knowledge and we had to get him back in time lest the guests and here we kept it to family only let the cat out of the bag! The menu had to delight him and each of our demanding guests and the party had to be run on time despite the Mumbai rains and horrendous traffic snarls. Add to that a power cut which took out all the lights in the house, but none of the air conditioning! Candles were lit and the dinner with all its pre planning drama ended perfectly. The minute I just allowed myself to go with the flow instead of fighting to control it… I learned to have fun and actually enjoy the party!

I met the new doctor with trepidation and cynicism. Challenging him almost by telling him the hateful, scary things I’d been told over the years; I was taken aback when he empathised and even apologised for Doctors without tact and bedside manner. This threw me off because I expected him to stick with the way I had been treated thus far. The apology made me learn that the fear of one doctor can’t make you avoid all others. And as much as I don’t want to be seen as a clone of anyone else… I mustn’t assume that all in the same profession are alike either.

The MRI technician asked if I’d like to see ‘Friends.’I was taken aback. How was that possible? With a new machine, you could watch something, you may not hear it all but you could watch it. The 2 hr long series of MRIs were made more tolerable with a comedy show playing above my head!

5 am flights to meetings- would I hack it? Would I be on my best game? Worried I did not sleep all of night 1… And then the day ended and I was wonderful. The staying awake only made for dark circles- didn’t dampen my enthusiasm at all!

I write this as Day 2 begins (at 4:30 am now)- and now I’m not scared!

P.s. (Palat says)-: I do now what I do during an MRI. Take a deep slow breath and let the fear find another person they can cripple- not me!

The Farce that was #MeToo

And so the farce of #MeToo ended in a whimper. And we can be feminists about this and say , ‘well at least stories were told.’.. but to be realists- what good did that do any way?!

Stories were told, sordid details shared and every newspaper (even the serious ones) became gossip rags proudly sharing salacious details. We had news reports dissecting the who said what’s and when stuff happened and companies , film houses and advertising agencies proudly denouncing men who were caught up for their lecherous moves and unforgivable behaviour towards women.

We enjoyed the headlines we made by denouncing the creeps and we enjoyed the ‘stand that we took’ and the praise it seemed to garner us. We became proud supporting our women and we assured them that this would never ever be tolerated again.

And then overnight, we forgot it. It became inconvenient when the headlines changed and politics and other world issues took centre stage, It became a non-issue when we weren’t being applauded for just being a non lecherous creepy human being. It just became unimportant again.

And the creeps went back to work. Some were never even fired or let go of. It seems like it was difficult to expect a higher standard of human decency from people. Cases were dropped because creeps filed counter cases with more goons threatening the victim and she faced even more harassment. It was bad enough to be tabloid news fodder but to be openly shamed on social media and to have your case being discussed, distorted and destroyed by people who didn’t even know you was something the victims dealt with because for the first time they felt they had a voice and that even with all the noise, the people, the right people cared and were listening.

But then it hit home truly, when support was withdrawn; when law enforcers chose to humiliate rather than help and when quite literally their personal story became yesterday’s garbage.

I guess asking for change might have been too much. But may be we could have done more than just completely turn away from them. I guess it doesn’t mean anything unless it happens to you.

But when it does will anyone support you?

Trust me- after this – I wouldn’t ask you to hold your breath.

I knew that we were becoming shallow. I knew that women and women’s rights in India were never a priority but right now I have to say ,I am well and truly disappointed.

I guess #MeToo, your #TimesUp 😦

P.s.(Palat says)-: We need to be better. Not just because we owe it to humanity but because we owe it to ourselves.

The Age of War

Courtesy-: Times of India Celebrity Blog by Divya Palat

“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”- Isaac Asimov.

If that is true the world must be getting more and more incompetent each day. The horrors of this week were so frightful they were like a terrifying movie but unfortunately all to real.

The shocking violence that erupted in the Manesar plant was not only terrifying- it was unforgivable. Whatever the reason for the outrage to have a group of people storm a plant and beat the employees and worse still beat and burn another human being alive is paralyzing. A group of people made a choice to war against a company by injuring and killing other helpless employees. It didn’t matter that these employees were not directly responsible for their outrage against the company- they just felt the need to act out against the company and well, these poor office workers sitting at their desks made for perfect sitting ducks and their computers apt weapons – weapons to kill with! There was no end game in mind, just wild ,senseless rage and they decided to act on it. Animals kill to eat. Humans kill for sport. What kind of sport makes it okay to be killing our own?

And then what kind of person must you be and what kind of anger must you have if you decide to go in to a crowded movie hall in Colorado and shoot patrons at point blank range,one of whom was a 3 month old baby? To dress up in mask and go in for a movie pretending to be a fan and opening fire on people trapped in a movie hall- to me that is making hunting people a live video game for this psychotic murderer. And while the U.S Government debates gun laws, a whole bunch of pro-gun Americans ask why a 3 month old baby was brought to a movie? If you don’t have help at home or have a very quiet baby whom you don’t want to leave lying alone- surely you should be allowed to bring your  own baby out with you! I , on the other hand wonder , if there was another person carrying a gun that night in the same hall and chose to ‘defend’ himself or play ‘Batman’ against this ‘Joker’ can you imagine the many more lives that might have been lost in the cross fire? How scary is that thought?

As a Society this shocks us but often we let the small crimes slide. When a woman and her brother were beaten by cops on her birthday for arguing amongst themselves on a street in Mumbai, we allow the police to defame her, abuse her and justify their violence against her.

Incidents like these give license to horrors like a group of men molesting and almost raping an eleventh standard girl in Guwahati in the middle of the road. That video went viral in minutes and was debated hotly on channels and by newspapers for a whole 24 hours. A week later we have now forgotten these depraved men mauling her, pulling her hair, abusing her and molesting her. We have their pictures and we even have the video which clearly identifies these men but no arrests are made. With the ever erupting violence in different parts of the country and even different countries ; it’s easy to forget this young girl’s story. After all none of us were affected, why should it affect us?

And yet it should- because in today’s day and age -violence is regular, depravity is common and no one is safe.

We don’t punish violence and by the time we feel the need for action it’s often way too late because we’re the ones affected and no one cares!

Maybe this violence stems from deep rooted frustration and in a few cases immense anger but whatever their reasons may be ; there is no justification for the abuse, the humiliation and even the murder of another human being.

Mark Twain once said “When angry, count four. When very angry, swear.”

In today’s day and age however it seems like “When angry; beat, kick, abuse. When very angry, kill.”

P.s (Palat says)-: I believe that even when Life shuts more than a few doors in your face…Somewhere a window will open! Maybe I’m an optimist. But I’d rather be that than a murderer.

I’m Divya and I’m NOT an Alcoholic

Courtesy Times of India- Divya Palat’s Celebrity Blog

Mumbai was always the city that never slept! We were the entertainment capital of India where art and artists were appreciated, lauded and encouraged. We had the Indian film industry and some of the world’s finest musical and theatrical talents. If you wanted to achieve anything artistic you came to Mumbai. That was the dream.

And then slowly taxation went too high and it was more profitable for international artists to play in other cities and Mumbai missed seeing Internationally acclaimed live performances and artists because it didn’t make commercial sense to perform here.

Then we stopped allowing music to be played after 10 p.m. at night in stadiums and lawns. It disturbed the rest, they said. Even if the stadiums were no where near residential homes, the music had to stay off. And we obeyed despite the fact that most of us don’t return home till 8:30 p.m. at night after work and a live performance outside in a stadium would have been a wonderful treat for us.

And then the bars and nightclubs started shutting- first at 2 am, then earlier and now some shut at midnight or just before. This is because of our ‘rampant use of drugs and alcohol.’ The youth, it is said, is maligning Indian culture and it must be stopped. Raids are being conducted post 1 am in people’s houses now just to keep the youth in check.

I am the youth. I am one of those people you say maligns Indian culture. I do not drink. I do not do drugs. And I would like my entertainment back.

Music is one of the few things that erases boundaries- casts, hatreds, prejudices all disappear. Music satisfies the soul and though ‘Rave music’ to you maybe the devil’s own song, to some it may be just a form of music.

I agree that alcohol and drugs must be kept in check and the harshest of penalties must be imposed on those who drive under the influence or those who deal or do drugs but I cannot understand why the rest of us must be held guilty despite us being innocent.

I miss watching concerts in Mumbai. I miss dancing till dawn. I miss arguing over movies and scripts while eating a kebab roll late at night. I miss singing with my friends with just a guitar in Marine Drive.

All the madness, the insanity, the freedom to find our own expression- that was what Mumbai was about. That’s how Mumbai created artistic genius.

Give us back the music. Give us back our art. Give us back our freedom. Give us back Mumbai- the real city of Dreams.

‘When the creative impulse cannot flourish, when it cannot freely select its methods and objects, when it is deprived of spontaneity, then society severs the root of art.’ John F Kennedy

P.s.(Palat says)-: Engrossed in rehearsals of a new Comedy for later this month and scripting for a new TV show…and loving the first rains!

Deconstructing Page 3

Courtesy the Times of India CELEBRITY DIVYA PALAT BLOG

 

 

A lot has been written over the past few days about the Page 3 parties, the models, the girls, their questionable ‘boy-friends’, their actual ‘funders,’ their actual age and their ‘loose’ lifestyles!

It has made it seem like every Page 3 Party is the hunting ground for the depraved and desperate, that every Page 3 Party is a drug and booze filled celebration of weak men, conniving women and secret identities! In reality, Page 3 Parties or just ‘parties‘ as some of us like to call it can just be fun!

Sure you’ll always have a couple of PYT’s unattached, floating around,hoping to make an impact on some rich guy’s wallet but it’s usually very flirtatious, harmless and quite amusing to watch as the butterflies throng their one target till he’s too drunk or too out of cash for the evening!

Then there are the ‘married but still searching.’ Men with the most gorgeous wives who still think they should play the ‘single ready to mingle,’ card! Calculating, saccharine and always trying to be younger than they are…they are the PYT’s second best option till Wifey steps in! Wonder what the men would do if Wifey played the single card!?

Then there are the ‘Hello’s!’ These are the ones you see at every party. It’s hellos, short conversations, promises to talk soon and then they’re off and to another party and you repeat the same actions again! They’re fun, harmless, flighty and necessary to keep a party light, moving and colourful! The majority of a party consists of this group!

Then there is the one major Celeb whose name has been front page for a week or so! They’re here to grab flashbulbs, pretend they love these shindigs because their PR Person told them they must appear ‘real!’ But they would rather have a couple of glasses of free alcohol and get the heck out! They come in late and leave as soon as the flashbulbs stop flashing.

And then there are the friends and family. People who know the hosts closely and who are there to support the party, event, opening etc. They are the ones with the genuine smiles and the gleaming faces!

And where do I fit in? Well I’m part of the cliquey ‘Couples.’ Jokes are made that Aditya and I are joined at the hip, go to only our friends’ parties and talk only to each other! Our standard photograph pose has been made fun of many a time; but what to do I love being able to chat with my husband especially when he looks so sensational in a suit?!

Page 3 Parties are fabulous and fun. But remember work doesn’t happen over these parties unless you’re organizing the event  or you’re ‘working’ it . And unless you’re very picky about the parties you go to, you must know that none of the people you meet should enter your inner circle of friends. Under the soft lights and multi-layered make up, every one has a different face and unless your closest friends know you at your teary, weary best; they’re not your closest friends!

In time and with a good head on your shoulder; you’ll find the correct mix of niceties and the correct mix of casual friendships.

You’d have to be very drunk and very desperate to let a Simran Sood or Vijay Palande into your inner circle or just really at the wrong set of parties!

P.s (Palat says)-: Exciting week ahead with a couple of Page 3 Parties that I am going to, but I promise to keep my eyes glued for any ‘suspicious activity!’ 😉