I’m Too Old for This S%^&!

‘Too old for that s^&t!’ I keep exclaiming.(Excuse the expletives Ma!). But I’ve realised that nowadays my propensity for rubbish – notice I didn’t use the bull$%^ word Ma; has reduced greatly. Been there, done that. Listened to the excuses before, the reasons why payments get delayed, the questionable ways of making money under the table etc. and I guess the newness of the deceitfulness has ended and the amazement and shock of people always trying to pull a fast one on you has faded. I can now call it, get annoyed and get out all in no time at all leaving very few war wounds, except for a terrible migraine!

But as you get older , you realise that much as you don’t have brain space or time to waste on this ; you find time to truly devote to what’s important. You find time to reconnect with family, make friends, find time to spend with them and discover what you want to devote time to. And that has really been a blessing. Because I’ve realised that the annoyance is like static on a TV set- you can either keep watching and feel sick and bored and fed up or you can just change the channel!

This week has been about changing channels…. it’s been about spending time with the family. It’s been about re-learning what’s new with the husband and parents and blocking all the noise for sun , sea and Vitamin D.

And to tell you the truth, much as I love all the drama my life holds; sometimes lying on a beach watching just the waves lap the shore almost in a continuous beat is the most satisfying way to spend a day… I’ll never be too old for that! ūüė¨

P.s. (Palat says)-: Call out the rubbish. You should never suffer lies or fools. You deserve better. And in turn don’t lie or be foolish… That’s only fair!

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#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

The Goodbyes…

And I have realised that every good bye is tough…

When I did plays – as much as I loved opening night and all the grandeur and excitement; it was always bitter-sweet. There’d be no more rehearsals, no more swapping stories and gossip, no more long coffee breaks and bloopers. The family that we created would graduate and move on to their own lives. Of course we’d meet for shows , much like families meet for the holidays and we’d have the quick catchups and the familiar laughs but there would now be a distance and it would never quite be the same.

But then before you know it there’d be a new show and a new family and the closeness and bonds would be forged again.

When I started expanding Balancing Act, it became the same. Each person was hand picked and chosen and I made them family over time and every time one left there was a part of me that missed the relationship we shared and another part excited about the new person/ people I would meet.

I now know that life is a journey. You will meet many people on the way. People come in to your life for many reasons. Some to help you , even when you didn’t know you needed help; some to teach you lessons – even the harshest or hardest of lessons and once you receive the help or learn from the lessons they will leave you and move on as their purpose has been served.

However there will be a few who will stay on and on and on, because both you and them will keep learning, growing and helping each other. And these are the people that you will find over time, that you will learn to value and who will always have your back. These are the people who are on your journey with you- so you will never be alone.

These are the people you won’t say goodbye to.

Look for these people. Treasure these people. Love these people.

P.s. (Palat says)-: Every good bye has a hello just waiting to happen!

Live the Moment

We all believe we live in the moment but I have to be honest most do not! Unless you go through something life changing, you don’t even recognise how long or how powerful a moment can be. This is true. A moment really counts when my arm hurts so bad tears stream down my face or when the husband holds me apologising for the arm pain which he didn’t even cause-the MS did!

Most people just turn up in their lives. They make a guest appearance. You go to your 9-5 or 10-6 job and you just count the hours so you can leave and go back and do another mindless thing you won’t give yourself to.

You shouldn’t have to have MS or a brain tumour or nearly die or do something equally dramatic to care about your life! You can be the hero- the star of your own story- shouldn’t you use your potential to do that

With those I work with and those I’m friends with , this is what I try and enforce

  1. Do one thing- but do it well, else don’t even start.
  2. In a conversation with me , lets both look at each other and actually listen.
  3. A job is not 8 hrs, it can be 1 hr or 2 hrs as well- it’s just about applying yourself when you work
  4. Do something- one thing every day that you absolutely love and be present during that moment.
  5. Have one conversation every day- not on the phone but face to face. Make sure it’s honest and be absolutely involved in the conversation.
  6. When you are doing your job- make that the most important. When you are with your family- make that the most.
  7. Be true to yourself, even with new people. People will either like you or not but you can’t live your life acting like someone you are not.
  8. You are the star of every day. Your film stars you. Make a it a film you’d like to watch. Be proud of you.
  9. This won’t happen easily- there’ll be many times where you are not even present during a work day or a boring family dinner. Stop, reboot, refresh!

I write this because I see so many who just turn up in their lives and never actually show up and enjoy it. We get one chance, (even if we believe in rebirth and after life) to be the best version of ourselves- to be a part of a film called our life. Wouldn’t you want a blockbuster? I do!

P.s. (Palat says)-: Its the husband’s birthday weekend this weekend so stay tuned for soppy posts and mushy , unwritten love letters!

I’m never gonna be who I thought I would

All through our lives we’ve been taught to make a difference, do more, be more!

And then it gets to a point- and here may be it’s the impending Birthday Me talking, where you worry- have I actually achieved what I was supposed to have… or was it all just castles in the sky created by my indulgent, loving parents (who btw are throwing a birthday dinner for me tonight- so yay!)… so I decided to take stock!

Well I started out right, topped school, went to Stanford and then I left Stanford prematurely to start acting. Interesting choice!

I started doing films, and started a Production house. One film became seven; the production house put on some truly memorable plays. Each play made me learn to give back to society and be really grateful as to where I was.

I got sick, got Multiple Sclerosis, was told I wouldn’t move but Docs ain’t got nothin on my stubbornness! So up I was and back at work!

I wrote and here I shall boast a bit (allow me, it’s my blog) a truly exceptional play where we toured the world, won numerous World Awards and gave lots of money to a cause I truly supported.

I found a tumour in the pituitary in my brain- didn’t waste a second ,started another company and an Not for profit charity, moved offices.

I have directed TV, commercials, digital, short films and anything that has a story- I have learnt to tell.

I have loved one dog with all my soul and another takes up my heart.

I see my family regularly and it’s still not enough; spend every waking moment I can stalking my husband, who annoys me , infuriates me, challenges me, engages me and loves me.

I’ve not done anything I planned to do when I was a child- but I’ve done so much more than I dreamed of. I’ve lived a life that I couldn’t have imagined because you can’t write lives like mine…

I may not be who I was but I am so excited to see who I will become…so as I countdown the days to my birthday…I’m going to celebrate who I have become with all those who’ve made me who I am on this crazy journey we call life.

P.s. (Palat says)-: You may not be where you think you want to be; but you are exactly where you are supposed to be right now!

I’m Not Ok. You’re Not Ok!

So the discussion veered to ‘Mental Health.’ How brave is it for someone to acknowledge that they need a mental health day, or that they are going through depression , or that they need help-I was told?

Brave as it may be, I countered, it’s often still a luxury for most families in India to be allowed a mental health day. And as much as I agree we can’t ignore depression or mental health, I wonder how many companies allow their employees this basic need.

When yesterday I received a call from an Agency at 9 p.m. while they were still at office, I wondered, how many hours people spend at their desks? In India, the time you spend at your office seems to have a direct and completely ludicrous correspondence to your work ethic…is that truly healthy? When in India, hours are spent commuting to jobs in over crowded commuter trains and buses and little to no time is spent with family- how does that help mental health? When going to a counsellor or mental health professional is associated with a person being unsound of mind and gossiped about- how is that healthy? We can ask for a sick day at work, but eyebrows raise if a mental health day was asked for- may be the pressure or stress is too much, it is assumed.

How can we claim to be sensitive to mental health- when everything we create around us, or expect from others is in direct contradiction to mental health?

It’s a luxury in India to talk about depression. It’s a luxury almost none can afford.

Till Indian companies start hiring a counsellor/ mental health professional on the payroll, like they do with HR and legal and other departments- it will always be a luxury. Till it is mandatory for every employee to get even 15 minutes where they can vent / talk to someone qualified to monitor their mental health- we cannot discuss or pretend to be evolved enough to acknowledge mental health as being important.

Till schools have counsellors and make it mandatory for children to visit and talk taking away the stigma attached to talking about mental health- we cannot assume that we are taking mental health seriously.

Till then, ‘mental health’ and our worries about them remain castles in the clouds. Unless we decide to remove the stigma and make a difference in our company lives, in our children’s lives and in our own lives- it will always remain a Celebrity first world problem and something that we will never actually even attempt to address.

P.s. -(Palat says): It’s easy talking about problems… we all have a ton of them. It’s solutions that are hard. Work out the solution rather than always looking for the problem.

To all the liars out there…

I have been blessed over the last few years to have been able to eliminate the majority of the negative people in my life¬†which has allowed more space for new, fabulous and positive people in…

These people inspire me to think every day. They inspire me to be better, do more, feel more and achieve more.

But every so often you’re given a blast from the past and are witness to some of the negative people you let go of and you are reminded about why they aren’t with you anymore. These are the people who will lie about you, will try and walk on top of you just to achieve some sense of achievement. And it makes me proud.

Proud that I left them.Proud that I did good.

I am without you for a reason.

I am sorry I still figure in your conversations. And you need to spin it, to make your self the ¬†winner…!

I don’t need to spin anything any more.

I am surrounded by winners. I am surrounded by heroes. I am surrounded by people so incredible…I become a little more fabulous each day. I am surrounded by superstars and I don’t take anything away from them to make me feel better about my life cos it’s pretty perfect … especially now that you’re not in it! (sorry couldn’t risk the childish dig!)

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