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!

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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!)

cuviybmwgaejimz

 

Dis-connected

In a world that’s terrifyingly small and connected and where now gossip doesn’t need to be limited to streets or apartment buildings and where everyones business is public knowledge now…it was terrifying how disconnected one can feel despite all these seemingly meaningful connections.

It’s been a long few weeks. With ill health in the family, I did what I did best- retreated into a zone, put my head down and just did what was necessary to ensure everything was okay (as much as I could).

There was work. There were meetings. There were clients. And there was home and family and the hospital. And it was almost like these worlds were completely exclusive of each other…

 

And that’s when I realised the important connections and most importantly the important disconnections…

Life is not about the likes and the happy emojis or even the angry or sad emoticons… it’s about the actual connections…

If you haven’t heard from someone for a week or 2… do you pick up the phone and check on them? If you haven’t connect with a ‘friend’ how long do you wait till you call/ connect/ visit…. Or do you wait for the shallow ‘Status Updates’ or PR Related FB Posts?

How long is too long where friendships are concerned to be out of touch?

And when did Facebook replace actual face time…?

Any way on a positive note– #allswellthatendswell ! And I’m back on FB and my Blog now :)!

 

The face that I put on

So the writing has been irregular because i’ve just not felt well enough… With ‘The Verdict’ premiere just ’round the corner, it’s been rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal! But that’s not been what has kept me from writing….it’s just incredible and scary new life lessons I have had to learn.

  1. Everyone is an actor. Most people are 2, 3 or 4 faced…they say one thing to you, one to another and something else to a third! And it comes to them more naturally than it does for most trained actors! I was untrusting , as a person, before, but now I don’t even believe you when you give me your word or write it down!
  2. Class does not come from how much money you possess or what you wear… it’s ingrained in your value system, your thoughts and your beliefs. You can’t buy class- not even with all the money in the world.
  3. I care about myself! Every individual sole focus is themselves- NOT you! Your world might collapse…. but they will only worry if the ground under them move… else you are just extra noise…
  4. Just because I’m nice to you …doesn’t mean I’m your friend. It doesn’t even mean that i like you… People will say one thing and do exactly what they feel like. Most people can never more than acquaintances- passing breezes…!
  5. And last but not least- NEVER UNDERESTIMATE YOUR FAMILY. When everything collapses around you, when you don’t have the will to get up and still fight to retain the ‘I don’t need help’ attitude- they are the ones who will help you when you push them away. They are the ones who make you stronger and they are the ones who make you believe in the power and strength of unconditional love.

And thru all the madness and all the ill health, I have smiled through pain and gritted teeth because of the strength my family gives to me. I didn’t ask for it. I pushed them away. I yelled at them for treating me like I was unwell and they smiled indulgently and bought me cake. When I had hours of work left, they took me kicking and screaming out to lunch. When I pulled an all-nighter and was continuing thru the day- they dragged me to bed.

The reason ‘The Verdict’ will be a success is thanks to my family.

They saw thru my smile. they saw thru my ‘I’m fine.’ They love me enough to take me tantrums and all and listen to my fears, put band-aids on the hurt and prop me up to make me the smiling person the world sees every day.

It is thanks to them- you can never tell the face that I put on.

 

A Little Respect!

We’re pushed around. We’re passed over. We change who we are, change what we want to be. And we blame everyone around us for the situations we are in. Bad marriages, bad jobs, bad family lives…

Take a second. Why do we allow ourselves to be bullied? When people disrespect us or our time or our wants, why do we gloss over it? Why do we pretend it doesn’t matter? Why do we make excuses for them? ‘They meant to be here,’ or ‘ You know so and so… he’s always late’… or ‘It doesn’t matter, it’s not a big deal!’

How is respect not a big deal? How is self respect NOT a big deal!

You DON’T NEED to be pushed around. You DON’T NEED to CHANGE if YOU DON’T WANT TO. And you DON’T NEED to be STOOD UP.

Take a stance. People won’t like you less if you tell them that you won’t be pushed around/ won’t wait around for them incessantly / won’t allow to be glossed over for a promotion again- IN FACT they’ll respect you more! And more importantly you’ll respect you more

I’m not saying you shouldn’t change for the person you love or allow yourself to be pushed around by your kids or your friends– but the call should be YOURS and you should NEVER be in ANY RELATIONSHIP where there is NO RESPECT.

Respect is the founding stone for any good, solid and strong relationship. Be with a woman/ man you respect and who respects you back. Don’t be pushed around/ bullied / made to feel inferior. Don’t pretend it doesn’t matter. Don’t be bullied. And don’t make excuses.

And as you walk away from the people who don’t respect you… watch how you automatically attract those that will 🙂

 

No time? Why?

‘ I have no time,’ a constant complaint from all of us.

‘I can’t believe where the day /week/ month / year went!’

It went. And you were there. But you weren’t actually present. We’re always so busy. But busy achieving what? We spend less time with family and friends. We are divided between duties at office. We don’t even focus when we’re driving…we’re too busy returning  or making calls.

With all this ‘work’ we are doing why is the only result exhaustion and unfulfillment ? Because we’re never actually concentrating on the moment….we are each too busy thinking about the moments that just passed or the moments ahead and we’re never actually focusing on the moment we’re in.

We’re all born different – to different strata, in different countries, with different economic and social backgrounds… but time is the one thing that unites us. We all get the same amount of time in a day and it’s what we do with it that can change our lives. We have the same time to work, to relax, to fall in love, to dream, to work, to live,to stress, to worry. Time is constant and time is changing and that is the one common thread that binds us all.

Instead of running to keep up with time… let’s give it a little more respect.

  1. Schedule your day. It’s not about starting at 9 am or 9:30 am… it’ about what you have to do. Prioritise. Finish. And then leave. Don’t wait incessantly to check on facebook or wait because society/boss dictates you must wait till 7/8 at work. Work should be judged by how much you do in the day not by how long you spend eating/ tweeting/faffing at your desk. If we become a more goal/result oriented work culture as opposed to a time oriented work culture- we’ll achieve more. Work till you finish….. 4 p.m. or 10 p.m. Schedule your day well and FINISH MORE.
  2. Plan your time with family. Phone’s on silent., coffee breaks, take up a sport…. time with family is precious. You will never get it back again.
  3. Take the time to relax and don’t judge yourself. If you need an hour break every day….TAKE IT! Enjoy yourself. you’ll end up charged and ready to take on the world again…else you’ll just end up burnt out.
  4. Take a few minutes every day to do nothing. In Palo Alto in the tech companies there were meditation rooms, sleep rooms and quick break rooms…sometimes you need about 5/10 minutes every 3 hours or so to do…NOTHING.
  5. When you are driving just drive. When you are watching a movie, watch it and when you are sundaying- relax. Don’t do 3 things at one time…it’s not multitasking…it’s not even single tasking…no task is completed well and nothing is achieved and you usually have to start all over again.

Make every second count. Don’t rush thru life or rush thru your day. We each have enough time… let’s just take it!

INNW