Help me!

“Help me!” – two words that have got such a bad reputation in the English language! “Help me!”- shows weakness.”Help me!”- shows inability. “Help me!”- is pathetic, laughable, unmanly,namby-pamby and just downright sad!

Instead of asking for help , it seems to make more sense to commit suicide, kill others, kill ourselves, commit divorce, burn children,abuse and hurt pets-those are the more acceptable solutions!

And I am angry. Not a shocker for those who know me….But now I’m really mad.

I do not want you to find a counselor or a support group or a really good friend- I want you to get help and be UNAFRAID TO ASK FOR IT!

In India we have always perceived those who’d seek a counselor’s help a little bit nuts… I mean you have to be a little mad to seek help that your friends and family can’t give you. I mean our parents never needed counseling- why the hell should we?!

But today is a different generation. We are a generation who don’t finish work at 6 p.m., who have to reply an email at 11:30 p.m. at night because that’s what ‘Smartphones ‘ are for, who have heart attacks in our 30’s because we’re a generation of plenty- plenty of food, technology AND stress! We are a generation who create smart Status Updates despite being laid off work or stuck with typhoid! We are a generation who misuse the words- “I’m fine”- because we don’t need pity, help, sad eyes! We are a generation who are anything but fine!

Our parents went home to family. They stopped work. They shared stresses. They had friends- some real friends that didn’t judge based on appearances. They had stresses. But they had people around to help.

I am angry some days. I am scared, tired, alone, afraid,outraged, shocked, violent. Some days I want to break a plate or 25 plates, or hit a wall or curl up and hide. And this is okay. Because I am human and it’s normal to feel a range of emotions – sometimes all at once and sometimes all in one day.

But let’s make it acceptable to ask for help. Talk to someone- friend, confidant, counselor- work out the stresses, the stressers, the anger, the pain. And let’s start healing before we keep exploding.

And as a friend to someone today when you ask them how they are- really mean it and… DON’T ACCEPT THE ANSWER -“I’m fine!”

fine

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Take a Chance on Change!

To start over…something must end. To say hello… sometimes we have to say goodbye.To laugh again…sometimes we need to have cried!

Divya Palat 

It’s so hard when things are over when we just keep holding on! I realised this when I produced my first set of shows and the run was complete and as everyone was about to go on stage , I was bawling in the bathroom not willing to let go. Since then ,it’s been 10 years and it’s still hard; but the public display of tears has significantly reduced and I’m learning to let go of incredible shows, amazing experiences and new found family to make way for even more incredible moments!

A lot of my girl friends are the same with relationships. Trapped with bad boyfriends, terrible husbands, abusive relationships- they aren’t even having a great time- but they’re scared of letting go- what if there’s nothing amazing in store for them next? What if this is as good as it gets? A friend of mine stayed with his cheating boy friend just because she was too afraid to actually go out and find someone again. “It’s too hard,” she told me ..”to start over!”

But even if we’re unwilling to change, scared to let go and holding on with all we’ve got- Life is way faster, smarter and trickier than all of us! Sometimes despite all our ‘clingy’ efforts , we’re going to have to change, have to let go, have to start over! And maybe the new is scary but may be it’s what we needed all along.

A perfect planner, I hated to lose control till I got sick and then paralysed and then suddenly had to allow nurses, doctors and family control of my choices, my life, my body! Suddenly in a moment, all that I was clinging to- my ridiculous plans, my naive thoughts on my career progress and my life ambitions had to be re-thought, re assessed and restarted overnight! And when you stop fearing the future and embrace the change then suddenly Life is an adventure and you can be part of an incredible journey. Had I resisted change, Balancing Act Productions (my company) would not be in it’s tenth year , I would not be married to my soulmate and best friend, and I’d never have walked again.

Sometimes Change makes all the right choices you were just too scared to make! Sometimes Change gets it right!

Trust!

1000 Facebook Friends doesn’t mean you have friends

Today I take a break from the news and the politics and even the decline of the rupee to focus on something much more personal. Today I take the time to talk about relationships. Today, is a world where you have over 1000 Facebook friends and even more Twitter followers / friends. But even in a world of so many thousands of ‘friendships’ we have almost no relationships.

Why?

In a world of instant noodles and  where between 2-8 milliseconds might be too long for a web page to open, we wrongly assume the same of our relationships. We assume that they are right for us instantly, that it will be wonderful and that there will be no extra work required, and if not , well what’s the problem- let’s just un-friend them, or in a marriage head for a quickie divorce? This is not true. Friendships are hard and relationships even harder. Time must be spent on making them perfect- and remember nothing is perfect. It just must be perfect for you.

And why so much talk on relationships? Well, this weekend I celebrated one of the most important people in my life- my very handsome husband Aditya. Aditya and I have been best friends for sixteen years and married for almost seven. He is my strongest supporter and my kindest critic. He is caring, loving and generous. He is the perfect foil to my outspokenness, my cynicism and my mistrust. He is not perfect. But he is perfect for me.

There are many jokes made about us both being joined at the hip and never apart from each other. But what most don’t know is that we fight, we yell, we argue- but we work! We both are completely headstrong, stubborn individuals with completely different tastes and likes and it has taken time and effort to make it seem perfect. It didn’t just start off that way. We still have yelling matches. Our first bathroom lighting fixture took us 3 months to agree on and in our home we didn’t have a dining table for a year after we moved in cause we couldn’t agree…and that’s okay. Relationships are not about being with someone who agrees with everything you say. It’s about being with someone who challenges you, who makes you think, who makes you feel alive!

So cut out the ego boost and the 1000+ friends you’ve never met and the other hundreds who don’t really care for you and reach out to someone- the one person who make every day count. That’s a great friendship and wonderful relationship and the real reason to be alive!

Happy Birthday to my reason to be alive- my amazingly talented, super handsome husband- Aditya Hitkari. You make life worth fighting for!

I love you.

P.s (Palat says)-: Good things come to those who wait and work for it. So don’t give up on your relationship just yet…sometimes a good fight just increases mutual respect. And what’s  the use of a relationship without respect? 

 

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!’ 😉


 

 

Things I learnt this year… (about me!)

As every year comes to an end we look forward to a new beginning…not really a new beginning because come monday morning and its just another monday morning except now the new year’s Monday seems to be even scarier than all other Mondays having the ridiculous responsibility of a full year in front of it…! But at the end of the year…we seem to press re-start…All pour dreams that we couldn’t fulfill or make time for now has another whole year to come true….its exciting, romantic and wondrous- the new year and all of its millions of possibilities!

But to give the old year credit…I did learn a few incredible things so here goes!

  1. You can never make enough time for the one/ ones you love because love cannot be measured in time….its value supersedes all…In the end of the day life is not a pay check or home address it’s the laughter and joy of families and friends and i am so very grateful for both!
  2. I have a wanderlust and want to travel everywhere…I always knew I was a wanderer but visiting Athens, Tasmania, the dessert and Udaipur makes me realise it doesn’t matter where…i need to wander, to learn, to breathe!
  3. I have learnt to partially control my bad days….I have bad days on and off because of my nuero illness…Accepting them was hard; going thru them harder. But now I know when to slow down, how to slow down and how to get back up and I am infinitely happier!
  4. I have the power to forgive…who knew!!!? Divya, the hard ass with the unforgiving temper can forgive! Forgiveness for me doesn’t mean I forget….it just means that I can open my heart out to you slowly again…that in itself is a huge step for me! And I’m learning to stop judging people on my harsh Divya scale…that only disappoints and its always nice to have friends. For all you know on their scale you might be failing too!
  5. I have learnt to laugh …full bodied , loud and God that relaxes me!
  6. I have learnt that the only critics you need are also your biggest supporters….please them and you’re doing ok!
  7. I have learnt that when life throws you a curve ball -stop blaming life and get on with the game…If you don’t complain …you’ll move on stronger and win!
  8. I’ve learnt its better to have an opinion than no opinion at all and it’s better to elicit opinions of others–good or bad…because the worst is if people are indifferent…Indifference = lack of caring and I need all the care I can get!
  9. Surprises are always fabulous! So surprise someone today! Make their day!
  10. Nothing makes me happier than a warm cup of coffee …! (hint, hint aditya!)

 

happy countdown to the new year all!

 

Living to LIVE! (my life can’t fit in 140 characters!)

So the Blackberry’s attached and you’re completely hooked up…there’s a wifi zone almost everywhere and wherever the .pdf’s are too small or difficult to read on your phone there’s the iPad or the laptop to keep you company. You know more now than you ever did about the world, peoples lives and even their bedrooms -you are TOTALLY IN THE LOOP and IN TOUCH but completely unconnected with the real world still!

Ironic! We spend more time responding to emails and more time updating statuses than picking up the phone and asking how someone is. Lives change over night but unless you put yours in a status update precious few even care!

Emails have to be answered immediately with no thought being given to personal lives or personal time! We’re completely in sync with everyone else’s lives but we’ve forgotten to live our own!

This realization hit me when a friend asked how I’d been….now this last few weeks have been un-fun(I know that’s not a word, but what the heck). Hospital visits, blood tests and doctors have dominated a lot of my life and unless you read in between the lines of my ‘oh-far-too positive for no apparent reason’ bb updates or status updates you would never know. I quickly updated her and she said…” hey! why didn’t you call?’ and then I realised I could have, should have, would have but in the mass of work emails and work commitments because well you gotta do all that crap NOW cos what are you connected for!?, I’d forgotten to connect with a real person…I’d forgotten to talk, to share my fears, to feel , to cry!

I realised I want to be more than just a  Facebook friend…I wanna have friends I actually see! i don’t want to not recognise you cos you look so different in your FB Photo-I want to know how you really look…I want to know more than a 140 character twitter update cos your life is more important and so is mine…

In this mad rush of trying to live at the top of the rat race , I’d become just that – a rat! Only I’m sure since their not forced to remain connected all the time- they actually sleep, eat and maybe go out for a nibble of cheese or garbage to ‘JUST TALK!’

 

love byte(n) and already missing the bytes!

so the last month has been full of jet set getaways, 5 am flights, hectic rehearsals and even some outdoor shows! Yes! In summer! But it was also filled with tons of laughter, 9 people dinners, strange ‘dance’ movements, marco polo games in pools and tons of pranks! To say that this was undoubtedly one of my most ‘funnest’ (yes that’s a word now!) summers would be an understatement!

We move to the final weekend for the final show in Chennai of this tour of ‘Love bytes’ and I have to say i’m going to miss it all! I have done so many plays over the years, made so many friends…but this group has almost become like family!..so here goes

The cast comprises of Aditya my beloved husband and uber star when he comes for my productions…he needs sleep, rest and work out time! I love it I love him!

Gaurav, who’s petrified before he does his lines and before a show. He is also the person who most recommends the 5 am flights back on sunday mornings…

Rashi– who dances in her sleep …no I mean really…she comes into every hotel looking like she is sleep walking and yet she dances on the elevator music like a star!

Sanket– he’s done shows from A Personal War to Love bytes and a strong reason for his love for Balancing Act Productions is my uber handsome husband! No they just play trial pursuit and other silly games on his phone…what did you think I was talking about!

Chaiti- the newest member of the cast…always with the latest goss and the coolest places to hang out…chaiti is a Walking-Party-Pages (pun on yellow pages if you didn’t get it!)

Areesz-with his huge tattoos and his working out mania is eventually just a big ol’ softy!

Niranjan– he’s the Assistant Director & Sound guy in the show and takes our non-stop harassment and taunts…He also doesn’t know how to swim….something we learnt after we pushed him into the pool!

Michael– Lighting director extraordinaire–unless ofcourse he’s fed up of the scene and he blacks you out 😉

Things I’m gonna miss (in no particular order…and just a few of them)

  1. Watching my ipad 2 in the plane with Michael as he falls asleep. He pretends he’s watched but there’s no way he has …after all im the one lifting his spectacles and dropping them back on his nose every few minutes of the flight….if he didn’t pick up on that …he’s definitely not watching csi!!!
  2. Seeing Sanket in a shirt ( that messy sod comes in the same black t-shirt to every show…not superstition just plain lazy but quickly puts on his crushed shirt as he enters the hotel to impress me! i love the shirt– crushes n all!)
  3. Pranks on Chaiti (my goodness she is the easiest to prank and I enjoy it thoroughly….)! I’ll probably still prank her in Chennai and she’ll probably still fall for it!
  4. Almost drowning Niranjan in the swimming pool while playing marco Polo cos he couldn’t swim!
  5. Watching Gaurav finish ALL the water…there’s never enough bottles!!…We’re lucky the sea is salty!
  6. Areesz and his ironing!
  7. Aditya and his silly football matches and worse still conning us all to see it with him!
  8. Rashi, rashi, rashi….she had her foot in her mouth and ensured that it stayed there (mostly for sanket’s and my amusement!)…she was funny, is funny and wow- she made us laugh!!!

I’M GONNA MISS THEM & AFTER RASHI’S EMAIL LAST NIGHT…I THINK THEY MIGHT MISS ME TOO…

I love you guys…this has been an incredible summer, an incredible journey and some incredible friendships…

p.s.-: I’m no softy so you’ll still get the post-mortem of the previous show before Chennai’s finale! 😉