My Harshest Self

And with Multiple sclerosis , the mood swings for me are a bit intense. It doesn’t help that I’m a Gemini- Taurus cusp or that I have a steroid producing brain tumour or that I’m plain nuts… but I do seem to have really low lows. The plus is that I am logical enough to know it’s temporary and fixable. The minus is more often than not I’m not sure how to do that and get frustrated with myself for not knowing how to!

And then I think about the number of times we’ve had flaws pointed out in our Bffs by others and how fiercely we’ve stood by and protected them! They are not flaws, we insist; merely traits that make them more unique, more special and more loved.

What if we were to apply the same rules to ourselves?

So when we are meeting an indecisive client who doesn’t see the amount of effort it took us to create something special and we’re feeling low, instead of blaming ourselves for not realising that the work we’ve done won”t be immediately appreciated or faulting ourselves when the work out we’ve been killing ourselves with doesn’t give us the results we need today- we should love ourselves- much like the Bff who doesn’t always return calls or the one who is perennially late. We know that good things come to those who wait for them… why don’t we allow ourselves the same indulgence?

Why are we so mean to ourselves? Why do we give everyone around us a break except ourselves?

And it’s almost with pride that we say that ‘we are our harshest critic!’ Isn’t that sad? Shouldn’t we instead be our biggest fan? Cos if we were friends with ourselves , we’d actually think that we’re pretty darn amazing! Why shouldn’t we allow ourselves to be proud of who we are?

So I’m gonna start- I am absolutely nuts on one hand and supremely focused on the other- that makes me fabulous to hang out with, never short of conversation or gossip! I’m insanely driven and I’m fiercely protective and loyal. I am a fighter having fought MS and fighting it every day and that makes me pretty amazing! I would choose a friend with all of these qualities. So today and forever I choose me!

P.s.-: We have enough people in the world who’d like to pull us down…. there’s no point joining them. They don’t need the help!

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Friend me?

It has never been easy for me to make friends…’Shocking!’ those of you who know me well will laugh! I mean I’m loud, opinionated, bossy and extremely goal-driven. That doesn’t leave a bunch of space in my life for relationships or friendships! And since I started working very young… having done my first film at 17, I never really had much of a college life or those life-long friendships people keep harping over!

Getting into films and TV young was great! It also meant lots of parties and lots of superficial acquaintances which made my ‘choice’ of ‘friendlessness’ the smart choice. And once I found my ‘Crab’ -( yes that shall be the husband’s name for today), I didn’t seem to need anyone else. He understood my insecurities, he embraced my weirdness and he even seem to like (or at least put up with) my bossiness! So from FOMO (Fear of missing out) I began enjoying my Crab and started loving JOMO (the Joy of missing out). Loud parties were replaced with game nights. Filmy parties became movie marathon nights and pub hopping was replaced with traveling to different countries and exploring them together…

But then this year, I started wondering that in all my JOMO whether I had actually even tried creating more than my single friendship? Had I actually even given people a chance? In all my fear of people not liking or caring for me had I just consciously avoided even the chance to get to know them?

Some friends had had babies. Babies became children and mothers’ groups were a great excuse to form relationships. Those who’d moved in to the city away from family needed a support system and hence were forced to find friends… In my little self sufficient Puppy- Crab world since I had never been forced to look- had I automatically just stayed in my shell?

So along with the new food plan, I decided to create a new social plan and decided with the Universe that I was going to start creating friendships…Out of school and not in the playground any more , I was excited about rekindling old friendships and learning to start sharing my life with people and sharing their lives too! And I was right. Now without the childish insecurities and without the petty school rivalry, I started afresh with relationships and friendships and I’m having fun!

From laughing through the night where we were supposed to be at the ‘most happening night spot’ and realising that we were 1 of only 10 people at the bar; to being sent chilli chicken by a friend just because she knew I needed spice ‘now’, to getting a call on a Saturday morning from another cause ‘she missed me,’ reconnecting has never been more fun!

Who knows… though they say the friends you make when you’re young will stick by you.. I’m okay learning how to make friends later too… After all every person needs a village… and Mr. Crab and me seem to be finding some really cool Village People!

P.s. (Palat says)-: You’re never too old to learn something new and for me it is learning to put myself out there and trust. It’ll be a steep learning curve… but I always was a front-bencher ! ๐Ÿ™‚

Starting Anew

So the resolutions started and I made a few that I think I can keep.

This year, I’m making ME my priority.

After a failed set of blood tests— yes the nerd in me still can’t get over the fact that these are tests I cannot study for, hence fix; I decided-: My life=My health= Me!

Change can only happen if youย wantย itย toย !It can’t happen if you are not ready to make the change… so after years of letting other people tell me what they think I should do, or what could make a difference- I did the research and change has started. It will be slow. It is painful. But I’m going to power on!

Next resolution was to invest in relationships…it’s about taking the time to make a difference in someone else’s life and allowing them to make a difference in yours… So I’m spending more quality time with the people I love, meeting a few I did love once and seeing how I can get that magic back and just realising that the world is so much better when you actually connect.

December was a fun month of meetings and parties; connections and disconnections (from staring at a screen) and I had the most fun I’d had! We spend so much time connecting at the end of the year… I’ve decided to make this more of a year long feature… So here’s to late nights, bleary eyes and lots of laughter!

I also bought a planner… now for someone who prides herself on her Organisational skills, this could have been a bit much… But with the diary allowing me to focus on sticking with my plans and even giving me the freedom to make new plans.. I’m having fun!

I know… this is just Week 1… there’s another 51 to go…

But like I always say… you gotta start somewhere… and I just did!

Happy Birthday Aditya! Thank you for being mine :)

divya aditya-pangkor laut

Happy Birthday to my my husband, my life partner and most importantly to my best friend!

Aditya and I met years ago (he remembers the exact date) during the only Malhar Festival I participated in… He can tell you what I wore and where we were standing…I can only tell you that he was gorgeous then and even more handsome now! Aditya is everything I’m not- he’s polite, balanced, relatively calm and composed and well just all ’round a really nice guy!

Over our years of friendship and now marriage, I have met so many people who have known him from school, college or football and the one thing they all seem to have in common…is that they like him very much and respect him.

I love that. It’s wonderful to think that you have an amazing man by your side….but when so many others say the same… it just makes me beam with pride.

Everyone who knows us knows that Aditya proposed to me when I was in hospital, just diagnosed with ADEM. With left side paralysis, an incurable disease and on steroids – I was the last person you’d expect to be making marriage plans with. But Aditya saw what I didn’t see….he saw promise, he saw hope, he saw me and with his eyes I learnt to see me the way he did! He’s the best person in a crisis, the calmest person in the hospital and an absolute pillar of strength during any ill health (tho like my friend Michael says…”With you and your health, he has no option but to be calm!”)

Thank you Aditya. You are my favourite person to talk to, fight with, argue with,chat with, watch movies with, gossip with,watch TV show marathons with and do plays with!

You’re still the person who chooses my favourite pair of shoes; who fixes my belt on my jeans (yes Gaurav I’ve put that in…cos he does ;)), who loves me exactly the way I am- loud, a touch too honest,highly emotional and always stressed. You never asked me to change and seem to enjoy my erratic craziness.

You’ve taught me the value of a great friendship, the fun in a good debate and that we don’t need a million people around us to have the best time- we just need each other (and Cookie :))!

Sorry for all the times you were right… but you let me win any way… because I am NEVER WRONG :)! ย (Since this apology only comes once a year…on the birthday…you might as well take it!)!

Thank you for being the best thing in my life ( yup you are better then a cup of coffee for me (for those who know me…that’s a very high compliment)).

I love you.

Aditya Hitkari. Express photo by Prashant Nadkar, Mumbai. 05/07/2006

p.s.- had to include you with pictures of your 2 girls… cos well both of us (cookie included) wanted to be a part of your birthday post ๐Ÿ™‚

Warning- Personal Baggage!

We all have it. We all keep adding to it. And we don’t spring clean it every Diwali or in the new year- Personal Baggage is here to stay and we are not only a sum of our experiences; we are also a sum of all our personal baggage!

Last week I found myself missing a friend. We had grown up together, made mistakes together, got in to trouble together. She’d seen me at my best and at my stupidest and I just found myself missing her. As we grow older, though the baggage on our backs increase- our insecurities increase , our work pressures, aspirations and our ambitions sore- we seem to be less forgiving of other people’s personal baggage.

‘They’re so cheap,’ we complain not understanding that they have just got out of debt or may still be in debt. ‘ They’re so unambitious,’ we state; not realising that they’ve just suffered major setbacks or are not confident enough to branch out on their own.

Our judgements come quickly and we don’t look at our baggage- but we readily judge theirs!

Look at your old friends and your close friends. In most cases, we don’t judge their baggage and they don’t judge ours. They help out when we’re scared. They cover our insecurities and they make the world a better place because when we are down , they know just which buttons to push to make it all perfect again.

So to make any new , lasting relationships or friendships- maybe before judging how much and how heavy everyone else’s baggage is- maybe we can lend a hand, lighten their load without judgement or complaint. Maybe they’ll help out with ours as well! ๐Ÿ™‚

Done, dusted, forgotten about!

And now that the year is coming to a close, you start taking stock of everything that went by! Seems easier to take stock when the year has come to an end and suddenly the enormity of what you just went through hits you! Take a moment. Breathe. You made it! 2012 is over! Scraped, bruised and a bit beaten- you’ve come out punching! Some of us have come out smarter, some of us wiser, some of us harder, some of us better looking– but all of us have survived!

It’s funny when you take moment to think about all that you went thru- the first things that go thru your mind are the heart aches, the lost job opportunities , the fights, the losses, the break ups… the pain. It’s a lot harder to remember the laughter, the great conversations, the new formed friendships, the small wins , the drunken , crazy, incredible evenings, the small gestures, the kindness…. the love!

So this new year…I’m starting a ‘Memories and moments jar!’ – a jar where I will slip in a piece of paper and write the date along with any positive event that happened…! Anything- it could be the day I laughed for 10 minutes non stop, or a day where Cookie did something wonderfully cute, or the day where Aditya bought me flowers…just because! Anything funny, interesting and wonderful…so that next December 31st instead of thinking of how amazing it was that I’ve come out relatively unscathed…I will open up the jar and reminisce at a year full of wonderful moments, hilarious anecdotes and remember the love!

Have a super , super new year! ๐Ÿ™‚ See you all on the other side!

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰