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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Where Am I now?

So yesterday while watching the deviously delightful ‘Lucifer’ on Netflix I asked the husband the existential question- “do you think God has a plan for all of us…” He answered in the affirmative- more of a grunt, because I had obviously disturbed his ‘serial-watching- while reading football news on twitter’ evening with a far too serious question…

That got me thinking- not about the highly distracted way my husband watches Tv, but if there is really a plan; then are we really at the place where supposed to be?

I wondered , whether I should be or could be doing more?

Should I be richer, smarted, stronger, fitter?

Should I have made better choices, better friends, better decisions?

Are any of those choices actually in my own hands?

Taking a few seconds, I rethought my whole life and all the ‘choices’ I had made and wondered if I’d do it all differently.

Maybe I would.

But then again, understanding that I am a product of all those choices; and I have had an interesting full life- full of love and drama, pain and joy, happiness and sorrow – I realised that it’s been a good journey… I mean , if my life were a film; I think we’d have quite a good audience including me…

So if God truly does have a plan for all of us then he’s a pretty great script writer… because he ensures that no 2 scripts (lives) are the same…

Also it seems a comforting feeling to know that, even when I’m a bit lost; someone knows the way home for me…

i love you. i hate you.

Those petty fights.

Who was wrong? Who was right?

You took too long on saying I love you. You think I’m fat? You don’t buy me anything. You forgot my birthday/ our date/ to meet me.

Who was wrong? Who was right?

Those petty fights.

You don’t care about me. You don’t listen. You shout too much. You nag to much. I hate your friends. You hate my drinking/ football/ work/ late nights.

Who was wrong? Who was right?

Those petty fights.

You left me alone. You yelled. You talked to her. I hate your ex. You hate my mom. I hate this car. I hate your hair. You hate my dress. You hate everything I wear.

Who was wrong? Who was right?

Those petty fights.

Every moment could be our last. Do we really want to go fighting or being fought with?Is it really important? Is that what we really mean to say?

I love you. I’m sorry. I tried. I mean well. You inspire me. You challenge me. I must be better for you.

Please. Love me. Thank you.

 

The Seven Year Itch!

So the husband and I just completed our seventh year of marriage and after every 3 congratulatory messages, the customary 7 year itch joke was then messaged/warned/joked about!

That got me down to thinking… the seven year itch is only popular because of the wildly popular Marilyn Monroe film of the same name which was popular because of the iconic dress-blowing image…! Seven years in actuality means nothing at all!

Some people can have the one day itch, the one year itch, the six-month itch, the ‘Oh no I might get married ‘ itch! The itch really has nothing to do with the passage of time but more to do with the person you are with!

Cheaters cheat!Abusers hit! And liars lie! To blame it on 7 years, or on the fact that monogamy is not natural or the ‘ I was drunk’ excuse is just that…. an Excuse!

There is a freedom in being single and dating…a sense of lightness and excitement in who you might meet and where life may take you. But there’s also fear of ending up alone, the worry of not finding someone who will understand/ respect / love you and a loneliness of coming back home to an empty home and an empty bed.

There’s routine in marriage. There are rules. There are expectations and demands. But there is also support, trust, love and faith. There is also the great joy of being able to curl up and watch television with someone you love in your night shorts and spectacles and for them to still think you are the most wonderful looking person in all the world. There is responsibility but there’s also a cheerleader by your side to support and give wings to your dreams,your ambitions, your life…!

It’s up to each one of us the choices we make but it’s impossible to have both.

In a world where marriages don’t make the first year hurdle and where cheating and infidelity has become the norm- the friendship, trust and faith that our parents’ marriages had is becoming rarer to see. You have to try to keep your marriage, fight to save your marriage, work every day to make your marriage work. If you are not ready to put in the time…. don’t get married and DON’T BE THE OTHER WOMAN/ MAN IN THE RELATIONSHIP !

How did Aditya and I get to Number 7….

With lots of fights and even more tears,

With some heartaches and a couple of cheers;

With several losses and a few wins;

And with many prayers and fewer sins…

… here’s to a life time of arguments, fights, hugs and laughs….!

I love you Mr. Hitkari and there’ll be no 7/8/9/10………… itch….

And to all the friends who joked/ragged/messaged about it… I’m going to hunt you down and punch each one of you… :))))) so BEWARE!

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!

The ‘other’ woman!

Last night at a friends home, we got to discussing the ‘other’ woman! Another friend (an interior designer) was doing up a client’s house (his home with his wife) and his mistress’ home (his home with her!)! my friend said that it was always so shocking to her to have to keep so many secrets especially since he was often in one home and then later in the next! Surely the wife knew. She even suspected that the wife may have even confronted him. Why then did she keep quiet about it?

Arbitrage , the movie I watched over the weekend also covered the infidelity in a relationship in a seemingly happy marriage!

It’s a tricky thing when you marry looking at the relationship as a business transaction. It’s a tricky thing when your husband is the ATM and you love your shoes, your designer bags and your luxury vacations. It’s a tricky thing when you look at marriage like a balance sheet and the find it easier to balance emotions with money as opposed to having to actually deal with that emotion!

So when there was no love is it worth giving up the first class flights because your husband is having a bit of fun on the side….I mean there is fun attached to long spa afternoons and limitless shopping sprees and that might make the unfaithful lout ‘worth it’ in your head! And if both parties looked at their ‘marriage’ as an arrangement and each lived their own lives who were we to sit and try and moralize the relationship?

Then there are ‘the gay but married and trapped.’ Some of them are also finding their own voice now and being strong enough to come out of the closet but is their better half equally brave or would she like to keep the home, the closet and the sham of a loving relationship just to keep being Mrs So-and so?

I’ve realised that each relationship is different and though couture benefits with a healthy bank balance, the soul benefits with a healthy amount of love! Love may not pay the bills today but it gives you a bright and cheerful home and a pair of strong and loving arms.

What are you looking for? There is no right and wrong answer…!

But when the ATM you’ve been living with shuts shop and goes after love- don’t pretend that it’s a shock to you and don’t waste time on tears. You knew what you were getting into so get real or demand more!

 

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?