Kill Cruella!

I have always been rather self destructive. My parents remember this well, when I got myself in trouble when they were in the midst of shouting at my sister for something she had done and I would suddenly point out something I had done which was worse.

But cute as that seemed as I grew older, I got even more destructive. The critical little voice in my head was almost a shout and I was never good enough, pretty enough, smart enough or worthy enough. And so I hurt myself, I had terrible bouts of anxiety and stress. I was depressed at times and was easily swayed into believing that I was lucky to get anything because I obviously didn’t deserve it.

And when I got sick (multiple sclerosis), this became even worse. Now I was living proof of someone who may never be pretty enough, smart enough or worthy of anything- but something switched inside me. I was stuck so long listening to this evil shouting voice, I never took the time to hear the softer, more encouraging voice in my head. And when I did take the time, and since in the hospital ,I did have just time- I started hearing the voice that told me to believe.

It’s the voice that tells you that ‘you can be more, you can do more and that you are better than you think you are.’ It’s the voice that tells you to believe in yourself and that you are ready for the meeting, for the interview and even to take over the world! It’s the voice that tells you that your body- in pain, fit or unfit- is amazing because it’s yours. It’s the voice that tells you every day can be amazing because you are part of it.

And once you listen to this voice , the evil one becomes softer and slowly becomes non existent, if you work hard enough.

Initially and even sometimes now, when I hear Cruella (yup she has a name) popping up with her fears and doubts in me… I loudly proclaim how sure , how positive and how amazing I am so that Miss D (yup she has a name too) gets the strength to go louder than ever!

P.s.(Palat says)-: How successful you are will often be a direct relation to how much you believe in you. Don’t look for the applause from outside. Be proud to be your biggest cheerleader.

Advertisements

To My Bullies…

And the city was rocked when a promising young Doctor took her life because of harassment and bullying by her fellow seniors. It put into perspective the fact that bullying was something that was accepted. People had seen her being bullied but nothing had been done. If it doesn’t happen to you- we adopt the ostrich mentality- we don’t see it!

And these bullies cost her what could have been a fabulously successful career, a happy marriage and a wonderful life.

We shame them now on social media and in the papers but it’s too little too late. When we see bullying we more often than not turn a blind eye to the issue unless the issue is us.

And then there’s the hidden bullying- the trolling where faceless , nameless bullies feel it’s okay to shame you. And we can all pretend that these people are cowards and that their words don’t sting- but truth be told-we might all have a witty , caustic reply- but to put it plainly- it’s just mean. It’s mean to bully. It’s mean to gang up on people. It’s not just cowardice. It’s downright nasty!

And is that who we’ve become? Are we so dissatisfied with our lives that we think it’s okay to hurt others? Are we that full of ourselves that we think it’s okay to critique others? Are we that hurtful, prideful and egotistical?

So here’s to all my bullies, I didn’t say anything then and it’s taken me time-but I now have my answer-:

  1. To those who pulled my pigtails and made fun of my plaits- my hair is even cooler now because I looked after it then! Most of you have lost hair or have none. Guess it isn’t so funny now?
  2. To those who called me a nerd- I was a nerd. Still am. Nerds are cool. I own it! It also helped me get admission at Stanford and more than a few Ivy Leagues- so ….
  3. To those who made fun of my crushes and teased me, it’s because I was open to love that I found love.
  4. To those who mocked my choice of profession – I get to wake up and do something I love every day. How many of us are actually that lucky?
  5. To those who made fun of me and how I look post my illness- I was left side paralysed after my first multiple sclerosis attack and have a brain tumour and I still do more than most. And am hotter than most- still.
  6. To the “fan” who wrote to me last week criticising and taunting me for looking different from my 17 year old self…. well you probably look a heck of a lot different from yourself 20 odd years ago…. and well read Point 5!

I didn’t get to sit with the cool kids then. I got bullied and laughed at. It hurt then. And often , when idiots like my “fan” wrote, it hurt now. I’d like to believe that I am stronger for the bullying- but honestly I’m just a little more jaded, a little more complex, a little less trusting, a lot less nice.

I’ve now rid myself of most of the complexes and I hope one day I and we can all rid ourselves from the bullies.

I forgive myself for hurting. One day I hope to forgive you.

But most of all I know that I will never be a bully and most importantly if I see someone being bullied, I promise myself- today and forever- I will stop it.

P.s. (Palat says)-: Don’t mourn my obituary. Make a difference to my life while I’m alive.


Breaking News

They converted our feelings into ‘Breaking news.’

With Wing Commander Abhinandan’s bloodied nose, blindfolded interview and subsequent calmer interview- news channels and twitter was on overdrive this last week.

And that’s the thing- it happened during 26/11 as well. News channels did whatever it took to get TRPs even if it involved giving out sensitive information.

It happened again.

And it will keep happening.

We can keep criticising. But in a world driven by ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ and ‘re-tweets’ what news channels are doing is only what each selfie obsessed individual is- trying to get the most eyeballs!

It is times like these I miss the joy of knowing a secret, of having a meal that didn’t need to be photographed , of knowing that my exact whereabouts wasn’t traceable every minute of the day!

Today nothing is a secret. Everything and every one can be found. The world is smaller but also infinitely less interesting.

I enjoy going to countries where my photograph of my new favourite place is my photograph and not one that a few thousand people have already shared with filters, stickers and the likes.

I miss the days where wars were not front page news, but creating a new record was; where suicides were not relegated to small print and back pages- these pages had columns and opinions and interesting thoughts and debate starters.

I think we need to start being more mindful of what we share that will hurt or upset or even destroy people. I am definitely not a fan of censorship of speech but I think we need to have a certain amount of self censorship and responsibility towards the larger picture. In our joy of being liked, retweeted and shared- shouldn’t we be mindful of what we represent ?Shouldn’t we also support, share and like and retweet restraint, sensibility and applaud the responsible?

Wing Commander Abhinandan must come home today. The world is waiting and watching. But I’m hoping that his family gets to feel the joy of his return before we make it national news.

P.s. (Palat says)-: Today each of us has a voice. Let’s use our voice to help create the world we want to live in.

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 you want it to !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!

Monetizing the #MeToo movement

metoo

There must be a special place in hell for those who not only stamp all over the #MeToo movement , but think it’s okay to monetise it!

It wasn’t just a movement … #MeToo was a cry for help, for acknowledgement, for people to take responsibility for their boorish, lecherous and downright despicable behaviour!

But much like things that take time, work, patience and see-through- we too got bored once the gossip faded away and left our very strong ‘victims’ (I use this in inverted commas because they are heroes, for telling their stories) to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and move on.

In most cases (not all) no help or support was even given to the ‘victims’, in fact they were trolled incessantly, threatened in person and online and used as click-bait for publications who wanted to score a messier detail or a more sordid story. But whereas in most cases the media was clearly on the ‘victim’s’ side they eventually stopped fighting for them, because of stronger spends by richer predators or just because the world continued moving , as did news, and well, these stories were clearly not progressing.

So just as these horrors became yesterday’s news (quite literally); you now see the arrival of the ‘liberators’ of the ‘predators!’ These are the people determined to change the news cycle and ensure that these predatory crapholes get a new lease of life… They’ll put them back in to a position of power , because well their reputation has been ‘ruined.’ Forget about the scores of ‘victims’ they abused, molested or even raped! Surely ‘these people’ need to be allowed to come back to society.

And so I question -why!?

Why should they not be punished? Why should I welcome or even care about them? Why should I allow their hideous bodies to crawl out of the hole they have been hiding in… and more importantly- who am I to allow them to do any of this!!!??????

If a thief steals from you- he goes to prison- that’s his rehabilitation.

If a rapist rapes- he’s in prison or hung.

These people got away with stealing self worth, molestation and rape so many times and there are people who are concerned that a 5 week break from civilised society has been too hard on them!!!!!!!

Seriously.

Maybe the #MeToo stories have stopped for now. But let’s not make a mockery of something that should be basic to any society.

Let’s uphold some of the ‘victim’s’ dignity.

After all it may be ‘#YouToo’ next. And wouldn’t you hope for the perpetrators to at least be held accountable!

They can’t take back what they did. But let’s not throw away basic accountability!

 

 

The Age of War

Courtesy-: Times of India Celebrity Blog by Divya Palat

“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”- Isaac Asimov.

If that is true the world must be getting more and more incompetent each day. The horrors of this week were so frightful they were like a terrifying movie but unfortunately all to real.

The shocking violence that erupted in the Manesar plant was not only terrifying- it was unforgivable. Whatever the reason for the outrage to have a group of people storm a plant and beat the employees and worse still beat and burn another human being alive is paralyzing. A group of people made a choice to war against a company by injuring and killing other helpless employees. It didn’t matter that these employees were not directly responsible for their outrage against the company- they just felt the need to act out against the company and well, these poor office workers sitting at their desks made for perfect sitting ducks and their computers apt weapons – weapons to kill with! There was no end game in mind, just wild ,senseless rage and they decided to act on it. Animals kill to eat. Humans kill for sport. What kind of sport makes it okay to be killing our own?

And then what kind of person must you be and what kind of anger must you have if you decide to go in to a crowded movie hall in Colorado and shoot patrons at point blank range,one of whom was a 3 month old baby? To dress up in mask and go in for a movie pretending to be a fan and opening fire on people trapped in a movie hall- to me that is making hunting people a live video game for this psychotic murderer. And while the U.S Government debates gun laws, a whole bunch of pro-gun Americans ask why a 3 month old baby was brought to a movie? If you don’t have help at home or have a very quiet baby whom you don’t want to leave lying alone- surely you should be allowed to bring your  own baby out with you! I , on the other hand wonder , if there was another person carrying a gun that night in the same hall and chose to ‘defend’ himself or play ‘Batman’ against this ‘Joker’ can you imagine the many more lives that might have been lost in the cross fire? How scary is that thought?

As a Society this shocks us but often we let the small crimes slide. When a woman and her brother were beaten by cops on her birthday for arguing amongst themselves on a street in Mumbai, we allow the police to defame her, abuse her and justify their violence against her.

Incidents like these give license to horrors like a group of men molesting and almost raping an eleventh standard girl in Guwahati in the middle of the road. That video went viral in minutes and was debated hotly on channels and by newspapers for a whole 24 hours. A week later we have now forgotten these depraved men mauling her, pulling her hair, abusing her and molesting her. We have their pictures and we even have the video which clearly identifies these men but no arrests are made. With the ever erupting violence in different parts of the country and even different countries ; it’s easy to forget this young girl’s story. After all none of us were affected, why should it affect us?

And yet it should- because in today’s day and age -violence is regular, depravity is common and no one is safe.

We don’t punish violence and by the time we feel the need for action it’s often way too late because we’re the ones affected and no one cares!

Maybe this violence stems from deep rooted frustration and in a few cases immense anger but whatever their reasons may be ; there is no justification for the abuse, the humiliation and even the murder of another human being.

Mark Twain once said “When angry, count four. When very angry, swear.”

In today’s day and age however it seems like “When angry; beat, kick, abuse. When very angry, kill.”

P.s (Palat says)-: I believe that even when Life shuts more than a few doors in your face…Somewhere a window will open! Maybe I’m an optimist. But I’d rather be that than a murderer.

I’m Divya and I’m NOT an Alcoholic

Courtesy Times of India- Divya Palat’s Celebrity Blog

Mumbai was always the city that never slept! We were the entertainment capital of India where art and artists were appreciated, lauded and encouraged. We had the Indian film industry and some of the world’s finest musical and theatrical talents. If you wanted to achieve anything artistic you came to Mumbai. That was the dream.

And then slowly taxation went too high and it was more profitable for international artists to play in other cities and Mumbai missed seeing Internationally acclaimed live performances and artists because it didn’t make commercial sense to perform here.

Then we stopped allowing music to be played after 10 p.m. at night in stadiums and lawns. It disturbed the rest, they said. Even if the stadiums were no where near residential homes, the music had to stay off. And we obeyed despite the fact that most of us don’t return home till 8:30 p.m. at night after work and a live performance outside in a stadium would have been a wonderful treat for us.

And then the bars and nightclubs started shutting- first at 2 am, then earlier and now some shut at midnight or just before. This is because of our ‘rampant use of drugs and alcohol.’ The youth, it is said, is maligning Indian culture and it must be stopped. Raids are being conducted post 1 am in people’s houses now just to keep the youth in check.

I am the youth. I am one of those people you say maligns Indian culture. I do not drink. I do not do drugs. And I would like my entertainment back.

Music is one of the few things that erases boundaries- casts, hatreds, prejudices all disappear. Music satisfies the soul and though ‘Rave music’ to you maybe the devil’s own song, to some it may be just a form of music.

I agree that alcohol and drugs must be kept in check and the harshest of penalties must be imposed on those who drive under the influence or those who deal or do drugs but I cannot understand why the rest of us must be held guilty despite us being innocent.

I miss watching concerts in Mumbai. I miss dancing till dawn. I miss arguing over movies and scripts while eating a kebab roll late at night. I miss singing with my friends with just a guitar in Marine Drive.

All the madness, the insanity, the freedom to find our own expression- that was what Mumbai was about. That’s how Mumbai created artistic genius.

Give us back the music. Give us back our art. Give us back our freedom. Give us back Mumbai- the real city of Dreams.

‘When the creative impulse cannot flourish, when it cannot freely select its methods and objects, when it is deprived of spontaneity, then society severs the root of art.’ John F Kennedy

P.s.(Palat says)-: Engrossed in rehearsals of a new Comedy for later this month and scripting for a new TV show…and loving the first rains!