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.

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To those who said I couldn’t

Remember when you told me I wouldn’t work again… I was scared of what you could do… but I kept trying and I kept working.

And you… you who told me that I’d never amount to much… Well to some people…I amount to their whole lives… so that’s a lot I think!

And to the ones who said I was hard hearted and would never be able to love… well you got it wrong… I am capable of more love than you can think. You were wrong for me… I was ok.

And to those who said I’d never walk again… I don’t walk. I run :)!

And those who said I won’t be able to….I did. I finished. I moved on. And I started all over again!

To those who said I can’t or I wouldn’t- I can and I did!

When you said I’d leave because it was too tough…I stayed . I learnt. I won.

When you kicked me…I got up and fought just a little bit harder.

When you hurt me…I didn’t waste time on tears… I moved on- stronger, harder and more determined.

And when I was laughed at… I laughed with you… and learnt how it felt and never did it to someone else.

For all those who called me back to tell me that they didn’t believe …I learnt to try and help you see… see the world thru my eyes.

To those who hated me- I tried to make you see me for who I am…. But if you still hate me… it’s your loss not mine. I’m a pretty awesome person (even if it’s just my husband and family who says so!)

I’ve lived. I’ve learnt. I’ve hurt. I’ve loved. I’ve fought. I’ve dreamt. I’ve had heart breaks and I’ve caused a few. But whenever a door shut… I found that if I took a moment there’d be another door wide open and waiting for me.

Thank you for teaching me that life is full of challenges….I look forward to spending the rest of mine jumping hurdles and winning the race…

You may never see me for who I am but you’ve allowed me to see how much strength , talent, love and beauty lies within me!

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!’ 😉


 

 

Play On ( dedicated to all those I’ve ever worked with on stage and all those who love theatre!)

 

I have been doing professional theatre ever since I was 14 years old. Theatre has given me a home, given me a voice, given me confidence and even found me a husband!

‘Sound of Music,’ taught me to sing and I have been singing ever since. My taste in music is questionable…but nonetheless I’ll sing it for you!

The Verdict,’ is the first play Aditya and I produced. I remember booking all the halls for ‘The Verdict’ without having a single sponsor and then 4 days before we opened; Sponsors came pouring inand suddenly despite us having booked halls for 10 shows we were both suddenly on the phone 24×7 trying to find more free dates at halls! Theatre gave me the confidence to dream!

When we produced ‘The Graduate,’ I learnt I could teach new actors.All my theatre experience could help others and I loved it! Theatre gave me a sense of pride!

When I started ‘Imps’ no one in India had ever heard of Improvisational theatre. I made people realise that theatre was fun and most of the audiences we had had never been to a theatrebefore! Most of the actors hadn’t either! Theatre helped me meet new people!

With ‘My Way,’ I taught new writers how to write and helped new directors put up their first show! Some of them have become very talented directors today and I am proud!

In the ‘Wizard of Oz,’ with my pet puppy Cookie on stage to hold on to ,I learnt to believe in myself again! After my single attack of Multiple Sclerosis (ADEM), I was a little under confident in the spotlight. ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ had that spot light shining on me for hours. I faced my illness head on and won!

‘Starring You and Me!’ helped realise a cherished dream of acting opposite Aditya, my husband, rather than just directing him! I still remember the premiere night’s standing ovation! After all these years on stage…I still wept!

‘A Personal War- Stories of the Mumbai Terror Attacks,’ has won me awards the world over! I won ‘Best Fringe Show’ for a Free Showperformed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival; ‘Best Director’ at the New York International Fringe Festival and ‘ Best Producer,’ ‘Best Director’, ‘Best Writer’ and ‘Best Performer’ most recently at the Sydney Fringe Festival. But here I learnt that I am the most thorough trip planner, the worst navigator and one of the best producers’ a team could hope for. We exhausted ourselves in performance but as a team we’re family! I made that happen!

With ‘Love Bytes,’ I learnt that underneath my tough exterior , I have a funny side. I loved making fun of myself and others and the audience seemed to love it too!

And with the new show ‘FourPlay’ I have enjoyed the comedy even more. I am taking risks on actors. I am enjoying myself more directing. This is a show I have written and over all these years with my new found confidence as a writer, comic and a director -I am pulling out all the stops!

I love theatre because every time I think I know myself and all that I am capable of; a new show reveals a side of me that I never knew I had.

Theatre has taught me that I am obsessive compulsive, thoughtful, irritable, unpredictable, stubborn, childish, mature and young! It has shown me that even during my best scripted plays that sometimes the best show isn’t the premiere show; it’s what you do every day at rehearsal!