I’m Too Old for This S%^&!

‘Too old for that s^&t!’ I keep exclaiming.(Excuse the expletives Ma!). But I’ve realised that nowadays my propensity for rubbish – notice I didn’t use the bull$%^ word Ma; has reduced greatly. Been there, done that. Listened to the excuses before, the reasons why payments get delayed, the questionable ways of making money under the table etc. and I guess the newness of the deceitfulness has ended and the amazement and shock of people always trying to pull a fast one on you has faded. I can now call it, get annoyed and get out all in no time at all leaving very few war wounds, except for a terrible migraine!

But as you get older , you realise that much as you don’t have brain space or time to waste on this ; you find time to truly devote to what’s important. You find time to reconnect with family, make friends, find time to spend with them and discover what you want to devote time to. And that has really been a blessing. Because I’ve realised that the annoyance is like static on a TV set- you can either keep watching and feel sick and bored and fed up or you can just change the channel!

This week has been about changing channels…. it’s been about spending time with the family. It’s been about re-learning what’s new with the husband and parents and blocking all the noise for sun , sea and Vitamin D.

And to tell you the truth, much as I love all the drama my life holds; sometimes lying on a beach watching just the waves lap the shore almost in a continuous beat is the most satisfying way to spend a day… I’ll never be too old for that! 😬

P.s. (Palat says)-: Call out the rubbish. You should never suffer lies or fools. You deserve better. And in turn don’t lie or be foolish… That’s only fair!

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#FakeNews

‘You look so beautiful.’ ‘ I am soooooo busy. ‘ ‘My marriage is perfect.’ ‘Of course I eat… yes… real food silly!’ ‘ The holiday was amazing!’ ‘My kids are awesome!’ – every lie we ever tell each other now becomes firmly stuck in the forever world of the internet. With filters and instagrammable hashtags it’s like we’re all living the perfect life…except we’re not! The picture perfect fairytale that we all seem so keen to show off is often anything but…

You don’t realise this till you get off the screen and actually meet your ‘friends.’ You don’t realise they’ve been up all night not partying but because their kids are sick. You don’t realise they are having lunch with you and not doing a double date because they want to talk about their marriage. You don’t realise they don’t eat because they are being fat shamed at the gym… You don’t realise a lot of things.

And yet you stay ‘friends.’

So what I have done is started meeting people offline… meeting and connecting and realising that everything may not be perfect- not for me and not for them and that’s ok. That’s what differentiates us. We can all have photographs with the same filters but life doesn’t come with filters and every photograph may not be perfect but it’s our experience and our lives and like my grand father used to say if life doesn’t have ups and downs how would you know you’re alive…

The meetings have been amazing. They have been real. They have been flawed. They have been perfect. And I gotta say I’m hooked! I’m more social than I have been… I’m making more real friends, having better conversations, caring more and feeling more and I’m actually connecting… not the Fb connect… but actually connecting and now the photographs we have at parties and get togethers don’t need the filters – cos they have memories attached … and that’s the coolest filter of them all.

P.s.(Palat says) #FriYay #NightWithFriends #ConnectInRealLife

Dis-connected

In a world that’s terrifyingly small and connected and where now gossip doesn’t need to be limited to streets or apartment buildings and where everyones business is public knowledge now…it was terrifying how disconnected one can feel despite all these seemingly meaningful connections.

It’s been a long few weeks. With ill health in the family, I did what I did best- retreated into a zone, put my head down and just did what was necessary to ensure everything was okay (as much as I could).

There was work. There were meetings. There were clients. And there was home and family and the hospital. And it was almost like these worlds were completely exclusive of each other…

 

And that’s when I realised the important connections and most importantly the important disconnections…

Life is not about the likes and the happy emojis or even the angry or sad emoticons… it’s about the actual connections…

If you haven’t heard from someone for a week or 2… do you pick up the phone and check on them? If you haven’t connect with a ‘friend’ how long do you wait till you call/ connect/ visit…. Or do you wait for the shallow ‘Status Updates’ or PR Related FB Posts?

How long is too long where friendships are concerned to be out of touch?

And when did Facebook replace actual face time…?

Any way on a positive note– #allswellthatendswell ! And I’m back on FB and my Blog now :)!

 

#MoreThanALabel

Since I did my first professional play at 15, I got used to (well not used to…but got a taste of) criticism and labelling… Theatre was my salvation. It allowed me the freedom to be all that I wanted to be but come Monday morning, I had to return to reality and school and the label of being a #nerd #boring #bookish (all of which were said derogatorily , which I still don’t understand) and #ugly ! But those were simpler times. In school you are often labeled or bullied and that helps create strength of character, build your confidence and give you the strength to face the world… and so I did.

Shooting a reality show recently #SketchtoStore …I found everyone dreaming of becoming a label and thats when it struck me- today is a world of labels. Most of those labels are created with silly hashtags and are tweeted, instagrammed and facebooked…. and most of them are not positive… they are downright mean! In a world of labels does being a label mean so much when we can now make any word/ set of words a label with just a simple hashtag. Also, wasn’t I lucky I grew up at a time when calling me a name, didn’t allow you to tweet it or post it on my wall.

In the public eye there is never a day where I can please everyone… I am #DragonPalat (yup this was tweeted), #fat to others #sick to some (because of the MS) a #celebrity (said in a negative way) to a third. To the trolls I answered, to the ready-to-be-converted I tried my best to convert you to be my friend… But in a world of #labels , I found my self terrified…I am unapproachable to most, terrifying to some… but to those who get to know me or just even say hello… I’m actually funny, interesting, silly, smart and fiercely loyal.

Unfortunately the polite words never make for good hashtags :)! So the next time you’d like to #label someone… meet them instead. I have found that people are so much more than their labels… and it’s always a fabulous revelation!

 

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The ‘OTHER’ voice inside of me!

stressed

So the end of the 2012 started with a chill, cold and a God awful fever! The Hallmark generated excitement of a New Years Eve was suddenly torn to shreds by tissues, warm water and phlegm , not to mention the most incredible migraine was creating a resounding thudding sound in my head was not the head thumping music I’d been hoping to dance to all night. And so the 31st night was spent under blankets, drinking cough syrup and feeling very sorry for myself. I felt so terrible for having made everyone change/cancel their new year plans and after taking a minute to pray at new year for the year ahead I was warmly tucked into bed by 12:01 am.

Turns out nobody minded that I changed the plans. Some made their own, some spent time together, some slept- everyone seemed to have  done exactly what they wanted to do…and there I was beating myself over it. That’s the thing- pressure is only pressure when we realize that we’re the only ones putting pressure on ourselves!

Sure there our deadlines and schedules; but most of those are achievable if we stop adding the additional pressure ourselves! We are always worried about how ‘others’ will perceive us , what ‘others’ will think, what ‘others’ might say- we forget that sometimes we must listen to our perceptions, our thoughts, our feelings and our voices. Sometimes before putting everyone else’s opinion above your own, make a quick, honest opinion for yourself.

Sometimes the ‘Others’ are not that scary, not that mean, not that opinionated- MAY BE it’s just us us being mean, scary and opinionated with ourselves!

Happy New Year! You won’t finish all you have to do this entire year today. You don’t have to. Cut yourself a break and remember the year is a marathon- no point in sprinting now and then being too tired to continue!

And make your ‘other’ voice a bit nicer…and more encouraging! It’ll help!

One life to live (from my new Times of India Celebrity Blog!)

This Blog is courtesy my new Times of India Celebrity Blog! So do check it out!

 

 

There is usually one major reason to die but there are several reasons to live.

This week’s news was filled with suicides and self inflicted deaths. “ I watched for ten hours as he died via Skype!” screamed a headline! Harassment caused another individual to kill himself! And we haven’t even reached exam results time yet…that will be a whole different story! Some people killing themselves when they don’t get the result they expected and yet another entire set of people killing themselves in FEAR of a result!

Life is not a video game. You can’t press re-start and expect to just start over! Our may be a generation that believes in instant success, instant fame and instant money but we are also a generation that needs to understand that unlike 2 minute noodles, life doesn’t always dish out what we expected or even what’s fair!

From personal experiences, I have to say, I was 25 years old, acting in films, doing advertisements and 10 shows or even more a month; and pretty much at the top of my game when I got Acute Disseminated Encyphomyelitis ( a single attack of Multiple Sclerosis) which left me unable to speak, swallow, see and hear from one side and left side paralysed completely. This happened overnight. Life is not always fair! To try and roll over and play dead or actually will myself to die might have been an easier choice but not the right one. Choosing to die doesn’t just destroy your life, it destroys all the lives of those around you and that was something I couldn’t even think of!

When a person dies a natural death , it is terribly painful but something a family knew was inevitable. A natural death is a life passing. A suicide is a life murdered. And it leaves only destruction in its wake. a family grieving, questions unanswered and so much pain- it’s not fair.

Sure the heat is driving us angry, insane and frustrated and sure life doesn’t seem fair right now! But guess what, someone somewhere loves you- you may know them or you may not even have met them yet- but there is someone out there who will make your life worth it and as bad as your life seems now- it will only get better.

I chose life. So should you.

And so when everything’s getting you down- get up, get out and make yourself smile!

Anything from a cold glass of nimbu pani to a movie marathon with a friend! Summer’s here and with it the promise of vacations to exotic lands, sleeping in , sun, surf and beach! So this week was also about planning the perfect summer! Yup- I love my lists and plans …!

And with a weekend that started fashionably with draping of scarves and launching of luxury boats – it looks like summer’s here to put a smile on everyones’ faces and give some a much appreciated break!

So let’s raise a cold glass of cola, cheer for the IPL and plan exotic trips half way across the world!

P.s. (Palat says)-: We have one life to live so let’s LIVE IT!

 

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!’