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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I’m not a survivor.

Yes- I have Multiple Sclerosis. Yes- I have a Pituitary Tumour. Yes- I have a tremendous amount of pain every single day… but I’m not a survivor… I’m a WINNER :)!

I learnt a while ago that there are 2 ways to approach anything this serious – 1. Let it control you. 2. Don’t !

I choose to not let fear nor pain nor the fear of pain rule my life. I am incredible and I am all that I am because of the M.S.

How ? You ask?

Well sure.. when we were first told about the disease I was shattered… I didn’t understand it… no one did and it left me fearful. I was left side paralysed and I couldn’t speak… For an actor and especially a person as talkative as me… the not speaking thing was harder than the paralysis…! I could think it …it was just too hard to say so many words…!

And then I tried. I failed. I tried some more. I failed some more. And then I started from scratch. I got to re-learn as an adult how to be Divya and what fun that was!! My Dad and sister would read me the gossip columns of my favourite newspapers…My Mom would watch Oprah with me and Aditya would watch all my favourite rom-coms and comedies with me… and I got to spend all that amazing time with my family who made me realise how cool I was because they were so cool! My Doctor played catch with me and though I pretty much always failed in that…we got some good laughs every evening and I looked forward to the new day with childlike enthusiasm…enthusiasm that I had lost a while before that when work became WORK and family became FAMILY- the 2 things you were committed to but didn’t love the way you should!

And work? Well I decided to focus on MY COMPANY- BALANCING ACT PRODUCTIONS… and when I got up…I put heart and soul in to theatre and the company and it gave me purpose. i was proud to get up every morning because I was the coolest boss to work for! I had no fixed timings…I did short film direction, taught theatre, produced plays, directed videos, directed television shows, wrote television shows, wrote films, created tv properties for clients, ideated, acted,directed, produced and even sang! If I thought it…I did it!

From waiting hours for a shot, and waiting endlessly for the phone to ring I now had no empty minutes…and the phone rang off the hook!And I had to start saying no to work…so I could try something even more new and incredible !

And the travel… Aditya and I traveled every where and we’d pick a country and devour it! Days of research, months of planning and every trip was more exciting, more unforgettable and with more moments than I’d ever imagined possible…

And then last but definitely not least…I married the man of my dreams…someone I’d have only married 2/3 years post 2006 had the illness not happened and all that would have done would have made me miss out on living with my best friend, my partner in crime and my better half (in every way)!

So I didn’t survive… I live, I thrive and I win… and I wouldn’t change my life with all it’s ups and downs because it’s made me me…. and I’m pretty darn awesome!

 

Treat her like a lady!

Stop wishing me ‘Happy Women’s Day!’ Don’t fill your offices with balloons or give me a free cookie with a cup of coffee! Don’t give me chocolates or roses. Don’t smile at me unnecessarily or create lunches to felicitate me!

Instead treat me as an equal. Treat me with respect. Pay me the same as you would a man for the same job. Do not doubt my commitment to work because I have a family and do not doubt my commitment to my family because I work. Don’t comment on me as if I were an object. You don’t own me . You never will. I own me. Listen to me. Talk to me. Hear me. Believe in me. Fight for me. Love me.

Don’t lust for me. Don’t abuse me. Don’t hurt me. Don’t demean me. Don’t laugh at my dreams. Don’t mock my ambition. Don’t think of me as weaker. Don’t lie to me.

I may not be your sister, your wife, your mother or related to you. But I still am a woman. I am the glue in a family. I am the strength in a home. I can bear your children and raise them with love and care. I create. I nurture. I give love. I give life. I give strength.

So don’t wish me ‘Happy Women’s Day-‘ treat me the way a woman should be treated- with care and love; with respect and awe. Treat me special every day, all the time because I give you the respect of being a man… give me the respect of being a lady!

 

Raping me.

I am your sister, your wife, your mother, your friend. I am your conscience, your feelings, your creativity, your inner most thoughts. I am your blood, your hair, your eyes, your soul. I am all that you have and all that you need. I am you.

You exist because of me. You live because I give you life. You dream because I dream with you. When you are lost , I help you find your way. You need me. You need my love. You need my care. You need me.

And then I am raped and beaten and left to die. Left on a street – naked and uncovered, I am left to choke on my own blood and tears and you pass me by. You are stronger than me but don’t bother to pick me up. You are louder than me , but don’t bother to shout. You can run faster than me but don’t run to get help. Instead you walk over me like you would a speed bump, avoid me like you would garbage and pretend not to notice me like I’m invisible.

And this happens every day, every where, all the time and we get so used to it… we stop wondering if the headlines are ever going to change. We wander around like deer in a city full of predators, except than unlike in the jungle where the predator will just kill you for food- his necessity for life… here the predators- Man will rape you, humiliate and demean you and then leave you for dead. This is not a need. He doesn’t need to rape you to survive. He just does it for sport!

Rape is not a sport. It shouldn’t be a video game. It shouldn’t be. And yet it is.

And when we protest, once again you beat us. we stand unarmed- begging for justice for one of our own and you lathi charge us and wear us down with water canons.

Are we that dangerous? Did our words hurt, humiliate or demean you? Did it, God forbid, rape you?!

No. That was us. We were raped. And then we were not allowed to complain.

To all my women friends… the men don’t care. They are not going to change or help in any way.Let’s look after ourselves and be safe. Let’s move in groups and be unafraid to yell, scream and run if we have the slightest feeling of danger…Pepper spray, karate, self defense- let’s stop looking at men to protect us. Let’s protect ourselves.

Men if you think you can protect us. Start. Start by castrating those bastards!