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! ūüė¨

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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The movie of your life! (Rules to Live By)

Rise and shine. It’s a new day. Smile. Walk. Run. Talk. Eat. Laugh. See. Do.

Don’t waste time on tears. Don’t waste time on fears. Life will happen regardless.

You may win. You will lose. You will love. You will hate. You may achieve but you must always try. Live the truth.

There will be days where you don’t want to get up. There will be days where you won’t want to sleep! There will be days that you’d love to forget and there will be those that you’ll remember every moment of.

Dream. If those dreams shatter and make some new dreams. There will be plans and they may not happen. Life has it’s own plans…It doesn’t need yours!

Save money. You will make money and you will lose money. You’ll be in debt and then you may have more than you need. Save.

Walk the road with your head held high. You may trip. You may even fall. But get up and keep walking because life is an adventure and though sometimes you are in the darkest tunnel remember there’s always a moment when you see the glorious hint of the sun!

Love. Fall in love. Rise in love. Give love. Demand love. It makes the journey of life worthwhile.

Don’t expect to love everyone and don’t expect everyone to love you.

Respect- give respect and be worthy of respect.

Inspire and be inspired! Don’t shut your mind to new experiences. Open your mind!

Eat the cupcake. Don’t spend your life on diet cause you will always see yourself as fat then! Don’t spend your life on food because you’ll miss out on other experiences then.

Have an opinion. Find one. Make one. Create one.

Laugh without a care.

Today is a great day because in the movie of your life-YOU ARE THE STAR!

Cuddling lions in Sun City!

When you shoot for shows on television or get to shoot for or in a film, you often get to see places that are truly amazing and sometimes places that you never thought you’d actually visit! This is what happened when during the second season of ‘Making the Cut,’ we traveled to Sun City, South Africa!

Now Sun City is about 2 hours away from Johannesburg Airport. Jo’burg Airport is nothing to write home about. The Arrival area is simple, efficient, crowded and quick. After a long, night flight; knowing that I would be starting work as I arrived to the hotel, I grabbed a quick cup of coffee and headed into a waiting car.

The drive to Sun City was spectacular in it’s sparseness. There is almost nothing on the road, except for massive estates every few kilometers guarded fiercely with electric fences, high walls and FBI-worthy security. These estates are usually opposite huge hills which I was told were mineral deposits. The ride was otherwise unspectacular and the roads eerily empty in broad daylight! Jo’burg has a very high crime ratio and rape ratio and that ¬†was the reason we were told! A very scary start indeed!

Luckily I had the very beautiful Celina Jaitly as company and we talked about the wonderful man in her life Peter (now her husband!) and a 2 hour trip didn’t seem so long after all- Thankfully girlish gossip can make time fly ;)!

We did pass a village with some makeshift houses made out of tarp and wood and saw ‘Doctor’ scribbled on what I had to assume was a room. This showed the ¬†huge disparity between the rich and the poor and suddenly the high crime ratio seemed to make some sense. In India you see poverty and huts often, but the small village with its one room and burnt tires on a small patch of green was more poverty than even I had ever seen. The gaunt , young children standing at the edge of the road playing with a stick is a memory that will remain etched in our minds forever.

And then suddenly, as if from nowhere, gates- similar to those from the movie ‘Jurassic Park’ rose from the ground. An island , a mirage, a vision of great beauty stood in front of us! Welcome to a land of splendor and beauty! We were welcomed into Sun City, an oasis in the midst of what can only be described as nowhere!

Sun City has four Hotels- The Cabanas, the Cascades, Sun City Hotel and the Palace of the Lost City.

The Palace

Traveling through Sun City we passed beautiful fountains and entered Sun City Palace – The Palace of the Lost City.¬†Walking through the domed lobby the best way to describe this hotel is opulent. Carved furnishings, large , magnificent chandeliers, gold and ornate pieces of art…it truly looked like a Palace! The shoot was starting in the evening…so I got down to work immediately and started exploring the grounds with my camera team to ensure we got the best possible locations for the shoot the following days!

What a spectacular hotel! With beautiful fountains, exquisite sculptures and even babbling brooks, exploring the hotel was truly wonderful. It had so many locations and we were truly spoiled for choice!

Playing around!

The crew, models and designers were staying at the  Cascades Hotel and in the Cabanas both 2 of the hotels part of Sun City.These hotels are younger and more casual but I know I would never have been happy except in the Palace! I am that kind of girl, after all!

There is also a lovely entertainment centre which can be approached via the Free shuttles which leave from the hotels on request. The entertainments centre has everything from Indian food, to fast food to a casino! Needless to say the models loved the Entertainment centre and if for any reason we couldn’t find one of them…that’s where they’d probably be!

There is also a fun complex called The Valley of the Waves where families can enjoy themselves being bombarded by waves! I’m not particularly crazy about the idea…but it always seemed full…so I guess it worked especially for kids!

The shoot was hard and long. The finale was in a beautiful amphitheater which had been used years earlier for the Miss World Contest and was absolutely spectacular. There was almost no time to enjoy the locations or relax till the shoot was over each day and by that time I had no energy to do more than fall in to bed! The evening our shoot ended I enjoyed a cappuccino on the terrace of the Tusk Bar while I watched a monkey sit on a nearby ledge waiting and hoping that we’d share more than just a cup of coffee!

That’s the thing with Sun City. There are so many monkeys and birds, it’s spectacular! We were told to keep our balconies shut because monkeys often entered rooms! And I must confess that one evening as I trudged back to my room I remember two monkeys gleefully helping themselves to the chocolates on the Housekeeping cart as the hotel staff was doing a turn down service for one of the rooms in the evening!

Crystal Court

The rooms are large and comfortable. Meals are served in the main restaurant downstairs in the Crystal Court which also serves a high tea or you can opt for an Italian dinner at the Villa del Palazzo. The high tea is good but the rest of the food unfortunately is not! It is bland and tasteless and for the first time I found myself missing just a simple tikka roll!

And so he walks...

Bobbing heads!

Walk on!

The shoot took us to the Cultural village which was fun and informative and to the Pilanesberg Game Reserve which is an experience I¬†will never forget! Driving down the dusty¬†road, we saw the bobbing heads of giraffes, the grazing zebras and the magnificent elephant! The African elephant is huge and causes a great amount of damage in the forest¬†often knocking down everything in its path and we saw¬†a herd grazing quite a distance away. I looked at them and then turned to Aditya and said-” he’s coming our way…Ganesha is coming

"He walks on!"

our way.” And right on cue a magnificent , male elephant walked towards our van. ¬†Still hundreds on metros away I kept my hand on the¬†camera trigger and kept clicking- ” he’scoming to¬†us…I know he is.” I said my prayers as the rest in the van slowly started moving to the other end. Whispers grew louder and then slowly people started screaming. I kept clicking and he kept coming forward. My Ganesha walked to me and to my position in the van, looked me straight in the eye and thenwithout causing any harm despite the screaming models in the background, slowly and magnificently walked away! This was the closest I came to God- I saw complete purity and innocence in the eyes of one of God’s most glorious of creatures. I was blessed!

Staring at Ganesha!

Watching your back!

We also got to see a pack of 3 rhinos each guarding each other’s back! It’s funny how animals are often more humans than humans are! Maybe we could learn a thing or two from them….instead of always having to watch our own backs! ūüėČ

It was only after the shoot that I got a day to relax! And we packed that day in beautifully! Sun City has an International Golf Course and Aditya and I explored that via segway! I had never driven a segway before and I have to confess that I am easily one of the most unbalanced (in movement not in the head ūüėČ ) people in the world and though it took me a little while to grasp ; in about 30 minutes I was riding like a pro!

Bottle feeding!

And then it was on to the Pilanesberg Game reserve corner at the Lion Park, where we saw lions who had been abandoned by their pack at child birth or strayed away from their elders getting rehabilitated! Babies were still fed via bottle and as they grew older they learned to feed on carcasses and then were once again let into the wild where they would have to fight a male pack member to stake his claim in the jungle and create his own pack. A chance at freedom and a chance to rule the jungle the way they ruled our hearts!

Cuddling lions!

And in one moment it changed aka I am nothing without you!

And now I turn to you and see,

That you’re the one for me…!

You were there from the start…

You always knew my heart…

And when even I didn’t believe, you showed me the way,

You promised you would stay…every night and every day…!

And I didn’t see your truth, didn’t know my place,

You walked by my side…life isn’t a stupid race….

And now as I come to the end…you’re still holding on…

And then I turn; And see you’re gone…

You’ve left my hand, you let me win…

You are out and I am in.

You are at the finish line, waiting for me…

You smile and stare and then I see,

You were right there all along,

Keeping me safe, keeping me strong,

You make me a better version of who I want to be,

You love me now till eternity,

And now I see you for who you are…

You’re my sun, my moon, my world, MY STAR!

I run to finish, run to you,

Cos now I see- I am nothing without you.