The Relationship Saga

And in a world more connected than ever, most people find themselves more disconnected than they have ever been. We can connect on WhatsApp, Social media, the phone- all the time and yet in this fast paced world though we’re always seeming to be connected we’re often more alone than we have ever been.

This was the discussion a girl friend of mine and I had for more than a few hours this week. And it wasn’t even the first time I had heard this complaint. It was far too often, from far too many people for this to be a coincidence.

Connection requires work. Connection requires commitment and Connection requires both parties to keep at it!

And when I felt the same way a few years ago.. I set out to make a Commitment Cheat Sheet… to help me keep and nurture relationships that meant something to me…

So here’s a peak-:

  1. Make a list of just the closest friends (CFs) you’d like to have in you life and make sure you call or meet them once every 2 weeks at least.
  2. Do Date night. Even if you’ve been with your husband for tons of years…date him, reconnect. The only thing constant is change- so both of you will keep changing. Get to know the new him.
  3. Be social. Get out at least once a week with one set of your CFs so you can do a face to face reconnect.
  4. Laugh more. Play games rather than watch TV. Connect, talk and have fun with your friends. TV is a wonderful medium for stories but real stories happen only when you actually participate in them. Be a part of your own life story not a spectator.
  5. Put a schedule together which forces you to challenge yourself to connect. Make it a routine, till it becomes a habit.
  6. Find common hobbies/ activities. I hate the morning walk… or actually hate getting up at 5 am… but the plus is I get a leisurely coffee chat with the uncrabby husband (he’s a morning sparrow, I am not) and a walk where we find tons of puppies and lots to chat about.
  7. Be present. Your CFs have something major happening in their life/ they aren’t well- check up, be present- care.
  8. Don’t look at your phone during dinners/ events. Respect the person/people you are with.
  9. Give yourself a break. All relationships change. Some change so much they become unrecognisable. Try as hard as you can, but remember sometime you need to let go. Reward yourself when you try. Don’t berate yourself.

Relationships are hard and connections even harder. In a world of a few billion- you just need a handful of connections but even those take work. Remember, it may look easy from watching a good relationship but both people work very hard with many off days to make that work. Instagram and Facebook stories are just that- stories. They are not reality.

P.s. (Palat says)-: At the end of the day, all the fame and money make for comfortable beds and homes but homes are only homes when you can fill them with people you love.

Advertisements

Friend me?

It has never been easy for me to make friends…’Shocking!’ those of you who know me well will laugh! I mean I’m loud, opinionated, bossy and extremely goal-driven. That doesn’t leave a bunch of space in my life for relationships or friendships! And since I started working very young… having done my first film at 17, I never really had much of a college life or those life-long friendships people keep harping over!

Getting into films and TV young was great! It also meant lots of parties and lots of superficial acquaintances which made my ‘choice’ of ‘friendlessness’ the smart choice. And once I found my ‘Crab’ -( yes that shall be the husband’s name for today), I didn’t seem to need anyone else. He understood my insecurities, he embraced my weirdness and he even seem to like (or at least put up with) my bossiness! So from FOMO (Fear of missing out) I began enjoying my Crab and started loving JOMO (the Joy of missing out). Loud parties were replaced with game nights. Filmy parties became movie marathon nights and pub hopping was replaced with traveling to different countries and exploring them together…

But then this year, I started wondering that in all my JOMO whether I had actually even tried creating more than my single friendship? Had I actually even given people a chance? In all my fear of people not liking or caring for me had I just consciously avoided even the chance to get to know them?

Some friends had had babies. Babies became children and mothers’ groups were a great excuse to form relationships. Those who’d moved in to the city away from family needed a support system and hence were forced to find friends… In my little self sufficient Puppy- Crab world since I had never been forced to look- had I automatically just stayed in my shell?

So along with the new food plan, I decided to create a new social plan and decided with the Universe that I was going to start creating friendships…Out of school and not in the playground any more , I was excited about rekindling old friendships and learning to start sharing my life with people and sharing their lives too! And I was right. Now without the childish insecurities and without the petty school rivalry, I started afresh with relationships and friendships and I’m having fun!

From laughing through the night where we were supposed to be at the ‘most happening night spot’ and realising that we were 1 of only 10 people at the bar; to being sent chilli chicken by a friend just because she knew I needed spice ‘now’, to getting a call on a Saturday morning from another cause ‘she missed me,’ reconnecting has never been more fun!

Who knows… though they say the friends you make when you’re young will stick by you.. I’m okay learning how to make friends later too… After all every person needs a village… and Mr. Crab and me seem to be finding some really cool Village People!

P.s. (Palat says)-: You’re never too old to learn something new and for me it is learning to put myself out there and trust. It’ll be a steep learning curve… but I always was a front-bencher ! ūüôā

To all the liars out there…

I have been blessed over the last few years to have been able to eliminate the majority of the negative people in my life¬†which has allowed more space for new, fabulous and positive people in…

These people inspire me to think every day. They inspire me to be better, do more, feel more and achieve more.

But every so often you’re given a blast from the past and are witness to some of the negative people you let go of and you are reminded about why they aren’t with you anymore. These are the people who will lie about you, will try and walk on top of you just to achieve some sense of achievement. And it makes me proud.

Proud that I left them.Proud that I did good.

I am without you for a reason.

I am sorry I still figure in your conversations. And you need to spin it, to make your self the ¬†winner…!

I don’t need to spin anything any more.

I am surrounded by winners. I am surrounded by heroes. I am surrounded by people so incredible…I become a little more fabulous each day. I am surrounded by superstars and I don’t take anything away from them to make me feel better about my life cos it’s pretty perfect … especially now that you’re not in it! (sorry couldn’t risk the childish dig!)

cuviybmwgaejimz

 

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!

 

Relationship 201- What to do when the honeymoon period is over?

So you’ve met someone and the ‘honeymoon phase’ of the relationship is now kinda over. You disagree. You argue. He has an opinion (shocker) often different to yours (double shocker!). She stops dressing up. He’s not shaving that often. She’s stopped the heels… He’s stopped opening doors…And suddenly it seems like this isn’t going to work out any more…! I mean he/she seemed perfect till they stopped pretending and became who they are!

So how do you make it work?

How can it keep being fun/ fun-ish…?

How do you not become…(dreaded word here!) b-o-r-i-n-g!?

So as a self confessed commitment-phobe… yes I really HATED RELATIONSHIPS and most of my long ‘relationships’ lasted 3 days,4 days and one… an awful week…(I didn’t see him for 3 out of those days, so that helped!), these are my tips and tricks to keep your relationship in the ‘dating phase’ for a whole lot longer!

  1. Do a lunch date once a¬†week… Escape from the humdrum of work/ normal life and just meet up for an hour… Once near your place of work/home and once near his… This makes the week less mundane and gives you a welcome break to spend with your partner. Have a quick meal and linger over coffee and dessert and just chat…! Take turn making the plans so it gives you something to look forward to! You’ll have a better afternoon at work after that for sure too!
  2. Dress up for dinner and go out once a week… Dress up! This is important because you can’t take your partner for granted. Don’t just dress up for the parties and the social do’s – make an effort and dress up for your partner – heels, straightened hair et all…girls and men- shave, suit up and take your lady out! Enjoy the dinner. Talk. Ask questions. Make travel plans. Laugh.
  3. Hold hands….seemingly easy…actually very hard. Hold hands when you are together. Hold hands when you fall asleep. Re-establish intimacy. HOLD HANDS.
  4. Share a hobby or a sport…OUTSIDE HOME! Go for a run! Go join a language class… Go gym together- Get out. Get out TOGETHER!
  5. Fight and finish your fights. Don’t change who you are or what you believe in. Fight for who you are. Fight about the death penalty, Lance Armstrong… whatever…. argue and then listen to each other. You fell in love with someone not because they were a clone of you…You fell in love with their differences…So listen to them.
  6. Ask about each other’s day- once in the morning where you hear all the plans. Then make a quick phone call at lunch to check on your better half and then at the end of the day ask how the day went and share. Sharing makes the other person realise that you value their opinion and also they get to hear how much you do. Talk and share!
  7. Make a few big dates… for me it’s out First Date Anniversary, Valentines Day, Wedding Anniversary, My birthday and his… and make those days super special… Take time to plan them together and make a day of it! Spa days, dinners, flowers…make the day special!
  8. Surprise each other- flowers, favourite foods, a CD… gift a gift – a no occasion ‘just because I love you’ gift. You used to do that when you dated…so don’t stop!
  9. Travel together…but most importantly PLAN THE TRAVEL together…! That’s all the excitement and so much happiness… so PLAN TOGETHER!
  10. Watch TV together and go to the movies… you may not like all his choices and he may not love all your rom-coms but watching something together , holding hands and just being… that relaxes the stress of a relationship and allows you to have opinions as a couple on silly tv shows and forgettable movies!

These are just 10 tips… there are so many more… But all I’m saying if you’ve found the right one… Don’t give up on him/ her because you think the ‘romance is over’ just change your definition of romance… The honeymoon may end but the love starts then…. And that period can be way better than the honeymoon ever was!

Have a romantic week ahead!

J. W. Marriott in Bangkok

photo 1

I travel to Bangkok a lot. From one of the dirtiest cities in the world 12-13 years ago, it’s cleaned up become fancier, more welcoming, more modern and just a wonderful shopping destination and a quick flight from Mumbai! I have therefore shifted a lot of hotels- hotels close to the malls, hotels out of the city… My new favourite however has to be the J.W. Marriott Bangkok.

Two MTR Stops away from Siam and a single stop away from central, this wonderful hotel gives me a bit of sanity from the frenetic mall culture of Bangkok! Towering gloriously above the fashionable Sukhumvit district, this hotel has a good mix of clientele ranging from long staying guests, businessmen to shopaholics like me!

photo 2

If you do want to stay at the J.W. – I suggest you stay in the Executive Level rooms. For a very small additional charge you get to use the Lounge.The Lounge in the J.W. is tastefully decorated, spacious and has an indoor and out door sitting area as well as an internet area with a Tv and couches for a more relaxed coffee/ tea. Check-in is done on the 16th floor for Executive Level guests and the check-in is quick and efficient and over a cup of coffee and something to eat.

photo 3

The Executive Level rooms are nice,though a tad small. You have free internet access everywhere in the hotel and the speeds are wonderful. For a super-connected social networking geek like me…that’s always a big plus!

photo 2-1

Why do I like the lounge? Well firstly it’s large and the food is amazing! Unlike usual Hotel Lounges the tapas and hot meals vary every day!You have an incredible breakfast with a live egg station, japanese counter, cereal, cheese and bread counters and of course your customary cold cuts , sausages etc. If there’s something missing and you want it- they’ll make it for you! After breakfast , in casephoto 1-1 you get hungry by about 11:30 am or so…there’s always some muffins in the oven or some sandwiches and peanuts for you to grab and go with- along with a takeaway coffee or chilled soft drink/ juice. In the evening The Lounge has an array of drinks and wines. It also has salads, hot and cold tapas and wonderful live stations where burgers are flipped, fish is seared, rolls are made and sushi is rolled. Every night is usually a different theme – so after an American burger night with fries and onion rings (from their New York Steak house downstairs), don’t be surprised to go Japanese (from Tsu the Japanese restaurant) the following evening or Italian… The food is tasty, filling and perfect and after a long day on the streets of Bangkok or in the malls- it’s wonderful to unwind over a drink and fabulous food before you let the Bangkok nightlife draw you in!

Cost-: $260 a night approximately for the Executive Level room!

Best Times To Travel-:¬† For me …any weekend I need to escape… but generally October to Jan are peak months with the weather being significantly cooler…else Bangkok is perfect for those like me who love the heat!

photo 1-2