My #TenYearChallenge

The #TenYearChallenge got me thinking- not of how I looked back then… With the correct filters , most people looked better, hotter and (though absolutely unbelievable) even younger in their current pic; but about who I was back then, what I believed in, what I wanted and how who I have become would measure up.

In 2009, I didn’t know I had Multiple Sclerosis or the tumour. I guess I would have found out at some point. But with less pain ,I do believe I was happier… but today I am more grateful. I take life less for granted.

In 2009, I was a dreamer… I dreamt and dreams came true… Today I am more of a do-er and dreams that would have been beyond the realm of my 2009 year old self, are all coming true!

In 2009, I wrote, directed and produced 2611- A Personal War and started on a multi continent showing of a play that would change my life. It was the first time I wrote my heart out and I learnt confidence. In 2019, I write now – all the time, content that makes me proud, has my voice…and I think my 2009 self would be pretty impressed!

In 2009,I wanted. In 2019, I give.

In 2009, I was one. In 2019 I am a team.

In 2009, Cookie taught me love. In 2019 , I now know how to love Magic.

In 2009, I asked. In 2019 I am grateful.

So yes… there have been changes, and I do believe progress… hair colour changes from red to blue, wardrobe improvements but most of all self improvement and that I believe is a win, win, win!

Onwards to the next #TenYearChallenge

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Auld Lang Syne

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And thus ends another year…and with it we try and put aside all the resentments and failures , all the broken relationships and heartaches and look towards a new dawn and a new year with all the excitement and promise it brings.

Last year was an incredible learning- with a new office, new colleagues, new clients and new challenges… it also brought out the stresses which come with every challenge- late payments, confused clients and impossible deadlines…being some of them.

What it did teach me, however was life changing in so many ways.

People are Just That-: It taught me that people were just people, not Presidents or Owners or VPs or Brand Heads… they were people who had bad and good days; people with insecurities, people with worries, stresses, commitments and failures. It taught me to look at them as such and with that my own view of companies and the people who work for them changed.

Go with Your Gut-: It also taught me to trust my gut- that sinking feeling when you’re not sure something is right. Don’t push it aside, trust it. It saves you from much heartburn and a few non-paying clients!

Be Proud-: Have pride in who you are and what you stand for. Pride in your work space and work life leads to better performances by the team

Set Deadlines-: Set deadlines for clients and for yourself… it keeps you more efficient and always makes for something to do at work.

Have fun @ Work-:With puppy at work it’s easy to have fun but remember work can be fun if you celebrate the small wins as much as the major victories. Celebrate the wins and the winners and make work a place where you work and play… just make sure the work/play division is correct tho 😉

Everything changes and every thing remains the same-: People change. You lose people. You ask people to move on. You gain people. People are the flavour of the month, the outperform everyone and then they stop. At the end of the day, count on yourself and your abilities and aim to be more consistent each passing day… that way while everything changes, you still remain the same- just a better version of the same!

Keep learning-: Every single person can teach you something- whether it’s what not to do or what to do…keep learning. I’ve met some of the laziest employees and the most fickle of clients and also met some of the most inspirational clients ever and seen some absolutely fabulous creative people… you can take something away from each meeting… and you should!

Let Go!-: Let bad employees and bad clients go. Don’t flog a dead horse… some relationships weren’t meant to work. Don’t hold on to people who make you/ your work miserable. There are many people who will work with you who you’ll be happy with and who’ll be happy with you… BELIEVE YOU ARE WORTH IT!

I take all this learning to the next year… knowing that each year will teach me more, trouble me more and amaze me more! I go in, cautiously excited and optimistic yet wary, but eager to learn all that 2018 has to offer.

Happy Holidays!

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Taking back my strength

The Jury Ad HT Mon 27

It’s play time again for me with The Jury launching this Friday and whereas the word ‘play’ is rather misleading – this is probably the time of maximum stress for me, least fun and no time! Theatre is however an absolute addiction for me… else there would be no possible reason for me to almost cause ulcers every single year!

However this year I learnt something very important- if I allow your worries and your inadequacies or stresses to become my own, then  I lost my strength. The greatest strength each one of us has is self-belief and that self belief comes easier to some than others. However when you are weaker, more tired and more stressed ; it is then the vultures can get to you- the ones that make you weaker, sadder,smaller and less believing in yourself. It’s then when the real ulcers get to grow, when sleep fades and when happiness seems but a very distant memory.

So stop!

Remember when you are tired, you will be stressed. When you are stressed, other people’s fears can take over and become yours.

Don’t.

You are strong. And once you get a good night’s sleep – you will be strong again. Work out the stress. Is it your worry or is somebody dumping their worries on you?

And when you take two minutes to just look after you… you’ll get a great sleep finally.

I did.

Good morning!

This is the week my fabulous show- The Jury  launches! Buy tickets now at Bookmyshow and come back stage and say hi!

#NoFailResolutions

So it’s that time of year when Resolutions have been made and more than a few have been already broken…The year has started and we’re in a ‘Same %&## , different year’ mood…!

But before you give up hope and start counting the 50 odd weeks left for the next new year…I thought of some Resolutions that you should make, can keep and will make you feel pretty good about it!

Resolutions for myself

  1. I will look after me. I will love me. I will pamper me. Because I love and wish to look after myself I will try and eat better so I can spend more time looking after me. I will not punish myself if I mess up on a day or two because I love me and I am making a resolution to look after myself- not by punishment but with love and faith.
  2. I will do one thing every day that makes me happy.  Life is too short to go thru it in a rut and then suddenly find that you are too old to enjoy all of the things you should have enjoyed when you were younger. So everyday… even I start talking to a friend that I haven’t spoken to in years or meeting someone over coffee… I will do something that makes me happy!
  3. Spend more time with those I love.  It’s special to love and to be loved. it’s important to recognise that and not take it all for granted so I will make sure I spend time with those I love and let them spend time loving, fretting and looking after me. A loved soul makes for a happy soul!

Resolutions for work

  1. I will challenge myself. I understand that I may be happy with how well things are going… but I will set new targets and will aim to achieve them. I will not be hard on myself if every thing doesn’t automatically fall in to place… but I will never stop dreaming and never stop trying.
  2. I have a dream and I will keep at it. I had dreams when I was younger of who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do…I will start dreaming all over again and make those dreams come true… slowly, steadily but surely!
  3. I will stop work.  A 20 hour day doesn’t make me more efficient than a person who can achieve the same in fewer hours. I will set goals for myself that are reasonable and then as I complete them I will stop. Sometimes a break can help you work more effectively.  I will work smarter not longer!

These were just some basics that are almost #NoFailResolutions. They are easy, possible, thought provoking and can be expanded upon! And most of all… you can’t break them…

I’m making my 2014 about ME. You should make it about you too!

 

Gotta keep moving, Gotta keep dreaming & FLEXI WORK HOURS !

Gotta keep moving…

Gotta keep dreaming.

As the sun scorches us all (and it’s only the first week of May) and 1/2 the year’s gone by quicker than a blink of the eye…it’s easy for the mid year depression to set in! We haven’t reached all the targets that seemed so easy in January and we’re exhausted. The days are longer, but patience shorter. The day’s are sunnier; but people’s attitudes are gloomier. The days are hot and so is everybody’s temperament! The newspapers are the bearers of doom and it’s easy to get sucked in to the mid year slump!

But instead of morning the loss of the last 5 months; let’s make the next seven …amazing! So here’s my technique to

“Get up and Make the Most of the Day (esp the Monday!)

  1. Start the day with some exercise…get an early head start and get some much needed endorphins!
  2. Treat yourself…a cold glass of juice, a smoothie, cold coffee, mango… start the day with something you love!
  3. Get to work and instead of tackling everything head on…. get your bearings… sit…relax… and then LIST OUT WHAT MUST BE DONE.
  4. 90 minutes in to starting your day, take a 10 minute break to drink some coffee, read an article, browse the net… just STOP!
  5. Eat lunch on time. Everything may not be completed by lunch but other people need lunch too- so take a lunch break!!!
  6. After you’ve taken your hour off you should be ready to take the afternoon by storm… Work thru the afternoon systematically stopping only once at about 3:30 for coffee/ tea and biscuits – again a 10 minute break.
  7. End your day on time. If you have a 9-5 job ; end it on time esp on a Monday else the Monday exhaustion taints the entire week ahead! Choose your ‘must work late’ days…and try and avoid 2 days one after the other because that will affect your work on Day 3.
  8. Get home and unwind. Do what makes you happy. Eat early and then spend the evening relaxing, pursuing a hobby or just hanging out with friends! You did a good day. Yay!

Flexi work hours… for me that;s the newest, coolest trend. Work when you have to and finish your job…it’s not about a 9 to 5 anymore it’s an 11-7 or a 9-4 or even a 10am- 1 pm… Companies are starting to realise -it’s not about the time you spend in the office ; it’s about your productivity and if you are more productive at home or in a shorter period of time or in spurts …well then GOOD FOR YOU!

This I think is incredible…I’ve wandered into so many offices , advertising firms, banks, magazine offices where everyone is either gossiping or on facebook….Sure they’ve logged in hours… but are they really being productive? It’s like when you had to attend a lecture in college and you dozed off…. except that’s what they do for the entire work day. Sure there are the one or two Worker bees who are doing all the work and everyone’s work… but they then get exhausted and their productivity can’t be at a high for 12,15 ,19 hours!

Many companies now make the employees set targets on a monday…a big target that must be achieved by week end and smaller targets which must be achieved daily. How you do it is up to you? If you can do it in 5 hours and go home… well then that’s wonderful…If it takes you till 9 pm at night (because of all the Facebook surfing) well then that’s your prerogative too! The targets are approved by the person they report too so it’s not too easy (you can’t just make one call and go home) and they are actual targets. And then you reconvene on Friday to take stock of all that is achieved.

Flexi work hours can be the best things to happen to a company. And it makes you take responsibility and ownership for your work.It kind of makes you , your own boss and trust me…your the toughest boss you’ll ever get !

And now on to making this week amazing…! See you next week

P.s.-: We had a show last week at the NCPA….With the heat playing havoc with my Multiple Sclerosis and me having small but difficult attacks… it was a tough show to run with 30 odd people on stage BUT they were AMAZING and I WAS SO PROUD!

To My Imps… you teach me

I’ve gotta keep moving,

Gotta keep dreaming …. every day!

Seeing you on stage , made yet another dream come true!

 

No time? Why?

‘ I have no time,’ a constant complaint from all of us.

‘I can’t believe where the day /week/ month / year went!’

It went. And you were there. But you weren’t actually present. We’re always so busy. But busy achieving what? We spend less time with family and friends. We are divided between duties at office. We don’t even focus when we’re driving…we’re too busy returning  or making calls.

With all this ‘work’ we are doing why is the only result exhaustion and unfulfillment ? Because we’re never actually concentrating on the moment….we are each too busy thinking about the moments that just passed or the moments ahead and we’re never actually focusing on the moment we’re in.

We’re all born different – to different strata, in different countries, with different economic and social backgrounds… but time is the one thing that unites us. We all get the same amount of time in a day and it’s what we do with it that can change our lives. We have the same time to work, to relax, to fall in love, to dream, to work, to live,to stress, to worry. Time is constant and time is changing and that is the one common thread that binds us all.

Instead of running to keep up with time… let’s give it a little more respect.

  1. Schedule your day. It’s not about starting at 9 am or 9:30 am… it’ about what you have to do. Prioritise. Finish. And then leave. Don’t wait incessantly to check on facebook or wait because society/boss dictates you must wait till 7/8 at work. Work should be judged by how much you do in the day not by how long you spend eating/ tweeting/faffing at your desk. If we become a more goal/result oriented work culture as opposed to a time oriented work culture- we’ll achieve more. Work till you finish….. 4 p.m. or 10 p.m. Schedule your day well and FINISH MORE.
  2. Plan your time with family. Phone’s on silent., coffee breaks, take up a sport…. time with family is precious. You will never get it back again.
  3. Take the time to relax and don’t judge yourself. If you need an hour break every day….TAKE IT! Enjoy yourself. you’ll end up charged and ready to take on the world again…else you’ll just end up burnt out.
  4. Take a few minutes every day to do nothing. In Palo Alto in the tech companies there were meditation rooms, sleep rooms and quick break rooms…sometimes you need about 5/10 minutes every 3 hours or so to do…NOTHING.
  5. When you are driving just drive. When you are watching a movie, watch it and when you are sundaying- relax. Don’t do 3 things at one time…it’s not multitasking…it’s not even single tasking…no task is completed well and nothing is achieved and you usually have to start all over again.

Make every second count. Don’t rush thru life or rush thru your day. We each have enough time… let’s just take it!

INNW

 

The Seven Year Itch!

So the husband and I just completed our seventh year of marriage and after every 3 congratulatory messages, the customary 7 year itch joke was then messaged/warned/joked about!

That got me down to thinking… the seven year itch is only popular because of the wildly popular Marilyn Monroe film of the same name which was popular because of the iconic dress-blowing image…! Seven years in actuality means nothing at all!

Some people can have the one day itch, the one year itch, the six-month itch, the ‘Oh no I might get married ‘ itch! The itch really has nothing to do with the passage of time but more to do with the person you are with!

Cheaters cheat!Abusers hit! And liars lie! To blame it on 7 years, or on the fact that monogamy is not natural or the ‘ I was drunk’ excuse is just that…. an Excuse!

There is a freedom in being single and dating…a sense of lightness and excitement in who you might meet and where life may take you. But there’s also fear of ending up alone, the worry of not finding someone who will understand/ respect / love you and a loneliness of coming back home to an empty home and an empty bed.

There’s routine in marriage. There are rules. There are expectations and demands. But there is also support, trust, love and faith. There is also the great joy of being able to curl up and watch television with someone you love in your night shorts and spectacles and for them to still think you are the most wonderful looking person in all the world. There is responsibility but there’s also a cheerleader by your side to support and give wings to your dreams,your ambitions, your life…!

It’s up to each one of us the choices we make but it’s impossible to have both.

In a world where marriages don’t make the first year hurdle and where cheating and infidelity has become the norm- the friendship, trust and faith that our parents’ marriages had is becoming rarer to see. You have to try to keep your marriage, fight to save your marriage, work every day to make your marriage work. If you are not ready to put in the time…. don’t get married and DON’T BE THE OTHER WOMAN/ MAN IN THE RELATIONSHIP !

How did Aditya and I get to Number 7….

With lots of fights and even more tears,

With some heartaches and a couple of cheers;

With several losses and a few wins;

And with many prayers and fewer sins…

… here’s to a life time of arguments, fights, hugs and laughs….!

I love you Mr. Hitkari and there’ll be no 7/8/9/10………… itch….

And to all the friends who joked/ragged/messaged about it… I’m going to hunt you down and punch each one of you… :))))) so BEWARE!