I’m never gonna be who I thought I would

All through our lives we’ve been taught to make a difference, do more, be more!

And then it gets to a point- and here may be it’s the impending Birthday Me talking, where you worry- have I actually achieved what I was supposed to have… or was it all just castles in the sky created by my indulgent, loving parents (who btw are throwing a birthday dinner for me tonight- so yay!)… so I decided to take stock!

Well I started out right, topped school, went to Stanford and then I left Stanford prematurely to start acting. Interesting choice!

I started doing films, and started a Production house. One film became seven; the production house put on some truly memorable plays. Each play made me learn to give back to society and be really grateful as to where I was.

I got sick, got Multiple Sclerosis, was told I wouldn’t move but Docs ain’t got nothin on my stubbornness! So up I was and back at work!

I wrote and here I shall boast a bit (allow me, it’s my blog) a truly exceptional play where we toured the world, won numerous World Awards and gave lots of money to a cause I truly supported.

I found a tumour in the pituitary in my brain- didn’t waste a second ,started another company and an Not for profit charity, moved offices.

I have directed TV, commercials, digital, short films and anything that has a story- I have learnt to tell.

I have loved one dog with all my soul and another takes up my heart.

I see my family regularly and it’s still not enough; spend every waking moment I can stalking my husband, who annoys me , infuriates me, challenges me, engages me and loves me.

I’ve not done anything I planned to do when I was a child- but I’ve done so much more than I dreamed of. I’ve lived a life that I couldn’t have imagined because you can’t write lives like mine…

I may not be who I was but I am so excited to see who I will become…so as I countdown the days to my birthday…I’m going to celebrate who I have become with all those who’ve made me who I am on this crazy journey we call life.

P.s. (Palat says)-: You may not be where you think you want to be; but you are exactly where you are supposed to be right now!

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You don’t define me

How do we stop others from defining who we are? In a large part, what we think of ourselves comes from what others think of us. This starts when we’re much younger. “Oh you’re so clever,” a teacher might say. Or “she’s so pretty,” a mother might say. And these adjectives then become in a large part who we think we are. It’s like these opinions are our mirror and we see ourselves through other people’s eyes.

What happens then when a boss says “he/ she is more driven than you” Or a friend says “you’re not built to do xyz.” There are 2 ways to deal- 1. Roll over and let whoever that is , with their limited vision define you. Or, 2. Go ahead and do whatever you believe you can achieve. Sure, 2 sounds amazing in theory- but it’s hard and there will be millions of moments where you’ll let yourself down, where you’ll start believing the nay-sayers, where you will doubt all that you believe in… but if you push through you can break their distorted mirror of you and make a cleaner more perfect one for yourself.

No one knows this more than I do. I went into hospital on Friday 2005,May something or the other. Between Friday and Monday- I remember nothing. I do believe I had a few MRI’s and I do remember people trying to keep me awake and then there is just darkness.

When I awoke on Monday, I was on a bed in Breach Candy hospital with a strange man looking over me. “I am sorry,” he said ,”you came in too late. Your brain has been compromised and you are left side paralysed and will not be able to move again. There’s nothing more we can do.” When I stared at this man disbelievingly, he challenged me – “Don’t believe me- try and make a fist with your left hand… go on now… try!” And as he goaded me I tried to earnestly to make a fist, to prove him wrong. He was right. I couldn’t and so my right hand held my left hand and closed it into a fist. He nodded as if to say I told you so. And then he left.

We can let others decide who we will be or we can get up and live the life we think we deserve to live. It won’t be easy and it may take years to get to where some people take minutes to go. But who is to define our lives except for us? We get one life. Why should we allow other to get their own lives and ours? Shouldn’t we take ownership of that ourself?

P.s. (Palat says)-: Our personal mirrors may not be rose tinted or even clean, but we can create our being in the way we’d like to see ourselves. Let’s stop blaming others for defining us and let’s define ourself.

The Exhaustion of Being

justbreathe

 

So over a dinner with friends the other evening, it seemed like everyone was suffering the same malady… ‘I’m exhausted!’… ‘Done by 9!’….’Cant’t get out! Don’t even want to!’

The problem, we realised was not age… (despite the snickering yawns) or our jobs even…. it was just mental fatigue and the aversion to just do anything after the very long days we were all working.

A movie, a dinner, friends… were just more work… no fun!

When did ‘stress’ replace the word ‘life’?

When did ‘monday blues’ become ‘everyday woes’?

Between traveling in the city, impossible deadlines and the non-stop desire to keep moving life just became one long never ending day.

Stop. Sleep. Breathe. The world won’t fall off its axis without you.

I had a great night’s sleep last night and woke up to a perfectly brilliant morning where nothing was more or less stressful then the night before… The world hadn’t stop turning and life was a little easier thanks to the fact that I was in better humour!

 

 

To all the haters of Valentines Day!

Well here’s my short letter to you…!

To all the Haters of Valentines Day,

I’m sorry! But you suck!

But for those who feel they deserve a less snippy version… here are my thoughts! We spend our lives criticising, critiquing, hating…not just others but ourselves! We’re never good enough, fast enough , cute enough, popular enough or pretty enough! We watch tv shows to cut them up into pieces… we even watch things or dress in t-shirts to make statements ‘ironically’ because I mean it’s not cool to like something or even worse still love anything anymore! I mean that’s sooooo lame! It’s so much cooler to wander around in a fury- angered by society, spouses, the government and even our friends! It’s become cool to hate!

Now this is one day we’re we (and aaaaallllll the greeting card companies) celebrate uncoolness! We celebrate love! And even if you don’t have that ‘right person’ at the moment, isn’t it cool to spend the day loving things about ourselves- I mean- go out and dress up, pamper yourself, read a book, finish a tv show, treat yourself to lunch- look around you… Can’t you spend one miserable day not hating your life and all those around you?

Valentines Day celebrates the joy of giving love. We’re often so caught up in our own lives…we forget that it’s not the job that makes the world go ’round, it’s the people… the people in your lives… so smile. Get out. Buy an overpriced rose or card and treat someone else…Make them smile and if you can’t find someone…buy something for yourself and be your own Valentine…

Spreading the love isn’t uncool…it’s in fact pretty fabulous!!!

Aditya Hitkari.Express photo by Prashant Nadkar, Mumbai. 05/07/2006

#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!

 

The face that I put on

So the writing has been irregular because i’ve just not felt well enough… With ‘The Verdict’ premiere just ’round the corner, it’s been rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal! But that’s not been what has kept me from writing….it’s just incredible and scary new life lessons I have had to learn.

  1. Everyone is an actor. Most people are 2, 3 or 4 faced…they say one thing to you, one to another and something else to a third! And it comes to them more naturally than it does for most trained actors! I was untrusting , as a person, before, but now I don’t even believe you when you give me your word or write it down!
  2. Class does not come from how much money you possess or what you wear… it’s ingrained in your value system, your thoughts and your beliefs. You can’t buy class- not even with all the money in the world.
  3. I care about myself! Every individual sole focus is themselves- NOT you! Your world might collapse…. but they will only worry if the ground under them move… else you are just extra noise…
  4. Just because I’m nice to you …doesn’t mean I’m your friend. It doesn’t even mean that i like you… People will say one thing and do exactly what they feel like. Most people can never more than acquaintances- passing breezes…!
  5. And last but not least- NEVER UNDERESTIMATE YOUR FAMILY. When everything collapses around you, when you don’t have the will to get up and still fight to retain the ‘I don’t need help’ attitude- they are the ones who will help you when you push them away. They are the ones who make you stronger and they are the ones who make you believe in the power and strength of unconditional love.

And thru all the madness and all the ill health, I have smiled through pain and gritted teeth because of the strength my family gives to me. I didn’t ask for it. I pushed them away. I yelled at them for treating me like I was unwell and they smiled indulgently and bought me cake. When I had hours of work left, they took me kicking and screaming out to lunch. When I pulled an all-nighter and was continuing thru the day- they dragged me to bed.

The reason ‘The Verdict’ will be a success is thanks to my family.

They saw thru my smile. they saw thru my ‘I’m fine.’ They love me enough to take me tantrums and all and listen to my fears, put band-aids on the hurt and prop me up to make me the smiling person the world sees every day.

It is thanks to them- you can never tell the face that I put on.

 

Happy Birthday Aditya! Thank you for being mine :)

divya aditya-pangkor laut

Happy Birthday to my my husband, my life partner and most importantly to my best friend!

Aditya and I met years ago (he remembers the exact date) during the only Malhar Festival I participated in… He can tell you what I wore and where we were standing…I can only tell you that he was gorgeous then and even more handsome now! Aditya is everything I’m not- he’s polite, balanced, relatively calm and composed and well just all ’round a really nice guy!

Over our years of friendship and now marriage, I have met so many people who have known him from school, college or football and the one thing they all seem to have in common…is that they like him very much and respect him.

I love that. It’s wonderful to think that you have an amazing man by your side….but when so many others say the same… it just makes me beam with pride.

Everyone who knows us knows that Aditya proposed to me when I was in hospital, just diagnosed with ADEM. With left side paralysis, an incurable disease and on steroids – I was the last person you’d expect to be making marriage plans with. But Aditya saw what I didn’t see….he saw promise, he saw hope, he saw me and with his eyes I learnt to see me the way he did! He’s the best person in a crisis, the calmest person in the hospital and an absolute pillar of strength during any ill health (tho like my friend Michael says…”With you and your health, he has no option but to be calm!”)

Thank you Aditya. You are my favourite person to talk to, fight with, argue with,chat with, watch movies with, gossip with,watch TV show marathons with and do plays with!

You’re still the person who chooses my favourite pair of shoes; who fixes my belt on my jeans (yes Gaurav I’ve put that in…cos he does ;)), who loves me exactly the way I am- loud, a touch too honest,highly emotional and always stressed. You never asked me to change and seem to enjoy my erratic craziness.

You’ve taught me the value of a great friendship, the fun in a good debate and that we don’t need a million people around us to have the best time- we just need each other (and Cookie :))!

Sorry for all the times you were right… but you let me win any way… because I am NEVER WRONG :)!  (Since this apology only comes once a year…on the birthday…you might as well take it!)!

Thank you for being the best thing in my life ( yup you are better then a cup of coffee for me (for those who know me…that’s a very high compliment)).

I love you.

Aditya Hitkari. Express photo by Prashant Nadkar, Mumbai. 05/07/2006

p.s.- had to include you with pictures of your 2 girls… cos well both of us (cookie included) wanted to be a part of your birthday post 🙂