Saturday, October 29, 2016


I was Nine year old and had just returned from half day school. I was wearing a white cotton frock and playing on the roads with my friends. 

"Come inside right now, see what has happened to you!!!" came the shrill ordering yell of my mom. 

Bewildered, I came in with a questioning expression. I was clueless, what had happened. All that had been remarkable was, we had a half day and we were making best of it. 

My mom turned me around and pulled up my frock and began crying hysterically and summoning my neighbouring aunties. All gathered and began whispering "She is so small, just nine!

"It must have started an hour back, she has been running around like that, how come she did not notice it..."

I was made to sit in the middle of the room on a jute mat. My clothes removed and that is when I noticed the red stains, thick and glaring. I was horrified. I pleaded to my mom that I had done nothing. I almost expected a thrashing. I also became aware of pain in my lower abdomen, but I kept quiet. I was shivering with the ominous environment around me. My aunties were simultaneously comforting my mother, who was crying inconsolably in the lap of an elder lady. 

After a while, they brought a steel strainer and poured water and oil through that over me. I was given a bath and told to wash myself. Each moment, I was petrified at all the blood coming out of my  private area. I wondered, what I had done, what sin I had committed. I asked God for forgiveness, for sins I did not know I had committed to deserve this. The more I cleaned the more it oozed. 

Utterly helpless, I looked at my mom for comfort and explanation. None came forth. Only a frowned and clamped foreboding. I wondered what I had done. After a bath they stuffed a cloth in a panty and tied it up. Back then we had both elastic and threaded ones. Then another elastic panty over it. When I gave a questioning look, one aunty added "This will prevent staining.

I gave up questioning for suddenly I was tired and I wanted to sleep and be alone. One aunt asked me to sit in the corner of the house. They had laid a jute mat. They got me a steel plate and glass and told me to not touch anything in the house. Not anyone. I was to not go out to play. Not to tell anyone what happened. 

Phewww...Half the chawl had assembled. What did it matter if I told anyone or not? They offered me the sweet they had made. They smiled and told me "Now you are a woman.

Bonkers!!! I could neither share their smiles nor ask anything further. My mother seemed to be ever distant. We never were great friends. Till date, we have never talked things that mattered to a girl. All I wanted was a comforting hug that explained all, took away the slowly searing pain that was growing in my pit. A kiss on my forehead to assure me I was not unclean. Till date, I am waiting... I got none...Never did...Now I expect none. 

Arrival of my dad and his grim expression made me feel mortified. 

I wanted to disappear!

Just a kind ray of hope came the next day. A young neighbour, with whom I spent my afternoons with, brought me a weekly women's magazine. There I learnt what I had was menstrual cycle and it is called bleeding, which would last for 4-5 days. It would occur every month till I would be 40+ and a result of a very natural, biological process. I cried then, of relief. I felt rescued. I am ever grateful for this bit of information. It lifted tons of guilt. 

What still it could not lift was the discomfort those five days brought. The rubbing of stinky clothes caused rashes. The despair of so many underclothes took away sleep in summer months. Rainy season brought other issues. Having four women in the house, it was a cumbersome task to manage the cloth pads and stuff. The ones who were out if it had to cook and clean. Sanitary pads were forbidden by my mom as her reasoning was that menstrual blood had to be washed and cannot  be thrown away. It riled me to go through so much creepy, crappy and everything yuck! 

The injustice too brought forth too many arguments. I could clean the utensils but once dried had to stay away from them. I could wash the clothes but once dried cannot touch them. Worship of course was denied. 

How could we be doing all sorts of things and then be rendered "untouchables" for those five days? We were actually reprimanded for having them if there was a religious ceremony! As if we had a say in the whole process. 

As I grew up, I rebelled against a lot of things I did not agree with. Scientifically, I knew it was a perfectly healthy situation and all women undergo it. I wondered if the western girls were kept away from temples and ceremonies in these days. Would they be sinners if they used napkins or tampons? But I dare not ask my mom to finance the napkins. We were three girls in the family! Such expenditure on us was a waste! 

But I locked horns and got beaten many times for my rebellious questioning. Once in my native village, I was given the regular jute mat. Being a mucky summer night, it was high discomfort. Distraught, I saw the wooden 'jhulla'  big enough to sleep for a four feet few inches like me. I slept on that. I woke to angry chanting of my grand-mom. She was sprinkling something on the pillow of the jhulla. She screamed at me to get off "You vile girl, you have made this place 'apavitra'. You will rot in hell!"

I got down and asked what she was sprinkling. The maid supplied 'Ganga Jal'.  By now, my mischief and revolt had surfaced. "This will purify, what I made unclean?"  Arrows of vitriol from my grandmother! As to how dare I question after sinning. 

Well I sighed and requested "Please keep this can of Holy water here for another four days, purify the pillow next few days. I cannot sleep on the jute and I will not..." Spanking and yelling was my reward. But obstinate as I was I continued sleeping on the jhulla minus the "Oh so Holy Pillow" They could spank me all they want and withhold food if they wanted. Jhulla is where I camped on for those five days and that was that. 

In college, I began earning part time. This brought me independence to dare to buy my first sanitary pad. Mom was livid, and felt I was about to destroy her religion. Out of guilt, I tried washing the pad. It was a disaster. That night, I had a long conversation within myself. I weighed my comfort against all these ill established routines and rituals which had no foundation, rationale and logic. I decided to take charge and look for making my life a little more comfortable. After a miserable eight years' period, I chose to make the five days less demanding. The trade off with my mom was I would adhere to her "No worship, no prayer, no touching contract.

My breakthrough came on my wedding day. A month before, my mom fretted on the date that coincided with my cycle. Round of doctors, medicines were all fruitless. I got my mischievous, mocking menstrual cycle on the DDay. Now what??? Again mom's accusatory stare! HOW COULD YOU??? 

Hmm...I could ask the same...How could you put my welfare before all these foolish customs??? In all this, not once she thought her baby girl has been trembling and looking for that hug... Ever since she was nine. 

How can I now sit for the sacred ceremony? 

Can we send the 'Baaraat' back? A generous mid way of bathing head to toe was invented. A hush hush was decreed. 

But I decided not to spoil the best day of my life. Menstrual cycle has a huge contribution to make post marital status fertile. 

I welcomed it, shared with my groom who was disappointed for obvious reasons but we were friends first and all would happen sooner...It just meant four more days. I took charge of my happiness. Enjoyed the ceremonies, travelled to Vaishno Devi in the Himalayas and solicited her blessings. 

None of the ceremonies were interrupted as predicted by my ancient aunties. The temple door miraculously did not intercept me as unclean . They showered me with blessings, bleeding and all. 
No wrath was let loose upon the "Sinner" me. 

And so when I began my marital life, I threw the taboo of the five days in the waste basket. Yes, those days I felt weak, I solicited extra help but never have I imposed this no touching rule. I, no longer sleep on jute mats or have separate utensils on those days. I never compromise on my comfort nor purify myself on waters brought from yonder rivers. If there is a religious function coinciding, I take no medicines to delay or expedite. I simply get on with my prayers and rituals. My prayers emanate from my clean soul and earnest desire to connect to divinity. It must connect directly regardless of a scientific, biological process of a body. 

I urge every woman to take charge and pass on an empowered vision of these five days as simply a process and not an unclean body which has to be isolated and shunned. AFFIRM...

WE deserve comfort
We deserve right to pray
We deserve to feel special and cared for! 
We deserve no frowns or wrath... Only... 
WE all need a Hug...!

By Sonnal Pardiwala

This blogathon is supported by the Maya App, used by 6.5 million women worldwide to take charge of their periods and health.


A popular channel came up with a hashtag, #SundayIsHerHoliday. At first , I thought it was for a maid and I was about to express "How kind!" To my utter horror the video depicted that those sentiments were for the 'Mom' our Overburdened homemaker who should be given a rest! 

INDEED. . . 

I wondered at the alacrity and giggled a bit at the patronising largesse. My query here "Can I eat on a Sunday and carry on for the rest of the week?"  "Can we sleep on a Sunday and not sleep the other six days?" So how can a single day's 'Rest' deal with Fatigue One accrues for six days???

To the "Oh so Considerate Clan" I would like to put forward another Hashtag #ShareTheWorkDaily

Yes, Daily! Why not create a generation who would not add to the overburdening of chores for the Mommy? 

WE OVERBURDEN??? WE the kind lot??? I can feel the sneers but hang on and check how you can ease her daily so that she feels valued and not someone in need of a 'compulsory weekly off
Ever wondered why she is so flustered??? IMAGINE the following scenarios-

Scene 1 

She enters the bathroom after all have left for work or school... The bathroom is a mass of toothbrushes dangling, toothpaste, soaps, shampoo bottles strewn all round, clothes in all processes of removal... One sleeve up...One sleeve halfway through. She spends a considerable half hour getting it all in its rightful place. The Disorder causing her grumbling more than the work. 

Scene 2

Either lunch or dinner is done. All have praised her: "Oh so lovely a meal!" and are back on their cellphones or laptops or in front of the TV, lounging on the Sofa. What greets her is a Mess! 

The plates full of sticking dals, curry leaves, chillies, spice leftovers, incase of non-veg... bones of chicken and fish. She has to gather it, put it all in the garbage, hand the utensils over to the maid, clear the kitchen platform...if God forbid the maid has an off, she has to double in as the clean-up woman! 

Even while one meal is reaching its culmination she needs to prepare her next meal, at least in her mind! If you valued her, would you not or could you not at least throw your own leftovers in the bin yourself? Could you not divide the post meal clean up like picking the dishes, leftovers and cleaning the table with her. She will feel less flustered and resentful. 

Why is it that it is her duty to think of "What to make?" Do you not eat too? Is that not your house? This is a general query to the males and progeny in general and en masse

Why not teach and learn to come back home and keep your belongings in its rightful place? Why does mother have to discover the stinky tiffins and socks and yell? ? ? 

Why not teach and learn to extend a hand while she cooks... Maybe cut vegetables, fill water bottles, lay the table... You can look up as to how you can sort her chaotic world. 

Teach and learn to ponder over, "Is there anything I can do here?" 
She is your Homemaker... Your wife and your Mum...A day's rest for all activities and for all is a Great idea but To overwork her and be magnanimous to "LET HER REST" to me again is a misogynist and misplaced Benevolence. 

If we learn to share work and if each contributes to running a smooth household, we will have a less resentful mum and wife and other roles she plays! 

Food, sleep and rest are required in regular doses and measures. 

Let us learn to value her everyday. For six days, we behave as if its beneath us to pick the mop or keep the socks in the washing machine and on Sunday, we transform into kinder beings. Let us be kind daily. . . Look around for those moments where we can ask and implement "Is there something I can do?

Let us observe and fill in her resentful moments with effective sharing and demonstrate caring every single moment and not just on a Sunday. 

I as a mum and wife deserve Consideration each day...Sunday kindness will be an added Bonus! 

BY Sonnal Pardiwala.

Monday, October 24, 2016


There are many moments in life when you ought to stop and go within to tap into this potent force called "You"
There will not be another you and probably you have not fully explored the full "You".
The possibility of putting yourself out there in as many formats as possible is a beautiful arena that you must consider.
Ask yourself
Who am I? Am I just this one persona who I currently am? What latent talents I have not explored?
Discover yourself.
Check the hidden ambitions you harboured once and see if you can reclaim part of it. Today avenues to express are multiple and there are hundreds of ways you can be out there. Do dust your inner reservoirs and find the concealed treasures therein.
Hesitation is a waste of you. If you want to express yourself just do so. Even half baked attempt will find appreciation. Today attempting is more important than perfecting. You will get there if you keep at it.
Trust the "You" and where it is taking you. Your inward eye has a vision then make it stronger and soon it will reflect in your real life. It is called Manifestation power. A possibility nurtured with strong imagery and consistent faith will culminate into a happier version of you. Ask
You want something you ask your higher crew to give it. A financial oppprtunity, a professional outcome, a love match, peaceful vacation, Just Ask... And nurture the inward vision till it solidifies into an outer life. 
Yes believe it is possible for you. Convince yourself you are a resource. You are here to live a happier version of you and take to next realm an even brighter update of yourself. Beam a brilliant future for yourself and carve it with efforts and imagery both. The only resource is "You" your thoughts your actions and your ability to "Ask and Manifest"
But remember to Ask and Achieve!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

4 Quick Snackies For Travelling Mums!

When my kid came into the 'weaning zone' it was a new phase for me as a newbie mom. Till now, it was bliss. I carried the natural food available for my baby. The mother 's milk which was ready and wholesome. Now, as an 'on-the-go' mum I had to recreate the same wholesomeness for my little one. I wanted to offer all kinds of tastes to my active bundle. I wanted my kid to be non fussy when it comes to food. 

I was not a nutrition conscious person and I never counted calories. I was a hygiene freak and very particular that food was fresh and not stored or processed (a little allowance here and there, well, admissible). So what followed was a 'mix n match' formula of varied foods which I carried for my second one as well. Both kids are healthy, non-fussy and savour vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian food alike. So here I share my go-to-snacks while I was out with my kids at work or out on a function or an outing.


You need a banana. 

Few spoons of milk.

A plate and a spoon to mash and feed.

Cut the banana into small pieces with the back of the spoon, mash with it the back of the spoon adding little milk till it all becomes a healthy pasty mash. Not too thick nor too liquidy. Feed immediately

You may add chickoos or use them instead of bananas. The soft pieces will aid and introduce the child to chewing and feeling the food.

Feed only till the child asks. The moment he or she says 'no' or indicates it with a clamping of mouth, take your cue to stop. Let it be. Do not shove one more spoon.

Respect their decisions as young as that. Do not decide for them how much they should eat.


You will need a boiled potato, little salt, a spoonful of butter, little pepper or chaat masala and cheese spread.

Mix it well and do not pre-mash it. Do it when you need it. It will only take a minute.

This will introduce the salty taste for the child's taste buds. It will indicate what tastes your child loves or does not. Be observant to how your child responds to each colour or preparation. It is an important clue for your future cooking.

You may add boiled carrots to add colour.


You may use Marie Biscuits or/and Krack Jack. They mash well with milk. It will be light and easy on you on those days when no fruits or veggies are around. Besides it will add variety for you and your kid. Well I always told you I was not the fitness calorie counting mum.

But for those who are, there is a healthier preparation.


Take a bit of ghee (clarified butter)  it can be your choice to use pure ghee. Roast the rice of your choice in the ghee for about five minutes. Grind the mix. It can be stored for a few days. 

You may cook the rice powder and carry with you. You can add milk/curd and honey to it. With curds you may omit the honey and add bit of salt to alternate the taste. You may simply create rice balls with ghee and jaggery and offer your child.

It was the healthiest option that offered wide variety. I later added tomato soup to the rice. Roasted dal was an addition. Boiled cauliflower was a smash hit (pun intended).

An armed mom is a happier mom. Dazzle those relatives who keep commenting on your child's health and inquisitively judge you to be the among the "shortcut" modern lot, that you could be the most thoughtful mom around to reckon with.

By Sonnal Pardiwala.

Best for Baby

Content consuming is changing in every sphere of life. One of the most vulnerable areas of a human life is motherhood. Right from the time a woman realizes she is carrying a life she is filled with a plethora of emotions. There is anxiety if things will go right. There is ecstasy at harbouring a baby within. There is a resolve to do everything right. Eat right, exercise right, and rest right.

There are plethora of choices and question. Women turned to mothers and mothers-in-law for advice but now they want to go through the experience their way. They feel that the knowledge they have is no longer sufficient to meet the ever changing needs. Besides they have a philosophy that they want to carry out all by themselves. They have their nuclear family and advice that stems from a joint family base at times does not resonate with their nuclear culture.

I remember when my elder one was born and I had to go in the work force to help finances, waiting for the ‘massage woman’ to come and rub my baby to sleep did not go down well for my questioning mind. He needed massage for sure but with that roughness, ‘NO’ and to endlessly wait when she saunters in was not permissible. I questioned and decided to let go of the ‘massage woman’ but kept the ‘massage routine’ on.

And thinking about such times, I feel, a YouTube channel like 'Best for Baby' would have been best for me. I had to go the full round of fearing to drop my child to trembling with him in my hands. If then such a happy demo of bath ritual would have soothed my frayed nerves.

I had the privilege to attend the YouTube launch of ‘Best for Baby’ at PVR Juhu, by 'Johnson and Johnson', a trusted name in the world of babies and moms.

MyCityForKids, a platform where I enjoy sharing my parenting roles invited me to be a part of this sensitive event. 

The key note speaker being the former Ms. Universe LARA DUTTA BHUPATHI” who shared her experiences and a panel of discussion followed about changing perceptions and how new moms are forming and relying more and more on communities like FirstMomsClub or BabyChakra. They feel accepted in their anxious moments and get some up-to-date advice from people sailing in the same boat.

It was heartening to note that Johnsons had forayed into creating a YouTube channel that would show case scenarios pertaining to daily mums and the ‘how to?’ of each aspect of mumhood. I look forward to more videos on:

How to express breast milk and use it for various purposes? (it helped me cure breast tenderness and rashes)

How to change Diapers?

The frequency of changing diapers.

How to deal with nappy rashes?

How to feed the baby during weaning?

What to feed the baby?

How often to feed the baby?

How to alternate between breast feeding and food?

How to toilet train?

How to wean from breast feeding if the child’s dependence continues after two years?

These and many more issues need demo videos to help the first time moms 
to get through the first year of their motherhood.

Certain issues like screen time and schooling will unfold much later but the first three years are developmentally so vulnerable and vital that I feel it needs special attention.

I congratulate the entire team of Johnson and Johnson on their YouTube launch and here’s hoping that their channel covers every vital issue that a mother and father grapple with. They need all the advice and demo videos on handling their tiny ones and giving them the best.

By Sonnal Pardiwala.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Befikre Dil Puts Me In Mushkil!

Our entire generation borrowed romantic notions from Bollywood. 

Our sense of chedchaad began with Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala crooning ‘Ude jab jab zulfen teri…kunwaariyon ka dil machle’ with an equally nonchalant rejoinder “Teri chaal hai naagin jaisi…toh kese na nazar fisle?

Today, the Befikre couple jump on each other’s shoulder with- “I am Shyra…” A wildly smiling gal screams over a crowded background. Absolute abandon is described in the attitude that is light and fun!
Do not be so quick to jump in with judging that I am deriding either of the scenarios. Only as a quadragenarian, I am super confused and lost.

In our times, parents outsourced our gyaan of love to movies, hoping that we will pick up the by and by and understand what transpired when two flowers met and the camera zoomed out. We did not! We had major learning to do once we did become one of those flowers.

So here comes the modern trend of mocking the ‘hidden’ scenes and well, the Befikre couple has no holds barred show! Kissing comes so naturally and then I must thank them for educating my fifteen year old and ten year old with tools of love making! Why leave them to sneak in with fake IDs on YouTube for the same sex education when a flamboyant Ranveer and Vaani are all too glad to fix it for them. Then, would I have wanted to grow in this era or not?

Tough question!!!

We fell in love quite in a different way with each one of us first realising within us that “Hooo mujhe kisise pyaar ho gaya…pyaar ho gaya dil bekaraar ho gaya…” This was the first commitment to ourselves. The first pledge we made to ourselves. Our first “Aanknon Aankhon main karke ishaare kisne dil se kaha hum tumhare…” was our first acceptance that we are giving away our dreams to someone else.

Today the ‘assertive couple’ discusses over a cup of coffee or in the process of dressing and undressing stages. Often one of the partner, not willing to let go off the other agrees to “Rules will be no rules! Rules can be easily broken!” to the girl declaring after a healthy tumble in the bed “Look I have had a break up and so, no calls, I wanna be alone”.

Like eating food, drinking water, wearing clothes our carnal desires have to be assuaged on a daily basis with whosoever available. We were probably a little choosy and sipped our relationship and savoured all the flavours it offered. Things happened in the heart and were conveyed through eyes.

Here our Befikre couple is assessing, taking stalk of attractive organ paraphernalia like ‘asses’ which may or may not play a super vital role in the entire equation of relation. But we are ubercool, modern; we must impress ourselves as smart, whacky in control and vocab funk…


And silly me…I crooned years back when a relationship was imminent “Jaha bhi main jaati hun wahi chale aate ho…chori chori mere dil main samaate ho…yeh toh batao ke tum mere kaun ho?” and he would reply “Hum toh tere ashiq hain sadiyon puraane!!!” I probably had all the time in the world to get those phone calls and be romanced with “Tum bin jau kaha ke duniya main aake, kuch na fir chaha kabhi tumko chahke…”

Our Befikre couple seems to be in a hurry or commitment phobic. Ready to roll in parties and smooch but to commit deeply is such a cowardly act and heinous one that we must scoff at it! After all mirth is the virtue that you must perpetually don in your countenance if you wanna be called moderne

How can you even think marriage or a committed relationship? C’mon guys, we are in 2016, besides we need to stay away from any institutes that bind us permanently. Aakhir we needa reduce the population on the earth. We are supposed to be the precious last generation here!

Our Befikre couple says “Ne dis jamais je t’aime!” The new slogan of the present generation- you must never say those words. They are crap.

Our generation invested heavily in inventing indigenous ways of stating the Ultimate “Tu meri Chandni…” “Kehdo ki tum ho meri, varna…jeena nahi, mujhe hain marna…” We the unmodern ones ran with a feverish “Dekho kabhi na esa kehna dekho kabhi na esa karna…” We courted each other with “Kora kaagaz tha ye mun mera likh diya naam uspe tera…”

Today there is no courtship, only daring “I dare you” in an open car and “You are on” with a heavy wet lip lock.

My heart still meanders in those strains of “Bhul gaya sab kuch yaad nahi ab kuch Julie…I Love You!” and Julie’s passionate “Julie loves you…” sealed the bond forever. We flirted with each other and also fought. We sulked big time when hurt and we allowed to be cajoled back with either “Ruthe ruthe piya manao kese?” or “Dekho rutha na karo baat nazron ki suno…”

Our Befikre couple has no time for all this mushy “Maan jao…” routine. At the first sight of anyone offending anyone even minor way elicits a “grand break up and walk out” declaration. We are far too independent you see to either “ruth jaana” or “manana”! Who has the time or means? 

Our complaint modes were also so lyrical and filled with love for the other “Yaadon ko teri main dulhan banakar rakhunga dil ke paas…” or “Tumhe yaad karte karte…jaayegi umra saari…tum le gaye ho apne…sung neend bhi humaari…

Here we have the super dose of “We do not care for anyoneI will get over anything and anyone!”

Sex was but one part of our love equation and not the be all and end all or not separated as the ‘instalment culture’. That is why Kajol fell for Raj for he was willing to come home and win over her family to betroth her. HE not only proved to be someone who would follow his love across continents but also work out solutions to various problems life throws in. Every Simran looks for a Raj who would offer a strong shoulder to cry on and lean for a happy family. Tumbling in the bed came…well it was a private affair. Why would they let the world pry on it?  

Yes, we can be derided for not feeling super sexual like today but tell you what, we were sensuous! “Rup tera mastana pyar mera diwana!” is the sexiest and the most sensual rendition of the coming together. “Ab jo mile hain to bahon ko bahon mein rehne de ae sajna” to “Aj madhosh hua jaaye re mera mun mera mun sharaarat karne ko lalchaye re mera mun mera mun” We did contribute modestly to our population despite the repression or let us say open and public display of “buchhh and smurrrp”…

What then, am I mourning today? I am mourning the loss of a big banner of Yash Chopra that taught us to love, commit and demonstrate the deepest way two human beings committed, cared and went forward to define parameters for love, sacrifice and togetherness. Yash Chopra was the most modern man alive of our Era.

He brought “Kabhi Kabhi” to us where he spoke of sacrificing Love and learning to love again.

He gave us “Silsila” where we spoke about extra marital things and reconciling to fate. It was a rich romance whose songs are love anthems that are immortal even today.

He gave us ‘Lamhe” far far ahead of our times talking of a love union that was not age synchronised and we thought such a love possible too. It spoke of loyalty held for years and determined love winning over resistance of long held prejudice and hurt.

He brought Shiamak Davar’s group’s grandeur in “Dil To Pagal Hai” and a selfless sacrifice when the partners recognise that love has to be a two way street and give in to unite the lovers without hurt or rancour.

He gave us “Veer Zaara” that crossed borders and depicted a love that survived distance and transcended time and distance.

What, then, is the Yash Chopra banner dishing out to us in the name of cinema? 

Oh yes! There are exotic locales, contemporary lingo, but, I ask- is there a single song whose lyrics you take to heart and croon while you cook or is there a single strain that makes your knees go weak when they begin? 

After a while, an almost naked Ranveer (red shining underwear…really!!) too fails to have any hormonal effect. Put it down to laying it out too fast and too easily and for naught…

Life is not one grand party. There are things you look out for once the ‘Daawat’ is over. There have to be virtues that must come forth as the human drama unfolds of adjusting to flaws which imminently surface as a relationship progresses…expectations surface and needs arise outside the bed.

Oh, but I forgot they explicitly laid out the rules of the game- it’s a game that has rules now, weak rules that can be broken…that can be dissolved.
We had dreams simple and not very ambitious. “Jhilmil sitaron ka aangan hoga…rim jhim barasta saavan hoga…” Listen to the song. Poignantly it takes you on a tour of vows two souls ought to take “Teri aankhon se saara sunsaar main dekhungi…” “Prem ki gali main ek chota sa ghar bunayenge…kaliyan na mile, kaanto se sajayenge…” It was not bondage it was freedom to fly together “Phir toh must hawaaon ke jhoke bun jaayenge…” We merged into another and vowed “Zindagi na tute ladi pyaar karle ghadi do ghadi…” for like the Befikre couple reinstates life is too short and must enjoy every minute. We must be with someone who can say to you “Aaj se apna vaada raha, hum milenge harek mod par…” When one lost heart the other supported with “Lakh gehra ho saagar to kya pyaar se kuch bhi gehra nahin…”

Sadly, the Befikre couple shall never know this depth because they are so afraid to delve deeper that they keep skimming on the surface and at the first sign of push or pull, they break and run…those were the rules- not to stay when a challenge creeps in…

And silly us, we vowed “Tu jahan jahan, chalega…mera saaya, saath hoga…” “Janam Janam ka saath tha tumhara humara agar na milte is Jeevan main lete janam dobara…”

Relationship goals are changing but I daresay we were so busy falling in love over a long period of time that we saw the entire individual…we had no time for asses (pun intended). For when my partner sleeps with me I would want his loving warm hug. He can keep his ass where it belongs and in whatever shape it was, we kinda lived with it, part of the package you see! In our romantic world that kind of defiant ass watching was a waste of time or never invented maybe. I tried staring at my husband’s …did not appeal much though or rather had no apparent attraction. So jaane dete he is baat ko! (Mind you he is a handsome dude, slim and fit)

Love is felt in the heart and for me love is a long term commitment. You may have a lot of parties and lot of fun changing partners (be careful with STDs though) but that one person is needed, who will wipe your tears even when he or she is the reason. You need a person to scream at, besides your maid or assistant. (Sarcasm intended…we all have non designer days) You need to work around your eccentricities and make his or her ones your own. 

You need to fall out of love and fall in love again. You need to forgive and learn to hate and forgive. You need to feel bored and shake the stagnancy. Long after the hormonal rushes ebb…long after the party is over...long after the working hours are done…long into a rainy night you needa have someone to croon to “Zindagi aur kuch bhi nahin teri meri kahani  hain…

Let us raise a generation who learns to love for a long term and not make weak breakable rules and make this delicate emotion of love into a flimsy game to be played and abandoned when it gets difficult. Let us teach them to sing…

Tere mere sapne ab ek rang hain…vo jaha bhi le jaaye raahe hum sang hain…

Coz in love you grow with the individual. Your dream and my dream merge into our dreams. We forge a bond and promise each other “Main na bhulunga main na bhulingi in rasmon ko in kasmon ko in rishtey naaton ko…

Mr. Aditya Chopra,

The trailer of Befikre, then, fills me up with complete disappointment. Being modern means adapting newer ways for sure not cooking up badass dialogues to create shock valueYou have a legacy to treasure and guard! Reinvent like your Dad did. He brought in new and fresh concepts but never did he need to resort to flimsy and flaky flicks in cinema. Please bring love back on screen that stays in my heart where I can say to my children ‘Haan yahi pyaar hain…

Do not let me feel that with the demise of this Love guru, love has vanished from Indian Cinema!

By Sonnal Pardiwala

**Images used are only for representational purpose. The author claims no rights over the same.**

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Zindagi Kehti He...

Research says that when you are stressed, even a slight sudden sound shall aggravate the stress factor. When a nuclear family has both parents working and children out the whole day for educational and other endeavours they do come back stressed and fettered. Every evening, it might not be possible to go and watch cinema or every weekend may not culminate into a getaway to silent retreats. In that case, TV becomes the sole go-to medium for family entertainment.

What am I getting at? Impatient are we? Stress creates this sense of quick-come-to-the-point attitude.

So open any channel! Currently popular channels and this is what you will witness.
  •         Women turning into creatures from animal kingdoms or supernatural realms. Often hilarious and unbelievable with impeccable makeups no matter what their trauma.
  • ·        Patriarchal homes with larger than life mansions and an army of relatives staying under the same roof. One or two ganged up members scheming against the poor protagonist who must constantly give an agni-pariksha of her honour, truthfulness and sanctity.
  • ·        Scripted shows, in the name of reality, where the factor of poverty and tears is happily exploited. They feel it is cleverly implanted but the audience is savvy and knows the inevitable lie that is echoed in all the scripts and sob stories.
  • ·        Raucous roast shows in the guise of comedy which I would not want kids to view or internalize at all lest they carry it into their daily interactions thinking it is an accepted form of communication.
  • ·        Loud sound tracks jolting the entire sofa set to vibrations discordant enough to create stress reactions.

 In that case what do we take then from TV? Does it entertain? Does it bring my battered nerves any relaxed respite?

The response to the above queries is a feebly waning “Maybe...umm...but now it is all like that only!"
When most of the channels are adding to cacophonous, repetitive drones of ill planned shows, do we have an environment friendly space on television which can at least make for a wholesome viewing with family and is pleasant on my ear drums…?

To my surprise, there is…

For starters, tune into #Fatmagul at 9:00 p.m. on #Zindagi and you will be rewarded with an environment friendly treat. 

It is a show from Turkey. Each shot is a cinematographic delight. Each angle tells a story. There is no din or pandemonium in the entire show. Besides it shows the picturesque beauty of Turkey. No expense has been spared in shooting on exotic locales and giving us an inside view of a Turkish countryside or Istanbul’s serene tranquility.

Hell I want to book tickets to a Turkish getaway near the riverside where Kerim and Fatmagul have taken residence and Merriam gets to grow all herbs and stuff. The whole feel is so divine and tranquil. The music tracks are sensibly chosen to herald a certain conflict or put in a pleasant romantic note but nothing is over the top. The anguished moments are composed and enacted with a heart and character.

The Romance is restrained and lets the viewer feel the moments instead of loud tracks or Bollywood songs thrown in to dig in the moolah or promote a song. Every strain of romance is felt by the viewer and is left wanting more.  There is a healthy balance and characters are authentic with their inimitable flaws that every human is entitled to. It essays a profound but gentle saga of a girl who was raped striving to reclaim her life, rebuild it and give herself another chance at love and trust. 

Nobody is perfect. All make mistakes and all display their weaknesses as well as nobility. The struggles are a voice of many. You can identify with it and gently slide into your sofa with a guarantee that you will not fall off with a … “Nahinnnn!!!Ruk jaoooo...yeh shaadi nahi ho suktiiiii….” Well…more on Fatmagul later but for now since that is the only tele-show that I am watching, looking over with excitement for the primetime line up of new shows on platter and they look promising. 

They will not go on endlessly as they have a finite format so you will get your closure but will be left wanting for more. They will not go on to take incredibly ludicrous leaps and its easy on your ears!!! We all need some environment repair! Give yourself Zindagi (pun intended) and serenity. Get your remote to this channel.

Little Lord, Mon-Sat, 7:30 p.m.

Why shall we see this? Life need not be somber all the time. We do not need hard hitting issues to think about all the time. The world still manages to evolve with or without our contribution. There are times when we just need to smile and enjoy mischief of a little punk and reminisce about our childhoods and/or smile at the punks we have at home and all the mischief that we amusedly shake our heads on our little bundle of mischief. Little Lord brings a child’s attempt at keeping his parents together with desperate measures which will unfold in the show. I love the determined and stubborn declaration “Mummy daddy ke alag hone ka sawaal hi peda nahin hota…” Awwww and cewwwwttteee!!!

TV KE USS PAAR, Mon-Sat, 8:30 p.m.

It reminds me of my late mother-in-law who lived the characters of the tele shows she viewed. The long conversations post show with other animated and affected relatives were downright amusing. TV Ke Us Paar brings a mother who has found her universe in the ups and downs of tele shows and how she sets out to bring a bahu dear from those very shows.

She curses the vamps and breaks her crockery and welcomes with flowers a couple tying the knot. Her frustrated son makes for a helpless sight, who naturally, has to bear the brunt of all her quirks.  I would look forward to see all the Digs at the mambo jambo that is handed over to us audience as entertainment. It is a concept that can make for intellectual satire and giggles too. Bring it on!

Agar Tum Saath Ho, Mon-Sat, 7:00 p.m.

If you are there with me, I shall scale mountains!

Translated that way, it echoes soft, mushy sentiments. It narrates a union opposed by the paternal figure. Often when children grow up it is difficult for a parent to severe the umbilical cords and let the children settle and hash out issues in their matrimonial space. Often we have seen a Mother too dominant or overbearing this would be from the perspective of a father unable to allow a child to soar.

It does look like a Boy meets a Girl affair and proceeds to marry against family’s wish. I look forward to creating a discussion on our dinner table with our progeny and their future…the adjustments we as parents may have to make…the changes we must embrace and the balance that we must maintain to give space as well as forge bonds.

Khwaabon Ki Zameen Par, Mon-Sat, 10:00 p.m.

As a blogger, my word is trusted because it is Honest and true. Of all the premium shows this one does not excite me or my imagination. There is not much novelty in this concept. It has been used over and over again and it is truly unrealistic for in my life it relates to no one I know or would want to know. It is a journey of a Boy who aspires to be an actor and leaves his lady love back at home town and comes to Mumbai.

 He meets the Prima Donna out here and goes through the gamut of attraction and pangs of guilt most likely. The premise itself is a bit unrealistic. None of the Divas would so much as allow a non-celebrity to touch their shadows. The "strugglers" go on doing that full life before getting anywhere near the camera and action. This promotes a pipe dream that has very less probability of materialising. I would still wait for the show to unfold and express more. Here I simply share my first impressions.

Media does share the responsibility of shaping its viewers opinion and attitude and so the content must ignite minds to rethink their faulty attitudes and find a way to reorganize mental sets and patterns.

Each show outlined has a take away for me except the last one.

The little lord for me signifies that I pay more attention to my little ten year old and observe within myself the impact and dread I fill in the heart when I argue free flow with my husband in the spree  of being right and teaching lessons. I shall be more considerate and peace loving.

TV Ke Uss Paar one will bring alive my fond bemused memories as I eavesdropped the animated conversations over the Mother in law and daughter in laws and to an extent how and why our relationships never ironed out as the mother-in-law felt she must out-scheme the  daughter in law to retain her power in the household. I will view with compassion the Woman who has found her Universe in the Square Idiot Box.

Agarr Tum Saath Ho will echo my and my spouse’s struggle with coming of age as we strove to appease our parents, prove to them we love them and yet we wanted to do our own things our own way...try maybe…succeed or fail maybe…but create our own world . It is no one’s fault as we sit back and come to the stage where our offspring takes independent leaps and how we want to protect them and yet feel outdated at certain stages. We too might need our lessons and we hope the show brings us lessons and perspectives anew.

The faith was somewhat restored in the meet with #Zindagi organised by Indibloggers at Four Seasons, Worli. It was not a general promotional quickie put together but a select invite only event for bloggers who opine on television. Bloggers were hand-picked and might I add wooed romantically by the Indiblogger charm.

Every detail was attended to right from transportation to our food preferences and comfort. I extend heartfelt gratitude to them for a lovely, intellectual and enriching evening. Mr. Sunil Buch the Chief Business Officer at Essel Group was the key speaker.

The two exceptional virtues I was impressed with…one that he was soft spoken and second, his candid openness to suggestions even if they were a little dissenting. I am glad to meet personnel from higher echelons to be so not surrounded by an entourage speaking on his behalf and sometimes even thinking on his behalf.

No ingratiating him around, he will catch you before you proceed further. He was equally humble to come down to understanding the points made and at the same time he was completely truthful about the fact that print media fails at promoting a venture. It has lost trust and I am completely with him on this.

      The No.1 premium entertainment channel will launch a new primetime line-up from 3rd October 2016. Hand-picked stories from India, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Latin America and Korea, amongst others, will now be available on the channel. For our bi-lingual premium audiences, for the first time ever in India, Zindagi will also soon be available on a dual feed of Hindi and English. It will also be the first channel in the entire Indian TV industry to offer live streaming on Periscope, simultaneously with the linear TV feed.
After the phenomenal success of ‘Feriha’, Zindagi will soon premiere its second season.  And that’s not all…coming soon for the movie buffs on Sunday, ‘ZINDAGI AWESOMES’’ will feature the most iconic films that have defined Indian Cinema.

Mr. Buch elucidated the vision he has for the channel. It was a rather tough and unfortunate decision for them to take the shows off air which they brought across the border. They have replaced the shows with a brand new line up of shows and have plans to revamp and refresh. They intend to create a global mind set and bring the best to the viewer, starting October 3, 2016. He displayed keen awareness of the changing patterns of the viewer’s tastes and preferences. The philosophy is “Live in the MomentYeh Lamha Hi Hai Zindagi! which the turbulent times are proving true. 

Here one moment we were celebrating art across each other and another moment we had to take tougher calls which had to be taken.
Zindagi kehti hain yehi, yehi lumha hain…
Zee le Zindagi, isi lumhe main muskura…
Pyaar kar le, kehle pyaar he…
Apnon ke sung jhoom ke gaa…
Yehi #Zindagi kehti hain.